In Part one of my piece, I attempted to explain the nature and scope of the US Warrantless Wiretap Program and the growing Surveillance Regime being built in this country. In Part 2, I will compare and contrast the growth and structure of the aforementioned Surveillance Regimes with other countries’ corresponding Systems of surveillance and control. I will also spotlight the International Surveillance Industry and its efforts to market its products by offering this technology to governmental power centers around the world.
Those of us who have been aware that the principles of open justice in the UK are being threatened in an unprecedented manner have, to date, focused largely on the use of secret evidence in cases related to terrorism — widely ignored by the general public, and by much of the media — and on the use of “super-injunctions,” which recently broke into the mainstream with the Twitter-storm over the Trafigura case.
The use of secret evidence in cases related to terrorism involves prisoners held on control orders (a form of house arrest), or imprisoned on deportation bail, who are assigned special advocates to speak on their behalf in closed sessions of the Special Immigrations Appeal Court (SIAC), but who are then prohibited from speaking to the special advocates about what took place in these closed sessions. This regime is now under threat, after the Law Lords ruled in June that imposing control orders breaches Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, because a suspect held under a control order is not given “sufficient information about the allegations against him to enable him to give effective instructions to the special advocate assigned to him.”
Rep. Alan Grayson argues in support of the Paul-Grayson amendment, which would subject the Federal Reserve to a complete audit. The amendment later passed the House Financial Services Committee 43-26 as part of the underlying financial reform package.
Barack Obama took Hu Jintao to task this morning, scolding the dejected-looking Chinese leader at a press conference held in Beijing. Obama delivered one ferocious jab after another, claiming that China’s dollar-peg has cost the US millions of high-paying manufacturing jobs while creating gigantic trade imbalances which have destabilized the global economy and thrust the world into severe economic contraction. Obama demanded that the Chinese government convert to market-oriented exchange rates immediately to preserve jobs in America and to end the de facto tariff that China applies to US goods through its persistent currency manipulation. Obama’s sharply-worded prepared statement left the Chinese President gasping for air while the assembled members of the western media snapped to their feet in raucous applause.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? Hard to believe that an American president would stand up for his own people and act in the national interest.
Editor’s Note: All those interested in the political, economic and social directions being taken by the people and governments of Latin American states will do well to invest time in reading this treatise by James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer. Those who think they understand the future of the left on the continent may be surprised by what is happening in countries ranging from right wing governments such as Colombia to leftist states like Venezuela after reading this document. Time and energy given to building socialism and combatting the Global Corporate Empire everywhere in the world will be informed by neo-capitalist movements across Latin America. This analysis deserves careful study. – Les Blough, Editor
(Editing and emphases added by Axis of Logic)
An analysis of the dynamics of capitalist development over the last two decades has been overshadowed by an all too prevalent “globalization” discourse. It appears that much of the Left has bought into this discourse, tacitly accepting globalization as an irresistible fact and that in many ways it is progressive, needing only for the corporate agenda to be derailed and an abandonment of neoliberalism. This is certainly the case in Latin America where the Left has focused its concern almost exclusively on the bankruptcy of “neoliberalism”, with reference to the agenda pursued and a package of policy reforms implemented by virtually every government in the region by the dint of ideology if not the demands of the global capital or political opportunism. In this concern, imperialism and capitalism per se, as opposed to neoliberalism, have been pushed off the agenda, and as a result, excepting Chavéz’s Bolivarian Revolution, the project of building socialism has virtually disappeared as an object of theory and practice.
Polls show that between one-third and one-half of Americans still believe that there is “no solid” evidence of global warming, or that if warming is happening it can be attributed to natural variability. Others believe that scientists are still debating the point. Join scientist and renowned historian Naomi Oreskes as she describes her investigation into the reasons for such widespread mistrust and misunderstanding of scientific consensus and probes the history of organized campaigns designed to create public doubt and confusion about science. Series: “Perspectives on Ocean Science” [12/2007] [Science] [Show ID: 13459]
Update, 10pm ET: As we type, the OC team is working on putting together a webpage of the brand-new Senate health care reform bill: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (link opens in browser as a 2,074-page .pdf), released as an amendment to H.R. 3590. Our uniquely searchable + open-source HTML page will be up and linked from our homepage as soon as we can tonight.