Friday, October 26, 2007

Media War against "Conspiracy Theorists" Update - UK: Murdoch-CIA-Mafia's Times Book Reviewer Trashes MP'S Conspiracy Book Before Reading it

by Alex Constantine

David Aaronovitch is a columnist for London's Times. Like Carl Bernstein, his parents were communists and his public image is liberal. Fittingly, he won the George Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2001. Here we find that Aaronovitch is quite the prescient reviewer - he trashed a book by MP Norman Baker on the murder of David Kelly (cf. my previous post, "Weapons Expert David Kelly 'was Assassinated,' Claims MP"), a book that hasn't yet been released, and one Aaronovitch has NEVER READ.

The Mockingbird's Conspiracy Theories He fits the Murdochian Mockingbird profile, all right. In his June 23, 2007 column, he chimed in with the hysterical chorus of CIA-Bushite fear mongers in the press, to wit: "The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor by William Langewiesche." Within the next few years, Aaronovitch wrote (exhibiting another aspect of his reportorial prescience), "some country somewhere is likely to use nuclear weapons against its enemy. ... To make a device you need a certain amount of highly enriched uranium, which is hard to steal and very hard to make. Once you have the enrichment for civilian purposes, however, you can then carry straight on and make a bomb. ... "

Cold sweat coming on? The Mockingbirds sing terrifying operas of dreadful conspiracies. The better to control you, shape your opinions, Orwell-style.- AC

Letter from Norman Baker, Minister of Parliament, to the Times....

Conspiracy theories
The official version of events should not be readily accepted

Sir, I was fascinated by David Aaronovitch’s ability to review my book, which is not yet released (comment, Oct 23). I also had no idea that he was medically qualified, but he must be, as he seems certain that 29 co-proxamol tablets is sufficient to cause death. He must indeed be confident to counter the massed ranks of medical experts. Even the official forensic toxicologist at the Hutton inquiry, Alex Allan, conceded that the level found in Dr Kelly’s body was only a third of that which would normally be found in an overdose case.

Mr Aaronovitch is always keen to dismiss anything that he calls a “conspiracy theory”, which by definition must be wrong. If it turns out to be correct, such as Iran-Contra, then of course it is no longer a conspiracy theory and is reclassified. Naturally, as he is bringing a book out next year rubbishing “conspiracy theories”, the last thing he needs at this point is for one to be shown to have basis to it.

Yet his own grasp of events involving Iraq and Dr Kelly seems shaky at best. Mr Aaronovitch told his readers in 2003 that in respect of Iraqi WMD, “if nothing is eventually found, I — as a supporter of the war — will never believe another thing that I am told by our Government, or that of the US, ever again.”

Perhaps, therefore, Mr Aaronovitch ought to be a bit more questioning of the official version of events given to him, as we are entitled to expect from any journalists worth their salt. And perhaps he ought to show a bit more humility.Norman Baker, MPLiberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office

David Aaronvitch's article.....

From The Times
October 23, 2007

A weapons expert, a rose grower and a fantasist
A most peculiar theory about Dr David Kelly

by David Aaronovitch

One of Ming Campbell’s more light-hearted legacies to his party was the elevation to the position of Shadow to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster of Norman Baker, the MP for Lewes. In fact Mr Baker’s job represented a repromotion, since he had previously been environment spokesman for the Lib Dems, but had decided to give the post up to pursue other matters. The nature of those other matters became clear at the weekend with the serialisation of his book, entitled, The Strange Death of David Kelly, or, as the headline put it, “Why I know weapons expert Dr David Kelly was murdered, by the MP who spent a year investigating his death.”

This charge, from a senior MP in an influential newspaper, is sensational in the truest sense of that word. Surely, the reader may be entitled to imagine, such an accusation would not be made lightly and that Mr Baker will have done his homework. His accusations, therefore, deserve scrutiny.

Mr Baker’s initial objections to the verdict of suicide on Dr Kelly were both intuitive and practical. Mr Baker simply doesn’t believe that the senior arms inspector was suicidal, since he was a “strong character who had survived many difficult situations in the past”, including the self-destruction by overdose of his own mother when he was 20. And Mr Baker worries too about a series of what he believes are discrepancies about the finding of Dr Kelly’s body on Harrowdown Hill in July 2003. Was he wearing a coat when found? And had the body been moved?

