pindostan will die

Pindostan protects NSA spy’s wife wanted in UK over teenager’s death
Laura Tiernan, WSWS, Oct 9 2019

The crash location

The Trump administration is refusing to waive immunity for the wife of a senior Pindo spy, who fled the UK after she was involved in a head-on collision more than a month ago that killed 19-year-old Harry Dunn. Anne Sacoolas, 42, is wanted by police over the death of the young motorcyclist in Northamptonshire on Aug 27. She was reportedly travelling on the wrong side of the road for up to 400 m and collided head-on with Dunn, who suffered horrific multiple injuries. The accident took place near the RAF base at Croughton, a USAF spy base otherwise known as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre. Sacoolas, a former Pindo State Dept employee, has been widely described in the press as the wife of a diplomat, but in fact her husband Jonathan Sacoolas is an NSA spy. A lawyer acting for Dunn’s family told the Mail on Sunday:

He was working with intelligence, which is I guess why it has been handled in the way that it has.

Northamptonshire police have confirmed that “diplomatic immunity had been raised as an issue” when they met with Anne Sacoolas the day after the crash. No further details surrounding this initial claim have been divulged. According to the Guardian’s Diplomatic Editor Patrick Wintour:

Pindo staff, including civilian staff and their dependents, at designated military bases in the UK, including RAF Croughton, are protected under the Visiting Forces Act 1952, reinforced by further legislation in 1964. They are able to claim some legal immunity in the UK.

After news of Sacoolas’s flight broke over the weekend, the British media highlighted police claims that the suspect had “engaged fully” following the incident. Police Superintendent Sarah Johnson said Sacoolas “had previously confirmed… that she had no plans to leave the country in the near future.” Police accepted the suspect’s empty assurances of full cooperation, concluding she was not a “flight risk.” This defies innocent explanation. If Sacoolas was “fully engaged” in helping the investigation, why was she dangling the threat of diplomatic immunity the day after the crash? The official timeline surrounding these events is deliberately murky. Northamptonshire police responded to Sacoolas’s assertion of diplomatic immunity by applying to the Pindo embassy for a waiver to arrest and formally interview the suspect. But Pindo embassy officials later, at an unreported date, told police the waiver had been refused and that Sacoolas had already left the country. According to Tuesday’s Daily Mail:

Government sources said Mrs Sacoolas and her family were ‘put on a plane’ within hours of learning she may face charges. Harry’s family believe she flew out quickly as her husband is a spy and Pindo authorities wanted to ensure his identity was not compromised.

Police were preparing to charge Sacoolas with dangerous driving causing death and had reportedly prepared a file for the Crown Prosecution Service. On Tuesday, Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley said:

I have written to the Pindo embassy in the strongest terms, urging them to apply the diplomatic immunity waiver.

Harry Dunn’s parents, Charlotte and Tim, have spoken out publicly, calling on Sacoolas to return to the UK and face questioning over their son’s death. Harry Dunn told Sky News on Tuesday:

Our understanding is that she was compliant with police and admitted at the time she was in the wrong. We know from police she was going to stay in the country and committed to being here for three years. So, to hear the news from police a few weeks after the funeral was devastating.

Charlotte said:

She’s left a family in complete ruin. We’re broken inside and out… We’re just utterly shocked and appalled that somebody is allowed to get on a plane and go home and avoid our justice system. We’re not a horrible family, we’re just a usual UK family who just need to put a face to what we now have as a name and talk to her, find out how she’s feeling. She’s got to be suffering as well, you know, she’s a mum.

The stand taken by Dunn’s parents met with immediate public sympathy. A GoFundMe appeal raised more than £10k towards legal costs in just a few days and #Justice4Harry was trending yesterday on social media. The family has said it will pursue matters legally in Pindostan. Public fury over what amounts to a hit-and-run by a protected Pindo asset forced Boris Johnson’s government into damage control. On Tuesday, a grim-faced Johnson told the press that UK officials would speak to the Pindo ambassador that day, adding:

If we can’t resolve it, then … I will be raising it myself with the White House.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has urged the Pindo Embassy to issue the necessary diplomatic waiver. He spoke with Pompeo by telephone later Monday night, with a spox saying:

He reiterated his disappointment with the Pindo decision and urged them to reconsider.

The Pindo State Dept has refused to answer any questions on the matter, merely stating that “immunity is rarely waived.” Media and legal experts have claimed the incident is “a huge test of the Pindo-UK special relationship,” but the relationship is working as intended. Since the head-on collision on Aug 27, Pindo and UK authorities have clearly worked together to facilitate the Sacoolas family’s illegal departure from the country. Former UK diplomat Craig Murray pointed out yesterday that Sacoolas was not on the official Diplomatic List, concluding:

Neither Sacoolas nor his wife has any right to claim diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention.

