Monday, March 22, 2004

OK, get this one. TV 3, Catalan government television, and La Vanguardia have been doing everything they can to stir up feeling against Aznar, Rajoy, the PP, and the Americans. I think that the year and a half of posts I've put up translating their ravings to English are proof of that.

So here's TV 3's report this morning on the investigation into the Madrid bombings, which is being carried on by the same police and intelligence services that were at work before the March 14 election, supervised by the same PP politicians who were at work before the March 14 election.

Now, you'll remember that the story being put about by most editorialists in Spain is that the people voted for the Socialists because the PP were concealing information and lying. Virtually no one except for conservative elements of the Spanish media has even mentioned the fact that the terrorists won the election and that this was a vote of cowardice by everyone who didn't support the PP. (Or, I will admit, most CiU voters, or Socialists in the Basque Country.) Some of them were already cowards before the bombing and the rest of them switched over afterwards. It's like they're hoping the fact will just disappear if they don't even mention it. You'll remember that the day after the election I posted three quotations from the Vanguardia showing that their authors, including the well-known Fernando Onega, believed that the election result was a win for the terrorists. They haven't printed word one by any of these three guys on that subject since.

This is TV 3's report on that story--the third most important of the day for them--, eleven days after the bombing and seven days after the election. It begins wth the sentences, "The investigation into the 3-11 bombings continues. Day after day new details about the two attacks are becoming known."

Now, wait a minute. I thought you all agreed the PP government was a lying sack of incompetents. So how come we believe and even praise them now? And I thought you were all hysterical about knowing "the truth". Well, here it is, and you make it the third most important story eleven days later.

Here's what they've learned so far: The investigation is concentrating right now on looking for the safe house the terrorists must have used. It is believed to be in Alcala, where the stolen van was found and the bombs were placed on the trains. The terrorists are part of an organization called the Islamic Combat Group that is based in Morocco. Ten people have been arrested, seven Moroccans, two Indians, and one Spaniard. The Indians have been arraigned and charged with collaborating with a terrorist group; they are very small fry. Three Moroccans have also been arraigned and charged with 190 murders among other things. The other five arrestees, four Moroccans and the Spaniard, are to be brought before a judge this week. All are in jail without bail. In addition, the police are searching for several more suspects, at least some of whom they have identified.

According to La Vanguardia, the Spaniard's name is Jose Emilio Sanchez, an ex-miner. He has previous arrests on drugs and weapons charges and for, guess what, dynamite trafficking. It looks like he's the small-time scumball they got the dynamite from.

Jamal Zougam, one of the three Moroccans arrested immediately after the attacks, who seems to be the main conspirator as far as we know, has all sorts of nice friends. The police have had an eye on him for some time as being connected with radical Islamist groups and Al Qaeda, but they never got anything on him; he had a clean record. Zougam has connections to the 9-11 bombings, to planned terrorist attacks by Afghani mujihadin in Europe, and to what TV 3 outrageously calls "the struggle of the Sunnis against the Kurds in Iraq". I think that last phrase is a euphemism for "Saddam's brutal crushing of the Kurds".

Jesus Christ. According to La Vanguardia and TV 3, this one loser guy running a small mobile-phone shop that specialized in petty fraud has connections to Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, and Saddam all by himself. And then these same news outlets go around saying that Bush and Aznar lied when they connected the dots between those three outfits.

So let's see. Tremendous progress has been made in arresting the guilty people. They know which particular gang did it and they're on the trail of more of them. They know all about that gang's external connections. They know where the dynamite came from. It seems to me that this is a resounding police success and that no one in an official position has lied about or misrepresented anything. They got it wrong at first, as is logical--gee, somebody terrorbombs Madrid and it's pretty easy to jump to the conclusion that it was ETA, since they're rather in the habit of doing exactly that--but they were already giving out information that pointed to an Islamic group the very day of the bombings.

I think TV 3 and La Vanguardia owe Aznar, Rajoy, Bush, and Tony Blair an apology.

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