"Secret treaties between Republic of Ireland and USA?We may perhaps be of some assistance.
In the Dail today, Michael D. Higgins referred to two treaties between the USA and the Irish Republic that are listed on the US State Department's website but were never presented before the Dail. Given the sensitivity of the Shannon airport issue and the general erosion of the republic's neutrality, this is a source of concern. The line from the government is that these are administratively focused and don't tie the country in any hitherto unknown GWOT fashion.
But one of them sounds dodgy. Here are the relevant pages from the State Department's website, which list the name of the treaties, but not their text.
[text of treaties]
The former looks especially suspicious. Everyone knows that it's only 300,000 troops, but nothing else, passing through Shannon, right? [...]"
"VOL. 23, No. 23, December 2 2005Which should at the very least give rise to questions over this Government's honesty in leveling with the Irish public.
DAVID NORRIS TARGETS SHANNON
SENATOR David Norris has been vocal in the Oireachtas about the Bush War in Iraq and the use of the gas-and-go base at Shannon. But distressingly, he has been pointing his finger in the wrong direction. Perhaps he should pay more attention to Goldhawk’s revelations.
Norris and his Oireachtas allies should target Defence Minister Willie O’Dea and ask if the Defence Forces Director of Intelligence, Col. John Maloney, keeps a record of the number and other details, from whatever means available, of all foreign war planes and civil aircraft being used by foreign military forces flying over and landing in the State.
In recent times, the Military Intelligence Directorate (G2) has been expanded, with its Air Intelligence Section, based at Baldonnel, taking a particular interest in Shannon. Much of its concerns are about how US personnel and equipment there can be defended against threats from Holy Warriors. However, the Air Intelligence Section is privy to hush-hush information about the Yanks and their operations, including the name of an Irish-registered but US owned company which sends remittances to the Department of Defence in Dublin for certain services rendered and materials provided, over and above the Shannon refuelling arrangements. These services are for some of the more secretive flights that come in and out of Shannon and also Baldonnel – with the latter increasingly providing refuelling and service facilities for US aircraft as Goldhawk has noted several times.
It’s here Norris should start his questioning of Willie O’Dea, asking what payments are made, and if the Minister can give details of the services provided. While he’s at it, the Trinity Independent senator may care to ask how often the US military attaché visits Defence Forces HQ and has lunch in the Officers Mess at McKee Barracks and if the frequency of such visits, traditionally once-monthly, has increased recently. He might also ask how these visits by a foreign military representative compare with visits from military representatives of our sister countries in the EU, eg, France, Germany and Italy. "
"VOL. 23, No. 24, December 16 2005Therein lies the story of P. O'Neill's protocols.
SECRET PAYMENTS FOR US LANDINGS
GOLDHAWK has obtained information which indicates that the CIA is using Baldonnel (HQ of the Irish Air Corps) for re-supply flights by the controversial Gulfstream and other aircraft including Beechcraft, Boeing and McDonald DC9 jets used in the special renditions programme. Payments for facilities obtained, including supply of aviation kerosene, are billed by the Irish Department of Defence to the DAO (Defence Attaché Office) at a Post Office Box rented by the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana. At least two accounts have been sent to this address by the Department of Defence in Dublin in respect of flights into Baldonnel by the Gulfstream G3 on July 15, 2005. The Gulfstream was back again on August 9 and on August 10 at Baldonnel.
Obscurely tucked away in West Africa, Ghana is an interesting place in the CIA scheme of things. The Americans run a “training centre” (known as KAPKTC) in Ghana for what they describe as “soldier- statesmen”. US training officers there are described as “the point of the spear ... serving with distinction on all fronts in the global war on terrorism.”
Other accounts rendered by the Irish Defence Department for facilities provided at Baldonnel have been sent to an even more obscure place – the DAO, Suite 1600, Santa Clara, California. This is only a partial address. A net search on Suite 1600, Santa Clara brings up a link to Paul Puri & Associates, a criminal defence law firm, licenced in Santa Clara County, but with an address at Suite 1600, 580 California Street, San Francisco.
It is probable that DAO in this case stands not for Defense Attaché Office but rather Defense Accounting Office, of which there is one in nearby Moffett Field, a former US naval air base.
