Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: January 2006

31 January 2006

This Old Yank - Gore Vidal - Gives His Own Great State of the Union Speech ...

Power prices being as exorbitantly excessive as they currently are in the UK, This Old Brit becomes more selective each passing wintry day regarding the use to which he puts any expensive energy.

Be it energy bought from the mega-money-making, privatised power companies, or that [still available albeit in limited quantities] literally life-sparking stuff he can quite categorically claim to be his own.

So, wasting electricity watching trashy television transmissions of the wanker in the White House as he waffles his way through his latest State of the Union speech, is something he certainly will not be doing. He saw plenty of [professional] pantomime at Xmas and now needs another performance - particularly one offered up by an absolute amateur - like he needs that proverbial hole in his head.

But there's something special that he has been doing today, which he highly recommends you do too.

Here's the hook. How does it grab you ?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Gore Vidal Delivers State of the Union:

"Let the Powers That Be Know There is Something Called We the People of the U.S. and all Sovereignty Rests in Us."

Well, we liked it. In fact, we liked it a lot; one almighty helluva lot.

Here's a taste of what one of This Old Brit's all time favourite Old Yanks has to say.

This is an unpatriotic government.

This is a government that deals openly in illegalities, whether it is attacking a country which has done us no harm, two countries -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- because we now believe, not in declaring war through Congress as the Constitution requires, but through the President.

" Well, I think there are some terrorists over there, and I think we got to bomb them, huh? We'll bomb them. "

Now, we've had idiots as presidents before.

He's not unique.

But he's certainly the most active idiot that we have ever had.

Ouch! Eh?

But wait, there's more.

And now here we are planning new wars, ongoing wars in the Middle East. And so as he comes with his State of the Union, which he is going to justify eavesdropping without judicial warrants on anybody in the United States that he wants to listen in on.

This is what we call dictatorship. Dictatorship. Dictatorship.

And it is time that we objected.

Don't say wait til the next election and do it through that. We can't trust the elections, thanks to Diebold and S&S and all the ....

( Big snip)

You know, it's at a time when people say, " Well, it makes no difference what we do, you know, if we march and we make speeches, and this and that."

It makes a lot of difference if millions of Americans just say, " We are fed up! We don't like you.

We don't like what you're doing to the country and what you have done to the country.

We don't like to live in a lawless land, where the rule of law has just been bypassed and hacks are appointed to the federal bench, who will carry on and carry on and carry on all of the illegalities which are so desperately needed by our military-industrial corporate masters."

Read the full Vidal version, courtesy of Democracy Now, right here.

29 January 2006

This Old Brit Is Betting It's Bye-Bye Blair ...

Since Richard's currently sat shivering and sneezing this wintry Sunday night, convinced he's copped out for yet another awful cold, this particular post is all set to be short and sweet.

Though that's definitely not to say it shouldn't be seen as something significant.

Top left, all tarted up in his best bobby's blues & braids is Britain's top cop, Sir Ian Blair, Metropolitan Police Commissioner -- and big buddy of his better known namesake, the UK's very own ' big brother,' Tony Blair.

At least, as This Old Brit sits and types this, he still is. But for how much longer?

Today's blog post can't be claimed to be a world-wide scoop - nor even an exclusive - in fact it's not even news. Well, not yet it's not

'Better late than never' the old saying goes -- so here too, This Old Brit goes -- with his very first prediction for this still fairly newish year. (Unless you're Chinese of course, in which case it actually is New Year, and so we sincerely wish you a Kung Hey Fat Choi!)

Anyway, to cut to the chase.

Bye, bye Sir Ian Blair. We wish we could say it's been nice knowing you - but it hasn't - so we're not going to.


So, don't miss the next pathetic installment in the ongoing shameful saga, of New Labour's politicising of the once so justly proud and truly well respected, British police.

But, don't ask us exactly when it will hit the headlines -- however, we're staking both our reputations by saying right here and now that we certainly believe it's already been set to come to pass -- and surprisingly soon at that.

(Those interested in learning a bit about this particular Blair's background, or at any rate the official Met Police, PR machine put-out, can click here.)

