30 July 2005
“There is nothing patriotic about our pretending that you can love your country but despise your government.” – President Bill Clinton
As more information has come to light on the circumstances surrounding the assassination of the unfortunate Brazilian, it is abundantly clear that from the moment he stepped out of his apartment building in Tulse Hill to go to his job as an electrician, Menezes was a dead man.
In all likelihood, the real scenario is as follows:
The block of flats is under surveillance by a team of police no doubt based on ‘information received’.
Menezes leave the building, walks to the bus stop and catches the bus to Stockwell tube station, followed by the police surveillance team, where he enters the station and contrary to the police reports, he doesn’t vault the turnstyle but uses his ticket to go through the turnstyle.
At this point a plainclothes team take over and follows Menezes into the tube station. Menezes makes his way to the Northern line platform where a train is in the station with its doors open.
Menezes runs for the train; the police close in; Menezes stumbles as he enters the carriage. The police board the train, jump on the unfortunate Brazilian and administer the coup de grace, seven shots to the head and one in the shoulder.
No doubt this is followed by a triumphant message to their bosses, ‘We got ‘im chief!’ Another ‘terrorist’ bites the dust.
From this point on, it’s downhill for the men in (plainclothes) blue, for on identification, they realise that their ‘Islamic terrorist’ is in fact a Brazilian. Whoops! Big cock-up. What to do?
In the meantime, chief London cop, Blair of the Yard in his haste to claim a success (no doubt one more notch on his way to collecting his knighthood for ‘services rendered to the state’) has already announced that Menezes is definitely “directly connected to the terrorist network”.
The problem now is how to best cover-up the cock-up? From this point on, the entire enterprise goes completely pear-shaped.
In order to justify the murder of Menezes it is necessary to ‘massage’ the facts to fit the crime.
Step 1: Put it about that he was wearing a ‘bulky’ jacket on a warm summer’s day whereas in fact, he was wearing a lightweight jeans jacket. Very suspicious, for underneath the bulky jacket could be hidden a bomb. In addition they imply that his behaviour was ‘suspicious’.
Step 2: Instead of walking quite normally through the station turnstyle, the police allege that he ran into the station and vaulted the turnstyle. The police of course, following the scenario laid down by ‘Operation Kratos’ now have a ‘licence to kill’.
Step 3: At this point the ‘hit squad’ take over, who follow him down to the station platform. The events from here on until the point at which he enters the train and is murdered, are somewhat conjectural but in all likelihood, once on the platform Menezes is either warned to stop (police version) and is chased by the hit squad, with guns drawn. Menaizes, understandably, seeing that he is being chased by three unidentified men with guns, runs for it. Or, seeing the train in the station, he runs for it before the doors close, onto the train where he stumbles as he boards followed by the hit squad.
Step 4: Either way, he is chased into the train by the three men who, according to Whitby, one of the witnesses, “jump on top of him” and fire several bullets into him at point blank range (Whitby said five, another witness said three but in fact, according to the police it was eight). Either way, Menezes was dead.
No doubt the hit squad’s first act is to communicate to their superiors that the suspect has been ‘neutralised’. At this point, due to his dark skin it is still assumed that Menezes is an ‘Asian’. Had he in fact, been an Asian, no doubt the story concocted by the authorities would have been somewhat different and given the hysterical atmosphere created around the events of July 7 and the preceding day, the ‘Asian man’s’ unfortunate demise would have been ‘regrettable’ but understandable. And anyway, who cares about the odd Asian biting the dust? The sympathies would have been with the police who are, in any case “under severe strain”.
Meanwhile, Blair of the Yard has already ‘jumped the gun’ so-to-speak and announced to the world that the victim was “definitely directly connected to the terror network”. This was the first of many errors committed by the state that no doubt forced the invention of the story that was subsequently released to the press.
So time for some ‘reverse engineering’, hence we see the ‘bulky coat’, the ‘vaulting of the turnstyle’, his ‘suspicious behaviour’, necessitating the use of lethal force to ‘protect the lives of the innocent’.
Finally, the ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy of Operation Kratos is revealed in order to take the heat off the cops’ cock-up. Blair and co are in theory, unassailable being able to retreat behind the façade of ‘policy’. The propaganda campaign kicks in big time.
The first of many disinformation pieces appear, namely that he might have been an ‘illegal alien’, thus justifying him running from the police in an attempt to justify the murder. The Home Office initially issues a rigorous denial and condemns press speculation on Menezes status in no uncertain terms, but of course in line with the tactic of putting out as much ‘chaff’ as possible, the thought is planted in the minds of the public regardless of official utterances to the contrary.
Menezes’ status goes through a series of revisions over the following week, with yet another story surfacing that the stamp in his passport is “forged”. The Home Office refuses to comment. Overall though, the impression is left in the public’s mind that there was something ‘dodgy’ about Menezes. It’s all grist for the propaganda mill. The mainstream press of course, rush to the defence of the police’s actions in total lock-step with official policy on state-sanctioned murder.
The witnesses to the assassination disappear completely. There are no followup interviews by our intrepid press. A brief press release is issued by the RMT union that the driver of the train, who understandably fled along with everyone else when the shots rang out, is chased by the police and has a gun held to his head before being released (was he by any chance, ‘darker than blue’ I wonder?). I phoned up the RMT and was told that the driver was in fact a member of ASLEF, the other transport workers’ union. The only press report on this that I could find was in the Morning Star. I attempted to talk to the ASLEF press office but to no avail and as far as I know, ASLEF has not commented on the event, there is no mention on the ASLEF Website of the incident. No matter, it’s merely another ‘sidebar’ in the ‘war on terror’.
