Friday, April 14, 2006

The Friday Project on 'False Flag Fundementalism'

I have been a subscriber to The Friday Project Satirical e-zine weekly for some years, and this week there's a report on the book launch of last Wednesday, plus Justin, a fab new addition to the writing team some of you may already be aware of...

Go subscribe...

This is from B, one of their best regulars...

'There is a central question: how young men born and bred in Britain, with all the rights and freedoms a British citizen enjoys, could decide to blow themselves up on London's public transport system, killing fellow citizens.' - Milan Rai, introduction to '7/7' '7/7: WHO REALLY BOMBED LONDON?...

'Inside job frame-ups are routine operations when ruling fraternities want another war or more police-state powers... these 'black ops' are also known as 'false flag terrorism' because they throw the blame onto innocents *allegedly* linked to the enemy of today.' - Leaflet from 'The Independent People's Investigation into July Seventh'....

Milan Rai wasn't sure if he'd make it to his own book launch.He's been in court this morning, charged with organising anunauthorised demonstration in the vicinity of Parliament - thiswas when he and Maya Evans read out the names of dead soldiers bythe Cenotaph last year. However, he's here (having been fined,although he's refusing to pay) for the launch of his measured, analytical book '7/7: The London Bombings, Islam and the IraqWar' and a public meeting at a Friends Meeting House in centralLondon. Evans, a member of the group Justice not Vengeance, is the chair, and the speakers are Iraqi activist academic Nadje al-Ali, 7/7 survivor and writer Rachel North and 'radical historian'Mark Curtis.

The room is filled with thoughtful people who want to listen and discuss the issues, and as it transpires, some who are convinced that a lack of CCTV footage proves that Tony Blair personally Sellotaped exploding wombats to the underground tracks.The speakers are excellent. Iraqi Londoner Nadje al-Ali explainsthat 'In Iraq, people say goodbye every morning as if for thelast time, because it could be.' She herself is 'scared by Bush'spolicies and Islamic extremism alike'. She's insistent that peaceful activists have to examine what they have achieved and what they haven't, and have to ask 'What is our failure?' Just as the people at the meeting are not the ones who need convincing, the people who ask these hard questions are the ones who least need to. Governments rarely ask this of themselves. But there's a solid self-awareness about these panelists which can be used; they openly acknowledge that you can't just preach to the converted. We get a niggling sense, though, that the consistent willingness to acknowledge failure and shortcoming, although only the right thing to do, is seen as a weakness itself by those who disagree. Still, what else can you do?

Mark Curtis is especially thoughtful and eloquent, saying it's'entirely rational' for Iran to be acquiring nuclear weapons, asmilitary intervention is sending a clear message that countriesneed to protect themselves. Well, yeah. He reels off interestingand terrifying interconnecting facts about British arms exports,alliances with oppressive elites, and how the 'foreign policyboomerang' is making us less safe.

Rachel North talks about how it's possible to eke positive things out of the atrocities. She's written copiously in the press and on her blog about the sense of unity and solidarity felt by the victims and the people ofLondon, and is also tireless in pressing for a public enquiry and stressing the need to put constant bugs in the government's ear.This evening she firmly stresses the need for insight, insistingthat 'we need to understand what made [the bomber on the King's Cross train] do it, then we can engage with it and attack it at the source'. She understands that 'ideas can't be made war on'but we've got to do better than 'fighting violence and fear with more violence and fear'.

Rai himself is engaging, funny and impassioned. He explains with a deliberate drawl that he's 'a living demonstration of the misnomer that the Serious... Organised... Crimes... Act... has become.' He goes on to say that there's pretty much unanimousagreement on the part of the government, the Home and Foreign Offices and the British people that there's a link between theattacks and the war on Iraq, but Blair is doing his best to deflect it with nifty lawyerly pronouncements. He speaks about media self-censorship and complicity, the hardening of attitudes towards Muslims - all heavy and depressing stuff, but it's heartening to hear it aired with a view to attempting to alter it.

