Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Clarification on the "Arms Dealer" Story

I Chris Paul has written up his comments on my story which cribbed from a report in the Sunday Times. I said that the times had reported that Imrand Khan had donated money to labour via a group called the "Muslim Friends of Labour" which is similar it seems to the Midland Industrial Council.

I note that, but frankly don't care, my gripe is that Labour really don't like the Midlands Industrial Council so should not be caught in similar circumstances.

I also note that said Imrand Khan has been linked in the report to an arms dealer/salesman. In these circumstances Labour folks seem to go off on one if it is a Conservative donor, but as yet appear not to have in this case. Again, I personally do not have a problem with this trade any more than I would have with a knife salesman. Guns and knives are tools that we make extensive use of, and it is only if someone is trading them irresponsibly that an issue arises and there is no such allegation here.

The point of my story is not that I find Imrand Khan has actually done anything wrong, because as far as I can see it, he hasn't. The point is that had he been a Conservative donor rather than a Labour one, then people like Chris Paul would have gone off the deep end.

Chris Paul hopes I have insurance. Presumably for libel. Well, in this case I would not need it, as even if my facts are wrong I am not accusing Mr Khan of doing anything that is either wrong*, or indeed should attract opprobrium from anyone, it certainly does not from me. In order for there to be an actionable libel you have to make an incorrect statement** about someone which would damage their reputation amongst right thinking people. I can't see that it would, and obviously I exclude Chris Paul from this, as he thinks many things that are legal are wrong.

So my story is not an attack on Mr Khan, but on Chris Paul who insists all sorts of things are bad, but when it is pointed out to him that his own side does it seems to be a tad silent.

* According to the Times report the Electoral Commission are investigating the Muslim Friends of Labour. That does not mean there is any wring doing there, though obviously they may find some.

**Technically you can say something about someone which is true, and still be found guilty of libel. For example you can bring up a criminal conviction which is spent under the provisions of the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders act. There is a defence that to raise such a conviction is in the public interest, and also if I remember correctly the claimant would have to show malice.


Anonymous said...

I seem to remember you doubting these facts when posted a few weeks ago ROFLMAO. When ya gonna learn, Benny?

Anonymous said...

Benny, Puuhh - leeese don't delete this.
Limber-up your attention span.
Look and learn. It's important.

In the past month, American naval and air forces have intercepted two North Korean vessels clandestinely en route for Iran with cargoes of enriched uranium and nuclear equipment. The shutdown of Pongyong’s nuclear facilities has made these items surplus to North Korea’s requirements and worth a good price to the Islamic Republic.

On July 12, the second intercepted North Korean freighter was sunk in the Arabian Sea by torpedoes fired from a US submarine 100 miles southeast of the Iranian naval base-port of Chah Bahar. Delivery of its freight of enriched weapons-grade uranium and equipment and engines for manufacturing more fissile material including plutonium in its hold could have jumped-forwarded Iran’s nuclear bomb and warhead project, lopping off at least a year of work. For this Iran’s rulers were ready to fork out $500 million.

The shipment was brought forward by several weeks to evade detection by UN nuclear watchdog inspectors who were to descend on Pyongyang this week to verify the dismantling of its nuclear facilities.

US airplanes had been tracking the freighter and picked up signs of radioactivity, indicating the presence of nuclear materials aboard.

President Bush had the option of ordering US Marines to board the vessel or sinking it. He decided on the latter - both because the North Korean freighter was approaching an area patrolled by Iranian naval units and seizure of the vessel by American marines might have provoked a clash; also so as not to expose US troops to radioactive contamination. He therefore first ordered American naval and air units in the Persian Gulf, Middle East and seas opposite North Korea to go on a high state of readiness and torpedo the North Korean vessel without delay.

After the attack, US warships raced to the spot where the ship went down. They picked up three lifeboats. Most of the North Korean sailors aboard were either injured or dead. Twenty in all died in the attack. They all bore symptoms of contamination. After the episode, the area was cordoned off and underwater equipment dropped to salvage the cargo from the sunken ship.

All the parties to the incident, the United States, North Korea and Iran, have kept it dark. The situation in and around the Gulf is inflammable enough to explode into a full-blown Iranian-US clash at the slightest provocation. There was also the danger of North Korea aborting the closure of its nuclear facilities at the last moment.

