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05/7 [Jan. 23rd, 2005|01:42 pm]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP
Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
LONDON
SW1A 2AA

Monday, 24 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/7

Dear Mr Blair,

The United States of America is in the processes of revising, or has revised, the various extradition treaties in force between the United Kingdom and the United States; specifically the treaties from 8 June 1972 and 25 June 1985 (supplementary). The printed Treaty has been presented to the Senate in the United States during the second session of the 108th Congress under Treaty Document number 108-23 dated 19 April 2004.

I note that, under paragraph 4 of Article 2, Extraditable offences, it is noted that offences committed outside the jurisdiction of the Requesting State are covered by this Treaty. Article 3 notes that extradition may not be refused based on the nationality of the person sought. Article 6 notes that persons sought may also be extradited to the Requesting State even when the answerability for an offence under the Statute of Limitations of the Requesting State has expired.

This presents, to my way of thinking, very specific problems which I hope you will take a moment to address.

The government of the United States of America has set itself strictly against a world or international court of the sort now working in Brussels. Through this treaty arises the possibility that persons who are not friendly towards either the United States of America or the United Kingdom (dependent on which is the Requesting State) may be extradited although they have committed no offence under the jurisdiction of the Requesting State - that is, no offence against the Requesting State or any business or concern, person or property falling under its remit - would not normally fall under the jurisdiction of the Requesting State through their nationality and whereby any offence which may have been committed is no longer punishable by law as the Statute of Limitations period for any possible offence has expired.

Should this be the case, it might be considered that the United Kingdom is working towards a legal or actual state whereby people may be removed from society without a fair trial, without being charged with an offence and without the Right to defend themselves and be freed. This is the present state of affairs many people believe to exist with Guantanamo Bay and with the prison units used within the United Kingdom to hold individuals without charge for unspecified periods of time.

I would be grateful for your informed comments on these points and, perhaps, an indication of how the government of the United Kingdom intends preventing such a state of affairs arising.

Yours sincerely,

Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.

++++++++++++++++++++


Treaty 108-23 pdf version
Treaty 108-23 text version
NOTE: Only the pdf version contains the complete Treaty text. The text version contains only the submitting letters from President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

First reply here.
Second reply here
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05/6 [Jan. 23rd, 2005|11:16 am]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
Åke Edwardson
Norstedts Förlag
Box 2052
103 12 STOCKHOLM
Sweden

Monday, 24 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/6

Dear Åke Edwardson,

I have just completed reading your work Gå ut min själ, as translated into German by Angelika Kutsch. A most enjoyable read, and a work that keeps the reader on the edge of his seat until the last moment.

One section particularly interested me, though, and this was the small inner-story where Jonathan Wide has a conversation with his daughter over vegetarianism. This struck me as of interest mainly because it is so true to life and reflects the experiences of many adults faced with their children making lifestyle changes, and many children faced with adults / parents incapable of accepting them as an individual. Obviously the child has not completely thought through what she wishes, and the choice of vegetarianism at her age is perhaps something merely brought about by seeing a brutal animal cruelty film or visiting a slaughterhouse (which some schools innocently arrange for their classes).

Sadly, though, it also shows perfectly the way in which many adults look down and belittle the choices of their children, regardless of that child's age. I have experienced it myself and I suspect from the style of writing that you have too. My experience, however, was as a child of thirteen deciding to become a vegetarian and having to fight against a system - England in the early Seventies - not attuned with younger members of society making their own choices. This campaign on my part resulted in my being recommended for treatment by and then sent to a psychiatrist. Needless to say I am still a vegetarian after more than thirty years and have never regretted my choice nor the hardship experienced to achieve that choice.

Today it is still much as you have so succinctly described it. A German-language womens' magazine described the desire of children (ages thirteen to sixteen) to set their own lifestyle pattern, and vegetarianism was specifically mentioned, as being narcissistic and something to be counteracted. I sometimes feel that society has learned nothing from its own childhood, and merely assumed old values from previous generations without forethought or individuality.

Yours sincerely,

Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.
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05/5 [Jan. 22nd, 2005|09:39 pm]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
Professor Dr. Iajuddin Achmid
Office of the President
Bangabhaban
DHAKA - 1000
Bangladesh

Monday, 24 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/5

Dear Professor Achmid,

It has been reported in the press in Bangladesh that you remarked on the belief of Hazrat Ibrahim that the attainment of satisfaction for Allah may be achieved by sacrificing the most precious thing a person has. Such an act, you claimed, remains one to be emulated by all the people of the world and would bring welfare for all.

