The Economy Is Worse than During the Great Depression


Underneath the Propaganda, the Economy Is In BAD SHAPE …

We noted in 2013 that the British economy is worse than during the Great Depression.

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog pointed out in August that Europe is stuck in a “Greater Depression” … worse than the Great Depression.

Well-known economist Brad DeLong agrees. As does Paul Krugman.

Historian, economist and demographer Neil Howe provided the following charts via Forbes last month, showing how dire the situation is in Europe:

Great Depression v. Great Recession, United Kingdom GDPGreat Depression v. Great Recession, Europe GDP

The chart for the U.S. doesn’t look as bad …

But as Howe notes:

These figures don’t mean that the Depression was definitely worse. Though it was deeper, it … likely will be shorter than the Great Reces­sion in the United States. The recovery in the ‘30s occurred much faster than it has in recent years.


What’s more, from 1933 on, U.S. GDP grew at a blistering average…

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Blair knew!

The unanswered question: what did Blair and Straw know of CIA torture?

As the US publishes its Senate torture report, questions about British involvement in the CIA programme remain unanswered

Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, and Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary

Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, and Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary Photo: GETTY

The US Torture report provides reams of uncomfortable details about the CIA’s use of torture that was authorised by the administration of George W Bush, but for Britons it leaves one key question unanswered.

What did Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, and Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary, know of a CIA torture programme that was sanctioned at the very highest levels of the US government? And to what extent were they complicit in giving UK assistance to US operations?

More than a decade after 9/11 the British government has yet to conduct a full inquiry into the UK role in the US torture and rendition programme.

The Gibson Inquiry, set up by the coalition government in 2010 to investigate the issue, was shelved in January 2012 when compelling new evidence emerged that MI6 had been involved in the rendition of two suspected terrorists to Libya in 2004.

An ongoing Scotland Yard investigation into the renditions of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi and a civil claim for compensation in which Jack Straw was named as a respondent rendered the Gibson Inquiry untenable since it risked prejudicing those proceedings.

However intelligence sources who spoke to The Telegraph earlier this year alleged that both Mr Blair and Mr Straw knew in detail about the CIA’s secret programme after the September 11 attacks and were kept informed “every step of the way”.

“The politicians took a very active interest indeed. They wanted to know everything. The Americans passed over the legal opinions saying that this was now ‘legal’, and our politicians were aware of what was going on at the highest possible level.

“The politicians knew in detail about everything – the torture and the rendition. They could have said [to M16] ‘stop it, do not get involved’, but at no time did they,” said the source with direct and detailed knowledge of the transatlantic relations during that period.

The source’s claims echoed those made publicly by Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004, who said in a speech in 2012 that MI6’s cooperation with the CIA’s rendition programme was a “political” decision.

“Tony Blair absolutely knew, Dearlove was briefing him all the time. He was meticulous about keeping the politicians informed,” the source said.

Mr Blair has never confirmed what he knew about the rendition programme and declined to comment at the time.

Mr Straw has denied on several occasions that he was briefed in detail about CIA torture. He also refused to confirm or deny his role in the 2004 rendition of Mr Belhadj, the Libyan dissident, citing the need to protect official secrets in court documents related to the case.

The Gibson Inquiry was unable to establish the facts because it was not able to question witnesses on the issues, but noted that there was at least some communication between the Secret Intelligence Services (MI6) and ministers.

“Although SIS did inform Ministers of exchanges with US counterparts in November 2001, it is not clear how complete a picture of the Agencies’ growing awareness of the new scope of US rendition practice was communicated to Ministers both at this stage and subsequently,” Gibson wrote.

The report added that the inquiry would have wished to investigate “the extent to which the Agencies reported to Ministers their growing awareness of the US Government’s rendition programme.”

In the light of the deeply shocking new details that are expected to emerge from the US torture report, the question bears repeating: how much did Mr Blair and Mr Straw know, and to what extent were they complicit in giving British assistance to US operations?

Weasel Words

by craig on December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Independent have Jack Straw well and truly cornered:

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Craig Murray, who was sacked as UK ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2004 after alleging that Britain used intelligence obtained by the CIA under torture, said he attended a meeting at the Foreign Office where he was told that “it was not illegal for us to use intelligence from torture as long as we did not carry out the torture ourselves” and claimed this policy came directly from Mr Straw.

The former Foreign Secretary said: “At all times I was scrupulous in seeking to carry out my duties in accordance with the law. I hope to be able to say more about this at an appropriate stage in the future.”

I hope so too, and I hope that the appropriate time is either at the Old Bailey or The Hague.

