Aletho News


Unlearned lessons from the Steven Hatfill case

By Glenn Greenwald | April 21, 2010

Andrew Sullivan rightly recommends this new Atlantic article by David Freed, which details how the FBI and a mindless, stenographic American media combined to destroy the life of Steven Hatfill.  Hatfill is the former U.S. Government scientist who for years was publicly depicted as the anthrax attacker and subjected to Government investigations so invasive and relentless that they forced him into almost total seclusion, paralysis and mental instability, only to have the Government years later (in 2008) acknowledge that he had nothing to do with those attacks and to pay him $5.8 million to settle the lawsuit he brought.  There are two crucial lessons that ought to be learned from this horrible — though far-from-rare — travesty:

(1) It requires an extreme level of irrationality to read what happened to Hatfill and simultaneously to have faith that the “real anthrax attacker” has now been identified as a result of the FBI’s wholly untested and uninvestigated case against Bruce Ivins.  The parallels are so overwhelming as to be self-evident.

Just as was true for the case against Hatfill, the FBI’s case against Ivins is riddled with scientific and evidentiary holes.  Much of the public case against Ivins, as was true for Hatfill, was made by subservient establishment reporters mindlessly passing on dubious claims leaked by their anonymous government sources.  So unconvincing is the case against Ivins that even the most establishment, government-trusting voices — including key members of Congress, leading scientific journals and biological weapons experts, and the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall St. Journal — have all expressed serious doubts over the FBI’s case and have called for further, independent investigations.

Yet just as was true for years with the Hatfill accusations, no independent investigations are taking place.  That’s true for three reasons.

First, the FBI drove Ivins to suicide, thus creating an unwarranted public assumption of guilt and ensuring the FBI’s case would never be subjected to the critical scrutiny of a trial — exactly what would have happened with Hatfill had he, like Ivins, succumbed to that temptation, as Freed describes:

The next morning, driving through Georgetown on the way to visit one of his friends in suburban Maryland, I ask Hatfill how close he came to suicide. The muscles in his jaw tighten.

“That was never an option,” Hatfill says, staring straight ahead. “If I would’ve killed myself, I would’ve been automatically judged by the press and the FBI to be guilty.”

Second, the American media — with some notable exceptions — continued to do to Ivins what it did to Hatfill and what it does in general:  uncritically disseminate government claims rather than questioning or investigating them for accuracy.  As a result, many Americans continue to blindly assume any accusations that come from the Government must be true.  As Freed writes, in a passage with significance far beyond the Hatfill case:

The same, Hatfill believes, cannot be said about American civil liberties. “I was a guy who trusted the government,” he says. “Now, I don’t trust a damn thing they do.” He trusts reporters even less, dismissing them as little more than lapdogs for law enforcement.

The media’s general willingness to report what was spoon-fed to them, in an effort to reassure a frightened public that an arrest was not far off, is somewhat understandable considering the level of fear that gripped the nation following 9/11. But that doesn’t “justify the sliming of Steven Hatfill,” says Edward Wasserman, who is the Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University, in Virginia. “If anything, it’s a reminder that an unquestioning media serves as a potential lever of power to be activated by the government, almost at will.

No matter how many times the Government and media jointly disseminate outright lies to the American citizenry — remember Iraq, or Jessica Lynch’s heroic Rambo-like firefight with Evil Iraqi Villains, or Pat Tillman’s death at the hands of Al Qaeda Monsters, or all the gloriously successful air strikes and raids on Terrorists that never happened? — that propagandistic process never weakens.  As a result, many Americans (especially when their party is in power) simply place blind faith in whatever the Government claims (even when the claims are issued anonymously and accompanied by no tested evidence).  Hence, the Government claims it knows that Ivins is the anthrax killer; the American media largely affirms that claim; and, for so many people, that’s the end of the story, no matter how many times that exact process has so woefully misled them and no matter how many credible and even mainstream sources question it.

