back to article Brazil's anti-NSA prez urged to SNATCH keys to the internet from America

The nine men and one woman who guide the growth and development of internet standards and practices have delivered a stinging rebuke to the US hegemony of the transnational "series of tubes" – and have called for its management to be wrenched away from America's grip and fully internationalized. After a meeting in Montevideo, …

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  1. Ted Treen
    Black Helicopters

    Well...

    Can't see anything wrong with the idea;- except I can't see the NSA/CIA types relinquishing any control which they consider is their God-given right.

    After all, it's all in the interests of preserving our freedom, and if we have to be regulated, ordered, confined, monitored and become subject to constant & continuous surveillance, then Hell! That's a small price to pay to continue to be free...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Well...

      Your freedom perhaps…

      … less so the rest of the world who the NSA regard as fair game.

      1. Ted Treen
        Facepalm

        @Stuart Longland

        1) Don't you recognise irony - or even sarcasm?

        2) I'm English - which as far as I'm concerned is part of the rest of the world

        3) Now please go back & read my comment again.

    2. LarsG

      Trust

      However little trust I have in the USA I would rather them oversee the Internet than the numerous little 'democratic' republics who will all jockey for position to try and influence and take control.

      If it is put in the hands of a world organisation then just look at the EU and the UN to see how it would suck up expenses and how agreement would be impossible to reach.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Trust

        "EU and the UN to see how it would suck up expenses and how agreement would be impossible to reach"

        Dude, you should take a closer look at the USA gov for a moment, you know the one currently unable to act because its global credit card is maxed out?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Paul Crawford Re: Trust

          "Dude, you should take a closer look at the USA gov for a moment, you know the one currently unable to act because its global credit card is maxed out?" What, and maybe compare them to some European governments? Like, say, Belgium, which went almost four years without a functioning parliament due to inter-party bickering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007%E2%80%932011_Belgian_political_crisis). And any number of the EU countries are a great example of how reckless socialist spending frenzies can leave an economy in the pan.

          1. Spanners Silver badge

            @Matt Bryant

            As soon as you start to talk about "reckless socialist spending" everyone identifies your politics (correctly or not) as US conservative. This invalidates everything else you say.

            1. Not That Andrew

              Re: @Matt Bryant

              Actually a far better way to realise the invalidity of his position is to look at his post history. He is like Eadon, only for politics.

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Spanner Re: @Matt Bryant

              British Tory, actually. I see the shock of your mistaken identification of my politics and locale also prevented you from somehow disproving that the EU states did have over-ambitious and unbalanced budgets driven by socialist daydreams. Or maybe it was just you couldn't counter the point, so simply thought you'd make some type of insult? So you failed twice in one post - congrats.

              The Brazilian government are flogging the Snowden "revelations" as hard as possible to distract their voters from the crap state their country is in.

              1. Spanners Silver badge

                Re: Spanner @Matt Bryant

                Did you see the brackets in my post?

                My observation was that if you are seen (correctly or not) as a US conservative, your contributions are discounted.

                First of all, if it wasn't for the very "un-socialist" financial crisis that the whole world is in the foolish actions of many countries around us would have not all blown up at once. They would have been individually sorted without the economic stupidity pushed upon us all the out of touch financial experts who put us here in the first place.

                ¿Why is this economic situation "un-socialist" then?

                Because it was caused by major screwups in the financial industries both here and in the USA. They were not caused by Spain, Greece. etc spending more than they had. That just made it worse for them. Now, when they should be bump-starting their economies, they are bound to follow big moneys commands and make life as difficult for their poor and middle classes as possible - just like we are doing here.

                As for Brazil, should they just ignore what Snowden has revealed?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @ Spanner

                  Is this for real?

                  First of all, if it wasn't for the very "un-socialist" financial crisis that the whole world is in the foolish actions of many countries around us would have not all blown up at once. They would have been individually sorted without the economic stupidity pushed upon us all the out of touch financial experts who put us here in the first place.

                  Because it was caused by major screwups in the financial industries both here and in the USA. They were not caused by Spain, Greece. etc spending more than they had. That just made it worse for them. Now, when they should be bump-starting their economies, they are bound to follow big moneys commands and make life as difficult for their poor and middle classes as possible - just like we are doing here.

                  What was "un-socialist" about legislating that banks had to lend at unsustainable rates to people who were never going to be able to afford to pay the debt, because it was "only fair"? Or did the entire sub-prime lending catalyst go completely over your head?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @ obnoxiousGit

                    > What was "un-socialist" about legislating that banks had to lend at unsustainable rates to people who were never going to be able to afford to pay the debt, because it was "only fair"?

                    You mean *after* the financial meltdown of 2008 when British banks were required to increase their small-*business* lending (but didn't)?

                    If that's not what you mean, are you claiming that the 100%-125% mortgages that aggressive estate agents were trying to talk me into were state-enforced in a vain attempt at rewriting history.

                    Or perhaps there's an opportunity for me to learn and you'll substantiate with links. Please.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: @ obnoxiousGit

                      You mean *after* the financial meltdown of 2008 when British banks were required to increase their small-*business* lending (but didn't)?

                      No I mean the sub-prime lending crisis which caused the global financial meltdown.

                      Feel free to search Google for it, then you can pick your own sources of information. In the long term it'll save you having to come back and accuse me of providing links to politically biased sites.

                      In a nut shell, the US administration legislated to make it easier for people who couldn't afford to get a mortgage to get a mortgage, they did, but couldn't pay the debts when market conditions changed, and so the collapse began....

                      1. Uncle Slacky

                        Re: @ obnoxiousGit

                        "In a nut shell, the US administration legislated to make it easier for people who couldn't afford to get a mortgage to get a mortgage, they did, but couldn't pay the debts when market conditions changed, and so the collapse began...."

                        It wasn't so much the subprime mortgages themselves which caused the crisis, it was irresponsible banks slicing, dicing and bundling them up with normal mortgages and trying to pass off the resulting mess as AAA rated (for which the ratings agencies also get the blame).

                      2. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @ obnoxiousGit

                        > In the long term it'll save you having to come back and accuse me of providing links to politically biased sites.

                        My googling took me to an overview on Wikipedia entitled "Government policies and the subprime mortgage crisis". Are you perhaps referring to the "Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act of 1982" or the "The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992"? Perhaps you can specify the laws you mean so we don't have to squabble over politically biased representations of them.

                        Also, seeing that Bush was in power from 2001 to 2009, was it his government that enacted what you are talking about, or did he just fail to repeal the US Democrat's previous laws?

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: @ obnoxiousGit

                          My googling took me to an overview on Wikipedia entitled "Government policies and the subprime mortgage crisis". Are you perhaps referring to the "Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act of 1982" or the "The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992"? Perhaps you can specify the laws you mean so we don't have to squabble over politically biased representations of them.

                          Yeah them'll be the ones... probably. Not bothered about specific acts meself, for I am but a spec of dust of humanity with no power to make any difference to any act by any government.

                          Also, seeing that Bush was in power from 2001 to 2009, was it his government that enacted what you are talking about, or did he just fail to repeal the US Democrat's previous laws?

                          All them Americans look the same to me. I have no idea whos laws or bright idea it was to give away money to people who most likely weren't going to be able to pay it back, just that it was an American idea.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: @ obnoxiousGit

                            Hehe, I know what you mean.

                            Personally I am not sure though that any law required banks to give mortgages that were daft. I rather had the impression they gave them since they had figured how to sell them to gullible marks as collateral debt obligations.

                2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Spanner Re: Spanner @Matt Bryant

                  ".....Because it was caused my major screwups in the financial industries....." Wrong. The problems in the financial markets were caused by the mortgage market in the US (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), which were caused by Dummicrat denial, vote buying, fraudulent book-keeping and socialist "liberal" daydreaming. Even Bush Jnr warned on the problem the Dummicrats created as early as 2001 (seventeen times in 2008 alone!).

                  But that was just the last, if very big, straw on the camel's back. Greece, Ireland and Spain didn't get knee-deep in it just because of Fannie Mae. Greece had been allowed to cook the books for years with the connivance of EU socialists dreaming of "the greater good". I know you types like to blame it all on The Evil Bankers but they just played in the sandpit liberal/socialist politicians created.

                  In the UK it is an annoying and regular cycle - Labour make ridiculous promises of cake for all, especially their union backers, deliberately ignoring the sums, they get elected and proceed to trash the economy, and then the Tory's have to come in and clear up the mess, usually by balancing the books with an austerity budget. Pain all round but you sheeple never think to blame it on the stupidity of socialist budget planning. The only time Labour have managed to temporarily avoid the cycle is when they originally followed Tory spending plans under Blair.

                  Brazil has a finite amount of time it can continue propping up the economy with oil money. They have a massive problem with the type of gap between the haves and the have-nots which hasn't been so wide in the UK since medieval times, despite all that natural wealth of Brazil. Despite Ms Dimwitt Rousseff (ex-Marxist "geurilla", though she seems to have spent most of her "guerrilla" years doing nothing more than shagging around) having been elected on the usual socialist promises of blank cheques and cake for all she seems to have done SFA for the favelas, having undergone a quite amazing conversion from "dedicated Marxist" to "pragmatic socialist capitalist" (whatever the fudge that is) in order to get elected. I am not surprised she is falling back on the old Latin Marxist mantra of shrieking about "el Gringos" whenever possible, she obviously thinks it's a vote winner.

                  1. David Cantrell

                    Re: Spanner Spanner @Matt Bryant

                    "Dummicrat" ... "Obambi" ... "Dimwitt" ... this sort of childish name-calling is why no-one apart from your fellow-travellers can take you seriously.

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: David Cantrell Re: Spanner Spanner @Matt Bryant

                      "....this sort of childish name-calling...." Apparently it was so shocking it left you completely unable to formulate a counter to any if the points raised. For it to induce such outrage you must have led a very sheltered life.

              2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            3. WhoaWhoa

              Re: @Matt Bryant

              "reckless socialist spending"

              Guessing that's from one of the US capitalist bent... the ones who know how to borrow and spend at mega-scales on military to fight the rest of the world and bonuses for the borrowers.

              And if that guess is correct, and the post is thinly disguised economic 'advice', the appropriate response to such advice, with thanks to Mr. McEnroe, is:

              You can't be serious!

              Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

              Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: WhoaWhoa Re: @Matt Bryant

                Hey, winners have jet bombers.

                1. WhoaWhoa

                  Re: WhoaWhoa @Matt Bryant

                  "Re: WhoaWhoa Re: @Matt Bryant

                  Hey, winners have jet bombers."

                  I think you'll find that the "winner's" credit card companies, i.e. other countries, actually own the jet bombers. The "winners" are actually the losers who imagine that they can keep getting further and further into debt at faster and faster rates and it will all end happily for them.

                  Do you know what? It won't.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: FeatherBoa Re: WhoaWhoa @Matt Bryant

                    ".....The "winners" are actually the losers...." Yeah, right. So, old Obambi, Bush Jnr, and the rest of theYanks, living it up in the States with access to just about whatever they want, whilst the Taleban and AQ crawl around fin caves, too scared to take a polio vaccination. Your definition of "losing" really is the ultimate in denial.

          2. Red Bren
            FAIL

            Re: Paul Crawford Trust

            "What, and maybe compare them to some European governments? Like, say, Belgium, which went almost four years without a functioning parliament due to inter-party bickering"

            Ok, lets do this comparison.

            Firstly, Belgium did not go without a functioning parliament. The previous government continued in a caretaker role and parliament voted on an issue by issue basis. The state continued to function as normal, unlike the situation in the USA, where a vocal minority of a minority party is holding the country to ransom in an attempt to force the repeal of a central policy of the democratically re-elected president.

            Secondly, during this period of political wrangling, the Belgian economy grew faster than any other in the EU, or the US. This has been attributed to the fact that the Belgian caretaker government didn't implement the strict austerity measures demanded by conservative economists to counter the financial crisis precipitated by the deregulation of financial markets advocated by those same conservative economists.

            Thirdly, you keep using the word "socialist". It does not mean what you think it means. You conflate it with communism, then use it to label anything to the left of your own hard-right conservative position. It makes you look ignorant and reactionary.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Red Brenda Re: Paul Crawford Trust

              "....,Firstly, Belgium did not go without a functioning parliament....." Check your definitions - the people voted but did not get the parliament they wanted, and the caretaking was largely by unelected civil servants. The mess in parliament couldn't create or sign off on new policy which meant the Belgian economy was effectively rudderless for four years.

              "....the Belgian economy grew faster....." And crashed just as fast if not faster than most. I suggest you go read up on the Belgian 2008-9 financial crisis. You also negated to mention it grew from a position of lagging in the first place, and that significant foreign investment was delayed or went elsewhere due to worries that the country was continually about to split in two. Please do try and pretend Belgium is in a better state than the UK or Germany now.

              "....it does not mean what you think it means....communism...." You were the one that mentioned communism, but that's probably just another flakey attempt to divert the thread, so you can avoid admitting that it was socialist spending policies and the unwillingness to cut back that landed the EU countries so deep in the brown stuff. Despite desperate attempts by the Left to paint the current stand-off in the States as just Tea Party posturing, the fact is the Republicans saw what burdens the socialist policies piled on the EU. No-one wants to end up like Greece. All they want Obambi to do is balance the budget, it's such a shame that Obambi was too busy for weeks running around shrieking about how vital it was to find a solution that he didn't have the time to actually negotiate one. He consistently rebuffed all offers of negotiation until last week, despite it being so "vital", presumably because posturing in the liberal press was more important.

              As regards the Brazilians, all they are doing is trying to garner public opinion by slamming the "Nasty Yanks", in the hope the Brazilian public won't start asking to many questions about the cruel state of the Brazilian economy, their crooked cops, and their cities and slums. All even more amusing given how the South American heads of state treated Obambi as the New Messiah when he was first elected. The current pointless request for the Internet to be "put under international control" is on par with Canute. Try again, babushka.

              1. WhoaWhoa

                Re: Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                "cruel state of the Brazilian economy"

                Not sure what this means, but guessing it's something like the US economy-in-crisis, but an order of magnitude less cruel and less in crisis.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                  Re: WhoaWhoa Re: Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                  "....Not sure what this means...." Go read up on the favelas, the Brazilian slums. Brazil is tragic in the immense diference between the mega rich and the extreme poor, much more so than the US or the UK or even Greece. Whilst in the UK or US you can work your way up, if not to the top then at least to relative comfort, the chances in Brazil are virtually non-existant. The really horrific bit of the whole affair is that decades of Brazilian politicians have promised plenty but delivered SFA for the poor. Any problems are usually blamed on "el Gringos" or hidden away by highlighting some other issue with "el Gringos". Ms Dimwitt Rousseff is just following an old Latin tradition. Which do you think is more important to the people of the favelas that elected her - education, sanitation, good housing and opportunity, or worrying that the NSA may have read Dimwitt's emails to her old buddies in Cuba?

                  1. WhoaWhoa
                    Facepalm

                    Re: WhoaWhoa Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                    "Whilst in the UK or US you can work your way up"

                    Or else you can post nearly 7,000 messages to The Register over six and a half years.

                    And such prolix content. Whew!

                    Even assuming you don't post anywhere else you're really not leaving yourself much time to work your way up, or even to stay in employment, if you are.

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Happy

                      Re: FeatherBoa Re: WhoaWhoa Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                      "....you're really not leaving yourself much time to work your way up....." Firstly, I can see that a post for you is a major effort and probably uses up your whole waking day, even if you do post naught but bleating and whining. But for me it takes but minutes to expose the silliness of your tryping.

                      Secondly, over the years I have already worked my way up, thanks. I suspect you have a very, very long way still to go.

                      And thirdly, I see you are still not keen to discuss the topic of the thread - have you run out of bleats to repeat, maybe?

                      1. WhoaWhoa

                        Re: FeatherBoa WhoaWhoa Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                        "But for me it takes but minutes to expose the silliness of your tryping."

                        Silliness? "Tryping"?

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          Happy

                          Re: Feather Boa Re: FeatherBoa WhoaWhoa Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                          With every one of your posts you simply provide more proof of the matter.

                        2. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: FeatherBoa WhoaWhoa Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                          MB> Silliness? "Tryping"?

                          MB> "Taleban and AQ crawl around fin caves"?

                          Fin caves, really? Are them terrorists hiding in Fin[n]land yet?

              2. Red Bren
                Trollface

                Re: Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                ""....,Firstly, Belgium did not go without a functioning parliament....." Check your definitions - the people voted but did not get the parliament they wanted, and the caretaking was largely by unelected civil servants. The mess in parliament couldn't create or sign off on new policy which meant the Belgian economy was effectively rudderless for four years."

