China’s decision to set up a powerful national security committee has spurred deep fears in the country of society slipping further into a police state.
Bloggers in the past few days have voiced their concerns by posting texts and pictures detailing atrocities carried out by the KGB and its predecessor the Cheka, the former Soviet Union security agencies known for suppressing dissent and practising torture. Many said they dreaded the KGB would be the model for the new security committee. Continue reading
The veterans of Russia’s KGB/FSB were chuckling to themselves, no doubt, as Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) announced his pleasure at Russia’s assumption of the presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20)* nations for 2013. Putin’s “strategic agenda proposed by Russia for the G20 in 2013” is loaded with favorable references to the FSB. The FSB acronym in Putin’s “strategic agenda” is not a reference to the dreaded Russian secret police (successor to the Soviet KGB and its earlier incarnations as the NKVD and the Cheka), however; it is a reference to the Financial Stability Board, a new institution created by the G20 leaders in 2009, ostensibly to deal with the economic crisis.
Nevertheless, the “coincidence” of choosing a name for this new, secretive global financial police with the same acronym as the Putin’s feared agency is oddly apropos. The G20’s FSB is a shadowy financial power that is headquartered inside another even more secretive, shadowy global financial powerbase, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland.Despite repeated appeals to accountability and transparency in the FSB Charter, the FSB — like the BIS and the Central Banks whose heads compose the Plenary that governs the FSB — operates in murky opaqueness, outside the controls of the U.S. Congress, national parliaments, or any constitutional constraints. Continue reading