BBC Glories in Death 84

The BBC appear enraptured by the apparent death of Ronald Fiddler in Mosul fighting for Islamic State forces. Fiddler was a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay, so this “vindicates” the War on Terror. The BBC are leading every news bulletin and giving us full spectrum security services propaganda. We have MI6 mouthpiece Frank Gardner, the discredited neo-con chancers of the Quilliam Foundation and the far right professional supporter of military attacks on the Middle East, Afzal Ashraf, all giving us their views every half hour on the BBC.

It has never been disputed that Ronald Fiddler was tortured in Guantanamo, which is partly why he was paid substantial compensation by the British government. It does not seem to have occurred to the BBC as worth any consideration that the fact Fiddler emerged from Guantanamo and apparently became a supporter of violent Islam, does not in any sense prove that he was a violent islamist before being tortured in Guantanamo. Yet that Guantanamo was the cause of his extreme alienation is on the surface highly probable.

The BBC did not interview Moazzam Begg or Clive Stafford Smith or anybody who might have something thoughtful to say on the subject. Instead they went solely for self-reinforcing voices of the right wing establishment, the most pro-invading the Middle East voices that could possibly be found.

750,000 civilians face the assault on Mosul in the next few days. The rebel forces being attacked have precisely the same religion, precisely the same philosophy, and in a significant number of cases belong to precisely the same organisations as the rebels who were driven out of Aleppo by Assad forces and the Russians. Yet the assault on Mosul is apparently a wonderful thing, to be cheered on by the propaganda of embedded journalists, while the precisely analogous assault on Aleppo was an appalling and irresponsible massacre. It must be very strange to stretch your conscience to work in the BBC; a peculiar and remarkable kind of talent.

84 thoughts on “BBC Glories in Death

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  • John Spencer-Davis

    Even if Fiddler was an Islamic terrorist before he was locked up in Guantanamo Bay, that does not justify imprisoning and torturing and denying a fair trial to people who have done nothing. We’re all perfectly aware that there were some people in Guantanamo who had committed violent crimes. I do not see that Fiddler’s case changes any argument one bit.

    • bevin

      It depends what you mean by ‘justify.’ He was tortured and illegally detained in order to produce the angry recruits to ‘terrorism’ without whom the war would have been difficult to justify.
      There are many wrinkles in the stories of AlQaeda and ISIS but the basic story is very simple: the warmongers running the Empire need comic book villains and Guantanamo is there to drive good people insane, contemplating the viciousness, the hypocrisy and the impunity that it reflects.
      ISIS is not a failure of US Foreign Policy, any more than Al Qaeda is, the failure lies in the maturity and understanding of the hundreds of millions of muslims who refuse to be provoked into suicidal violence. And that is why, almost invariably, where there are ‘terrorist’ attacks state agents provocateurs are discovered to have been behind them.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Daily Telegraph:

        “British Islamic State fighter who carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq this week is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was paid £1 million compensation by the government.

        “Jamal al-Harith, a Muslim convert born Ronald Fiddler who detonated a car bomb at an Iraqi army base near Mosul, was released from the US detention camp in 2004 and successfully claimed compensation after saying British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment.

        “He was freed following intense lobbying by Tony Blair’s Labour government.

        “After his return to the UK – where he was released without charge – he joined three other former prisoners known as the Tipton Three in a failed attempt to sue Donald Rumsfeld, the then US Defense Secretary.

        “His legal action against the British government was more successful, resulting in a payment of up to £1 million in return for which he agreed not to talk about his ordeal.”

        So the British Government bribed a prisoner with £1 million of taxpayers’ money to keep his mouth shut about British complicity in torture. Why is this not the headline? No doubt some people on here knew all about that, but I certainly did not. The media just mention this as an aside, nothing remarkable about it.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ John Spencer-Davis February 22, 2017 at 00:19
      ‘…We’re all perfectly aware that there were some people in Guantanamo who had committed violent crimes….’
      Are we? Even if any of them had killed or tried to kill ‘Coalition’ forces, since when is armed resistance against a foreign occupying army a ‘violent crime’? Were the French Resistance, or the Warsaw Ghetto defenders ‘criminals’?

      • glenn

        Of course it is, any attack on us or resistance to us is either a war crime or terrorism.

        Why – Just last week (on “Thinking Allowed”, R4), terrorism was neatly defined with the explicit exclusion of when a State undertook such activity. Because when we perform an act of absolute terrorism (such as “Shock & Awe”), that would fall under the definition of… ehem… terrorism, if we hadn’t been prudent enough to exclude States in advance from consideration of such crimes.

