Sunday, August 21, 2005



And worse...

The facts about the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes continue to get even worse for the London police. Today, it turns out that the surveillance team had concluded that de Menezes was not a threat - that

he was not about to detonate a bomb, was not armed and was not acting suspiciously.

Despite this, the gunbunnies in the armed response unit shot him anyway. Those same gunbunnies have refused to give any account of their actions to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and both the actual executioners have been packed off on holiday - one at the insistence of Sir Ian Blair himself. This stinks of an attempt to subvert the inquiry, and the Met needs to answer some serious questions about its lack of cooperation.

6 comments:

The Guardian sums it up rather well - http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,1552799,00.html

"...the current level of preoccupation in some quarters with the iniquity of the De Menezes shooting is beginning to verge on the obsessive, is in danger of becoming politicised and increasingly lacks an appropriate sense of context."

Posted by Sock Thief : 8/22/2005 09:25:00 AM

And exactly what should the context for this be..?:

An innocent man, with no links to crime, is held down and shot several times by members of the armed forces in a public place in a modern democracy. A series of blatant lies are released to the media and a serious attempt is made to subvert an open investigation.

A *healthy* human response is a sense of outrage at a) the crime and b) what is signals for the state of the society.

The attempt to sooth, rationalise, deny and otherwise downplay that healthy outrage is just goddam creepy. Terror is terror is terror, you fool.

Posted by huskynut : 8/22/2005 11:07:00 AM

In many countries in the world, Huskynut, such killings are close to being routine, and provoke none of the publicity or liberal outrage that this has. What does THAT say about societies like Columbia or Brazil, Russia or Nigeria? There are many human rights websites where you can read countless stories of similar atrocities.

And I must say, I have far more confidence in the accountability of the police and officials in London, and hence of justice being served, than I do for the victims of police brutality in the above countries and more. Do you get this embittered over the masses of such deaths in non-Western countries? Or do you just expect a lower level of moral conduct from such societies anyway, given that they constitute the 'third world'?

Posted by adrian : 8/22/2005 01:29:00 PM

Adrian - you're missing the point. This is an intra-country relativity, not a comparative one.
To accept this quietly within the UK (or here for that matter), is to passively accept the degeneration of that society.
Bombers can destroy a few indivuals, but they can't destroy a society. Fear can, though, and much more effectively.
At a human level, of course the killing is just as bad whether it's in London or Vladivostok.
But how do you measure 'civilisation' apart from the rule of law, safety and freedom of individuals and accountability of officials?
In the face of hostility, you can maintain your society and civilisation as best you can, or your can race for the jungle and aim to collar a good tree.

Posted by huskynut : 8/22/2005 02:41:00 PM

Huskynut,

If indeed you have made a point, then you're dead right - I am missing it. Would you care to untangle it from the thicket it's hidden in?

I think it is self-evident that this crime is not being accepted 'quietly' as you put it, but rather, has generated a near hysterical outburst, one that has even dwarfed the rather more muted outcry over the atrocious racist murder of Anthony Walker in Liverpool recently.

What purpose this serves I have little idea, given that an qnuiry is proceeding, and the spectacle of two 'special prosecutors' from Brazil flying over to keep an eye on things is both revolting and darkly ironic. Here's what Amnesty International has to say about Brazil, 2005:

Levels of human rights violations continued to be extremely high, despite a number of initiatives by the federal government’s Special Secretariat of Human Rights. Reports of ineffective, violent, and corrupt policing raised doubts about the effectiveness of government proposals for reform.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians were killed by police in alleged gun battles. Few if any of the cases were fully investigated. There were consistent reports of police participation in “death squads”. The use of torture was widespread and systematic. The prison system was characterized by overcrowding, riots and corruption. Federal and state authorities provided limited protection for human rights defenders under threat.

Rural and indigenous activists continued to be threatened, attacked and killed. Human rights violators remained largely unpunished. Following national and international condemnation the federal government promised to begin opening files detailing violations by the former military regime


if I was one of the many thousands of Brazilians waiting for some bare semblance of justice, my government's obvious concern with a killing in London over the murders and violence in its own country would sicken me. Would that these special prosecutors were assigned to one of the thousands of unsolved murders in Brazil, instead of strutting about in England.

However, that's what happens when you get a media circus like the one you're happily stirring up - other things/crimes are happily swept aside...

Posted by adrien : 8/23/2005 02:42:00 AM

Let's play a game of hypothetical situation..
A US citizen is executed by French police in identical circumstances, followed by a blatant coverup. Exactly the same circumstances.
Do:
a) the US citizens and media say calmly and quietly "we trust the French justice system, after all it's an established democracy with a long and distinquished history. We'll wait for the outcome of the inquiry before making any further comment"
b) US politicians and citizens say "this is a horrible thing that happened, but we know it happens many, many times a day in our own ghettos, so we're really not that upset by it, and we'll go with a) above"
c) go ballistic

QED?

Posted by huskynut : 8/23/2005 08:53:00 AM