Thursday, August 17, 2006


Hitting A Nerve, Indeed

Craig Murray, who after speaking out against Tony Blair's tacit approval of torture was hounded from his British diplomatic career on trumped-up charges that were later dismissed (and who was punished for actually fighting the charges by exposing their ridiculousness to the media), has some interesting thoughts on the recent alleged liquid-bomb-plot arrests:

In the UK, at least, the more serious wing of the mainstream media is beginning to catch up with the idea that all is not well here. Still, after eight days of detention, nobody has been charged with any crime. For there to be no clear evidence yet on something that was "imminent" and "Mass murder on an unbelievable scale" is, to say the least, rather peculiar. The 24th person, who was arrested amid much fanfare yesterday, has been quietly released without charge today. Breaking news, another "suspect" has just been released too. The drip, drip of information to the media from the security services has rather dried-up. The last item of any significance was that they had found a handgun and a rifle - neither of which could have been in any use in the alleged plot. If you were smuggling undetectable liquid explosive onto a plane, you would be unlikely to give the game away by tucking a rifle into your hand baggage. [...] As the Police immediately told the press about the guns, it is a reasonable deduction that it remains true that they still have found no bombs or detonators, or they would have told us, particularly as they haven't charged anyone yet. They must be getting pretty desperate to announce some actual evidence by now. This brings us to one particuarly sinister aspect of the allegations - that the bombs were to be made on the plane. The idea that high explosive can be made quickly in a plane toilet by mixing at room temperature some nail polish remover, bleach, and Red Bull and giving it a quick stir, is nonsense. Yes, liquid explosives exist and are highly dangerous and yes, airports are ill equipped to detect them at present. Yes, it is true they have been used on planes before by terrorists. But can they be quickly manufactured on the plane? No. The sinister aspect is not that this is a real new threat. It is that the allegation may have been concocted in order to prepare us for arresting people without any actual bombs. Let me fess up here. I have just checked, and our flat contains nail polish remover, sports drinks, and a variety of household cleaning products. Also MP3 players and mobile phones. So the authorities could announce - as they have whispered to the media in this case - that potential ingredients of a liquid bomb, and potential timing devices, have been discovered. It rather lowers the bar, doesn't it?
It does, indeed.

You can tell when law enforcement allegations are legitimate and when they're purely to titillate the press. A real allegation involves a specific crime for which the suspect had the skills and/or materials. The fact that we have heard so little about either the crime or the suspects is, well, suspicious.

As I mentioned in another, Greg Palast said (whether serious or joking, I don't know) that they had hair dye and peroxide. But if so, they may well have been plotting to destroy someone's coiffure. Lots of young people do.

Maybe this will turn out to be for real, but the odor of manure is very high.
Their terralerts roll off my back like so much acid rain.
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