Category Archives: Police

Nice Attacks, Destroying Evidence at Crime Scene

Nice attack2

A report in 21st of July edition of Le Figaro newspaper states that France’s anti-terrorist executive ( sous-direction anti-terroriste- SDAT) has ordered Nice’s urban surveillance authorities to destroy all CCTV footage of the Nice Attacks on Bastille Day that rocked the city on the 14th of July 2016.

Although SDAT have cited articles 53 and L706-24 of the prosecution procedure and article R642-1 of the penal code, authorities in Nice interviewed by Le Figaro say that it is the first time they have ever been asked to destroy evidence at a crime scene – something they point out is illegal.

The explanation given by the French Ministry of Justice is that they don’t want ‘uncontrolled’ and ‘non-authorised (non maîtrisée) diffusion of the images of the terrorist attacks. The Judicial Police have noted that 140 videos of the attacks in their possession show ‘important pieces of the inquiry’ (éléments d’enquête intéressants). The French government claims it wants to prevent ISIS from gaining access to videos of the attacks for the purposes of propaganda. They also claim that the destruction of evidence is intended to protect the families of the victims. The comments section of the Le Figaro article is replete with outrage and disgust by the fact that the French government, instead of preserving evidence for the purposes of a thorough, independent investigation, is in fact behaving rather more like the chief suspect in the attack – ordering the destruction of vital evidence.

There is something rotten in France’s Judicial Police. Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks on the 7th of January 2015, the judicial police behaved suspiciously before and as they did after the ‘suicide’ of Limoge’s deputy Police Commissioner Helric Fredou. Fredou was found dead shortly after the arrival of the French Judicial Police to his office in Limoges shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. His family were not allowed see his body for 24 hours after his death; they suspect foul play. The Judicial Police claimed he had shot himself in the head, though his mother said she did not see evidence of this. The police commissioner was said to be suffering from depression, a claim denied by the family doctor. Fredou was found dead in his office before the publication of a report on the relationship between Jeanette Bougrab, a former press secretary of Nicolas Sarkozy, and one of the deceased in the attack, Stéphane Charbonnier

He was found dead in his office before the publication of a report on the relationship between Jeanette Bougrab, a former press secretary of Nicolas Sarkozy, and one of the deceased in the attack, Stéphane Charbonnier known as ‘Charb’. The relationship between Bougrab, who is close to all the leaders of the French Zionist movement, and Charb, was one of the most controversial aspects of the Charlie Hebdo massacre story. Fredou was also investigating the background of the Kouachi brothers who were accused of the massacre. They had lived in the town of Limoges.

An article in France’s l’Est Républicain newspaper attempts to reassure the public of the French government’s bona fides with the title ‘No, the footage of the attack has not been deleted’. The report asserts that the Ministry of Justice have not ordered the destruction of evidence but just the deletion of the images from the cameras in Nice. This reassurance might be enough to placate those who are loathe to question the narrative of the war on terror. But, as the recent booing of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Nice showed, the French people are waking up.

Now France’s Judicial Police and anti-terrorist authorities want to destroy evidence of the attacks. In most crime cases, those who destroy or seek to destroy evidence are usually trying to cover something up. I have already pointed out some of the inconsistencies in the story we have been told about the Nice massacre. I have not claimed nothing happened or no one was killed but rather that the video evidence so far presented does not match the story. Perhaps new video evidence proving the government’s story will emerge. Let’s hope so! If researchers and journalists with a proven record of peace advocacy and a passion for truth and honesty in reporting were to gain access to those videos, ISIS would be weakened not strengthened.

But we would be naive to believe the French government intends to weaken ISIS, given the incontrovertibly proven fact that they support the child-murdering head choppers in Syria. While some will find their comfort zones and systems justification syndrome perturbed by this information, many more will simply fall back to sleep.Falling asleep is easier in the short term but in time people will realise that the mattress is being pulled from under them, so that when they wake up in terrible discomfort, it will be too late. It’s time to wake up!

Gearóid Ó Colmáin is an Irish journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalisation, geopolitics and class struggle.

 

Nice Attacks, Destroying Evidence at Crime Scene: French Government Orders Destruction of CCTV Video Footage | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization.

Reporter Abby Martin Illegally Detained at the DNC

 

Reporter and activist Abby Martin was aggressively detained yesterday while covering the Democratic National Convention. She talks about how she was never technically arrested but processed at an elementary school with a bunch of other civil disobedience activists.

By Abby Martin

 

Reporter Abby Martin Illegally Detained at the DNC.

The Final Judgement of Alleged War Criminal Tony Blair

With the Chilcot Inquiry due to publish its long-awaited report on 6 July, an early indication of what the findings might be have been aired by BBC Panorama’s “Iraq the Final Judgement”. In the hour-long programme, journalist Jane Corbin returned to the war-ravaged country with the grief stricken parents of British soldiers killed in Iraq and former army officers to try to make some sense of what now seems like a senseless and unnecessary conflict.

Millions of British people, including families who lost loved ones, want to know if they were told the truth about why the nation went to war in Iraq, why it cost countless lives and why the invasion left a country in chaos. Couples like Roger and Maureen Bacon, who accompanied the Panorama team to Basra where their son Matt was killed, are hoping to find some meaning for their terrible loss.

Corbyn, who reported from Basra at the height of the Iraq war, interviewed a number of high profile figures, including former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix. Prior to the invasion, Blix was sceptical of the intelligence provided by the British. He warned the then Prime Minister Tony Blair that hundreds of inspections before the war had failed to yield any substantial evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). He shared his doubts about WMD with Blair who brushed them aside. According to Blix, “[The] British authorities would frequently say intelligence shows us this and intelligence shows us that, but simply saying ‘intelligence shows’ is not evidence.”

Tony Blair

Tony Blair

Blair’s persistent finger-pointing at the intelligence committee and his refusal to take any personal responsibility for the invasion is questioned by the former UN inspector along with the intelligence officials themselves. As the documentary makes clear, a year before the war British intelligence agents told the government that their knowledge of WMD was “sporadic” and “patchy”; six months later, though, they helped Blair to compile the dossier that made the case for war against Iraq.

Did the prime minister gloss over intelligence weaknesses to make a false case for war, and did he misrepresent the facts? Hans Blix is retired now and no longer feels the need to be careful with his words: “What he said did not represent reality.” When pushed to say if Blair misrepresented the facts, he responded, “Yes.” Claire Short, a former secretary of state for international development in Blair’s government was also interviewed for the programme. “I think he [Tony Blair] had made up his mind to be with [George W] Bush,” she said.

“And we were massaged and deceived to get us there when it was a manipulation of us – that is us, the parliament, the cabinet, British public opinion, American public opinion — by people who were determined to take military action from the beginning.”

Blix and Short have little doubt about the main question addressed by Chilcot: why did Britain go to war and who was responsible for what happened? Other prominent figures like former British Ambassador to the US Sir Christopher Meyer told Corbin that Blair said to Bush, “Whatever you decide to do George, I’m with you.” Meyer, who was at Bush’s ranch when the two leaders met in private to discuss the invasion of Iraq, added that a secret deal had been made with Blair to remove Saddam Hussain. The following day, Blair joined Bush in his plan for regime change and to bypass the UN.

