Andre Vltchek: Why I reject Western courts and justice

From Global Research

By Andre Vltchek

June 23, 2017

There is a small courthouse from the ‘British era’, standing right in the center of Hong Kong. It is neat, well-built, remarkably organized and some would even say – elegant. 

Earlier this year I visited there with an Afghan-British lawyer, who had been touring East Asia for several months. Hong Kong was her last destination; afterwards she was planning to return home to London. The Orient clearly confused and overwhelmed her, and no matter how ‘anti-imperialist’ she tried to look, most of her references were clearly going back to the adoptive homeland – the United Kingdom.

“It looks like England,” she exclaimed when standing in the middle of Hong Kong. There was clearly excitement and nostalgia in her voice.

To cheer her up even more, I took her to the courthouse. My good intentions backfired: as we were leaving, she uttered words that I expected but also feared for quite some time:

“You know, there are actually many good things that can be said about the British legal system.”

*

I thought about that short episode in Hong Kong now, as I drove all around her devastated country of childhood, Afghanistan. As always, I worked without protection, with no bulletproof vests, armored vehicles or military escorts, just with my Afghan driver who doubled as my interpreter and also as my friend. It was Ramadan and to let him rest, I periodically got behind the wheel. We were facing countless detentions, arrests and interrogations by police, military and who knows what security forces, but we were moving forward, always forward, despite all obstacles.

From that great distance, from the heights of the mountains of Afghanistan, the courthouse in Hong Kong kept falling into proportion and meaningful perspective.

It was surrounded by an enormous city, once usurped and sodomized by the British Crown. A city where ‘unruly locals’ were being killed, tortured, flogged and regularly imprisoned.

And it was not only Hong Kong that has suffered: the entire enormous country of China with one of the oldest and greatest cultures on Earth had been brutally ransacked, including its splendid capital – Beijing – that was invaded and almost totally destroyed by the French and British troops. For a long period, China was divided, humiliated, impoverished and tormented.

But the courthouse, a little neat temple of colonialist justice, now stood in the middle of the once occupied city, whispering about the days when it offered certainty and pride to all those who came to Hong Kong as colonizers, as well as to all those who served and licked the boots of their British masters.

The courthouse was providing confidence to people who were longing for one, just as they did during the grotesque and perverse days, as well as now.

Behind its walls ruled clearly defined and meticulously obeyed spirit of fairness: if one’s chicken got slaughtered, or if one’s tricycle god smashed by a hammer of a mad shopkeeper, the legendary British justice was administered promptly and properly.

Some people would argue, of course, that the entire colonialism was unjust, that the killing of tens of millions of people in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere was much more noteworthy than settling fairly and justly some domestic or real estate dispute. Such voices, however, have been always quickly silenced, or bought (with money, diplomas, or other means).

Certainly, the British Crown has been busy subjugating entire countries and continents, murdering innocent people, freely plundering and enslaving men, women and children. Tens of millions died in the British-triggered famines alone, on the Sub-Continent and elsewhere. But that was done “outside” the legal framework, and it was never fit to be discussed publicly in a ‘polite society’, by both the English people as well as by the émigré elites.

Now the UK has been absorbed by the ‘great’ Western Empire, governed by its offspring. Global genocides continue to murder millions. For those, no one gets punished, while the fines for speeding or not wearing seat belts are getting transparently dispersed among the servile citizens of the British Isles.

You kick your dog in public, and you could get arrested, then fined, or perhaps even thrown into jail. You shout at your girlfriend, she runs to police, and they open a ‘criminal investigation’ against you.

You shoot a few missiles at some independent country, killing dozens of innocent people, and it is business as usual. You overthrow some ‘unruly’ African government, and no court of justice, local or international, would even bother to hear the case against you, properly and seriously.

