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16 October 2008

Met chief faces quiz over 'SAS involvement' in Menezes death

Of course, the title of this post, taken from a Daily Mail headline of yesteryear, is an impossibility. There is no full-time Met chief to face a quiz over SAS involvement in the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes any more. This is because one of the queen's most crafty relatives, bendy-bastard Boarish Johnson, decreed it must be. Johnson did so dictatorially, after first seizing control of the Metropolitan Police Authority, to, as he claimed, resolve a "democratic deficit" in the way in which Met chiefs are appointed. Dictatorship is certainly one way of resolving a "democratic deficit", if only through its complete removal of any process that is remotely democratic.

Moving forward, looking back. Stories from the past, where are they now? History rewritten in the blink of an eye.

The headline "Met chief faces quiz over 'SAS involvement' in Menezes death" could, however, have been true at the time of its publication. And indeed it was. On 9th September 2007 a most off-message news alert appeared featuring the very same headline:
Met chief faces quiz over 'SAS involvement' in Menezes death
Daily Mail - UK

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair is facing questions today over whether the SAS was involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. ...

Naturally, that's the sort of bombastic announcement that demands immediate attention. Except, in the brief period of time between the story being published, the email alert being received and visiting the page containing the story, the historical revisionists had struck in a bid to suppress another piece of history's jigsaw.
Sir Ian Blair's future in doubt as political critics renew attack
Daily Mail - UK

Sir Ian Blair faced growing questions about his future today as London politicians expressed new concerns about the way he runs the Met.
A somewhat tamer headline and no mention at all of any SAS involvement in the events of July 2005. The Times though was less repentant when it posed the question shortly after what Oxford Professor of Jurisprudence, John Gardner, called "the police’s Mossad-style execution of a ’suspect’ (who turned out to be a completely innocent passer-by) on Friday 22 July"
July 31, 2005
Could Stockwell 'police officer' be a soldier?
BRITISH special forces soldiers took part in the operation that led to the shoot-to-kill death of an innocent Brazilian electrician with no connection to the London bombings, defence sources said last week. Jean Charles de Menezes was tailed by a surveillance team on July 22 as he caught a bus to Stockwell Underground station in south London. He was shot eight times when he fled from his pursuers at the Tube station.

The Ministry of Defence admitted last week that the army provided “technical assistance” to the surveillance operation but insisted the soldiers concerned were “not directly involved” in the shooting.

The Guardian was also happy to confirm the use of a "New special forces unit" that apparently tailed de Menezes, highlighting the involvement of the unit descended from Northern Ireland's notorious 14 Int, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. Would 14 Int send out surveillance teams without armed backup in their day? What about its "new normal" equivalent, the SRR, when dealing with the potential threat of alleged "suicide bombers"? It was even reported by the Sunday Herald that, "SRR personnel are also believed to have been on the tube train when he was shot".

The army was "not directly involved" in the execution of de Menezes, said the MoD. But then, it has long been established that MoD policy dictates that "it would never confirm SAS involvement in any operation." Further lack of detail from the MoD was elicited by Tom Griffin in September 2006.

Back to standing on the square whose number is one.

Meanwhile, the inquest into the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes by unknown, unnamed and guaranteed anonymous killers continues at the Oval cricket ground. Daily transcripts of the inquest proceedings are published on the inquest web site which was established to the same template as that of the Diana Inquest. Submitted evidence exhibits are also available here.

Marvel as the legendary Michael Mansfield QC, acting on behalf of the de Menezes family, repeatedly falls short of pursuing potentially interesting and revealing lines of questioning. Then wonder why.

Additional information and commentary is available at the Justice4Jean web site and the J4J Inquest blog. There is also extensive coverage of the proceedings over at the J7 Jean Charles de Menezes forum and the dedicated J7 Jean Charles de Menezes Inquest forum.

Edit: So far, there's no mention of Anthony Larkin and his infamous "bomb belt with wires" quote, nor Mark Whitby and the "padded jacket", nor has there been any mention of another apparent eye-witness, Sue Thomason, an early source for the idea that 11 shots had been fired.


The Antagonist said...

Michael Mansfield QC, faced with the possibility of questioning the eye witness Ralph Livock, who was sat with his girlfriend opposite Jean Charles, said on 30th October 2008:

"No, sir, thank you, no questions."

Perhaps it's some cunning legal tactic about which the rest of the world knows nothing.

Anonymous said...

So Mansfield is moonlighting and selling apples of his cart?

Wouldn't be surprized.

They have already come for the Comminists.
They have already come for the trades unionists. There is no one left to speak out for us anymore.

Fear and short term financial 'progress' are just about the only two tools the ruling class have over 'us'.

The people are getting numb to the fear, there are pretty few Kleinesque enhanced 'shocks' left in to play. And the financial meltdown and fraudulent 'bailouts' are both failing, but the people SILL are just going along with the ride.

Never mind in 200 years from now nobody will remember us, nothing we've ever done is likel to have made an impact.

Games up!

But our sense of right and wrong simply refuses to let us give up.

The Antagonist said...

Fear, short-term financial interests and bodies of armed men on the payroll.

Just this week another member of the public was shot dead by police, Andrew Hammond, perhaps as some sort of perverse celebration of being mid-way through the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest.

Yet Mansfield used the same rigorous tactic with the partner of Ralph Livock, a lady by the name of Rachel Wilson, who was also sitting opposite de Menezes when he was executed and ended up covered in his blood:

"Thank you, no questions."

Wilson also told the inquest that de Menezes was shot in the back of the head. Neither of the two recalls de Menezes leaving his seat, nor him being pinned in his seat by anyone.

In fact, the various testimonies given at the inquest call into question just about every version of the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes that has hitherto appeared.

Which version of 'history', better termed 'populist mythology', do you want today?

The Antagonist said...

Faced with murder witness Anna Dunwoodie -- who, among other things, seems to confirm the idea floated by Rachel Wilson that de Menezes was shot in the back of the head after having "a gun pressed to the place where the neck joins the head" -- Mansfield leaps into the fray, once again, with:

"No questions, thank you."

Anyone have any idea what Mansfield is playing at?