716 - The Dark Heart of The Vast Machine (Secret Society, Secret Justice and The War of Terror)

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#712#713#714#715 Episode #716 - The Dark Heart of The Vast Machine
(Secret Society, Secret Justice and The War of Terror)

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Sun 28 June 2015  Peter Hennessy, Christopher Price, Clement Freud, Bruce Kent, Piers Woolley, Frank Cooper, Clive Ponting, Robin Upton, Morris Riley(reading) Brian Bogart(reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 This episode is a thoughtful exploration of the reality of UK democracy, and is liberally seasoned by Robin Upton musing on the Deep State. We begin with Secret Society - a BBC expose of the political process that was made in the 1980s but after being "leaned on" was never broadcast. Next Secret Justice, an essay on the fundamental unaccountability of MI5, claims to the contrary notwithstanding. We conclude our reading of Brian Bogart's Sins of Statecraft: The War on Terror Exposed.
We began the previous show with Nafeez Ahmed's explanation of how Western military policy seems impervious to public opinion: "The root of this problem clearly lies in the structure of Western power itself, which - although conventionally believed to be the epitome of democracy - is in reality conjoined to a sprawling network of overarching criminal and financial interests that tends to drive US/Western foreign policies and which in the post-Cold War period has driven the West and international terrorism into an increasingly dynamic (and unstable) interconnected continuum of power."

Exceptionally, we start this episode by replaying this quote, since I think Nafeez cuts to the heart of the issue. It's too easy to focus on individuals and miss the more fundamental structure of social, legal and other systems which promote such dissemblers. We begin with a radio adaptation of Secret Society, a documentary commissioned by BBC Scotland in the 1980s, but which was deemed too sensitive and so nearly 30 years later, has still never been broadcast in the UK. Thanks to YouTube, it has now seen the light of day, and makes very interesting listening in conjunction with what we've already learned about the influence of deep political structures (and Le Cercle in particular) over UK party politics. The documentary centers on the unaccountability of government secret committees, their abuse by UK governments, the secret and illegal maneuvers to try to counter the rise of CND (The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) while boosting arms spending on new weapons systems. This is particularly relevant in light of what we have already heard on the show in recent weeks about Le Cercle, a deep state group known to be heavily involved in illegal Arms Deals. What other frauds did the system facilitate? Robin Upton questions the official narrative about Black Wednesday.

After a musical break, we read a 1993 essay from The Lobster, which highlights the vacuity of claims that the putative controls on MI5 have any meaning in practice. Although written by an MI6 agent who may have had an ax to grind, it is well informed and accurate - the controls seem in practice to be about as fit for their stated purpose as the 'whistleblower protection' we look at in episode 715. The article details the illegal bugging of CND referred to in the earlier film, and notes that despite a whistleblower from inside MI5, who was ready to testify under oath to wrongdoing, and who had documentary evidence to back up her claim, no prosecution was forthcoming. We also hear how MI5 effectively ignored an EU law supposed to apply, and continued to hold data on people it should not have ever collected it on. If MI5 can give the runaround to high profile individuals such as senior legal staff of the National Council for Civil Liberties, then it would be unrealistic to expect that any real controls exist.

For more analysis of the structural inability of the system, we hear the second part of the 2006 essay by Brian Bogart, entitled Sins of Statecraft: The War on Terror Exposed. While reviewing the dismal status quo, Bogart nevertheless ends on a positive note - with the optimistic possibility we may yet beat our swords to plowshares and make global peace with the world and with one another. Robin Upton concludes with longer than usual reflection, a recommendation to ditch the commercially-controlled media if you haven't already, and an invitation to join him at Wikispooks in documenting what is really going on in the world.
Music: To Washington by Johny MellenKamp, Business in The USA
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