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London’s Metropolitan Police uses Windows XP, vulnerable to hacking & ransomware

The UK’s largest police force remains highly vulnerable to hacking and ransomware attacks, as it...

UK: Metropolitan Police demand Pitchford Inquiry take evidence in secret

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Trevor Johnson The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has submitted a demand to...

London Metropolitan Police demand water cannons

  By ...

Sir Ian Blair to resign as Metropolitan Police chief

By Sean O’Neill | Sir Ian Blair is expected to announce his resignation as Metropolitan Police Commissioner this afternoon. Sources told The Times that the...

Scientology, the Metropolitan Police, and Number 10

Temple of Xenu Indymedia Recently an e-petition was submitted to the UK government calling for the prohibition of the use of Narconon by the police force....

Last bodies removed from Grenfell Tower wreckage, final death toll 71 – police —...

Police have put the final death toll from the Grenfell Tower fire at 71. All...

Man arrested near White House threatened to ‘kill all white police’ — RT US...

Published time: 7 Nov, 2017 01:08 Edited time: 7 Nov, 2017 01:24 The Secret Service has...

Japan to deploy elite, all-female police force to protect Melania & Ivanka during visit...

Published time: 2 Nov, 2017 23:07 Edited time: 3 Nov, 2017 09:01 The Tokyo Metropolitan Police...

UK police investigate fresh sexual assault claims against Kevin Spacey — RT UK News

British police are investigating fresh claims that Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey assaulted an unconscious aspiring...

Cash over kids? Cuts mean London police will close stations in face of soaring...

Hundreds of teenagers have been stabbed in Britain’s capital – 74 people killed in 2017...

Brawl between transgender activists and feminists leaves police searching for suspects — RT UK...

Published time: 26 Oct, 2017 12:25 Police are searching for three suspects after a confrontation...

French police pursuing gun & drug smugglers arrest British Border Force officer

Published time: 9 Oct, 2017 11:53 A British Border Force officer has been arrested near...

Police ‘very confident’ Las Vegas shooter acted alone, had no Islamic terror connection

Las Vegas investigators do not believe there was another shooter in the Mandalay Bay room where...

Las Vegas police bodycam reveals chaos & terror of Mandalay shooting (VIDEO)

Published time: 4 Oct, 2017 10:06 Edited time: 4 Oct, 2017 10:21 Police have released chilling...

Would arming all police officers make Britain any safer from terrorism?

Although the UK is often revered for being one of the few nations in the...

Armed police evacuate passengers, sweep London metro after reports of ‘bang’ (VIDEOS)

Published time: 30 Sep, 2017 22:14 Edited time: 30 Sep, 2017 22:52 London police and...

65yo female govt contractor arrested by counterterrorism police under Official Secrets Act

Published time: 27 Sep, 2017 11:44 Edited time: 27 Sep, 2017 13:15 A 65-year-old woman...

UK counter-terror police arrest 11 in far-right National Action investigation

Published time: 27 Sep, 2017 10:39 Edited time: 27 Sep, 2017 10:45 Eleven people have...

Police arrest 3 men in Newport over London bucket bomb attack

Three more men have been arrested in connection with last week’s attempted bombing of a...

Police cuts: Has austerity left Britain vulnerable to terrorism?

British police are fighting the growing terrorism threat with fewer resources, as cash-strapped and diminished...

U.K. Police Arrest Men in Connection with London Bombing at Parsons Green

An 18-year-old man was detained in Dover’s port area; a 21-year-old man was later arrested in Hounslow British police on Saturday detained...

2nd suspect arrested over London Tube terrorist attack – Met Police

Published time: 17 Sep, 2017 07:27 Edited time: 17 Sep, 2017 07:52 A second person...

‘Terrorist incident’: London’s police probe Parsons Green tube explosion (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Emergency services are responding to “a terrorist incident” at Parsons Green tube station in London,...

London police confirm Parsons Green explosion was terrorist attack, several injured

Published time: 15 Sep, 2017 09:17 Edited time: 15 Sep, 2017 16:09 British authorities have...

Fulham Broadway tube station to reopen after ‘security alert’ – Met Police

Published time: 16 Sep, 2017 14:36 Edited time: 16 Sep, 2017 15:01 The Fulham Broadway...

Hundreds of soldiers deployed across UK to free up police hunting for Parsons Green...

Soldiers have been deployed across the UK to free up the 1,000 policemen hunting for...

London police condemn Trump's ‘loser terrorist’ tweets following tube ‘bucket bombing’

Published time: 15 Sep, 2017 14:20 Edited time: 15 Sep, 2017 15:46 The Metropolitan Police...

Family fury as police involved in son’s death are granted secret hearing

Six police officers investigated for gross misconduct over the death of a 23-year-old man will...

On 9/11, vigils for African-American motorist killed by police (VIDEO)

Activists in Washington, DC are holding day-long vigils on 9/11, calling for police accountability in the...

UK police deployed to British Virgin Islands to help in Hurricane Irma response

Published time: 9 Sep, 2017 21:47 A team of UK police officers are being deployed...

Notting Hill Carnival should be scrapped after spate of police injuries, says union boss

Published time: 30 Aug, 2017 12:44 The Notting Hill Carnival should be scrapped after the...

‘100 MPs could be killed in potential Westminster terror attack’ – Met police

Published time: 27 Aug, 2017 16:48 London Metropolitan Police could soon introduce extra security measures...

Man with sword arrested in Buckingham Palace terrorist incident shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – police

Published time: 26 Aug, 2017 11:18 Edited time: 26 Aug, 2017 11:46 London Police say...

Looking for the Thought Police? Try looking in the mirror.

by T.P. Wilkinson / August 25th, 2017 1984 is probably one of the worst books of the 20th century because of its mis-interpretation! a) Although Orwell was writing...

Man detained on suspicion of attacking London police near Buckingham Palace, 2 officers hurt

Published time: 25 Aug, 2017 20:26 Edited time: 25 Aug, 2017 21:29 A man has...

Grime star Stormzy calls out Met Police for linking drugs bust to Notting Hill...

Published time: 23 Aug, 2017 13:17 Grime artist Stormzy has criticized the Metropolitan Police for...

London police spend £9.4mn on lethal weapons to fight terrorism

Published time: 22 Aug, 2017 12:37 London’s Metropolitan Police has massively increased spending on weapons...

Police make 26 ‘preemptive’ gangland arrests ahead of Notting Hill Carnival

Published time: 22 Aug, 2017 15:17 Edited time: 22 Aug, 2017 15:58 At least 26...

Met Police chief Cressida Dick ignoring ‘racially disproportionate’ stop & search, activists tell RT

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is not taking the disproportionate use of stop and search...

Police hunting jogger who pushed woman into path of London bus make arrest (VIDEO)

Published time: 10 Aug, 2017 14:48 Edited time: 10 Aug, 2017 15:25 Police searching for...

Police raid Manchester hotel after traffic incident involving child

Published time: 10 Aug, 2017 21:55 Edited time: 10 Aug, 2017 23:11 An “ongoing” police...

Rashan Charles swallowed ‘paracetamol & caffeine’ before dying in police custody

The package removed from the throat of Rashan Charles shortly before he died in police...

Las Vegas police shoot suspect 19 times after turbulent car chase (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

A high-speed Las Vegas police chase ended in a shootout, with officers firing a hail of...

‘Reasonable grounds’ to suspect Grenfell tower fire was corporate manslaughter – London police

Published time: 27 Jul, 2017 23:48 Edited time: 28 Jul, 2017 00:52 Police investigating London’s...

Excessive force? London police point assault rifles at men in traffic stop (VIDEO)

Published time: 27 Jul, 2017 10:52 Police in London have been accused of using “excessive...

Charlie Gard: Police probe death threats against London hospital staff

Published time: 23 Jul, 2017 16:55 Police are investigating death threats made against hospital staff...

Tory austerity leaving police officers struggling to collect terrorist intelligence – ex-Met chief

Britain’s counterterrorist strategy may be at risk as the police force is stretched to near...

Police helicopter filmed couple ‘brazenly’ having sex on patio, court hears

A police crew made inappropriate use of a helicopter as it filmed a couple “brazenly”...

Knife-wielding suspect shot 6 times after charging Las Vegas police car (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Published time: 14 Jul, 2017 16:22 The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released bodycam footage of...

5 terrorist attacks thwarted in recent months, some ‘minutes away’ – Met Police commissioner

Published time: 14 Jul, 2017 13:57 British authorities have thwarted five terrorist attacks in the...

255 people survived Grenfell Tower inferno, 80 died, say police

Published time: 10 Jul, 2017 15:47 Up to 255 residents survived the inferno which engulfed...

Stop & search: 3/4 of young black & minority Brits feel targeted by police

Three in four young black & minority people still believe they are being targeted during...

London anti-brutality protesters set street fires, clash with police over man’s death (VIDEOS)

Published time: 26 Jun, 2017 01:38 Edited time: 26 Jun, 2017 02:06 Violent protests against...

Police considering manslaughter charges in Grenfell Tower fire investigation (VIDEO)

Published time: 23 Jun, 2017 09:53 Edited time: 23 Jun, 2017 11:29 The fire that...

London riot police respond to violent youths clashing with ‘bats & machetes’ in Stamford...

Published time: 21 Jun, 2017 04:34 At least one person was stabbed during a mass...

Police identify Finsbury Park mosque suspect as 47yo Darren Osborne

Published time: 19 Jun, 2017 16:34 Edited time: 19 Jun, 2017 16:47 Police have named...

Armed police arrest man 'reaching for knife' outside gates of UK parliament (VIDEO)

British police have arrested a man suspected of carrying a knife outside the Palace of...

Grenfell Tower victims ‘may never be identified’ – police

The identity of some of the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze may never be...

30 now confirmed dead in London tower fire – police

Published time: 16 Jun, 2017 11:22 Edited time: 16 Jun, 2017 11:48 At least 30...

17 confirmed dead in London tower inferno, figure ‘likely to rise’ – police

Published time: 15 Jun, 2017 10:03 Edited time: 15 Jun, 2017 10:54 Police confirm 17...

12 confirmed dead in London tower inferno, figure ‘likely to rise’ – police

Published time: 14 Jun, 2017 16:16 Edited time: 14 Jun, 2017 16:51 Twelve people have...

6 confirmed dead in London tower inferno, figure ‘likely to rise’ – police

Published time: 14 Jun, 2017 10:50 Edited time: 14 Jun, 2017 11:05 Six people have...

London Bridge attack: Police think body recovered from Thames is missing French tourist

Published time: 7 Jun, 2017 10:06 Edited time: 8 Jun, 2017 13:40 Police believe a...

London attack ‘could’ve been worse’ as terrorists tried but failed to rent 7.5-ton lorry...

British police say casualties from the London Bridge attack could have been much worse had...

Truck crashes into 2 DC Police officers, terrorism not ruled out

Published time: 9 Jun, 2017 03:53 Two suspects are in custody after a pickup truck crashed...

Mother of London attacker ‘believed he was under police control & not dangerous’

The mother of Yousef Zaghba, one of the three men responsible for the deadly vehicle...
video

Video: ‘Jihadist Next Door’: Police name 2 London Bridge attackers, release photos

Metropolitan Police have named Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane as two of the three attackers shot dead by officers during the terrorist assault...

London terror suspects were known to police

  ...

Terrorist threat now ‘completely different,’ new strategy needed – police chief

Britain must come up with a new strategy combining spies, tech firms, police and communities to deal with the unprecedented danger now posed by...

Police name 2 London Bridge attackers as Khuram Shazad Butt & Rachid Redouane, release...

Published time: 5 Jun, 2017 17:14 Edited time: 5 Jun, 2017 17:59 Metropolitan Police have...

Police arrest 12 people in London anti-terrorism raids, deploy armed street patrols – Scotland...

Published time: 4 Jun, 2017 13:18 Edited time: 4 Jun, 2017 13:50 Some 12 people...

Van rams into people on London Bridge, police on scene – reports

Published time: 3 Jun, 2017 21:45 Edited time: 3 Jun, 2017 21:57 British police said...

Terrorist suspects should be locked up in internment camps, says ex-police chief

Thousands of suspected terrorists should be placed in internment camps, as the threat of terrorism...

Police end ‘security alert’ at Old Vic theater in central London

Published time: 27 May, 2017 15:17 Edited time: 27 May, 2017 15:46 The Old Vic...

Theresa May’s cuts to blame for need to deploy army after Manchester attack –...

Published time: 25 May, 2017 16:48 The leader of the Police Federation has gone public...

British Columnist Targeted by Police for Telling Men of the West to Demand Action...

After the horrific bombing in Manchester Monday night, Katie Hopkins, a columnist for Daily Mail Online, tweeted a call for men of the...

Man suspected of plotting terrorist attack arrested by London’s Stansted airport police

Published time: 24 May, 2017 06:02 Counter-terrorism officers have arrested a man at Stansted airport...

Downing Street protesters say police plan to arrest Assange is ‘beyond the pale’

Organizers of a protest calling for Julian Assange to be allowed to freely leave the...

4 men arrested in London, accused of plotting terrorist attack – police

Published time: 18 May, 2017 00:34 Four young men have been arrested in London on...

Police pin teen to ground, beat him with baton in shocking footage (VIDEO)

Published time: 28 Apr, 2017 14:38 Police have launched an investigation after baton-wielding officers were caught...

Armed police tackle, arrest man in Westminster suspected of carrying knives

Published time: 27 Apr, 2017 13:48Edited time: 27 Apr, 2017 14:14 Armed police have reportedly shut...

‘If We Don’t Change the Mission of Police, Reforms Will Not Work’

Janine Jackson interviewed Alex Vitale about de-policing for the April 14, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Alex Vitale: “Police legitimacy…is...

London’s police failing to cope with soaring gun & knife violence

Published time: 13 Apr, 2017 15:11 The Metropolitan Police registered a significant spike in knife and...

‘Top cop’: Thousands attend funeral of police officer killed in Westminster attack

The funeral of PC Keith Palmer, the police officer who was killed in the line...

Domestic abuser ordered to report all new relationships to police

In the first mandate of its kind to be imposed in England or Wales, a man convicted of inflicting bodily harm on his ex-partner...

Yemen war crimes inquiry launched by Met Police as PM sets out to woo...

Published time: 3 Apr, 2017 13:28 As Prime Minister Theresa May sets out to charm Saudi...

London police release all 12 suspects arrested in wake of Westminster attack

Published time: 1 Apr, 2017 14:24 All 12 people arrested in connection with the Westminster attack...

Islamophobia up after Westminster attack, say police… but Muslims disagree

Published time: 30 Mar, 2017 11:42 Hate crime against Muslims has increased in the wake of...

Westminster attacker had ‘interest in jihad’, but no ISIS or Al-Qaeda links – London...

Published time: 27 Mar, 2017 16:53Edited time: 27 Mar, 2017 16:53 The Metropolitan Police says it...

British police accused of hiring Indian hackers to spy on journalists & campaigners

The Metropolitan Police is under investigation after complaints it uses hackers in India to illegally...

‘No further attacks planned’: UK counter-terror police say Westminster attacker ‘acted alone’

London police have found no evidence of terrorist plots or accomplices related to Khalid Masood,...

Crowdfunding for police officer murdered in London attack exceeds early target

Published time: 23 Mar, 2017 17:48Edited time: 23 Mar, 2017 22:07 A crowdfunding initiative to raise...

'Unattended' package investigated by London police near Westminster

Published time: 23 Mar, 2017 20:50Edited time: 23 Mar, 2017 21:34 An "unattended" package has been...

Police confirm death of Westminster attacker’s 4th victim

Published time: 23 Mar, 2017 21:22Edited time: 23 Mar, 2017 21:42 Police say a man injured...

Police shoot knife attacker outside British parliament, people rammed with car, reports (WATCH LIVE)

Published time: 22 Mar, 2017 14:46Edited time: 22 Mar, 2017 15:21 A knife attacker have been...

Police won’t be suspended for firing their guns on duty, UK home secretary confirms

Police will no longer face immediate suspension if they fire their weapons while on duty, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced. Rudd said police...

London’s new police chief Dick led botched operation that killed Jean Charles de Menezes

Relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian shot dead by counter-terrorism police in...

Police arrest 5 London teens suspected of planning Syria trip

Published time: 21 Feb, 2017 11:08 Five London teens whom police suspected of planning to travel...

Muslim scholars must do more to counter ISIS, says London’s outgoing police chief

Muslim scholars need to do more to combat the violent ideology of Islamic State (IS,...

Tooled up: London police want more firearms & Tasers, poll shows

Around half of London’s Metropolitan Police officers want to see more armed cops on the...

Police raids seize 800 guns, assault rifles & Kalashnikov

British police seized more than 800 firearms, including assault rifles and a loaded Kalashnikov, during...

DC police teargas #DeploraBall protesters (VIDEOS)

DC Police deployed tear gas on Donald Trump protesters who had gathered outside the President-elect’s pre-inaugural...

St. Louis police publicly searched for, found no drugs in woman's vagina – lawsuit

A female police officer in St. Louis publicly searched a woman's vagina in search of drugs...

Police need warrant to search cell phones, insist privacy campaigners

Police use of data extraction equipment to obtain information from suspects’ cell phones should require...

‘Would you like to carry a gun?’ British police asked

British police are taking part in a survey to determine whether they would like to routinely carry guns and Tasers to counter possible terrorist...

London New Year’s Eve security ‘adjusted’ to deal with Berlin, Nice-style attacks – Met...

As thousands of people prepare to ring in the New Year across London, the city’s...

British Christmas markets see more police deployed after Berlin truck massacre

Police forces in Britain have stepped up patrols at Christmas markets across the country, after Monday’s tragedy in Berlin sparked fears of copycat terrorist...

Footage of horrific hit & run in London released by police (VIDEO)

Police have released footage of a brutal hit-and-run incident in which two pedestrians were run...

Armed counter-terrorism police numbers boosted across London

More overt and undercover counter-terrorism police will be patrolling London’s streets in the near future in order to spot those carrying out ‘hostile surveillance’...

Police brutally attacked by 30 schoolchildren in London brawl (VIDEO)

Footage has emerged of a group of children attacking two police officers in south London,...

‘Dating apps must work to prevent crime,’ say police as Grindr serial killer found...

Dating apps must do more to protect their users’ safety, Scotland Yard has warned, as...

Muslim family ‘living in fear’ after 6 racist attacks ‘ignored’ by police

A Muslim man in London claims police are failing to take seriously a series of...

Exorcisms & religious abuse of children missed by untrained UK police

Hundreds of children facing religious abuse and ‘exorcisms’ because their families are convinced they are...

Million Mask March: Anonymous London demo faces police crackdown

London police are planning a crackdown this year’s Million Mask March, the Anonymous movement’s annual...

5 Paris-style attacks foiled in 2yrs, UK counter-terrorism police claim

Terrorist attacks similar to those carried out in Paris last November were foiled before they...

Police officer drags 13yo schoolgirl by her hair ‘like piece of meat’ (VIDEO)

London’s Metropolitan Police stand accused of using disproportionate force after a video emerged showing one...

Thousands of London police officers to start wearing body cams

More than 22,000 Metropolitan police officers will soon be equipped with body-worn cameras, in what...

Inquiry into botched VIP pedophile investigation will condemn individual police officers

A review of Scotland Yard’s investigation into an alleged VIP pedophile network will criticize individual officers involved in the probe, which failed to find...

NYPD used undercover police to snoop on Black Lives Matter protests – court documents

Newly obtained documents indicate the New York Police Department may have committed constitutional violations by deploying...

Record number of guns seized in London over last year, says police chief

A record number of firearms, including semiautomatic weapons, have been seized in London, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said. Officers have seized more...

New armed anti-terrorism police on Britain’s streets labeled ‘PR stunt’

Plans to deploy more armed police officers to shopping centers and tourist attractions around Britain...

