Sunday, October 28, 2012

Britain's Gestapo in WWII

There is nothing to prevent it from happening again.  It was supported by both political parties and continued even after the war was over.  So wartime pressures may have initially been an excuse but are no excuse for its continuation

Is this a Nazi?  No. It is British torturer Colonel Robin Stephens

Britain has a reputation as a nation that prides itself on its love of fair play and respect for the rule of law. We claim the moral high ground when it comes to human rights. We were among the first to sign the 1929 Geneva Convention on the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

Surely, you would think, the British avoid torture? But you would be wrong, as my research into what has gone on behind closed doors for decades shows.

It was in 2005 during my work as an investigative reporter that I came across a veiled mention of a World War II detention centre known as the London Cage. It took a number of Freedom Of Information requests to the Foreign Office before government files were reluctantly handed over.

From these, a sinister world unfolded — of a torture centre that the British military operated throughout the Forties, in complete secrecy, in the heart of one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the capital.

Thousands of Germans passed through the unit that became known as the London Cage, where they were beaten, deprived of sleep and forced to assume stress positions for days at a time.

Some were told they were to be murdered and their bodies quietly buried. Others were threatened with unnecessary surgery carried out by people with no medical qualifications. Guards boasted that they were ‘the English Gestapo’.

The London Cage was part of a network of nine ‘cages’ around Britain run by the Prisoner of War Interrogation Section (PWIS), which came under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Military Intelligence.

Three, at Doncaster, Kempton Park and Lingfield, were at hastily converted racecourses. Another was at the ground of Preston North End Football Club. Most were benignly run.

But prisoners thought to possess valuable information were whisked off to a top-secret unit in a row of grandiose Victorian villas in Kensington Palace Gardens, then (as now) one of the smartest locations in London.

Today, the tree-lined street a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace is home to ambassadors and billionaires, sultans and princes. Houses change hands for £50 million and more.

Yet it was here, seven decades ago, in five interrogation rooms, in cells and in the guardroom in numbers six, seven and eight Kensington Palace Gardens, that nine officers, assisted by a dozen NCOs, used whatever methods they thought necessary to squeeze information from suspects.

So, how can we be sure about the methods used at the London Cage? Because the man who ran it admitted as much — and was hushed up for half-a-century by an establishment fearful of the shame his story would bring on a Britain that had been fighting for honesty, decency and the rule of law.

That man was Colonel Alexander Scotland, an accepted master in techniques of interrogation. After the war, he wrote a candid account of his activities in his memoirs, in which he recalled how he would muse, on arriving at the Cage each morning: ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.’

Because, he said, before going into detail: ‘If any German had any information we wanted, it was invariably extracted from him in the long run.’

As was customary, before publication Scotland submitted his manuscript to the War Office for clearance in 1954. Pandemonium erupted. All four copies were seized. All those who knew of its contents were silenced with threats of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

What caused the greatest consternation was his admission that the horrors had continued after the war, when interrogators switched from extracting military intelligence to securing convictions for war crimes.

Of 3,573 prisoners who passed through Kensington Palace Gardens, more than 1,000 were persuaded to sign a confession or give a witness statement  for use in war crimes prosecutions.

Fritz Knöchlein, a former lieutenant colonel in the Waffen SS, was one such case. He was suspected of ordering the machine-gunning of 124 British soldiers who surrendered at Le Paradis in northern France during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. His defence was that he was not even there.

At his trial, he claimed he had been tortured in the London Cage after the war. He was deprived of sleep for four days and nights after arriving in October 1946 and forced to walk in a tight circle for four hours while being kicked by a guard at each turn.

He was made to clean stairs and lavatories with a tiny rag, for days at a time, while buckets of water were poured over him. If he dared to rest, he was cudgelled. He was also forced to run in circles in the grounds of the house while carrying heavy logs and barrels. When he complained, the treatment simply got worse.

Nor was he the only one. He said men were repeatedly beaten about the face and had hair ripped from their heads. A fellow inmate begged to be killed because he couldn’t take any more brutality.
All Knöchlein’s accusations were ignored, however. He was found guilty and hanged.

Suspects in another high-profile war crime — the shooting of 50 RAF officers who broke out from a prison camp, Stalag Luft III, in what became known as the Great Escape — also passed through the Cage.