Third, the Obama administration is actively and aggressively blocking any efforts to investigate the FBI’s case against Ivins through an Obama veto threat, based on the Orwellian, backward claim that such an investigation “would undermine public confidence” in the FBI’s case “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions.”  As explained in a letter to the Obama administration by Rep. Rush Holt, the former physicist who represents the New Jersey district from which the anthrax letters were sent:

The Bureau has asserted repeatedly and with confidence that the “Amerithrax” investigation is the most thorough they have ever conducted — claims they made even as they were erroneously pursuing Dr. Steven Hatfill. . . . Many critical questions in this case remain unanswered, and there are many reasons why there is not, nor ever has been, public confidence in the investigation or the FBI’s conclusions, precisely because it was botched at multiple points over more than eight years. Indeed, opposing an independent examination of any aspect of the investigation will only fuel the public’s belief that the FBI’s case could not hold up in court, and that in fact the real killer may still be at large.

The anthrax attacks were one of the most significant political events of this generation — as significant as the 9/11 attack, if not more so, in creating the climate of fear that prevailed (and still prevails) in the U.S., which, in turn, spawned so much expansion of government power.  It is worth remembering what happened in the Hatfill case in order to be reminded of just how inexcusable it is that there has been no independent investigation of the case against Ivins and that the current administration is now aggressively and quite strangely blocking any efforts to do so.

(2) More generally, it is hard to overstate the authoritarian impulses necessary for someone — even in the wake of numerous cases like Steven Hatfill’s — to place blind faith in government accusations without needing to see any evidence or have that evidence subjected to adversarial scrutiny.  Yet that is exactly the blind faith that dominates so many of our political debates.

Throughout the Bush years, anyone who argued against warrantless surveillance, or torture, or lawless detention and rendition, was met with this response:  but this is all being done to Terrorists. What they actually meant was:  these are people accused by the Government, with no evidence or trials, of being Terrorists.  But the authoritarian mind, by definition, recognizes no distinction between “Our leaders claim X” and “X is true.”  For them, the former is proof of the latter.  Identically, those who now argue against due-process-free presidential assassinations of American citizens and charge-less indefinite detentions are met with a similar response:  but these are dangerous people who are trying to kill Americans, when what they actually mean is:  Obama officials claim, with no evidence shown and no process given, that these are dangerous people trying to kill Americans.  The authoritarian mind refuses to recognize any distinction between those two very different propositions.

No matter how many Steven Hatfills there are — indeed, no matter how undeniable is the evidence that the Government repeatedly accused people of being Terrorists who were no such thing, even while knowing the accusations were false — the authoritarians among us continue to blindly recite unproven Government accusations (but he’s a Terrorist!) to justify the most extreme detention, surveillance and even assassination policies, all without needing or wanting any due process or evidence.  No matter how many times it is shown how unreliable those kinds of untested government accusations are (either due to abuse or error), there is no shortage of people willing to place blind faith in such pronouncements and to vest political leaders with all sorts of unchecked powers to act on them.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | 1 Comment

Germany set to sell Israel submarines

Press TV – April 22, 2010

New reports say Israel is planning to establish a deep-sea navy and is negotiating with Germany over the purchase warships and submarines.

According to a report published by United Press International, Germany will supply Israel with three more Dolphin class attack submarines, several warships, and possibly two MEKO A-100 corvettes.

The MEKO variant sought by the Tel Aviv regime costs an estimated $300 million.

The warship, with a range of 4,635 miles, can carry one medium-size helicopter and 24 weapons systems — 16 ship-to-shore and eight anti-ship missile launchers adapted to US weapons as well as air-defense missiles and automatic cannon.

Citing an unnamed Israeli source, the UPI report said that the Israeli navy would like even more Dolphins.

“Our ideal number would be nine — enough to ensure we have the necessary assets at sea to cover all relevant threats and targets,” UPI quoted the source as saying.

Israel had begun the negotiations over the program in October 2007 when the Israel Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi visited Berlin.

The expansion program, which will transform the regime’s navy into a deep-water navy, has provoked outrage among German opposition parties, including the Social Democrats, who say weapons should not be sent to “crisis zones.”

