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Healthy Skepticism about recent UK Terror "plot"
Posted: 14 August 2006 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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August 14, 2006

The UK Terror plot: what’s really going on?

by Craig Murray (UK)

I have been reading very carefully through all the Sunday newspapers to try and analyse the truth from all the scores of pages claiming to detail the so-called bomb plot. Unlike the great herd of so-called security experts doing the media analysis, I have the advantage of having had the very highest security clearances myself, having done a huge amount of professional intelligence analysis, and having been inside the spin machine.

So this, I believe, is the true story.

None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports, which given the efficiency of the UK Passport Agency would mean they couldn’t be a plane bomber for quite some time.

In the absence of bombs and airline tickets, and in many cases passports, it could be pretty difficult to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt that individuals intended to go through with suicide bombings, whatever rash stuff they may have bragged in internet chat rooms.

What is more, many of those arrested had been under surveillance for over a year - like thousands of other British Muslims. And not just Muslims. Like me. Nothing from that surveillance had indicated the need for early arrests.

Then an interrogation in Pakistan revealed the details of this amazing plot to blow up multiple planes - which, rather extraordinarily, had not turned up in a year of surveillance. Of course, the interrogators of the Pakistani dictator have their ways of making people sing like canaries. As I witnessed in Uzbekistan, you can get the most extraordinary information this way. Trouble is it always tends to give the interrogators all they might want, and more, in a desperate effort to stop or avert torture. What it doesn’t give is the truth.

The gentleman being "interrogated" had fled the UK after being wanted for questioning over the murder of his uncle some years ago. That might be felt to cast some doubt on his reliability. It might also be felt that factors other than political ones might be at play within these relationships. Much is also being made of large transfers of money outside the formal economy. Not in fact too unusual in the British Muslim community, but if this activity is criminal, there are many possibilities that have nothing to do with terrorism.

We then have the extraordinary question of Bush and Blair discussing the possible arrests over the weekend. Why? I think the answer to that is plain. Both in desperate domestic political trouble, they longed for "Another 9/11". The intelligence from Pakistan, however dodgy, gave them a new 9/11 they could sell to the media. The media has bought, wholesale, all the rubbish they have been shovelled.

We then have the appalling political propaganda of John Reid, Home Secretary, making a speech warning us all of the dreadful evil threatening us and complaining that "Some people don’t get" the need to abandon all our traditional liberties. He then went on, according to his own propaganda machine, to stay up all night and minutely direct the arrests. There could be no clearer evidence that our Police are now just a political tool. Like all the best nasty regimes, the knock on the door came in the middle of the night, at 2.30am. Those arrested included a mother with a six week old baby.

For those who don’t know, it is worth introducing Reid. A hardened Stalinist with a long term reputation for personal violence, at Stirling Univeristy he was the Communist Party’s "Enforcer", (in days when the Communist Party ran Stirling University Students’ Union, which it should not be forgotten was a business with a very substantial cash turnover). Reid was sent to beat up those who deviated from the Party line.

We will now never know if any of those arrested would have gone on to make a bomb or buy a plane ticket. Most of them do not fit the "Loner" profile you would expect - a tiny percentage of suicide bombers have happy marriages and young children. As they were all under surveillance, and certainly would have been on airport watch lists, there could have been little danger in letting them proceed closer to maturity - that is certainly what we would have done with the IRA.

In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti-terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harrassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few - just over two per cent of arrests - who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered.

Be sceptical. Be very, very sceptical.

http://www.craigmurray.co.uk/archives/2006/08/the_uk_terror_p.html


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Posted: 15 August 2006 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Gonna say that right off the bat - I know virtually nothing about the way that British higher-ups normally operate or even how they really handeled this case. I read a good deal about the UK terror plot, but am in no way an expert. And though my question does not deal exclusivly with this case, it did pop up while reading the post - I have to ask:

When does skeptism become paranoia? When does doubt transform into a conspiracy theory?

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Posted: 15 August 2006 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Skepticism or Paranoia

Nelly Bly, good question!