For many people, also those living under the teachings of Islam, the most precious possession they have is their own life and, perhaps, the lives of their nearest family. With so many people around the world misinterpreting the Islamic teachings, do you not feel that with hindsight your comments might be taken to support those who sacrifice their lives - attempting at the same time to take the lives of others - in the belief that they are following the teachings of Islam and, at the same time, working to save their country from an invader or occupying force?

Yours sincerely,


Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.


++++++++++++++++++++

Friday January 21 2005 11:26:39 AM BDT

President Prof Dr Iajuddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia have greeted the countrymen and the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Azha.In a message, President Iajuddin said the ideal of sacrificing the dearest thing for the sake of peace and welfare is a great teaching of Islam.Welfare for all would be ensured if everyone is imbued with the spirit of such sacrifice in individual and social life, he said.In her message, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said the example set by Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) of his resolve to sacrifice the most dearest thing for attaining the satisfaction of Allah still remains an act to be emulated by the people of the world.Observance of the great symbolic festival would be successful if a peaceful and welfare society can be established being imbued with the core message of Eid-ul-Azha, she said wishing happiness for all on the holy occasion.Both President Iajuddin and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia prayed for amity, equality, peace, progress, welfare and fraternity for all across the world.
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05/4 [Jan. 22nd, 2005|09:36 pm]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
Hon. Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia
Prime Minister's Office
Bangabhaban
DHAKA - 1000
Bangladesh

Monday, 24 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/4

Dear Prime Minister Zia,

It has been reported in the press in Bangladesh that you remarked on the belief of Hazrat Ibrahim that the attainment of satisfaction for Allah may be achieved by sacrificing the most precious thing a person has. Such an act, you claimed, remains one to be emulated by all the people of the world and would bring welfare for all.

For many people, also those living under the teachings of Islam, the most precious possession they have is their own life and, perhaps, the lives of their nearest family. With so many people around the world misinterpreting the Islamic teachings, do you not feel that with hindsight your comments might be taken to support those who sacrifice their lives - attempting at the same time to take the lives of others - in the belief that they are following the teachings of Islam and, at the same time, working to save their country from an invader or occupying force?

Yours sincerely,


Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.


++++++++++++++++++++

Friday January 21 2005 11:26:39 AM BDT

President Prof Dr Iajuddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia have greeted the countrymen and the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Azha.In a message, President Iajuddin said the ideal of sacrificing the dearest thing for the sake of peace and welfare is a great teaching of Islam.Welfare for all would be ensured if everyone is imbued with the spirit of such sacrifice in individual and social life, he said.In her message, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said the example set by Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) of his resolve to sacrifice the most dearest thing for attaining the satisfaction of Allah still remains an act to be emulated by the people of the world.Observance of the great symbolic festival would be successful if a peaceful and welfare society can be established being imbued with the core message of Eid-ul-Azha, she said wishing happiness for all on the holy occasion.Both President Iajuddin and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia prayed for amity, equality, peace, progress, welfare and fraternity for all across the world.
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05/3 [Jan. 22nd, 2005|04:24 pm]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
Rt. Hon Ruth Kelly MP
Department for Education and Skills
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
LONDON
SW1P 3BT

Monday, 23 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/3

Dear Ruth Kelly,

During the Oral Answers to Questions session on Thursday, 20 January 2005 in the House of Commons, you were asked by Mr Tim Collins to explain why a Minister in your department blocked an amendment in the House of Lords which would have eased the position of Head Teachers in excluding difficult pupils from lessons.

Sadly I note that, whilst happily accepting congratulations on your recent promotion, you failed to answer the question as put.

I would be grateful if you or your office could advise me as to why a Minister of your department blocked the amendment in the House of Lords, and what measures you intend taking to ease the difficulties facing Head Teachers in dealing with unruly, criminal or destructive children.

Yours sincerely,

Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.

Reply here
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05/2 [Jan. 22nd, 2005|03:56 pm]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
George W. Bush
President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
WASHINGTON DC
20500-0001
United States of America

Monday, 24 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/2

Dear Mr Bush,

A number of points raised by you in your inaugural speech on Friday, 21 January 2005 strike me as being both contradictory and incompatible with the original aims of the Founding Fathers as laid out in the Constitution. You mention, for example:

'... America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders ...' forgetting that it was the United States which invaded, for example, Vietnam rather than simply standing watch.

