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Picture: The US State of Israel. Killing Muslims for Jesus. Palestine July 2014
Picture: Palestine July 2014. Gaza genocide.
Picture: Palestine July 2014. Gaza genocide.
Picture: Vladimir Putin pointing at press conference. Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech to the Conference of Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives, in Moscow, on Tuesday 1st July 2014.
Meetings with the diplomatic corps have become a tradition. We need this direct conversation to make an overall assessment of the situation in the world, to set current and long-term foreign policy objectives and on that basis to more effectively coordinate the work of our missions abroad.
I would like to begin by saying that the Foreign Ministry and our embassies are under a lot of pressure; we see this, we are aware of this, but this pressure will not be reduced. It will only increase, just as the requirement to show efficiency, precision and flexibility in our actions to ensure Russia’s national interests.
You know how dynamic and unpredictable international developments may sometimes be. They seem to be pressed together and unfortunately are not all of a positive nature. The potential for conflict is growing in the world, old contradictions are growing ever more acute and new ones are being provoked. We come across such developments, often unexpectedly, and we observe with regret that international law is not working, the most basic norms of decency are not complied with and the principle of all-permissiveness is gaining the upper hand.
We are observing this in Ukraine as well. We need to understand clearly that the events provoked in Ukraine are the concentrated outcome of the notorious deterrence policy. As you may know, its roots go deep into history and it is clear that unfortunately, this policy did not end with the end of the Cold War.
In Ukraine, as you may have seen, at threat were our compatriots, Russian people and people of other nationalities, their language, history, culture and legal rights, guaranteed, by the way, by European conventions. When I speak of Russians and Russian-speaking citizens I am referring to those people who consider themselves part of the broad Russian community, they may not necessarily be ethnic Russians, but they consider themselves Russian people.
What did our partners expect from us as the developments in Ukraine unfolded? We clearly had no right to abandon the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol to the mercy of nationalist and radical militants; we could not allow our access to the Black Sea to be significantly limited; we could not allow NATO forces to eventually come to the land of Crimea and Sevastopol, the land of Russian military glory, and cardinally change the balance of forces in the Black Sea area. This would mean giving up practically everything that Russia had fought for since the times of Peter the Great, or maybe even earlier - historians should know.
I would like to make it clear to all: our country will continue to actively defend the rights of Russians, our compatriots abroad, using the entire range of available means - from political and economic to operations under international humanitarian law and the right of self-defence.
I would like to stress that what happened in Ukraine was the climax of the negative tendencies in international affairs that had been building up for years. We have long been warning about this, and unfortunately, our predictions came true.
You know about the latest efforts to restore, to maintain peace in Ukraine. Foreign Ministry staff and the Minister himself took an active part in this. You know about the numerous telephone conversations we had on this subject.
Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has resolved to resume military action, and we failed - when I say ‘we’, I mean my colleagues in Europe and myself - we failed to convince him that the road to a secure, stable and inviolable peace cannot lie through war.
So far Mr Poroshenko was not directly linked to the orders to begin military action, and only now did he take full responsibility, and not only military, but political as well, which is much more important.
We also failed to agree to make public the statement approved by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine on the need to maintain peace and search for mutually acceptable solutions.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that after the ceasefire was declared, no substantive, as you say, negotiations on the settlement of the situation ever began. Virtually, a disarmament ultimatum was given. However, even the ceasefire was not bad overall, though not enough to settle the situation on a long-term basis in a way that would be acceptable to all the people living in the country, including those in its southeast.
A constitution was made public, but it was never discussed. Even within Ukrainian society there is a discussion of whether it is good or bad, but nobody definitely ever discussed it with the east.
Of course, everything that is going on in Ukraine is the internal affair of the Ukrainian state. It pains us to see people dying, especially civilians. As you may know, the number of refugees in the Russian Federation is growing. We will of course provide assistance to all those who need it. However, killing journalists is unacceptable. I reminded the Ukrainian President of this yesterday yet again.
In my view, we are observing a focused effort to liquidate all media representatives. This applies to both Russian and foreign journalists. Who could be afraid of fair reporting? Probably those, who are committing crimes. We strongly hope that the Ukrainian authorities act on their promises to carefully investigate the crimes.
More new hotspots are appearing on the world map. There is a deficit of security in Europe, in the Middle East, South-East Asia, in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. The global economic, financial and trade systems are becoming unbalanced, and moral and spiritual values are being washed out.
There is hardly any doubt that the unipolar world order did not come to be. Peoples and countries are raising their voices in favour of self-determination and civilizational and cultural identity, which conflicts with the attempts by certain countries to maintain their domination in the military sphere, in politics, finance, the economy and in ideology.
I know this has no direct bearing on us, however what is being done to the French banks can cause nothing but indignation in Europe in general and here as well. We are aware of the pressure our American partners are putting on France to force it not to supply Mistrals to Russia. We even know that they hinted that if France does not deliver the Mistrals, the sanctions will be quietly lifted from their banks, or at least they will be significantly minimised.
What is this if not blackmail? Is this the right way to act on the international arena? Besides, when we speak of sanctions, we always assume that sanctions are applied pursuant to Article 7 of the UN Charter. Otherwise, these are not sanctions in the true legal sense of the word, but something different, some other unilateral policy instrument.
In the past 20 years, our partners have been trying to convince Russia of their good intentions, their readiness to jointly develop strategic cooperation. However, at the same time they kept expanding NATO, extending the area under their military and political control ever closer to our borders. And when we rightfully asked: “Don’t you find it possible and necessary to discuss this with us?” they said: “No, this is none of your business.” Those who continue insisting on their exclusivity strongly dislike Russia’s independent policy. The events in Ukraine prove this. They also prove that a model of relations full of double standards does not work with Russia.
Nevertheless, I hope pragmatism will eventually prevail. We need to get rid of ambitions, of attempts to establish a ‘world barracks’ and arrange everybody by rank, or to impose single rules of behaviour and life, and to finally begin building relations based on equality, mutual respect and concern for mutual interests. It is time we admit each other’s right to be different, the right of every country to live its own life rather than to be told what to do by someone else.
Colleagues, in its foreign policy Russia has been consistently proceeding from the notion that solutions to global and regional conflicts should be sought not through confrontation, but through cooperation and compromise. We advocate the supremacy of international law while supporting the UN’s leading role.
International law should be mandatory for all and should not be applied selectively to serve the interests of individual select countries or groups of states, and most importantly, it should be interpreted consistently. It is impossible to interpret it in one way today, and in a different way tomorrow to match the political goals of the day.
World development cannot be unified. However, we can look for common issues, see each other as partners rather than competitors, and establish cooperation between states, their associations and integration structures.
These are the principles we were guided by in the past, and they continue to guide us now as we promote integration within the CIS. Strengthening close friendly ties and developing mutually advantageous economic cooperation with our neighbours is the key strategic priority of Russia’s long-term foreign policy.
The driving force behind Eurasian integration is the trio of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union, signed in Astana on May 29, symbolises a qualitatively new step in our relations. A powerful centre of economic development that attracts business and investors, a common market is being formed in Eurasia. That is why our CIS partners show a strong interest in this union. I hope that very soon, Armenia will become a full-fledged member of this union. Negotiations with Kyrgyzstan are at an advanced stage. We are open to other Commonwealth states as well.
As we promote the Eurasian integration project, we are in no way trying to separate ourselves from the rest of the world; we are ready to consider prospects for creating free trade zones both with individual states and with regional associations and unions, primarily the European Union, of course.
Europe is our natural and most significant trade and economic partner. We strive to find new opportunities to expand our business cooperation, to open up new prospects for mutual investment and to lift trade barriers. This requires an upgrade of the legal contractual base of our cooperation and the stability and predictability of ties, primarily in such strategically important areas as energy. Stability on the entire territory of Eurasia and sustainable development of the EU economies and Russia depend on well-coordinated cooperation based on consideration for mutual interests.
We have always held high our reputation of a reliable supplier of energy resources and invested in the development of gas infrastructure. Together with European companies, as you may know, we have built a new gas transportation system called Nord Stream under the Baltic Sea. Despite certain difficulties, we will promote the South Stream project, especially since ever more European politicians and businessmen are coming to understand that someone simply wants to use Europe in their own interests, that it is becoming a hostage of someone’s near-sighted ideologised approaches.
If we return to Ukraine, the violation by Ukraine of its commitments regarding the purchase of our natural gas has become a common problem. Kiev refuses to pay on its debt. This is absolutely unacceptable. They have not paid for November-December of last year, though there were no arguments whatsoever then.
Our partners are using blatant blackmail - this is what it is. They demand an ungrounded reduction of prices on our goods, though the agreement was signed in 2009, and the parties complied with it in good faith. Now, as you may know, the court in Kiev has lifted all accusations against Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, who signed the contract. Thus, the Kiev court authorities admit that they have done everything right not only by international law, but by Ukrainian law as well. But they do not wish to comply, or to pay for the product already received.
As of June 16, as you may know, we have transferred Ukraine to a pre-payment system, so they will get exactly the amount of gas they pay for. Today they do not pay; therefore, they are not getting anything - only in the so-called reverse mode. We know all about this reverse mode: it is a fake; there is no reverse mode. How can you supply gas two ways along the same pipeline? One does not have to be a gas transportation expert to understand that this is impossible. They are playing tricks with some of their partners: in fact, they are getting our gas and paying some western partners in Europe who are not receiving their volume. We are quire aware of this.
We are not taking any action at this point only because we do not want the situation to deteriorate. However, everyone should draw the proper conclusions from the situation. The main thing is that honest gas consumers and suppliers should not suffer from the actions of Ukrainian politicians and bureaucrats.
Generally, all of us - Ukraine, our European partners, and we - should seriously consider how to reduce the probability of any type of political or economic risks or force majeure situations on the continent.
In this connection, I would like to remind you that in August 2015 we will be marking 40 years of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This anniversary is a good reason not only to turn to the basic principles of cooperation on the continent that were laid back in 1975, but also to jointly make them work, to help them take root in practical European politics.
We have to work consistently to rule out any unconstitutional coups in Europe, any interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the use of blackmail or threats in international relations or the support of radical and neo-Nazi forces.
All of us in Europe need a sort of safety net to make sure that Iraqi, Libyan or Syrian - and unfortunately, I have to say also Ukrainian - precedents do not become contagious. This is especially dangerous for the post-Soviet area, because the states have yet not gained political or economic strength, they do not have a stable political system. It is very important that the constitutions of these states be treated with great care and respect.
Why is this important - and not only on the post-Soviet area, but all over Europe? Because even in those countries of Western and Eastern Europe where things seem to be going fine, there are quite a few hidden ethnic and social contradictions that may become acute any moment, may serve as ground for conflicts and extremism, and may be used by external forces to rock the social and political situation to achieve an illegitimate undemocratic change of power with all the negative consequences.
Firm guarantees of indivisible security, stability, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs should become the basis that we can use to build a common space for economic and humanitarian cooperation that would spread from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean - I already spoke of this as a single space from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
I would like to ask the Foreign Ministry to draft a set of proposals in this respect, with special focus on the inadmissibility of any attempts to influence internal political processes from the outside. The job is to work the traditional principle of non-interference into the modern European realities and initiate a serious international discussion on the subject.
We also need to continue strengthening the eastern vector of our diplomacy, to more intensively use the impressive potential of the Asia-Pacific region in the interests of the further development of our country, primarily, of course, of Siberia and the Far East. We should continue to direct Russia’s policy in Asia and the Pacific at maintaining the security of our eastern borders and at supporting peace and stability in the region. The coming leadership of Russia in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the SCO and BRICS summits to be held in Ufa in the summer of 2015 work to support this.
We need to strengthen overall partnership and strategic cooperation with the People’s Republic of China. We can say that a strong Russian-Chinese connection has taken shape on the international arena. It is based on a coincidence of views on both global processes and key regional issues. It is of primary importance that Russian-Chinese friendship is not directed against anyone: we are not creating any military unions. On the contrary, this is an example of equal, respectful and productive cooperation between states in the 21st century.
We intend to further develop our relations with our traditional partners in this area of the world: with India and Vietnam, who are playing an ever-greater role in the world; with Japan and other countries, including the ASEAN states. We intend to further use the potential of the growing markets in Latin America and Africa and the great experience of political and humanitarian relations with the countries there.
Our contacts with the United States of America are of great importance for the whole world. We do not intend to shut down our relations with the USA. True, bilateral relations are not in their best shape, but - I would like to stress this - not through Russia’s fault. We have always tried to be predictable partners and conduct our affairs on the basis of equality. However, in return, our lawful interests were often ignored.
Now over to various types of international meetings. If we are assigned the observer role without a decisive vote on key issues that are of vital importance to us, then such meetings are of little interest to us. We should not sacrifice our vital interests just for the sake of being able to sit and observe. I hope our partners will eventually come to understand this obvious fact. So far, we have been hearing ultimatums or mentoring. Nevertheless, we are ready for dialogue, but I would like to stress that this should be an equal dialogue.
Colleagues, the complicated and unpredictable situation in the world places great demands on Russian diplomats’ professional level. The Foreign Ministry’s staff in Moscow and the Russian embassies abroad worked effectively and in coordinated fashion during the serious situation with Crimea and Ukraine, and I want to thank you for this. I particularly note the work done by the heads and staff of Russia’s representative missions at the UN and other key international organisations.
We must continue working with just such energy and dignity, in a spirit of tact, restraint and sense of measure of course. Our position must be based on clear and unshakeable principles of international law and legal and historical justification, on truth, justice, and the strength of moral superiority.
For my part, I can say that our country’s leadership will continue to do everything necessary to give you good conditions for your professional activity. As you know, I have signed presidential executive orders raising the wages of Foreign Ministry staff. Wages of people working at the central office will increase 1.4-fold on average.
Pensions for diplomatic personnel taking their retirement after January 1, 2014, will increase 3.5-fold on average. Pay for the heads of foreign diplomatic missions will increase four-fold on average in ruble equivalent. Pension top-ups for ambassadors and permanent envoys going into retirement have also increased considerably.
Wages in rubles for personnel at diplomatic missions abroad will be increased a bit later, from January 1, 2016, but this will be a four-fold increase. I hope that these steps will help to boost the Foreign Ministry’s human resources potential and thus make us more effective in carrying out our foreign policy.
I also ask the Government to speed up the decision on providing additional guarantees for personnel from other agencies and administrative and technical personnel working at Russian missions abroad, especially in situations where there are terrorist threats.
The Foreign Ministry has raised the question of giving diplomatic service the official legal status as a special type of civil service in Russia. We will examine this proposal.
