The History Thieves

Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation

Author: Ian Cobain

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781846275852

Category: Government accountability

Page: 368

View: 7246

A revelatory book exposing the culture of concealment at the heart of the British government, from the award-winning author of Cruel BritanniaIn 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed, creating offences of 'disclosure of information' and 'breach of official trust'. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then a culture of secrecy has flourished. As successive governments have been selective about what they choose to share with the public, we have been left with a distorted and incomplete understanding not only of the workings of the state but of our nation's culture and its past.In this important book, Ian Cobain offers a fresh appraisal of some of the key moments in British history since the end of WWII, including: the measures taken to conceal the existence of Bletchley Park and its successor, GCHQ, for three decades; the unreported wars fought during the 1960s and 1970s; the hidden links with terrorist cells during the Troubles; the sometimes opaque workings of the criminal justice system; the state's peacetime surveillance techniques; and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.Drawing on previously unseen material and rigorous research, The History Thieves reveals how a complex bureaucratic machine has grown up around the British state, allowing governments to evade accountability and their secrets to be buried.
Posted in Government accountability

The History Thieves

Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation

Author: Ian Cobain

Publisher: Portobello Books

ISBN: 1846275849

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 6372

In 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed, creating offences of 'disclosure of information' and 'breach of official trust'. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then a culture of secrecy has flourished. As successive governments have been selective about what they choose to share with the public, we have been left with a distorted and incomplete understanding not only of the workings of the state but of our nation's culture and its past. In this important new book, Ian Cobain offers a fresh appraisal of some of the key moments in British history since the end of WWII, including: the measures taken to conceal the existence of Bletchley Park and its successor, GCHQ, for three decades; the unreported wars fought during the 1960s and 1970s; the hidden links with terrorist cells during the Troubles; the sometimes opaque workings of the criminal justice system; the state's peacetime surveillance techniques; and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act. Drawing on previously unseen material and rigorous research, The History Thieves reveals how a complex bureaucratic machine has grown up around the British state, allowing governments to evade accountability and their secrets to be buried.
Posted in Political Science

The History Thieves

Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation

Author: Ian Cobain

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781846275838

Category:

Page: 320

View: 4112

From the award winning author of Cruel Britannia, here is a revelatory new book which exposes the culture of concealment at the heart of the British state - from the secret wars of the past century to covert surveillance todayIn 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed and created offences of 'disclosure of information' and 'breach of official trust'. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then, Britain's governments and civil service have been engaged in the greatest identity fraud of all time - the dishonest and manufactured creation of our understanding of the British nation, our history and our culture.In this important new book, Ian Cobain offers a fresh appraisal of British history since the end of the Second World War, exploring, among other issues: the measures taken to conceal the existence of Bletchley Park and its successor GCHQ for three decades; the unreported wars fought during the 1960s and 70s; the hidden links with terrorist cells during the Troubles; the opaque workings of the criminal justice system; and the state's peacetime surveillance techniques. The History Thieves is a story that reveals the development of a complex bureaucratic machine - from the vast paper archives from the colonial era to the electronic data captured and stored today - that enables the government to operate unchecked and ensure that its secrets remain hidden. It is a powerful indictment of a political system which defrauds us daily, even as it promises us all the freedom and transparency of a liberal democracy in the Western world.
Posted in

We Know All About You

The Story of Surveillance in Britain and America

Author: Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191066540

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 9375

We Know All About You shows how bulk spying came of age in the nineteenth century, and supplies the first overarching narrative and interpretation of what has happened since, covering the agencies, programs, personalities, technology, leaks, criticisms and reform. Concentrating on America and Britain, it delves into the roles of credit agencies, private detectives, and phone-hacking journalists as well as government agencies like the NSA and GCHQ, and highlights malpractices such as the blacklist and illegal electronic interceptions. It demonstrates that several presidents - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon - conducted political surveillance, and how British agencies have been under a constant cloud of suspicion for similar reasons. We Know All About You continues with an account of the 1970s leaks that revealed how the FBI and CIA kept tabs on anti-Vietnam War protestors, and assesses the reform impulse that began in America and spread to Britain. The end of the Cold War further undermined confidence in the need for surveillance, but it returned with a vengeance after 9/11. The book shows how reformers challenged that new expansionism, assesses the political effectiveness of the Snowden revelations, and offers an appraisal of legislative initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic. Micro-stories and character sketches of individuals ranging from Pinkerton detective James McParlan to recent whisteblowers illuminate the book. We Know All About You confirms that governments have a record of abusing surveillance powers once granted, but emphasizes that problems arising from private sector surveillance have been particularly neglected.
Posted in History