* And remember, you heard it first from This Old Brit.

26 January 2006

Banned BBC Bush Election Footage Americans Aren't Allowed To See ...

Whether or not one believes a single word of absolutely anything emanating from anyone, anywhere within the current US maladministration isn't really important right now.

But this is important.

This shows the shocking but true state of the current neo-con maladministration's American nation. Watch it and weep. Then ask not for whom the bell tolls -- for it tolls for thee

This is a banned BBC video/documentary made by Greg Palast which Americans are not [officially] allowed to see.

But thanks to one of Richard and This Old Brit's finest fellow bloggers, courageous cyber patriot and fearless truth telling kindred spirit, Tom Rushen -- today things are different. Damned different.

For a full fourteen minutes and more, censorship itself is censored. Which means that both the the Bush brothers and their controlling cabal can be shown up for the shady, scary SOBs they actually are.

The fact is that together they helped pull off the greatest heist in history.

With the encouragement, connivance, financing, backing and blessings of the real [corporate criminal] powers that be, the Bush brothers helped see to it that the United States of America -- was stolen from it's citizens.

Yep. It was that plain & simple. Stolen.

Okay, enough preamble already. Bugger any more big build up. Why are we wasting time waffling ?

Go right now to Tom Rushen's 'Current Era' blog.

Then like we said earlier, since it's well worth repeating - watch the banned BBC block-buster and weep. And afterwards, ask not for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee.

Incidentally, thanking Tom Rushen for his tireless work would be greatly appreciated. Of that, This Old Brit is certain.

Perhaps paying some attention to his 'Depleted Uranium' video piece would prove extremely enlightening too. Of that, Tom tells us he is certain.

25 January 2006

American Army Of Occupation In Iraq Is Overstretched Says US Study .. Press published a truly thought provoking piece today, via a report by Associated Press writer Robert Burns.

It quite clearly calls into considerable question the recent Donald Rumsfeld claims to the contrary, concerning both the current and future realistic capabilities of the United States army of occupation in Iraq.

Here's the eye catching, as well as eye opening, headline.

Wed, Jan. 25, 2006

Deployments stretching army, study finds

ROBERT BURNS - Associated Press

Then that header's followed by this plain speaking paragraph.

WASHINGTON - Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.

Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency.

Furthermore, it's claimed the same Pentagon appointed ex military man [cum expert advisor] aired the following view too ...

He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

Here's another excerpt lifted from the same story.

The 136-page report represents a more sobering picture of the Army's condition than military officials offer in public.

While not released publicly, a copy of the report was provided in response to an Associated Press inquiry.

Illustrating his level of concern about strain on the Army, Krepinevich titled one of his report's chapters, "The Thin Green Line."

And the majority of This Old Brit's readers can no doubt readily recall this from last fall:

Rep. John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran, created a political storm last fall when he called for an early exit from Iraq, arguing that the Army was "broken, worn out" and fueling the insurgency by its mere presence.

Administration officials have hotly contested that view.

Well, of course they would wouldn't they? I mean, they had to say something didn't they? Couldn't quite claim they'd prefer to plead the fifth and stay silent. Eh?

Now get a gander at this -- from retired top brass, no less.

George Joulwan, a retired four-star Army general and former NATO commander, agrees the Army is stretched thin.

"Whether they're broken or not, I think I would say if we don't change the way we're doing business, they're in danger of being fractured and broken, and I would agree with that," Joulwan told CNN last month.

Hit this link to read all about it.

Then when you've read it, remember -- Richard reports. You decide.

20 January 2006

JFK Inauguration Speech: The Audio From 45 Years Ago Today ...

It was forty five years ago today, on 20th January 1961 when John F. Kennedy was sworn in as President of the United States of America.

He was the youngest ever holder of that high office and coincidentally replaced the oldest President, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

No doubt many have now forgotten this. No doubt many never even knew.

But This Old Brit remembers it crystal clearly. In fact, as though it were only yesterday.

So here, via BBC's amazing archives, he'd like to take you back in time and allow you to listen for yourself to JFK's actual inauguration speech.