As the days pass, it finally emerges that the story released by the police on the events leading up to Menezes’ death is somewhat off the mark but by now, the government’s propaganda defensive is in full swing and the actual facts disappear under a swathe of justifications issued by the police and the government, chiefly of course the ‘shoot to kill’ policy, that it is necessary to shoot first and perhaps ask questions later, but in any case, the state has no choice but to institute the policy given the nature of the threat, suicide bombers, who have to be taken out before setting off their bombs.
However, I would like to offer the following observations on the government’s tactics that point I think to some serious flaws in the government’s calculations that first and foremost hinge around the disastrous debacle of the Menezes murder.
In the first instance, it is clear that as the situation goes from bad to worse in Iraq, it has revealed the strategic disaster that is the ‘war on terror’ from which the USUK alliance is unlikely to recover. All attempts to bring the other leading capitalist states onboard have failed miserably, so with every passing day, the ‘coalition of the killing’ finds itself ever more isolated and most dangerous of all, desperate. Those who scorn the idea that 7/7 was in actuality instigated by the security services of the ‘Axis of Terror’, the US, UK and Israel, need to bear this reality in mind, never mind alleged forged photos, airbrushed images and the like.
And if we need proof of this we need only note the change of tack announced this week; goodbye to ‘the war on terror’, hello to ‘the war on violent extremism’. Extremism of course is a much wider and even vaguer definition than ‘terror’, for clearly this change in tactics is designed to prepare us for the next stage in the creation of a full-blown police state simply because it is inevitable that resistance to Blair’s policies will increase as the implications of the failed invasion sink in.
The announcement of new and even more repressive state powers this week, are a clear indication of the increasing desperation of the ruling elite’s situation, justified by the ‘convenient’ events of July 7 (and what I still consider as the accident of the botched and obviously amateur copycat attempts on July 21).
Police last night told Tony Blair that they need sweeping new powers to counter the terrorist threat, including the right to detain a suspect for up to three months without charge instead of the current 14 days.
Senior officers also want powers to attack and close down websites, and a new criminal offence of using the internet to prepare acts of terrorism, [and] to “suppress inappropriate internet usage”.
They also want to make it a criminal offence for suspects to refuse to cooperate in giving the police full access to computer files by refusing to disclose their encryption keys.
Now what the hell is “inappropriate internet usage”? Once the state embarks on a course of repression in order to enforce policy on an unwilling population, it is on a one-way street to fascism for there can be no backing down nor turning back. The only course of action is even more repression or the overthrow of what is effectively becoming a dictatorship.
The ‘middle ground’, represented by a social democratic model of rule through some kind of consent and compromise is no more, abandoned as with much of the rest of the inconvenient baggage of social democracy such as being answerable to the public.
And, as the situation gets ever more polarized by the actions of the government, it is inevitable that ‘terror’ morphs into ‘extremism’, thus widening the net to encompass an increasing percentage of society that opposes Blair’s ‘ordinary’ fascism. Before you know it, independent media sources such this will be branded as ‘extremist’ simply because we oppose the government’s policies.
Driving the entire enterprise is the state’s demonisation of Islam which has become ever more strident and extreme:
That is why I don’t even agree actually … that in the end they just want us out of Arab countries, they don’t, it is far more fundamental than that, they want a war between Islam and other religions, that is what they want, that is why they keep referring to this as the crusader Zionist alliance and all this sort of rubbish. That is what they want, they want a situation in which we end up being divided – Tony Blair
The we being of course, the white, Anglo-Saxon alliance of the US and the UK. Interestingly, the only time the term “crusader Zionist alliance” has been used was allegedly by Osama bin Laden in October 2004 in a taped speech that was identified with “moderate confidence” as bin Laden by the CIA, so it’s not even certain that Osama actually used the phrase. Moreover, the speech was released on one of the will ‘o the wisp websites, much favoured by the alleged al-Qu’eda terror network.
And we are not going to deal with this problem, with the roots as deep as they are, until we confront these people at every single level. And not just their methods, but their ideas. [my emph. WB] – Tony Blair
But note now the use of the phrase “Not just the methods but the ideas” heralding the nature of the relationship between the US and UK as the US too alter their propaganda campaign to mesh with the reality of the failed military option. For failing to win the ‘war on terror’, there is only one option left, wage war on their domestic populations as the opposition to failed policies increases.
The speech from which these quotes are taken reveals an ever more unhinged Blair, with sections of the speech resembling nothing so much as a ‘stream of ranting consciousness’, replete with all the by now familar buzzwords. But it is the way reality is twisted that is most disturbing such as this example:
Israel shouldn’t exist, yes American foreign policy is evil, yes what happened in Iraq or Afghanistan was designed to suppress Islam, if people accept those as ideas it is far less of a step into the extremism of terrorism.
In other words, if you oppose USUK policy in Iraq, Afghanistan or their support for the policies of the Israeli government then it’s a short step to accepting “the extremism of terrorism”. And there is the inference that the invasion was designed to “suppress Islam”, a first for Blair.
Extremism and terrorism are now completely interchangeable terms. It is obvious that those of us who oppose the government’s policies are being set up for the next phase; the inexorable logic of the slide into fascism.