According to its website, there are two long runways and substantial other accommodation there which once housed more than 5,000 military on a 2,000 acre site. “Moffett Federal Airfield (MFA) is currently operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),” it reads. “NASA has continued the tenant program begun by the Navy, hosting several other organizations at MFA including the Naval Reserve, the California Air National Guard, and Onizuka Air Force Base. Currently, NASA is continuing to operate MFA as a restricted federal airfield.”
Irish Defence sources say that several of this year’s US transits through Baldonnel have given their destinations vaguely to Air Traffic Control as “Orange County, California”, while others have listed San Jose (which happens to be adjacent to Moffet Federal Airfield) as their destination. The cleverness of using Baldonnel is that CIA flights are camouflaged by regular flights on US army, navy and air force operations. Local costs incurred by such “regular” aircraft, (unlike those which have accounts sent to Ghana or an obscure address in California), are billed by the Irish Department of Defence to DAO (Defence Attaché Office) Dublin, which is the address of the Defence Attaché at the American Embassy in Ballsbridge.
Some Defence Force members are convinced that there exists a secret protocol between Dublin and Washington (agreed over a bowl of shamrock during a St. Patrick’s Day White House bash) which allows the US unfettered access to Irish air space and vital refuelling facilities. There are a number of precedents. The best-known is the secret arrangement by which de Valera kept quiet about the building of the hush-hush US Naval Radio Station at Clooney Park, Derry, in 1941, before the Americans entered the Second World War, and the over-flying of neutral Donegal by Allied warplanes during the Battle of the Atlantic. "
"VOL. 24, No. 1, January 13 2006:Does anyone still doubt that Ireland has been sucked into the ethical and legal black hole that passes for this US Administration's so-called governing? We hope not.
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE MYOPIA
G2 presently is attempting to discover who leaked information to Goldhawk about CIA flights using the Air Corps base at Baldonnel (see The Phoenix16/12/2005)). At the same time the military spy service has turned a blind eye to what is going on at the west Dublin aerodrome. This is why Minister Willie O’Dea can say he has no knowledge of the strange billing arrangements for “special” US flights which refuel at Baldonnel. He hasn’t – because G2, in keeping with its long established tradition, refuse to look for it – preferring instead to witch-hunt for the source of Goldhawk’s information.
To assist Willie to find information not provided by G2, Goldhawk suggests he contact PO Box 194 at 13 Independence Ave, Liberation Circle, Accra, Ghana. If he asks for “the Company Representative” (aka CIA Station Chief) he may learn why that address was given by the commander of a US military aircraft which made a hush-hush landing at Baldonnel in July. The flight was one of scores of such refuelling stops at Baldonnel in recent times. "
"Much of the coverage was on the drive time talk radio, with Hookie and Cooper covering it in some depth. The response from ISME and Shane Ross was to brand it all Marxist twaddle and focus on the call for a raising of Corporation Tax."We heard the same interview, too. As we recall, the subject then turned to the notion (we forget whether it was Ross or the ISME representative who suggested it) that Sinn Féin would deliberately try to sabotage the economy in order to win more votes. And we were rather surprised by the gusto with which this theme was taken up.
"Remaining on the fringes, in terms of policy, was never going to win votes, however it is until such time as they commit to policing up north, and moderate some of their other policies that the change will really begin to kick in. Right now that seems unlikely but a year is a long time without and army."Still, there's at present a good deal of unoccupied ground to the left of both Labour and Fianna Fáil for the Shinners to make themselves at home in, a topic we've blogged on before.
"One would do well to note an ideological point here. Abuse of the government contracting process is bad, and perpetrators of wrongdoing should in no way get off the hook. Nevertheless, the entire concept of farming government out work to private firms is a more-or-less open invitation to corruption. There are instances when contracting is the only reasonable solution. But for some years now [...] all the pressure has always been to privatize more and more government functions. The theory is that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector, so contracting functions out to private firms should save money. The reality has had a lot more to do with union-busting, machine-building, and "honest graft" than money saved or improved efficiency."