Simply go to the BBC link shown below, then when you've read what's relevant just hit the audio button under the photo.

Whereupon, thanks to the wonders of modern technology you'll be virtually transported straight back to this very day almost half a century ago, and be able to hear this special man's special speech -- from his own lips -- with your own ears.

18 January 2006

Our Freedom Is Dying And It's All Down To The Blood-Brothers; Bush And Blair ...

Pictured above is the multi award winning Australian writer John Pilger, genuine giant among independent investigative journalists, famous foreign correspondents, acclaimed authors and authoritative documentary film makers.

Here's what he says at the head of his website homepage:

"It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and myths that surround it."

For the benefit of any American readers who -- due to the 21st century info-isolation imposed by the [once unimaginable] star-spangled version of the Iron-Curtain -- haven't heard of Pilger, he was the man who first broke the sickening story to the world of the infamous, Killing Fields.

Such, is the stature of this shining example of a fearless truth-teller.

And here's an excerpt from his latest freelance print-piece, published in the UK's New Statesman.

On 7 December, Maya Evans, a vegan chef aged 25, was convicted of breaching the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act by reading aloud at the Cenotaph the names of 97 British soldiers killed in Iraq. So serious was her crime that it required 14 policemen in two vans to arrest her. She was fined and given a criminal record for the rest of her life.

Freedom is dying.

Eighty-year-old John Catt served with the RAF in the Second World War. Last September, he was stopped by police in Brighton for wearing an "offensive" T-shirt, which suggested that Bush and Blair be tried for war crimes. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act and handcuffed, with his arms held behind his back. The official record of the arrest says the "purpose" of searching him was "terrorism" and the "grounds for intervention" were "carrying placard and T-shirt with anti-Blair info" (sic).

He is awaiting trial.

Such cases compare with others that remain secret and beyond any form of justice: those of the foreign nationals held at Belmarsh prison, who have never been charged, let alone put on trial. They are held "on suspicion". Some of the "evidence" against them, whatever it is, the Blair government has now admitted, could have been extracted under torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

They are political prisoners in all but name. They face the prospect of being spirited out of the country into the arms of a regime which may torture them to death. Their isolated families, including children, are quietly going mad.
Here's another quick clip & paste wherein Pilger turns his attentions across the Atlantic toward America.

Consider parallel events in the United States.

Last October, an American surgeon, loved by his patients, was punished with 22 years in prison for founding a charity, Help the Needy, which helped children in Iraq stricken by an economic and humanitarian blockade imposed by America and Britain.

In raising money for infants dying from diarrhoea, Dr Rafil Dhafir broke a siege which, according to Unicef, had caused the deaths of half a million under the age of five. The then Attorney-General of the United States, John Ashcroft, called Dr Dhafir, a Muslim, a "terrorist", a description mocked by even the judge in his politically-motivated, travesty of a trial.

The Dhafir case is not extraordinary. In the same month, three US Circuit Court judges ruled in favour of the Bush regime's "right" to imprison an American citizen "indefinitely" without charging him with a crime.

This was the case of Joseph Padilla, a petty criminal who allegedly visited Pakistan before he was arrested at Chicago airport three and a half years ago. He was never charged and no evidence has ever been presented against him. Now mired in legal complexity, the case puts George W Bush above the law and outlaws the Bill of Rights.

Indeed, on 14 November, the US Senate effectively voted to ban habeas corpus by passing an amendment that overturned a Supreme Court ruling allowing Guantanamo prisoners access to a federal court. Thus, the touchstone of America's most celebrated freedom was scrapped.

Without habeas corpus, a government can simply lock away its opponents and implement a dictatorship.

Since shortly after This Old Brit's blog was born, a John Pilger link has lurked in the blogroll. Some will almost certainly have visited said site, while others may still be unaware of what wonderful reporting and writings they're missing.

Well, whatever. Just how heavy a hint is needed now? No matter. Here's a final teaser to tempt you to take it - whatever it's weight.