Of the 21 accused, 14 were hanged after a war-crimes trial in Hamburg. Many confessed only after being interrogated by Scotland and his men. In court, they protested that they had been starved, whipped and systematically beaten. Some said they had been  menaced with red-hot pokers and ‘threatened with electrical devices’.

Scotland, of course, denied allegations of torture, going into the witness box at one trial after another to say his accusers were lying.

It was all the more surprising, then, that a few years later he was willing to come clean about the techniques he employed at the London Cage.

In his memoirs, he disclosed that a number of men were forced to incriminate themselves. A general was sentenced to death in 1946 after signing a confession at the Cage while, in Scotland’s words, ‘acutely depressed after the various examinations’.

A naval officer was convicted on the basis of a confession that Scotland said he had signed only after being ‘subject to certain degrading duties’.

Scotland also acknowledged that one of the men accused of the ‘Great Escape’ murders went to the gallows even though he had confessed after he had — in Scotland’s own words — been ‘worked on psychologically’. At his trial, the man insisted he had been ‘worked on’ physically as well.

Others did not share Scotland’s eagerness to boast about what had gone on in Kensington Park Gardens. An MI5 legal adviser who read his manuscript concluded that Scotland and fellow interrogators had been guilty of a ‘clear breach’ of the Geneva Convention.

They could have faced war-crimes charges themselves for forcing prisoners to stand to attention for more than 24 hours at a time; forcing them to kneel while they were beaten about the head; threatening to have them shot; threatening one prisoner with an unnecessary appendix operation to be performed on him by another inmate with no medical qualifications.

Appalled by the embarrassment his manuscript would cause if it ever came out, the War Office and the Foreign Office both declared that it would never see the light of day.

Two years later, however, they were forced to strike a deal with him after he threatened to publish his book abroad. He was told he would never be allowed to recover his original manuscript, but agreement was given to a rewritten version in which every line of incriminating material had been expunged.

A heavily censored version of The London Cage duly appeared in the bookshops in 1957.  But officials at the War Office, and their successors at the Ministry of Defence, remained troubled.

Years later, in September 1979, Scotland’s publishers wrote to the Ministry of Defence out of the blue asking for a copy of the original manuscript  by the now dead colonel for their archives.

The request triggered fresh panic as civil servants sought reasons to deny the request. But in the end they quietly deposited a copy in what is now the National Archives at Kew, where it went unnoticed — until I found it a quarter of a century later.

Is there more to tell about the London Cage? Almost certainly. Even now, some of the MoD’s files on it remain beyond reach.

The Cage was not, however, Britain’s only secret interrogation centre during and after World War II. MI5 also operated an interrogation centre, code-named Camp 020, at Latchmere House, a Victorian mansion near Ham Common in South-West London, whose 30 rooms were turned into cells with hidden microphones.

The first of the German spies who arrived in Britain in September 1940 were taken there. Vital information about a coming German invasion was extracted at great speed. This indicates the use of extreme methods, but these were desperate days demanding desperate measures. In charge was Colonel Robin Stephens, known as ‘Tin Eye’, because of the monocle fixed to his right eye.

It was not a term of affection. The object of interrogation, Stephens told his officers, was simple: ‘Truth in the shortest possible time.’ A top secret memo spoke of ‘special methods’, but did not elaborate.

He arranged for an additional 92-cell block to be added to Latchmere House, plus a punishment room — known chillingly as Cell 13 — which was completely bare, with smooth walls and a linoleum floor.

Close to 500 people passed through the gates of Camp 020. Principal among them were German spies, many of whom were ‘turned’ and persuaded — or maybe forced — to work for MI5.

Its first inmates were members of the British Union of Fascists.  Some were held in cells brightly lit 24 hours a day, others in cells kept in total darkness.

Several prisoners were subjected to mock executions and were knocked about by the guards. Some were apparently left naked for months at a time.

Camp 020 had a resident medical officer, Harold Dearden, a psychiatrist who dreamed up regimes of starvation and of sleep and sensory deprivation intended to break the will of its inmates. He experimented in techniques of torment that left few marks — methods that could be denied by the torturers and that civil servants and government ministers could disown.

These techniques surfaced again after the war in a British interrogation facility at Bad Nenndorf, a German spa town, in one of the internment camps for those considered a threat to the Allied occupation.

