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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Thatcher’

‘Who controls the past controls the future’: Assange presents massive Project K leak

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 9, 2013

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange formally unveiled on Monday the latest release from the whistleblower site, Project K, calling it “the single most significant geopolitical publication that has ever existed.”

Speaking via Skype from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange introduced Project K on Monday morning to a group of journalists at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Nearly three years earlier to the day, Assange spoke at the Press Club in person to debut “Collateral Murder,” a video of US soldiers firing at Iraqi civilians that has since become one of WikiLeaks’ most well-recognized contributions to journalism. Since that release, WikiLeaks and the organization’s associates have become the target of a number of government investigations, with Assange himself having been confined to the embassy in London for nearly one year while awaiting safe passage to Ecuador where he was granted political asylum. Ongoing attempts to prosecute the journalists for sharing state secrets aside, however, Assange and company have now unloaded the organization’s biggest leak yet.

Project K, says Assange, contains roughly 1.7 million files composed of US Department of State diplomatic communications. And although the material has been classified, declassified and, in some instances, re-classified, the public’s inability to access and peruse the unredacted copies has made them nearly inaccessible.

“One form of secrecy is the complexity and the accessibility of documents,” WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson said during Monday’s event. “You could say that the government cannot be trusted with these documents.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Ronald Reagan’s Drawings Snatched Up By Margaret Thatcher

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 19, 2012

CAMBRIDGE, England — Margaret Thatcher was so fascinated by U.S. President Ronald Reagan that she snatched and kept a page of his doodles from a G7 summit, the former British prime minister’s newly released papers reveal.

The page of ink drawings is among personal papers from 1981 released Saturday by the Thatcher archive at Cambridge University.

Reagan left the piece of paper sitting on a table at the meeting near Ottawa, Canada, in July 1981. It is adorned with a scribbled eye, a man’s muscular torso and several heads, including one that looks like a self portrait.

“She told me it was fascinating to see it, and she just grabbed them,” said historian Chris Collins of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation. “He just left it on his desk. She snaffled it up, put it in her papers, brought it back to Downing Street and kept it in her flat.”

Cary Cooper, a psychologist at Lancaster University in northern England, said Thatcher’s souvenir provided an insight into the president’s state of mind during the summit – he was bored. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘The Iron Lady’ Panned By Critics In Argentina

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 12, 2012

Meryl Streep may have been nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, but Argentine critics have panned the film during its premiere in Buenos Aires.

The film opened in Argentine cinemas amid a furore over the Falkland Islands, over which Thatcher’s Britain and Argentina fought a brief war 30 years ago.

In the movie, Thatcher is shown ordering the sinking of the Argentine warship Belgrano, which killed 323 sailors and remains controversial because the ship was considered to be outside the war zone.

She also dismisses the entreaties of the American ambassador to settle the dispute peacefully, suggesting that as a woman, she has had to “go to war every day” to maintain her hold on power. Reducing the decision to wage war to a question of feminism “is absurd, to say the least”, the newspaper Clarin wrote in a review. Read the rest of this entry »

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Margaret Thatcher Iron Lady Archives Reveal Behind The Scenes Battles Hidden For 30 Years

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 30, 2011

Margaret Thatcher’s bitter battles within her cabinet over the economy, with the military over defence cuts, the Argentinians, the French and their concerns about the abuse of parliamentary expenses have been laid bare in secret documents published for the first time.

VOTE: Thatcher was good for Britain. Agree or not?

The remarkable records reveal how the former prime minister faced a near carbon copy of problems faced today by David Cameron.

The files, released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule that governs the publication of official government papers, come as interest in Thatcher has been re-ignited by the soon to be released biopic The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.

Previously unseen, the documents cover the divisive leader’s 11-year period in power between 1979 to 1990, which saw a radical transformation of British society and economy.

While famous for insisting she would stick by her economic policies, declaring that “the lady’s not for turning” and expelling the so-called “wets” who opposed a squeeze on spending from her cabinet, the files reveal some of Thatcher’s supporters in cabinet apparently feared she was in danger of “going soft” herself.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Call Scotland Yard: Britain’s Prime Minister Is in Deep Trouble

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 18, 2011

by 

David Cameron presented himself to British voters as the candidate of change. He certainly hasn’t let them down. The

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds a press conference with South African President Jacob Zuma following their meeting at Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, on July 18, 2011. (Photo: Jerome Delay / AP)

Prime Minister can claim personal responsibility for triggering a series of unexpected and convulsive changes to public life in Britain that have left Britons, in the words of one habitually understated government official, “gobsmacked and agog.” Over just two weeks, the turbulence has toppled Britain’s top cop and thrown London’s Metropolitan Police Service (widely known as the Met or Scotland Yard) into crisis, shuttered the nation’s biggest Sunday newspaper, led to the arrests of some of the most prominent names in journalism, revived the moribund career of Labour opposition leader Ed Miliband and shaken a global media empire to its foundations. And this is only the beginning as questions mount over the damage to Cameron’s own credibility.

It all goes back to a single decision taken by Cameron in 2007: to make Andy Coulson, a former editor of the now defunct tabloid the News of the World from 2003 to 2007, his communications supremo. Coulson had resigned from the News of the World after the prosecution of Clive Goodman, its royal editor, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator retained by the newspaper. The pair had hacked into the phones of the royal princes and their household. Coulson accepted “full responsibility” for what happened on his watch but has denied knowledge of illegal activities during his editorship or at any other time during his Fleet Street career. “There have been rumors about that kind of activity, I suppose, and media commentators have written about it,” he told members of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2009. “It has been in the ether of the newspaper world for some time, but no, I have never had any involvement in it at all.” Cameron deemed such assurances sufficient to give Coulson “a second chance,” and upped the stakes on this gamble by bringing Coulson with him to 10 Downing Street after scraping into power at the head of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010 — this despite the emergence of fresh evidence that suggested the number of hacking victims might extend into the thousands and well beyond palace walls. Coulson’s second chance expired this January when he left his Downing Street post; he was arrested on July 7 by police investigating allegations of voicemail interception and corrupt payments to police.

(PHOTOS: Inside the World of David Cameron)

Coulson and the nine others arrested so far in relation to these two separate police inquiries must be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty by law. In overriding others’ advice to appoint Coulson, Cameron must be presumed naive or arrogant or unduly focused on schmoozing with the tabloid press and especially Coulson’s former bosses, Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch and his son James. If Coulson had not provided such a tempting target, Britain’s Guardian newspaper may not have pursued its investigations with such diligence and backbench critics of the Prime Minister probably wouldn’t have kept up their pressure to reopen inquiries into the News of the World. Even when the allegations that the tabloid commissioned the hacking of messages left for murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler surfaced, Cameron could have responded to the shocking development with calm and authority. Instead he has found himself playing catch-up to Miliband, his novice opponent suddenly transformed into a caped crusader against what he calls “a culture of irresponsibility” that underpinned not only #hackgate but also the banking crises and the scandal over MPs’ and peers’ expenses. In the latest demonstration of Miliband’s newfound power, the Labour leader planned to use a speech on July 18 to call for Parliament to delay its summer recess to discuss the hacking affair and its extraordinary repercussions. Before he stood up to speak, Cameron used a press conference during a long-planned visit to South Africa to say he was inclined to extend the parliamentary session. Read the rest of this entry »

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