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Alex Salmond declines to blame Russia for Salisbury incident

Press TV – April 7, 2021

The leader of the pro-independence Alba Party, Alex Salmond, has steadfastly refused to toe the British government’s line on the alleged poisoning of a Russian double agent in England in 2018.

Former Russian military intelligence officer, Segei Skripal, who betrayed his country by working for the UK’s MI6, was allegedly poisoned, alongside his daughter Yulia, with what the British government says was the Novichok nerve agent.

The alleged attack took place in the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury on March 04, 2018. Both Skripal and his daughter survived the alleged attack.

Speaking to BBC Good Morning Scotland on April 07, Salmond refused no less than four times to blame Russia for the alleged attack.

Faced by Salmond’s defiance, the show’s presenter, Gary Robertson, tried to undermine the former First Minister’s position by pointing out that he produces a show for the Russian TV network RT.

But Salmond hit back by saying: “I produce, along with Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a program for Slainte Media which is then broadcast on the RT platform, as they’re perfectly entitled to do”.

“I can tell you from personal experience – I don’t know what your experience at the BBC is – not a single word of editorial instruction or even suggestion has been made to me from anyone at RT and the program stands on its own merits”, the former leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) added.

Salmond and fellow Alba Party candidate Ahmed -Sheikh (who is a former SNP MP), host “The Alex Salmond Show” each week on RT.

On another subject, Salmond suggested that evidence of Russian interference in recent US elections was “very slight”.

Salmond’s position on these sensitive issues will alarm the British establishment which has identified Russia as an “active threat” to UK national security in its newly-released Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy.

Both the Alba Party and the SNP are committed to closing down the headquarters of the Royal Navy in Scotland.

The Faslane naval base, formally called Her Majesty’s Naval Base, Clyde, hosts the UK’s nuclear weapons capability.

April 7, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Plot meant to smear pro-Palestinian group exposed in Scotland

By Robert Carter | Press TV | September 9, 2020

A major scandal has come to light in Scotland. A fake anti-Semitic plot spearheaded by pro-Israel individuals aiming to smear a prominent pro-Palestine activists group, the “Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.”

The story turned on its head after the Law Society of Scotland fined a pro-Israel lawyer, Matthew Berlow, £500 for playing a key part in faking a graffiti attack on his own home and then placing full blame on the SPSC.

Luckily for the pro-Palestine activists, an investigation found that Berlow knew that an associate of his, pro-Israel former teacher Ed Sutherland, had created a fake Facebook identity under the name “Stevie Harrison” to infiltrate the SPSC in January last year.

And it was the imaginary “Stevie Harrison” who highlighted the vandalism on Berlow’s home in a Facebook post with the comments: A certain “Jewish lawyer” — referring to Barlow — woke up this morning to find ‘Free Palestine’ spray-painted on his home.

Berlow, knowing this to be a false attack, played the victim, claiming it was “typical SPSC behaviour.”

Speaking to members of the pro-Palestine group, they explain how these deceitful tactics are nothing new. These actions don’t sit too well given that allegations of Israeli activists weaponizing anti-Semitism against the Palestinian cause has been expressed many times, including in Britain’s biggest opposition party, the Labour Party, under former pro-Palestine leader Jeremy Corbyn.

September 9, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond cleared of sex assault charges

RT | March 23, 2020

Alex Salmond, former Scottish National Party leader and first minister of Scotland, has been acquitted of sexual assault charges by a jury at Edinburgh’s High Court.

After about six hours of deliberation, the jury found Salmond not guilty on 12 charges of attempted rape, sexual assault and indecent assault. A further charge, sexual assault with attempt to rape, was “not proven by majority.”

Salmond had denied all of the charges, which were made by nine women who are all either former Scottish government officials or SNP politicians, as “deliberate fabrications” for political purposes.

The allegations against the former first minister spanned a period of six years between 2008 and 2014.

The verdicts were read out after an 11-day trial. His defense team had argued that the charges had come from the same “political bubble” with no direct witnesses, and noted there had been inconsistencies in the testimonies of the women.

Two members of the jury were dismissed on Monday morning, apparently in relation to concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak, some reports said. The trial was also moved to a large courtroom due to fears around transmission of the virus.

March 23, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

A Window for Peace

By Craig Murray | January 8, 2020

There is this morning a chink of light to avoid yet more devastation in the Middle East. Iran’s missile strikes last night were calibrated to satisfy honour while avoiding damage that would trigger automatically the next round. The missiles appear to have been fitted out with very light warhead payloads indeed – their purpose was to look good in the dark going up into the night sky. There is every reason to believe the apparent lack of US casualties was deliberate.

Even more important was the Iraqi statement that “proportionate measures” had been “taken and concluded” and they did not seek “further escalation”.

I agree their response was proportionate and I would say that I regard the Iranian action so far, unlike the assassination of Soleimani by the US, legal in international law.

The entire world should congratulate Iran for its maturity in handling the illegal assassination of its General, who was on a peace mission, travelling as a civilian on a commercial flight, carrying a mediation message the US had been instrumental in instigating. If as seems possible the US actively manipulated the diplomatic process to assassinate someone on a diplomatic mission and traveling on a diplomatic passport, that is a dreadful outrage which will come back to haunt them. Life insurance rates for US diplomats no doubt just went up.