The invasion of Iraq is infamous not only because of the lies and misinformation in the lead up to the war but also for the violence it unleased and the abject failure to plan for the aftermath. Blair, it seems, was cherry-picking the advice he was given from the intelligence community. His entire defence for the failed invasion is based on faulty intelligence but the former prime minister is less forthcoming in admitting that intelligence chiefs had also warned of the heightened risk of terrorism that would follow any military action to topple the Iraqi president.

The manner in which the invasion was carried out, in particular the bypassing of the UN and failure to unite a broad coalition for regime change, meant that plans were not made, because all the players that were supposed to be involved were not involved, claimed Clare Short.

Predictably, regime change led to sectarian war and terrorism. Following the surprise collapse of Saddam’s forces, the initial feeling of gratitude and optimism changed quickly as fear and alarm gripped communities in the ensuing power vacuum. Brigadier Graham Binns, the Commander of Britain’s 7th Armoured Brigade in 2003, described the false sense of security as Bush pronounced “mission accomplished” prematurely. Looting, fuelled by the break-up of law and order, spread across Iraq. State apparatuses collapsed and essential services like water supplies came to a grinding halt. With Britain tied to the US policy of regime change, its troops in Basra bore the brunt of Iraqi resentment and anger; overnight the British became occupiers, not liberators.

The seeds of sectarian conflict and the rise of Daesh were planted during the early phase when occupation forces disbanded the entire Ba’ath structure that had held the country together, including the police, the army and the civil service. They stripped the entire regime completely but did not replace it with anything. According to Emma Sky, who was a British civilian coordinator during the early phase of the invasion, “It ended with hospitals without doctors and schools without teachers.” Britain and the US didn’t just remove the top tier of the Iraqi regime; the whole lot went. “So without any security forces, people were fearful,” Sky recalled. “They started to form gangs, militias were able to flourish, insurgent groups started to rise up.”

Failing to plan for the aftermath of the invasion left a power vacuum that pushed the country into a civil war. Brigadier Binns, who led British troops into Basra, returned to the city after thirteen years for Panorama. “I don’t think we had a coherent plan in the longer term,” he told Corbin. “The coalition hadn’t thought through how we were going to operate in the aftermath of the fighting. We were unprepared both physically and mentally.”

Parents like Roger and Maureen Bacon who lost loved ones in the Iraq war are still struggling to make any sense of it. “I would like to think that he [their son] lost his life in a worthwhile cause but I can’t do that,” said Roger. “We were carried into it [this war] and I can’t emphasise how much I feel this was entirely wrong — this was a complete deception.”

It’s unlikely that the Chilcot Inquiry will provide meaning to an enormous personal loss, but will it at least heal the political and social trauma caused by Tony Blair? To mend Iraq’s wounds in any meaningful way there has to be a sense that justice has been seen to be done for what was a deception of enormous magnitude and consequence. The final judgement of Tony Blair has to be nigh.

 

The Final Judgement of Alleged War Criminal Tony Blair

BOMBSHELL: Gun Used in Paris Attacks Linked to Fast & Furious Gun Running Operation

Yet more fallout from the government’s notoriously ill-conceived “gunwalking” scheme as Judicial Watch found one of the guns used in the Paris terror attacks of November 13, 2015 appears to have been sold illegally, without repercussion as part of Fast and Furious.

“A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, ‘off book,’ Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm.”

According to the watchdog group, a paper trail left, in part, by a 4473 form — which tracks a firearm’s ownership history through serial numbers and other means — traced the weapon to a Phoenix seller who had previously been caught selling illegal weapons.

Evidencing a hallmark of the Fast and Furious scheme, the unidentified Phoenix seller had been caught twice previously for federal firearms violations — “for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic” — for which no charges or prosecution ever developed.

In fact, according to unidentified and unverified “law enforcement sources involved with the case,” the ATF acted to ensure the seller’s identity and information pertaining to his involvement remained concealed from scrutiny — “kept quiet,” as Judicial Watch sources put it.

“Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto [mentioned above], not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” Judicial Watch says a “veteran law enforcement officer” explained.

For those unfamiliar with Fast and Furious, the ATF office in Phoenix devised an ill-fated plan, beginning in 2009, to allow gun buyers — “straw purchasers” for Mexican drug cartels — to purchase weapons and cross into Mexico without interference from agents. Ostensibly, this would allow the ATF to trace firearms to those powerful drug cartels; but whistleblowers and various investigators later discovered the feds made no attempts to follow through in tracking any of the thousands of weapons sold in this manner.

Many of these weapons have, however, been tragically linked to crimes against Americans, including the shooting of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry — killed in a shootout along the Mexican border in 2010.

 

BOMBSHELL: Gun Used in Paris Attacks Linked to Fast & Furious Gun Running Operation.

What Are they Hiding? Feds Tell Florida Cops to Deny Public Records Requests on Orlando Attack

A letter revealed by the Orlando Sentinel shows the FBI requested law enforcement agencies who responded to and investigated the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub to withhold information from the public.

A letter from the FBI dated June 20 attached to a lawsuit brought by the City of Orlando seeking the release of 911 calls in full, as well as other records pertaining to the shooting, had also been forwarded to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office — but included instructions for law enforcement to deny all requests for information.

Under the guise of protecting the investigation — as well as the victims and their families — the letter asks law enforcement agencies to deny information to anyone asking and “immediately notify the FBI of any requests your agency received” so “the FBI can seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels, as necessary.”

Under an official FBI seal, the letter signed by special agent in charge of the agency’s Tampa field office, Paul Wysopal — who refused to comment to the Sentinel — states, in part:

“As you know, this is an active, on-going investigation being conducted by the FBI. The FBI considers information obtained from state and local enforcement agencies in furtherance of its investigation to be evidence or potential evidence. Accordingly the FBI is concerned that public disclosure of such records or information at this time will adversely affect our ability to effectively investigate the shooting and bring the matter to resolution; could endanger the safety of law enforcement officers, and other individuals who have participated in or are otherwise connected with the investigation; and risks unduly prejudicing any prosecutions that may result from the investigation.”

Though the letter claims the 911 audio recordings and any other information pertaining to the mass shooting would have an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act’s Section 522(b)(7)(A) — “protecting records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes where disclosure would adversely affect a pending investigation” — the excuse seems flimsy and superficial.

According to the Sentinel, attorneys for media outlets involved argue in the lawsuit for the release of all pertinent records because there exists “a strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy.”

Indeed, as recent revelations proved, law enforcement officers responding immediately to the scene entered the club to stop shooter Omar Mateen, but were told to hold their position until SWAT arrived — something Belle Isle Police Officer Brandon Cornwell said took “15 or 20 minutes — could’ve been longer.”

But under strict orders from the FBI, the City of Orlando continues refusing to release any records “out of respect for Pulse shooting victims and the families.”

However, were the FBI truly looking out for the injured and families of victims, withholding information — which could reveal possible negligence or mishandling of an active shooter situation — wouldn’t be considered. In fact, refusing to release information that might help the families seek recourse or some semblance of justice stands contrary to that end.

President of the First Amendment Foundation, Barbara Petersen, told the Sentinel the “FBI doesn’t have the authority to hijack Florida’s constitution, which guarantees us a right of access to all non-exempt public records.”

Despite the acknowledgement law enforcement would be “obligated to respond to a request under Florida’s Sunshine Law for records and information pertaining to the FBI’s pending investigation, including information that your agency has provided to the FBI in furtherance of our investigation, we request that you withhold the records,” under yet another exemption the agency invokes.

As the Orlando shooting has come under intense scrutiny, and the response and handling of the subsequent investigation by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies remains the subject of controversy, the release of information to the public is crucial.