"...As I wrote here reform of the CHR is one of the main prongs in Kofi Annan’s reform package and is long overdue. [...] Now what does Bolton want to do? He wants to ensure that the five permanent members of the Security Council (USA, UK, France, People’s Republic of China and Russian Federation) would have automatic and permanent membership of this Council[...]"As she notes, "nice". (None of the five have particularly good human rights records)
"But the availability of such information threatens a great many despotic nations which do not believe individuals should have access to information that may be damaging to their governmental societies. The regimes in China, Cuba, Iran, Syria and Tunisia, for example, believe Internet content must be controlled so that individuals do not have access to any information that has not been approved by their governments. In China the word "democracy" is not allowed on the Internet; it is just too dangerous to the communist government. And so such nations want international controls on Internet usages and content.It goes on in that vein for some time, including a bizarre claim to the American readership that the UN will tax their email if it seizes control. (What horror!)
Today no organization or government controls the Internet. The mechanics of participation--domain names, suffixes like .com and .org, and technical codes--are supervised by the independent organization Icann, an acronym for Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, based in America and loosely overseen by the U.S. government. Much of the rest of the world, gathered last week in Tunisia for the U.N.-hosted World Summit on the Information Society, wants to take over that responsibility, or as European Union spokesman Martin Selmayr put it, the U.S. must "give up their unilateral control and everything will be fine." Perhaps as fine as it is in China, where, according to the New York Times, "major search engines . . . must stop posting their own commentary articles and instead make available only pieces generated by government-controlled newspapers and news agencies."
Old Europe and the despotic nations want exactly that--international Internet content control. And they have convinced the EU establishment that U.N. control of the Internet would be just and appropriate. The last United Nations World Summit on the Internet--held in 2003--concluded that "governments should intervene . . . to maximize economic and social benefits and serve national priorities." The report of the U.N. Working Group on Internet Governance says it would have "respect for cultural and linguistic diversity, " explaining that meant "multilingual, diverse, and culturally appropriate content" on the Internet.
And what is "culturally appropriate" content? If your nation is a free society--America, Ireland, Australia--a free and unregulated-content Internet is a good thing. For dictatorships and state controlled societies--the former USSR, China or Cuba--it is a catastrophe, for allowing citizens free access to information puts your government at risk. And if you are in between--a socialist government like France or Germany--U.N. control is a good thing because government control is always better than unregulated markets."
"Once Green, Now BlackUpdate 12/01/06: Apparently both Vance and McCann have been doing online interviews recently. From McCann's:
[...] I'm sure O'Rourke didn't mean any offence, though it shows how the demographic composition of the Republic of Ireland is starting to breed the hyper-sensitive tripe over anything that might be construed as having racist overtones. For my part, I have found the phrase 'working like blacks' to be totally erroneous. My experience of working with black Africans in particular has shown them to be among the most indolent people in the workplace. Most must believe that a hard day's work ended with the cessation of slavery [...]
Posted by A McC on January 11, 2006 at 08:08 AM |"
"When attending interviews for jobs in your chosen profession of counselling do you give genuine and honest answers to questions about your social/political opinions or do you nod towards the approved "PC" answer?It also seems that the two have now discovered podcasting:
Why, the PC answer of course. It is bad enough being a white, Protestant male in the jobs market of Britain 2006 plc, without further hampering your case with political honesty.
Was President Clinton's involvement in the NI peace process helpful? Or would things have been better off had he not become involved?
Are there any bi-national or intercommunal examples of conflict resolution that in your opionion provide a useful template for Northern Ireland?
Has Ian Paisley been a helpful figure as respects community relations?
No it wasn't helpful. It was gross interference by a foreign leader to curry favour with a section of the American voters who had spent the best part of thirty years dropping cents into hats to fuel a murder campaign against British citizens. It was partisan and malevolent.
The best template would be to treat Irish republicans the way the Israelis have treated the Palestinians. There must never be one iota of constitutional compromise with them.
Ian Paisley is a by-product of circumstances, not an initiator of them. His rise is directly linked to the desire by a section of the minority community to destroy the Union. Remove that threat, and Ian Paisley ceases to be a hindrance to community relations.
Have you ever shown a Muslim acquaintance any of your writings on Islam and Muslims? If so, what was his or her reaction?
I keep my work life and my blogging life entirely separate. People at work are unware that I have a website. Whatever my personal feelings about Islam, I sometimes have to work with Muslims for the good of my disabled clients. Their experiences should not be disrupted by any possible dislike between myself and another staff member. So the answer to your question is 'No!"