It is also worth noting the 2.8% rise in the Lockheed share price in the 24 hours immediately before the Soleimani assassination, outperforming the Dow about three times. That would bear investigation. Arms manufacturers and oil stocks have soared this last few days – and remember that nowadays the vast bulk of financial transactions are bets on the margins of movement, so vast fortunes will have been made out of all this.

The UK has been, as ever, complicit in US crimes. Our laughing called “defence” industry – when were its products last used in self-defence and not colonial adventure? – is tied in to and dependent on the US military machine. The current build-up of US troops and hardware in the Gulf has Mildenhall as a major staging post. We do not have to do this. Whether officially or on a pretext, French airspace was closed to the US military build-up and the Americans have had to fly from the UK, skirting France, around the Atlantic.

In a huge Boris Johnson slap in the face to international law, extra US bombers to attack Iran have been flown into Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Islands. You will recall that is where the UK committed genocide against the population in the 1970s to clear the way for the US military base. Last year, the UK lost a hearing before the International Court of Justice and was subsequently instructed by the UN to decolonise the islands and give them back to Mauritius by last November. The UK simply persisted in its illegal occupation and now is threatening the use of the islands as the base for yet another illegal and destabilising war.

That the UK is a permanent member of the UN security council is a disgrace which surely cannot endure much longer. What the current crisis has shown us is that under Johnson the UK has no future except as a still more compliant servant of whoever occupies the White House.

Wars are easy to start but hard to stop. Trump appears to have calmed, but we cannot rule out a stupid “last word” attack bu the USA. It is to be hoped that Iran now concentrates on using the immense political leverage it has gained to get western troops out of Iraq, which would be a tremendous result for all of us after 17 years. But we cannot rule out hotter heads in the Iranian government insisting on further attacks, or attacks from regional forces whose Tehran authorisation is uncertain. On either side this could yet blow up badly.

I am a sucker for hope, and the best outcome would be for the US and Iran to start talking directly again, and a deal to be made from this break in the logjam that is wider than, and Trump can portray as better than, “Obama’s” nuclear deal and would enable the lifting of sanctions. I am sure Trump will be tempted by the chance to go for this kind of diplomatic coup under the political cover provided him by Soleimani’s assassination. But the US is now so tied in to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and thus tied in to irrational hostility to Iran, that this must be extremely unlikely.

For those of us in Scotland, this is still more reason why Independence must be early. We cannot be tied in to a rogue state. As we march for Independence on Saturday, the potential for war in Iran gives the sharpest reminder why we must leave the UK and form our own, peaceful, law-abiding state.

January 8, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The beginning of the end of the United Kingdom

By Johanna Ross | December 20, 2019

Thursday was a busy news day, what with Trump’s impeachment and the Queen’s speech in Westminster, but another item given less coverage in UK mainstream media was arguably more significant than anything else making the headlines. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s speech, formally asking the UK Prime Minister to transfer the powers to hold a referendum on independence from Westminster to the Scottish parliament, may well go down in history as the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom.

Having bagged a landslide election victory, winning 48 out of the 59 seats in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has wasted no time in confronting Boris Johnson with what is, for him, an uncomfortable truth: that Scotland wants a second referendum on independence, and it’s not going to go away. Sturgeon’s rhetoric so far has been bold, saying that Scotland would not be ‘imprisoned’ inside the Union and that the UK government had to ‘confront reality’. On Thursday in her speech from Bute House she said her government now had an ‘unarguable mandate by any standards of democracy’ to hold another referendum on independence.

Alongside her letter to Boris Johnson requesting the powers to legally hold a second referendum under Section 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act, she published a 38 page document detailing proposed amendments to the statute, which would devolve the right to vote on leaving the UK to the Holyrood parliament. Entitled Scotland’s Right to Choose, the paper outlines her argument that there has been a “material change of circumstances” since the 2014 referendum, based on “the prospect of Scotland leaving the EU against its will and what EU exit has revealed about Scotland’s position within the UK”.

The Nationalists’ leader has a fair point. For we can debate about voters’ motivations till the cows come home, but facts are facts, and the fact remains that on 12th December the majority of Scots put their support behind a party which stands on an independence platform. Brexit hit Scotland twofold: it wasn’t simply the issue of leaving the EU itself which Scotland was against, but moreover this proud, northern nation has taken great exception to its views not being taken into account whatsoever in negotiations. In the draft Withdrawal Agreement there are umpteen mentions of Northern Ireland, but very little about how Scotland’s interests will be protected. The attitude has been something along the lines of ‘Scotland voted to remain in the UK in 2014 so it just has to put up with whatever Westminster decides’.

Indeed to say that Westminister is reluctant to grant another referendum is an understatement. Boris Johnson made it clear to Sturgeon in a telephone conversation last week that he was against it. This was reiterated by his minister Michael Gove this week when he said that there was ‘absolutely’ no prospect of the UK government ‘allowing’ another vote in the next five years. And herein lies the problem. For Westminster is always going to protect the Union, and oppose Scotland breaking away at all costs, as Spain has with Catalonia. Thinking that the EU would support Scotland when it hasn’t offered any help to Catalonia is futile.