In the four years after the war, 95,000 people were interned in the British zone of Allied-occupied Germany. Some were interrogated by what was now termed the Intelligence Division.
In charge of Bad Nenndorf was ‘Tin Eye’ Stephens, on attachment from MI5, and drawing on his Camp 020 experiences. An inmate recalled him yelling questions at prisoners and then punching them.

Over the next two years, 372 men and 44 women would pass through his hands. One German inmate recalled being told by a British intelligence officer: ‘We are not bound by any rules or regulations. We do not care a damn whether you leave this place on a stretcher or in a hearse.’

He was made to sleep on a wet floor in a temperature of minus 20 degrees for three days. Four of his toes had to be amputated due to frostbite.

A doctor in a nearby hospital complained about the number of detainees brought to him filthy, confused and suffering from multiple injuries and frostbite. Many were painfully emaciated after months of starvation. A number died.

The regime was intended to weaken, humiliate and intimidate prisoners.

With complaints soaring, a British court of inquiry was convened to investigate what had been going at Bad Nenndorf. It concluded that former inmates’ allegations of physical assault were substantially correct. Stephens and four other officers were arrested while Bad Nenndorf was abruptly closed.

But there was a quandary for the Labour government. The political fallout could be deeply damaging. There were other similar interrogation centres in Germany.  From the very top, there were urgent moves to hush things up.

Stephens’ court martial for ill-treatment of prisoners was heard behind closed doors. He did not deny any of the horrors. His defence was that he had no idea the prisoners for whom he was responsible were being beaten, whipped, frozen, deprived of sleep and starved to death.

This was the very defence that had been offered — unsuccessfully — by Nazi concentration camp commandants at war-crimes trials. But he was acquitted.  The suspicion remains that he got off because, if cruelties did occur at Bad Nenndorf, they had been authorised by government ministers.


A Dinosaur who did well

Stanley Johnson's ideas make him a dinosaur by modern politically correct standards but the quality of his children  speaks for itself

The man responsible for launching Boris Johnson and his look-alike siblings on the world is holding forth on the modern obsession with parenting. 'I was brought up on a farm,' he says.  'Sheep have lambs, cows have calves, humans have babies. You don't spend a lot of time thinking about how to bring them up.'

He sounds positively affronted at the very idea of parents agonising about the best way to raise a family. 'I didn't give it any thought at all, absolutely not.' This seemingly laissez-faire approach to parenting has proved remarkably fruitful.

Stanley Johnson has raised six staggeringly bright children, all of whom got into Oxbridge: Boris the London mayor; Rachel the journalist; Leo the eco-entrepreneur turned film-maker; Jo the Conservative MP; Julia the singer and Latin teacher; and Max, who has just joined Goldman Sachs. With little parental interference they have all grown up to be bright, funny and fiercely ambitious.

Rachel, editor-in-chief of The Lady magazine, has written a chapter in her new book, How Rude: Modern Manners Defined, that advises the world to 'unparent' — to stop being so hands-on and fussy with our children and to follow the example of her own parents.

She attributes the success of the Johnson children to benign parental neglect. 'My father was more proud that he had never been to a parents' evening than the fact that all six of his children got into Oxbridge,' she says.

The Johnson childhood she describes was one of minimal TV, grim, chilly holidays spent collecting firewood on windy Exmoor and bouts of corporal punishment.  Despite such privations, she advocates her parents' hands-off approach as typical of a lost ideal of restraint and good sense.

Her father recognises much of what Rachel describes in her book, but fiercely objects to her claims of corporal punishment. 'I can imagine a smack if they ran into the road, but that was that,' he says.

Stanley Johnson, 72, traveller, environmentalist, novelist and political animal, became a father at just 24. It was the Sixties and when it came to being a parent, he recalls, 'things were much easier then'.

'When Alexander [Boris is his second name] was born, I was on an academic scholarship in America,' he says. 'For four months we travelled around the U.S. in an air-conditioned Chevrolet Bel Air.

'Boris had just been born and a week or two later we set off. Then you could just put the baby on the back seat — it was much easier before health & safety.

'You could have a lunch in a restaurant, leave the baby on the back seat in the car park, come back and he was still there. It was all perfectly straightforward!'

Stanley is not trying to claim all — or any — credit for his progeny. 'Let's be fair, I've had two wonderful wives who have done all the things that wives do, so I have been fantastically lucky,' he says.

His first wife, Charlotte, with whom he is still friends, lives in Notting Hill, West London, and is a talented painter and mother to the eldest four Johnson siblings. His second wife, Jenny, is mother to Julia and Max.

