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L'Ordre

L'Ordre

America and Black hate: is it so easy to blame oppressed people for violence?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Il suffit d’ajouter “militaire” à un mot pour lui faire perdre sa signification. Ainsi la justice militaire n’est pas la justice, la musique militaire n’est pas la musique.

It suffices to add “military” to a word for it to lose its meaning. Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.

Georges Clemenceau


It is a common bit of rhetoric by all governments in the world, that violence can’t be justified under any circumstances. This, despite the fact that government is by definition a perpetual application of violence towards the governed. And without being entitled to murder their people, the regimes condemning and criminalizing the violence of the governed could never have existed.

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Any violence by US protesters in Baltimore can be justified by the fact it was the only thing “starting the conversation” on the plight of Black people at the hands of US police officers, Phillip Agnew wrote in a compelling article at TIME, 29 April (photograph by Patrick Semansky – AP)

Of course, what governments really mean when they condemn violence is that they condemn illegitimate violence, while they use their own theories of political legitimacy to rule that their own violence is in the national interest and therefore justifiable.

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I avoided commenting on the recent American protests in Baltimore that are believed, according to the press and Twitter, to have gone ugly and become violent riots due to the protesters’ actions. However, I helped to circulate some of the excellent commentary being put out at Counterpunch and I believe we can ask some serious questions about the issues raised by the unrest. Polls show that most white Americans view the Black population as angry and violent, and hold them to blame for all violence taking place in such “riots”. Further such riots are expected this year, and white people believe that they will be instigated by Black people. In their view, Black people are the sole instigators of both their own economic miseries in the United States and the violent events that take place in their streets, ranging from crime to riots against the (often lethal) conduct of police officers.

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There is a common reflex in the US media to blame the oppressed in all conflicts – to blame whoever is most vulnerable, as the originators of all the miseries of violence and terror plaguing their lives. They are especially blamed if the violence creeps anywhere near the living rooms of better-off, richer, whiter people. We see this US reflex to blame oppressed people not only in the coverage of the plight of their own people but the plight of other peoples overseas, such as the Yemeni people and the Palestinians. The ones already lying on the floor are kicked, blamed for their own plight, and vilified as the sole violent ones who are creating chaos and suffering for themselves, their own streets, their own communities. Those at the epicenter of violence are indeed easy to mistake as the source of violence, while others who sit at peace in richer and more comfortable settings rarely attract their share of political condemnation.

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It might not really be white racism that leads to police brutality at all, but rather the tendency of modern governments to isolate people who are near violence and disorder and a compulsion to collectively punish and excise them. The same mentality of stabbing at the source of violence informs drone strikes, wherein any building thought to harbor terrorists is blown up, without consideration that innocent civilians will also be hit. States are hopelessly addicted to illusions of control. They need someone or something to blow up, stab or shoot – whether that object is innocent or not – or they feel that they are losing legitimacy and confidence. Gunning down some poor soul they encountered in an area afflicted by violence is the way they achieve this illusion of bringing social problems under control, without actually accomplishing anything substantive.

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Are the Palestinians really violent people, or reacting to a violent occupation?

Palestinian resistance groups are condemned as “terrorists”, for using armed force. The Israelis are given the right, sanctioned by their US allies, to engage in a brutal armed occupation, but any violence against such occupation is “terrorism”. In such a way, the violence of the Israeli state is sanitized and regarded as legitimate, even though the majority of the casualties of that violence are babies lying in cots. The violence of the Palestinians, often by children throwing stones at the tanks rolling through the rubble that was once their homes, is ruled to be completely unjustifiable and unprovoked.

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Are Black people filled with hate, or victims of white hate?

Black people who turn over police cars in the street are condemned as “rioters”, “looters”, “criminals”, et cetera. The US police forces are given the right, sanctioned by the US government, to brutally kill any of them who they deem to be threatening, and any resistance, using a rock, a molotov cocktail, bare hands or anything else, driven by the passions of the moment and the violence before one’s own eyes, is quickly deemed to be illegal and immoral.

