UK’s VIP pedophile network exposed on Australian TV

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Image result for Peter Mandelson PHOTO
Peter Mandelson
A special report from 60 Minutes Australia details the underground human and sex trafficking trade woven deep into the fabric of British society.From normal citizens to TV personalities and spies, to notable British politicians and members of royalty, the report reveals many were procured underage children via a secret network to use as sex slaves.More from Nine Network:

It’s shaping up to be the biggest political scandal in Britain’s history. There is new evidence that some of the country’s most respected men were in fact depraved paedophiles. Leaders that were preying on children as young as eight and nine. Many of the kids were trafficked from state-run homes and other institutions to be abused by MPs, Lords, and spies. They were protected from on high by a secret code, and have never been held to account for their horrific crimes. 60 Minutes investigates the scandal and the cover up, speaks to the victims and the witnesses, and confronts a member of the notorious paedophile information exchange. Reporter Ross Coulthart also reveals how children were killed in order to protect this network of predators – and how the driver to the Australian High Commissioner could hold the key to blowing this case wide open.

 

SEE ALSO:
– Australian comedian exposes pedophile politicians live on air
– Royal Family may be investigated in child sex inquiry
– Prince Charles’ best friend abused 22 children at one school
– Accused pedophile Prince Andrew avoids facing trial
– Britain’s VIP pedophile ring exposed
– Another friend of Royal Family faces pedophile charges
– British Royal pedophile protected for ‘national security’ reasons
– Prince Philip’s ex-aide up on child sex charges
– 114 documents exposing elite pedophile ring go ‘missing’

– Prince Andrew: latest royal pedophile exposed
– Covered-up: Prince Charles’ links to mass pedophile Jimmy Savile
– VIP pedophile ring operating out of Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle
– At least 40 UK politicians involved in Westminster ‘pedophile ring’

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Crack Scotland Yard detective says top brass sabotaged his bid to expose Blair minister in Establishment paedophile ring

NOVANEWS
  • Detectives identified 12 suspected abusers operating in children’s homes
  • The 1998 list included a minister in Tony Blair’s government and a celebrity
  • Inspector Clive Driscoll was moved off case and transferred to a new area
  • He was told of ‘orders from on high’ before investigation was shut down
By GUY ADAMS FOR THE DAILY MAIL

25 July 2015

Former police inspector Clive Driscoll was investigating a minister in Tony Blair's government suspected of being linked to a paedophile ring in 1998 when he was moved off of the case

Former police inspector Clive Driscoll was investigating a minister in Tony Blair’s government suspected of being linked to a paedophile ring in 1998 when he was moved off of the case

One November day in 1998, a group of officials from Lambeth Council found themselves in an upstairs meeting room at Mary Seacole House, a concrete office block in South London.

It was the end of a lengthy business meeting. And they were sitting in stunned silence.

The reason? A few moments earlier, a local police inspector had just delivered several pieces of earth-shattering news. 

First, he revealed that detectives working on Operation Trawler, an investigation into a paedophile ring suspected of operating in the London borough’s children’s homes, were focusing their inquiries on 12 potential abusers.

Second, he was prepared to name these people. Third, it contained the names of several high-profile members of the Establishment.

On condition of confidentiality, the policeman read out a list of the people his team was pursuing.

One was a Lambeth councillor. Another was a household-name celebrity. A third, perhaps most explosively, was a minister in Tony Blair’s government.

‘These are all only suspects at this stage,’ the policeman said, bullishly. ‘But I have reason to believe that further investigation will produce evidence that I can use to pursue court cases.’

In the room in Clapham High Street there was a sharp intake of breath. Labour-run Lambeth was no stranger to ugly headlines. For almost two decades, its name had been a byword for corruption, incompetence, and loony-Left political dysfunction.

Since the Eighties — when, under the Trotskyite leadership of ‘Red’ Ted Knight, it was dubbed Britain’s worst-run local authority — the Town Hall had spawned a series of criminal investigations and public inquiries, involving everything from fraud and blackmail to Mafia-style racketeering.

More recent years had seen Lambeth’s social services department rocked by a string of appalling sex scandals, some of which remained ongoing.

Yet even by those standards, the allegation that its premises were home to an Establishment paedophile ring, which included a member of the government, must have seemed so extraordinary, and so utterly unprecedented, as to be in a class of its own.

That, presumably, will have been the verdict at Mary Seacole House that day, where the gobsmacked council officials included several of Lambeth’s most senior social workers and executives, along with two of the borough’s solicitors.

Of 12 suspected child abusers on Driscoll's list in 1998, one was a minister in Tony Blair's (pictured) government

Of 12 suspected child abusers on Driscoll’s list in 1998, one was a minister in Tony Blair’s (pictured) government

But in the weeks that followed, something very strange occurred. Far from leading to arrests and court cases, the policeman’s comments triggered events that saw him moved out of Lambeth and Operation Trawler brought to a halt.

In the process, those 12 suspected abusers, including the minister, were kept out of the firing line for more than 15 years. Things had started to unravel roughly three weeks after the meeting on November 26, 1998, when the police inspector, Clive Driscoll, was summoned to a meeting by his superintendent.

There, he learned he was being moved off the investigation, and transferred out of Lambeth, with immediate effect, due to what the superintendent opaquely called ‘orders from on high’.

Shortly afterwards, Operation Trawler was unceremoniously shut down, and its remaining staff transferred to other duties, again due to apparent ‘orders on high’.

