Mick Hall | 01.07.2010 12:12 | Anti-militarism
If you take note of the MSM, the US people can sleep safe in their beds and their gallant spooks can rest easy, sure in the knowledge they have achieved a major coup by rounding up a paddy-wagon full of some of the USA's most deadly enemies. No, the FBI and the various US intelligence agencies have not finally rounded up the CEOs of the major US banks, who, due to their greed, negligence, some would say criminal behaviour, managed to bring the US economy to its knees. Nor is G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and General David Petraeus in jail, waiting for an indictment for war crimes to be handed down.
Indeed immigration officials could have deported them at any time over the last few years, why the US security services and the FBI chose to keep this group under such close surveillance at great cost can only be guessed at. One presumes these arrests have been more about bolstering the US intelligence communities and FBI’s public image; and justifying their massive budgets, rather than actually doing the job they were tasked with. Protecting the US people from attacks like that which occurred on 9/11.
The FBI have claimed the task of those ‘spies’ they arrested was to gather information from think tanks, governmental officials and business. All of which could have been done from Moscow centre by trawling the internet and the western media. The whole purpose of think tanks is to collate information, try to make sense of it, and publish their findings. The same goes these days for most government departments. Business secrets are more tricky, as I can see no reason why the tax payers should protect businesses who cannot protect their own secrets. The more so when it comes to multi nationals, who by choosing to relocate production from the USA and UK, to places like China and India, are all but given they're specs away for free.
What these arrest highlight is the total worthlessness of the work the world's security services are engaged in. Take the British Security and Intelligence Service, (SIS) it failed to foresee the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, and was party to the worst intelligence disaster in British history, when it allowed itself to become corrupted by, and a willing accomplice of Tony Blair’s lies to justify the Iraq war. That the former British prime minister had in all probability been a CIA asset throughout most of his political career, along with the fact he acted as the most craven creature of the most inadequate US president in history, GW Bush, seems to have passed SIS by.
At the very least, with the ending of the cold war, one thought government would have reined the SiS in by reducing its budget; after the disaster of Iraq one might have hoped it would have stood it down, as unfit for purpose, but no. It was payback time and those SIS officers who had delivered the worst intelligence failure in history were duly promoted by Blair, who also enlarged the remit of Sis to the extent it now claims to provide the British Government with a global covert capability to promote and defend the national security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom.
According to its website, SIS operates worldwide to collect secret foreign intelligence in support of the British Government's policies and objectives. Regional instability, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and illegal narcotics are among the major challenges of the 21st century.
Lets briefly run through a couple of these ‘challenges.’
Illegal narcotics is a problem first created at the beginning of the 20th century by the US government and then replicated by governments throughout the world due to pressures exerted on them by the USA. It could be solved overnight by the stroke of a ministers pen, if the government were to introduce sensible legislation to gradually decriminalize illicit drugs.
Defend the economic well-being of the nation.
What this in reality means is SIS and its colleagues in the police act as a pawn of big business, protecting its interest against that of the British worker. This is done by covering up white collar crime like bribery, and corruption; and spying on, blacklisting and smearing workers who join trade unions to improve their wages and working conditions. It also means spying on countless people who are expressing their democratic rights through perfectly legal public protest.
A small corner of the secret state was recently lifted when 85 year old John Catt and his 50 year old daughter, after a freedom of information request, found they had been tagged as domestic extremists. Their FoI request did not allow them to see the files the security services kept on them, but it did allow them to gather the information from police records, some of which were undoubtedly collated jointly by security services-police liaison.
“ The National Public Order Intelligence Unit(NPOIU) recorded their presence at more than 80 lawful demonstrations over four years, logging details such as their appearance, and slogans on their T-shirts. Observations about their demeanor and car number plates, notes about their conversations with local reporters were logged. Personal details were also logged “John Catt was clean shaven" or “JC sat on a folding chair by the southern most gate of EDO MBM.” The latter is the American arms corporation which has been accused of illegally selling weapons to Israel, which they used against the Palestinians in Gaza. Yet rather than investigating this crime the local police and security service targeted those who highlight it. *
It is worth noting where the British people stand on this; a jury recently found a group of protesters not guilty, (They had no links to the Catt’s) the five activists has been charged with causing £180,000 worth of damage to the arms factory and were acquitted after they argued they were seeking to prevent Israeli war crimes.
It is becoming increasingly clear, the real threat to the public's safety and democratic freedoms and rights comes from the very institutions entrusted by parliament to protect them. What ever the UK security services are about, it has nothing to do with protecting the well-being of the ‘British’ people. For like security services throughout the world, their job is to protect the best interest of their country's political and business elite, the people who run and own the State. This is one of the main reasons who corrupt politicians and businessmen and women hardly ever see the inside of a court room, let alone a prison cell, despite they're being countless examples of corruption in high places.
Thus the security services are provided with a kings ransom to carry out their loathsome task, which basically amounts to being the State’s department of smear, misinformation and cover up.
* Information about the Catt’s held by the Pubic Order Intelligence Unit has been transferred to the Police National Computer in Hendon and in July 2005 and they were stopped by police under the Terrorism Act after driving into the east London to help a family member move house. They later discovered police had placed a marker against their car registration on the database, triggering an alert – "of interest to public order unit, Sussex police" – each time they drove beneath an automatic number plate reading camera.