Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Britain’s Death Squad

  • November 22, 2013
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Last night’s Panorama investigation on the Military Reaction Force (MRF) was an important and revelatory insight into a little-known facet of the British ‘dirty war’ in Northern Ireland.   A secret unit that ‘did not exist on paper’,   the MRF carried out undercover surveillance and extra-judicial executions of IRA members, mostly in West Belfast,   in the early 70s before it was disbanded in 1973.

Such activities were not a revelation in themselves.   Various army units did the same kind of work, such as the Force Research Unit (FRU), but this was the...

Drones: What Are they Good For?

  • October 30, 2013
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Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald and US Congressman Alan Grayson are to be congratulated for bringing civilian victims of drone attacks in North Waziristan to   Washington yesterday.     For the first time, Americans had the opportunity to put human faces on a region that tends to feature in the consciousness of the West as...

Dick Cheney’s Heart

  • October 19, 2013
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So Dick Cheney has revealed to a CBS News interviewer that his cardiologist once had the wireless component of his heart defibrillator disabled in order to prevent terrorists from sending a signal that might kill him.       Apparently something   similar happens in the Homeland series, which I don’t watch, but the former...

Rule Britannia: land of cowards, bullies and lackeys

  • August 20, 2013
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The temporary detention and interrogation of Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda at Heathrow is   a pathetic, stupid and vindictive act on so many levels.     Firstly,   it is a disgraceful and arbitrary abuse of power which has no other purpose other than to punish and intimidate Greenwald for his part in the...

Vampire Capitalism

  • July 24, 2013
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Following the piece I posted earlier this week on the Coalition government’s plans to sell off the UK’s plasma supplies to a private US company, a reader has sent me a link to a really shocking story that I wasn’t aware of before, about a similar phenomenon in the United States which deserves wider attention.

Written...

Leaving Edward Snowden to the Wolves

  • July 03, 2013
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Who will stand up for Edward Snowden?   Not the American media, that fearless and forensic instrument of truthtelling, which has been generally too busy poring over Snowden’s ‘narcissism’ and character flaws, or arguing that surveillance is good for us, to consider the broader implications of his revelations.

Nor tough guy Vladimir Putin, who won’t do...

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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