Records of its existence, including paperwork identifying the 12 suspects, were transferred to police and council archives, where many crucial documents would subsequently disappear. Finally, that December, Driscoll, a highly-regarded police officer with two decades of service, found himself being disciplined for alleged misconduct, for having shared the high-profile men’s names in that original, supposed confidential meeting.

The formal complaint was eventually dropped, but not before he’d been forced to undergo a highly unpleasant disciplinary hearing. By the time he learned he was in the clear, all hope of continuing to pursue the investigation had vanished.

All of which meant that — by accident or design — the allegations he hoped to investigate were kicked into the long grass.

There they remained until early last year when, amid growing public concern about historic child sex offences and their apparent cover-up, Driscoll gave a brief interview about his experience in Lambeth to BBC2’s Newsnight programme.

Recently retired, Driscoll was by then one of the best-known detectives in Britain, thanks to his involvement in a string of celebrated cases.

He was respected, among other things, for leading a meticulous investigation into the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence. Against extraordinary odds, he’d uncovered new forensic evidence (where several predecessors had failed) leading to the successful 2012 prosecution of the teenager’s killers Gary Dobson and David Norris.

Michael John Carroll was allowed to work with children in Lambeth, south London, despite being convicted of a serious sex offence

Michael John Carroll was allowed to work with children in Lambeth, south London, despite being convicted of a serious sex offence

Driscoll had also spearheaded the delicate inquiry into Bachan Athwal, a Sikh woman from West London convicted in a 2007 trial of orchestrating the honour killing of Surjit Athwal, her daughter-in-law.

Given these successes, it was perhaps little surprise that the Metropolitan Police should this time around decide, in direct response to Newsnight, to take his comments very seriously.

The force announced its staff would be formally investigating both Driscoll’s alleged discoveries in Lambeth — and the manner in which he was removed from office — as part of Operation Trinity, a new inquiry focused on sex abuse in the borough in the Eighties and Nineties. That investigation continues.

In the meantime, Driscoll’s recollection of the Lambeth sex ring is set this week to make a sensational return to the news agenda with the imminent publication of his autobiography, In Pursuit Of The Truth.

It tells how Driscoll, an eccentric figure with a reputation (in some quarters) as a maverick, spent 34 years in the Met modelling himself on Sergeant George Dixon, the old-school TV bobby played by Jack Warner on the BBC show Dixon Of Dock Green.

Preferring to walk London’s pavements rather than sit behind a desk, he repeatedly turned down promotions to carry on doing old-fashioned beat work, and at times confounded colleagues with his unconventional approach to modern policing.

It is, for obvious reasons, the two lengthy chapters detailing his work in Lambeth that will be most keenly scrutinised, however.

In them, Driscoll, now 64, describes moving to the borough in July 1998 as a member of SO5, a specialist Scotland Yard unit focused on child protection.

On one of his first days, he attended a meeting at Lambeth Council where officials discussed the recent arrest, by police in Liverpool, of Michael John Carroll.

Carroll, then 49, was the former manager of a home for vulnerable children in Angell Road, Brixton. He’d been given that job by Lambeth Council in the late Seventies, despite a 1966 criminal conviction which made him a Schedule One sex offender, the most serious category, who is known to be a danger to children.

Even after Lambeth learned of that conviction, he was scandalously allowed to work with children in the borough until 1991. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, he abused dozens of them.

After leaving Lambeth, Carroll moved to the North-West, where he’d abused more boys, leading to him, at the time of the meeting, facing around 70 criminal charges. He would admit to 24 indecent assaults, five counts of attempted buggery, five of buggery, and one act of gross indecency, on 12 boys, earning a ten-year jail sentence. One of his victims was aged just eight.

It wasn’t long, however, before Driscoll was told this abuse was part of a wider pattern. Moments after the July meeting, he claims to have been approached by a Lambeth social worker called Libby Blake.

‘Carroll was only the tip of the iceberg,’ she allegedly told him. ‘The children’s homes have been the playground for the rich and powerful for years.’

Driscoll was quickly moved off the operation, which was subsequently shut down by ‘orders from on high’

Driscoll was quickly moved off the operation, which was subsequently shut down by ‘orders from on high’

Driscoll was told about Steven Forrest, an assistant to Carroll who had died of Aids in 1992. He, too, appeared to have abused boys at Angell Road, and council staff were now concerned some of his victims had been infected.

Blake advised Driscoll to seek further details regarding the dark underbelly of the borough from a local councillor called Anna Tapsell, telling him: ‘She’s the only one in Lambeth who’ll tell you the truth.’ He spoke with Ms Tapsell and recalls: ‘What Anna told me was almost too horrific to process.

‘According to her, children from homes in Lambeth had been farmed out to paedophiles and other sexual predators.’ Whistle-blowers had been unable to stop the abuse because, she claimed, ‘they’re up against some very powerful forces’.

Indeed, Driscoll claims that Tapsell was subsequently visited by ‘Special Branch’ officers advising her against talking publicly about the alleged child abuse.

Undeterred, he instructed two junior officers to begin investigating potential abuse at Angell Road and other Lambeth children’s homes as part of Operation Trawler.

They started by interviewing a cross-section of council staff, care-home employees, and police colleagues from Liverpool, who were carrying out their own investigation of Carroll called Operation Care. These inquiries saw Driscoll managing to, as he puts it, ‘strike gold’.

