Thursday, August 17, 2006

A reasonable call for skepticism

WARNING SIGN - skepticism
So, how much credibility are we supposed to give the governments of Britain and the United States regarding the recent alleged plot to blow up a bunch of U.S.-bound airplanes?

Harry Shearer writes something I have been thinking for the past few days, and manages to find a go-to guy for a little reasonable questioning of the official party line in one Craig Murray former British ambassador to the Central Asian garden spot of Uzbekistan.

To wit, Mr. Murray says:
"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.
This does not mean that I believe the whole thing is some sort of a put up job. But I am deeply suspicious of the timing and the alleged advancement of the plot, in particular, the idea that James Bond and a team of MI-5 specials rolled into Imam Goldfinger's secret underwater mosque/lair and foiled the plot at zero-hour... Look, it is hard to go wrong betting on mendacity and exaggeration when it comes to the actual level of terrorist threat as purported by either of these governments.

And in looking at Mr. Murray's comments, I am also wondering how much of this is also going be responsible for a resurgence of the political viability of groups like the openly and violently racist British Nationalist Party and act as a pretext for more conservative elements at all levels of government in Britain to bring back the bad old days of the late '60s and '70s where Irish immigrants working in urban areas were under constant suspicion, routinely arrested without charges, imprisoned without cause, beaten, abused, and generally made to feel unwelcome...

And I wonder, how much of this is going to serve as an object lesson to conduct the same kind of political purging, and suppression here in the United States?

mojo sends

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