This concludes my opening remarks.
I thank the members of the media for the attention they have given our work.
Source: here (01.07.14).
Picture: $100B China money for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. BRICS.
Picture: Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, London, UK. June 2014. + David Cameron.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's speech at the City of London Corporation, The Mansion House, London (UK) on Wednesday 18th June 2014.
Inclusive Development: A Better World for All
The Royal Institute of International Affairs, known as Chatham House, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies are well-known around the world. Today, you are hosting this event together. This shows the great importance you attach to China, and is a reflection of inclusiveness.
Inclusiveness is the mark of human civilization and progress.
Chinese thinkers before the Qin Dynasty valued the notion of harmony without uniformity and believed in peace as being most precious. This coincides with the belief of ancient European philosophers that harmony generates justice and kindness.
The history of human development shows that the Eastern and Western civilizations, though of different origins, both appreciated the importance of harmonious coexistence, inclusiveness and mutual learning.
Inclusiveness and common development are needed all the more in the 21st century. We need not only to increase employment and promote balanced, coordinated, fair and equitable development within a country; we also need to achieve development that features peaceful coexistence and common growth among countries and regions. Inclusive development should indeed be a common goal pursued by all countries in the world.
The world is paying great attention to China. There are all kinds of views about China' s economic growth.
A line from a Chinese poem reads: "A mountain, when viewed in face, may look like a range; when viewed from the side, it may look like a peak." That means a mountain, seen from different angles, will leave people with different impressions. What it implies is that different conclusions may be drawn when people see things from different perspectives.
The UK is the first to complete industrialization, while China is the biggest developing country in the world. I believe your interest in China is actually about whether the world can achieve inclusive development.
China's pursuit of a new type of industrialization, informationization, urbanization and agricultural modernization is a pursuit of inclusive development on the biggest scale in the world.
After more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, and through the hard work of our people, China has steadily improved the lives of its 1.3 billion people, lifted over 600 million people out of poverty, and ensured the people's right to survival and development.
China's development has been achieved in an open environment.
The firm goal of our 1.3 billion people is to achieve modernization, which will be a long journey. China is the second biggest economy in the world, but it ranks after 80th in the world with a per capita GDP of US$6,800. In China' s vast central and western as well as northeastern regions, per capita GDP is slightly over US$5,000 and it is a mere US$3,000 in some western provinces.
Some 200 million Chinese still live below the poverty line by World Bank standards.
At the same time, fast economic growth has been accompanied by a growing pressure on resources and the environment. These will remain our difficulties and challenges in the long run. To achieve modernization, it is important to complete industrialization and urbanization. This is exactly what the Chinese people are working for at present and for some time to come.
(1) China's urbanization
In the past few decades, China' s urbanization has been advancing, but it is still lagging behind on the whole. Over 600 million Chinese are still living in rural areas. Due to inadequate financial resources and limited public goods, the 200 million rural migrants cannot enjoy the same public services as those who have been living in cities with urban residency.
Between now and 2020, we need to grant urban residency to 100 million of such rural migrants, mainly in eastern China. We also need to encourage another 100 million rural residents in central and western regions to settle down in cities and towns nearby.
In addition, there are 100 million Chinese living in run-down city areas, which need to be redeveloped at a faster pace. To address these three problems, each involving 100 million people, is a pressing task for China as it pushes forward the new type of urbanization.
But our challenges go beyond that. Even if we had solved all the above-mentioned problems for the 300 million people, we still have several hundred million farmers who will move to cities in the coming years. This will be difficult to accomplish without over ten years or even longer, and the tasks will only be more difficult on our way ahead.
For any country to complete industrialization, it has to achieve agricultural modernization, raise agricultural productivity and, on normal cases, keep the percentage of agricultural population low. China will not be an exception. To have so many people move to live and work in cities in an orderly manner will be a long process. That is why we say that China will not be able to become a medium-level developed country and achieve modernization until the middle of the century.
(2) China's industrialization
Industrialization is an important aspect of modernization. It took western countries over 100 years to achieve industrialization, while China has instituted a full-fledged industrial system in just a couple of decades.
China now leads the world in the output of many industrial products. You are all familiar with goods "made in China" , but China mainly produces medium- to-low-end products. It has to advance to a medium-to-high level in industrial development.
Industrial upgrading will serve our joint response to climate change. It is also a natural choice for China if it is to break energy, resources and environment bottlenecks. China will pursue a new type of industrialization, advocate green and low-carbon development and step up efforts to conserve energy and reduce emissions so that Chinese products will be more energy-efficient and environment-friendly, and China will achieve internally-driven growth through innovation.
This will also bring huge business opportunities for the world. In the coming five years, China will import more than US$10 trillion worth of goods, and invest over US$500 billion overseas. Outbound visits by Chinese tourists will exceed 500 million. China will be happy to share its development dividends with other countries in the world.
In the modernization drive of such a populous country like China, there is no example to follow.
We face a whole range of challenges and need to make hard exploration and efforts. After decades of fast growth, China' s growth has moderated to a medium-to-high speed compared with the double-digit rate in the past. Some people begin to worry that the Chinese economy will not maintain sustained growth and will head for a hard landing. I can assure you that such things will not happen, because economic growth in China is supported by urbanization and industrialization.
What is more, there are big gaps between urban and rural areas and among different regions as well as unreasonable industrial structure. All these mean potential and huge domestic demand for China' s development. As long as we keep to the right direction and work hard, we will be able to maintain medium-to-high growth of the Chinese economy for a long time to come.
Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese economy has maintained stability on the whole, despite considerable downward pressure. We will continue to follow a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy. We will not resort to massive stimulus measures; instead, we will further innovate the thinking and model of macro-regulation, combine a ranged approach with a targeted approach in adjustment; strengthen anticipatory adjustments and fine-tuning, and ensure economic growth will stay within a proper range between the minimum rate needed for job creation and the CPI growth ceiling to keep inflation under control.
We have confidence in meeting the growth target of about 7.5% set for this year. This will also lay a solid foundation for our future development.
China' s economic aggregate has exceeded US$9 trillion. An annual growth of around 7.5%, adjusted for inflation, will be translated to an increment of about US$1 trillion, equivalent to a medium-sized economy.
This is no easy job, but it will bring huge business opportunities to China and the world. I have given you so many figures, not to play a game of numbers, but to show you that China has the condition and ability to promote balanced, coordinated, sustained and healthy economic development.
(3) China's peaceful development
To achieve modernization in a big developing country like China, and to fulfil the Chinese dream of great national renewal requires a peaceful international environment and stable neighbourhood. Otherwise, we cannot focus on development. This is an irrefutable truth.
The Chinese people love peace. Our ancestors taught us that we should not do to others what we don' t want others to do to us, and that we must help others achieve success if we want to achieve success ourselves. This has been imprinted into the DNA of the Chinese nation and become an accepted code of conduct for the Chinese people. Expansion is not in the Chinese DNA, nor does China subscribe to the logic that a strong country is bound to be hegemonic.
The achievements China has made through development in the past three decades are attributable to an external environment of peace and stability. The path of peaceful development has benefited the Chinese people and enabled different countries to achieve win-win development. This is the one important thing we have learned from our development over the past decades and we will never give it up. China will remain committed to inclusiveness, openness, peace and cooperation even after it becomes stronger in the future.
China is a major responsible country. China stands for mutual respect, equality and peaceful coexistence among countries and acts in accordance with the UN Charter and the norms governing international relations.
China calls for peaceful settlement of disputes and conflicts through diplomatic channels, and opposes the use of force or interference in other countries' internal affairs.
China is steadfast in pursuing the path of peaceful development and follows a win-win strategy of opening-up. China is ready to work with other countries to foster an international environment of enduring peace.
China has over the years contributed significantly to peace and stability in Asia. Thanks to the common ground China reached with neighboring countries for cooperation and win-win progress, a sound atmosphere has been created for handling differences through negotiations and consultations; hence the prosperity and development of East Asia today.
China follows a neighbourhood policy of building friendship and partnerships with surrounding countries and wants to live in peace with all its neighbors.
But for those acts of provoking incidents and undermining peace, China will have to take resolute measures to stop them so as to prevent the situation from getting out of control, and bring the situation back to the track of dialogue and negotiations. I believe as long as countries in the region engage in dialogue and negotiations with sincerity and good faith, the environment of peace and tranquility will be maintained.
History tells us that war means the failure of human wisdom.
Peace is the result of reflection on disasters and sufferings. As the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said: "In history lies all the secrets of statecraft. Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
We must learn lessons from the past, face history squarely, and be forward-looking. We need to seek political settlement of international and regional issues, and work together to counter traditional and non-traditional security challenges, and advance prosperity and development of the world.
(4) China's reform and opening-up
China' s modernization needs not only a peaceful and stable external environment, but also strong impetus from reform and opening-up.
China' s big population means tremendous creativity, and its market has huge vibrancy.
I once worked as the Party secretary of a village production team in Fengyang county, Anhui province, back in the 1970s, in a time of planned economy. I was responsible for assigning work to the hundreds of farmers in the village every day.
The villagers worked hard in the field from dawn to dusk, but still they could make very little for a decent meal. Later, to enforce rural reform, the system of household contract responsibility was introduced, which gave villagers the right to decide what crops to grow and how to grow them. In just a few years, food was no longer a problem.
It is reform and opening-up that has given hundreds of millions of Chinese vast space for pursuing their own development, and spurred steady social progress. Reform has led to fast development of China. It has provided a driving force for economic growth today, and it will sustain China' s development in the years to come.
The key to reform is to streamline administration and delegate government power.
To further energize the market and encourage greater creativity from society, the government needs, first and foremost, to reform itself by delegating powers on matters outside its mandate, and leave to the market what should be decided by the market.
Though the economy was operating under difficulties last year, we managed to unleash the potential of private investment through streamlining administration and delegating power.
The reform of business registration system in March this year was followed by a surge of over 40% in the number of newly registered businesses, giving a strong boost to new business start-ups and job creation.
We will also advance structural reform and give more play to the role of private capital by easing market access.
All in all, the purpose of reform is to inspire the enthusiasm of the Chinese people and provide more platforms for their innovation and creation, so that there will be a chance for everyone' s dream to come true.
Of course, to delegate power does not mean that the government will give free rein to everything. We will delegate power while enforcing government regulations with tighter oversight on, and law-based handling of, the production and selling of counterfeit and shoddy goods, IPR infringement and environmental pollution.
Opening-up is in itself a way of reform. We will implement a new round of opening-up, ease market access for foreign investment, and open the services sector and hinterland and border areas more widely to the outside.
We will explore, through the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, a management model featuring pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list approach. Our purpose is to provide a level playing field for Chinese and foreign investors and businesses alike.
China regards the UK as a choice of destination for outbound investment and hopes British companies will take China as their major investment destination.
Deepening reform and opening-up is bound to unleash enormous vitality in the Chinese economy, benefiting the Chinese people, bringing more opportunities to the world, and making important contribution to the inclusive development of the world.
The global economy is on the whole showing signs of recovery, but there are still many uncertainties and destabilizing factors.
Developed and developing countries have become the twin engines of world economic growth. Countries need to continue to demonstrate the spirit of solidarity, coordination and cooperation shown in the course of coping with the international financial crisis, vigorously carry out reform and innovation, enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies, remove protectionist barriers, and foster a level playing field to expand converging interests and share the fruits of globalization.
The past ten years, since establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries, has witnessed fruitful results in bilateral cooperation in business, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges, and other fields.
During my visit, I had in-depth and candid talks with the government leaders of the UK.
The two countries issued a joint statement. The two sides shared the view that China and the UK need to strengthen political trust and strategic cooperation, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, increase communication and coordination at the UN Security Council, and, in such multilateral mechanisms as the G20, work together to uphold the multilateral trading regime, promote negotiations on a China-EU investment treaty, and feasibility studies on establishing a China-EU free trade area, and increase dialogue on climate change and counter-terrorism, etc.
The two sides need to make full use of the guiding role of the annual meeting between the prime ministers of the two countries, and other mechanisms to ensure that our cooperation operates smoothly and efficiently across the board. China and the UK may work together to contribute to the development of China-EU relations as a whole.
China and the UK need to work as partners for common growth and inclusive development. We need not only to expand, but also enrich our cooperation. We need not only to do business with each other, but also conduct more high-tech cooperation.
China will work more closely with the UK in infrastructure, manufacturing, urbanization and other areas to increase two-way trade and investment.
China and the UK will launch direct trading between the RMB and sterling, and China will open an RMB clearing bank in London, which will enhance our financial cooperation.
The UK leads the world in innovative development, especially in new and high technologies, energy conservation, environmental protection and scientific research, and China is implementing a strategy of innovation-driven development. This represents broad prospects for our cooperation in science, technology and innovation.
We shall make good use of the Research and Innovation Partnership Fund set up to facilitate high-standard development projects and research findings, with a view to providing a strong support for the development of our two countries.
China-UK cooperation is not limited to the economic field: we also need to strengthen people-to-people exchanges.
The British culture values scientific thinking, good reasoning and accommodation of others, while it is China' s tradition to emphasize openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning. China and the UK, though thousands of miles apart, are actually "distant neighbors" .
Our respective science and technology, culture and arts, as well as academic thinking, each has its own proud tradition, and has been a source of mutual inspiration.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is popular in China, while The Peony Pavilion, composed by the Chinese writer Tang Xianzu of the Ming Dynasty, has been put on stage here in the UK.
The British use English as their mother tongue, while in China 300 million Chinese are learning English, more than most of the countries in the world.
And although China was where tea was first discovered, the British drink more tea than most people in the world.
Right now, over 130,000 Chinese students are studying in the UK, accounting for half of the number in all EU countries. China and the UK need to deepen their cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and step up cooperation in education and culture.
The UK government has agreed to simplify visa application for Chinese citizens. This means more Chinese people will be able to visit or come to work in the UK, injecting more vitality to the UK economy.
Both the UK and China are great nations. We both have a time-honored history and each has created a splendid past. Now, both countries are determined to ride the tide of the times and seek new changes.
As the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote: "Man cannot make occasions, but he may seize those that offer."
Similarly, the famous Chinese writer, Su Shi of the Song Dynasty, remarked that: "When your turn comes, seize it; and when opportunity knocks at the door, grab it, or it will slip away."
China and the UK, the East and the West, developing countries and developed ones alike, should seize opportunities, meet challenges together, and build a better world through inclusive development.
Source: Xinhuanet here (21.06.14).
Is the UK government British?
