Tuesday, July 04, 2006

77 Potty People

I’ve spent what little on-line time I have had these last few days following the debate and discussion about the calls for an inquiry into the London bombings last year.

It’s a curious wee debate being fought out across blogs, forums and media comment sites. Curious partly because the same handful of names keep cropping up and partly because of the divisions that have appeared between those people calling for an inquiry.

In one corner we have the likes of Rachel North – a 7/7 victim and blogger who says things such as…

I do hope that people have not confused the determined, sane, clear-eyed campaign supported by 7/7 survivors and bereaved for a proper inquiry, with the paranoid ramblings of internet people with a macarbre fascination with picking holes into the multi-sourced rolling news coverage of the UK's worst terror attack. Because that would be very tiresome indeed.

And in the other corner we have…

Paranoid Internet people

If I really have to make a choice, and I don’t believe that serves any useful purpose, I’ll stand with the Paranoid Internet People and can make a case for doing so; without insulting people who disagree with me

… unlike some of the people leaving comments underneath the July 7th Truth response to last week’s Guardian article on 7/7 ‘Conspiracy Theories’…

MESSAGE TO GUARDIAN Really, is it not time you started comment moderation? I want to read posts by people who have something to say on a subject like this, not from sub-literate conspiritorialists who come in, spread their cack on the floor, and then demand that everyone else walk in it

Dear Bevereley et al Do you remember all the right wingers during the 90's Clinton era worrying about 'black helicopters' and the UN trying to impose a 'one world government'? You are a latter day mirror image of them

I see the barking mad are off their meds again. Four Islamo-fascists murdered innocent passengers in London and the real sadness is that hell doesn't exist for the killers to burn in eternity.

These are plain ad hominems with a few calls for censorship sprinkled in. I’m all for ad hominen attacks, provided they are funny but they rarely constitute an argument. Calls for an inquiry into 7/7 should stand or fall on their own merits.


Internal divisions between the likes of Rachel North and Paranoid Internet People aside, the Number One argument being trundled out against a 7/7 Inquiry is…

A public inquiry into 7/7 would be a waste of resources

Like so many things our government comes out with this argument seems at first sight to be a plausible one.

At first sight

Our police and government are currently laying down a defensive curtain of bullshit in the media, warning us about how overstretched they are in dealing with the Islamic terror threat. This is a handy blocking move in advance of the calls for a public inquiry that will be undoubtedly be made in the context of the 7/7 anniversary in a few days time.

Of course, people who care about such things will recall that the resource argument was used by the head of the Metropolitan Police to hamper the inquiry into the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes last year.

Informed consent is an integral part of democracy. It's not optional and not something that can be dispensed with on the basis of some kind of cost argument.

If we allow ourselves to be fobbed off so easily our public servants could, quite literally, get away with murder.

Another problem with the resource argument is, quite simply, there will never be enough resource. Just take a look at contemporary Israel, or any other nation, past or present, that has invested heavily in becoming a security state.

It’s never enough.

Our government could lock things down as tight as a drum and it won't make any real difference to the ‘Terror Threat’. In fact, the more repressive the measures the more likely they are to generate the issues that lead to terrorism.

And I can't help shaking the suspicion that our government, security forces and media know that very well. It's that or they're plain dumb

Any half-decent inquiry into 7/7 will seek to answer the questions who? how? why?

Right now our government is carrying on as if there is no significant doubt as to the answers to any of these questions. Laws are being changed and people are being locked up and killed, here and overseas, on the basis of assertions that have not been subject to any form of critical scrutiny.

Sure, any inquiry will have its flaws but at the very least it will drag more of the supposed evidence into the light and force some thought about the whys of 7/7 and debate about what we can do to prevent another one.

The thing is, in a peculiar way, it doesn't really matter who carried out the bombings. Be they jihadists or (as some people suspect) spooks, they carried out the bombing to generate a reaction and our government and media obliged by playing along in a very predictable way.

If we, as a nation, responded in a mature and intelligent way to acts of terrorism there wouldn't be any point in carrying them out.

I for one believe that my government and security forces are making a complete dog’s cock of the War on Terror. Whilst, I don’t doubt the integrity of the vast majority of the people involved, everything I see, know and feel tells me that the way we are carrying on as a nation virtually guarantees to make the situation worse and crush hard fought for liberties in the process.

So, application of a little resource now to clarify the who/ how/ why of 7/7 would be resource well spent IMHO

And if that qualifies me as being potty, so be it. Some way, somehow, I’ll manage to live with that.


Anonymous said...

If one really didn't like a country or it's citizens one might still be inclined to blow up their tube, regardless of how mature that country's response might be.

