Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Bizarro World Broadcasting Corporation

Ooooh I can't wait until the poor bastard tasked with moderating the backlog of comments on this blog post gets into work tomorrow

That's the post where the head of BBC World News tries to explain how his channel seems to have been able to report WTC7's collapse twenty minutes before it actually happened.

I say seems because he has been unable to confirm that is what happened, as the BBC has lost its own archive footage of the broadcast.

A step-by-step guide to the correct operation of write-protect tabs that I shall be helpfully emailing to BBC World tomorrow

So, consequently, in a post that seems to come straight out of Bizarro World, we have the head of a major news unit within the Mighty BBC admitting that he had to watch coverage from his own channel on You Tube of all things.

Verily I say unto Thee - You couldn't fucking make it up

I'm still keeping an open mind as to the actual significance of the footage, if any, but a response like this from the BBC, missing tapes and all, isn't helping

I've just taken a quick peak around cyberspace and it's looking like forensic, line by line, deconstruction of this example of finest Bizarro World bollocks is set to become the fun new popular Internet pass time for all the family (age four and over)

Personal favourite extracts from the BBC response include...

"If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error - no more than that"

I think the one thing that everyone can agree on is that it definitely was an error of some kind or another

"Our reporter Jane Standley was in New York on the day of the attacks, and like everyone who was there, has the events seared on her mind. I've spoken to her today and unsurprisingly, she doesn't remember minute-by-minute what she said or did"

Mmmwah, Doublespeak-tastic

"We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our output, I'd love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don't help clear up the issue one way or another."

Fuck that. If I had a high-quality version of the original footage the BBC would be the last place I would send it to. At the very least they've hardly covered themselves in glory on the 'keeping important video footage secure' side of things

Also, I remember back to 7/7 when the television and radio was full of presenters and police spokespeople urging any members of the public with relevant photos or video clips to send them in ASAP.

The first thing I thought was

No! Don't do that. Upload a few hundred copies onto Flickr and You Tube tagged as "Madonna", "Crotch", "Shot" or something first

But to no avail.

Who knows what slipped down the memory hole on that day.

And on the subject of missing video footage and memory holes it looks like I may have to update...

Stef's All-Time Favourite Top Six Seven Suspiciously Conveniently Missing Video Tape events

7. Fourteen plus CCTVs in the Alma Tunnel on the night of Princess Diana's death

Were they facing the wrong way? Were they turned off? Who the fuck knows?

6. Eighty four assorted security camera tapes taken from near or around the Pentagon on 9/11

5. Footage from the CCTV camera on the No. 30 Bus that blew up in Tavistock Square on 7/7

4. CCTV footage from Stockwell Tube Station on the day Jean Charles de Menezes got shot ... lots

The station staff tell the IPCC that the shooting was captured on camera. The police returned the camera hard drives wiped clean saying there was nothing on them

Nobody in authority seems to care very much

3. 7/7 Suicide Bombers in transit

Fulsome clips of Somali transvestites prancing around Birmingham coach stations are all very entertaining and a useful aid in encouraging patriotic outbreaks of Burkaphobia. As are clips of brown men looking into barrels of what may or may not be fertilizer. But why the reluctance to release any of the video of the four men alleged to have carried out the 7/7 bombings?

and, new in at number...

2. BBC World News loses the tapes of its coverage of one of the most significant World events in the last 50 years

See above

1. Apollo 11 Moon Landing Tapes

The notion that the Apollo Program was a hoax is hard to swallow I know (aside from the 50 year gap between the last visit to the Moon and the next planned visit amongst a few other inconclusive niggles) but this just has to be Number One based on the sheer number of missing tapes alone...


That's 13 with three zeros after it



Wolfie said...

Having watched the whole series of events live on CNN (I think it was CNN) that day, annotated with screams from people on the phone to the occupants of the WTC towers I can assure you that of all my suspicions of the day the time-line is not one of them.

Tragic incompetence on the part of a major, trusted news agency is not good news but since I am neither as incompetent nor as forgetful I can say that I recall quite clearly that there were definitely erroneous reports of the collapse of WT7 prior to the actual collapse on the day. It may seem bizarre that it should then helpfully oblige but what few conspiracy theorists are willing to reveal is that the opposing view of the building shows extensive damage after the WTC1/2 collapse. So much so that as a viewer on the other side of the complex at ground level would think that it had already collapsed, thus fuelling the erroneous report I think.