I think that good skepticism must be able to ask critical thinking sort of questions and have some evidence of this or that possibility being argued for.  In this case, though we may never know all the details, we can examine whatever evidence we DO have (as Murray begins to do), and ask if the (current) British or American COULD or WOULD try this sort of thing.  To the latter, I think the evidence of this is manifold.

Re the “Conspiracy Theory,” I find that people who begin examining an idea with strong political feelings will either be very conspiratorial, or not skeptical enough.  Many would have called those who believed that Johnson lied about Tonkin as a plot to get us more involved in Viet Nam - before the proof was in that he did - would be called a conspiracy theorist.  Many would call deniers of Bush Sr’s claim of Saddam’s men killing babies by tossing them out of their incubators were conspiratorial, untill Bush’s lie was exposed.  Also, those who believed that JFK was killed by a lone gunman acting independently STILL call all whom disagree, conspiracy theorists - even now that it is clear the Mafia was behind JFK’s assignation. 

Yes, some “theories” go way overboard… Aliens in Roswell, no planes hitting the Twin Towers, etc..  But what is often called “conspiracy” can be - and often is - proved to be actual, but is dismissed in this way to keep inquirers quiet.  That act itself, causes really wacky theories to emerge, which is then even more convincingly dismissed by the powerful elite or the press.  In this way, the REAL conspiracies are often hidden long enough for the conspirators to get what they want.  Folks like me were called conspiracy nuts when we said that there was no WMDs in Iraq before the war; what makes Murray such? 

I think there is a slightly thicker line between skepticism and paranoia than many (often conservatives who back the state), want us to believe.

Barry F. Seidman

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Posted: 16 August 2006 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I am certainly prepared to believe that there are shenanigans going on in governments generally, and in this government in particular. But I am also, with Nelly, extremely skeptical of conspiracy theories. Conspiracies involve planning and skill, and frankly this is in short supply in most governments. They also involve coverups, which do happen but are almost universally exposed in hindsight. The success of a coverup is also inversely proportional to its complexity and the number of people involved.

So while I do believe—very strongly—that this government will use any and all news items to further their quasi-fascist agenda of total and everlasting war, I don’t believe that we’ve quite gotten to the point of literal fabrication of evidence or sophisticated conspiratorial coverups. We’d need significantly stronger evidence for that.

I will only add that I’ve never heard good evidence that linked the Mafia to JFK’s assassination. Let’s go out on one limb at a time here ...

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 16 August 2006 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Link:  

Referrer:  

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Posted: 16 August 2006 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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[quote author=“dvskptc”]Link:  

Referrer:  

:?:

Perhaps you could explain a little, rather than just giving us two URLs.

And why should we believe what is written in these URLs?

:?

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Posted: 16 August 2006 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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JFK

I will only add that I’ve never heard good evidence that linked the Mafia to JFK’s assassination. Let’s go out on one limb at a time here ...
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Doug

======================

Doug, you may want to take a look at the new book, “Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK” - by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann

From Publishers Weekly
There has been a long hiatus in significant books on the JFK assassination since Gerald Posner’s “Case Closed” argued in 1993 that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  Posner took the CIA’s lack of involvement for granted, and that, according to this mammoth and painstakingly researched account, was a big mistake.  It is Waldron and Hartmann’s contention—bolstered by access to many previously unavailable files, and interviews with little-known as well as prominent figures—that the CIA knew a great deal about the assassination.  But the agency couldn’t admit what it knew because that could uncover the existence of a U.S. plan for a coup in Cuba, run by JFK’s brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

The assassination, say the authors, was carried out by hired gunmen on the orders of three noted Mafia dons whose lives were being made miserable by RFK’s ruthless pursuit—and these Mafia men knew about the planned invasion because they had worked with the CIA on previous efforts to topple Castro.  Oswald, long a hidden CIA agent, was set up as the patsy, and it had always been Jack Ruby’s job to eliminate him if he wasn’t killed at the scene of Kennedy’s shooting. 

How do the authors make their case? With a relentless accumulation of detail, a very thorough knowledge of every political and forensic detail and the broad perspective of historians rather than assassination theorists.  No future historian of that tormented period in American history will be able to ignore their very convincing presentation, even if a lay reader may feel overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the evidence.

————-
Barry F. Seidman

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