                The people of belgium didn't get parliament they wanted? What happened, was the election rigged so no one could seize power? Was there some kind of secret coup to put no one in overall control? The Belgian electorate got exactly what they voted for - no single party was popular enough to gain a majority in parliament or claim a mandate to push through its policies. In the meantime, the previously elected government continued in a caretaker capacity. At no point did an unelected civil service run the country. Your lack of understanding of how democracy works, along with your childish name calling suggests you're not old enough to vote.

                ""....the Belgian economy grew faster....." And crashed just as fast if not faster than most. I suggest you go read up on the Belgian 2008-9 financial crisis. You also negated to mention it grew from a position of lagging in the first place, and that significant foreign investment was delayed or went elsewhere due to worries that the country was continually about to split in two. Please do try and pretend Belgium is in a better state than the UK or Germany now."

                The hung parliament was the result of the election in June 2010. Please explain how this "rudderless" parliament had anything to do with the 2008/9 crash you want me to read about, which occurred when the previous Belgian government was still in power. Apart from a fractional contraction in Q4 2012, the Belgian economy has been growing since the 2010 election, whereas the UK has remained stagnant. Your grasp on the timeline appears on a par with your ability to construct a coherent argument. You were the one gave Belgium as an example of a screwed up economy and you are the one who is negated to mention it was actually growing.

                "You were the one that mentioned communism, but that's probably just another flakey attempt to divert the thread, so you can avoid admitting that it was socialist spending policies and the unwillingness to cut back that landed the EU countries so deep in the brown stuff."

                I wouldn't call tearing apart your feeble ranting in the first two paragraphs as diverting the thread. As for your constant blaming "socialist spending policies" as the root cause of the economic crisis, didn't this whole thing start in that bastion of socialism, the USA, during the closing months of an eight year Republican Presidency? I suppose irresponsible lending by an unregulated financial sector during an unsustainable property boom had nothing to do with it?

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Red Brenda Re: Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                  "....The people of belgium didn't get parliament they wanted? What happened, was the election rigged so no one could seize power?...." Your original post poked fun at the US for their politicians being unable to sort out the current disagreement over the debt ceiling and Obamacare, so it would seem a very good comparison with the complete meltdown of Belgian politics, with one period of 541 days where the Belgians couldn't actually form a government! And that persisted for four years (and is still simmering away). You can try and dance around the comparison as much as you like, it still makes the current American farce look relatively minor. Of course, you don't want to admit that because it just shows up the shallow fixation of your anti-Yank bleating.

                  ".....The hung parliament was the result of the election in June 2010....." Rubbish. It came to the fore with the election of 2007 after the Flemish Christian Democrats and Flemish separatists alliance took power. Your grasp on the timeline seems to be non-existant. And before you make rediculous claims about the "stability" of the Belgian economy I suggest you go read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%9309_Belgian_financial_crisis).

                  "....I wouldn't call tearing apart your feeble ranting...." What tearing apart? You didn't even know about the 2007 election which triggered the whole mess! I suggest you start your re-education here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007%E2%80%932011_Belgian_political_crisis). I then suggest you start some reading into the history of socialism seeing as you seem to know SFA about that either. Enjoy!

              3. James Micallef Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                "the fact is the Republicans saw what burdens the socialist policies piled on the EU. No-one wants to end up like Greece. All they want Obambi to do is balance the budget"

                That statement would be about a million times more credible if there had been any significant Republican effort to ask Bush 2 to balance his budget. The people who formed the tea party movement seemed quite happy with the US spending more than it had as long as the extra money went to the military and to tax cuts for the rich.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: James Micallef Re: Red Brenda Paul Crawford Trust

                  "....Bush 2 balance his budget...." Get a clue, Thickalef. If you'd bothered to read any background you would know that Bush had to deal with a Dummicrat dominated House and repeatedly warned them on their spending sprees, especially with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Paul Crawford Trust

              I would argue that this is the best the US has functioned in a long time. A federal gov't that was designed to do nothing by it's founders unless wide consensus was established. A gov't that was to have no power save the limited few granted it by the constitution. A gov't to be held in check first by the people's House of Representatives (which somehow has more of a "minority" party elected....*moron*), second by each state's representatives, the Senators, that were to represent the State Legislatures on behalf of the states (the same states where your "minority" party control the majority of State Legislatures). The same Senate the founders gave 100% oversight of the federal gov't to, to ensure the States ran the gov't, not the other way around.

              You might keep in mind that had the gov't and system not been corrupted, it is unlikely that there would be a NSA spying on you wherever you may be today. We wouldn't have a military with people and equipment so farly spread that they would be ready to butt into your business on a moment's notice. We wouldn't have the debt you speak of as we would have continued to make people earn their way in the world, not live off of others. (I have always known charity here to be given selflessly to those deserving) We would be everything that America WAS during its' rise, not the result of the "social justice" policies created and pushed by the....what's the word I am looking for.....Oh, SOCIALISTS (did you get that? Socialists are related to things social?) that have resulted in the decline of this country.

              So, here we are, the social elite telling us that if we sail too far, we will fall off the edge of the world. Maybe just maybe we are long overdue to take that ship and come out with a brave new world on the other side.

          3. Arctic fox
            Thumb Down

            @Matt Bryant Funny you know. Whenever anybody logs on to explain that..............

            ..............it is all the fault of the socialists/communists/trots what have you I always know that I am dealing with someone that practically goose-steps in their sleep.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Artic Veg Re: @Matt Bryant Funny ..........

              "....someone that practically goose-steps in their sleep." Really? I assume that's because you think anyone even vaguely more centrist than you or La Passionaria just has to be a Fascist, right? Nice try, insisting that anyone that disagrees with your POV just has to be a Nazi, but if you'd looked at any of those nice films about Stalin and co, they really liked their May Day Parades with lots of goose-stepping troops.

              Talking about May days, I have a quite simple way of splitting out Commies, anarchist and trendy socialist, I just ask them about the events in Barcelona in May 1937. The dyed-in-the-wool Commies will parrot the Stalinist line and insist they thwarted a Nationalist uprising; the real anarchists will wail about how the Commies turned on their anarchist allies on the orders of Stalin; and the trendy socialists will simply look confused, because they have no knowledge of history as they're just mindlessly following the political trend du jour. I'm betting you're just looking confused right now.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                Re: Artic Veg @Matt Bryant Funny ..........

                Shit me sideways, several posts in and no mention of Sheeple! That must be some kind of record.

                "I just ask them about the events in Barcelona in May 1937"

                So, Matt. What about the events in Barcelona in May 1937 then? What's your take on it?

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: Artic Veg @Matt Bryant Funny ..........

                  ".....What about the events in Barcelona in May 1937 then? What's your take on it?...." I'm not sure the forum has room for a proper historical debate that could fill several books (the bitter and cynical betrayal was witnessed by Geroge Orwell and appears in his book "Homage to Catalonia", and formed the basis for "Animal Farm"), but a summary might go as follows.

                  From May 3rd to 8th 1937, the city of Barcelona was the scene of pitched street battles, arrests, torture and arbitrary executions. The arrests and executions continued for at least a week after. This was nine months into the Spanish Civil War, but the fighting wasn't between the Republican government forces and the Nationalist rebels, it was between the so-called allies on the Republican side. The (largely anarchist and Trotskyist) CNT and POUM, which controlled Barcelona's infrastructure in co-operation with left-wing Catalan nationalists and other socialist groups, were attacked by the Republican government's Guardia de Asaulto, with the Republican government seeking to take control of Barcelona. The Guardia de Asaulto were guided by the Spanish Communists and their arrests and executions were under the control of the NKVD's Madrid resident, Alexander Orlov.

                  Orlov had been sent to Spain to assist the Republican government in fighting the Fascists, but actually had two core directives that only top members of the Spanish Communist Party knew about - firstly, to arrange the transport of the Spanish gold reserve to Moscow (Stalin did not give aid to Republican Spain for free, he demanded payment at twice the market rate); and secondly, to oversee the Communist take over of Republican Spain by finding and killing any opponents in the Republican alliance, especially any linked to Stalin's rival, Trotsky. Stalin's plan was not for Spain under the people but everyone under Communism (i.e., under his dictatorship) and didn't have room for an independent Catalonia.

                  Having dabbled in Spain, he eventually betrayed even his Spanish Communists by forging what he saw as the more strategically important alliance with Nazi Germany of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1938. By that time Orlov himself was on the run from Stalin's purges, hiding out in the US.

                  Ever since, there has been a persistant whitewash by Communists that the Barcelona May Days were actually "brave" Communists defeating a counter-revolutionary uprising arranged between the Trotskyists and the Fascists. You can even see evidence of this laughable denial with modern writers, an example being Max Arthur's otherwise excellent collection of Spanish Civil War eyewitness accounts "Fighters Against Fascism" - Arthur manages to completely gloss over the Barcelona May Days and the eventual fighting between the Communists and Republicans that led to the fall of Madrid. Indeed, his appendix titled "Timeline of the Spansih Civil War" has only "10th May 1937 - A Nationalist uprising in Barcelona is put down by Republican troops".

                  There are Wikipedia summaries for both Orlov and the Barcelona May Days, I would suggest you fill in the holes in your ejukayshun by starting there. Hopefully before any of your more fanatical fellow sheeple try and edit it out of existance. Hopefully it will also help you spot the difference between Anarchists and Communists in future. Not that Ms Dimwitt Rousseff is either.

                  1. James Micallef Silver badge

                    Re: Artic Veg @Matt Bryant Funny ..........

                    Re Barcelona 1937:

                    Thanks for the history recap but what relevance is it to your usage of "socialist" as a dirty word?

                    Any government needs money to function and provide basic infrastructure and services, and also to provide some insurance safety net to provide a minimum level of standard of living that also keeps down crime and possibility of revolution/rebellion.

                    The basic political disagreement left vs right is (a) the extent of services government should provide (and who gets the services) and (b) how does government pay for all that (ie who gets taxed). "Socialist" is on the left side of the spectrum, arguing that government should do more for the less well-off and that the more well-off should pay for it. While I disagree with this type of economic policy, people who argue for this type of policy are free to do so. That argument has absolutely nothing to do with the very nasty acts of some very nasty people close to 80 years ago.

                    Also, it does not help your argument when even the very centrist policies of the US under Obama are labelled "socialist"

        2. Fatman
          Flame

          Re: Trust

          Dude, you should take a closer look at the USA gov for a moment, you know the one currently unable to act because its global credit card is maxed out major political parties are acting like a couple of schoolboys that can't get along?

          FTFY!!

          Both political parties deserve a through ass whipping from the electorate.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trust

            > Both political parties deserve a through ass whipping from the electorate.

            In the absence of an alternative party to vote for that's difficult to do.

          2. WhoaWhoa

            Re: Trust

            "Both political parties deserve a through ass whipping from the electorate."

            Better still, whip their arses and leave the poor donkeys alone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well...

      @Ted Treen

      Did you miss out the <sarc> tags?

      1. Ted Treen

        Re: Well...

        @Ivan 4

        Yes I did miss them out. I presumed that the average Reg reader/commenter was smart enough to recognise & appreciate irony (or sarcasm) when they encountered it.

    4. HMB

      Re: Well...

      The good news for those in favour of internationalisation of the Internet's authority is that it doesn't require the US to relinquish control.

      You see when you look bottom up, from a country's ISP subscriber, you can easily implement a system that takes control. This works for DNS and IP routing (or can be made to). The only area that would take more time to take control over would be secure certificates and authorities (covering control over HTTPS for example).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What exactly happens when "management" is seized to make everyone "equal"? Is this really going to stop, or even hinder countries like the USA, Russia and China from playing spy games 24/7? To me, it sounds like more nations want to be like the NSA along with their ilk, and they are using the guise of good faith to acquire it.

    In which is this meant? ---> "Equal to one another and the US? How cheeky." I'm taking it as either these party members are discriminating themselves, or America is too high up for them to reach (in which case I agree!).

    Hating America is a crime!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Hating America is a crime!'

      Whereas confusing a nation with a small section of its government is merely sloppy thinking.

      1. Volker Hett

        This depends on which side of the governments weapons you are and how you feel about being "collateral damage"

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          @Velker Hettt

          It does indeed make a difference which side of the US government's weapons you're on. I'm still pretty pissed that the USA murdered some friends of mine. In fact, most of my country is still pretty bitter about the casual brutality and absolute lack of remorse the USA has shown about this (and similar) incidents.

          Canada isn't an American ally. We're a hostage. It is incidents like the above that serve to remind us of such. And they wonder why we hate them so...

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      'Hating America is a crime'

      Then there are ~6.7 Billion criminals out of a population of ~7 Billion. At that point it's not so much a "crime" as it is "something a small - and very deluded - chunk of society deeply wishes were a crime, but will never be."

      America is an unfortunate artefact in human history. One I sincerely hope will be quickly forgotten.

      1. 404
        FAIL

        Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

        Ah, shall we discuss British massacres, drug pushing, slavers, India, Middle East, etc, etc? Or is that too far back in history for you? Whole damn world is still trying to compensate for the damage the British Empire caused over hundreds of years of domination.

        People is glass houses should never throw stones... ya know? Wouldn't hurt for you to brush up on your world history either.

        P.S. I'm not happy about it - if every single politician in Washington DC fell over dead *right now*, I wouldn't shed a tear - damn gov is out of control atm. You think YOU have problems, try being in the same country as these bastards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

          Not many of the UK's previous dominions actually hate Britain. While not in anyway perfect the British administrations were nowhere near as bad as Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, the Spanish acquisition of South America etc. even the US decimated the indigenous population.

          With the US, no one likes being told off by a policeman do they, especially when they have a 'don't do as I do, do as I say' attitude.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Not That Andrew
            FAIL

            Re: "nowhere near as bad"

            Saying the British Empire wasn't as bad as the others is like saying indentured servitude is better than slavery.

            And If you really think the British Empire was all hearts and flowers i suggest reading about Ceylon, or the Opium Wars, or the British East India Company. Not to mention the way the Aborigines in Australia and Khoisan in Southern Africa were often hunted like animals.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

          > "Ah, shall we discuss British massacres, ..."

          If you were aiming at Trevor, note that he's Canadian. But then I'm sure there are few countries without past misdeeds. However, the Americans are the ones who get on everyone's tits right now (NSA spying) and have been for a while (Iraq war).

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

            "and have been for a while (Iraq war)."

            Not to mention Guantanamo Bay where for example Shaker Aamer has been held for 11 years.

            Wikipedia write: Aamer has never been charged with any wrongdoing, has never received a trial, and his lawyer says he is "totally innocent." He was cleared for release by the Bush administration in 2007, and the Obama administration in 2009 but remains in Guantánamo.

            Obviously not all Americans are pro-Gitmo and the excellent Conservapedia gives due credit: "Barack Hussein Obama often tries to close the camp."

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: AC Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

              "....Aamer...." Shaker Aamer's problem is he is a British resident and married to a British woman (conveniently) , but is actually a Saudi citizen, and the Saudis don't want him back. Which means he's stuck in Gitmo. As for Obambi wanting to close Gitmo, as he stated in an election promise, it seems he either didn't know the real position on Gitmo detainees (which means he was just politically stupid) or knew but still made the pointless pledge (which just makes him a liar.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                > "....Aamer...." Shaker Aamer's problem is he is a British resident and married to a British woman (conveniently) , but is actually a Saudi citizen, and the Saudis don't want him back.

                No, that would not appear to be his problem if Wikipedia is to be believed: "The UK government has been demanding his release for years"

                His problem is that the American government thinks it's above the law. They have a number of pretty severe allegations against him and if those are true he should be locked up for a long time yet they don't drag him into court. Presumably because they can't prove any of it. Perhaps because they are wrong.

                How do you feel people being detained for more than a decade without a court case and no way for them to defend themselves against the allegations?

                As for Obama, I haven't been a fan for a while. I really just wanted to sneak a Conservapedia quote in since the site is such great entertainment. May I recommend the articles on "Liberalism", "Evolution syndrome" and in particular the important "Gallery of obese atheists"?

                Oops, skimming through the page on Socialism I see you'll feel right at home: "... numerous economies in the world are very socialistic such as European countries (many of which are facing financial difficulties and default due to over taxation and excessive spending)." Sigh.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: AC Re: AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                  "......"The UK government has been demanding his release for years"....." Actually, HMG have been "demanding" nothing, they have enquired and requested with relatively little actual energy, but that's because HMG actually aren't too keen on Aamer either. There are far too many questions about the Saudi-funded "Islamic charity" he claimed he was working for in Afghanistan and just how close they were to the Taliban. Unfortunately for the Aamer supporters, there doesn't seem to be a single example of one of the fictious "girls' schools" with any evidence of Aamer's input anywhere in Afghanistan, so you have to wonder what he was actually up to. But, suspicion is not proof of guilt, so he should be released, as even you might admit the US government has decided.

