Charlie's Diary

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Thu, 12 Jun 2003

Good news for the Empire

... But not so good for the rest of us. For starters, David Teather, writing in The Guardian, provides more details of the plans for an execution chamber at Guantanamo Bay. (This is an original report, not a reprint, and tends to undermine some protestations from elsewhere in the blogosphere that it's alarmist rumour.) Meanwhile, in Zagreb the US government is threatening to withhold aid from countries that don't exempt US troops from the International Criminal Court. (Why? Are they planning to commit war crimes?) There's been an almost complete media black-out of the police human rights abuses in Lausanne at the recent G8 summit, sugggesting the censorship machine is getting more sophisticated:

we were teargassed about 20 times in 2 hours. They started directing the canisters straight at people, firstly at their legs, then their stomachs, and then at people's heads. I saw several people directly hit in the stomach. As medics, we had only quite basic kit, but I saw a woman with a serious burn on her leg from a canister, so I went to sort out her injury. Four police came and baton charged me, and started beating me. She and a friend escaped in one direction, I, in another, with the police giving chase. I was clearly marked as a medic. We saw several medics, and two of the legal support lawyers being specifically targeted. A little later, I came across a man lying unconscious on the street. It was unclear whether he was even breathing. I tried to go to at least assess his condition, but the police wouldn't let me near him, or find out his name.

Meanwhile, a friend from New Zealand informs me:

The New Statesman (9 June 2003, p. 12) has a piece by Joel Bennathan talking about the new extradition treaty between the US and Britain. There is no longer a requirement for the government seeking extradition to produce evidence for scrutiny in the host country's courts.
As far as I can tell, this means UK residents can be arrested and shipped off based on *US* standards of evidence - which have been laughable in some cases recently.

(I need to find some substantiation for this last one.)

Sounds like the Empire is coming together nicely. And lest you think I'm ranting and raving a bit, you might want to bear in mind that it has only been 21 months since September 11th, 2001. In that time we've seen two goddamn wars, a global wave of authoritarian repression, blatant attempts to gerrymander the electoral system in the USA by means of electronic voting machines, and the installation of what is beginning to look to me like the infrastructure for a planetary-level police state.

Yes, it bloody could happen here. And while I sincerely hope I'm jumping at shadows, there seem to be an awful lot of them closing in these days.

posted at: 14:37 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Do not ...

... Look at this while you are drunk, sober, or otherwise alive and liable to suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards. Vodka recommended -- strongly. (Warning: Flash required. So all you Linux purists are safe.)

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posted at: 00:23 | path: /weird | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
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"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

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Engadget ]
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Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
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Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
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This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
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Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
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Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
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December 2005
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September 2005
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March 2005
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December 2004
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January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

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