27 July 2010

Ψ of Limited Hangout

It has been suggested that wikileaks is a limited hangout, see here.

A limited hangout has been described in the following manner,

"A "limited hangout" is used by Intelligence Organization's when a clandestine operation goes bad; or, a phoney cover story blows up. When discovered the Intelligence Organization volunteers some of the truth while still managing to withhold key and damaging facts in the case.

The public is so intrigued by the new information it doesn't pursue the matter further.

Which immediately brings to my mind the danger of confessions during in police investigations ...

"...a suspect’s confession sets in motion a virtually irrefutable presumption of guilt among criminal justice officials, the media, the public and lay jurors. A suspect who confesses—whether truthfully or falsely—will be treated more harshly at every stage of the criminal justice process."

All very clever ...

(for some etymology of the limited hangout, see wikipedia).

25 July 2010

Murderous Legal Aid Cuts

Kenneth Clarke's plans to cut legal aid are well known from reports such as,

"Kenneth Clarke to slash Legal Aid budget"

The story from the Telegraph, 16th July 2010, explains that,

"Officials working for Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, have drawn up plans to cut “hundreds of millions” of pounds from the £2.2 billion budget for Legal Aid."

A recent post from Mindhacks, "How murder fell out of fashion with the rich:" says,

"Murder has become largely confined to the poor and disadvantaged whereas historical records show that in times gone past it was used equally by all levels of society."

The paper referenced by Mindhacks asks and answers the following question,

"Why is homicide largely confined to low status people today but was not in the societies studied by anthropologists and historians? Why has elite homicide declined? The answer developed here builds on a theory advanced by Donald Black (1983), which argues that violent conflict is a function of the unavailability of law."

I wonder if the "unavailability of law" that results from these legal aid cuts will result in a rise in the UK murder rate over the next few years?

19 July 2010

Deport 'em

"... the starting point of our domestic law is that every citizen has a right to do what he likes, unless restrained by the Common Law or Statute." Lord Donaldson MR.

This is what is meant by a liberty based system; for those who try to take our liberties away from us,

eg Farage,

deport them to some third world crap-hole where the air isn't as sweet and where there aren't these liberties.

Max Prediction: July 19th 2010

Absolute stunner, ...

"Max Prediction: Soon enough, a G20 nation will announce a full or partial gold backed currency forcing every other country to either reply with their own gold backed currency – or equivalence – or risk 100% capital flight."

... if it comes to pass.

11 July 2010

Shiner Sheds Light In Hexham

Phil Shiner from Public Interest Lawyers gave a presentation in Hexham on Saturday 10th July 2010, "Challenging the legality of the use of force under international law."

The talk was about his work of finding justice for kicked to death and otherwise killed and/or tortured people at the hands of British troops in Iraq during Gulf War 2.

