Saturday, July 16, 2005

Beating a Live Horse 

Okay, sorry. But the more I hear about the London bombings, the more I'm inclined to shout, "Shenannigans!" The latest is perfect spy cam video footage of the four smiling suicide bombers arriving together at the train station, backpacks in tow. That, and all the guys bought round-trip train tickets.

Things that make you go "Hm..."

Now, granted, if I were a suicide bomber, I might hedge my bets by buying a roundtrip ticket, since buying a one-way ticket would seem suspicious. On the other hand... I ride the Metro, LA's subway/train system, all the time, and normally I buy a one-way ticket at the station I get on, then a one-way ticket back when I return. Nothing unusual at all, since two one-way tickets cost $2.50, while an all-day pass (our version of "round trip") costs $3.00. If I'm going to be stopping at multiple stations throughout the day, I go for the three dollar jobbie. Otherwise, it's one-way.

Now, all alone, this isn't suspicious. In fact, given that so much was made of the FBI missing the 9/11 highjackers buying one-way plane tickets, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Al-Qaeda playbook added a step: "When buying tickets for transportation you're going to blow up, make sure your ticket is round-trip." (That's "return" for our British friends.)

But... if they were that cautious, if they wanted to appear that normal... why the hell did they all arrive at the same gate at the train station at the same time? Given that another maxim added to the Al-Qaeda playbook might be something like, "Westerners have grown extremely suspicious of groups of obviously Middle-Eastern men travelling together, so split up" -- then why does the video frame presented to the world all but scream, "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T YOU CATCH THIS BEFORE THEY GOT ON THE TRAIN?"

(I'll bet that what we won't be seeing is any CCTV footage from the streets of London of the bombers before they entered the station, despite the city being covered with more cams than a flophouse whore has crabs. Seriously, there is footage out there of the four of them as they approached the place. But would that give away too much, as the four of them briefly talk to their coordinator, someone involved in the oh-so-convenient terror drill? Time will tell...)

Which brings up another convenience... the latest news spin on the London bombings is this: "Hey, look. They photographed the bombers. Intrusive spy cams everywhere must be a good thing. So why aren't they everywhere in the US right this very second?"

Except, the so-called MSM misses the obvious point. Sure, they caught the guys on cam. That didn't stop them. Ergo, video cams everywhere are less than useless in stopping terrorism. Oh, sure -- they may provide pretty pictures of the criminals afterwards. But what good does that do for the dead and wounded?

Public spy cams are a cheap, feel-good solution. The government -- the US or UK -- can point and say, "Look. We have CCTV cams on every corner." Yeah, great. But do they have trained personell watching the output every second? People who can push a button and summon security when, say, four young Arab men with big backpacks walk into a trainstation together? Of course not -- and I'll bet you that nobody was actually watching the video monitors on the morning of 7/7. If governments were really serious about combatting terrorism (and doing something about unemployment), then they'd hire rafts of otherwise unskilled people, train them in what to look for, then stick them in every train, bus and subway station in the country.

Oh, but that would cost way too much, wouldn't it?

Let's review...
  1. Conveniently, they're running a terrorism drill on the morning of 7/7, one which presumes there will be bombings at about the same time and in all the exact same places that are blown up.
  2. None of the four bombers are the suicidal type, despite all being Muslims (as if that's a requirement for fanatacism); one has an infant daughter, another teachers underprivileged children; several are very young and not apparently militant otherwise.
  3. The CCTV cameras on Bus #30, the one that blew up, aren't working that morning, despite having been given a 20 hour overhaul by a contractor not normally hired for the job.
  4. Bus #30, which blew up nearly an hour after the three trains, is the only bus in the city system diverted after the first bombings happen.
  5. Despite sitting on top of the bombs that blew up, undamaged documents belonging to the allged suicide bombers are quickly discovered by the police.
  6. A survivor on Bus #30 noticed a guy with a backpack fiddling with it before it blew up. Is "fiddling" necessary if the bombs are on timers?
  7. Likewise... the bombs were on timers. What bomber in their right mind is going to stick around for the fireworks when they know they don't have to be there to set them off?
  8. Despite the comments since the event, I'm not convinced these four guys were out of their minds, see above.
  9. Gosh, we're stealth suicide bombers... lets all march past the security cameras, ubiquitous in London, on our way to the trains.
  10. Several mosques in England have already been torched by skinheads.
  11. The UK was about to pull out of Iraq. But I guess we won't do that now, because of the "evil-doers." How conveeeenient...
Yes, it may sound tinfoil hattish... but it really, really smells like the four "bombers" were dupes, guys hired to be part of a drill that wasn't really a drill at all. The first three managed to smuggle their "fake" bombs onto transit. Number four was probably figuring it out about the time his backpack went boom.

And the hell of it is, I wouldn't be so cynical or so doubting of the official story if it weren't for the near-constant lies told by the government of this country, since even before 9/11 happened. Watch the Karl Rove story closely, for example, and you'll see the US government telling blatant lies, twisting facts, changing stories and evidence. And it's all of a piece. Everything designed to delude the American public into saying, "Invade the Middle East to stop terrorism? Fuck yeah."

When, in reality, the plot all along was "Invade the Middle East and gobble up all that sweet, sweet oil."

And, again, I flash back to Richard Nixon. He was hated because of Vietnam, but he was impeached because of Watergate. Likewise, I think W is hated (with an approval rating lower than his presidential number) for Iraq, but will go down because of Rovegate.

Don't be surprised if, in the next few months, Britain suddenly wakes up and says, "Wait a minute. We've been hosed." After all, while the media here tries to make this look like England has suddenly been introduced to terrorism, that ain't the case. London has been a target of terrorist bombs for decades. Remember the IRA? Which is why the British people are so stoic about the event. They've been here before, many times. And, IRA aside, there was the Blitz -- a not-so-fond childhood memory of many of those who are in power there now. In fact, when it comes to wholesale destruction, London is one of the winners of history. In 1666, after suffering through a year of the Plague, which decimated the population, the city was razed by fire. Ironically, it was actually the thing that ended the Plague, since it drove out the rats, and the fleas, that spread it. The city recovered and, thanks to Christopher Wren (not just an Agatha Christie villian), it bounced back with world-class architecture; many of London's most famous landmarks were built after the city was scorched to the ground.

Anyway... I'm in an insteresting cultural position on this issue, being half Irish and half... everything else, but a lot of English. The Irish are the Old World's supreme bullshit artists, but the Brits are the Old World's supreme bullshit detectors. I think they're already starting to catch a whiff of "something isn't right here." I only hope that their bastard offspring, the Americans, can be half so smart in the coming days.

Oh yeah... one other interesting bit. Why do these things always happen in fours, when there should be no necessary constraint on number? Four planes highjacked during 9/11. Four bombs in Madrid. Four bombs in London...

To Muslims, the sacred number is five, not four. Same reason you'll find Christian fanatics doing things in threes and sevens. If, in fact, we're dealing with religious fanatics at all, rather than chimeras and illusions designed to scare us into place.


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