“The call was passed out over the radio that the security at Morrisons had detained a shop lifter and were asking for assistance from the Police. A call like this is graded as an emergency so we flicked on the blues and flew straight across to the shop. That annoyed me when I arrived because obviously every time you respond with lights and sirens you are putting people at risk. We got there and some bloke in jeans and a t-shirt came running up to us excitedly saying “nice one lads, she’s in here, come on” and scurried off. We had no idea who he was, no badge, ID or anything to suggest he was a part of the security team. I stopped him and asked who he was and he told us he was an ‘Undercover Store Detective’ and it was him that had caught the ‘shoppy’ and that his colleague was sitting with her now. He opened the door to what looked like a broom cupboard with a table and chair crammed into it. There was a a lanky security guard stood with his arms crossed across his chest with a stupid grin on his face. He told us later ‘this is my first catch’, hence the excitement I think.
Sitting in the chair was a woman who looked to be in her late 30’s. She was wearing a trouser suit and had black leather satchel like bag with her. She wouldn’t have looked out of place as the store manager. She was sobbing uncontrollably as soon as she saw me enter the broom cupboard. Before I could even speak she was begging forgiveness. My partner took the security guards out of the office whilst I sat with the suspect. A few minutes later he came back in with 4 items in his hand. He placed them on the table. Two of Morrisons finest microwave meals currently on a 2 for £6 offer and two £3 DVDs. Pepper Pig and Ben 10. The woman howled and began crying even louder.
My colleague told me that the ‘Undercover Store Detective’ had been patrolling the store and had seen the suspect put the items into her satchel. He thought she was using it to carry her shopping to the till at first because he said she didn’t look like a ‘shoppy’ but she walked straight passed to tills and to the exit. There was some discrepancy as to whether she had actually left the store and completed the offence but he was certain she had and would check CCTV for us. I asked the woman her name, date of birth, address and I ran her through the PNC. Nothing at all came back on her. I asked for a check to be done on her address and surely enough it was recorded but under her husband’s name and they were only recorded as being victims of a burglary the previous year.
So this wasn’t your usual shoplifter. I passed her a tissue from the pack I carry in my stab vest and asked her what had happened. Her story was that 8 months previously she had been made redundant from her admin role at a local hospital where she had worked for 15 years. The had 2 kids, a 5 and a 7 year old. They had struggled on for the first couple of months on just her husbands wage as she tried her hardest to get a new job. Then disaster struck when her husband’s firm went into administration and her husband lost his job too. They had lost all income, had fallen behind on bills and mortgage payments, they had not been able to celebrate Christmas properly and although her husband had found a new job which didn’t pay enough, she had been to one failed interview after another and was still out of work. They were still behind on bills and all money was going on feeding her kids and paying the essential utilities.
That day she had been to an interview, hence her dress and appearance, and was very confident when she left. She was on her way home when they called her so she pulled into Morrisons car park to take the call. Sadly, another failed interview. She told us that she couldn’t face going home to her kids and husband again and giving them bad news and so she decided what she needed was to feel like she had provided for her kids and to see a smile on their faces.
She had taken the meals for their tea and the DVDs were to see them smile and so they could sit and watch them in their bedroom whilst her and her husband talked. I don’t mind admitting, her story and her emotions made me choke up a couple of times. Ultimately what we had here was a mother who was desperate that she was willing to cross a line she had never even considered before and break the law to provide a meal and a smile for her kids. She fully understood what she had done and was more than apologetic. She was petrified that now she was going to be arrested for theft she would never find a job….that’s when I made my decision.
I used my discretion. I knew my partner would agree cause we were so much alike. I told the woman not to worry and to try and compose herself and I left the room. The two guards were right outside the door like two puppies awaiting praise and a treat. The uniformed one asked “Have you locked her up?”. I told them that I hadn’t locked her up and that I wasn’t going to either. They froze on the spot, their tales no longer wagging. They told me that I MUST lock her up cause that is their company policy. I told them that their company can’t have a policy that dictates what Police Officers do and that I have ultimate discretion in this situation and I don’t believe that criminalising this woman is the best way forward nor is it in the public interest. I explained her situation.
The ‘undercover’ guard was on my side. He agreed that it’s not the best solution. The uniformed guard was more upset at losing his first catch. I tried several times to get him on side but he wasn’t having it and so in the end I simply told him it was tough. It was my choice and the lady would not be getting arrested today. We all crammed back into the room and I explained to the woman that she would not be getting arrested and that we were going to take her out of the store and have a chat in our car. Lanky, obviously upset we had stolen his catch butted in with ‘But you are barred for life from this store’. She burst into tears again. She begged him to reconsider as she lived just around the corner, had shopped their all her life and couldn’t afford to travel to the next nearest supermarket every time they needed something. The guard was unrelenting and insisted it was ‘company policy’.
My colleague questioned whether he has the authority to do that given that he isn’t actually a Morrisons employee and when he confirmed he did have authority my colleague assured her that he would speak with the manager and let her know (he did do and the manager was fantastic and allowed her back into the store). When we got the woman back to her car I provided her with details of local groups and charities such as the Salvation Army which would be able to help her and her family and she couldn’t thank us enough and promised never to do something so stupid again.
When I spoke to my supervisor to get the call finalised I was shouted at. I was told that I should have arrested her and that it will take some ‘clever wording’ in order write off the call to comply with the National Crime Recording Standard. I was told it was my duty and that I will probably now have to go and arrest her from home. I told him that wasn’t going to happen and that if he thinks that is the best way to deal with somebody in her situation then he can go and drag her out of the house in front of her kids. As it happens the call was finalised and the woman wasn’t arrested. Job well done in my eyes.”
