Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Undercover policeman reveals how he infiltrated UK's violent activists

An officer from a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police has given a chilling account of how he spent years working undercover among anti-racist groups in Britain, during which he routinely engaged in violence against members of the public and uniformed police officers to maintain his cover.

During his tour of duty, the man – known only as Officer A – also had sexual relations with at least two of his female targets as a way of obtaining intelligence. So convincing was he in his covert role that he quickly rose to become branch secretary of a leading anti-racist organisation that was believed to be a front for Labour's Militant tendency.

"My role was to provide intelligence about protests and demonstrations, particularly those that had the potential to become violent," he said. "In doing so, the campaigns I was associated with lost much of their effectiveness, a factor that ultimately hastened their demise."

His deployment, which lasted from 1993 to 1997, ended amid fears that his presence and role within groups protesting about black deaths in police custody and bungled investigations into racist murders would be revealed during the public inquiry by Sir William Macpherson into the death of south London teenager Stephen Lawrence.

His decision to tell his story to the Observer provides the most detailed account of the shadowy and controversial police unit that has provided intelligence from within political and protest movements for more than four decades. He believes the public should be able to make an informed decision about whether such covert activities are necessary, given their potential to curtail legitimate protest movements.

Officer A – with a long ponytail, angry persona and willingness to be educated in the finer points of Trotskyist ideology – was never suspected by those he befriended of being a member of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a secret unit within Special Branch, whose job is to prevent violent public disorder on the streets of the capital. Known as the "hairies" due to the fact that its members do not have to abide by usual police regulations about their appearance, the unit consists of 10 full-time undercover operatives who are given new identities, and provided with flats, vehicles and "cover" jobs while working in the field for up to five years at a time.

The unit has been credited with preventing bloodshed on numerous occasions by using intelligence to pre-empt potentially violent situations. Unlike regular undercover officers, members of the SDS do not have to gather evidence with a view to prosecuting their targets. This enables them to witness and even engage in criminal activity without fear of disciplinary action or compromising a subsequent court case.

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'They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran'

From Final destination Iran?:

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran's controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hang[a]rs on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs.

Although the story was not confirmed at the time, the new evidence suggests that it was accurate.

Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders' website by the US navy.

A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. “US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he added.

The preparations were being made by the US military, but it would be up to President Obama to make the final decision. He may decide that it would be better for the US to act instead of Israel, Plesch argued.

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Charlotte Gerson speaks out about the cancer industry and natural cancer remedies

(NaturalNews) Dr. Max Gerson is known around the world as the father of natural cancer cures. Through his innovative and far-ahead-of-his-time natural healing therapies, many tens of thousands of people have cured their own cancers going all the way back to the 1930's. Today, the daughter of Dr. Gerson, Charlotte Gerson, carries the torch for the Gerson Therapy and the Gerson Institute (www.Gerson.org).

We were recently able to interview Charlotte Gerson, and this 47-minute conversation became one of the most fascinating dialogs I've ever heard about the history of mainstream oppression against cancer cures and leading anti-cancer doctors. This goes all the way back to the Nazis, IG Farben and the history of pharmaceutical companies like Bayer, which were implicated in the chemical torture of concentration camp prisoners.

Hear the entire interview or download it as a free and DRM-free MP3 file from here:

What is Gerson Therapy?

Gerson Therapy is a powerful self-healing therapy based on organic juicing, detoxification and cleansing to activate the body's own innate ability to prevent and reverse cancer. Cancer has a cure! It's working today all around the world.

The Gerson Institute remains one of the most bold and effective organizations offering true health and healing services that focus on teaching patients how to heal their own degenerative diseases. As described on the Gerson website:

"Founded by Charlotte Gerson (Dr. Gerson's daughter) in 1977, we are the true source of information on the original, unmodified, proven Gerson Therapy. We refer people to licensed Gerson clinics and treatment centers, practitioners and caregivers. We also train health professionals, patients and others who want to learn this natural therapy."

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Do professional ethics matter in war?

By Hugh Gusterson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

What happens when the U.S. military decides that an academic discipline's professional ethics code is a nuisance?

That is the situation in which anthropology now finds itself.