A related, insidious tyranny is being imposed across the world. For all his troubles in Iraq, Bush has carried out the recommendations of a Messianic conspiracy theory called the "Project for a New American Century". Written by his ideological sponsors shortly before he came to power, it foresaw his administration as a military dictatorship behind a democratic fa?ade: "the cavalry on a new American frontier" guided by a blend of paranoia and megalomania.

More than 700 American bases are now placed strategically in compliant countries, notably at the gateways to the sources of fossil fuels and encircling the Middle East and Central Asia. "Pre-emptive" aggression is policy, including the use of nuclear weapons. The chemical warfare industry has been reinvigorated. Missile treaties have been torn up. Space has been militarised. Global warming has been embraced. The powers of the president have never been greater. The judicial system has been subverted, along with civil liberties.

The former senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who once prepared the White House daily briefing, told me that the authors of the PNAC and those now occupying positions of executive power used to be known in Washington as "the crazies". He said, "We should now be very worried about fascism".
So now you needn't even search for the sidebar [which slips and becomes a 'bottom' bar' for those viewing via an Internet Explorer browser] for the permanent Pilger link. We've made things ultra easy --
just click here.

16 January 2006

Special Economy-Size Explanatory Edition ...

Before the buzz begins gettting about the net that the This Old Brit may have packed up his old kit-bag - and his keyboard - and buggered off to a far better place -- here's what's really been happening.

"Blogger" has lately been becoming more and more unreliable and unstable.

As other bloggers elsewhere have reported recently, whole posts have been suddenly disapperaring without warning into cyber space -- whatever or wherever that is.

Not for the first time, a complete blogger- cock-up occured yesterday.

However, Richard wrestled sucessfully with his initial inclination to either ignite his complete computer caboodle [perhaps even fanning the flames which would have followed] or to quite simply throw it all straight through the window -- whether or not it was open or closed.

Maybe more importantly he managed to restrain This Old brit, without actually resorting to binding & gagging or administering any anaesthetic. Because, and you'd better bloomin' believe it -- This Old Brit was truly bloody blazing himself. In fact, he was all for doing something even more drastic than demolishing Dell's [fairly decent] hardware, along with considerable chunks of his own cozy little house & home.

But because both of us old boys belong to the bulldog breed, thankfully we finally thought better. We will not be beaten by 'blogger'.

So stay tuned. Since we're now gonna work on getting together whole darned lost post, all over.

'Bye for now from both of us. We'll be back later today.

** IMPORTANT UPDATE: The missing post mentioned can now be found below this one. Simply scroll down.

15 January 2006

Is Blair Actually Selling The Keys To The United Kingdom --- To Carlyle ?

( ** Please note: 'Blogger's been going barmy again. So please bear with us and let us know if any links are broken or if any other problems we've missed are apparent. ** )

The following shocking story was run by the BBC in December 2002, and it frightened the f*ck out of This Old Brit.

Others with knowledge of the two companies concerned were equally alarmed but alas, few chose to articulate their shared 'scared-shitless' sentiments in such colourful language as he so often does .

You should start reading here, to get the gist of where we're going.

US firm (Carlyle) buys stake in UK defence labs

Then take a look at this:

QinetiQ has branched out from defence to modern technology

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sold a third of its defence research business, Qinetiq, to the US private equity group Carlyle

The public-private partnership (PPP) follows the government's decision in March to seek a strategic partner for Qinetiq.

The deal will see Carlyle, whose European chairman is the former prime minister John Major, take on some management control at QinetiQ.

While it's doubtful that few readers won't have heard something at sometime, about the Carlyle Group -- undisputed masters of the there's-money-in-misery business -- the opposite is probably true of QinetQ.

As for Tony Blair, well we dare say almost all the world's people have heard of him. But we bet far fewer ever read the report quoted next, from 'Truthout'. And even among those who may have, how many have really remembered?

Sunday 21 August 2005

He's eyeing up £250K job with arms trade link firm.

Tony Blair is expected to join one of the most exclusive groups of businessmen in the world after he leaves Downing Street.