The above is a true story told to me by a serving officer. I use it because I think it demonstrates well the human side of policing. Here we had two officers whose “duty” dictated they arrest the shoplifter but whose morals dictated they help the woman and their morals won. I don’t think any good person can argue or criticise the officers for the way they dealt with the situation. Had it been another officer who attended the call the woman could well have been arrested, charged and walked away with a criminal record which could potentially prevent her finding employment. But this is just one example of many where Police Officers have to fight between their morals and their duty and quite often duty wins for reasons I will go into.
Over the last week I have spoken to many Police Constables who have answered several questions for me to help with my blogs and a project/campaign I am working on. One of those questions was;-
Has there ever been a time when you have been instructed to carry out a duty as a Police Officer which clashed with your personal morals and beliefs and if so, how did it make you feel and how did you deal with it?
The following are some of the answers I received.
“I am dead against fox hunting so when I was told I was policing the hunt to stop hunt saboteurs I objected. I explained to my boss that I didn’t feel I could because I don’t agree with fox hunting but I was pretty much told he doesn’t care what I agree or disagree with, I am a Police Officer and will do my duty. Having to “protect” these sick bastards while they scared and killed foxes made me feel ashamed for the first time in 17 years of being a Police Officer”.
“It drives me mental when people call the Police to say “there are kids playing in the street and being noisy” and then we get sent along to move them on even though they have done nothing wrong. They are just playing in the street and having fun for god sake. It’s not late at night or early in the morning, they are not committing crime, they are not even being anti-social or breaching the peace! The are PLAYING. Yet we get ordered by supervision to ‘move them on’ because we have a ‘duty to the public’ and must ‘maintain public confidence’… Well it might make the person complaining happy when we move harmless kids away but it doesn’t do much for maintaining the confidence of the youths, of their friends and family when they tell them they were chased off by the Police. Obviously if they are being rude, committing any offences, targeting somebody… we would have no issue dealing with them but all this does is make us look like bullies driving around scaring kids and spoiling their fun.”
“I got deployed with a team to prevent a breach of the peace whilst bailiffs evicted a man who had not been paying his mortgage. When we got there there was a removal van, about half a dozen bailiffs and removal men and they were waiting for us before they went up to the address. There was already a crowd gathered outside defending the man and who were angry and shouting at the bailiffs. My Sergeant spoke to the fella in charge and made sure the paperwork was above board and legal. We had to move the crowd back which obviously resulted in pushing and shoving and arguing with insults being thrown our way. We stood for about 2 hours separating the crowd from the property. The evictee was crying. Officially we were there to prevent any crime taking place but to the public we were HELPING the bailiffs evict a man. I felt guilty. I felt like stepping aside and letting the crowd through and helping this man get his house and possessions back. I couldn’t because I had a legal duty to prevent breaches of the peace and protect and preserve life and property.”
“Fracking is something I am 100% dead against and so when I took part in training to police protests at fracking sites I began asking myself how I would react when expected to stand guard outside one and prevent protesters gaining access. Truth is, I would WANT to let them in and even help them stop the fracking but I would HAVE to do my job and fulfil my duty and follow lawful orders. That really causes a moral dilemma and conflict”.
So here I have highlighted just a few of the jobs and duties expected from a Police Constable which cause internal battles with their own morals and beliefs. Jobs where their sense of lawful duty takes precedence over their morals. Police Officers may sum it up by saying “We’re just doing our job”. In part 2 of this blog I am going to look at the consequences of them doing the opposite and standing by their beliefs AND ask where exactly a Police Officer would draw the line at simply “doing their job” and following orders.
This blog is more me thinking aloud.
I am writing this blog for the public. For the people wanting to rise up and make a stand against the UK Government. For the people who plan to attend one of the many anti-austerity marches this year.
I am also writing this for the Police Officers who are tasked with Policing these marches. Police Officers who can relate to many of those marching having spent the last 5 years seeing their own pay, working conditions, pensions and living conditions being hacked away by the Tories. Police Officers who have nothing more than their strong sense of duty preventing them opening the cordon and letting the crowd through the gates of Downing Street. Officers who are doing their duty but some of whom I know for a fact want to be part of the march but would face certain dismissal and possible criminal charges if they did so.
Both sides are against the austerity being inflicted upon the nation. Both sides are suffering various levels of pain at the hands of this tyrannical government. Both sides (with perhaps a few exceptions) did not want the Tories back in power. Both side have a common enemy but will, over the course of the year, end up going head to head in battle on the streets of London and dare I say other major cities.
The protesters will march. The Police will march and contain.
The protesters will increase their numbers and try and break containment. The Police will increase their cordons.
The protesters will begin to venture off track. The Police will begin to kettle.
The protesters will begin pushing and shoving. The Police will begin pushing and shoving too.
Things will get thrown, batons will get drawn. Police will get hit, protesters will get hit.
The Police will use the media to claim the protesters were thugs and violent. The protesters will use social media to claim the Police were thugs and violent.
Protesters will be caught on camera breaking the law and face justice. Police will be caught on camera breaking the law and they too will face justice.
Both sides will take casualties. Public property will get damaged. Innocents will get caught in the fracas and they too will get injured by either side.
And whilst all of this goes on and the public pick a side and begin condemning the other, the common enemy, the people responsible for this uprising, the people who hide behind the Police Officers’ strong sense of duty whilst simultaneously attacking both warring factions will sit in their fortresses laughing at the chaos in the streets below but vehemently condemn in front of the camera.
The Government will condemn the protesters and deny they were responsible in any way for the public dissent. The Government will criticise the Police for their slow response time, their lack of resources, their lack of equipment and the actions they took. They set the two sides against each other then sit back and attack them both again and again….and we let it happen time and time again.
These protest which we are seeing and will continue to see in increasing numbers and strength are directed toward the same Government, the same enemy that the Police have faced for the last 5 years but have been prevented by law from doing anything about it or to protest in any way.
