Tomás Ó Flatharta

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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.

Nurses for Choice Warn Against “Wait Period” in Proposed 8th Amendment Draft Legislation

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Nurses for Choice Express Concern over “Wait Period” in Abortion Legislation

Voluntary organisation Nurses for Choice have spoken out on the “wait period” between initial meeting with GP and receiving a termination proposed to be included in Irish abortion law in the event that the eighth amendment is repealed this May. The organisation has stated that waiting periods only act as barriers to healthcare in the hope it decreases needs of abortions, but have proven to be harmful. Nurses for Choice representative Joanna Hickey said “Abortion healthcare should be evidence based in practice and not based in myth in that time constraints somehow benefit the pregnant person.”

They have welcomed the introduction of the 36th amendment and Minister Simon Harris’s statements regarding the need for immediate change.  Representative Rachel Egan stated; “We are encouraged to see evidence based information used to support the argument against retaining the eighth amendment. We too believe in trusting women to make their own healthcare choices and granting all patients their bodily autonomy”

Nurses for Choice representative Joanna Hickey stated “Nurses care for a wide and diverse range of patients of reproductive age who are experiencing serious and difficult health issues in which pregnancy cannot be an option for them. As advocates for these patients we believe it is imperative that we repeal the eighth amendment.”

Rachel Egan added, “Forcing women to travel to avail of abortion has been shown to have negative effects on the person’s psychological, physical, social and financial wellbeing. We believe the constitution is not the correct place to contain laws regarding a private and personal matter, and the pregnant person’s choice should be made by them alone in conjunction with appropriate medical professionals.”

Nurses for Choice is group of nurses campaigning for a change in the constitution to allow women access to free, safe and legal abortion here in Ireland. We ask for any nurses who wish to participate in the campaign to repeal the eighth amendment to get in touch via nurses4choice@gmail.com or by joining their local pro-choice group.

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

Brexit in Trouble “EU fishing deal ‘far from acceptable’ to Scottish industry”

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The question is : can the British Tory Government hold its competing factions together?

Douglas Ross, the Conservative MP for Moray, said no matter what the UK government claimed, it had delivered “far less than I hoped and expected”.
He tweeted: “There is no spinning this as a good outcome, it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than try to sell this as a success.”
Skip Twitter post by @NicolaSturgeon
This is shaping up to be a massive sellout of the Scottish fishing industry by the Tories. The promises that were made to them during #EUref and since are already being broken – as many of us warned they would be. https://t.co/TzPdwfFlQA
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 19, 2018
Report
End of Twitter post by @NicolaSturgeon
The Scottish government accused the Conservatives of “a massive sell-out” of the Scottish fishing industry.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The promises that were made to them (Scottish fishermen) during #EUref and since are already being broke – as many of us warned they would be.”
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Ruth Davidson should be shame-faced for her fastest broken Brexit promise yet.
“Just last week she said Britain will leave the CFP as of March 2019.
“Now we know not only will the UK have to abide by CFP rules during the transition period, it will lose the voting rights it has now. The Tories have delivered the worst possible outcome for Scotland’s fishing industry.
“It is outrageous that Ruth Davidson and Michael Gove could have issued such a misleading statement last weekend when they must have known what was about to happen – and they must both now apologise for their broken promise.
Mr Ewing added: “The Tories have demonstrated once again that for them Scottish interests are expendable.”
Environmental coalition, Greener UK, said continuing to co-operate with the EU during the implementation period “does not have to be seen as a capitulation”.
Dr Lyndsey Dodds, of WWF and Greener UK, added: “Having longer to negotiate the sharing of over 100 stocks can reduce the risk of rash quota setting, and heightens our chances of achieving thriving coastal communities and sustainable fisheries in the longer run.”
— Read on www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-43458081

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

March 19, 2018 at 10:58 pm

The Fighting Left has lost a comrade, Marielle Franco, murdered in Brazil.

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Web Link : http://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article5416

marielle-franco

“Activist of the LGTB movement, the World March of Women, City Councilor of the Party Socialism and Liberty (PSOL) in Rio de Janeiro and in charge of the commission of inquiry into the violence perpetrated by the army and the police against young people Afro-descendants in Rio, Marielle Franco was murdered the night of March 14, 2018.