In the interim, suspicions about the incident’s apparent exception to rules concerning disclosure will remain a topic of debate.

os-fbi-letter-law-enforcement-20160629-001

 

What Are they Hiding? Feds Tell Florida Cops to Deny Public Records Requests on Orlando Attack.

You Cannot Trust Cameron – Vote Leave

 

David Cameron repeatedly refused to answer basic questions on Turkey

David Cameron repeatedly refused to answer basic questions on Turkey

June 19, 2016 8:41 PM

Responding to David Cameron’s appearance on Question Time, Vote Leave Chief Executive Matthew Elliott said:

‘David Cameron repeatedly refused to say that he would veto Turkey joining the EU. That’s because – in his own words – he is the “strongest possible advocate” of Turkey joining. He has said before that he is “angry” that it is taking too long for Turkey to join. The EU has recently accelerated talks with Turkey with David Cameron’s support and UK taxpayers are sending £1 billion to Turkey to help them join. You cannot trust Cameron on Turkey.

‘Cameron had no answers to people’s legitimate concerns on immigration tonight and failed to set out how he would meet his manifesto pledge to bring the numbers back down to the tens of thousands while remaining in the EU. He had no answer on how we would fund the NHS to cope with higher levels of immigration.

‘He has avoided speaking to the British public throughout the campaign because he knows that they do not believe him anymore on the EU. It showed tonight as he was openly mocked by the audience. If you don’t believe Cameron’s spin and want to take back control you need to Vote Leave on Thursday.’

A note regarding factual errors repeated by the Prime Minister and Chancellor

We want to highlight ten objectively false statements made by the Prime Minister and Chancellor recently, including by the Chancellor this morning on the Peston show. We expect some of these statements to be repeated by the Prime Minister this evening. These cover bailouts, asylum, free movement, national security issues such as deportation, the powers of the European Court of Justice, and the legal status of the Prime Minister’s deal. The BBC should not allow the Prime Minister and Chancellor to continue to make these statements to millions of voters unchallenged.

Journalists should make clear the legal facts, in particular those concerning the EU’s ‘free movement’ laws and the Prime Minister’s repeated promises on immigration concerning ‘tens of thousands’ which – leaving aside the wisdom of it as a policy – is not achievable while we remain in the EU.

A NOTE TO THE MEDIA REGARDING FACTUAL ERRORS REPEATED BY THE PRIME MINISTER AND CHANCELLOR

We want to highlight ten objectively false statements made by the Prime Minister and Chancellor recently, including by the Chancellor this morning on the Peston show. We expect some of these statements to be repeated by the Prime Minister this evening. These cover bailouts, asylum, free movement, national security issues such as deportation, the powers of the ECJ, and the legal status of the Prime Minister’s deal. The BBC should not allow the Prime Minister and Chancellor to continue to make these statements to millions of voters unchallenged.

Journalists should make clear the legal facts, in particular those concerning the EU’s ‘free movement’ laws and the Prime Minister’s repeated promises on immigration concerning ‘tens of thousands’ which leaving aside the wisdom of it as a policy is not achievable while we remain in the EU.

1 The supposed requirement for EU migrants to have a job offer

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has claimed that EU migrants must have a job offer to come to the UK. Asked by Andrew Neil whether David Cameron’s ‘fallback then was to say that EU citizens couldn’t just come here looking for work, they had to have a job, that’s what he promised, and he bottled that too, because that’s not the case?’, George Osborne said: ‘I’m afraid it is the case’. Asked to clarify this, the Chancellor reiterated that ‘if you don’t have a job, you have to go.’

This claim is false. As early as 1991, the European Court held that the ‘Treaty entails the right for nationals of Member States to move freely within the territory of the other Member States and to stay there for the purposes of seeking employment’. Even David 1 Cameron’s own renegotiation agreement notes that EU citizens are ‘entitled to reside… [in the UK] solely because of their jobsearch’.

2

2 The purported inability of all EU migrants to claim unemployment benefit

The Prime Minister has repeatedly asserted that EU migrants cannot claim unemployment benefit in the United Kingdom. On SkyNews on 2 June, he claimed ‘if you come to our country

1 R v Immigration Appeal Tribunal, Ex parte Antonissen [1991] ECR I745,

summary para [1], link .

2 European Council, 19 February 2016, link

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first of all you don’t claim unemployment benefit’. On ITV, he claimed: ‘What 3 I have secured is this idea, this proposal that if people come here, first of all they can’t claim unemployment benefit’.

This claim is false. EU law gives EU nationals the same rights to jobseeker’s allowance as UK nationals following a period of employment of a year in the UK, and an equivalent right for six months if they have been employed in the UK for less than a year.4 It is certainly true that there is no requirement under EU law to pay noncontributory cash benefits designed to provide subsistence to persons who entered the UK seeking work and who have never found it. However, that was clear before the Prime Minister began his renegotiation.5

3 The length of time in which EU jobseekers can reside in the UK

The Prime Minister has claimed EU migrants must leave the United Kingdom after six months. On SkyNews, he claimed that ‘after six months if you haven’t got a job you have to leave’.6 On ITV, he alleged that ‘if they don’t have a job within six months, they have to go home’. George Osborne has told Andrew Neil that ‘if you don’t have a job after six months, you have to go.’

These claims are false. In 1991, the European Court of Justice ruled that article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union forbids the removal of jobseekers from another EU member state regardless of the duration of their stay if ‘the person concerned provides evidence that he is continuing to seek employment and that he has genuine chances of being engaged’.7 This applies regardless of the length of time that jobseekers have resided in the UK.

This ruling is incorporated in the Free Movement Directive. This provides that: ‘an expulsion measure may in no case be adopted against Union citizens or their family members if… the Union citizens entered the territory of the host Member State in order to seek employment. In this case, the Union citizens and their family members may not be expelled for as long as the Union citizens can provide evidence that they are continuing to seek employment and that they have a genuine chance of being engaged’.8 Contrary to the Prime Minister’s claims, therefore, EU law precludes national rules under which all jobseekers are removed after six months.

It should be noted that the Government admitted in December that many jobseekers could remain for longer than six months. The Home Office Minister, James Brokenshire, admitted in December that some EU migrants can ‘keep the status of jobseeker for longer than six months’. 9 It is also the case that there is no mechanism for monitoring whether or not jobseekers remain in the UK for over six months. EU law forbids systematic verification of whether EU citizens are lawfully resident in the UK, providing that: ‘this verification shall not be carried out systematically’.10

3 SkyNews , 2 June 2016, link .

4 Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 7(3), link ; Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1003, reg. 6, link .

5 Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 24(2), link ; Dano v Jobcenter Leipzig , Case C333/

13, link ; Jobcenter Berlin Neukölln v Nazifa

Alimanovic , Case C67/

14, link ;

6 SkyNews , 2 June 2016, link .

7 R v Immigration Appeal Tribunal, Ex parte Antonissen [1991] ECR I745,

operative para, link .

8 Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 14(4)(b), link .

9 ‘EU Nationals: Employment: Written question – 17574’, 2 December 2015, link .

10 Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 14(2), link .

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4 The nature of proposed reforms to inwork benefits

The Prime Minister has stated that it is a certainty that proposed reforms to inwork benefits will take place and that these only apply to the United Kingdom. On ITV, he said: ‘Uniquely in Britain, you are going to have to work here for four years paying into the system, contributing to our economy for four years before you get full access to our welfare system’.