Opponents are currently arguing that in fact, Sturgeon only won 45% of the vote last week, echoing the 2014 referendum result, and therefore, they suggest that there is no more appetite now than there was before. But one has to take into account the turnout for these two elections, and demographics. Many more people voted in the 2014 referendum than in last week’s election – 84% compared to 68%, and in particular, voters aged 16 and 17 were allowed to vote, as Scotland passed a law in 2014 allowing young people to do so in Scottish matters. Sturgeon knows that independence is popular amongst Scotland’s youth and therefore with the right campaign strategy, she must believe she can persuade young people to get out and vote for independence.

Sturgeon is careful. Independence activists have been calling on her for years now to demand a second referendum and she is regularly accused of even secretly not wanting independence herself. But clearly she has just been biding her time and her patience has paid off. She could not have chosen a better time now to call for indyref2, the momentum is behind her after the election, with the political divide between Scotland and England more stark than ever before. And Westminster’s obstinance could just play into her hands, as the more reluctant they are to grant the referendum, the more resentment towards them will build up north of the border. Johnson should be advised to grant Sturgeon’s wishes now, or risk fostering such levels of antagonism towards him and his government in Scotland, from which there would be no way back…

Johanna Ross is a journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

December 20, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 3 Comments

Scotland to push for second independence referendum post-election

By Johanna Ross | December 18, 2019

The Scottish independence movement has come a long way since I was a child. A few decades ago the Scottish National Party was on the fringes of politics and even when the Scottish parliament was founded, it was a Labour government at the helm. Independence was a distant dream, untouchable. It was even more intangible a prospect when my parents were young – back in the 1950s the SNP was as ostracised as the BNP currently is, with its members considered to be rather unhinged!

Gradually, over the decades, this has changed, with Alex Salmond presiding over the first ever SNP government and Nicola Sturgeon winning the largest number of seats ever for her party. Scotland’s party of independence has now been ruling the country for 12 years, and continues to dominate the political scene. On Thursday’s general election it won 47 out of 59 seats on a mandate of stopping Brexit and calling a second referendum on Scottish independence. Nicola Sturgeon has been labelled the UK’s second most powerful politician. Her party has never been as popular, and independence has never been so close. Now it seems the question is not if, but when.

Boris Johnson, having slaughtered Jeremy Corbyn in the election, is jubilant. He is currently coasting along on cloud nine, feeling vindicated after months of accusations hurled at himself and his ‘untrustworthy’ leadership. The man who just a short time ago, it was said, could face jail for deceiving the Queen and illegally proroguing parliament, took a gamble which paid off. He defiantly won the general election and now has a parliament behind him to pass his beloved Brexit bill.

And yet it’s not clear that he fully understands the implications of Thursday’s vote for the future of the Union. In fact it seems he is in denial. In a phone call with Nicola Sturgeon on Friday night Johnson reportedly emphasised that ‘he remained opposed to a second independence referendum’. But his words are not accepting the reality of the situation: that the majority of Scots have just voted decisively for the party which stands on an independence platform. And Sturgeon is not going to back down. In an interview on Sunday she said: “If he thinks – and I said this to him on Friday night on the telephone – that saying no is the end of the matter, he is going to find himself completely and utterly wrong.”

Sturgeon, usually mild mannered and reserved in her rhetoric on independence, has unequivocally turned up the volume in the debate, declaring that Scotland could not be “imprisoned” in the UK against its will. She accused the Tories of ignoring the will of the Scottish people and that they will have to ‘face up to and confront reality’ about what the election result means. In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday the Scottish First Minister expressed frustration that she was being forced to explain her position: “It really is such a subversion of democracy that you’re talking to the leader of the party that overwhelmingly won the election, and I’m under pressure to say what I’m doing because the mandate that I won is not going to be honoured by the party that got roundly defeated in Scotland”.

The independence campaign of course, narrowly lost in the 2014 referendum 45% to 55%. But so much has changed since then. At that time, the campaign for remaining in the Union was even using EU membership as an argument against independence, saying that Scotland would be jeopardising its future in the EU by leaving the United Kingdom. A few years later, the sad irony of this cannot be missed. Brexit has completely altered the political landscape in Britain, stirring up nationalism both north and south of the border. England has put Brexit before the United Kingdom, and Scotland has equally decided that its future remains with Europe, but not with England.

The Johnson government has a policy on Brexit, but its strategy on Scotland is less certain. Since the Prime Minister took office, his presence north of the border has been lacking, as has his interaction with Scottish politicians. Even his relationship with Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, was poor, as they had opposite views on Brexit. Johnson has deepened the hatred for the Conservative party in Scotland, estranging apathetic voters even further. By denying a second referendum he will only foster more bad feeling towards him and the Westminster government and boost the Nationalists’ campaign. If he doesn’t turn his attention to Scotland soon, he’ll have a Catalonia situation on his doorstep before he knows it…

Johanna Ross is a journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

December 18, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

UK election – victory for English Nationalism under the banner of Brexit

By Johanna Ross | December 13, 2019

Overnight the electoral map of the UK has changed significantly. Scotland is once again bathed in a sea of yellow, as England has been shrouded in blue. With the Scottish National Party obtaining 45% of the vote north of the border, and the Conservatives only 25% it is clear not only is there no mandate for Brexit in Scotland, but as leader Nicola Sturgeon has said, there is now very much a mandate for holding a second referendum on Scottish Independence.

