piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so, i was judiciously ignoring that little british bombshell about bush wanting to attack al-jazeera's headquarters last year, because it was published in the daily mirror, which is not what i consider a reputable news source. i waved it off as possibly a bad joke; bush not having the good sense nor taste to avoid joking about something like that. a foolish joke, considering the attacks that actually were made on al-jazeera stations in baghdad and kabul, which were never officially investigated -- accidents, supposedly. (i actually remember watching the baghdad incident on TV right after it had happened; everyone grabbed the al-jazeera feed.) of course it's possible that those incidents were accidental; even the palestine hotel got hit once, and that was full of western journalists. and al-jazeera has been a thorn in the US/UK side; i'd understand a little blowing off neocon-steam among leaders of allied nations, palling around. i say badly exaggerated things about fox news to the paramour (though i've as yet wished to bomb them, but maybe one makes different jokes when one actually can bomb somebody into oblivion?) -- anyway. i wasn't gonna hold bush's feet to the fire for a bad joke.

i am about to change my mind. i think he might've been dead serious, and the daily mirror might well be correct. because britain's attorney general has now threatened to prosecute anyone under section 5 of the "official secrets act" who publishes details of the document of which the daily mirror got ahold (which allegedly proves that bush had to be talked out of attacking al-jazeera by blair).

oh ho. now i am REALLY wondering what's in that document. and just how accidental the bombings in kabul and baghdad were. because if this is true, there goes one more nail in the coffin of "spreading democracy" and "winning the hearts and minds" of people suspicious of the US. and that coffin is about ready for burial as it is.


Aug. 17th, 2005 18:20
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
remember jean charles de menezes, the brasilian electrician who was shot in london on july 22nd, because he was mistaken for a terrorist? i wasn't terribly comfortable with the idea of cops going around shooting suspects, but some of the arguments i read were pretty persuasive (especially those by [livejournal.com profile] karentraviss), and i thought that yeah, in the heat of the moment, when you have just a few seconds time to decide, and if you don't shoot, many people might die in another explosion, that it was a justifiable mistake. still, my personal opinion remained that i am deeply uncomfortable with "shoot to kill" policies; i would really rather get blown up by a terrorist than have cops shoot innocent people -- to my mind the responsibility here doesn't get blurred at all; the terrorist is at fault, not the cops. i don't like the climate such a policy creates, but i realise that lots of people disagree with me about rather wanting to be blown up than see other innocents killed, and that they'd happily blame the cops if they didn't shoot an actual terrorist. i empathise with those who have to make the decisions in the field.

i'm curious what karen has to say now. as it turns out, not a whole lot was true about what we were told at the time. mr menezes was not
- identified as one of the bombers by somebody on his surveillance team
- running from the police after being told to stop
- jumping over a turnstile to escape from the cops into the subway
- dressed in a suspiciously thick, padded (inappropriate for the weather) jacket
- dangling wires from underneath said jacket

documents from the investigation have been leaked to ITV. mr menezes wasn't running away from the police. he did in fact not know that he had been followed. he entered the station properly, through the ticket barrier. he picked up a newspaper. he broke out in a run after that, yes, but not in response to police orders, no, to catch the incoming train. and he was quietly seated on that train when the cops yelled at him. he wasn't alone; members of the surveillance team were on that train with him. and what's more, he was immediately restrained by a member of his surveillance team when the cops burst on the scene. then the 8 shots were fired.

that's ... no. that's no longer justifiable at all. i don't want the police to protect me in this manner.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
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