The difficulty is that the Police are sworn to protect ALL person and ALL property without showing any favour to either side. You may argue that by stopping the protesters reaching their targets and by using force against the protesters that they are showing favour towards the enemy. However, I assure you that if the Tories were to suddenly man up and come outside of their fortresses and try to get at the protesters, if they decided to stop hiding behind their fences and the duty of the Police and try to fight back, the Police would 100% absolutely stop them too. They would use force where necessary and would make arrests for any crimes they committed. That is because although I am sure the vast majority would love to see David Cameron or George Osborne get given a slap or a bit of a beating, they MUST act without fear or favour and protect each person (even their own enemy) from danger…That is the nature of Police work and that is what they are duty bound to do. To do any different, to step aside and us gain access to Downing St, Westminster Palace, Tory HQ or any other Government building would guarantee they got the sack and faced criminal charges for neglect of duty and misconduct. They would absolutely face greater convictions than any single protester.
So why not box clever and rather than play the games of our enemy, rather than go to war with each other, rather than protesting against austerity, cuts and the Tory tyranny but then attacking physically and verbally other victims of this regime, co-operate and protest in an alternative manner?
What does/has attacking Police with barriers, cones, bricks, rocks, sticks and smoke bombs achieved for the cause?
What has punching, kicking, elbowing, headbutting, baton striking or spraying protesters achieved for the Police?
Both sets of actions have simply brought both parties into disrepute and seen them facing public criticism and legal action. Counter productive and does nothing to alter the course we are heading. Nor does it have any impact upon the common enemy, David Cameron and the Tory party.
The Police are absolutely NOT going to engage in violent protest. But imagine the impact it would have on WORLD media and the Government if the Police stood amongst or side by side with rather then surrounding or kettling the protesters.
If the protests remained friendly and non-violent with nothing being thrown, nothing being burned, nothing being damaged and no reason or excuse given for the Police to draw their batons or begin cordoning or kettling then the exact same message could be expressed without the enemy and it’s media being able to criticise anybody at all.
It isn’t only the protesters who would need to make a change in their actions and attitudes. The Police would need to recognise that these men and women are marching and protesting against something they too have been victim of for half a decade. They would need to be a little more tolerant and understanding and recognise that these people represent them and their grievances too. That these people are doing what the Police have been wanting to do for 5yrs but have been prevented from doing so by law. To remain calm and use alternative methods of policing the marches and dare I say, question orders given to the contrary.
A simple gesture such as standing together facing the Government Buildings rather than the crowd would show a participation, a protest without actually “protesting”. A sign of defiance against the Government and solidarity with the community NOT the enemy.
The Police Officers policing these events would need to stand together as one in their actions. They can’t sack or discipline everybody after all.
John Lennon said
“When it gets down to having to use violence the you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you; pull your beard, flick your face to make you fight [they will use the presence of the Police to do this that is what you all need to recognise] Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humour”
These protests would have so much more impact if the public recognise the restraints placed upon the Police and the fact that THEY CAN NOT ALLOW THE LAW TO BE BROKEN NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY MAY DESPISE THE GOVERNMENT. The Police also need to recognise that the public partaking in these protests only want the same as you. Fairness, Equality and the Tory scum out of power. BOTH sides need to accept that those responsible for the austerity are the ones fuelling the violence and the moment either side resort to aggression the Government has won again.
The Public is the Police and the Police is the Public. Uniting as one would have unquestionable impact.
I think it is time we took a closer look at a term some of you may not have even heard before despite the fact they occur with an ever increasing frequency.
This report will no doubt attract unwanted attention, criticism, insult and maybe worse. It is however, I believe, an important subject to look at in this day and age when all the general public want from our Governments is honesty and fairness.
Many people throughout history have sought to highlight matters such as this one and unfortunately ended up being killed in “freak attacks” or “accidents”.
The subject I am talking about is FALSE FLAG OPERATIONS (FFO).
A FFO is a military and political operation, usually a terrorist attack or similar, which is perpetrated by the Government on their own soil or establishments abroad and subsequently made to look as though they have been committed by a foreign Government or extremist organisation.
Some well known alleged FFOs include;-
Charlie Hebdo attack
When I say “well known” I do not mean that it is well known that these were FFOs, I simply mean that people all around the world are well aware that these attacks took place.
Many have alleged over the years that the western Governments were heavily involved in the 9/11 attacks, some even suggest that they were completely planned and orchestrated by the US Government or a joint operation by US and other Governments such as UK and/or Israel.
At this point you may already be switching off and thinking this is another “conspiracy theory” but please read on. I will be looking at each of the above incidents in a little more detail and pointing out some of the theories circulating about them but the idea behind this report is to look more at the FACTS and the aspects of each incident which make them less conspiracy THEORY and more of a plausible possibility.
For this who have no idea what a FFO is you may mistakingly think that they themsleves are conspiracy theories. However, they are unfortunately very real.
We are going to look at one below which was presented to President John F Kennedy in the 1960’s by the Department of Defence. Quite frighteningly this FFO was signed off on by all except the President which is the only reason it did not go ahead. When we look at it you will see why so many people believe that the incidents listed above could well have been FFOs.
Op Northwoods was put together by the US Department of Defence (DoD) in the 60’s to address a problem faced by the then Government.
Kennedy and his administration were becoming increasingly concerned about Fidel Castro and also his relationship to Russia. Kennedy was under increasing pressure from his Government to take action against Castro and Cuba, however they lacked the support from the American public to invade and go to war and also the rest of the world. Op Northwoods was the DoD’s answer to that problem.
(you can view the entire now declassified document here but I will be looking at the vital sections below)
It is described in it’s first paragraph as a description of “pretexts which could justify US military intervention in Cuba”. In otherwords, idea that would make the rest of the world and US public support a US invasion.
Throughout the document are recommendations that the document is kept away from certain aspects of US Government, military and the rest of the world, including the UN. This is because the suggestions put forward, if carried out and discovered to be a FFO, would no doubt trigger another world war and destroy the US.
