by Jonathan Freedland
It’s become a familiar part of the post-tragedy landscape. A shocking outrage happens and instantly people start looking for the secret, hidden explanation - the conspiracy theory that explains all.
Erm, no actually the first bit was spent gathering information and trying to find news about what had happened. The doubts only started in my mind when the unanswered questions started.
The London bombings have conformed to the rule. Within hours of the explosions, email inboxes were filling up with rumours and whispered speculation. Why did the police say the Underground explosions were several minutes apart when in fact they all occurred at the same time? Why were there other evacuations on the tube that morning - before 8.50, when the bombs went off? Did the police know something they did not pass on? No, actually Mr Freedland, the first thing we were speculating on was who warned Bibi Netanyahu and when. That he was warned is irrefutable, the details have of course been ignored by Freedland's brethren and stories doctored or retracted, typical cover-up stuff.
As always, there are simple explanations for all such questions - in the case of the wrong timings, cock-up rather than conspiracy seems to have been at work. As for the evacuations, they happen almost every day somewhere on the vast network. But that has not stopped the rumour mill, which now turns at lightning speed and across the globe - thanks to the internet. If there are answers for all such questions then tell me why there were exercises being conducted at the same time, tell me how ID documents can be blown off a person and end up in 2 stations on opposite sides of the event radius? Tell me how the cctv on the bus was offline when it's checked twice a week by London Transport. Those are just some of the questions we're asking. Of course Jonnie boy only deals with the fatuous ones that nobody here is asking.
It was no different after 9/11 or the Madrid bombings of 2004. Even the themes are the same. The first points the finger not at al-Qaida, but at al-Qaida’s sworn enemy, the United States. The conspiracy theorists are very exercised by the revelation that the website which carried the first supposed claim of responsibility for the London attacks is hosted by a server in … Houston, Texas. What’s more, the server’s owners, brothers Robert and Roy Marsh, are distantly linked to the Bush family circle – via their friendship with the president’s former sister-in-law, Sharon Bush. To the conspiracy theorists, that counts as proof of a trail that leads all the way to the White House. Erm, Jon, your knowledge of the Bush family is as vacuous as this whole piece. Do some proper research and then come back. The website the statment was posted on is irrelevant, the statement is a farce so who's even asking questions about that? Our questions are a lot more serious than the location of the server hosting the supposed statement.
The second, wearily familiar theme casts not the US but Israel as the culprit. This time, the hare was set running by an Associated Press story – retracted shortly afterwards - claiming that the Israeli Finance Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, mysteriously cancelled his appearance at a London conference that morning because he had had some kind of warning that attacks were coming. Later it emerged that Netanyahu had indeed chosen to stay in his London hotel room - but only because the explosions had already happened. His security advisers decided it was too risky for him to venture out while bombs were going off. This is bull, no-one knew they were bombs until at least an hour after they happened because the story was about a power surge. For Netanyahu not to have been there he MUST have known before hand or he would have been on his way there. The fact that the story was retracted sortly afterwards is a classic sign of a cover-up. Believe it's a cock-up if you really want to be that naive.
Once again, that has not stopped the wild-eyed conspiracy theorists. Iranian state radio’s first guess was that Mossad, the Israeli secret service, was behind it all. Perhaps such fantasies are oddly comforting – especially when the emerging truth of what happened on July 7 is so hard to bear. We are NOT wild-eyed, we are doing our damdest to ask some really difficult questions about what happened. We do not feel we are being told the truth because the truth doesn't make any sense when one looks at the evidence logically and with an objective mind. The simple fact that one of the bombers had an 8 month old baby simply says to me he was setup. Muslim men love their kids as much as the rest of us, no political cause or anything else could ever counter that, the genetic urge to protect your kids is hard-wired. That's not a statement to the fanaticism of the "suicide bombers" it's a testament to the fantastical nature of the official explanation.
Sorry Jon but you're talking out of your arse.