This contains several errors. Leaving aside the very real question of the compatibility of the ‘emergency brake’ with the Treaties, there is no certainty that it will come into force. Since the new proposed new Regulation is to be adopted by codecision, it could be vetoed by the European Parliament after the referendum. In addition, the European Council’s conclusions make clear that the Council of Ministers ‘could’ authorise the UK to restrict the payment of noncontributory benefits, not that it would do so. Contrary to the Prime Minister’s 11 claims, there is nothing in the renegotiation to suggest this applies ‘uniquely’ to Britain.

The Government has itself admitted that the ‘emergency brake’ may not come into force since it will be subject to ‘further renegotiation’. Just after the renegotiation agreement of 19 February, the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill of Gatley, conceded that: ‘Details of the proposals for restricting inwork benefits for EU nationals will be subject to further negotiation and we cannot speculate on these’. The Minister was unable even to state which benefits the ‘emergency brake’ might apply to.12

5 The supposed ability of the United Kingdom to exclude EU citizens

The Prime Minister has made several false statements about the UK’s ability to exclude EU citizens from the UK. On SkyNews, he asserted ‘of course it isn’t freedom of movement if you are a criminal, it isn’t freedom of movement if you are a terrorist’.13 On ITV, he asserted ‘we can stop anyone at our border, EU nationals included, and if we think they are a risk to our country, we don’t have to let them in’. It is false to suggest that those involved in terrorism cannot exercise free movement rights in the UK. ZZ was an AlgerianFrench national who had resided in the UK between 1990 and 2005. In 2005, the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, refused him readmission on return from a trip to Algeria and expelled him on the grounds of public security. Following a series of legal challenges, including a reference to the European Court of Justice, in 2015, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled the Home Secretary, Theresa May, could not exclude ZZ from the UK because of EU law. The Commission noted that:

We are confident that the Appellant was actively involved in the GIA [Algerian Armed Islamic Group], and was so involved well into 1996. He had broad contacts with GIA extremists in Europe. His accounts as to his trips to Europe are untrue. We conclude that his trips to the Continent were as a GIA activis t’.14

11 European Council, 19 February 2016, link .

12 ‘Social Security Benefits: EU Nationals: Written question HL5972’,

8 February 2016, link .

13 SkyNews , 2 June 2016, link .

14 ZZ (France) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSIAC SC_63_2007, link .

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It is also wrong to suggest there is no free movement for criminals. The Free Movement Directive (which in this respect is unchanged by the renegotiation) provides that persons can only be removed for reasons ‘based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual concerned. Previous criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for taking such measures.’ Recently, the UK was required to readmit a Romanian 15 rapist, Mircea Gheorghiu, whom the Home Secretary had expelled, and grant him permanent residence.16 It is notable that the Government has in the past conceded there is ‘free movement of criminals’.17 It is also false to suggest that the UK can turn away anyone who we think is a risk to the country. EU law requires that ‘the personal conduct of the individual concerned must represent

a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.’18 This is patently a much higher threshold than mere ‘risk’.

6 The effect of the renegotiation on the UK’s ability to exclude EU citizens

The Prime Minister claimed he had strengthened the ability of the UK to exclude EU citizens during his renegotiation. On ITV he stated: ‘in my renegotiation, I strengthened that [the ability to exclude EU citizens] to give us more freedom to do that… my renegotiation means we have more freedom to stop people coming in in the first place’.

This is false. As part of the renegotiation, there is no proposal to amend the Treaties or the 2004 Free Movement Directive in this respect. The proposals agreed at the European Council will be contained ‘in a Communication’ to be issued by the European Commission.19 As the Commission accepts, a ‘Communication is a policy document with no mandatory authority. The Commission takes the initiative of publishing a Communication when it wishes to set out its own thinking on a topical issue. A Communication has no legal effect.’20 The European Court has held that a declaration of member states which purports to limit rights under EU law has ‘no legal significance’ unless and until it is incorporated in EU law.21

The Commission’s declaration states that the UK ‘may take into account past conduct of an individual in the determination of whether a Union citizen’s conduct poses a “present” threat to public policy or security’.22 Yet the European Court has already ruled that a previous conviction can ‘be taken into account in so far as the circumstances which gave rise to that conviction are evidence of personal conduct constituting a present threat’.23 The Commission’s declaration also states that member states ‘may act on grounds of public policy or public security even in the absence of a previous criminal conviction on preventative grounds but specific to the individual concerned’.24 Yet the European Court ruled it was possible

15 Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 27(2), link .

16 Gheorghiu v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKUT 24, link .

17 Home Office, 8 November 2014, link .

18 Directive 2004/38/EC, art. 27(2), link .

19 European Council, 19 February 2016, link .

20 European Commission, 2006, link .

21 R v Immigration Appeal Tribunal, Ex parte Antonissen [1991] ECR I745,

para [18], link .

22 European Council, 19 February 2016, link .

23 R v Bouchereau [1977] ECR 1999, para [28], link .

24 European Council, 19 February 2016, link .

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to remove persons in the absence of a criminal conviction in 1974 in the first case referred to

that court after the UK joined the EU.25

7 The UK’s supposed exemption from Eurozone bailouts

The Prime Minister has said that the UK can never be required to contribute to a Eurozone bailout. On SkyNews, he said ‘we can never be asked to bail out eurozone countries’.26

This is false. Article 122(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (which was not, and could not be changed by David Cameron’s renegotiation) permits the Council of Ministers by qualified majority to ‘grant… Union financial assistance’ as part of ad hoc bailouts of the Eurozone.27 It was article 122 which was used as the legal basis for the creation of the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism in 2010, which was subsequently used to bail out Ireland and Portugal. 28 There is nothing in EU law which would prevent its use to create another fund, financed out of the EU budget, to which the UK would be obliged to contribute.

The European Court has consistently ruled that the establishment of Eurozoneonly bailout mechanisms does not affect the Council of Ministers’ powers under article 122(2). In 2012, it ruled that:

‘The establishment of the ESM [European Stability Mechanism, a eurozoneonly fund] does not affect the power of the Union to grant, on the basis of art.122(2) TFEU, ad hoc financial assistance to a Member State when it is found that that Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control’.29

In September 2015, the General Court confirmed that article 122(2) ‘enables the Union to grant ad hoc financial assistance to a Member State’.30 Unless and until article 122(2) is amended, the UK remains liable to bail out the Eurozone.

8 The VAT lock and last year’s judgment of the European Court

The Prime Minister has claimed that the European Court has not overruled his ‘VAT lock’. When asked on SkyNews whether the European Court was ‘overruling the sense of one of your promises in a Queen’s Speech to decide what British VAT was’, the Prime Minister said: ‘I don’t accept that.’31

This claim is false. The Prime Minister made a clear commitment before the last election that there would be ‘no increases in VAT nor an extension of its scope’.32 Parliament legislated to give effect to this soon after the election. On 18 November 2015, the Finance (No.2) Act 2015 became law. Section 2 of the Act contains the ‘VAT lock’. It provides that no item subject to the

25 Van Duyn v Home Office [1974] ECR 1337, link .

26 SkyNews , 2 June 2016, link .

27 TFEU, art. 122(2), link .

28 Regulation 2010/407/EU, link .

29 Pringle v Government of Ireland , Case C370/

12, para [104], link .

30 Anagnostakis v Commission Case T450/

12, para [48], link .