Curfew set on 3rd night of Charlotte protests against police killing of Keith Scott

Protesters marched through the streets of uptown Charlotte for the third night in a row Thursday,...

State of emergency: 1 shot, troops deployed as police brutality protests turn violent in...

One person has been shot in Charlotte, North Carolina protests against the fatal police shooting of...

Warsaw police on patrol in Essex after Polish man killed in ‘hate crime’

Two Polish police officers have been sent from Warsaw to the streets of Essex in southeast England following the killing of a Polish man...

London cops target black men just to boost arrest rates, police diversity chief admits

Metropolitan Police officers “routinely discriminate against black people” in stop-and-search operations in the British capital, according to Scotland Yard’s new head of diversity. Speaking to...

London’s police ignore Muslim officers ‘extremist views’ for fear of being labeled ‘Islamophobic’

A former female Muslim police officer has accused London’s Metropolitan police of being more worried...

Brothers planning ‘IS-inspired bomb attack’ arrested by London terrorist police

A suspected Islamic State-inspired bomb attack has reportedly been uncovered by London’s counter-terrorism officers in...

‘Conspiring together’: Mother of man killed by private DC police suspects cover-up (VIDEO)

The death of Alonzo Smith has already been ruled a homicide by Washington DC’s medical examiner,...

Ex-undercover cops to challenge police chiefs over ‘psychiatric damage’

Former undercover police officers have lodged a series of complaints with Scotland Yard, with some...

UK police will soon start bagging people’s heads during arrests

Metropolitan Police officers will soon be able to use specially designed bags, known as spit hoods, to cover suspects’ heads during arrests and in...

Member of British Armed Forces arrested in Northern Ireland terrorism investigation – police

Police have arrested a serving member of the British Armed Forces on suspicion of Northern...

Ecuadorian Embassy break-in: Police took 2hrs to reach building where Assange is holed up

Ecuador has criticized British police for their slow response to a call reporting that an...

Firearms officers deployed in south London arrest man – police

Armed police have arrested a man in Wimbledon, southwest London, who was suspected of carrying...

London ‘thought police’ special unit to track down online trolls

A generously funded “online hate crime hub” has been set up to tackle online vitriol by identifying suspects and encouraging citizens to report them...

Tory MP Pickles faces wrath of police over electoral fraud ‘political correctness’ claims

Sir Eric Pickles has provoked an angry response from the Metropolitan Police after an inquiry...

Justice Department investigation of Baltimore police finds rampant abuse

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Nick Barrickman A US Department of Justice (DoJ) report released Wednesday revealed...

Ex-firearms officer says police watchdog treats cops ‘like criminals’

A former firearms officer, who was cleared of murdering a suspected robber that he shot,...

London police officers attacked by gang of youths (VIDEO)

Footage has emerged showing two Metropolitan Police officers being attacked in broad daylight after stopping...

Op Ed: BLM UK is necessary in fight to end police violence against black...

Last night following an organized protest by campaign group UK BLM (Black Lives Matter) a smaller group of activists managed to block the...
video

Video: ‘When not if’: Terror attack ‘highly likely’ in UK – Head of London...

It's just a matter of time until a terror attack occurs in Britain - that's the warning from the head of London's Metropolitan police....

Riots feared as 5th anniversary of Mark Duggan police shooting nears

London may again descend into riots, looting and arson on a scale last seen in...

Hate crimes rising in Britain, but police are doing less to stop them

The chances of police taking action against hate crime offenders have dropped over the past year, with victims now only having a one in...

Black man killed in UK police custody echoes racial tensions sweeping US

#BlackLivesMatter protests, which have reared up again following the recent high profile deaths of black...

7/7 detective tells RT more armed police won’t stop Nice-style attack in Britain

Counter-terror expert David Videcette has told RT that the prevalence of armed police in France...

VIP child sex abuse: 14 new corruption inquiries leveled against London police

British police are alleged to have covered up cases of child sex abuse perpetrated by...

London police lied about stats to get taxpayer money, probe finds

Police officers from London’s Met who ran an intelligence operation that infiltrated hundreds of political groups exaggerated the success of their work, according to...

Armored police with dogs & helicopter reported quelling ‘riots’ in London’s Barking

Scores of riot police with barking dogs, loud smashing sounds, and a helicopter hovering overhead...

Scottish police to add hijab uniform under diversity plan

Police Scotland is to introduce a hijab to its uniform in an effort to attract more Muslim women to a force which is failing...

Tory election fraud allegations must face national police inquiry – SNP

Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Pete Wishart has called on the London Metropolitan Police to...

#RunningManChallenge: London police post quick-footed response to cop dance craze (VIDEO)

The Metropolitan Police are the latest to throw their hats into the dance-off ring in...

‘Threat and shooter bias’: Study shows US police fatally shoot unarmed black men in...

Race looms large when it comes to police shootings, as a new study finds a greater...

Veil of secrecy over UK police spying must be removed, says McDonnell

Police chiefs trying to keep their covert operations in the shadows should open up and...

UK bill hands vast surveillance powers to police and intelligence agencies

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Barry Mason On March 1, Home Secretary Theresa May published the Investigatory...

UK: Second undercover police officer exposed infiltrating Socialist Party

Trevor Johnson and Chris Marsden A joint investigation by BBC Newsnight and the Guardian has uncovered a second undercover police officer, known as “Carlo Neri”...

Police and Media Agree: Cops Just Need to Be Nicer

A Washington Post photo (5/7/15) illustrating how “a community-policing ethos builds ties between officers and residents” (photo: Washington Post/Carl Costas) Two months after the 2014...

‘Nothing to see ear’: UK Police called over fake severed ‘human’ lobe

A UK citizen made a gruesome discovery in a London playground on Tuesday, a severed ear – or at least that’s what they thought,...

London receives extra police protection while other cities are ignored

Metropolitan Police officials have announced 600 more firearms officer posts for the British capital in response to November’s terror attacks on Paris, but experts...

‘Secret’ police files relating to Green Party peer ‘deleted in highly irregular cover up’

A Scotland Yard intelligence unit that spies on political campaigners, shredded files relating to Green Party peer Jenny Jones to stop her from discovering...

Anti-Semitic hate crimes up 61% in London — police figures

Jewish hate crimes in London have rocketed by 61 percent in the last year, Metropolitan Police figures show. John Mann MP has called on...

2,000 armed police deployed to ‘shield London’s New Year festivities from terror attack’

Thousands of police officers will be patrolling London on Thursday night to protect the capital’s New Year’s Eve celebrations from a terrorist attack, it...

Criminal investigation launched into police killing of unarmed man in London

By Robert Stevens  The shooting death by a police firearms officer of father-of-two, Jermaine Baker, on December 11, has provoked an angry response within the north...

Unarmed man shot by police in Detroit, family wants answers

Relatives of a man shot and killed by a Dearborn, Michigan police officer say he was mentally ill but not violent. Protesters have called...

Met police arrest 4 over terrorism offences

UK police have arrested four men on suspicion of terrorism offences. The men all in their 30s are from Luton. They were arrested on...

UK armed police told to ignore wounded, focus on neutralizing terrorist threat

Counter-terror police are being trained to rapidly tackle terrorist gunmen at the scene of an attack rather than pause to tend to wounded victims...

London Tooting Broadway station evacuated, armed police on scene – reports

Armed police have evacuated Tooting Broadway London Underground station following a security alert, according to reports. Twitter users say the station is closed and report...

Police that protected Westminster pedophile ring for decades denies investigation is a ‘shambles’

Scotland Yard police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has strongly rejected claims the force’s investigation into an alleged murderous Westminster pedophile ring is a “shambles.” In...

British police team to probe child abuse cover-ups

Police in the UK have set up a new team of 90 officers to handle inquiries into reported attempts to cover up child abuse...

Police: Hate crimes against Muslims in London rising

New figures show that the number of hate crimes against Muslims has risen in UK over the past year. According statistics by Metropolitan Police, Muslims...

UK police slammed for training ‘abusive’ Emirati police

A human rights charity group has blasted the British police for providing training services to ‘abusive’ United Arab of Emirates (UAE) police force. The charity...

‘UK police force threatens court action against May’

One of the biggest police forces in the UK is threatening court action against the British home secretary over revelation of Theresa May’s deep funding...

British police admit to training ‘abusive’ UAE officers

Human rights charity Reprieve has criticized London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for training and praising United Arab of Emirates (UAE) police officers, a force...

97 percent of DC police issue no-confidence vote in Chief Cathy Lanier

Nearly every member of the Washington, DC police union who voted declared that Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier isn’t able to properly manage...

Police arrest 62 in dawn raids before London’s Notting Hill Carnival weekend

More than 1,000 police officers across London have made 62 arrests and seized a firearm, drugs and cash as part of an operation to...

UK police: No apology needed to owners of ‘Iran Is Great’ van after attack

The London police says it owes no apology to a European family whose van, which had had “Iran Is Great” written on its sides, was recently attacked...

Ex-MP Proctor rejects pedophile and murder claims, accuses police of ‘homosexual witch-hunt’

Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has denied being involved in a “gruesome” Westminster pedophile ring that allegedly abused, tortured and murdered children in the...

Mentally ill children locked in police cells due to hospital bed shortage

Three mentally ill children a week are locked up in police cells in Britain due to a lack of hospital beds amid government cuts...

Why didn’t this happen while he was alive? 5 police forces investigating Ted Heath...

At least five separate police forces in the UK are investigating allegations that Sir Edward Health sexually abused children after it emerged a criminal...

Scotland Yard police station converted into £10,000 per night luxury hote

London’s Scotland Yard police station, site of the original Jack the Ripper investigations, is to be converted into a £10,000 per night luxury hotel...

British police forcibly drag disabled protesters out of parliament

British police forces have clashed with disabled protesters, pushing them out of the Houses of Parliament. The protesters were trying to make their way into Prime...

Met Police To Be Investigated For Covering Up Establishment Child Abuse

A British watchdog is expanding its investigation into allegations that senior Metropolitan Police figures ordered officers to drop inquiries into child sex abuse claims...

Former Met Police Officer: Pedophile ring leads to British Monarchy

A member of the British royal family was part of a pedophile ring under investigation by police until the case was suddenly dropped, an...

Supreme Court: Police retention of data on peaceful protester breaches privacy rights, but is...

Melanie Newman The Supreme Court has confirmed that where the state retains data on individuals without their consent, it is breaching their privacy rights, even when that...

London police spend millions snooping on journalists

London Metropolitan Police (MPS) have spent more than £33.5 million snooping on journalists, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has shown. The FoI request, from...

Police appear to have declared war on journalists

The police appear to have declared war on journalists. If this sounds more than a little far-fetched, consider the evidence. Case one: in September, it...

Police investigate whether security services snooped on renditions investigation

British police have confirmed that they are looking into whether UK security services have eavesdropped on their investigation into MI6 complicity in rendition and...

Met Police snooping on tens of thousands with secret technology — report

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Police State Britain


Police State Britain

by Stephen Lendman

Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) operates like NSA. They work cooperatively. They're out-of-control rogue agencies. 

They spy on their own populations. They do it globally. They conduct espionage. They collect enormous amounts of personal information. They do it illegally. 

Obama wages war on freedom. He targets whistleblowers and investigative journalists exposing government wrongdoing. So does Britain. It equates doing so with terrorism.

London's Guardian is threatened. Its offices were raided. Hard drive stored information was destroyed. Its editor, Alan Rusbridger, was warned. Cease and desist or else.

He asked if steps would be taken "to close down the Guardian's reporting through a legal route - by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working."

"The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government's intentions."

It was "one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history," he said. It was likely the most chilling.

Two GCHQ security experts oversaw the destruction of Guardian hard drives. They checked to be sure nothing but "mangled bits of metal" remained.

Whitehall was satisfied. Freedom in Britain sustained another body blow. It's fast disappearing like in America. Both nations are more police states than democracies. 

They mock virtually all democratic principles. They govern lawlessly. They do it ruthlessly. Sweeping surveillance is official policy. So is suppressing information about government wrongdoing.

Journalists involved in exposing it are threatened. Guardian disclosures fall under parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee's remit. 

It reinforces government claims about compromising national security. When good journalism is equated with doing it, freedom dies.

Guardian contributors are targeted for doing their job. Doing so amounts to state censorship. Warnings about prosecutions and imprisonments follow.

Free expression is the most important of all rights. Without it, all others at risk. On the bogus pretext of fighting terrorism, America and Britain want none of their lawless activities exposed.

On August 18, UK authorities detained Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, at Heathrow Airport.

He was held incommunicado for nine hours. He was denied legal counsel. A counterterrorism law pretext was used to do so. 

He was in transit from Berlin to Rio de Janeriro. He threatened no one. He violated no laws. It didn't matter. 

His laptop, cell phone, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and game consoles were confiscated. It was done lawlessly. Police states operate this way. 

London's Observer said Miranda was detained "for promoting 'political' causes." His detention shone "new light on the Metropolitan police's explanation for invoking terrorism powers - a decision critics have called draconian."

London's Mirror headlined "David Miranda detention shows UK is becoming a police state." Targeting him "shows just how determined the security services are to get the upper hand."

"Big Brother isn't just watching you. He knows which plane you're on, where you're traveling, and he's in close contact with Big Daddy across the water in Washington."

It "illustrates the general point that we are now living in a security state."

"Historically, the national interest has always been what's good for the government, not what's right for the people." 

It's more than ever true today. State-of-the-art technology makes it easy. So do rogue politicians wanting unchallenged control.

Greenwald called detaining his partner "a failed attempt at intimidation." I'll have the opposite effect, he said. Virtually never are in transit passengers detained like Miranda.

Schedule 7 of Britain's Terrorism Act says "fewer than 3 people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders." Over 97% of examinations last under an hour. 

Individuals are questioned regarding possible involvement "in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."

Miranda didn't enter Britain. He was en route to Rio. Targeting him was unrelated to terrorism. It was intimidation. It was harassment. Downing Street was directly involved.

It sent a message. Responsible journalism exposing government wrongdoing is threatened. Authorities want it entirely eliminated.

Miranda was released uncharged. Journalists, editors, human rights lawyers and civil libertarians expressed outrage over what happened. Doing so reflects police state harshness.

UK Metropolitan police lied saying:

"Holding and properly using intelligence gained from such stops is a key part of fighting crime, pursuing offenders and protecting the public."

Police states justify lawlessness this way. Miranda was threatened. He was treated like a criminal. 

He was told he faced prosecution if he didn't cooperate. He did nothing wrong. It didn't matter. It got worse.

On September 6, Britain's high court said government authorities could continue examining materials seized from him. 

They could do it to determine if he violated Britain's Terrorism and Official Secrets Acts. UK courts lack independence like America's. 

They support the worst of government practices. They rubber-stamp some of the most outrageous acts. They violate fundamental freedoms doing so.

On November 2, Reuters headlined "NSA Leaks Journalist Glenn Greenwald's Partner Accused of 'Terrorism,' 'Espionage.' 

After returning to Rio, Miranda filed suit. He wants lawlessly seized materials returned.

"At a London court hearing a document called a 'Ports Circulation Sheet' was read into the record." 

"It was prepared by Scotland Yard - in consultation with the MI5 counterintelligence agency."

It said "(i)intelligence indicates that Miranda is likely to be involved in espionage activity which has the potential to act against the interests of UK national security."

"We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material the release of which would endanger people's lives." 

"Additionally the disclosure, or threat of disclosure, is designed to influence a government and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism."

Miranda wasn't charged. At least not so far. He remains threatened. He may become as much at risk as Edward Snowden.

A hearing on Miranda's legal challenge is scheduled this week. During a preparatory session days earlier, "new details of how and why British authorities (targeted him) were made public…"

Materials authorities seized allegedly included 58,000 NSA and GCHQ documents. In an email to Reuters, Greenwald said:

"For all the lecturing it doles out to the world about press freedoms, the UK offers virtually none. They are absolutely and explicitly equating terrorism with journalism."

On October 31, German lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele met with Edward Snowden. He did so in Moscow. He released a letter he wrote. In part, it said:

"I have been invited to write to you regarding your investigation of mass surveillance."

"I believe I witnessed systemic violations of law by my government that created a moral duty to act." 

"As a result of reporting these concerns, I have faced a severe and sustained campaign of persecution that forced me from my family and home."

"Citizens around the world as well as high officials - including in the United States - have judged the revelation of an unaccountable system of pervasive surveillance to be a public service."

"Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense."

"(S)peaking truth is not a crime." He thanked supporters for their "efforts in upholding the international laws that protect us all."

Not in America or Britain. In a document read into the public record, Britain's MI5 said:

"Our main objectives against David Miranda are to understand the nature of any material he is carrying (so as to) mitigate the risks to national security that this material poses."

A UK Washington spokesperson had no comment. Equating good journalism with terrorism shows Britain will stop at nothing to keep government wrongdoing secret.

Doing so shows how low Britain has sunk. Its stripped off facade reveals dark side tyranny. 

Britain's Terrorism Law provides wide latitude. Its terrorism definition includes a "use or threat designed to influence the government (or international governmental organization)."

It's "made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, or ideological cause."

It does so if it "endangers a person's life, other than that of the person committing the action (and) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public."

Most chilling is that UK security services, on their own, can decide if legitimate journalism is terrorism or its equivalent.

They can do so without publicly releasing materials allegedly able to compromise national security. They can pronounce guilt on their say alone. They can get courts to rubber-stamp their accusations. 

It's much the same in America. Government whistleblowers are threatened. They're fraudulently charged under the long ago outdated Espionage Act. 

It's a WW I relic. It belongs in history's dustbin. It's unrelated to exposing government wrongdoing. Revealing it is equated with aiding the enemy.

The so-called "enemy" apparently is "we the people." Our fundamental constitutional rights are threatened. Upholding them is what courts are supposed to do.

Not in America. Not in Britain. Terrorism or acts relating to it are what both governments say they are.

On July 30, Bradley Manning was wrongfully convicted on 20 of 22 bogus charges. He never had a chance. 

He was judged guilty by accusation. He got 35 years imprisonment for acting responsibly. 

It's by far the harshest ever punishment for leaking information everyone has a right to know.

Washington wants Edward Snowden prosecuted the same way. Russia granted him political asylum.

Whether he'll stay free remains to be seen. He's America's public enemy number one. Safety is his main concern. 

He's got good reason to worry. He's a wanted man. He knows how NSA operates. It'll try monitoring him every way possible.

Whether he'll stay free from its tracking remains to be seen. The same is true for everyone.

America and Britain are ruthless. They're unforgiving. They want unchallenged power. They want no one compromising it. 

They want government wrongdoing suppressed. UK Prime Minister David Cameron threatened Britain's media with injunctions or so-called D (Defense Advisory) notices. 

They're official requests not to publish or broadcast information for reasons of national security.

London's Guardian and Miranda remain in limbo. Criminal charges could follow. Responsible journalism is threatened. 

It bears repeating. Equating it with terrorism shows how low Britain has sunk. The same holds for America. Police state justice prevails.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/police-state-britain/

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Published time: March 01, 2013 15:27

AFP Photo / Shaun Curry

British MPs have condemned practices used by undercover police, including sleeping with those they were investigating and using dead infants’ names for their covert identity. The MPs have called for legislation to regulate undercover work.

The UK House of Commons held a Home Affairs Select Committee probe into a series of scandals involving undercover police officers. In an interim report published on Friday, the committee addressed three separate issues.

First: Undercover officers became intimate with those they were investigating. Second: The practice of using the names of dead infants to create cover identities for the officers. And last, but not least: MPs criticized the overall system of undercover police work.

Unauthorized, but ‘almost inevitable’ sex

The MPs highlighted several cases in which undercover officers infiltrated various activist groups and initiated long-term intimate relationships with members of those groups. The affairs were then broken off when the agents finished their work. Some incidents reviewed by the commission dated as far back as the 1980s.