        Now “State-sponsored terrorism” is another thing altogether, which is any military action, defensive or otherwise. That’s always really bad, with the exception of occasions when it’s undertaken by our own terrorists mercenaries.

        Jeez, why do you people want to complicate things so much? We = Good, Them = Bad. Just keep abreast of who the Official Enemy currently is, and stop asking questions, as any Good German patriot should know when to sit down and be quiet!

      • John Spencer-Davis

        I will amend my statement. For “violent crimes”, please read “acts of violence”. Otherwise, what I have said stands. So some man who was previously believed to be uninvolved with violence turns out, possibly, to have been involved with violence prior to his incarceration. So what? That does not suddenly make a place like Guantanamo Bay all right after all. J

        • Paul Barbara

          @ John Spencer-Davis February 22, 2017 at 08:59
          What’s the difference? Any ‘violent crime’ or ‘acts of violence’, if done at all (many people were rounded up by Afghans or Pakistanis and sold for a goodly sum to the Americans as ‘terrorists’) they would have been done against an invading/occupying army, or Quisling Afghans.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            The argument Craig suggests that the BBC, and the establishment generally, is making, is that someone previously believed to be uninvolved in violent acts (and generously compensated) has in fact been found to be involved in violent acts after all, therefore locking people up in Guantanamo was the right thing to do. I am saying: so what? It does not follow that everyone who has been previously believed to be uninvolved in violent acts has also been misjudged. It does not mitigate Guantanamo Bay at all.

            I do not know the history of everyone in Guantanamo Bay. If you are prepared to assert that every person locked up in Guantanamo was either innocent of any act of violence, or perpetrated violence only on occupying forces or persons collaborating with occupying forces, you are a bold person. I’d like to see you prove it. I am inclined to believe that there were people in Guantanamo Bay who had killed and injured non-combatants, or ordered it done. I take the same view of that as I take of bombing places without heed to civilian casualties or orders to do so. A dim one. J

          • lysias

            If it could not be proved for any detainee in Guantanamo that he had been involved in the killing of one or more noncombatants, what right was there to subject him to such barbarous conditions? At worst, he should have been held as a prisoner of war enjoying the protections of the Geneva Conventions.

            Plenty of American soldiers have been involved in the killing of noncombatants, and virtually none of them has been punished, except perhaps by his own conscience.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Paul Barbara is arguing that nobody in Guantanamo ever committed acts of violence against anyone except occupying forces or collaborators with occupying forces. I doubt that he is correct.

  • Brianfujisan

    That was one one the things I kept saying, Films Like ‘ London Calling ‘ Very well exposed bbC Bias with regard the Indyref.. That same bbC Bias ( Indyref ) did not cost anyone their life..

    But how many are dead Because of bbC war propaganda. Hundreds of thousands..Up to their necks in Blood, death, and destruction.

  • Loony

    You omit to mention that Ronald Fiddler was also known as Jamil-Uddin al-Harith and more latterly as Abu Zakariya al-Britani. Not many people would refer to Chelsea Manning as Bradley Manning – so why call this man Ronald Fiddler?

    Whatever his name he is alleged to have been paid £1 million in compensation by the UK government. I have no doubt that Guantanamo Bay would not have been a pleasant experience and there are clearly issues regarding the legality of his being held there.

    Equally I have no doubt that a prison in Saudi Arabia would not be a pleasant experience – as one Sandy Mitchell can testify. As the Saudi’s accused Mr. Mitchell of crimes that were manifestly committed by Al-Queda there are issues regarding the legality of Mr. Mitchell being held in a jail in Riyadh. I am not aware that anyone paid Mr. Mitchell any compensation for his ordeal.

    Returning to the late Abu Zakariya al-Britani. He was a native of Manchester and was apprehended by the US in either Pakistan or Afghanistan.and transferred to Guantanamo and ultimately released and returned to the UK. At the time of his return David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary opined “I think you will find that no-one who has returned in the announcement today will actually pose a threat to the security of the British people”