Then questions are taken, and the fun really begins after thefirst one or two. An imperious voice says something about Rai's book being, with all due respect, wrong. Maya Evans gets heavy.She is aware that 'some people have come to disagree', and gives the speaker three minutes to talk. Although this is a public meeting, there is an agenda of sorts which this speaker isn't aligning himself with - since the agenda isn't completely clarified, there's immediate tension. A tall middle-aged man in a crinkled cream suit comes to the front and explains that 'the purpose of 7/7 was to abort the G8 summit - there were no Muslim terrorists - the bombs were maybe strapped underneath thetrains...' The hot, stuffy room goes still - any incipient boos and tuts are suppressed, exasperation released only in barely-audible sighs. It's standard-issue conspiracy theorist tripe, andyet there's a discomfort felt in hearing it which may come fromthe knowledge that if he believes this, others will, and the search for truth is put into further needless jeopardy by people who loftily claim to be the only real seekers of it. He continues with strident pronouncements as to train time discrepancies andother details he considers evidence of governmental skulduggery,and insists that 'synthetic terror' is being created. Wonderful phrase, but unfortunately anchored in nothing but hubris. He sits down to a mighty clatter of applause from one row.

Nadje al-Ali wearily responds that 'your anger is misplaced. Mil is trying to expose government lies - we are not polarised. But in saying there were no bombers, you're not helping me, you're not helping anyone.' North, the subject of some colourful theories herself(apparently, she's a whole team of MI5 operatives), merely says,'I think you can probably guess my response.'

There's further fuss from the Independent Enquiry contingent.Maya Evans has a formidable presence but struggles a little,veering between allowing free speech to show its silly arse aswell as its fresh face, and insisting that the subject must beclosed because it's not on the agenda. We veer along with her. On one hand, yes, let them give themselves enough rope to hang themselves with, and don't give them an excuse to cry'suppression of information'. On the other hand, they're wasting time, souring the atmosphere; and although they're civilised enough and there's no risk of a chair-hurling saloon brawl erupting, the small group are a dominant presence. One man behindus in a loud and clear Brian Sewell tone asks 'if Milan Rai believes in "innocent until proven guilty", and if so, why is hepresuming the guilt of these three lads without trial?' Rai looksdown at the table. Evans says that they've covered this and won't answer the question. 'If you won't answer then we'll draw conclusions,' huffs the man. Evans backs up a bit. 'If we answer this, can we have a promise from you that we'll move on?' The man says he can't promise for the rest of the group, and besides,'You're the chair - you decide when we move on.' He's right, ofcourse - she does, and he's just niftily pointed out how she'sundermined her own authority. Bugger. But like most of the people in the room, Evans wants more than anything to be reasonable, to have reasonable debate. She's torn, like the rest of us, between letting the loons let rip and shushing them like a schoolmistress.

'Would you like to sit down?' she asks the man.'I wouldn't *like* to,' he retorts, 'but I shall'. It's all pettypoint-scoring, and the assumption that a refusal to answer a silly question speaks simply *volumes*, when in fact it's the only sensible thing to do. Start bickering with conspiracy theorists and you begin to eat into what's already been achieved- the fragile establishment of rationale and a tentative wayforward for debate. You might as well just down tools and have acustard pie fight - y'know, to relieve the tension.

The meeting breaks up amicably enough, with acknowledgement of the 'tension in the room' and relief that it's been resolvedpeacefully enough for now. It's been something of a microcosm ofthe situation being discussed. The difficult struggle to reach a consensus and a solution through civilised discussion, in order to avoid further violence (or in this case shouting, and moreplaintive bleats of 'that's *censorship!*'). The importance of hearing everyone's view versus the strong instinct to block someunpleasant voices out. There's also the sad realisation thatpeople will always scrap amongst themselves whatever common ground they have; and also that people's beliefs, whether in the absolute imperative of jihad and martyrdom or in the perpetration of black ops and the non-existence of suicide bombers, become unshakeable fast. Conspiracy theorists are still fundamentalists of a kind, and it's too late to convince them they're wrong, but thankfully it is safe in their case to ignore them. Still,they're fascinating, with their obsessive attention to superfluous detail, their misplaced paranoia and twisting of thewords of witnesses to fit their agenda. It's sad when they actually want many of the things the rest of us do, as was pointed out.