For many people who have not faced oppression or been institutionally subjected to treatment as an inferior person, people who have not faced hardship, it is easy to believe that violence comes from people who are downtrodden, and that they should be blamed, shot at, or in extreme cases, bombed in war. The people who had cushy lives do not feel responsible for violence, because they don’t personally get involved in it, whereas people who had hard lives are often more likely to have been involved in violent incidents or violent groups. However, the state employs violence, and is often involved in killing more people than the terrorists and criminals it portrays as the source of all evil and violence. It does so, to protect and shelter those rich people who don’t partake in violence. The media, the politicians, the rich and indeed the white people of America may indeed be less violent than Black people, but they are still responsible for a violent regime that treats Black people as inferior and drives them to despair, desperation and ultimately violent rioting as they often find that it is the only way to draw any attention to their economic and social plight.

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History has repeatedly torn the existing laws and states apart to pronounce judgment on immoral regimes and the henchmen who worked for them. Therefore, it is clear that even the courts or democratically elected officials are no guarantee that violent police actions are legitimate, and yet still people find it easier to believe that the “criminal”, the poor man, or the Black man whose fists are actually engaged in violence is the sole source of violence. That the sole source of terrorism is the man with the mask, and not the ones who have forced him to wear it by threatening him and his family. It is easier to believe that the oppressed are the source of violence, which is why that narrative is still the dominant one. We are told that someone’s unfortunate background is no excuse for their behavior, but such a narrow view occludes the truth about the real instigators of violence, who are the instigators of injustice and state-enforced brutality that runs amok under the shallow guise of liberal democratic governance.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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Fascism restored and glorified just to poke Russia and China?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Les meilleures lois ne peuvent faire marcher une constitution en dépit des mœurs ; les mœurs tirent parti des pires lois.

The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage.

Alexis de Tocqueville


I am driven to write this post not to raise the alarm but to ask questions. It is for the reader to decide whether to worry or to ignore these questions.

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The victors of World War 2 intended Germany and Japan to not become threats again. Today, we are told it’s all in the past, the Germans and Japanese are good guys, and even Nazis can be part of a healthy democracy

In Ukraine, NATO and the European Union have been drawn into an informal alliance with neo-Nazis. This is acknowledged by the present leadership of Ukraine, insofar as they know it to alienate and provoke Russian elements of their own population in eastern regions like Donetsk and Lugansk into reacting with disgust towards them – which in turn allows them to justify murdering ethnic Russians in Ukraine. The rehabilitation of Nazi ideology in Europe with European approval is also a symptom of something potentially more consequential and far-reaching that needs to be addressed.

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In Japan, the Abe government has been similarly taking the tolerance of the Chinese to its limits by attempting to restore Japanese militarism, building up its armed forces to levels unseen since China suffered under Japanese occupation and unspeakable atrocities. Many people dismiss the Russians as overreacting to the Nazis in Ukraine and, see the Chinese fears of Japan as outdated and silly. Western impatience with the visceral anti-fascist worldview of Russia and China (as well as their continued prestigious seats on the UN Security Council as agreed among World War 2’s victors) is growing, and it seems to be in concert with the impatience brewing in western political systems against what is slammed always as “political correctness”.

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More and more people in western countries are starting to think that the anti-fascist “politically correct” global consensus epitomized by the UN Security Council (the victors of the Second World War) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is old-fashioned. And indeed, such things can become old-fashioned. The Nazis have been the greatest villains at one time, but that time has passed. Or at least it seems so. Hitler today is becoming more and more of a comical figure or a caricature out of history, similar to Guy Fawkes or the legendary pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (we need only look at the Hitler memes and parodies throughout the Internet to realize this).

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Is Nazism now an irrelevant and harmless detail in modern politics?

Hitler and Nazism are losing appeal in the popular psyche as the epitomes of evil that they were made out to be after 1945. It is inevitable that future generations will no longer feel greatly insulted by being compared to Hitler, but will in fact find the comparison quaint, much like being compared with Guy Fawkes or Edward Teach (these two were utterly reviled as the epitome of evil after their demise, much like Hitler, but in the modern day Guy Fawkes masks and pirate symbols have become nothing more than icons of defiance rather than an attempt to actually imitate the deeds of those men). One of the sadder consequences is that people will dismiss the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes or even recreate Nazi Parties in the future, and are likely to escape punishment.

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What is happening with the restoration of Nazism to a prestigious place in society in Ukraine since the “Maidan” revolution will not be contained in Ukraine. If Nazism gains a foothold there, it will spread back to Germany itself.

What are the consequences?