                  "....His problem is that the American government thinks it's above the law....." Nope, his problem is US law. Aamer was captured by the Northern Alliance and passed to the US forces accused of being an AQ-linked terrorist, so the US had to arrest him and investigate his background story. They were eventually unable to prove he was a terrorist whilst he was unable to prove he wasn't (his background story had more holes than Swiss cheese), but the US decided they did not have enough evidence to build a legal case, hence the decision to release him. This is where the problems started - the US can release him back to Afghan custody, where he was caught, or expell him back to Saudi seeing as he is a Saudi citizen. The Afghan's don't want him and neither do the Saudi's, and the latter having taken a big interest in his "Islamic charity" and their activities. So the US is stuck with him. The British government could actually demand his release if he was a British citizen but he is not. The British government could mount a good case for his release back to Britain on the grounds of his residency and British family, but the truth is HMG actually don't want him back either. So all the hot air around the US "holding him illegaly" is just the usual political mess, it will be resolved either when a country is bribed into taking him, as happened with the Chinese Uighurs that went to Albania, or the Saudis can be persuaded to take him without torturing him.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                    > the US can release him back to Afghan custody, where he was caught, or expell him back to Saudi seeing as he is a Saudi citizen.

                    He is legally resident in the UK, just like yours truly. Nothing stops him from returning back to his family here other than the US keeping him imprisoned. When I return from outside the UK to the UK I don't ring the UKBA and say "could you please formally request my return from country X" I just go and show the Entry Clearance Officer my papers. Remember, he's not charged with anything.

                    Do you have any links reporting on how the US is desperately trying to release the man back to the UK while being unable to do so? From what I read (*) the US's refusal to send him to the UK has the following justification: “The [State] department isn’t a travel agency.” That's what it comes down to, they cannot accommodate his wish to return to the country where he is legally resident and where his family is, because they are not a travel agency! Yet they'd be more than happy to play travel agency for his journey to Saudi Arabia.

                    They know they can control him in Saudia Arabia, they can't in the UK. And the story he has to tell is just a tad too embarrassing to have him roaming the free world with it.

                    (*) I'm not linking to it since weekend moderation is slow if existent, the title is "What Are the US Plans for Guantanamo Prisoner Shaker Aamer?" in The Nation, Jason Leopold, July 24th 2013

                    > But, suspicion is not proof of guilt, so he should be released, as even you might admit the US government has decided.

                    As indeed I did point out, he was "cleared for release" both under Bush in (2007) and under Obama (2009), they just didn't follow through with it, apparently because it takes a while to organise his imprisonment somewhere else.

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Facepalm

                      Re: AC Re: AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                      "He is legally resident in the UK...." Makes SFA difference, the UK only has repsonsibility and legal powers of intervention of its own citizens, not residents, and Aamer doesn't even have a British passport. Other Gitmo detainees like Moazzam Begg did have British citizenship. I notice you don't even try to deny he is a Saudi citizen but somehow expect the UK to take responsibility for him when Riyadh does not. I also note you don't seem keen to ask why he isn't happy to simply be sent back to Saudi, or why the Saudis don't want him back if he's just a jolly good Muslim?

                      "....Nothing stops him from returning back to his family here other than the US keeping him imprisoned....." Not true. You see, the last country he entered "legally" was Afghanistan under the Taleban. Remember, being at Gitmo means he has not legally entered the US. The US can't just dump him into another country, the receiving country have to accept him. This is more than just a diplomatic and political nicety, you could probably imagine how upset the Fwench might get if, for example, the UK decided it was just going to unilaterally dump all "undesireables" like Abu Hamza in Calais. So, the US has two legal options for deporting Aamer - back to Afghanistan, his last legal entry point, or to Saudi. The third option is to another country willing to step in and accept him. The UK could make such a deal but hasn't, despite much political posturing. Now you need to ask yourself why.

                      "....When I return from outside the UK to the UK I don't ring the UKBA and say "could you please formally request my return from country X"...." I'm assuming your return wasn't precipitated by you being arrested in a warzone in the company of the enemy? Gee, do you think that might make a difference? How about your long association with other Islamists whilst in the UK? Did you frequent Finsbury Mosque? I doubt it.

                      "....Do you have any links reporting on how the US is desperately trying to release the man back to the UK while being unable to do so?...." You could start here (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/20/guantanamo-shaker-aamer-london) - don't worry, it's an article in a Leftie rag so can probably stomach reading it. It does point out the carefully choreographed but half-hearted nature of the British political attempts to gain his release. Whilst it points out his popularity and control over fellow Gitmo inmates, it's too busy banging the anti-Gitmo drum to ask the question why hardened fighters so unquestioningly and immediately followed Aamer's orders from day one of his arrival in Gitmo. Would you care to suggest a reason why such men, who regularly reject those they don't know as CIA plants, were so willing to take orders from a "school teacher"? Gee, do you think it maybe had something to do with his alleged links to AQ operatives in the Finsbury Mosque and his previous arranging of "charity work" with Islamic fighters in Chechnya and Bosnia, or his links with Taleban and AQ in Kabul? Of course not, it must have been his beard that convinced them! Do I need the sarc tags?

                      "....And the story he has to tell is just a tad too embarrassing to have him roaming the free world with it....." Seeing as his original story of charity work had more holes than Swiss cheese, why on Earth should we believe anything else he has to say? Many of the Gitmo detainees released have made wild and uncorroborated claims, none of which have been backed up by physical evidence. Indeed, the long history of lawfare by the Islamists is packed with examples of them instructing their "supporters" to make such claims (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/may/31/20050531-121655-7932r/?page=1). Hey, do you think an educated man that the Gitmo detainees follow would be the one most likely to be instructing the other inmates in how to make claims of torture?

                      It also fails to ask why Shaker, the "committed father", abandoned his family in Kabul instead of travelling with them to Pakistan (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/shaker-aamer-guantanamos-last-british-detainee-1914791.html). Gee, I wonder why he would leave his family at the news of the US invasion and go off in the middle of the night with a load of AQ and Taleban fighters? I'm sure it was just to improve their punctuation. See comment about sarc tags above.

                      Legally, Shaker Aamer should be released seeing as the US does not have enough of a case to try him. The problem is the Yanks are stuck with him, and HMG are very unlikely to step in and do them the favour of taking him off their hands. We made the mistake of letting him and other Islamists into the country before, why on Earth do you think we'd want them back again? Did you fail to notice the immense trouble and expense of getting rid of that other "jolly good Muslim" Abu Hamza? Personally, I have no problem with Shaker staying in Gitmo, we locked up plenty of Nazi sympathisers during WW2, but I see how it could cause Obambi a few political worries (note, not ones of conscience, just political).

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                        I'll try to cut this short: You seem to be saying that it's quite obvious he's a criminal/terrorist, it just can't be (dis)proven. But since you know in our heart that's the case since so many things have been alleged, it's perfectly right we ignore the rule of law and keep the man imprisoned indefinitely, or, once that gets inconvenient, organise a sham trial in Saudi Arabia and force him there.

                        Note that if he's committed any crimes in Saudi Arabia worthy of his extradition, the Saudis may ask the UK for it once he's here. It's just that pesky judges would get involved and we can't have that now, can we?

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          Facepalm

                          Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                          "....You seem to be saying that it's quite obvious he's a criminal/terrorist...." I am saying it is my opinion that he is at least an AQ-sympathizer and collaborator if not an actual AQ/Taleban player. But, yes, it cannot be proven, so under the law he should be released into the custody of another country. It is also my opinion that such suspected sympathies/players should be locked up for the duration seeing as their own buddies have "declared war" on us, but that is not legally possible. That is not the issue, everyone seems to want to release him, it's just no-one wants him settling in their country.

                          "......sham trial in Saudi Arabia....." The fudge of the so-called rehabilitation program with the Saudis was just a way to get some of the detainees out of Gitmo. As it is the program is a failure, with plenty of the "rehabilitated" terrorists not just returning to jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also at home in Saudi Arabia. Not surprisingly, even the Saudis are now having second thoughts about taking back more "jolly good Muslims". I see you are completely avoiding the question of why so many countries don't seem to want Aamer, and the fantasy about MI5/6 torture is a nice pair of blinkers, but maybe you should start asking a few questions about Aamer rather than swallowing everything he and his supporters say.

                          ".....extradition...." It would not be extradition, it would be returning a Saudi citizen to his home country, which is no more an extradition than Moazzam Begg being sent back to the UK.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                            > That is not the issue, everyone seems to want to release him, it's just no-one wants him settling in their country.

                            Both Saudi Arabia and the UK would have to take him, keen or not. Again: He's not been found to have done anything against the law. There are two stories being told and I have no way of telling who's right or wrong. But the mere fact that they don't press charges against him tells me that they have no evidence and that as a result he should be a free man. After 11 years of prison without a court case, too! And as a free man he can go to his country of residence, the country of which he is a citizen, or anywhere else he can legally go to. It's just the US want to be masters of that next move of his.

                            > I see you are completely avoiding the question of why so many countries don't seem to want Aamer

                            Well at least publicly the UK claims to want him back if the Guardian article you referenced is to be believed. But even if they don't, what does it matter? He has the right to be here so it's not a question of whether politicians like it or not.

                            > ".....extradition...." It would not be extradition, it would be returning a Saudi citizen to his home country

                            Splitting hairs now, are we? "Extradition is the official process whereby one country transfers a suspected or convicted criminal to another country" says Wikipedia. Sounds fitting. And when it comes to returning Snowden to his home country, Forbes, the NY Times, USA Today and others use the word extradition, too. Why would the terminology not be correct and how does it matter?

                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                              FAIL

                              Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                              "....Both Saudi Arabia and the UK would have to take him....." Not true. He was only a resident in the UK, he then left to go "work" for the Taleban in Afghanistan. We just about have to take his wife and kids back as they're British citizens, but Aamer is a Saudi citizen. Even Saudi can refuse him entry if they so wish, he would then have to go to court in another country to try and force the Kingdom to let him back in. But, from what I hear, Aamer doesn't want to go to Saudi (probably because they'll lock him up and leave him to rot), he'd rather come back to the UK, jump back on benefits and sue HMG for imaginary torture. Thanks but no thanks.

                              "....they have no evidence....he should be a free man....." There was not enough evidence to bring a case. But, as you say, he should be a free man. So, where do you think the US should release him? Where they found him - he would probably be killed if returned to Afghanistan, at the least locked up and probably tortured. So Afghanistan is off the list for Obambi even if the Afghans were willing to take him. Sent home to Saudi - he doesn't want to go there and they don't want him back, and they'd probably lock him up and torture him anyway. Ditto for the UK, only without the torture. The US can't just push him out the Gitmo gates into Cuba, the Cubans would object, and since he's not in the US he would have to apply for a visa to enter (which he wouldn't get, even if he wanted to go there). Aamer could end the whole mess tomorrow by agreeing to return to Saudi, but instead he is insisting in being returned to the UK. So you can knock four years off the eleven as they are due to his own stupidity.

                              "....He has the right to be here....." Nope, we have ZERO legal obligation to take him back in as he is NOT a British citizen. Haven't you sheeple learnt yet that just because you want something to be so does not make it so? Even if he was released to another country and tried to travel back here he could be refused entry. The Home Sec can refuse entry to ANYONE (even British citizens) if she judges them a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens. The actual level of evidence she needs to provide is very low, much less than required for a US case. Aamer's previous associations would be grounds enough even without his jaunt to Taleban Afghanistan.

                              ".....extradition...." Extradition is the LEGAL transfer of a person by one country's judiciary into the custody of another country's judiciary, usually to stand trial. The word you want is repatriation, not extradition, but you sheeple are so easily confused.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                If you will believe your very own Prime Minister: "We continue to make clear to the US that we want Mr Aamer released and returned to the UK as a matter of urgency". Here's the letter, dated 7th August 2013 and signed by David Cameron: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/uploads/documents/doc_23303.pdf

                                Yes, the UK can revoke his resident status if it is reasonable to assume that he is a terrorist, but since both the Bush and the Obama administration have concluded there's no evidence he is, they don't.

                                And where did you get this notion from that the US has to send prisoners either back to the place where they grabbed them or to their home (as in citizenship) country but cannot return them to their country of residence? Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen, was sent back from Guantanamo Bay to his country of residence, Germany, before he had received German citizenship.

                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                  Holmes

                                  Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                  "If you will believe your very own Prime Minister...." In this case I do not believe him. Politicians, especially in the UK, have a long history of saying what they think needs to be said whilst pursuing a policy completly opposed to their pronouncements (such gems as "the SAS does not operate a shoot-to-kill policy" having many of us in stitches). Gitmo is unpopular and Cameron is playing for the British-Muslim vote at home and "brownie points" on the World stage. If Britain really did want Aamer back he'd already be here, your own example of Murat Kurnaz being the perfect tool for demonstrating the hollowness of the PM's statements.

                                  Murat Kurnaz's release was negotiated with the Germans, he wasn't just stuck on a plane to Germany without the German's permission. He should have gone back to Turkey but the Turks didn't want him back. The big difference was the Germans were willing to take him conditionally - HMG says they are willing to take Aamer but magically can't seem to negotiate a release with the US. Now, given that Obambi is desperate to close Gitmo, and the US has said it wants to release Aamer since 2007, that means either Obambi is lying or three British PMs have all lied in turn. Despite my conviction that Obambi is just a big liar as any of the three PMs, I actually believe this is HMG being the more two-faced, possibly with the connivance of the US. Either way, until a release can be negotiated (and if neither party actually wants him released), he will stay in Gitmo. That sound you don't hear is the World's smallest violin.

                                  "....they can revoke his resident status if it is reasonable to assume he is a terrorist....." Right and wrong at the same time. Apart from the fact his residency is also in doubt as he left for Afghanistan (UK residency to non-UK citizens is granted for a year at a time and has to be renewed, or four years MAXIMUM in exceptional circumstances, so he would have to re-apply as part of his release negotiations), the barrier for refusing entry does NOT require the Home Sec to prove him a terrorist. On Wikipedia is a list of people banned from entering the UK, none of which has been proven to be a terrorist in UK or US courts (otherwise they'd be locked up in UK or US prisons).

                                  Once again - just because you desperately want something to be true does not make it so.

                                  1. Anonymous Coward
                                    Anonymous Coward

                                    Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                    > If Britain really did want Aamer back he'd already be here, your own example of Murat Kurnaz being the perfect tool for demonstrating the hollowness of the PM's statements.

                                    "Public figures in both countries [US & UK] have said that a US domestic law, passed by Congress, is preventing Shaker’s transfer out of Guantánamo." --> http://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=21268

                                    Wasn't it you who said "just because you desperately want something to be true does not make it so"?

                                    > Despite my conviction that Obambi is just a big liar

                                    Nothing special about this then. Your Tory Prime Minister is no better if what you say is to be believed.

                                    As for losing residency status after having been away for a while, it's the same in Germany but since Herr Kurnaz' was prevented from extending it through no fault of his own the rule was deemed void. IANAL but the same might apply in the UK. In any case, the UK is publicly very clear about wanting him back, there's not going to be an issue with the papers. It's the US not playing ball.

                                    And that's what the subject of the whole thread is about. The US getting on everyone's tits with their "we are above the law" attitude.

                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                      FAIL

                                      Re: AC Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                      If you are referring to the National Defence Act Authorization clauses that allow indefinite detention of civilians suspected of being terrorists, this is little more than an excuse. Aamer could be transferred to British "custody" the terms of which could be as simple as a few minor parole conditions (e.g., do not mix with your former nutty mates, do not preach death to the infidels, and don't encourage young and impressionable British Muslims to fight for AQ or the Taleban or al-Shabab). Gee, how hard do you think it would be for the UK to draft an agreement? Even with monitoring (even if he is ever released, Aamer is going to be on blacklists in the US and UK anyway). Apparently, so hard it just vexes the very same politicians and civil servants that negotiated the release of other Gitmo detainees with worse backgrounds into the UK's or Saudi's custody. In fact, there is nothing in the NDAA to say who the US military cannot grant custody to. And in clarification of the Act, Judge Forest confirmed it could only be applied to members of AQ or allied groups, and seeing (as you already pointed out) the US did not have enough evidence of Aamer being an AQ member, it would be childishly easy for HMG to argue the NDAA cannot be applied. Well, childishly easy if they actually wanted it not to apply. Which begs the question of why the US are applying it in Aamer's case (and Britain not questioning it) UNLESS they have very serious reservations about Aamer's innocence.

