Shoot to Kill and News Management 689

I did not believe the official story of Hasna Ait Buolacehn the moment I saw it. The official line was that she was a suicide bomber who blew herself up when the police stormed the apartment in St Denis where the alleged terrorist ringleader was hiding out. But that story seemed to me completely incompatible with the recordings on which she could plainly be heard screaming “He is not my boyfriend! He is not my boyfriend” immediately before the explosion. She sounded like a terrified woman trying to disassociate herself from the alleged terrorist. It was a strange battle cry for someone who believed themselves on the verge of paradise.

Then yesterday the truth emerged from forensics that she was indeed not a suicide bomber. None of the mainstream media appeared to find this in any way troubling. And just in case anybody did, the BBC (and I assume all the French and major international media) then immediately did an interview with an anonymous member of the French Police attacking squad, who stated that Hasna was:

“trying to say she was not linked to the terrorists, that she had nothing to do with them and wanted to surrender”.
But he said that due to prior intelligence, “we knew that she was trying to manipulate us”.

Unfortunately this would have been a very great deal more convincing had it been stated 48 hours earlier, rather than only after the original reports that she was a suicide bomber had been corrected on forensic examination. As it is, it looks very much like a post facto justification, a new story to cover the new facts.

Besides, it is very difficult indeed to see what prior intelligence could explain if someone was genuinely trying to surrender or not. There appears to be no information available to the public that gives the slightest indication that Hasna was an extreme Islamist; what public information there is paints the opposite picture. The best the media have been able to dredge up are quotes from friends saying “if she was, then she must have been drugged or brainwashed”. Google it yourself.

But even were she an extreme Islamist, that does not mean she was not attempting to surrender. All of which is a bit nugatory if she were then killed by an explosion triggered by the terrorists themselves. But the changing story about Hasna makes me less than confident that is what actually happened.

I have no difficulty with the principle that the police should shoot people who are shooting at them. I outraged many friends on the left for example by not joining in the criticism of the police for killing Mr Duggan. People who choose to carry guns in my view run a legitimate risk of being shot by the police, it is as simple as that. Jean Charles De Menezes was a totally different case and his murder by police completely unjustifiable. In Paris it appears plain that the police were in a situation of confrontation with armed suspects.

There are severe intelligence disadvantages to killing people with profound knowledge of terrorist organisations. It also cheats the justice system. Nevertheless I can conceive of situations where simply taking out by an explosion a terrorist cell might be justified. But only if you are quite certain of the situation. The case of Hasna is to me troublingly reminiscent of the case of Jean Charles De Menezes, in that it became obvious in the days after his death that everything the police and establishment had leaked to the media about him (leaping over barriers, running through the tunnels, heavy jacket, wires protruding) was a complete, utter and quite deliberate lie.

The media could help if they were in any way rational and dispassionate, or ever questioned an official narrative. It is an urgent and irrepressible question as to why the BBC journalist did not ask the French policeman “and why did you not say this 48 hours ago when you were content to allow the story to run that she was a suicide bomber?”

Similar media manipulation is at use here by the Guardian in telling us the police stormed a “terrorist apartment”. What is a “terrorist apartment”? Are the walls made of semtex? The intent of course is to assure us everybody inside was a terrorist. It is not just the Guardian. The phrase is all over the media. Again, google it.

I am worried in case Hollande’s Rambo impersonation is steamrollering justice. It may well be that Hasna was a dreadful and bloodthirsty terrorist. I do not know. It may well be she was killed by the terrorists not the police. All we know at the moment is she was in an apartment with people who allegedly were terrorists, and died in the “battle”. But I do not trust the changing stories of the authorities.

689 thoughts on “Shoot to Kill and News Management

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  • Resident Dissident

    No Craig I am positing a suicide so as not to fall into enemy hands from a member of an organisation that places little value on human life even their own. The fact that ISIS use suicides to kill and maim innocent people, quite easily lends itself to them using suicides for other motivations as well. See the third para here for example:

    You ignore the fact that 7 out of the 9 surrendered – which clearly demonstrates that shoot to kill was not in operation – or that the terrorists returned fire and grenades in a gun fight lasting over an hour. As always one little shred of evidence is taken and stretched to try and manage the news and prove a point, while the elephants in the room are ignored.

  • Resident Dissident

    “PS Israel does go in for extra judicial killing of Palestinians. I did not need reminding of that.”