    This all sounds very much like the UK government actually conspiring to deploy terrorists and fund their activities. Why pay him a £1 million and pay Sandy Mitchell nothing? and why not hold David Blunkett to account for his puerile analysis of the actual dangers posed by this man?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Loony February 22, 2017 at 00:24
      I don’t believe Sandy Mitchell claimed that Britain was complicit in his incarceration and torture; that was why Fidller or whatever he was known as was compensated and gagged.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Loony February 22, 2017 at 00:29
      You appear to be missing the point – in Fiddler’s case, Britain was complicit (thus the payout); in Mitchell’s case, Britain was not complicit – so why should Britain pay compensation? They could have pressed Saudi Arabia to release him, and after to compensate him, but they wouldn’t want to upset the Golden Goose, would they?
      Where Britain fell down is in letting the Saudis get away with it. It seems to me what sticks in your craw is not that Mitchell didn’t get £!m, but that Fiddler, who was incarcerated and tortured in Guantanamo with British complicity, did get it.
      His subsequent actions are neither here nor there.
      Fiddler couldn’t have been too smart, anyhow; after being incarcerated and tortured in Guantannamo by the Empire, he gets out, gets a million, and then goes off and gets killed fighting for the Empire’s proxies (that’s assuming he did go to fight with the headchoppers; we only seem to have the MSM’s word for that).

      • Loony

        Britain was not complicit? Surely you are having a laugh!!

        You want to check out just what a venal operation is being run under the guise of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

  • Conan

    Given its news and current affairs coverage a better name for the BBC might be the Cognitive Dissonance Corporation.

  • Sinclair

    Ronald Fiddler was also referred to by the names ‘Jamal Udeen’& ‘Jamal al-Harith’. Reportedly imprisoned by the Taliban as a possible spy, after being found wandering through Afghanistan as a Muslim convert. The Americans held him in Camp X-Ray simply because he had been a prisoner of its enemy. “He was expected to have knowledge of Taliban treatment of prisoners and interrogation tactics,” the files record

    He gave an account of his torture at Guantanamo Bay in a report back in May 2004, just after he was released from Guantanamo. A cached copy is here.

    His head must have been psychologically mashed after 2 years at Guantanamo. Surely the security services were keeping an eye on him & would know if he was traveling to the middle East? Or perhaps his travel was facilitated, or perhaps he didn’t go? Who knows in this continuing Kafkaesque nightmare….

    He is now served up in this piece of propaganda, pushed by the BBC et al…..

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sinclair February 22, 2017 at 03:05
      Thanks for this further information. I had a hunch there might be more to this than we are being ‘told’.

  • Karl Kolchack

    Not one of these people ever stops and wonders how they might feel had it been they who was wrongfully imprisoned and tortured. The lack of basic human empathy in our major institutions these days is what is truly frightening.

    • Brianfujisan


      Not one of these people ever stops and wonders how they might feel had it Been

      The lack of basic human empathy in our major institutions these days is what is truly frightening.

    • Anon1

      The “wrongful imprisonment” line wears a bit thin when you consider he went with his wife and children to join ISIS and blow himself up in a suicide bombing. The “human empathy” one stretches it too far.

    • Tom Welsh

      Civilisation truly is only skin deep.

      Scratch a BBC employee and you will find an angry, confused, frightened ape. The only truth he knows is “Stick with Our Tribe, support Our Leader, hate The Others”.

      • Temporarily Sane

        J.G. Ballard said it best:

        “Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.”

  • johnf

    If this individual had blown himself up in the seige of Aleppo rather than in The Seige of Mosul, I doubt if his name would even have been mentioned. If it had been, it would only have been to laud him as a hero.

  • TH

    Great post Craig, this is why fewer people have confidence in the mainstream western media today. Its full of propaganda and its time more people speak out against this deception.

    Also, remember the intelligence communities involvment in influencing the publics:

    “Operation Mockingbird was allegedly a large-scale program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that, beginning in the early 1950s, attempted to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes, and funded student and cultural organizations and magazines as front organisations.”

    • Tom Welsh

      “…this is why fewer people have confidence in the mainstream western media today”.

      That’s the understatement of the century so far. I actually wouldn’t use the newspapers to wipe my rear end. Although sometimes the BBC people are inadvertently quite funny. My favourite comedy program is “The Moral Maze”.

  • Alcyone

    20 comments deep into talking about Mosul and Iraq, and no mention of our wonderful Blair?

    After all this was, as The Times quite rightly headlined, Blair’s personal war. The population must be wonderfully sedated.

    Or are they sleep-walking through life, in the profusion of their confusion in daily life?

    • Tom Welsh

      “20 comments deep into talking about Mosul and Iraq, and no mention of our wonderful Blair?”

      Life is full of disgusting filth, but nice people generally manage to get by without talking about it.