The first page outlines the document contents and reasons for it and shows that it was signed off by the US Joint Chief of Staff.
Section 5 of the Operation states
“The suggested courses of action…are based on the premise that US military intervention will result from a period of hightened US-Cuba tensions which place the United States in the position of suffering justifiable grievances. World opinion and the United Nations forum should be favourably affected by developing the international image of the Cuban government being rash and irresponsible and as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western Hemisphere”
What we are hearing here is a plan for the US Government, through a series of events and incidents which we shall examine shortly, planning to falsify and concoct an image and opinion which misrepresents the Cuban government and it’s leader. They basically plan on “spreading rumours” and making the rest of the world believe Cuba is a huge threat not only to the US but to the rest of the UN too. Sound familiar yet?
Section 6 goes on to explain how it would need be rushed and a short time scale would be forced upon the rest of the world to agree by telling them that AT THE MOMENT there is no threat from Russia as there is no pact between Cuba and Russia BUT if they hold back that threat could become real.
The conclusion in Section 7 states that the plan is a suitable response to the problem of gaining and increasing public support for war with Cuba and should be carried forward to the planning stage.
It is also recommended that the overseeing of the operation, both overt and covert actions, should stay with the Joint Chief of Staffs.
The report then goes on to discuss how the Operation should be put together. It states;-
“…Such a plan would enable a logical build up of incidents to be combined with a number of other seemingly unrelated events to camoflage the ultimate objective and create the neccersary impression of rashness and irresponsibility on a large scale directed at other countries as well as the United States”
It talks of choosing plans from the attached list of suggestions which we will look at later and again emphasises the importance of making the rest of the world believe Cuba is a threat to national security of the entire western hemisphere.
So let us now look at the list of proposed actions the US Government put together to take to the President which if he had signed off on would have resulted in the US proceeding to lie to the world in order to invade another country and start a war all for their own means.
Suggestion number 1 starts by saying;-
“Since it would seem desirable to use legitimate provocation as the basis for US military intervention in Cuba, a cover a deception plan…could be executed as an initial effort to provoke Cuban response. Harassment plus deceptive actions to convince the Cubans of imminent invasion would be emphasized.”
So in a nutshell, because a “legitimate provocation” would be preferred, the US would try and orchestrate a provocation by harassing and provoking Cuba themselves until Cuba reacted.
However, knowing that suggestion 1 would most likely not work they move in quickly to the following suggestion.
“A series of well coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give the genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces”
The DoD then lists their proposed “well coordinated incidents” as
1) Start rumours (many). Use clandestine radio
2) Land friendly Cubans [those either on the CIA payroll or trained as guerilla fighters by the CIA] in uniform over the fence to stage attack on base.
3) Capture Cuban (friendly) saboteurs inside the base.
4) Start a riot near the base main gate (friendly Cubans)
5) Blow up ammunition on the base. Start fires.
6) Burn aircraft on airbase (sabotage)
7) Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base. Some damage to installations.
8) Capture assault teams approaching from the sea or direction of Guantanamo Bay.
9) Capture malitia group which storms the base
10) Sabotage ship in harbour. Start large fires – napthalene
11) Sink ship near harbour entrance. conduct funerals for mock victims (may be lieu of 10)
MOCK VICTIMS – this is something that will crop up again and we will look at closer later!
The DoD advise that in response to these incidents which would be conducted by the US and made to look like Cuba were responsible, the US military would then launch offensive operations against Cuba!
The 3rd suggestion was referred to as a “remember the Maine” operation. The Maine was a US battleship which funnily enough in the late 1890’s was sunk off of the coast of Havana following a huge explosion on board which tore a hole in the hull. There was, believe it or not, no evidence to suggest an attack but the incident was blamed on the Spanish and the US public, angry and upset at the death of 260 soldiers, demanded a declaration of war.
The following is an extract from the website ushistory.org;-
“REMEMBER THE MAINE, TO HELL WITH SPAIN!” was the cry. On April 11, 1898, McKinley asked the Congress for permission to use force in Cuba. To send a message to the rest of the world that the United States was interested in Cuban independence instead of American colonization, Congress passed the TELLER AMENDMENT, which promised that America would not annex the precious islands. After that conscience-clearing measure, American leaders threw caution to the wind and declared open warfare on the Spanish throne.”
Could this have been an early FFO?
So what would a “Remember the Maine” operation look like? Well the first suggestion by the DoD was…
“a) We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba”
part B of suggestion 3 is to blow up a drone vessel anywhere in Cuban waters, potentially close to Havana so that it was seen a would be a spectacle. When Cuban planes flew over to see what was happening footage would be used to emphasise that Cuba attacked the vessel. The US would then stage a rescue mission to “evacuate remaining members of a non-existent crew”
Again, MOCK VICTIMS being “rescued” from a faked attack!
“We could develop a communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, other Florida cities and even in Washington.The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cubans refugees in the United States, even to the extent of wounding in instances to be highly publicised….”
Here we see the US Government actually suggesting killing or wounding Cuban refugees in fabricated “terrorist attacks” in US cities! It continues…
“…exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government”
The US Government planned to paint the Cuban Government as “irresponsible” by acting irresponsible themselves.
Suggestion 5 was to cause tension between Cuba and other Caribbean nations by staging attacks on sugar cane fields and ensuring Soviet incendiaries were found along with the discovery of “Cuban” messages and weapons shipments on that nation’s beaches etc.
Suggestion 6 involved disguising a US plane as a Cuban plane and conducting attacks on US drone vessels and other US instillations.
Suggestion 7 was to stage hijackings of US “civil air and surface crafts” and make it appear to be backed by Cuba.
Suggestion number 8 is one that sets alarm bells ringing especially when you hold Lockerbie and 9/11 in mind.
“It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers would be a group of “College students” [CIA officers] off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.