‘I found someone who admitted they’d seen pornography changing hands on council property, which led to someone else saying there was a video doing the rounds featuring “prominent” people engaged in sexual activities with minors.’

He never discovered that film, but arrested a man who possessed a selection of other illegal pornographic movies, several of which appeared to have been made in properties belonging to Lambeth Council.

That man (whose name has been omitted from the book to avoid interfering with an ongoing police investigation) was jailed for four years. ‘There were recognisable faces in his pictures, both victims and perpetrators, and locations that could be traced,’ says Driscoll.

Elsewhere, he writes, an ‘anonymous informant’ passed on the names of three people he ought to take an interest in. ‘These weren’t witnesses or victims,’ he writes. ‘They were suspects. One of them was a Lambeth councillor. Another was a celebrity. And a third was a member of the government.’

By late August 1998, Driscoll was sufficiently confident about his operation’s progress to be prepared to confidentially share an overall list of ‘around a dozen suspects’ with two colleagues from outside the police force: a social services inspector and a senior member of Lambeth council. ‘Everyone in the room was happy,’ he said of their response. ‘I left and my work continued.’

Troubling: The Labour minister was kept out of the firing line for 15 years

Troubling: The Labour minister was kept out of the firing line for 15 years

Then, in early November, came the sensational meeting at Mary Seacole House. Driscoll was later shown official Lambeth council minutes of the meeting.

He was ‘surprised to note’, he writes, that ‘there was mysteriously no record’ of him having named his 12 suspects.

‘I then spoke to two social workers, who confirmed there had been a further meeting [after the one he attended] to discuss the minutes. One of the original men present had gone through saying “take that out … take that out … take that out”.’ The resulting document therefore told, he claims, a ‘very different’ tale ‘to the version I lived through’.

Driscoll was then, he says, dismissed from Lambeth a few weeks later by Superintendent Brian Tomkins, who allegedly told him: ‘I’m really sorry, Clive, but the orders come from on high.’

Operation Trawler was closed down shortly afterwards, and its investigations were taken up by a different Met Police inquiry, called Operation Middleton. ‘They managed a handful of arrests over a decade,’ says Driscoll. ‘None of the major players from my list featured.’

As to the subsequent disciplinary complaint against him, he adds: ‘The case against me was eventually dropped — not that I was told at the time — moments after I was officially moved from Lambeth.

‘I couldn’t help feeling that it had been designed to halt my investigation long enough until other people were successfully put in place.’ 

Many readers will doubtless agree. Yet some others may, for entirely understandable reasons, feel inclined to question this and some of the other more sensational claims on these pages.

After all, most of the more controversial aspects of Mr Driscoll’s memoir appear to be unsupported by surviving documentary evidence.

He does not retain the correspondence he was sent regarding the disciplinary complaint. Neither has he produced any paperwork recording the interviews, meetings and conversations he cites in great detail in the book.

Most importantly, perhaps, he does not elaborate on what evidence he had actually compiled against either the Blair minister or other members of the alleged Establishment paedophile ring. 

Driscoll doesn’t say whether he had been able to identify specific victims and first-hand witnesses of alleged abuse, or whether his list of high-profile ‘suspects’ was merely a collection of names of people about whom he’d heard convincing rumours.

A dossier of correspondence released this week under the Freedom of Information Act does reveal that ministers in Tony Blair’s government received briefing papers in 1998 about Michael John Carroll. But none of those documents contain any mention of a minister being under suspicion.

Not all of the people and organisations mentioned in Driscoll’s autobiography appear to share his exact recollection of specific events, either.

Libby Blake tells me that while she does recall meeting Driscoll in the summer of 1998, and telling him to contact Anna Tapsell, she categorically did not tell him that local children’s homes had been ‘the playground for the rich and powerful for years’.

Blake also denies describing Tapsell, in the same conversation, as ‘the only one in Lambeth who’ll tell you the truth’.

Theresa May: Westminster paedophile ring just tip of iceberg

Both those quotations by Driscoll are inaccurate, Blake insists, for two reasons: first they express opinions she did not have, and second they use expressions that she does not use, and has never used, in normal conversation.

Tapsell, for her part, denies ever having been visited by Special Branch officers, as Driscoll’s book states. However, she does recall receiving a similar visit from a superintendent working on Operation Middleton. She also remembers hearing that Driscoll was investigating a dozen high-profile suspects, including a minister.

With this in mind, she describes the rest of the text as ‘very authentic’.

Lambeth Council has yet to comment on the specifics of Driscoll’s memoir, but says it is ‘firmly committed’ to finding the truth about historic abuse cases that occurred on its patch.

The Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, will say only that ‘there remains an ongoing investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards into allegations made by Clive Driscoll’. They do not dispute that he was moved from Lambeth in late November 1998.

One contemporary source who backs up important aspects of Driscoll’s version of events is Nigel Goldie, a former Lambeth social services boss.

He claimed this week to have had a ‘discussion’ with a government inspector about Driscoll in which they pondered ‘how we were going to handle this because of the huge political implications of a serving minister being investigated on suspicion of child sex offences’.

Weighing all this evidence, we can perhaps be entirely sure of just a few elements of this extraordinary tale.

First that at a Lambeth Council meeting in November 1998, Clive Driscoll did indeed announce that he was investigating 12 named suspected paedophiles, including a celebrity, a Lambeth councillor, and a Labour minister, on suspicion of abusing residents of local children’s homes.

Also, that around three weeks later, he was removed from the borough and his investigation was closed down. The rest, for now, is open to debate.