                                      As to Obambi and Cameron being equally bad liars I'd say that's a given, but I prefer Cameron's politics, thanks. And, as I pointed out, Kurnaz's specially dispensated residency was agreed as part of the negotiated release terms between the US and Germany, so they don't act as a precedent in any way, even if Kurnaz had had British residency. You are trying to compare apples and oranges and saying both are clams simply because you want them to be so.

                                      ".....The US getting on everyone's tits....." And there is the usual sheeple failure of presumption - thinking they speak for everyone. As I have stated before, I have no issue whatsoever with the NSA or GCHQ, indeed I wish them good luck and good hunting. And I expect come election time it will not be a factor here or the US, though I expect Dimmwitt Rousseff may try using the "Evil NSA" to distract the voters from the mess she is making. Enjoy!

                                      1. Anonymous Coward
                                        Anonymous Coward

                                        Re: AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                        > Gee, how hard do you think it would be for the UK to draft an agreement?

                                        Yeah, that exactly what I keep saying. It's easy this end, it's the US being in the way. That's perfectly obvious from recent UK & US public statements. I see you very much want this to be a UK issue but there's just no evidence no matter how hard you try to produce it out of thin air.

                                        > ".....The US getting on everyone's tits....." And there is the usual sheeple failure of presumption - thinking they speak for everyone.

                                        You are spot-on, thanks for catching me out there. The US are most likely not getting on their own tits, and very obviously not on yours either. And not on everyone else's who thinks its fine for them to act as if they were above the law. And of those who applaud them when they imprison people indefinitely if they just really really strongly want to believe that those are guilty, despite a complete lack of evidence. There's a massive amount of dislike or even hatred for the US for that and whether you choose to acknowledge that or not is really up to you.

                                        Equally, it's up to us whether we believe that Shaker Aamer has been doing good work for an Islamic charity or bad work for the Taliban, whether we believe he's been caught fighting with the Taliban or has been grabbed from hiding by Afghan fighters and given to the Americans for a premium and indeed whether we believe he has been a workshy prick relying on the UK's benefits system as you suggest and/or whether he has been working as a translator for UK law firms and/or getting pocket money from Osama himself.

                                        Personally I can't tell with any of these, I haven't been there. Unlike you apparently. But seeing that even the Bush administration hasn't been able to make anything stick, were unable to find anything that would hold up in court the failure to set him free a long time ago and on his own terms remains outrageous.

                                        And while to me it's plain it's the US holding this up, not the UK, ultimately if it were both of them in collusion it wouldn't make all that much of a difference with respect to how I feel about the US & Gitmo.

                                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                          FAIL

                                          Re: AC Re: AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                          "Yeah, that exactly what I keep saying. It's easy this end, it's the US being in the way. That's perfectly obvious from recent UK & US public statements....." Hoooboy, you obviously never read any Sherlock Holmes as a kiddie, were they not on the sheeple reading list? Probably not as Holmes's character believed in protecting society and upholding the law. Nevertheless, please do now learn one of the lessons hammered home again and again by Conan Doyle, which is very appropriate to apply to politicians - "who has motive?" The US actually wants to get rid of Aamer, if only becasue Obambi wants to be the Prez that closed Gitmo. They have released even worse cases before, especially the ones they have sent back to Saudi. On the other hand, HMG has motive not to take Aamer in. And, in expectation of your very predictable bleating of the claims of torture as motive, please do bear in mind that laughably unsubstantiated claims of torture are common amongst the Gitmo detainees released so far, so why would HMG worry over Aamer making similar claims? After all, Moazzam Begg claimed torture and even sued the UK and we took him back. Since, he's been the UK's number one Taleban fan, but we still took him back (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozzam_Beg#Amnesty_International_controversy).

                                          Anyway, did you not notice the NDAA clauses only came into effect in 2012? What do you think was holding things up between 2007 and then? Oh, sorry, did I just ask you to think? LOL!

                                          "....Equally, it's up to us whether we believe that Shaker Aamer has been doing good work for an Islamic charity or bad work for the Taliban, whether we believe he's been caught fighting with the Taliban or has been grabbed from hiding by Afghan fighters...." So you're just going to ignore the bit where he abandoned his family and, instead of escaping with them to Pakistan, chose to go off with a bunch of jihadis and Taleban? Like I said before, do you think it was to improve their punctuation? Come on, please do explain why such a "loving and devoted father" would abandon his kids and wife in a warzone by choice? The jihadis didn't force him, they didn't drag him away forcibly, he willingly went off with them when he could have escaped the country.

                                          ".....it wouldn't make all that much of a difference with respect to how I feel about the US & Gitmo." It is very obvious that your deeply ingrained hatred of both is both unreasoning and unlikely to be swayed by logical argument, which is why I'm poking fun at you. Exposing your blinkeredness is just a bonus. You are just like the Amnesty International goons that cuddle up to Begg despite his open support of a violently anti-democratic and oppressive terrorist group, so happy to hate you'll overlook what's staring you in the face. If Aamer was the sweet and ickle guy the whacktivists make out he'd be back in the UK already.

                                          1. Anonymous Coward
                                            Anonymous Coward

                                            Re: AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                            > And, in expectation of your very predictable bleating of the claims of torture as motive, please do bear in mind that laughably unsubstantiated claims of torture are common amongst the Gitmo detainees released so far,

                                            Of course they are common, that's quite simply what happened.

                                            "A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that "it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture" [...]

                                            The report calls for the revision of the Army Field Manual on interrogation to eliminate Appendix M, which it says would permit an interrogation for 40 consecutive hours, and to restore an explicit ban on stress positions and sleep manipulation.

                                            The core of the report, however, may be an appendix: a detailed 22-page legal and historical analysis that explains why the task force concluded that what the United States did was torture. It offers dozens of legal cases in which similar treatment was prosecuted in the United States or denounced as torture by American officials when used by other countries."

                                            --> http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/world/us-practiced-torture-after-9-11-nonpartisan-review-concludes.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1381879480-sb0hcu8nL4ih5V3qOt9E3Q

                                            "In testimony to the US Senate Intelligence Committee on 5 February 2008, for example, General Hayden tried to justify the torture technique of “waterboarding”, simulated drowning, against three detainees in 2002 and 2003" --> http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/013/2008/en/e510ab48-f11e-11dc-b3df-0fe44bc152bc/amr510132008eng.html

                                            Murat Kurnaz, who has been cleared of any allegations of being a terrorist or sympathiser, reports on those very practices. The reports overall are consistent and the practices have been applied in Gitmo. You evidently enjoy being in denial but try engaging with reality every now and again, it makes for better directed and more fruitful conversations.

                                            > So you're just going to ignore the bit where he abandoned his family and, instead of escaping with them to Pakistan, chose to go off with a bunch of jihadis and Taleban? [...]

                                            Again, you've got nothing but fanciful claims, you provide no evidence whatsoever. As I said, not having been there you choose to believe one story and discounting the other. Neither of us can prove what's true. The US haven't been able to make anything stick, he remains innocent until proven guilty.

                                            It's been fun for a while but you've so run out of steam I feel sorry for you after all.

                                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                              FAIL

                                              Re: AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                              "....Of course they are common, that's quite simply what happened....." Rubbish. For you to unequivacally KNOW what happened to Aamer you would have to be there, which it is patently obvious you were not seeing as you seem to know SFA about him beyond Amnesty International press releases. What is a known fact is that the detainess have been rehersing their stories for years, so I'd take anything Aamer claimed with a massive pinch of salt. One of his more farcial claims he made is that he was beaten by a dozen men at once in Bagram, including men that introduced themselves as MI5 and MI6 agents - this is pure fantasy as (a) MI5 and MI6 agents would not introduce themselves as being Secret Service members if only for reasons of deniability; and (b) the idea of twelve men also trying to beat one man all together is silly - to be big enough for all twelve to crowd round and have any room to swing a punch or take a kick then Aamer would have to be bigger than the average double bed! It is pure fantasy, almost as much fantasy as the second most common detainee fanatsy claim that a guard threw a Koran into a "shit bucket" infront of him (http://www.freedetainees.org/shaker-aamer/) - apparently the US forces have endless supplies of such buckets and Korans just for annoying "good Muslims", right up until anyone tries to find actual proof of such events ever happening (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/press_box/2005/05/down_the_toilet_at_newsweek.html).

                                              You also need to go and do a lot of reading into what his Taleban buddies got up to whilst in power, becaue the tricks they pulled on Afghans, particularly women (http://www.drabruzzi.com/taliban_war_on_women.htm), that didn't meet their criteria of "good Muslims", was way beyond stress positions (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/half-an-hour-after-the-executions-kabul-stadium-opens-for-football-1171749.html). But I suspect you know SFA about the realities of the "pure Islamic caliphate" that Aamer thought was so wonderful he wanted to take his kids over there so they could grow up "proper Muslims". Apparently, back then, the "impure" UK just wasn't a good enough environment for him, but now he's desperate to get back here rather than go to Saudi. I won't ask you to wonder why as it's obviously well beyond your capabilities.

                                              ".....Murat Kurnaz, who has been cleared of any allegations of being a terrorist or sympathiser...." Again, complete rubbish. The US could not gather enough evidence to bring a case against Kurnaz as an enemy combatant in the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, which does not mean he was cleared of being a sympathiser or even a terrorist at all. Indeed, he was arrested in Pakistan on the way to Afghanistan AFTER the US invasion had started, in the company of another Jamayat al-Tabliq "missionary" who later was a suicide bomber for Al Quaeda, and also a known Taleban courier. Kurnaz claims he was arrested whilst returning to catch a flight back to Germany yet he was travelling in the opposite direction towards the Afghan border and didn't have a plane ticket. Since his release he - like Begg - has been a vocal apologist and supporter for both the Taleban and Al Quaeda. Indeed, he was under such suspicion that it took the US four years to convince the Germans to take him back despite him being a German citizen. Kurnaz was simply lucky he was arrested in Pakistan before he got to Afghanistan and picked up a weapon, and was even luckier he was released before 2012 as under the NDAA he would now be detained for the duration, as would Begg, and as Aamer is probably going to be.

                                              ".....Again, you've got nothing but fanciful claims, you provide no evidence whatsoever....." Apart, you mean from his own wife's admission that he left them (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/shaker-aamer-guantanamos-last-british-detainee-1914791.html). Strangely enough, when Aamer left his wife and kids and went off to look for a "safer place", he headed TOWARDS the advancing Northern Alliance troops in the company of armed Taleban, rather than heading the OPPOSITE direction towards Pakistan. Remember, he left them in a village to the south-west of Kabul, where he could have gone straight south to Pakistan (as his wife and kids did), but was caught by the Northern Alliance in Jalalabad, far to the east, and again in the company of Taleban fighters. Oh, sorry, did I again provide information you simply didn't know? How could you be expected to remember, you never knew anything in the first place!

                                              ".....It's been fun for a while but you've so run out of steam...." So, if by "run out of steam" you mean provided numerous points you have failed to answer, then guilty! You still have not answered why - if he was so innocent - the US didn't release him straight away in 2007, five years before the 2012 NDAA changes, or why HMG dawdled for the same five years? After all, even Kurnaz and Begg, who both made similarly fantastical claims of torture, were released and went home, so why would the US want to hold or the Brits want not to take back your cuddly, loveable Aamer? Or why HMG have been unable to come up with a deal with the US despite having numerous options for parole conditions or even detention in the UK? Please do try again, if only for the comedy value.

                                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                                Anonymous Coward

                                                Re: AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                > "....Of course they are common, that's quite simply what happened....." Rubbish. For you to unequivacally KNOW what happened to Aamer you would have to be there

                                                Torture in Gitmo has been documented. Other than that: That's exactly the point I keep making, you can hardly know if you haven't been there or got a reasonably believable source. I see your making an effort to learn as a positive. Note the evidence-please rule is true for an astonishing number of statements you keep making here, let me just take the follow-up to the above:

                                                > What is a known fact is that the detainess have been rehersing their stories for years, ...

                                                A known fact, no less? You mean you've listened in? Or have you perhaps got a credible source? Sharing is caring.

                                                The point is, the US has undoubtedly used torture, including at Gitmo. Aamer Shakar has been there pretty much from the start, it seems extremely unlikely he got spared. Torture was after all foolishly seen as a useful means of extracting intel. My understanding is the legal framework if we dare call it that is still in place and even Obama is unlikely to touch it. The allegations are in line with what's been found to have happened, making it very likely that what they say is true to an extent. I would be surprised if they didn't overstate their cases just as I'm not surprised that the Americans try to do the opposite. It's a known! fact! e.g. that they destroyed video evidence of their torture activities: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/jose-rodriguez-cia-hard-measures-book_n_1450416.html

                                                Since you've already established all by yourself that Obama and Cameron are liars in cold pursuit of their goals, I don't see why you're throwing a hissy fit over torture victims possibly, even likely, overstating their cases. I certainly haven't claimed that there's a set of angels sitting there whose main goal is to extend the hand of friendship and fairness to the people who are holding them captive.

                                                > One of his more farcial claims he made is that he was beaten by a dozen men at once in Bagram, including men that introduced themselves as MI5 and MI6 agents - this is pure fantasy as (a) MI5 and MI6 agents would not introduce themselves as being Secret Service members if only for reasons of deniability; and (b) the idea of twelve men also trying to beat one man all together is silly - to be big enough for all twelve to crowd round and have any room to swing a punch or take a kick then Aamer would have to be bigger than the average double bed! It is pure fantasy,

                                                That's just your word against his. Perhaps they have tried to do a bit of a good cop/MIx, bad cop/CIA style interrogation and claimed to be MIx and actually were or perhaps were not, before things escalated? Perhaps he overheard in their conversation that they were MIx. If these people do believe they are doing the right thing and talking in front of someone who they expect to lie unconscious, they may let down their guard. Perhaps he just concluded these British sounding men are unlikely to be Underground Ticket Inspectors and more likely MIx (reasonable thought, I'll say)? It doesn't take much imagination to suggest that 12 men have perhaps taken turns in beating him up rather than all at the same time. And finally, he may have said "a dozen" and just used it in as imprecise a manner as people say "a couple". You choose to believe as you have detailed above, perhaps you are spot on. Perhaps not. I note that an out-of-court multi-million pound settlement has been reached with British, mostly ex-Gitmo detainees that also resulted in a generous payment made to Shaker Aamer, surely to emphasise that no MIx employee has ever touched him. -> http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/nov/22/guantanamo-detainee-shaker-aamer

                                                > It is pure fantasy, almost as much fantasy as the second most common detainee fanatsy claim that a guard threw a Koran into a "shit bucket" [...] right up until anyone tries to find actual proof of such events ever happening

                                                Another thing that's neither proven nor disproven and not really worth our time, all your second link really provides is Newsweek's: "Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay." - A military investigation may not have uncovered this, it may still be true and it may be impossible to (dis)prove by now. You haven't, by any chance, searched all the Gitmo shitbuckets, have you? Even if you found a Quran, it might have been placed there by a prisoner finding he's actually more into Christianity. We don't know, do we? Do we need to? Seriously... do we?

                                                > You also need to go and do a lot of reading into what his Taleban buddies...

                                                No, I don't. The Taliban are utter shite and that's consensus. What's there to discuss? Well, there's the obvious thing: Do not adopt the most immoral methods of your enemy as your own, unless perhaps as a last resort. Otherwise you'll just fuck up your image and people all over the world will disrespect you for it and your enemy will use it to recruit ever more fervent followers.

                                                > ".....Murat Kurnaz, who has been cleared of any allegations of being a terrorist or sympathiser...." Again, complete rubbish. The US could not gather enough evidence to bring a case against Kurnaz as an enemy combatant in the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, which does not mean he was cleared of being a sympathiser or even a terrorist at all.

                                                "U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green, reviewing Kurnaz's case in 2005, said that he was being held "solely because of his contacts with individuals or organizations tied to terrorism and not because of any terrorist activities that (he) aided, abetted or undertook himself." [...] He himself says: "Of course, I can never forget my life in prison. But I hold nothing against the people of America. What was done to me was done by their government. I understand most Americans had no idea what was happening to me, or the others, in that horrible place." --> http://detainees.mcclatchydc.com/mi_services/gitmo/detainees/10

                                                Sounds much like a terrorist, doesn't it? Or is he just so clever that he keeps a straight face while working underground? Surely he must, and you've spotted it all this time. Thanks for the heads-up.