Straw has climbed down a bit from his days of power and glory, when he told the House of Commons, immediately after sacking me, that there was no such thing as the CIA extraordinary rendition programme and its existence was “Mr Murray’s opinion.” He no longer claims it did not exist and he no longer claims I am a fantasist. He now merely claims he was not breaking the law.

His claim of respect for the law is a bit dubious in the light of Sir Michael Wood’s evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry. Wood said that as Foreign Office Legal Adviser, he and his elite team of in-house FCO international lawyers unanimously advised Straw the invasion of Iraq would be an illegal war of aggression. Straw’s response? He wrote to the Attorney General requesting that Sir Michael be dismissed and replaced. And forced Goldsmith to troop out to Washington and get alternative advice from Bush’s nutjob Republican neo-con lawyers.

Jack Straw did not have any desire to act legally. He had a desire to be able to mount a legal defence of his illegal actions. That is a different thing.

Should any of us live to see the publication of the Chilcot Report, this will doubtless be clear, though probably as a footnote to page 862 of Annex VII. That is how the Westminster establishment works.

The SNP has weighed in on the side of the angels:

Revelations by the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan of the UK’s knowledge and acceptance of torture must see those involved answer questions on what happened.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Murray reveals that he attended a meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he was told that “it was not illegal for us to use intelligence from torture as long as we did not carry out the torture ourselves” and revealed that this policy came directly from Jack Straw.

Mr Murray also reveals that “there was a deliberate policy of not writing down anything… because there should not be evidence of the policy.”

Craig Murray also states that “for the past year the British Ambassador in Washington and his staff have regularly been lobbying the US authorities not to reveal facts about the UK’s involvement in the CIA torture programme” and claims that is one of the reasons the full Senate report has not been published.

The SNP has called for a full judicial inquiry to be set up as a matter of urgency to get to get to the truth of who knew what and when.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP said:

“Mr Murray’s revelation of the attitude taken by then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw only adds to the urgency with which we need a full judicial inquiry.

“Craig Murray’s article lifts the lid on the UK’s role in the human rights abuses that the US Senate has reported on and there can be no more attempts to avoid answering the tough questions that have been posed.

“Clearly answers are needed just as much from the politicians who led us at the time as from those directly involved in what was going on. The need for an independent judicial inquiry is now clear for all to see.

“It is also long past time that the findings of the Chilcot inquiry were published and there can be no more delays to that report being made public.

“There needs to be a full judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of the UK’s involvement in rendition flights that passed through UK territory and the UK’s wider knowledge of the abuses that the Senate has revealed.”

Craig Murray’s revelations can be viewed on page 25 of today’s Mail on Sunday

But with Malcolm Rifkind being promoted everywhere by the BBC to push his cover-up, it remains an uphill struggle.



Elements of the US government ‘planned to assassinate Margaret Thatcher’.

FBI agent ‘gave secrets to IRA as it plotted to kill Thatcher’. / FBI passed secrets to IRA in Thatcher murder plot, files reveal

One assumes that those US government people who wanted Thatcher dead were working in league with those elements of the UK security services who controlled the IRA.

The USA wanted a United Ireland, within NATO, and with US military bases.
Thatcher wanted to keep Northern Ireland.
Thatcher survived the 1984 bomb at the Grand Hotel Brighton
Files released to The Guardian, after a freedom of information request, show that the FBI investigated plots to murder Thatcher during visits to the USA.
One “trusted source” told the FBI that a “female, secretary type” in the FBI’s New York bureau was giving the IRA “access to computers, name checks and ID”.

William Sessions
William Sessions, then the FBI director, ordered that all material relating to the plot against Thatcher must be restricted to two top officials.

In February 1981, an ‘FBI source’ overheard two men discussing a ‘hit’ during a visit to the USA by Thatcher.

The two men, with ‘English or Irish accents’, were holding their discussion in the cocktail lounge of the Boar’s Head restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia.
The FBI knew that ‘three known IRA terrorists’ were in the area.

Suspects were identified, but their names were redacted in the files released on 9 December 2014.

2004 – Thatcher checks that Reagan is dead.

Thatcher’s 1981 visit to New York and Washington, where she was to collect an honorary degree from Georgetown University, passed without incident.

Georgetown University is associated with the CIA.
By March 1981, the case was declared closed.

Mountbatten, killed by a bomb in 1979.

In an interview with The Guardian on 9 January 1984, former UK government minister Enoch Powell claimed that the Americans murdered Lord Mountbatten and Margaret Thatcher’s friend Airey Neave.

Powell claimed the evidence came from a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary with whom he had a conversation.

(Simon Heffer, Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell, 1999, p. 881.)