However, Germany has provided special discounts on arms sales to Israel in the past. The Tel Aviv regime’s 2006 order for two Dolphin class submarines was approved despite the Social Democrats’ opposition to the deal.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Militarism | 7 Comments

Ethanol supporters in Congress try to prevent a repeat of biodiesel mothballing

Dan Looker – Successful Farming – 4/20/2010

Four months after a $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax credit expired, putting some 29,000 out of work in that industry, backers of the ethanol industry are trying to prevent that from happening on an even larger scale.

Ethanol’s 45 cent-a-gallon credit, known as the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), expires at the end of this year.

Tuesday, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) introduced a bill to extend VEETC through 2015. It would also extend a tariff on imported ethanol.

Grassley told reporters that some 112,000 jobs in the ethanol industry are at risk if the tax credit and tariff are allowed to expire.

“I don’t think we can risk a repeat performance with ethanol like we had with biodiesel,” he said.

There doesn’t seem to be much organized opposition to renewing the biodiesel tax credit, but under new pay-as-you-go rules intended to keep the federal deficit from growing even more, Congress has to find offsetting budget savings or higher taxes to pay for the biodiesel credit.

Grassley said Tuesday that the House Ways and Means Committee is looking for ways to offset the biodiesel credit.

The new 5-year tax credit extension for ethanol might also need offsets. Grassley said Tuesday that he doesn’t know where they would come from.

Unlike biodiesel, the ethanol industry does face opposition to extending VEETC and the tariff.

In March, Representatives Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and John Shimkus (R-IL) introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives to extend the ethanol tax credit for five more years. That bill has already drawn opposition from the American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Taxpayers for Common Sense and others. […]

The bill Grassley and Conrad introduced today, the Grow Renewable Energy from Ethanol Naturally Jobs Act of 2010, or the GREEN Jobs Act of 2010, is cosponsored by Senators John Thune (R-SD), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Tim Johnson (D-SD).

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | 2 Comments

Firm Run by Ex-Israeli Special Forces Soldier Wants US Security Contracts in Jerusalem, Iraq, Afghanistan

By Jeremy Scahill | Rebel Reports | April 21, 2010

The Obama administration has continued the Bush-era reliance on private contractors to sustain the US occupation of Iraq and the US operations in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Obama has surpassed Bush’s reliance on contractors with current contractor levels surpassing 100,000 Defense Department contractors deployed. In Iraq, Obama has maintained the long-standing ratio of one contractor to every US soldier. […]

… The solicitation indicates that the work will include “a static guard and emergency response team requirement in Baghdad, Iraq, a static guard and emergency response team requirement in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a personal protective security service requirement in Jerusalem.”

Among the companies listed as “interested vendors” to bid on the contracts are the predictable list of industry giants: L-3 Services, SAIC, USIS, Northrop Grumman, and DynCorp. Two lesser-known firms in particular that have expressed interest in the contracts jump out: Instinctive Shooting International and Evergreen International Aviation.

Hiring Instinctive Shooting International for any type of armed contract in a Muslim country, particularly to operate in Jerusalem with a stamp of US government legitimacy, should be cause for serious concern and Congressional inquiry. Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) was founded by Hanan Yadin, a former member of the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Agency and a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces. According to his bio [PDF], Hanan “received advanced training at the Israeli Anti-Terror Academy and served as an instructor at the Israeli Military Intelligence Academy. As part of a Special Ops unit he executed high-risk missions against terrorist’s cells. Hanan is an expert marksman and has completed advanced training in crisis response, Krav Maga (the Israeli unarmed fighting system), urban warfare and tactical operations.”

I encountered ISI operatives, all former Israeli soldiers, manning an armed check-point in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At the time, in 2005, its website described ISI’s personnel as “veterans of the Israeli special task forces from the following Israeli government bodies: Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, Instructors of Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, General Security Service (GSS or ‘Shin Beit’), Other restricted intelligence agencies.”

Today the website has changed dramatically. Its main graphic is of US soldiers wearing ISI websiteAmerican flag patches, wielding automatic weapons in what appears to be Iraq. “After 9/11, ISI was able to bring to bear all of its resources, expertise and experience to work with U.S. military and government agencies in gaining a deeper understanding of radical Islam and provide proven tactical techniques to improve counter-terror operations,” according to the website. This would hardly be ISI’s first US government contract. It has received many training and security contracts since its founding in 1993. According to the company, it is currently under a five-year contract with the US Army that began in November 2009.