31 SkyNews , 2 June 2016, link .

32 David Cameron, Twitter , 28 April 2015, link .

5

reduced rate of VAT on the date the Act became law may be made subject to the standard rate of VAT before the next general election.33 On 4 June 2015, the European Court upheld an action by the European Commission against the United Kingdom that the UK’s reduced rate of VAT on energy saving materials was contrary to EU law.34 HMRC has admitted that ‘the UK is required to implement judgments of the CJEU without any undue delay’ and is proposing an increase in VAT as a consequence.35 The UK is therefore obliged to raise VAT on the installation of some energy saving products in direct breach of the VAT lock set out in the Finance (No.2) Act 2015.

9 The supposed absolute requirement for a referendum before further transfers of powers to the EU

The Prime Minister has asserted it is impossible for further powers to be transferred to the EU without a referendum being held. On SkyNews, he alleged: ‘Any powers passed from Britain to Brussels have to be put to a referendum of the British people so Labour could not join or no other government could join the euro without asking the British people in a referendum… you can’t transfer further powers from Britain to Brussels without asking the British people first in a referendum’.36 On ITV, he alleged ‘if there is any proposal to pass further powers from our Parliament to Brussels, automatically there has to be a referendum. So there’s a lock on whether more powers can be passed.’

These claims are false. It is an established constitutional principle that no Parliament can bind its successor.37 As a result, the European Union Act 2011 (to which the Prime Minister must be referring) does not bind future Parliaments. It is therefore inaccurate and misleading to suggest there is any legal guarantee of a referendum in case of a future Treaty conferring new competences on the European Union.

Further, it is unarguable that the European Court of Justice can issue judgments that remove powers from the UK. It routinely does so. There is no appeal. There is no referendum. In many respects the remorseless weight of the European Court’s judgments over time is one of the most significant ways in which the EU undermines British democracy.

10 The supposedly ‘legally binding’ nature of the Prime Minister’s deal

The Prime Minister has claimed that the renegotiation agreement is ‘legally binding and irreversible’.38 The justification for this claim was set out by the Government in its White Paper on the renegotiation, which states: ‘As the European Court of Justice has confirmed in the case of Rottmann , it is required to take these provisions into account when interpreting the Treaties in the future, giving our decision force before the courts.’39

33 Finance (No.2) Act 2015, s. 2(3), link .

34 Commission v United Kingdom , Case C161/

14, link .

35 HMRC, 9 December 2016, link .

36 SkyNews , 2 June 2016, link .

37 See, for example, Madzimbamuto v LardnerBurke

[1969] 1 AC 645, 722723

(per Lord Reid).

38 Hansard , 22 February 2016, col. 34, link .

39 HM Government, February 2016, link .

6

This is extremely misleading. In order to assess the substance of the claim, it is necessary to consider the fate of the Danish renegotiation of 1992, which was cited in the case of Rottmann by the European Court.

In 1992, Denmark was promised via exactly the same type of deal that the UK is now being offered that EU citizenship would ‘not in any way take the place of national citizenship. The question whether an individual possesses the nationality of a Member State will be settled solely by reference to the national law of the Member State concerned’. The Prime 40 Minister, John Major, said the Danish deal was ‘a legally binding decision’.41 Less than a decade later, the European Court broke this agreement , declaring EU citizenship would ‘be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States’.42

The European Court explicitly ignored the Danish renegotiation in the only case in which it has been cited, Rottmann . In that case, the European Court said that ‘Member States must, when exercising their powers in the sphere of nationality, have due regard to European Union law’, blocking member states from automatically stripping national citizenship from those who acquire it fraudulently, in direct breach of the Danish deal.43 The European Court took the Danish renegotiation into account (as the Government says), but nonetheless ignored it .

Our own Supreme Court has said the Danish renegotiation has been ignored by the European Court. Last year, Lord Mance JSC said, with the concurrence of a majority of the court, that the decision in R ottmann is ‘in the face of the clear language’ of promises made to Denmark.44 Several leading lawyers have also made clear that the deal will not bind the European Court. These include Lord Pannick QC, Marina Wheeler QC and John Howell QC.45

It is therefore false to claim that the Prime Minister’s deal will bind the European Court, just as Michael Gove pointed out in February. The ECJ itself will decide which parts of Cameron’s deal it will uphold, if any. There is no appeal from its decisions.

Conclusion

The Prime Minister and Chancellor have said repeatedly that the British public should not expect another vote on the EU for at least a generation. The voters are being

asked by them to vote to maintain the current supremacy of EU law with all that entails for the democratic legitimacy of policies as diverse as immigration, tax, and terrorism.

It is therefore vital that false statements made by the Prime Minister and Chancellor are challenged particularly by trusted public broadcasters and that their statements do not continue to mislead the public.

40 Edinburgh European Council, 12 December 1992, link .

41 John Major Doorstep Interview with Jacques Delors, 12 December 1992, link .

42 Grzelczyk v Centre public d’aide sociale d’OttigniesLouvainlaNeuve

[2001] ECR I6193,

para [31], link .

43 Rottmann v Freistaat Bayern [2010] ECR I1449,

link .

44 Pham v Home Secretary [2015] UKSC 19, para [90], link .

45 The Times , 25 February 2016, link ; The Times , 25 February 2016, link ; The Times , 26 February 2016, link .

7

http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/a_note_regarding_factual_errors_repeated_by_the_prime_minister_and_chancellor

 

You Cannot Trust Cameron – Vote Leave

CIA plan to attack homosexual events revealed by whistleblower

False-Flag-sm.jpg

(Left, James Wesley Howell and his munitions-laden car) 
We are reposting this story from Edward Griffin’s website
and the original source to give it maximum exposure. 
 
Anonymous Santa Monica police officers say James Howell was part of a coordinated CIA plan to attack homosexual events in LA and Orlando but turned himself in Sunday when he realized that, like his partner Mateen, he would be killed. Howell described details of his recruitment and training by the CIA. As Griffin says, this could be the smoking gun for all federal government false flag terror operations. 
 
 
 
by Edward Griffin
(henrymakow.com)
Santa Monica— Two police officers who wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation say that James Wesley Howell, an Indiana man who was found with a car full of explosives and weapons on Sunday morning, told police he was part of a team that planned shooting attacks on gay communities in Florida and California.
 Howell told police he was turning himself in because he wanted protection. His story was that he had been assured by his recruiters that he would not be harmed in the shooting but, when he heard on the news that Omar Mateen, the lead gunman in the Orlando group, had been killed by sniper fire, he realized he was being set up as a patsy and would be killed.
Soon after that, the FBI took over the investigation, and information to the public was filtered to remove any facts that might show the Orlando shooting as a planned event involving others. GetOffTheBS 2016 Jun 15 (See Below)
It is important to remember that the police officers who are the source of this story choose to remain anonymous, so it cannot be independently verified at this time, but circumstantial evidence supports it. For example:
(1) After the FBI took charge of the investigation, Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks changed her original report that Howell was part of a group of five people who intended to do harm at the gay-pride event in West Hollywood. Her altered report made no mention of anyone other than Howell.
(2) The web site that reported this story (see below) is still carrying the article without triggering legal action against it. That is significant because, if the story is false, immediate legal action would be expected. If it is true, Howell will be killed or ‘disappeared’ to prevent him from talking, but the last thing the perpetrators would want is a public trial where witnesses can be called to testify.
This news story could be one of the most important reports ever published in the annals of journalism.
That’s quite a statement but, when you consider the nature of its content, it is no exaggeration to say that it has the potential to fundamentally change the relationship between the United States government and the American people, and that could lead to a profound change, not only in America, but the entire world.
The story still is still unfolding, and it is likely that officialdom either will pull it off the Internet or do everything possible to discredit it but, unlike most false-flag scenarios, there are many people on the outside of the plot who can verify the accuracy of this one. In fact, there may even be an entire police department to do that. If so, the sheer number of witnesses could outweigh the threats against job security or physical safety. We shall see.
Here is the pertinent information from the source  –  “Get Off the BS” 
 
