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Forum Rules July 7th Media Watch, Letters & FOI Requests

A forum documenting factually inaccurate July 7th Press and Media coverage. Here you will find copies of complaints to those responsible for propagating lies and myths that have hitherto gone unchallenged and their responses. Also included in this forum are copies of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission, along with copies of Freedom of Information requests, letters to MPs and communications with miscellaneous other public servants.

 

 Calls for a Public Inquiry
The Antagonist
Posted: Jul 1 2006, 06:29 PM


Antagonista


Group: Admin
Posts: 9,920
Member No.: 1
Joined: 25-November 05



QUOTE

Claim of CIA knowledge strengthens case for public inquiry - Clegg
19 June 2006


Mr Nick Clegg

Responding to claims that the CIA knew that one of the July 7th bombers was a terrorist threat two years before the strikes on London, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Nick Clegg MP said:

"If this claim is true it strengthens the case for an independent public inquiry into the July 7th bombings.

"It raises questions about what exactly our intelligence services knew before the attacks and whether appropriate action was taken

"This claim also raises questions about the level of co-operation between the intelligence services in the US and the UK.

"Considering the global nature of the terrorist network, close collaboration between all intelligence agencies is essential."

http://www.libdems.org.uk/news/story.html?id=10381


Anyone know what Mr Clegg's position is on the Inquiries Act 2005?
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Bridget
Posted: May 2 2009, 11:49 AM





Group: J7 Admins
Posts: 15,265
Member No.: 2
Joined: 26-November 05



QUOTE
To understand 7/7, we need an official account

An inquiry into the 7/7 bombings would provide some much-needed empirical evidence on which to base policy responses

          o Jonathan Githens-Mazer
          o guardian.co.uk, Saturday 2 May 2009 11.00 BST     

Given the recent acquittals for those accused of assisting the 7 July 2005 attacks, and much recent media attention about the job done by the police and security services on this occasion, questions continue to be asked about how and why this attack happened. How could Mohammed Siddique Khan, who appeared so well integrated and adjusted to modern British society, decide not only to end his own life, but to deliberately kill others? How did his belief and practice of faith make a suicide attack seem a rational action? What was the interplay between personal crises and collective senses of injustice and disempowerment which brought Khan to take this kind of decision?

As long ago as 2005, some suggested that these questions were unanswered because of the British government's anxiety that an official inquiry into these events would highlight the role that perceptions of foreign policy played in the bombers' "radicalisation". Today the lack of an official examination of what might have caused these events primarily neglects the needs of victims to know what really happened (see Rachel North's contribution here), and sits oddly with the government's insistence that counter-terrorism is such an important area of policy.

So what can we glean from the information publicly available? For the conspirators who killed 52 London commuters that day, "suicide bombing" was a choice inspired or directed by al-Qaida. In the suicide bombers' post-dated videos there is clear evidence that they drew inspiration from Osama bin Laden's propaganda statements claiming legitimacy for the tactic. The attacks would be justified by the men who carried it out in exactly the same way bin Laden rationalised 9/11 and 3/11:

    What happened in September 11 [in New York and Washington] and March 11 [in Madrid] is your own merchandise coming back to you. We hereby advise you … that your definition of us and of our actions as terrorism is nothing but a definition of yourselves by yourselves, since our reaction is of the same kind as your act. Our actions are a reaction to yours, which are destruction and killing of our people as is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine …

Legitimacy here is premised on reciprocity. For Mohammed Siddique Khan and the other 7/7 bombers, political grievance and the shame of defeat were assuaged by bin Laden's views on acts of reciprocal violence:

    By what measure of kindness are your killed considered innocents while ours are considered worthless? By what school [of thought] is your blood considered blood while our blood is water? … Therefore, it is [only] just to respond in kind, and the one who started it is more to blame …

Therefore, it can hypothesised that a 7/7 public inquiry might highlight grievance and shame as motivational factors. These same factors inspired those who attacked London commuters in earlier periods, such as the Provisional IRA, which drew upon a long tradition of seeing "honour and pride" restored through "noble" death (the messianic nature of the Easter Rising, the use of Patrick Pearse's treatises on blood sacrifice, and the power of the hunger strikes). Yet one key strand of government policy continues to insist that these forms of terrorism are ideologically distinct – "radical nationalism" (in the case of the IRA) and "religious and quasi-religious extremism" (in the case of al-Qaida) – and therefore require different responses.

All of this raises the question: is the lack of a public enquiry into 7/7 about the power to control policy agendas, being uncomfortable about the domestic effects of foreign policy, or both? The lack of an enquiry means it is impossible to challenge any government position, because no interpretation of the attacks can be supported in the absence of a full official account, and there is no official account to derive adapted policy responses.

But holding a public enquiry into 7/7 is more than about good governance: in the absence of a rigorous evidence based examination of 7/7, public debate and commentary always breaks down into ad nauseam political sectarianism and point-scoring – take your pick from it's the fault of a) religion, b) ideology, c) foreign policy, d) the intelligence services, e) psychological vulnerability, f) social factors, g) ethnic background etc. This means that we have little ability beyond the anecdotal to support or dismiss arguments such as that put forward recently on Comment is free by Tahir Abbas, that social forces can contribute to terrorist attacks. And this is more than an academic debate: for Muslim communities themselves, the lack of a public enquiry has served to fuel conspiracy theories, often variations on the themes of false evidence (for example, the invalidity of CCTV evidence of the 7/7 bombers at Luton railway station) and a hidden State hand (for example, a covert US or Israeli action).

