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01.29.14

Head of GCHQ Eliminated, But the Hydra Remains Alive and Harms Lives

Posted in Law at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Open Rights Group and others are challenging the gross practice of surveillance (pre-requisite of censorship, espionage, torture, and assassination) for political ends

Britain’s Open Rights Group (ORG) may soon provide evidence against the GCHQ, whose head is said to have just been metaphorically chopped off (breaking news). For the uninitiated, GCHQ plays a role in assassination by drones — a highly-controversial practice which the NSA is a major player in (with the CIA doing the execution). This breeds a lot of hatred/contempt towards the US and Britain all around the world. Charges were recently pressed by British victims or their relatives, but the UK government tends to dismiss those (cover-up). A government that’s “just” by virtue of being a government and a police force that’s “lawful” by virtue of upholding subjective laws are both symptoms of tyranny. GCHQ also plays a role in selecting people to be tortured, even in the UK (although in secrecy, with secret courts, as that helps hide something that’s inherently illegal).

We live in an awkward world right now. It seems acceptable for the government to attack Web sites/computers of activists, whereas if activists attack sites of wealthy people who harm society they go to prison for a very long time [2].

In Europe, as it turns out [3], torture by the CIA is indeed happening and the US Department of ‘Justice’ is actively trying to hide illegalities relating to this [4]. How can these governments expect people to obey the law when these governments themselves grossly violate the law? John Kiriakou, the man who blew the whistle on illegal torture by the CIA, is still in prison, whereas those who promote and engage in illegal torture are free [5]. People who support Kiriakou’s positions are now being characterised as “dangerous” [6]. Amazing! This is freedom of speech?

Speaking of dangerous, as “Obama’s drone war hits its fifth year” [7] we now see that the CIA wants to continue to occupy a country just so that it can continue to assassinate people in a neighbouring country [8-11], especially using drones. This is aggressive imperialism, not even colonialism. Fortunately, however, reformed people (some of whom left high positions in the US Army) protest against drone strikes [12] because the strategy is counter-productive [13] and it leads to serious ethical issues [14] (automating an assassination). After the latest assassination by drone [15] the Russian propaganda press asks: “Can other countries bomb USA like it bombs Somalia and many others?”

Of course not, but it’s called American exceptionalism and we in Britain should play no role in it. GCHQ should distance itself from the NSA (which ironically funded GCHQ at the expense of US taxpayers through black budget). We need to restore Britain’s reputation as valuing human life and human rights. Anything else would be counter-productive because the UK has become somewhat of a laughing stock in Russian media (Britain has historically bashed the Soviet system, claiming oppression and poor record on human rights).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Open Rights Group and impact litigation

    I’m writing this blog today ORG has an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference to the world’s digital future — a chance to argue before the European Court of Human Rights in coalition with Big Brother Watch and English PEN, in a crucial case over GCHQ’s lawless program of indiscriminate, total Internet surveillance.

  2. Wisconsin man sentenced for participating in Anonymous DDoS

    A man from Wisconsin was sentenced for participating in a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack by hacker group Anonymous on a Kansas company.

    Eric J. Rosol, 38, is said to have admitted that on Feb. 28, 2011, he took part in a denial of service attack for about a minute on a Web page of Koch Industries — Kochind.com, using software called a Low Orbit Ion Cannon Code, which was loaded on his computer.

  3. On CIA Prisons, Poland Sold Out for ‘Pathetically Little’ (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)

    Roman Imielski defends the implied consent of Polish authorities on CIA prisons. Well, I understand: the war on terrorism, the support of an ally, and joint operations in Iraq. Also: patriotism, national security, and the defense of democratic freedoms. But why did our U.S. ally sucker punch us on this occasion?

  4. DOJ challenges journalist’s claim to CIA interrogation report

    The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved to dismiss a case arising from investigative journalist Jason Leopold efforts to obtain documents from a congressional oversight report of the US Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) detention and interrogation program.