When World War 2 ended, the victors were sufficiently afraid of the dark nationalist ideologies responsible for the war that they dismantled Germany itself. The division of Germany was not accident, but the design of the Allied powers to prevent future wars. It entailed Allied annexations of German territory (something we are now told is unjust, as in the case of the Russian annexation of Crimea, but which was actually the policy of the victor and essential to the post-war peace). The idea that the division of Germany was an injustice, imposed either by the NATO bloc or Warsaw Pact bloc, is false as it was done by design in order to dismember and pacify the German threat. Japan was also heavily pacified, and forced to apologize for the war ever since. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin would never have countenanced the reunification of Germany, much less the encouragement of Nazi groups and other nationalist Maidan-type revolutionaries to attack Russian interests in Ukraine. Now, people are beginning to tolerate the restoration of Nazism in Europe as a way of poking and prodding Russia, and the restoration of Japanese military might to provoke China.

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All the trends I have described could be indications that everything the Big Three feared was true: if those who started the Second World War are not continually pacified and made to bear their guilt, they will eventually be given the opportunity start another war. There are still feelings in Germany that the war was justified. The acceptance of Ukraine’s Nazis and other backward proponents of nationalist revolution into the western community of nations is a de facto recognition that Nazism can again be legitimate in Germany. The restoration of Japan’s military and its military traditions is a de facto recognition that all features of the militarist German culture and regime can again be legitimate in Germany.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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These are the voyages of critique and influence

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Où serait le mérite, si les héros n’avaient jamais peur?

Where would be the merit if heroes were never afraid?

Alphonse Daudet


It has occurred to me that I am too partisan on this blog, and a good old vitriolic blog shouldn’t take sides with any political faction. The aim is to superlatively influence, and the ball and chain of party affiliation reduces that influence on parts of the online demographic.

Search Beyond Traction digital art 1 small

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As such, I am no longer going to support anyone in particular via this blog, and I will solely use this space now to criticize or mock people and raise questions like a good blogger. That is, unless special circumstances force me to revert it back to a more partisan role. The previous post I made here, “”Islamic State” is too good for its own Prophet?” is a new model post for me here at the L’Ordre blog, and future posts I make will follow a similar objective. They will analyze and criticize foreign governments and groups (from my perspective in the UK), something I have so far been quite good at.

I will also cease writing my own op-eds around the web, and instead comment on other writers’ op-eds and reviews with this blog. My promised review of No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald will proceed still. Book reviews are things done in the spirit of commenting upon others’ views, as I am now re-purposing this influential blog to achieve.

Two things have provoked me to make this post. One is that I now work at a UK government department, and HM Civil Service requires its employees to be politically nonpartisan. The second is the movement of transhumanism into a political form. The result of the transition of transhumanism into the domain of political party politics is that it no longer enjoys its status as purely speculative technological, medical and artistic subject area anymore. The legal restrictions that apply against being a member of a political organization while engaged in charity, governmental, health and other important work will now apply against transhumanists, severely limiting their ability to allow transhumanism to influence their work and statements (at least in the UK context). Transhumanism has gambled everything on acquiring political power to implement its ideas, making it inappropriate for professed members of the party to try to obtain influence via other (potentially more effective) means.

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The majority of my writing has never been political, religious or controversial in any sense, and is actually fantasy fiction. I have far too many working ideas for fiction at the moment to possibly know where to begin, but you can expect new such works to appear in future. A glimpse into a sample of one work in development now can be found at Maquis Books by the working title “UNKNOWN HORIZON”.

My Search Beyond Series, which first appealed itself to its audience by pretending to be Star Trek fanfiction at the website Ad Astra, was always actually an original creation by me. I have always been dissatisfied with Star Trek‘s light-hearted approach to space exploration and its attempts to appeal to children, and I truly find the premise of Star Trek to be absurd. True space exploration should be filled with horror that makes Ridley Scott’s Alien look like a picnic. The videogames of the Dead Space series, although punctuated with occasional Star Trek cliches, are possibly the greatest immersive sci-fi horror experience I have ever had. I will admit they have become such a great influence on me that I often pictured the Ishimura‘s corridors as I try to sculpt the image of the spaceship Traction at the center of these palpitating space stories.

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Certainly, the Search Beyond stories are not Star Trek fanfiction, but are complete with their own technology, physics and creatures that you will never encounter anywhere else, and some thoroughly nightmarish science fiction horror plots that would have been simply too extreme for Star Trek or Dr Who.


By Harry J. Bentham

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“Islamic State” is too good for its own Prophet?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c’est qu’il cache un puits quelque part.

