Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Exposed Fifa World Cup Voting Corruption

News Stories In Question:
FA appoints QC to review Lord Triesman allegations


It was recently exposed by Lord Triesman, the former chairman of the Football Association (FA), that some of the officials who voted on the location of the 2018 and 2022 world cup, which went to Russia and Quatar respectively, had been asking for bribes for their votes.

The four officials who were accused by Lord Triesman were Nicolas Leoz (Head of South American Football), Jack Warner (FIFA vice-president and Head of Caribbean Football), Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil’s football chief and head of the 2014 World Cup organising committee) and Worawi Makudi (FIFA member from Thailand). Their proposed bribes to the England representative were large:
  • Nicolas Leoz: Told Lord Triesman he wanted a knighthood. When Triesman declined, he turned and walked away.
  • Jack Warner: Requested £2.5 million to build an education centre in Trinidad – with the cash to be channelled through him – before later asking for £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation, again with the money to go through him.
  • Ricardo Teixeira: Demanded Triesman "come and tell me what you have got for me".
  • Worawi Makudi: Wanted the TV rights to the friendly match between England and the Thailand national team (his team).

My Analysis:

This is an eye-opener into the secretive workings behind such big events as this. There are obviously a lot more important motives than the love of football that are bringing these two countries, and I'm sure many others, to bribe officials with such extortionate sums of money as £2.5million to have their country hosting it.

England refused any option of giving bribes (that we know of) but that doesn't mean that other countries didn't do the same. The obvious two to look at are the two who actually won; Russia and Quatar. There is no evidence that either of these were even approached for the prospect of bribes but, seeing as they won in amongst all of this controversy, you have to speculate. But what could be the motives possibly be behind wanting to host a world cup? Well here is some speculation of mine...


Russia has been seen as a bit of a backwards country in recent times. From it's status as a super power during the cold war, with the military capability to threaten the United States of America with war, the country has now fallen into disrepair. Life expectancy is actually falling, Russia is the ONLY non-war ridden country in the world where this is happening. I think that they want the world cup to show to the world that they are still a big player. That they can still compete with western countries and can give a spectacular show with it. However there have already been claims of bribing within the russian government as to who gets the contracts for the games which isn't exactly a good start...


Quatar is aone of the Middle East's wealthiest countries, through exploitation of it's HUGE natural gas and oil reserves. So I feel that they want the World cup so badly to enable them to draw closer links with the west. I mean, honestly, who had heard much, if anything, about Quatar before they won the bid for the 2022 world cup? It has already started putting them on the map and will continue to do so, with the grand finale when they host the world cup and show the world how developed and modern they are. This would attract foreign investors into the country, majorly boosting Quatar's economy and reputation - easily worth the few billion it cost in bribes and hosting the games.

In effect, these countries aren't fighting over the chance to host the world cup, they are fighting over the chance to become the centre of world attention and the boost to their public face that a world cup would bring. That is something worth paying dearly for if you have an important message to give to the world so it's not entirely unexpected that they are willing to do a bit of slight-of-the-hand to get them the chance.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

The 'destroyed' US stealth helicopter in Pakistan

The helicopter used to drop the US special forces into Osama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, as you may have heard, had to deliberately blown up by the US SEALs performing the operation as it had malfunctioned and they couldn't get enough lift to fly it out.

At first they blamed a mechanical failure but when they inspected the aircraft no signs of this were found - it was put down to a combination of hotter-than-normal air and the high walls of Osama Bin Laden's compound. The air, in a confined space like that, moves in vortexes slowing the air being pushed through the rotors and the hot air is less dense meaning that it is harder for the rotors to lift the chopper.

The Compound:

Something as top secret as the information aboard that aircraft couldn't just be left to be picked up later - the fact that they destroyed something worth in the millions of dollars, individually, shows how much specialised and top secret military equipment there must have been aboard it.

I personally find this really interesting, it's like something out of a film! "Tango Delta, come in Tango Delta! We had to ditch the chopper!" "Damn it, we can't let technology like that get into the wrong hands.. Destroy it by any means necessary." ...... *BOOM*

The Destroyed Helicopter:

Well in the last day or two it has emerged that not all of the helicopter had been destroyed. That a scientist of some kind had seen the wreckage and the, mostly intact, tail fin and described to the world what he saw - that it was unlike anything he had seen before and that stealth technology must have came a lot further than previously thought. Cool huh?

The Remaining Tail:

It definitely doesn't look like a normal helicopter! Maybe it was a new stealth helicopter that, until recently, was only rumoured to exist...

From what I've read around, it seems that the greater-than-normal number of rotors on the propeller cut down the tell-tale phwoop..phwoop sound that alerts you to the presence of a helicopter, that the paint over the aircraft includes silver to absorb infra-red and the geometrical shapes on the remaining tail are there to scatter radar signals, in a similar way to the F-117A Nighthalk does.