The PM is being lined up for a highly lucrative position with the Carlyle Group - an American-based investment giant with strong links to the White House and the defense industry.

The firm has been nicknamed "The Ex-Presidents Club" because it has had a host of former world leaders on its books including George Bush Senior, his former secretary of state James Baker and former British PM John Major. There a also a large number of former US Army top brass.

Then, earlier this month we learned this.

Government 'to sell off Qinetiq'

Qinetiq's military products are much in demand

The government is preparing to sell its remaining majority stake in defence group Qinetiq and float the business, according to press reports.

Defence secretary John Reid could announce the £1.1bn float as early as this week, said the Sunday Telegraph.

Qinetiq is currently 56% owned by the Ministry of Defence, 31% by US private equity firm Carlyle Group, and 13% by its managers and other staff members.

Then a little later, that report was followed by this one.

Labour condemned over QinetiQ flotation

Terry Macalister

Friday January 13, 2006

The government came under fire from opposition MPs yesterday when it finally gave the go-ahead for the controversial stock market flotation of its QinetiQ defence and research arm.

The Tories accused Labour of trying to make a "quick buck" to shore up its sagging public finances while the Liberal Democrats said the sell-off - expected to raise up to £1.1bn - should be scrutinised by the National Audit Office.

The disposal was formally unveiled in parliament by the defence secretary, John Reid, who called it the logical "next step" for a business partly privatised in 2002.


The government, which owns 56% of QinetiQ, will retain a 25% stake in the business to "ensure that the taxpayer continues to benefit after the flotation".

Carlyle will also retain a holding after the listing. The investment group has a 31% stake but 51% control of the voting rights, which it bought for just £42m but are now believed to be worth £340m.

In case anyone ever doubted it, this is yet more evidence of how & why certain 'selected'' conglomorates are constantly booming in the money-in-misery business. And all at the cost of intentionally uncounted innocents' blood.

In fact, it could quite safely be said that never before in the field of human greed, have so many suffered so much for the profits of so few.

In better days under better, more honourable and honest politicans such shameless selfishness was precisely the kind of thing called 'war profiteering'. And rightly so.

For if mad Maggie Thatcher in her heyday, was quite correctly accused of having sold off Britain's so-called 'family silver', then this latest quick-cash-fix caper is akin to flogging off the very 'keys to the (United) Kingdom'.

Please believe This Old Brit when he tells you; Britain is being buggered - by the BlairBush ilk - on an almost hourly basis.

11 January 2006

Now A British Army Brigadier Butts In Too ...

So, a second senior British soldier's let loose with his his usually, oh-so-stiff upper lip. And it seems he's said something that's started some sort of spat with his army's American allies.

It never rains but it pours, eh?

Via their own man in Washington, Mr Matthew Davis, today the BBC brought to This Old Brit's attention, news of the latest bit of 'brass-bovver' in high & mighty military places, thus:

UK officer slams US Iraq tactics

By Matthew Davis BBC News, Washington

The brigadier said he wanted to help an institution he respects

A senior British Army officer has sparked indignation in the US with a scathing article criticising the US Army's performance in Iraq.

Hmm. How's that grab y'all ?
The article, in Military Review, has drawn US criticism but also approval.

Well surprise, surprise --- not.

Surely anyone and everyone sould have assumed with certainty that such utterances would be bloody well bound to. Eh? What?

But wait -- there's still some more to come -- and from the same place too.

.... American officers displayed such cultural insensitivities that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have helped spur the insurgency.

'Strewth,' one may be moved to murmur to oneself, 'Who the heck would have thunk it?'. Albeit semi-silently of course, simply for the sake of a show of some semblance of civility and solidarity -- whether sincere or staged.

Then there's this telling tid-bit, too.

Operations to win the peace in Iraq were "weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, predisposition to offensive operations and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head on" ....

Holy humvees, Batman !

What manner of military man dares make claims of this kind ?

Why, it's just an average, everyday, common garden variety, run o'the mill British Army brigadier -- with a proper pair of balls -- that's all. You know, the shoot straight from the hip and tell it how you see it, This-Old-Brit-type.