"January 08, 2006We can imagine.
ATW PODCAST - COMING YOUR WAY!
ATW generates many more daily stories than your average blog, and I hope you enjoy reading them. Our ever growing site traffic meter rather indicates that you do, which is great. Now we want to enhance this by providing you with a regular ATW weekly podcast - which you can download and listen to each week with exclusive material, and all at no cost! You can get to hear my dulcet tones (Prepare yourselves!) and because this is downloadable you can play it back on your Ipod/MP3 player at your convenience! It should make those car journeys pass more quickly."
"e. The Service may offer interactive features that allow you to, among things, submit or post information and materials on areas of the Service accessible and viewable by other users of the Service and the public. You agree that any use by you of such features shall be your sole responsibility, shall not infringe or violate the right of any other, contribute to or encourage unlawful conduct, or otherwise be obscene, objectionable or in poor taste. Moreover, you hereby grant iTunes a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use such materials as part of the Service, and in relation to Products, without any compensation or obligation to you.Update 12/01/06: correction on McCann's name, as per the comments.
iTunes reserves the right not to post or publish any materials, and to delete, remove or edit any material, at any time in its sole discretion without liability."
"The obligatory ad for the new iMac was shown, and it was hilarious, setting Intel "free" from the "dull little tasks of the PC world." It will have the heads of Apple haters exploding like firecrackers on this, our Inteldepence Day."We expect so.
"LONDON (Reuters) - A British court on Tuesday ordered two men to face trial on charges of leaking a memo that a lawmaker said described a plan by U.S. President George W. Bush to bomb Arabic television station Al Jazeera.This "joke" by Bush it now turns out faced opposition by both Blair and Powell, and has activated the UK's Official Secrets Act resulting in the prosecution of two alleged leakers. Pretty heavy for what pro-Bush bloggers insist was a moment of humour. It appears that despite the attempts to publicly laugh it off, someone, somewhere takes it very seriously indeed. Given all that, perhaps we should, too.
The defendants, civil servant David Keogh and Leo O'Connor, a researcher who worked for a former British lawmaker, face a preliminary hearing on January 24 on charges of breaking the Official Secrets Act and their lawyers are pushing for the secret document to be disclosed.
A British newspaper reported last year that the memo of a meeting between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2004 detailed a proposal by Bush to bomb Al Jazeera but said Blair had persuaded him against the plan.
The story was dismissed as "outlandish" by the White House and Blair denied receiving details of any U.S. proposal to bomb Al Jazeera.
Britain's attorney general has warned media they will be breaking the law if they publish details of the document.
British Member of Parliament Peter Kilfoyle told Reuters on Tuesday that he had been briefed on its contents by Tony Clarke, the lawmaker who employed O'Connor, after he received a copy.
"He made me aware of the contents," said Kilfoyle. "There was a discussion about bombing Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar and also about the attack on (the Iraqi town) Falluja."
"My understanding ... is that Blair and (former U.S. Secretary of State) Colin Powell were against the bombing of Al Jazeera," said Kilfoyle, who opposed Britain joining the U.S. in invading Iraq, as did other rebel Labor party members."
"[Swiss weekly SonnstagsBlick] reported that the document said Egypt had confirmed through its own sources that the US intelligence agency had held 23 terror suspects at a military base in Romania.The Council of Europe are quoted in the above piece as being in the process of verifying the document's authenticity. But it it is genuine, is the cat now firmly out of the bag as to this being an issue that the EU must face?
The message also said there were similar US detention centres in Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria, according to the newspaper.
The message, a fax sent by satellite transmission from Egypt's foreign ministry to its embassy in London, was intercepted on November 15 by Swiss intelligence, the newspaper reported. The Swiss defence ministry said it was investigating the leak of the document."
"Senator Mary O'Rourke, perhaps the most serpentine personality in the Irish political swamp, thanked her supporters for "working like blacks" to get her back on the Fianna Fail ticket after voters turfed her out four years ago.