What makes the desert beautiful is that it hides, somewhere, a well.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry


The so-called “Islamic State” infesting Syria and Iraq, is on a crusade against Islam’s Prophet. It sees his work as incomplete and unjust, so the “Islamic State” must do what Mohammed failed to do: destroy the ancient cities he ignored.

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Carvings in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, allegedly demolished by the so-called Islamic State

Followers of the Islamic State are proud of their conquest of swathes of Syria and Iraq, and indeed there is some tactical merit in what they have managed to accomplish with such scant military equipment. It is a military case study that will be remembered alongside the famed blitzes in Europe that shocked the world press in 1939 and 1940, leading to gross exaggerations. At that time in Europe, a seemingly surrounded and hopeless Germany with a few ill-equipped horse-drawn armies quickly devastated and humiliated the great victors of World War 1 in mere months. They paraded unremarkable tanks through Paris, seemingly reversing the dishonor that Germans had felt in the aftermath of the unavailing and pointless World War 1.

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Sunnis have been plagued by feelings of similar dishonor to the Germans of post-1918, as a result of the crushing injustices seemingly imposed on them by the armies of the United States in countries like Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Many, particularly in the male and youth demographic, regard the so-called Islamic State in much the way Germans saw the Nazi Party: knights in shining armor, saviors coming to deliver them on a trail of military glory that will make them the terror of the world and teach the whole world a lesson not to mistreat their people again.

The comparison to Nazi Germany is quite sound in that, although at first the militants appeared to relieve a sense of dishonor, they started a series of events that would bring not only unprecedented dishonor and disgrace but total defeat for them. The Islamic State has invited the wrath of the entire world, and has no hope of survival but complete destruction. When its organization has been dismantled and its cowardly leaders hunted down and dragged through the dirt in the street like criminals, the people who supported this organization will bring nothing but disgrace to their names and suffer a new pain and humiliation beyond anything they had tried to relieve by supporting this group. The fanatics who clung to the Islamic State will pay like the Nazis, by losing not only their honor but their lives.

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There is also more flatteringly, if you will forgive me, a comparison to be made between the so-called Islamic State and the original followers of the Prophet Mohammed, who also were confronted with heavily armed enemies and unjust regimes, and defeated in them in what was perceived as a righteous military campaign. However, that is where the comparison ends. Followers of the Islamic State represent themselves as being truthful to the vision of Islam’s great Prophet, and even helping to complete his work by destroying idols and restoring a righteous form of rule. They accomplish none of these things. The Prophet Mohammed completed his work, and his story is a sufficiently triumphant one already. It does not need to be completed by masked criminals parading around with knives and slaughtering unarmed hostages. Now we see people trying to complete what they see as Mohammed’s unfinished work, these would-be prophets who now presume to act in Mohammed’s name by calling themselves the Islamic State.

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Al-Baghdadi, a better prophet?

The belief of Islamic State fighters, although they will never admit it, is that they dislike their own Prophet Mohammed and consider him to be an infidel. The Prophet Mohammed, whom even non-Muslims cherish as one of the greatest warrior-saints in all history, is an insufficiently pure role model for the Islamic State’s revisionist purposes. The Islamic State needs its so-called “Caliph Ibrahim”, the criminal fugitive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to be their prophet instead, along with Osama bin Laden and other modern terrorists who cowered and plotted atrocities rather than preaching the good governance and peace-making that defined the successes of the Prophet Mohammed and subsequent Islamic rulers. The so-called Muslims who use their time to assault their own community and heritage, and incite sectarianism among their people, are admitted enemies of the reconciliation and unification that Mohammed brought to the regions over which he ruled.

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The regions occupied by the alleged Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are not new to Islam, nor were they unknown to the Prophet Mohammed himself, who surely knew of them even if he did not visit them. It would have been remarkable for Mohammed to have not known about the remnants of ancient Pagan cities within these lands long-controlled by Muslims such as Syria. For centuries, Muslims tolerated profane (even obscene) stone carvings in Egypt until Englishmen arrived and – their Victorian sensibilities being offended – chiseled them away. Yet, for all their offensiveness to Islamic custom, Mohammed and his immediate successors who conquered these regions actually left these markings alone. Despite ruling over North Africa and Mesopotamia for centuries, alleged Muslims have only now decided to go to great lengths to destroy what they reject as offensive Pagan idols. Why?