Evergreen has had long-standing ties to the CIA. “In 1980 an Evergreen plane flew the recently deposed Shah of Iran from Panama to Egypt, hours before the Panamanian government was due to receive an extradition request from the new government in Tehran,” according to SourceWatch. “Giving rides to dictators is something of a specialty for the company – it also allowed El Salvador’s President Duarte to use its helicopter, which was officially in the country to help repair power lines. And according to a series of articles in The Oregonian in 1988, Evergreen’s owner and founder Delford M. Smith ‘…acknowledged one agreement under which his companies provide occasional jobs and cover to foreign nationals the CIA wants taken out of other countries or brought into the United States.’”

Evergreen is perhaps best known more recently for offering—unsolicited—its security services to Oregon county clerks ahead of the 2008 elections. “During this crucial election Evergreen Defense and Security Services has recognized the potential conflict that could occur on November 4,” an email from company president Evergreen president Tom Wiggins to election officials stated. “Never has there been a more heated battle in the race for president and voters seem more involved and determined to achieve their respective goals. EDSS proposes to post sentries at each voting center on November 4 to assure that disputes among citizens do not get out of control. All guards will be unarmed but capable of stopping any violence that may occur, and detaining troublemakers until law enforcement help arrives.” The offer was suspect on several fronts, not the least of which being that Oregon has no polling places and votes by mail.

According to State Department documents, among the projects up for bidding are:

—Private security teams in Jerusalem. The solicitation calls for 46 personnel, including 36 “security specialists” and team/shift leaders for armed details.

—Embassy guards and an Emergency Response Team in Kabul. The solicitation calls for  219 personnel, including a 142-member embassy guard force and 49 “emergency response” personnel.

—Embassy guards and an Emergency Response Team in Baghdad, Iraq.  The solicitation calls for 551 personnel, including 357 “armed guards” and an Emergency Response Team consisting of 30 protective security specialists and four “designated defense marksmen.”

The US embassy in Iraq, according to the documents, requires the greatest number of contractors. This is likely because the embassy there is the largest of any embassy of any nation in history.

The State Department has a conference for prospective bidders scheduled for April 27-28 in Arlington, Virginia. Attendance is mandatory for interested companies.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Militarism | 1 Comment

US ban on Arab TV

Dawn Media Group | April 19, 2010

THE United States claims that one of its top foreign policy initiatives is to spread democracy and freedom around the world. But a recent bill in the US Congress has led many to wonder whether the US wants to become one of the world’s biggest hindrances to media freedom.

Early December the US House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming majority to pass a bill in order to stop satellite TV channels from 17 Arab nations from being transmitted to American audiences due to their engagement in ‘anti-American incitement to violence’.

In a Congress that cannot seem to agree on many burning issues — whether fixing the broken healthcare system or ways of dealing with the turbulent economic situation — the bill passed with 395 ‘yes’ votes, and only three dissenters.

The bill — known as House Resolution 2278 — has to pass many stages before it becomes a law, but it has shocked many for contradicting American support for free speech.

Airing of respectful disagreement with the policies of the US government is a part of the development process, which should be taken positively the US.


April 21, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | 1 Comment

Israeli settlers set fire to historic Petra hotel in Occupied Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – 21/04/2010

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Petra hotel caught fire after Israeli settlers celebrating the occasion of the occupation of Palestine fired fireworks that fell on the roof.

Eyewitnesses said that the settlers, whose motives are still unknown, were in the “castle of David” inside the old city of occupied Jerusalem when they were firing their fireworks.

They added that one piece of the festival rockets fell on the hotel’s roof leading to the burning of all rooms of the third floor of the hotel.

Hazim Saeed, the hotel director, said that the Israeli fire brigade was sent half an hour after the fire started and their delay led to the destruction of the roof, all rooms in the third floor, the electric and water networks, and the telephone service.

The Petra hotel is one of the oldest Palestinian hotels dating back to 1830. it also consists of 26 luxury classic rooms and is located in a sensitive site in front of the “castle of David.”