    No what you need reminding of is that it also occurs the other way around as well.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Habbabkuk: “The first four polite and reasoned responses to Craig’s latest post…”

    Well you would say that, might one not say? The first eight responses having come from a tag-team of yourself, and a reliable Establishment stooge who happens to agree with you 100%.”

    Glenn, I don’t think your characterisation of Resident Dissident is a fair one. But more importantly : I am most distressed that you do not appear to be calling ME a “reliable Establishment stooge”.

    May I ask you for the evidence on which you base your non-condemnation? 🙂


    PS – and a good weekend to you and certain other commenters.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Anyone who takes the media seriously about anything important is daft.

    Just look at how it continues to report on the MH370 crash, the Ukrainian one, the Russian one, the spying by Jonathan Pollard, the building up of the Chinese islands in the Spratlis, the South Korean ferry capsizing, the Syrian civi war, etc., ad nauseam

    It just publishes endlessly what it is told.

  • Resident Dissident

    “RD – as usual – presents his usual smug yet empty restatement of the official line, while tossing in a few sneers along the way. No, not polite, and not reasoned.”

    Then rather than sneering you might wish to point out what evidence there is showing where my “facts” are not correct. I have already rebutted Craig’s counterclaim regarding Islamists not using suicide to avoid capture.

    We should not forget that you have recently expressed your support for Stalinist purges on the previous thread.

  • fedup

    Suicide itself is not prized at all by extreme Islamists, quite the opposite in fact. Killing of others involving suicide is prized, but you are positing a totally different scenario.

    Craig he knows what he is doing!

    He is intent on redirecting/turning upside down/ridiculing the desperation of those whom can no longer live under the tyranny of an oppressive regime and have little recourse to get away from such an oppressive regime, find the only method of retaliation against any such oppressive regime is in the way of cheap and DIY smart bomb; ie the bomber detonating himself/herself amidst the enemy population; killing as many enemies in the process of getting killed himself/herself!

    These cretins (hasbara central) are far too busy pushing the meaningless and infantile; “suicide cult” bullshit! They have no intentions to engage in any form of debate or reasoned arguments.

    Craig have you also noted that absent form any debate is the nationality of these “terrorists”? These were French nationals, born and bred in France and have not known any other country other than France as their homelands.

    The fact that you are questioning the brutal death of the “cow girl” the hard drinking and partying purported “Islamist” itself seems to have caused consternation among the hasbra central, for any deviation from the routine story lines is a danger to the cause!!!

    The patent and obvious discrimination against Muslims and immigrants is a way of life that has kept the lid on the whole of the dirty war, and genocide of Palestinians for the past seventy years. To begin confronting the endemic recidivism and as a matter of fact two minute hate routine is the thin end of the wedge that could spell the end of the project zionistan; the land of money laundering and no holds barred financial shenanigans!

    The rule of law only applies to the weak (you and I and we the people) and not the law makers! The simple urge of fact finding expected from any bystander in any event does not extend to the Oligarch Owned Media and their employees, whose only source of news is to be found in the official narratives, regardless of the degrees of inconsistency and phantasmagoria these may prove to entail.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Anyone who takes Trowbridge H Ford seriously about anything important is daft.”

    There you are fixed for you.

  • Kempe

    Reports say that Hasna appeared at a window shortly before a massive explosion that caused the floor she was on to collapse into the apartment below. From that it would’ve been a reasonable assumption that she had detonated the explosives and sorting through the wreckage of the building and scattered body parts for contradictory evidence would’ve taken time.

    I see no cover up or false flag or anything here except a mistake in the heat of battle corrected as more information was collected. In other words the normal run of events.

  • Resident Dissident

    “He is intent on redirecting/turning upside down/ridiculing the desperation of those whom can no longer live under the tyranny of an oppressive regime and have little recourse to get away from such an oppressive regime, find the only method of retaliation against any such oppressive regime is in the way of cheap and DIY smart bomb; ie the bomber detonating himself/herself amidst the enemy population; killing as many enemies in the process of getting killed himself/herself!”

    He came from Belgium, a country that was able to manage without any government for many months – so the oppressive regime argument hardly washes you twot! There are plenty of people, even your feeble self, who are able to express their dis-satisfaction with our oppressive regime without blowing up and murdering their fellow citizens. And if you think that their legitimate grievances will be furthered by such actions you are even more stupid than I imagine – the fact that you cannot think of any better way to protest just advertises you lack of creativity and ability to reason.

