Sunday, September 30, 2007

Big Brother Conquers Airstrip One

Government and Councils to spy on ALL our phones

By The Green Arrow

Back to the future

Officials from the top of Government to lowly council officers will be given unprecedented powers to access details of every phone call in Britain under laws coming into force tomorrow.

"One of these days, though Winston, Syme will be vaporized, he sees to clearly and speaks too plainly..." George Orwell - 1984

The new rules compel phone companies to retain information, however private, about all landline and mobile calls, and make them available to some 795 public bodies and quangos.

The move, enacted by the personal decree of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, will give police and security services a right they have long demanded: to delve at will into the phone records of British citizens and businesses.

But the same powers will also be handed to the tax authorities, 475 local councils, and a host of other organisations, including the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health, the Immigration Service, the Gaming Board and the Charity Commission. The initiative, formulated in the wake of the Madrid and London terrorist attacks

of 2004 and 2005, was put forward as a vital tool in the fight against terrorism. However, civil liberties campaigners say the new powers amount to a 'free for all' for the State snooping on its citizens.

And they angrily questioned why the records were being made available to so many organisations. Similar provisions are being brought in across Europe, but under much tighter regulation. In Britain, say critics, private and sensitive information will inevitably fall into the wrong hands.

Records will detail precisely what calls are made, their time and duration, and the name and address of the registered user of the phone.

The files will even reveal where people are when they made mobile phone calls. By knowing which mast transmitted the signal, officials will be able to pinpoint the source of a call to within a few feet. This can even be used to track someone's route if, for example, they make a call from a moving car.

"There will be no love, but the love of Big Brother. No laughter, but the laughter of triumph over a defeated enemy. No art, no science, no literature, no enjoyment, but always and only, Winston, there will be the thrill of power. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever."

Files will also be kept on the sending and receipt of text messages.

By 2009 the Government plans to extend the rules to cover internet use: the websites we have visited, the people we have emailed and phone calls made over the net.

The new laws will make it a legal requirement for phone companies to keep records for at least a year, and to make them available to the authorities. Until now, companies have been reluctant to allow unfettered access to their files, citing data protection laws, although they have had a voluntary arrangement with law enforcement agencies since 2003.

Many of the organisations granted access to the records already have systems allowing them to search phone-call databases over a computer link without needing staff at the phone company to intervene.

Police requests for phone records will need the approval of a superintendent or inspector, while council officials must get permission from the authority's assistant chief officer. Thousands of staff in other agencies will be legally entitled to retrieve the records once the request is approved by a senior official.

The new measures were implemented after the Home Secretary signed a 'statutory instrument' on July 26. The process allows the Government to alter laws without a full act of Parliament.

The move was nodded through the House of Lords two days earlier without a debate.

It puts into UK law a European Directive aimed at the 'investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime'. But the British law allows the information to be used much more widely to combat all crimes, however minor.

The huge number of organisations allowed to access this data was attacked by Liberty, the civil liberties campaign group. Other organisations allowed to see the data include the Royal Navy Regulating Branch, the Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary, the Department of Trade and Industry, NHS Trusts, ambulance and fire services, the Department of Transport and the Department for the Environment.

A spokesman for Liberty said: 'Hundreds of bodies have been given the power to look at this highly sensitive information. It is yet another example of how greater and greater access is being given to information on our movements with little debate and little public accountability.

'It is a free for all. There is a lack of oversight of how and why public bodies are using these records. There is no public record of what they are using this information for.'

Tony Bunyan, of civil liberties group Statewatch, said: 'The retention of everyone's communications data is a momentous decision, one that should not be slipped through Parliament without anyone noticing.'

Last year, the voluntary arrangement allowed 439,000 searches of phone records. But the Government brought in legislation because the industry did not routinely keep all the information it wanted.

Different authorities will have different levels of access to the systems. Police and intelligence services will be able to see more detailed information than local authorities. And officials at NHS Trusts and ambulance and fire services can obtain the records only in rare cases when, for example, they are trying to save a patient's life.

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed—would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."

The new system will be overseen by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, who also ensures security and intelligence services' phone taps are legal.

The commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy, reports to the Prime Minister and already carries out random inspections of some agencies legally allowed to see phone records under the existing voluntary scheme. Last year inspectors visited 22 councils already making 'significant' use of their powers' to access phone records. A report said the results were 'variable', but within the law.

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

Privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner, which has responsibly for protecting personal information and policing the Data Protection Act had virtually no role in the new laws.