Citing the relevant Articles of the Vienna Convention, Murray concluded:

Jonathan Sacoolas does not have, and has never had, any entitlement to diplomatic immunity in international law.

The Sacoolas incident exposes once again the criminality that dominates imperialist diplomacy. When protecting the wife of an NSA spy, the US Embassy and the Trump Administration cite Vienna Convention rights to immunity for “diplomatic” staff. The British media and political establishment obediently comply, describing James Sacoolas as a diplomat to assist their flight from the law. International law is, in reality, determined by the geostrategic interests of US imperialism and its allies. On Monday, WikiLeaks tweeted on the Sacoolas case asking:

Will the UK charge Pindo diplomat’s wife and request her extradition? Interesting to follow how UK balances death of a teenager on its own soil, immunity of the wife of a Pindo diplomat, ‘special relationship’ with Trump’s administration, Pindo trade post-Brexit.

The state protection afforded Sacoolas forms a brutal counterpoint to the illegal detention and persecution of WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange. On Apr 11 2019 the US DoJ demonstrated its real attitude to the Vienna Convention when it ordered a UK police snatch-squad to storm the Ecuadorian Embassy and illegally seize Assange, a political asylee. While police declared Sacoolas was not a “flight risk” despite a prior conviction in Pindostan for dangerous driving and clear indications she would pursue diplomatic immunity to avoid prosecution, Assange has encountered no such leniency. Jailed on a trumped-up bail infringement charge, the courts refused to release him even after his sentence was served, with Judge Vanessa Baraitser declaring he was at “risk of absconding.” Meanwhile, the same British press that has relentlessly smeared, defamed and psychologically tortured Assange has politely recycled false claims that Sacoolas’s NSA spy husband is a diplomat, failing to even report the filthy incident for more than six weeks.

Jonathan Sacoolas Is Not, and Has Never Been, a Diplomat
Craig Murray, Oct 8 2019

Jonathan Sacoolas does not hold, and has never held, a diplomatic rank. Neither Sacoolas nor his wife has any right to claim diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. Jonathan Sacoolas does not have, and has never had, any entitlement to diplomatic immunity in international law. He is not on the official Diplomatic list. He has never been a member of staff of a diplomatic mission. All those with diplomatic rank appear in the diplomatic list, see above link. That list also includes some attaches who do not have diplomatic rank, depending on the type of attache, but there is nobody with diplomatic rank not in the list. Sacoolas works as an NSA technical officer at the communications interceptions post at RAF Croughton. His role is support to the interception of communications from British citizens. The NSA and GCHQ share all intelligence reports, but each faces legal constraints on mass spying on its own citizens. So the NSA has staff here fronting the spying on British citizens, while GCHQ has staff in Pindostan fronting the spying on Pindo citizens, and the polite fiction is that the results are transmitted back over the Atlantic to Pindostan or UK respectively, before being “shared” with the partner intelligence agency. None of which has anything to do with diplomacy.

Sacoolas must be the subject of a DSMA notice, given that all the MSM are referring to him constantly as a “diplomat” when they all know that is not true. If Sacoolas actually was a real diplomat, Pindostan would very probably have waived the diplomatic immunity of his wife, as the issues around his presence and function would be much less sensitive. The UK has no Vienna Convention obligation to acknowledge the “immunity” of Sacoolas’ wife, contrary to all reporting to date. What does apparently exist between the UK and Pindostan is a secret bilateral agreement to treat GCHQ and NSA staff as if they had diplomatic immunity. That is not at all the same thing as Vienna Convention protection under international law. I cannot conceive the grief of Harry Dunn’s parents, but I do hope that they are not deceived by the pretence at intervention in this case by Johnson and Raab. I am not at all convinced that the government has the power in law to grant immunity from criminal prosecution to foreign nationals, plainly outside the provisions of the Vienna Convention. This should be tested by the courts.

UPDATE: Since I published this article, the MSM have started to report that Sacoolas does not have diplomatic immunity. This is a massive reversal in the MSM line, though to date none have published that he works for NSA or explained the NSA/GCHQ relationship. The MSM are all quoting the lawyer Mark Stephens, rather than this blog, as the source of the information. I would gently note that I can so far find no evidence of Stephens pointing out Sacoolas is not on the Diplomatic List until some hours after I broke the story, and that when he gave radio interviews yesterday Stephens was unaware of the fact. Ultimately however it does not matter that I am not credited. What matters is my lead has in practice been followed, and there is now a much stronger point of pressure available to get justice for Harry Dunn.

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