Archive for the ‘Humanity’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at July 9, 2007

Category: Humanity

Alastair Campbell: Why, suddenly, are so many people prepared to believe a man who lies and spins for a living… especially when his immediate livelihood depends on us giving a damn about his book? Won’t be buying, won’t be reading… won’t be linking, sorry (but if you do find your way to his website, check the ‘about’ page for a pathetic attempt at blogging cred). I will, however, be paraphrasing a fairly recent and most-excellent letter to Viz on the subject of Max Clifford; “If he’s such an expert in public relations, why does everyone think he’s a cunt?”

[Psst! Wanna buy a book? Try this one.]

Rebekah Wade: The new tabloid-based drama Dirt premieres this evening on FiveUS at 9pm and, quite frankly, I’m already disappointed. Given who and what one has to deal with on a regular basis when contributing to a tabloid, I would think that ‘Shit’ would be a far more suitable title… and perfectly suitable for the post-watershed audience. No? OK, how about ‘Never-Ending Fields of Glory Gak’…? Really? Potential libel, you say? Very well… instead, we’ll focus on Wade having a rare encounter with Cox. After this meeting, the lovely Courteney was heard to say of Rebekah; “She’s a fascinating woman… she is a very powerful, strong woman.” Please note that the word ‘pleasant’ does not appear anywhere in that assessment (and please also check that article for a downright creepy moment that follows this assessment).

Chain-Lettering Meme Vandals and Their Gutless/Witless Victims: Take a look at the latest crap (screengrab below) that’s started popping up under most of my YouTube videos. There are already 71,000 references to basic variations of “copy and paste this to 10 videos or your mum will die within the next 4 hours” and 221,000 references to a similar and only slightly less offensive one that promises to help you with your love life (after you have spammed 5 videos). I’d like to issue a slow handclap to the genius what thunk this up.

(Oh, and don’t read too much into the ‘Mother’s Life Vs. Sex Life’ thing… I’m sure the difference in performance stems primarily from the entry threshold; 10 spams versus 5.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at July 4, 2007

Category: Humanity

Good morning, and here is the news:

Alan Johnston has been freed… and here is your replacement button:

alan johnston

The missing protestor has been foundor has he?

Nick Boles is to receive treatment for cancerit feels like Christmas has come early.

Blogger with social/communicative difficulties experiences difficulty with already-awkward social situation shock.

Those already holding sticks, please form an orderly line on the left.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 22, 2007

Category: Humanity

Watch this, then read this.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 21, 2007

Category: Humanity

Torboto: The Robot That Tortures People (mirror)

Link via neOnbubble.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 20, 2007

Category: Humanity

Via goatchurch and Peter Gasston:

The New Yorker – The General’s Report (by Seymour M. Hersh): Taguba, watching the hearings, was appalled. He believed that Rumsfeld’s testimony was simply not true. “The photographs were available to him – if he wanted to see them,” Taguba said. Rumsfeld’s lack of knowledge was hard to credit. Taguba later wondered if perhaps Cambone had the photographs and kept them from Rumsfeld because he was reluctant to give his notoriously difficult boss bad news. But Taguba also recalled thinking, “Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There’s no way he’s suffering from C.R.S. – Can’t Remember Shit. He’s trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves.” It distressed Taguba that Rumsfeld was accompanied in his Senate and House appearances by senior military officers who concurred with his denials.

Another article involving Hersh that’s worth revisiting is this one: – Hersh: Children sodomized at Abu Ghraib, on tape: “Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”

And this:

Juan Cole – Abuse of Women Detainees: A scandal that has not yet broken in the press is the story of how many women ended up in US prisons. The fact is, few were suspected of having themselves committed a crime or an act of insurgency. Rather, they were taken as hostages or potential informants because their husbands or sons were wanted by the US military. This kind of arrest, however, is a form of collective punishment and not permitted under the Fourth Geneva Convention governing military occupations of civilian populations. The sexual abuse of these women is therefore a double crime.

The Abu Ghraib affair is far bigger and far uglier than a lot of people recognise or realise. Rather than worrying about the plans the US didn’t have, perhaps we could focus on the plans they did have. (Oh, and the subsequent plan to keep any renditional revelations as low-key as possible).

Let me be absolutely clear about this for anyone wishing to throw the ‘old news’ label, the ‘ticking time-bomb’ scenario and/or the gentle wording of ‘rendition’ in my face:

We didn’t tickle a few terrorists with a feather-duster… we kidnapped the families of alleged insurgents and tortured them in the most horrifying and degrading manner imaginable. We also filmed some of this, so we could use the material to intimidate other alleged insurgents (and/or members of their family).

And we wonder why we’re having difficulty in Iraq.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 23, 2007

Category: Humanity

I’m sure you simply can’t get by without knowing that Cho Seung-Hui not only bought some Walther P22 magazines via this eBay profile (blazers5505), but also a collection of rubber duckies.

So far there is no word of the buying habits of those behind the Baghdad bombings, but surely it’s just a matter of time…

Cho Seung-Hui

(Picture posted to B3ta.)

PS – Somewhere on campus, the only buyer to give Cho Seung-Hui negative feedback is telling fellow students of his ‘narrow escape’; “Opted for local pickup. But didn’t respond to email to make pickup arrangement.”

UPDATE – CrimeBlog follows the vapour-trail.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 18, 2007

Category: Humanity

Old people don’t like it up ’em vs. young people don’t have it in ’em.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 18, 2007

Category: Humanity

Alan Johnston banner

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: Humanity

One would be a fool to expect him to handle this subject using language of the delicate variety.