                                                > Indeed, he was arrested in Pakistan on the way to Afghanistan AFTER the US invasion had started, in the company of another Jamayat al-Tabliq "missionary" who later was a suicide bomber for Al Quaeda, and also a known Taleban courier. Kurnaz claims he was arrested whilst returning to catch a flight back to Germany yet he was travelling in the opposite direction towards the Afghan border

                                                4th biggest airport in Pakistan, Peshawar, which he claims to have gone to is pretty close to the border. What was his location, what was the bus's direction? Any evidence? And who's mouth is this from, the trustworthy Pakistani's who *sold* him to the Americans (and would have had difficulty doing so if he was officially on his way home) or did the Americans somehow know after the fact. If so, how?

                                                > and didn't have a plane ticket. Since his release he - like Begg - has been a vocal apologist and supporter for both the Taleban and Al Quaeda.

                                                Evidence please of the Kurnaz apologist and support bits. He says (link below) he had a ticket. And where is the proof that he didn't have a ticket that was taken from him by the Pakistani security forces who apprehended him and sold him to the Americans for $3000? One of them perhaps tried to turn the ticket into money at Peshawar airport, I wouldn't be surprised. What makes you so sure, do tell? -> http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/an-innocent-in-the-terror-prison-the-guantanamo-file-on-germany-s-murat-kurnaz-a-759343.html

                                                He hasn't been _cleared_ of the allegations in the same way as _you_ haven't been _cleared_ of being a paedophile, even though you had a conversation with a whole group of them on a coach on your holiday in Thailand, where you drank their beer, played cards and laughed with them and were initially apprehended with them. You claimed no knowledge of or part in their disgusting habit. You showed a liking to young women, just of legal age and in some cases slightly below, too, though too shy to approach any of them. And you were released for lack of proof while they are all locked up, but everyone now knows what you really are up to. Hypothetically speaking. How can we ever fully prove a negative?

                                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                  FAIL

                                                  Re: AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                  "Torture in Gitmo has been documented....." Yes, but torture of Aamer has NOT, and you are trying to take the generalisation and insisting it applies to all cases. It does not, so you can take it and shove it as it is still just his unproven, unsubstantiated allegation, and nothing more.

                                                  "....A known fact...." Yes, they have been caught doing it, as shown in the many links given earlier. That IS a documented fact.

                                                  ".....Aamer Shakar has been there pretty much from the start, it seems extremely unlikely he got spared...." One does not follow the other, and you so you cannot even claim it is likely he was tortured, you're just guessing, or maybe that should be wanting to baaah-lieve.

                                                  ".....The Taliban are utter shite and that's consensus...." Yet Aamer thought they were wonderful, indeed he moved his family to Afghanistan as he thought it was the "right environment" to bring his kids up in. That fact alone says copious amounts about why the man should never be allowed back into the UK.

                                                  "....Sounds much like a terrorist, doesn't it?....." You're just dancing around the fact that Kurnaz was only legally tried and cleared of being an enemy combatant, and that he was not legally cleared of anything else at all. And as for his parroting propaganda pieces, maybe you want to consider that Kurnaz also claims "the attack on 9/11 was in the Koran and approved as an attack against infidels" - oh, very cuddly and friendly!

                                                  "....4th biggest airport in Pakistan, Peshawar, which he claims to have gone to is pretty close to the border....." Try again! He not only claimed he was flying out of Karachi, he also couldn't provide any information on the flight he claimed he was catching, and did not have a ticket, whether from Peshawar or anywhere else. Once, again, your apologist dribbling is simply ignoring the facts.

                                                  "....And who's mouth is this from, the trustworthy Pakistani's who *sold* him to the Americans...." Actually, from his own interviews with numerous press agencies, and his own laughable "biography" "Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo". Fail! Don't worry, Kurnaz is another one that changes his story, he added the "oh, actually I did have a ticket" lie when called on it before, yet strangely NONE of the airlines that flew out of ANY airport in Pakistan had a ticket in his name for any flights that even connected to an airport with flights to Germany, let alone the direct flight he claimed he was booked on. I see you studiously avoid asking why on Earth he would want to go into a warzone - remember, he was traveling to Afghanistan AFTER the fighting had started? Oh, you probably don't want anyone to remember that bit, seeing as it makes him look like a wannabe terrorist.

                                                  Or maybe you want to explain how he could even afford the ticket back when he didn't have the cash for a flight? Indeed, his excuse for his phone turning up with other terrorists was that he had to sell it to eat. And then we have Kurnaz also switching his claims depending on his audience - one minute he was "tortured" at Kandahar by the CIA, then it was ordinary US servicemen, the next the German BND, and then finally by German commandos. Next week he'll probably claim it was the NSA (or the Evil Bankers)!

                                                  ".....He hasn't been _cleared_ of the allegations in the same way as _you_ haven't been _cleared_ of being a paedophile...." Big difference - I was not investigated for being a known sympathiser of paedophiles, not caught in the company of known paedophiles, and not heading off to spend time with known paedophiles. Given that those "good Muslim" Afghans that Aamer and Kurnaz so loved seem very keen on little boys (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11217772, http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/taliban-sexually-abuse-suicide-bombers-during-training-nds-says/, http://al-shorfa.com/en_GB/articles/meii/features/2013/08/15/feature-02) it seems Kurnaz was probably a wannabe terrorist AND a wannabe paedophile. Maybe that was the "right environment" that Aamer had in mind for his kids.

                                                  "....reasonable thought, I'll say...." The problem is what you consider "reasonable" is just more apologist nonsense and "what ifs". Again, you got called on a bullshit story and your groping about for a reason to deny it's implausibility because you WANT to baaah-lieve.

                                                  ".....How can we ever fully prove a negative?" By showing it is not a negative. Associating with known terrorists IS a crime in the US (Executive Order 13224, signed by President George W. Bush Sept. 23, 2001, authorises the seizure of assets of organizations or individuals designated by the Secretary of the Treasury to assist, sponsor, or provide material or financial support or who are otherwise associated with terrorists) and, under the new rules of the NDAA, also a reason to keep Aamer detained. Like I said, Kurnaz was just lucky he only faced the military court's Combatant Status Review, as he would have been guilty by association if tried in a US civil court, whatever you want to baaaah-lieve.

                                              2. Anonymous Coward
                                                Anonymous Coward

                                                Re: AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                > Indeed, he was under such suspicion that it took the US four years to convince the Germans to take him back despite him being a German citizen. Kurnaz was simply lucky he was arrested in Pakistan before he got to Afghanistan and picked up a weapon, and was even luckier he was released before 2012 as under the NDAA he would now be detained for the duration, as would Begg, and as Aamer is probably going to be.

                                                I read somewhere, I cannot find where now, that Germany did not want to take him back and imprison him which the US unbelievably demanded and they were not willing to put even more stress on a difficult relationship, so sacrificed him. Some innuendo of this is included in the mcclatchy article above though: "He said that when he was released in August 2006, he was taken hooded and shackled to German authorities at Ramstein, a U.S. air base in southern Germany, but the Germans didn't even pretend to keep him under arrest." Pehaps after 4-5 years German-American relationships had overall sufficiently relaxed to allow them to risk the displeasure of the US in seeing an innocent man not being imprisoned.

                                                How do you believe to know he was on his way to Afghanistan and would have picked up a weapon? Where does that come from? Evidence please.

                                                Die Zeit is an extremely well-regarded German magazine, often praised for its journalism from both ends of the political spectrum: "Murat Kurnaz is - according to everything known at this point - no terrorist. A mixture of prejudice, hysteria, lack of judicial control and diplomatic spinelessness has cost him more than four years of his freedom." --> http://www.zeit.de/2006/35/Kurnaz

                                                Utilise Google Translate if you like. They go on to explain how he used the time while his Turkish wife was sorting out bits and bobs to join him in Germany to go on a trip to Pakistan to join a "pretty harmless" muslim organisation and go on a pilgrimage that they organise.

                                                > ".....Again, you've got nothing but fanciful claims, you provide no evidence whatsoever....." Apart, you mean from his own wife's admission that he left them (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/shaker-aamer-guantanamos-last-british-detainee-1914791.html).

                                                You actually mean this? "Shaker left the village to find a safer place for us. But in the middle of the night the villagers told us we had to go with a group travelling to the safety of Pakistan." So he's basically risking his life trying to go out and find a safe place for the family to move over to, in the meantime circumstances demand that his family leaves and that is now him in your words "abandoning" his family? Well, you're free to believe whatever you want but you've got to give me a bit more if you want me to believe and a lot more if you want any of that to hold up in court... oh, temporarily separating from your family under any circumstances isn't a criminal offence? Hmmm... help me out here, what was the point you were trying to make?

                                                > Strangely enough, when Aamer left his wife and kids and went off to look for a "safer place", he headed TOWARDS the advancing Northern Alliance troops in the company of armed Taleban, rather than heading the OPPOSITE direction towards Pakistan. Remember, he left them in a village to the south-west of Kabul, where he could have gone straight south to Pakistan (as his wife and kids did), but was caught by the Northern Alliance in Jalalabad, far to the east, and again in the company of Taleban fighters. Oh, sorry, did I again provide information you simply didn't know? How could you be expected to remember, you never knew anything in the first place!

                                                It may come as a surprise to you but most people, unlike you, do not pretend to know everything. But you insulting me in this way sure does not fail to hurt oh so very badly. Oh the pain. And then the FAIL icon and the obligatory downvote. How I even cope I don't know... Again, evidence please. I was aware he was taken prisoner in Afghanistan. Being there in itself is to the best of my knowledge not a criminal offence. Being in the presence of bad people isn't either. Perhaps he didn't head there but they picked him up and - as I would have in his situation - he swiftly made up a story of how he was there to fight the Americans and they better equip him right now while he was hoping to be able to piss off at a later point. You see, we can all make up our stories, we can all suggest what little info we have might mean. But the certainly better informed and equipped Americans than you desperately trying to make the case have failed and cleared him for release. Twice. Why would they do that? Because there's no proof, that's why. The door is open for eloquent character assassination and you're happily walking through but that's about it. Note I'm not even saying he's a great guy, I'm saying that if you cannot prove someone's guilt you've got to let them walk free, those are the rules and they are great rules because they protect the innocent. I don't know if Aamer is one of them. How could I? But the Americans keep bending and breaking those rules and that's hugely counterproductive.

                                                > ".....It's been fun for a while but you've so run out of steam...." So, if by "run out of steam" you mean provided numerous points you have failed to answer, then guilty! You still have not answered why - if he was so innocent - the US didn't release him straight away in 2007, five years before the 2012 NDAA changes, or why HMG dawdled for the same five years?

                                                I can hardly know. If it was because they found him guilty of shit they wouldn't twice have cleared him in the first place, would they? Perhaps you want to explain why they cleared him along with some 50 or so others although they did not clear - I don't know, another 150? How does not having an explanation for this prove his guilt or your fantasy that Cameron demands his release while working in secret to prevent it? Or whatever point you were trying to make.

                                                You pointed out earlier that Obama wants to close Guantanamo and so that's evidence the UK must be stopping it? But isn't it the Republicans, along with an early 2009 fuck-up by the White House who prevent the closure? -> http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/23/how-obama-bungled-the-guantanamo-closing.html

                                                Also, I choose not to answer every little statement you make (except for today, on your special request) because my time is limited and it's frankly often not worth it, e.g. your whole "Sherlock Holmes taught me how vaguely relateed hopefully relevant motives can serve as proof when I don't really have any" speach was so cringeworthy that I frankly thought I was doing you a favour not mentioning it. Again, aha, Obama wants to close Gitmo but hasn't because he can't send Aamer Shakar to the UK since Cameron only claims to demand him back but secretly tells them that he never would want to, really, and the Americans who usually are quite comfortable ordering the pathetic UK government around accept that. That's totally got to be it then, how could that not be obvious to anyone as well-informed as you are?

                                                I have made an effort today to leave none of your questions unanswered and if you would like to continue on the path of enlightenment, you are very welcome to reformulate and explain whatever points there were you felt needed to be discussed. I don't mean to be exclusionary and you seem to be exceptionally keen on my advice.

                                                > After all, even Kurnaz and Begg, who both made similarly fantastical claims of torture, were released and went home, so why would the US want to hold or the Brits want not to take back your cuddly, loveable Aamer? Or why HMG have been unable to come up with a deal with the US despite having numerous options for parole conditions or even detention in the UK? Please do try again, if only for the comedy value.

                                                How would I know. reprieve etc. have their theories, you seem to think they know he's the bad guy, yet neither you nor they have anything at all to prove their points. The entertaining bit is that you think that whatever fancy theory you come up with equates to the all-encompassing truth. If "HMG" has taken those terribly bad guys why wouldn't they take another, well in fact they want to, they publicly demand his "urgent" release. The PM, no less. It would, after all, improve their standing with British muslims immensely and secure a few votes from them, didn't you suggest? Perhaps you've missed a trick and they are just timing it for the election.

                                                Again, the notion that you or I or we together can come up with a truthful account of the whole situation is laughable. But the known! fact! that the Americans are holding people for years and years without trial and without evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever is shameful, wrong in the extreme and as a "westerner" I find it embarrassing. And it puts us more at risk of further terrorist attacks than less.

                                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                                                  Re: AC Re: AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                  "....I read somewhere, I cannot find where now....." Gosh, there's a surprise, another completely unsubstantiated claim!

                                                  "....How do you believe to know he was on his way to Afghanistan and would have picked up a weapon?...." Apart from the fact he was heading towards the fighting, with other terrorists? Mind you, he could have forgone the weapon and just strapped on a suicide bomb like other "followers" in Jamayat Al Tabliq, including the guy he was traveling with, Bubliq.

                                                  ".....But the known! fact! that the Americans are holding people for years and years without trial...." Get real! It's called internment, it happened in both World Wars to a lot of Germans, Italians and Japanese both in the UK and US. And Aamer's buddies were the ones that declared war on us, so tough.

                                                  "....a "pretty harmless" muslim organisation....." That sent suicide bombers to Afghanistan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murat_Kurnaz#Combatant_Status_Review_Tribunal).

                                                  ".....I can hardly know...." And that's just it - you don't know, you're just singing from the libtard hymnbook unquestioningly.

                                                  "....you seem to think they know he's the bad guy, yet neither you nor they have anything at all to prove their points...." More to the point, YOU cannot prove your points or disprove the ones I raise. There are obviously very serious reservations about Shaker Aamer, and you are unable to explain why the US would want to keep him locked up when they have let idiots like Begg and Kurnaz go. Your comical faith in political statements when they cater to your baaah-liefs is touchingly naive, but the reality shows the UK is doing very little to get Aamer released beyond making suitable soundbites, and for very obvious reasons. One of the more relevant being that Aamer is NOT a UK citizen anyway, not even a resident anymore, so what HMG should actually be saying is "not our problem".

                                                  1. Anonymous Coward
                                                    Anonymous Coward

                                                    Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                    > "Torture in Gitmo has been documented....." Yes, but torture of Aamer has NOT, and you are trying to take the generalisation and insisting it applies to all cases.

                                                    Not at all. This conversation originated from your Sherlock Holmes freestyle which led to you anticipated "very predictable bleating of the claims of torture as motive" from me which you then went on to try to refute. Now if you want to argue with yourself, that's fine by me but I thought it pertinent to point out that it doesn't seem anywhere near as far-fetched as you claim.

                                                    Specifically my response was to you stating "laughably unsubstantiated claims of torture are common amongst the Gitmo detainees released so far" and it was that of course those claims were common since it's a known fact that torturing of gitmo detainees has happened. Why set up a strawman? Oh, sorry, I forgot you haven't got any genuine points to make.

                                                    > ".....Aamer Shakar has been there pretty much from the start, it seems extremely unlikely he got spared...." One does not follow the other, and you so you cannot even claim it is likely he was tortured

                                                    I didn't. I said it *seems* likely. Welcome, strawman number 2, make yourself at home.

                                                    > ... Kurnaz also claims "the attack on 9/11 was in the Koran and approved as an attack against infidels"

                                                    This was alleged in the 2001/2 BKA (~ German FBI) file and could not be substantiated. There was quite a bit more than that, including the claim that he had connections to the "Hamburg Cell", four (IIRC) of whom participated in the 9/11 attack. And his best friend was alleged to have performed a suicide attack yet continued to live undisturbed in Bremen. There was more of this, none of which stuck. Care to explain why he was cleared despite this? Care to explain why Germany ultimately got him back when they could have said first responsibility is with the Turkish since he wasn't (despite your claim to the contrary) a German citizen?

                                                    > ...Actually, from his own interviews with numerous press agencies, and his own laughable "biography"...

                                                    Yes, that is the sort of thing I was hoping for when I asked you for evidence. Still unsubstantiated though: Where in his book, what press releases?