‘The truth is out there — and getting nearer,’ is how Clive Driscoll himself puts things.

‘If and when it does all come out, it could cause the biggest shake-up of our country since Oliver Cromwell.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3173883/Crack-Scotland-Yard-detective-says-brass-sabotaged-bid-expose-Blair-minister-Establishment-paedophile-ring.html#ixzz3h5TK9zBL 

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British troops head to Saudi Arabia to train Zio-Wahhabi Rat’s

NOVANEWS

The mission will mean Britain is training Zio-Wahhabi Rat’s  fighters in four countries in the region.

An FSA fighter throws a home-made grenade along one of Aleppo's front lines

Zio-Wahhabi Rat FSA fighter throws a home-made grenade along one of Aleppo’s front lines

British troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia to begin training Zio-Wahhabi Rat’s.

Troops will soon be deployed to a desert base in the north of the country to teach rebel volunteers basic infantry skills as part of a US-led training programme.

The mission will mean Britain is training Syrian Zio-Wahhabi Rat’s fighters in four countries, including Turkey, Qatar and Jordan. Overall 85 British troops are carrying out the mission, which Lord Richards, the former chief of the defence staff, has called “woefully insufficient”.

The first team sent to Saudi Arabia will only include around a dozen British military personnel, to work alongside American, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi and French colleagues.

Zionist puppet David Cameron is likely to increase the British force however, with the Zio-Wahhabi camp expected to become the biggest of the training missions around the region.

“Of course if we are going to succeed in defeating Isil either in Iraq or in Syria there will need to be boots on the ground but they should be Iraqi boots, Syrian boots,” he said earlier this week.

The Saudi camp to train members of the Free Syrian Army was agreed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, interior minister, during a visit to Washington last year.

American-led attempts to train up ”moderates” to hold ground against Isil are months behind track because of the difficulty of finding groups which were not linked to the extremists.

Only 65 rebels had received military training by the start of this month, the US Defence Secretary has admitted. Plans had originally said 3,000 could be trained by the end of the year. In the meantime thousands of foreign fighters have flocked to Isil.

Barack Obama has acknowledged the effort is off track and has ordered his commanders to step up the mission.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, UK0 Comments

UK admits supporting Saudi Zio-Wahhabi

NOVANEWS

by Alkhalifa repression
Despite initial fear and speculation about foreign support to AlSaud’s offensive aggression on Yemen, UK has now confirmed that it is providing precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia to use in airstrikes against targets in Yemen, according to The Times Newspaper (17th July). In a written response to a House of Lords question, the defence minister, Earl Howe, said: “We are providing technical support, precision-guided weapons and exchanging information with the Saudi Arabian armed forces through pre-existing arrangements.” He conceded that “In addition to the personnel who continue to provide support for equipment supplied, we have a small number of liaison personnel in Saudi and coalition air and maritime headquarters. This includes personnel in the Maritime Coalition Co-ordination Centre in the region, supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid into Yemen.”Defence News, an online magazine said that the weapons are understood to be Paveway IV precision -guided bombs originally destined for the RAF.

This is the first official admission by a Western country of involvement in the Saudi aggression on Yemen’s people. Lord Howe’s admission has sent shock waves and added new dimensions to the illegitimate war. Saudi Arabia, like Britain, flies Typhoon and Tornado fast jets, which carry the 500lb munitions. The Saudis have been using the weapons for strike missions against ISIS targets in Syria and against Yemeni people, Defence News reported.


In the week between 13-19th July at least 29 native Bahrainis including six children were arrested by the Alkhalifa regime. More people were arrested in the past two days. Yesterday four people were detained from the Sanabis Town; Hussain Al Sami’e, Taha Hakim AlSheikh, Murtada Adwin and Mohammad Jassim Al Awainati. A female prisoner of conscience, Taiba Darwish, has been remanded in custody for two more weeks for taking part in anti-regime protests. The release of another female political detainee, Zahra Al Sheikh and her 15 months baby only happened after she had served her full sentence of one year in jail for being involved in anti-regime protests.

As the Revolutionary groups declared preparation to mark what they call “Bahraini Hostage Day” on 24th July, many inmates at Jaw Central Prison started hunger strike to protest the deteriorating conditions in the notorious torture centre. The situation there is described as “appallingly overcrowded and unfit for human habitation”.

It’s the time of the year when high school students graduate and prepare to go to the universities of their choice. But for some students in Bahrain, specifically Shiites, activists and government opponents, the path that awaits them is not so bright. One of these ill-fated students is Mustafa Mohammed Ismael who is in jail instead of pursuing his dream of studying medicine. Mustafa graduated top of his class from high school with grades averaging 98.8 percent. On August 15, 2013, Mustafa, who is now 18, was walking out of his grandfather’s house in Nuwaidrat when he was stopped by security patrol. He was charged with illegal gathering and initially sentenced to six months. The court of appeal later reduced the sentence to three months and released him on bail 24 days later. This year the regime has committed what is termed “scholarships massacre”, denying bright students of native origin the chance to pursue their studies while granting pro-regime loyalists grants and sc holarships. This is one of the most outrageous Apartheid policies of Bahrain’s dictator.