Cruel Britannia

A Secret History of Torture

Author: Ian Cobain

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781846273346

Category: Political prisoners

Page: 368

View: 7317

The official line is clear: the UK does not 'participate in, solicit, encourage or condone' torture. And yet, the evidence is irrefutable: when it comes to dealing with potential threats to our national security, the gloves always come off. As the enquiries into the on-going abuse of terror suspects uncover an ever more sinister and unpalatable chain of complicity - going right to the top of government - it is time to re-examine the assumption that the British don't 'do' torture. Drawing on previously unseen official documents, and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts, prize-winning investigative journalist Ian Cobain looks beyond the cover-ups and the attempts to dismiss brutality as the work of a few rogue interrogators, to reveal a secret and shocking record of torture. From WWII to the War on Terror, via Kenya and Northern Ireland, Cruel Britannia shows how the British have repeatedly and systematically resorted to torture, turning a blind eye where necessary, bending the law where they can, and issuing categorical denials all the while. What emerges is a picture of Britain that challenges our complacency on human rights and exposes the lie behind our reputation for fair play.
Posted in Political prisoners

Britain's Secret Wars

How and why the United Kingdom sponsors conflict around the world

Author: T. J. Coles

Publisher: CLAIRVIEW BOOKS

ISBN: 1905570783

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 1395

In a devastating analysis, T. J. Coles reveals the true extent of Britain’s covert foreign policy that supports war, conflict and oppression around the world. Unbeknownst to the broad population, the Shadow State sponsors a ‘new world order’ that allies Britain with America’s quest for global power – what the Pentagon calls ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’. Coles documents how British operatives have interfered in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Yemen with the aim of deposing unwanted regimes. In doing so, they have helped create extensive terrorist networks across the Middle East, reviving previously-failing Jihadist groups such as ISIL, which has now transformed into an international terror franchise. In addition to waging clandestine wars in the Middle East, the secret services have used the military to run drugs by proxy in Colombia, train death squads in Bangladesh, and support instability in Ukraine, where NATO’s strategic encroachment on Russia is drawing the world closer to terminal nuclear confrontation. Coles unearths Britain’s involvement in the recent ethnic cleansing of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan government, the invasion of Somalia by Somali and Ethiopian warlords, and Indonesia’s atrocities in Papua. He also exposes the extensive use of drones for murder and intimidation across the Middle East and elsewhere.
Posted in Political Science

Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt

Author: Richard Gott

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844677389

Category: History

Page: 568

View: 5067

This revelatory new history punctures the widely held belief that the British Empire was an imaginative and civilizing enterprise. Instead, BRITAIN'S EMPIRE reveals a history of systemic repression and almost perpetual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a military dictatorship. For colonized peoples, the experience was a horrific one, of slavery, famine, battle and extermination. Yet, as Richard Gott shows, the Empire's oppressed peoples did not go quietly into this good night. Wherever Britain tried to plant its flag, it met with opposition. From Ireland to India, from the American colonies to Australia, Gott traces the rebellions and resistance of subject peoples whose all-but-forgotten stories are excluded from traditional accounts of empire. He shows, too, how the British Empire provided a blue print for the annihilation of peoples in twentieth-century Europe, and argues that its leaders must rank alongside the dictators of the twentieth century as authors of crimes against humanity on an infamous scale. -- Publisher description.
Posted in History