England, on the other hand has put its support resoundingly behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his mantra of ‘Get Brexit Done’. With a remarkable 364 seats, as opposed to Labour’s 203 – its worst performance since 1935 – he proclaimed that a ‘political earthquake’ had occurred and that he would end all the squabbling of the last few years he would take the country out of the EU ‘no ifs and no buts’. This was a message that appealed to the majority, clearly sickened by the deadlock of Brexit. Despite the radical spending programme proposed by the Labour party, this election ended up being, as it was promoted, all about Brexit.

And this takes us to the broader context of what is in fact happening in the UK. Indeed, it’s important to see this election in the wider European political landscape. This was not just a Conservative party win, but a victory for nationalism. Not just Scottish Nationalism, but English Nationalism under the banner of Brexit, and Welsh and Irish Nationalism. For the first time ever, Northern Ireland elected more Nationalist MPs than Unionist, in what was also, like Scotland, an anti-Brexit vote, which will spur on more talk of Irish reunification. Welsh Nationalist party Plaid Cymru also held on to its four seats in Wales.

So while it may be portrayed as a landslide victory for the Conservatives, this election more than ever has shown up the cracks forming in the Union. Scottish Nationalism appears to be on an irreversible path to independence, with the question now being not if there will be a referendum on independence, but when. The strong Remain vote up north has only boosted the case for leaving the UK, as Scotland places more importance on being part of Europe, than being part of Britain. England, for its part, has clearly put more emphasis on being out of Europe, than it has on retaining the Union.

Indeed, looking at the western world in general, the popularity of nationalist and right-wing parties is undisputedly on the rise. The AfD in Germany, the National Front in France or Vox in Spain – these parties are all gaining popularity, just as Trump has in the US. And together with Johnson’s Conservatism, they all have something in common, that ‘populist’ appeal that really gets its message across. For regardless of their party leaders’ sins (Boris Johnson has been repeatedly been lambasted as a liar, racist, and misogynist), they have not been enough to deter voters, for whom clearly the nation state is what matters most.

There’s no doubt that Brexit has been a shock for the EU. Arguably Britain had always been a hesitant member, refusing to join the Euro, or join the Schengen zone (which allows borderless travel between states); it never quite developed that European mindset. But the Brexit vote took EU politicians by surprise, sending shockwaves across a Union already under pressure from Eurosceptic parties. They will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief in Brussels that the Brexit stalemate will now be broken with Boris Johnson’s parliamentary majority – finally a deal can be passed – but the reality that one of their major players finally leaving must be making them nervous.

Boris Johnson put faith in the people, and the gamble paid off. But whether he appreciates the real seismic consequences of this ‘political earthquake’ is another question. For cracks are not only emerging between Britain and Europe, but across the United Kingdom itself. It’s the price to be paid for Brexit.

Johanna Ross is a journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

December 13, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Unanswerable Case

By Craig Murray | August 9, 2019

Simon Jenkins gets it with this simple and unanswerable argument.

Scots are now very significantly poorer than the Irish, the Norwegians, the Swedes, the Danes, the Icelanders or any of their obvious comparators. Every one of those nations is in the top 10 of the UN Human Development Index. The UK is not, and Scotland is below the mean for the UK. It is not because Scots are stupid or feckless, it not because of climate and it is certainly not a lack of natural resources. It is because of the draining away of human and physical resource by London over centuries.

Against that fundamental fact, the cloud of stupid obfuscation around the minutiae of transition is a mere distraction, and a deliberate one at that. Countries which are far poorer than Scotland successfully run on their own currencies – scores of them. Why would people believe Scotland is unique among nations in being incapable of having a currency? Yet such pathetic shibboleths are pounded out by the media, and particularly the BBC, on a daily basis to make a significant number of Scots believe that what is possible for every nation that has tried it, is uniquely impossible to them.

It is particularly galling to see those that have made us poor tell us we cannot be independent because we are poor. Particularly when the entire system of government accounting has been manipulated over decades to ascribe Scotland’s revenue to the wider UK, to ascribe a portion of infrastructure projects in SE England such as Crossrail as Scottish expenditure, and to present an entirely distorted picture of the Scottish fiscal position.

I am entirely at the end of my patience. It really is time that we claimed our Independence and stopped this slavish adherence to the laws of the Imperial state which seeks to continue its leeching out of our resources.

August 9, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , | 2 Comments

‘Apparent bias’: Alex Salmond wins court battle over sexual harassment probe

RT | January 8, 2019

The Scottish government mishandled the probe of ex-SNP chief Alex Salmond over sexual misconduct allegations, a court has ruled. The officials admitted that the investigation was “procedurally flawed” and apologized.

The decision to launch a probe against former First Minister of Scotland and two-time SNP leader Alex Salmond was “procedurally unfair” and marred with “apparent bias,” Judge Lord Pentland said on Tuesday. The court also ordered the government to pay Salmond’s legal fees.

