The surveillance state

13 07 2017

Who knew? Well, the “authorities” probably did. The Bangkok Post reports that Thailand’s state has “a network of 27 agencies” that spy on its citizens.

The news emerges as a “security commission” headed by Deputy Dictator General Prawit Wongsuwan “has approved another reform plan aimed at improving the government’s intelligence work…”.

It is reported that the “27 agencies, some of which are state enterprises, have much useful data but this would be optimised if they were interlinked to help identify threats…”. As we know, almost all efforts identified as “intelligence” are targeted at domestic “targets” and that most are related to dopey notions of “protecting the monarchy.”

“Intelligence” is said to be “mainly overseen by the National Intelligence Agency under the Prime Minister’s Office.”

“Non-political bomb” in Bangkok

5 11 2010

The Nation has one of its straightman reports that beggar belief but say a lot if one is cynical and adept at reading between the lines:

A home-made bomb on Friday exploded from inside a postbox located near the Labour Ministry in Din Daeng, police said. There was no casualties reported.

The explosion damaged the postbox and forensic officials found two letters – one addressed to the prime minister and another to the Democrat Party. Police were checking for any linkage between the letters and the explosion.

Metropolitan Police Region 1 commander Maj General Wichai Sangprapai said he suspected young hooligans were the culprits.

Wichai said the incident was not a politically-motivated attack.

So we have bombs in a postbox where there were also letters addressed to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and to the Democrat Party and the police say they are “not a politically-motivated” and the work of “hooligans.” Could that make sense? One reading could be conspiratorial and suggest that the authorities have been well aware of the bombers in previous instances, most of which have not been resolved by the police.

Then put that report together with one in the Bangkok Post. The government behind the government known as the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation “has warned all security agencies to be on high alert for possible violence – including attacks on important people – from now until the New Year…”.

CRES spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd made the point that his agency is getting reports from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) that “from the month of November until the New Year certain groups of ill-intentioned people may instigate violence in crowded areas and attack important people to erode the public’s confidence in the safety of their lives and property.”

The result is that CRES has “instructed all intelligence agencies including the National Security Council, armed forces and police to keep watchful eyes on activities of groups under suspicion.” Now who could be under suspicion? Probably not “hooligans.” Of course, it is “especially” the “activities of the red-shirts on Nov 13 to mark since six months the death of Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol (Seh Daeng), who was shot on May 13, and on Nov 19 to mark six months since the May 19 military crackdown on United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship protesters at Ratchaprasong.”

Security units would be on high alert as the “NIA also received reports of suspicious movements of chemicals and explosives which can be used as precursors for making bombs. These activities would also be under watch…”. Was the postbox bomb a teaser? Who knows, but it is an interesting coincidence, perhaps.

National Intelligence Agency and politics of the monarchy

31 07 2009

The Nation (31 July 2009: : “Petition damned as divisive ploy”) reports that the National Intelligence Agency has warned the Democrat Party-led government that the red shirts will cause chaos from Monday.

“Yesterday, national police chief General Patcharawat Wongsuwan and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) chief Adul Kowattana briefed Prime Minister Abhisit about the movement for amnesty. Adul said in reality, fewer than 1 million people had signed the petition, because the process of authenticating names, backgrounds and profiles was far too complicated, while some had changed their minds. The NIA believes the red shirts will probably start creating political chaos from next Monday – the day Abhisit turns 45.

Abhisit said: “I don’t think we can stop the red shirts from rallying or submitting a petition. They can allow them to do that, but I’m concerned they’re trying to bring the monarchy into politics. They’re free to attack me, but they should not touch the monarchy…”.

The Nation seems convinced that chaos will ensue and reports that the military are on alert.