Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by jim24, Mar 14, 2011.
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Peter Tailor at his best again on BBC2 now, looks extremely interesting
Ever so slightly bias so far, the MI5 agent looking all sinster sitting in the shadows with a cigarette on the go and a white cat no doubt in his lap while a mock execution was carried out made me chuckle.
As a balanced piece of journalistic work it can never accurately be judged. By it's very subject matter, accusations can be made be people for whatever reasons, noticeably some of these accusers are third party. These accusations will be denied by the security services and the implication is 'they would deny it wouldn't they'. No real proof is put forward, just accusations. The dramatic and sinister reconstructions will push the bias toward the conclusions that the makers of the program want.
Very interesting and very well balanced. A good and shocking outline of the torture used, but instead of descending into one-eyed a Pilger style rant. It also allowed that in some circumstances it may be justified in pure tactical intelligence terms.
It then raised the perfectly legitimate questions about whether this represents overall real value in the strategic sense.
Having outlined all sides of the case it essentially left the viewer to make up their own mind.
In my opinion there has been an over valuing of civilian lives, mainly for political reasons, and as a consequence the West, and particularly the US has been left morally bankrupt on the world stage.
In defending the values of our society everyone has to step up, soldier and civilian alike. If you are going to behave in a civilised manner, and retain the decency we are trying to uphold, then you must accept a few hits as a consequence and given the nature of the enemy some of those hits will land on civilians.
Chucking civil rights and standards of decency into the bin at the first hint of danger is an act of national cowardice..
I write this with my (now) civvy hat on and as someone who lost a friend in the Bali bomb.
But as Nietzche (sp?) Said:"Those who chase monsters should beware lest in doing so they too become monsters".
Too late for those US torturers, in my opinion, and we've been tarred with their brush.
I have to say, tho, I thought the Brits - Manningham-Buller and the other two head sheds - were very impressive but seeing Blair and Bush on the telly again was just plain scarey!
Not too sure about the 'balance'. The whole idea that the use of torture and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq were the sole causes of radical Muslims was a little off the mark. Admittedly those actions didn't help, but the program omitted the singular fact that there were already plenty of radicalized Muslims out there, due to the foreign policy of the USA over the previous decades. The very fact that AQ had plenty of people being trained in camps and no shortage of volunteers for attacks including the Nairobi Embassy, Dar Es Salaam Embassy, Military HQ Riyadh and two attacks on the World Trade Center; 9/11 and a bomb in the garage in Feb 1993.
What the program did obliquely show was that after several attacks, culminating in the 9/11 attack, Bush, the CIA and the US Military had the options of sitting back and 'taking it on the chin' or 'taking the gloves off' and taking the fight to AQ or at least where they thought AQ were. There is no surprise that the US mentality chose the second option. Right or wrong, it was no surprise, and it shouldn't have been a surprise when that choice also meant that 'terrorist' human rights or collateral damage were not major considerations in their 'game play'.
At no point in the film though was there any proof of the implied UK complicity with torture, with either the US or the Pakistanis. And you can put safe money on the fact that if they had proof, they would have shown it. It is also no surprise that despite not having any proof, they still implied that it was the case..... that's journalism for you.
As you've said PP the programme was constantly phrasing things in a certain way to imply guilt or suspicion based more often than not on hearsay with little evidence provided. Admitedly if I were to torture someone you'd be damn sure I'd have done my best to destroy any evidence that might prove as much, but thats the cost of being impartial which the BBC is suppose to be. If you don't like it theres the other 3 channels and Sky. The one bit that stuck out for me was the voiceover saying that the Madrid bombing happened simply because Spain supported the invasion of Iraq, it then showed a clip of a Islamist spokesman claiming responsiblity stating that it was due to both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq whereas the programme makers were, however subtly, pushing the agenda that Iraq hadn't have happened these nutters wouldn't have blown themselves and a couple of hundred innocent people up.
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