Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category

Boris Johnson Lying About the Skripals Incident – Craig Murray – Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist

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Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist
— Read on www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Craig Murray shows that rushing to judgement about nerve agent assault on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, England is bad politics.

A Categorical Liar 567

22 Mar, 2018  in Uncategorized by craig | View Comments

Evidence submitted by the British government in court today proves, beyond any doubt, that Boris Johnson has been point blank lying about the degree of certainty Porton Down scientists have about the Skripals being poisoned with a Russian “novichok” agent.

Yesterday in an interview with Deutsche Welle Boris Johnson claimed directly Porton Down had told him they positively identified the nerve agent as Russian:

You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?

Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …

So they have the samples …

They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt.

I knew and had published from my own whistleblowers that this is a lie. Until now I could not prove it. But today I can absolutely prove it, due to the judgement at the High Court case which gave permission for new blood samples to be taken from the Skripals for use by the OPCW. Justice Williams included in his judgement a summary of the evidence which tells us, directly for the first time, what Porton Down have actually said:

The Evidence

16. The evidence in support of the application is contained within the applications

themselves (in particular the Forms COP 3) and the witness statements.

17. I consider the following to be the relevant parts of the evidence. I shall identify the

witnesses only by their role and shall summarise the essential elements of their

evidence.

i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst

Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the

findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples

tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.

The emphasis is mine. This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.

This constitutes irrefutable evidence that the government have been straight out lying – to Parliament, to the EU, to NATO, to the United Nations, and above all to the people – about their degree of certainty of the origin of the attack. It might well be an attack originating in Russia, but there are indeed other possibilities and investigation is needed. As the government has sought to whip up jingoistic hysteria in advance of forthcoming local elections, the scale of the lie has daily increased.

On a sombre note, I am very much afraid the High Court evidence seems to indicate there is very little chance the Skripals will ever recover; one of the reasons the judge gave for his decision is that samples taken now will be better for analysis than samples taken post mortem.

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This website remains under a massive DOS attack which has persisted for more than 24 hours now, but so far the defences are holding. Some strange form of “ghost banning” is also affecting both my twitter and Facebook feeds. So please

a) Feel free to repost, republish, translate or spread this article anywhere and anyway you can. All copyright is waived.

b) If you came here by Twitter, please retweet but also in addition create a new tweet yourself containing a link to this post (or to any other site on which you have placed the information)

c) If you came here by Facebook, again please share but also in addition create a new post yourself which contains the information and the link.

The state and corporate media now have evidence of the vast discrepancy between what May and Johnson are saying, and the truth about the Porton Down scientists’ position. I am afraid to say I expect this to make no difference whatsoever to the propaganda output of the BBC.

No rush to judgement – A good article about the attack on Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England

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Whoever was responsible for the use of chemical weapons against a Russian ex-spy in Salisbury, the main political beneficiary so far appears to be Teresa May, whose bellicose response has led to a boost to her abysmal poll ratings, writes Ariel Pardess. Her cynical manipulation of this crime for political ends has been assisted by the BBC, whose photoshopping of a photo of Jeremy Corbyn to make him appear to be wearing a Russian hat has played into the “reds under the bed” smear narrative which seems to be replacing, or augmenting, the faltering antisemitism attacks. It has also been aided by some on the left, whose hostility to Corbyn’s perceived equivocal position on Syria has led them to brand him, and even anyone who supports him, as a “pro-Genocide Stalinist”.

This concerted attempt to portray Corbyn as a Communist fellow traveller, or as a “useful idiot”, betrays how threatened the government is. In disarray over Brexit, losing the argument over benefit cuts and poverty, and failing even on the traditional Tory policy of policing, they have resorted to the final resort – heightening tension with a foreign enemy, and issuing bombastic and jingoistic statements. This has worked for them in the past, as shown by Thatcher’s exploitation of the occupation by Argentina of the Malvinas Islands in 1982 to whip up war fervour. Corbyn, however, has not responded in the same way as Michael Foot, whose jingoistic speech in parliament in 1982 legitimised Thatcher’s war and arguably contributed to the huge defeat of Labour in the 1983 election.
— Read on socialistresistance.org/no-rush-to-judgement/11892

Written by tomasoflatharta

March 21, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Plain Speaking About Torture – Ireland’s Hooded Men Betrayed

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Hooded Men

On Tuesday March 20 2018 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that in August 1971, during an Internment Operation in the six counties of Northern Ireland, the British State did not torture a group of “Hooded Men”.  In plain language the ECHR says the British State did not, in this instance, deliberately inflict pain on captive persons.