A spokeswoman said its only function was to ensure 'data security' at the phone companies, adding: 'We have no oversight role over the release of this information.'

The Home Office said there were safeguards to ensure the new law was being used properly. Every authority had a nominated senior member of staff who was legally responsible for the use the phone data was put to, 'the integrity of the process' and for 'reporting errors'.

A spokesman said: 'The most detailed level of data can be accessed only by law enforcement agencies such as the police. More basic access is available to local authority bodies such as trading standards and environmental health who can only use these powers to prevent and detect crime.'

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils across England and Wales, said: 'Councils would only use these powers in circumstances such as benefit fraud, when the taxpayer is being ripped off for many thousands of pounds.'

He added that it was 'very unlikely' the powers would be used against non-payers of council tax or for parking fines 'as the sums involved are not sufficient to justify the use of this sort of information or the costs involved in applying it'.

"Underneath the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me. They lie here, and here lie we, 'neath the spreading chestnut tree."

But some of you readers will still vote for the Tri-Axis parties that are now almost one in their unity to destroy Our Country and Our Freedoms. Why? Will just one of you tell me why?

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jena 6 - Racism On The March

Racism should, at all times, be condemned. However, the black students are (no longer) the victims in this case. They turned themselves from victims into aggressors and they should be punished for it. Was it an attempt to murder the victim? I don’t know, it’s not likely. Second degree battery? Quite more likely.

The Jena six are no martyrs for the cause of Civil Rights. They are no heroes. They’re a bunch of cowards who don’t dare take on someone that can actually fight back. Instead of fighting against six others, they singled out one white and beat him. Would Martin Luther King Jr. have supported their crime? I don’t think so. He advocated non-violence, not beating up a single individual with a group of six.

Racism should be fought against, and Jena obviously has some major problems. Excusing the outrageous behavior of criminals, however, isn’t the way to do so.

The Jena Six Affair is nothing more than a disgusting display of Black Racism On Parade that is led by degenerate race baiting poverty pimps like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who approve of the assault of whites by blacks and are supported by the Elite Leftard Media that totally ignores the recent murder of two whites at the hands of Black Racists in Tennessee.


A Revolting Story of Black Racism Ignored By The Leftard Media

The bottom line to this sorry Jena Six Affair and the Black Racist Murders in Tennessee is that the Leftard Media and Establishment in America has given its stamp of approval of all criminal acts by blacks no matter how terrible as long as the victims are white. I wonder how soon American whites will have to lock themselves in their homes in fear of black criminals who are allowed to rape, rob and murder by a criminal justice system afraid to hold them accountable? In South Africa we see a perfect example of what happens when the criminal justice system looks the other way. Do we want this for America? If not, this country must address the very real problem of Black Racism that targets whites as victims who should not be protected by law.

Video: Sean Hannity At Fox News Discusses Black Racism

Friday, September 14, 2007


It's a hard life being an Evil Imperialist Running Dog American Stormtrooper. I mean everyone in Iraq hates you and wants to kill you. The children run from you as soon as they hear the approach of American combat boots. Iraqi mothers tell their children: "Honey, be nice or I'll send the Americans after you!"

The whole shocking story of American soldiers running amok against the most innocent in Iraq -- The children.

Yes, folks -- These Evil American Stormtroopers are even turning the Innocent Children Of Iraq...Into...SHOCK! RUSH BABIES!!! THE HORROR! THE HORROR! Don't believe me, Infidel? Well just click on the picture and read the little yellow sign.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General Petraeus Reports To The Republic

Anyone tuning in to David Petraeus's congressional testimony earlier today hoping for an exciting showdown would have been a bit disappointed. The general's delivery was low key and more than a bit monotonous; one of his favorite phrases is "This chart shows…."—and if C-SPAN's cameras had briefly cut away from their close frame around Petraeus and actually shown us the charts, I'm not sure whether it would have made the presentation more lively, or less.

There is a deeper reason why today's testimony was less than exciting: most of the content of that testimony was already known and expected beforehand. General Petraeus was merely repeating facts which have already been well-publicized and which have already had a decisive impact on the debate.

This is not an accident. Petraeus has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that those facts were known and repeated. NRO has an interesting little article on Petraeus's deliberate engagement with the media as another front in the war, which has led him to be very active in bringing reporters to places like Anbar province to see the evidence of our progress there. The far left is screaming, of course, that Petraeus has therefore been "manipulating" the media to make it look as if there has been more progress than there really is. They don't like this because their job is to manipulate the media to make it look as if everything is hopeless—and he has thwarted their efforts.

