Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Competition for most nonsensical terror trial ever heats up


I’ve spent a fair portion of my Internet ‘on line’ time over the last few weeks engaged in a protracted debate with a True Believer in the ‘War on the Terror’. My protagonist has direct in your face experience of some of the issues involved and buys totally into what I personally believe to be the fabricated myth of an organised ‘Islamofascist’ (what a marvellous expression) global terror network. He believes that the American and British governments have, essentially, reacted to this threat along the right lines.

The discussion has taken place in a closed, private forum and has been characterised by its largely even-tempered nature.

Which is kind of unusual.

And this stuff important. The War on Terror and, in particular, key events such as 9/11 and 7/7 are the central justifications for wars, repression and all sorts of changes to the way our societies tick.

So if, like me, you believe the War on Terror is overcooked bollocks, containing more than a hint of self-fulfilling prophecy about it, you’re going to need some serious convincing as to the truth of the claims made by War on Terror advocates.

That’s why open jury trials are so important.

Trials are a far from perfect mechanism for getting at Truth but they are infinitely preferable to any Hutton or 9/11 Commission style enquiry.

Of course, with the advent of the 72 virgin crazed suicide bomber as a cultural phenomenom, trials of the perpetrators the 9/11, 7/7 or Madrid bombing attacks are conveniently thin on the ground. Unfortunately, having a live defendant is a prerequisite for most trials. In that respect, suicide bombers are the 21st century equivalent of the lone gunman so popular in the 1960s.

Whatever happened to lone gunmen anyway? They seem to have quietly slipped out of fashion.

Anyway, in the absence of first team players we have to make do with trials of lesser characters as a source of evidence which, unlike the horse shit in the media and government controlled enquiries, has been subject to at least some critical scrutiny.

And the results, so far, haven’t exactly proven to be a ringing endorsement of the Al Qaeda myth. Personal favourites include…

Yup, it's still looking like overcooked bollocks to me.

I mention all of this because I am looking forward to weeks of entertainment from the latest bollocks terrorism trial that has just started in London

Three on trial over ‘Red Mercury’ terrorism plot

It’s set to be a blinder. Not only were the three men set up by undercover reporter sheikh Mazher Mahmood, an individual with a solid track record of making crimes up for a living, but they are on trial for allegedly trying to buy Red Mercury, a substance that doesn’t actually exist.

What next?

Kryptonite?

Flubber?

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edit: I haven’t done the trial of the North London ricin terror masterminds justice. In addition to planning to infect toothbrushes with ricin, reseal them in their packaging and planting the tootbrushes on chemists’ shelves, the suspects were also accused of plotting to…

  • Spray people on the Underground with water pistols filled with cyanide made from cherry pips
  • Smear pedestrians with Nivea face cream mixed with nicotine
  • Construct fragmentation bombs made from green potatoes

apologies for understating the serious threat these men posed to our way of life in the main body of this post

(The Guardian posted an interesting article on the ricin terror trial but was ordered to pull it for reasons of national security. A copy still exists here.)

4 comments:

zenyenta said...

The Moussaoui is truly pathetic. He appears to be an Al Qaeda groupie of some sort. Earnest terrorists don't want to take his phonecalls. Every high profile organization has people like that hanging around. Then they want to tie in the shoe bomber who looks like Disney's Goofy. I do believe there's an Al Qaeda. I guess. But what that has to do with most of what's being done by your country and mostly by mine, I haven't a clue. I do know that these mentally ill guys are pretty poor excuses for poster boys for the "terrorist threat" that's being used to justify pretty much anything our imperial president wants to do.

Wolfie said...

"direct in your face experience of some of the issues involved"

I would be interested to know what experience that was exactly. My father was active in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East for part of his WW2 service, something important he told me many years ago was this. That when he was in the thick of things he thought he knew what was going on and what the intelligence strategy was, however later on he was promoted rapidly and became part of the command structure in the region and he realised that nearly everything he thought he understood was false. Incidentally he also believed that London had no idea what the hell they were doing. So no change there in 60 years.

I'm as sceptical as you are but I would also add that chronic American strategy is slowly making the Islamic Terror network a reality day by day.

Stef said...

@zenyanta - I totally agree. The point about Al Qaeda is that even if it didn't exist as a real threat before it certainly is becoming one. Not in the sense of an organised group but as an idea. And as we all know, ideas cannot be defeated with military force

@wolfie - an interesting point. I raised it with my true believer chum and his response was ...

'My brief, pithy, and ultimately gratuitous retort is to say that information technology has revolutionized the area of military intelligence as much as it has any other area of life. IT has done to intel what IT did to banking, book selling, etc.

The quality, quantity, and speed of intel today is remarkably amazing. This next statement is literally true -- intel products that were once given only to four star generals and presidents are now in the hands of platoon leaders in the form of printed out Powerpoint slides.'

Postman said...

Powerpoint, the Achilles heel of Western life. The Designer / Inventor / coder should be taken outside at dawn and shot. A substitute for thought...ideal for military intelligence.

I have not changed my view since reading G Greene's wonderful stories of spies sending diagrams of Hoovers as MWD's etc.,making up spies to spy on to justify expenses.

I have been spending agreat deal of time reading about unmanned aerial vehicles. It is evident that (contrary to my first impressions)they are just hi-tech toys for the boys with limited value. Look at Kosovo 150 tanks killed claimed , actually zero.48 UAV's lost including one, complete with all it's spy cams is in the National Museum in Belgrade after Stalin had a look at it.