He began by telling us about the Parker Report 1972 which clarified that the 5 techniques (of interrogation),
  • wall-standing
  • hooding
  • subjection to noise
  • deprivation of sleep
  • deprivation of food and drink
were forms of torture and were illegal. As a short aside, since this came out of the Heath government, of which Margaret Thatcher was a member (check out the 50 pence piece), Craig Murray's evidence, He [Craig Murray] said during a previous job before the first Gulf War he had been given "clear direction" from the then PM Margaret Thatcher "that we were not to use any intelligence which may have come from torture" should come as no surprise to anyone, not even to Lord Hounslow (ca 2 mins 10 secs in). Since this was clear law since the 1970s what went wrong? Shiner used the term force drift. He explained that it was thought that newly captured enemy combatants, if hooded, would suffer a prolonged shock of capture which would make them more susceptible to interrogation. When this was accepted, the other five techniques were accepted. This was a breach of article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, "Article 3 – Prohibition of torture No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" Following the death of Baha Mousa, "On 14 September 2003 Baha, a 26-year-old hotel receptionist, was arrested along with six other men and taken to a British base. Whilst in detention it is claimed that Baha and the other captives were hooded and severely assaulted by a number of British troops. Two days later Baha was found dead [2]. A post-mortem examination found that Baha suffered multiple injuries (at least ninety-three), including fractured ribs and a broken nose, which were 'in part' the cause of his death[3].", This incident lead to the Bulford court marshall, but this process was not found to be an adequate investigation. There is a duty imposed upon states to investigate breaches of article 2; thus, in an earlier court case, Amin regarding breaches of article 2 Lord Bingham had said that an investigation was necessary, “to ensure so far as possible that the full facts are brought to light; that culpable and discreditable conduct is exposed and brought to public notice; that suspicion of deliberate wrongdoing (if unjustified) is allayed; that dangerous practices and procedures are rectified; and that those who have lost their relative may at least have the satisfaction of knowing that lessons learned from his death may save the lives of others.” These shortcomings in law have lead to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry; while further suggested atrocities in Iraq are being investigated through the Al Sweady Public Inquiry; and a third public inquiry into "all cases of abuse of Iraqi civilians after the March 2003 invasion" is expected to be announced quite soon. Shiner's visit, whilst illuminating was quite depressing. He went on to talk of the medics who were being discussed in the Baha Mousa Inquiry being abandoned by the army; while one medic, Keiloh, currently a GP, is expected to be struck off. He also spoke about JFIT (Joint Forward Intelligence Team) who were doing the interrogation (the acronym is sometimes rendered as the Joint Forward Interrogation Team) who were only accountable to London. Who were set-up in such a manner that they were ignorant, or purposely broke the law. Shiner discussed the sorts of things brought to our attention by aangirfan in the following post from back in Jan of this year and of course, the Public Interest Lawyers have case studies in their Final Report (sadly, much like aangirfan's).

Depressing day.

04 July 2010

Alchemical Abduction

An interesting letter in this month's Chemistry World (the Royal Society of Chemistry's trade mag) reproduced below,

"How to attract funding

I was interested in the recent correspondence about alchemy (Chemistry World , May 2010, p40) as I have often wondered whether there was a more mundane explanation for the well reported objectives of its practitioners. Faced with the same problems as modern chemists, I can see two alternative pitches for funding.

'My Lord Duke, would you please support my research work because:

  1. I am doing fundamental scientific work and, as a result, may discover something that will make me famous, and many generations of scientists will remember my name. It may be that I might also stumble on something that could be of advantage to yourself;

  2. I am trying to find a substance which would make you rich beyond imagination, by turning base metal into gold. I may happen to discover a hitherto unknown chemical element, but this would not be the main aim of the work.'

I should be surprised to learn that I am the first person ever to think of this concept.

York, UK

ps a note about the use of the word 'abduction' in the title, here and here.

Five of Hearts

Financial Terrorist Gordon Brown only makes the five of hearts in the financial terrorists deck, whilst Blair isn't anywhere in site.

It looks like a work very much in progress.

02 July 2010

Mysterious Report?

Day 2 of press reports of the Swine Flu report ... but where is it?

The Daily Mail, says, "More than £1.2billion of taxpayers’ money was spent on the swine flu pandemic that never materialised, a report has found.

The Government was forced to squander vast sums on vaccines based on dire predictions that never came true.

But ministers were committed to the spending because drugs giants refused to back out of their contracts.

The official review into the Government’s response to swine flu said that, overall, it was ‘proportionate and effective’.

But the review noted that there was a lack of ‘flexibility’ in the contracts signed by drugs firms which left the Health Service with millions of needless doses of the vaccine.

Etc, etc etc,

Which is what was said yesterday. But as to where to find the report?

Perhaps it will be released when it's no longer news.

5th July 2010 I found the following link to the Cabinet Office which gives a link to, "The 2009 Influenza Pandemic - An independent review of the UK response to the 2009 influenza pandemic" - as to why newspaper/BBC reports couldn't provide this link???