    At the heart of the case is a report by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) into the CIA’s former detention and interrogation program.

  5. Bureau of Prisons Considers CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s ‘Letters from Loretto’ on Firedoglake to Be Dangerous
  6. CIA whistleblower Kiriakou’s letters from prison on Firedoglake blog “dangerous,” says Bureau of Prisons

    Kevin Gosztola at Firedoglake: “The Bureau of Prisons, with a little assistance from the Central Intelligence Agency, have been engaging in a ham-handed attempt to stop former CIA officer John Kiriakou from sending letters from prison, according to a recent letter from prison.”

  7. Obama’s drone war hits its fifth year
  8. Our quagmire in Afghanistan

    All through the movie I kept asking myself, “Why?” What are these men fighting for? Once, I knew the answer. After Sept 11, 2001, I wanted to wipe out al-Qaida and kill its Afghan hosts, the Taliban. Even before the terrorist attack, reports of the Taliban’s treatment of women — stonings, public executions in the soccer stadium, etc. — and the beheadings of men convinced me they simply had it coming: Send in the Marines.

    But American fighting units have been there since 2001. The initial mission was completed long ago: the destruction of al-Qaida in Afghanistan. The Taliban and their allies remain, but unlike al-Qaida, they are indigenous and, seemingly, undeterred. They apparently have an unlimited supply of suicide bombers (who are these people?), and they continue to inflict mayhem on Afghans and foreigners alike. Earlier this month, the Taliban struck a Kabul restaurant with a Western clientele and killed at least 21 people. The attack by gunmen was preceded by a suicide bombing.

  9. Afghan exit seen as peril to CIA’s drone mission
  10. US exit from Afghanistan concerns CIA

    American intelligence agencies are concerned about Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s decision to not sign a controversial security deal with the United States, Press TV reported referring to a report.

  11. Peace activist raises awareness of drones

    A peace activist and retired Navy commander told a Salem group Sunday that America’s secretive combat drone program is illegally killing innocent people, mentally torturing survivors and is negatively changing the way people live.

    Leah Bolger, of Corvallis, gave her speech at the monthly Salem Fellowship of Reconciliation meeting. She visited an area of Pakistan she said experiences frequent drone strikes and spoke with victims and survivors.

  12. Drone strikes have crashed weddings, schools, funerals and rescuers. When will it end?

    Nabila’s drawings are like any other nine-year-old’s. A house rests besides a winding path, a winding path on which wander two stick figures. Tall trees, rising against the back drop of majestic hills. Clouds sprinkled over a clear sky.

    Nabila’s drawings are like any other nine-year-old’s. With one disturbing exception.

  13. Should a robot decide when to kill?

    By the time the sun rose on Friday, December 19th, the Homestead Miami race track had been taken over by robots. Some hung from racks, their humanoid feet dangling above the ground as roboticists wheeled them out of garages. One robot resembled a gorilla, while another looked like a spider; yet another could have been mistaken for a designer coffee table. Teams of engineers from MIT, Google, Lockheed Martin, and other institutions and companies replaced parts, ran last-minute tests, and ate junk food. Spare heads and arms were everywhere.

  14. US missile strike kills senior al-Shabaab leader in Somalia

    Official spokesman for the Somali federal government Ridwan Haji Abdiwali said Somali National Security Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled confirmed the death of senior al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Mohamed Amey, who is believed to be the same al-Shabaab commander named in local news reports as Ahmed Abdulkadir Abdullahi, also known as “Iskudhuq”.

  15. Can other countries bomb USA like it bombs Somalia and many others?

    The missile attack of U.S. drones on Somalia that came out of the blue over the weekend showed that U.S. ” doctrine of exceptionalism” allows to violate international law, bomb foreign territories and kill suspects without trial. Accordingly, other countries have a right to bomb the U.S., haven’t they?

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