This is the case involving terrorist suspect Babar Ahmad, arrested in 2003 and still in custody. The Grauniad doesn’t mention whether there is any substance to the arrest. There’s a reasonable account at Wikipedia -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babar_Ahmad
Hang on – we’re in the middle of 2011 and the guy is still in prison, convicted of nothing? WTF! Isn’t this the very kind of legal behaviour we despise?
I don’t know the guy. Even in the Wiki story, he would have been a better target than a convenient Brazilian, but there isn’t much I can find out. There some stuff about 5th Fleet movements and vulnerability to RPG attacks – which isn’t far from Neddy Seagoon buying an insurance policy on the English Channel and trying to set it on fire. You come across so many Jihadis in our universities (often on complaint from female students) it’s hard to know what kind of other threat they pose. Four Lions is about right. I was close to one who killed twice, but couldn’t get authorities to take me seriously until after the murders. I’ve taught them abroad too and generally been treated well (one punch to an ear, one knife taken off idiot in someone else’s class). They have more of a case to answer in a number of ways we ignore than most think.
The first is there is justification for action against oppression. The second is there is no justification for their dire use of religion (which their academics confirm). The third is there is no justification for their dismal attitudes towards and ‘use’ of women, or our avoidance of this. The fourth is our lack of recognition of how lovely and humble the many decent people in their cultures are. The fifth is our responsibility for the whole mess.
We don’t have much of a record of catching the real beasts of terrorism until after the tragedy. Ahmad could be an absolute bastard – but it’s clear we can’t be told or he isn’t – our principles are that he should thus be free.
The response to his claims of being subject to very unnecessary force (70-odd injuries) is predictably farcical along standard lines. Denial, heroism by an officer proclaimed after internal non-enquiry, more denial, then a pay out of £60K and finally a trial after an investigation so long after-the-fact as to be absurd.
At the trial the usual ruse of keeping allegations and facts from the jury shames the system. The Grauniad reports:
‘The conclusion of the case means it is possible to report that two of the officers found not guilty – Jones and James-Bowen – had 40 separate allegations of assault against them between 1993 and 2007, the majority involving black or Asian men. The allegations, which came to light during the civil proceedings, had been found to be unsubstantiated following inquiries. In a separate case Jones was found not guilty of racially assaulting two teenage boys who had accused him of taking them into the back of a police van and shouting abuse about their ethnic backgrounds in front of his colleagues’.
I have no truck with prejudice, including the prejudice of anti-racism. I did not like the grim, squalid black people and Asians I tended to work amongst as a cop – scum to a man locked up. I’d say the same of my own ‘ethnicity’. I don’t even think my own culture is the best I’ve lived in, though it’s much better than some.
Our culture is prejudiced and so are our cops. Big deal – get over it. Research done on this is so feeble we should ignore it. The race card needs to go. There are reasons to suspect it’s working in reverse. Are we really saying that some religious profanities prior to a couple of trigger finger movements that killed Osama matter?
Our cops have to be allowed to go in hard and fast when needed. If I was a victim of such noble cause I wouldn’t complain if they said sorry, even if in the form of being offered a bottle of scotch by a black officer saying, ‘Here, Honkie, this’ll ease the pain’. These issues are blinds.
Remember ‘justice delayed is justice denied’? ‘Rather the guilty man walk free than one innocent man go to jail’?
What this case demonstrates is that our legal system is in a mess. The key issue is that of timely investigation by independent people. This clearly did not happen. We didn’t convict on claims of brutality against the Irish either – one wonders what might have been had the juries known they were innocent.
In this case allegations and facts concerning the police officers were hidden, but not the’ identity’ of the ‘terrorist’. What these officers did or didn’t do hardly matters in comparison with the system’s failings. If the allegations are as bullshit as any made against me or other cops I worked with, I wish them well. I’m much happier to see them in the job than those who failed to deal with this properly at the proper time. These people should be facing discipline now, not the ‘famous four’. They too have already been denied either just desserts or justice and should be left alone.