                                                    > remember, he was traveling to Afghanistan AFTER the fighting had started? ... seeing as it makes him look like a wannabe terrorist.

                                                    I've asked you before for the evidence which you haven't as yet provided. Once that's sorted, go on to explain how traveling to the country in itself is a criminal offence and how it follows from it that he would have fought. How many guns and explosives did they find on him again? Maybe a Leatherman? No?

                                                    > Or maybe you want to explain how he could even afford the ticket ... his excuse for his phone turning up with other terrorists was that he had to sell it

                                                    As it happens, I have been temporarily broke in my life every now and again, yet have not remained so for long. And even while broke I was always able to turn to friends or family for a temporary cash injection. Also, I have no control over where my used/sold/stolen phones go. Does Kurnaz have to?

                                                    > And then we have Kurnaz also switching his claims depending on his audience - one minute he was "tortured" at Kandahar by the CIA, then it was ordinary US servicemen, ...

                                                    Evidence, please. Let's say he's a liar and does tell different people different stories. Perhaps he's got something to hide. Perhaps he was shit-nervous trying to present his story in the best light, first to get out of Guantanamo, then greedy to make the most out of his book. Doesn't prove him a terrorist or sympathiser. You allege Cameron is a liar.

                                                    > ".....He hasn't been _cleared_ of the allegations in the same way as _you_ haven't been _cleared_ of being a paedophile...." Big difference - I was not investigated ...

                                                    Look up the word "hypothetically" at the end of that paragraph, it may come in useful. You'll be surprised to find that I wasn't even claiming you've ever been to Thailand. What I'm saying is that if you had been investigated under such circumstances, "innocent until proven guilty" would apply and so I would consider you cleared once the police (or the judge) have set you free. I'll be happy to rephrase "cleared" as "innocent" if that makes you happy.

                                                    > Given that those "good Muslim" Afghans that Aamer and Kurnaz so loved seem very keen on little boys [...]

                                                    It is unusual and delightful to see you use the words "seems" and "maybe". I'm somewhat used to you stating opinion as plain fact. I feel we're making progress. Do you think it probable that church-going Catholics are likely to be paedos, too? I mean seeing that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

                                                    >"....reasonable thought, I'll say...." The problem is what you consider "reasonable" is just more apologist nonsense and "what ifs". Again, you got called on a bullshit story and your groping about for a reason to deny it's implausibility because you WANT to baaah-lieve.

                                                    I gave you a number of explanations merely to clarify how what you've presented as showing that Aamer was lying is not at all showing that. My explanations are as unsubstantiated as yours is and I don't particularly believe in any one of them, or yours. In other words: (a) Mine are just as much a "what if" as (b) yours is, (c) in sum they show that different explanations are readily available (d) with no one necessarily being true until sufficiently substantiated. That's what you need to grasp. You've evidently taken the first step with (a) and I applaud you. Your point, sadly, remains to be made.

                                                    > ".....How can we ever fully prove a negative?" By showing it is not a negative. Associating with known terrorists IS a crime...

                                                    My understanding is that 13224 is a decree which permits the US Executive to seize assets etc. e.g. when someone is associated with a terrorist/organisation and as such it is a tool (and a somewhat controversial tool at that) to pre-empt potential attacks.

                                                    IANAL but since you claim to be able to predict court cases never even started, perhaps you want to explain and substantiate the following to actually make your point: The decree is not as far as I can see defining association with terrorists as being a crime but merely empower the US to seize their assets. Am I overlooking something? And how does it applies to Kurnaz?

                                                    > ... fact he was heading towards the fighting, with other terrorists?

                                                    In your own words: "Gosh, there's a surprise, another completely unsubstantiated claim!"

                                                    > ".....But the known! fact! that the Americans are holding people for years and years without trial...." Get real! It's called internment, it happened in both World Wars...

                                                    It's been done before so it must be alright. Your arguing is at your very best. Personally I'm a big fan of the spirit of the Geneva Convention.

                                                    > And Aamer's buddies were the ones that declared war on us, so tough.

                                                    So you say we have a US law against association with terrorists and terrorists are his buddies. He's interned by the US and they've cleared him twice. Huh? Is it because they've got as little evidence as you have? Because association isn't a crime?

                                                    > "....a "pretty harmless" muslim organisation....." That sent suicide bombers to Afghanistan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murat_Kurnaz#Combatant_Status_Review_Tribunal).

                                                    Where/How does the linked page show the org is not "pretty harmless" or sent suidice bombers to Afghanistan?

                                                    Jamayat Al Tabliq (aka Tablighi Jamaat) is a pretty massive multi-million people organisation. They are decidedly apolitical though of course they can't force members to abide by that. TJ are frequently criticized by jihadists for being so fucking unjihadic and they try to entice away and radicalise TJ members. --> http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/tablighi_jamaat_indirect_line_terrorism

                                                    As I indicated, Die Zeit provides pretty decent journalism.

                                                    >>>> it would be childishly easy for HMG to argue the NDAA cannot be applied...

                                                    >>> You still have not answered why - if he was so innocent - the US didn't release him straight away in 2007...

                                                    >> I can hardly know.

                                                    > And that's just it - you don't know, you're just singing from the libtard hymnbook unquestioningly.

                                                    Both Cameron and Hague are on record demanding him back. It's the US, not the UK holding him captive. It's on you to show evidence that your alternative story has any basis whatsoever in reality and is not just a figment of your imagination. If the US as a whole (Democrats and Republicans) really wanted to release him they could publicly state that he's a free man and can return to the UK. If they do that and Cameron then refuses, we'll talk again. As long as they don't do that, they are quite clearly responsible for his continued incarceration, even if Cameron indeed secretly asked them to please please please not release him, which - again - is pure conjecture on your part. It's what you desire to "baaah-lieve".

                                                    > "....you seem to think they know he's the bad guy, yet neither you nor they have anything at all to prove their points...." More to the point, YOU cannot prove your points or disprove the ones I raise.

                                                    That's the thing with guilt. I don't have to. He's guilty until proven innocent and he has been cleared twice. The onus is on you.

                                                    > There are obviously very serious reservations about Shaker Aamer,

                                                    Yet apparently no evidence to show his guilt.

                                                    > Your comical faith in political statements [...] so what HMG should actually be saying is "not our problem".

                                                    Yet, they are on record saying the exact opposite.

                                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                      FAIL

                                                      Re: AC Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                      "....Not at all....." Gee, let me see. First you stated - as a fact - that Aamer had been tortured. When challenged, you admitted you were not there and therefore could not verify any of his claims, and also he had no actual evidence of his claims. Now you want to change your line to ".... I said it *seems* likely....." !! Whereas I showed evidence of the collusion amongst Gitmo inmates to lie about torture, and gave the mythical example of "the Koran in the shit bucket", one of the stories attributed to Aamer. "Not at all"? Most definately, more like. You lose again!

                                                      "....I forgot you haven't got any genuine points to make....." Except for the points that you weren't there, that Aamer's claims are not only farcial but unsubstantiated, and that they follow the common Islamist trend such as the dunked Koran story. Apart from those points you mean? LOL! And that's before we get to the points on Kurnaz's and Aamer's stories for which you provided nothing but easily debunked bluster. In short, it seems you either have a short term memory loss issue or are just a complete liar.

                                                      "....Evidence, please....." Apart from his own book? I take it you decided against actually reading any sources, just took whatever male bovine manure you were spoonfed as gospel?

                                                      "....I've asked you before for the evidence which you haven't as yet provided...." Like the link I included to the Wikipedia page, which includes a timeline of his movements, showing that Kurnaz decided to go to Afghanistan AFTER the US invasion had started, in the company of a later suicide bomber? You would stand a much better chance in this debates if you actually took the time to READ some background material, especially when it is handed to you on a plate. Until then you're just going to look like an intellectual cripple.

                                                      "....You allege Cameron is a liar...." I am saying that, in my opinion, Cameron is carefully deceitful when he says the UK is doing everything within its power to get Aamer "home". Firstly, those powers are limited - Aamer is not an UK citizen, not even a resident anymore, so we have no grounds to demand his return; secondly, our powers to over-rule the new NDAA clauses are next to zero even if he were an UK citizen or resident; and thirdly, HMG very obviously does have strong reservations as to his prior activities in the UK before he even went off to live "the perfect Muslim lifestyle" in the Taleban caliphate. Who do you think provided the US with intelligence on Aamer's activities with Islamic "charities" sending supplies and "volunteers" to Bosnia, and his associating with undesireables at Finsbury Park mosque? This is also clearly shown in how the UK seems to have done little more than release hopeful soundbites between 2007 and 2012, the five years when the NDAA was not an obstacle. Not at all sorry to burst your bubble, but your jihadi hero will not be coming "home" soon.

                                                      "....The decree is not as far as I can see defining association with terrorists as being a crime but merely empower the US to seize their assets...." Once again, it seems reading just isn't your thing. Whilst the decree also grants the ability to seize the assets of terrorists and collaborators, it clearly states in Section 1 (d) (i) "to be otherwise associated with those persons listed in the Annex to this order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of this order" - Aamer was in association with such groups, he was living by choice in the Taleban capital. Indeed, he was accused of being in Tora Bora with AQ, top of the State Department list in the annex for crime by association. Once again, try READING.

                                                      "....Both Cameron and Hague are on record demanding him back...." Nothing of the sort, we actually do NOT have any grounds to "demand" Aamer's return (even if HMG actually wanted him back), seeing as he is NOT a citizen or even a resident anymore. Get a clue, you are simply circling back to the same debunked arguments again and again becasue you do not want to accept the truth. Indeed, you need to go back and READ the relevant press releases (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-meets-representatives-of-guantanamo-detainee) - Cameron and the rest of the HMG reps only ever "raised the issue" and "discussed" it with the US authorities - no demanding at all. Once again, just because you want to baaah-lieve it is so doesn't make it so.

                                                      "....That's the thing with guilt. I don't have to. He's guilty until proven innocent and he has been cleared twice. The onus is on you...." Wrong. You see, what I (and you) think makes SFA difference, it is what the US authorities think that really matters, and they are convinced Aamer is a commited and senior member of Al Qaeda. You can shriek and bleat all you like, ignoring all the evidence that pokes holes in your blinkered POV, but the fact is the Yanks will keep him locked up under the terms of the NDAA detention clause for as long as they like, and HMG will waive their hands, sigh and secretly thank the US.

                                                      "....they are on record saying the exact opposite." Yeah, and according to UK politicians, the SAS does not operate a shoot-to-kill policy, none of the political parties are at all divide over Europe, and we trust the Jordanians not to torture Islamists extradited to Jordan, etc., etc., etc.. Seriously, you come across as someone very young and naive.

                                                      1. Anonymous Coward
                                                        Anonymous Coward

                                                        Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                        I did not claim that Aamer has definitely been tortured. Since you called Gitmo detainees' claims of torture laughable, I informed you that torture has indeed occurred and substantiated that. I remind you that I interjected in an argument that you were having with yourself on the basis of a statement regarding Aamer that you imagined I'd make but that I in fact hadn't made.

                                                        > "....Evidence, please....." Apart from his own book?

                                                        Please specify what chapter in his book and links to "his own interviews with numerous press agencies" which allegedly substantiate your claims.

                                                        > showing that Kurnaz decided to go to Afghanistan AFTER the US invasion had started

                                                        Please specify precisely what your source is. Your claim is not substantiated by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murat_Kurnaz#Combatant_Status_Review_Tribunal

                                                        > "....Doesn't prove [Kurnaz] a terrorist or sympathiser. You allege Cameron is a liar...." I am saying that, in my opinion, Cameron is carefully deceitful when he says the UK is doing everything within its power to get Aamer "home".

                                                        Well, you made if perfectly clear in previous statements you do consider Cameron's a liar.

                                                        This is your earlier statement (emph mine): "..., but the truth is HMG actually don't want him [Aamer] back either."

                                                        Here's Cameron's: "We continue to make clear to the US that we want Mr Aamer released and returned to the UK as a matter of urgency". - http://www.amnesty.org.uk/uploads/documents/doc_23303.pdf

                                                        When I quoted that you responded: "In this case I do not believe him."

                                                        In addition you wrote: "that means either Obambi is lying or three British PMs have all lied in turn. Despite my conviction that Obambi is just a big liar as any of the three PMs" ... "As to Obambi and Cameron being equally bad liars I'd say that's a given, but I prefer Cameron's politics, thanks."

                                                        Why change your story now? My point that being a liar in itself doesn't make one a terrorist/sympathiser clearly didn't sit well with you. So where again is your substantiated evidence of the allegations you make against Kurnaz that hasn't already been found to be unsubstantiable? It's really just slander, isn't it?

                                                        > it would be childishly easy for HMG to argue the NDAA cannot be applied...

                                                        > our powers to over-rule the new NDAA clauses are next to zero even if he were an UK citizen or resident

                                                        Your first statement appears to suggest the NDAA is not an issue, your second does. Can you please clarify?

                                                        > HMG very obviously does have strong reservations as to his prior activities in the UK before he even went off

                                                        What reservations do they have? I understand they must have had reservations before he was cleared. But now, what reservations do they have and how do you substantiate that they "very obviously" have them? Tummy-feeling? Or perhaps an official statement of the quality I've given you?

                                                        > "....The decree is not as far as I can see defining association with terrorists as being a crime but merely empower the US to seize their assets...." Once again, it seems reading just isn't your thing. Whilst the decree also grants the ability to seize the assets of terrorists and collaborators, it clearly states in Section 1 (d) (i) "to be otherwise associated with those persons listed in the Annex to this order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of this order"

                                                        Oh gosh. This is extremely poor, even by your standards. Two points:

                                                        (1) I asked you to explain how association is a crime and not just grounds for seizing the assets of an individual as a tool to pre-empt terrorism. The sections and subsections you quote explain that financial sanctions can be imposed on grounds of association [A], but neither they, nor anything else in the text denote association as being prohibited or a crime. They do however declare e.g. trading in blocked property as being prohibited, i.e. if someone had their property blocked and then attempted and succeeded in trading it, they would have committed a crime. In other words: Association engenders a risk of financial sanction, yet is not a crime on the basis of this document.

                                                        [A] "hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I also find that because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundation of foreign terrorists, financial sanctions may be appropriate for those foreign persons that support or otherwise associate with these foreign terrorists... Section 1 all property and interests in property ... of the following persons ... are blocked". Section 2 then sets out that dealing in blocked property is prohibited which I take to mean it's a crime. Section 3 defines various terms including terrorism (it doesn't include association itself as being terrorism). Section 4 prohibits donations to terrorists/orgs, the rest is even less relevant to our discussion.

                                                        > Aamer was in association with such groups, he was living by choice in the Taleban capital. Indeed, he was accused of being in Tora Bora with AQ, top of the State Department list in the annex for crime by association. Once again, try READING.

                                                        (2) It's pretty rich to ask me to "try READING" straight after you respond to my plea to explain how Kurnaz is associated to terrorists by explaining how Aamer allegedely is. You had even asserted Kurnaz would have been convicted had he been tried under this. Also: "was accused of being in Tora Bora" - is being accused of something enough these days?

                                                        And as for (1) and [A] I have read the decree then and now. Have you done anything but skimmed it? Assuming you've only skimmed it means giving you the benefit of the doubt. If you've actually read it, your reading comprehension really isn't up to the task.

                                                        > "Cameron and the rest of the HMG reps only ever "raised the issue" and "discussed" it with the US authorities - no demanding [Shaker's return to the UK] at all."

                                                        I won't get hung up with you about the word "demand", let's phrase it in Cameron's own words, it's a "want Mr Aamer released and returned to the UK as a matter of urgency".

                                                        >> "....That's the thing with guilt. I don't have to. He's guilty until proven innocent [hehe, nice word flip on my part] and he has been cleared twice. The onus is on you...."

                                                        > Wrong. You see, what I (and you) think makes SFA difference, it is what the US authorities think that really matters, and they are convinced Aamer is a commited and senior member of Al Qaeda.

                                                        Please substantiate that they think that. Is that included in the documents in which they cleared him?

                                                        Well, I have been the one arguing all along that it's the US who's responsible for him being still imprisoned and you now seem to have come 'round to that. I claimed that's why everyone (no, not *literally* everyone) is so displeased with them. They hold him in prison despite being unable to prove him guilty of anything, even after 11 years of frantic searching. They're doing away with innocent until proven guilty. Pretty cool, eh?

                                                        While it doesn't matter what you and I think with respect to Aamer's chances of being released, you are performing something that would appear to be just short of character assassination without - I suggest - having anything to back you up that hasn't been known to the authorities who cleared him at the times they did.