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By what authority does the Islamic State presume to know better than Mohammed or his immediate successors? By what authority does the Islamic State presume to know better than God, or the natural forces that will inevitably erode and bury all these idols of a long-forgotten past? There is no particular urgency for Muslims to destroy old Pagan cities and idols now, although one could argue that modern explosives make the task somewhat easier. For all the Islamic State knows, Mohammed didn’t pursue the destruction of these Pagan sites and idols in his lifetime because he didn’t care, just as successive Muslim conquerors and followers didn’t care.

What can be understood from the actions of the Islamic State is that they cannot be regarded as the same people who have hitherto been known to the world as the Muslims. The people who follow the commands of the Islamic State are following another religion entirely from the historic Islam. It is a religion based upon the passions, whims and ignorance of modern warlords waving guns and bombs around, who know little about practicing Islam and far more about celebrating their own deeds and pretending to know better than their own Prophet. In some sense, the destruction of Pagan sites by the Islamic State is itself a form of Pagan idolatry, a profane attempt to draw attention to themselves and appear to be superior to others, endowed with special powers for some profane physical deed, and superior even to the apparently incomplete Prophet whose work they are attempting to revise. These sites, after all, had not been sites of religious devotion for centuries until the “Islamic State” arrived to strut around them. In essence, primitive worship had been dead a long, long time at these sites until the latest thugs and idiots announced themselves and began a new self-indulgent display of attention-seeking, this time by assaulting lifeless monuments.

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Easter Island Heads, also known as Moai

What next? Will these pious men go to the Moai of Easter Island, to educate the world in the dangers of obsessing over lifeless monuments and self-indulgent beliefs, by a further demonstration of their own such stupidity?

If the rule of Mohammed and his immediate successors, and indeed centuries of Islamic thought and practice, was insufficiently pure for the Islamic State, what would Mohammed say about the Islamic State? If the great Muslim conqueror Saladin was an infidel for his lack of interest in defacing statues and destroying historic sites in Syria as the Islamic State does, what would he say about the Islamic State? Supporters of the Islamic State should re-evaluate themselves in comparison with other great figures in Islamic history, most of all their own Prophet. How could they be remembered as anything but arrogant, destructive and misguided in contrast with greater men?

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The Islamic State’s followers claim to idolize the Prophet Mohammed. They are lucky he isn’t alive to say what he would think of them. To the man who actually brought Islam to the world, the so-called Islamic State would appear filthy and deserve nothing but contempt. For the “Islamic State” to presume that Mohammed’s work was incomplete, and parade itself around and claim to finish his work, as if they are truer Muslims than their own Prophet, is the gravest possible offense that can be perpetrated against the memory of Islam’s founder.

If the Heaven promised to Muslims is real, it may have little room for me, but it would have even less room for the liars who strutted around modern Iraq and Syria claiming to know better than their own Prophet or the centuries of Islamic jurisprudence that followed from that rule. If followers of the Islamic State believe in a hell, they should spend their last earthly hours atoning for their crimes and thinking about their fate before they choose to die like flies.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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Previous Posts

America and Black hate: is it so easy to blame oppressed people for violence?
Il suffit d'ajouter "militaire" à un mot pour lui faire perdre sa signification. Ainsi la justice militaire n'est pas la justice, la musique militaire n'est pas la musique. It suffices to add "military" to a word for it to lose its meaning. ...

posted 11:00:38pm May. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Fascism restored and glorified just to poke Russia and China?
Les meilleures lois ne peuvent faire marcher une constitution en dépit des mœurs ; les mœurs tirent parti des pires lois. The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage. Alexis ...

posted 11:00:30pm May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

These are the voyages of critique and influence
Où serait le mérite, si les héros n’avaient jamais peur? Where would be the merit if heroes were never afraid? Alphonse Daudet It has occurred to me that I am too partisan on this blog, and a good old vitriolic blog shouldn't ...

posted 11:00:23pm May. 16, 2015 | read full post »

"Islamic State" is too good for its own Prophet?
Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c'est qu'il cache un puits quelque part. What makes the desert beautiful is that it hides, somewhere, a well. Antoine de Saint Exupéry The so-called "Islamic State" infesting Syria and ...

posted 11:00:27pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Was Edward Snowden betrayed by the Guardian?
Je prononce à regret cette fatale vérité It is with regret that I pronounce a fatal truth Maximilien Robespierre The Snowden Files (Luke Harding) and No Place to Hide (Glen Greenwald), two leading books on a single subject: Edward ...

posted 11:00:31pm May. 09, 2015 | read full post »

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