Mary O'Rourke IS a racist. One could argue about the provenance, etymology and appropriateness of Mary O'Rourke's phrase, "worked like blacks". One can also argue whether or not she, as an elected official with skin thicker than a T-Rex, should be expected to apologise. But if the word racism has any meaning, it includes prejudice based on race. Mary O'Rourke's first instinct when confronted by a black texter to Newstalk was to congratulate her on getting her asylum, that is, to assume she was an asylum seeker."Mrs. O'Rourke's fellow race-baiters over at the notoriously pro-Soldiers of Destiny Irish Times don't escape his wrath, either:
"Queue the rally-round. The Irish Times did put the story on the front page, not that you'd notice, being an inch or so from the bottom, and the "blacks" remark buried in the story with no reference to it in the headline."Not to fear, though. If there is one bastion of political correctness and indeed integrity in the craven MSM, it is to be found in the Duckworth School of Reporting (tm The Phoenix) Independent Newspapers Group:
"The Indo led with it, and included reference to the 'kebab' problem of her nephew, Conor Lenihan.In conclusion:
The Indo also - unlike the Times - included comments from Rosanna Flynn of Residents Against Racism, who was the only person in the mediaverse this morning to unambiguously suggest that O'Rourke should apologise"
"One final thought. If the remarks were made by, say, a Senator from Mississippi, rather than a Senator from Fianna Fail, would the world simply shrug and say, ah well? Oh wait - we know the answer to that question. The Amercia that Irish commentators of a certain disposition love to brand as racist removed Trent Lott as Senator Majority leader in 2002 when he said nice things about a racist. The Ireland that likes to think of itself as above that American disease is in fact constantly engaged in the most coarse apologias for members of The Club when they make, as only Shawn Pogatchnik of the Associated Press had the candor to describe it in the headline, a "racist comment"."Absolutely correct. A doddery old Irish politician making a slip of the tongue is indeed comparable to a Dixiecrat politician praising racial segregation before the winning of full Civil Rights for blacks. Her refusal - uncharacteristic of Irish politicians - to admit wrong and apologise is only the beginning. Next you know, the Lenihan clan will be lighting crosses on the lawn in Leinster House.
"A LEADING British Army officer believes Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached for his role in the war in Iraq, the Mail on Sunday reported.If there's one retired general going so far as to say it, then there's a hundred thinking it. So much for the much ballyhooed 'Blair legacy'.
General Sir Michael Rose, a former UN commander in Bosnia, was quoted by the right-of-centre Mail on Sunday as saying: "I think the politicians should be held to account ... my view is that Blair should be impeached.
"That would prevent the politicians treating quite so carelessly the subject of taking a country into war.""
"Before My Lai, Americans always saw their boys in uniform as heroes. Their troops had brought war criminals, the Nazis, to justice. So when the massacre of some 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians by U.S. soldiers became public a year and a half later, it shook the country to its core. Many Americans found it so unbelievable they perversely hailed Lt. William Calley, the officer who ordered his men to shoot civilians, as an unjustly accused hero. But My Lai did produce true heroes, says William Eckhardt, who served as chief prosecutor for the My Lai courts-martial. "When you have evil, sometimes, in the midst of it, you will have incredible, selfless good. And that's Hugh Thompson."We wish we had confidence that there wouldn't be Stateside 'patriots' today threatening to kill individuals who had shown such courage in Iraq.
Bush reaches beyond inner circle on Iraq policyAssociated Press:
Fri Jan 6, 2006 3:00 AM GMT
By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush reached beyond his tight circle of trusted aides on Thursday to solicit views on Iraq of former secretaries of state and defence, including some who have publicly criticised his policy.
The meeting, part of the president's effort to defend his policies on Iraq and the war on terrorism as he tries to recover from low opinion poll ratings, took place as insurgent violence surged anew this week in Iraq.
"Not everybody around this table agreed with my decision to go into Iraq and I fully understand that," Bush said, adding that he had listened to their concerns and suggestions. "We take to heart the advice."
The former officials who served in administrations dating back to President John Kennedy, met with Bush, current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. [...]
Bush, Ex-Policymakers, Discuss IraqNew York Times: (via Atrios):
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer Thu Jan 5, 4:38 PM ET
WASHINGTON - President Bush brought foreign policy heavyweights from yesteryear to the White House on Thursday, including Democrats who have opposed his Iraq strategy. He got support for the mission — along with a few concerns — and a right to claim he was reaching out.
