Welcome to Bennett's World: a collection of articles and references covering a wide variety of topics in which I am involved. I am a very political person but I have no allegiance to any political party. Follow me on twitter @colinhove

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Second bumper crop of Wikileaks news

It has been a busy week here in the UK. Although it has been kept rather quiet [: )], UKIP made big gains in local and EU Parliament elections, as did the FN in France. François Hollande spent all of four minutes addressing the French nation on TV and managed to say nothing. In the UK, the so-called leaders of the Conservative party, Labour party and LibDems mouthed platitudes saying that they had got the message which meant, of course, that they had not got the message.

In contrast to these charlatans, I'm telling the world some real news which has been gleaned from Wikileaks.

1. There was much build up to the reveal of 'Country X' on the list of nations whose phone calls and electronic communications are liberally intercepted by the American NSA. That it was Afghanistan came as something of a no-brainer to everyone but having it out in the open is useful.

Here is Wikileaks' official statement on the reveal and their moral obligation to put such information in the public arena.

2. Meanwhile, the Swedish government have continued to stand against what is useful by preventing Edward Snowden from participating in a conference on surveillance and digital rights, The Stockholm Internet Forum, within their borders. The Swedish ambassador has since claimed that he was simply not invited but the waters are murky.

3. Keeping up with Snowden's revelations can be a full time job. But, helpfully, a blog called Lawfare has catalogued almost every development by type and chronological order, from 17 June 2013 to 20 March 2014. Everybody could brush up on what has been released and this is an excellent way to do so.

Not quite as bumper as our last crop but there is still a lot going on out there. Keep your eyes peeled and I will too.

Wikileaks cables ruled admissable as evidence in UK courts

There has long been interest in the plight of the Chagos Archipelago. Essentially, the residents of Diego Garcia, a British colony in the Indian Ocean, were removed from their homes by the British government. Just like that!

The reason was that their homeland was given over to the US to use as a bombing and intelligence base for their military. There have been many battles to help the islanders return home, which they fervently wish to do.

This posting from David Hart of the UK Human Rights Blog is interesting as it both tells us about the latest development in the legal struggle and intersects with my ongoing interest in the Wikileaks case. In fact, I was made aware of this through Wikileaks itself:


What has happened is that one of the diplomatic cables leaked by Private Manning to Wikileaks in 2009 has been ruled to be admissible evidence in UK courts. As there were many thousands of these cables, this may mean that the light shed on this backroom dealings may open the doors of justice.

Read on...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Digest of Wikileaks news I've found in May

As regular readers will know I am a keen supporter of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. I try to let people know what is happening on that front but have been a bit negligent recently. I am hoping to amend that now. Here is a bumper information-packed posting of the items that have caught my eye in the past few weeks:

1. An interview with Sarah Harrison, who helped to publish the leaked documents and saved Edward Snowden's life.
2.This is Snowden's speech upon receiving the 2014 Ridenhour Prize, where he talks about the US Freedom Act and what is to be done next.

3. A Daily Mail article about the public cost of keeping Assange under lock and key in Knightsbridge. £6 million, they say.

4. Another Edward Snowden speech, this time marking his election as rector at the University of Glasgow.

5. On 19 June 2014 it will have been two years since Julian Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. A vigil is being held. I might well go that and will be glad to hear from any of my readers (both of them!) who are likewise interested.

[EDIT] 6. How could I forget? Glenn Greenwald's book was released this week. I'm eager for it to be released on Audible but for now you can order a print copy and get the lead on me.

I shall soon be giving out another resume of Julian-linked events. Don't forget to support his campaign financially if you can.

Two wonderful broadcasts by Democracy Now! - interview with Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald was interviewed at length by Amy Goodman, presenter of Democracy Now! recently in New York. The interview is spread over two editions of Democracy Now! and here are the links:

Part one - right out of a spy movie

Part two - Corporate media is neutered, impotent and obsolete

The interview is riveting and I strongly urge that you access it.

What we all owe to people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Chelsea Manning, Laura Poitras and Sarah Harrison is incalculable.

No doubt you will order Glenn's recently published book, as will I.

Monday, May 12, 2014


You might not know what AUMF means, but if you listen to this podcast you will be informed. Radiolab is a public radio service in the USA which normally deals with science stories, but this item tells you what happened in the days immediately following 9/11 and how the legislation that was rushed through has been used to justify all sorts of interventions ever since. 
If you're impatient, I'll tell you that AUMF means Authorised Use of Military Force, which are four words from a sixty word US policy which has 'justified' nearly everything since 11 September 2001. 

This link should start it automatically: http://www.radiolab.org/audio/m3u/364447/

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Complaint to the BBC about fabrications about alleged barrel bombs

Here is a complaint I made to the BBC about the Today Programme that aired on 28 April 2014.


Subject: Fabricated reporting

On the Today programme was a report from Ian Pannell concerning an alleged bombing in Aleppo. There is a person calling himself Ian Pannell but I don't think he's ever been to Syria. He spends much time in Turkey making propaganda videos with the supporters of invading Jihadist forces.

This report, backed up by video footage, is false. The film shows government civil defence forces rushing to the site of a barrel bomb explosion. If these are genuine civil defence workers then surely the government was in control of the area and would hardly drop bombs there nor allow Mr Pannell to film. Mr Pannell uses the term, 'believe that thousands have been killed,' but 'believed' by whom? The Syrian government denies that it is using barrel bombs, which I believe are a BBC invention. There is a statement that the Syrian government is using these bombs to 'target rebel positions.' But since the government denies that it uses barrel bombs it would hardly say that it is using them in any way! Syria has modern weapons,why would it use medieval ones?

The item reminds one of a Panorama film from 30 September alleging that there was a napalm attack in Syria on 26 August. This film has been completely debunked as crude propaganda.

I feel that Lord Reith would turn in his grave at the BBC being used as a propaganda tool for the policies of the current government.

Colin Bennett


My new Twitter friend, Robert Stuart, @cerumol, very kindly drew my attention to a similar complaint made by David Halpin FRCS and posted by him on a message board here.

He also pointed out that Ian Pannell was nominated as International Journalist of the Year by an outfit called 'One World Media.' I note with some relish that their patrons include Prince El-Hassan of Jordan and Jon Snow, well known interpreter of world events for imperialism. I'm minded to nominate Mr Pannell for the Nobel Peace Prize so he can join Henry Kissinger, Barack Obama and the EU.

I haven't yet received any reply from the BBC.

Do please make your own complaints.