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 3, 2006

Category: Humanity

John Lucas PrestonMeet John Lucas Preston. He was born in Britain in 1970 and grew up in Leeds.

At the age of 18, he visited Pakistan… and since then he has been battling for his life.

On 17 December 1988, while travelling from Rawalpindi to the village of Bhubar, John claims that Jamshid Khan (the taxi driver he had hired for this journey) attempted to physically/sexually assault him and – in the scuffle that followed – Khan produced a gun which then discharged, fatally injuring him.

John immediately drove to the nearest police station, reported the incident, handed over the weapon, and led police to the scene.

He was later charged with murder.

(According to one judge who heard his case – and there were many, as you’ll soon learn – police planted evidence on John at this time and later doctored witness statements “when all negotiations had failed” – a clear reference to attempts to elicit bribes.)

In 1989 the local secular court convicted John of murder and sentenced him to death. John appealed, and a high court dismissed the case saying there had been discrepancies.

In 1994, a lower court then found John guilty again, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. John appealed this new conviction again at the high court, which in 1996 again dismissed the case and acquitted him.

The case was then referred to the Federal Sharia Court, which convicted John of murder and robbery and sentenced him to death; this conviction was upheld even though:

1. The court conceded there had been no theft (it could be shown John paid for the taxi)
2. There were no witnesses (as is usually required for such a charge and sentence)

On appeal in the religious courts this conviction was again overturned. In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction and a subsequent appeal to that court failed.

In 2005 an appeal for clemency to President Musharraf was declined.

Under Islamic provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code relating to murder, family members of a murder victim have the right waive the punishment and accept blood money as compensation. Despite extended negotiations, Jamshid Khan’s family continue to call for John’s execution.

And that pretty much brings us up to date.

John has spent close to 18 years – almost half of his life and his entire adult life – sitting in a foreign cell or any one of a number of foreign courts. For most of that time, he has lived under a sentence of death.

His execution has been postponed a number of times following a variety of protests, interventions and negotiations throughout 2006. Most recently the date for his execution was moved to last Sunday, which was handy for John and President Musharraf, as this date fell during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Handy for John, because – if the tradition of not executing prisoners during Ramadan holds up – he gets to live until at least late October.

Handy for President Musharraf, because this gave him the elbow room required to keep scheduled appointments with leaders in Europe and Britain and see what pressure he would be put under to (finally) intervene in this case.

As it turns out, that pressure was not sufficient to warrant intervention, but President Musharraf did feel compelled to make this face-saving claim:

“I am not a dictator. I cannot violate a court judgement, whether you like the court or not.” – General Pervez Musharraf – President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Oh, really?

“The President shall have power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority.” – Article 45 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Blair meets MusharrafAnd this is all we get – even after a direct one-hour meeting with our glorious PM?

Well, in a word, yes…

10 Downing Street (28 September 2006): Tony Blair has welcomed President Musharraf of Pakistan to Chequers for talks on terrorism, Afghanistan and relations with India. The two leaders talked for over an hour in a private meeting. The PM thanked President Musharraf for Pakistan’s help in the investigations following the 7/7 attacks and its assistance in foiling foil the transatlantic terror plot over the summer. [Ed note – I just bet he did.] They also both reiterated their commitment to ensuring that the Taliban and Al Qaida are never able to re-establish a foothold in Afghanistan. The UK is the biggest foreign investor in Pakistan, and is Pakistan’s 5th largest export market.

No mention of a certain Briton about to be executed. At all.

Still, at least that last sentence goes some way to explaining why. Too bad they didn’t include other important market forces (for reasons of space, natch).

So why isn’t Blair under pressure to do more?

[Psst! Newbies! Trust me on this; it’s an important question. Our government is inclined to give valuable trading partners and/or allies in the glorious war on terror a hell of a lot of leeway… but only when it’s worth it and/or if they think they can get away with it.]

Specifically, why isn’t John Lucas Preston’s face splashed all over the front page of the Sun newspaper?

Why isn’t Rebekah ‘Red Mist’ Wade screaming for the blood of those who would dare to allow a fellow countryman to suffer such a blatant and disgraceful miscarriage of justice?

Well, let me give you a clue:

Everything you’ve read above is true… apart from the name.

Mirza Tahir HussainJohn Lucas Preston is really Mirza Tahir Hussain.

He was born in Britain and raised in Leeds, but – when it comes down to it – Mirza is a bloody darkie, and simply not worth the bother.

And it’s not just overt racism at work here…

Attention all whities! Do me a favour, and read the following:

– John Lucas Preston
– Mirza Tahir Hussain

Now turn away from the screen and see which name you can best remember.


Mirza Tahir Hussain? Tch! His name may as well be Mumbo-Jumbo Something-Something (or perhaps even Jean Charles de Menezes).

Still, let’s be charitable and see if the good people at The Sun are – at the very least – granting John Mirza a passing mention. After all, they’re constantly reminding us that we have no choice but to back Bush and Blair’s war on terror, as the only alternative is the worldwide imposition of Islamic law. Seems to me that a pro-war angle goes begging. Let’s see:

Nope. Not a sausage. Let’s try the shorter version:

Nope. Still no joy. Looks like Mirza is shit out of luck on three fronts:

Wrong place. Wrong time. Wrong race.

[Please note: If you or your loved ones suffer from a short attention span, this post can be summed up with a single image. Thank you for your time.]

UPDATE – See also: under|progress – The damning silence over Mirza Tahir Hussein

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