The investigation against Scotland’s political heavyweight was initiated last year, following allegations of sexual misconduct brought up by two of his former staffers. The alleged incidents supposedly occurred back in 2013 at the first minister’s official residence in Edinburgh.

Alex Salmond denied any wrongdoing, calling the claims “patently ridiculous.” He did, however, choose to temporarily leave the SNP pending the investigation.

The politician also criticized the investigation as “unjust” and complained that he wasn’t allowed to see any evidence and defend himself properly.

During Tuesday’s hearing, government officials admitted that they violated their own guidelines in handling the case. To investigate the accusation made against Salmond, they appointed a person who had prior contacts with the alleged victims. That “failure” rendered the probe “flawed,” Roddy Dunlop, lawyer representing the government, told the court.

Permanent secretary to the Scottish government, Leslie Evans, apologized “to all involved” for the violations that took place during the probe. She argued that there was no proof that the investigating officer was acting biased but admitted that it didn’t matter due to the breach of guidelines.

Evans noted that the government may launch a new investigation into the complaints against Salmond once a separate police probe on the same issue is over.

The former SNP chief welcomed the verdict. The government “unquestionably lacked candor” as the officials repeatedly failed to disclose crucial documents to the court, he said in a statement. The politician added that the evidence seen by the judge revealed an “obvious breach of the principles of fairness and natural justice.”

Alex Salmond served as Scotland’s first minister from 2007 to 2014. He was elected to lead the SNP from 1990 to 2000, and then again from 2004 to 2014. He currently hosts the Alex Salmond Show on RT.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Social Media Users in Scotland Planning on Boycotting BBC

Sputnik – August 9, 2018

Following the removal of the prominent Scottish independence blogger, Wings Over Scotland, social media users in Scotland are preparing for an outright boycott of the BBC. Earlier Sputnik spoke to the political analyst, Joe McGregor about this story.

Sputnik: So Joe can you explain a little bit about why people are planning on boycotting the BBC? Why are such a large proportion of Scots so disenfranchised with the BBC?

Joe McGregor: I’m deeply disenfranchised with that because it seems like Scotland don’t have a voice on the channel whatsoever – it’s very Westminster-centric, very England-centric. I don’t mean that as coming from the point of view that as a Scotsman I should be opposed… not at all. It seems to be that the BBC likes to show only the worst side of Scotland, or not give the SNP (Scottish National Party) a voice, when they are national broadcaster.

Sputnik: Does this have effect on Scottish political issues such as campaigns for Scottish independence and if so what kind of effect?

Joe McGregor: Eventually you become used to it. Say for the youth of Scotland that are coming through and they’re only having that information they would be guided to believing that information thinking that having nuclear weapons and having the nuclear base is a great thing. Scotland should be proud of having that there but they don’t show other side things, with nuclear apparatus being driven through city centers like Glasgow. If there was to be a problem there, it would wipe out most of central Scotland. Why does Scotland have to house that when Scotland doesn’t want to house that and why does the BBC not show that, that Scotland isn’t with that? They only tend to say ‘If it wasn’t there, then so many people would be out of work’ and that the local businesses wouldn’t have the customs of the people who work there – which I find ridiculous.

Sputnik: Is this boycott anti-English and what would you say to critics who suggest that it is?

Joe McGregor: It’s not anti-English, its anti-BBC. If the BBC was to give Scotland a fair crack of the whip and report the SNP are doing great things in Scotland and report on the fact that people aren’t happy having nuclear weapons on their doorstep, I think you would find that people don’t think its anti-English, its simply anti-BBC.

Sputnik: What would you like to see from the BBC that would improve the image of the broadcaster in your eyes?

Joe McGregor: I would just like to see every nation in the UK getting a fair crack of the whip. It’s not just Scottish issues; there’s Welsh issues, Northern Ireland issues… it’s not just Westminster-centric issues, it’s not like Westminster is big brother and its do what you say and everything will be ok and you know what, keep drinking beer because that will nullify any of the effects that may occur.

See also:

BBC Was in Bed With the Government to Flush Out ‘Subversives’ – Archives

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

The LOCKERBIE Bombing: Who Really Did Carry Out the Worst Terrorist Attack in British History…?

The Burning Blogger of Bedlam | July 27, 2017

The Lockerbie bombing in 1988 was perhaps the 9/11 of its time. While it didn’t result in the kind of phony Global ‘War on Terror’ that was conducted after 9/11, it did give the US and Britain the platform for beginning a targeted downfall of a particular nation and society, this being Libya.

This was accomplished the same way in Libya as it was accomplished in Iraq: first by years and years of crippling sanctions and forced hardship (via the UN),then by all-out destruction against a nation that is no longer able to defend itself (Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011).

There are essentially two ways to look at Lockerbie.

One, the most important, is as a criminal investigation of an act of mass murder. The other is as a prolonged political or geo-political tool serving multiple purposes. Both are worth revisiting; particularly as the ghost of Lockerbie (and all of its victims) has reappeared in news media in the last few weeks.

Revisiting the subject of Lockerbie is important both as a study of geo-politics and the place of political terrorism within that arena and as a study in history and how it relates to contemporary events.

