July 11 (Bloomberg) — On a private island 20 minutes by helicopter from central London, a hovercraft sits on the lawn of a turreted Edwardian manor house as swallows swoop around.
Trees and wildflowers line a lane that leads to a cluster of buildings that house a pool table, a 12-seat movie theater and an art studio. A yacht is moored nearby.
The island isn’t a country hideaway. It’s the Causeway Retreat, a mental health and addiction center that charges as much as 10,000 pounds ($20,000) a week for treatment away from the prying eyes of colleagues and the media. There is a waiting list for the facility’s 15 rooms.
“We get lots of CEOs of companies, traders, high-end business guys,” says Managing Director Brendan Quinn. “They want treatment, but they want it to be discreet.”
The research involved more than 24,000 military personnel
Britain’s ability to sustain campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan was called into question last night as it emerged that almost half of all military personnel are ready to quit.
The first survey to assess attitudes across the Armed Forces reveals unprecedented levels of concern over equipment, morale and pay.
The research was conducted by the Ministry of Defence and involved more than 24,000 military personnel.
It found that the sense of overcommitment means that 47 per cent of soldiers and army officers think regularly of handing in their resignations.
Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP for Newark and a former commanding officer, said that the findings reflected the duress under which military personnel were operating. “I think the tempo of operations has produced such a level of stress on the families that it is no wonder so many are thinking of leaving,” he said.
The cost of Britain’s “surveillance society” measures is now running at £20 billion, a new report reveals today.
The amount is equivalent to £800 per household and includes £19 billion for the planned ID card system and £500 million for CCTV cameras.
The report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance was highlighted by David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, who stands in a by-election this week on the issue of civil liberties. Mr Davis resigned as an MP after the opposition failed to defeat Government plans to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days.
Mr Davis said: “This is yet further damning evidence of Big Brother’s expensive tastes. ID cards, CCTV, the DNA database and other measures are a huge waste of taxpayers’ money on policies that undermine freedom and are utterly ineffective in fighting crime or terrorism.
In January of 2002, the Washington Post ran a story detailing a CIA plan put forward to President Bush shortly after 9/11 by CIA Director George Tenet titled, “Worldwide Attack Matrix,” which was “outlining a clandestine anti-terror campaign in 80 countries around the world. What he was ready to propose represented a striking and risky departure for U.S. policy and would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history.” The plan entailed CIA and Special Forces “covert operations across the globe,” and at “the heart of the proposal was a recommendation that the president give the CIA what Tenet labeled “exceptional authorities” to attack and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.” Tenet cited the need for such authority “to allow the agency to operate without restraint — and he wanted encouragement from the president to take risks.” Among the many authorities recommended was the use of “deadly force.”
Further, “Another proposal was that the CIA increase liaison work with key foreign intelligence services,” as “Using such intelligence services as surrogates could triple or quadruple the CIA’s effectiveness.” The Worldwide Attack Matrix “described covert operations in 80 countries that were either underway or that he was now recommending. The actions ranged from routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks,” as well as “In some countries, CIA teams would break into facilities to obtain information.”
P2OG: “Commit terror, to incite terror… in order to react to terror”
In 2002, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a “Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism,” portions of which were leaked to the Federation of American Scientists. According to the document, the “War on Terror” constitutes a “committed, resourceful and globally dispersed adversary with strategic reach,” which will require the US to engage in a “long, at times violent, and borderless war.”As the Asia Times described it, this document lays out a blueprint for the US to “fight fire with fire.” Many of the “proposals appear to push the military into territory that traditionally has been the domain of the CIA, raising questions about whether such missions would be subject to the same legal restraints imposed on CIA activities.” According to the Chairman of the DSB, “The CIA executes the plans but they use Department of Defense assets.”
Specifically, the plan “recommends the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception. For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT) forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.” The purpose of P2OG would be in “‘stimulating reactions’ among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction, meaning it would prod terrorist cells into action, thus exposing them to ‘quick-response’ attacks by US forces.” In other words, commit terror to incite terror, in order to react to terror.
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2002 that, “The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised,” and quoted then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, “Prevention and preemption are … the only defense against terrorism.” Chris Floyd bluntly described P2OG in CounterPunch, saying, “the United States government is planning to use “cover and deception” and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let’s say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people–your family, your friends, your lovers, you–in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.”
LONDON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Soaring commodity costs are denting manufacturing activity in Asia and Europe and the outlook looks bleak as new orders drop off in the face of rising prices, surveys showed on Tuesday.
Manufacturing activity in the euro zone contracted in June for the first time in three years while business confidence in Asia’s largest export markets is buckling and output has likely contracted further in the United States.