Several of the women are now claiming damages over the incidents. While MPs refrained from commenting on the legality of the officers’ actions, “the terrible impact on the lives of those women who had relationships with undercover officers is beyond doubt,” they said, adding that the officers “were not unaffected” either.

“There is an alarming degree of inconsistency in the views of Ministers and senior police officers about the limits of what may and may not be lawfully authorized,” the report said. Officials offered MPs different views on whether such relationships were justified, could be prevented or should be banned outright. One official said such closeness “could almost be inevitable” is some cases.

One practical consideration, former Minister for Policing Nick Herbert explained, is that an explicit ban on such intimacy “would provide a ready-made test for the targeted criminal group to find out whether an undercover officer was deployed among them.” However, there must be strict rules for officers becoming intimate with their targets, the MPs said.

“We do not believe that officers should enter into intimate, physical sexual relationships while using their false identities undercover without clear, prior authorization, which should only be given in the most exceptional circumstances,” the report said.

The report outlined that it is clearly unacceptable to conceive a child as result of such relationships, which reportedly happened to one of the officers. “This must never be allowed to happen again,” the MPs said.

British policemen in south London. (AFP Photo / Carl de Souza)

‘Ghoulish and disrespectful’

Another dubious practice condemned by the MPs was the use of the names of dead infants to create aliases for undercover agents. The practice was “ghoulish and disrespectful,” and potentially dangerous to the bereaved families, they said.

One witness told the commission how she found the home address of the people she believed to be the parents of her missing partner, who was an undercover officer using a fake name. Her intention was not malevolent, but “it is easy to see how officers infiltrating serious, organized criminal and terrorist gangs using the identities of real people could pose a significant risk to the living relatives of those people,” the report stressed.

“The families who have been affected by this deserve an explanation and a full and unambiguous apology from the forces concerned,” the commission continued. “We would also welcome a clear statement from the Home Secretary that this practice will never be followed in future.” 

The Metropolitan Police is currently conducting an investigation into the use of dead infants’ names. To the shock of the commission, the practice was “apparently a surprise to senior officers and it is vital that the investigation establish quickly how high up the chain of command this practice was sanctioned,” the report said.

The commission pledged to request updates on the progress of the probe every three months, including the remaining amount of work, costs, disciplinary proceedings, arrests made, and the families involved being identified and informed. The probe should be concluded by the end of 2013, and the results will be published on the commission’s website every three months.

“It cannot be sufficiently emphasized that using the identities of dead children was not only abhorrent, but reflects badly on the police. It must never occur again,” the MPs said.

The House of Commons. (Reuters)

Reform pending

During the investigation, the MPs found that “standards in undercover operations are jeopardized by lack of clear lines of responsibility between… the different forces and units involved.” They cite discrepancies in training, tactics and review, and called for the establishment of a coherent set of operational instructions.

Of particular concern for the commission was the weak oversight for undercover agents who were gathering intelligence, and how there was no expectation that the evidence gathered must stand up in court.

The MPs argued that undercover police activity should be limited to genuine threats to public safety or national security. They also expressed doubts over the practice of infiltrating activist groups engaged in peaceful protest in the hopes of reaching more radical groups.

The report said that a compelling case exists for a fundamental review of the legislative framework governing undercover policing, including 2000’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

“We recommend that the Government commit to the publication of a Green Paper on the regulation of investigatory powers before the end of this Parliament, with a view to publishing draft legislation in the Session after the next general election,” the report said.


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Lord Rennard Sex Claims: Police To Investigate

Scotland Yard has announced it will investigate whether "criminal activity has taken place" following allegations against ex-Lib Dem chief executive Lord Rennard.

Several women have accused the peer of inappropriately touching and propositioning female party workers, which he strenuously denies.

The news of police involvement comes as pressure continues to mount on Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, with party president Tim Farron admitting it "screwed up" its response to the allegations.

After initial denials that he was aware of complaints made by a number of women about Lord Rennard, Mr Clegg confirmed on Sunday his office had heard "indirect and non-specific concerns" as far back as 2008 and had taken action at the time.

Speaking on Monday, he said: "Until last week, no very specific allegations were put to me.

"We acted on general concerns which had been expressed sometime ago but, of course, now that those general concerns have evolved into specific allegations, we can act and we will."

He added: "I have got nothing to hide, the party has nothing to hide ... I totally understand people have got lots and lots of questions but I hope I have given a full, frank, honest account.

"I happen to know some of these women very well. One of them worked for me. I spoke to her just last night. She never, ever said anything about this until now."

Responding to the police investigation, the party's deputy leader Simon Hughes told Sky News: "We don't want there to be any no-go areas. If there are things that are criminal they need to be pursued."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The Metropolitan Police Special Investigations Command has been approached by officials in the Liberal Democrat Party and is working with them to ascertain whether or not criminal activity has taken place."

The Lib Dems earlier announced that criminal lawyer Alistair Webster QC will lead a formal internal investigation into allegations against Lord Rennard under the party's disciplinary rules.

Mr Webster will lead a panel of four other people, including three women.

The women claim they reported Lord Rennard's alleged behaviour to senior party officials at the time, but no further action was taken.

There are now new reports that Mr Clegg's chief of staff Jonny Oates was contacted about detailed allegations back in 2010.

The Telegraph published on its website an exchange of emails in which it listed five allegations and gave dates and locations for the alleged inappropriate acts.

It also said the paper knew the identities of the women concerned and suggested that MPs Jo Swinson and Danny Alexander had been involved in investigations into Lord Rennard's alleged conduct.

Lord Rennard - a key adviser to a succession of Lib Dem leaders before standing down on health grounds in 2009 - has said he is "deeply shocked" by the allegations, which he "strongly disputes" and regards as a "total distortion" of his character.

In a statement on Friday, he said: "I absolutely deny any suggestion of improper touching, nor did I invite a woman to join me in my room.

"I am disappointed and angry that anonymous accusations from several years ago are once again being made public in this manner in a clear attempt to damage my reputation."

British police steal dead kids identity

The British Parliament has summoned a senior police chief to ask about conditions under which police was secretly authorized to steal identities of at least 80 children.

The parliamentary committee hearing will be held on Tuesday with Pat Gallan, the Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner in charge of the complaints department, responding to the revelations, British media reported.

Earlier, the daily The Guardian said in an investigative report that for three decades police have been using the identities of dead children, without informing or consulting their parents, through infiltrating protest groups.

The report revealed that how two undercover police officers and others have been using the identities of dead children.

Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee has said he is "shocked" at the "gruesome" practice.

"The committee will hear from those who have been involved in undercover operations as well as their victims," he said. "I have asked the deputy assistant commissioner Pat Gallan to deal with the issues that have arisen."

The operation is known to have been orchestrated by the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a secretive Met unit disbanded in 2008, according to the report.

Dozens of SDS officers are believed to have searched through birth and death certificates to find a child who had died young and would be a suitable match for their alias.

The officers then adopted the entire identity of the child as if the child had never died. One police officer has said the process was like "resurrecting" a dead person's identity.

The disclosure comes after two years of revelations concerning undercover police officers having sexual relationships with women they are spying on. Eleven women are currently bringing legal action against the Met for damages.

"The activities of undercover police officers caused disbelief when they were revealed in 2011. These revelations [about the use of dead children's identities] are shocking”, Vaz said.

MOL/JR/HE

Undercover Police ‘Stole’ Dead Children’s IDs

Undercover police officers working for the Metropolitan Police assumed the identities of dead children and were issued fake passports in their names, it has been claimed. Britain's largest police force allegedly carried out the practice for three deca...

Undercover Police ‘Stole’ Dead Children’s IDs

Undercover police officers working for the Metropolitan Police assumed the identities of dead children and were issued fake passports in their names, it has been claimed. Britain's largest police force allegedly carried out the practice for three deca...

‘Dead children’ spied for UK police for decades – report

(AFP Photo / Will Oliver)

(AFP Photo / Will Oliver)

For over four decades British police have been stealing the identities of dead children and using them as aliases for their undercover operations, some of which lasted for as long as ten years.

­It is estimated that around 80 identities have been adopted by the Metropolitan police with passports, national insurance cards and driving licenses issued for the stolen identity, the Guardian investigation has revealed.

The probe alleges that the Metropolitan police secretly authorized such activities back in the 1960’s to infiltrate protest groups. They did so without informing the parents of the dead children.

The police explained to the newspaper that the practice was not "currently" authorized but said that it will investigate the claims made by the Guardian into “past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] officers.”

The Guardian based its story primarily on the testimony of two former officers of the SDS, who claimed they had lived under the false identity of dead children and were issued with identity records, such as driving licences and national insurance documents.

The investigation has revealed that at least 80 policemen have used such identities between 1968 and 1994. 

The practice was reportedly stopped in the 1990’s with the introduction of digital technology into public records. But the Metroplolitan police said they were investigating a case from 2003. 

Originally, it was believed that such methods would provide a legitimate cover background for police agents who had infiltrated extreme political groups, animal rights activists and potentially terrorist cells.

Police ‘used dead children’s ID’

Undercover police officers working for Britain's largest force used the identities of dead children and issued fake passports in their names, it was reported. The Metropolitan Police authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest gro...

Female Police Officer Arrested Over Andrew Mitchell ‘Plebgate’ Affair

A female police officer tasked with protecting Government officials was today arrested over alleged leaks to the press about the so-called "plebgate affair".

The 46-year-old, who works in the Diplomatic Protection Group at the Metropolitan Police Service, was arrested at her workplace in central London on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

She was arrested over alleged leaks to the media linked to the row which led former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell to quit his Cabinet post following claims he called officers "plebs".

The officer arrested was present at Downing Street during the incident in September, Scotland Yard confirmed. This was the fourth arrest in the investigation, which is known as Operation Alice.

A 46-year-old male officer arrested yesterday has been bailed to return on a date in March and has been suspended from duty, the Met Police said.

Three weeks ago Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that a file of evidence on the case could be handed to prosecutors by the end of January.

But Scotland Yard yesterday said that because of "ongoing developments" no interim report had yet been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Investigators have taken statements from all 800 officers in the Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) as part of the inquiry.

Two other men have been arrested so far, both of whom have been released on bail until February.

A 52-year-old Pc who is also from the DPG and currently suspended was held on suspicion of misconduct in public office, while a 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an indictable offence.

Four other constables in the unit, which is responsible for protecting government officials and diplomats, have been placed on restricted duty over misconduct claims.

The plebgate row began after Mr Mitchell was accused of a heated rant against officers as he left Downing Street.

Pressure on him intensified after The Daily Telegraph published a police log of the incident, which claimed he called officers "plebs" and swore at them repeatedly.

He insisted he did not use the words attributed to him, and later said he was the victim of a deliberate attempt to "toxify" the Tories and ruin his career.

An email from a civilian witness backing up the police account of events was also called into question.

By January 16, Operation Alice, which has around 30 detectives working on it, had cost £82,500 since it was set up in December.

The figure, which related to staffing costs, was disclosed in a letter from deputy assistant commissioner Patricia Gallan to Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Sir Bernard last month told the committee he would "pursue the evidence".

He told MPs that part of the investigation was to identify the source of the leaked police log, which recounted the altercation with Mr Mitchell.

Sir Bernard criticised public statements made by Police Federation representatives in the wake of the initial allegations against Mr Mitchell.

Local Federation branches organised protests by members wearing "PC Pleb" T-shirts and demanded Mr Mitchell's sacking.

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Police In ‘Muslim Vigilantes’ Victim Appeal

Officers investigating "Muslim vigilante" attacks are appealing for a victim who was abused by the gang for being "gay" to come forward.

Scotland Yard says the man is crucial to their investigation into a number of incidents where a gang calling themselves Muslim Patrol have harassed members of the public.

Videos of the attacks in east London where the self-styled gang appear to have started to operate have been posted on YouTube.

The police are appealing for the man in the footage, titled Muslim vigilantes in London harass and taunt gay male, to contact them.

In the film, the gang can been seen to abuse and intimidate the man using homophobic language, shouting: "Get out of here you f** …don't stay around here any more."

Investigating officers from the Community Safety Unit on Tower Hamlets borough said they are unsure where and when the video took place.

In a second video, posted online, men from the gang in Whitechapel, east London, tell another man "no drink in this area, it's a Muslim area" before ordering him to pour away his alcohol.

Another video posted on YouTube featured a woman wearing a miniskirt being told not to "expose" herself near a mosque.

Detective Chief Inspector Wendy Morgan from Tower Hamlets borough said: "The Met takes such homophobic behaviour very seriously.

"This man is a crucial witness in the investigation and would encourage him and anyone else with information relating to this incident to make contact in confidence as soon as possible."

Additional police patrols are being mounted across east London to reassure the public.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in Acton, west London on Sunday, and a 19-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday after going to an east London police station.

The pair were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and public order offences and were bailed to return to an east London police station in February and March pending further inquiries.

A police spokesman said: "The Metropolitan Police Service takes these incidents very seriously and is pursuing various lines of inquiry with a view to identifying and prosecuting the individuals concerned."

Islamic leaders in east London condemned the vigilantes.

A spokesman for the East London Mosque said: "These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord. We wholly condemn them.

"The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets.

"We advise anyone who has been harassed by these individuals to contact the police.

"We will monitor the situation closely and our Imams will be speaking out against such actions."

:: Anyone who feels they may have been a victim or witness is asked to call the incident room on 0207 275 4758, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Foreign Police Chiefs Could Head Up British Forces

Foreign police chiefs will be able to run British forces for the first time under radical reforms set to be unveiled next week.

Home Secretary Theresa May has backtracked on her previous attitude to foreign police chiefs, earlier underlining the importance of the Scotland Yard commissioner being a British citizen for national security reasons.

She now plans to change the law, allowing candidates from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among others, to front up forces in England and Wales.

theresa may

May will change the law to allow foreign police chiefs in

Current legislation prevented US 'supercop' Bill Bratton, former head of the New York police, applying to take charge of the Metropolitan Police in 2011.

With his zero tolerance initiatives, in just first two years at the helm of New York Police Department, reports of serious crime dropped 27%.

However the time, May blocked the appointment, reported the Daily Telegraph, issuing an advertisement for the role explicitly stating that “applicants must be British citizens”.

This was despite David Cameron telling MPs earlier in August: "Why shouldn’t someone, who has been a proven success overseas, be able to help turn around a force at home?”

supercop

'Supercop' Bill Bratton

The Association of Chief Police Officers has previously criticised suggestions that a foreign candidate such as Mr Bratton would be suited to running a British force.

A Home Office spokesman said: "This government wants to attract the best and brightest candidates into policing, people who have the right skills and expertise to forge a force fit for the 21st century.

"By opening up the police to a wider pool of talent, forces will be able to bring in people with diverse backgrounds and new perspectives.

"Combined with the strong leaders already working in forces, and the improved nurturing of internal talent through the College of Policing, we will have a police force that is even better at fighting crime."

police

Foreign police chiefs could head up forces in the UK


Ministers also reportedly wants direct entry into the police at superintendent level for "exceptional" people from the forces, the security services, industry and the professions.

Under current rules, all police must enter at constable rank but the expected proposals will allow new recruits to skip the compulsory two years on the beat to attract talent.

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told a policing conference last week that it was time to "consider and support" direct entry. He added that he would like to see one in 10 senior officers recruited from outside the police force.

In his review of policing, carried out for Mrs May, ex-rail regulator Tom Winsor called for direct entry to be introduced to the police service.

Mr Winsor, who is now Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, said he wanted to end the notion of policing as an intellectually undemanding occupation.

He added that the "brightest and best" applicants with skills "distinctly above those of factory workers" were needed.

tom winsor

Police need brains above 'those of factory workers'

Under his proposals, exceptional applicants would have the chance to rise from civilian to inspector in just three years and potentially by the age of 24.

Successful businessmen and women, along with members of the armed forces and the security services, should all be encouraged to apply to the fast-track scheme, Mr Winsor said.

About 80 people should take part in the first course for inspectors, with around 30 trying to become superintendents, he recommended.

Tributes Paid To Head Of Police Federation

Head of the Police Federation for England and Wales Paul McKeever has died after suffering an embolism. Federation chairman Mr McKeever died on Thursday night after being admitted to hospital a few days ago. Paul McKeever was a serving officer with t...

Teenager Killed In Police Chase Is Named

A schoolgirl killed when her family's car was caught up in a police chase has been named as 13-year-old Wiktoria Was.

Wiktoria was a back seat passenger in the VW Polo when it was hit by another car that was being pursued by police through southeast London.

She was pronounced dead at the scene on Ilderton Road, close to Millwall Football Club on Sunday evening.

Staff at Goffs School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, where Wiktoria was a year nine pupil, confirmed that they have been helping students cope with the loss of a talented pupil.

Headteacher Alison Garner paid tribute to her.

"Wiktoria was a highly valued member of our community, funny, charming, bubbly and with a bright future ahead of her.  She will be much missed by us all."

She added: "I have spoken with all of year nine and arranged for Wiktoria's form to be talked to separately in their form group. 

"The school counsellor will be available at least this week for students and staff, and we will be encouraging students to think about how they would like to remember Wiktoria - for example via a tree, bench, and memorial assembly - once the initial shock has subsided."

The Metropolitan Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission are both investigating the pursuit and subsequent collision.

Devon Newell, 32, of Meeting House Lane, Peckham, southeast London, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and driving with no insurance and no licence.

He appeared by videolink at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody to appear before Woolwich Court on January 15.

25 more celebrities face probe by Jimmy Savile police

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Police for sale: Met receive £22.5m in sponsorship

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Mainstream media, Police & BBC protected Savile since the 80’s

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Police granted repressive powers

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Police officers disciplined for misconduct in 12 months

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Police ignored child sex abuse for more than a decade

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Sun Journalist and Police Officer Arrested over Phone Hacking

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Court limits police surveillance powers

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Police facing growing pressure over tactics

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Another victim of police brutality

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Police threatened G20 activists with Tasers

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De Menezes coroner slams police conduct

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Lies begin to unravel in police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

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Bunkerville Bombshell! Incompetent Sheriff Announces He Won’t Seek Reelection

By Susan Duclos


 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police sheriff Doug Gillespie must have seen the writing on the wall, especially after the latest lambasting he received at a Bunkerville town hall meeting with people criticizing his lack of involvement and dereliction of duty in protecting the citizens that elected him in the Cliven Bundy standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, where resident's calls for help and pleas for protection went ignored.

Quote below via a previous article:


“I called Metro, and their exact words to me were, ‘It’s the BLM and Cliven Bundy’s problem,’ – and I should take it up with one of those two. There are my children and my community, and if Metro doesn’t have the guts to come out and protect us – what are you here for? What are we paying you guys for?” another resident said.

Gillespie just dropped what Las Vegas Sun is calling a "bomb," by announcing he won't be seeking a third term, but will serve out his present term. By all accounts this was an unexpected announcement.
 
He must have seen the writing on the wall.

Author note - Good riddance to bad rubbish.






Cross posted at Before It's News


UPDATED – YouTube Gives Gov’t Agents ‘Super Flagging’ Status To Remove Vids And Channels...

By Susan Duclos


Via his backup video channel, Mark Dice comes out with a hard hitting response to his YouTube channel's termination after 7 years of producing videos, and reveals that this happened just days after an announcement that YouTube was enlisting "Trusted Flaggers."


Via Wall Street Journal, we see that Dice is correct in calling some of these "flaggers" government agents:


Google has given roughly 200 people and organizations, including a British police unit, the ability to “flag” up to 20 YouTube videos at once to be reviewed for violating the site’s guidelines.

The Financial Times last week reported that the U.K. Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has been using its “super flagger” authority to seek reviews – and removal – of videos it considers extremist.

