NOSY COPPERS, ETC
It's extremely easy to get caught up in US-watching, and spend a lot of time on it to no lasting avail. Nevertheless, in some link-jumping this evening have come across the following, which are well worth a look.
The first is a report in the Washington Post on the FBI's use of something called "National Security letters" to carry out checks on US citizens, outside of any judicial or legislative overview. The spirit of Nixon lives.
Second, via Postman Patel, is an allegation made in a letter allegedly sent to Reg Keys, who stood against Blair in his Sedgefield constituency at the General Election in May, that the UK is compelled to go to war at the command of the US thanks to a clause in a 1983 treaty signed by Thatcher.
This wouldn't surprise me in the slightest, and would go some way to answering the question which has always bugged me about the Iraq invasion, which is, why the hell did Blair agree to it? Aside from being, y'know, totally corrupted by power, and probably long before becoming PM.
I never saw the photo taken at the Sedgefield count of Keys and the Blairs, being out of the country at the time of the election, but if you haven't seen it, check it out here.
Finally, have begun reading Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark. So far, it's very good.