Waging an unpopular war that has dragged down his approval ratings, Bush has been campaigning to win the public over to his argument that he has a successful strategy for stabilizing Iraq and bringing American troops home.
As part of that effort, Bush brought to the White House more than a dozen former secretaries of state and defense, split almost evenly between Republican and Democratic administrations, for a detailed briefing and give-and-take.
He gambled that one-time high-level public officials, when personally summoned by the president, would resist temptation to be too critical.
He was right.
"When you are in the presence of the president of the United States, I don't care if you've been a devout Democrat for the last hundred years, you're likely to pull your punches to some degree," Lawrence Eagleburger, a secretary of state under former President George H.W. Bush, said as he left the White House. "Now, there was some criticism. But it was basically, `You haven't talked to the American people enough.' And it was very mild."
The unusual gathering in the Roosevelt Room began with an update by Gen. George Casey, the top American commander in Iraq, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. But speaking to reporters afterward, Bush emphasized the portion of the meeting in which he asked the former secretaries to offer "their concerns, their suggestions."
"Not everybody around this table agreed with my decision to go into Iraq. I fully understand that," the president said, his guests arrayed silently around him. "But these are good solid Americans who understand that we've got to succeed now that we're there. I'm most grateful for the suggestions they've given."
Madeleine Albright, a secretary of state under President Clinton and a critic of Bush's decision to invade Iraq, praised Bush for holding the meeting.
Albright said she felt she had no choice but to attend, despite political differences with Bush.
"Clearly I didn't go there as a prop," she said. "We can't say we want to be consulted and then, when asked, not go.""
Bush and Former Cabinet Members Discuss Topic No. 1: Iraq"Five to ten minutes" to discuss Iraq?
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: January 5, 2006
WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 - Colin Powell said nothing - a silence that spoke volumes to many in the White House today.
His predecessor, Madeleine Albright, was a bit riled after hearing an exceedingly upbeat 40-minute briefing to 13 living former secretaries of state and defense about how well things are going in Iraq. Saying the war in Iraq was "taking up all the energy" of President Bush's foreign policy team, she asked Mr. Bush whether he had let nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea spin out of control, and Latin America and China policy suffer by benign neglect.
"I can't let this comment stand," Mr. Bush shot back, telling Ms. Albright and the rare assembly of her colleagues, who reached back to the Kennedy White House, that his administration "can do more than one thing at a time."
The Bush administration, the president insisted, had "the best relations of any country with Japan, China and Korea," and active programs to win alliances around the world.
That was, according to some of the participants, one of the few moments of heat during an unusual White House effort to bring some of its critics into the fold and give a patina of bipartisan common ground to the strategy that Mr. Bush has laid out in recent weeks for Iraq.
But if it was a bipartisan consultation, as advertised by the White House, it was a brief one. Mr. Bush allowed 5 to 10 minutes this morning for interchange with the group - which included three veterans of another difficult war, the one in Vietnam: Robert S. McNamara, Melvin R. Laird and James R. Schlesinger. Then the entire group was herded the Oval Office for what he called a "family picture."
"Throughout last year, the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy tightened control on bloggers by requiring them to register through the chain of command and by creating special security squads to monitor milblogs.This highlights an important point, which non-military personnel may not appreciate. Every time you read or hear a military spokesperson talk about how the Iraq War is going, you're not seeing a free actor, able to communicate his or her experiences and/or opinions to you openly and honestly. Instead, you're dealing with someone who may as an individual be trustworthy, but whose military duty requires them to spin as morale-boosting a tale as possible - and that includes lying and deliberate obfuscation, as we've seen over the years with the British in NI and latterly with the US in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"The ones that stay up are completely patriotic and innocuous, and they're fine if you want to read the flag-waving and how everything's peachy keen in Iraq," said Hartley, who is back in New Paltz after two years stationed in Iraq."
