Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

About that alleged terror plot...

Andrew Sullivan has a great post on his TIME blog, Daily Dish. An excerpt:
So far, no one has been charged in the alleged terror plot to blow up several airplanes across the Atlantic. No evidence has been produced supporting the contention that such a plot was indeed imminent. Forgive me if my skepticism just ratcheted up a little notch.
Sullivan goes on to quote from Craig Murray, formerly Britain's Ambassador to Uzbekistan and now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region, who has questioned what is really going on.
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.
Given the Bush administration's history of political manipulation, and given that Tony Blair is the administration's closest ally abroad, the possibility that this "immiment plot" was almost completely manufactured seems conceivable at worst and likely at best...given what we know right now.

More Sullivan:
I wonder if Lieberman's defeat, the resilience of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the emergence of a Hezbollah-style government in Iraq had any bearing on the decision by Bush and Blair to pre-empt the British police and order this alleged plot disabled. I wish I didn't find these questions popping into my head. But the alternative is to trust the Bush administration.

Been there. Done that. Learned my lesson.
We, on the other hand, have never trusted the Bush administration, and for good reason. George W. Bush and his handlers are liars. They've lied to us before. This is really starting to look like it's just another one of their lies.

And it's worth remembering that Republican National Committee and other top right wing operatives were given advance notice of this alleged plot before news of the arrests became public. Presumably so they could use it as a weapon against Democrats.

Travelers across the United States and in Britain have apparently been inconvenienced or had their vacations/trips disrupted for no good reason.

Our government, currently controlled by people who don't believe in good government, is playing politics with terror, and that's unacceptable.

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