The ferocious and systematic attack on freedom of speech has outraged even the supporters of the regime. The arrest of Ibrahim Sharif has deprived the dictator of any praise for the release of Nabeel Rajab. There are strong demands that all charges against him, Mr Sharif, Sheikh Ali Salman and Bahrain 13, be dropped. The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, criticized the Bahraini “government’s crackdown on three opposition figures,” referring to the arrest of Wa’ad leader “Ebrahim Sharif,” prosecution of the Al-Wefaq figure Majeed Milad and retrial of the leader of the opposition in Bahrain, Sheikh Ali Salman.  Index on Censorship calls on King Hamad to release all the political prisoners currently serving sentences on spurious charges,” Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg said. UN experts have also called for releasing all political prisoners and dropping charges relating to freedom of expression levelled against most of them. In London 39 MPs have signed Petition 241 calling on the Government of Bahrain to allow free speech and stop persecution of people for speaking out, protesting or calling for their rights. It also calls on the UK Government to list Bahrain as a “0country of concern”.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
22 July 2015
(info@vob.orgwww.vob.org)

Posted in Bahrain, Middle East, UK0 Comments

Building a Mass Surveillance Infrastructure Out of Light Bulbs

NOVANEWS
Image result for Mass Surveillance PHOTO
By Chad Marlow 

For almost a quarter century, General Electric’s corporate slogan was “GE: We Bring Good Things To Life.” Well, based upon a report in Sunday’s New York Times, the company may want to dig up that old slogan, repurpose it a bit, and roll it out as “GE: We Bring Mass Surveillance To Lights.”

According to the Times, “using a combination of LEDs and big data technology,” everyday street lights, as well as those used to illuminate parking lots, store interiors and other locations, will soon be equipped for mass data collection. Of course, the soft sell for this hybrid product—which, as reported by the Times and Reuters in 2013, is manufactured by several companies including GE and Sensity Systems—is based around largely benevolent goals. For one thing, the LED bulbs are far more energy efficient than the light fixtures currently used by most cities. That’s good. They also point out that the built in monitoring features can be used to ease traffic congestion and sense when garbage cans are full. Who wouldn’t like that? Of course, there’s more. These lightbulbs-of-the-not-so-distant-future will also be able to GPS track individual shoppers as they travel through stores. Wait. What? The light bulbs can function as tracking devices? We would have to imagine that if they can GPS-track shoppers in stores, they could work just as effectively to track people as they walk the streets of our cities and towns. In fact, if you traveled through Newark Liberty International Airport in the past year, these spy-bulbs lights were already watching you. And there’s more: the bulbs can be programmed to “pick() up on suspicious behavior.” What exactly does that mean? If two women wearing head scarves decide to chat in a parking lot after seeing a late night movie, are the police going to be notified?

I always figured Big Brother was going to be some giant face on a wall, not a tiny camera hidden inside a light bulb.

The ACLU strongly opposes the creation of infrastructures for ubiquitous mass surveillance including the widespread deployment of lightbulb spying technology. But what is particularly troubling here is the stealthy way in which the product is being marketed and pitched to the press; to wit, as an energy efficient light bulb with built-in monitoring technology. Given the limited use of the product as a lighting device and the broad scope of its tracking and surveillance features, what this product really appears to be is a mass surveillance device being disguised as an LED light bulb. I would bet that if we could see a breakdown of the device’s production costs, the lightbulb versus surveillance technology discrepancy would be equally pronounced.

There are no doubt an increasing number of cameras in our public spaces, but it would still be a big deal for governments to construct giant, stealth surveillance networks that are under their centralized control. And although these surveillance bulbs may have beneficial uses, I think we would be far better off keeping our privacy, finding other ways to combat full trash cans and traffic congestion, and not bringing mass surveillance to lights.

Posted in UK, USA0 Comments

The Terrorism Pretext: Mass Surveillance is About Money and Power

NOVANEWS

Image result for cyber espionage PHOTO

By Bill Blunden 

“We are under pressure from the Treasury to justify our budget, and commercial espionage is one way of making a direct contribution to the nation’s balance of payments”

Sir Colin McColl, former MI6 Chief

For years public figures have condemned cyber espionage committed against the United States by intruders launching their attacks out of China. These same officials then turn around and justify America’s far-reaching surveillance apparatus in terms of preventing terrorist attacks. Yet classified documents published by WikiLeaks reveal just how empty these talking points are. Specifically, top-secret intercepts prove that economic spying by the United States is pervasive, that not even allies are safe, and that it’s wielded to benefit powerful corporate interests.

At a recent campaign event in New Hampshire Hillary Clinton accused China of “trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America.” Clinton’s hyperbole is redolent of similar claims from the American Deep State. For example, who could forget the statement made by former NSA director Keith Alexander that Chinese cyber espionage represents the greatest transfer of wealthin history? Alexander has obviously never heard of quantitative easing (QE) or the self-perpetuating “global war on terror” which has likewise eaten through trillions of dollars. Losses due to cyber espionage are a rounding error compared to the tidal wave of money channeled through QE and the war on terror.

When discussing the NSA’s surveillance programs Keith Alexander boldly asserted that they played a vital role with regard to preventing dozens of terrorist attacks, an argument that fell apart rapidly under scrutiny. Likewise, in the days preceding the passage of the USA Freedom Act of 2015 President Obama advised that bulk phone metadata collection was essential “to keep the American people safe and secure.” Never mind that decision makers have failed to provide any evidence that bulk collection of telephone records has prevented terrorist attacks.