The BBC

Myth of a Public Service

Author: Tom Mills

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784784850

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 4264

The BBC: the mouthpiece of the Establishment? The BBC is one of the most important institutions in Britain; it is also one of the most misunderstood. Despite its claim to be independent and impartial, and the constant accusations of a liberal bias, the BBC has always sided with the elite. As Tom Mills demonstrates, we are only getting the news that the Establishment wants aired in public. Throughout its existence, the BBC has been in thrall to those in power. This was true in 1926 when it stood against the workers during the General Strike, and since then the Corporation has continued to mute the voices of those who oppose the status quo: miners in 1984; anti-war protesters in 2003; those who offer alternatives to austerity economics since 2008. From the outset much of its activity has been scrutinised by the secret services at the invitation of those in charge. Since the 1990s the BBC has been integrated into the market, while its independence from government and big business has been steadily eroded. The BBC is an important and timely examination of a crucial public institution that is constantly under threat.
Posted in Political Science

Imperial Reckoning

The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya

Author: Caroline Elkins

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 9781429900294

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 6829

A major work of history that for the first time reveals the violence and terror at the heart of Britain's civilizing mission in Kenya As part of the Allied forces, thousands of Kenyans fought alongside the British in World War II. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler, the British colonial government detained nearly the entire population of Kenya's largest ethnic minority, the Kikuyu-some one and a half million people. The compelling story of the system of prisons and work camps where thousands met their deaths has remained largely untold-the victim of a determined effort by the British to destroy all official records of their attempts to stop the Mau Mau uprising, the Kikuyu people's ultimately successful bid for Kenyan independence. Caroline Elkins, an assistant professor of history at Harvard University, spent a decade in London, Nairobi, and the Kenyan countryside interviewing hundreds of Kikuyu men and women who survived the British camps, as well as the British and African loyalists who detained them. The result is an unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenya-a pivotal moment in twentieth- century history with chilling parallels to America's own imperial project. Imperial Reckoning is the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
Posted in History

Secret Affairs

Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam

Author: Mark Curtis

Publisher: Serpent's Tail

ISBN: 1782834338

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 7900

This updated edition of Secret Affairs covers the momentous events of the past year in the Middle East and at home in the UK. It reveals the unreported attempts by Britain to cultivate relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak, the military intervention on the side of Libyan rebel forces which include pro-al-Qaeda elements, and the ongoing reliance on the region's ultimate fundamentalist state, Saudi Arabia, to safeguard its interest in the Middle East. It illuminates path of Salman Abedi, the bomber who attacked Manchester in May 2017, and his terror network: how he fought in Libya in 2011 as part of a group of fighters which the UK allowed to leave the country to go and battle against Gadafi to topple him. In this ground-breaking book, Mark Curtis reveals the covert history of British collusion with radical Islamic and terrorist groups. Secret Affairs shows how governments since the 1940s have connived with militant forces to control oil resources and overthrow governments. The story of how Britain has helped nurture the rise of global terrorism has never been told.
Posted in Political Science

Den of Thieves

Author: James B. Stewart

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439126208

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 592

View: 2345

A #1 bestseller from coast to coast, Den of Thieves tells the full story of the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street, the men who pulled it off, and the chase that finally brought them to justice. Pulitzer Prize–winner James B. Stewart shows for the first time how four of the eighties’ biggest names on Wall Street—Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine —created the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and almost walked away with billions, until a team of downtrodden detectives triumphed over some of America’s most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice. Based on secret grand jury transcripts, interviews, and actual trading records, and containing explosive new revelations about Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky written especially for this paperback edition, Den of Thieves weaves all the facts into an unforgettable narrative—a portrait of human nature, big business, and crime of unparalleled proportions.
Posted in Business & Economics

