Monday, 25 February 2013
I have been sent a picture. It shows tired people patiently waiting to be served. To avoid having to stand tediously in line they have neatly set-out their shoes as proxies. This allows them to sit on the hard benches further back from the counters while their shoes do the queuing. The evenly spaced ranks of sandals are surreal but they make life a little easier. Imagination is a remarkable human trait.
In Britain the documentary film maker Tony Rooke has been equally inventive in committing a crime by refusing to pay the television licence fee which funds the British Broadcasting Corporation. He will appear in the Horsham Magistrate’s Court this week. His defence is that he does not want to promote terrorism by supporting the BBC. Section 15 of the UK Terrorism Act 2000, Article 3, says it is an offence to provide funds if there is reasonable cause to suspect that those funds may be used for the purposes of terrorism.
Mr Rooke claims the BBC has withheld scientific evidence which demonstrates that the official explanation of the 9/11 attacks is impossible; and that the BBC has actively attempted to discredit people trying to bring this to public attention. This cover-up protects the real terrorists involved who have not been identified and held to account. Paying the licence fee in these circumstances would be promoting terrorism.
The BBC has famously been responsible for announcing the collapse of WTC Building 7 – the third skyscraper to fall in New York on 9/11- more than 20 minutes before the event happened at 5.20 in the afternoon. This extraordinary feat of journalistic prescience may simply be explained by the BBC’s claim to be the best in the business. This is not, however, the inspiration for Mr. Rooke’s offence. His appearance in the dock follows a more frustrated history.
The BBC as a public broadcaster is a uniquely British institution. It operates under a Royal Charter setting out public purposes which include sustaining citizenship and civil society. Its mission is to inform and educate as well as to entertain. The Corporation’s publicly stated editorial values promise truth, accuracy, impartiality, editorial integrity and independence, fairness, transparency and accountability in all the BBC’s programmes.
Despite its public charge and editorial commitment, the BBC regards any scepticism of the official 9/11 narrative as “conspiracy theory”. Communications professor James F Tracy is one of a number of academics for whom “conspiracy theory” is more than a phrase. His research shows “conspiracy theory” is a weapon systematically developed to restrict critical thinking. “It is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate.” At the BBC “conspiracy theory” obedience was imposed. Singularly promoting the official story became policy.
Hubris has brought the BBC the additional discomfort of the Horsham hearing – at a time when its ability to safeguard young contributors from pedophiles in its employ is apparently the nation’s greatest worry. To commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 the BBC broadcast two documentaries – “9/11: Conspiracy Road Trip” and “The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 Ten Years On”. They were infantile and arrogant and gave propaganda a bad name. The films also provoked the outrage of “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth”, one of a number of professional groups –including, firefighters, pilots, academics and scientists- who have meticulously deconstructed the 9/11 conspiracy canon.
Formal complaints were lodged alleging the inaccuracy and bias of these documentaries breached the BBC’s Royal Charter and Agreement and its editorial code. Scientific evidence was provided – including the fact that all three buildings had collapsed at almost free-fall speed. The floors coming down encountered no resistance – breaching a fundamental law of physics. This observation has been admitted by the National Institute for Standards and Technology which conducted the official investigation. A request that the BBC reveal these issues was ignored.
Mr Rooke is refusing to pay his licence so that this evidence contradicting the official story may finally be tested in a court of law. He will get three hours to do so. Among those assisting him is Dr. Niels Harrit, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen. Harrit’s team of scientists studied the WTC dust – a spectacular feature of the collapses – and concluded “the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.” In short they found pervasive traces of ultra-sophisticated explosives. Their study was peer reviewed and published in the respected “The Open Chemical Physics Journal”. Dr Harrit was interviewed by the BBC. He believes the purpose was not to discuss his findings but to harass and discredit him.
Tony Farrell, former Intelligence Analyst for the South Yorkshire Police Department, is also on board. After extensive analysis of the events of 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings he produced an official report. It concluded that the greatest terrorist threat to the public did not come from Islamic extremists but from internal sources within the US and British establishment. He was subsequently sacked. In the US senior research scientists John Mueller and Mark Stewart have concluded that the American reaction has been massively disproportionate to any threat posed by Al Qaeda. They also found police informers were significantly involved in so-called “homegrown” terrorism plots and the “terrorists” themselves were pretty much idiots. A similar pattern obtains in the UK where the government regularly makes sensational claims to have uncovered plots by equally adept “terrorists” just in time to save us from national obliteration.
This week Britons have again been told they face a crisis of “homegrown” terrorism. The warning follows the conviction of three Birmingham Muslim men accused of planning an even more horrendous attack on London than the 7/7 bombings of 2005. It’s the usual story. Born in Britain, terror trained in Pakistan, known to the security establishment, caught in the nick of time – even before broadcasting the obligatory martyrdom video; thank God!
Déjà vu. In 2006 a plot to blow-up transatlantic planes flying out of Heathrow was uncovered. Then Home Secretary John Reid said that the scale of the plot was potentially larger than 9/11 and that the loss of life “would have been on an unprecedented scale.” Two years later – after a five-month trial costing £10 million – a jury was unable to agree that such a plot ever existed. But the idea that a cute explosive cocktail – triacetone triperoxide or TATP – can be mixed in an airplane lavatory from household ingredients has made international travel a misery for millions. Thomas C Greene in a piece for the Register in August 2006 suggests this is nonsense. Any scientist who confirms this would of course risk the “conspiracy theory” appellation.
Tony Rooke’s stand is even more critical given that the murky events of the London bombings – like the 9/11 attacks – have not been the subject of an independent investigation. Former British PM, Tony Blair has said such an investigation would be a “ludicrous diversion”. Yet there are numerous details that raise disquiet. By way of illustration the official report said the alleged bombers had taken a train from Luton to London that left at 7.40 am. A year later it was announced in parliament this was a mistake – there had been no 7.40 from Luton that morning. There is also the bizarre confirmation that on 7/7 a consultancy was conducting mass safety drills involving bombs exploding at precisely the stations that were targeted. The odds against such a coincidence are close to infinity. Responses to mock attacks were also being rehearsed on 9/11.
The July 7th Truth Campaign claims, “despite the release of some CCTV footage purporting to be from the day of 7 July 2005, not one piece of evidence has been released to the public that could be legitimately used to convict someone in a court of law for what happened, yet the government still has no plans to organise an Independent Public Inquiry and families of July 7 bombing victims fear they may never learn the truth.” The campaign notes that in all the official investigations and media reports the guilt of the alleged four bombers is implicitly assumed.
There is also the revealing issue of Dr David Kelly, the government scientist held responsible for providing the BBC with evidence that Tony Blair was fraudulently manufacturing a case for war with Iraq. Dr Kelly was dragged, humiliatingly, before a parliamentary select committee. His body was found in a wood close to his Oxfordshire home a few days later. Instead of a coroner’s inquest as required by law, a government inquiry was set-up on the very day Dr Kelly died.
Since 2004 a group of eminent doctors have claimed that the reason given for Dr Kelly’s death – “haemorrhage from a transected ulnar artery” – is untenable and that suicide is not feasible in this manner. Despite a protracted legal battle, the government has refused the doctors’ request for a coroner’s inquest. Dr Kelly is believed to be the only person in Britain to have been denied such a right.
In an increasingly fascist world, imaginative thinking – like not “paying the telly” or getting your shoes to queue – can only be commended.
Mr Rooke’s effort to raise the issue of 9/11 in a British court failed. District Judge Stepen Nicholl’s said that he did not have the power under the Terrorism Act, even if he accepted the defendant’s evidence. Mr Rooke was fined 200 pounds.