Looks like YouTube aka Google has decided to do the government's bidding now using censorship to stifle the free speech of users.


While YouTube denies that it allows these government flaggers to dictate what is and is not removed, the last paragraph of the WSJ article pretty much tells the story and it contradicts their assertions.


More than 90% of the videos identified by super flaggers are either removed for violating guidelines, or restricted as not appropriate for younger users, the person familiar with the program said. That’s a far higher percentage than regular users who occasionally flag dubious content, the person said.

[Update] Should Dice's backup channel be terminated, this video below is saved and will be uploaded to Liveleak and replaced.


[Updated] YouTube contact page found here.


[UPDATE] YouTube aka Google terminated Dice's backup channel also, so as promised I uploaded it to LiveLeak and it is embedded below the video now missing due to YouTube's censorship! 








 

 

 




Cross posted at Before It's News


Edward Snowden: Power, Privacy And The Public Good

Global Research 26/12/2013 and Countercurrents 27/12/2013

For many years in Britain, the Queen’s Christmas Day message has been broadcast on TV and watched by millions across the world. This year, the monarch discussed the birth of a new royal, the 60th anniversary of her being on the throne and took time to reflect on next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland. While her anodyne annual Christmas message is eagerly watched by many Brits and is regarded as part and parcel of modern-day Christmas ‘tradition’, there are others who purposively avoid such pap.



Since 1993, Channel 4 in Britainhas broadcast an ‘alternative’ Christmas message, sometimes humorous, at other times serious. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadwas given the opportunity to convey his message in 2008. This year, it was the turn of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.



While a fossilized remnant of Empire delivered her message by a Christmas tree in Buckingham Palace’s Blue Drawing Room, Snowden’s setting was sober and devoid of the trappings of privilege or connotations of a violent colonial past. His message concerned the USand British governments’ mass surveillance and the erosion of personal privacy. He stated that a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all, and they will never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves - an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. This is because, according to Snowden, a system of worldwide mass surveillance has been created.



Snowden referred to George Orwell. He stated that Orwell warned us about the dangers of microphones, video cameras and TVs that watch us, but concluded that these are nothing compared to what is used to infringe our personal privacy today. Edward Snowden feels that privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.



Snowden finished his message by arguing that the conversation occurring today about mass surveillance will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it.



Back in June, British Foreign Secretary William Hague tried to dismiss Snowden and the concerns he was raising about mass surveillance by saying that if you are a law abiding citizen, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear. The message was clear: trust us, the government.

But why should we?



Stephen Lawrence was a young black man who was lawfully ‘going about his business’ in London during April 1993. White racists murdered him while he was waiting for a bus. Four London Metropolitan police officers were deployed to spy on the Lawrence family and Stephen’s friends.

The 
Lawrence family were just ‘law-abiding citizens going about their business’. Undercover police were used to smear the Lawrence family’s fight for justice. Also in Britain, there are the numerous publicized cases of the police and/or intelligence agencies infiltrating legitimate campaign and protest groups and ‘investigating’ political parties or prominent figures in order to subvert or discredit them. Let us not forget too the massive police cover ups, perhaps none more bigger than the ‘Hillsborough case’, where the police lied for two decades in an attempt to blame totally innocent football supporters for 96 deaths in order to hide their own incompetence, negligence and guilt.



Notwithstanding the lies, disinformation and misinformation used to elicit the public’s support for illegal military campaigns in the likes of Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, only the foolish (or the ignorant) would eagerly place their trust in officialdom and believe that we have ‘nothing to fear’ from it.



Much of the illegal surveillance exposed by Snowden is spuriously justified by the likes of William Hague on the basis of the bogus ‘war on terror’ in a futile attempt to stop any discussion on surveillance in its tracks. However, ordinary people need to turn the tables by holding the powerful to account. It should not be the case of them stripping away our privacy. We need to strip away their secrecy and privacy, not to blithely acquiesce to their needs as Hague advocates.



We need to do this to help guarantee our safety, our privacy, our freedoms and threats to democracy. We need greater transparency within government to ensure decisions are properly scrutinized and genuinely open to pubic debate. In the absence of this, we have free trade deals being hammered out behind closed doors and the revolving door between government and big business, which makes a complete mockery of the term ‘democracy’.



In the absence of genuine democracy, we have food safety/regulation authorities being hijacked by corporate interests. We have armaments companies using politicians as their sales lackeys.

We have police and intelligence agencies infiltrating and harassing legitimate groups that have every right to protest. And we have a wide range of powerful players that buy political influence, manipulate markets, impose ‘austerity’ and salt away their stolen wealth in tax havens.



The reality is that ‘public servants’ fool us into thinking they serve us, while all the time bowing down to elite interests. We are told that the ‘fourth estate’ mainstream media, the self-proclaimed protector of democracy, is credible even though it largely serves a corporate agenda.

A media that too often has little to say about exposing the privacy surrounding the back room stitch ups which take place in banks, boardrooms and the corridors of power - because it involves ‘sensitive’ information; but a media that is readily on hand to support policies that result in the curtailment of the privacy and freedoms of ordinary folk – because its for our own good.



If Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have shown us anything, it is that the official line can never and should never be taken at face value. It is for that reason that Assange remains incarcerated in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and Snowden remains exiled in Moscow.




Snowden says that privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be. Ultimately, as the Lawrence family and many others already know, it affords us the autonomy to hold power to account.

Reclaiming the Roadblock, UK Uncut Takes Direct Action Against Austerity

Royal-Court-of-JusticeRoyal Court of Justice. (Photo: via Flickr)Since 2010, UK Uncut has facilitated direct actions involving tens of thousands across Britain in acts of civil disobedience. These actions have targeted the public spending cuts executed by the coalition government that came to power that year, alongside actions against corporations that are making massive profits while not paying taxes.

The anti-cuts group recently mobilized a nationwide action called "Roadblocks for Justice" that focused specifically on cuts to legal aid, which is the state support for legal services that ensure citizens are provided equality before the law.

England's most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, has expressed dismay about the British government's plans to remove legal aid to defendants in serious family cases. As an example, the civil rights law firm, Tooks Chambers, is soon to close down, and a senior lawyer at the firm asserts this happened because of government's cuts so far to legal aid. With more still to come.

Last Saturday, October 5, the street outside the Royal Courts of Justice was brought to a standstill. Activists against disability cuts, many in wheelchairs, locked themselves together. Supporters of UK Uncut and others opposing austerity occupied the other carriageway with a samba band providing the beat. They looked on as police interrupted those performing street theater.

"This road block represents the U.K. government, who is blocking people's rights and access to justice," explained Anna Walker, a UK Uncut supporter. "We decided this would highlight the impact of the legal aid cuts that will particularly affect disabled people, migrants and the homeless. The vulnerable in society are being denied a path to justice, so we wanted a straight-up piece of civil disobedience to reject their policies."

Gordon Linch, participating with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), added:

"Without legal aid, you cannot challenge the cuts. The government are doing this to shut up the voice of these people. If it was not for legal aid, the Stephen Lawrence and Mark Duggan families would not have been able to correct the injustices they faced as two key examples."

The injustice of these cases is famous in Britain, though perhaps less so abroad. Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993, and only years later the British justice system found that the Metropolitan Police had mishandled the case due to institutional racism.

Mark Duggan was shot by police officers in a taxi in North London in August of 2011, which sparked riots across the country. An inquest into his death is still ongoing. Tooks Chambers, which now has to shutter its doors, took on both of these influential cases.

Taking Direct Action Against Austerity

The tactic of roadblocks in political protest has a long history, as UK Uncut highlighted in the run-up to last weekend's event. Blocking roads was used to fight against British imperialism in India, by the women of Greenham Common against Britain's Nuclear Arms bases, and by the Civil Rights Movement in America, among many other examples.

But in contrast to the past, "The blockades before were about demanding new rights – from winning the vote to displaying women's right to protest," said one organizer from the group, who wished to remain anonymous. "Yet this time we challenge our government's authority to rip away our rights."

"Roadblocks for Justice grew out of a meeting that brought together people who wanted to discuss the cuts to legal aid," he continued. "An idea was proposed at that meeting about legal aid, which included representatives of Women Against Rape, DPAC and UK Uncut. This proposal was then taken to the wider group. It was passed using our consensus process."

The action outside the Royal Courts added to a mounting list of direct actions organized by the group in recent years, starting in the autumn of 2010 when Uncut activists closed down eight Vodafone mobile phone shops to protests the company's tax dodging practices.

The BBC reported that in 2010 tax evasion cost the global economy $21 Trillion. The campaigning group, Tax Justice Network, calculated that over half this amount flowed through London into tax havens. Activists recounted how UK Uncut's actions brought this research to public attention.

"In 2010 it was so exciting to show corporations were not paying their fair share. There were not many actions or other groups focusing on it then," said Walker. "Now that has all changed."

In 2011, the first ever Occupy mass convergence happened within a UK Uncut action, when 3,000 people blocked Westminster Bridge to protest against cuts to Britain's National Health Service. "It was a week before the Occupy camp was set up [and] a General Assembly happened on the side of the action, organized by those who wanted to outreach about the Occupy movement," she added. "It did not seem a big deal on the day."

UK Uncut's largest action to date saw 40 branches of Starbucks occupied to protest the company's evasion of taxes. Reuters reported that the corporation's UK profits that year totaled £1.2 billion -- but that it reported to UK authorities it had made no profit. Other mass actions coordinated by the group have included "die-ins," which shut down the Department of Work and Pensions offices in protest to austerity cuts.

In addition, the group launched a "Who wants to evict a millionaire?" campaign, bringing activists just outside the mansions of those in the government who stood behind the "bedroom tax," which targets people receiving housing support. Since its introduction, The Independent newspaper reports that the bedroom tax has caused 50,000 people to face imminent eviction from their homes.

UK Uncut was also responsible for putting on a street party outside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's house, the purpose being to embarrass him for reneging on his election pledge not to raise student fees, which he reversed only months later. Inspired by this action, the group UK Uncut Legal Action followed up in a rare move by activists: they took the British Treasury to court for allowing Goldman Sachs to get away with tax evasion.

Involved in the anti-tax evasion movement since the start, Anna Walker described how UK Uncut plans to move forward.

"Tax is something UK Uncut is associated with, but now we're trying to broaden out to a full anti-cuts message -- although when we do tax actions, these are the most popular, so we will keep doing them too."

In complement to other British anti-austerity movements in recent years, UK Uncut has proved perhaps the most successful at mobilizing activists from other cities as well as London. During Roadblocks for Justice, actions were coordinated across seven UK cities.

The nationwide impact is something the group want to push further. "We need to continue building the movement against cuts across the country. So far this has happened spontaneously and autonomously, which is great," Walker said. But, "it needs strengthening through more nationwide skillshares, improved administration and better lines of communication.

"In these ways more groups can be empowered to be totally included in a broader movement."

ince 2010, UK Uncut has facilitated direct actions involving tens of thousands across Britain in acts of civil disobedience. These actions have targeted the public spending cuts executed by the coalition government that came to power that year, alongside actions against corporations that are making massive profits while not paying taxes.

The anti-cuts group recently mobilized a nationwide action called “Roadblocks for Justice” that focused specifically on cuts to legal aid, which is the state support for legal services that ensure citizens are provided equality before the law.

England’s most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, has expressed dismay about the British government's plans to remove legal aid to defendants in serious family cases. As an example, the civil rights law firm, Tooks Chambers, is soon to close down, and a senior lawyer at the firm asserts this happened because of government’s cuts so far to legal aid. With more still to come.

Last Saturday, October 5, the street outside the Royal Courts of Justice was brought to a standstill. Activists against disability cuts, many in wheelchairs, locked themselves together. Supporters of UK Uncut and others opposing austerity occupied the other carriageway with a samba band providing the beat. They looked on as police interrupted those performing street theater.

“This road block represents the U.K. government, who is blocking people's rights and access to justice,” explained Anna Walker, a UK Uncut supporter. “We decided this would highlight the impact of the legal aid cuts that will particularly affect disabled people, migrants and the homeless. The vulnerable in society are being denied a path to justice, so we wanted a straight-up piece of civil disobedience to reject their policies.”

Gordon Linch, participating with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), added:

“Without legal aid, you cannot challenge the cuts. The government are doing this to shut up the voice of these people. If it was not for legal aid, the Stephen Lawrence and Mark Duggan families would not have been able to correct the injustices they faced as two key examples.”

The injustice of these cases is famous in Britain, though perhaps less so abroad. Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993, and only years later the British justice system found that the Metropolitan Police had mishandled the case due to institutional racism.

Mark Duggan was shot by police officers in a taxi in North London in August of 2011, which sparked riots across the country. An inquest into his death is still ongoing. Tooks Chambers, which now has to shutter its doors, took on both of these influential cases.

Taking Direct Action Against Austerity

The tactic of roadblocks in political protest has a long history, as UK Uncut highlighted in the run-up to last weekend's event. Blocking roads was used to fight against British imperialism in India, by the women of Greenham Common against Britain's Nuclear Arms bases, and by the Civil Rights Movement in America, among many other examples.

But in contrast to the past, “The blockades before were about demanding new rights – from winning the vote to displaying women’s right to protest," said one organizer from the group, who wished to remain anonymous. "Yet this time we challenge our government’s authority to rip away our rights.”

“Roadblocks for Justice grew out of a meeting that brought together people who wanted to discuss the cuts to legal aid,” he continued. “An idea was proposed at that meeting about legal aid, which included representatives of Women Against Rape, DPAC and UK Uncut. This proposal was then taken to the wider group. It was passed using our consensus process.”

The action outside the Royal Courts added to a mounting list of direct actions organized by the group in recent years, starting in the autumn of 2010 when Uncut activists closed down eight Vodafone mobile phone shops to protests the company's tax dodging practices.

The BBC reported that in 2010 tax evasion cost the global economy $21 Trillion. The campaigning group, Tax Justice Network, calculated that over half this amount flowed through London into tax havens. Activists recounted how UK Uncut's actions brought this research to public attention.

“In 2010 it was so exciting to show corporations were not paying their fair share. There were not many actions or other groups focusing on it then," said Walker. "Now that has all changed.”

In 2011, the first ever Occupy mass convergence happened within a UK Uncut action, when 3,000 people blocked Westminster Bridge to protest against cuts to Britain's National Health Service. “It was a week before the Occupy camp was set up [and] a General Assembly happened on the side of the action, organized by those who wanted to outreach about the Occupy movement," she added. "It did not seem a big deal on the day.”

UK Uncut’s largest action to date saw 40 branches of Starbucks occupied to protest the company's evasion of taxes. Reuters reported that the corporation's UK profits that year totaled £1.2 billion -- but that it reported to UK authorities it had made no profit. Other mass actions coordinated by the group have included "die-ins," which shut down the Department of Work and Pensions offices in protest to austerity cuts.

In addition, the group launched a “Who wants to evict a millionaire?” campaign, bringing activists just outside the mansions of those in the government who stood behind the "bedroom tax," which targets people receiving housing support. Since its introduction, The Independent newspaper reports that the bedroom tax has caused 50,000 people to face imminent eviction from their homes.

UK Uncut was also responsible for putting on a street party outside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s house, the purpose being to embarrass him for reneging on his election pledge not to raise student fees, which he reversed only months later. Inspired by this action, the group UK Uncut Legal Action followed up in a rare move by activists: they took the British Treasury to court for allowing Goldman Sachs to get away with tax evasion.

Involved in the anti-tax evasion movement since the start, Anna Walker described how UK Uncut plans to move forward.

“Tax is something UK Uncut is associated with, but now we’re trying to broaden out to a full anti-cuts message -- although when we do tax actions, these are the most popular, so we will keep doing them too.”

In complement to other British anti-austerity movements in recent years, UK Uncut has proved perhaps the most successful at mobilizing activists from other cities as well as London. During Roadblocks for Justice, actions were coordinated across seven UK cities.

The nationwide impact is something the group want to push further. “We need to continue building the movement against cuts across the country. So far this has happened spontaneously and autonomously, which is great,” Walker said. But, ”it needs strengthening through more nationwide skillshares, improved administration and better lines of communication.

"In these ways more groups can be empowered to be totally included in a broader movement.”

- See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/reclaiming-roadblock-uk-uncut-takes-direct-action-against-austerity#sthash.7UkAou4e.dpuf

ince 2010, UK Uncut has facilitated direct actions involving tens of thousands across Britain in acts of civil disobedience. These actions have targeted the public spending cuts executed by the coalition government that came to power that year, alongside actions against corporations that are making massive profits while not paying taxes.

The anti-cuts group recently mobilized a nationwide action called “Roadblocks for Justice” that focused specifically on cuts to legal aid, which is the state support for legal services that ensure citizens are provided equality before the law.

England’s most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, has expressed dismay about the British government's plans to remove legal aid to defendants in serious family cases. As an example, the civil rights law firm, Tooks Chambers, is soon to close down, and a senior lawyer at the firm asserts this happened because of government’s cuts so far to legal aid. With more still to come.

Last Saturday, October 5, the street outside the Royal Courts of Justice was brought to a standstill. Activists against disability cuts, many in wheelchairs, locked themselves together. Supporters of UK Uncut and others opposing austerity occupied the other carriageway with a samba band providing the beat. They looked on as police interrupted those performing street theater.

“This road block represents the U.K. government, who is blocking people's rights and access to justice,” explained Anna Walker, a UK Uncut supporter. “We decided this would highlight the impact of the legal aid cuts that will particularly affect disabled people, migrants and the homeless. The vulnerable in society are being denied a path to justice, so we wanted a straight-up piece of civil disobedience to reject their policies.”

Gordon Linch, participating with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), added:

“Without legal aid, you cannot challenge the cuts. The government are doing this to shut up the voice of these people. If it was not for legal aid, the Stephen Lawrence and Mark Duggan families would not have been able to correct the injustices they faced as two key examples.”

The injustice of these cases is famous in Britain, though perhaps less so abroad. Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993, and only years later the British justice system found that the Metropolitan Police had mishandled the case due to institutional racism.

Mark Duggan was shot by police officers in a taxi in North London in August of 2011, which sparked riots across the country. An inquest into his death is still ongoing. Tooks Chambers, which now has to shutter its doors, took on both of these influential cases.

Taking Direct Action Against Austerity

The tactic of roadblocks in political protest has a long history, as UK Uncut highlighted in the run-up to last weekend's event. Blocking roads was used to fight against British imperialism in India, by the women of Greenham Common against Britain's Nuclear Arms bases, and by the Civil Rights Movement in America, among many other examples.

But in contrast to the past, “The blockades before were about demanding new rights – from winning the vote to displaying women’s right to protest," said one organizer from the group, who wished to remain anonymous. "Yet this time we challenge our government’s authority to rip away our rights.”

“Roadblocks for Justice grew out of a meeting that brought together people who wanted to discuss the cuts to legal aid,” he continued. “An idea was proposed at that meeting about legal aid, which included representatives of Women Against Rape, DPAC and UK Uncut. This proposal was then taken to the wider group. It was passed using our consensus process.”

The action outside the Royal Courts added to a mounting list of direct actions organized by the group in recent years, starting in the autumn of 2010 when Uncut activists closed down eight Vodafone mobile phone shops to protests the company's tax dodging practices.

The BBC reported that in 2010 tax evasion cost the global economy $21 Trillion. The campaigning group, Tax Justice Network, calculated that over half this amount flowed through London into tax havens. Activists recounted how UK Uncut's actions brought this research to public attention.

“In 2010 it was so exciting to show corporations were not paying their fair share. There were not many actions or other groups focusing on it then," said Walker. "Now that has all changed.”

