Monday, June 05, 2006
If you're dark or Muslim, you can be shot in the UK
After British police murdered Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in a London tube (subway) station and made a clumsy attempt to cover it up, you may have thought that the government's shoot-to-kill policy would come to a quick end. But that would suppose intelligence and good will on the part of the government.
Now the police have done it again, shooting a postman and terrorizing a household. The raid resembled an American-style Iraqi home invasion. But this time they only shot to maim the victim and, unlike the murder of Menezes, at least they managed to shoot a Muslim. I expect they'll claim they're improving.
How do I know they made a mistake? Because if they had found any evidence of a "terror plot," they would have been trumpeting it from here to Siam.
The truth is, I wrote the above yesterday. Today I see they're beginning to eke out an admission of a mistake. The Guardian reports—
Counter-terrorism officials conceded yesterday that lethal chemical devices they feared had been stored at an east London house raided on Friday may never have existed.
Confidence among officials appeared to be waning as searches at the address continued to yield no evidence of a plot for an attack with cyanide or other chemicals. A man was shot during the raid, adding to pressure on the authorities for answers about the accuracy of the intelligence that led them to send 250 officers to storm the man's family home at dawn.
That a country can claim that it has the right to murder its own citizens in the name of "security" and that the people of a "democratic" country would tolerate such a claim shows what a sham British democracy really is. If this had occurred in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, a U.S. State Department spokesperson would be hopping from one foot to another denouncing "tyranny." No more.
"The public may have to get used to this sort of incident, with the police having to be safe rather than sorry."
Ben Russell of the Independent offers this tidbit—
On Friday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police's Anti-Terrorist Branch, had said the intelligence that led to Friday's raid was "very specific". There were suggestions yesterday that the intelligence indicating that a chemical device was being prepared may have come from America.
Good God! If they're getting their information from the American intelligence agencies, the whole population's at risk. Have they already forgotten the WMD in Iraq? That information was very specific also—Rumsfeld said he knew precisely where the weapons were located.
Why did the London police shoot a bomber suspect? (7/22/05)
A law professor comments on the murder by London police (7/26/05)
Murder now legal in Britain for officers of the Crown (11/27/05)