[This is where the plan gets crafty and alarm bells begin to ring]
a) An air craft at Eglin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA propriety organisation in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all loaded under carefully selected aliases. The actual registered air craft would be converted to a drone.
b) Take off times of the drone air craft and the actual air craft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger [CIA] carrying air craft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into and auxilary field at Eglin AFB where arrangement will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to it’s original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the plane will begin transmitting on the international distress frequency a “MAY DAY” message stating he is under attack from a Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be disrupted by destruction of the air craft which will be triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO radio stations in the Western Hemisphere to tell the US what has happened to the aircraft instead of the US trying to “sell” the incident.
Can you believe what you have just read? Read it again. An elaborate plan to stage the shooting down of a passenger aircraft which would then be broadcast to the entire world. Names and faces of the “passengers” would be released. Mock funerals as discussed above would take place and the world would condemn Cuba for an act actually conducted by the US government!
It has long been suggested that the planes involved in Lockerby and in the 9/11 attacks were simply drones and that the passengers and families of passengers were in fact US military and government personnel. This allegation is always understandably met with outrage and disgust but can we blame the “conspiracy theorists” for believing this when that is EXACTLY what the US government planned in 1962?
Suggestion 9 was a plan to have a CIA pilot posing as an Air Force pilot engaged on a training exercise with other legitimate fighters. He would be briefed to fly at the back of the formation, some distance behind the rest where he would then let out a distress call to say he had been attacked by Cuban MIG planes. He would then descend to low altitude and fly to Eglin AFB where the plane would be re-numbered and the CIA agent would return to his normal duty. The pilot would never be found and would be reported as shot down by Cubans. At the same time a submarine would be used to release plane parts including parachute which would then be recovered from the sea and the coast of Cuba. Presumably another mock funeral would take place.
So now we have seen just how devious, deceitful and manipulative the US Government can be and it was only due to the honesty (the US government called it “softness”) of President John F Kennedy that Operation Northwoods did not go ahead at that time.
It raises the legitimate question though of whether a Northwoods style plan was taken to Bush as a way of increasing public support for the Iraq invasion. It was no big secret that Bush wanted to go into Iraq and take down Sadam and we now know that the story of WMD was a load of rubbish. We know Iraq played no part in 9/11 but were lead to believe Sadam and Osama were both up to no good and posed a “potential risk to the western hemisphere”.
In actual fact is well known and documented that it was the Bush family who were close friends of the Bin Laden family. The presidents father was entertaining Osama’s brother the morning of the attacks!
Did Blair use a FFO on 7/7 due to the increasing demands from the pubic and others in Parliament to stop being America’s lap-dog and to withdraw our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan?
Did Cameron authorise a FFO in Paris to create support and understanding from Parliament, the EU and the public for his plans to increase surveillance and snooping laws in the UK? The same morning of the attacks in Paris the head of Mi5 was quoted in the media as saying they can not protect us from all terrorist attacks and that terrorists are using complicated communication methods such as Whatsapp, iMessage and Snapchat… by complicated he meant encrypted.
David Cameron jumped straight on the bandwagon with plans to push his already quashed plans for his “snoopers charter” and a promise to ban all encrypted communications because he states he does not think the public should be able to communicate in a way which the government can not listen in. He made sure he highlighted the fact that the Charlie Hebdo attacks MAY have been avoided if the Government had the ability and freedom to listen in to all communications.
The attacks in Paris were almost instantly examined and numerous discrepancies were discovered paving the way for more “conspiracy theories” and allegations it was a FFO. (see my previous blog the Charlie Hebdo attack for details of the discrepancies and theories)
Northwoods suggests using MOCK VICTIMS in their attacks. Using serving covert agents as pilots and civilians aswel as the “terrorists” themselves. One of the theories surrounding the Paris attack was that the attackers were agents and that the Police Officer shot was actually a serving agent from MOSAD. Hard to believe I know, until you look at Northwoods and see that it is not as outrageous as you may think.
Many aspects of Northwoods can be seen in these incidents and because we KNOW that Northwoods was a legitimate US government plan and that the DoD was more than willing to sacrifice US lives and fabricate evidence and cover up their actions people can not be blamed or criticised for believing that 9/11, 7/7, Lockerbie, Pearl HArbour and the Charlie Hebdo attacks were the works of Western Governments.
President John F Kennedy had the decency and integrity which no other leader prior or since had. He turned down Northwoods and was deemed “weak”. He made a speech about secrecy and lies at a Government level and higher and insisted that his administration would NOT tolerate such activity and behaviour and called upon the US media to help him advise and inform the American public whilst vowing to expose the sinister secrecy at the highest levels of power…. several days later JFK was shot and killed.
But that is another “Conspiracy Theory” altogether.
*In writing this blog I am not endorsing any theory about any incident which has taken place. I happen to hold my own opinions on each incident. I simply believe that more people should be aware of the existence of Operation Northwoods and the extent to which the US Government HISTORICALLY planned to take matters simply to fabricate public support for war. Read the document in full at the link I have supplied. Look deeper into attacks which have happened both historically and recently and make you own minds up. But don’t dismiss those who think outside the box and consider all possibilities rather than simply excepting what the media, controlled by the Government, tell us.
If anything happens to me any time soon after writing this then it’s no conspiracy theory, DIG DEEPER! 😉
In recent months whenever I speak with my friends within the Police Service I have been hearing the same thing repeated by many an officer from different forces. That is that Police Officers are at their wits end, sickness is increasing and why more and more are taking time off due to depression. Many Officers are “jumping ship” and seeking alternative employment to escape the Police Service and move on to new ventures.
I contacted the below forces to ask about their Officer sickness record, the number of Officers off with depressive illness and how many Officers they have lost between the time period shown.
All forces were asked about the number of Police Officers of all ranks who have taken sick leave between January and July 2014 and the same period in 2013. They were also asked how many of those Officers were off with depressive illness.