The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said that he wants the Magna Carta (sealed in June 1215) to be taught to children of all backgrounds as part of his fightback against extremism.
Clause 39 of the Magna Carta reads: "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."
Perhaps Mr Cameron should first consider a revision class on the principles of the Magna Carta for his UK government cabinet members who promote secret trials, the use of secret evidence and terrorism preventative investigation measures, and the deprivation of the citizenship of British nationals while abroad, all of which appear to flagrantly violate clause 39.
It would seem that many in government have also forgotten what it means to be British.
Source: Fahad Ansari letter in the Guardian (London) here (16.06.14). UK Establishment anti-Muslim background here (20.06.14), here (19.06.14) and here (18.06.14).
#DC #corporation #FalseFlags: Was #SandyHook just a media #PsyOps #drill with no children killed at all? http://t.co/FpV9ohpscw #1ab #SCOTUS
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) June 15, 2014
#DC #corporation: #Why has #feeding the #homeless been #criminalised in 33 #US #cities? http://t.co/WxEqWu9SR7 #1ab #TeamJesus #Pontifex #1D#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) June 14, 2014
Picture: Aftermath of gas tanker explosion in DRC Congo - Friday 2nd July 2010.
Picture: Putin (Russia) + Xi Jinping (China) + Rouhani (Iran).
Picture: EuroZone meltdown. Élites are bad. Brussels is the élite of élites.
#Debt: With the global #currency resets imminent, does the #BoE now regret its 1999 -2002 #firesale of the #UK #gold #reserves? #1ab #AskBoE#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) May 30, 2014
The fraught relationship between sovereign states and 'free' markets - a UK perspective
The epic financial crash of 2008-2009 made the hitherto prevailing ideology of freewheeling capitalism - governments get out of the way and leave it all to the markets - untenable.
In the quarter-century of managed capitalism from 1948-1973, UK income growth per capita grew at 2.4% a year. Britain broadly paid its way in the world in traded goods; unemployment averaged 2% and there were no banking crashes to speak of.
Under Margaret Thatcher's deregulated capitalism from 1980-2007, income growth was just 1.7%; competitiveness sharply worsened until today Britain is trading goods at a £110bn deficit a year; unemployment is still nearly 7%, and it ended with the most catastrophic financial-economic crash for a century. Who wants to stick with such a failed model?
It's not as though wholesale privatisation and deregulation have worked well. 'Light' regulation has led to Libor-rigging, money-laundering, tax avoidance on an industrial scale, a deeply unbalanced economy that has hollowed out Britain's industrial base, and an almost daily cascade of corporate scandals.
Nor have the new semi-monopolistic private oligarchs distinguished themselves. G4S, Serco, A4E and Atos have all been disgraced: squeezing out profit and not serving the public interest. This has been the general model. And several major private sectors of the economy - notably energy, housing, rail, pensions, and banking - have manifestly failed badly.
The issue is not state or markets. The task is to find a better way to enable both to play complementary rôles in optimising market development with the wider national interest; a model which all the most successful economies have followed since the Second World War.
Source: Michael Meacher in the Guardian (London) here (18.05.14).
Picture: BigPharma. FatPharma. Statins - the honey in the poison-flower.
Picture: The unwisdom of belief.
#Russia will begin to #colonise the #Moon by 2030, starting 1st stage of project in 2016. http://t.co/THruIviiUG #1ab #BRICS #G20 #astronomy
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) May 9, 2014
#EU: Did #London & #Zurich ship 40,000 tonnes of #stolen #gold to #Asia to create the #EUR #banking #cartel? http://t.co/L5Vo9TGBRF #1ab #Au
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) May 9, 2014
#DC #corporation: #Benghazi #FalseFlag: #Kerry #runs #away from #US #Congress #subpoena. http://t.co/rbEl48MzcC #1ab #House #WH #SCOTUS #G20#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) May 7, 2014
# Picture: US embassy protests. Manila. Philippines. Tuesday 22nd April 2014.
Malaysia Airlines MH370: The fin de siècle BlackOps stunt which couldn't be concealed.
On Saturday 8th March 2014, a scheduled Boeing 777-200ER international passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Malaysia) to Beijing Capital International Airport (China) took off. Less than half an hour later it had 'gone missing'. The plane was never found.
That was the public script contrived for mainstream media consumption.
The aircraft was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 different nations. 154 were Chinese.
It is still too early for regular members of the general public to take anything more than a provisional view about the fate of the plane, but one thing is manifestly clear. With pantotal global surveillance, the GPS satellite nexus, international military radar, and active passenger web comms, the plane's precise location must have been known with documented exactitude by the intelligence cadres of all major governments within 48 hours. And that location must have been cross-checked and confirmed between all relevant international agencies.
Why haven't these major governments been able to talk publicly about the incident?
One possible answer is that a deep-state, corporation-driven terrorist group, more powerful than the governments themselves, was involved.
If the elected governments admitted openly that such a potent organised crime syndicate existed, they would have to leave power before their next elections. It would be proof positive that they and their intelligence-military complexes were not fit for purpose.
Behind the scenes, and despite frantic efforts at international news coordination, no credible cover story could be concocted about MH370 which would not have been more damaging to those puppet governments than the élite unexplained disappearance narrative which was being retailed by default.
In the covert world, there will be a paper trail in existence, and there will be an electronic data estate relating to the disappearing. But before the major inside leaks and disclosures begin to diffuse out from these widely distributed caches, what are the theories currently being circulated to explain how the plane disappeared?
In the global alternative news community, the major assumption is that the takeout and disappearing of Malaysia Airlines MH370 was a dying G7 cartel hit against China, as was the earlier Uighur knifing rampage on Saturday 1st March 2014 in Kunming,Yunnan province.
Similar dying hits were launched against Russia with the Volgograd bombings in December 2013, the confected gay boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics (most foreign Heads of Government stayed away), and the Nazi-continuum Blackwater/Xe/Academi interference engendering the imposed coup in Ukraine (snipers targeting both sides in the demos etc).
These BlackOps were G7-sourced rages against the BRICS machine. China is slowly and steadily devaluing the Renminbi against the US dollar with (perhaps) 10% down being planned for 2014. She is also, increasingly, doing bipartisan deals with other countries in Yuan/Renminbi rather than in Dollars or Euros.
Russia, with its growing energy supply power and its clout in the Middle East, is terminating the US petrodollar and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which are G7 Nazi-continuum projects of long standing.
China and Russia are slowly and inexorably backing their currencies with accredited and unencumbered gold holdings in preparation for an Asia-initiated global currency reset which will not permit the forex participation of fiat paper QE currencies such as the US Dollar and the Euro.
That the rogue faction fiat paper banksters in the West are now under terminal pressure is evidenced by the lack of deliverable gold in their vaults, and the fact that their in-the-know bankers are being suicided and assassinated, privately or publicly, at an increasing rate. It's even obvious in the MSM and the financial press: the rats are fighting in the sack; no loser is to be left standing.
There is plenty of stuff out in the open, now, for historians of the near future to rewrite global history: The Second Fall of Rome. The DC private corporation has had its day.
But what exactly happened to MH370? I list below six of the emergent stories. Some of these cross-connect. The first originates from Indonesia, the second from the US, the third from Canada, the fourth from Russia, the fifth from Iran, and the sixth from Japan.
(1) The aircraft did not hit the water and landed safely at an unknown location. Of all the large aircraft lost at sea there has never been a situation where wreckage and/or bodies have not been clearly visible on the surface.
A witness observed a plane flying low over the Maldives. A low flight would have kept the aircraft from local radar detection.
There were said to have been high-status Chinese technicians on the flight carrying important drafts of new technology patents, and other substantive technical documents and data.
The aircraft landed in Diego Garcia, possibly escorted by rogue-faction US military fighters. Exemplar source here.
(2) The disappearing of MH370 was a failed attempt to murder a group of major world leaders in The Netherlands, at The Hague Nuclear Security Summit in March 2014. The plane was to be used as a nuke.
On board the aircraft, were twenty scientists with Cosmic Top Secret clearances. For some reason, these people had become superfluous to needs and required termination. What happened to the plane and its occupants is not clear. Exemplar source here.
It is, perhaps, worth recalling in this latter context, that there are thirty nine levels of security clearance above the level of the US President: there are thirty nine levels of people more important than Barack Obama in the US. On this view, visible politicians in the G7 banking cartel are simply hired actors who front up in the media for deep-state corporate interests. Often these actors are thrown away at the next election or are given plausible sinecures.
(3) MH370 was shot down by a newly unveiled US Navy Laser Weapons System (LaWS).
The location of the downed plane was correctly identified by an admiral of the Vietnamese armed forces. An international coverup ensued.
The motive for the attack was to provide Russia with a warning in the form of a decisive demonstration of the LaWS weapons system following her activities in and around Ukraine and Crimea. The LaWS attack on MH370 was a response to the earlier public test of the Topol missile system by the Russian military.
The MH370 takedown was also a payback to Malaysia for the 2012-2013 Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal verdicts against Israel, the US & the UK.
A further major motive was a G7 grab for Malaysian oil, using the MH370 disappearing as a preliminary threat to get talks moving.
Also, but subsidiary in motive, twenty employees of Freescale Semiconductor Inc of Austin, Texas (US) are said to have been on MH370, heading for a conference in Beijing. Several of these employees were Chinese nationals. It would be in the commercial interests of the G7 banking cartel if these people were not to arrive. Exemplar source here.
(4) According to an unnamed Russian intelligence source who spoke to the Russian-language Moscow newspaper, Moskovsky Komsomolets, MH370 was seen on the ground near Kandahar (Afghanistan), near the Pakistan border. This report has never been retracted (in English) by the Russian government. Exemplar source here.
The Kandahar reference may fit in with a larger itinerary. MH370, it has been suggested, landed first, secretly, in India; it was then moved to Kandahar and then, after much behind-the scenes haggling, to a military hangar in Beijing. This story is not clear about where the passengers and crew were taken off the plane, though some, again, suggest that Diego Garcia may have been a port of call between India and Kandahar, or even before India.
(5) MH370 did not crash in the ocean. If it had, it would have left a huge, easily-visible debris field.
Only a remote-hijacking, fly-by-wire scenario can explain the plane’s disappearance.
The Malaysian government has been given sealed evidence by one or more foreign governments concerning the fate of MH370. As a condition of receiving that evidence, Malaysia is not allowed to divulge it.
The secrecy of the information is such that disclosure would have a major negative impact of the global economy. All commercial aircraft are fitted with electronic backdoors to allow remote-hijacking of the MH370 type by élite groups. It is a standard way to remove troublemakers. Modern cars are the same. These days, planes or cars can be flown or driven remotely like drones or radio-controlled toys.
If this was generally known, international tourist, business and political travel by air would cease, international trade would seize up, and large numbers would be knocked off the gross global domestic product. This would lead to vast unemployment, austerity and multiple revolution.
Any bright, geeky, motivated teenager with a laptop and a cell phone could hack into commercial aircraft fly-by-wire systems. Technologies have been patented for protecting these fly-by-wire systems, for example: US Patent #8,391,493. This is said to have been 'disappeared' from Patent Office records for élite management purposes. Exemplar source here.
(6) The plane was remotely hijacked by electronic code insinuations into the onboard computer flight plan and, in a covert step-by-step progression over several days, was flown via Diego Garcia, Israel and Florida to the Netherlands.
The original passengers and crew were removed at Diego Garcia.
It is reported that a cloned version of the plane was photographed at Tel Aviv airport (picture here).
At a rogue DC corporation military facility in Florida (US), the aircraft was loaded with a nuclear weapon.
The plane was then flown towards the Netherlands where it was used as a threat against world leaders gathering for the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th March 2014. The plane was stopped by the Dutch airforce. Exemplar source here.
Notice, incidentally, that as far as Russia was concerned, Sergei Lavrov the Foreign Minister attended the Netherlands summit, but President Vladimir Putin did not. Ostensibly, Putin stayed in Moscow to deal with the developing Crimea and Ukraine situations.
In the context of the narratives cited above, the continuing search for MH370 debris using submarine drones around western Australian waters in the southern Indian Ocean may just be cynical establishment distraction and obfuscation. If so, this search will be maintained until the black box is said to have gone quiet, and sheeple news management can move on in preparation for the next faked-up, war-on-terror, false flag attack.
AB note: This Malaysia Airlines MH370 story is now being updated on a separate page here.
Picture: Other worlds. Other dimensions. Other spiritualities. #1ab
Picture: What is the Higher Evolution? Angels, Gods, Genies, ETs, Aliens.
Picture: The Vrillon Transmission. Extraterrestrial TV hijack. UK; Nov 1977.
Picture: The Future Historians' List. Significant names in G7 banking collapse.
#Geopolitics: Has #Russia just #offered the #west of #Ukraine to #Poland? http://t.co/4Q56P6X3xm #1ab #fx #forex #gold #G20 #EU #UN #ForSale
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) April 8, 2014
#DC #corporation: How much longer will the #Pentagon #want to prop-up the #G7 #banking #cartel? http://t.co/uhMh2608IO #1ab #SCOTUS #G20 #fx#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) April 7, 2014
Picture: Female, Male or What? Has the third human sex already arrived?
Picture: Great Grimsby UK. GO HOME SKINT CHANNEL 4.
# Picture: Greater Periwinkle 1. Vinca major . Apocynaceae.
Greater Periwinkle - Vinca major (Apocynaceae). In April, this is flowering in the wild all over Northern Europe and elsewhere.
The generic name Vinca is from the Latin 'vincire', meaning to bind about or fetter, to encircle, to confine, to restrain, or to envelop. The name is said to be based on its trailing, connecting, perennial habit. In England, the plant has a number of local names including Bachelor's Buttons in Somerset, and Dicky Dilver in Suffolk.
In traditional English herb lore, the leaves of the Periwinkle are stuffed into a couple's mattress to enhance fidelity, love, passion and harmony. Some say its active ingredients may be useful in love potions.
In the sixteenth century, 'The Book of Secrets of Albertus Magnus: Of the Virtues of Herbs, Stones, and Certain Beasts' spoke of the power of the Periwinkle to produce love between a man and his wife. It must be powdered and mixed with leeks and earthworms and then added to the couple’s meals.
More recently it has been used in herbal medicine as an astringent and tonic, in menorrhagia, in haemorrhages, and also as a laxative and gargle. Made into an ointment, it can be useful for piles and inflammatory conditions of the skin.
The leaves and seeds of the Periwinkle contain vincamine, a vinpocetine precursor, which is used medicinally to enhance memory in aging and forgetful minds.
