Friday, June 30, 2006

March 11th....Faulty Connections

Yesterday I had a new, and not particularly pleasant, experience – for research purposes I had to listen to part of the radio show “La Mañana”, which is presented by Federico Jiménez Losantos. Federico’s show, which is broadcast on the COPE (owned by the Catholic Church), is required listening for the right wing in Spain these days. More neo-Goebbels than neo-con in his style, with insistent repetition of the same anti-government themes, the programme acts as a sort of comfort blanket for those who have found no solace since the change of government in 2004. Everything to do with the government is bad; everything that was done by the adored Jose Maria Aznar was good – even the “soft” right as represented by Madrid’s mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon has come under fire.

When it comes to the 11th March 2004 bombings in Madrid, Federico makes it absolutely clear where he stands; what he describes as the “official version” is nothing more than a pack of lies designed to cover up the role of those who really carried out the bombings – a list which of course includes ETA. I listened to some of Tuesday’s programme, and Federico was very excited because his good friend Pedro J Ramirez, director of the newspaper El Mundo, had something important to tell us about the 11th March. Pedro J informed us that his newspaper had uncovered more crucial evidence of ETA’s involvement in the attacks; a search of the home of one of the accused had produced a timer, of type “ST”, which could be used to trigger the detonation of a bomb. This timer, Pedro J went on to tell listeners, is “designed” by ETA – so the discovery could only mean one thing, that there were direct contacts between ETA and those accused of carrying out the bombings and that these contacts included the supply of materials.

So there it is, a smoking gun which points to ETA involvement in planning the attacks - Federico was convinced by this overwhelming evidence and before long various blogs were reporting on the important discovery. However, looking at the article published on the El Mundo website things start to become less clear. The article makes no reference to ETA having designed the timer, all it says is that it is of a type that has been used by ETA, and that some were found when an ETA commando was detained in Madrid in 2002. The article also makes reference to a confirmation by the government in reply to a parliamentary question, that “ST” is just one of several types of timer used, but not made, by ETA. Checking the actual reply on the Parliament web page it appears that the timer in question is produced industrially – which may help to explain the model description (ST 17 MEC 24 H INT/160).

So now we have the real story, a timer was found that is of the same type as other timers that have, on occasions, been used by ETA. The timer in question was not used in the March 11th bombings, the bombs on that day were triggered using mobile phone alarms. This doesn’t prove any connection between March 11th and ETA, despite the attempts in the article to imply it – by not revealing the origin of the timer in question. It doesn’t even show that the timer was acquired with intent to use it in a bomb. This of course won’t do for Federico and Pedro J, who need to show that connection to ETA – so the original story gets embellished, broadcast, circulated on Internet: and the conspiracy theorists have another myth to add to their collection. If the facts don’t fit, then change them until they do.

It’s been a painful experience, South of Watford is off to the beach for the weekend to recover.


Anonymous said...

It is clear that you are an ETA supporter. Federico and Pedro J are telling the plain truth! But truth hurts for communist herd like you.
PSOE and ETA plotted and executed 11M. Left-wing policemen left false proofs in the crime scene to mislead public opinion into the theory of an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack. This false theory was conveniently broadcast by Polanco's left-wing media to manipulate the 14M elections on behalf of PSOE. Now PSOE and ETA are negociating the end of Spain like good friends.

Graeme said...

Well at least I don't need to prove that there are people out there who believe in the Great Conspiracy - you have done it for me. So if you think that Federico and Pedro J are telling the truth, why don't you demonstrate that by refuting what I have written? I have the original El Mundo article and sound file from La Mañana which backs up what I have written here - what do you have to tell me that I'm wrong?

Tom said...

This is complete lunacy. Every mainstream pundit (even those who openly support the PP) has dismissed this theory as the stupidest and most contemptible to arise from the primordial soup which is Spanish right-ing politics.

Graeme - I've been labelled with these sorts of stupis tags too, and usually by either anonymous cowards or tawdry bloggers in Castilla y Leon.