In 2011, the first ever Occupy mass convergence happened within a UK Uncut action, when 3,000 people blocked Westminster Bridge to protest against cuts to Britain's National Health Service. “It was a week before the Occupy camp was set up [and] a General Assembly happened on the side of the action, organized by those who wanted to outreach about the Occupy movement," she added. "It did not seem a big deal on the day.”

UK Uncut’s largest action to date saw 40 branches of Starbucks occupied to protest the company's evasion of taxes. Reuters reported that the corporation's UK profits that year totaled £1.2 billion -- but that it reported to UK authorities it had made no profit. Other mass actions coordinated by the group have included "die-ins," which shut down the Department of Work and Pensions offices in protest to austerity cuts.

In addition, the group launched a “Who wants to evict a millionaire?” campaign, bringing activists just outside the mansions of those in the government who stood behind the "bedroom tax," which targets people receiving housing support. Since its introduction, The Independent newspaper reports that the bedroom tax has caused 50,000 people to face imminent eviction from their homes.

UK Uncut was also responsible for putting on a street party outside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s house, the purpose being to embarrass him for reneging on his election pledge not to raise student fees, which he reversed only months later. Inspired by this action, the group UK Uncut Legal Action followed up in a rare move by activists: they took the British Treasury to court for allowing Goldman Sachs to get away with tax evasion.

Involved in the anti-tax evasion movement since the start, Anna Walker described how UK Uncut plans to move forward.

“Tax is something UK Uncut is associated with, but now we’re trying to broaden out to a full anti-cuts message -- although when we do tax actions, these are the most popular, so we will keep doing them too.”

In complement to other British anti-austerity movements in recent years, UK Uncut has proved perhaps the most successful at mobilizing activists from other cities as well as London. During Roadblocks for Justice, actions were coordinated across seven UK cities.

The nationwide impact is something the group want to push further. “We need to continue building the movement against cuts across the country. So far this has happened spontaneously and autonomously, which is great,” Walker said. But, ”it needs strengthening through more nationwide skillshares, improved administration and better lines of communication.

"In these ways more groups can be empowered to be totally included in a broader movement.”

- See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/reclaiming-roadblock-uk-uncut-takes-direct-action-against-austerity#sthash.7UkAou4e.dpuf

Guardian faces parliamentary investigation over Snowden revelations

 

By Chris Marsden
18 October 2013

Britain’s Guardian newspaper is facing an investigation by at least one parliamentary committee, in line with demands made by Prime Minister David Cameron, concerning the exposures of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower from America’s National Security Agency (NSA).

Accompanied with calls for criminal prosecutions and assertions of the newspaper’s having compromised national security, the move is a major escalation in the witch-hunt and clampdown launched in response to Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance programmes operated by the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

On Wednesday, Cameron told parliament, “I think the plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security, and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and Cabinet Secretary [Sir Jeremy Heywood] to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files.

“So they know that what they are dealing with is dangerous for national security.”

The prime minister supported calls for a full parliamentary inquiry to determine whether the Guardian broke the law by printing Snowden’s revelations.

Cameron’s claim is as barefaced a lie as it is a reactionary move.

In June, according to Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, he and other Guardian journalists were threatened with legal action and forced to destroy hard drives containing material from Snowden when “a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister” made “an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.”

According to Rusbridger, “two GCHQ security experts” oversaw the destruction. Now, Cameron cites the newspaper’s response to the government’s threats as proof of its guilt!

A spokesman for Guardian News and Media issued a statement declaring, “The prime minister is wrong to say the Guardian destroyed computer files because we agreed our reporting was damaging. We destroyed the computers because the government said it would use the full force of the law to prevent a newspaper from publishing anything about the NSA or GCHQ.”

Cameron made his statement in response to a question from former defence secretary Dr, Liam Fox, who asked for a “full and transparent assessment about whether the Guardian s involvement in the Snowden affair has damaged Britain’s national security.” Making clear he was seeking criminal charges, Fox said it was “bizarre” that that people alleged to have taken part in newspaper phone hacking have been prosecuted, while people who leave security personnel “more vulnerable” have not.

Tory backbencher Julian Smith has been granted a parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall next Tuesday over the publishing of the top-secret documents. He earlier wrote to the Metropolitan Police calling for the Guardian to be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act and the Terrorism Act 2000. He said he would use the debate to “lay out the reasons why I believe that the Guardian has crossed the line between responsible journalism and seriously risking our national security and the lives of those who seek to protect us.”

The Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has already aligned himself with the moves against the Guardian, declaring that Snowden’s leaks have “gifted” terrorists with the ability to attack Britain. The calls for repression are being made in conjunction with the Security services. New head of MI5 Andrew Parker described leaks about the Prism and Tempora programmes as handing “the advantage to the terrorists. It is the gift they need to evade us and strike at will.”

The most significant support for state persecution of journalists, newspapers and whistleblowers such as Snowden again comes from the nominal “parliamentary opposition”, the Labour Party.

Following the debate in parliament, Fox wrote to the chairmen of five Commons select committees urging them to carry out an investigation into the Guardian ’s “reckless and potentially dangerous conduct.”

“A free press does not mean the freedom to make the UK, its people or its allies more vulnerable to serious organised crime or terrorism. I am writing to formally request, as both a Member of Parliament and a former Security of State for Defence, that your committee considers the elements of the Guardian s involvement in, and publication of, the Snowden leaks.”

The first response came from Labour’s Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee.

Within hours, Vaz said he would look into “elements of the Guardian s involvement in, and publication of, the Snowden leaks.”

“I will be writing to assure Dr. Fox that the committee is currently conducting an inquiry into counter-terrorism and we will be looking at this matter as part of it.”

The other committee heads petitioned by Fox are Sir Malcolm Rifkind of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), John Arbuthnot of the Defence Committee, Richard Ottaway at Foreign Affairs and Sir Alan Beith of the Liaison Select Committee.

The ISC is presently making a pose of investigating the extent of mass surveillance carried out by the GCHQ and NSA in an inquiry launched yesterday. It has been heavily criticised for its cosy relationship with the security services, forcing Rifkind to issue platitudes such as the need to strike a “balance” between “our individual right to privacy and our collective right to security.”

The committee is now supposed to determine whether the intelligence laws are “fit for purpose”.

The move by the Home Affairs Committee to investigate the Guardian for possible criminal action cuts through such a pose of impartiality.

The entire machinery of parliament and its parties are being lined up in defence of the secret state apparatus, beginning with a clampdown on press freedom. Its implications for democratic rights are chilling. The Guardian is being targeted for revealing criminal actions by the secret services targeting every man, woman, and child in the UK and internationally for unwarranted state surveillance. This is done without legal justification or even official sanction by parliament. This demonstrates that the United Kingdom has gone far down the road to a de facto police state. It testifies to the extraordinary political and moral decay of a ruling elite poisoned by wealth, which lives in mortal fear of the millions below them being plunged ever deeper into hardship and poverty.

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Guardian faces parliamentary investigation over Snowden revelations

 

By Chris Marsden
18 October 2013

Britain’s Guardian newspaper is facing an investigation by at least one parliamentary committee, in line with demands made by Prime Minister David Cameron, concerning the exposures of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower from America’s National Security Agency (NSA).

Accompanied with calls for criminal prosecutions and assertions of the newspaper’s having compromised national security, the move is a major escalation in the witch-hunt and clampdown launched in response to Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance programmes operated by the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

On Wednesday, Cameron told parliament, “I think the plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security, and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and Cabinet Secretary [Sir Jeremy Heywood] to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files.

“So they know that what they are dealing with is dangerous for national security.”

The prime minister supported calls for a full parliamentary inquiry to determine whether the Guardian broke the law by printing Snowden’s revelations.

Cameron’s claim is as barefaced a lie as it is a reactionary move.

In June, according to Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, he and other Guardian journalists were threatened with legal action and forced to destroy hard drives containing material from Snowden when “a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister” made “an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.”

According to Rusbridger, “two GCHQ security experts” oversaw the destruction. Now, Cameron cites the newspaper’s response to the government’s threats as proof of its guilt!

A spokesman for Guardian News and Media issued a statement declaring, “The prime minister is wrong to say the Guardian destroyed computer files because we agreed our reporting was damaging. We destroyed the computers because the government said it would use the full force of the law to prevent a newspaper from publishing anything about the NSA or GCHQ.”

Cameron made his statement in response to a question from former defence secretary Dr, Liam Fox, who asked for a “full and transparent assessment about whether the Guardian s involvement in the Snowden affair has damaged Britain’s national security.” Making clear he was seeking criminal charges, Fox said it was “bizarre” that that people alleged to have taken part in newspaper phone hacking have been prosecuted, while people who leave security personnel “more vulnerable” have not.

Tory backbencher Julian Smith has been granted a parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall next Tuesday over the publishing of the top-secret documents. He earlier wrote to the Metropolitan Police calling for the Guardian to be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act and the Terrorism Act 2000. He said he would use the debate to “lay out the reasons why I believe that the Guardian has crossed the line between responsible journalism and seriously risking our national security and the lives of those who seek to protect us.”

The Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has already aligned himself with the moves against the Guardian, declaring that Snowden’s leaks have “gifted” terrorists with the ability to attack Britain. The calls for repression are being made in conjunction with the Security services. New head of MI5 Andrew Parker described leaks about the Prism and Tempora programmes as handing “the advantage to the terrorists. It is the gift they need to evade us and strike at will.”

The most significant support for state persecution of journalists, newspapers and whistleblowers such as Snowden again comes from the nominal “parliamentary opposition”, the Labour Party.

Following the debate in parliament, Fox wrote to the chairmen of five Commons select committees urging them to carry out an investigation into the Guardian ’s “reckless and potentially dangerous conduct.”

“A free press does not mean the freedom to make the UK, its people or its allies more vulnerable to serious organised crime or terrorism. I am writing to formally request, as both a Member of Parliament and a former Security of State for Defence, that your committee considers the elements of the Guardian s involvement in, and publication of, the Snowden leaks.”

The first response came from Labour’s Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee.

Within hours, Vaz said he would look into “elements of the Guardian s involvement in, and publication of, the Snowden leaks.”

“I will be writing to assure Dr. Fox that the committee is currently conducting an inquiry into counter-terrorism and we will be looking at this matter as part of it.”

The other committee heads petitioned by Fox are Sir Malcolm Rifkind of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), John Arbuthnot of the Defence Committee, Richard Ottaway at Foreign Affairs and Sir Alan Beith of the Liaison Select Committee.

The ISC is presently making a pose of investigating the extent of mass surveillance carried out by the GCHQ and NSA in an inquiry launched yesterday. It has been heavily criticised for its cosy relationship with the security services, forcing Rifkind to issue platitudes such as the need to strike a “balance” between “our individual right to privacy and our collective right to security.”

The committee is now supposed to determine whether the intelligence laws are “fit for purpose”.

The move by the Home Affairs Committee to investigate the Guardian for possible criminal action cuts through such a pose of impartiality.

The entire machinery of parliament and its parties are being lined up in defence of the secret state apparatus, beginning with a clampdown on press freedom. Its implications for democratic rights are chilling. The Guardian is being targeted for revealing criminal actions by the secret services targeting every man, woman, and child in the UK and internationally for unwarranted state surveillance. This is done without legal justification or even official sanction by parliament. This demonstrates that the United Kingdom has gone far down the road to a de facto police state. It testifies to the extraordinary political and moral decay of a ruling elite poisoned by wealth, which lives in mortal fear of the millions below them being plunged ever deeper into hardship and poverty.

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The Surveillance State: Let US hold IT To Account

The 4th Media, Countercurrents and Global Research 28/6/2013
“If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, responding to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK (BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on 9 June). 
What does William Hague take the British public for? This bureaucrat politician stands in front of the cameras time and again setting out to mislead with his self righteous platitudes. He did it over Libya and tens of thousands lost their lives. His is doing it over Syria with similar results. And he is doing it over mass surveillance by the state.

Do not believe we have nothing to fear. We have much to fear. Take the case of Stephen Lawrence, for example, who was lawfully ‘going about his business’ in April 1993, when white racists murdered him while he was waiting for a bus. It has now emerged that, after the murder, four London Metropolitan police officers were deployed to spy on the Lawrence family and Stephen’s friends.

The Lawrences were just ‘law-abiding citizens going about their business’. But undercover police were used to smear the Lawrence family’s fight for justice (1). One of those the spies says he job was to hunt for disinformation and dirt in order to stop the Lawrence’s justice campaign in its tracks. Nothing to fear from the state Mr Hague?

And then there are the numerous well-documented cases of the police and/or intelligence agencies infiltrating legitimate campaign and protest groups (2) and ‘investigating’ political parties or prominent figures (3)(4) in order to subvert or discredit them. Let us not forget too (how could we?) the massive police cover ups, none more prominent than the Hillsborough case (5). Still nothing to fear Mr Hague?

But let’s not be too harsh on Hague. The same ‘terror threat/nothing to fear’ script is being read out to the public in the US. Politicians elsewhere are using ‘terror’ as an excuse for spying on the public at large as well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that Germany has to protect itself against potential terrorist attacks by using mass surveillance:

“We are dependent on being able to act and not being entirely at the mercy of the terrorists. And today, it’s on the Internet that communication takes place.” (6)
Alexander Dix, data protection commissioner for the city of Berlin, is a lot more sceptical. He calls for more restraint in the collection of data:

“You don’t have to follow conspiracy theories in order to suspect that data collected for fighting terrorism will also be used in other areas.” (6)
It’s all very convenient for politicians to pull out the magic phrase ‘war on terror’ in a futile attempt to stop any discussion on surveillance in its tracks. If the US-led alliance really wanted to stop or drastically reduce terrorism, it should listen to journalist Nir Rosen’s advice: stop committing it (7).


We need more monitoring and surveillance


The likes of Obama, Kerry, Hague or Cameron have become experts in churning out their fear-mongering platitudes by using some abstract notion of ‘we’ to imply ‘the nation’ or the ‘national interest’. But ‘we’ – the ordinary folk – need to hold power to account, to question its legitimacy and to challenge it when it is illegitimate.

We need to do this to help guarantee our safety, our common interests, our freedoms and threats to democracy. How about more but bottom-up monitoring and surveillance in terms of transparency within government and accountability to ensure decisions are properly scrutinized and genuinely open to pubic debate. In the absence of this, we have corruption, profiteering and the revolving door between government and big business, which all ensure that the powerful and wealthy get away with murder, quite literally when it comes to their illegal wars and mass killing.


In the absence of real democracy, we have food safety/regulation authorities being hijacked by corporate interests in order to feather their own nests. We have armaments companies using politicians as their sales lackeys.

We have police and intelligence agencies infiltrating, harassing or subverting legitimate groups that have every right to protest, dissent and oppose. We have a wide range of powerful corporate players that lobby, threaten or buy their way towards casting the world in their own self-serving nuclear, retail, biotech, petro-chemical or pharmaceutical image. And we have banks, industries and whole economies that are undemocratically owned and controlled.

We also have ‘stuff’ being sprayed onto us without our consent (or very often knowledge) and have no power to stop ‘stuff’ from being sprayed onto us (8).

But we are told all this top-down surveillance and all of the increasing unfreedoms are for our own good. We are told that public servants serve us by bowing down to elite interests. We are told that an incredible mass media is credible even though it serves a corporate agenda.


Based on his research for the book Who Killed Diana?, the late journalist Simon Regan stated that it is (paraphrased):


Whitehall that really runs the country with a close-knit Mafia-like clique… made up of a handful of powerful, but low-key, City brokers and financiers; the top brains at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the Trade Department. Key figures in the security forces… and…at least one key member of the prime minister’s secretariat… the police and judiciary… through the Home Office… can certainly be manipulated. The Super-Establishment’s power is based upon its ability to manipulate the level below it – the individuals that most people believe are governing our country. The elected government is almost irrelevant… The world in which the Super-Establishment exists is a grey and murky world in which sensitive matters of state are planned and executed in gentlemen’s clubs. It is where manipulation plots are hatched, whether it is manipulation of a certain minister towards a certain viewpoint, or the wholesale orchestration of a Foreign Office ploy to bring down a foreign government… It is almost the divine "mission of the secret services to protect the status quo, and hitherto it has been their full intention to thwart anyone who tried to disrupt it. The actual existence of the Super-Establishment is not a flight of fancy. It is entirely manipulative and exercises a great deal of power behind the scenes. (9)


The elite, the oligarchs, the ruling class, the one percent – call it how you will. Yet it is we, the people, who are spied on and monitored by them for their good, to serve their interests and to feather their highly privileged and secretive world, a world built on the stolen wealth of both past and present deeds.


But don’t worry about any of this. There is no need. If that nice Mr Hague says we’ve nothing to fear, he must be right.


Notes



Eric Joyce Arrested: MP Held After Bar Fight

The MP Eric Joyce has been arrested after an alleged fight in a bar at the House of Commons, Sky sources say.

The independent Member of Parliament for Falkirk was held after the incident at the Sports and Social Club bar.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Police were called shortly before 10.30pm this evening to reports of a disturbance at a bar within the House of Commons.

"Officers attended and a man aged in his 50s was arrested in connection with this incident.

"He remains in custody and inquiries continue."

Joyce resigned from the Labour Party after butting Tory rivals Stuart Andrew and Ben Maney in a previous incident in a Commons bar last February.

The 52-year-old also punched Tory councillor Luke Mackenzie and Labour whip Phillip Wilson while going berserk and insulting officers.

After leaving Mr Andrew with a bloodied nose, Joyce told police: "He deserved it."

Joyce, who accepted he was "hammered" on red wine during the brawl, launched into a frenzied attack after shouting that the Strangers' Bar "was full of ******* Tories".

The former soldier walked away from Westminster Magistrates Court with a fine and pub banning order after admitting four counts of common assault.

He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,400 to victims after he entered early guilty pleas.

Joyce was also given a 12-month community order - banning him from entering pubs and licensed premises for three months - and imposed with a curfew order from Friday to Sunday.

After the hearing, Joyce admitted he was lucky to avoid jail and said he was "deeply apologetic".

London shooting claims teenager’s life

An unprovoked street shooting in east London has claimed the life of a teenager while leaving another man fighting for his life.

The two men were shot at about 8 pm on Hindrey Road, Clapton, Scotland Yard said, adding that the pair were then taken to a hospital where the younger victim, aged 19, died at about 11 pm.

The metropolitan police said the motive for the shootings was not clear, and that no one has been arrested so far.

However, detectives from Operation Trident, which inspects gang-related crimes, said they are hunting two suspects seen running from the scene towards the nearby Pembury Estate.

“At this very early stage we must retain an open mind regarding the circumstances of the incident and any motive," a police spokesperson said.

The shooting raises questions whether Britain is treading the path the American society has taken over the past years, forcing the US government to consider banning of firearms.

In the US the issue came into spotlight after the December 14 schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that was followed by revelations that about 1,500 fatal shootings occurred in the country in the seven weeks after the shooting.

In England and Wales, more than 350 people are the victim of cold weapons assaults every day, while the country’s officials still insist crime rates are falling.

Annual British Crime Survey also reported almost 130,000 attacks involved knives in 2007 which is equivalent to one in every four minutes.

MOS/AMR/HE

Six more journalists arrested in News of the World hacking scandal

The New Scotland Yard sign stands outside the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, in central London.(Reuters / Olivia Harris)

The New Scotland Yard sign stands outside the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, in central London.(Reuters / Olivia Harris)

Six more former employees of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World have been arrested by British police after a fresh probe into a “further suspected conspiracy” indirectly related to investigations which forced the Sunday tabloid to close in 2011.

“This suspected conspiracy is believed to have taken place primarily during 2005 to 2006. It's separate from the allegations already being investigated by Operation Weeting in which a number of people have been charged,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.

Operation Weeting is a police investigation into allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World where a private detective, hired by the NOTW journalists, hacked in to the voicemails of Milly Dowler, a teenager who was abducted, raped and killed in 2002. Weeting is being conducted alongside Operation Elveden, investigating illegal payments to police by those involved in the hacking scandal, and Operation Tuleta, a probe into computer hacking for the News of the World.