“The real truth of the story was released to a former Los Angeles County prosecutor who works for Get Off the BS by two Santa Monica police officers that have been issued gag orders under threat of Federal prosecution for talking further talking about the incident.
According to two department sources, Howell called the Santa Monica police on Sunday morning claiming that he needed protection from the CIA. Howell further elaborated to the dispatcher stating that he “had been set up by the CIA – they are going to kill me.”
According to Howell, he was in LA to meet with another person in a collaborated attack on the gay communities in both Florida and Los Angeles.
Howell additionally stated that, “everything has gone south. Dan was gone when I got here. They killed the leader of the Florida attack this morning. They are going to kill me. I need protection.”
According to sources within the police department’s investigation Howell indicated to officers who first made contact with him that Howell claimed he was one of five people involved in a planned Sunday attack on both the east and west coasts.
Howell stated that he was suppose to “hook up” late Saturday night with his contact in LA who was suppose to have more weapons and chemicals to mix with the Tannerite he was in possession of.
“When I got here, Dan was gone. I went to his apartment and he had cleared out….I tried calling him but he never answered me,” said Howell.
When questioned about the other four people involved in the plot, Howell was only familiar with the first names of three of the alleged suspects, naming his contact in LA – Dan and two of the three contacts in Florida, Omar and Brandy
Speaking of the suspect killed in the Pulse Bar massacre in Florida, Howell stated, “Omar was not suppose to be killed. They lied to us – Omar and Brandy were suppose to get away.”
When Howell was questioned about how he and his conspirators knew each other, he said that, “We were all familiar with each other through an online fundamental Islamic knowledge seminary course[1] – we were recruited through the course and trained together at a camp in Virginia – we were taught how to shoot and make bombs – everyone knew their part – something went wrong….”
Before the officers could further question Howell, agents working for the Los Angeles office of the FBI quickly swept in and took over the case. Santa Monica detectives were never allowed to talk with Howell.
In summary, it appears that Howell was on his way to “hook up” with another conspirator (Dan) to set off explosives and shoot people at the gay pride parade in Hollywood California on Sunday.
Finding his contact missing when he got to LA and having heard that Omar Matteen had been killed by a FBI SWAT teem in Orlando, Howell determined he had been double crossed by the CIA and feared for his own life.
Howell was taken in to custody by the FBI before Santa Monica police officers could further question him about the motives behind killing gay people on both coasts of the US on Sunday.
However, in absence of further information and or anyone who will officially go on the record, there is no doubt that the America public is not being told the truth about the Orlando Florida shooting and the arrest of Howell on Sunday.
It is a shame that the Fed’s got to the Santa Monica police chief on Sunday before she was silenced, however we are very thankful that at least two officers have risked their jobs and freedom to reveal what she would of most likely Tweeted had the Fed’s not got to her.
This is Brenda Corpian reporting live from Beverly Hills, CA. for Get Off The BS.

– See more at: http://henrymakow.com/2016/06/santa-monica-patsy-refused-to-.html#sthash.KyZP6atD.dpuf

 

CIA plan to attack homosexual events revealed by whistleblower.

The Snowden Test

Edward Snowden

 

No doubt you know the basic story.

 

Beginning June 5th 2013, a series of explosive articles ran in The Guardian (and subsequently a handful of other newspapers/magazines) detailing a vast web of global surveillance (engineered by the U.S. National Security Agency and U.K. partner GCHQ). The revelations were backed by large troves of primary information (code-names/programme descriptions) and internal documents (charts and diagrams) apparently directly sourced from the NSA.

 

A storm of controversy soon erupted over the breadth and ubiquity of this global surveillance. Forthcoming details on the myriad of previously secret programmes made it clear that email, text, phone data and communications were being scooped-up, recorded and analysed on a mammoth and almost unimaginable scale around the world.

 

On June 9th, 4 days after the earth-shaking leaks began, the then 29 year-old Edward Snowden identified himself as the source of the leaks. Secreted in a Hong Kong hotel room, Snowden volunteered his motives and personal history to a voracious media and public. What followed in the succeeding 2 weeks resembled an international spy-thriller, as Snowden fled from one safe-house to another throughout Hong Kong, always one step ahead of the press and (presumably) U.S. law enforcement.

 

 

The details are sometimes contradictory, but apparently Snowden then boarded a flight from Hong Kong June 23rd en route (via Moscow and Havana) to safe haven in South America. Oddly, sometime during that flight the U.S. government revoked Snowden’s passport, causing him to be stranded in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. After a lengthy period (somehow, and somewhat miraculously, avoiding both assassins and journalists for over a month) Snowden received legal asylum and left the airport to begin a new life in the Russian Federation.

 

Meanwhile, various news outlets continued a drip-feed of dramatic and ‘Orwellian’ revelations.

 

Snowden had become an iconic figure. Celebrated by ‘progressives’ as a whistleblower and hero, derided by ‘conservatives’ as a traitor and fugitive – he lives presently (we’re told) with his girlfriend in Russia, and appears (sporadically) as an advocate of communications privacy and government accountability.

 

Further theatrics were provided by the incidents of an Ecuadorian Presidential plane being forced to land, numerous international political leaders’ communications being routinely tapped and fierce debate about the probity of Snowden’s actions and the actual spying regime he exposed. American conservatives and pundits denounced his ‘treason’ and pleaded for his ‘extrajudicial assassination’ while others hailed his patriotism.

 

Snowden ID

 

It was a thrilling, captivating and microscopically reported tale.

 

Yet somehow…it doesn’t quite stack up. Some thread of doubt remains, some scent of faint incredulity lingers.

 

Questions provoked by the official narrative are partly logistical, partly philosophical and decidedly pragmatic.

 

For starters: are we really to believe (especially in light of his own revelations of an all-pervasive clandestine surveillance regime) that Snowden, after booking a flight to Hong Kong (and soon after  – numerous hotel rooms) all admittedly on his own credit card, could not be immediately traced and apprehended (or ‘neutralised’) shortly after (assumedly) the entire U.S. security apparatus had been alerted to his actions and movements? Is it really plausible that possibly the world’s most wanted man (at that moment) could just ‘go-to-ground’ and evade the ‘all-seeing-eye’ for a full fortnight in a cosmopolitan and highly-accessible city?

 

Some sources report that Snowden gave up his rental home in Hawaii (as he was ostensibly ‘transferring jobs’) just days before he ‘fled’ to Hong Kong and global infamy. How convenient.

 

Snowden also comes from a family steeped in security state nomenclature. His grandfather was a rear-admiral and subsequently a senior FBI official (present at the Pentagon on September 11th 2001) while apparently “everybody in my family has worked for the federal government in one way or another.” Snowden himself enjoyed stints at the CIA and NSA before landing at defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Surely it would be starkly traumatic for one so tethered to the military-industrial-complex, to suddenly turn ‘traitor.’

 

Still other questions rudely interrupt the ostensibly chivalrous tale.

