Stumbling in the dark

“MI5 tried to recruit senior al-Qaida figure Abu Qatada as an informer in a bid to keep terror off the streets of Britain, it was reported Wednesday.”

According to the UK Evening Standard, intelligence sources hoped that he “would not bite the hand that fed him” and “keep terrorism off the streets of the U.K.”

Let’s lay out the facts. The recent London bombings, both real and attempted, was a failure of the intelligence services. When citizens are killed and intelligence fails to pick up the signals, they’ve failed. But then, as we’ve learnt in Australia, governments are often only listening to information they want to receive, rather than alternate theories and ideas.

Of course, if you’re New York Times commentator and McCarthyist, Tom Friedman, the US government should draw up a list of individuals who believe that US actions may encourage violent reprisals.

Friedman is a man the Fairfax press publishes regularly, an acceptable “liberal” face of the American establishment. He is nothing of the sort, however, but rather the mouthpiece of well-connected Washingtonians. Who can forget his April 23, 1999 column during the war with Milosevic when he insisted “every power grid, water pipe, bridge, road and war-related factory has to be targeted.” Friedman supported the US military committing war crimes, but what did he care?

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