Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cheney at Nuremberg - Count 2

 "...I do think that we have forever laid to rest in the minds of statesmen the vicious assumptions that all war must be regarded as legal and just, and that while the law imposes personal responsibility for starting a street riot, it imposes none for inciting and launching a world war." 
 Robert H. Jackson, former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Nuremberg prosecutor
Nuremberg In Retrospect: Legal Answer To International Lawlessness:
Address to the Canadian Bar Association, 1 Sept 1949
(two weeks after Geneva Conventions of 12 August, 1949)

The defendant, with divers other persons, during a period of years preceding 1 January 2008, participated in the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of a war of aggression, which was in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.

Vl. Particulars of the wars planned, prepared, initiated, and waged

(A) The war referred to in the Statement of Offense in this Count Two of the Indictment and the date ofi its initiation is against Iraq, 20 March 2003; 
(B) Reference is hereby made to Count One of the Indictment for the allegations charging that these wars were wars of aggression on the part of the defendants.
(C) Reference is hereby made to the Appendix annexed to this Indictment for a statement of particulars of the charges of violations of international treaties, agreements, and assurances caused by the defendants in the course of planning, preparing, and initiating these wars.


CHARGE: Violation of the UN Charter Article 2 (4)

PARTICULARS: In that the United States did, by force and arms, on March 20, 2003, invade the territory of the Sovereign State of Iraq, without first having attempted to settle its disputes with said Sovereign by pacific means.

CHARGE: Violation of the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at The Hague, October 18, 1907

PARTICULARS: In that the United States did, by force and arms, on March 20, 2003, invade the territory of the Sovereign State of Iraq, without first having attempted to settle its disputes with said Sovereign by pacific means.

CHARGE: Violation of Principle 6(a) of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950 as formulated by the Report of the International Law Commission covering its Second Session, 5 June - 29 July 1950, Document A/1316, which is based on the Charter of the International Military Tribunal signed at London, 8 August, 1945

PARTICULARS: In that the Defendant with divers other persons, during a period of years preceding 20 March 2003, participated in the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of a war of aggression, in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cheney at Nuremberg - Count 1

The defendant, with divers other persons, during a period of years preceding 1 January, 2008, participated as leader, organizer, instigator, or accomplice in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit, or which involved the commission of, Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity, as defined in the Charter of this Tribunal, and, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, is individually responsible for his own acts and for all acts committed by any persons in the execution of such plan or conspiracy. The common plan or conspiracy embraced the commission of Crimes against Peace, in that the defendant planned, prepared, initiated, and waged wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances. In the development and course of the common plan or conspiracy it came to embrace the commission of War Crimes, in that it contemplated, and the defendant determined upon and carried out, ruthless wars against countries and populations, in violation of the rules and customs of war, including as typical and systematic means by which the wars were prosecuted, murder, ill-treatment, and abuse of civilian populations of occupied territories, murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war, the plunder of public and private property, the indiscriminate destruction of cities, towns, and villages, and devastation not justified by military necessity. The common plan or conspiracy contemplated and came to embrace as typical and systematic means, and the defendant determined upon and committed, Crimes against Humanity, both within the United States and within territories outside the continental USA, including murder, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against civilians, and persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, in execution of the plan for preparing and prosecuting aggressive or illegal wars, many of such acts and persecutions being violations of the domestic laws of the countries where perpetrated.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Now we need more details

Logs suggest N.L. role in CIA rendition flights

CBC News Posted: Dec 13, 2011 9:26 AM NT Last Updated: Dec 13, 2011 9:15 AM NT

The British human rights group Reprieve says it has new evidence of Newfoundland and Labrador's role in extraordinary rendition flights involving the CIA.

Extraordinary rendition is deemed the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another.

Reprieve, based in London, said a chartered plane long suspected of transferring prisoners repeatedly stopped in Gander, central Newfoundland, on its way to Afghanistan from Guantanamo Bay in 2004.

Reprieve said it received the flight logs from U.S. aviation authorities, but their Canadian counterparts won't release the information. Logs obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration show a 2004 flight that began in Washington, D.C., stopped in Guantanamo Bay, then Gander, then Bagram Airfield and eventually Vilnius Lithuania.