If American political leaders insist on naming and shaming other countries with regard to cyber espionage perhaps it would help if they didn’t sponsor so much of it themselves. And make no mistake, thanks to WikiLeaks the entire world knows that U.S. spies are up to their eyeballs in economic espionage. Against NATO partners like France and Germany, no less. And also against developing countries like Brazil and news outlets like Der Spiegel.

These disclosures confirm what Ed Snowden said in an open letter to Brazil: terrorism is primarily a mechanism to bolster public acquiescence for runaway data collection. The actual focus of intelligence programs center around “economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation.” Who benefits from this sort of activity? The same large multinational corporate interests that have spent billions of dollars to achieve state capture.

Why is the threat posed by China inflated so heavily? The following excerpt from an intelligence briefing might offer some insight. In a conversation with a colleague during the summer of 2011 the EU’s chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Hiddo Houben, described the treaty as an attempt by the United State to antagonize China:

“Houben insisted that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a U.S. initiative, appears to be designed to force future negotiations with China. Washington, he pointed out, is negotiating with every nation that borders China, asking for commitments that exceed those countries’ administrative capacities, so as to ‘confront’ Beijing. If, however, the TPP agreement takes 10 years to negotiate, the world–and China–will have changed so much that that country likely will have become disinterested in the process, according to Houben. When that happens, the U.S. will have no alternative but to return to the WTO.”

American business interests are eager to “open markets in Asia” and “provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment.” At least, that’s how Hillary Clinton phrased it back when she was the Secretary of State. China represents a potential competitor and so American political leaders need an enemy that they can demonize so that they can justify massive intelligence budgets and the myriad clandestine operations that they approve. The American Deep State wishes to maintain economic dominance and U.S. spies have been working diligently to this end.

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Condemnation After UK Lifts Ban on Bee-Killing Neonics

NOVANEWS

Temporary reversal on pesticide will allow farmers to access harmful chemicals for 120 days

Oilseed rape fields are sprayed with neonicotinoids. (Photo: Chafer Machinery/flickr/cc)

The UK government this week temporarily lifted a ban on controversial pesticides linked to widespread harm to bees and other insects—a move which one environmental group said “shows a blatant disregard for our wildlife.”

The ban was lifted under an “emergency” measure in response to an application by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Under the statute, farmers cultivating around 300 square kilometers of oilseed rape will have access for 120 days to two neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, from agrochemical giants Bayer and Syngenta.

According to the NFU, the 300 square kilometers amounts to roughly 5 percent of the UK’s total oilseed rape crop. The industry association says it needs access to the pesticides to protect against cabbage stem flea beetles.

But the chemicals in question have been linked to declines in populations of pollinators like honeybees and bumblebees, as well as insects like ladybirds, which help keep crop pest numbers down.

“Although the Government has only allowed these chemicals to be used on 5% of land grown for oilseed rape, it shows a blatant disregard for our wildlife and the rules that we have in place to protect the environment,” said Paul Hetherington, fundraising and communications director for the UK-based environmental nonprofit Buglife.

Friends of the Earth bees campaigner Paul de Zylva added, “It’s scandalous that the Government has caved in to NFU pressure and given permission for some farmers to use banned pesticides that have been shown to harm our precious bees.

“Ever more scientific evidence shows just how dangerous these chemicals are to bees and other pollinators—they should have no place in our fields and gardens,” de Zylva said.

The government also shrouded its decision in secrecy, another move denounced by green groups.

The Guardian reports:

Ministers have not made public the information provided by the NFU, citing commercial confidentiality.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) also told its expert committee on pesticides (ECP) to halt its normal practice of publishing the minutes of meetings at which the neonicotinoid applications were discussed, in order to avoid “provoking representations from different interest groups”.

But the department’s attempt to gag its own expert advisers did not go unnoticed by those so-called “interest groups.”

“It’s scandalous that the Government has caved in to NFU pressure and given permission for some farmers to use banned pesticides.”
—Paul de Zylva, Friends of the Earth

“The last time the Conservatives stood for office, they said they were going to be the greenest Government ever. The outcome of this decision and the secrecy surrounding the process indicates otherwise,” Buglife’s Hetherington said.

A study published earlier this year in Nature foundthat wild bee populations were cut in half around fields where neonics were used to treat crops. On Thursday, Nature noted the connection and reported:

Lynn Dicks, a pollinator researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK, says that in light of Rundlöf and colleague’s work, “I find this [DEFRA] decision extraordinary”.

Based on that research, she says, “areas with 5% of the UK’s rape crop might expect to lose two-thirds of their wild bumblebee queens going into the winter of 2016/17 because of this decision”.

The European Union banned neonics in 2013 over the concerns that they hurt pollinators, but the ban will be up for review in December.

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UK Establishment Closes Ranks on Anti-War Labour Leadership Front Runner

NOVANEWS
Image result for Jeremy Corbyn PHOTO
By Michaela Whitton 

United Kingdom — Anyone peeking behind the smokescreen of the British press this weekend (and not distracted by what the Queen did when she was five  or by David Cameron’s extremism rhetoric) may have noticed that despite the U.K. Parliament’s explicit rejection of military intervention, the U.K. has been involved in the bombing of Syria since September— and Cameron has known the whole time.

Those with eyes to see may have also noticed the establishment closing ranks on veteran left-winger, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn. After emerging as a front-runner in the Labour leadership campaign, Corbyn appears to have become the victim of a murderous media and political attack, with first prize for slanderous onslaught going to Tory mouthpiece, The Telegraph, and a piece penned by Islam-obsessed Andrew Gilligan.

