The one made by of the suspects of the London bombings on July 7th, Mohammed Sidique Khan.
Bloggers critical of the British government have barely touched it.
That’s entirely understandable. Partly because everyone’s attention has been focused on New Orleans but mostly because it looks pretty damning
In short, a lot of people who doubted the official explanation of what happened on 7th July have now swallowed the conclusions made by the media in the immediate aftermath of the tape’s release.
I’m a lot less convinced by those conclusions. Admittedly much of my suspicion is based on circumstantial issues. Having now watched it through a few times all sorts of questions come to mind
- When and where was it made?
- Why no messages to his family? That’s the usual deal in testament tapes
- Why did it take two months to surface?
The timing aspect is a key issue. The tape was broadcast last Thursday, at the height of media attention to the disaster unfolding in New Orleans. If the objective was to grab as much attention as possible it was the worst timing in the World. If the intention was to slip some ‘evidence’ into the public domain with as little scrutiny as possible the timing was absolutely perfect. As our government spin-doctors are prone to say amongst themselves, last Thursday was a good day to bury bad news.
I’m one of those people who has a serious problem with dodgy videotapes appearing out of the ether, particularly when they blatantly serve our governments’ agendas. Remember Osama’s US presidential election special last year?
London police haven’t confirmed that the guy on the tape is one of the bombers yet but that hasn’t stopped the media reporting that as a certainty, from the moment the tape was first aired. Given recent events in London, you would have thought that the media would be a little shy of reporting unconfirmed speculation as fact but it is having none of it.
I particularly enjoyed this piece of totally shite reporting from CNN here. Quality quotes include
The homemade bombs, made with peroxide-based chemicals and detonated with cell phones, killed 52 commuters and the four bombers.
And the very special
The video shows a man who looks similar to the man in surveillance photographs who was identified as Khan by authorities after the bombings.
The first quote is completely at odds with official, as opposed to unofficial, Scotland Yard statements and the second quote is quite bizarre given the complete absence of any usable surveillance photographs of Khan released into the public domain.
But, so what, the media is misreporting the story. What’s new? The tape is there for all to see.
Let’s assume that the guy in the tape is confirmed as Khan. What does it actually prove?
Well, if you watch it through with a mind untainted by media bullshit it proves…
One of the suspected bombers was pretty ticked off with British Foreign policy at some undetermined point in the past and was threatening to do something about it.
And that’s all. There’s no link with the London bombs, there’s no reference to the other bombers. In fact, the entire statement is pretty generic and sounds like a fragment of a much larger presentation.
There’s no denying that this tape represents a fragment of evidence that supports the government explanation of 7th July but that’s all it is, a fragment.
I could come up with half a dozen plausible alternate scenarios that fit the official facts of what happened that day, including the tape, but I won't. Other bloggers out there have fallen into the trap of outlining alternate explanations for what happened that day. Some favoured the notion that the four bombers were duped and thought they were carrying drugs. Others grasped onto an eyewitness account that suggested at least one of the bombs was located underneath the train. The release of the Khan tape appears to bugger up those alternate theories good and proper. The harsh reality is that there is so much misinformation out there that basing alternate theories on any one scrap of it is ill-advised indeed.
And there’s absolutely no need to sit there formulating alternate theories. All we should be doing at this stage is asking questions. The official explanation still stinks and formulating conspiracy theories only provides a useful distraction from that,
My own doubts about what happened on 7th July rest on more than one issue. That’s why the release of that chunk of videotape has not caused me to change my own sceptical position. A quick recap of my causes for concern would include:
- No arrests to date made in connection with the 7th July bombings
- No videotapes released from 7th July. The ‘missing’ tape from the No.30 bus is particularly sinister given the blatant tampering with video evidence that later took place at Stockwell tube station
- Why did the bombers die carrying personal ID but leaving no statements?
- Where are the witnesses from 7th July? We haven’t heard a peep from them since. Nor from the bombers’ family members. We don’t even know the answer to such simple questions as ‘What did the bombers tell their friends and family they were doing in London that day?’
- Why did the bombers leave explosives behind in a car in Luton station?
- Why did they bother to pay for a full day’s car parking and return train tickets?
- What’s the explanation for the bizarre behaviour of fourth bomber? Why did he blow himself up an hour after his fellow bombers? What was a fundamentalist Muslim doing breakfasting in McDonalds half an hour after his mates exploded and half an hour before blowing himself up?
- What kind of explosives were used? Were they home made or commercial? How were they detonated? Why did the bombers use full size rucksacks to carry 10-15lb of explosive, leaving some explosives behind in their car? What else was in those rucksacks?
- What is the connection between the 7/7 and 21/7 bombers?
- The bombs detonated on 21/7 scattered unidentified white powder, yet no Hazmat precautions were put in place? Why not? Was it a fuck up or was it because the authorities knew in advance that the attack wasn't biological?
- What’s the purpose of the mass of misinformation issued by ‘unofficial’ sources? The endless succession of potential masterminds and chemists, tales of canoeing holidays, shadowy figures slipping in and out of the country. It sounds like crap at the time and subsequently turns out to be crap, yet is either left uncorrected or corrected in as unobtrusive a way as possible
this is just the short version of the list
These are not trivial questions. For example, the police would have known what explosives were used on 7/7 almost immediately yet they persisted in clouding the question of whether they were home made or not. No surveillance tapes have been released from 7/7. Given that the bombers are dead and presumably knew what they were up to anyway, what legitimate purpose is served by not releasing them?