Thursday, August 18, 2005

Why on Earth did we print this crap?


So, it looks like the mainstream media is gradually realising just how corrupt and stupid this week’s leak about the Stockwell Shooting leaves it looking.

I’ve noticed that some news organisations have recently (i.e. the last 48 hours) started to adopt a slightly more forensic approach to the events since 7th July; drawing up detailed timelines and comparing statements and their respective sources in tabulated formats. You know, the kind of stuff we expect our journalists and police to do rather than a small army of disaffected bloggers typing in their spare rooms, fuming away.

Too little. Too late.

One headline I certainly didn’t see in the newspapers or on the web today was

Why on Earth did we print this crap as truth in the first place? Are we really that rubbish?

Most paper preferred, instead, to concentrate on the role of the police in the Stockwell Shooting story and such semantic and philosophical points as ‘If a Chief of Police says nothing for weeks on end whilst the newspapers recycle lies his minions have put about, is he a scumbag?’, stuff like that.

Another story the mainstream media hasn’t tackled is the motivation behind this week’s leak. That’s actually quite important. As I see it, there are three possible explanations. The person responsible for the leak …

  1. Leaked the information for money
  2. Leaked the information because of a fear that evidence was being destroyed or suppressed
  3. Another, more sinister reason

Personally, I discount Explanation Number 1. The individual who leaked the documents will become, or is already, known to the authorities. If they stole such sensitive documents purely to make money that is plain theft, they will not be able to make a public interest defence and would do hard time.

A lot of people will instinctively believe explanation Number 2, whether they’ve actively thought about the motivation behind the leak or not. Explanation Number 2 could well be what has happened and is a pretty damning indictment of the integrity of the Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, though nobody’s come out and and publicly drawn that obvious conclusion yet.

But many of us can’t shake the suspicion that Explanation Number 3 may be nearer to the mark. The information was leaked with some level of official sanction, either to distract public opinion from another story or to defuse the potential reaction or receptiveness to an even more unpleasant account of the Stockwell Shooting.

And, at this stage, we really have no more positive evidence to aid our understanding of what happened.

One thing that does bother me, and others, though…

That story about the policeman who was allegedly watching de Menezes’ flat who failed to videotape his exit because he was taking a leak.

This bothers me because it is yet another instance, or attempted incidence, of video evidence not being available at crucial moments in the events since 7/7. The only difference this time is that we are being supplied with a reason for the video no show. Something human, something trivial; possibly to distract us from the significance of there being no surveillance video from de Menezes’ flat...

There is no hard evidence that the police were actually watching de Menezes’ flat or followed him on the bus to Stockwell Station.

If the police weren’t actually watching de Menezes’ flat that would also explain why they didn’t stop de Menezes’ entering the Stockwell Station, even though they apparently had half an hour to do so.

This could be the information that the leak is intended to distract us from and the implication is disturbing.

Why would the police execute a man who had just walked into Stockwell Station from out of nowhere as far as they were concerned? A man who clearly was not carrying explosives.

And why did the police tell the world he was connected to the bombings when it would have been clear almost immediately that he wasn’t? While we’re at it, where does the story that the train was deliberately held in the station before the shooting and the fact that armed men in civilian clothes chased the train’s driver down the tunnel and held a gun to his face fit in with the ‘leaked’ story?

Nope, the more I think about it the more this entire mess reeks of continued deceit and, possibly, something much more unpleasant.

Expect the mainstream media to only deal with these questions in months’ time or, just as likely, never.


Shahid said...

Utterly brilliant post Stef.

Postman said...

As suggested Stef, a good day to bury bad news.

I love the quiz games.