More practically Mr Baker sides with a small number of medical people who have expressed their belief that Dr Kelly could not have died as the pathologist said he did. The combination of ingesting 29 co-proxamol tablets, and cutting across the ulnar artery in the left wrist, means it is, in Mr Baker’s words, “nigh-on clinically impossible for Dr Kelly to have died by his own hand”.

But soon Mr Baker’s early doubts of suicide are turned into certainties of foul play by a couple of gods that yank themselves out of the machine. A man in Exeter “who had agreed to meet me only on condition of anonymity and after some rather circuitous arrangements” tells the MP of encountering an old spook colleague in a pub who in turn says that Dr Kelly’s death had been “a wet operation, a wet disposal”. Three weeks later Exeter Man loses all his Kelly material when his computer is stolen in a mysterious burglary.

A second anonymous source who meets Mr Baker in the Commons goes quiet, fails to supply promised information and is then “subjected to an horrific attack by an unknown assailant, the full details of which he has asked me not to reveal”. But Mr X does confide that the murderers of the weapons inspector were anti-Saddamite Iraqis dangerously embarrassed by Dr Kelly’s scepticism about one of their main tips to British Intelligence – that Iraq had WMD ready to go within 45 minutes. Mr Baker was told that these exiles nabbed Dr Kelly when he went for a walk, injected him in the bottom with something to keep him quiet and then killed him by some unknown method. Mr Baker believes that it is likely that the British authorities, realising what had happened, doctored the body to make it all look like suicide.

If some of this sounds unplaceably familiar to readers over 35, I may be able to help you. In March 1984 an elderly rose grower, Hilda Murrell, was abducted from her Shrewsbury home and later found dead in a small copse some miles away. The police said it was a bungled burglary, but some in Shrewsbury’s anti-nuclear community suspected a political motive. Miss Murrell was about to publish a paper opposing further development of nuclear power.

These campaigners, and interested journalists, pointed out the many anomalous features of the case, including the time it took to discover the body, the implausibility of a burglar choosing to drive his victim out of town in broad daylight, and the condition of the telephone wire in her house. World in Action on ITV devoted a programme to the possibility that Miss Murrell was the victim of a political murder.

That December the Labour MP Tam Dalyell announced in the Commons that he had been told by two anonymous sources that Miss Murrell had been killed in a botched break-in by people looking for “ Belgrano-related documents” left there by her nephew, who had been in Naval Intelligence at the time of the 1982 sinking of the Argentine battlecruiser. “The searchers were members of British Intelligence, I am informed,” Mr Dalyell said.
There the accusation lay for more than 20 years – with many playwrights and journalists believing that the Thatcherite State was quite capable of such murderousness – until new DNA evidence and a cold-case review established who the Murrell murderer was. He turned out to have been, at the time of the killing, a 16-year-old petty criminal called Andrew George, who lived in a local care home. In 2005 he was imprisoned for life.
The Dalyell idea of a Murrell conspiracy mirrors in almost every important detail the Baker idea of the Kelly murder, with the dismissal of the “official version” as somehow deficient, and in the build-up of anonymous information. And, like Mr Baker’s accusations, Mr Dalyell’s speculations were not victimless. As far as I know Mr Dalyell has never apologised to those police officers, Home Office staff and secret service personnel whom he effectively slandered and whose time he squandered. Mr Baker happily puts the Thames Valley Police, the pathologists and (by implication) Tony Blair in the frame, and once more causes upset to the Kelly family.

If Mr Baker were himself to be Bakered, then he might be challenged to tell his constituents on whose behalf he has wasted a year concocting absurd accusations. Does he think that, two months after the fall of Saddam, their country in turmoil, Iraqi exiles were wandering round the English countryside bumping off scientists who believed – as Dr Kelly did – that Saddam possessed WMD?

But there is a way to settle this. Since the fearless Mr Baker believes it is impossible to die in the way Dr Kelly is supposed to have done, then he should be able to meet the simple challenge of himself taking 29 co-proxamol tablets and then slitting his left ulnar artery. Unless, of course, he secretly suspects that the next day Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne would find themselves looking for a new Shadow to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Norman should now have a look at the curious case of the murder of Jill Dando and Barry George -who clearly had no capacity to carry out a clinical and successful execution, but whom the establishment wants to be the scapegoat for whatever reason. Is there a bigger, inconvenient diplomatic picture here?

claude said...

David Aarnovitch is the most sheepish columnist in the UK. After 10 years of New Labout I am yet to read a single, even remotely critical article about ANYTHING Blair& co. have done.

Aaronovitch would have been perfect at the oldschool USSR-era Pravda.