In 2007 the U.S. Army unveiled its Human Terrain System project--a program to embed civilian anthropologists in military teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they would, like the avatars in James Cameron's current Hollywood blockbuster, engage the "natives" on the military's behalf. Gen. David Petraeus has said that in counterinsurgency campaigns, "the decisive terrain is the human terrain, not the high ground or the river crossing" and anthropologists have been assigned the job of "mapping the human terrain" on behalf of U.S. military commanders. There are 21 Human Terrain teams in Iraq and 6 in Afghanistan, with more teams slated for deployment to Afghanistan in the near future. There is also talk of sending Human Terrain teams to places such as Yemen in the future.

While Human Terrain teams may vary in size, a typical team includes two civilian social scientists and three military personnel. The civilian anthropologists often wear military uniforms and some even carry guns. Those who don't carry their own guns are guarded by soldiers who do. The teams are usually accompanied by translators, since the U.S. military has been unable to recruit many social scientists that are experts on Iraq or Afghanistan and thus speak the local languages. (One civilian social scientist embedded with a team in Baghdad is an expert on Filipino hunter-gatherers and dumpster-diving "freegans" in the United States.)

Once in the field, these anthropologists are involved in activities such as gathering information on genealogical relationships and development projects, finding out why insurgents cluster in particular areas, briefing commanders before tactical operations, and advising on psychological warfare.

In order to recruit them, the U.S. military has offered eye-popping pay. A student from my academic program, who graduated with a masters degree, was offered almost $300,000 a year to sign up. (For comparison, salaries for beginning assistant professors with PhDs are often less than $60,000.) Since BAE Systems was abruptly removed as the project's contractor last summer, salaries have fallen, but this is still just about the most lucrative job a young anthropologist can get.

To date, three of the Human Terrain team social scientists have been killed. One, Paula Loyd, was interviewing an Afghan peasant when he doused her with cooking fuel and set her on fire. And in January Iraqi insurgents captured (and are still holding) 60-year-old Issa Salomi. A video of Salomi was recently released by his captors.

In the fall of 2007, the executive board of the American Anthropological Association issued an unusually strongly worded statement condemning the Human Terrain project: "The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association concludes (i) that the [Human Terrain System] program creates conditions which are likely to place anthropologists in positions in which their work will be in violation of the [the association's] Code of Ethics and (ii) that its use of anthropologists poses a danger to both other anthropologists and persons other anthropologists study. Thus the Executive Board expresses its disapproval of the HTS program [italics in original]." The executive board also appointed a special commission to investigate the project. The 10-member commission, which included two military anthropologists and another who works for Sandia National Laboratories, unanimously concluded PDF in December 2009 that the Human Terrain project was inconsistent with anthropologists' code of ethics and couldn't "be considered a legitimate professional exercise of anthropology."

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Russia's influence strategy

With the United States preoccupied with two wars, Russia is taking advantage of an opportunity to expand its influence and control over states in its near abroad. The first phase is nearly complete, and analyst Marko Papic says pressure now is growing on the Baltics.

SRATFOR Video Dispatch

Everything you HAVE TO KNOW about dangerous genetically modified foods

Everything You HAVE TO KNOW about Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods from Jeffrey Smith on Vimeo.

Monsanto and the genetic conspiracy

Bangladesh: War crimes trial an internal matter

It is hard to believe that a newly appointed diplomat can have a start as bad as this. The Pakistan high commissioner to Bangladesh the other day claimed that the question of the trial of war criminals had been resolved by the Simla agreement, and, therefore, Bangladesh should not break that international agreement and try the war criminals.

The statement is problematic, not because it is ill-designed but because the diplomat -- the representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan -- was mistaken. Let me elaborate on the point.

In order to understand the gravity of the issue of the trial of war criminals, we need to have a preliminary idea about international crimes -- i.e. crimes under international law. While international law typically imposes human rights obligations upon states, it also imposes some responsibilities directly upon individuals, making them liable to criminal punishment.

This principle of "individual responsibility" was recognised and enforced in the trial of major war criminals at Nuremburg and other post-world war prosecutions, more recently in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Lebanon, etc.

Principle six of the charter of the Nuremburg tribunal mentioned crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity as international crimes and, therefore, punishable under international law, whether by an international tribunal or by any state court exercising universal jurisdiction.