Lithuania recently became the focus of a case at the European Human Rights Court after a man alleged he was tortured by the CIA there.

"The evidence suggests that Canada, by virtue of its location, was a very vital, logistical point for the extraordinary renditions program. That is evidenced more and more clearly as time goes on," said Crofton Black, who is with Reprieve.

Black said that's verified by flight logs provided by the FAA, one of the 28 aviation authorities that received an access to information request from Reprieve.

Nav Canada is among the authorities that refused to release flight logs to Reprieve. It is not subject to information laws because it is a private company.

Amnesty International said it took its concerns about Canada’s role in extraordinary renditions to the federal transportation minister four years ago:

"We could not get a clear answer at all, including, whether or not Canada was specifically reviewing these flights with Canada's specific human rights obligations in mind. We couldn't even get confirmation about that," said Alex Neve of Amnesty International.

Under the Obama administration, the CIA promised to shut down overseas detention centres and stop rendition flights, but human rights group say unless countries open up their flight logs, that promise is hard to verify.


Article 4

1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture

2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature. 

Canada signed the CAT on August 23, 1985, and ratified it on June 24, 1987. On November 13,1989, Canada made declarations under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention, recognizing the competence of the Committee against Torture to receive and consider communications (complaints) whereby a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Convention (article 21), and to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of the provisions of the Convention (article 22). Committee decisions on the merits of communications involving Canada are posted here. For Committee decisions on admissibility, please refer to the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body database.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

American Senate torture report and Canada's laws

Crimes against humanity

  • 1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
    • (a) murder;
    • (b) extermination;
    • (c) enslavement;
    • (d) deportation or forcible transfer of population;
    • (e) imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
    • (f) torture;
    • (g) rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984
entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1)


Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.

Article 2
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

Canada23 Aug 1985 24 Jun 1987 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 12 - remembering the wounded

Veterans Transition Network
Canadian Veterans Advocacy

Last Thursday, Blais’s advocacy group joined a coalition of other veterans’ organizations to demand better federal support for injured and retired soldiers and their families. The coalition announced its members would not pose for photo ops or allow themselves to be quoted in federal press releases until Ottawa improved its treatment of its veterans.
That same coalition is expected to target the Royal Canadian Legion in another news conference Wednesday, when it will criticize that organization for failing to push harder for its veterans.“They’re not being treated well,” Blais said of Canada’s war veterans. “The sacred obligation is not being fulfilled.”
The coalition of veterans’ organizations say the government is not providing adequate health and retirement benefits for injured soldiers and those dealing with mental health issues. They’re also upset over the government’s recent move to close a number of Veterans’ Affairs offices around the country.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/vets-demanding-better-treatment-from-feds-remember-the-living-too-1.2098050#ixzz3IqIPgmIx

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Revenge is sour"

A George Orwell essay

"Unfortunately, there is often a need of some concrete incident before one can discover the real state of one’s feelings. Here is another memory from Germany. A few hours after Stuttgart was captured by the French army, a Belgian journalist and myself entered the town, which was still in some disorder. The Belgian had been broadcasting throughout the war for the European Service of the BBC, and, like nearly all Frenchmen or Belgians, he had a very much tougher attitude towards ‘the Boche’ than an Englishman or an American would have. All the main bridges into town had been blown up, and we had to enter by a small footbridge which the Germans had evidently made efforts to defend. A dead German soldier was lying supine at the foot of the steps. His face was a waxy yellow. On his breast someone had laid a bunch of the lilac which was blooming everywhere.

"The Belgian averted his face as we went past. When we were well over the bridge he confided to me that this was the first time he had seen a dead man. I suppose he was thirty five years old, and for four years he had been doing war propaganda over the radio. For several days after this, his attitude was quite different from what it had been earlier. He looked with disgust at the bomb-wrecked town and the humiliation the Germans were undergoing, and even on one occasion intervened to prevent a particularly bad bit of looting. When he left, he gave the residue of the coffee we had brought with us to the Germans on whom we were billeted. A week earlier he would probably have been scandalized at the idea of giving coffee to a ‘Boche’. But his feelings, he told me, had undergone a change at the sight of “ce pauvre mort” beside the bridge: it had suddenly brought home to him the meaning of war. And yet, if we had happened to enter the town by another route, he might have been spared the experience of seeing one corpse out of the — perhaps — twenty million that the war has produced."


