Richard Moore

Last updated: Wed, 27 May 2009 07:40:19 GMT

MI5 faces fresh torture allegations –The claims bring to three the number of countries in which British intelligence agents have been accused of colluding in the torture of UK nationals.26 May 2009 The home secretary Jacqui Smith faces legal action over allegations that MI5 agents colluded in the torture of a British former civil servant by Bangladeshi intelligence officers. Lawyers for the British man, Jamil Rahman, are to file a damages claim alleging that Smith was complicit in assault, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and breaches of human rights legislation over his alleged ill-treatment while detained in Bangladesh.

US Army prepared to stay in Iraq for a decade 27 May 2009 The Pentagon is prepared to remain in Iraq for as long as a decade despite an agreement between Washington and Baghdad that would bring all American troops home by 2012, according to the US army chief of staff. Gen George Casey said the world remained “dangerous and unpredictable”, and the Pentagon must plan for extended US combat and stability operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan that could deploy 50,000 US military personnel for a decade.

Obama Integrates Security Councils, Adds Pandemic Threat Office –Aides: Doing so will improve state and local officials’ access to the White House and does not require an act of Congress. 27 May 2009 President Obama announced yesterday that he will merge the staffs of the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council to speed up and unify security policymaking inside the White House. The White House also will add new offices for cybersecurity, for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, and for “resilience” — a national security directorate aimed at preparedness and response for a domestic WMD attack, pandemic or natural catastrophe, officials said. Obama will preserve the Homeland Security Council’s role as the main forum for government policymaking on issues such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters and pandemic influenza. [See: DoD to carry out ‘military missions’ during pandemic, WMD attack and DoD to ‘augment civilian law’ during pandemic or bioterror attack.]

White House merging national and homeland security –The Homeland Security Council, created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, will be kept as a venue for discussing issues concerning domestic security, including terrorism, WMDs,natural [some, not so much] disasters and pandemic influenza. 26 May 2009 President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he is combining White House staffs dealing with international and homeland security. Obama also is creating a new office intended to communicate more effectively with other countries about U.S. security policy. Homeland Security Council staff will be integrated into the National Security Council. The president’s national security adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, told reporters the reorganization reflects the view that national security has both foreign and domestic components.

IDF chief: I’m preparing all possible measures against Iran 26 May 2009 Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told lawmakers on Tuesday he was preparing every possible measure Israel could take to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “As chief of staff, my position is to prepare all the alternatives for dealing with the Iranian nuclear problem, which is what I am doing,” Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Netanyahu bringing Israel closer to war with Iran By Aluf Benn 26 May 2009 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers the lifting of the Iranian nuclear threat his life’s mission. Before coming to power, he had mentioned that such an operation might cost thousands of lives, but the price was justified in view of the threat’s severity. His comments yesterday at the meeting of Likud’s Knesset faction put to rest Ariel Sharon’s doctrine that Iran is not just Israel’s problem but the entire world’s problem, and Israel must not be at the forefront of the struggle. Israel is now at the forefront.

Israeli delegation on the move over ‘Iran threat’ 26 May 2009 An Israeli government delegation has set off to London in an attempt to divert attention away from its illegal settlements and onto Iran. The delegation headed by Intelligence Services Minister Dan Meridor is expected to meet with US officials in the UK, a senior government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The official, however, did not specify which US officials the delegation would meet or why London had been chosen as the venue for the talks.

State recruits an army of snoopers with police-style powers 26 May 2009 A growing army of private security guards and town hallsnoopers with sweeping police-style powers is being quietly established, the Daily Mail can reveal. Under a Home Office-run scheme, people such as park wardens, dog wardens, car park attendants and shopping centre guards receive the powers if they undergo training, and pay a small fee to their local police force. Their powers include issuing £60 fines for truancy and dropping litter, and being able to demand a person’s name and address on the street.

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Hundreds ‘tortured’ in Iraqi prisons 25 May 2009 Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights has declared in a report that hundreds of people were tortured in Iraqi prisons last year. According to the report published in Baghdad’s al-Sabbah newspaper Sunday, of the 306 cases of torture and abuse in Iraqi prisons, 107 took place in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has also declared that the torture or abuse of Iraqi prisoners is “routine and commonplace.” The group said that detainees were suspended for long periods of time with their hands tied behind their back, routinely beaten with cables and metal rods and had shocks administered to their earlobes and genitals by security officers, DPA reported.

U.S. holds journalist without charges in Iraq –Reuters cameraman Ibrahim Jassam has been held since September. The U.S. military rejected a court order to release him, saying he is a ‘high security threat.’ 24 May 2009 The soldiers rifled through the house, confiscating Ibrahim Jassam’s computer hard drive and cameras. And then they led him away, handcuffed and blindfolded. That was Sept. 2. Jassam, 31, has been in U.S. custody ever since. No formal accusations have been made against Jassam, and an Iraqi court ordered in November that he be released for lack of evidence. But the U.S. military continues to hold him, saying it has intelligence that he is “a high security threat,” said Maj. Neal Fisher, spokesman for detainee affairs. [Just be sure reporters (aka convicted spies) arrested in Iran are released. But the United States of Hypocrisy can hold and torture (actual) journalists for six centuries without trial. You won’t read about that in the PentaPost. –LRP]

Iran sends six warships, logistic vessels to Aden Gulf and high seas 25 May 2009 Iran’s Navy Force Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Monday Iran has sent six warships and logistic vessels to Aden Gulf and high seas noting the move was unprecedented in the history of Iran’s navy force. The important measure represents Iran’s potent military capabilities for confronting any sort of outside threat across its coasts, he said as expressing hope navy force could make more progresses on technology of arm by local experts.

Obama vows to keep US military dominance 25 May 2009 Barack Obama has vowed to keep US military dominance in the world by sending military troops to ‘theater of war’ when and where Washington deems ‘necessary’. “We will maintain America’s military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen,” President Obama told graduates at the US Naval Academy on Friday.

Senate backs $91.3 billion Iraq, Afghan war bill 21 May 2009 The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a $91.3 billion measure sought by President Barack Obama to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure meets some of Obama’s key priorities but leaves out funding to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation –America’s richest people meet to discuss ways of tackling a ‘disastrous’ environmental, social and industrial threat 24 May 2009 Some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population and speed up improvements in health and education. The philanthropists terrorists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change. [See: Flu ‘Oddities’.]


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