Other pictures of the Greater Periwinkle can be seen here, here, here and here. The best academic Flora reference is probably C.A.Stace NFBI 3 (2011): 550.
#Research call: Is this a #BlackOps #insectiform #assassination #drone? http://t.co/3dGjodRLrn #1ab #Montreal #fx #1D pic.twitter.com/LqgTeyMzU8
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) March 27, 2014
Picture: The Ten or Eleven Commandments
#Palestine: Rabbi Yisroel Dovid #Weiss: #Torah does not permit us to #oppress other #people or #steal the #land. http://t.co/9tZOdAbeRo #1ab# #
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) March 24, 2014
#Ukraine #debt: #Kyiv owes #Moscow $16 billion http://t.co/COptRDUfSp #1ab #fx #forex #gold #metals #oil #gas #G20 #EU #Odesa #Lviv #Kharkov# #
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) March 24, 2014
Picture: Putin: Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia.
Picture: Life's not a fairytale. Prepare for real life, Ukraine. EU. ECB. IMF.
Picture: Ukraine. Cossacks outside Crimean parliament. Friday 28th Feb 2014.
Edward Snowden: I know. I sat at that desk. I typed in the names.
Today, an ordinary person can't pick up the phone, email a friend or order a book without comprehensive records of their activities being created, archived, and analysed by people with the authority to put you in jail or worse.
I know: I sat at that desk. I typed in the names.
When we know we're being watched, we impose restraints on our behaviour – even clearly innocent activities – just as surely as if we were ordered to do so.
The mass surveillance systems of today, systems that pre-emptively automate the indiscriminate seizure of private records, constitute a sort of surveillance time-machine; a machine that simply cannot operate without violating our liberty on the broadest scale.
And it permits governments to go back and scrutinise every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever spoken to, and derive suspicion from an innocent life. Even a well-intentioned mistake can turn a life upside down.
To preserve our free societies, we have to defend not just against distant enemies, but against dangerous policies at home.
If we allow scarce resources to be squandered on surveillance programmes that violate the very rights they purport to defend, we haven't protected our liberty at all: we have paid to lose it.
Source here (21.02.14).
Picture - Is the reunification of the Korean Peninsula imminent? DPRK. Seoul.
#Ukraine: More on #EU & #US #agents #funding the #subversion in #Kyiv. http://t.co/MjTLRF2PPL #1ab #Odesa #Lviv #Kharkiv #debt #Constitution#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) February 19, 2014
Picture: Aaron Swartz 1986-2013. There is no justice in following unjust laws.
Picture: Bosnia anti-government protests. February 2014.
Picture: Spying Birds. Angry Birds. Unlawful spying by the US NSA.
Surveillance and Privacy: Edward Snowden's interview on German TV
At the beginning of 2014, the American patriot and whistleblower, Edward Snowden, gave an interview to Hubert Seifel in Moscow. It was broadcast on the German public television channel ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). ARD is a consortium of public broadcasters in Germany, founded in 1950.
On Monday 3rd February 2014 a full transcript in English of that interview was released on the web. The text is as follows:
Q: Mr Snowden, did you sleep well the last couple of nights because I was reading that you asked for a kind of police protection? Are there any threats?
A: There are significant threats, but I sleep very well. There was an article that came out in an online outlet called BuzzFeed where they interviewed officials from the Pentagon, from the National Security Agency and they gave them anonymity to be able to say what they want and what they told the reporter was that they wanted to murder me. These individuals - and these are acting government officials - they said they would be happy, they would love to put a bullet in my head, to poison me as I was returning from the grocery store, and have me die in the shower.
Q: But fortunately you are still alive with us.
A: Right, but I'm still alive and I don't lose sleep because I’ve done what I feel I needed to do. It was the right thing to do and I’m not going to be afraid.
Q: "The greatest fear I have", and I quote you, "regarding the disclosures is nothing will change." That was one of your greatest concerns at the time but in the meantime there is a vivid discussion about the situation with the NSA; not only in America but also in Germany and in Brazil and President Obama was forced to go public and to justify what the NSA was doing on legal grounds.
A: What we saw initially in response to the revelations was sort of a circling of the wagons of government around the National Security Agency. Instead of circling around the public and protecting their rights, the political class circled around the security state and protected their rights.
What’s interesting is though that was the initial response, since then we’ve seen a softening. We’ve seen the President acknowledge that when he first said "We’ve drawn the right balance. There are no abuses," we’ve seen him and his officials admit that there have been abuses. There have been thousands of violations of the National Security Agency and other agencies and authorities every single year.
Q: Is the speech of Obama (recently) the beginning of a serious regulation?
A: It was clear from the President’s speech that he wanted to make minor changes to preserve authorities that we don’t need. The President created a review board from officials that were personal friends, from national security insiders, former Deputy of the CIA, people who had every incentive to be soft on these programs and to see them in the best possible light. But what they found was that these programs have no value. They’ve never stopped a terrorist attack in the United States and they have marginal utility at best for other things.
The only thing that the Section 215 phone metadata program, actually it’s a broader metadata program of bulk collection - bulk collection means mass surveillance - program was in stopping or detecting $8.500 wire transfer from a cab driver in California and it’s this kind of review where insiders go; we don’t need these programs. These programs don’t make us safe. They take a tremendous amount of resources to run and they offer us no value. They go "we can modify these." The National Security Agency operates under the President’s executive authority alone. He can end or modify or direct a change of their policies at any time.
Q: For the first time President Obama did concede that the NSA collects and stores trillions of data.
A: Every time you pick up the phone, dial a number, write an email, make a purchase, travel on the bus carrying a cell phone, swipe a card somewhere, you leave a trace and the government has decided that it’s a good idea to collect it all. Everything. Even if you’ve never been suspected of any crime. Traditionally, the government would identify a suspect, they would go to a judge, they would say we suspect he’s committed this crime. They would get a warrant and then they would be able to use the totality of their powers in pursuit of the investigation. Nowadays, what we see is they want to apply the totality of their powers in advance - prior to an investigation.
Q: You started this debate. Edward Snowden is, in the meantime, a household name for the whistleblower in the age of the Internet. You were working until last summer for the NSA and during this time you secretly collected thousands of confidential documents. What was the decisive moment? Or was there a long period of time or something happening? Why did you do this?
A: I would say sort of the breaking point is seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress. There’s no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions. Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back. Beyond that, it was the creeping realization that no one else was going to do this. The public had a right to know about these programs.
The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public. But neither of these things we were allowed to discuss. Even the wider body of our elected representatives were prohibited from knowing or discussing these programs and that’s a dangerous thing. The only review we had was from a secret court, the FISA Court, which is a sort of rubber stamp authority
When you are on the inside and you go into work everyday and you sit down at the desk and you realize the power you have - you can wire tap the President of the United States, you can wire tap a Federal Judge - and if you do it carefully no one will ever know because the only way the NSA discovers abuses are from self-reporting.
Q: We’re not talking only of the NSA as far as this is concerned, there is a multilateral agreement for co-operation among the services and this alliance of intelligence operations is known as the Five Eyes. What agencies and countries belong to this alliance and what is its purpose?
A: The Five Eyes alliance is sort of an artifact of the post-World War II era where the Anglophone countries are the major powers banded together to sort of co-operate and share the costs of intelligence gathering infrastructure.
So we have the UK’s GCHQ, we have the US NSA, we have Canada’s C-Sec, we have the Australian Signals Intelligence Directorate, and we have New Zealand’s DSD. What the result of this was over decades and decades was a sort of a supra-national intelligence organization that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries.
Q: In many countries, as in America too, the agencies like the NSA are not allowed to spy within their own borders on their own people. So the Brits, for example, they can spy on everybody but the Brits, but the NSA can conduct surveillance in England. So in the very end they could exchange their data and they would be strictly following the law.
A: If you ask the governments about this directly they would deny it and point to policy agreements between the members of the Five Eyes saying that they won’t spy on each other’s citizens, but there are a couple of key points there. One is that the way they define spying is not the collection of data. The GCHQ is collecting an incredible amount of data on British Citizens just as the National Security Agency is gathering enormous amounts of data on US citizens. What they are saying is that they will not then target people within that data. They won’t look for UK citizens or British citizens.
In addition, the policy agreements between them that say British won’t target US citizens, US won’t target British citizens, are not legally binding. The actual memorandums of agreement state specifically on that that they are not intended to put legal restriction on any government. They are policy agreements that can be deviated from or broken at any time. So if they want to on a British citizen they can spy on a British citizen and then they can even share that data with the British government that is itself forbidden from spying on UK citizens.
So there is a sort of a trading dynamic there but it’s not, it’s not open. It’s more of a nudge and wink and beyond that the key is to remember the surveillance and the abuse doesn’t occur when people look at the data; it occurs when people gather the data in the first place.
Q: How narrow is the co-operation of the German Secret Service BND with the NSA and with the Five Eyes?
A: I would describe it as intimate. As a matter of fact, the first way I described it in our written interview was that the German Services and the US Services are in bed together. They not only share information, the reporting of results from intelligence, but they actually share the tools and the infrastructure; they work together against joint targets in services and there’s a lot of danger in this. One of the major programs that faces abuse in the National Security Agency is what’s called "XKeyscore." It’s a front-end search engine that allows them to look through all of the records they collect worldwide every day.
Q: What could you do if you would sit so to speak in their place with this kind of instrument?
A: You could read anyone’s e-mail in the world. Anybody you’ve got an email address for, any website you can watch traffic to and from it. Any computer that an individual sits at you can watch it. Any laptop that you’re tracking you can follow it as it moves from place to place throughout the world. It’s a one-stop shop for access to the NSA’s information. And what’s more, you can tag individuals using "XKeyscore."
Where let’s say I saw you once and I thought what you were doing was interesting or you just have access that’s interesting to me, let’s say you work at a major German corporation and I want access to that network. I can track your username on a website on a form somewhere. I can track your real name. I can track associations with your friends and I can build what’s called a fingerprint, which is network activity unique to you which means anywhere you go in the world, anywhere you try to sort of hide your online presence - hide your identity - the NSA can find you and anyone who’s allowed to use this, or who the NSA shares their software with, can do the same thing. Germany is one of the countries that has access to "XKeyscore."
Q: This sounds rather frightening. The question is does the BND deliver data of Germans to the NSA?
A: Whether the BND does it directly or knowingly, the NSA gets German data. Whether it’s provided, I can’t speak to until it’s been reported because it would be classified, and I prefer that journalists make the distinctions and the decisions about what is public interest and what should be published.
However, it’s no secret that every country in the world has the data of their citizens in the NSA. Millions and millions and millions of data connections from Germans going about their daily lives, talking on their cell phones, sending SMS messages, visiting websites, buying things online. All of this ends up at the NSA and it’s reasonable to suspect that the BND may be aware of it in some capacity. Now whether or not they actively provide the information, I should not say.
Q: The BND basically argues if we do this, we do this accidentally, actually, and our filter didn’t work.
A: Right. So the kind of things that they’re discussing there are two things: They’re talking about filtering of ingest, which means when the NSA puts a secret server in a German telecommunications provider, or they hack a German router, and they divert the traffic in a manner that lets them search through things, they’re saying "if I see what I think is a German talking to another German, I’ll drop it." But how do you know?
You could say, "Well, these people are speaking the German language. This IP address seems to be from a German company to another German company." But that’s not accurate and they wouldn’t dump all of that traffic because they’ll get people who are targets of interest who are actively in Germany using German communications.
So realistically, what’s happening is when they say there’s no spying on Germans, they don’t mean that German data isn’t being gathered. They don’t mean that records aren’t being taken or stolen. What they mean is that they’re not intentionally searching for German citizens. And that’s sort of a fingers-crossed-behind-the-back promise. It’s not reliable.
Q: What about other European countries like Norway and Sweden, for example, because we have a lot of, I think, underwater cables going through the Baltic Sea?
A: So this is sort of an expansion of the same idea. If the NSA isn’t collecting information on German citizens in Germany, are they as soon as it leaves German borders? And the answer is yes. Any single communication that transits the internet, the NSA may intercept at multiple points. They might see it in Germany, they might see it in Sweden, they might see it in Norway or Finland, they might see it in Britain, and they might see it in the United States. Any single one of these places that a German communication crosses, it’ll be ingested and added to the database.
Q: So let’s come to our southern European neighbours then. What about Italy? What about France? What about Spain?
A: It’s the same deal worldwide.
Q: Does the NSA spy on Siemens, on Mercedes, on other successful German companies, for example, to prevail, to have the advantage of knowing what is going on in a scientific and economic world?
A: I don’t want to pre-empt the editorial decisions of journalists, but what I will say is there’s no question that the US is engaged in economic spying.
If there’s information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests - not the national security of the United States - they’ll go after that information and they’ll take it.
Q: There is this old saying "you do whatever you can do," so the NSA is doing whatever is technically possible.
A: This is something that the President touched on last year where he said that just because we can do something, and this was in relation to tapping Angela Merkel’s phone, just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should. And that’s exactly what’s happened. The technological capabilities that have been provided, because of sort of weak security standards in internet protocols and cellular communications networks, have meant that intelligence services can create systems that see everything.
Q: Nothing annoyed the German government more than the fact that the NSA tapped the private phone of the German Chancellor Merkel over the last 10 years. Obviously, suddenly this invisible surveillance was connected with a known face, and was not connected with a kind of watery shady terrorist background. Obama now promised to stop snooping on Merkel, which raises the question: did the NSA tape already previous governments in Germany - previous chancellors - and when did they do that and how long did they do this for?
A: This is a particularly difficult question for me to answer because there’s information that I very strongly believe is in the public interest. However, as I’ve said before, I prefer for journalists to make those decisions in advance, review the material themselves and decide whether or not the public value of this information outweighs the sort of reputational cost to the officials that ordered the surveillance.
What I can say is we know Angela Merkel was monitored by the National Security Agency. The question is how reasonable is it to assume that she is the only German official that was monitored? How reasonable is it to believe that she’s the only prominent German face who the National Security Agency was watching? I would suggest it seems unreasonable that if anyone was concerned about the intentions of German leadership that they would only watch Merkel and not her aides. Not other prominent officials. Not heads of ministries or even local government officials.
Q: How does a young man from Elizabeth City in North Carolina, 30 years old, get in such a position in such a sensitive area?
A: That’s a very difficult question to answer. In general, I would say it highlights the dangers of privatizing government functions. I worked previously as an actual staff officer, a government employee for the Central Intelligence Agency, but I’ve also served much more frequently as a contractor in a private capacity.