Now, hit this BBC news link to find out for yourself who he is and what other fat the same fine fellow chose to chew, and to unselfishly share with you.

09 January 2006

Brit General Sir Michael Rose Says Impeach Blair For Iraq War ...

Finally, following in the footsteps of many more brave Brits who've already been bold enough to stand up and speak out publicly against Blair and Bush's bloody invasion and occupation of Iraq, comes a marvelous military man [and incidentally, genuine Knight of the Realm] of enormous experience, proven ultra-professional standing, immense personal integrity, unwavering & unquestionable courage, coupled with complete & utter credibility.

Retired British Army General Sir Michael Rose, ex-UN commander in Bosnia, now steps up to the plate to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many other truly honourable, best-of-British people.

Including a varied selection of MPs, ex-Ministers of the Crown, ex-Her Majesty's Ambassadors, concerned churchmen of all denominations, newspaper editors, clolumnists & commentators, professional political pundits & observers, acclaimed academics & seasoned strategists and -- perhaps even more importantly -- over two million members of the public who marched at the outset, en masse, in the streets of our country's capital city to protest the Blair-Bush plan to wantonly wage an illegal war in Iraq.

Here are today's relevant 'Rose' headers, hotfoot from the BBC news website.

Blair impeachment over Iraq urged

Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached over the war in Iraq, a former top British soldier has said.

The ex-UN commander in Bosnia General Sir Michael Rose said Mr Blair had to take responsibility for his actions.

"To go to war on what turns out to be false grounds is something that no one should be allowed to walk away from," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

And the best response the Bliar-bunch can come up with so far ?

.... Sir Michael was entitled to his view but had been retired for some time.
Oh, really ? Well, that's bloody big of 'em, eh ? A man's entitled to "his view".

Perhaps it's just as well the general has retired. Since here's something else he went on to say.

General Sir Michael said he would not have led troops into a war he believed was wrong.

"You cannot put people in harm's way if you don't believe the cause is right or sufficient," he said.
Strong stuff, eh ?

Several score members of British parliament also seem to see eye to eye with Sir Michael. As just last month, over 100 MPs from all across the Commons' benches, backed a call for an inquiry by senior MPs into the handling of the Iraq war and its aftermath.

Now read the BBC's relevant report in it's entirety,
right here.

Then listen for yourself to the honourable & knowledgeable general speaking in his interview for Radio 4's "Today" programme, by hitting this link here.

But before you do, let This Old Brit first 'brief' you a bit himself. The gallant General Sir Michael is one cool customer. His criticism-cum-condemnation certainly could not be clearer -- nor more clinically concise.

05 January 2006

CIA and Iran - Nuke Nightmare Scenario ...

Oh, my Gawd !

Good grief. It's almost beyond belief.

Who the hell in their wildest dreams and/or worst nightmares would have thought they would ever read such a headline as follows here ?

Quick -- go get a load of this from today's Guardian - 5th January 2006.

But first be sure you're seated, with your seat belt firmly fastened. And be sure to button up your overcoat because this could chill you to the bone.

George Bush insists that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

So why, six years ago, did the CIA give the Iranians blueprints to build a bomb?

In an extract from his explosive new book, New York Times reporter James Risen reveals the bungles and miscalculations that led to a spectacular intelligence fiasco.

And here's a taste of what to expect from this 'bungle' of absolutely, bloody unimaginable importance and probably unparalleled significance. Not to mention the completely catastrophic possible consequences.

Mistake piled on mistake. As the CIA later learned, the Iranian who received the download was a double agent. The agent quickly turned the data over to Iranian security officials, and it enabled them to "roll up" the CIA's network throughout Iran.

CIA sources say that several of the Iranian agents were arrested and jailed, while the fates of some of the others is still unknown.

This espionage disaster, of course, was not reported. It left the CIA virtually blind in Iran, unable to provide any significant intelligence on one of the most critical issues facing the US - whether Tehran was about to go nuclear.

In fact, just as President Bush and his aides were making the case in 2004 and 2005 that Iran was moving rapidly to develop nuclear weapons, the American intelligence community found itself unable to provide the evidence to back up the administration's public arguments.

