Category Archives: U.S

Will Snowden be Trumps ‘Bin Landen’ scalp?

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We are just hours away from President-Elect Donald Trump taking the oath of office and becoming officially the 45th President of the United States.

I can only imagine how Ed Snowden is feeling right now.  There must have been a part of him which was hope for a Presidential pardon from the outgoing President Obama – alas, it wasn’t to come.  And so what now for America’s highest profile whistleblower and exile who has just been given leave to remain in Russia for another three years?

Well, like most things Russian – there is no such thing as a guarantee and if I were Snowden I’d be very very nervous right now.  The Russian’s will have obtained everything they need or wanted from Snowden and in fact, his presence there was merely Putin sticking a pin in the side of Obama.

If we enter into a thawing of USA/Russian relations, an easy win for Trump would be getting Snowden back to face the music for releasing millions of confidential documents.

Snowden has tweeted that he would rather be “without a state than without a voice” – soon, he may find himself in Russian state custody – whilst awaiting extradition back to the United States – facing the rest of his life in prison and finally losing the voice he cherishes so much.

In 2016 I spoke to the author James Bamford who has met and interviewed Ed.

 

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Terrorism Strikes New York

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Having left New York less than 3 weeks after the bombs went off in Chelsea district I felt a little unnerved by what happened.  I couldn’t quite work out why, until I remembered how secure I felt as I wandered around the hot and sweaty city – confident that I was more secure here than if I was to walk around a capital city of most European countries. As someone who works in London, and who still remember the events of  7 July 2005 vividly – as I marched through the streets of London, among the thousands of commuters, making my our way home on foot – or to the nearest available bus.

But of course, these days it is foolish to believe that you are 100% safe in any country.  Those days, sadly, are a thing of the past and I as someone who even works out where the exits are in a cinemas…just in case….. (usually at the front and therefore difficult to get to) – I had assumed that being in America, far away from lines of desperate migrants trying to find safety in a European home – I’d be far away from the troubles – but I guess, the terrorists desire is that we are never far away.

Luckily the statistics around being caught up in a terrorist incident are quite good “Even if the current level of attacks continues for 80 years (which would be unprecedented), a child born today…would have only one percent of a one percent chance of being killed in one.”

PS – I loved America

 

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Monday Matters Orlando Shooting 13 June 2016

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Jason has more reaction to those terrible events over in America as President Obama says the Orlando gunman, who shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub, was a home-grown terrorist. Omar Mateen’s father has condemned his son – saying he’s “sad” but also “mad” about the attack.

We will hopefully cross live to Orlando and get the latest news and reaction.
After 9pm tonight we talk about another murder – but on British soil and one that happened over 30 years ago. Hilda Murrell was 78 and an anti-nuclear campaigner – when she was abducated from her home – stabbed and left to die in the Shropshire country side. Her nepher, former naval commander Robert Green – insists that she was killed by the state and or nuclear interested parties.

There is the latest music news and we may even hear from Nigel Farage who was in ‪#‎sittingbourne‬ ‪#‎kent‬ today.

The featured artist is Paul McCartney who turns 74 on Saturday – after 8pm we have 4 non-stop songs from the man with Wings.

Desert Lion Extinguished

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It’s not every day that one celebrates the death of another human being, well, not in the UK anyway.  However, news from the US was released this week confirming the death of the notorious ‘desert lion’ Abu Wahib.  He was a senior ISIL leader known for his brutality who had stood out in a land where brutality and acts of evil are commonplace.

Abu Wahib, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s military emir for Iraq’s Anbar province,  was targeted by a US led coalition  Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said on Monday.

The spokesman said Wahib is a former member of al-Qaida in Iraq and has been seen in ISIL execution videos.

That strike also killed three other ISIL jihadists, Cook said.

“Abu Wahib’s death is another blow to ISIL’s leadership that will further degrade its ability to operate, especially in Anbar province,” he said.

I find it striking that in certain parts of the world where people seem at their most ‘godly’ – the acts that they do to each other – the slaughter, maiming, beheading and torture…all appear utter godless. If that is what God truly wants – they can keep their belief and their god to themselves.

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Leadership ‘Hit Hard’

ISIL leadership has been hit hard by coalition efforts, Cook said. “This is another example of that,” he added. “It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days, and for good reason we want to apply pressure [on] ISIL on as many fronts as possible. Taking out leadership targets is one way to do that.”

Cook noted Anbar province is a critically important area in the fight against ISIL, and the death of Wahib will harm ISIL’s ability to conduct operations in the region.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook

The spokesman noted that taking out leadership is part of what he called “a multipronged effort” to apply pressure on as many fronts to ISIL as possible, “and for ISIL leaders to be very worried about their next step.”

I started this story saying how we don’t celebrate death here, and it’s true. Yet, watching some of the videos of men standing beside other men who are either dead or about to be killed (by them) I just can’t imagine the hatred and anger which drives this desire to glorify and celebrate the killing or death of another human.