West Yorkshire Police
WYP has seen an increase in the number of Officers off work due to ill health with 1330 in the first 6 months of 2013 and 1414 in the first 6 months of 2014.
Between those same two periods West Yorkshire Police have had an increase of 86% off work with anxiety, depression or stress (Depressive Illness). They point out that “Low Mood” is not a recognised or recorded reason for sickness despite this having been used by GPs on “sick notes”.
South Yorkshire Police
SYP have seen a decrease in the number of Officers off work due to ill health with 1335 in the first 6 months of 2013 and 1176 in the first 6 months of 2014.
The force has also seen an increase in the number of Officers off work with Depressive Illness however of 70%.
Humber seem in good shape with only 751 Officers off sick in the first 6 months of 2013 and a reduction to 684 for the same period of 2014.
When it comes to Depressive Illness Humberside Police have seen only a small increase of 6%
Greater Manchester Police
GMP have also seen a reduction in sickness levels with 3318 in the first 6 month of 2013 and 3272 in the first 6 month of 2014.
However they too have had an increase in Officers suffering Depressive Illness (they also do not record “low mood”) by 26%
So it seems that whilst the levels of sickness differs between forces with some seeing an increase and others a decrease, there is one thing in common amongst all 4 forces questioned…
Depression amongst Police Officers is increasing.
Whilst some of the forces were keen to highlight that this could be for any number of reasons including personal, home life, financial and [lastly] work life, there is no escaping the fact that our Police Officers are feeling the strain.
My timeline was narrow and I have only obtained results from 4 forces (North Yorkshire and Cleveland are yet to respond to my FOI requests) but the figures still make interesting reading.
I KNOW that depression is on the rise within the Police because my friends and colleagues talk to me either personally or via SIREN (@SirenSupport) which I set up initially to look at the issue of depressive illness within the Police and the absolute lack of knowledge, understanding and awareness training given to Officers. I KNOW that depression is on the rise because I witnessed it first hand prior to resigning in February and experienced it myself whilst serving. And now I KNOW that depression is on the rise because the numbers say so.
The sad and worrying thing is there are many many others suffering out there who have not taken time off, who are worried about admitting they are suffering and who do so in silence due to the stigma, the reputation and the fear of what people will say and what will happen to their careers. The complete absence of knowledge and awareness both within the Police Service and the wider general public is a huge barrier when it comes to recognising and managing Depressive Illness and is something that MUST be addressed.
Sadly, to date, I have yet to make any leeway with any force and although the College of Policing initially showed an interest and ACPO assured me that this would be looked at in 2014, nothing has progressed and people are still suffering both openly and in silence.
Next Blog:- Why West Yorkshire Police Senior Management desperately need to address staff welfare before it’s too late
I have just finished watching an interview on THIS MORNING about responsible dog ownership, dogs and small children/babies and dog bites. The interview conducted in quite an amateur fashion by some bloke from JLS and his wife from another pop group did not really touch on much of the important issues around this serious subject. They were interviewing a mother of a small child who was bitten on the face by a friends Patterdale Terrier and the CEO of Dogs Trust.
The one thing I was happy to see in this interview is that they had steered clear of choosing the easy target and heavily victimised breed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, to talk about and instead opted for a breed which most people would not associate with bad press. I own 2 Staffies and a Staffy/Shepherd cross and they are fantastic, especially around my kids and nieces & nephews because of the way they have been brought up within the family, a point I will return to later, but it riles me to see this beautiful breed attacked almost daily by the press thanks to poor education and idiot owners. Again, I will return to this point later.
One of the most common and immediately obvious factors in stories we see and hear in the press is children being left alone with dogs. Another less obvious and much less reported factor in all “dog attack” stories is a lack of knowledge on the dog owners part in relation to dogs, canine and pack behaviour and the specific breed they have chosen to bring into the family.
I am by no means an expert in canine behaviour. I am sure there will be those who read this and will disagree with what I say from here on in. I have studied wolves, dogs, canine behaviour and pack behaviour for almost 4-5 years now in my own private time. I own my small pack of 3 dogs aged between 2 to 13 and have studied how the pack formation adapts and changes over the years within my home. I work quite extensively with dogs as a canine photographer, many of which are rescue dogs at rescue centres with a mixture of different personality and behavioural issues caused by abuse and ill treatment. There are also a few of my followers on Twitter whom I have helped with a variety of canine behavioural issues. I can not emphasise enough the importance of understanding as best as possible the animal you are bringing into the family unit BEFORE you decide to buy or adopt a dog. The MOST important thing to remember is that IT IS A DOG!
As humans we are very much guilty of humanising animals we encounter, especially those we bring into our homes. We take an animal which by nature is a pack animal. He is used to living, even if only for a very short time, with other dogs. He is used to his siblings being rough and having to “fight” not only for attention, warmth and food, but also in order to establish pack order. They communicate with each other and their mother & father by yelps, cries, barks, grunts and even teeth. They don’t talk, they cant push with their paws (not hands) they can’t say “WILL YOU GET OUT OF MY WAY PLEASE, YOU ARE ANNOYING ME”. If a dog of any age wants to communicate his annoyance with a fellow dog it will usually consist of growls as a warning and then often, but not always, a nip with teeth. Dogs use their mouths like humans use their hands. They explore with them, hold things, manipulate things (chew them), nip instead of push, bite instead of hit. We bring this animal with it’s natural instinctive doggy behaviour into our homes and we give him a name. This is normal HUMAN behaviour. We name each other to give us identity so it is only normal to do so with our pets. However, dogs do not understand that they have a name. Yes they may respond when it is called but it is not the word the dog is responding too, it is the sound and intonation of your voice. Quite often we bring them home and do not give any consideration to introducing the dog to the house, family, garden or any other part of it’s new territory properly. Humans are often guilty of ignorance when it comes to dogs. They expect a dog to understand the human way of living and adapt to our lifestyle as quickly as possible. In actual fact it is the human who must understand the dog’s way of living, adapt our lifestyle and behaviour and help educate the dog whilst respecting each other’s boundaries. I am a firm believer in responsible dog ownership and believe people should have to apply for a license to own a dog and pass a theory test to show they have a basic knowledge of canine behaviour and the responsibility of owning a dog. This is a topic i wont get into here but may write about later.