 

To put it bluntly, Snowden is possibly just a little too young to be a convincing whistleblower. 29 year-old whistleblowers are statistically a rare thing indeed. By definition – zealots must start with zeal. Only over time is it plausible for the zealot to become wizened by the ugly machine of which he is but a cog. Just a handful of years before turning tumultuous ‘whistleblower’ Snowden was to be found on internet tech-forums waxing enthusiastically about the security state. His ‘gestation’ from true-believer to ground-quaking operative seems unusually and unconvincingly brief.

 

Fellow whistleblower William Binney is more likely (at least by age) to be the real deal. Over three decades in spy-craft he reportedly became increasingly frightened by the metastasising spectre of the national-security-complex. His revelations, while similar in tone to Snowden’s and predating them by over a decade, were greeted with little fanfare (and considerable personal harassment and marginalisation).

 

By contrast, Snowden was granted immediate and enthusiastic access to the most venerated organs of ‘controlled opposition’ and officially sanctioned stenography. Each outlet sticking dutifully to their established charter and brand demographic.

 

While (by some sleight-of-hand) still able to present itself as ‘progressive’ and ‘independent’, the New York Times is neither. Socially liberal yet aggressively war-like in foreign policy tastes (just how elites like it), the NYT has led the charge to countless illegal and immoral invasions/wars/actions and interventions, baying for rivers of blood from Iraq to Syria and beyond.

 

Likewise, the U.K Guardian gives oxygen to a raft of somewhat nebulous social concerns with po-faced righteousness, while yet being a clamorous cheerleader for bombing and murder from Libya to Ukraine (how many times can one newspaper repeatedly invent the ‘Russian invasion of Ukraine’ and retain any kind of credibility?).

 

Similarly, there is something decidedly absurd about the pretence of exclusive Snowden techno-anarchist sound-bites gracing the pages of neocon-beltway-bible The Washington Post.

 

And yet those glorified minarets of state/private propaganda champion a supposedly dangerous traitor/whistleblower absconded into enemy territory? It doesn’t add up.

 

Indeed, The Guardian tasked one of its most voracious experts in officially-sanctioned fellatio (Luke Harding), to mint the approved novelisation of poster-boy Snowden’s exploits. Harding’s long stint of feeble, flaccid journalism in thrall to MI6 and deep-state enabling has finally found just recompense in a big-time Hollywood pay-cheque (his book adapted for Oliver Stone’s forthcoming Snowden biopic).

 

As a blunt instrument of propaganda, Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” might indeed make Leni Riefenstahl blush, but could the Snowden gambit be a far more insidious and subtle secret-state strategy?

 

In purely practical terms alone, the ‘Snowden revelations’ have been an unmitigated victory for the national security state. A global public that was previously blissfully unaware of its position as central target of mass surveillance has now been thoroughly (and generally, comfortably) acclimated to that very idea. A raft of recent studies conclude that the Snowden revelations have had a marked chilling effect on people’s online habits and expressions of dissent.

 

Indeed, for a permanent cyber-Panopticon to be truly effective as a means of social control, the inmates (the global public) must be at least peripherally aware of its existence. Assuming it does actually exist and one of its aims is (logically) the abortion of popular dissent (through mass scale self-policing), a gargantuan surveillance apparatus also has clear uses as a giant blackmail machine (this would neatly explain the perpetually compliant response from the legislature and judiciary) and as a profound and unimaginably effective tool of social engineering.

 

Snowden - 4

 

Perhaps we are already there? Various leaks about Facebook and the Pentagon’s partnered experiments in ‘crowd herding’ and ‘emotional contagion,’ along with the underreported long-term history of tech corporations (Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc.) co-parenting with the NSA-CIA-Pentagon-DARPA nexus, hint that the entire electronically mediated womb-environment of today might just be one vast dark Psy-Op (interestingly, Vladimir Putin once referred to the internet as a ‘CIA Project’).

 

Software already exists to constantly monitor social media, analyse (in real-time) public trends and responses, and generate automatic (i.e robotic) comments/posts supporting (or denigrating) a chosen policy/worldview/opinion/initiative/product. We know (ironically largely via Edward Snowden), that our rogue intelligence agencies have been busy launching battalions of cyber-warriors and studying the psychology of online relations and the very architecture of our intrinsic belief systems.

 

After endless reams of circus commentary and vast volumes of hot air, the net result of the Snowden saga has in fact been the legitimation, legalisation and expansion of the very same unwarranted, unconstitutional, unnecessary (and surely intrinsically illegal) indiscriminate surveillance regime.

 

‘Mission creep’ has become a stampede, as supine governments rush a candied ‘national security’ wish-list of mass surveillance (and police state) initiatives past a bewildered and disenfranchised public. Nowhere is this more rudely obvious than in Australia, Canada, the U.K and the U.S itself, all of which have increased the state’s options for surveillance and data retention in the months since the ‘Snowden revelations’ (while performing a pantomime of ‘debate’ and ‘consultation’).

 

The ‘terrorist’ bogeyman (looking understandably tired and unconvincing) has been trotted out yet again to justify all this breathless chicanery. That these nations are all working from the same international (intelligence agency?) playbook seems in little doubt – the timing, wording and circumstances of (for example) recent surveillance ‘reforms’ in Australia, Canada and France being so strikingly similar. Likewise, a similar series of dubious provocations, sieges and ‘terrorist’ attacks predictably and magically manifested themselves just prior to the legislation being tabled – the public must, of course, be cajoled in the right direction.

 

Is it not possible that we have been completely gamed? The mysterious and messianic figure of Edward Snowden, introduced to acclimatise the global public to the very idea of an endless, all-pervading surveillance state (entirely unaccountable with unstated goals and limitless technology). Snowden as ‘progressive’ Trojan Horse (perhaps much like Barack Obama before him) to activate and mobilise the public passion, only to see it hijacked and channeled into Room 101. After much ‘debate’ from captured politicians and a puppeteer punditry the (entirely noxious) ‘security regime’ is solidified and expanded – the illusion being, that ultimately ‘democracy’ functioned and the population actually ‘chose’ omniscient observation – for the ‘greater good.’

 

Snowden himself perhaps reminds one of an articulate Lee Harvey Oswald-like character, a brave young patriotic warrior in deep-cover embrace with the Russian bear, dancing a dangerous and duplicitous deep-state deception. Knowingly (or unknowingly) a tool of clandestine forces. Snowden should bear in mind that he too, if he outlives his usefulness, might be thrown to the lions (just like Oswald was).

 

Imagine for a moment that the Snowden saga is a test. Having built a labyrinthine structure for social control (a compliant media and cowered public that cheerfully delivers itself up to enormous data-mining projects like social media): in fact, an almost entire reality-set constructed and delivered electronically – surely one would be tempted to test it? To see if complete movements, debates, paradigms and world-views could be generated out of whole virtual cloth and controlled? A test-tone, a electro-static ripple, a tremulous shock-wave to the online body electric.

 

Would it really be possible to introduce an idea (global omniscient surveillance) itself intrinsically repugnant, and yet shepherd it through a controlled release (and discourse) to have it ultimately accepted, completely present and yet essentially invisible? To test the various nuances and feedback loops in media (and online social media) that now might just grant remote Panopticon control of an entire population and their ‘internal landscape’? An electronically mediated ‘reality’ where ideas and beliefs are mere manifestations of algorithms and software?

 

Conservatives, progressives, activists, lethargists – all actors in the traveling circus of ‘representative democracy’ and ‘online society’?

