Irish Blog Whacked

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SOLDIER BOX conscientious

“Recent history exposes the real face of the imperial project - kill-teams, Bagram prison, UK troops raping children, [Nazi] SS flags flying, Koran burning, house raids, kidnapping, torture, murder and mayhem. It is not a case of one loose cannon ruining the good work that has been done. This is a case of imperialism doing what imperialism does,” British Soldier - Joe Glenton

A former British soldier, who was jailed for refusing to fight, has revealed the horror behind the mask of “Britain as a force for good, liberty and democracy”.

Bobby Sands Lives At US Gulag
The Reason for Hunger Strikes-from Northern Ireland To Guantanamo 

By Ann Wright
May 21, 2013 "Information ClearingHouse" -"War IsA Crime" - I'm in Northern Ireland and yesterday on May 20, 2013, I spoke with several members of the Northern Ireland Parliament. With over 100 prisoners in Guantanamo on a 100 day hunger strike, the Obama administration would be wise to talk to some of them too--about the importance and legacy of hungerstrikes.

In 1981, Pat Sheehan was one of the Maze Prison hunger strikers-a hunger strike that brought huge international attention to the Northern Ireland "Troubles," with the goal of forcing the British government to treat those imprisoned as political prisoners, not criminals. Hunger strikers demanded the right to wear civilian clothes, the right to education and recreational opportunities, freedom from work obligations, and a set of other benefits not afforded to other inmates. Pat was on the hunger strike for 55 days and still alive when the hunger strike was called off by the prisoners.

Bobby Sands became the most famous of the 10 who died during the hunger strikes when he was elected to Parliament while on the hunger strike-Francis Hughes, Raymond McLeish, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee, Michael Devine also died.

After one prisoner died from his lung punctured from a feeding tube through the throat, the British ended force feeding those on hunger strikes. The British government eventually granted most of the hunger strikers’ demands. Public opinion changed dramatically in favor of those imprisoned and on the hunger strike.

Now Pat Sheehan is a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament. The Good Friday Peace Accord brokered by the Clinton administration brought to a close, a violent chapter in British and Northern Ireland relationships. The Peace Accord allowed former political prisoners to become part of the political process.

One never knows the future of those who have been imprisoned for political crimes--after peace talks, many may become political leaders, like Gerry Adams and Pat Sheehan. No one can predict the future paths of those in Guantanamo, but one can be assured that the continued imprisonment of those cleared for release from Guantanamo is disastrous for the individual and for the United States.

President Obama would be wise to call former hunger striker and now Northern Ireland Parliamentarian Pat Sheehan!
Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She also worked as a US diplomat for 16 years and served in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned from the US government in 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq. In 2006, she was on a delegation to Guantanamo, Cuba to challenge the US prison at Guantanamo.

McKevitt appeal decision 'another injustice'

The Republican Network for Unity has condemned the decision of a court in Dublin not to allow an appeal by Michael McKevitt to proceed, describing the case as a miscarriage of justice.
Mr McKevitt was arrested in 2001 on the word of a paid informer David Rupert who identified him as a leader of the 'Real IRA'. In August 2003, he became the first person in the history of the 26 County state to be jailed on the charge of 'directing terrorism'.
His lawyers had argued that a search warrant used to raid his home was invalid, as it was issued under an act later found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court; and that evidence used against McKevitt was taken while he was not legally represented.
In a recent ruling, the three judge panel accepted an argument by the State that Mr McKevitt had already exhausted his right of appeal. It also acceded to the State's application to strike out the matter because his application was "unstateable and unarguable."
"Once again Michael McKevitt and his family have been denied any semblance of justice," the RNU said.
"This man is now entering his 12th year of imprisonment. He was convicted on the word of David Rupert an agent and convicted fraudster, in the pay of MI5, FBI and in all probability also in the employment of the 26 county intelligence services. "Michael McKevitt was tried and convicted in the media long before he appeared before the special criminal court, he was arrested on a warrant that has now been ruled unlawful -- but not in Michael's case. Even after all the long years of his imprisonment these agencies still fear his principled unyielding Republicanism.
"This case is yet another example of interment via judicial process along side Marian Price from Belfast, Tony Taylor from Derry and Martin Corey from Lurgan.
"RNU once again calls for the immediate release of of these prisoners and demand Amnesty International declare them political prisoners."

GCHQ staff scolded over claiming Julian Assange was Framed

Internal GCHQ emails obtained by Mr Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since seeking refuge there last June against extradition to Sweden, showed staff saying they thought the charges were “definitely a fit-up”.
Mr Assange obtained the emails by requesting the material under the Data Protection Act, and GCHQ has asked staff to behave more professionally after the Wikileaks founder, who has been ordered to stand trial in Sweden over the sexual assault allegations, revealed the contents.
One email sent in September 2012 by a GCHQ officer to a colleague, and which refers to the publication of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, says: "They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ... It is definitely a fit-up... Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate".
In another email, sent in August 2012, an employee writes: "He reckons he will stay in the Ecuadorian embassy for six to 12 months when the charges against him will be dropped, but that is not really how it works now, is it? He's a fool... Yeah... A highly optimistic fool.”
Mr Assange revealed the emails during an interview with a Spanish television channel, telling the presenter: "This is what the spies are discussing among themselves.
"It [GCHQ] won't hand over any of the classified information. But, much to its surprise, it has some unclassified information on us. We have just received this. It is not public yet."
A GCHQ spokesman told the Independent: "We acknowledge that some of these comments were inappropriate but emphasise that no decisions were taken by GCHQ on the basis of these comments, nor was any reliance placed on them. We have reminded staff of the importance of professional behaviour at all times.
"As was made clear to Mr Assange when the information was disclosed to him, the comments he referred to were a small number of casual observations on current affairs issues made by a handful of staff on GCHQ's informal communications channels... We have given him all of the information that he is entitled to under the Act.”
“We are not able to comment on whether or not any material has been exempted,” the spokesman added.
Mr Assange and his supporters have claimed that the rape allegations made against him by two women in Sweden are part of an international conspiracy in a bid to silence him after WikiLeaks caused huge embarrassment in Washington when it released thousands of us administration diplomatic cables,
His final appeal against extradition to Sweden was dismissed by the UK Supreme Court in June 2012, and four days later he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.
Bradley Manning, a US soldier, has been charged with supplying classified material to WikiLeaks, and his trial is due to start next month.