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bird, Fortune, and Canadian Terrorism

Major George Parr, you are the RCMP Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Counter-terrorism Intelligence.

Yes, I am.

Thank-you for taking the time to speak to us during a period of what must be considerable strain for the Force.

Yes, it is pretty stressful but we think it's important that the public should fully understand how we approach such barbaric crimes as we have just witnessed, to reassure them that public safety is well protected.

The Prime Minister has said that tougher laws are needed, including "preventative detention."

You'll have to ask him about that. Our job is not to make the law but enforce it as best we can.  The job is easier when the public understands our role and supports us.

I'm sure most Canadians would agree.  As reported by the CBC, the RCMP Commissioner, Bob Paulson, made the following comments:
Paulson said the video, as reported Sunday by CBC News, was broadly related to Canadian foreign policy and that the gunman makes reference to "Allah" in the video.

He said the video, which is still being analyzed by police, appeared to have been made "on [Zehaf-Bibeau's] own device." 
"Our belief is that it has not gone anywhere else, but it may have gone elsewhere," Paulson said in remarks to reporters after his appearance Monday before the Senate's national security committee.
News of the video first emerged late Sunday when the RCMP issued a statement announcing its existence and describing it as evidence that Zehaf Bibeau was "driven by ideological and political motives."
Pauslon said investigators don't yet know if Zehaf-Bibeau shared his intentions to launch a violent attack. He added RCMP are working on a "detailed timeline" to satisfy themselves no one else was involved

Yes I am aware of that, but like the Commissioner I can't discuss the details.

And the Prime Minister has repeatedly referred to these events as terrorism.

I am aware of that as well, as you might imagine.

In June of this year, a young man in Moncton named Justin Bourque confessed to the murder of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two others.

Another dark day for the Force.  We're following the sentencing hearing closely. 

The Prime Minister has not referred to these equally barbaric crimes as "terrorism."

That's because the two are very different.

How so?

I think that's pretty obvious to most people, including the public. There is evidence that Bibeau had made reference to jihad and ISIS and Allah, as Commissioner Paulson has said, and Bibeau was also trying to get to Syria.

I believe that was corrected to Saudi Arabia, a mistranslation of Syria.

Easy to happen, they're both Arab countries in the Middle East and they both start with "S".

Well, let's say it was Syria. How does all that add up to terrorism, whereas that is not the case for Bourque.

As I said, our job is to enforce the law, and in this case that law is in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Section 83.01

Yes.  How did you know that?

I read it.

How did you get a copy of the Criminal Code?

It's a public document. Anybody can read it.  It's in libraries.

Is that so?  The Prime Minister might be on to something.

Are you saying Canadian citizens shouldn't have access to their own laws?

As I said, our job is to enforce the law, which means that if you break it you'll be hearing from us.

Whatever.  Terrorism is dealt with in a relatively new section, 83.01.

Is it?

Yes, and the definition seems to relate only to motive.

It's very important, motive.

Well, what was Justin Bourque's motive?

He wanted to kill cops.

But why?

Who knows?  The important thing is he gets locked up forever.

You just said motive is crucial to crime.

It's crucial to terrorism, not to crime.

What's the difference?

I think we're going in circles here.  It's spelled out in Section 83.01 of the Criminal Code which unfortunately seems to be public knowledge.

So allow me - it being public knowledge - to read the definition of terrorism adopted by the Canadian government.


Section 83.01(a) just recites the crimes that were already terrorism before the Air India Flight 182 bombing in 1985.

What Air India bombing?

The one that Justice Major said was due to colossal screw-ups by the Government of Canada and its agencies, despite being told that an attack was imminent, who then tried, and continue to try, to bury the evidence.

Oh that Air India bombing.  That was a long time ago.  World a different place.

But the part you're talking about is 83.01(b) that defines a terrorist act as....

Wait a minute...

