Extra-judicial Executions in the UK 9

An inquest jury has started hearing evidence in the case of the killing of Jean Charles De Menezes. New Labour has made damn sure that no inquest jury has heard the evidence on the death of Dr David Kelly.

The difference, of course, is that the murder of Mr Menezes was a low level decision.

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9 thoughts on “Extra-judicial Executions in the UK

  • Strategist

    "The difference, of course, is that the murder of Mr Menezes was a low level decision."

    Any comment on the idea that the big difference may be that killing Kelly was an American decision?

    Meanwhile, has anybody here read Norman Baker MP's book on Kelly? Is it any good?

    Baker resigned from the LibDem front bench to write the book, it came out, but then seemed (to me, maybe I missed the coverage?) to be greeted by a resounding silence and have the questions it (presumably) raised filed under "ignore".

  • Sabretache

    I take your point about the lack of an inquest into David Kelly's death and agree that the reason is pretty clear to anyone who has examined the evidence. Nonetheless it is the Charles De Menezes execution that still moves me to impotent anger and disgust at the police and security services. The plain, simple fact is that the police know they will always be given the benefit of any doubt, no matter how tenuous their case. Couple that with the relentless stoking of 'terrorism' fears, and the behaviour of the police changes in ways that guarantee (whether by design, accident or juvenile, gung-ho stupidity) that they will execute innocent people.

    Leaving aside the disgusting way in which the police sought to mitigate their incompetence by defaming Jean Charles and lying about his allegedly 'suspicious' behaviour and clothing, the fact that the two executioners were hailed as heroic hard-done-by professionals and back on firearms duty within 3 months – knowing they had executed a totally innocent man – should give everyone pause. These guys are automatons; no judgement was needed; given orders to kill – that's exactly what they did and will continue to do – and probably expect a medal too.

    After bitter personal experience of Met police 'public safety' activities, I have no doubt that they represent at least as big a danger to individual life and limb as the so called 'terrorists'.

  • Craig


    Yes, almost certainly. The Baker book is very good on the evidence of murder not suicide; less convincing on who did it.

  • Tom Welsh

    The salient fact, which no amount of spin or apologetics can disguise, is that an absolutely innocent man was shot dead by police – who are supposed to protect people's safety, not kill them arbitrarily.

    It is already perfectly clear that the two executioners were firmly of the belief that de Menezes was known to be a suicide bomber, who was very likely about to blow himself up. Yet none of the evidence collected by the police themselves that morning supports such a conclusion in the least.

    So the only possible way of understanding events, IMHO, is to assume that the police managed to screw up their own communications so badly that it became a game of "Chinese whispers". The message "he is probably not the suspect, and has done nothing suspicious" was somehow turned into "he is the suspect, is very jumpy, and we believe he is about to blow up the station".

    It must be possible to track down the point at which the reports morphed into a dramatically wrong conclusion. And that is where the responsibility for this unlawful killing must lie.

    If it were up to me, I would start by finding out who instructed the executioners to "stop" de Menezes. I would then assume that person was responsible for the killing, unless (s)he could successfully shuffle off some blame onto someone else. And so on.

    Just the way the police operate, in fact.

  • Strategist

    On 29 July, Craig posted on the scandal that CACI Corp of Arlington, Virginia, provider of interrogation services to the US Army at Abu Ghraib, had won the contract to conduct, of all things, the 2011 Scottish census – http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2008/07/we

    An NGO, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, has now set up an online petition to protest against this, that people may wish to sign, at http://www.sacc.org.uk/index.php.

    If this was England, you might say that a petition was a waste of time. But this contract is in the power of the devolved SNP government, who are supposed to be against the Iraq War, and are popular precisely because they are thought to be a common sense bulwark against this kind of insane hyper-privatised, security state nonsense.

  • macshealbhaich

    I maybe being naive or hypersensitive to the ruthless mendacity of governments or something in between, but seeing the way that the police who conducted the hit on Jean Charles de Menezes were carrying themselves and their weapons my first thought was that those were soldiers not an armed response unit of the Met. Did anyone else have the same impression?

    And what had Menezes been working on before he was eliminated?

  • Strategist

    macshealbhaich. I'm not buying. I guess we all have our limits when it comes to conspiracy theories.

    First up, these Met firearms guys are probably older, far better paid and with more years of better firearms training than anyone in the notoriously underfunded British Army. So they are perfectly capable of carrying themselves with a swagger. But they are also made "team players" enough not to think twice or consider rocking the boat by questioning an order to shoot somebody dead.

    What had Menezes been working on? Simple – someone's domestic electrics. He was an electrician. Simple as that. A totally innocent victim of post 7/7 hysteria and the determination to show that the police had the security situation "under control".

  • macshealbhaich

    I think we should all eschew the use of the term "conspiracy theorist" as it has become a slogan within Lenin's definition as "a term to forestall thought" and too often has been used by proponents of the official or government approved line. There are many angles to what happens, and often to get at the truth we need to view all of them.

    We do not know what Menezes was working on – it could have been something for which someone wanted him silenced. This is one angle that needs a look at. Or it may be that he had been woerking on someone's domestic electrics. This is relevant.

    Further, "these Met firearms guys are probably older, far better paid and with more years of better firearms training than anyone in the notoriously underfunded British Army. So they are perfectly capable of carrying themselves with a swagger."

    It is not "swagger" I'm talking about – soldiers have a distinct personal carriage.

    And for all their overpaying the Met firearms guys do not have a brilliant record in not murdering innocent civilians – so the Menezes murder may well be as a result of a cock up.

    But then there's the method used in killing him, which demonstrates specific purpose.

    We should not close our minds to any angle on what happened, and maintain a scepticism seeing the method of cover-up and obfuscation used in investigating the death of Dr Kelly.

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