In a canine pack you will have an Alpha, the leader of the pack. This will be the most dominant male and/or female within the pack. The Alpha is responsible for the safety, welfare and future of his or her pack and will ensure that the others remain disciplined and behave themselves. When a new litter of dogs is born the struggle for pack hierarchy begins. The Alpha will always receive the best of the food in the wild and so it is common for the Alpha pup to feed from it’s mothers milk first. The Alpha will be more dominant and seemingly aggressive as he or she seeks to put the rest of the pack in its pecking order. Most canidea (dogs, wolves, foxes etc) rely heavily on a strict, structured, secure and stable pack and once the order of the pack is sorted it rarely changes (in the wild) unless another member of the pack challenges the Alpha and wins. In domestic dog packs the order is barely given chance to form before the pups are split up and sold on to their new human pack.
This is where problems can start to surface. Unless you have the knowledge available to you and are fortunate enough to have been able to observe the pup with it’s pack and observe the pack order already established then you will not know where you new family member sat within the hierarchy of it’s own pack. It could be that you have the Alpha and are now expecting him or her to let you take over without any objection. For you and your family, bringing a new puppy home is a wonderful and exciting experience. For the puppy however it can be traumatic, unnerving, scary and chaotic. He is leaving his littler, his pack, his security and stability, his source of warmth, food and affection and he is entering the world of a human with an already established pack and set of rules and boundaries. This too, if not addressed correctly can cause behaviour problems brought on by stress and fear.
The formation of a human family is similar to that of a canine pack in that there is an Alpha male and female (Mum and Dad) and then often other siblings who will assert their own dominance amongst each other but always know mum and dad are boss. Mum and Dad feed, clothe and protect them. Mum and Dad provide warmth and security. There will be those who know and the rest will have to imagine what it is like to be taken from this bubble of security and stability and this is not too dissimilar to what your pup will be feeling. The difference being and I will not digress onto this topic is that dogs, unlike humans, live for today. They don’t dwell on the past. Weeks later a dog isn’t going to be sad and begin missing his litter or his mum. They move on, adapt and if the human has done it’s research, will form part of a new secure pack.
It is vital then that before bringing a puppy home you have sat with your family or whoever else you live with and have set in place a structure and boundaries for the arrival of your new pup. Your puppy needs to learn to understand your rules and boundaries just as you need to understand your new puppy and the way he thinks, learns and adapts.
You need to ensure from an early age that your pup learns and understands that you are in charge of the pack and that he understands and respects the position of other family members, including children, in relation to himself within his new pack. Their a numerous ways of doing this and I can not stress enough the importance of seeking advice from educated sources rather than listening to your mates down the pub or at work or as is most problematic amongst older generations, believing you know best cause you have had dogs all your life.
The CEO of Dogs Trust on This Morning during the interview today made a silly comment which could easily be misunderstood by most people in relation to introducing a baby to a dog. She stated you must take time to ensure the dog understands he is “still top dog of the house” in order to avoid jealousy…. This I completely disagree with. Firstly, dogs, unlike humans do not feel jealousy. They may display behaviour which humans then interoperate as jealousy but in actual fact the dog is showing dominance and possessiveness against the child towards you, the pack leader. If left unchecked this kind of behaviour can quickly lead to aggression as your dog becomes frustrated that the new litter, the new pup, is not learning the way your dog believes it, a puppy, should. This is when nips and bites could begin to occur as your dog seeks to teach what he sees as a pup, not a small human. As Alpha, it is your job to correct the dog and help him understand that his behaviour towards the new arrival is wrong and that YOU will take charge. Again, do not behave in the way your human instincts may suggest, do not shout and scream and smack as this behaviour, to a dog, is seen as weakness and a failure in leadership. Always seek advice on how best to do this from a reliable and educated source. Which leads me onto the other reason I disagree with her comment. Your dog should NEVER believe he or she is “Top Dog of the house”! If you allow your dog to believe he is pack leader then you are paving the way for endless amounts of problems, perceived aggression, damage to property, dominance and ultimately a violent and aggressive dog which could go on to injure somebody or worse.
You must have a strict set of rules and boundaries when you have a dog in the house in order to avoid any unwanted behavioural issues from jumping up and begging for food to growling and aggression. If your dog is happy, stable and comfortable within his new pack then he will be good for life. If you can provide calm and assertive leadership, regular exercise, food and warmth and of course plenty of affection then your dog will be a life long companion.
If however you do not bother to educate yourself prior to getting a dog, do not instil strict lifestyle changes, rules and boundaries within your own family, do not provide the exercise, food, leadership, security, warmth and affection your dog needs, if you play aggressive games or teach your dog to bite and if you do not ensure you remain Alpha then I am sorry to say, any behavioural issue or future aggression your dog may develop is most likely down to you.
If you are looking to point the finger and blame somebody then look in the mirror.
Don’t blame the dog.
The news has just landed that infamous EDL leader Tommy Robinson has stepped down from leading his party to focus on more legitimate ways to target the “increased threat of Islam” facilitated by anti-extremist organisation Quilliam. Robinson states he has been considering the move for some time now as he has realised that whilst street demonstrations have helped build the EDL and get him to where he is now, they are not very productive. He wishes to continue to counter islamic ideology but using less violent, democratic ideas… sounds promising right? I personally am not convinced.
It may seem extreme but I recently watched the 2 part documentary “Hitler’s Rise To Power” which focused on his political career from angry street protestor to the extreme, racist Nazi murderer he became. When I read the story about Tommy Robinson this morning I was struck by one thing immediately… This is exactly what Adolf did back in the 1930’s & 40’s.