'... There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment ... and that is the force of human freedom.' This can hardly be termed a force of history since it has absolutely no historical background. History has shown that the powerful tend to win and destroy their opponents by any means available to them, whether right or wrong. This has little or nothing to do with human freedom, but much with personal greed and desire for ever increasing power.

Your several comments on freedom, masters and slaves, on bigotry and racism suggest a lack of understanding of American history and of American current events. You say that Americans should lay aside their bigotry and their racism, but also claim that Americans have done this since the time of the Founding Fathers, an assertion which is not only completely at odds with the facts, but also contradictory in the extreme.

'... This is not primarily the task of arms ...' you claim, in professing the right of all to self-government and human freedoms. And yet, although you profess this, you have ordered your armed forces into battle on two occasions - Afghanistan and Iraq - and are threatening two other sovereign nations - North Korea and Iran - in such a manner that they can have no doubt you mean to employ force of arms to change their political direction.

'... Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.' If this is the case, how can it be that the observers sent from the United States of America to supervise and report on the first Ukrainian election last year were satisfied that everything was correct and fair? How can these observers have failed to notice the massive falsification of ballot papers? This may seem a rhetorical question, having seen so many elected officials after the last presidential election in the United States attempt to bring the rights of Americans to the fore who had been falsely stopped from voting in elections claimed to be for the foremost democratic nation on earth!

However, I do not wish to address all of these points in any great detail although I would be more than grateful if you or your office could clarify them for me.

Rather, I would be grateful if you could explain to me how you perceive the elections in Iraq on Monday, 31 January 2005 as being free and fair elections? The bulk of Iraq is still at war against the coalition forces - predominantly against the United States' forces - and lawlessness is rife throughout all parts of the country. There appears to be no acceptable opposition party lobbying for election and certainly no attempt to ensure that each and every eligible person of voting age is registered and capable of voting in these elections. For many Iraqi citizens, the elections are merely something that an outside force is imposing upon them which is contrary to their beliefs and to their customs; something which you, in your inaugural speech, claim the United States would never do. There is the burgeoning possibility of a religious war between the two main religious factions in Iraq, something that has already been demonstrated in recent days with attacks against religious buildings and meetings.

And finally you go on to claim that the United States has '...need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom.' How can you profess to give the freedoms of the people of the United States to others, when the people of the United States do not enjoy such freedoms themselves?

I would be most grateful if you could take the time to clarify some if not all of the points I have raised in this letter, and look forward to hearing from you in due course.


Yours sincerely,

Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.

+++++++++++++++++++++

The following is the full text, as prepared for delivery, of US President George W Bush's inaugural address:

"Vice President Cheney, Mr Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens:

On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honour of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed.

At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire.

We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth.

Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.

My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people against further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and have found it firm.

We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.

Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.
Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.

And all the allies of the United States can know: we honour your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.

Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:

From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.

A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause - in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy ... the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments ... the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives - and we will always honour their names and their sacrifice.

All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.

America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.

In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance - preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal.

In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before - ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.

In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.

From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?

These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength - tested, but not weary - we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America."
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05/1 [Jan. 22nd, 2005|02:07 pm]
Private-Intellectual Debating Society

revanchist
Rt. Hon. Adam Ingram MP
Minister of State (Armed Forces)
Ministry of Defence
Old War Office Building
Whitehall
LONDON
SW1A 2HB

Monday, 24 January 2005
Pr.Int.D.Soc/05/1

Dear Mr Ingram,

During the House of Commons debate on Armed Forces Personnel on Thursday, 20 January 2005, you made the comment :

'President Karzi's victory in a free and fair election last autumn...'

within the context of praising work done by the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

Since there is considerable controversy over this ideal of a Free and Fair Election, both in Afghanistan and in the forthcoming elections in Iraq, I would be grateful if either you or your office might provide figures for the percentage of the Afghan population who were able to vote last year and details of the opposition parties or candidates allowed to stand against the party lead by President Karzi.

I have often heard it claimed, from both the British and American governments, that the forthcoming elections in Iraq will also be free and fair. I would be grateful, since this information appears not to have been released to the British or American Press, if you or your office could provide me with information on what percentage of the Iraqi population have registered to vote on Monday, 31 January 2005, and a list of all the candidates and their parties standing for election.

As you are aware, free and fair elections imply that everyone of voting age has the Right and the opportunity to place their vote according to their own desire and belief. Do you believe that this was truly so in Afghanistan, or that it is possible - bearing in mind the constant unrest - in Iraq?

Yours sincerely,

Chmn. Pr.-Int. D. Soc.
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