"Smart, tough, resilient, Condoleezza Rice ends a testing first year in office with the State Department relocated to the centre of American foreign policy making. That is a considerable achievement."We (on the other hand) see it as honouring a public liar and brass-necked apologist for torture, and we suspect we're far from alone in this. And it may just be us, but we fail to see how a penchant for publicly brown-nosing Bush lackeys sits easily with this comment added to the end of a recent Rainy Day eulogy to W.H. Auden, and presumably aimed at the press reporting the news criticism of Dubya:
"Fifty years ago, he could not have imagined the "horrid, mechanical screech" we are now subjected to by those who are paid to "befuddle the crowd", but his words continue to reverberate. And, there was then and there is now "the suburb of dissent". It's where the bloggers hang out now."However, and in keeping with the times, the Dublin Institute for Culture and Knowledge is pleased to announce the Humanity Dick Award for notable humanitarian works which better (in ways large or small) the society we live in. As most out there are probably unaware of just who this remarkable Irishman was, we delve into Wikipedia:
"Colonel Richard "Humanity Dick" Martin, M.P., of Ballinahinch, Co. Galway, Esq., was born in 1754 the only son of the Honourable Bridget Barnwall - a daughter of Baron Trimlestown - and Robert Martin Fitz Anthony of Birchall, Co. Galway. He was raised at Dangan House, situated on the Corrib River, four miles upriver from the town of Galway. His father's family, Jacobite in politics, were one of The Tribes of Galway, fourteen merchant families who ruled Galway from the 14th to 17th centuries. The Barnwalls were an enobled family of Norman descent based in the counties of Dublin, Kildare and Meath in Lenister. Bridget died when Richard was nine, and Robert later married Mary Lynch - another Tribal family - by whom he had sons Robert and Anthony.(We'll direct readers also to this)
Though both of his parents were Catholic, Richard was raised a Protestant in order to fight in the Irish Parliament for Catholic Emancipation. This he did with gusto from 1777 to its final sitting in 1800, after which The Act of Union dissolved it and obliged Irish M.P.'s to sit in Westminster, London. He continued his work towards Irish Catholic Emancipation till 1826, when he was found to be incorrectly elected. Emancipation was finally granted in 1829, much to his delight.
He is most famous for his work in connection with wanton cruelty to animals, which led to Martin's Act in 1822, and the foundation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Beyond this, however, was a very eventful life. He survived shipwreck on at least two occasions; fought in excess of one hundred duels with sword and pistol; had travelled extensively in Europe and the Americans in the 1770's (was present in New England when war broke out); founded Galway's first theatre; was present in Paris when the French Revolution broke out in 1789; divorced his first wife - who had at one time an affair with the Irish rebel Theobald Wolfe Tone - and was awarded £10,000 compensation which he threw away to the poor. He was on a first-name basis with many of the famous names of his age, Flood, Henry Grattan, William Pitt, King George IV, Queen Caroline, Daniel O'Connell."
"The minutes fuel the debate over when exactly the Allies were aware of the Holocaust in central Europe. In December 1942, amid reports that thousands of Jews were being transferred to Poland from the German-occupied countries, Churchill asked his cabinet: 'Any confirmation of story of wholesale massacre? By mass electrical methods.' Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, replies there is 'nothing direct, but indications that it may be true. Can't confirm the method.'"This is rather curious, as Eden only went before the English parliament on December 17th of the same year to issue a joint Allied statement declaring the existence of the Nazis' genocidal policies. As the last-linked piece notes, Eden's statement came only after public disquiet on leaked reports of the Holocaust - and there is plenty of evidence to suggest Allied foot-dragging on rescuing Jewish refugees from Occupied Europe (see especially here). We look forward to more detail on Eden (and what he and his government knew) as this treasure trove of documents gets sifted through.
"The presidential protocol record for 1938-1957, made public this week within a trove of previously secret government documents, shed new light on one of the most embarrassing chapters in the history of independent Ireland _ its decision to maintain cordial relations with the Nazis even after news of the Holocaust emerged.We breathlessly await the form that incorporating this little detail (into the Anglophile narrative on the untrustworthy Irish) might take. Personally, our money's on Myers declaring that Dev himself wheeled the old man from the Park to the Legation, and the extra-territorial wingnuts keeping it simple and merely leaving out all the boring little details on Hyde's actual politics and beliefs.
The new document confirmed that President Douglas Hyde visited Hempel on May 3, 1945, a day after Ireland received reports of Hitler's death.
The newly released document says Hyde _ who died in 1949 _ says the president did not send an official letter of condolence to German government headquarters because "the capital of Germany, Berlin, was under siege and no successor had been appointed." "
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley
An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.
I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.
(This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)