Sixteen million people chose not to vote in Britain’s general election in May. With many crippled by the thought of another five years of Tory rule, a buzz of hope is in the air at whether Corbyn’s radical spirit can rescue the people from the dark abyss of British politics.

It comes as no surprise that the establishment appears to be zoning in on him.

Apparently, Corbyn is so left-wing that even his own party is panicking, with pressure group Labour First urging party members to vote for the other candidates. Group secretary Luke Akehurst said, “We clearly do not share Jeremy Corbyn’s politics and believe these would destroy Labour’s chances of electability.’’

The last 30 years have been harsh for Labour. Born out of the Trade Union movement, the aim was always to give a voice to the British working classes, but 17 years of Thatcherism took its toll. Additional years of hollow and watered down Tory policies imposed by Blair and Brown made it almost game over. More recently, weak and compromised former leader Ed Miliband didn’t manage to reach the disenfranchised, who either gave up on British politics completely or edged toward UKIP or the Greens.

On Sunday, the Independent reported that some Labour MPs plan to mount a coup if Corbyn gets in with one member, claiming, “We cannot just allow our party, a credible party of government, to be hijacked in this summer of madness. There would be no problem in getting names. We could do this before Christmas.”

‘’Hijacked?’’ Elected in 1983, principled socialist Corbyn is in favour of free education and a living wage. A believer in the scrapping of nuclear weapons, the welfare state, solid trade unions and a stable NHS, he vehemently opposed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq —interventions that destroyed the reputations of the U.K. and Labour.

As a proponent of a free Palestine, last summer Corbyn was marching through London with thousands of others to condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza. As national chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, he regularly speaks out against British military intervention in the Middle East at human rights conferences across the globe.

His refusal to compromise and his calls for conflict resolution through peaceful negotiations—rather than the bombing of foreign countries—has earned him the title of friend to Hamas, Iran and extremists.

With a private poll putting him ahead in the Leadership campaign by 15 points, attempts to smear and discredit Corbyn are to be expected. As his principles grip the imaginations of a weary and desperate public, there are accounts of hundreds of Brits paying £3 to sign up online as Labour Party supporters, just for a chance to vote for him in September’s election.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will appeal to those 16 million disillusioned non-voters and those feeling abandoned by Labour—or if he can reclaim territory the party has lost over the last few years.  As he continues to challenge the dominant themes running through the pro-war veins of British politics, there is one certainty—the knives will continue to twist in his back as the establishment-run media attempts to control narratives and influence opinion.

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Zionist Blair slams ‘reactionary’ Labour leadership candidate Corbyn

NOVANEWS

Britain's former Prime Minister and former Labour Party leader, Tony Blair

Choosing Corbyn ‘is like going back to Star Trek or something,’ Zionist Blair says in speech; new poll put socialist MP known for anti-Zionist stances far ahead of other candidates.

Ha’aretz

Former British Prime Minister and Labour leader Tony Blair warned his party against electing socialist Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, after the pro-Palestinian MP emerged as the frontrunner in the leadership race in a new poll.

Addressing a Labour think tank on Wednesday, Blair termed Corbyn’s “radical leftism” as reactionary. “It’s like going back to Star Trek or something. Back to the old days,” Blair said, the Express reported.

Corbyn, an MP from London’s Islington North, was originally labeled a no-hoper and only barely gathered the minimum number of endorsements from fellow MPs to run for party leadership.

However, his leadership campaign seems to have attracted the support of many grassroots party activists, and a YouGov poll commissioned by the Times showed Corbyn to be the first preference of 43 percent of party supporters, way ahead of the other three candidates.

Aside from Corbyn’s uncompromising socialist stances on internal British issues, his support of pro-Palestinian causes is the subject of some controversy, most recently after the resurfacing of a 2009 video showing him speaking of his “pleasure and honor” at hosting members of Hezbollah in parliament and his regret that “friends from Hamas” were prevented by Israel from arriving. In the video, Corbyn also denounced his government for designating them terror organizations.

At the Labour hustings at London’s JW3 Jewish community center on Monday, Corbyn defended these statements, saying his “kind of an inclusive person,” adding: “you’re all my friends,” gesturing towards an audience that quite obviously did not agree.

In his speech, Blair didn’t address Corbyn’s anti-Israel positions, but warned his party against veering too much to the left. The “debilitating feature” of the Labour leadership race, Blair said, was that it was seen as a choice between “heart and head.”

“People who say their heart is with Corbyn, get a transplant,” Blair told the audience, the Express reported.

While Blair didn’t back any of the other three candidates, he stressed that Labour must present a strategy for government and not just be a “platform for protest” against austerity if it wants to regain power.

Labour has been engaged in a fierce leadership battle after Ed Miliband resigned following the May election, in which the Conservative Party had won reelection with a slender parliamentary majority.

Aside from Corbyn, the other candidates are shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham with 26 percent support according to the YouGov poll, shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper with 20 percent, and Liz Kendal, said by the Express to be the Blairite candidate, with 11 percent.

The party leadership will be decided on September 12.

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UK school-children expressing support for Palestine accused of ‘terrorist-like’ views

NOVANEWS

Simon Hooper

Teachers in UK schools now have a statutory duty to monitor and report children who they believe may be susceptible to radicalisation.


SCHOOLCHILDREN in the UK who express support for Palestine face being questioned by police and referred to a counter-radicalisation programme for youngsters deemed at risk of being drawn into terrorism under new laws requiring teachers to monitor students for extremism.

