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July 22, 2005


as the WaPo says:

"No reliable details as to the reasons were immediately available."

btw, I linked to this Wolcott piece in the previous thread, but there's a nice summary of the Blair cred issue in it as well.

BBC is now reporting that it appeared to not be the case of police stumbling upon a possible threat, but that it's more likely this guy was being sought and pursued by intelligence officers.

Liberal confessional: although it is absolutely inhuman to wish it on anyone and plays directly into Bush's (inhuman not to mention illogical) worldview of "terror happening there is terror not-happening here" -- a part of me is thankful with each additional bombing, bombing attempt, and bombing scare that this news is coming from London and not here in NY. God help me for even thinking it. I wouldn't admit it in a non-anonymous forum.

I know the details are not completely out yet, for all we know, the coppers were in their best form and knew what they were doing . . .but my worst fear is that this could have been a homeless mentally unstable man. . . Those of us who live in or around cities know that the homeless often go around in heavy coats even in the summer. They often look or act in a suspicious manner. You get my drift.

I sincerely hope that this was a bad guy, though I also question the rapid firing of 5 shots especially if there could have been a bomb on him.

If you have somebody who may be a suicide bomber the first thing you want is to make sure they are dead so they don't have a chance to detonate the bomb. This isn't the movies and it isn't "Take Over the Quad to Save the Whales Day". These people are terrorists and the people who are defending us are on heightened alert and are going to have to deploy special tactics to deal with the threat. It's real life. The primary focus of the security people, who I'm sure are all over the Tube right now, is to protect the public and themselves. Its not to read miranda rights to terrorists. Its not to let someone blow up himself and some copper who has a family and wants to go home at the end of his shift.

Pull your head out of your ass. There's a war on.

Hey, Take No Chances: Has it been established he was a bomber? And if he was already on the ground, was the cost/benefit analysis that it was more important to kill him than interrogate him and possibly find out about who he's working with, the support network, etc? I don't know, and I realize I don't know. But you don't know either, even though you think you do.

Thinking you know something you can't possibly know is, to me, the epitome of having your head up your ass.

From the NY Times, "The London police said today that the fatal shooting of a man in a subway station today was "directly linked" to its anti-terrorism investigation."


"was the cost/benefit analysis that it was more important to kill him than interrogate him and possibly find out about who he's working with, the support network, etc?"

No, a "cost/benefit analysis" wasn't done because the cop didn't waste time gazing at his navel or wondering what some idiot pacifist was going to say in the comments of some blog somewhere. He put a 9mm to the guy's head and pulled the trigger until he was confident no neurons were going to fire between the brain and finger of this terrorist. Yay! Team! One more dead terrorist = teh WIN! We win you lose. Try again in a couple of weeks.

I find it terribly convenient that these issues are occurring just when the US houses are set to consider renewing the 'Patriot' act.

You're damn right it is "convenient"! Right on sister! That Karl Rove certainly is an evil supergenius isn't he? I mean he's like Lex Luthor or something! Wow. Instead of spending all of our time "liberating" Iraq we should use it better and drain the Everglades, because that's where I think his secret lair is. I think I saw that on an episode of the Fairly Odd Parents. Sure it will be an environmental nightmare, but it will be worth it to get rid of a rich, white male supervillain like Karl Rove. I mean think about the children!

TakeNoChances appears to be a very imaginative sort, knowing (as he appears to do) the shot trajectory, the caliber of weapon, what the officers were looking at, etc.

My only question: Which regiment of the 101St Screaming Keboarders are you assigned to?

Note that TakeNoChances will undoubtedly be absent when Fitzgerald's indictments come down. Dittoheads aren't known for their courage under fire.

Not to defend TakeNoChances's tone (which was unnecessary) but I think his points are essentially fair. There have been repeated bombings of the London Tube. While there may be value in detaining terrorist suspects, if they really did believe that he was a suspect, if they had evidence that he was part of a terrorist cell and he goes running into the Tube, they have no choice but to stop him. Including by the use of deadly force. I'm not saying for sure they were right, but it sure sounds like they were. It is hardly the case that the London police are an executioner's squad.

Also, shooting a suicide bomber is the surest way to disable the bomb. A high grade explosive does not go off simply by being shot or jostled. It's actually fairly complex, which is probably why the Thursday bombers failed, because of poorly-made triggers. In other words, the police were probably focused on saving live in the vicinity first and build a long term case second.

