9/11 Scholars Forum

Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths

More on the fake "al Qaeda" and the elusive Osama bin Laden

This arrived in an email and seems to be worth sharing, especially the first part on al Qaeda

Despite his death in Dec. 2001, Bin Laden remains the favorite "Bogeyman" British & American
governments "conjure up" (from his grave) to panic citizens about
him! - and "Al Qaeda."


Hillary & her State Dept shouldn't be worried! Brit & U.S.Intelligence have known the names & locations of Al Qaeda's mercenary fighters
(& their families) for many years. Hillary could
target each of them (and threaten to kill their families with her
Drones!) - OR again, just PAY each of them a lot more money NOT to
attack anybody, just go home!

Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that "Al Qaeda" is not really a
terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms
smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and
money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan
.
- Wayne Madsen
11-19-5
Robin Cook speech to Parliament about Al Qaeda being a "database" -

-----------------------------

Be very afraid - we are being fleeced by purveyors of fear

Home Office threat levels are absurd abstractions of no help to anyone except the security lobby raising cash through fear

- Simon Jenkins
The Guardian, Friday 1 October 2010
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/01/home-office-threat-level-fear

In case you missed it, since Monday an "Irish-related" attack on Britain has been "a strong possibility". At the same time, an al-Qaida attack is
"highly likely" and "only a matter of time". This
presumably means one will occur - though, since August 2006, when
this alarmist language was first to put us on continuous alert,
terrorism has been like mad flu disease, afflicting Whitehall but
strangely absent from the nation at large.

I hesitate to tempt fate, but this dog's dinner of nouns and qualifiers cannot mean anything to the general public. Rather than
describing a menace to the British state, the words are more a
comment on English teaching in schools. They are verbal garbage,
reflecting a habit of bureaucratic mind and relieving public services
- airport security, railway guards, traffic police - of the need
for courtesy.
They just want to keep the public scared and paying taxes.


Travelling on a First Great Western train nowadays is like entering
Guantánamo - a cacophony of repetitive announcements telling
passengers to protect their belongings at all times and inform the
police if they see anything suspicious. Likewise the fatuous frisking
of old ladies at airports, the half-hearted searching of bags in
shops, the reams of safety literature pouring from the nation's
printers. It is the white noise of state fear.

Nothing is as absurd as Home Office "threat levels". They purport to grade the risk of something called an "attack". This is not defined, but graces a crime with the
glamour of a soldierly act. It grants terrorism political status and
thus dusts the security industry with the glory of defending the
realm.


Above all the threat must be kept alive, sorted into classes of low, moderate, substantial, severe and critical. We are currently at severe.
What regius professor of English chose these words? I
would put severe below substantial, the word being a strengthener of
very, while substantial has substance. But I assume Whitehall has
done focus groups and sweat tests. Substantial was perhaps greeted
with a shrug, while severe brought on the shakes. As for critical
- mujahideen "expected imminently" to hurl bombs down
Oxford Street - it is surely the most devalued word in the
OED.


There is no way a member of the public can sensibly use the
information that an al-Qaida threat has altered from substantial to
severe. These are abstractions. Are we supposed to calibrate our
dread with Theresa May each morning, treating all dark skin as
suspicious and every beard as hiding a foe?

The former home secretary, Alan Johnson, raised the al-Qaida threat level in January from substantial to severe, yet added that it would
be "pretty daft" to say why. Under his predecessor the
security service boasted that it had tabs on 2,000 individual
terrorists, 200 networks and 30 active plots. The impression was the
more the merrier.

The public pays the police and security services to protect them from
these bombs going off, while accepting that occasionally one will get
through. But it also pays not constantly to be reminded that there
are bad people in the world. It pays to be relieved of fear. May
claims to be "alerting not alarming" the public by
"raising its awareness". She treats terrorism as, like gay
rights and climate change, in need of an Arts Council grant.

In the mid-1970s, the Provisional IRA staged some 50 explosions in London, subjecting the city to far greater mayhem than today. Somehow
we survived without the gargantuan counter-terror apparatus in place
today. The bombing campaign came nowhere near toppling the British
government or infringing the liberty of the state. The chief threat
to that freedom today comes not from terrorists but from the
government's response to them. Speaking in July on the fifth
anniversary of the 7/7 tube attacks, the former head of the Met's
Muslim Contact Unit, Robert Lambert, commented that the then Labour
government, by taking its lead from a "flawed neocon"
analysis of Islam, had "not reduced but increased the chances of
terrorist attacks". The government had proclaimed that an evil
ideology had entitled it "to derogate from human rights
considerations" and "go to war not against terrorism but
against ideas, the belief that al-Qaida was a violent end of a
subversive movement".

To see what is happening we probably need to return to the old journalistic maxim, follow the money. There is now an extensive police and industrial lobby in Britain dependent for its resources on
maintaining a high level of public fear. The lobby thrives on its own
failures. The incidents in America on 9/11 (2001) and in London on
7/7 (2005) saw the greatest ever peacetime growth in spending on
security. Unlike most forms of public spending, this one could by its
nature demand cash with menaces and with no account of value for
money.


The fear must be sustained if the resources are to flow.
The west has been starkly free of terrorist "attacks" over the past decade. The lobby may plead this proves the money was well
spent, but the staggering cost of anti-terrorism since 9/11,
including two foreign wars, must have surpassed all actuarial
calculation of western lives saved thereby.

Hardly a month goes by without someone in authority reminding us to expect another attack imminently.
I have lost count of statements from MI5, the police and other experts that an attack is a
matter of "not if, but when". The attacks never occur, or
are brilliantly thwarted, like the one reportedly prevented this
week, apparently by dropping bombs from drones on Pakistani villages.
What is noticeable is that the tempo of such threats increases
immediately before Christmas and when the security lobby is involved
in a fight over money, as now.

This week the Police Federation chief, Paul McKeever, warned that policing the Olympics would be a "great burden" because of budget cuts. His union has constantly upped the
"threat to the Olympics" to win £800m for just two weeks
of cover - more even than Beijing. Now it wants more.
Meanwhile
the Met's John Yates, head of specialist operations, has declared
that any cuts to his budget would be exploited by al-Qaida and
"leave Britain vulnerable to terrorist attack". This is
from a force with so much money that it can spend £48m on a
"human resources computer" that is still not ready, and
deploy a helicopter and 59 gunmen to kill one Chelsea barrister.

Britain's security/industrial complex has been allowed to run berserk under the long shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. It has been allowed to undermine civil liberty and tax the exchequer of a fortune. Now it
has the effrontery to tell Britons that they are not safer but less
safe as a result. After 10 years of soaring expenditure, the threat
has actually risen.

I do not believe that this apparent failure to deliver value for money is real, or that some catastrophic explosion is imminent. I think this is just another lobby seeking money. As it plays with its
words, the rest of us may shrug and go about our business. But I
sometimes wonder who is the real terrorist.

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