On the heels of the CIA's failure to provide accurate pre-war intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the agency was once again clueless in the Middle East.

In the spring of 2005, in the wake of the CIA's Iranian disaster, Porter Goss, its new director, told President Bush in a White House briefing that the CIA really didn't know how close Iran was to becoming a nuclear power.

Okay. Right here & now is where the teasing stops. Prolonging the suspense any longer under such serious circumstances as this, could quite easily be classed as cruel and unusual punishment.

So here's your last lifted excerpt to look at.

But in previous cases, such Trojan horse operations involved conventional weapons; none of the former officials had ever heard of the CIA attempting to conduct this kind of high-risk operation with designs for a nuclear bomb.

The former officials also said these kind of programmes must be closely monitored by senior CIA managers in order to control the flow of information to the adversary. If mishandled, they could easily help an enemy accelerate its weapons development.

That may be what happened with Merlin.

Iran has spent nearly 20 years trying to develop nuclear weapons, and in the process has created a strong base of sophisticated scientists knowledgeable enough to spot flaws in nuclear blueprints.Tehran also obtained nuclear blueprints from the network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, and so already had workable blueprints against which to compare the designs obtained from the CIA.

Nuclear experts say that they would thus be able to extract valuable information from the blueprints while ignoring the flaws.

"If [the flaw] is bad enough," warned a nuclear weapons expert with the IAEA, "they will find it quite quickly. That would be my fear".
Run right on over now, via the link at the bottom, to read the rest.

Then when you have, ask yourself the question; Who's going to carry this can ? And maybe even more importantly, who should ?

Or to put it another way, where does the buck stop these days ?,12858,1678220,00.html

03 January 2006


Happy new year.

Welcome to This Old Brit's 2006 premier-opening piece, of what he hopes may prove to be a permanent - albeit periodically published - series of " W.T.F ? " pieces.

And what better way could he start such a series with a bang --- than by blowing the blooming lid off --- the building of BUSHCO'S BILLION DOLLAR BUNKER, IN BAGHDAD ?

Today in the UK, the 'Mirror' ran an extemely enlightening exclusive. Here are their own hard hitting headers.

3 January 2006


EXCLUSIVE - U.S.plans Baghdad embassy more secure than Pentagon

By Chris Hughes Security Correspondent

AMERICA is to spend $1 billion on an embassy in Baghdad "more secure than the Pentagon".
Must be a bloody big bunker, at that price, eh? Well, wouldn't you say?

Plans for the hi-tech complex are being kept secret because of the terrorist threat in Iraq.
Er, ahem .... cough, cough .... shouldn't that be worded 'they were being' ? 'Cos you know, like, some of those smart arse, evil sob-spies may have already read this morning's Mirror.

Awrh, whatever. That was then.

This is today - and this is The Mirror - and this is This Old Brit.

Let's call it team spirit, eh ? Okay ? Then let's read right on.

The exact location is not being released until later this year but it is likely to be built in the heavily fortified Green Zone area where the Iraqi government and US military command is based.

The embassy will be guarded by 15ft blast walls and ground-to-air missiles and the main building will have bunkers for use during air offensives.
Got your W.T.F. factor flowing yet ? Got the time to take in another 'teaser'?

The US also wants to build four massive military superbases around Iraq's capital.

The plans will fuel speculation they want to keep a firm foothold in Iraq for many years.

An Iraqi security source said last night: "The plans for the embassy building will make it the largest and best protected diplomatic building overseas for the US.
Feeling fired up, so far ?

Okay, fine. Here's your final taster.

"Plans for four superbases across the country will only reinforce the view that the US is here to stay for the duration."

The move comes despite Donald Rumsfeld revealing last week that US troop numbers in Iraq are to be reduced by 7,000 to 153,000.
Eh? Huh? I beg your pardon? Excuse me ?

W.T.F ?

Alright, already.

Run right over to the Mirror to read the rest yourself.

Here's the link:
Bushco's Billion Dollar Baghdad Bunker.