The problem they create is that they give questioning officialdom a bad name, making it easy to write everyone off who raises a hand and says, 'No, I don't think that's a good enough explanation.'

Then again, as we walked to the tube full of Quaker tea and flapjacks, it did occur to us that there never *has* been any official explanation as to why the bombed number 30 bus carried an advertisement for the horror film 'The Descent', including thereview quote 'OUTRIGHT TERROR... BOLD AND BRILLIANT'. Perhaps we should be told?

Justice Not Vengeance:
Rachel's Blog:

They Did It In America Too, You Know:


Anonymous Tim Neale said...

We are all preaching to the converted and probably need to do more. There seems to be a group of us who read and comment on each others blogs and broadly agree about the authoritarian nature of New Labour and the consequences.

On moving out of this comfortable circle it is sometimes shocking to read the prevailing attitudes. Challenging this consensus usually provoke a stream of personal abuse. This is more tribalism than political belief.

The problem with conspiracy theories, along with accusing Blair of being Nazi etc., is that these ideas are so far off of the consensus that they are easily rubbished by the government and its supporters, along with more reasonable criticism.

After reading this, probably astroturfing attack on human rights in the Sun, I sent an email. No reply as yet.

It may be way out of our comfort zone but we need to do more to challenge excepted truths if we are ever going to make any headway.

April 14, 2006 3:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When You here hoof beats don't think zebras

April 15, 2006 7:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just not right. The term "conspiracy theorist" cannot successfully be used in this way, without categorising in one swoop everybody who questions the norms in society. Who creates those norms anyway? There are some interesting ideas around and for sure there are groups of powerful people who are intent on establishing norms to mind control us and we must all question them, but please,without being categorised in one gigantic and totally indiscriminate group by those that find the uncomfortable easier when it is so readily dismissed.

April 15, 2006 10:48 pm  
Blogger Justin Walker said...


First of all, Happy Easter.

Secondly, I left the following message to you on a thread that seems to have disappeared:


There is only one mature way out of all this unpleasantness between yourselves and ourselves. You believe the official story of 7/7 is right - we believe it was probably a false flag operation. The answer, as all believers in true democracy adhere to, is to have a formal, well organised 7/7 debate where both sides, to an agreed format, can put their points of view across and cross examine those who disagree with them. No heckling, no rudeness, just a decent uplifting debate where our democracy and all our rights to freedom of speech win out.

How about it? You are convinced of your stance - we of ours. I throw down the gauntlet (in a nice way I assure you) and let such a mature and reasonable debate take place.

I look forward to hopefully your positive response to this.

Best wishes


13/4/06 18:28

Please let me know soonest whether we can find some way of working out our differences - Easter Day would be a perfect day for this process to start.

I look forward to your response,


April 16, 2006 9:28 am  
Anonymous snitch said...

It's a nice thought but I honestly don't know how you propose to 'work out your differences', Justin - you're never going to agree because you have polarised beliefs. You're never going to give any ground, and are only going to continue to proselytise.

As for the anonymous commenter above - I think the term 'conspiracy theorist' is perfectly serviceable. You subscribe to one particular conspiracy theory, thereby you can be described as a conspiracy theorist. That's a specific enough thing, it's not suggesting any 'gigantic and indiscriminate group'. I suppose it's a large, scattered group of people who share a similar misplaced paranoia, if you want to split hairs. What would you prefer? 'Differently-enabled thinker'?

April 16, 2006 11:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Snitch, but by just so simply labelling so many alternative people, who will have an incredible array of views and ideas with one such term is totally pointless and counterproductive. It achieves nothing and does not produce any engagement of ideas at all. It can only be understood in terms of those who will slavishly follow the official line and wish to totally detach themselves from that which lies outside the comfort zone as referred to by Tim Neale. Why detach yourself from all possible information, and why rely on the establishment system which is likely and proven so many times to be manipulated in high places.

April 16, 2006 9:27 pm  
Anonymous KeithMothersson said...

