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.
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…
- That bloke who was planning to demolish the Brooklyn Bridge with blow torches
- Those blokes planning to smear toothbrushes with ricin
- That bloke accused of attacking the Channel Tunnel with a pair of dirty socks
- The increasingly bizarre Moussaoui 9/11 trial
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
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.
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.)