The six detained suspects are held on "suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone communications.” Police are conducting searches at various addresses to gather further evidence and “contact with people they believe have been victims of the suspected voicemail interceptions," the statement said.

News International CEO Mike Darcey confirmed in an internal staff memo that of the six arrested, “two are current members of staff on the Sun,” LA Times reported. Darcey added: "We have provided colleagues on the Sun with lawyers. …I share your concerns about them and recognize the huge burden it places on our journalists.”

Local media report that the Sun journalists are Rachel Richardson and Jane Atkinson. The other four allegedly include the former News of the World assistant editor Jules Stenson, former features editor Matt Nixson and former showbiz editors Rav Singh and Polly Graham. All had worked for the News of the World, which was closed after allegations of mobile voicemail hacking of celebrities and politicians in July 2011. The revelations forced British Prime Minister David Cameron to create an independent inquiry on journalistic ethics.

More than one hundred people so far have been arrested in connection with the hacking scandal at NOTW. Among those charged are Andy Coulson, a former press aide to Cameron, and Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International.

A number of cases have also been brought before the courts by hacking victims seeking compensation. Some of those who have claimed their settlement include Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Britain's Prince Andrew, actors Jude Law and Hugh Grant.

Madeleine McCann lookalike DNA results revealed

DNA tests have confirmed a New Zealand girl is not the missing youngster Madeleine McCann, police have announced.

The girl has twice been mistaken for Madeleine by members of the public and British police asked for testing to be carried out to confirm she was not the missing child.

The first sighting was last March and the second on New Year's Eve.

New Zealand police have said in a statement that they have sent the DNA samples to Scotland Yard officers who are still investigating Madeleine's disappearance.

Detective Inspector Steve McGregor said: "We have received confirmation from Scotland Yard that a DNA sample provided voluntarily from a girl mistaken as missing British girl Madeleine McCann on New Year's Eve in Queenstown last year does not provide a match for that of the missing girl.

"At the time of the sighting police made thorough inquiries into the sighting and were completely satisfied that the girl was not Madeleine McCann."

New Zealand police say the unnamed girl's family has requested privacy.

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that following the DNA submission police were "satisfied" that the girl identified in New Zealand was not Madeleine.

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have campaigned tirelessly for information on their daughter's whereabouts, battling for a review by the Metropolitan Police, which has now been under way for more than 18 months.

Her disappearance has sparked a number of  false sightings around the world.

Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 after failing to find out what happened to her.

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Osborne The Bank Basher

The ten things you need to know on Monday 4 February 2013...

1) OSBORNE THE BANK BASHER

Having cut corporation tax and the top rate of income tax, dropped the bank bonus tax, opposed a financial transactions tax and repeatedly refused to countenance a break-up of the big banks, George Osborne, it seems, is now trying to re-invent himself as a bit of a bank basher - from the FT's splash:

"The chancellor will today warn banks they will be broken up unless they comply fully with rules to make the financial system safer - a threat that will provoke fury among some in the City of London.

"George Osborne has bowed to pressure, agreeing that the proposed ringfence around core retail activities, aimed at protecting the taxpayer from bank collapses, needs to be "electrified" with draconian sanctions. The Labour party claimed Mr Osborne had been forced into 'a partial climbdown', arguing that the chancellor and Vince Cable, business secretary, had not wanted to leave hanging over banks the threat of full separation of investment banking from high-street operations.

"... In a speech on the future of banking today, Mr Osborne will say: 'My message to the banks is clear: if a bank flouts the rules, the regulator and the Treasury will have the power to break it up altogether - full separation, not just a ringfence.'"

For once, I'm with Gideon. Talk, however, is cheap. Let's see what actually happens...

2) NOT-SO-FREE VOTE

There's a fair bit of pressure being applied to anti-gay-marriage Tory MPs by their party's high command ahead of tomorrow's 'free' vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

"Tory gay marriage rebels told: you’re out of touch" - that's the splash headline on the front of today's Times. The paper reports:

"The Prime Minister will speak out in favour of equal marriage in an effort to win over at least half his MPs before a landmark vote tomorrow evening. However, his personal intervention risks deepening Tory divisions over an issue that Mr Cameron was warned yesterday could cost him the next election. Last night Tory waverers were under mounting pressure to spare the Prime Minister the embarrassment of being deserted by more than 150 of his parliamentary party.

"Michael Fabricant, a Tory vice-chairman, said he was 'disturbed' to hear of ministerial aides warning backbenchers that their careers would be dented if they failed to support the Government even though Mr Cameron has given his troops a free vote. Another MP said undecided ministers were being pressed to back the Prime Minister."

But there's pressure being applied on those MPs from other directions, too - the Telegraph splashes on news that

"In his first official day as leader of the Church of England, the Rt Rev Justin Welby is expected to say that marriage should remain 'between a man and a woman'."

The PM versus the Archbishop of Canterbury. Who says Old Etonians all think alike?

On a side note, David Burrowes, one of the Tory 'rebels', has written a piece for HuffPost UK which is worth a read; he argues that this is "the first time in living memory that an issue raising such fundamental matters of moral, legal and constitutional significance has been pushed through by a government without an electoral mandate".

3) WRONG WAR, WRONG PLACE

If you had any doubt that the Afghan war and, in particular, Britain's presence in Helmand province, has been a disaster, listen to the latest opinions from 'our ally', Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan.

From the Guardian:

"The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has questioned whether western troops were 'fighting in the wrong place' during their decade-long mission in Afghanistan, saying security was better in southern Helmand province before the arrival of British forces.

"... 'They feel fulfilled with regard to the objective of fighting terrorism and weakening al-Qaida, or they feel that they were fighting in the wrong place in the first place, so they should discontinue doing that and leave,' Karzai said in an interview ahead of trilateral talks with David Cameron and the Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari."

Meanwhile, the Times reports that "David Cameron has set himself the ambitious target of brokering a deal between Afghanistan and Pakistan to facilitate peace talks with the Taleban".

4) 'STITCHED UP'

Another 'Plebgate' scoop from Channel 4's DIspatches - reported by the Financial Times:

"Andrew Mitchell, the former Conservative chief whip who resigned last year after his "plebgate" row with police officers, will talk about his frustration with Downing Street's treatment of the scandal and argue that he was "stitched up", in a television interview due to be broadcast tonight.

"... The row embarrassed the Tories, and Mr Mitchell resigned in the autumn when he felt he had lost the support of party colleagues. 'I could tell I was being stitched up but I didn't know how it was being done or where it was coming from,' he will say in a Dispatches interview tonight."

5) HEY ED, WE'RE STILL HERE

Ed Miliband has repeatedly said that New Labour is the past. Tell that to, er, New Labour. The former home secretary, Alan Johnson, a card-carrying New Labour Blairite who briefly served as shadow chancellor under Ed M, has offered some 'advice' to the Labour leader in an interview with (the Blairite) Progress magazine.

From the Guardian:

"Ed Miliband needs to start setting out policies this year and has little option but to accept the spending levels set out by the coalition for 2015, Labour's Alan Johnson has said.

"... Asked whether Labour should commit to sticking to the government's spending limits for the first two years if elected – as it did in 1997 – Johnson said it was 'difficult to think what else you can do'.

"'We can't get away from the fact that the fiscal deficit has got to come down,' he said.

"'Now is a dangerous time. We can't get away with saying we are thinking about policy. That's perfectly acceptable for the first three years, but now we have got to start unveiling some policy and what Ed's going to need to do is to meet the expectations he himself has created.'"

Yesterday, Tony Blair, speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr programme, said Labour would "later in this year... start to unveil its policies".

The clock is ticking, Ed...

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a puppy dancing, trying to get attention...

6) HUHNE TRIAL KICKS OFF

The Telegraph reports:

"Chris Huhne, the former Energy Secretary, and his ex-wife will go on trial today over claims that she took speeding points for him nearly a decade ago.

"The Liberal Democrat MP and his former wife, Vicky Pryce, are accused of perverting the course of justice over a speeding offence dating from 2003.

"Mr Huhne resigned from the Cabinet last year after the Crown Prosecution Service announced that he had been charged over an allegation that he persuaded Miss Pryce to take his penalty points so he could avoid prosecution."

7) BIASED BOUNDARIES

From the Telegraph:

"Votes in Labour seats will be worth much more than votes in Tory seats because the Liberal Democrats rejected new Commons boundaries, the Conservatives have claimed.

"Labour and Lib Dem MPs last week voted to reject Conservative plans to redraw Commons boundaries and cut the House of Commons by 50 seats.

"Without those changes, votes in some seats will be worth half as much as those in others by the next election, according to research by the Tories. They say that the reforms would have stopped the current Commons map favouring Labour so much because sizes of constituencies would have been standardised."

Oh boo-hoo. Here's a tip for the Tories: if you're so worried about the (undoubted) unfairness and disproportionality of our antiquated voting system, why not campaign for full proportional representation? Where seats in parliament reflect votes in the country?

8) 'STOMPING' ON KIDS' GRAVES

Another PR victory for the Met - from the Guardian:

"Britain's largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers.

"The Metropolitan police secretly authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest groups without consulting or informing the children's parents."

"... Two undercover officers have provided a detailed account of how they and others used the identities of dead children. One, who adopted the fake persona of Pete Black while undercover in anti-racist groups, said he felt he was 'stomping on the grave' of the four-year-old boy whose identity he used.

9) UNPAID NUCLEAR BILLS

Remember how we've run out of money? How the government can't afford to fund SureStart centres or disability benefits? Not quite (via the Mirror):

"The cost of decommissioning Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant has hit £67.5billion and is still rising, MPs have warned.

"The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the authority dealing with our radioactive legacy had not been able to show if it gave value for money.

"Around £1.6billion a year is spent on the site, due to close in 2018."

10) WANNA BE US AMBASSADOR TO LONDON? THAT'LL BE $2.3M PLEASE.

From the Times:

"Today, a former US diplomat to some of the world’s less glamorous berths provides the answer: do not expect to get the Court of St James’s if you raised less than $650,000 for the Obama campaign, and in this competitive year of ten big donors for every top position, it could take $2.3 million.

"Dennis Jett, who started his foreign career in Argentina in 1973, and served in Liberia during the civil war and Mozambique during a refugee crisis, teamed up with an economist to establish the probability of big political donors landing in fine world capitals.

"Their computer model concludes that the greater the campaign donation, the more likely a posting will be in Western Europe rather than those countries seen as 'obscure, dangerous, poor or of low interest to tourists'."

I guess that means Matthew Barzun (the ambassador to Sweden, who raised more than $2m for Obama) has a better chance of getting the London gig than Anna Wintour (he editor of American Vogue, who raised a mere $500,000 for Obama’s campaign).

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From yesterday's Sunday Times/YouGov poll:

Labour 41
Conservatives 34
Lib Dems 12
Ukip 8

That would give Labour a majority of 86.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

‏@Freeman_George Fitting that this week sees a new Archbishop and new Bank Governor. Never have we needed spiritual, moral and financial leadership so much.

@tobyhelm incredibly @toryeducation still listed as official @Conservatives site despite Gove's lot running it as a propaganda tool in breach of codes

@Mike_Fabricant Why is it when I tweet about Gay Marriage I get loads of replies, but no-one is interested when I tweet about my (4g) Dongle? Boo hooh.

900 WORDS OR MORE

Maria Miller, writing in the Times, says: "The State should not stop two people who love each other, gay or straight, getting married."

David Blanchflower, writing in the Independent, says: "Here’s a way to end our slump: give away money."

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, writing in the Guardian, says: "The Andrew Mitchell affair revealed our prejudices, and showed the police to be untrustworthy."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Britain probes VIP paedophiles case

Operation Fairbank was set up following claims by Labour Party politician Tom Watson in the House of Commons.

British police have launched an investigation into allegations that members of an organized paedophile ring have been abusing vulnerable underage boys in council care for years.

The organized criminal ring included former ministers, senior lawmakers, top police officers, judges, bishops, members of the royal family, and show-business celebrities. They are all alleged to have indecently assaulted vulnerable, under-age males between 1979 and 1982.

According to reports, the inquiry will focus on boys who were living at Grafton Close children’s home in Richmond, South-West London, in the 1980s.

It is claimed the boys were taken from Grafton Close to Elm Guest House in Rocks Lane, a suburban street in nearby Barnes where they were subjected to appalling sexual abuse.

One source is said to have suggested that Anthony Blunt, former Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures and an exposed Soviet spy, used to go to sordid parties at the guest house. Others are said to have spoken of two High Court judges and a Foreign Office official attending.

Detectives launched the probe, codenamed Operation Fernbridge, after they obtained a list of ‘prominent people’ who allegedly stayed at the guest house in the 1980s.

At these parties, young boys, specially brought over from several children’s homes would be plied with drugs and alcohol.

A party at the Elm Guest House was raided by police in 1982, following which 12 boys gave evidence that they had been abused by men.
German born Carole Kasir was convicted for running a gay brothel disorderly house.

Following the sudden death of 47-year-old Kasir in 1990 from an insulin overdose, two social worker friends of her gave some worrying evidence to the inquest. Mary Moss and Christopher Fay made allegations of the sexual abuse of children at the Elm Guest House. However, the allegations of sexual abuse against children by the rich and powerful were not pursued.

The claims are now being re-investigated by the Metropolitan Police, decades after they were first made. Attempts have been made by care workers to lay bare the secrets of Rocks Lane but to no avail.

Operation Fairbank is a police investigation into alleged sexual abuse, predominantly the abuse of children, by British politicians in the 1980s.

The investigation, led by the Metropolitan Police Service, started in late 2012. The investigation is currently a “scoping exercise” aimed at a “preliminary assessment of the evidence rather than a formal inquiry”. The existence of the operation was confirmed on 12 December 2012, after operating in secret for several weeks. Five officers are currently working on the inquiry.

Operation Fairbank was set up following claims by Labour Party politician Tom Watson in the House of Commons that the police should look afresh at claims of a “powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10?.

Watson raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on 24 October 2012. He suggested that such a network may have existed in the past at a high level, protected by connections to Parliament and involving a close aide to a former Prime Minister; neither the aide nor the former Prime Minister were named.

Watson referred to Peter Righton, a former consultant to the National Children’s Bureau, who was convicted of importing and possessing illegal homosexual pornographic material in 1992.

Watson said that files on Peter Righton contained “clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring…One of its members boasts of a link to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.”

Nine officers raided the North London home of former child protection worker Mary Moss after she initially declined to co-operate with the investigation.

Documents and a laptop were seized. Ms Moss later handed over a further 19 files she had hidden in a neighbour’s shed.

The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 80s at the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London.

Among the names are two former Conservative Cabinet ministers and four other senior Tories.

There is also a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member.

Others on the handwritten note are two members of the royal household - one a former Buckingham Palace employee - plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.

One of those is a best-selling musician, but like some others on the list he is not suspected of being involved in the child abuse.

The list was taken at meetings in 1988 between the guest house’s manager Carole Kasir and child protection officials.

Other documents seized are believed to identify 16 boys who were allegedly trafficked to the guest house from local care homes. Police have asked Richmond Council for a full list of children in care at the time.

Officers will also be examining copies of cash receipts and ­the guest house’s visitor records.
Operation Fernbridge is investigating claims that boys who were in council care were brought to the Elm to be sexually abused by bigwigs and VIPs.

Police have allegedly taken boxes of documents from the London home of Mary Moss, who worked as an advocate for abused children at the now defunct National Association for Young People in Care.

Mary Moss said the documents contained evidence that senior figures from a number of political parties had abused children at Elm Guest House and elsewhere.

The documents allegedly identify: Carol Kazir as guest house owner, “X” a top person in charge of MI5, “Y” MI5 officer; Two former Conservative cabinet ministers; 7 Further MPs - four Other Tories, two Labour, one Liberal Democrat; Several figures with links to the right wing Conservative Monday Club; A leading figure in the National Front, who is now dead; A Sinn Fein member; two Buckingham Palace Officials; two Pop Stars, and Anthony Blunt said to have used the name ‘Antony Goldstein’.

Rocks Lane is a conspiracy theorist’s dream, taking in allegations of the grooming of young boys in care for sex, elaborate gay parties involving senior public figures including members of the Conservative Party, charges of a police cover-up and even the suggestion of murder.

The police believe that in the context of the Jimmy Savile scandal and renewed claims over the treatment of boys in care in North Wales, there is every reason to look again at an extremely murky saga.

What is known is that in the late 1970s, the Elm Guest House on Rocks Lane was a safe, unthreatening meeting place for homosexual men free from the stigma of a sexual orientation legalised barely a decade earlier.

According to a former friend of Carole Kasir, the guest house’s German-born manager, she initially regarded herself as offering gay men an opportunity to “be themselves” without fear.

Rocks Lane, which overlooks a playing field, was known to homosexual men as it is close to Barnes Common, itself popular with gay men for cruising.

But Elm Guest House’s willingness to accommodate a small industry (“It became a convenient place for rent boys to take their clients,” says one person familiar with the place), began to attract the attentions of the local police force.

One neighbour remembers a months-long police stakeout: “They were there all the time. Police hiding behind the trees to look at the property was a running joke with the neighbours.”

In 1982, the police learned that one of the guest house’s parties was to take place, and the Met’s notorious Special Patrol Group, the precursor of the Territorial Support Group, duly raided the property, resulting in a number of charges being brought against Kasir. The fact that two police officers were in the house at the time of the raid has fed the speculation.

The IoS has established that, according to an officer closely involved at the time, two officers were embedded as guests in the property for two or three days, one even pretending to have a broken arm, hiding a police radio in a plaster cast to make secret recordings.

As many as 12 boys gave evidence to the police to the effect that they had been abused by men at the house, The IoS has established, but the only conviction was the comparatively minor one of running a disorderly house (ie, a brothel).

“Abused boys do not always make the most impressive of witnesses once they get into the witness box,” someone involved in the case said. “The real unlawful activity was underage sex. The police should have been able to make the other charges stick, but the boys were only ever interviewed with a view to them being witnesses against Carole, not as kids who were abused themselves.”

Chris Fay, a social worker who worked for a small charity, the National Association for Young People in Care (Naypic), has alleged that a terrified Kasir had shown him about 20 photographs of middle-aged men with young boys, taken at what he said were kings and queens fancy-dress parties, attended by a number of powerful and well-known people.

One, Mr Fay alleged, featured a well-known public figure wearing nothing but a French maid’s apron alongside a young boy nude apart from a tiara.

In 1990, at the age of 47, Kasir was found dead in her flat. The coroner’s inquest concluded that, a diabetic, she had suffered an insulin overdose. Two Naypic employees told the coroner they believed that because she seemingly had not had an insulin injection for three days, she had been murdered, the victim of powerful people who feared she knew too much. Nonetheless, she was found to have committed suicide, worn down by an eight-year battle to have her son, who was taken into care after her conviction, returned to her.

The alleged presence of household names adds to the intrigue, but in a celeb-obsessed age, there is a danger that, should such names not materialise, Rocks Lane will be seen as “just another” child abuse case. Yet police sources fear that dozens of boys were either taken or on the run from care homes to be abused. By any standards, that should be a big story.

Peter Hatton-Bornshin killed himself six days after his 28th birthday. He had taken an overdose of codeine and choked to death. ‘The tragic end to a tragic life,’ is how the coroner summed up the stark facts presented to the inquest.

And who at the time would disagree? Peter was only a baby when his father died in an accident. He was orphaned at 13 when his mother threw herself in front of a train. His stepfather then handed Peter and his older brother to social services.

And that is how Peter ended up at the Grafton Close Children’s Home, which was run by Richmond borough council in South-West London. Truly, he was a lost soul.