The Nuremburg judgment very aptly provided the rationale of such trial of war criminals: "That international law imposes duties and liabilities upon individuals as well as upon States, has long been recognised …Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced."

Thus, Nuremburg set the standard and, today, after more than six decades of progressive development, it is settled that prosecuting international crimes is a state responsibility and any state may prosecute such crimes exercising universal jurisdiction.

International crimes are committed against humanity and civilisation at large, and no single state or government, not even the international community, has any right to forgive and decline to prosecute persons accused of the commission of such heinous crimes.

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Musical Innerlube: UFOetry

Wake Up


Victoria police discriminating against Africans: report

A survey of African residents in Melbourne has prompted more allegations of racism in Victoria, this time against the police.

The report by a coalition of Melbourne legal centres claims discriminatory treatment of African youths by police has led to increased tensions.

One such claim of discrimination comes from Ethiopian man Daniel Haile-Michael, who says he was assaulted by a police officer while walking with a friend late at night near his housing commission flat in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Flemington about five years ago.

Mr Haile-Michael says he believes he was targeted because he is black.

"The divvy van just swerved up in front of us and it stopped us, and one of the officers came towards me and asked me what the hell I was doing," he said.

"I told him I'd just come from the flats and then he got more and more aggressive, and the next thing I knew ... I was on the ground and he was laying punches into me.

"All I could do was start screaming."

Mr Haile-Michael says he was only 15 years old at the time and the attack was entirely unprovoked.

[ ... ]

Police admit tensions

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland says there are racial tensions between some police officers and African youth, but big efforts are being made from the recruitment level up to stamp out intolerant attitudes.

"This is not a new problem. With every wave of migration that's come into this country, we've had problems with youths," he said.

"If you go back far enough it was the Italian wave, the Greek wave, the Vietnamese wave, and what we're seeing now is a wave of migration coming out of Africa, mainly driven by our humanitarian-refugee policy.

"Predictably, we are seeing some tensions with youth and we know that we have to deal with it. We are dealing with it."

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Robert Anton Wilson on 'real reality'

Greece - the fifth largest recipient of conventional weapons

Appendix 7A. The suppliers and recipients of major conventional weapons


Appendix 7A provides data on the suppliers and recipients of major conventional weapons and the size of the international arms trade.

The five largest suppliers of major conventional weapons, 2004–2008

Share of
global arms
exports (%)
Main recipients
(share of supplier's)


  South Korea (15%)
  Israel (13%)
  UAE (11%)


  China (42%)
  India (21%)
  Algeria (8%)


  Turkey (15%)
  Greece (13%)
  South Africa (12%)


  UAE (32%)
  Singapore (13%)
  Greece (12%)


  USA (21%)
  India (14%)
  Chile (9%)
The five largest recipients of major conventional weapons, 2004–2008

Share of
global arms
imports (%)
Main supplier
(share of recipient's)
China     11     Russia (92%)
India      7     Russia (71%)
UAE      6     USA (54%)
South Korea      6     USA (73%)
Greece      4     Germany (31%)

This data is obtained from the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database.

Report reveals a foreclosure in Chicago every 22 minutes

National People's Action with support from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) releases a Chicago Foreclosure Report for 2009.

Click here for PDF copy of report.

18 months after reckless and predatory lending took down the U.S. economy, foreclosures are occurring at a record pace and Washington has yet to enact any meaningful reform of the financial industry.

While the minority and low-income neighborhoods that were the main targets of predatory lending continue to bear the brunt of foreclosure, the devastation is spreading. The sub-prime crisis has meant high unemployment and slashed City and State budgets, which in turn has led to foreclosure spikes in virtually every neighborhood in the City of Chicago. Over half of the land in Chicago is within 1/10th of a mile of a foreclosed property. In addition, the average Chicago homeowner has lost $27,000 in their home's value in the last 5 years. Citywide that adds up to approximately $15 Billion in wealth down the drain.

"The picture we get is that foreclosures only happen in low income and working class communities" said Curtis Smith, a community leader from the Lakeview Action Coalition. "We know that the foreclosure crisis is a wave that is afflicting communities of all stripes. In my community, Lincoln Park, the rate of foreclosures increased 105% in the last year, which is the largest increase in Chicago. It has taken longer to reach us, but the foreclosure crisis is here."

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