I want to take a broad overview of the Lockerbie subject here, touching on all of those areas: this article will cover (1) the reasons why the ‘official’ story of Lockerbie is so problematic and disputed, (2) the release of the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’ from prison in Scotland and why it happened, (3) the political and geopolitical motives and consequences of the Lockerbie trial and verdict, and finally (4) the many different theories as to who really did carry out the Lockerbie bombing and why.

The official story remains that the Lockerbie bombing was the doing of the Libyan, Abdelbasset al-Megrahi, who – at the time – had been in charge of security for Libyan airlines.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was jailed for 27 years, but died of prostate cancer, aged 60, in 2012. On his deathbed, he continued to claim he was innocent of the bomb that ripped apart Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing 270 civilians.

It remains the worst act of terrorism in British history.

As was being reported in media outlets a fortnight or so ago, the family of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is involved in a new bid to appeal against his conviction.

They are not alone in this move, but also have the support of Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and Rev John Mosey, who lost his daughter Helga.

Like 9/11, the Lockerbie bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 invited numerous conspiracy theories and claims of a cover up. And with good reason.

There were Scottish investigators questioning the official verdict all along, with claims that the key piece of evidence – the bomb timer – had been planted on the scene by a CIA operative, while the expert who examined the timer admitted to having manufactured it himself and the crucial witness who connected the bomb to the suitcase later admitted to having been paid $2 Million to lie in the trial.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi sat in a prison cell in Scotland for years for a crime he hadn’t convincingly been proven guilty of; even when the Scottish government decided to send him back to Libya on compassionate grounds (because of his prostate-cancer), Washington and Westminster still both objected and numerous commentators accused Scotland of being ‘soft’.

And when Megrahi was filmed receiving a hero’s welcome by Saif Gaddafi and a large crowd upon returning home, much of Western media was full of condemnation that these people were ‘celebrating a terrorist’.

Many condemned this as a gross insult to the victims of Lockerbie. If Megrahi’s guilt could be proven beyond reasonable doubt, this attitude would be valid: but if it can’t, then the bigger insult to those victims is the cover-up and the obfuscation of evidence that has continued to this day.

Jim Swire, the spokesman of UK Families Flight 103, and whose daughter was killed in the Lockerbie bombing, has repeatedly expressed grave doubts about the official version of events.

Hans Köchler, the Austrian jurist appointed by the UN to be an independent observer at the Lockerbie trial, expressed concern about the way it was conducted (particularly the suspicious role played by two US Justice Department officials who, according to him, sat next to the Scottish prosecuting counsel throughout the process and appeared to be giving them instructions).

Köchler would later describe al-Megrahi’s conviction as “a spectacular miscarriage of justice”. Jim Swire, who also was present through the trial, then launched the ‘Justice for Megrahi’ campaign, being utterly unconvinced by the official verdict.

Professor Robert Black QC, among others, also maintains that Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing, the entire case hinging on the shaky testimony of a single, highly dubious, witness in Malta (a shopkeeper named Tony Gauci, who, years after the trial, was described by Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, as being “an apple short of a picnic”).

This same man, it later emerged, had been paid $2 million by the CIA for his testimony against Megrahi, while his brother – a man entirely unrelated to the case – was also paid $1 million.

Professor Black, upon visiting al-Megrahi in prison in 2007, referred to the “wrongful conviction” of an “innocent man”.

Key evidence presented at the trial (e.g. timer fragment, parts from a specific radio cassette model, clothing bought in Malta, bomb suitcase originating at Luqa Airport) had likely been fabricated for the political purpose of incriminating and then punishing Libya. It was openly known that vital evidence had been tampered with (see here, for example).

A lot of these key problems were covered in the very good Al-Jazeera investigation/documentary ‘Lockerbie: Case Closed’ (see here). American Radio Works also examined the Lockerbie case in 2000, seemingly coming to the conclusion that the case against Libya and al-Megrahi wasn’t convincing.

In a report on the Lockerbie trial, Köchler, a university professor, said “It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial that – as an apparent result of political interests and considerations – efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the Court.”

Hans Köchler was the only international observer to submit comprehensive reports on the Lockerbie trial and appeal proceedings to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In the June 2008 edition of the Scottish lawyers’ magazine The Firm, Dr Köchler referred to the ‘totalitarian’ nature of the Lockerbie appeal process. Particularly interesting was his statement that it “bears the hallmarks of an intelligence operation”.

Certainly, the dubious elements in the investigation process and the illegitimacy of the trial are more than enough to suggest that US agencies were trying very hard to cover something up.

 


 

Calls in Scotland for al-Megrahi’s release began with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2003, particularly after Nelson Mandela had called on Western Churches to intervene in what he called a major “miscarriage of justice”.

Within a few years, even Arab League representatives were referring to al-Megrahi not as a terrorist but as a ‘political hostage’ being held in Scotland. It was calling for al-Megrahi’s release and was even endorsing Gaddafi’s claims for compensation from Britain due to the damage done to Libya’s economy from 1991 to 1999.

Appeals for al-Megrahi’s release or a re-opening of the case were resisted and rejected, however, for several years, leading to al-Megrahi withdrawing his own appeal in August 2009.