David Thrussell

 

The Snowden Test : Waking Times.

Paris policeman and wife killed in possible Isis-linked terror attack | World news | The Guardian

A man who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group stabbed a French policeman to death on Monday night before being killed when police moved in, sources close to the investigation said.

The man’s wife was also found dead as police stormed the house. Their three-year-old son was rescued alive. French prosecutors have launched an anti-terror probe into the attack in the Paris suburb of Magnanville that was apparently carried out by a neighbour of the family.

Witnesses told investigators the attacker may have shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he stabbed the policeman repeatedly outside his home before taking the woman and the couple’s three-year-old son hostage inside.

The police officer who died was named in the French media as Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, an assistant chief in a nearby district. He was reported to have been wearing civilian clothes at the time.

The suspect was a neighbour who authorities tried to negotiate with before storming the property at around midnight local time, according to French media reports.

Loud detonations were heard at the scene as Raid officers moved in.

Officers found the woman’s body when they stormed the building and the attacker was killed during the assault, said interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

The couple’s young son was “in shock but unharmed” and receiving medical attention, a prosecutor added.

“The toll is a heavy one,” the interior minister’s spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, told reporters at the scene. “This commander, this police officer was killed by the individual …… [and] we discovered the body of a woman. The assailant, the criminal, was killed. Thankfully, a little boy was saved. He was in the house. He’s safe and sound. He was saved by police officers.”

President François Hollande said a meeting would be held at the presidential palace on Tuesday morning and declared that “all light will be shed” on the case.

The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, expressed his “infinite sadness” at the death of the police commander and his partner, who had worked for his ministry.

“The attacker was neutralised by Raid forces, who showed great composure and great professionalism and who saved the couple’s little boy,” Cazeneuve said in a statement.

“The inquiry opened by the justice authorities will establish the precise circumstances of this tragedy.”

Sources close to the inquiry told AFP the attacker had claimed allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group while negotiating with police from the elite Raid unit.

“The anti-terror department of the Paris prosecution service is taking into account at this stage the mode of operation, the target and the comments made during negotiations with the Raid,” one source said.

Police sources had told AFP earlier in the evening that the attacker had taken the policeman’s partner and son hostage after stabbing the officer to death when he returned home around 9pm.

“The negotiations were unsuccessful – a decision was made to launch an assault” around midnight, said interior ministry spokesman Brandet.

The killing in France came a day after a gunman claiming to be acting in the name of Isis shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the worst mass shooting in US history.

France is hosting the Euro 2016 football tournament under tight security, still reeling from jihadist attacks in Paris last November that left 130 people dead.

 

Paris policeman and wife killed in possible Isis-linked terror attack

The Surveillance State Didn’t Stop the Orlando Shooting — Nor Will the Resultant Police State

pulse-shooting

 

Mass surveillance has, for the larger segment of the U.S. populace, become an integral facet in the illusory feeling of security. But does it serve any purpose at all — other than providing the Surveillance State a handy excuse for keeping tabs on anyone it chooses, while simultaneously quashing every one of our paltry remaining legal rights?

 

While it may be comforting to feel the overarching blanket of indiscriminate surveillance keeps us all safe from harm, the deaths of at least 50 people in an Orlando nightclub prove indisputably the contrary.

 

In fact, the National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation — and, indeed, every agency — attempting to employ the weary excuse they spy on you to keep you safe can be disproven in the events of the early morning hours this past Sunday.

 

No less than 50 people perished at the hands of at least one gunman in an Orlando LGBTQ-friendly nightclub as they unwound from the week’s stress on Latin night in the early morning hours of June 12. And while foreign news outlets first reported the mass shooting, American media soon caught up to what had taken place on U.S. soil.

 

Unfolding over a period of hours, Pulse nightclub took to Facebook to sound the alarm, posting, “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running” — as the shooter (or perhaps shooters) mowed down revelers and reportedly took survivors hostage.

 

In the aftermath of the carnage, several aspects of the attack become startlingly clear.

 

 

First, discrepancies in eyewitness’ accounts of unfolding events — such as on-the-spot interviews describing not one, but two shooters — were not slated to hit mainstream headlines.

 

Second, any number of dragnet, mass surveillance programs — or even those targeting, specifically, ‘questionable’ individuals — had done nothing to foreshadow, much less prevent, the slaughter for the NSA or FBI.

 

How could that be? How could programs tasked with specifically trawling social media, personal correspondence, and thus profiling individuals most at risk for committing such atrocities, possibly miss the mark — exponentially?

 

Simple. These programs were never designed to detect, stop, or catch actual terrorists in the first place.

 

What? Seriously? You mean the government’s welcoming, protective arms did nothing at all to save us?

 

No.

 

But in the aftermath of a mass murder event, it’s expected we would all ignore that particularly relevant detail and succumb to further intrusions on our most basic liberties to cozy into the safe blanket of surveillance, which most frequently targets those who stand against the State causing extremism in the first place.

 

Shortly after this disgusting infringement on the personal freedoms we hold dear, there are calls for stricter strictures on gun control and freedom of association emanating from the mouths of politicians — who, no less, happen to be involved in contentious electoral proceedings. We are, of course, expected to swallow this — no questions asked — as the U.S. government moves to ‘rein in terrorists and their agendas.’

Don’t be fooled. Though the quote by Benjamin Franklin — “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” — has been so incredibly skewed from its original meaning, the modern understanding holds fast.

When we base the usurpation of freedom on the fleeting comfort provided by the government in times of tragedy and strife, the resultant disavowal of rightful freedom soon follows; and to no laudable ends, whatsoever. Consider recent reports the NSA has expanded plans to use your so-called ‘smart’ appliances against you — and now seeks to expand those programs to include even biomedical devices, like pacemakers.

Consider Americans under consistent, constant scrutiny — as contentiously revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013 — for the basic act of using their cell phones or deeming necessary encrypted email accounts. Or using the phone. Or journalists under the watchful NSA eye. Or, worse, the complete erasure of rights inextricably linked to the same concept of terrorism far too many Americans willingly accept as the root of the entire issue.

We are a nation under attack, indeed, but not by the brown people those in power would have you believe are out to steal our freedoms. No, to the contrary, we are under attack by the very government that would commandeer our basic civil liberties under the all-too false guise the terrorists want what we have.

But we have too little. We have too few of the basic freedoms that once defined us as a people who broke away from the governmental chokehold. What we’re left with, in the meantime, are the scraps and trappings of a liberty so far removed from its original intent as to be ineffectual in preserving the same.

Whatever your opinions, or even assertions, about the events in Orlando — understand — we are gazing over the precipice from whence there exists no ability to return. We have the temporary luxury of gazing expectantly over the edge, or we can pull back the reins that seemingly hold us in place and say, ‘Enough.’

Enough with the facade of programs whose blueprints offer little more than the feeling of safety. Enough with a State so paranoid it seeks to stomp out any opinion in opposition to it. Enough capitulation.

We see you watching. We see you do nothing with said evidence. But most imperative of all, we see you seeing us — to no substantive ends, whatsoever.

Take the admonishments of the State proffered by whistleblowers who see the bigger picture — this will not end well. No matter the hysteria, signing away your rights can do nothing but strip you of power.

Don’t — no matter your apparent, personal justification — allow them to take more than the miles you’ve already voluntarily offered.

Op-Ed by Claire Bernish

 

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.

 

The Surveillance State Didn’t Stop the Orlando Shooting — Nor Will the Resultant Police State.

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