BEHIND YOUR BACK: FBI above the Law, Monsanto above the Law, MH17 report above the Law, Elm House findings above the Law

Lead story in this edition….


In the US, a Court ruling seems to have effectively changed a major legal convention relating to American citizens once they venture beyond the Land of the Free. Courts hearing the complaint of a US citizen abroad decided that U.S. law enforcement agencies can have an American citizen sent from one foreign country to another for interrogation, do the interrogation themselves, threaten the use of torture, and deny access to lawyers.

This is what happened to Amir Meshal of New Jersey, mistaken while in Africa for a terrorist suspect and then given a jolly good seeing to by FBI agents. It was, to be blunt, a cockup: on his return to the U.S. after several months of incarceration he was not accused of any terrorism-related offence. He filed a lawsuit based on his Constitutional rights, but U.S. courts have thus far denied his claims, opining that his citizen rights could be denied in another country of its choosing.

Let’s hope this isn’t the thin end of the wedge….newslashdot

The US Environmental Protection Agency concluded last June that there was “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor. Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’ is by far the biggest carrier of generic glyphosate.

Excellent. But, um, 27/32 of the studies backing this sweeping exoneration were funded by the industry Monsanto represents. Of the remaining 5, 3 found that the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system.

Of course, it will all go through on the nod, because Monsanto has bought the Congress. And over 150 million Americans are very unlikely to notice –

In a new escalation of American commitment to the Special Relationship, Michael Froman, the US trade representative, says the US would not want to pursue a free trade agreement with “an independent Britain”. American officials have indicated that they want to finish negotiations with the EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) by the end of next year. They’re going to do this even though their thinking electors and ours are not happy about it. The rest couldn’t GAF….City AM

Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, wants it to be very clear that Russia is criminally responsible for the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014; that a Russian-supplied ground-to-air missile, fired on Russian orders from territory under Russian control, exploded lethally to break up the MH17 aircraft in the air, killing everyone on board; and that Russian objections to these conclusions are no more than cover-up and dissimulation for the guilty.

Joustra began broadcasting his version of what he says happened before the release of the DSB report. He then continued in an anteroom of the Gilze-Rijen airbase, where the DSB report was presented to the press; in a Dutch television studio; and on the pages of the Dutch newspapers. But when he and his spokesman were asked for the evidence backing up what Joustra had been broadcasting, they insisted that if the evidence isn’t to be found in the DSB report, Joustra’s evidence cannot be released. Checkmate down there in Room 101 – John Helmer

The Government must reopen a review which concluded the Home Office did not “cover up” child sex abuse allegations in Westminster, an MP has said, as he named a former spy chief as a “key figure”. John Mann disclosed last month that he had been handed a copy of a dossier given to the Home Office in 1984 by the late MP Geoffrey Dickens, naming several prominent paedophiles.

Now, the fact that a dossier ‘named’ anyone is a long way from being credible testimony: but while sceptical about 95% of of sex abuse claims, for me the problem with this specific case – ineluctably linked in the public mind to Leon Brittan – is that almost nobody involved in it has behaved as one might expect an innocent person to do.Thus, an independent review last year failed to locate the papers; three inquiries over thirty years have been begun and then abruptly ended; and London Mayor Doris Jobsworth is squatting upon the fourth.

Former deputy director of MI6, George Kennedy Young, was involved in a right-wing Conservative group which gathered details on alleged paedophiles within the Commons. Also known as ‘GK’, Young died in 1990, and Mr Mann described him as a “manipulator” who had been involved in “dubious” political activities – including a campaign to set up a private army. Indeed, David Nobbs based TV character Reggie Perrin’s cousin on a vague personification of Young. The determined bid to keep things under wraps continues, but 9 out of 10 Brits are scarcely aware of it – Daily Telegraph

Yesterday at The Slog: Let’s get ourselves chucked out of the EU