The Grey Album

On the Blackness of Blackness

Author: Kevin Young

Publisher: Graywolf Press

ISBN: 1555970427

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 476

View: 7147

*Finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism* *A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Literary Criticism and Essays Pick for Spring 2012* The Grey Album, the first work of prose by the brilliant poet Kevin Young, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize Taking its title from Danger Mouse's pioneering mashup of Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' The White Album, Kevin Young's encyclopedic book combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical choruses to illustrate the African American tradition of lying—storytelling, telling tales, fibbing, improvising, "jazzing." What emerges is a persuasive argument for the many ways that African American culture is American culture, and for the centrality of art—and artfulness—to our daily life. Moving from gospel to soul, funk to freestyle, Young sifts through the shadows, the bootleg, the remix, the grey areas of our history, literature, and music.
Posted in Literary Collections

Tower of Basel

The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World

Author: Adam LeBor

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610392558

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 360

View: 8013

Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world's most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers—including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials—Tower of Basel tells the inside story of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS): the central bankers' own bank. Created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930, and protected by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. The bank is untouchable. Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of 1.17 billion in 2011–2012. Since its creation, the bank has been at the heart of global events but has often gone unnoticed. Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank's American president from 1940–1946, the BIS was open for business throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open. After 1945 the BIS—still behind the scenes—for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002. It now stands at the center of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture, once again proving that it has the power to shape the financial rules of our world. Yet despite its pivotal role in the financial and political history of the last century and during the economic current crisis, the BIS has remained largely unknown—until now.
Posted in Business & Economics

Who Really Runs Britain?

The Private Companies Taking Control of Benefits, Prisons, Asylum, Deportation, Security, Social Care and the NHS

Author: Alan White

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1786072351

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 1246

Who do you think is running our prisons, providing healthcare, transport, legal aid and child protection? You might think it has to be the government, but in reality £80 billion of public money is given every year to private companies to handle some of our most sensitive and important services. These organizations have been handed enormous amounts of power and yet for the most part they operate with no transparency or accountability. Award-winning journalist Alan White exposes what goes wrong when the invisible hand of the market is introduced into public services. Informed by interviews with senior managers, campaigners and whistle-blowers, as well as with the companies in question, Who Really Runs Britain? is the first book to deal with government outsourcing, giving the full story behind scandals involving G4S, Serco and ATOS, and revealing system failure in areas such as social care, welfare and justice. The picture that develops is deeply troubling.
Posted in Political Science

Unpeople

Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses

Author: Mark Curtis

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409020029

Category: Political Science

Page: 384

View: 6539

Britain is complicit in the deaths of ten million people. These are Unpeople - those whose lives are seen as expendable in the pursuit of Britain's economic and political goals. In Unpeople, Mark Curtis shows that the Blair government is deepening its support for many states promoting terrorism and, using evidence unearthed from formerly secret documents, reveals for the first time the hidden history of unethical British policies, including: support for the massacres in Iraq in 1963; the extraordinary private backing of the US in its aggression against Vietnam; support for the rise of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin; the running of a covert 'dirty war' in Yemen in the 1960s; secret campaigns with the US to overthrow the governments of Indonesia and British Guiana; the welcoming of General Pinochet's brutal coup in Chile in 1973; and much more. This explosive new book, from the author of Web of Deceit, exposes the reality of the Blair government's foreign policies since the invasion of Iraq. It discloses government documents showing that Britain's military is poised for a new phase of global intervention with the US, and reveals the extraordinary propaganda campaigns being mounted to obscure the reality of policies from the public.
Posted in Political Science

