Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is eternal skepticism the new price of freedom?

Craig Murray, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan for the U.K., says there is much to be very very skeptical about in the arrests of those terror suspects in GB:

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.

Holy shit, these arrests were all prompted by some poor schmuck confessing in a prison somewhere in Pakistan?? What. The. Fuck.
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.

And if y'all have any doubts about Blair's motivations in all of this, Harry Shearer has something to add:
It's useful to remember the audience to which Tony Blair is playing. Having just spent two weeks in London, I can tell you that virtually every taxi driver I talked to (and there were quite a few) is upset over the increasing visual Muslimization of the Capital--viz., the predominance on many streets of groups of women walking the sidewalk in full-bore burkas, only eyes visible. People I know quite well are very upset about the continued existence of mosques whose imams are frequently reported to be making pronouncements about the desirability of jihad. This is the ground into which news of the alleged terror plot was planted.
Mr. Murray goes further:
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.

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