Of course my theory is just speculation too, but considering all that has happened, don't the London police deserve the benefit of the doubt? The city is under attack. They don't have a margin of error to try and talk down a suspect who flees into a crowded subway. It not pretty, but it's reality.

As for the suggestion that the timing is convenient, look I hate Bush too, but that's just plain nuts.

Merle--Note when this post was written: at a time when there was no solid reporting on the events. Now, as the day has unfolded, it appears that there is a lot of questioning about whether this guy should have been shot. I did not, or at least didn't intend to, suggest that the London police were an executioners squad. But it's also becoming clear that the people who shot the guy weren't police, but probably intellegence officers (most likely MI5).

All reports two weeks ago indicated the entire emergency and law enforcement response to the deadly bombings was swift, confident and excellent. The Brits are probably the best in the world at this, or at least the best after the Israelis. So I'm not sure, based on the eyewitness reports I heard this morning, that this incident will go down as one of their finest moments. Maybe it will be OK, but I suspect it may not.

Oh, Merle, I agree with you on the timing issue. It's certainly a conspiracy, but almost certainly not one involving or done for the benefit of anyone who's not a politicized Islamic radical.

Stockwell shooting was mistake, says Met By Philippe Naughton, Times Online

The man shot dead by police at Stockwell Underground station yesterday morning had nothing to do with Thursday’s abortive London bomb attacks, Scotland Yard said tonight.

According to witnesses, the man was shot five times at close range after being chased onto a Northern Line train at the South London station at around 10am. Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said later that the man was directly connected to the bungled bombings of three Tube trains and a London bus the day before.

The Met said in a statement this afternoon: “We believe we now know the identity of the man shot at Stockwell Underground station by police on Friday 22nd July 2005, although he is still subject to formal identification.

”We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005. For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.


Thanks for posting the update. I read it on Reuters and shuddered. Two and a half months after 9/11 a crazy man came into my church on Sunday morning as we were about to start our service. He had on pants with bulging pockets, a bag that he dropped behind the pulpit and was out of control. He took over. We got the kids out, and slowly people started leaving in the back. We had several psychologists in the congregation try to talk him down as did I at which point he pulled out a hunting knife.

The police were called and came rushing in. The long and short of it is that he would not put down the knife, the police tried to get it from him, he moved forward towards one of them, they shot him, he died.

It was a tragedy for him, his friends and family and for the congregation and the community. It was traumatic for everyone involved. Were the cops right or wrong? I don't know, I will not pass judgment. I do know that he was out of control, paranoid, and was seen as a threat to many, but not all who were there.

My earlier post, hoping that the man in London was indeed involved in the bombings rather than a homeless man with mental problems was probably brought on by my own experience and memories. That said, it is always tragic for everyone involved when this kind of thing happens. The police involved in the church tragedy have had their lives radically changed by this. I think that only one of the three involved is still on the job.

In the midst of fear, we do many things that we might not under "normal" circumstances. Knives just post 9/11 were terrifying. Perhaps there was something about this man that caused the police to do what they did, but the fear from the bombings trumped everything else.

This "war on terror" will take many many more lives in many ways that we cannot even contemplate at this point in time. God help us all.

This story has an interesting trajectory. DHinMI was right to wonder whether the initial reports made sense, and he hit the nail on the head in saying that it was a case of terrorism succeeding in causing panic.

As if to prove that point, TakeNoChances rushes forward to denounce anybody who dares to question the right of the state to use any amount of violence against anybody suspected of terrorism. He also cheers for the "Team" and screams that another "terrorist" has been killed.

And sorry, Merle, but you blew it as well. Even if police have suspicions, or some evidence (and in this case, there was never any solid indication of evidence), that doesn't mean they have no choice but to kill a man just because he goes running into the Tube. The initial reports already told you that they had him stopped (pinned to the ground). Chiz. And yes, it was a question whether this unit was acting like executioners. We later learned that they were told to "neutralise" the man when he entered the Tube.

So, reasonable questions are raised about seemingly unreasonable behavior by state authorities. They turn out to be well founded questions, but that doesn't stop others from rushing forward to defend the right of the state to take the most extreme measures--and to denounce anybody who raises questions. And when the smoke begins to clear, where are the denouncers? Do they fess up, retract their foul accusations and apologize? Nope, they're out somewhere else doing the same all over again. Sound familiar?

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