So the lack of an enquiry on 7/7 cuts many ways. It means that we are no closer to a meaningful and demonstrable understanding of how and why this terrible incident happened, it prevents a publicly-sanctioned and audited learning process for counter-terrorist best practice, and it fuels conspiracy theories and ideological (often sectarian) accounts of why it happened because fact and knowledge are being replaced with guesswork, speculation and emotion. Instead of the clarity and transparency that Lord Scarman and Lord Macpherson brought to bear on events of equal concern to other minority communities, in the wake of 7/7, British communities of every kind have been forced to rely instead on government narratives that carry little credibility.

A public enquiry into 7/7 needs to be more than about blame – concentrating on the relative performance of the security services obscures the important contributions which could be made by community voices, and undermines an ability to understand its root causes. A serious 7/7 public enquiry that examined why it happened, not just how it happened, would provide a fundamental building block for understanding the nature of the very real, persistent threat of al-Qaida inspired attacks in Britain, and aid in their prevention. Therefore, any enquiry needs to include community voices – not just the usual security services and police suspects – in order to ensure its legitimacy in Muslim communities, and in order to foster meaningful basis for long term intra- and inter-community discussions about these issues amongst the wider British public.

Without the enquiry, it is impossible to claim that government counter-terrorism policy is based on anything but emotion and intuition – without a public enquiry, it becomes reasonable to ask the question: what is the evidence base for counter-terrorism policy, and can it really claim to be anything more than ideologically driven?
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The Antagonist
Posted: May 2 2009, 12:13 PM


Antagonista


Group: Admin
Posts: 9,920
Member No.: 1
Joined: 25-November 05



Poor article overall, but that concluding paragraph is worth repeating:
QUOTE
Without the enquiry, it is impossible to claim that government counter-terrorism policy is based on anything but emotion and intuition – without a public enquiry, it becomes reasonable to ask the question: what is the evidence base for counter-terrorism policy, and can it really claim to be anything more than ideologically driven?

Or, paraphrased: "Government counter-terrorism policy is ideologically driven, based on emotion and intuition."
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Bridget
Posted: May 29 2010, 12:56 AM





Group: J7 Admins
Posts: 15,265
Member No.: 2
Joined: 26-November 05



QUOTE
From Times Online
May 29, 2010
Labour rejected mandarin’s advice that 7/7 inquiry must be independent

Dominic Kennedy, Investigations Editor

Injured woman leaving Edgware Road Station after terrorist attack July 7, 2005

Tony Blair’s Government rejected a call from the top Home Office civil servant for an independent inquiry into the failings that led to the London bombings, The Times has discovered.

A paper by the official, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, warned that a government version of events would lack credibility.


Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary who overruled that recommendation, said yesterday that long public inquiries wasted money and diverted police and spy services from fighting terror.

After four years of resistance, the Government handed the papers to The Times yesterday on the orders of the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.


After suicide bombers killed 52 commuters on July 7, 2005, and a similar attack failed two weeks later, Sir John Gieve, then Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, argued for independent scrutiny. “We hold inquiries into events and accidents much less serious and far reaching than the attacks of 7 and 21 July whether they be train or air crashes, deaths in custody or the Soham murders. This is partly to meet public demand but it is also to find out what happened so that lessons can be learned for the future,” he wrote.

Sir John argued that analysis of the risks, including a Cabinet Office paper on disaffection among Muslims, had been poor, and an independent inquiry would be useful. He added that “any account of events which comes direct from the government” would not be trusted.

The Government rejected the advice and published an account by the Home Office in May 2006. That was discredited for failing to explain why the security services did not monitor Mohammad Sidique Khan, the ringleader, despite knowing of his suspected terror links.

Mr Clarke said last night that the 12-year, multimillion-pound inquiry by Lord Saville into Bloody Sunday was the best proof that the benefit of such investigations was questionable.

“I took the view that what the public were seeking was a full and accurate explanation of what had actually happened as soon as possible and that is what was agreed and achieved,” he said.

“Moreover I wanted the police and the security agencies to focus their efforts and resources upon effectively contesting any future security threat.

“I have always been sceptical of the public benefits of Saville-style public inquiries with their enormous expenditure of time and resources.”

A judge last week ruled that the 7/7 inquest will look at the security services’ role. Graham Foulkes, whose son David, 22, was killed, said: “The case is now compelling. Obviously for personal reasons I want a full investigation into how they allowed my son to be killed. I am astonished that a professional with the integrity and intelligence and knowledge of John Gieve was ignored and that the Government went against him.”

Rachel North, a 7/7 survivor, said: “Mistrust has grown. Conspiracy theories have blossomed. Survivors and families have become increasingly angry.”

Clifford Tibber, the families’ lawyer, said: “MI5 have not been asked to account publicly for why they made the decisions they did.”
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