In Feb, 07 the Central Intelligence Agency warned the White House that Iran had offered North Korea a billion and a half dollars in secret negotiations for key components of its dismantled nuclear industry.

In March or early April, Kim Jong-Il decided in the interests of prudence to spurn the offer. He feared that if the deal leaked out to US intelligence, he could say goodbye to the rewards and benefits promised for giving up his nuclear weapons.

But on second thoughts, the North Korea ruler decided it was worth taking the risk of a limited deal with Iran and he therefore agreed to -

1. Subtract for Iran a portion of enriched uranium from his stock.

2. Make up some of Iran’s shortages of high tech equipment for manufacturing weapons.

3. Lend Tehran dozens of nuclear engineers and technicians who have been put out of their jobs by the shutdown of North Korean’s program. With their help, Iran can speed up its program

Three senior North Korean engineers were due in Tehran by August 20 and another nine in December, 07. By then, North Korea expects the IAEA certificate confirming the closure of its nuclear program to be safely in the bag.

Tehran is also giving North Korea three years’ supply of free oil.

The CIA knew about the North Korean deliveries and knew they would be disguised as iron shipments, but were not clear how many ships would be used.

Over several weeks, the Americans cast a dense net of maritime and aerial surveillance, co-opting friendly Asian and European air and naval forces, to keep tabs on every vessel departing North Korea with freights of iron.

The first North Korean vessel was caught in the net on June 25.

Suspected of carrying radioactive materials hidden behind a cargo of iron, the vessel had entered the Arabia Sea and was two days voyage from Iran when, according to our sources in Paris, President Bush and French president Nicolas Sarkozy had a quick conversation over secure lines. That exchange resulted in a decision to rush US and French naval units in the neighborhood to intercept the suspect North Korean freighter and blow it out of the water.

It is not clear whether the ship was sunk by an American or a French submarine and, even after the event, it is not certain that the doomed ship did in fact carry nuclear materials or equipment.

Three days later, on June 28, the US Navy released this statement:

US sailors helped rescue the crew of a North Korean-flagged ship on Monday. The incident occurred in the Arabian Sea when the ship reported it had engine problems, no food or water and was in danger of sinking. The USNS Kanawha and the French ship Dupleix helped evacuate the ship’s 16 crew members to safety. None of the crew was a North Korean citizen.

The US and French ships are part of Combined Task Force 150, which conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the North Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

The Military Sealift Command ship in the US Naval Fleet is the USNS Kanawha Auxiliary Force.

The last time the US Navy or Air Force directly attacked a North Korean vessel was in December 2002, four months before the invasion of Iraq.

That operation was also carried out in conjunction with a European naval force. The CIA located in the Indian Ocean a North Korean freighter carrying a disguised freight of Scud missiles bound for Saddam Hussein’s army in Iraq. The missiles were to have been unloaded in Yemen and smuggled into Iraq. The ship was boarded by Spanish marines under the cover of American helicopters.

Anonymous said...

And some more OT, OT
Basra Is Poised to Secede from Iraq under Saudi Protection

Jordanian intelligence analysts see no way of preventing Basra’s breakaway from the Iraqi Republic. Three local Shiite party militias are already sharing power and the oil loot.

Anonymous said...

During June, 2007,Iraq’s Kurdistan was Invaded from Turkey, Buffeted by Iran

The G8 summitteers were too busy to notice the end of Kurdistan’s reign as an island of stability in Iraq. Turkish troops stormed in from the north in pursuit of PKK separatists: Iranian commandos invaded from the east to strike PEJAK rebels.

Funny, I've not seen any of the above in the MSM. - Liars all.
Do you honestly believe the crap you see?
Conspiracy of silence? MSM involved? Wall of silence? Politicians liars?
You Bet!
AND now Gul is elected in Turkey.
Wake up the west, somebody, their bollox are in a vice.
Is there nobody in this freakin government with an ounce of leadership?, Honesty?

Anonymous said...

And the 9:56 post make nonsense of the MOD briefing released today, or rather dragged out of the scum-bags under the FOI act, on the UK position in Basra.
Who is the liar?
Time will tell.

Chris Paul said...