  • Smiling Through

    Spot on, Craig.

    While going big on that story the BBC does not seem to have space or time to report Lord Mandelson’s admission to the Jewish Chronicle event yesterday of seeking to daily damage Jeremy Corbyn.

  • Sharp Ears

    Excellent post. I concur.

    Also being glorified in death is Jo Cox. The message is mixed….We’ll keep you safe…we need a strong domestic defence system to counteract acts of terrrrrrr like this…etc. Luckily they have not been able to call it an anti semitic act though.

    Her widower is coming on ITV, we were told, to say how the royal family are helping us to remember her death two years ago.

    ‘Street parties planned to remember murdered MP Jo Cox’

    Of course there is no show without Kate and Jamie Oliver @ The B I G Lunch!

    I think of the fortune the WH have received from HMG and from the Jo Cox Fund. They will receive or have already received one third of near on £2m. And so this sickening state propaganda using a death continues.

    Expect more WH stuff like this too. They’re back in action. They’ve had a few months off.
    Anti Assad of course. The Independent saw it happen and were on the spot to tell the story. Not.

  • Anon1

    We don’t know what this chap al-Britani was doing wandering around the Taliban-held badlands of NW Pakistan (as you do), but it would appear that the subsequent act of travelling to Iraq and joining ISIS in order to detonate himself should clear up any lingering doubts about what his intentions were.

    • Tom Welsh

      As has been repeatedly pointed out, his intentions before and after being imprisoned and tortured by the Yanks may have been poles apart.

      Do you think that, if you experienced what he did, you would have been unchanged? Or would you have been filled with a saintly glow of gratitude to your torturers?

      • Anon1

        People are imprisoned rightly or wrongly all the time, often for much longer than two years. They don’t tend to travel to Iraq and launch a suicide bombing after they have been released. Al-Britani, as he styled himself, was always an Islamic extremist.

        You don’t honestly believe he was innocently backpacking around NWFP just after the US invasion of Afghanistan, do you?

    • John

      It’s always good to see occasional comments such as Anon1’s, as they inform us as to the current tribal line.

          • Sid F

            It’s simple. @John apparently thinks that anyone who does “Ronald Fiddler” the courtesy of referring to him by his chosen name “Al Britani” is working for the joos. “tribal” being a nod and a wink towards Israel unless I’m much mistaken.

          • John

            Yeah, you are Sid. It probably came to my mind after reading Tom Welsh’s post on this thread.

            It refers to the crazy killers in government, banking, mainstream media, intelligence agencies, etc. They are usually pretty good at having an official line in place, and in getting useful idiots (or, increasingly, paid idiots) to promulgate it for them.

  • Anon1

    Interesting that Craig refers throughout to the suicide bomber as “Ronald Fiddler”. Ronald, or rather let’s call him “Ronnie” or “Ron” to make him sound extra innocent of ties with Islamic extremism, had long since converted to Islam and changed his name variously to Abu-Zakariya al-Britani and Jamal Udeen Al-Harith, well before he trod the well-worn path to NWFP and later Iraq.

  • Andy

    I have no sympathy for Ronald Fiddler, only the victims of his last despicable act. If he was only in Guantanamo for two years, he was either very helpful or Tony Blair had a good reason to get him released. Mr Fiddler was clearly very stupid if he believed the rhetoric of the ISIS fantasy peddlers. The further destruction of Syria and Iraq is exactly what Israel wants. ISIS don’t attack Israel for a very good reason, you would have thought even mugs like Fiddler would have worked it out.

    • Anon1

      “If Mr Fiddler wanted to die for a just cause he should have been driving his weapon of mass destruction towards the criminal entity occupying the Golan Heights”

      From your blog.

      You sound pretty well radicalized yourself.

  • Alcyone

    Very interesting and detailed a/c on Trump’s relationship with McCain, a leading Deep State agent:

    “Virgil: The Deep State Saga Continues — the Battle Between Donald Trump and John McCain”

    I think I dislike this evil man as much as WCWSHD3H–Hillary!

  • Tom Welsh

    “It must be very strange to stretch your conscience to work in the BBC; a peculiar and remarkable kind of talent”.