In a nutshell, Hitler began building himself a vast army of followers and engaged in mass public marches and demonstrations which often resulted in violence. He protested, amongst other things, about the influx of Jews which he saw as a threat to the nation and the inactivity or reluctance to act by Government. As his popularity increased so to did the attention of those in power who saw Hitler as nothing more than an extreme and violent protestor. Blessed with the gift of the gab and able to rally his followers with his passionate but poisonous rhetoric Hitler’s following snowballed out of all control. It seemed much of the country supported his cause if not his practices and many more were beginning to bend towards his way of thinking. He did a spell in prison, was smeared by the press for allegedly having sexual relations with his niece and became a target for the Government.
As things progressed and he realised his extreme and violent ways were not gaining him respect and credibility within Government and no doubt seeing that these street demonstrations were not going to be enough for much longer Hitler did something surprising.
He distanced himself from the extreme side of his party, calmed down and disguising himself as a sheep rather than a wolf he began to tow the line and worked with various Government departments who actually believed that THEY were in control of Hitler when in actual fact he was using subterfuge to subliminally manipulate those who were working alongside him and sneaking his way into Politics. From there he lost several elections to become a Government official but his following was increasing by the thousands every day. Eventually he was appointed a place in Government and very quickly he shed his wool and the evil wolf was back. It did not take long for Hitler to become the force of evil which we all already know about. And the rest is history.
Now obviously we are never going to see Tommy Robinson residing in 10 Downing Street and becoming leader of Great Britain and I am NOT for one second comparing Tommy to Adolf, but what did strike me was that the political move seems very reminiscent of Hitler’s rise to power and I can not help but wonder what plan or agenda Mr Robinson may have.
I hope that Tommy has realised the errors of his ways and I hope many of his followers follow him along this path but I guess only time will tell.
Whistle Blowing: Whistle-blowing (noun) is the act of telling the authorities or the public that the organization you are working for is doing something immoral or illegal (Collins English Dictionary)
Seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie THE FIFTH ESTATE about Julian Assange and his Wikileaks organisation this evening prompted me to think about “whistle-blowing” again. It is a subject that interests me greatly and something I strongly support and would expect any decent man or woman with morals to also support to some extent or another. Whilst I am open minded enough to consider the implications of certain secrets and truths being revealed, nation security matters for instance, and I accept that not everything can be an open book to the public, I strongly believe that unnecessary immoral and illegal practices within private, public and Government organisations should have an eagle eyed whistle blower standing by ready to roar like a lion.
Society seems split when it comes to the opinion of whistle-blowing. Certainly those at the heads of organisations seem dead against them and who can blame them? One man or woman with the bravery and morals to expose wrongdoing can topple even the most powerful of corporations. It seems some organisations are more accepting of whistle-blowers than others. The Government seems to welcome and encourage whistle-blowers from certain public sector organisations such as the NHS but strongly opposes and does it’s best to silence them in other organisations such as the Police Service.
In the Police Service officers are vehemently discouraged from speaking to the press or the public about internal matters and those that do so can expect to be investigated for bringing the force into disrepute or undermining public confidence. Several officers around the UK are currently being investigated for misconduct for blowing the whistle…ironic when the Police Whistle was first introduced for Police Officers to blow in times of trouble and to alert the public.
Whistle-blowers are often dismissed as trouble causers, disgruntled employees and of pursuing a personal vendetta. It is true that there are many who fit into these categories and many who simply lie and make things up and these people I can not abide. They are liars and attention seekers. However, when a true and honest whistle-blower takes a deep breath and really blows hard then people start to listen and changes start to happen.
I have met and spoken to numerous genuine blowers in the last few years and have the upmost respect for them all. Several months ago I met and spoke to Ian Foxley, an ex Army Officer and former Defence project manager who “blew the whistle” on an alleged corrupted $2BILLION Saudi communications deal. A true gent and a font of knowledge who would not stand back and watch corruption and fraud unfold despite being threatened with Saudi prison. I will add that our meeting was not in relation to whistle blowing but the subject simply cropped up.
Ian now helps run (I think he is the chairman but I am not certain) Whistle Blowers UK, an organisation set up to help support and advise current and potential whistle blowers. You can learn more about Ian, WBUK and the rest of the group here… http://www.whistleblowersuk.org/content/ian-foxley
Whistle Blowers routinely find themselves in trouble, warned, discouraged, threatened, sacked, bribed, smeared and disgraced and in some countries much worse. Once they cross that line there is no going back and it is because of this that they need much more protection in law and support form organisations such as WBUK. They are brave and selfless. As one female states in the video on the link above
“THERE WAS NO AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY COULD PAY TO SHUT ME UP AND THEY CAN SHOVE IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE”.
Another states she was advised by her own solicitor not to go ahead but whilst she knew that was probably good advice for herself it was NOT good for the thousands of people she was hoping to help by exposing wrongdoing.
The press, Government, scientists, behaviourists etc all talk about how media, especially violent films and games, impact upon and affect the behaviour and mindset of those who watch/play them. I believe (and hope) that when The Fifth Estate is released in the UK later this month many will watch, many will connect and relate and many more will find the strength and bravery to blow the whistle.
Heads of organisations affected by whistle-blowing, you need to ask yourselves the following two questions when making decisions, implementing new policy and enacting new procedure;-
1) If the public knew about this, would it undermine their confidence?
2) If this was made common knowledge, would it bring the organisation into disrepute?
If the answer to either of those questions is YES then I am afraid that it is YOU that is in the wrong for going ahead with it and NOT the brave and selfless whistle blower exposing your wrongdoing. It is YOU who ruins the reputation of your organisation and loses public confidence.
It is much easier to be honest but unfortunately that path is paved with much less gold.