Education was paramount when it came to the children. Stanley says he was always around for the big decisions, such as whether to send one of them to boarding school.  'There are some aspects of education that are too important to be left to mothers,' he says half-jokingly.

But he is dismissive of the idea that having six children go to Oxbridge is in any way noteworthy. 'It never struck me that was particularly remarkable,' he says.  'What do you expect if you send your kids to Eton and St Paul's? I assumed that's where they would go.'

The odd thing about the Johnson parenting technique is that it was part laid-back and hands-off, and part pure 'Tiger Father'. Extremely high expectations were a given.

His youngest daughter Julia once said that if they ever came second in Latin, their father would say: 'Who came first?' It became a standard catchphrase in the household, and a vigorous deterrent against being anything except top.

The six children were fiercely competitive, and when Jo got a first at Oxford, which Boris had failed to do, Rachel famously rang him to break the 'terrible news'. Boris set a formidable academic standard, and his siblings vied to match or beat his achievements.

Stanley describes his eldest son as 'the great prodigious tree in the rainforest, in the shade of which the smaller trees must either perish or struggle to find their own place in the sun'.

He is unrepentant about creating a competitive atmosphere. 'Why shouldn't they come top — if they can't, who can?'

Stanley went to Exeter College, Oxford — on a scholarship to read Greats (classics) — but today he laments the state of schools and education. He worries that there are fewer and fewer opportunities for bright children whose parents can't afford the fees of schools such as Eton and St Paul's.

'The political point is that the schools where you can send your kids are fewer than they were 50 years ago because you hadn't had the closure of the grammar schools then,' he says. 'Now everyone is scrabbling around for places.'

He believes, as Boris does, that the demise of grammar schools 'was a big mistake. The Tories should reverse their policy and support and expand them'. He is also evangelical about the role good schools can play in children's upbringings.

'I would argue that parenting is far too important to be left to parents,' he says. 'What on Earth do they know? Whereas, in fact, there are some perfectly good people out there who are doing perfectly good things at schools. Let them get on with it.'

When the Johnsons weren't in school, they were engaged in 'cut-throat mealtime quizzes', as Julia describes them, or engrossed in books.

Stanley recalls taking them on safari once in Africa and pointing to a leopard with its kill in a tree — a very rare sight. When he turned around, Boris, then ten, Rachel, eight, and Leo, six, were engrossed in their books and barely looked up.

As for TV, it was limited and hardly worth the trouble.  'On Exmoor, where we sometimes spent the holidays, it was quite a complicated thing getting the generator going,' says Stanley.

'You had to go out to the barn, squirt something called Easy Start into a cylinder box and start turning a handle. If you did get it going then it was a black-and-white TV that flickered like mad. I vaguely remember Dixon Of Dock Green.'

Given that his offspring's childhood involved bucolic holidays in one of the most beautiful parts of the West Country, he doesn't buy Rachel's thesis that they had a tough upbringing.  'They never had to spend a day shearing, for example,' he says. 'The operations of a sheep farmer's calendar — lambing, docking, shearing — all those things require sheer physical toil. I very much doubt that any of the kids ever had to do anything like that.'

And what about the allegations of unaccompanied childhood travel?  Rachel recalls that she and Boris, then ten and 11, crossed Europe alone — leaving Brussels, where Stanley was an MEP, and making their way with their trunks by trains and ferry back to school, dodging sweet-proffering paedophiles along the way.

'I can't see anything wrong in that,' says Stanley.

'OK, let's talk about the paedophiles. Don't you think people exaggerate this whole thing?

'Why is everything jammed up around Primrose Hill in London at 4pm? Because it's all these mothers driving. What on Earth is wrong with kids walking to school? When we lived in Regent's Park, Max walked to school at the age of nine.'

There was certainly no pandering to childhood whims. Rachel remembers a total lack of choice in all matters, apart from what to read. Certainly, there was no picking and choosing at mealtimes.

'Quite right, too,' says Stanley. 'When I grew up on the farm, you had eggs for breakfast and eggs for tea — you might have something else in the middle of the day.'

He looks at me in disbelief when I admit I sometimes give my children a choice. 'Are you saying that kids now say I won't have this or that?' he asks. 'Good God, I wouldn't put up with any of that!'