  • an act or omission, in or outside Canada,
    • (i) that is committed
      • (A) in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause, and
      • (B) in whole or in part with the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act, whether the public or the person, government or organization is inside or outside Canada, and
    • (ii) that intentionally
      • (A) causes death or serious bodily harm to a person by the use of violence,
      • (B) endangers a person’s life,
      • (C) causes a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public,
      • (D) causes substantial property damage, whether to public or private property, if causing such damage is likely to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C), or
      • (E) causes serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private, other than as a result of advocacy, protest, dissent or stoppage of work that is not intended to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C),
There you go.  Commissioner Paulson is discussing evidence that Bibeau had a "political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause motive." If proven in open court, which unfortunately still seems to be necessary, then he has committed terrorism.

How is that different from Bourque?

Bourque didn't have "political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause."

So what does "ideological" mean, as used in the Criminal Code?

It means the terrorist had an idea.

You're right, we're going in circles. You said before that an idea is what defines the crime of terrorism.  Justin Bourque had an idea. He said he wanted to target the oil and gas industry.

Yes, I guess that could make him an eco-terrorist, but the fact is he didn't attack the oil and gas industry, so he's not a terrorist.

I'm getting a little confused...

You shouldn't worry about it and just leave the Criminal Code to us trained professionals.

So what about religious motivation.  Are you saying Bibeau had religious motivation?

Duh.  He went to a mosque.

About a billion people on the planet go to mosques.  So what religious purpose....

No idea, he's dead.  I'm not a mind reader.

What about "political?"

That's in Section 83.01?


What does political mean?


I guess it means the terrorist has a political opinion.

And does the RCMP have a Political Squad, so it can tell?

Tell what?

Tell whether a criminal has a political motive, one that would make Bourque a criminal and Bibeau a terrorist.

I'm not aware Bibeau had a political motive, he wanted to be a jihadist.

What's a "jihadist"?

A religious terrorist.

Jesus Christ, we already discussed that.  If Bibeau had NOT wanted to be a jihadist, but DID have a political motive, how would you know whether or not he was a terrorist?

Look, I don't want to get into hypotheticals.

So, forget the Criminal Code, what's your definition of a terrorist?

I know one when I see one.

Major George Parr, thanks for talking to us.

No problem.  I still can't believe anybody can just read the Criminal Code if they feel like it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bibeau and Bourque

What's the difference?

Statement of the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of three RCMP officers

5 June 2014

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of three RCMP officers -

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the death of three RCMP officers, who were killed as a result of injuries sustained yesterday in Moncton, New Brunswick. During the course of this incident, two other RCMP officers also sustained injuries; however both are in stable condition.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of those affected by this tragedy. We also offer our prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured.

“This violent incident is a stark reminder that our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line in Canada every day to protect our citizens and communities.

“The sacrifice of these brave officers will be honoured and remembered.

“Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones in their time of need. This is a sad time for the people of Moncton, the people of New Brunswick and for Canada.”

22 October 2014
"My fellow Canadians: for the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.
Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Cpl. Cirillo was killed today — murdered in cold blood — as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada's National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.
Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.
Tonight, we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks. 
Fellow Canadians, we've also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians  --  like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Cpl. Cirillo as he fought for his life.
And, of course, the members of our security forces — in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa police and in Parliament — who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.
Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had. But this week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.
We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values. on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. 
But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.
While today has been without question a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. 
Together we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us. For now, Laureen and Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today's attack. May God bless them and keep our land glorious and free."

The difference is obvious.  One is an act of senseless violence and the other is a terrorist attack by terrorists who want to intimidate us with terrorism.   

In the face ot this terrorist threat to Canada and Canadians, we must dispense with habeas corpus as a matter of national urgency and security.

Thank God we killed the gun registry.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

"The object of power is power."

Power is not a means, it is an end.  One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;  one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.  The object if persecution is persecution.  The object of torture is torture.  The object of power is power.
George Orwell

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NATO, Inc. - Syraq FAQ

1. What is NATO's role in Iraq and Syria?

We're trying to figure it out.  Many of us are involved of course, but it is far from clear who's in charge.  Maybe nobody.  It's starting to feel like Libya without any Security Council resolution.

2.  What about Resolution 2178?

Well, the good news is that it was passed unanimously.  The bad news is that's about all you can say.  There was a lot of ranting about terrorism without any Chapter VII clause permitting any military action whatever.

3.  What would be the best possible outcome for NATO?

The best would be some proper military organization controlled from NATO HQ and then a lot of bombing.