In separate incidents, Israeli settlers from Ariel settlement on Tuesday evening attacked Palestinian cars passing at the road junction of Kafel Hares village, northwest of Salfit city and threw stones at them without any reported injuries.

Palestinian press sources also reported that hundreds of students of a religious school in Kiryat Arba settlement attacked last Sunday at noon the house of an elderly woman called Zainab Raheel in Yaffa city and cursed her threatening that they would expel the Arabs from Yaffa.

The students then performed Talmudic rituals in front of the house chanting racial slogans against the Palestinians.

Meanwile, Israeli minister of transport Yisrael Katz promised the settlers in Kiryat Arba settlement in Al-Khalil city to earmark 2.5 million dollars of his ministry’s budget in order to build a new road connecting their settlement with highway 60 and extending to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The Hebrew radio quoted Katz as saying that the new road will help ensure the safety of more than half a million Israeli visitors to Al-Khalil city and will enhance the Jewish people’s relationship with the city… Full article

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | 1 Comment

US Vows New Sanctions Against Iran in ‘Weeks’

By Jason Ditz | April 20, 2010

Much as they did several times last week, and several times the week before that, and indeed innumerable times this year, last year, and the year before that, the US today vowed that there would be new sanctions against Iran in a matter of weeks.

This time the pledge came in the form of comments by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D – MD) who promised that the United States would act “sooner, rather than later” in more harsh sanctions against Iran for its civilian nuclear program.

The comments came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again demanded that the US enact “crippling sanctions” against Iran, blocking the nation’s gasoline imports in the hopes of crushing the government. Netanyahu made similar demands earlier in the month, and several times last month, and also innumerable times since coming into office last year.

But once again, the prospect of the sanctions, despite US optimism, seems slim. Russia has repeatedly opposed “crippling” sanctions, and said it would only support very limited sanctions targeting just the nuclear industry. China for its part again declared today that it remains firmly in favor of diplomacy, and says negotiations, not sanctions, remain the best way to solve disagreements.


March 08, 2010

Israeli Official: West Has 4-8 Weeks Left for Iran Diplomacy

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Anti-govt. demos held in Egypt

Press TV – April 21, 2010
Egyptian activists shout anti-government slogans and hold posters that read in Arabic: “shoot us”.

Dozens of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets of the Egyptian capital Cairo to demand more political freedom.

The demonstrators slammed calls by politicians and officials loyal to President Hosni Mubarak to use force against anti-government protesters. They also called for an end to emergency rule that allows indefinite detentions of people under the pretext of national security.

A lawmaker earlier questioned the Interior Ministry for being soft on the protesters. He said anti-government protesters should be shot.

Amnesty International has condemned the MP’s outrageous remarks, saying that it was “a clear incitement to excessive force and potentially unlawful killing of protesters.”

Mubarak has been the President of Egypt since 1981.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties | 1 Comment

UK: To Vote Or Not

By Robin Yassin-Kassab | Pulse Media | April 20, 2010

Democracy is supposed to mean ‘government by the people’. In the ancient Greek city states all the free men (but not women or slaves) would cram the theatre for lively, informed debate on a relevant issue, and then would decide it by a show of hands. Not so today. Putting a mark on a piece of paper every five years and imagining that you run things seems like a sad parody of such activity, a demotic populism masking power rather than a popular democracy negotiating it.

In our society the most important decisions are often made by unelected movers of capital and unelected civil servants and generals. Elected officials are very often at least as loyal to the lobbies easing their way as to the voters they supposedly represent.

And there’s the problem of ignorance. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,” Thomas Jefferson said, “in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Why has there been no campaign discussion of the causes and long-term ramifications of the current recession? (I mean the failure of the neo-liberal economics which both Tories and Labour have pursued in government, and a global power realignement). Surely because the politicians know most people don’t understand economics. (Most politicians don’t understand economics either). As far as foreign policy is concerned, the mainstream media and culturally-embedded imperialist assumptions are effective obstructions to open, informed debate. Add to this the postmodern simulacrum which many of us inhabit, in which an actual explosion attracts no more attention than a computer or Hollywood-simulated explosion, in which the boundaries between image and reality are beyond blurred. Baghdad fills less space on the screen than Bruno’s swinging penis.