Perhaps all of this is why the style of General Petraeus's testimony is so deliberately low key and restrained. He has already won the media battle, so why seem to be trying to hard to push his viewpoint?

His testimony had only one line with a distinctively sharp political edge to it. Democratic leaders in Congress had spent the past week describing Petraeus's report as the "Bush report" and slandering the general as a subservient mouthpiece for the administration. So he began his testimony with this: "At the outset, I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress." Well, that ought to clear that up.

For the record, here are the key points of Petraeus's testimony.

The first point was actually phrased somewhat better in the general's recent letter to his troops (the link is to a PDF), in which he stated that "we have achieved tactical momentum and wrested the initiative from our enemies." In his opening statement to Congress, he used the somewhat less expressive words "substantial progress" and described the progress this way:

[T]he military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met…. Coalition and Iraqi forces have dealt significant blows to Al Qaeda-Iraq. Though Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq remain dangerous, we have taken away a number of their sanctuaries and gained the initiative in many areas.

We have also disrupted Shia militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supported Special Groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq….

Additionally, in what may be the most significant development of the past 8 months, the tribal rejection of Al Qaeda that started in Anbar Province and helped produce such significant change there has now spread to a number of other locations as well.

Based on all this and on the further progress we believe we can achieve over the next few months, I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level of brigade combat teams by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains that we have fought so hard to achieve.

Beyond that, while noting that the situation in Iraq remains complex, difficult, and sometimes downright frustrating, I also believe that it is possible to achieve our objectives in Iraq over time, though doing so will be neither quick nor easy.

He said a little bit more about the coalition's success in convincing the Sunni tribes to switch loyalties and fight al Qaeda, but he did not have to say much because this story has already been widely reported. That's the advantage of having events on the ground on your side.

The upshot of the testimony was that Petraeus is using the current success to buy at least six more months. At the current rate of success, he told Congress, the US should be able by next summer to reduce its forces back to the number that were deployed before the surge began. Beyond that, he said, the goal was to go from "leadership" to "partnering" to "overwatch"—that is, to go from US troops leading the fight against the insurgency, to our troops sharing the work equally with Iraqi forces, to the US merely supporting and supervising Iraqi forces. This would mean further reductions in our commitment of troops to Iraq. But on this issue Petraeus was very firm.

Force reductions will continue beyond the pre-surge levels of brigade combat teams that we will reach by mid-July 2008; however, in my professional judgment, it would be premature to make recommendations on the pace of such reductions at this time. In fact, our experience in Iraq has repeatedly shown that projecting too far into the future is not just difficult, it can be misleading and even hazardous….

In view of this, I do not believe it is reasonable to have an adequate appreciation for the pace of further reductions and mission adjustments beyond the summer of 2008 until about mid-March of next year. We will, no later than that time, consider factors similar to those on which I based the current recommendations, having by then, of course, a better feel for the security situation, the improvements in the capabilities of our Iraqi counterparts, and the enemy situation.

Translation: I just bought another six months to fight the war. See you again next March.

The only really interesting new aspect of Petraeus's testimony was the full extent to which our military leaders—and, presumably, their civilian superiors—now see the war in Iraq as a Cold War style proxy battle with Iran. Petraeus confirmed what I have suspected—that, as we win against al-Qaeda and the Sunni insurgency, US forces will increasingly turn their attention to the Shiite militias—and he described that conflict in the following terms.

In the past six months we have also targeted Shia militia extremists, capturing a number of senior leaders and fighters, as well as the deputy commander of Lebanese Hezbollah Department 2800, the organization created to support the training, arming, funding, and, in some cases, direction of the militia extremists by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps' Qods Force. These elements have assassinated and kidnapped Iraqi governmental leaders, killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosive devices provided by Iran, and indiscriminately rocketed civilians in the International Zone and elsewhere. It is increasingly apparent to both Coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Qods Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.

On this issue, US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker added more detail, particularly about the consequences of a congressionally mandated American retreat from Iraq:

I am certain that abandoning or drastically curtailing our efforts will bring failure, and the consequences of such a failure must be clearly understood by us all…. Undoubtedly, Iran would be a winner in this scenario, consolidating its influence over Iraqi resources and possibly territory. The Iranian president has already announced that Iran will fill any vacuum in Iraq.

So yes, our leaders are aware that Iran is the real, long-term enemy we're fighting in Iraq—even though they have so far decided that we will fight Iran only piecemeal and indirectly. Crocker did at least take an effort to undo one bit of damage caused by his superiors at the State Department. Condoleezza Rice has authorized multiple meetings with Iranian envoys in an attempt to convince them to "help" in stabilizing Iraq. Crocker burst any fantasy that this is likely to happen, stating flatly that "Iran plays a harmful role in Iraq." Well, of course it does.