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History: How Britain protected Ukraine’s Waffen-SS Galitsia Division in the wake of World War II

Global Research, November 21, 2016
Slavyangrad.org 20 November 2016

Amid the continued support given to the fascist politicians and military of Ukraine by western governments, many people are asking how such a betrayal of the sacrifices of the Allies in World War Two could take place. However, what most people are unaware of, in large part due to an ever-more corrupted media, is that these governments have a shocking history of protecting the perpetrators of some of the most terrible crimes of that war. One of the most egregious examples of this practice of shielding war-criminals from justice was confirmed in 2005 with the declassification of British Home Office papers showing that the British government protected at least 8,000 members of the Waffen-SS Galitsia Division from the justice that awaited them in the Soviet Union.

When Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers in May 1945, the 14th Waffen-SS ‘Galitsia’ Division, made up of Ukrainian volunteers, continued to retreat westward from their positions in Austria in order to avoid capture and punishment by the advancing Red Army. The Division—approximately 10,000 soldiers—ultimately chose to surrender to British and American forces and was briefly sent to an internment camp in Spittal an der Drau, Austria. The British government, in contravention of the agreements made at the Yalta Conference, refused to repatriate the Galitsia Division to the Soviet Union, instead transferring them to another internment camp in Bellaria-Igea Marina, in northern Italy. It was here that a troika of prominent Ukrainian fascists—Mykola Lebed, Father Ivan Hry’okh and Bishop Ivan Buchko—persuaded the Vatican to intercede on behalf of the soldiers, whom Bishop Buchko described as “good Catholics and fervent anti-communists.”

Galitsia Division troops interned at Rimini, Italy

As a result of this intercession, the British and American authorities overseeing the internment camp remained steadfast in their refusal to abide by their obligation to repatriate the soldiers to the Soviet Union. One of the principal British proponents of the decision not to repatriate the Galitsia Division was Major Denis Hills. Major Hills was keen on protecting these soldiers, and despite admitting that he “knew about the SS”, he said the army “was not interested in war crimes.”

According to British academic, Stephen Dorril, in his book M16: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Major Hills was a self-described fascist and a staunch anti-communist who took it upon himself to ensure that the Galitsia Division would be transferred to Britain. Hills personally advised the head of the Division, Major Yaskevycz, to instruct his men that when questioned by the Soviet repatriation commission they must lie and insist that they were forced to serve alongside the Nazis and were not by any means volunteers. As a result of this, and due to British fears that improved relations between Italy and the Soviet Union could result in repatriation, the decision was made on April 1st, 1947, to relocate at least 8,000 members of the Galitsia Division to Britain.

Troops of Galitsia Division being transported to Britain

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US-NATO ground forces, escalation in Syria leading to global war

Global Research, December 05, 2015
turkey-syria

The recent developments show significant changes in the strategy of the Western countries involved in the Syrian conflict. The US has sent ground forces, including special operations units, into the region. French Air Force has sharply increased the number of sorties, and France’s rapid-reaction troops and naval units are being moved closer to Syria.

The United Kingdom has also begun to participate in the US-led anti-ISIS coalition strikes on Syrian soil. Likewise Germany has begun to deploy its aircraft and relocating almost 1200 quick-reaction troops to the Syria-Iraq battlefield. Turkey is deploying a large military attack force, including a number of armored units, at the border with Syria. It seems that NATO powers have realized the strategy aimed at Assad’s ouster by a diverse range of militant groups including ISIS which is backed by Turkey and the US has failed.

According to the initial scenario implemented by the West, ISIS and other militant groups, deceitfully called the moderate opposition, were to carry out a Libya-like scenario in Syria and oust or preferably kill Assad and plunge the whole country into chaos. Then the US-led coalition would start a full-scale military operation to stop the terrorists threatening the “moderate opposition” in Syria, deploy NATO forces on the ground and take control of the crucial oil and logistic infrastructure. Western oil corporations supported by NATO would then restore the state of affairs as it existed more than 40 years ago. Syria would fall victim to total exploitation by overseas powers. The Mediterranean would become Alliance’ internal lake.