Blimey Bennie - is that lot all from the same fine source?

Anyway - there is no equivalence between Cameron taking £58,000 from a gun maker and Labour taking an unknown amount from someone who has an unknown association with someone who allegedly has once had some connection with selling arms of some sort.

The MIC - I have no thoughts about about them really. I have never blogged about them.

I note that they don't have Tory or Conservative in their name, unlike MFL having Labour in their name. And the MIC don't seem to like having the names taken out of them whereas the MFL are going to go beyond the requirements.

As for the personal crusade? Give it up. It is liable to get you making ever more mistakes.

I'm not about to review your friends tips for you. But I would be careful if I were you.

Benedict White said...

Chris Paul, "Anyway - there is no equivalence between Cameron taking £58,000 from a gun maker and Labour taking an unknown amount from someone who has an unknown association with someone who allegedly has once had some connection with selling arms of some sort."

Tosh and utter tosh. The reality is both trades are ultimately both legal and necessary, the only question is are both being conducted legally. I'll give you an example. I have a friend who is a drug dealer who makes quite a bit of money. He also sells heroin. All perfectly legal and above board, he is a share holder in a small chain of chemists. (Heroin goes by the name of Diamorphine when prescribed in the UK though it is also known as diacetylmorphine).

Rather obviously he would be a nasty person if he sold the same without prescription at school gates.

What you fail to realise is that you are a stupid hypocrite who can't tell the difference between legitimate business and wrong doing.

I'll give you an example. Let us say we have an arms trader/dealer/salesman. They could be following all the regulations there are and only selling to the most respectable customers. Fine.

They could also however be trading guns to any mob, militia or terrorist gang going.

It is a bit like my drug dealer friend, he is legal an necessary but equally could be a dangerous criminal (with or without a legitimate front).

The fact that you are so keen to leap on to high horses and then split hairs seems to me to show how much you miss the point of my original article.

"The MIC - I have no thoughts about about them really. I have never blogged about them."

Well lots of Labour folk have but fair enough we will move on.The MIC are quite old though.

"I note that they don't have Tory or Conservative in their name, unlike MFL having Labour in their name. "

And who did you think the MIC would be likely to support given the were founded around the late 1940's?

"And the MIC don't seem to like having the names taken out of them whereas the MFL are going to go beyond the requirements."

I await the result. I must admit I was a tad surprised to hear of the investigation, as such organisations are in principle legal.

As for the personal crusade? Give it up. It is liable to get you making ever more mistakes."

The point is Chris that you are qucik to critisise Conservatives for things that Labour do also. It irritates me.

See this about the campaign in Bromley and Chiselhurst where Bob Neil was critised for having 3 jobs, by the Liberal Democrats, whilst many of their front benchers have more than one:

Now, it has to be said I have read all sorts of sophistry and side stepping on the issue, but you either think that your party should have nothing to do with firearms and privately educated education ministers or you don't.

Anonymous said...

If you two site-owners don't stop the pissing contest, I'm gonna f--k-off and find some other political blog to slag-off.
I'm supposed to be the bad-ass around here : )

Anonymous said...

AAAAWW, come on Benedict, stop sulking, I've got news for you.
Nasrallah's mob are building their own telephone network in Lebanon
I wonder who is financing that little lot.
Will it be harder to hack?
Will they spot the induction loops?
Or will it be fibre optics.
Oh, BTW, did you know that the day before 9/11, hundreds of Chinese, constructing a fibre-optics command and control system left Iraq?

Anonymous said...

No, it now says it's a mobile network, so it's eezi peezi to hack, by many different methods
Pin checks, sim simulation, conventional hacking of servers, and a few others.
Geez, they must have got some funding.
Interestingly it mentions the purchase of land, ultimately funded by Iran.
The location, contrary to the article, says to me that the purpose will be to position arms to better attack Israel.
I don't think 1701 and the UN w--kers are involved in these areas.

Anonymous said...

You know, there must be dozens, if not hundreds of Iranian technicians subverting the Leb gov't one way or another, not to mention Hizbullah, and constant Syrian ass-holes.
Add in the palestinian scum, and the AQ killers, and wow, a volatile brew.

Small wonder the "aware" population are leaving.

Anonymous said...

Benny, where have you gone?