Life After Google

The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy

Author: George Gilder

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1621576132

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 564

“Google’s algorithms assume the world’s future is nothing more than the next moment in a random process. George Gilder shows how deep this assumption goes, what motivates people to make it, and why it’s wrong: the future depends on human action.” — Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies and author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. “If you want to be clued in to the unfolding future, then you have come to the right place. For decades, George Gilder has been the undisputed oracle of technology’s future. Are giant companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook the unstoppable monopolistic juggernauts that they seem, or are they dysfunctional giants about to be toppled by tech-savvy, entrepreneurial college dropouts?” — Nick Tredennick, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, QuickSilver Technolog Silicon Valley’s Nervous Breakdown The Age of Google, built on big data and machine intelligence, has been an awesome era. But it’s coming to an end. In Life after Google, George Gilder—the peerless visionary of technology and culture—explains why Silicon Valley is suffering a nervous breakdown and what to expect as the post-Google age dawns. Google’s astonishing ability to “search and sort” attracts the entire world to its search engine and countless other goodies—videos, maps, email, calendars….And everything it offers is free, or so it seems. Instead of paying directly, users submit to advertising. The system of “aggregate and advertise” works—for a while—if you control an empire of data centers, but a market without prices strangles entrepreneurship and turns the Internet into a wasteland of ads. The crisis is not just economic. Even as advances in artificial intelligence induce delusions of omnipotence and transcendence, Silicon Valley has pretty much given up on security. The Internet firewalls supposedly protecting all those passwords and personal information have proved hopelessly permeable. The crisis cannot be solved within the current computer and network architecture. The future lies with the “cryptocosm”—the new architecture of the blockchain and its derivatives. Enabling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, NEO and Hashgraph, it will provide the Internet a secure global payments system, ending the aggregate-and-advertise Age of Google. Silicon Valley, long dominated by a few giants, faces a “great unbundling,” which will disperse computer power and commerce and transform the economy and the Internet. Life after Google is almost here. For fans of "Wealth and Poverty," "Knoweldge and Power," and "The Scandal of Money."
Posted in Business & Economics

The Complete Maisky Diaries

Author: Ivan Maisky,Gabriel Gorodetsky,Tatiana Sorokina

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300117825

Category: Diplomats

Page: 1664

View: 4907

The terror and purges of Stalin's Russia in the 1930s discouraged Soviet officials from leaving documentary records let alone keeping personal diaries. A remarkable exception is the unique diary assiduously kept by Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London between 1932 and 1943. This selection from Maisky's diary, never before published in English, grippingly documents Britain's drift to war during the 1930s, appeasement in the Munich era, negotiations leading to the signature of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, Churchill's rise to power, the German invasion of Russia, and the intense debate over the opening of the second front.
Posted in Diplomats

The Book of Lies

Author: Brad Meltzer

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

ISBN: 9780446542197

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 4870

Brad Meltzer--author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Fate--returns with his most thrilling and emotionally powerful novel to date. In Chapter Four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world's most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history. In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world's greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain's murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found. Until now. Today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his family's greatest secret: his long-lost father, who's been shot with a gun that traces back to Mitchell Siegel's 1932 murder. But before Cal can ask a single question, he and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the anicent markings of Cain. And so begins the chase for the world's first murder weapon. What does Cain, history's greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world's greatest hero? And what do two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common? This is the mystery at the heart of Brad Meltzer's riveting and utterly intriguing new thriller
Posted in Fiction

The New Rulers of the World

Author: John Pilger

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 9781859844120

Category: Political Science

Page: 254

View: 8718

'John Pilger's work has been a beacon of light in often dark times. The realities he has brought to light have been a revelation, over and over again, and his courage and insight a constant inspiration.' Noam Chomsky
Posted in Political Science

Web Of Deceit

Britain's Real Foreign Policy

Author: Mark Curtis

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1407071645

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 9105

In his explosive new book, Mark Curtis reveals a new picture of Britain's role in the world since 1945 and in the 'war against terrorism' by offering a comprehensive critique of the Blair government's foreign policy. Curtis argues that Britain is an 'outlaw state', often a violator of international law and ally of many repressive regimes. He reasons not only that Britain's foreign policies are generally unethical but that they are also making the world more dangerous and unequal. The Web of Deceit describes the staggering gulf that has arisen between New Labour's professed commitment to upholding ethical values and the reality of current policies. It outlines the new phase in global intervention, the immorality of British policy in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq and Indonesia and support for repressive governments in Israel, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Curtis also reveals Britain's acquiescence in the Rwanda genocide and economic policies in the World Trade Organisation that are increasing poverty and inequality around the world. Drawing on formerly secret government files, the book also shows British complicity in the slaughter of a million people in Indonesia in 1965; the depopulation of the island of Diego Garcia; the overthrow of governments in Iran and British Guiana; repressive colonial policies in Kenya, Malaya and Oman; and much more.
Posted in History