Daily archives: February 22, 2013

Oscar Mpetha

I spent the first two years of my FCO career trying to push the FCO to pressure South Africa to release Oscar Mpetha. I don’t recall Afrikaaner amputee sympathy then.

The school named after Oscar is criminally under-resourced, but then it’s only for black kids. I bet no-one from the Oscar Mpetha school ever got, or will get, bail.

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Non-Existent Bigger Than 7/7 Plot

The BBC has used “Bigger than 7/7” as the strapline for every alleged Muslim terror plot these past years, and the latest conviction was no exception. This conviction of three men from Birmingham was purely for thought crime. They possessed zero explosives and zero detonators. They had identified zero targets – the prosecution did not even claim they had. The prosecution did not know if they “planned” suicide bombs or times bombs, which is unsurprising as they did not know either, having not developed their fantasies that far yet. They had not made a practice bomb. They did possess some sports fluid which apparently they did believe might be of use in bomb making, but it did not in fact contain what they were said to believe it contained. They possessed none of the ingredients for a bomb.

The state did however have genuine and incontrovertible evidence that they had driven around in a car impersonating the highly distinctive voice of Murray Walker, saying “Now here come the suicide bombers, driving around, taking on England”. There does appear good evidence that they supported the idea of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, and thought about doing it themselves. The evidence that what they were doing in Pakistan was attending terrorist training camps was non-existent – they had obvious reasons why they might be in Pakistan.

Their fantasies and views were unpleasant, perhaps extremely so. But they had not actually done anything practical about it. This is thought crime – expressing sympathies with terrorism can in itself get you life imprisonment.

The comments by the judge about what dangerous, evil terrorists they were, are repeated with relish by the media. The judge said this so it must be true. But his comments are no more blood-curdling than the comments passed by a succession of judges on the tortured and wrongly convicted Birmingham Six. This article by Gareth Peirce is essential reading.

I strongly support the jury system, but there is plenty of evidence that where a recognisable ethnic group is societally identified as “the enemy”, juries are over-ready to convict them – and so, as Gareth Peirce’s article brilliantly illustrates, are the judiciary. The Catholic Irish suffered repeated injustice in the 1970’s. The Muslim community do so now. That is not to deny the existence of actual terrorists. But injustice inspires terrorism, it doesn’t reduce it.

Convicting “terrorists” with no bombs, no parts of bombs, and no targets is shameful.

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Voice of Russia Interview

Exclusive interview with Craig Murray

21.02.2013, 19:52
Craig Murray may be Britain’s most controversial former Ambassador. He was dismissed from his post in Uzbekistan in 2004 amid lurid allegations about his personal life, and medically evacuated from there after becoming dangerously ill. He concludes he was poisoned and suspects CIA involvement.
A senior diplomat for twenty years, Craig Murray is now a political activist and a blogger.He maintains his claim that the war in Iraq was based on false allegations about the existence of weapons of mass destruction.

If you can, listen to this rather than read the transcript. The transcript is a precis and contains a few mistakes – notably legal for illegal more than once, But mostly because I have noted before my spoken English does not transcribe well, relying heavily on inflexion.

I think there is a little bit of censorship with one sentence taken out, where I said the last ten years Russia has gone backwards in democratic development, but overall in a longer historic perspective it is possible to argue Russia is making progress. The second part of that is still in and sits rather strangely. The edit comes at 5.56 in the soundtrack and is pretty obvious and clunky when you know.

The Cyrillic is pronounced something like Chitat dalieh – read further

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