At this time, Scottish Minister Christine Grahame (of the SNP) wrote “There are a number of vested interests who have been deeply opposed to this appeal continuing as they know it would go a considerable way towards exposing the truth behind Lockerbie… In the next days, weeks and months new information will be placed in the public domain that will make it clear that Mr Megrahi had nothing to do with the bombing of Pan Am 103.”

When al-Megrahi was eventually released, it was on compassionate grounds and was framed simply as an act that would allow him do die in Libya.

Washington and Westminster – along with much of the media – were furious with the Scottish courts, insisting that al-Megrahi should remain in prison in Scotland.

But the crucial thing about al-Megrahi’s release to Libya was the way it was framed as an act of compassion that had no bearing on the previous trial or on the official verdict concerning his guilt.

Megrahi’s withdrawing of his own appeal just shortly before he was released on compassionate grounds presumably means a deal was made to allow him to go home and die in Tripoli, so long as he remained officially ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’ and the case was not to be re-opened.

The scenes of al-Megrahi landing at Tripoli Airport, being met personally by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and being greeted by hundreds of young Libyans waving Libyan and Scottish flags were played across Western media and presented as ‘proof’ that Scotland had made the wrong choice – and that the Libyans were celebrating the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’. However, al-Megrahi’s return home had also happened to coincide with celebrations of forty years of the Libyan Arab Republic.

At any rate, within two years of this, that same Libyan Arab Republic was in ruins, NATO warplanes were bombing the entire country back into the stone age, and al-Megrahi would die shortly after this, still being regarded by most of the world as ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’.

In late 2011, after she had finished celebrating Gaddafi’s brutal murder in Sirte, Washington psychopath Hillary Clinton was calling for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be forced to go back to jail in Scotland – a request that was ultimately rejected.

 


 

If we consider – as we’re doing here – that the Lockerbie bombing wasn’t carried out by Al-Megrahi or Libya (and evidence suggests it wasn’t), then we have to wonder who did carry out Lockerbie. And whether the intention of that false-flag operation (with 207 civilian deaths) was to create a *reason* to impose the sanctions, a reason to cripple Libya’s growth and economy and to be able to firmly declare Gaddafi’s Libya a ‘terrorist state’: all designed to cripple Gaddafi’s position and to, in international terms, back him and his state into a corner, while also serving to rubber-stamp the perception of Gaddafi as the Great Villain.

Anyone who grew up in the 80s will remember this portrayal of Gaddafi as the Big Bad Villain (or ‘Mad Dog of the Middle East’, as Ronald Reagan called him) in the same way that Saddam Hussein would later be portrayed or as Osama bin Laden would later be presented as the emblematic evil mastermind of anti-Western schemes.

In fact, in many ways, Lockerbie and Gaddafi were the dry run for what would later be 9/11 and Bin Laden – a major, terrible terrorist act of mass murder and an iconic caricature of a Big Bad Monster/Villain from the East. By the late 90s, the idea of Gaddafi as the great villainous threat to the West had run out of steam and the focus was shifted instead onto Saddam Hussein and then Osama bin Laden.

Ironically, as I’ve pointed out before, it remains a fact that Gaddafi had actually been the first world leader to issue an arrest warrant for Bin Laden, long before the US or its allies did.

Lockerbie, the Berlin disco bombing and the shooting of Yvonne Fletcher in London (all three of which had serious doubts around them from the beginning – I covered the Yvonne Fletcher shooting somewhat in this post on the 7/7 London Bombings and the Berlin Disco bombing somewhat in the ‘Libya Conspiracy‘ book) can all be argued to have been programs conducted by UK/US intelligence (possibly in concert with agencies from other governments) to permanently vilify Gaddafi’s Libya and thus justify ongoing sanctions and the likelihood of the country’s decline.

This is an extremely important point: the sanctions imposed on Libya (after Lockerbie) were designed to reverse the country’s success and its attainment of self-sufficiency, to cripple the nation with deprivation and incite ill-feeling.

The only way offered to end the sanctions program was for Libya to pay what was reckoned to be the biggest compensation package ever imposed onto any country – Libya would have to pay a total of $10 Billion to the Lockerbie victims’ families.

The other condition was that Gaddafi also had to formally acknowledge responsibility in the UN for his officials’ orchestrating of the Lockerbie bombing. Gaddafi eventually went along with these demands, but to his domestic audience he permanently denied any responsibility or involvement in Lockerbie and told his people that the extortionate reparations Libya was having to pay wasn’t an admission of guilt, but merely the price having to be paid in order for Libya to re-enter the international community.

In other words, he took the official blame for Lockerbie in order to try to end the sanctions, but all the while he insisted it was a lie.

In 2011, he probably found himself wishing he hadn’t bothered; because it was all for nothing.

US whistleblower Susan Lindauer told RT in 2011 that, the summer before the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising, Gadaffi had in fact been pressuring US, British, French and Italian oil companies to reimburse Libya for the cost of those payments to the families of the Lockerbie bombing.

In that context, it’s also hardly surprising that come 2011 and as Western governments were bombing Libya and targeting Gaddafi for assassination, the Lockerbie business got dragged out repeatedly in the media to act as a timely reminder of why Gaddafi was so terrible and needed to be killed.

