Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category

Money for Torture: the endless gravy train of the ‘war on terror’

  • December 13, 2014
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One of the most striking revelations in the Senate Select Committee’s scathing condemnation of the CIA’s torture program has been the role of the two psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen in the Agency’s interrogations.

Both men had worked for the US military for many years before they retired shortly after 9/11 and set up their own company Mitchell Jessen & Associates, which won an eyewatering contract worth $181 million to run 80 percent of the interrogation program in 2005.     The two psychologists were paid $1,800 per day and received $81 million by...

The CIA’s Torture Gardens

  • December 11, 2014
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America, perhaps more than any other country, has a striking ability to turn even the grimmest evidence of moral failure into a testament to its exalted moral status, and the response to the Senate Intelligence Select Committee Report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program is no exception.

As heavily-redacted as it is,  ...

A Plague of Violent Cops

A Plague of Violent Cops

  • December 05, 2014
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Policemen have long been a indispensable feature of popular entertainment.   Today, cops and detectives pour through our cinemas and tv screens in an endless stream, and tv cop dramas and police procedurals routinely take their viewer into  dark and dangerous places that other dramas cannot reach.

The stories they tell are not pretty, and cop shows...

Remembering Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’

  • December 01, 2014
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It has passed virtually unnoticed in the UK, but this year is the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of one of the most famous military campaigns in history:   William Tecumseh Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea’ from Atlanta to Savannah.     I have a particular interest in this anniversary, having written a book on...

National Security: a concept in search of a meaning?

  • November 26, 2014
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It’s National Counter Terrorism Awareness week, and the government and police forces across the country are doing their best to remind the public of the gravity of the threats we face from terrorism, radicalization and extremism.     The UK ‘terror threat’ has been raised to ‘ severe’ and the prime minister has gone so...

Saint Tony Ascends to Heaven

Saint Tony Ascends to Heaven

  • November 21, 2014
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It’s been a good year for that jetsetting businessman, philanthropist and peace envoy Tony Blair.   In September GQ Magazine voted him ‘philanthropist of the year.’     Now Save the Children have given him its ‘Global Legacy Award’ at a ‘gala dinner’ in New York attended by various A-List film stars, celebrities, and the...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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