I doubt very much that terrorists main goal is to turn their enemies countries into police states.

If we can't swear anymore then the terrorists have won? Get a grip. Some acts of violence are not meant to cause political change. I expect its possible for someone to be able to plan out something rather complex and still not be able to foresee the political consequences of that complex planning.
The desired consequence of a terrorist act is not necessarily achievable or logical. Tim McVeigh didn't bring down the U.S. government, but that might well have been his aim.

Stef said...

A few thoughts

- the reason given in the Khan 7/7 'confession tape' that so many people seem to place such store in was the Iraq War, not some general dislike of the UK

- ditto for OBL and his soundalikes. He is demanding withdrawal of Western troops from Islamic Holy places, again not some general dislike of the UK or anywhere else

- OBL, or whoever is doing his voiceovers these days, is on record as stating that establishment of police states in the West and the sapping of the West's resources and resolve in ill-fated foreign interventions are precisely what he wants. Not as an ultimate objective but as a means of achieving his objectives

and I love the way that Al Qaeda and the rest can be simulataneously resourceful, well organised and fiendishly cunning yet, at the same time, be completely illogical in how they go about things...

The primary objective of terrorism is to yield a disproportionate response from the target community.

In that respect 7/7 has worked a treat and our leaders are merrily playing along. They are doing absolutely nothing to break the cycle. Quite the opposite

Having said all that, the points you raise are worth discussing and considering. All I am saying is that something like an indpendent inquiry into 7/7 would be an appropriate vehicle to help this country get its head straight over this whole sorry business

Sinclair said...

Interesting that 'a lack of resources' is cited as a reason for denying a public enquiry.

Putting things in perspective... The forecast of total additional [Metropolitan Police Authority] costs from 7 July to the end of this financial year {April 06] is £88.1 million.

Nope, the argument doesn't wash.

Maybe it's a lack of people who would conclude what they would wish them to conclude, like the pisspoor Official Narrative narrated what they wanted narrated......

Anonymous said...

I think an inquiry would indeed be valuable, but only if its conducted honestly.

That's what set me off about your comment that it didn't matter who actually carried out the attack -- obviously if your own government or agents of your own government are selectively taking pot shots at you the ordinary citizen as some sort of propaganda tool then that is an entirely different order of danger or threat than that posed by an affinity group or cell of some terrorist organization.

Presumably a terrorist organization will have a layer of challenges to overcome before carrying out their attack, whereas the government agency conducting 1984-style propaganda attacks will have a unlimited resources, knowledge of the security measures it will have to circumvent and virtually no chance of getting caught.

Stef said...

I totally agree


The point I've been trying to make, here and elsewhere, is that people calling for an inquiry shouldn't get hung up over the motivations of other people calling for an inquiry.

If you look at the comments underneath the latest Guardian piece...


you'll see some bad tempered disagreement between two sets of people, both favouring an inquiry but hung up over whether they believe the government is complicit in 7/7 or not

When I say that, in a peculiar way, it doesn't matter who did the bombings I am referring quite specifically to the inquiry issue. In a more general sense, yes it bloody does well matter. If I didn't make that clear, mea culpa.

Wolfie said...

I think you have made yourself perfectly clear Stef.

"- OBL, or whoever is doing his voiceovers these days, is on record as stating that establishment of police states in the West and the sapping of the West's resources and resolve in ill-fated foreign interventions are precisely what he wants. Not as an ultimate objective but as a means of achieving his objectives"

This is what makes me so nervous, the asymmetry between OBL's objectives and our governments and I think this may be the strongest reason why a full inquiry is being blocked.

I have been discussing this with some of my contacts in the Conservative party and diplomatic services and I am detecting a faint whiff of fear...

The Antagonist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Antagonist said...

The bereaved father of Hasib Hussain (alleged to be responsible for the number 30 bus bombing in Tavistock Square), was doorstepped by the media, who had in tow a bereaved member of the public who is reported to have lost his partner in the bus blast.

Hasib Hussain's father, as quoted in today's Daily Mirror, stated:

"I don't believe Hasib did it. No one has shown me any evidence that he did it. I have seen nothing, no DNA no evidence. When there is a crime you have to have evidence. I have seen no evidence."

Whatever you think of what happened in London on July 7th 2005, Mr Hussain is right. His son is innocent until proven guilty and a trial by media will not stand.

We have long known there is no evidence in the public domain to support the suppositions and allegations in the official Home Office narrative of events and the Daily Mirror today confirms that NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THE BEREAVED FAMILIES OF THE ACCUSED.