What that means is you have private for-profit companies doing inherently governmental work like targeted espionage, surveillance, compromising foreign systems. And anyone who has the skills who can convince a private company that they have the qualifications to do so, will be empowered by the government to do that and there’s very little oversight. There’s very little review.
Q: Have you been one of these classical computer kids sitting red-eyed during the night in the age of 12/15 and your father was knocking on your door and saying, "Switch off the light. It’s getting late now"? Did you get your computer skills from that side? When did you get your first computer?
A: Right. I definitely have had, shall we say, a deep informal education in computers and electronic technology. They’ve always been fascinating and interesting to me. The characterization of having your parents telling you to go to bed, I would say, is fair.
Q: If one looks to the little public data of your life, one discovers that you obviously wanted to join in May 2004 the Special Forces to fight in Iraq. What did motivate you at the time? You know, Special Forces, looking at you in the very moment, means grim fighting and it means probably killing. And did you ever get to Iraq?
A: No, I didn’t get to Iraq. One of the interesting things about the Special Forces is that they’re not actually intended for direct combat. They’re what’s referred to as a force multiplier. They’re inserted behind enemy lines. It’s a squad that has a number of different specialties in it, and they teach and enable the local population to resist or to support US forces in a way that allows the local population a chance to help determine their own destiny, and I felt that was an inherently noble thing at the time. In hindsight, some of the reasons that we went into Iraq were not well-founded and I think did a disservice to everyone involved.
Q: What happened to your adventure then? Did you stay long with them or what happened to you?
A: No, I broke my legs when I was in training and was discharged.
Q: So it was a short adventure in other words?
A: It was a short adventure.
Q: In 2007 the CIA stationed you with a diplomatic cover in Geneva in Switzerland. Why did you join the CIA by the way?
A: I don’t think I can actually answer that one.
Q: Okay, if it’s what you have been doing there forget it, but why did you join the CIA?
A: In many ways, I think it’s a continuation of trying to do everything I could to prosecute the public good in the most effective way, and it’s in-line with the rest of my government service where I tried to use my technical skills in the most difficult positions I could find in the world, and the CIA offered that.
Q: If we go back, Special Forces, CIA, NSA… it’s not actually in the description of a human rights activist, or somebody who becomes a whistleblower after this. What happened to you?
A: I think it tells a story, and that’s no matter how deeply an individual is embedded in the government, no matter how faithful to the government they are, no matter how strongly they believe in the causes of their government, as I did during the Iraq war, people can learn. People can discover the line between appropriate government behaviour and actual wrongdoing, and I think it became clear to me that that line had been crossed.
Q: You worked for the NSA through a private contractor with the name Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the big ones in the business. What is the advantage for the US Government or the CIA to work through a private contractor to outsource a central government function?
A: The contracting culture of the national security community in the United States is a complex topic. It’s driven by a number of interests, between primarily limiting the number of direct government employees, at the same time as keeping lobbying groups in Congress, typically from very well-funded businesses such as Booz Allen Hamilton.
The problem there is you end up in a situation where government policies are being influenced by private corporations who have interests that are completely divorced from the public good in mind. The result of that is what we saw at Booz Allen Hamilton, where you have private individuals who have access to what the government alleges were millions and millions of records that they could walk out the door with at any time with no accountability, no oversight, no auditing. The government didn’t even know they were gone.
Q: At the very end you ended up in Russia. Many of the intelligence communities suspect you made a deal, classified material for asylum here in Russia.
A: The Chief of the Task Force investigating me as recently as December said that their investigation had turned up no evidence or indications at all that I had any outside help or contact, or had made a deal of any kind to accomplish my mission. I worked alone. I didn’t need anybody’s help.
I don’t have any ties to foreign governments. I’m not a spy for Russia or China or any other country for that matter. If I am a traitor, who did I betray? I gave all of my information to the American public, to American journalists who are reporting on American issues. If they see that as treason, I think people really need to consider who do they think they’re working for? The public is supposed to be their boss, not their enemy. Beyond that, as far as my personal safety, I’ll never be fully safe until these systems have changed.
Q: After your revelations, none of the European countries really offered you asylum. Where did you apply in Europe for asylum?
A: I can’t remember the list of countries with any specificity because there were many of them, but France & Germany were definitely in there, as was the UK. A number of European countries. All of whom, unfortunately, felt that doing the right thing was less important than supporting US political concerns.
Q: One reaction to the NSA snooping is, in the very moment, that countries like Germany are thinking to create national Internets in an attempt to force Internet companies to keep their data in their own country. Does this work?
A: It’s not gonna stop the NSA. Let’s put it that way. The NSA goes where the data is. If the NSA can pull text messages out of telecommunication networks in China, they can probably manage to get Facebook messages out of Germany. Ultimately, the solution to that is not to try to stick everything in a walled garden, although that does raise the level of sophistication and complexity of taking the information. It’s also much better simply to secure the information internationally against everyone, rather than playing "let’s move the data". Moving the data isn’t fixing the problem; securing the data is the problem.
Q: President Obama in the very moment obviously doesn’t care too much about the message of the leak. And together with the NSA, they do care very much more about catching the messenger in that context. Obama asked the Russian president several times to extradite you, but Putin did not. It looks that you will stay for the rest of your life, probably in Russia. How do you feel about Russia in that context and is there a solution to this problem?
A: I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that these leaks didn’t cause harm. In fact, they served the public good. Because of that, I think it will be very difficult to maintain sort of an ongoing campaign of persecution against someone who the public agrees serves the public interest.
Q: The New York Times wrote a very long comment and demanded clemency for you. The headline "Edward Snowden Whistleblower" and I quote from that: "The public learned in great detail how the agency has extended its mandate and abused its authority." And the New York Times closes: "President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr Snowden’s vilification and give him an incentive to return home." Did you get a call, in-between, from the White House?
A: I’ve never received a call from the White House and I am not waiting by the phone. But I would welcome the opportunity to talk about how we can bring this to a conclusion that serves the interest of all parties. I think it’s clear there are times where what is lawful is distinct from what is rightful. There are times throughout history, and it doesn’t take long for either an American or a German to think about times in the history of their country, where the law provided the government to do things which were not right.
Q: President Obama obviously is, in the very moment, not quite convinced of that because he said that you are charged with three felonies and I quote: "If you, Edward Snowden, believe in what you did you should go back to America, appear before the court with a lawyer, and make your case." Is this the solution?
A: It’s interesting because he mentions three felonies. What he doesn’t say is that the crimes that he has charged me with are crimes that don’t allow me to make my case. They don’t allow me to defend myself in an open court to the public and convince a jury that what I did was to their benefit.
The Espionage Act was never intended (it’s from 1918), it was never intended to prosecute journalistic sources: people who are informing the newspapers about information that’s of public interest. It was intended for people who are selling documents in secret to foreign governments, who are bombing bridges, who are sabotaging communications, not people who are serving the public good. So it’s, I would say, illustrative that the President would choose to say someone should face the music, when he knows the music is a show trial.
Source here (03.02.14).
Picture: Letter to Angela Merkel Germany re Nazi gold stolen from US in 1930s
Original images of letter here (p1) and here (p2). Source and Neil Keenan video commentary here (04.01.14).
Was one of the results of the Edward Snowden NSA GCHQ surveillance disclosures in 2013 to confirm that the main function of G5 governance in the West is to lie to the people, lie to the media, lie to the courts, lie to international allies, lie, lie and lie again? And that one of the main functions of the deep, unelected, security state is to oblige their G5 governments to do this at all times?
Full text of Glenn Greenwald's keynote address to the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (30C3) in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday 27th December 2013.
Thank you, thank you very much. Thank you everybody for that warm welcome, and thank you as well to the Congress organisers for inviting me to speak.
My reaction when I learned that I had been asked to deliver the keynote to this conference was probably similar to the one some of you had, which was: "wait, what?"
And the reason is that my cryptographic and hacker skills are not exactly world-renowned. You know, the story has been told many times of how I almost lost the biggest national security story in the last decade, at least because I found the installation of PGP to be insurmountably annoying and difficult.
There's another story that's very similar that illustrates the same point, that I actually don't think has been told before, which is that prior to my going to Hong Kong, I spent many hours with both Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden trying to get up to speed on the basics of security technology that I would need in order to report on this story. They tried to tutor me in all sorts of programs, and finally concluded that the only one, at least at that time, for that moment, that I could handle was TrueCrypt.
They taught me the basics of TrueCrypt, and when I went to Hong Kong, before I would go to sleep, I would play around with TrueCrypt. I kind of taught myself a couple of functions that they hadn't even taught me and really had this sort of confidence.
On the third or fourth day, I went over to meet both of them and I was beaming with pride. I showed them all of the new things that I had taught myself how to do on TrueCrypt, and pronounced myself this Cryptographic Master; that I was really becoming advanced.
I looked at both of them and I didn't see any return pride coming my way. Actually, what I saw was them trying really hard to avoid rolling their eyes out of their heads at me, to one another.
I said: "Why are you reacting that way? Why isn't that a great accomplishment?" They sort of let some moments go by. No one wanted to break it to me, until finally Snowden piped in and said: "TrueCrypt is really meant for your little kid brother to be able to master. It's not all that impressive."
I remember being very deflated, and kind of going back to the drawing board. Well, that was six months ago. In the interim, the importance of security technology and privacy technology has become really central to everything it is that I do. I really have learned an enormous amount about both its importance and how it functions. And I'm far from the only one. I think one of the most significant outcomes of the last six months, but one of the most underdiscussed, is how many people now appreciate the importance of protecting the security of their communications.
If you go and look at my inbox from July, probably 3-5% of the emails I received were composed of PGP code. That percentage is definitely above 50% today, and probably well above 50%. When we talked about forming our new media company, we barely spent any time on the question. It was simply assumed that we were all going to use the most sophisticated encryption that was available to communicate with one another.
And I think, most encouragingly, whenever I'm contacted by anyone in journalism or activism, or any related fields, they either use encryption, or are embarrassed and ashamed that they don't, and apologise for the fact that they don't, and vow that they're soon going to.
It's a really remarkable sea-change, even from the middle of last year, when I would talk to some of the leading national security journalists in the world, who were working on some of the most sensitive information, and virtually none of them knew what PGP or OTR or any other of the leading privacy technologies were, let alone how to use them. It's really encouraging to see this technology spreading so pervasively.
I think that this underscores an extremely important point, one that gives me great cause for optimism. I'm often asked whether I think that the stories that we've been learning over the last six months, the reporting and the debates that have arisen, will actually change anything and impose any real limits on the US surveillance state.
Typically, when people think the answer to that question is yes, the thing that they cite most commonly is probably the least significant, which is that there's going to be some kind of debate, and our representatives in democratic government are going to respond to our debate, and they're going to impose limits with legislative reform.
None of that is likely to happen. The US government and its allies are not going to voluntarily restrict their own surveillance powers in any meaningful way. In fact, the tactic of the US government that we see over and over, that we've seen historically, is to do the very opposite, which is that when they get caught doing something that brings them disrepute and causes scandal and concern, they're very adept at pretending to reform themselves through symbolic gestures, while at the same time, doing very little other than placating citizen anger and often increasing their own powers that created the scandal in the first place.
We saw that in the mid-1970s, when there was serious concern and alarm in the United States, at least as much as there is now, if not more so, of the US government's surveillance capabilities and abuse. What the US government did in response was that they said: "Well, we're going to engage in all of these reforms that will safeguard these powers. We're going to create a special court that the government needs to go to get permission before they can target people with surveillance."
That sounded great, but then they created the court in the most warped way possible. It's a secret court, where only the government gets to show up, where only the most pro-national security judges are appointed. So this court gave the appearance of oversight, when in reality it's the most grotesque rubber stamp that is known to the Western world. They almost never disapprove of anything. It simply created the appearance that there was judicial oversight.
They also said they were going to create Congressional committees; the intelligence committees that are going to have as their main function overseeing the intelligence committees, and making certain that they no longer abuse their power. What they did instead was immediately install the most servile loyalists of the intelligence committees as head of this 'oversight committee'.
That's been going on for decades, and today we have two of the most slavish, pro-NSA members of Congress as the heads of these committees who are really there to bolster and justify everything and anything the NSA does, rather than engage in real oversight. So, again, it's designed to prettify the process while bringing about no real reform.
This process is now repeating itself. You see the President appoint a handful of his closest loyalists to this 'independent White House panel' that pretended to issue a report that was very balanced and critical of the surveillance state, but in reality introduced a variety of programs that, at the very best, would simply make these programs slightly more palatable from a public perspective, and in many cases, intensify the powers of the surveillance state, rather than reining them in in any meaningful way.
So the answer to whether we're or not going to have meaningful reform definitely does not lie in the typical processes of democratic accountability that we're all taught to respect. But they do lie elsewhere. It is possible that there will be courts that will impose some meaningful restrictions by finding that the programs are unconstitutional.
It's much more possible that other countries around the world who are truly indignant about the breaches of their privacy security will band together and create alternatives, either in terms of infrastructure, or legal régimes that will prevent the United States from exercising hegemony over the Internet or make the cost of doing so far too high. I think even more promising is the fact that large private corporations, Internet companies and others will start finally paying a price for their collaboration with this spying régime.
We've seen that already, when they've been dragged into the light, and finally now are forced to account for what it is that they're doing, and to realise that their economic interests are imperilled by the spying system, exercising their unparalleled power to demand that it be reined in. I think that all of those things are very possible as serious constraints on the surveillance state.
But I ultimately think that where the greatest hope lies is with the people in this room and the skills that all of you possess. The privacy technologies that have already been developed: the Tor Browser, PGP, OTR, and a variety of other products are making real inroads in preventing the US government and its allies from invading the sanctity of our communications.
None of them is perfect. None of them is invulnerable, but they all pose a serious obstacle to the US government's ability to continue to destroy our privacy. And ultimately, the battle over Internet freedom, the question of whether or not the Internet will really be this tool of liberation and democratisation, or whether it'll become the worst tool of human oppression in all of human history will be fought out, I think, primarily, on the technological battlefield.
The NSA and the US government certainly knows that. That's why Keith Alexander gets dressed up in his little costumes, his dad jeans and his edgy black shirt and goes to hacker conferences.
And it's why corporations in Silicon Valley, like Palantir Technologies, spend so much effort depicting themselves as these kind-of rebellious, pro-civil-libertarian factions, as they spend most of their time in secret working hand-in-hand with the intelligence community and the CIA to increase their capabilities, because they want to recruit particularly younger brainpower onto their side, the side of destroying privacy and putting the Internet to use for the world's most powerful factions.
What the outcome of this conflict is, what the Internet ultimately becomes really is not answerable in any definitive way now. It depends so much on what it is that we, as human beings, do. One of the most pressing questions is whether people like the ones who are in this room, and the people who have the skills that you have, now and in the future, will succumb to those temptations, and go to work for the very entities that are attempting to destroy privacy around the world, or whether you will put your talents, skills and resources to defending human beings from those invasions, and continuing to create effective technologies to protect our privacy. I am very optimistic because that power does lie in your hands.
I want to talk about another cause for optimism that I have, which is that the pro-privacy alliance is a lot healthier and more vibrant. It's a lot bigger and stronger than, I think, a lot of us, even who are in it, often appreciate and realise. Even more so, it is rapidly growing. And, I think, inexorably growing.
I know, for me, personally, every single thing that I have done, over the last six months, on this story, and all of the platforms I've been given, like this speech and the honours that I've received, and the accolades that I've been given, are ones that I share completely with two people who have been critically important to everything that I have done.
One of them is my unbelievably brave and incomparably brilliant collaborator, Laura Poitras. You know, Laura doesn't get a huge amount of attention, which is how she likes it, but she really does deserve every last recognition, honour and award because although it sounds cliché, it really is the case that without her, none of this would have happened.
We have talked every single day, virtually, over the last six months. We have made almost every decision, certainly every significant one, in complete partnership and collaboration. Being able to work with somebody who has that high level of understanding about Internet security, about strategies for protecting privacy, has been completely indispensable to the success of what we've been able to achieve.
And then, the second person who has been utterly indispensable and deserves every last accolade, and to share in every last award, is Edward Snowden.
It is really hard to put into words what a profound effect his choice has had on me, and on Laura, and on the people with whom we've worked directly, and on people with whom we've indirectly worked, and then millions and millions of people around the world. The courage and the principled act of conscience that he displayed will shape and inspire me for the rest of my life, and will inspire and convince millions and millions of people to take all sorts of acts that they might not have taken because they've seen what good for the world can be done by even a single individual.
But I think that it's so important to realise, and to me this is the critical point, that none of us, the three of us, did what we did in a vacuum. We were all inspired by people who have done similar things in the past. I'm absolutely certain that Edward Snowden was inspired in all sorts of ways by the heroism and self-sacrifice of Chelsea Manning.
And I'm quite certain that, in one way or another, she (Chelsea Manning) was inspired by the whole litany of whistleblowers and other people of conscience who came before her to blow the whistle on extreme levels of corruption, wrongdoing and illegality among the world's most powerful factions. They in turn were inspired, I'm certain, by the person who is one of my greatest political heroes, Daniel Ellsberg, who did this forty years ago.
Even beyond that, I think it is really important to realise that everything that has been allowed to happen over the last six months and, I think, any kind of significant leak and whistleblowing of classified information in the digital age, both past and future, owes a huge debt of gratitude to the organisation which really pioneered the template, and that's WikiLeaks.
You know, we didn't completely copy, to the letter, the model of WikiLeaks. We modified it a little bit, just like WikiLeaks modified what it has decided it's best tactics and strategies are as it went along, and I'm sure people who come after us will modify what we have done to improve on what we have done and to avoid some of our mistakes and some of the attacks that have actually been successful. But I think the point that is really underscored here, and it was underscored for me, probably most powerfully, when Edward Snowden was rescued from Hong Kong, from probable arrest and imprisonment for the next thirty years by the United States, not only by WikiLeaks, but by an extraordinarily courageous and heroic woman, Sarah Harrison.
There's a huge network of human beings, around the world, who believe in this cause, and not only believe in it, but are increasingly willing to devote their energies and their resources and their time, and to sacrifice for it. There's a reason that that's remarkable, and it kind of occurred to me in a telephone call that I had with Laura, probably two months or so ago. Although we've communicated every day, we've almost never communicated by telephone. One of the few exceptions was we were going to speak at an event at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and we got on the phone the night before to sort-of talk about what ground she would cover, and what ground I would cover.
What she said to me is: "You know, it's amazing if you think about it." She went through the list of people who have devoted themselves to transparency and the price that they have paid. She said Edward Snowden is stuck in Russia facing thirty years in prison, Chelsea Manning is in prison, Aaron Swartz committed suicide. People like Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown are the subjects of grotesquely overzealous prosecutions by virtue of the acts of transparency they've engaged in. Even people like Jim Risen, who is with an organisation like the New York Times, faces the possibility of prison for stories that he's published.
Laura and I have been advised by countless lawyers that it is not safe for us to even travel to our own country, and she said: "It's really a sign of how sick our political future has become, that the price for bringing transparency to the government, and for doing the job of the media, and the Congress, that they're not doing, is this extreme form of punishment."
You know, she was right, and she had a good point. I had a hard time disagreeing with the thing as anybody would. But I said, you know, there's actually another interesting point that that list reveals. The thing that's so interesting to me about that list is that it actually keeps growing, as long as it is. The reason why that's so amazing to me is because the reason the people on that list, and others like them, pay a price, is because the United States knows that it's only hope for continuing to maintain its regimen of secrecy, behind which it can engage in those radical and corrupt acts, is to intimidate, deter and threaten people who are would-be whistleblowers and transparency activists from coming forward and doing what it is that they do by showing them that they would be subjected to even the most extreme punishments and there's nothing anybody can do about it.
It's an effective tactic. It works for some people, not because those people are cowardly, but because they're rational. It really is the case that the United States and the British government are not only willing, but able to essentially engage in any conduct, no matter how grotesque, no matter how extreme, no matter how lawless, with very little opposition that they perceive is enough to make them not want to do it. So there are activists who rationally conclude that it's not worth the price for me to pay in order to engage in that behaviour. That's why they continue to do it. But the paradox is that there are a lot of other people, I think even more people, who react in exactly the opposite way.
When they see the US and the UK government showing their true face, showing the extent to which they're willing to abuse their power, they don't become scared or deterred, they become even more emboldened. And the reason for that is that when you see that these governments are really capable of that level of abuse of power, you realise that you can no longer, in good conscience, stand by and do nothing. It becomes an even greater imperative for you to come forward and shine a light on what they're doing, and if you listen to any of those whistleblowers or activists, they'll all say the same thing.
It was a slow process to realise that the acts in which you engage are justified, but they were finally convinced of it by the actions of these governments themselves. It's a really sweet irony, and I think it calls for serious optimism, that it is the United States and its closest allies who are sowing the seeds of dissent, who are fuelling the fire of this activism with their own abusive behaviour.
Now, speaking of the attempt to intimidate and deter, and the like, I just want to spend a few minutes talking about the current posture of the United States government, with regard to Edward Snowden. It's become extremely clear, at this point, that the US government, from the highest levels on down, is completely committed to pursuing only one outcome. That outcome is one where Edward Snowden ends up spending several decades, if not the rest of his life, in a small cage, probably cut off, in terms of communication, with the rest of the world. And the reason why they're so intent on doing that is not hard to see. It's not because they're worried that society needs to be protected from Edward Snowden, and from him repeating these actions. I think it's probably a pretty safe bet that Edward Snowden's security clearance is more or less permanently revoked.
The reason they're so intent on it is because they cannot allow Edward Snowden to live any sort of a decent and free life because they're petrified that that will inspire other people to follow his example, and to be unwilling to maintain this bond of secrecy when maintaining that bond does nothing but hide illegal and damaging conduct from the people who are most affected by it.
And what I find most amazing about that is not that the United States government is doing that, that's what they do. It's who they are. What I find amazing about it is that there are so many governments around the world, including ones that are capable of protecting his human rights, and who have been the biggest beneficiaries of his heroic revelations, who are willing to stand by and watch his human rights be crushed, him be imprisoned for the crime of showing the world what's being done to their privacy.
It has really been startling to watch governments, including some of the largest in Europe, and their leaders, go out in public and express intense indignation over the fact that the privacy of their citizens is being systematically breached, and genuine indignation when they learn that their privacy has also been targeted. Yet, at the same time, the person who sacrificed in order to defend their basic human rights, their rights to privacy, is now having his own human rights targeted and threatened in recrimination. And I realise that for any country like Germany or France or Brazil, or any other country around the world, to defy the dictates of the United States, there's a cost of doing that. But there was an even greater cost to Edward Snowden to come forward and do what he did in defence of your rights, and yet he did it anyway.
I think that what's really important to realise is that countries have the legal and the international obligations, by virtues of the treaties that they've signed, to defend Edward Snowden from political persecution, and prevent him from being in a cage for the rest of his life, for having shone a light on systematic abuses of privacy, and other forms of abuses of secrecy. But they also have the ethical and moral obligation as the beneficiaries of his actions, to do what he did for them, which is to protect his rights in return.
I want to spend a little bit of time talking about one of my favourite topics, which is journalism. When I was in Hong Kong, with Laura and Ed Snowden, and I've been reflecting on this a lot in the course of writing a book that I've been writing over the course of the past couple of months about everything that's happened, one of the things I realised in looking back on that moment and also in talking to Laura about what took place there, was that we spent at least as much time talking about issues relating to journalism and a free press as we did talking about surveillance policy. The reason is that we knew that what we were about to do would trigger as many debates over the proper role of journalists vis-à-vis the state and other power factions, as it would the importance of Internet freedom and privacy, and the threat of the surveillance state.
We knew, in particular, that one of our most formidable adversaries was not simply going to be the intelligence agencies on which we were reporting, and who we were trying to expose, but also their most loyal, devoted servants, which calls itself the United States and British media.
And so we spent a great deal of time strategising about it, and we resolved that we were going to have to be very disruptive of the status quo. Not only the surveillance and political status quo, but also the journalistic status quo. And, I think, one of the ways we can see what it is we were targeting, lies in the behaviour of the media over the past six months, since these revelations have emerged almost entirely without them and despite them.
One of the more remarkable things that has happened to me is I gave an interview, three weeks or so, or a month ago, on the BBC. It was on this program called Hard Talk, and I, at one point, thought I had made what I thought was the very unremarkable and uncontroversial observation, that the reason why we have a free press is because national security officials routinely lie to the population in order to shield their power and to get their agenda advanced, and that the goal and duty of a journalist is to be adversarial to those people in power, and that the pronouncements that this interviewer was citing about how these government programs are critical to stopping terrorists should not be believed unless there's actual evidence shown, that they're actually true.
When I said that, he interrupted me (and I'm sorry, I don't do pompous British accents well, so you'll just have to transpose it in your own imagination onto what I'm saying) and he said: "I just need to stop you, you have said something so remarkable!" He was like a Victorian priest scandalised by seeing a woman pull up her skirt a little bit above her ankles.
He said: "I just cannot believe that you would suggest that senior officials, generals in the United States and British government, are actually making false claims to the public! How can you possibly say something like that?"
And that is not aberrational. It really is the central view of, certainly, American and British media stars, that when, especially people with medals on their chests, who are called generals, but also high-ranking officials in the government, make claims, that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence, and that it's almost immoral to call them into question, or to question their veracity.
Obviously, we went through the Iraq war, which those two very sane governments specifically and deliberately lied about repeatedly to their people, over the course of two years, to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we've seen it continuously over the last six months as well. The very first document that Edward Snowden ever showed me was one that he explained would reveal unquestionable lying by the senior national intelligence official of President Obama, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. That was the document that revealed that the Obama administration had succeeded in convincing a secret court to oblige phone companies to turn over, to the NSA, every single phone record, of every single telephone call, local and international, of every single American, even though that National Security official, James Clapper, before the Senate, just months earlier, was asked: "Does the NSA collect whole data about the communications of Americans?" and he answered: "No, sir." That we all now know is a complete lie.
There are other lies that the NSA and the US government's top officials have told. And by 'lie' I mean, advisedly, things they know to be false that they're saying anyway to convince people of what they want them to believe. Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, repeatedly said that they are incapable of accounting for the exact number of calls and emails that they intercept from the American telecommunications system, even the program that we ended up exposing. Boundless Informant, counts with exact mathematical precision, exactly the data that he said he is incapable of providing. Or the NSA and the GCHQ, which have repeatedly said that the purpose of these programs is to protect people from terrorism, and to safeguard national security, and that they never, unlike those evil thieves, engage in spying for economic reasons.
And yet, report after report that we revealed, from spying on the Brazilian oil giant, Petrobras, to the spying on American (allied) states at economic summits where economic accords were negotiated, to energy companies around the world in Europe, Asia and Latin America, just completely negate these claims and prove that they are lies. And then we have President Obama, who repeatedly says things like: "We cannot, and do not, spy on the communications of Americans without warrants," even though the 2008 law that was enacted by the Congress had (a clause that urged) the US government not to ease up on American (private citizen surveillance) without warrants.
And what you see here is real lying. And yet, at the same time, the same media that sees it, acts scandalised if you suggest that their claims should not be taken at face value, without evidence, because their rôle is not to be adversarial. Their rôle is to be loyal spokespeople for those powerful factions that they pretend to exercise oversight over.
Just one more point on that, which is to understand just how the American and British media function. You can pretty much turn on the TV, at any moment, or open an Internet website, and see very brave American journalists calling Edward Snowden a criminal and demanding that he be extradited to the United States, and prosecuted and imprisoned. They're very brave when it comes to declaring people who are scorned in Washington, and who have no power, and have become marginalised; they're very brave in condemning them, standing up to them, and demanding that the rule of law be applied to them faithfully. "He broke the law, he must pay the consequences." And yet, the top national security official of the United States government went to the Senate and lied to their faces, everybody now knows, which is at least as much of a serious crime as anything Edward Snowden is accused of.
You will be very hard pressed to find even a single one of those brave, intrepid journalists ever thinking about, let alone expressing, the idea that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper ought to be subject to the rule of law and be prosecuted and imprisoned for the crimes that he committed, because the rôle of the US media and their British counterparts is to be voices for those with the greatest power, and to protect their interests and serve them.
Everything that we've done over the last six months, and everything that we've decided over the last month about forming a new media organisation, is all about trying to subvert that process and reanimate and reinstil the process of journalism for what it was intended to be, which was as a true adversarial force, a check against those with the greatest power.
So I just want to close with one last point, which is the nature of the surveillance state that we've reported over the last six months. Every time I do an interview, people ask similar questions such as: "What is the most significant story that you have revealed?" or: "What is it that we have learned about the last story that you just published?" And what I've really begun saying is that there really is only one overarching point that all of these stories have revealed. And that is, and I say this without the slightest bit of hyperbole or melodrama, it's not metaphorical and it's not figurative, it is literally true, that the goal of the NSA, and its Five Eyes partners in the English-speaking world (Canada, New Zealand, Australia and especially the UK) is to eliminate privacy globally. To ensure that there can be no human communications that occur electronically, that evade their surveillance network.
They want to make sure that all forms of human communication, by telephone or by Internet, and all online activities, are collected, monitored, stored, and analysed by that agency, and by their allies. That means that to describe that is to describe a ubiquitous surveillance state. You don't need hyperbole to make that point, and you don't need to believe me when I say that that's their goal. Document after document within the archive that Edward Snowden provided to us declares that to be their goal. They are obsessed with searching out any small little crevice on the planet where some form of communication might take place without their being able to invade it.
One of the stories that we're working on now (I used to get in trouble when I was at The Guardian for previewing my stories; I'm not at The Guardian anymore, so I'm going to do it anyway), is this: the NSA and the GCHQ are being driven crazy by the idea that you can go on an airplane and use certain cellphone devices or Internet services and be away from their prying eyes for a few hours at a time. They are obsessed with finding ways to invade the systems of online, onboard Internet services and mobile phone services. The very idea that human beings can communicate, even for a few moments, without them being able to collect, and store, analyse, and monitor what it is that we're saying, is simply intolerable. That is their institutional mandate.
And when I get asked questions, when I do interviews in different countries: "Well, why would they want to spy on this official?" or: "Why would they want to spy on Sweden?" or: "Why would they want to target this company here?" the premise of those questions is really flawed. The premise of the question is that the NSA and the GCHQ need a specific reason to target somebody for surveillance. That is not how they think. They target every form of communication that they can possibly get their hands on. And if you think about what individual privacy does for us, as human beings, let alone what it does for us on a political level, that it really is the thing that lets us explore boundaries and engage in creativity, and use the mechanisms of dissent without fear, when you think about the world in which privacy is allowed to be eliminated, you're really talking about eliminating everything that makes it valuable to be a free individual.
The surveillance state, by its necessity, by its very existence, breeds conformity, because when human beings know that they're always susceptible to being watched, even if they're not always being watched, the choices that they make are far more constrained, are far more limited, cling far more closely to orthodoxy, than when they can act in the private realm, and that's precisely why the NSA and GCHQ, and the world's most powerful (factions) throughout history (always have) as their first goal (at the top of their list) the elimination of privacy, because that's what ensures that human beings can no longer resist the decrees that they're issuing.
Well, thank you, once again, very much.
Primary source: here (30.12.13).
Picture: What we perceive down here in 3D to be impossible. Alcuin Bramerton.
Why is #JoeBiden trying to force #Seoul to hand over 300000 tons of #Asian #gold to fund a new #G5 war? http://t.co/wA5DkaM0bd #1ab #DC #CDU
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) December 12, 2013
Picture: Edward Snowden, American patriot, NSA PRISM Whistleblower.
Global Government Surveillance Reform
An open letter to Washington
Dear Mr President and Members of Congress,
We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual - rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.
For our part, we are focused on keeping users’ data secure - deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.
We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. To see the full set of principles we support, visit ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com
AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo.
The undersigned companies believe that it is time for the world’s governments to address the practices and laws regulating government surveillance of individuals and access to their information.
While the undersigned companies understand that governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety and security, we strongly believe that current laws and practices need to be reformed.
Consistent with established global norms of free expression and privacy and with the goals of ensuring that government law enforcement and intelligence efforts are rule-bound, narrowly tailored, transparent, and subject to oversight, we hereby call on governments to endorse the following principles and enact reforms that would put these principles into action.
AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo.
(1) Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information
Governments should codify sensible limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data that balance their need for the data in limited circumstances, users’ reasonable privacy interests, and the impact on trust in the Internet. In addition, governments should limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes, and should not undertake bulk data collection of Internet communications.
(2) Oversight and Accountability
Intelligence agencies seeking to collect or compel the production of information should do so under a clear legal framework in which executive powers are subject to strong checks and balances. Reviewing courts should be independent and include an adversarial process, and governments should allow important rulings of law to be made public in a timely manner so that the courts are accountable to an informed citizenry.
(3) Transparency About Government Demands
Transparency is essential to a debate over governments’ surveillance powers and the scope of programs that are administered under those powers. Governments should allow companies to publish the number and nature of government demands for user information. In addition, governments should also promptly disclose this data publicly.
(4) Respecting the Free Flow of Information
The ability of data to flow or be accessed across borders is essential to a robust 21st century global economy. Governments should permit the transfer of data and should not inhibit access by companies or individuals to lawfully available information that is stored outside of the country. Governments should not require service providers to locate infrastructure within a country’s borders or operate locally.
(5) Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments
In order to avoid conflicting laws, there should be a robust, principled, and transparent framework to govern lawful requests for data across jurisdictions, such as improved mutual legal assistance treaty - or “MLAT” - processes. Where the laws of one jurisdiction conflict with the laws of another, it is incumbent upon governments to work together to resolve the conflict.
Voices For Reform
AOL is committed to preserving the privacy of our customers’ information, while respecting the right of governments to request information on specific users for lawful purposes. AOL is proud to unite with other leading Internet companies to advocate on behalf of our consumers. Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL.
Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information. The US government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook.
The security of users’ data is critical, which is why we’ve invested so much in encryption and fight for transparency around government requests for information. This is undermined by the apparent wholesale collection of data, in secret and without independent oversight, by many governments around the world. It’s time for reform and we urge the US government to lead the way. Larry Page, CEO, Google.
These principles embody LinkedIn’s fundamental commitment to transparency and ensuring appropriate government practices that are respectful of our members’ expectations. Erika Rottenberg, General Counsel, LinkedIn.
People won’t use technology they don’t trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it. Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.
Twitter is committed to defending and protecting the voice of our users. Unchecked, undisclosed government surveillance inhibits the free flow of information and restricts their voice. The principles we advance today would reform the current system to appropriately balance the needs of security and privacy while safeguarding the essential human right of free expression. Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter.
Protecting the privacy of our users is incredibly important to Yahoo. Recent revelations about government surveillance activities have shaken the trust of our users, and it is time for the United States government to act to restore the confidence of citizens around the world. Today we join our colleagues in the tech industry calling on the United States Congress to change surveillance laws in order to ensure transparency and accountability for government actions. Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo.
Primary source here (December 2013).
Democracy and the hidden cult of corporate control: Is democracy the greatest trick the deep unelected shadow élites have ever played on the masses?
Voranai Vanijaka writes in Thailand's Bangkok Post here (08.12.13). His views are similar to some of the ideas Russell Brand has been articulating in the West, for example here (05.11.13) and here (24.10.13).
What is democracy? The freedom to elect our chosen dictators?
Are leaking, whistleblowing, hacking and revolution now more effective than voting? And are they more patriotic?
Picture: Vicar with dog collar. Charles, you sound so sexy when you read to us.
Picture: You must believe us. We are senior spies. We know how the world works.
Picture: Female protester & policeman crying together. Sofia Bulgaria Nov 2013.
Picture: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Baby you can drive my car.
Saudi Arabia news background here (31.10.13), here (29.10.13), here (27.10.13), here (27.10.13) and here (26.10.13).
Picture: Boris Johnson yawning. #AskBoris. Boris Johnson. Mayor of London.
Picture: Obama’s NSA spies on Europe. Angela Merkel’s phone hacked by US.
Has the #US #quietly #sold #JPMorgan to #China? http://t.co/8wnZdEsEY8 #1ab #forex #fx #gold #silver #banks #OWS #1u #AskBoE #AJE #r4today
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) October 22, 2013
How did the #Pentagon rumble the #BlackOps transfer of 4 #nukes from #Dyess #AFB #Texas for a #FalseFlag in #SC? http://t.co/G4NrxGDzAC #1ab
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) October 22, 2013
Picture: Manifest evil. NSA. GCHQ. The central societal function of privacy.
Picture: To the Freemasons et al running the US. Please get your shit together.
Picture: Putin says negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon.
Picture: The view of the US from Iran. October 2013. Khamenei and Rouhani.
Picture: More unnecessary wars, carnage and bloodshed. Binyamin Netanyahu.
Picture: I'm crapping my pants here trying to start World War 3. Netanyahu.
Has a #covert #Cyprus style #wealth #confiscation begun all over the #world? http://t.co/nmgnr4axZ8 #1ab #fx #forex #gold #banks #Madrid #p2
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 27, 2013
Is #US #mass #opinion #management now #trying to #suppress #citizen #journalism? http://t.co/aAYIpr5jxe #1ab #Moscow #Beijing #p2 #GOP #e #i
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 27, 2013
7 yr old #UK boy who developed #narcolepsy after #Pandemrix #swine #flu #jab denied #compensation. http://t.co/VxOduoUY6i #1ab #vaccine #GSK
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 27, 2013
Picture: The voice of Henrik Ibsen in Ghosts. Emma Goldman. Greenwich Village.
Picture: Books will be opened. Based on Madame Stuart Merrill by Jean Delville.
Picture: Neil Keenan. 16th September 2013. Black Screen Code Book.
The two pictures above and their underclicks relate to these videos here (16.09.13) and here (16.09.13).
Is #gold being #stolen from #Indonesia & unlawfully melted & restamped in #HongKong? http://t.co/kZxvlORESu #1ab #fx #forex #silver #IMF #DC#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 18, 2013
# Picture: US Federal Reserve Bond Mother Box external view.
What is inside #Federal #Reserve Box 1558? http://t.co/slDPK4rDAK #1ab #Rockefeller #Fed #DC #fx #forex #gold #silver #OWS #p2 #GOP #1u #NSA
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 17, 2013
Picture: G20. Barack Obama is the puppet of Vladimir Putin.
Alcuin Bramerton asks: Why is the Obama WH keeping
detailed Syria chemo intel away from Congress?
Why is the #Obama #WH keeping detailed #Syria #chemo #intel away from #Congress? http://t.co/SPa0sM3wzq #1ab #DC #SCOTUS #UN #G20 #Moscow #eAlcuin Bramerton asks: Have 12 high-status US intel vets
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 7, 2013
just told Obama that Assad did not deploy the chemos?
Have 12 high #status #US #intel #vets just told #Obama that #Assad did not #deploy the #chemos? http://t.co/GX2nAvrf1s #1ab #UN #G20 #MoscowAlcuin Bramerton asks: Is the real problem
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 7, 2013
the US & AIPAC rather than Syria?
Is the #real #problem the #US & #AIPAC rather than #Syria? http://t.co/5iZ2TcpKX3 #1ab #DC #SCOTUS #1u #Damascus #Homs #Moscow #G20 #UN #IDF#
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 7, 2013
# Picture: Entity One & Entity Two at AIPAC conference in Washington DC. Aliens?
There has been some discussion on the web about the identity, human or otherwise, of two AIPAC security goons. Introductory videos can be found here and here.
The new #Global #Court of Human Rights will involve 174 nations as signatories. http://t.co/75phyqpPrD #1ab #G20 #SCOTUS #MSF #AJE #r4todayPicture: US servicemen say they will not fight for Al Qaeda in Syria.
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 5, 2013
Is the #Keenan team in #Jakarta about to secure #sovereign status & #diplomatic #immunity? http://t.co/norZPGPZNH #1ab #G20 #AJE #r4today #e
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 4, 2013
Will the #UK's #David #Cameron be out of #office by December 2013? http://t.co/HbIra7kvDI #1ab #EU #ECB #G20 #SCOTUS #GBP #Tories #Witney #e
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 4, 2013
The #BRICS #alliance now has 173 nations. New Global #Court of Human Rights ready to run. http://t.co/iDxspTKNNQ #1ab #G20 #EU #AJE #r4todayPicture: The US and the UK do not start unnecessary wars lightly. Bush. Blair.
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) September 2, 2013
What is #AdnanSacly up to in #Asia & #why are the #Vatican & the #CIA #after him? http://t.co/IzPePSNR2L #1ab #Jakarta #Manila #Bangkok #IMF
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) August 28, 2013
What was #ChuckHagel really doing in #Jakarta? Local #intel suggests it was not mainly about #Syria. http://t.co/7TNWVCjiYj #1ab #IndonesiaPicture: There are no authorities over you souls. Do not give away your power.
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) August 27, 2013
This has been a time for discernment. Indeed, it is imperative that you go within, as always, in order to discern for your own soul's resonance what you are being told or broadcast through your electronic instruments of communication.
There are those who are in terrible fear lest they are revealed for the beings of darkness that they are. They bring lies in the form of smiles and reassurances that all is well .... as long as they are among your 'leaders' in this world you will be taken care of; no one will be left behind. Just give your will over to them. Sound familiar?
Many times in humanity's history these words of assurance have led to its further enslavement. There are no authorities over your souls. You are your own authority. Do not be lured by smiling faces with daggers hidden behind their backs.
The harsh reality is that many who are on a conscious path to enlightenment have been swayed by hope. A hope that has been fed to those seekers who truly believe that life can be lived in a different way, with impeccability of soul.
Hope is not knowingness. Hope is in the future. Being in your own power is NOW. Giving over your power to a leader or a group of people leaves your own power by the wayside.
The situation facing humanity now is partially a result of looking to 'leaders' for your next step. You are your own authority. You know your next step. You are great and powerful spiritual beings. You are leaders. Remember that followers can easily be led to and off a high cliff.
The stinking, vile effluent flowing from those who would make you slaves to their whims is flowing across the Earth Mother in virulent thought-forms which are taking the innocence of children, the joy of youth and the pride of men and women in their prime, as well as leaving the elders without hope of peace and security in their time of completion.
Only you can change this. Your own power is within. This is a time for you to take your own power and change your world. No one can do this for you.
Are you determined to make this world a place that will nurture those to the seventh generation? How many are willing to stop relying on others to make your world a better place? It won't be dinars, dollars, yen, pounds that will change it for the better; it will be compassion, sacrifice, kindness, humility and strength of character.
There has never been an easy road to Ascension. Each soul follows its path through lifetimes of learning until it is ready to completely transcend this Earthly school. This has to be a conscious process. It is wake-up time. The old way isn't working, is it?
Each soul must awake itself. You need courage to face and feel the dependence that you have agreed to with your 'leaders'. Now is the time for independence. Now is the time for Love incarnated. Now is the time for your soul's flight of Ascension. Now is the time to free yourselves of dependence upon 'leaders'.