  • Why be ordinary?

    There’s quite a bit on the French media or

    It would seem that the police asked her to put her hands on her head, but not clear whether she did this (and would not be from a voice recording) she apparently said that she wanted to leave. As Craig says, knowing her background does not tell a policeman whether she was trying to surrender but it would explain a policeman not wanting to allow her to push her way out of the apartment, especially if that meant pushing past the police.

    That many were arrested alive is a tribute to the French, which Craig seems unwilling to recognise. Unless he believes that they are all stooges? Would Police Scotland have been able to do better?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Oh, I forgot the coverage of the suicides of German politician Jurgen Mollemann, Royal cadet Stephen Hilder, WMD expert Dr. David Kelly, data collection whiz Gareth Williams, etc., ad nauseam.

  • Lifer

    This French intervention appears to have thrown a spanner in the works, judging from Camerons urgency, there is only a year of Obama to go and then we can expect Trump to make one his inimitable win-win deals with the hero of the American Century – Vlad Putin !! Or we can still expect a hasty Plan C to unfold that will not be as well thought out.

  • Why be ordinary?

    What’s also interesting is that those objecting to the speed of media speculation about terrorists leading to gross inaccuracy are not those who complain when the accusations are sexual

  • Mary

    Have they said who the third body was that was found in the rubble?

    5,000 bullets fired apparently.

    ‘A third body has been recovered from the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis raided by police after last Friday’s attacks, prosecutors say.

    They also confirmed that one of the dead was Hasna Aitboulahcen, 26, who reportedly blew herself up in the raid.’
    20 November 2015

    There are 7 (seven) versions of this ‘story’ up to 19.10 UTC last night.

    Red removed
    Green replaced

    I did not know that GMT has been usurped by UTC – Coordinated Universal Time.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    Those most concerned with revenge can’t detect the nuance of of guilt by association Craig and many of us find troubling in the aftermath. The vengeful always think the safe bet is to throw the baby out with the bathwater by killing everyone merely suspect then leaving the Almighty to sort it out. Aren’t we supposed to be different from anti-socials as to regard for life?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I have long complained about media coverage of DCI General David Petraeus’s betrayals, and think now that General Ron Lewis was fired from the Pentagon for leaking details about Netanyahu’s lunacy, the media implying that the misconduct was sexual.

  • Mary

    News management on BBC Radio4 Today.

    ‘This is John Humphreys on the Today programme on Radio 4 earlier this week: 20 sec playback

    “Well it’s more than two years since the Government, our Government, asked the House of Commons to approve military action against Islamic State in Syria and MPs said no – it was a devastating defeat.

    It seemed to prove the end of David Cameron’s plans for British warplanes to join other Western forces in attacking them in Syria as well as in Iraq.”

    And there’s only one small thing wrong with that.

    As the alert listeners at the OffGuardian blog spotted, the problem is that Humphreys’ statement is not only false, it’s the exact opposite of the truth.

    The thing is, the 2013 vote was on attacking President Assad, not ISIS.

    “MPs have rejected possible UK military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to deter the use of chemical weapons.”

    And who is it that Assad was, and is, fighting? Why, it’s ISIS, of course.

    Had the vote been passed, as the Conservatives and most of the right-wing media now screaming for full-blown military action against the terrorists wanted, UK forces would now be on the same side as ISIS.

    That’s quite an important detail to get wrong.

    In a fascinating article published today, acclaimed BBC correspondent John Simpson bemoans “the British media’s ‘grotesquely selective’ reporting of deaths from terror attacks around the world”, and the standard of reporting on foreign affairs generally.

    Simpson notes in the piece that he’s “really very kind of depressed about the way that newspapers and television has developed”.

    It’s difficult not to agree with him.’

  • Mary

    Jeremy Corbyn speaks to his party.

    Jeremy Corbyn warning over terror response after Paris attacks
    1 hour ago

    Jeremy Corbyn: “Conflict in Syria and consequences of Iraq war have created conditions for IS to thrive” Video 1 min 3 secs!

    People “must not keep making the same mistakes” when responding to acts of terror, Jeremy Corbyn has warned.

    In a speech to party members, he said Labour would support “every necessary measure” to protect people in the UK.

    But it was “vital” during a time of tragedy “not to be drawn into responses that feed a cycle of violence and hate”, the Labour leader said.

    It comes as David Cameron seeks to build support for UK air strikes on so-called Islamic State in Syria.