                                                        > "You can shriek and bleat all you like, ignoring all the evidence that pokes holes in your blinkered POV, but the fact is the Yanks will keep him locked up under the terms of the NDAA detention clause for as long as they like"

                                                        Again, it's me who's been saying all along that the US are responsible for his continued incarceration (which is so patently obvious I find it incredible we needed to argue this at all) and I had you telling me stuff like "everyone seems to want to release him, it's just no-one wants him settling in their country." I'm glad you've come 'round now but saddened that you're so upset about it you felt you had to load the statement with yet more insults.

                                                        > "....they are on record saying the exact opposite." Yeah, and according to UK politicians, the SAS does not operate a shoot-to-kill policy, none of the political parties are at all divide over Europe, and we trust the Jordanians not to torture Islamists extradited to Jordan, etc., etc., etc.. Seriously, you come across as someone very young and naive.

                                                        Of course politicians do lie every now and again, I've never claimed otherwise. But the public record, the UK's gov's statements as well as "public figures from both countries stating US domestic law, passed by Congress, is preventing Shaker’s transfer out of Guantánamo" appear to require a US-UK conspiracy for your claims to make sense. But I don't see how it makes sense for Obama to participate in such a conspiracy since as you say yourself he's got motive to release Aamer. It would be counter-productive to his agenda. So on the one hand we have the public record, on the other we have something that you want to believe that you feel strongly is substantiated by "motives" but even they don't quite seem to fit. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. Please explain what the basis for the existence of this conspiracy is, other than politicians-often-lie-so-they-must-be-lying-now and the-motives-of-the-actors-are-in-line-with-what-I'm-claiming, which does not appear to be the case.

                                                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                          FAIL

                                                          Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                          "I did not claim that Aamer has definitely been tortured...." Yes you did. You then tried to back it up with a load of general claims, none of which concerned Aamer at all.

                                                          ".... > showing that Kurnaz decided to go to Afghanistan AFTER the US invasion had started

                                                          Please specify precisely what your source is. Your claim is not substantiated by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murat_Kurnaz#Combatant_Status_Review_Tribunal...." LOL, did you even bother to try reading the link? It clearly states "...US is attacked on 11 September 01, travels to PK on 3 October 01, continues travels until his capture...." The fun bit is the editing that libtards have done over the years to try and hide the date Kurnaz was actually arrested. The US action against Afghanistan began on 12th October, and Kurnaz was arrested in November (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/good-news/murat-kurnaz-has-been-released-guant%C3%A1namo-20060825). Oops, looks like your buddies forgot to go back and "correct" the old AI site! Don't tell me, you now want to accuse AI of lying?

                                                          "....Well, you made if perfectly clear in previous statements you do consider Cameron's a liar...." Saying "carefully deceitful" is a choice way of saying "liar". Duh!

                                                          "....Why change your story now?...." I haven't changed my story at all. The NDAA rules only changed in 2012, so that means Blair and Brown were lying when they said they wanted Aamer back when there was nothign to stop them, and Cameron is lying when he says HMG wants Aamer back now seeing as it is HMG that supplied the US with details on Aamer's activities whilst he was in the UK - why would they do that if they wanted him back? You can't answer that so you dance all round the issue, over many, many paragraphs of repeated male bovina manure, circling and circling like a crippled spider on acid.

                                                          "....Your first statement appears to suggest the NDAA is not an issue, your second does. Can you please clarify?..." The NDAA is the mechanism for detaining Aamer after 2012. It relies on the UK's evidence of Aamer's activities in the UK, so it would be very easy (seeing as the UK gave them the details) for the UK to go to court and argue ther is no proof of Aamer actually commiting a terror act in the UK or even hard proof of him doing so in Afghanistan. HMG could go to bat for Aamer in the US courts and get him returned here. But, instead, we have lots of "raising the issue" and "discussing" - wow, what commitment, what burtning passion! Not.

                                                          "....The sections and subsections you quote explain that financial sanctions can be imposed on grounds of association...." Not just that, it DEFINES association - being associated with a terrorist makes someone a terrorist. Do try and think what happens when you get on the State Department list - extraordinary renditions, trips to Gitmo, etc., etc..

                                                          "....What reservations do they have?...." You really do have the deliberate attention span of a goldfish, don't you? The Brits passed on info on Aamer's "charity" activities in the UK and his associates at teh Finsbury Park mosque. I have poste dthat at least three times, get it through your thick head!

                                                          "....Also: "was accused of being in Tora Bora" - is being accused of something enough these days?...." <Yawn> Yeah, you go on desperately ignoring his association with Islamists in the UK, his "charitable work" with Bosnian Islamists, his CHOOSING to go live in the Taleban state at a time when it was already well-known they were aligned to AQ and supproting Islamist terror.

                                                          "....Is that included in the documents in which they cleared him?..." LOL, do you think it might be indicated by their refusal to release him for so may years? You are so desperate to ignore the evidence it's simply laughable, you'd argue the sky was green if someone pointed out it was blue. What a loser. The rest of your ranting post is very amusing, in a kind of "laugh at the kid with issues" way, but here's a simple fact you really want to avoid -

                                                          Shaker Aamer is going to stay locked up, probably until he dies. Enjoy!

                                                          1. Anonymous Coward
                                                            Anonymous Coward

                                                            Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                            I'm pressed for time, forgive me for not addressing all your points.

                                                            >>> ".... > showing that Kurnaz decided to go to Afghanistan AFTER the US invasion had started

                                                            >> Please specify precisely what your source is. Your claim is not substantiated by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murat_Kurnaz#Combatant_Status_Review_Tribunal...."

                                                            > LOL, did you even bother to try reading the link? It clearly states "...US is attacked on 11 September 01, travels to PK on 3 October 01, continues travels until his capture...."

                                                            Since PK is PK and not AF(ghanistan) and the "continues to travel" does not allege he traveled or intended to travel anywhere else than Pakistan this substantiation is found wanting. You know that as well as I do, so I gather you cannot substantiate your allegation.

                                                            I'm still interested in where you got the following from or was - by any chance - ignoring my previous request for you to provide evidence tacit admission that you can't?

                                                            > Since his release he [Kurnaz] ... has been a vocal apologist and supporter for both the Taleban and Al Quaeda.

                                                            I'll remind you the claim he had said 9/11 was Allah's will was from before his travels, not after his release and could not be substantiated. Please confirm that you cannot substantiate if you can't. Retracting a statement tends to be better than slandering the innocent. Also, I don't know to what extent the man is intellectually capable but it's rather obvious it wouldn't help his book or movie sales, paid interview opportunities, general support etc. so even if he held the sentiment it would be highly inadvisable to share it.

                                                            > "....The sections and subsections you quote explain that financial sanctions can be imposed on grounds of association...." Not just that, it DEFINES association - being associated with a terrorist makes someone a terrorist.

                                                            No, this decree does not define associating with a terrorist as making someone a terrorist, just as it doesn't make association a crime. Quote me the bit(s) that make(s) you believe so to convince me. They aren't there.

                                                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                              FAIL

                                                              Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                              <Yawn>. ".....Since PK is PK...." Of course, he was actually heading for Timbuktu, and heading north for AF(ghanistan) was just a cunning ploy to fool the Tooth Fairy! Seriously - whatever. You are so determined to deny the facts it's like you're trying to argue with your eyes shut, your fingers in your ears, and chanting "lalalalala" to drown out anything that might upset your little fantasy bubble.

                                                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                                                Anonymous Coward

                                                                Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                                You frequently cannot substantiate what you claim to be fact. In the rare cases that you do present evidence instead of pure conjecture, it more often than not fails to confirm your claims. Above are just a few examples.

                                                                You are happily slandering a man here who has been emphatically cleared of the allegations made against him, yet you invent new ones. It's a shame, really.

                                                                Anyway, I guess we're done here. Time to move on.

                                                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                                  FAIL

                                                                  Re: AC AC AC AC AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                                                  "....You are happily slandering a man here who has been emphatically cleared of the allegations made against him....". Complete cobblers! Aamer and Kurnaz both had cases dropped for lack of evidence, they most definitely were not cleared at all, otherwise both would have been released. Better question for you - why should the UK take back someone who is not an UK citizen, not even a resident, who has proven links to Islamists both abroad and here in the UK, and went to live BY CHOICE in Taleban Afghanistan at a time when they were already known to be imposing fanatical Sharia and supporting Islamist terrorists like Al Qaeda?

                                                                  "......,yet you invent new ones......" All the points I have raised have been backed by links, you have just chosen to ignore them. And you still refuse to face the question why, if Aamer is just a cuddly, misunderstood "goodguy", then why didn't he leave Gitmo in 2007? You have yet to explain why the US government would hold him when Obambi has promised to clear out Gitmo? Why did the UK take people like Begg back and yet fail to make a deal over "just a charity teacher goodguy" for all those years before the new NDAA clauses came into effect in 2012? So many questions you are desperate to avoid.

                                                                  ".......Anyway, I guess we're done here. Time to move on." Yes, it's very clear you have run out of spoonfed soundbites.

                                  2. Anonymous Coward
                                    Anonymous Coward

                                    Re: AC AC AC 'Hating America is a crime'

                                    PS: Thanks for that: "That sound you don't hear is the World's smallest violin." You made me laugh.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

          Whole damn world is still trying to compensate for the damage the British Empire caused over hundreds of years of domination.

          Really?

      2. MondoMan

        Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

        Trevor, you Canadians should consider having that chip on your shoulder removed. I hear the waiting times for the surgery are shorter down in the US, but it's your choice.

        1. 404

          Heh...

          Took a beating there - Not a problem, truth is truth.

          As far as Trevor being Canadian - same difference, yet another British colony, but in this case, has never done anything to anybody at all... unless you count the Inuit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Heh...

            > As far as Trevor being Canadian - same difference, yet another British colony, but in this case, has never done anything to anybody at all...

            If that's the case (IANAH), doesn't that totally destroy your point?

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          @MondoMan

          It is indeed my choice and for many damned good reasons I choose Canada. Way - way - better than the US of A.

      3. DrTechnical

        Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

        Hey Trevor, if 6.7B hate us, why are they all trying to come here "for a better life"? That one question and the truth of it, shows how silly-wrong you are. And jealous as hell too! This "artifact" has given you most every tool you use in your pathetic everyday life. Now go whine about it some more in a dank coffee house.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          @DrTechnical

          Very few try coming to the USA for a better life. A few million, all told. Most are trying to get into Canada (while we have our problems, we aren't anywhere near as fucked up as the USA). Many of those who do move to the US hate it anyways. Many of those who live in the US hate it too.

          I realize there are some who are misguided enough to try to move to the USA "for a better life," but the shine typically fades quite quickly upon arrival. Besides, not everyone is intelligent enough - or worldly enough - to realize how bad the place really is. America dumps billions into propaganda. Some people give up their entire lives to move there only to realize that they were sold a completely bullshit bill of goods. The really rare ones go there and like it.

          If your alternative is being ethnically cleansed, American probably looks pretty good. If, however, you have the means and the capability to choose where to live, there is no rational reason on this earth to choose the United States over many of the alternatives.

          There is a difference between people fleeing for their lives willing to accept any port in a storm and people who have options making a choice.

          In my experience those who move to the US by choice when there are other options available are either massively ideologically deluded (Ayn Rand ermagerd!) or they are sociopaths who believe that they have the ability to simply squish enough little people to make up for the massive deficits of US society. (If they are sociopaths, they're probably right; the modern USA is designed entirely to reward them.)

          Also: the USA has "given" me nothing. The USA has economically plundered my nation and used the barely concealed hint of violence to keep us in line. When the time comes for it to do good on an international stage it waits until everyone else has committed - and millions have died - before i decides to step in and take all the credit.

          The rest of the time it's trying to either intervene in internal affairs of sovereign nations of club brown people over the head to steal their oil. What about a well-armed group of bandits is admirable? Why should I thank them? Why should I praise them?

          They are bandits. Thugs to stand up against. Not leaders to admire.

        2. Spanners Silver badge

          Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

          Why are they all trying to come here "for a better life"?

          Short answer, they aren't.

          Slightly longer answer - Some people want into your country because they want some money.

          Long answer, There are some people who want to go to the USA and take part in the great "American Dream". There are also others who want the "Australian Dream" and yet others who want the "European Dream". Some of this last group even want the "British Dream".

          Why?If you are poor, have had your country screwed over by the USSR, CIA or just big international corporations in the past of course you want better. If you are surrounded by civil wars, various fundamentalists, droughts etc, you want out *now*.

          Someone from New York told me that his city is full of Ukrainian cab drivers sending money back home. If that's true, they want your money but how much more? Your country is beautiful, full of friendly, welcoming people and well worth visiting. It is also seen as a great way to earn enough money to set oneself up nicely once home is "safe" again. Nobody else believes in your dream any more.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

          "why are they all trying to come here"...

          1. Not really true of the majority

          2. Perhaps your colonial foreign policies may be party to blame for those that do.

      4. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

        "'Hating America is a crime'

        Then there are ~6.7 Billion criminals out of a population of ~7 Billion"

        Mr Pott, firstly please do not presume to speak for the vast majority of the world population, it comes across as extremely presumptious*.

        Secondly, what does "Hating America" even mean? Is that North America, South America, all of it? Or is that meant to be "USA"?** So what does "hating USA" mean? Hating the land? The concept of the USA? the people living there? (all of them?). Or maybe the tiny minority of ultra-rich and the f**kwits in their congresses who front for them?

        And "hate"? Is that an appropriate emotion to feel towards people who I don't even know, will never meet, and whose specific actions I have only the vaguest notion of?

        Please count me out of your 6.7bn

        *which is a terrible pity as I like reading your articles and you usually come across as pretty smart

        **understandable error, since the USA-ians use USA and America interchangeably and have foisted that terminology on the rest of the world

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          @James Micallef

          Oh look, it's someone attempting to use pedantry to distract from a peerfectly clear meaning that everyone else in the thread is capable of understanding and working with.

          So sorry you don't like what I have to so, but too bad. I'm learning from the Americans and thus give zero fucks about such niggly little verbal rules. Word Police.

          As for speaking for the vast majority o the world, I've done my research on this. Just because you lurve 'Murikkka (fuck yeah!) doesn't place your views in alignment with those who feel the jackboots of the xenophobes at their collar...which is most of the world, just so's you know.

          Hating America is pretty simple: those who hate it want it to fall. The government to collapse, the institutions that make up it's military, it's political infrastructure, it's very "way of life" to be erased and reformed. Critically, we want it reformed in such a way as it keeps it's goddamned nose out of our business.

          In a perfect world, America would experience a bloodless revolution wherein it's governmental system was replaced with an actual democracy (not a republic) that saw proportional representation with electoral districts drawn by independent committee (and thus immune to gerrymandering), outlaws money in politics (by providing a fixed amount of funding for any candidate who made the minimum number of signatures) was strongly multi-party, had a minimalist military, universal (health care/primary education/post-secondary education/emergency services/environmental protection/pension/employment insurance) at a minimum!

          Now, certainly, there are many out there - particularly amongst the extremist Muslims - who would not be fond of seeing their old nemesis reforms into something that provides education to women and doesn't push Sharia law, but you can't please everyone.

          The key here, however, is the desire to reform America such that it would catch them up with the better parts of the western world and allow them to serve as a beacon for others once more. Combined with a new found culture of "staying the fuck out of the business of other nations" I think it could go from "'Merikkkuh" (fuck yeah!) to a grown up member of the international community that the rest of us can respect and work with.

          What it is today is a bully. A bully with a number of highly evident mental problems that is trying to beat the entire world to be just like it using any and every club it can find. America is dangerous, and that responsibility isn't borne merely by the government, or by one political party or even by some shadowy organization.

          That responsibility rests on the shoulders of the people who elected their governments and who refuse to organise - and to speak out en masse - to change it for the better.

          Maybe you love the Ayn Randian direction of 'Merikkkuh and it's increasingly disconnected sheeple. Maybe you like their interventionist policies and their exceptionalism. That puts you in the minority. The rest of the world - and all evidence points to "the overwhelming majority of the world -doesn't. Nor do they have any intention of allowing themselves to be converted in their crusades.

          If they want to ruin their own country, fine. But they absolutely need to give up the weapons and the economic clubs to beat other nations with before they do. That, or we need to take it from them. A massive international economic and military wall around that black hole of a country so that it can implode on it's own, without harming others.

          Hating America is a rational response to a nationalistic, overreaching superpower that isn't anywhere near the beacon of civilization it believes itself to be yet is attempting to force the rest of the world to emulate. It is the international version of a "schoolyard bully"'s club and it needs to be treated the same. Isolate, contain, retrain.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: @James Micallef

            Also: for the record, moving past research into what the majority of planetary citizens feel and directly to me, personally...