One schoolboy told Al Jazeera he was accused of holding “terrorist-like” views by a police officer who questioned him for taking leaflets into school promoting a boycott of Israel.

The case reflects concerns raised about the expansion of the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy into schools, with critics complaining that teachers are being expected to act as the “eyes and ears of the state”.

Since the beginning of July, teachers have had a statutory duty to monitor and report children who they believe may be susceptible to radicalisation, although Prevent engagement officers, who are usually also police officers, have long been active in schools in areas with significant Muslim populations.

Child suspects

The boy, who was then 15 and attending school in a southern English town, said he was also told that “Free Palestine” badges that he wore were “extremist”. Al Jazeera is not naming the student or the school to protect his identity.

“He asked me what I thought of the leaflet,” the boy said, describing how a police officer told him he had been brought into the school to “deal with this sort of extremism”.

“I explained to him my views about freedom and justice and that I supported Palestine. I said I thought Israel should have tough sanctions put upon it and he said these could be radical beliefs,” the boy said.

“He said these are terrorist-like beliefs that you have. He explicitly said you cannot speak about this conflict at school with your friends,” the boy said.

The leaflet, produced by Friends of al-Aqsa, an organisation campaigning for Palestinian rights, promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

The boy said he had subsequently had numerous run-ins with teachers and with the officer, who had an office in the school.

“I asked my form tutor about Prevent and whether he would act as an informant if I said anything, and he said, ‘I am uncomfortable with that but that is what I have to do,’” the boy said.

Spying or paranoia?

Al Jazeera has identified other examples suggesting that Palestine-related activism is something that teachers and public officials are being encouraged to look out for as part of their Prevent duties.

leaflet produced for public sector workers to help them make judgements about referrals to Channel, a support programme for young people considered to be vulnerable to recruitment by violent extremists, includes a case study in which a student’s discussion of “Palestine and other international conflicts” is deemed salient information.

A report on counter-extremism policy published by the think-tank Claystone also cited the case of a teenager identified as requiring deradicalisation for attending a protest against an Israeli diplomat.

“We’ve heard of the police going into schools to talk about Prevent to teachers and saying things like, ‘If a kid thinks the West is at war with Islam it might be a cause for concern.’ Or if a child goes on a demonstration against the bombing of Gaza, ‘Keep an eye on him,’” Alex Kenny of the National Union of Teachers told Al Jazeera.

Prevent has long been a source of resentment among many British Muslims, with critics complaining that it sows mistrust of Muslims and subjects them to discriminatory levels of surveillance and harassment.

In an open letter this month, hundreds of academics warned that the extension of Prevent would have a “chilling effect on open debate, free speech and political dissent”.

Addressing those concerns on July 19 in a speech at a school in Birmingham, David Cameron, the British prime minister, said critics of counter-terrorism policies were paranoid.

“The world is not conspiring against Islam; the security services aren’t behind terrorist attacks; our new Prevent duty for schools is not about criminalising or spying on Muslim children. This is paranoia in the extreme,” said Cameron.

But Ibtihal Bsis, a barrister researching the impact of Prevent, said that distrust of the strategy was motivated by genuine grievances.

“Children are now being told by their parents not to share any political views whatsoever,” Bsis told Al Jazeera. “Some children are being asked questions like ‘What do you think of ISIL?’ to entrap them, so that is very concerning.”

Fearmongering

Ismail Patel, chairman of Friends of al-Aqsa, dismissed allegations that the organisation’s leaflets were extremist and accused the government of “veering towards totalitarianism”.

“People are scared to talk about Palestine. A lot of mosques now will not put posters up. There is fear in the community so there is self-censorship and self-policing,” said Patel. “That really feeds the process of radicalisation because they are not allowing individuals to express their grievances.”

Bill Bolloten, an educational consultant involved in#EducationNotSurveillance, a campaign network, said there was widespread nervousness among school leaders about the implementation of Prevent in classrooms, and said that many teachers were still in the dark about what was expected of them.

“It is co-opting a range of non-security professionals to be the eyes and ears of the state,” Bolloten told Al Jazeera.

“Quite normal teenage behaviours will be viewed in an entirely different way. There is huge potential in this to make mistakes and those mistakes could have lifelong consequences for the children involved,” Bolloten said.

A government spokesperson from the Department for Education told Al Jazeera: “School staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately. Good schools already do this and there is guidance available for schools to use.”

“This doesn’t and shouldn’t stop schools from discussing controversial issues, and will give pupils a safe space to develop the knowledge to challenge extremist beliefs,” the spokesperson said.

The boy, who is now 16, left school in June and intends to continue his studies elsewhere. Since then he said he had been visited at home by a Prevent officer and a case worker who identified himself as working for Channel, the programme for young people deemed vulnerable to radicalisation.

During the visit, the boy said the police officer had raised his voice when he and his mother spoke to each other in Persian, his mother’s first language, telling the boy, “Stop trying to be clever with me!”

He said he had been asked about his views about ISIL and the war in Syria even though he is a Shia Muslim, something which he believes most of those who questioned him did not fully understand.

“The Channel officer was more understanding,” said the boy.

“He said they were happy that I was not ‘the ISIS type’. He said if I had any concerns, maybe about friends, that I could call him. And he said, ‘From now on nothing further is going to happen unless you do something similar.’

“I’m not sure what he meant by that.”

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