Hand wringing all round, but no comfort for the de Menezes family The unfortunate and traumatised officers responsible for what should have been found an “unlawful” killing are back on duty. The policy to shoot into the head using the expanding bullet remains in full force. Who are the bigger threats to our safety, “terrorists” or the law enforcers?
On this occasion bombs failed to detonate but police officers, who members of the public, traumatised passengers on the tube standing in Stockwell tube station thought were a gang of high spirited and unruly youth, didn’t fail to kill. They were safe evidently. You see the bllet is designed to cause as much damage to the brain as possible as it expands and it won’t come out to harm innocent bystanders. Problem is Charles de Menezes was an innocent bystander.
Note that the Met Chief assures us that it is intended that the chance of this happening again “is minimised”. The chance of it happening at all should have always been there, Going off to Israel to learn from the trigger happy defence forces there was not a good sign.
The building up of fears of bogies whether ill-defined “terrorists” or groups of young people has become a stock in trade for our politicians to make us feel that we are being protected by them. And it has been shown to work. On the back of this practices and procedures have been justified which would otherwise be considered signs of the uncivilised barbarians we are pleased to use as stereotypes of nations we occupy. Guantanamo Bay, torture, the use of private concerns as combatants, bombing nation after nation into submission. Who has done this? People voted into power in “democratic” states. In some cases – as in Spain – they have been voted out. Tony Blair left office under a cloud when we presumed things would be different. At least Iraq’s end is in site. But the changes offered by Obama and Brown don’t look so different with foreign policy still be conducted by force rather than the diplomacy they seemed to promise.