4.  What will bombing accomplish?

Pretty much what bombing North Vietnam did. The population gets very pissed off for a very long time and those doing the bombing have to leave.  The human and cultural disintegration takes generations to heal.

5.  Isn't that a disaster?

Are you on the side of the terrorists?

6.  Is everybody being bombed a terrorist?

Of course, or we wouldn't be bombing them.

7.  What about the crisis for western civilization in the Ukraine?


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Canada's foreign policy is stupid

Warsaw Ghetto, 1945
Gaza, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Security Council Resolution 2178 does not authorize any military activity anywhere

However, it does authorize persecution of anybody called a "terrorist" without defining the meaning of "terrorist".
Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." 
George Orwell
Politics and the English Language 

Libya was such a success, the Cartel's gonna bomb another civil war

...even if we don't know what side we're on

This time we're not even pretending to have a Security Council Resolution

"Owing to deteriorating security conditions, the ICRC temporarily moved its international staff to Tunis on 15 July. The organization is however carrying out its work in Libya through 130 local staff and is responding to emergencies and assisting internally displaced persons in cooperation with the Libyan Red Crescent and other local partners."
International Committee of the Red Cross report on Libya

Sep 17, 2014 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Government Girls

UN Charter 

Article 2

The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
  1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
  2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
  3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
  5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
  6. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

S/RES/2178 (2014) 24 September 2014 Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts

Print this Page

UN 101

There is no UN definition of terrorism

The UN has no internationally-agreed definition of terrorism.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Putting them in their place

The Five Eyes Alliance against
 brown people with weird hats.

Australian Signals Directorate

Reveal Their Secrets – Protect Our Own

The Australian Signals Directorate, which has recently "rebranded" itself as something completely different, leads the Five Eyes with seriously creepy graphics and advertising slogans.

Who, for example, are "they"?  As opposed to "us"?

There is of course no end of "them".  John Baird, Canada's alleged Minister of Free Trade, Marketing, Resource Exploitation, Uncritical Israel Support and Foreign Affairs, has trouble keeping up with the most worstest threats to world peace:

Iran, Russia, Hamas, ISIS... all of these must be fought although we have trouble telling them all apart.  Except the Russians.  They're at least white guys, or most of them are, except for the Islamists in the Caucasus, who are brown, and therefore dangerous and incomprehensible.  The good news is they're being "suppressed" by the other Russians, the ones we know to be a hideous threat to world peace as shown by their resistance to NATO interference in the Ukraine.

The Five Eyes used to worry about the inscrutable Chinese, but they're now just as worried about the brown people in weird hats as the Five Eyes and parts of Russia are.

Fortunately, we won't be running out of "them" any time soon, and it's a growth industry.  There will never be an end to this war, never a victory, never the definition of "victory", and never the admission of responsibility for  policies that would have resulted in death by hanging at Nuremberg.

It's all good.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Creachure in Canada

I creach, you creach, we all creach for ICREACH.

Image pirated from 
Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept

The scary part of this picture is that it implies whoever is in the "Global IC Analytic Community" has free access to CSEC's databases. There might be a "future broker" as there is now an existing "broker" for GCHQ.  

But for now, is it open season on whatever information CSEC happens to have?  Is it subject to Canadian law regarding warrants to collect such information?  Does anybody in the Canadian government have the slightest idea what's wrong with this picture?  Does the Privacy Commissioner know about it?  Does anybody in the judiciary know about it?

Or is this the picture of an international consortium of military spooks - and they are all military agencies - who have decided they can hijack all five well established democracies and then use fear to suck the life out of 800 years work, starting with the Magna Carta?

Fuck that.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hell in Brussels in the Ukraine

Soirée des 10 ans du Délirium Café//Battle of the Bands. from Delirium TV on Vimeo.

Excerpt from The War Diary of ISAF's Media Operations Centre NATO Headquarters Blvd Leopold III 1110 Brussels, Belgium. September 1, 2014 9:30 AM Au Repos de la Montagne, Montagne de Saint-Job 39. Coffee en route to work. Urgent call with regard to Emergency Poetry Reading at Cafe Delirium.  A pleasant change from the rather formal Hotel Metropole.  Also, there is nowhere else safe to have a meeting that won't be stored in Utah.  The Chief is quite emotional through the usual fog of champagne and cigars. The situation in the Ukraine is like Munich - I'm starting to get the idea that a lot happened in Munich we don't know about but whatever it was it's a good reason for dropping bombs somewhere now - and if NATO doesn't Stand Firm and Draw A Red Line a lot of important contracts will be lost.  Bombing can't solve political and historical problems but it's all we know how to do.  The Chief then read out "September 1, 1939" by W.H. Auden:

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright 
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can 
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return. 