Purchasing managers indices showed manufacturing activity in the euro zone fell to 49.2 in June, China saw its index fall to a near three-year low of 52.0 while in Britain it contracted at its sharpest rate since December 2001.
The 50.0 mark separates growth from contraction. Factories worldwide have struggled in the face of soaring raw material and energy costs — oil hit over $143 a barrel on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan’s tankan corporate index of big manufacturers’ sentiment dropped to plus 5, from 11 in March, showing their mood has not been darker since 2003.
The democracy-loving British public would never put up with dictatorship – or would they?
An 82-year-old former bomber pilot I met in the street the other day said: “Supermen. Ha! If Hitler had come over here we would have given him a proper kick up the jackside.” As Michael White suggests, British people are fond of the myth that they won’t tolerate dictatorships, despite the fact that there were many fascist sympathisers in Britain in the 1930s.
Yes, we do live in a relatively free and secular country – just ask any young Afghani woman studying at a college here for her opinion. But there is also evidence around us that the British government is engaging in repression. And not just in Iraq or Afghanistan, but here in Britain. Perhaps those of us who have lived for a time under dictatorships can spot some of the warning signs:
Inconvenient elections are avoided in the name of getting on with the job.
Leaders of the opposition are character-assassinated by the state media.
Institutions like the legislature begin to lose their independence and traditional role.
Citizens are increasingly afraid to speak openly on certain issues.
Citizens are observed and monitored on cameras and the government can tap into their conversations at will.
Governments can snatch anyone from their homes or off the street and detain them without trial on charges of treason or terrorism.
Ethnic and religious minorities are persecuted and are made into scapegoats.
The state increasingly intervenes in family and community life in an attempt to control citizens’ behaviour.
The focus of discussion moves away from the issues and into a narrative of political rivalries and gossip spreads.
Governments use bread and circuses to shut people up and distract attention away from their increasing political impotence.
Public spaces for demonstrations are closed down and restricted.
Large and ridiculous monuments are built to impress the citizens.
Individuals have to carry ID with them at all times and the government holds large amounts of information on every citizen.
How does the British government rate on the dictatorship scale? How close are we to Zimbabwe under Zanu? How far away are we from, say, Norway?
Quarter of adult population face mandatory “anti-pedophile” test in sweeping expansion of “child protection” measures
Sweeping new policies set to be introduced in the UK will mandate parents to get government permission to kiss their children or take them to the swimming pool in public, measures that are “poisoning” relationships between the generations, according to respected sociologist Professor Frank Furedi.
A quarter of the entire adult population of the United Kingdom will be mandated to pass a state check operated by a newly formed government agency to have any physical contact with children under the age of 16 in public – including their own kids.
“From next year the new Independent Safeguarding Authority will require any adult who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults either through their work or in voluntary groups to be vetted,” according to a London Telegraph report.
In a think tank report, Professor Furedi highlighted cases where government checks were already being required by schools and other organizations for parents to merely interact with their own children in public.
In one example, a woman could not kiss her daughter goodbye on a school trip because she had not been vetted.
In another, a mother was surprised to be told by another parent that she and her husband were “CRB checked” when their children played together.
In a third example, a father was given “filthy looks” by a group of mothers when he took his child swimming on his own in “a scene from a Western when the room goes silent and tumbleweed blows across the foreground”.
As a result ordinary parents – many of whom are volunteers at sports and social clubs – now find themselves regarded “potential child abusers”.
Despite the fact that cases of child abduction in the UK have steadily dropped since the 1970’s, government fearmongering and media scare campaigns have created the illusion that pedophiles are roaming around everywhere preying on children. Child abuse numbers are also being artificially inflated by charities like the NSPCC – who were caught faking abuse cases to generate cash donations.
In reality, as we have consistently highlighted, by far the highest ratio of child abuse and pedophilia per head is found in government institutions and other state-run programs tasked with “protecting” children.
In this clip, Alex discusses how a culture of pedophilia permeates government and branches of social services, why sex predators are enabled to conduct their activities by using the instruments of state, with a spotlight on cases of abuse in Texas and the U.S. government’s attempts to cover it up.
The agenda behind sweeping measures sold as “child protection” is to take away parents’ rights and hand them over to the state, as happened in HItler Germany and other dictatorships throughout history.
Once the state gets its hands on your kids, they can mould them into good little Stasi agents who will gleefully inform on you for the most benevolent of actions, such as the use of minor physical discipline, which can easily be deemed “child abuse”.
At best power mad control freaks – and at worst child abusers and pedophiles themselves – are crafting laws to dictate how parents can behave around their own children. This is one of the fundamental benchmarks of tyranny and a psychological assault on the very foundation of our society.
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, June 26, 2008