So voting doesn’t mean nearly as much as the culture pretends it does, but it still means something, or at least could do. Public opinion, though manipulated and frequently scorned, plays a key role in the management of state and empire. Our enemies know this, which is why they have it tied up so well.

For us, to blithely ignore an election is to fail to understand and engage with the real world of lobbies and influence. (If there were a mass oppositional movement in this country, we could forget about lobbies and the established parties – but there isn’t). The Israel Lobby, for instance, not only commands a great deal of money, but very effectively marshals its supporters to write letters to MPs and ministers, to vote for candidates that express pro-Israel sentiments, and to demonise and isolate those who speak out against Zionist crimes. If candidates for parliament were to receive as many pledges of support for a pro-Palestine as for a pro-Israel position, things might change a little.

Politicians don’t fear majorities of passive opinion; they fear organised, committed minorities. Perhaps two million marched in London against the invasion of Iraq. It was the biggest demonstration in British history, and it certainly wasn’t passive. When it finished, however, most marchers politely returned home, feeling better about themselves. A million dead Iraqis later, many of the marchers will vote for Labour or Tory candidates who supported the invasion.

Some of the marchers won’t vote at all, believing that by not voting they make a statement of non-cooperation with the system. But their protest is invisible. Their absent votes are lumped with those millions who do not vote out of apathy or alienation, because inside their simulacrum an episode of Eastenders takes precedence over a visit to the polling booth.

This time I’m going to vote, but not with illusions. I know voting isn’t an alternative to other actions. And I’m not going to play the game to the extent of voting Labour, even though I’m in a constituency where Labour will probably lose to the Tories. I just can’t vote Labour. There’s the matter of a million dead Iraqis for a start. There’s Blair’s Lebanon war, and Afghanistan, and the assault on civil liberties. There’s the economic mess which is about to undo much of what has been done. Plus Labour has presided over and often directed a dramatic resurgence of racism and Islamophobia, which makes my life more difficult.

Many people will vote Tory simply because they are sick of Labour. Many will vote Labour only because they fear the Tories more. Very few people will vote out of genuine enthusiasm for a party or politician. This is the particular curse of the British-style ‘first-past-the-post’system, a curse which suits the two main parties. The Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, have been proposing a proportional representation system for years. There is a chance that the next parliament will be hung, with the Liberals acting as kingmakers. Therefore there’s a slight chance that Proportional Representation will be their king-making price. It’s in their interests of course, for under PR the Liberals would no longer be a minority party. It also means that people could vote for who they like rather than for who scares them least. PR would allow the BNP to enter parliament, but also the Greens and socialist movements. It would certainly make electoral politics more interesting, and could allow more space for genuinely oppositional voices.

I notice the Liberal Democrats also because their leader, Nick Clegg, has called for an arms embargo against Israel. Clegg should be rewarded for this brave and principled stand, which is a million miles beyond what we could expect from the Labour or Tory leaders. Clegg should know that there’s political mileage in taking a pro-justice position, and other politicians should observe and learn the lesson.

This sounds like an endorsement of the Liberal Democrats, and to an extent it is. I recommend of course that voters research their local candidates’ allegiances. There’s a Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel just as there are Labour and Tory versions. And I’m only endorsing the Liberals for the moment. If they ever become a fixture of government they’ll become as targetted by lobbies, corruption and imperial ‘realpolitic’ as the other two.

As for me, I’m voting SNP. Where I live they are in third place behind Labour and the Tories. The Scottish Nationalists are to the left of New Labour and are (except for Plaid Cymru) the only party to call for a rethink of the British military presence in Afghanistan.

(And P.S. – Could I appeal to British Muslims to investigate the positions taken by Muslim MPs before voting for them. Politicians like Birmingham MP Khaled Mahmood must receive some votes simply because they have Muslim names. Mahmood is a tame Blairite who rarely votes in parliament, but when he does he supports attacks on civil liberties. He’s on record as “dismissing” calls for an arms embargo against Israel. On the other hand, Osama Saeed, SNP candidate for Glasgow Central, has a solid record of anti-war and pro-justice activism.)

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | 2 Comments