When his life finally came to an end in a Kingston-upon-Thames bedsit, he left a note which explained that he feared he would be unable to control his violent fantasies against women if he remained alive.

This personality disorder had caused him briefly to be a patient at Broadmoor mental hospital. His case worker said that while he did not consider Peter to be a danger to society, his mental problems were partly a result of the abuse he had suffered while in local authority care. One line in his suicide note seemed to refer to this. It read: ‘I will get those bastards.’

But while it was the ‘tragic end to a tragic life’, his story does not finish there.

Eighteen years after his death, the police are again looking at the Peter Hatton-Bornshin case, as part of a wider investigation, launched last month, into allegations that in the early Eighties a paedophile ring of VIPs preyed on boys from the Grafton Close Children’s Home

If the historic allegations at the heart of Operation Fernbridge are proved, they would represent one of the more sensational and disturbing Establishment sex scandals of the modern era.

Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP for Rochdale, has already been named as a regular at the guest house, where he allegedly met teenage rent boys when the homosexual age of consent was 21.

The guest house has also been linked to a now-defunct Tory fringe group that promoted homosexual rights.

Operation Fernbridge detectives are also believed to be on the trail of almost two dozen photographs that are supposed to have been taken by the guest-house owner - which place a number of these figures from the worlds of politics, show-business and national security at her establishment.

Some pictures are said to show these men in the company of under-age boys.

New police interest in the Elm Guest House allegations stems from October last year, when the campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson called for an investigation into the political links of one Peter Righton, a notorious paedophile who had first been exposed 20 years before.

In September 1992, Righton pleaded guilty to three charges of importing or possessing obscene material - paedophile gay porn - after customs officers at Dover intercepted two packages addressed to him.

It was a squalid case that in other circumstances might have warranted only local interest.

But Righton, then aged 66, was no ordinary child sex offender. He had been a very senior and respected figure in the field of residential child care, and a former consultant to the charity the National Children’s Bureau, whose patrons included the then Health Minister, Virginia Bottomley.

After his conviction, it emerged that Righton was a founder member of the Paedophile Information Exchange - a contact group for men interested in sex with children. He is now believed to be dead.

Westminster sources say that following his intervention in the House, Mr Watson received more than 200 phone calls, many of them from alleged victims of paedophile abuse by public figures unconnected with Righton. The MP passed the information on to the police.

Righton’s links to figures in the Thatcher government are still being assessed by detectives.

The Mail understands that no formal decision has been taken yet on whether Watson’s allegations will be formally probed.
However, one person who contacted Watson had specific information about boys from Grafton Close Children’s Home being abused at the Elm Guest House.

Run by Indian-born Haroon Kasir and his German wife Carole, the guest house was openly advertised in the gay press of the time as nothing more sinister than a place where homosexual men could meet.

MOL/HE

PM demands answers over ‘Plebgate’

The so-called "plebgate" affair has gained momentum after two arrests were made in as many days and the Prime Minister demanded "proper answers" from the investigation.

A 46-year-old Metropolitan Police officer became the fourth to be arrested under the inquiry when she was held over alleged leaks to the media concerning the row that triggered former chief whip Andrew Mitchell's resignation.

A 46-year-old male colleague in the Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) was bailed and suspended after he was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of the same offence - misconduct in a public office.

As Operation Alice picked up pace, David Cameron repeated his desire for a "thorough" investigation into the Downing Street altercation, during which it was claimed Mr Mitchell labelled serving officers "plebs".

Speaking in Liberia, where he is attending a UN meeting on international development, Mr Cameron said: "There is an ongoing police investigation, so it wouldn't be right for me to comment. All I would say is it is very important that this investigation is thoroughly carried out and proper answers are delivered."

The plebgate row ignited when Mr Mitchell was accused of a heated rant against officers as he left Downing Street on September 19.

Pressure intensified after The Daily Telegraph published a police log of the incident, which claimed he called officers "plebs" and swore at them repeatedly. He insisted he did not use the words attributed to him, and later said he was the victim of a deliberate attempt to "toxify" the Tories and ruin his career. An email from a civilian witness backing up the police account of events has also since been called into question.

Some 30 detectives have taken statements from all 800 officers in the DPG, which is tasked with protecting government officials. By January 16, Operation Alice, which has around 30 detectives working on it, had cost £82,500 since it was set up in December.

Two other men have been arrested so far, both of whom have been released on bail until February. A 52-year-old Pc, who is also from the DPG and currently suspended, was held on suspicion of misconduct in public office, while a 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of an indictable offence.

Four other constables in the unit, which is responsible for protecting government officials and diplomats, have been placed on restricted duty over misconduct claims.

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: In Pole Position

The ten things you need to know on Friday 1 February 2013...

1) IN POLE POSITION

The German foreign minister took to the comment pages of yesterday's Times to warn our prime minister that renegotiating Britain's membership of the EU might not be as easy as David Cameron suggested in his Bloomberg speech last month.

The Poles, however, seem to want to give the PM a bit of a boost - my colleague Ned Simons has been speaking to the Polish ambassador:

"Poland is willing to let the UK renegotiate its relationship with the EU in an attempt to stop David Cameron leading Britain out of the union, the Polish ambassador has said.

"In an interview with The HuffingtonPost UK, ambassador Witold Sobkow said Warsaw was willing to 'accommodate' some British demands.

"Asked if Poland would be willing to allow Cameron to substantially change Britain’s relationship with Brussels ahead of a in/out referendum, he said: 'Yes. We see a lot of room for manoeuvre.'

"'We all want a better functioning EU, respecting subsidiarity, and reducing its bureaucratic burden.'

"'...There is no appetite for such far reaching changes now, but, who knows, in 2-3 years,' he said. 'The EU is changing, as we can see, for example, in the case of new banking supervision arrangements.'"

Dave will be delighted. Good ol' Poles, eh?

2) WATCH YER BACKS, DAVE AND GIDEON...

The Guardian and the Daily Mail both have some pretty worrying news for the PM and his chancellor. The Guardian splashes on news that:

"Downing Street has been warned that David Cameron risks facing a confidence vote over his leadership in the summer of 2014 if his poll ratings fail to improve and the party performs poorly in the local elections.

"A diehard group of party rebels, who would like to remove the prime minister immediately, will significantly grow in numbers over the next 17 months if the Tories fail to achieve a breakthrough, according to MPs inside and outside the government."

The Mail says that Osborne is the real target of the rebels' ire:

"The Tories were facing fresh turmoil last night as plotters prepared to demand the sacking of Chancellor George Osborne after failing to oust David Cameron.

"Rebel MPs intend to whip up support for a letter to the Prime Minister, calling on him to move Mr Osborne from the Treasury if the UK plunges into a triple dip recession.

"... The possibility of a job swap between the Chancellor and Foreign Secretary William Hague has been floated privately before by senior Tories."

Oh dear. Plots, plots and more plots - the Tory party reverts to type...

3) THE WAR ON WELFARE, PART 66

"Ministers: spare our budgets for more welfare cuts," screams the splash headline in the i.

It's sister paper, the Independent, reports:

"Conservative Cabinet ministers are pressing for another round of cuts in the welfare budget in an attempt to protect their own departments from the Treasury’s demand for a further £10bn of savings.

"Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, Education Secretary, Michael Gove, and Home Secretary, Theresa May, are among senior Tories arguing for another squeeze on welfare."

To 'squeeze' another £10bn out of the welfare budget in the midst of the slowest economic recovery in living memory, and after slashing the top rate of income tax on millionaires, is, frankly, immoral and callous.

The truth about this government is that it isn't in favour of austerity per se, just austerity for the 'undeserving' poor. Forget taxing bank bonuses - CUT BENEFITS!

4) DEFENSIVE DAVE

The Telegraph continues its (front page) crusade against defence cuts while Cameron (and Osborne) wish Coulson was back in Downing Street running 'the grid':

"Amid accusations that defence policy is now a shambles, Downing Street attempted to 'clarify' an apparent promise by David Cameron that overall spending on the military would rise in 2015-16.

"On Wednesday Mr Cameron said that he would stand by a pledge he made in 2010 to provide “year-on-year real-terms growth in the defence budget in the years beyond 2015.”

"However, the Government’s position descended into confusion on Thursday as No  10 attempted to argue that Mr Cameron’s commitment to increase spending 'beyond 2015' does not apply to the 2015-16 financial year."

Dave's defence secretary isn't onboard either:

"Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, on Thursday confirmed that he would fight the Treasury for increases in defence spending in the coming spending review."

5) 'HALF OF OUR WOMEN LOOK LIKE KATE. THE OTHER HALF, LIKE HER SISTER'

That's the slogan on a new Romanian ad, featuring Kate and Pippa Middleton, plugging the attractions of Romania - to Brits! The Independent explains:

"Romania has hit back at British fears of a sudden influx of immigrants, launching its own tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign to persuade disillusioned Britons to travel east and swap Bognor for Bucharest.

"'You have bad weather, no jobs, no houses? That sounds bad. Why don’t you come live here instead?' reads one poster on the Romanian news website Gandul, which is behind the humorous campaign, entitled 'Why don’t you come over? - We may not like Britain, but you’ll love Romania.'"

I never knew the Romanians had such a great sense of humour. Can't wait to meet them when they all arrive here en masse...

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a ginger kitten attacking a large potato. Go on...

6) BRITS OUT, BRITISH PM IN

Just a week ago, British citizens in Benghazi were told to get out of the country; yesterday, the British PM flew into Libya on a 'surprise' visit. The Times reports:

"The Prime Minister went ahead with the visit despite the detection of a 'potential threat' to Britain's embassy in Tripoli only days ago... During his one-day trip, Mr Cameron said that securing the country would be even more important than toppling the regime of Colonel Gaddafi. In a concerted diplomatic drive, Britain will increase the assistance it is giving to police and to military training, with new advisers being dispatched to Tripoli."

Dave announced he'd done with Libyan authorities, which will allow British police to continue their investigation into the Lockerbie bombing:

"A team from Dumfries and Galloway Police has been cleared to go out to Tripoli as they attempt to hunt down those behind the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people... They will be able to talk to officials there next month about the questions that remain about the bombing."

7) 'WOEFULLY UNDEREQUIPPED AND HAMSTRUNG'

From the i:

"The existing system to root out police wrongdoing is being undermined by poor-quality investigations and lacks the powers and resources to get to the bottom of serious cases of corruption and misconduct, according to a damning report published today.

"IPCC inquiries into alleged police wrongdoing start too late and take too long, according to the Home Affairs Select Committee. It is 'woefully underequipped and hamstrung' in achieving its objectives, with less funding than the professional standards department of the Metropolitan Police."

8) BASHING BARCLAYS

I still chuckle when I remember how City apologists used to jump to Barclays' defence in 2008/2009: 'They didn't take any taxpayers' cash,' they'd whine.

Today's FT front-page story is worth a look:

"UK authorities are probing an allegation that Barclays loaned Qatar money to invest in the bank as part of its cash call at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, which enabled the bank to avoid a UK government bailout.

"... If confirmed, such an arrangement could contravene market regulations if it was not properly disclosed at the time, legal and industry experts warned. 'The concept of lending money to any investor to purchase your own shares raises a series of immediate questions about disclosure and other regulatory issues,' said Peter Hahn, a former banker at Citi now at Cass Business School.

"The revelation is yet another blow for attempts by Antony Jenkins, Barclays’ chief executive, to clean up the bank’s image that has been tarnished by high-profile scandals ranging from Libor manipulation to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance."

You can that again.

9) NO THANKS, WILLIAM

Yet another diplomatic spat over the Falklands, reports the Times:

"Buenos Aires Argentina's Foreign Minister has rejected an invitation from William Hague to meet members of the Falkland Islands government on his visit to London next week. Hector Timerman said the islands were not a matter for a 'third party'."

10) 'THE FABULOUS EMANUEL BROTHERS'

That's the headline to a fascinating feature in the Independent about a trio of high-achieving US brothers from the worlds of medicine, politics and entertainment:

"Dr Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel... [is] a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he heads the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy; a fellow at non-profit research institute The Hastings Center; an oncologist; a bioethicist; and an expert in end-of-life care, who writes frequently for the New York Times.

"And yet, remarkably, Ezekiel, 55, has a lower profile than his two younger brothers. That's because they are the Mayor of Chicago, 53-year-old Rahm Emanuel; and Ari Emanuel, 51, the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, Hollywood's biggest talent agency.

"... There are celebrated families of doctors, politicians and entertainment professionals, but it's almost unheard-of for siblings to rise to such prominence in three such varied fields."

QUOTE UNQUOTE

"I have been involved in Conservative politics for 20 years. The Conservative party is never not plotting," says an unnamed minister, speaking to the Guardian's Nick Watt.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From today's Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 44
Conservatives 32
Lib Dems 10
Ukip 8

That would give Labour a majority of 120.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@tnewtondunn RT @Sun_Politics Sun/YouGov poll tonight: CON 32, LAB 44, LDEM 10, UKIP 8. Lab's 12 point lead back. Cam's EU bounce dead after just a week?

@TimMontgomerie Lord Ashcroft on @ConHome: We need to change perceptions of the Tory Party and the Europe speech hasn't done that

@TomHarrisMP The SNP are bitching about HS2 not reaching Scotland. So they expect Scotland to be "independent" by then, but for UK Govt to finance it?

900 WORDS OR MORE

Fraser Nelson, writing in the Telegraph, says: "If the Prime Minister truly wants to confront the threat from Islamists in Africa, he must find the money to increase the defence budget."

Jonathan Steele, writing in the Guardian, says: "Israel's attack on Syria shows how volatile this conflict is. A political solution is now urgent."

Philip Collins, writing in the Times, says: "For Cameron aid is not a badge. It’s a mission."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Groups Slam Multinationals After Another Deadly Blaze in Bangladesh

Smoke rises from a two-storied garment factory after a fire swept through it in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Jan.26, 2013. (AP / A.M. Ahad) Another fire in a Bangladesh garment factory killed several workers on Saturday, sparking fresh calls for investigations into the safety and labor rights of garment producers in factories that commonly export products to U.S. companies such as Walmart and Walt Disney.

The fire Saturday, which occurred at the Smart Export Garment Ltd. factory, killed seven female workers, an official said Sunday.

"When I tried to escape through the emergency exit I found the gate locked," Raushan Ara, a worker at the factory, told newspaper Prothom Alo.

Local reports said at least 50 people were injured in a stampede triggered by the fire. Several of the injured jumped out of the windows of the two-story factory, survivors said. Roughly 250 workers were in the factory at the time of the fire.

In November, a similar fire killed at least 112 workers in another garment factory near the capital—a record setting disaster in which all of the exits were locked with metal gates. The fire sparked international outrage and a call for tougher regulations on both factory owners and the international corporations which exploit their cheap labor.

Government official Jahangir Kabir Nanak said an investigation has been ordered into the cause of Saturday's fire and allegations that the emergency exit was locked.

Altaf Hossain, father of a garment worker killed on Saturday, has filed a police case against the three directors of the factory, accusing them of negligence involving the fire, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Sub-inspector Shamsul Hoque told The Associated Press on Sunday.

It was not immediately reported which, if any, international companies were in business with the factory.

However, in response to the fire and the likelihood that western corporations will be implicated in the disaster, on Sunday International labor rights groups called for global clothing retailers to ensure adequate safety measures for garment workers in Bangladesh, asking retailers and brands to sign a fire safety agreement with Bangladesh.

"After more than two decades of the apparel industry knowing about the risks to these workers, nothing substantial has changed," the Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum, Judy Gearhart, said in a statement issued along with The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC).

"Brands still keep their audit results secret. They still walk away when it suits them and trade unions are still marginalized, weakening workers' ability to speak up when they are at risk," she added.Bangladeshi firefighters and volunteers work to douse a fire at a two-storied garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Jan.26, 2013. (AP / A.M. Ahad)

London copter crash leaves 2 dead

Two people died this morning when a helicopter crashed in central London after colliding with a crane on top of a newly-built tower block at Vauxhall Cross on the south bank of the river Thames, local media reported.

Nine other people were also injured, one critically, when the copter blasted into flames after hitting the crane and crashing into a street during morning rush hour, British media reported.

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said “there were 11 casualties, with two dead, one person critically ill, and others "less seriously injured".

A Met police spokesman confirmed that the helicopter had come down shortly after 8am on Wednesday.

"Two people have been confirmed dead at the scene. Two have been taken to south London hospital. We await a condition update", the spokesman added.

London fire brigade said the crash took place near Wandsworth Road in south Lambeth.

About 90 firefighters managed to kill the fire after 25 minutes near Wandsworth Road. Doctors said one of the dead was in the helicopter and the other on the ground.

NATS, which runs air traffic control across the UK, said the helicopter pilot had been receiving assistance earlier in the journey but not at the time of the crash.

The incident will be subject to an investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.

MOL/HE

Brits seeking to join Syria war nabbed

Four men have been arrested in Britain on charges of seeking to travel to Syria to join a foreign-backed insurgency against the country’s popular government of president Bashar al Assad.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that its forces have arrested four men as part of an investigation into travel to Syria in support of terrorist activity there.

According to the statement, police forces detained one of the men while he was trying to take a flight from London’s Gatwick airport last Wednesday.

Three others were snatched at different addresses in east London the other day, added the statement.

The man arrested at the airport is aged 33 while the others were aged 18, 22 and 31 respectively, police said, adding that they were being held by the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

"These arrests form part of an investigation into travel to Syria in support of alleged terrorist activity. Inquiries continue," police said.

"Two men have previously been charged in connection with this investigation."

A British trainee doctor, Shajul Islam, 26, and another man, Jubayer Chowdhury, 24, are due to go on trial in Britain in June charged with the kidnapping of two Western journalists by terrorists in Syria.

MOL/HE

Wall Street Looting: Will JPMorgan Chase Be Held Accountable for Money Laundering “Lapses”?

stealing_money_safe_lg_nwm

As a sop to outraged public opinion over Wall Street’s looting of the real economy, criminal banksters are coming under increased scrutiny by federal regulators.

Scrutiny however, is not the same thing as enforcement of laws such as the Bank Secrecy Act and other regulatory measures meant to stop the flow of dirty money from organized crime into the financial system.

And never mind that President Obama and his hand-picked coterie of insiders from Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo (all of whom figured prominently in recent narcotics scandals) are moving to impose Eurozone-style austerity measures that threaten to ravage the social safety net, the American people are spoon-fed a pack of lies that this cabal will protect their interests and enforce the law when it comes to drug money laundering.

Late last week, Reuters reported that “U.S. regulators are expected to order JPMorgan Chase & Co to correct lapses in how it polices suspect money flows … in the latest move by officials to force banks to tighten their anti money-laundering systems.”

In December, the Department of Justice cobbled together a widely criticized deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, over charges that the institution, founded in 1865 by British drug lords when the British Crown seized Hong Kong from China in the wake of the First Opium War, knowingly laundered billions of dollars in drug and terrorist money for some of the most violent gangsters on earth.

Despite the fact that DOJ imposed a $1.9 billion (£1.2bn) fine which included $655 million (£408m) in civil penalties, not a single senior officer at HSBC was criminally charged with enabling Mexican drug cartels and Al Qaeda terrorists to illegally move money through its American subsidiaries.

More outrageously, even when stiff fines are levied against criminal banks and corporations, as likely as not “some or all of these payments will probably be tax-deductible. The banks can claim them as business expenses. Taxpayers, therefore, will likely lighten the banks’ loads,” The New York Times disclosed.

“The action against JPMorgan,” Reuters reported,

“would be in the form of a cease-and-desist order, which regulators use to force banks to improve compliance weaknesses, the sources said. JPMorgan will probably not have to pay a monetary penalty, one of the sources said.”

