Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Have we been Punk'd?

Remember the Great London Bombing Scare, the dastardly al-Qaeda plot, no liquids in carry-on bags, full cavity body searches? Well, according to a Brit named Craig Murray, we might have just been punk'd.

A word about Craig Murray (of Craig had been relatively obscure until he shot his big mouth off about torture. At the time, Murray was Britain's ambassador to Uzbekistan which was then a 'partner' in America's War Without End on Terror. Murray was given his cards (in England, that's a way of saying 'you're fired') because he refused to remain mum about Uzbekistan President Karimov's fascination with torture.

Lip off to Karimov and that means you're an Islamic terrorist and then you're really in hot water. No, I mean it - hot water. Karimov has a reputation of waging the War Without End on Terror by immersing his opponents in boiling water. That's right, he pops them in the cauldron just like lobsters. Anyway, at the time of Murray's outspokeness, Uzbekistan was considered America's unsinkable aircraft carrier in the region and Rumsfeld was pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into their army. Murray just had to go.

Craig Murray is still mouthing off which you'll see if you go to his website. He's even really skeptical about the Great London Bomb Plot. He thinks the whole thing was stage-managed to help prop up the increasingly unpopular Blair and Bush administrations. Among his contentions:

- "None ofthe alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports which, given the efficiency of the UK Passport Agency, would mean they couldn't be a plane bomber for quite some time.

- "In the absnece of bombs and airline tickets and, in many cases, passports, it could be difficult to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt that these individuals intended to go through with suicide bombings, despite whatever rash stuff they may have bragged about in internet chat rooms.

- "Many of those arrested had been under surveillance for over a year - like thousands of other British Muslims. Nothing from that surveillance had indicated the need for early arrests."

Murray criticizes the dodgy 'intelligence' obtained by Pakistani interrogators known for their ability to make "people sing like canaries. As I witnessed in Uzbekistank you can get the most extraordinary information this way. Trouble is it always tends to give the interrogators all they might want, and more, in a desperate effort to stop or avert torture. What it doesn't give is the truth."

Time hasn't dimmed Murray's skepticism: "Still, after eight days of detention, nobody has been charged with any crime. For there to be no clear evdience yet on something that was 'imminent' and 'Mass murder on an unbelievable scale' is, to say the least, rather peculiar."

Here's something else that really smells about the London Bombing Plot. Until this dastardly plot was thwarted, you and I and everyone else, could take liquids aboard aircraft in our carry-on luggage. Our airlines weren't concerned, our security services weren't concerned. No problem.

What doesn't make any sense is why all those who are supposed to protect us were so complacent. In 1995, that's right eleven years ago, al-Qaeda hatched a plot in the Philippines to use these same liquid explosives to make bombs to be brought aboard U.S. bound airliners in carry-on luggage. The volatile liquids were to be disguised in contact eye lens solution bottles. Twelve airliners were to be attacked. The whole thing fell apart when fire broke out in the plotters' apartment base. They fled but they left behind a laptop that survived the fire and it contained all the details of the scheme.

That was 1995. Why then, especially after the attacks of September 11, 2001, was nothing, absolutely nothing, done to close off this known threat to the travelling public? Am I the only one who finds it curious that our media aren't asking that obvious question?

By the way, you can confirm the details of the 1995 plot by a quick Google search. Just type in "1995 Manilla al-Qaeda bomb plot" or reasonable facsimile. Or just go to or any of the many other credible sites with all the details on this. This isn't the stuff of conspiracy nuts but and yet nobody is asking the question.

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