Wednesday, 12 July 2006

John Reid: The Official Report into the London Bombings is Wrong

The British Home Secretary, Dr John Reid, yesterday admitted in Parliament that the Official Report of the London Bombings, the narrative, is wrong! He then went on to rewrite over a year of 'history' by placing the alleged perpetrators of the July 7th attacks on a train that has never been referred to by any authority, or newspaper source, in over 12 months.

Further details from the BBC and the Guardian. Ananova is carrying the story with confirmation from Scotland Yard that the Home Office didn't get the wrong train time from the police, or even any train time at all. And we know they definitely didn't obtain the train time from Thameslink, so where exactly did the Home Office source their information?

A Truly Independent Public Inquiry

Calls to the government from all sections of the community are being renewed for an Independent Public Inquiry into the events of July 7th, after the government's admission of a flawed Official Report. The J7 Truth Campaign supports all calls for a fully Independent Public Inquiry and once again restates its alignment with Amnesty International, the Law Society of England and Wales, the Finucane Family Campaign, and many other human, civil and legal rights organisations in their call to Judges to boycott any inquiry conducted under the Inquiries Act 2005.

The July 7th Truth Campaign are also calling for the repeal of the Inquiries Act 2005, which Amnesty International summarised as follows:

"The Inquiries Act 2005 came into force in June. It undermined the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and human rights protection. It therefore failed to provide for effective, independent, impartial or thorough public judicial inquiries into serious human rights violations. AI called for its repeal."

- Amnesty International: AI Report 2006


The July 7th Truth Campaign continues with its clear and simple call to the government and authorities to RELEASE THE EVIDENCE which conclusively proves the story outlined in the Official Report of the London Bombings.

Thursday, 6 July 2006

An Open Letter: July 7th and the Inquiries Act 2005

The July 7th Truth Campaign are issuing the following letter to individuals and organisations lobbying the government for an inquiry into the events of July 7th 2005. Full details of the organisations to whom this letter has been sent, along with the responses received, will published in due course:

The July 7th Truth Campaign, of whom you may be aware via recent media coverage in the Guardian 'G2' supplement, and the response we issued to that article on the 'Comment is Free' web site, was established with the aim of getting to the truth about what happened in London on July 7th 2005, the day that 56 people were killed and over 700 injured.

We have been outraged at the immediate and continued refusal of the government to hold a public inquiry. We believe that the excuses given by the government for their continued refusal to hold a public inquiry are, quite frankly, a nonsense. We also believe the continued refusal to conduct a fully independent public inquiry into such an atrocity is actively against the public interest.

Since the release of the official Home Office 'narrative' on 11 May 2006, which raised more questions than it answered, the July 7th Truth Campaign have mobilised around a single, simple call to the government, namely, that the authorities RELEASE THE EVIDENCE which supports the suppositions and conjecture contained in the official 'narrative'.

The July 7th Truth Campaign fully supports all calls, from all sections of the community lobbying the government for a truly Independent Public Inquiry and is writing to a number of organisations and individuals campaigning for a Public Inquiry into the events of July 7th, to determine their position on any 7/7 inquiry proposed under the terms of the Public Inquiries Act 2005.

The Inquiries Act 2005 was, in part, brought about in response to the call for a full and Independent Public Inquiry into the brutal murder of Pat Finucane. He was shot dead by two masked men on 12 February 1989 in front of his wife and his three children at their home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was shot 14 times, including at close range. In the aftermath of his killing, evidence emerged that police and military intelligence agents had colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries in his murder, as well as there being allegations of an official cover-up of such collusion.

Amnesty International has called for judges to boycott all inquiries under the Inquiries Act 2005, specifically in support of Pat Finucane's widow, and has also demanded that the act be repealed. To date, the UK government has not been able to identify any judge willing to take on the Finucane inquiry under the terms of the act.

Under the terms of the Inquiries Act 2005:
  • the inquiry and its terms of reference would be decided by the executive; no independent parliamentary scrutiny of these decisions would be allowed;
  • each member of an inquiry panel, including the chair of the inquiry, would be appointed by the executive and the executive would have the discretion to dismiss any member of the inquiry;
  • the executive can impose restrictions on public access to the inquiry, including on whether the inquiry, or any individual hearings, would be held in public or private;
  • the executive can also impose restrictions on disclosure or publication of any evidence or documents given, produced or provided to an inquiry;
  • the final report of the inquiry would be published at the executive's discretion and crucial evidence could be omitted at the executive's discretion, "in the public interest".

The July 7th Truth Campaign supports the joint calls of Amnesty International, The Law Society of England and Wales, the Finucane Family Campaign and other legal, human and civil rights organisations, in their opposition to any inquiry conducted under the Inquiries Act 2005, including any inquiry into July 7th, should it ever be granted. We also support Amnesty International's call to repeal the act.

We are writing to ask you to join us in our call to the government and authorities to RELEASE THE EVIDENCE that supports the official Home Office narrative, our demands for a fully Independent Public Inquiry into the events of July 7th, outside the flawed framework of the Inquiries Act 2005, and the repeal of the Inquiries Act 2005.

We hope we can count on your support and look forward to hearing from you soon.