            ...this is every single thing that is wrong with America in one neat little bow.

            1. James Micallef Silver badge

              Re: Science Laureate

              Yes, I agree 100%. That's the current state of religious right-wing nuttiness in the US.

              It is what it is

          2. James Micallef Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: @Trevor Pott

            Wow, way to completely miss the point of my post!

            Just to clear up - firstly, yes, distinction of USA vs America IS pedantic, the meaning you were giving to "America" WAS clear, I just prefer to be specific about using "US" myself.

            With that out of the way, I do not " lurve 'Murikkka" (where the f**k did you get THAT from?). I am FAAAR from being a Randian, I don't want the US sticking it's nose in the affairs of anyone else etc etc.

            The gist of my post was that there are specific persons in the US who are responsible for planning and executing all the stuff that you are complaining about. You point out yourself in your rant (which I completely agree with) against the US "democratic" system, that their political system / districting / campaign financing etc is rigged in a way that big interests will have their candidates elected and they call all the shots, while the vast majority of "common people" do not have a voice. You say:

            "That responsibility rests on the shoulders of the people who elected their governments and who refuse to organise - and to speak out en masse - to change it for the better."

            as if it were something really easy to do, while you have already pointed out yourself that the whole system is rigged against this happening. So I can't blame (and therefore I can't hate) that majority of people for the misdeeds done by the US on the world stage.

            Hating a group of people in the US is completely different from "hating America" and that is NOT pedantry.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              @James Micallef

              You say:

              "That responsibility rests on the shoulders of the people who elected their governments and who refuse to organise - and to speak out en masse - to change it for the better."

              as if it were something really easy to do, while you have already pointed out yourself that the whole system is rigged against this happening. So I can't blame (and therefore I can't hate) that majority of people for the misdeeds done by the US on the world stage.

              Hating a group of people in the US is completely different from "hating America" and that is NOT pedantry.

              I never once said it was easy. I said it was necessary. And I can - and do - hate every single cowardly one of them that doesn't get off their asses and do something about it. Yes, the system is rigged against them. Yes, they have a fuck of a lot of work to do to make up for the immense amount they've let slide. Yes, we too in our own nations have to be vigilant lest we become the US (or the UK).

              But that's the price of freedom, goddamn it. You pay in vigilance. You pay in coppers and you pay in blood. Americans - as a whole - aren't willing to pay in any of those currencies and are dooming the rest of us along with their ignorant, lazy selves.

              There are a handful of Americans who care. They fight and struggle to keep a flame burning against the darkness. People like the EFF, Snowden, Schwartz, and so forth. They are the tragically few exceptions that prove the rule.

              It's sophistry of the Fox News kind to point to a statistically insignificant number of exceptions and say "see, you can't [insert generalisation]!" It's right up there with "if we pick the highest temperature year in recent times (1998) as the beginning of our misguided chart you don't see global warming occuring!" It's a cherry picking statistics in the vain attempt to manufacture a worldview that conforms more closely to that which you wish to be true.

              I'd love it if there were enough exceptions to the rule that I could look at America and say "that's mostly good people, let down by a few bad apples." It's not. Not even close. It's a whole fuck of a lot of terrible people - indeed, most of the world's terrible people immigrate there to make their fortunes - with a carefully cultivated herd of violently apathetic people.

              And frankly, all that is required for evil to win is for "good men" to do nothing. So those apathetics, nihilists, and self-focused insular types that prefer to pretend the Bad Stuff isn't happening, isn't their fault, they have no power over it or it isn't their responsibility? Fuck 'em. Every last one. I hold them all equally as responsible as bastards actively working to screw the hoi polloi over.

              The power of a king is determined by the forces of his army. That army is made up of people, each and every one of whom make a choice to serve. After 2 million years of evolution for homo sapiens, 200,000 years of modern humans and over 8000 years of recorded history I expect each and every last fucking one of them to have learned that lesson.

              And yes, I hold it against them if they haven't. It is the single most basic, repeated lesson in our history as a species and failing to learn it reflects a lack of curiosity and a lack of personal responsibility for learning about the world (and one's place in it) that I consider criminal.

              End of.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @James Micallef

                > It's right up there with "if we pick the highest temperature year in recent times (1998) as the beginning of our misguided chart you don't see global warming occuring!"

                Uh oh. Aren't we straying dangerously far from Official Reg Opinion here?

              2. James Micallef Silver badge

                Re: @James Micallef

                "I never once said it was easy. I said it was necessary" - agreed

                "that's the price of freedom, goddamn it. You pay in vigilance. You pay in coppers and you pay in blood" - amen

                "There are a handful of Americans who care. They fight and struggle to keep a flame burning against the darkness. People like the EFF, Snowden, Schwartz" - I suspect that there are a whole lot more than "a handful", but I guess it's quite difficult to actually find out how many. The cases you mention are the real high-profile well-publicised ones. How many are there that don't get heard due to lack of resources / support and/or because they get flagged as dangerous and squished? I hope that it's a heck of a lot more than that very short list.

                I also don't believe any of this will change with a quick revolution. It will take lots of people, lots of time, and a very gradual change, and most probably it will get worse before it gets better*. In the meantime the ones who can change things in the US deserve our support rather than a blanket condemnation of all things US. My 2c of course.

                *V for Vendetta is a great case study

  3. Katie Saucey
    Unhappy

    welp

    these 10 are fucked

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: welp

      They're not fucked. They may all fall down open elevator shafts or die in mysterious car crashes, but they aren't fucked :)

  4. frank ly

    Equal footing with Uncle Sam

    If the Brazilian government had the same amount of money to spend as the US government, and the same internal expertise at running a long term, major technology project; they too would have a super-duper secret internet spying system. This argument applies to every government in the world and many governments would be a lot better at keeping things secret than the US seems to be.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Equal footing with Uncle Sam

      That isn't quite the point. Nobody is naive enough to believe that smaller countries (economically speaking) can have as much influence as larger countries. The issue is that ICANN shouldn't function under the law and jurisdiction of any one country, because it shepherds resources for the whole world. It shouldn't function under the UN (i.e. ITU in this context) either, on the basis of past experience. It should be (and should always have been) based as a recognised NGO in a neutral country, not as a pseudo-non-profit in the US.

      All of which has nothing to do with PRISM.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Equal footing with Uncle Sam

      The argument is not that another country would be any better, but that the combined effect of them would be to ensure that no single *one* of them is in a position to, for example, compromise high-level SSL certificate generation, or backdoor key standards.

      However, given the power of US-controlled businesses in this area (MS/Apple in personal computers, Google/Facebook in search and privacy violation, Verisign, etc, in "trust" certificates) this may be more symbolic than effective.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Equal footing with Uncle Sam

        > in a neutral country

        A what?

        "Neutral country" is simply a transient state of politics and their current economics. You get one crazy bastard in power who thinks he could use this as a lever for political/economic/personal gain and then you're screwed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Equal footing with Uncle Sam

          Well, perhaps it could be some sort of international NGO. Or at the very least one based in Switzerland.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Equal footing with Uncle Sam

      If the Brazilian government had the same amount of money to spend as the US government

      What is it the US owe other nations now 18tr$ or thereabouts, and it's not fair for any country who isn't also endebted up to their eyeballs to dare to challenge US supremacy. Is that what you mean?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It might make them feel better

    But I fail to see how whatever control the US government can exerts on those bodies really makes a difference.

    What matters is how many companies important to the internet, such as Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Facebook and so on are based in the US and can be pushed around by its government, as well as how many international links travel via the US or its spy allies even when they don't really have to.

    Even aside from that glaring issue, I think there's one other big problem they'll have to solve before they can do this. Imagine 200 hyenas stealing a kill from a lion. They all agree that they should take it away from the lion. Beyond that, they probably don't agree on who gets how much...

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It might make them feel better

      "What matters is how many companies important to the internet, such as Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Facebook and so on" CHOOSE TO BE "based in the US and can be pushed around by its government"

      Thatr's understating it a bit. Even companies which aren't based in the USA become beholden to the US government everywhere in the world, should they have a single office in the USA (Several prestigious UK universities have recently found this out the hard way).

      The only way around it is to create separate companies doing business in and outside the USA, and chinese wall them (Which is what IBM has done). Even then the USA government and its agencies (including the IRS) are trying very hard to batter such divisions down.

  6. Old Handle

    I certainly agree with the sentement

    But the only way to reduce the NSA's power over the net is to replace most the infrastructure currently controlled by US companies, which we now know are acting as the NSA's lackeys.

    That said, changes to the Internet's governance aren't necessarily useless. They may be some help against the US meddling with the internet in more open ways, such as seizing domains it doens't like.

  7. tom dial Silver badge

    I find it difficult to see how globalization of ICANN or IANA will noticeably affect any of the activities of which the NSA is accused, or for that matter those of GCHQ, DSD, GCSB, or (yes, Mr. Pott) CSEC. Neither will it much affect similar activities of the great multitude of other signal intelligence agencies across the world. Such agencies operate on the signalling infrastructure at a level where addressing and routing are information to be processed and control over who assigns the numbers probably is not especially necessary. The globalization might have the salutary effect, as someone noted earlier, of making it more difficult for US rent seekers to inconvenience those they claim promote copyright infringement.

    Anyone who thinks taking down the NSA is likely, that doing so would have much affect on internet snooping by government agencies, or that it would be noticeable by many people is seriously mistaken. Ms. Rousseff, while justly angry, might find it more beneficial to look into what is happening to the Brazilian economy and on the streets of Rio de Janiero.

    1. Volker Hett

      Leaving the DNS root servers under control of a government which can not pay the personal to maintain them seems a bad idea to me.

      And to brazils economy, Ms. Rousseffs government is about to cancel an order for 36 F/A-18 Super Hornets and save 4 billion dollars which might be better invested elsewhere in brazil .....

      1. JohnG
        Headmaster

        personal, personnel

        *personnel

      2. SirWired 1

        Huh what?

        Errr... the US Govt. does not own or maintain the DNS root servers. That function is performed by ICANN (Aa private organization) under a US Dept. of Commerce contract. And that contract is a zero-dollar contract (you can read it on the ICANN website if you like), so any lack of bill paying would cause precisely nothing to occur.

  8. tkioz

    I can't wait for the idiots to crawl out of the woodwork screaming "MERICA INVENTED THE INTERNETS!!! IT'S OURS!!! GET OFF IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!!!" with more spelling mistakes of course.

    Nevermind that when 99% of people online think of the "Internet" they are actually thinking about the World Wide Web which was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British man, while working in Switzerland, who like a 'dirty commie' refused to patent his invention...

    But never mind that of course.

    1. SirWired 1

      Like it or not, the US DID invent the guts of the internet.

      Yes, Tim Berners-Lee did develop HTTP and HTML. A top-layer protocol and language set that has indeed proved to be very useful and popular. But actually putting it into the graphical form we all know and love today (vs. just a Gopher alternative) was done by a US University, which developed Mosaic under a govt. contract.

      In addition, almost everything that runs under the covers was either developed under a US Govt. contract, or developed by a US company as the base for what became a widespread standard. (As a side-note: the basic TCP/IP protocol stack and related routing protocols were not patented.)

      P.S. The "International" protocols, the OSI stack, failed to ever gain traction in the marketplace, and only remain as silly questions referring the OSI model (but not any of the protocols) on networking certification tests.

      P.S.S. Looking through the comments thread so far, the poor-spelling, chest-thumping, hyper-patriotic rednecks you predicted have failed to appear.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Like it or not, the US DID invent the guts of the internet.

        Most of us who live in the US are just as disturbed by what the NSA is doing as those of you living elsewhere. Unfortunately we can't get rid of this crap too easily, the only hope would be a shaky alliance of the very liberal and very conservative wings of the two parties outvoting those in the middle (and hoping the unelected bureaucrats actually obey the congress, or we get another brave patriot like Snowden to blow the whistle if they don't) Unfortunately our legislators are involved in a game of chicken to see if one side or the other bails out before we're driven off a cliff, so they're too busy to actually do their jobs.

  9. SirWired 1

    Give up what?

    I'm a little confused here. The only unbreakable control the US Govt. exerts over the internet as a whole is the name server contract the Dept. of Commerce has with ICANN. (Curiously one of the signers of the letter.)

    The rest of internet "control" is held by various committees, which are open to just about everybody, and can utterly by ignored if sufficient people decline to adopt a standard. (Certainly the US govt. cannot force anybody outside of the feds themselves and their contractors to adhere to any standard.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US vs UK

    I feel this is going a bit far with the anti-US sentiments expressed in various posts above.

    The US gov are out of their minds, of course, but wouldn't it be very British not to mention it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US vs UK

      "but wouldn't it be very British not to mention it?"

      I think you are referring to the 'British' of the 20th Century. The British of the 21st Century are, for the most part, either immigrants from other cultures or work-shy dole bludgers constantly bleeting about what's on't telly.

      As for the rest of them, bloody apathetic losers without a voice*.

      *There seem to be a few lonely souls that still have a sense of British about about them, but if they open their mouths these days they are immediately labelled racist for some reason.

      NOBODY LOOK AT THE ELEPHANT!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: US vs UK

        > either immigrants from other cultures or work-shy

        Oh dear, I'm the author of the post you were responding to and I'm not only an immigrant but also extremely work-shy. Glad to hear that you delight in 9-5 though.

  11. Suricou Raven

    I don't trust any of them.

    There isn't a country in the world I'd trust to run the internet in any significant way. The US is actually one of the better ones - they may spy on everyone, but at least they haven't tried to impose any large-scale censorship operations like many of the others would have.

    The only solution I see is technological. A shift towards technologies that don't need so much governing, and that make spying a great deal more difficult.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: I don't trust any of them.

      "but at least they haven't tried to impose any large-scale censorship operations like many of the others would have"

      An overt regime of censorship is something tangible that can be fought. A better idea would be to put the fear of God NSA into everyone and get them to censor themselves. Who would they fight against then eh?

      Oh....

  12. Doug Bostrom

    Issue is metaphor for larger problem

    Leaving aside the exact details here, we're coming to a point where sovereign state borders are becoming quite anachronistic for some purposes.

    The message of commercial globalization is that borders should ideally be porous to resources. Resources of course include information.

    The sole remaining legitimate purpose of borders is to containerize and lend shape to cultures, probably most importantly the cultural feature of local systems of law.

    The question Brazil is asking is, how do we preserve our preferred systems of law in the face of the ad hoc, unagreed power-sharing arrangement of the Internet?

  13. W. Anderson

    American Delusion of superiority

    While a 'tongue in cheek' comment can be made by the article writer in regard many countries wanting an "equal" status to USA in regard Internet governance, the matter is quite serious and thankfully it has come to pass that the USA fully realizes that they are "NOT" superior or almighty in relations to any other nation as most it's citizens and politicians have falsely believed most of the twentieth century with incessant and crass pronouncements shouted globally over the years of their country being "Blessed by God" and using absurd and stupid terms like "American Exceptionalism" (sic).

    The international community obviously cannot be any worse on this issue.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    YAWN...

    No one is forced to use the Internet. You do so at your own risk. The authorities are not the ones that you should fear, it's the crims.

  15. Viper1j

    They can't take it. We invented it. It's ours! We own it!

  16. P_0

    As others have said on this thread, even though the US has abused its power over the internet, I would much rather see it in the USA's relatively safe hands then have countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and China dictating the terms of internet usage.

    As little as I trust the US govt, at least it is democratic, it upholds (in most cases) democratic, free principles, and it is scared shirtless of its own people, as govts should be. I don't see any need to get failed, despotic or anti-democratic govts involved in internet governance.

    We already are close to the precipice with the ITU trying to get its grubby paws on the internet:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/18/protecting-the-open-internet-may-require-defunding-the-itu-heres-how-to-do-it/

  17. cortland

    So Brazil wants

    EVERYONE to act like the US. That's a stamp of approval, it is; irritation is the sincerest form of philately.

  18. Zzznorch

    Starting to Agree

    In the past, when the United Nations and other countries were demanding that control of the Internet be turned over to an international body, my opinion was if you want control of the Internet, go invent it yourself. The United States created and funded the beginnings of the Internet and is entitled to run it.

    That being said, in light of all the spying activity the United States has been performing on the Internet, I am beginning to change my mind. However, if one considers that the current Internet is totally compromised and that you will not be able to pull the back doors out of it, perhaps my original thought that the International body create a totally new Internet devoid of United States control makes sense. Forget trying to take over the existing Internet. The other advantage is that the new Internet could be based on IPV6 and other newer protocols that would solve many of the problems inherent in our IPV4 based Internet.

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