Now it’s clear that Syria won’t fall under terrorist group pressure. The Syrian forces backed by Russia and Iran are gaining momentum, recapturing cities and facilities earlier controlled by militants. The NATO allies urgently need a new plan to hold control at least of the northern oil corridor from Iraq and try to take advantage of this opportunity to involve Russia in a long expensive war, in other words, to accomplish that which they failed to do in Ukraine. It means that the NATO contingent must occupy crucial infrastructure including oilfields before the Syrian government forces liberate it. Anti-government, meaning anti-Russian and anti-Iranian, forces would be established in parts of divided Syria. The need for an excuse to implement the changed approach could be the reason why the Nov.13 Paris attack wasn’t prevented by the Western special services.

The implication of the Western plan to divide Syria in a number of vassal entities leads to 3 main scenarios:

1)   Military buildup and escalation in the region could lead to open military conflict between NATO and the alternative anti-ISIS coalition that is led by Russia. This regional conflict could easily lead to a global war. Moreover, Turkey, a NATO member state, has already shown that it’s ready to escalate the situation to defend its illegal oil business linked with ISIS.

2)    If the Syrian Arab Army with support by militia forces, Iran, and Russia isn’t able to show a significant success on the battlefield, Syria could be easily divided by the Western-backed ground forces supported by NATO airpower and intelligence assets. A direct military intervention to take control of the oil structure and crucial logistical points also remains possible. Even if NATO and its regional allies successfully take control of a significant part of the country, this escalation is unlikely to be avoided. The situation will become more acute due to the establishment of an aggressive puppet regime on the Syria’s territory. Considering that the alternative anti-ISIS coalition won’t lay down its arms, an open conflict could be easily provoked by the interested powers.

3)   If the Syrian government forces supported by Russia and Iran take control of the country’s key areas, the US-led coalition will face the fact that Syria is de-facto liberated from terrorist groups. It could prevent a direct military intervention by NATO. In this case, the NATO countries would strengthen their presence in Iraq and use it as a foothold to launch further destructive actions against Syria. However, it’s the safest scenario most likely to avoid a global escalation.

British General: British Army would use “whatever means possible” should Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister

Global Research, September 21, 2015

There has been some debate about the significance of a warning issued this weekend through Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times by a British general that the army would “mutiny” and use “whatever means possible, fair or foul” should the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ever get near 10 Downing Street.

Here is what the general says:

Owen Jones has wondered whether this is tantamount to a threat of a coup by the military. I think it would be foolhardy indeed to read it as anything else.

None of us should be surprised either. We have been here before. In the late 1960s and early 1970s serving British generals, former generals, members of the royal family and the British security services regularly spoke in such terms to each other – and even occasionally on prime-time television.

More than that, when they believed their privileges were under serious threat, as they did during Harold Wilson’s various governments of that period, they actively plotted for “regime change”, or a military takeover.

In what became a self-serving vicious spiral, the establishment’s fears were further stoked by the stream of black propaganda being fed to the British media by MI5, Britain’s version of the FBI. It painted Wilson’s government and the trade union movement as overrun with Communists trying to bring down the UK. One can imagine a Corbyn government will receive no better treatment from the UK media than Wilson’s did.

Like Corbyn today, Wilson was seen in the 60s and 70s as a major threat to the entrenched privileges of British elites.

There is a wealth of evidence for all this, though perhaps unsurprisingly many sources, including Wikipedia, casually dismiss these accounts as “conspiracy theories” – the ultimate way to shut down scrutiny.

But the evidence was so compelling even the BBC, hardly a risk-taking broadcaster at the best of times, girded its loins back in 2006 to make a documentary called “The Plot Against Harold Wilson”. In fact, as the 90-minute film makes clear by interviewing many of those directly involved, there was not one plot but many against Wilson. You can watch it below.

It probably all seemed like old, slightly quaint history to the BBC nine years ago. Now it sounds frighteningly relevant again.