For his part, General Petraeus concluded his testimony by reminding Congress that if we want to win a war, we have to be willing to commit to it for the long haul: In describing the recommendations I have made, I should note again that, like Ambassador Crocker, I believe Iraq's problems will require a long-term effort. There are no easy answers or quick solutions. And though we both believe this effort can succeed, it will take time.

As I said, none of this is a great surprise for anyone who has been following the news out of Iraq. It has all been widely reported and discussed over the past few months, and it has already had a powerful impact on the political debate. The result is that when Democratic leaders returned from Congress's August recess, they found they had lost all political momentum to end the war and they did not have enough votes to cut off funding for the surge.

The desperation of the anti-war left can be seen in the fact that they have had to resort to character assassination of Petraeus. The anti-war group MoveOn has gone so far as to take out an ad in the New York Times—to be published on September 11, no less—denouncing America's top battlefield commander with the slanderous moniker "General Betray-Us." And the same politicians who, as House Minority Leader John Boehner reminds us, used to lecture about the need to "listen to the generals" have declared their refusal to listen to our top general in Iraq.

It is a foolish political strategy, especially given the respect Americans have for the officers of the world's most professional army. Indeed, public opinion polls show that 68% of Americans trust military officers to make decisions about the war—far more than trust the US Congress to do so. In a political battle between the Democratic leadership of Congress and General Petraeus, Petraeus will win—and the Democrats have decided to fight just such a battle.

But this foolish decision is just a small part of the Democrats' problem. Their bigger problem is that they have become "invested in defeat," to use a phrase that we are starting to hear frequently. Because they have declared so loudly and for so long that the war is hopelessly lost and all that we can do is organize an orderly retreat, any evidence of American success in Iraq will discredit them. They need a total failure in Iraq in order to survive politically.

This puts them fundamentally at odds with the American character and sense of life. Americans don't like to lose wars. As we have seen, they will turn against President Bush if they think he's losing the war—but if it looks like we're winning, or at least that we have regained some momentum toward victory, they will support the person who offers them the prospect of victory.

That's what General Petraeus has done—and in doing so, he has achieved as important a turning point in the battle for Washington, DC, and he has in the battle for Anbar province in Iraq.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The War On The War

Part of the reason I'm working on administrative tasks today is because next week will be very busy. It will be the climax of the domestic political battle over the Iraq War. General Petraeus will give his report on the progress of the surge—a report that is almost certain to argue that the current counter-insurgency strategy is working and needs to be allowed to continue. The Democrats and the left-leaning media will then attempt to ignore, twist, or discredit that report.

I don't think they will succeed—but that won't stop them from trying. In fact, the press is already preparing the ground. The Washington Post has been particularly obvious in its campaign for defeat, filling every issue this week with a long article attempting to explain away any evidence of success in Iraq. One such article, for example, dismisses as a "Potemkin Village" an outdoor market in Baghdad that had been deserted a year ago and is now bustling with commerce after al-Qaeda fighters were routed from the neighborhood. Kimberly Kagan answers that dishonest argument here.

In a similar vein, the Democratic Congress released its own report on Iraq, critiqued here, which analyzes the progress of the surge according to standards engineered to guarantee the conclusion that it has failed.

But I don't think any of this is going to override the testimony of the top commander in Iraq—so the Democrats have now stooped to attempting to smear General Petraeus. The Washington Times reports on the Democrats' attempt to dismiss Petraeus as an unscrupulous mouthpiece for the Bush administration. How can they contradict the judgment of the top commander in the field? Easy: according to Nancy Pelosi, "The facts are self-evident that the progress is not being made."

The Democrats ran last November on a platform of defeat—and the party's leaders are staying loyal to that goal. But attacking Petraeus strikes me as a desperate expedient, and one that is likely to backfire. If this is what they're counting on, I think the Democrats are going to lose.

And remember that the stakes in this conflict go well beyond Iraq. A self-inflicted defeat in Iraq would be so demoralizing that it would quash any effort to assert our military power against the Iranian regime. But if we persist in our counter-insurgency strategy, further success might free up the military and political resources for a confrontation with Iran.

In fact, that process has already begun. As they begin to feel that they are once again backing a winning cause in Iraq, commentators on the right are emboldened and are beginning to focus more effort on, for example, advocating the bombing of terrorist training camps inside Iran.