The July 7th Truth Campaign Team

Sunday, 2 July 2006

Seeing isn't believing

A year on from 7/7, wild rumours are circulating about who planted the bombs and why. Some people even claim this picture of the four bombers was faked. Mark Honigsbaum, who accidentally triggered at least one of the conspiracy theories, investigates

Tuesday June 27, 2006
The Guardian

On July 10 last year, Bridget Dunne opened the Sunday newspapers eager for information about the blasts that had brought death and mayhem to London three days earlier. Like many people that weekend, Dunne was confused by the conflicting reports surrounding what had initially been described as a series of "power surges" on the tube. Why were the Metropolitan Police saying that these surges, which were now being attributed to bombs, had occurred simultaneously at 8.50am, when they had originally been described as taking place over the space of 26 minutes?

Dunne, a 51-year-old foster carer, was also having trouble squaring the Met's statement on July 8 that there was "no evidence to suggest that the attacks were the result of suicide bombings" with the growing speculation that Islamic suicide bombers and al-Qaida were to blame for the blasts that had hit the London underground and a bus in Tavistock Square. The Met Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, had talked himself of "these people who oppose our way of life".

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," insists Dunne. "I was just trying to make a cohesive, coherent story from the facts."

But while the papers that Sunday were full of interviews with people who had survived the bombs, and there was plenty of speculation about Osama bin Laden's involvement, Dunne could find nothing about the times of the tube trains in and out of King's Cross on the morning of July 7.

When, a few days later, police released the now famous CCTV image of Shehzad Tanweer, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain entering Luton station, her suspicions deepened. How had police identified the bombers so quickly? And how was it that amid the carnage of twisted metal and bloody body parts they had been able to recover credit cards and other ID placing the men at the scene of the crime?

Suspecting something was not right, Dunne, who lives in Camden, north London, wrote to her local paper. "Do you think we are being told the truth over these bombings?" she asked. "There are so many unanswered questions that just don't make any sense."

Full article here

Regardless of Mark Honigsbaum's scepticism, at least the concerns of the July Seventh Truth Campaign have been brought into public consciousness. He presented a balanced account from a few different perspectives, although I was unhappy with the way there was no differentiation between the approaches of all July 7th campaigners.

I was also puzzled by this paragraph:
"Did July 7 bombs explode under trains?" read a posting that referred to my report a few weeks later. "Eyewitness accounts appear to contradict the theory that suicide bombers were responsible for killing 39 [sic] passengers on London's tube network that day."

Why the need for [sic]? The article Mr. Honigsbaum is quoting is speaking solely of the tube deaths, of which there were, in fact, 39 - excluding the alleged perpetrators.

I also found it interesting that he was effectively back-pedalling from his original report. He says:
"I asked passengers what they had seen and experienced and was told by two survivors from the bombed train that, at the moment of the blast, the covers on the floor of their carriage had flown up - the phrase they used was "raised up". There was no time to check their statements as moments later the police widened the cordon and I was directed to the opposite pavement, outside the Metropole hotel."

"It was from there that at around 11am I phoned a hurried, and what I now know to be flawed, audio report to the Guardian. In the report, broadcast on our website, I said that it "was believed" there had been an explosion "under the carriage of the train". I also said that "some passengers described how the tiles, the covers on the floors of the train, flew up, raised up". It later became clear from interviewing other passengers who had been closer to the seat of the explosion that the bomb had actually detonated inside the train, not under it, but my comments, disseminated over the internet where they could be replayed ad nauseam, were already taking on a life of their own."

and finally
"In the internet age, it seems, some canards never die."

Mr. Honigsbaum, although he at least accepts that the July Seventh website has outlined all the main theories and explanations for how the attacks were carried out, needs to understand that it was not just his audio report which suggested the bombs appeared to be underneath the trains. He can call his own audio report a "canard" now, if he wishes, but that does not negate the testimony of other passengers, on other trains who spoke of the holes in the floors of the trains having metal pushed upwards - suggesting that the explosions had, in fact, occurred underneath. Also, would he have felt it necessary to "check their statements" if they had reported seeing a man blow himself up on the train? I wonder.

One of our forum members also made a valid criticism: "The quotes....letting the police off the hook for not releasing more CCTV footage and blowing off the work that has been done on the train times were just slipped in there as if they represent some kind of credible response to outstanding questions. They aren’t."

The article states:"...there are people in the background of the King's Cross CCTV sequence whom police are still trying to trace. Police have also kept back details of what the bombers were wearing in order to be sure that witness statements taken from people who may have seen them on the Thameslink train can be corroborated."

This makes little sense. If there are people in the background of the Kings Cross sequence (which, due to the conflicting reports, may be either from the concourse, forecourt, underground ticket hall or even Thameslink station) who still haven't been traced a year on from the event, surely it would make more sense now to simply release the footage asking the people to come forward and identify themselves - a method used commonly used in crime investigations. Furthermore, the suggestion that the police kept back details of what the men were wearing in order to corroborate witness statements doesn't really fit in with the fact that the police did release details of what they were wearing through a single CCTV image from outside Luton station which illustrated their outfits enough that they could be identified by anyone who views it.

The information regarding the cancelled train was not obtained from a train schedule, as suggested in the article, it was obtained (and certainly wasn't "demanded") directly from the Communications Manager for Thameslink Rail at Luton who supplied the times that the trains actually ran that day. Therefore, the impossibility of the men being able to take this train cannot be dismissed.

The questions still stand and will continue to be asked.

Mind the Gap