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire 
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
The Chief had clearly lost it.  This is no time for poetry, Kiev is at stake, or is it Stalingrad?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dummies for American Foreign Policy

The Council on Foreign Relations explains ISIS

Assad is bad. It's not a hard concept. And bonus, it rhymes; easy to remember. Assad is bad because...well, we can't actually remember but he's definitely not on the side of liberal democracy, as we are not. Not only that, Assad is connected to the Iranians and Hizbollah, who are very, very bad. Although, sometimes it's useful to send people to Assad who will torture them for us.  Just like we did with the Egyptians and Libyans.

Anyway, Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, which is bad. Well, we're not sure it was Assad, because he agreed to have Syria's chemical weapons destroyed, but only because the Russians made him. So it was obvious Assad had to be bombed, because he didn't understand it wasn't about the chemical weapons - we didn't actually care if he used chemical weapons against his own people, like we didn't care Saddam used chemical weapons against his own people, until it was obvious Saddam was a Bad Guy so we had to invade Iraq because.... well, we're still a little confused about that - but it wasn't a serious bombing, only bombing to Send A Message.  We're not sure what the message was, except we had bombs and weren't afraid to use them, and we wanted everybody to know that.

Many of our NATO allies were also prepared to bomb Assad because we were going to anyway, but then Obama demonstrated Lack of Moral Fibre in not bombing because he wasn't sure who or what to bomb. Also, there was crazy talk about international law, like you had to have a legal basis for bombing people.  So Obama choked and didn't bomb somebody, which made America look weak, as if it was subject to laws that weren't American.

So Obama and our democratic American allies in the Gulf did the next best thing, which was to arm the Syrian "rebels" (known in Iraq and Afghanistan as "militants", "insurgents", "extremists", "jihadists", or "Extremist Jihadist Insurgent Terrorists") so as to make Assad completely miserable, and he'd say "You're right, I'm wrong, I quit."

Unfortunately, the people we and our Gulf allies were arming turned out to be a well-organized previously unknown outfit called ISIS who were more interested in establishing a puritanical Sunni territory from the Mediterranean to the Gulf, and as an afterthought, telling Americans to fuck themselves.  This well-organized, fearless, technically savvy organization we'd never heard of (despite spending a grillion dollars a year on 19 different and feuding intelligence agencies) was able to capture American weapons donated to the Shia government in Baghdad, an ally of Iran who is bad.

So in a determined American attempt to prevent a Shia crescent between the Gulf and the Mediterranean, which would be horrible beyond words although we can't remember why, we are now threatened by a well-armed, well-organized Sunni crescent between the the Gulf and the Mediterranean, which would be good because it would restrain the bad Iranians, except that it's bad because it isn't interested in Americans at all, except as an excellent source of weapons and somebody to tell to fuck themselves. Thus the millions spent arming America's allies turns out to have been spent on its enemies, although it's not clear whether America has any friends or enemies in the Middle East anyway.

We hope this explainer explains things.  It's why we're called a "think tank."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Baghdad Green Zone good place for war crimes trial

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ' hors de combat ' by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) taking of hostages;

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

Ratification / Accession: 02.08.1955
Reservation / Declaration: 02.08.1955;04.03.1975;31.12.1974

United States of America

Reservation made upon signature and maintained upon ratification:

Mr. VINCENT, Minister of the United States of America in Switzerland, on signing the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949, made the following declaration:

"The Government of the United States fully supports the objectives of this Convention.
"I am instructed by my Government to sign, making the following reservation to Article 68:
"The United States reserve the right to impose the death penalty in accordance with the provisions of Article 68, paragraph 2, without regard to whether the offences referred to therein are punishable by death under the law of the occupied territory at the time the occupation begins"

SOURCE: Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol.I, Federal Political Department, Berne, p.346.

It looks like Article 68 is irrelevant to torture.