    The militant group – also known as Isil and Isis – has said it carried out the attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.

    There is no timetable for a Parliamentary vote on UK military action in Syria.

  • Arthur Fiskal

    The French authorities will say whatsoever they calculate will best push the required buttons in the audience – they are making this up as they go along.

    It appears that both ISIS and the western authorities are keen to promote a binary clash-of-civilisations story in their own venal interests. Regardless, we are visibly in the midst of a global Muslim holocaust, which the French authorities and their stenographer media are wont to encourage, as in French government good, Islam bad; draconian powers good, civil liberties bad; bombing Syria good, Assad bad, etc.

    With regard to Hasna, the French authorities arguably needed an ostentatious public shootout and resulting highlights to rebut those that were asking what the hell they had been doing to protect the public and the capital in the run-up to 13th November – the question is, were the French authorities simply incompetent and failing to protect, when all of the patsies were subsequently revealed to have been ‘known to the services’?

    The French authorities therefore seem to be saying, “yes we failed, please give us more powers so we don’t fail again” – are they fit to benefit from greater powers?

    No doubt the French authorities could have rendered the St Denis suspects relatively intact but instead they rushed to deploy SWAT at 4am, as well as televising some of the resulting fireworks – then again, perhaps the suspects would have squealed, inconveniently, had they been taken alive – we’ll never know.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    Fascinating question; Why aren’t Christians leaving Syria?

    “Christians and Muslims mostly lived together in peace during the Arab Caliphates, the Ottoman Empire and European colonial rule, and, if there was persecution, it fell short of genocide.

    Despite all this, there are relatively few Christians among the Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees knocking on the doors of Europe and the United States.

    An estimated 10 percent of Syria’s population is Christian, yet they constitute only 2.5 percent of the Syrian applicants for asylum in Europe. I would have expected more, if only because, unlike with Muslims, there are no predominantly Christian nations in the Middle East region.

    I don’t think this is because of intentional discrimination. Asylum seekers are screened in refugee camps, and Middle Eastern Christians reportedly are reluctant to enter refugee camps because of persecution and abuse by Muslim refugees.

    Certain American and European politicians have called for asylum of Syrian refugees to be limited to Christians. [1]

    Barring refugees solely on the basis of religion is wrong and possibly a violation of international law. But there surely is justification for an affirmative action program for some of the world’s most persecuted people.”

  • lysias

    Why would French politicians, as opposed to the security establishment, push a line that is bound to help the Front National?

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    Yeah. The trolls seem not to be able to absorb the fact that Craig is humanitarian, first.

  • Emad Salem

    B+ hasbara from the apple-polishers! They come ever-so-promptly in waves, sealioning Craig with red herrings on strings. Once you see what they are doing, it’s easy and fun to play along.

    But but but they didn’t kill everybody!
    But but but what exactly killed her?
    But but but it’s too soon for questions!

    What issues are they trying to divert you from?

    When following systematic and widespread armed attacks on the civilian population, it is helpful to mark who does and does not get killed. Take the Boston Marathon bombing as a simple example.

    Tam, alleged mastermind: killed.
    Jahar, befuddled stoner kid brother: not killed.
    Ibragim Todashev, trusted, unimplicated friend of the alleged mastermind: killed.
    Pseudonymous carjacking hostage of the alleged desperate terrorists: not killed.

    People who end up incongruously dead or alive are often quite important. You dig into their prior interactions with authorities and foreign intelligence services and you pull the thread until the pants come off Ghanim Khalifa al-Kubaisi and Tamir Pardo. So it is with Hasna Ait Buolacehn. You don’t need the shit BBC for this, civil society will do it, with the salutary side effect of further discrediting Britain’s Lügenpresse.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    An excellent point made by Why Be Ordinary:

    “What’s also interesting is that those objecting to the speed of media speculation about terrorists leading to gross inaccuracy are not those who complain when the accusations are sexual”

    Transatlantic Friend, Mr Margain and sundry others – please take note!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Those most concerned with revenge can’t detect the nuance of of guilt by association Craig and many of us find troubling in the aftermath. The vengeful always think the safe bet is to throw the baby out with the bathwater by killing everyone merely suspect then leaving the Almighty to sort it out. Aren’t we supposed to be different from anti-socials as to regard for life?”

    Is it just me or do others also find Ben “Bull-Dyke” Outraged’s prose curiously inpenetrable?

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