Something which bothers me a lot more is the apparent failure of CCTV footage whenever serious crimes involving the secret services or terrorism occur and the arrogance that accompanies the blithe assumption that we will yet again swallow the line that they were "not working" of "turned off". It beggars belief and eternally leaves even then the most uncritical of the government to say "what in God's name are you trying to hide?".

Wolfie said...

What I did find disturbing on the day was the reaction of some "world leaders" as initial reports came in who could barely contain their glee over events. Some reactions seemed so scripted that it was hard not to think that they had fore-knowledge of the attack.

This is where the citizen investigators should be concentrating their efforts IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the 'missing' "Not Only… …But Also" tapes.

Stef said...


I've just discovered that the BBC has a whole site devoted to lost episodes of classic TV shows that were part of our national heritage

have they no shame?

Stef said...


yup, I've seen that CNN footage too

the problem is that images of the other side of WTC7, which we have been told exist, have not been released to the public

and on top of that, even if WTC7 were badly damaged on that side how did it collapse so neatly and symmetrically? and quickly

but no, this new BBC tape doesn't 'prove' anything at all

re. the behaviour or world leaders

yup, spot on. I linked to a DIY 9/11 video a few posts back where the producer makes a decent case that what did or didn;t happen to the buildings is nowhere near as conclusive as the behaviour of GWB on that day - I'm inclined to agree

even if someone proved definitively that there was nothing untoward about the mechanics of the WTC collapses there are still many unanswered questions from that day

Stef said...

re. the CCTV footage thing

what scares me is how blatant the tampering and deceit can be without incurring any blowback

the Stockwell Shooting is a primo example

utterly disgraceful

Bridget said...

Hi Stef

BBC's retention policy states:
Policy Statements

Intended Audience: Global.

Use: The policy statements set out what must be retained.Last Reviewed: 18/02/03

Policy Area / Policy Statement

Components to be Retained

The following components to be retained:-

· Two broadcast standard copies of all transmitted/published TV, Radio and BBCi output – one to be stored on a separate site as a master

· One browse-quality version for research purposes, to protect the broadcast material

· All supporting metadata to enable research and re-use

· A selection of original (i.e. unedited) material for re-use/re-versioning purposes

· Hardware/software/equipment to enable replay/transfer of the media

Oh dear two copies to lose!

Stef said...


Sophia said...

Another missing evidence to put on your list
this time it is about José Padilla

Sophia said...

i think we should maintain and update this list somewhere:
here is another one:

From Canadian news:
Three detainees alleged to have been physically abused by Canadian soldiers have disappeared while in Afghan custody, according to a report.

CBC News
Investigators said they do not know what happened to three men who were handed over to the Afghan national police on April 8, 2006, said Maj. Robert Bell, a senior operations officer for the Canadian National Investigation Service, in an interview for the Globe and Mail.

NIS investigators have been trying to find the men for almost a month. They were picked up near the village of Dukah, 50 kilometres west of Kandahar on April 7, 2006.

Poor record-keeping by Afghan guards or undocumented release, which occurs regularly and often as a result of bribes, could explain their disappearance. But they may have been tortured or killed.

Human rights groups have complained that under a detainee agreement with Afghanistan, Canada can't monitor detainees after they have been handed over and can't ensure that they will not be tortured or even executed in Afghan prisons.

Afghan authorities have a reputation for torture.

But last week, another agreement was signed on transferring prisoners. Canada now has to notify the Kandahar manager of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission when it transfers a prisoner, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

According to a law professor at the University of Ottawa, based on National Defence documents he obtained under the Access to Information Act, the three men suffered injuries to their faces, heads and upper bodies. They had swollen eyes, cuts on their eyebrows, gashes to their forehead and slashes on their cheeks.

Prof. Amir Attaran said the documents were based on handwritten reports from Canadian military police in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

He said the injuries appear to have been inflicted while the men were in Canadian custody - an allegation the military denies but is investigating.

With files from the Canadian Press