Here is a fascinating line from one plotter, Sir General Walter Walker, at about 1hr 2 mins in. Speaking in the early 1970s, he says on film:

If you plot to destroy this present system, what are you doing? You are committing a form of treason. I have taken an oath of allegiance to my Queen and I am not prepared to see that oath interfered with.

For me at least, that puts the ludicrous current confected debate about Corbyn refusing to sing the national anthem in an even more sinister light.

Lord Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin, a mentor to Prince Charles, and the chief of the defence staff at the time, became a figurehead for this group (45.30) and even approached the Queen Mother to seek her blessing for a military takeover. Walker says Mountbatten told him: “If you want help from me, will you let me know?”

David Stirling, the founder of Britain’s most elite military unit, the SAS, also confirmed to journalists that a coup against Wilson was seriously being considered (1.03). He contemplated bumping off trade union leaders to foment so much anger among workers that the military would be forced to move in to restore order.

Soon, the army, members of the royal family and the intelligence services were all considering how they might launch a military coup to stop a Communist takeover (the one that had been created in MI5’s lurid imagination). Brian Crozier, a former intelligence officer who supported a coup, says there was a “widespread attitude” in favour of it among the military (1.05)

It culminated in a show of force by the armed forces, which briefly took over Heathrow airport (1.06) without warning or coordination with Wilson’s government. Marcia Williams, Wilson’s secretary, called it a “dress rehearsal”. Wilson resigned unexpectedly soon afterwards, apparently as the pressures started to get to him.

As the BBC concludes:

The actions of Lord Mountbatten and senior military and intelligence officers undermined democracy and brought this country to the brink of a coup. Yet no one has been held accountable, there has been no proper inquiry.

Such an inquiry might have served at least as a small deterrent for those, like the general who approached the Sunday Times, who are thinking once again in terms of a coup.

Copyright © Jonathan Cook, Jonathan Cook: The Blog from Nazareth, 2015

http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-army-would-use-whatever-means-possible-should-jeremy-corbyn-become-prime-minister-british-general/5477206

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Evading the law: Is Great Britain proxy-collecting American phone conversations for the NSA?

Great Britain maintains a “listening post” at NSA HQ. The laws restricting live wiretaps do not apply to foreign countries  and thus this listening post  is not subject to  US law. 

Who else maintains a listening post at NSA HQ?

Also, Great Britain can collect all American phone conversations for its own archives. Perhaps the Queen and the British elite are far more powerful than people generally believe.

By Janet Phelan
Global Research, September 20, 2015
New Eastern Outlook 19 September 2015
Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations rocked the world.  According to his detailed reports, the US had launched massive spying programs and was scrutinizing the communications of American citizens in a manner which could only be described as extreme and intense.

The US’s reaction was swift and to the point. “”Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” President Obama said when asked about the NSA. As quoted in The Guardian,  Obama went on to say that surveillance programs were “fully overseen not just by Congress but by the Fisa court, a court specially put together to evaluate classified programs to make sure that the executive branch, or government generally, is not abusing them”.

However, it appears that Snowden may have missed a pivotal part of the US surveillance program. And in stating that the “nobody” is not listening to our calls, President Obama may have been fudging quite a bit.

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In fact, Great Britain maintains a “listening post” at NSA HQ. The laws restricting live wiretaps do not apply to foreign countries  and thus this listening post  is not subject to  US law.  In other words, the restrictions upon wiretaps, etc. do not apply to the British listening post.  So when Great Britain hands over the recordings to the NSA, technically speaking, a law is not being broken and technically speaking, the US is not eavesdropping on our each and every call.

It is Great Britain which is doing the eavesdropping and turning over these records to US intelligence.

According to John Loftus, formerly an attorney with  the Department of Justice and author of a number of books concerning US intelligence activities, back in the late seventies  the USDOJ issued a memorandum proposing an amendment to FISA. Loftus, who recalls seeing  the memo, stated in conversation this week that the DOJ proposed inserting the words “by the NSA” into the FISA law  so the scope of the law would only restrict surveillance by the NSA, not by the British.  Any subsequent sharing of the data culled through the listening posts was strictly outside the arena of FISA.