    On thinking it over, I have come to the conclusion that doublethink (as defined by George Orwell) is not a strange, exotic phenomenon to be encountered only in the pages of dystopian SF. On the contrary, it is and always has been a common human ability; and since the foundation of civilization 10,000 years ago (give or take) people living in the unnaturally large communities that sprang up after the invention of farming found it more or less necessary to engage in doublethink. On the one hand you know that the emperor is an ordinary fallible human being like yourself, with some extraordinarily nasty vices and some serious character defects. On the other hand you know that the emperor is the Son of Heaven, of an entirely purer and more exalted nature than you, and that it is right and proper for him to wield absolute power. You know that human beings, like all other animals, die dead and are then entirely extinguished, but you find it necessary also to believe that God is great, indeed loving, omnipotent and omniscient, and that if you do not confess Him willingly he will lovingly condemn you to burn alive forever. And so on.

    The only thing that makes a person ineligible to work for the BBC – and perhaps incites her to read your blog, Craig – is a little something called intellectual integrity. I would not be surprised if it is little more than a special kind of pride, but whatever it is, it has certain beneficial consequences. Habitually telling the truth makes you extremely unpopular almost everywhere, yet it is only by telling the truth that we can improve our selves and build our civilisation.

    • lysias

      Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course based to a large extent on Orwell’s experiences working for the BBC during World War Two. No doubt he saw doublethink at work there.

      • lysias

        Orwell’s job was writing for the BBC’s Indian Service. No doubt that required a great deal of distortion of the truth.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for the relieve, I felt the same all day long yesterday, wondering when Clive would be asked for his experience going in and out of Guantanamo.
    After all he had more experience than any of the Quilliam Foundation of establishment lovies and the BBC combined.
    It was a day of manipulated news alright, a day like any other.
    I hope all the Israelis previously caught helping IS and who peacefully exist side by side on the Golan, will manage to get out of the way of Iraqs assault on Mosul, we would not want any of them captured now, would we?

  • David Sillars

    I wonder what terror the British state will employ during our independence campaign given the lack of political arguments. They have a history of sponsoring anti liberation movements with funds and apparent legal immunity. We have already Ruth Davidsons statements of fratricidal developments and collusion with the Orange Order.
    The British establishment have never been slow to defend their interests.

  • fred

    I was listening to Radio 4 from early this morning and this story didn’t lead any of the news bulletins. I logged on to the BBC web site and it wasn’t leading by any means. This is the schedule for the Today program and you can see it wasn’t given a high priority at all.

    The BBC can’t just not report something because it’s inconvenient to you. It’s a very sad state of affairs all round but I don’t see how you can blame the BBC for it or expect them not to report it.

  • Njegos

    Another reason that the possibility that radicalization can take place as a result of torture or mistreatment cannot be discussed on the BBC or CNN is because it would shine a very different light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    • RobG

      As I’ve said many times before, Mika looks like a 1980s porn star. Her job on Morning Joe, a programme on which she’s allowed very little input, is to act as eye candy and to reinforce the propaganda message.

      It’s a shame because Mika comes across as being quite intelligent. It’s amazing what people will do for money. Cue the trolls…

  • Arthur keefe

    Whatever his past, no doubt his time in Guantanamo would have influenced his subsequent behaviour. When will ” they” learn the lessons. Torture and imprisonment without trial nurture hatred.

  • Old Mark

    Spot on Craig re the double standards over Aleppo/Mosul- but for me the jury is out on whether Fiddler was an Islamist nutter before his incarceration in Guantanamo. I doubt if his wrongful imprisonment there was the start of his journey to Islamist nutterdom- it was more likely a further driving force. As a convert of non Pakistani/Afghan background he couldn’t legitimately claim to be in the tribal areas while ‘visiting family’- so WTF was he really doing there when he was rendered to Guantanamo?

    On the broader subject of glorying in death, I felt sick earlier today on hearing the news of Cressida Dick’s latest upward career move. It appears that , as a Common Purpose graduate, you can climb the greasy pole and get to your own particular pinnacle in the ‘public serrvice’ even if you have blood on your hands- as she does.

    I’d hitherto been a bit dismissive of the ‘conspiracy theory’ that Common Purpose is a new, left oriented, globalist freemasonry; I’m not now-

    • lysias

      Maybe Fiddler was an agent of MI6 or some similar organization all along, and the purpose of keeping him in Gitmo for a while was to “sheep dip” him.

    • D-Majestic

      I would tend to disagree with “Left oriented”, Old Mark. It might seem that way. But “Seems” at present is seldom representative of what is really the case.

    • Anonymous

      I forgot to mention – that includes blowing up all the bridges across the Euphrates, some of which carried potable water pipelines from one side to the other. Blowing up the bridges will make it more difficult for the SAA to cross the river Euphrates.

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