She was 38 years old and, according to political scientist Maurício Santoro, she “embodies a hope of renewal, at a time when most political leaders in Rio are in prison or about to be,” for corruption.

On Saturday, March 10, she relayed on her Twitter account accusations of the inhabitants of the favela of Acari against the 41st police battalion, one of the most brutal of Rio. “This week, two young people were killed and thrown into a pit. Today, the police threatened the inhabitants. It has always happened but it got worse with the intervention. “Marielle Franco was investigating assassinations apparently committed by police who wanted to eliminate people who knew too much about their actions,” said Liberation Zeca Borges, coordinator of Rio’s Disque-Denúncia, a service that allows people to denounce acts of violence anonymously. [1]

She was returning from a public meeting of black women “making things happen”. The car she was traveling in was riddled with bullets by killers. She and the driver were murdered.

This is obviously a summary execution of the style practiced by death squads: the only question that arises is who is the sponsor.

That is why, in many cities of Brazil as well as in other countries gatherings are organized to demand that all the light is made on this summary execution of an activist who did not stop fighting the militarization of the city of Rio imposed by the putschist government of Michel Temer. “Those who believe that we can silence the voices that defend the poor and the victims of injustice,” said Ivan Valente, PSOL MP.

One of Marielle Franco’s articles, which retraces the struggle since 1975 for the social rights of black women, was recently published by Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil. [2]

Which reminds us that their “democracy” does not recoil, even from murder.

Website Mariellevive

Footnotes

[1] See Libération “Marielle Franco, renouveau de la gauche brésilienne, tombe sous les balles”, and The Guardian “Protests held across Brazil after Rio councillor shot dead”.

[2] See “O novo sempre vem”.

See Also :

Marielle Franco: Why my friend was a repository of hope and a voice for Brazil’s voiceless, before her devastating assassination

As thousands take to the streets of Rio and São Paolo to protest the politician’s brutal murder, Glenn Greenwald remembers a formidable and fearless advocate for Rio’s poorest citizens

Glenn Greenwald writes a tribute to his murdered friend and comrade Marielle Franco

Written by tomasoflatharta

March 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Remember Sheila Hodgers

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Remember Sheila Hodgers.

The infamous story of Sheila Hodgers, murdered by Irish Lifers in positions of power – Repeal the 8th.

From Una Dunphy of the Waterford Trades Council :

“Today is the anniversary of her death, thirty five years ago.

Sheila lived in Dundalk with her husband, Brendan. They had two daughters, aged eight and seven. They were considering trying for a third child when Sheila discovered a lump on her breast. After a mastectomy, however, she got better. With the help of cytotoxic drugs, her cancer was kept at bay.

Until, that is, she became pregnant. Her medication was stopped, for fear that it would harm the foetus in her womb. She developed severe lumbar pain, indicating a tumour on her back. But this could not be fully confirmed because the hospital would not take an X-ray.

Brendan Hodgers asked that a Caesarean section be performed on his wife, so that she could return to her cancer treatment immediately. The request was refused. She was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes in agony. As Brendan Hodgers subsequently recalled: “She was literally screaming at this stage. I could hear her from the front door of the hospital, and she was in a ward on the fourth floor.”

Sheila Hodgers was eventually moved to the maternity ward. On March 16th, 1983, she went into labour two months prematurely and was delivered of a baby girl the next day. The child died almost immediately after birth. Mrs Hodgers died two days later. She had tumours on her neck, spine and legs.”

Six months later the 8th amendment was approved to be added to the constitution. The news had broadcast Sheila’s case just two days before the referendum. Despite that – the referendum passed, and the following month it was written into the constitution.

Since the addition of the 1983 amendment – countless women and families have been negatively impacted by the 8th.

From Miss X [1991], a 14 year old girl that was raped and detained from travelling to the UK for an abortion – to Miss P [2014], a clinically dead woman in her 20s, 15 weeks pregnant, and kept artificially alive for three weeks until the High Courts decided that the woman should be able to have dignity in death.

It is time for Repeal.”