What sort of Inquiry would we all agree to?
I think it has to be a) into WHAT happened (without reducing that to the aftermath, emergency services) with any WHY stuff logically contingent upon first establishing the what and hopefully who of it;
b) adequate in its powers and staffing and funding;

Wonder what others who call for 'an inquiry' are really calling for?

April 17, 2006 1:34 am  
Anonymous seth said...

hi rachel,

happy belated easter to you and j...was away for the weekend.hope all is well.


April 17, 2006 3:46 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Happy Easter Seth and everyone else. Tim, I agree with you that it is important to engage out of the comfort zone and for that reason will pop up at Harry's Place or on other blogs where people disagree and try to put my case.

In terms of the conspiracy theorists/false flag researchers/independent internet investigators or what ever they want to call themselves this week, I do think I have engaged enough.

I have engaged in pages of debate on Alex Cox's blog, on the British 9/11 truth boards, on urban 75 anbd on my own website. I have been invited to one of their meetings and have attended with another survivor, and they have attended the book launch where I and Milan and others spoke. I have read the Antagonists blog, team 8 puls boards, Bridget Dunne's blog, officialconfusion, whatreallyhappened, 77truth and all the alternative theories that have been put my way or linked on the 'official version' challengers sites.

I have found nothing, not one thing to convince me that they have any merit in their theories that it was not the 4 named young men and that it was not suicide bombs.

Since July 7th I have also spoken to police, other survivors from all 4 sites, investigative news journalists and politicians, medical staff and fire officers, LU staff, some of whom I now count as friends. I do not believe they are lying to me or engaged in a cover up.

I have given this subject enough time, I have contributed extensively and publicly to the debate and I I have seen that whilst some on 'the other side' seek to make common cause with me, and are friendly and well-intentioned, I personally do not wish to make common cause with them. This is not because of the high levels of personal vitriol that are directed at me, but because I think, however well-intentioned they are, the fact that they deny a suicide bomb plot which resulted in mass murder and maimings and injury to hundreds is inappropriate.

I think it is inappropriate to deny the Holocaust took place. I also think it is inappropriate to deny the suicide bombings took place, in the face of all the evidence.

I repeat, I have read and engaged with all the questions they have, and I will give them one point: the bombers probably got an earlier train than the one initially suspected. This does not make a conspiracy.There are indeed some inconsistencies in a multi-sourced ongoing news story and a continuing police investigation. IMO this is only to be expected and does not indicate a mass conspiracy.

I note that those who relentlessly question what they term the 'official version' do not have a credible alternative theory of their own, nor any evidence to support it, save selective hearsay. ( Please note: we are still awaiting the official version, what you have is news reports, analysis and witness accounts thus far)

When the own families of the bombers have accepted their guilt, when everything I have seen and heard with my own experience, when everyone I have spoken to whom I trust checks out and when the only people who posit a false flag theory are a group of people who have no personal experience of the July London bombs, or contacts within the 7/7 investigation or events whatsoever; moreover who clearly have an agenda that begins with the presupposition that it is all a conspiracy involving, variously, the UK and US govts, the security services, the police, the New World Order, the Zioinists, Jews, Masons...then I am going to say this.

Enough. No, I do not see what benefit a meeting or giving the further oxygen of publicty to such people would have. It is not up to me, a survivor to 'defend' 'my' 'official version' in a public meeting. It is YOUR alternative version that runs against everyone else, is a tiny minority viewpoint and one which I find offensive, personally. If you have been the victim of a crime it is not pleasant to have a bunch of strangers claim you are complicit in it, it never happened, or that the perpetrator was innocent. To then be the subject of personal insults, nasty insinuations and smears, to have your personal details posted up on the internet and your work phone number and email address given out ( as a rape victim I have a legal right to anonymity whch everyone bar the conspiracy theorists respects) is unpleasant.

I am not meeting you people any more, not opening myself up to further attacks, IT IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILTY to defend myself from your fantasies and to give your version of events any credibility at all.