Obama was less than forthcoming when he insisted that “What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a US person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails … and have not.”

According to Loftus, the NSA is indeed listening as Great Britain is turning over the surveillance records en masse to that agency. Loftus states that the arrangement is reciprocal, with the US maintaining a parallel listening post in Great Britain.

In an interview this past week, Loftus told this reporter that  he believes that Snowden simply did not know about the arrangement between Britain and the US. As a contractor, said Loftus, Snowden would not have had access to this information and thus his detailed reports on the extent of US spying, including such programs as XKeyscore, which analyzes internet data based on global demographics, and PRISM, under which the telecommunications companies, such as Google, Facebook, et al, are mandated to collect our communications, missed the critical issue of the FISA loophole.

Under PRISM, said Snowden, the US has “deputized” corporate telecoms to do its dirty work for them.  PRISM, declared Snowden was indeed about content, rather than metadata.

However, other reports indicated that PRISM was not collecting telephone conversations and was  only collecting targeted internet communications. The most detailed description of the PRISM program was released in a report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) on July 2, 2014. The report disclosed that “ these internet communications are not collected in bulk, but in a targeted way: only communications that are to or from specific selectors, like e-mail addresses, can be gathered. Under PRISM, there’s no collection based upon keywords or names.”( (Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, July 2, 2014).

U.S. government officials have defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant. But once again, the FISA courts and their super-secret warrants  do not apply to foreign government surveillance of US citizens. So all this sturm and drang about whether or not the US is eavesdropping on our communications is, in fact, irrelevant and diversionary.

Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which authorized extensive surveillance capabilities, expired in June of 2015. Within one day,  it was  replaced by the misnamed USA Freedom Act.  In a widely disseminated tweet, President Obama stated “Glad the Senate finally passed the USA Freedom Act. It protects civil liberties and our national security.”

In fact, the USA Freedom Act reinstituted a number of the surveillance protocols of Section 215, including  authorization for  roving wiretaps  and tracking “lone wolf terrorists.”  While mainstream media heralded the passage of the bill as restoring privacy rights which were shredded under 215, privacy advocates have maintained that the bill will do little, if anything, to reverse the  surveillance situation in the US. The NSA went on the record as supporting the Freedom Act, stating it would end bulk collection of telephone metadata.

However, in light of the reciprocal agreement between the US and Great Britain, the entire hoopla over NSA surveillance, Section 215, FISA courts and the USA Freedom Act could be seen as a giant smokescreen. If Great Britain is collecting our real time phone conversations and turning them over to the NSA, outside the realm or reach of the above stated laws, then all this posturing over the privacy rights of US citizens and surveillance laws expiring and being resurrected doesn’t amount to a hill of CDs.

The NSA was contacted with a query about the GB listening post, as was British intelligence. A GCHQ  spokesperson  stated:Our response is that we do not comment on intelligence matters.” The NSA also declined to comment.

Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

The CIA secret prisons in Europe — Washington’s “European partners in crime”

The West pontificates about “rule of law”. The question is: whose law?

From Global Research, March 4, 2015
By Nako Minchev

secret prison poland

It is common knowledge that at end-January 2015 the global movement Amnesty International published a report, titled “Breaking the conspiracy of silence: USA’s European “partners in crime” must act after Senate torture report”, which throws further light upon the information gathered within the US Senate investigation into torture methods, applied by the Central Intelligence Agency, by referring to media reports on the way CIA-operated secret detention sites were run in Europe – in particular, on the territory of Lithuania, Poland and Romania. As a matter of fact, it was several years ago when it first became known that CIA tortured terror suspects not only in these countries but also on the territory of another EU Member State – namely, Great Britain. According to the Lawrence Wilkinson, former Chief of Staff to the US Secretary of State, after the terror attack of 11th September 2001 the CIA used the US military base on the island of Diego Garcia, located in the British Indian Ocean Territory, to conduct interrogations and torture terror suspects who had been abducted from various countries without any court order whatsoever.

