Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category

The national security state: knowing me, knowing you

  • June 11, 2013
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There is nothing like the words ‘national security’ to bring the tumbleweed whistling through the public domain.   Governments invoke them whenever they want to do things that they don’t want people to know about or when they want to do things that the law doesn’t allow them to do.

Politicians invariably utter them with a sense of semi-religious awe, hinting at hidden terrors that are too dangerous to talk or even think about, at unfathomable mysteries and dark secrets that are too complex and frightening to be revealed, at the precariousness of a...

Fearful Symmetries

  • May 27, 2013
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At the end of a sad and horrible week, in which the brutal murder of a British soldier in Woolwich has unleashed dark forces that are more likely than ever to place all British Muslims under a state of siege,   The Guardian‘s Jonathan Freedland chose to berate Ken Livingstone and ‘the left’ for suggesting...

Murder in Woolwich

  • May 23, 2013
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I didn’t look at the news until quite late last night, so I wasn’t aware of the disgusting horror-spectacle in Woolwich until shortly before going to bed.     I went to sleep, as many people probably did,   with the image of a ‘holy warrior’ with bloody hands holding a meat cleaver firmly imprinted...

Sibel Edmonds: the woman no one wants to hear

  • May 18, 2013
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Anyone interested in getting to grips with the twisted and murky contradictions of the great war on terrorism should read the absolute must-read story by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed on the Ceasefire webzine on the FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

A former translator for the FBI, Edmonds has been subjected to successive gagging orders by the US government...

Black Holes in Benghazi

  • May 16, 2013
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Far be it from me to stand up and defend Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton.   But the Republican attempt to embroil his administration in a ‘cover-up’ over the killing of four Americans, including the US ambassador,   in Benghazi last September says a great deal about the intellectual and moral vortex into which American...

Our friends in Kabul

  • April 30, 2013
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The New York Times and The Guardian both have stories on the secret payments made to the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan by the CIA and MI6.     The NYT came in first, with a report yesterday on how ‘wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have...

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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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