I have I hope distanced my calls for an independent and wideranging public enquiry from the extremists within the '9/11 truth movement' and the conspiracy theorists. I seek to learn why this happened and what can be doen to save livesd and spare suffering and improve communication in the future. I do not seek to apportion blame, I want an enquiry for positive reasons because I beleive there is much to learn, and since the publuc run the risks and the the threat is UK citizens agaianst fellow citizens, then the piblic should be involved in and contributing to dialogue, policy decision and making their views known

Doubtless you will suspect an agenda because I have wearied of this and refused your request for a third meeting. I would like you to consider this:

I have enaged with you often and publicly
I have heard what you say and read what you have sent me, I have followed your arguments and tested them myself. I do not find them at all convincing, and I do not see that you even have a credible alternative version of events that checks out, or can be supported with any evidence at all.
I am the victim of a crime, I am the victim of a terrorist atrocity, I should like you to respect that and to leave me alone now please as I try to move on with my life. I have my reasons for being interested in the subject of July 7th: it is a day when for the second time in my life I was the random victim of attempted murder and great violence by a stranger. The attack on 7 July was not an attack on me, but an attack on many, and one in which many died.

In both attacks I have sought justice and healing and to try to bring something positive out of the whole experience. Some will say it is not justice since the 7/7 bombers had no trial. They are dead, their families have accepted their guilt, from their remains and DNA and the evidence that places them there, with bombs, and plots to kill, at the scene. Unless anyone can find me a reason why th epolice, the families of the bombers and everyone else is lying I say they are guilty, and dead, and justice is now best served by looking at why they did it and what we can do to prevent more deaths and more anger and more despair in the future.

I do not think justice or healing is served by picking fights with the survivor of a suicide bomb, not by trying to convert her to a set of theories which she has already explained she finds to be untruthful and offensive.

Happy Easter and peace be with you all.

April 17, 2006 8:26 am  
Anonymous seth said...

hi rachel,

you forgot to mention passover but thats ok. as we told the story of the exodus from egypt last wednesday nite ( we celebrate both easter and passover here) i couldnt help but think of you and your fellow 7/7 survivors. i would like to hope that all of you have begun to make the journey (from the emotional slavery and torment of that day) back to your previous lives,slowly but very surely.

happy easter monday,

seth :)

April 17, 2006 6:45 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

A conclusion for Easter.


"The problem they create is that they give questioning officialdom a bad name, making it easy to write everyone off who raises a hand and says, 'No, I don't think that's a good enough explanation."

In a nutshell. Don't be shy about making this point.

I didn't have time to read this post before, (I read your comment Rachel,) but it's really helpful, well written.
I would have been pleased the other day, before my discourse was hijacked, to be able to suggest e.g.
"Perhaps more attention should be paid to that Officer who suggested that there was a trade off, freeing the wrong suspects", or "the Officer who talked about community networking he was looking into was interesting"( I have to keep details vague.) We could have had some creative debate and produced productive hypotheses.
One of my research observations re 1888 is just how little some of the basic structure and motivation has changed. It's very interesting. It's new research, and I'm happy to be a part of it. But you just daren't try to raise the matter, as conspiraloons will instantly seize it, make connections and turn it into a debate about bombs and microwave tampering and claim Bush is being poisoned by Argos. ( for example.)
Serious work is dragged into disrepute by association.
Anyone serious walking into the midst of all this has got to be brave indeed.
At worst, they can harass people and give them a really bad time, (which has come up elsewhere).
'Truthman' has written a new post directed at me, claiming he condensed four years supervised thesis work into his recent post 'A primer on conspiraloonacy' which I simply don't believe. In it he's claiming that Wall Street bankers answered his letters, which strikes me as highly unlikely.
I think people shouldn't be intimidated, but should firmly outline their views without fear of ridicule or interruption. If evidence of an isolated conspiracy re Security Services does comes up somewhere, boldly state the facts, and let the disruptives discuss their silly connections in a corner. Who cares what they have to say? Also, boldly defend the evidence if it suggests Security Services did the best possible job after the fact, re with the London events, as you have done.
Don't be crushed, but use the experience. Adversity is a good teacher.


April 18, 2006 1:39 am  
Blogger The Moai said...


I imagine you are beginning to tire somewhat of *some* (not all, just some) of the commentary your site attracts. All I can say is, please don't give up blogging, many of love reading your stuff!


April 18, 2006 12:53 pm  

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