Is that credible?  Consider this :

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband Linked With Torture in Sri Lanka

Gareth Pierce is a distinguished human rights lawyer who helped free Irish people wrongly convicted by the British government. She wrote: “Torture is the deliberate infliction of pain by a state on captive persons. It is prohibited and so is the use of its product. The UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment emphasises that there are no exceptional circumstances at all justifying its use” According to Pierce, the British, during the Mandate period in Palestine, in Kenya and Northern Ireland mastered the art of the “lesser” tradition of stress torture, forced standing, forced sitting and choking with water, exposure to extremes of heat and cold, and suspension. “These tortures were clean and allowed for plausible denial not because they are less painful, but because they leave less of a visible mark.” Nonetheless, these tortures produce agonising muscle pain. The kidneys eventually shut down.

Amnesty International describes what the British State did to the Hooded Men in 1971 :

Amnesty International comments on a “disappointing” ruling

The detained men were interned in 1971, and subjected to sustained interrogation by the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary, involving the ‘five techniques’ of hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation, and deprivation of food and water. These were combined with physical assaults and death threats, which the Court did not consider in its 1978 ruling.

Amnesty International’s full statement is, as Oscar Wilde might say, disappointing.

This ECHR ruling is careless – those six judges who left the British State off the hook don’t even know what torture looks like.

The surviving hooded men will not give up. Why should they? They were tortured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by tomasoflatharta

March 20, 2018 at 11:51 pm

Gerry Adams and the Sons of former Portlaoise Prison Officer Brian Stack, Killed by the IRA in 1983

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Many of my friends may be surprised, but I think Gerry Adams is telling the truth about his encounters with the sons of Brian Stack, a Portlaoise Prison Officer killed by the IRA in 1983.

Austin Stack probably gave the names of alleged 1983 IRA killers of his father Brian Stack (a prison officer) to the Sinn Féin President, not the other way around. That explains the Gerry Adams email to Garda boss Nóirín O’Sullivan on this matter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bureaucratically Deformed Trot Parties? “The bureaucratic imperative” dissected by a surgeon, Soviet Goon Boy

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http://sovietgoonboy.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/the-bureaucratic-imperative/ This writer hits the spot, big-time. There are really-existing bureaucratically-deformed trotskyist parties put under the microscope here; a sub-category of the bureaucratically-deformed states that crashed in the late 1980’s perhaps? The option of a constitutionally guaranteed right to faction and tendency organisation deserves attention. All part of the continuing fight for new broad-based anti-capitalist parties.

A hidden scandal – MI5 in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland under the peace process is supposed to have put the bad old days of Police Collusion with Loyalist Murder Gangs, and state force misbehaviour, into the distant past. The recent De Silva Report on the murder of civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane contains a lot of material which is very critical of the British State but leaves many questions unanswered :
Ed Moloney concludes in this essay :
“So, a powerful indictment of…what? RUC incompetence or malevolence, or evidence of some hidden subterranean manipulation? We don’t know because as with so much of Sir Desmond de Silva’s report, there are more questions than answers, more what’s, where’s and when’s than why’s.”
Bringing the story up-to–date read Eamonn McCann’s Belfast Telegraph Article
Sham row over ‘FBI-style’ body hides scandal of MI5
Web Link :
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/eamon-mccann/sham-row-over-fbistyle-body-hides-scandal-of-mi5-16268218.html?r=RSS

More and More, peace process policing and justice in Northern Ireland is hidden from view – Kafka-like rules are becoming more common, where people are held in jail without even knowing the charges made against them – as highlighted in another article on this blog featuring Dáil questions from Clare Daly TD to Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore.

The Broken Elbow

Why Was Billy Stobie Charged With Pat Finucane’s Murder?

I should first of all disclose an interest in this story. As they say in the country where I now live, I have a dog in the fight.

Billy Stobie was a valued source of mine and not only did I harbor the loyalty towards him that journalists should always show their sources – in our case to the extent that I fought and successfully defeated a Scotland Yard subpoena seeking the notes of our conversations which were sought to buttress his criminal prosecution – but I also liked him despite his all too evident flaws.

That he was a rogue and a scoundrel was undeniable. That image that was set in cement in the public mind when The Sunday Tribune published his photo above the story of his involvement in the Pat Finucane scandal just after his arrest in June…

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Greece protesters storm labour ministry – Al Jazeera English

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http://m.aljazeera.com/story/20131301749125751 So interesting to read this report, note the failure of Irish and British mainline media to report these events, and wonder can Ireland be far behind?