By this point, the suggestion was now even being made that Gaddafi had ordered the Lockerbie bombing personally (which had never been suggested before).

 


 

Arguably, however, the destruction of Libya in 2011 was the desired end-point of a geo-political timeline that Lockerbie had been a crucial part of.

That being so, and with Gaddafi dead and Libya in ongoing chaos, it is arguably no longer as important whether the truth about Lockerbie comes out or not. Most of the key figures in the Gaddafi era regime are either dead or in jail.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi himself died just months after Gaddafi was killed and the old Libyan state was overthrown.

All of that long-term geo-political scheming to overthrow Gaddafi is over – so it is possible that new investigations might be ‘allowed’ to uncover more of the true story behind the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103.

Aside from all of the dubious elements in the Lockerbie trial and the questionable processes, what also strikes me as telling is the commitment of al-Megrahi’s family to clearing his name: especially given that Al-Megrahi is dead and the state accused of planning Lockerbie has long since been overthrown.

Al-Megrahi himself (pictured here in his final days of life, in Tripoli) was continuing to insist on his innocence right up to his dying days and, in fact, had asked Jim Swire to continue to fight to clear his name after he died.

Why would a guilty man bother to do that? Terrorists generally claim their acts of terrorism. Moreover, Megrahi was already free by that point and was in no danger of going back to jail.

 


If al-Megrahi didn’t carry out Lockerbie, who did?

There have long been plenty of theories.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: General Command (PFLP-GC) was the first suspect, based on a threat it had issued against US and Israeli interests before Lockerbie occurred. Iran was also in the frame very early – and remains a key suspect for some people – with its motive thought to be revenge for the July 1988 shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes. Former British diplomat Patrick Haseldine suggested that the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 had in fact been an assassination operation by South Africa’s apartheid government, targeting UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

Another widely held theory implicates CIA agents involved in drug-running operations. This was in fact the basis for Allan Francovich’s 1994 movie The Maltese Double Cross

Here’s a very interesting piece of film on the drug connection to Pan-Am Flight 180.

A renowned terrorist from that time, Abu Nidal, allegedly later confessed to the Lockerbie bombing (unlike al-Megrahi, who, even on his deathbed, insisted he was innocent), while the controversial blogger Joe Vialls later put forward another theory that the bomb was detonated remotely and also attributed the crime to a CIA/Mossad operation. Vialls did a lot of work on tracking the Lockerbie trial, which is worth consulting – whether you agree with his take or not.

On the subject of Abu Nidal, it is worth making note of the claims that the ‘notorious Palestinian mercenary’ was in fact a US spy and a Mossad operative.

Patrick Seale’s book Abu Nidal: A Gun For Hire makes a very convincing case that the notorious ‘Black September’ terrorist was a full Mossad agent, servicing an Israeli agenda. Nidal was involved in a long line of terrorist atrocities.

The fact that Nidal was reported – even by mainstream newspapers – as having allegedly confessed to Lockerbie is therefore very interesting.

If he was a Mossad agent and US spy, then many of those terrorist acts (including ‘Black September’ and other acts of alleged Palestinian terrorism) would’ve presumably been false-flag ops – and that would seem to make him a very solid candidate for Lockerbie.

I am not endorsing any specific theory or conclusion here: merely arguing that it is probably time for Abdelbasset al-Megrahi to be exonerated and for the Lockerbie investigation to be re-opened in a big way.

In 2008, journalist Hugh Miles published a piece in The Independent, in which he further explored the question of who was behind the Lockerbie bombing; ‘all I know,’ he wrote, ‘is that it wasn’t the man in prison’.

In the article, he draws attention to a convicted Palestinian terrorist named Abu Talb and a Jordanian triple-agent named Marwan Abdel Razzaq Khreesat. ‘Both were Iranian agents; Khreesat was also on the CIA payroll,‘ he explained. ‘Abu Talb was given lifelong immunity from prosecution in exchange for his evidence at the Lockerbie trial; Marwan Khreesat was released for lack of evidence by German police even though a barometric timer of the type used to detonate the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 was found in his car when he was arrested…‘

There is clearly no shortage of theories and avenues for investigation concerning the Lockerbie bombing.

There is also – and has been for decades – a concerted agenda at the governmental level to prevent any further investigation and to, instead, maintain the official story.

 


Read more:The Libya Conspiracy: A Definitive Guide to the Libya Intervention‘, ‘The Life & Death of Gaddafi’s Libya: A Study of the Libya That No Longer Exists‘, ‘Muammar Gaddafi: A Psychological Profile of Man, Myth & Reality‘…

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

LONDON CALLING: BBC bias during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

London Calling documentary

Two organisations emerged losers after the Scottish 2014 independence referendum. YES Scotland won praise after narrowly failing to overturn a thirty point deficit. The other loser was the BBC. The British State broadcaster sacrificed its reputation in return for a narrow win for the No campaign. London Calling captures the descent of the BBC during Scotland’s historic referendum period. A two year orgy of spin, deceit, manipulation and corruption has been packaged into a powerful seventy minute documentary exposé. Thought you could trust the BBC? Prepare to be shocked.

DVD fundraiser link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lo…

December 10, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment