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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Spooky world of multinational espionage keeps idealistic activists nervous
Mood:  hungry
Topic: human rights


A BAE Harrier GR.9


In this age of multinational corporate "greenhouse mafia" prosecuting their agenda by fair means or foul, ie to protect their obscene profits, comes this cracking, intriguing story in UK's The Guardian of Dec 4 2007 : Martin and me (which may well be a title satirising the famous slummy fictional movie Withnail and I).

The Guardian story is no joke for idealistic activists who want peace, love and sustainability via democratic grassroots group process. It's a fair dinkum story of broken trust and espionage and infiltration by BAE Systems - Europes largest arms company - of a non government peace group called CAAT or Campaign Against Arms Trade. This gives the flavour of the serious sh*t they get involved in


CAATnews 200 February - March 2007 490kb or webpage version Includes: Legal challenge to ending of SFO investigation; Shut DESO - the big push; using local media; Tanya Tier interview; local campaigns news; arms trade shorts.

The Guardian story is the latest sad, dangerous, unnerving thread in a long line of govt and corporate trickey to protect multinational interests from civil society attempts at moral accountability in the western economic system.

Sydney Indy Media here carry a reaction from local well travelled activist Ciaron O'Rielly to the 2003-2007 BAE/CAAT expose :

The memories begin for me in mid- '96, when I arrived in England for the first time in 17 years. I came primarily from East Timor solidarity activism in Australia to support a friend, who I had met at the Washingon DC Catholic Worker and who had been active in solidarity with me while I spent 13 months in prison for disarming a B52 on the eve of the first Gulf War. She and 3 other women (using one of the hammers we had used on the B52 and New York and would later use at Shannon in 03) were in Risley Prison (England) following a £1.5 million disarmament action on a BAe Hawk fighter at BAe, Warton, Lancashire. The Hawk figther was already painted in Indonesian Air Force markings and was due for immediate export to the genocidal Suharto regime to be used on the people of East Timor. "Seeds of Hope Ploughshares".... http://www.plowsharesactions.org/webpages/weba.htm 


As you can see Soeharto sponsored terrorism of East Timor with BAE hawk jets puts our own region in the picture as regards the santised history of UK based BAE whether you approve of taking a hammer to private property or not. We have to admit we find it hard to condemn in light of the mass murder in East Timor for decades. Not our way but you can see the logic. And the logic of BAE instituting asset protection strategies.

This documented espionage of CAAT reminds of the recent John Pilger movie War on Democracy which apparently carries a very disturbing direct quote from a CIA senior officer who effectively concedes 'sure it's all about keeping the USA financial interests on top by any means possible' with reference to the dirty war in South America in the latter 20C against it's people via local foul dictators such as Pinochet. Ugly ugly stuff. You can catch the video in parts on YouTube starting here.


None more ugly than this one via the BBC referring not to Chile but Argentina in this case while noting Nixon/Kissinger's Operation Condor aggregated all these countries:

       A court in Argentina has convicted a former Roman Catholic police chaplain of collaborating in murders during the country's military rule.
Christian Von Wernich 

Von Wernich showed no emotion as he was sentenced

Christian Von Wernich, 69, was convicted for involvement in seven murders, 42 abductions and 31 cases of torture during the 1976-83 "Dirty War". Survivors say he passed information he obtained from prisoners to the police. As he was sentenced, Father Von Wernich showed no emotion. Protesters torched his effigy outside the court. The trial in the town of La Plata, 60km (35 miles) south of Buenos Aires, had lasted for three months. Father Von Wernich initially avoided prosecution by moving to Chile, where he worked as a priest under a false name.

We recall seeing a movie on SBS made in Spanish and perhaps set in Mexico where the radical lecturer mentored the idealistic students in their activism, not fully realising the security agency had their hooks into their teacher and were blackmailing him for the activist details. Of course all the naive idealists were turned in. We took mental note of all this - if a script writer could think it and actors could portray the scenario realistically I got to feeling it was probably quite possible.

We take the view in progressing community media and ecological sustainability concerns one should maintain reasonable transparency and avoid violence in order to best avoid the fearful and over zealous govt agents who do make fatal mistakes at times. For instance the poor Brazilian man shot dead for being in the wrong place and wrong time in the age of errorism on the London Tubes, may he rest in peace:

BBC NEWS | UK | Shot man not connected to bombing

Similarly we take the view best to not trust anyone too much, admittedly a fairly depressing road to follow.

Interestingly we noted these thoughts on the Sydney Indy Media news post linked above 12 hours ago and they were censored off the site. In fact contrary to usual form there are no comments allowed on that particular feature story. We are not sure if it means there are too many inflammatory comments or just mine.

Posted by editor at 1:07 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007 4:21 PM EADT

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