The F-117A Nighthalk:

All in all, this is a highly developed stealth helicopter, with technology beyond anything we know existed to date. Only imagine what we could have discovered if they had failed to blow the thing up. Something else that came out recently was that, apparently, all electricity and communications in the area went out just before the assault on Osama Bin Laden's compound and then started working again after they left - what technology could this be?

Bet that the government are still kicking themselves though...

Further Reading:

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Birthplace of US President Obama

News Stories In Question:

My Analysis:

Well, to start off with, I don't see what the big fuss is about. I know that, technically, only US born people can become president (or if not, only if both parents are US-born) (link) as you would, of course, only want someone with plans that are in the interest of the United States in power of such an important country. 

This said, he hasn't released all the terrorists who are in prison and he definitely hasn't sold America to Saudi Arabia for a rock bottom price ..or anything like that for that matter. So what are they so worried about? That one day he will turn around and say: "actually guys, I feel bad for the Kenyans. I was born there so I can't let them suffer! We're going to give them half of our land and they can create a new, much more hospitable country here! Everybody wins." This argument is irrelevant and, like he has been saying, there are much more important things to worry about than where he was born. In my eyes, it's being used as leverage by some opponents to his rule to try to force him out of power.

However, a number of things in these events don't quite ring honest. He refused to release his birth certificate for so long, despite being under intense scrutiny - for which he would have no reason to do so unless he had something to hide, surely? He recently admitted he did in fact have a Kenyan citizenship up until 1982 when, before that, it was being denied (link).

The White House are doing their best to dismiss the claims. For example, when it was claimed that the birth certificate was missing from the Hawaii birth records, next day the White House produced a copy of the document on their website (link). That sounds clear-cut, that it's simply some people trying to rock the boat and that there's not any evidence he was born else-where - simply speculation (...see what I did there?) as he did of course show a birth certificate in the end. However, remember that this is the most powerful man in the world we are talking about here.

Obama isn't going to give up power just like that, I'm sure he has many, many important issues he wants to face and that he spent too long trying to get where he is to give up now. If you were him, would you be honest and stand down? If he needed to have a birth certificate faked, it is ridiculous to think that he wouldn't have the resources to do that. The secret services in the US received nearly $1.5 billion in funding in 2010 (link - pg7) so I really don't think that a forged birth certificate is a problem for them.

I'm not saying that it is fake, I simply believe that them waving a birth certificate around after so long refusing so show anyone doesn't prove a darn thing. It's a shame that this issue can never truly be put to rest, people won't believe any evidence he gives because it could be fake and he isn't going to release that kind of information if it were true. Him not actually being a legal US president would make for a shocking death-bed confession though...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Cyber Attacks on Iran

News Stories In Question:

My Analysis:

You have got to wonder what is going on behind the scenes in the foreign intelligence agencies over this issue. It seems blatantly obvious that it would be the US or Israel who have done this but you've got to applaud Iran's restraint in not blaming them straight out yet. I'd probably do the same thing if I was in their place, you would want to be seen as backing your statements up with facts rather than ranting and raving about 'those bloody westerners'. If they act calmly and rationally, people are more likely to see their side of this and oppose any more sanctions (link), no matter how much of a failure the sanctions are (link). That is of course a downside of a democracy, our leaders have to listen to the population no matter how poorly informed we are about it all, otherwise they are chucked from power for 'making bad decisions'.

I originally thought it could have been the US in collaboration with the UK running these cyber attacks, but we (the UK) are apparently lagging behind on even protecting our own networks (link), let alone attacking others which makes me doubt we have anything to do with it. Of course that's not that we won't bask in the glory of them, whoever they are, managing to set back Iran's nuclear programme back a few years - probably to put off another military strike, or invasion, to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons (link).

In my eyes it is a bit of a downward spiral. If we had been nice to Iran from the start then they wouldn't have this burning hatred of us (very simplified view, I know) and our wonderful leaders wouldn't be eternally paranoid of some retaliation the moment they get their hands on working nuclear warheads. We were too busy trying to spread democracy around the world to realise that we would forever have to exert pressure onto the remaining dictators to stop them rising against us!

In the event of a problem arising, we have to go through the chain of command, fill in paperwork and abide by thousands of treaties, pledges and national and international laws, whereas a dictator simply points his finger and gives a command. You have to wonder whether the sheer speed that a dictatorship could chuck a curve-ball into the political arena is what is keeping countries like the US holding them down. They can't simply rely on spies and informants to give warnings or steer plans into what we want because there is only one man in charge - and what he says goes.

It's a well-known fact that France and US have been spying on each other for years through mutual distrust (link) so, if two well developed members of the international community can't get along without spies sat in each others front yards, imagine what must be happening behind closed doors over Iran! The 'Stuxnet worm' and 'Stars espionage virus' are only the latest stories which have hit the media and you can be sure that there are many, many thousands of other stories that have been hushed up or simply haven't been discovered yet.