Read that sentence again. America’s largest bank, responsible for some of the worst depredations of the housing crisis which tossed millions of citizens out of their homes and fined $7.3 billion (£4.53bn) for doing so, will not be fined nor will their officers be criminally charged for presumably washing black money for organized crime.

Despite the recklessness of senior officials at JPMorgan, including CEO Jamie Dimon, former CFO Doug Braunstein and former CIO Ina Drew over the bank’s massive losses in the credit derivatives market last year, Bloomberg News reported that the board will only “consider” whether to release a report on the fiasco which wiped out close to $51 billion in shareholder value at this “too big to fail” bank.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), severely criticized by the US Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in their 335-page report into HSBC, along with the Federal Reserve are expected to issue the cease-and-desist order as early as this week.

Last April however, when OCC issued a cease-and-desist order against Citigroup for alleged “gaps” in their oversight of cash transactions similar to those of drug-tainted HSBC and Wells-owned Wachovia, which laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for narcotics traffickers through dodgy cash exchange houses in Mexico, no monetary penalties were attached.

A “person close” to Citigroup “attributed part of the problem to an accident when a computer was unplugged from anti-money-laundering systems,” according to The New York Times.

While such bald-faced misrepresentations may pass muster with America’s “newspaper of record,” Citigroup’s sorry history when it comes to facilitating criminal money flows is not so easily swept under the rug.

Late last year investigative journalist Bill Conroy reported in Narco News: “In the 1990s, Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, tapped US-based Citibank to help transfer up to $100 million out of Mexico and into Swiss bank accounts. Although US authorities investigated the suspicious money movements, ultimately no charges were brought against Raul Salinas or Citibank–a Citigroup Inc. subsidiary.”

“Again,” Conroy reported,

“in January 2010, Citigroup popped up on banking regulators’ radar, this time in Mexico, when a Mexican judge accused a half dozen casa de cambios (money transmitters) of laundering drug funds through various banks, including Citigroup’s Mexican subsidiary. In that case, Citigroup again was not accused of violating any laws.”

However, despite that fact that the OCC’s cease-and-desist order against Citigroup accused the bank of systemic “internal control weaknesses” that opened the institution up to shady transactions by “high-risk customers,” presumably including flush-with-cash narcotics traffickers, the bank was not indicted for criminal violations under the Bank Secrecy Act and did not admit wrongdoing, instead promising to “institute reforms.”

As with Wachovia and HSBC, OCC charged that Citigroup’s “lapses” included “the incomplete identification of high risk customers in multiple areas of the bank, inability to assess and monitor client relationships on a bank-wide basis, inadequate scope of periodic reviews of customers, weaknesses in the scope and documentation of the validation and optimization process applied to the automated transaction monitoring system, and inadequate customer due diligence.”

Additionally, Citigroup “failed to adequately conduct customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence on its foreign correspondent customers, its retail banking customers, and its international personal banking customers and did not properly obtain and analyze information to ascertain the risk and expected activity of particular customers.”

According to OCC auditors, Citigroup “self-reported” that “from 2006 through 2010, the Bank failed to adequately monitor its remote deposit capture/international cash letter instrument processing in connection with foreign correspondent banking.” As I have pointed out, correspondent and private banking are gateways for laundering drug and other criminal money flows.

In other words, replicating patterns employed for decades by the world’s leading financial institutions, organized criminals and terrorist financiers were enabled, with a wink-and-a-nod by the US government, above all by US secret state agencies which siphoned off part of the loot for covert operations, to wash black cash through the system as a whole.

Already stung by billions of dollars in losses due to risky trades in credit derivatives as noted above, MoneyWatch reported “CEO Jamie Dimon can’t blame this on a ‘flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored’ strategy, like he did when the bank lost $6.2 billion on the so-called ‘London Whale’ trade.”

“In many ways,” reporter Jill Schlesinger wrote, “the current potential regulatory action is worse than any trading loss, because it indicates a systemic lapse in controls.”

According to MoneyWatch, regulators “appear to have found a company-wide lapse in procedures and oversight connected to anti-money-laundering (AML) surveillance and risk management. AML controls are intended to deter and detect the misuse of legitimate financial channels for the funding of money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal acts.”

But there’s the rub; federal regulators are loathe to police, let alone hold to account those responsible for such illicit transactions precisely because the infusion of dirty money into the system is a splendid means to keep failed capitalist financial institutions afloat, a process which Global Research political analyst Michel Chossudovsky has termed “the criminalization of the state.”

In fact, as former London Metropolitan Police financial crimes specialist Rowan Bosworth-Davies recently wrote on his website: “These institutions exist … to handle and facilitate the through-put of the staggering volume of criminal and dirty money which daily flows through the financial sector, because the profits there from are just so incredibly valuable.”

“The biggest problem for these banks,” Bosworth-Davies observed,

“is that by far the greatest amount of this money is illegal to handle under international money laundering laws. All banking institutions are now effectively subject to international laws which prohibit the handling or the facilitation of criminally-acquired money from whatever source, and that money includes the proceeds of drug trafficking, all other criminal activities (including tax evasion), and the proceeds of terrorism.”

Indeed, “The money they were moving was so huge … that it became very easy to persuade Governments to turn a blind eye, while regulators were encouraged to look the other way, when the banks began engaging in a series of wholesale criminal activities.”

Until OCC reveals the content of its cease-and-desist order pending against JPMorgan Chase we do not know the extent of the bank’s potential criminal “lapses” under the Bank Secrecy Act.

However, as Reuters reported although “no immediate action is expected from US prosecutors,” it is a near certainty that the federal government and complicit media will disappear whatever dirty secrets eventually emerge down the proverbial memory hole.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, he is a Contributing Editor with Cyrano’s Journal Today. His articles can be read on Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

Downing Street Suspected ‘Gigantic Conspiracy’ Over Plebgate, But Did Not Investigate

Sir Jeremy Heywood, the country's top civil servant, has said he suspected there was a "gigantic conspiracy" behind the row that led to the resignation of Andrew Mitchell, but did not investigate further because it was outside of his remit.

The cabinet secretary told MPs on Thursday that CCTV footage of the incident showed "inaccuracies and inconsistencies" in emails sent by someone who claimed to have seen the September altercation, which meant they should not be relied upon in deciding whether Mitchell should be sacked.

“We accepted that there were unanswered questioned, including the possibility of a gigantic conspiracy or a small conspiracy. There were unanswered questions, but we decided on balance to let matters rest as they were; decided to stick by Andrew Mitchell, keep him in post and move on,” Sir Jeremy said.

Mitchell was forced to quit in October 2012 after he was accused of swearing at police officers at the gates of Downing Street. He was also accused of calling them "plebs", a charge he has repeatedly denied.

The emails that backed up the police account of the disputed incident later turned out to have been sent by a serving police officer rather than an ordinary member of the public.

Asked by incredulous MPs why he did not consult the police log and challenge its version of events before reporting back to David Cameron, Sir Jeremy said: "I can only do what I am asked to do. It's not the role of a civil servant or the cabinet secretary to start investigating the police.

"That's not my job. I don't have the powers, I don't have the expertise, it wouldn't be right for the cabinet secretary to be involved in that sort of thing.

He added: "The investigation into whether these emails were reliable or not was totally within my remit and competence."

Sir Jeremy also revealed he did not investigate whether Mitchell had used the word "pleb", the key toxic phrase Mitchell was accused of hurling at police that led to his resignation.

The cabinet secretary said it was not "appropriate or necessary" for him to look at the police log of the incident, because it was "not material to my conclusion" that the emails were unreliable.

"I did not look into the question of whether the word 'plebs' was used," he said. "There was a genuine difference of opinion on that, and the CCTV footage doesn't bear on that one way or the other."

And he added: "I was very comfortable with the time and resources that I had for my review, and I was very confident with my conclusion."

Cameron insisted that the chief whip should not lose his job over the incident, as he had apologised to police for swearing, Mitchell eventually resigned in October after weeks of controversy.

Sir Jeremy today told the House of Commons Public Administration Committee that the prime minister had only asked him to look into the emails and it was not his role to investigate the police.

He confirmed that he did not meet the sender of the emails, did not ask to see the police log and did not pass on his concerns about the emails to the police. A Metropolitan Police inquiry is currently under way into the emails, following allegations that they were sent by a serving police officer posing as a member of the public.

Sir Jeremy faced challenges from committee members, including chairman Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, over whether someone in his position should even have been asked to carry out an inquiry into the incident.

Jenkin told him: "You are just the wrong figure to conduct such an investigation. Is the cabinet secretary the correct person to conduct such an investigation in the midst of intense media furore, while there are contested accounts on which the career of a senior minister turns? You are not equipped to carry out the right investigation. You didn't get to the truth about that email.

"You lost a minister because of false allegations about him that were not properly investigated."

But Sir Jeremy insisted that Mitchell's departure was not a result of his inquiry, and said it was not for him to suggest to the Prime Minister that his probe should be widened to look into the veracity of the police account.

The cabinet secretary told the committee: "It's a perfectly legitimate part of my role and frankly, I think I did the job competently and came to the right conclusion."

He said that once police investigations are complete, Downing Street would "take stock" of its response to the Mitchell affair.

But he said it was too early to do so now: "Clearly there are a number of very serious unanswered questions here, not least the allegations that there have been about the leaking of Number 10 police logs to the media and continuing allegations that the logs were falsified in some way - absolutely not proven, but allegations.

"These are very serious allegations. It is very, very important that the people guarding 10 Downing Street are people of integrity. If it is proven in a court of law - if it gets to that - that someone has tried to falsify evidence to bring down a Cabinet minister, that is a very fundamental issue, so I think it would be wrong to rush to judgment now."

Stephen Lawrence brother ‘stopped 25 times’

Stephen Lawrence's brother claimed to have been stopped by police up to 25 times because of his skin colour as he launched a legal battle against the Metropolitan Police. Stuart Lawrence, 35, alleges officers from Scotland Yard have repeatedly targete...

Hogan-Howe: ‘Plebgate’ Charges By End Of Month

Criminal charges linked to the so-called Plebgate affair could be brought by the end of the month, Britain's most senior police officer said on Tuesday. Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he hoped to hand a file to prosecutor...

BBC’s ex-host abused dying patients

A report by London’s Metropolitan police is expected to reveal that Jimmy Savile, the former TV presenter for the state-run British Broadcasting Corporations (BBC), had abused dying patients in hospices.

Scotland Yard’s official report into the Savile scandal is expected to disclose the shocking evidence that the former BBC presenter, who died in October 2011, abused patients at hospices he visited under the pretext of carrying out charity work.

According to reports in The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, the Metropolitan (Met) police statement is likely to name 13 hospitals, including at least one hospice, where Savile allegedly attacked defenseless patients.

Three of the already known hospitals include, Stoke Mandeville, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital, according to the report.

The Met police investigation into the Savile scandal emerged, following a TV documentary on Britain’s Independent Television (ITV) channel in October 2012, which disclosed Savile’s three decade-long sex abuse crimes.

Up until now, 589 people have come forward to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and officers working on the investigation with 450 complaints about Savile, 31 of them rape allegations.

The Savile allegations have embarrassed the BBC, which has been accused of failing to report on investigations into Savile's alleged crimes.

BGH/MOL/HE

Mainstream media spreading word for Islamic State, says top counter terrorism cop — RT...

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Father gunned down with semi-automatic weapon outside London home (VIDEO) — RT UK News

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MI5 missed chance to stop Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi — RT UK News

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Guns found aboard Calais-Dover ferry despite strict border security checks — RT UK News

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‘We’ve Got to Break This Mindset That Policing Is the Only Tool’

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Horrific CCTV footage shows man drop-kicked off train platform (VIDEO) — RT UK News

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Firework explodes inside London bus, sending passengers diving for cover (VIDEO) — RT UK

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Washington, DC study — RT America

The adoption of body cameras by Metropolitan Police Department officers in Washington, DC had no discernible...

Hunt for sex predators after girl, 17, attacked 3 times in 1 hour on...

Police are hunting three separate men after a teenage girl, in a harrowing ordeal, was...

Thugs spray acid into shopkeeper’s mouth in London robbery (VIDEO) — RT UK

Published time: 13 Oct, 2017 14:47 Two men caught on CCTV throwing acid in the...

Vegas security guard’s disappearance baffles media, massacre timeline changes again — RT America

Jesus Campos, the Mandalay Bay security guard shot by gunman Stephen Paddock - who opened fire...

Cyril Smith abused kids for ‘perverted amusement’ & MI5 may have covered it up,...

Published time: 10 Oct, 2017 14:52 The late Liberal Party politician Sir Cyril Smith treated...

Las Vegas shooter fired at fuel tanks as part of escape plan, sheriff says

Las Vegas police now say that a security guard found gunman Stephen Paddock drilling a hole...

Several people injured after car mounts pavement outside London's National History Museum

Published time: 7 Oct, 2017 14:01 Edited time: 7 Oct, 2017 14:18 An incident involving...

Girlfriend of Las Vegas Gunman Back in U.S.

The girlfriend of the gunman who carried out Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas is back on U.S. soil, a law-enforcement official confirmed,...

Scores of St Louis protesters arrested after highway blockage (PHOTOS)

Published time: 4 Oct, 2017 09:14 Edited time: 4 Oct, 2017 09:44 Police arrested scores of...

UK to ban sale of acid to under-18s amid ‘epidemic’ of attacks

The Conservatives have pledged to ban the sale of acid to under-18s in a bid...

CBS legal exec axed over Facebook comments on Las Vegas mass shooting

Published time: 2 Oct, 2017 23:25 A senior legal executive at CBS has been fired over...

Las Vegas Shooting Leaves at Least 50 Dead, More Than 400 Injured

Police identify suspect as 64-year-old local resident Stephen Paddock At least 50 people are dead and more than 400 injured after a...

Worst Mass Shooting in US History Leaves More Than 50 Dead, 400 Injured in...

A gunman opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada late Sunday, injuring more than 400 people and killing at least 50—the...

Don’t take photos… run! New advice for children caught up in terrorist attacks

Published time: 28 Sep, 2017 13:09 Children and teens who witness a terrorist attack are...

CCTV captures another London acid attack, perpetrator seen calmly walking away (VIDEO)

Published time: 26 Sep, 2017 11:39 Police have released CCTV footage of a horrifying acid...

British counterterrorism laws breach human rights, lawyer tells RT (VIDEO)

Published time: 26 Sep, 2017 13:16 Indiscriminate powers for authorities to convict people under terrorism...

Uber CEO apologizes to Londoners: ‘We’ve got things wrong’

Published time: 25 Sep, 2017 18:05 Ride-hailing app Uber has apologized to the city of...

Stingray tracking of cellphones unconstitutional without a warrant – US court

A federal court has ruled that police must obtain a warrant before using Stingray tracking devices...

Six injured in acid attack at London station

Published time: 23 Sep, 2017 21:15 Edited time: 23 Sep, 2017 21:18 Six people have...

1 week after Parsons Green bombing, what do we know so far?

A week has passed since the terrorist attack on Parsons Green tube station in West...

Ahmed Hassan, 18, charged with attempted murder over Parsons Green bombing

Published time: 22 Sep, 2017 12:12 Edited time: 22 Sep, 2017 12:26 A man has...

US pulls out of $1.2mn arms deal with Turkish guards in response to violent...

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will no longer be able to purchase hundreds of handguns from...

Banksy confirms new Barbican murals are his, dedicated to US artist Basquiat

Published time: 18 Sep, 2017 16:03 Two new works of art by acclaimed British street...

What we know so far about Parsons Green bucket bomber suspects

Police are investigating a second refugee foster child as part of a terrorism investigation into...

Protests grip St. Louis for 3rd day after ex-cop’s acquittal in fatal shooting (VIDEOS)

Published time: 18 Sep, 2017 00:24 Edited time: 18 Sep, 2017 02:06 For a third consecutive...

‘Pure speculation’: British Home Sec dismisses Trump’s Parsons Green tweets (VIDEO)

Published time: 17 Sep, 2017 13:56 British Home Secretary Amber Rudd dismissed US President Donald...

Twitter users urge calm after Parsons Green tube explosion

Published time: 15 Sep, 2017 09:19 Edited time: 15 Sep, 2017 12:16 Many are taking...

London Parsons Green IED 'similar to Boston Marathon bomb,' only partially detonated

Police have confirmed the explosion on a packed rush hour tube train at Parsons Green...

UK asked to intervene over claims Qatari govt ministers sanctioned torture in UAE (VIDEO)

Britain has been asked to investigate allegations of torture against Qatari nationals in the United...

Lee Rigby killer in £100,000 ‘blood money’ court claim, says wardens ‘damaged’ him

Published time: 8 Sep, 2017 10:26 The killer of soldier Lee Rigby is seeking £100,000...

Two British nationals arrested on terrorism charges at Birmingham airport

Published time: 7 Sep, 2017 16:34 Two British nationals have been arrested on suspicion of...

Suspected fantasist faces prosecution over VIP child sex abuse claims, as inquiries draw blank

An alleged fantasist known only as ‘Nick’, who claimed he had been raped and abused...

Why did Princess Diana's car crash? 20yrs after her death, conspiracy theories abound

Twenty years after Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in France, conspiracy...

100 firefighters battle blaze in northeast London, arson suspected – reports (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Published time: 23 Aug, 2017 21:29 Up to 100 firefighters have been called to a...

Facial recognition tech turns people into ‘waking ID cards,’ warn privacy activists

Police force use of facial recognition technology in public spaces risks turning people into “walking...

Eye spy: Facial recognition tech gets govt cash boost despite claims it’s illegal

Britain’s Home Office is ready to invest more in facial recognition technology for police forces...

Man arrested for anti-Muslim chest graffiti tells RT that Britain has failed groomed white...

A man who was arrested after stripping off in public to reveal his torso scrawled...

Uber failed to report sex attacks by drivers, top Met officer claims

Published time: 13 Aug, 2017 19:27 London’s Metropolitan Police have lashed out at Uber, accusing...

Anti-Brexit campaigner frightened to leave home after acid attack threats

Gina Miller, the British businesswoman who won a Supreme Court case forcing the government to...

Britain will face radical Islamist threat for decades to come, says ex-MI5 boss

Published time: 11 Aug, 2017 11:53 Former MI5 chief Lord Evans has warned that the...

Moped robbers drag 52-year-old woman to ground to snatch belongings (VIDEO)

Published time: 11 Aug, 2017 12:37 CCTV footage has been released showing a moped gang...

UK counter-terrorism effort ‘actively undermined’ by Prevent critics, says home secretary

Prevent, the British government’s counter-radicalization strategy, should not be viewed negatively, Home Secretary Amber Rudd...

‘Chemical substance’ in envelope injures 3 at London’s Borough Market

Published time: 10 Aug, 2017 15:05 Edited time: 10 Aug, 2017 15:10 Three people have...

London double-decker crashes into building, multiple passengers injured (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Published time: 10 Aug, 2017 08:20 Edited time: 10 Aug, 2017 09:13 A double-decker bus...

Man found guilty of trying to smuggle pipe bomb onto UK flight

Published time: 8 Aug, 2017 16:07 Nadeem Muhammad, 43, originally from Pakistan, was found guilty...

Schoolgirl jailed for attacking love rival with acid hidden in viola case

A schoolgirl who left a love rival with horrifying injuries after attacking her with acid...

‘Toxic’ Prevent strategy fueling radicalization in Britain – CAGE

Published time: 7 Aug, 2017 16:18 Prevent, the British government’s counter-radicalization strategy, is fueling extremism...

Officer escapes Las Vegas shootout unharmed as bullet hits his gun belt (PHOTO, GRAPHIC...

Published time: 5 Aug, 2017 17:01 Las Vegas police have released footage of a Tuesday shootout....

Doctor charged with 118 sex offences, 1 against a child

Published time: 3 Aug, 2017 09:32 A doctor from East London has been charged with...