Lord Mountbatten was rumoured to have been a visitor to Northern Ireland’s Kincora children’s home which “was run as a virtual gay brothel by loyalist leaders and MI5.”

(Lord Mountbatten linked to Kincora child – united kingdom)(aangirfan: Child abuse at the Kincora boys’ home)

12 October 1984 bomb – Grand Hotel Brighton

In the USA, in November 1982, five men were acquitted of smuggling arms to the IRA after they revealed that the CIA had approved the shipment.[98]

On 12 October 1984, a bomb went off at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England.

The bomb, planted by Patrick Magee, a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army(IRA), was intended to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet, who were staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference.

Snapshots of a lost London from home movies

The Great Wen

Chiswick swimming pool, via BFI National Archives. Chiswick swimming pool, via BFI National Archives.

I have been doing some work for Film London’s London Screen Archives which involved watching hundreds old home movies, news reels and promotional films made in and about London. Many of these have been donated by families to local archives, others were made by councils or boroughs, or were newsreels acquired by the BFI, such as the above of Chiswick pool in the 1920s. Collectively, they give a glimpse of the past, showing how people lived, what they wore and ate, how they decorated their homes – even how they chose to behave in front of the camera.

Some of these films will be screened in Film London‘s new Kinovan, a mobile cinema that is travelling to different boroughs showing old footage of life in the area. Home movies are a fascinating and often neglected treasure trove of historical footage, inadvertently revealing…

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William and Kate charge 15 couples £32k EACH for dinner in New York: ‘Cash for access’ questions as Royal couple court US super-rich


‘It is the most hotly anticipated Royal visit since the days of Princess Diana. Huge crowds, heart-warming photo opportunities and a meeting with the President are all on the schedule.

But when, later today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge start their whirlwind New York tour, they will have another, rather more confidential objective in mind.

For tonight, at a lavish reception at a private residence from which the press is barred, Kate and William will shake the hands of 15 wealthy couples who are each paying $50,000 –– or £32,000 – for the privilege. It is the start of an important US campaign which they hope will pull in millions for their favourite charities.’

Read more: William and Kate charge 15 couples £32k EACH for dinner in New York: ‘Cash for access’ questions as Royal couple court US super-rich

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UK-based family: Hostage might still be alive, had it not been for attempted US rescue mission


UK-based family: Hostage might still be alive, had it not been for attempted US rescue mission

8 Dec 2014 The UK-based family of a British-born hostage killed by Islamic militants has said he might still be alive had it not been for an attempted US rescue mission. Luke Somers, 33, was shot by his al Qaida [al-CIAduh] captors as they fought US special forces attempting to extract him and South African teacher Pierre Korkie. Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAB) posted a video online on Thursday, threatening to kill the American citizen within three days but his stepmother Penny Bearman and half-sister Lucy Somers indicated they still had hope because previous threats had not been carried out. Ms Bearman, 55, of Deal, Kent, told the Times they were “quite angry because if there had not been a rescue attempt he wo uld still be alive.”

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What on earth could London’s Metropolitan Police learn from a trip to Israel?

Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

Why are London’s Police Travelling to Israel? American and British Police Trained in Israel

british troops helmand

by Wake Up

In the six month period from 1st March 2014 to 31st August 2014, Eighty of London’s Metropolitan Police staff travelled to Israel. This period coincides with Operation Protective Edge, the recent bombardment and massacre of of over 2000 Palestinians in Gaza.

Recently it was revealed that the Israeli army is systematically training US police forced in tactics and strategy developed as an occupying army. Has the same or similar service been provided to European police forces?

The Metropolitan Police will not reveal the purpose of the trips to Israel or the rank of the staff that travelled. A reason given for withholding the information is that it would “have the effect of compromising law enforcement tactics and strategies ”. However, If the Metropolitan Police are learning inappropriate tactics and strategy to…

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DA / D Notices 3

cathy fox blog on child abuse

I had wrongly assumed that Andrew Vallance would not reply to my last email. However to his credit he has. First I include part of my last email to him which is relevant to his reply. If you want to check out the whole correspondence the link is [1] and the full FOI Request [2]

andrrew vallance Andrew Vallance

Cathy Fox to Andrew Vallance, (Secretary D Notice Committee)

“I shall acquiesce to your request to desist from further
correspondence, after this email. However I refute that 3 emails on
pertinent and legitimate points could be taken by any
reasonable person to be “repeated questioning that has become
burdensome and vexatious”.

My last question,
Reading the DA notice below, if an agent or officer of a secret
service mentioned in a) was a paedophile and abused children, is it
not entirely possible that there arises a conflict of interest in
that if the…

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