After the US Senate report got published, the European Parliament adopted a special resolution on 11th February 2015 in which it:

“expresses its deep condemnation of the gruesome interrogation practices that characterized these illegal counterterrorism operations; underlines the fundamental conclusion by the US Senate that the violent methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks; recalls its absolute condemnation of torture”.

The resolution also highlights the fact that:

“the climate of impunity regarding the CIA programme has enabled the continuation of fundamental rights violations, as further revealed by the mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency and secret services of various EU Member States”.

In this context, the US Government is called on:

“to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes, and to cooperate with all requests from EU Member States for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA programme”.

The European Parliament also:

“reiterates its calls on Member States to investigate the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory where people were held under the CIA programme, and to prosecute those involved in these operations, taking into account all the new evidence that has come to light”.

At the same time it:

“expresses concerns regarding the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations into some Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, the abuse of state secrecy, and the undue classification of documents resulting in the termination of criminal proceedings and leading to de facto impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations”.

Furthermore, the resolution “calls for the findings of existing inquiries relating to Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, in particular the Chilcot inquiry, to be published without further delay”.

Considering the above, we are unpleasantly impressed by the fact that the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) have hitherto failed to demonstrate the due will to discuss the refusal of the governmental authorities in Vilnius, Warsaw and Bucharest to investigate the multiple occasions of human rights violations, ensuing from the agreement of these countries to host the establishment of CIA black sites on their territory. Such an attitude erodes the very foundations of the European Union, weakens the belief of European citizens that their fundamental rights are truly guaranteed, divests the EU of its moral authority and discredits its allegiance to the universal human values.

The US Senate report and the one issued by Amnesty International, unequivocally point out that the above three EU Member States, as well as Great Britain, played a key role in the implementation of this CIA “operation” on the territory of the Old Continent. Without the help of these governments the USA would not have been in the position to detain and torture people for so many years, applying such inhumane methods as waterboarding and mock execution, sleep deprivation, use of coffin-sized confinement boxes or sexual threats.

It is high time that Europe became aware of the fact that the time for paying lip service to the condemnation of these crimes or the attempts at their covering up is over for good. The governments of Lithuania , Poland and Romania can no longer hide behind the unconvincing “national security reasons” and “state secret” arguments, thus refusing to bring to light the entire truth about their role for the torture and abduction of people in their countries. Jozef Pinior, one of the legendary leaders of the Polish “Solidarity” trade union, member of the European Parliament in the period 2004 – 2009 and of the Parliamentary committee on secret CIA prisons in Europe, now a Polish senator, points out:

“The information in the Washington Post about the fact that Polish intelligence services received USD 15 million to “host” a secret CIA prison in the country compromises the entire Polish state which should elucidate this issue as quickly as possible. This unquestionably confirmed the grimmest hypothesis that under Leszek Miller Poland turned into a “banana republic” to the USA . Another deplorable fact is that our national services have contributed in no way whatsoever to the disclosure of this conspiracy. This is an extremely disgraceful situation. The Polish state, the judicial system and the Government should publish the investigation findings as soon as possible. Otherwise we are going to become Europe ’s laughing stock. It turns out that we while we give lessons in democracy to countries like the Ukraine , we take money from the US to allow them to practice illicit torture of people on our territory”.

In its turn the Bulgarian Government should state its official support for the appeal of Amnesty International and the European Parliament and urge the authorities in Vilnius , Bucharest and Warsaw to undertake an immediate and full investigation of this case and to prosecute those involved in the tortures. Let us be reminded that most of the victims of these malpractices are Muslims and in the context of surging anti-Islam mood after the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen it becomes even more important to find out the truth about the secret CIA “black sites” in Europe.

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-cia-secret-prisons-in-europe-political-camouflage-in-the-eu-washingtons-european-partners-in-crime/5434762