His family ate out only once, at a Happy Eater on the A303 where the children were allowed to choose spag bol from the children's menu.

'The whole concept of restaurants!' Stanley muses. 'It's taken me a very long time to get used to the idea.  'I go back to my childhood on Exmoor. In the Fifties and Sixties there were no restaurants there. And if there had been, you wouldn't have been seen dead in them.

'If a farmer wanted a drink, he went to the pub, but he certainly didn't go to the pub to eat. It is a bizarre development that you can't have a drink in a pub because everybody is having a meal.

'The reality is that if you are bringing up four, or six, children, you are not going to go to restaurants.'

When the family went on ferries, Stanley booked the cheapest  crossing in the middle of the night, with no cabin.  'We slept in the car and Rachel is probably right in her recollection that even in the front seat I used to put my pyjamas on.

'I've just been sleeping in the desert in Turkmenistan, where I was following the footsteps of Tamburlaine the Great, and I don't like waking up in the previous day's clothes. So I dare say I did that in the car, which she rightly remembers as being an Opel Kadett.'

And is it true he never went to a parents' evening? 'I went to one, though I only lasted 15 minutes. I wouldn't have made a habit of it,' he says.

'Though I did once address the girls of St Paul's on the subject of birth control when Rachel was there.' (The first four of his books were about how to control the world's population.)

Stanley couldn't resist a joke: 'I said to the girls: “The crucial thing in life is to control your fertility, even if it means putting a book between your legs!”'

When Rachel was older, she threatened to stay on a kibbutz with a handsome Israeli shepherd rather than go to Oxford.  She was put off by her father's response down the phone from his office in Brussels: 'Great scheme!' The effect, as she tells it, was to take the fun and glamour out of the idea immediately.

She must have inherited her nomadic instincts from her father. After failing to win Teignbridge for the Tories in 2005, Stanley spent a few years globe-trotting in search of endangered animals and vanishing tribes. His entertaining new book, Where The Wild Things Were, chronicles his travels.

Remaining in one place has never appealed to Stanley. His first wife complained that they relocated 32 times during their marriage.  'What's wrong with that?' he says.

And when it comes to the modern business of 'self-conscious parenting' — agonising about every mealtime and trip to the playground — Johnson is also pragmatic.

'Basically, we're all just trying to get through the day, aren't we, without a disaster? It's true with our children and it's true of marriage.  'People think that the object of the exercise is to be happy. What total garbage that is. Why on Earth should it be?

'I would have thought the object is for people to stretch themselves in every possible way in accordance with their abilities.  'Now we seem to be transfixed with the idea that we need to produce a happy child.'

So, happiness may be optional — but coming top is a must. Bear that in mind the next time Boris denies he wants David Cameron's job.


‘Republican F**got!’: GOP Campaign Worker Beaten, Hospitalized After Alleged Anti-Gay Attack‏

(Apparently you can not be a gay Republican)

Kyle Wood, a full-time volunteer on Wisconsin Republican Chad Lee’s House campaign, was reportedly savagely beaten at his home on Wednesday. The openly-gay Republican is claiming that his sexuality was the basis for the attack. Wood detailed the assault, which landed him in the hospital, in an interview with conservative news outlet The Daily Caller.

“I was getting ready for work and there was a knock at the door,” Wood said in an e-mail interview. “I opened it, and a guy wrapped a ligature around my neck, slammed my head into the doorway, and smashed my face into a mirror, telling me ‘You should have kept your [f**king] mouth shut.’”

According to Wood, the violence didn’t end there. The assailant apparently continued beating him, while claiming that the victim was previously “warned” (we’ll come back to that in a moment); the attacker also “kidney-punched” him.

The attack initially left Wood unable to move portions of his body. In addition to a concussion, his eyes were also swollen shut and he had markings on his head and neck. The official incident report reads:
    A 29-year old High St. resident contacted the MPD Wednesday morning to report a battery inside his residence. The victim said a man entered through an unlocked door around 8:00 a.m. and attacked him. He said nothing was taken. Investigators believe this was not a random crime. The victim was treated at a hospital and released.

But let’s get back to the aforementioned warning that was mentioned during the alleged assault. Wood believes that the comment was made in reference to graffiti that the victim found on his car a week before the incident.  According to Wood, the messages on his car read, “house trained republican faggot,” “traitor,” and “ur like a jew 4 hitler.”
Click here to find out more!