You are no longer little children to be led by 'leaders'. Be aware please, that the dark ones have infiltrated to some extent some of your messengers. Go within and feel what is true and what is distraction to keep you in a state of dramatic expectancy, playing with your emotions. Use your discernment, please.
Think on these things this night. Good night. Loving dreams to you. I Am St Germain.
Source here (15.08.13 - from Violinio Germain / Spirit Eagle / Madrona Woods).
Picture: Keenan & Chiang July 2013. Global Collateral Accounts $93 quadrillion.
Picture: M.L.King - I have a dream. B.Obama - I have a drone.
Picture: Is the UK's GCHQ snooping operation getting internet-savvy? NSA PRISM.
Picture: Erdoğan - Don't call me a dictator or I'll imprison your journalists.
Open letter to The Prime Minister of Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Dear Mr Erdogan,
We, the undersigned, write this letter to most vigorously condemn the heavy-handed clamp down of your police forces on the peaceful protestors at Taksim Square and Gezi Park in Istanbul, as well as in other major cities of Turkey, which, according to the Turkish Medical Association, has left 5 people dead, 11 blinded due to indiscriminate use of pepper gas, and over 8,000 injured.
Yet, only days after clearing Taksim Square and Gezi Park relying on untold brute force, you held a meeting in Istanbul, reminiscent of the Nuremberg Rally, with total disregard for the five dead whose only crime was to oppose your dictatorial rule. There are more journalists languishing in your prisons than the combined number of those in China and Iran. Moreover, you described these protestors as tramps, looters and hooligans, even alleging they were foreign-led terrorists. Whereas, in reality, they were nothing but youngsters wanting Turkey to remain a Secular Republic as designed by its founder Kemal Ataturk.
Finally, while you aspire to make your country a member of EU, you refute all criticism levelled at you by its leaders, on grounds of Turkey being a Sovereign State. Notwithstanding, may we respectfully remind you, on grounds of the Convention signed on 9 August 1949, Turkey is a member of Council of Europe, and by virtue of ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights, on May 18 1954, it has also indisputably placed itself within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Consequently, your orders which led to the deaths of five innocent youths, might well constitute a Case to Answer, in Strasbourg.
Dr. Claire Berlinski (writer)
Lady Cholmondeley (President - Chopin Society)
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour MP)
Maurice Farhi MBE (writer)
Lord Julian Fellowes (screenwriter, Oscar winner - Gosford Park)
Jack Fox (actor)
James Fox (actor)
Christopher Hampton CBE (playwright, screenwriter, Oscar winner - Dangerous Liaisons)
Rachel Johnson (novelist)
Fuad Kavur (film maker)
Sir Ben Kingsley (actor, Oscar winner - Gandhi)
Edmund Kingsley (actor)
Branko Lustig (producer, Oscar winner - Schindler's List & Gladiator)
David Lynch (film director, Palme D’Or - Mulholland Drive)
Dr Andrew Mango (biographer of Ataturk)
Marquess of Downshire (landowner)
Lord Monson (writer)
Edna O’Brien (writer)
Hugo Page QC (barrister)
Sean Penn (actor, director, Oscar winner - Milk & Mystic River)
Frederic Raphael (writer, Oscar winner - Darling)
Susan Sarandon (actress, Oscar winner - Dead Man Walking)
Fazil Say (composer, pianist)
Christopher Shinn (playwright)
Dr David Starkey CBE (constitutional historian)
Sir Tom Stoppard (playwright, screenwriter, Oscar winner - Shakespeare in Love)
Lord Strathcarron (documentary maker)
Ronald Thwaites QC (barrister)
Igor Ustinov (sculptor)
Vilmos Zsigmond (cinematographer, Oscar winner - Close Encounters).
24th July 2013
AB comment: Published as a full-page, paid-for advertisement in The Times newspaper (London), there is some dispute about who coordinated the signatories to the open letter to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (text above) and who paid for it.
Ongoing commentary on Erdoğan, political evolution and media persecution in Turkey here (20.01.14), here (02.01.14), here (28.12.13), here (27.12.13), here (23.11.13), here (15.11.13), here (04.10.13), here (30.09.13), here (30.09.13), here (16.09.13), here (20.08.13), here (20.08.13), here (05.08.13), here (31.07.13), here (30.07.13), here (29.07.13), here (26.07.13), here (26.07.13), here (26.07.13), here (26.07.13), here (25.07.13) and here (25.07.13).
Wednesday 24th July 2013
Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Picture: Benjamin Fulford, Chodoin Daikaku and Alexander Romanov. July 2013.
Picture: A State of the Union address. Fisher Body 21 Plant, Detroit MI 48202.
Picture: Obama gone yet? Statue of Liberty peeps anxiously around its plinth.
Picture: American child asks President Obama about NSA PRISM surveillance.
Picture: Putin ousts another puppet of the Western Nazi continuum (Morsi)
In the corridors of Western power, Vladimir Putin is not popular. He has a disconcerting habit of getting things done. Putin, a Russian patriot, started to reshape covert geopolitical power structures when he and his colleagues moved to stamp out the influence of the Rothschild and Rockefeller syndicate maggots at work inside Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-90.
These parasites, mostly oligarchs, mummy-got-me-ready chess players, and P2 Lodge mafia proxies, were agents of the G7 Nazi continuum. Their aim was to secure Russian oil and gas to prop up the US petrodollar Ponzi nexus. They failed and, from 1998 onwards, Vladimir Putin made sure that they failed publicly.
Just as the Soviet Union was deliberately collapsed by the G7 élite syndicates, it had been deliberately constructed to fail by a previous generation of those same puppeteers many decades earlier.
The EuroZone was another bankster toy. Manufactured to launder unbacked fiat paper currency to Asia, it is now being collapsed by the very same banksters who set it up in the first place.
In Western fractional banking, it doesn't matter whether you build up or whether you smash down; you make big money each way and in the process you generate useful debt to control sovereign treasuries. After each collapse there is a fire sale. If you're a banker, you don't just buy the dips; you create the dips. Money is the mechanism which makes people poor.
With China and one hundred and eighty other BRICS alliance nations, Putin's Russia is teaching the G7 Nazi continuum a rather obvious lesson: fiat paper currencies are not money; gold is money.
What is happening worldwide now is that the BRICS nations are accumulating gold and beginning the process of freeing up the trillions (some say quadrillions) of dollars' worth of suppressed gold held outside the markets in the Global Collateral Accounts.
The G7, scenting the inevitable capitalist end-game, is rushing around trying to counter the BRICS alliance initiatives by rigging the markets to keep the price of gold down, by printing trillions of new fake dollars and euros on QE computer screens, by squeezing Western taxpayers with a media-backed austerity charade, and by accumulating off-ledger black-screen accounts which contain impossibly vast quadrillions and quintillions of notional syndicate wealth such as that found in the Committee of 300's White Spiritual Boy and Spiritual Wonder Boy accounts. More here, here and here.
Some say it all started with the Monaco Accords in August 2011; others say it started with the World War Two victors' carve-up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Still others say that it died with America's assassination of her own President in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963. John F.Kennedy had become too friendly with M1 in Indonesia for Shylock's liking. For the greater good of Western banking, it was time for him to die.
What has all this got to do with Putin and Morsi in Egypt in 2013? Everything. It's the same battle: the G7 banking syndicate versus the rest of the planet.
The outfit expediently fronted by Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, and now called the Muslim Brotherhood, was founded in 1928 as an Islamic revivalist movement with a Wahhabi/Salafi tribal exclusivity. It came into being following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent banning of the caliphate system of government which, the story runs, had united Muslims for centuries.
In fact, Muslims, like Christians and Jews, had never been united and rarely passed up an opportunity to persecute, torture or murder their faith opponents in other Islamic culti. As a vehicle of intolerance, spiritual fascism and social agitation, the Muslim Brotherhood was perfect for sophisticated Nazi manipulation.
Just before and during the Second World War, the Nazis covertly took over the MB and turned it into a controlled terrorist organisation. The Third Reich used the Muslim Brotherhood to provide expendable and uncritical cannon-fodder to fight against British and French colonial influences in the Middle East.
The Nazi-continuum (the élite Nazi diaspora) is still embedded in several major Western governments, is still protected by rogue factions within their national security cadres, and it has kept the MB running in the background ever since. In the Western view, the radical 'Islamists' are useful fools to be manipulated, they don't cost much, and they can be made angry easily.
The Muslim Brotherhood, unbeknown to most of its current members, is a long-established Middle Eastern street gang which works for the Western banking syndicate to create opportunities for financial profit by fomenting unnecessary international conflict.
Its Egyptian branch, when briefly in government for a year between June 2012 and July 2013, lined up publicly with the private armies of the G7 war profiteers in an attempt to destabilise Syria. The plan was plain. Once Assad had gone, and the country was in ruins, its banks could be looted, its oil and gas could be stolen, foreign military bases could be established for drug trafficking purposes, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia could build their gas pipeline through Syria, unopposed, to supply Europe and support the US petrodollar scam.
Putin and the BRICS alliance saw all this. They agreed that there had to be régime change in Syria and that the Assad clique had to go; what they didn't want, and would not allow, was another capitalist looting fest by the G7 such as they had contrived in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Russia plus China, plus a changed Turkey, plus the US Pentagon patriots, now have more influence, collectively, within the Egyptian military than do the Washington DC private corporation and the City of London private corporation.
The exact division of labour between Russia and China within the BRICS alliance adjustment of global geopolitics is yet to become clear. It seems that Putin is looking after Europe and the Middle East, while the new Chinese leadership is seeing to Asia, Africa and Australia. China, for example, is a powerful driving force behind the imminent reunification of North and South Korea.
In Europe, Russia and Germany are privately and quietly growing closer. The EuroZone is now seen as a lost cause by most significant opinion-makers in Berlin on the simple grounds that it is not in Germany's financial interest, any more, to waste time with the little people.
This is particularly the case when one of Germany's biggest commercial institutions, Deutsche Bank AG (Frankfurt), has an international derivatives exposure of $72.8 trillion. This sum is in excess of twenty times more than the total GDP of Germany itself. Faced with a domestic ticking time bomb of this nature, Greece, Spain, Italy and, yes, France, can go hang.
The word on the block is that Angela Merkel of Germany is quietly pursuing an Ostpolitik with Russia of the kind which was originally initiated by Willy Brandt in the 1960s. This will result in a Russian/German-led Eurasian Union being slipped into place by 2015.
In the lead up to this long-desired Eurasian outcome, a new, strong currency DeutschmarkZone in Northern Europe is likely to emerge, involving Germany, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Finland. France will be consigned to the outer darkness of a local and much-devalued French Franc. And Greece, Spain and Italy? They can eat olives. The Western banks have finished with them.
Late note: The brief thirteen month Muslim Brotherhood spell in Egyptian government was ended at the beginning of July 2013 by a cackhanded and anti-democratic military coup. If ever practical proof was needed that the Egyptian revolution was as yet incomplete, this was it. Among avoidable own goals scored by the Egyptian military at this juncture was the partisan suppression of Islamic media outlets, along with CNN and al-Jazeera TV, and the appointment of Mohamed ElBaradei as deputy interim president. Indeed, ElBaradei would have been shoehorned in as interim prime minister had not the Salafi Nour party strenuously blocked the appointment. ElBaradei is well known in Middle Eastern diplomatic circles for being a bought-and-paid-for asset of Western intelligence and corporate interests.
More background information about the new emerging geopolitics and related disclosures can be found here (21.01.14), here (20.01.14), here (14.01.14), here (09.01.14), here (06.01.14), here (04.01.14), here (01.01.14), here (31.12.13), here (30.12.13), here (28.12.13), here (23.12.13), here (16.12.13), here (13.12.13), here (13.12.13), here (11.12.13), here (10.12.13), here (02.12.13), here (25.11.13), here (23.11.13), here (22.11.13), here (22.11.13), here (18.11.13), here (11.11.13), here (07.11.13), here (06.11.13), here (28.10.13), here (21.10.13), here (21.10.13), here (18.10.13), here (15.10.13), here (09.10.13), here (07.10.13), here (05.10.13), here (03.10.13), here (01.10.13), here (23.09.13), here (23.09.13), here (22.09.13), here (19.09.13), here (18.09.13), here (18.09.13), here (17.09.13), here (17.09.13), here (17.09.13), here (15.09.13), here (12.09.13), here (11.09.13), here (10.09.13), here (09.09.13), here (08.09.13), here (07.09.13), here (05.09.13), here (05.09.13), here (05.09.13), here (04.09.13), here (04.09.13), here (03.09.13), here (01.09.13), here (27.08.13), here (26.08.13), here (26.08.13), here (20.08.13), here (15.08.13), here (13.08.13), here (13.08.13), here (12.08.13), here (12.08.13), here (09.08.13), here (06.08.13), here (04.08.13), here (01.08.13), here (30.07.13), here (30.07.13), here (26.07.13), here (25.07.13), here (23.07.13), here (22.07.13), here (22.07.13), here (21.07.13), here (21.07.13), here (19.07.13), here (18.07.13), here (17.07.13), here (09.07.13), here (09.07.13), here (08.07.13), here (05.07.13), here (03.07.13), here (03.07.13), here (03.07.13), here (01.07.13), here (30.06.13), here (25.06.13), here (22.06.13), here (18.06.13), here (17.06.13), here (17.06.13), here (10.06.13), here (08.06.13), here (07.06.13), here (04.06.13), here (03.06.13), here (31.05.13), here (28.05.13), here (27.05.13), here (25.05.13), here (21.05.13), here (20.05.13), here (20.05.13), here (14.05.13), here (13.05.13), here (13.05.13), here (06.05.13), here (04.05.13), here (01.05.13), here (30.04.13), here (30.04.13), here (22.04.13), here (19.04.13), here (17.04.13), here (16.04.13), here (15.04.13), here (12.04.13), here (10.04.13), here (08.04.13), here (07.04.13), here (06.04.13), here (03.04.13), here (01.04.13), here (31.03.13), here (29.03.13), here (26.03.13), here (25.03.13), here (19.03.13), here (18.03.13), here (11.03.13), here (05.03.13), here (02.03.13), here (27.02.13), here (26.02.13), here (25.02.13), here (18.02.13), here (16.02.13), here (13.02.13), here (12.02.13), here (11.02.13), here (06.02.13), here (05.02.13), here (30.01.13), here (30.01.13), here (28.01.13), here (21.01.13), here (20.01.13), here (15.01.13), here (14.01.13), here (08.01.13), here (08.01.13), here (07.01.13), here (03.01.13), here (02.01.13), here (01.01.13), here (30.12.12), here (27.12.12) and here (18.08.12).
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