Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorwar Category
Why Has the Ministry of Defence Tried to Ban Its Own Book?

Why Has the Ministry of Defence Tried to Ban Its Own Book?

  • April 13, 2014
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When democratic governments attempt to ban books it rarely work out well for the government.   When the Thatcher government tried to ban Spycatcher under the Official Secrets it ended up looking ridiculous and impotent when the book was published abroad – even in Scotland – for three years before the ban was lifted, so that anyone who wanted to know what was in it could find out.

Rather than silencing books, such efforts tend to generate more curiosity about them.  And attempts at censorship and prohibition are almost guaranteed to attract attention when a...

Dan Hodges Wins the Afghan War

Dan Hodges Wins the Afghan War

  • March 18, 2014
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The Telegraph‘s Dan Hodges has offered his readers some spectacularly dumb reflections on  the British contribution to the Afghan war.  It would be more accurate to describe   Hodges’s column as a collection of words thrown together and arranged into sentences rather than thoughts, since there is little evidence of thinking at all in this...

What is Moazzam Begg Doing in Jail?

What is Moazzam Begg Doing in Jail?

  • February 27, 2014
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A lot of people will be nodding with satisfaction at the news that the director of Cageprisoners Moazzam Begg has been arrested on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas. Begg has not been charged with anything so far, but West Midlands police are apparently investigating the possibility that he may have attended a ‘jihadist training camp’...

A Very British Cover-Up

A Very British Cover-Up

  • December 21, 2013
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It’s the festive season, you probably don’t want to hear about the complicity of the British government’s involvement in illegally kidnapping terrorist suspects and flying them around the world to be tortured by dictators.

Nevertheless, bad news doesn’t always come when we want to hear it, but it sometimes comes when the government doesn’t want us...

The Afghan War: A Game of Two Halves

  • December 19, 2013
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War is a lot like football isn’t it?     Well General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the British Defence Staff seems to think so.     Yesterday he told the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) that the British Armed Forces were experiencing a manpower shortage that may end up excluding us from ‘ the...

Robert Greenwald’s ‘Unmanned’: Essential Public Service Journalism

Robert Greenwald’s ‘Unmanned’: Essential Public Service Journalism

  • November 02, 2013
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After various attempts, the CIA appears to have finally killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-I-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a drone strike in North Waziristan.   The United States hasn’t confirmed the hit yet, though a White House spokeswoman has declared that if these reports are true, they would represent a “serious loss for...

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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