The DC reports that Wood believes that initial comments were clearly linked to the attack. Furthermore, the vulgar comments were references to his job with Lee (Lee’s opponent, Mark Pocan, is openly gay as well). Prior to the attack — but after finding the messages on his car — the campaign volunteer responded to the perpetrator on Facebook, writing, “You can think whatever you like about me, but I will not be bullied into voting for a gay man simply because I am gay.”

The Cap Times has more about how authorities are currently viewing the case:
    “We try to protect victims’ rights and privacy,” says police spokesman Howard Payne.

    “The detectives have been out this morning and into the afternoon hours interviewing individuals trying to find out who this suspect is,” he says.

    He says police don’t believe it was a random attack.

    “We believe there was some connection of some sort the existed between the victim in this case and the assailant,” he says.

    He wouldn’t say if the case was being investigated as a hate crime.

    “Right now we’re not at liberty to say because we don’t know,” he says. “We won’t know if that was the case until we develop a suspect.”

Police in Wisconsin are currently continuing their investigation, as Wood is recovering and claims that he will not be “intimidated or threatened into abandoning” his values.


IN: Atheist group sues state over “unconstitutional” marriage statute

An atheist organization claims Indiana’s marriage statute is unconstitutional because it doesn't allow nonbelievers to be married by their own leaders, but state officials say the group is divorced from reality.

The New York-based Center for Inquiry claims in a federal lawsuit that Indiana Code 31-11-6-1 violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment since it sets clear preference for religious individuals over those devoted to the “pursuit of ethical alternatives to religion.” The group says it filed suit on behalf of members John Kiel and Michelle Landrum, who plan to wed in the next six months.

“You can have a ceremony as a nonreligious person and have the marriage solemnized by someone in the government, but the issue is that a person of faith can have a leader of their world view solemnize that marriage that the nonreligious do not have,” said Paul Fidalgo, communications director for The Center for Inquiry. “They are looking to win that right, to have it solemnized. That’s the key word.”

According to Hoosier State law, marriages may be solemnized by a member of the clergy or a religious organization such as a priest, a bishop, an archbishop or a rabbi, as well as government officials like a mayor, a clerk or a clerk of the circuit court. It also specifically names the Friends Church, German Baptists, the Baha’i faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and imams of a mosque as groups who can conduct marriages in the state. Nowhere does the statute list "secular celebrants," or anyone else whose status is based on their disbelief in a creator.

A ceremony solemnized by secular elected officials - even if they happen to be atheists - is not acceptable, according to the suit, for several reasons, including limitations on time and places where the marriage may occur, unwanted governmental overtone and a lack of personal connection to that official.

“As an organization, the Center for Inquiry desires that its secular celebrants perform weddings for all those who request such wedding, both members and nonmembers,” the lawsuit reads. “The Center for Inquiry-Indiana believes this to be an important community service for persons desiring to have a meaningful, but nonreligious, wedding.”

The Center for Inquiry, which was founded in 1991, is an international nonprofit group that claims "tens of thousands" of members nationally, including approximately 230 in Indiana who pay dues. Kiel and Landrum, who now live in Kentucky but are members of the group's Indiana chapter and plan to wed in Marion County, Indiana, say they want their ceremony performed by Reba Boyd Wooden, a Center for Inquiry "secular celebrant."

“They adhere to the values of the Center for Inquiry and secular humanism and reject the position that morals and ethics are imposed from a supernatural source,” the lawsuit reads. “However, they are committed to living meaningful ethical lives consistent with their personal beliefs and philosophies.”

A U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Indiana heard arguments Monday, but gave no timetable as to when a ruling will be issued.

Bryan Corbin, a public information officer for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, told that the state opposes an injunction, noting that the purpose of the statute is for the state to regulate marriage while accommodating religious groups and providing alternatives for nonreligious groups.

Corbin, who declined to comment due to pending litigation, provided a copy of a brief filing by the Attorney General’s Office earlier this month that argues there’s no constitutional right to solemnize marriages.

“In this regard, it is important to bear in mind that nothing precludes plaintiffs Landrum and Kiel from celebrating their marriage with exactly the ceremony they see fit, and nothing prevents CFI-trained celebrants from ‘presiding’ over such weddings,” the document reads. “All CFI-trained celebrants are barred from doing — unless they qualify under the Solemnization Statute — is signing the marriage certificate as the solemnizer.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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