NSA surveillance revelations: Osama bin Laden would love this

The US has shown itself so paranoid in the face of possible ‘al-Qaida-linked terror’ that it has played right into jihadist hands

By , guardian.co.uk

Washington has handed Osama bin Laden his last and greatest triumph. The Prism files revealed in the Guardian indicate how far his bid to undermine western values has succeeded in the 12 years since 9/11. He has achieved state intrusion into the private lives and communications of every American citizen. He has shown the self-proclaimed home of individual freedom as so paranoid in the face of his “terror” as to infiltrate the entire internet, sucking up mobile phone calls, emails, texts and, we may assume, GPS movements.

The vast databases of Microsoft, Google, YouTube and Facebook are open to government. They may cry “your privacy is our priority”, but they lie. Obedience to regulatory authority is their priority. And what does authority say? It says what authority always says: “We collect significant information on bad guys, but only bad guys.” As police states have said down the ages, the innocent have nothing to fear. For innocent, eventually read obedient.

This is the same trawling power that the British security services want parliament to approve in its snooper’s charter. It is defended on the same basis, that it is only exchanges, not content, that they seek. They do not really mean to snoop. And they do it only where “national security” is involved. Pull the other one. That is what the Stasi said. You can almost sense the smirk as they say it. And they have even persuaded half of parliament that they are right.

Inducing such paranoia about terror – always called “al-Qaida-linked terror” – is precisely what Islam’s jihadist regard as the crucial first step in undermining the west’s pseudo-liberalism. It requires democracy to lose faith in oversight, to let securocrats off the leash, to capitulate to “better safe than free”. It requires the regular click up the ratchet of control sought by each successive British home secretary. They are Bin Laden’s useful idiots.

The western democracies, and especially America and Britain, are the most invulnerable states on earth. They are rich and secure. They may suffer occasional explosions and killings, but they face not the remotest risk of “existential defeat”. Yet 9/11 brought into being an edifice of creeping surveillance and repression which democracy is clearly unable to curb. It has never been so at risk as now, from its own loss of faith in liberty. Osama bin Laden would be clapping his hands with glee.

Courtesy: Guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/07/nsa-surveillance-osama-bin-laden

Theft unearthed: Sindh losing share as water goes missing

By Sarfaraz Memon

SUKKUR: At least 30,000 cusecs of water a day is unaccounted for between Chashma Barrage and Taunsa Barrage for over a week now, causing a shortage in all three barrages of Sindh.

“The water is either being stolen or is lost since May 30. Whenever fresh water arrives, a three to five per cent loss is factored in as some of it is absorbed by the embankments and some is lost to evaporation but losses of up to 30,000 cusecs is impossible,” a source in the irrigation department told The Express Tribune.

It is a common practice for influential landlords to divert water towards their lands or illegally suck out water through lift machines, particularly between Chashma and Taunsa and Taunsa and Guddu barrages, he said. This theft ultimately translates into a cut in Sindh’s water share and the authorities are doing nothing to curb this practice, he added.

The Sukkur Barrage control room in-charge, Abdul Aziz Soomro, said that they were concerned over as to where this huge quantity of water is going as it will affect the pond level of Guddu and Sukkur Barrage. He, too, said that a loss of 5,000 to 6,000 cusecs is acceptable but 30,000 cusecs is unfathomable.

Explaining the figures, he said that the travel time between Chashma and Taunsa is around two days and the discrepancy in the flow can be worked out by recording the flow downstream Chahsma, say on May 30, and upstream Taunsa on Jun 2.

Giving the overall water situation in Sindh, he said that upstream flow at Guddu Barrage was 83,050 cusecs while downstream it was 67,974 cusecs. At Sukkur Barrage, the flow was 67,240 and 24,250 upstream and downstream respectively while at Kotri the upstream flow stood at 11,936 cusecs. No water was being released downstream Kotri, he added.

Continue reading Theft unearthed: Sindh losing share as water goes missing

Article 6 to be applied to Musharraf even if sky falls: SC

By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that it would implement the Article 6 of the Constitution in the Pervez Musharraf treason case even if the sky falls.

The grim ruling came during the hearing of a set of identical petitions by a three-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Jawad S. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan.

The petitions seek the trial of former President Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf for high treason for abrogating the Constitution.The apex court observed that hearing into the instant case would not be a futile exercise but would be decided in accordance with the law.

“There is no question of futility and the case would be decided in accordance with the law,” remarked Justice Khawaja while responding to Musharraf’s counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri.

He further remarked that under the law, Secretary Ministry of Interior had to lodge a complaint against Musharraf under the Article 6 of Constitution read with High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973 for subverting or abrogating the Constitution.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that if those responsible for fulfilling their responsibilities failed, the court would do it accordingly.

Continue reading Article 6 to be applied to Musharraf even if sky falls: SC