1. The Official Story for the London police actions is set out in the
"THE young man killed in Stockwell yesterday was subjected to summary execution
by police operating a shoot-to-kill policy.
It is a controversial tactic deployed only in the most extreme circumstances
but one police have been preparing to use for the last two weeks.
Minutes after first news of the four bombs ripping through the underground
and the No 30 bus reached Scotland Yard on July 7, a message was sent to the
Met's elite SO19 firearms unit.
They were instructed to launch 'Operation Kratos' - codename for the secret
guidelines which tell officers how to react to suicide bombers."
"The marksmen were briefed by officers who had been to Israel to meet their
counterparts there and pick up tips gleaned from the experience of dealing with
"During the Kratos briefings, the Met team were told that, contrary to
their normal arms training, they should fire at the head rather than the chest.
Although the chest is easier to hit, it is not as reliable in causing instant
death, giving a bomber a chance to detonate his device.
A blow to the torso also risks setting off any explosives that are strapped
to the body."
2. The shooting would therefore be the act of a part of an elite London
police firearms unit called SO19. As Michel Chossudovsky writes:
"Essentially what we are dealing with is the formation of a death squadron
mentality under the auspices of what is still officially considered a 'civilian
Bad enough, but it might even be worse. Some
are questioning whether this is actually a police operation, and wondering whether
it might be an SAS operation (i.e., a British military special operations unit
which seems to regard itself as completely unaccountable to civilian oversight).
The question of who is involved may, or may not, be answered as a result of
"The shooting is being investigated by officers from Scotland Yard's Directorate
of Professional Standards, and will be referred to the Independent Police Complaints
I would expect nothing to come of this except for congratulations for heroic
police work, so the question of military involvement in policing may never be
3. We have received a rather elaborate justification for the 'shoot
to kill' strategy. One problem I have with this is the fact that the
execution of Jean Charles de Menezes followed none of the new guidelines. The
theory is that rapid shots to the head are necessary to instantly kill a bomber
before he can trigger his payload, something he could do even after shots to
the torso which would normally be considered sufficient to incapacitate, or
even quickly kill, a threatening person. In the case of Jean Charles de Menezes,
the authorities pursued him from a place of relatively few people into a crowded
subway train, apparently made no attempt to fire at him until he was on the
ground (witnesses reported no shots until the five fatal ones), and only killed
him when he was closely surrounded by a number of official shooters. In other
words, they followed absolutely no part of the protocol apparently learned from
the Israelis on how to deal with suicide bombers. Had he been a real suicide
bomber, they had given him ample time to set off his bomb, forced him to a place
where the bomb would have done the maximum harm, and might even have accidentally
triggered the bomb by their firing at him at close range, surrounded by policemen
who would have been victims of the bomb. I'm always suspicious when I read elaborate
explanations for official behavior that don't match what the officials actually
4. There is still no logical explanation of how Jean Charles de Menezes
even ended up under police surveillance. Officials claim that he was
living in an apartment in the same building or in a building close to the building
which the police were watching as the residence of someone suspected of being
connected to the bombings. At least, that's the Official Story. It makes no
sense. Did they not know what the person they were supposedly watching actually
looked like? Would any person living in the building, or even in the area of
the building, become a suspect? From the Telegraph
(my emphasis in bold):
"The officer can open fire only if authorised to do so by a chief police
officer - either at the start of a pre-planned operation, as seems to
have been the case at Stockwell, or by police radio during a 'spontaneous'
The suspect shot dead had been under surveillance and officers from the Metropolitan
Police's firearms squad are understood to have been briefed that he posed a
grave risk to safety."
Pre-planned? If they thought he was a suicide bomber, why did they let him walk
into a subway station? Why did they only challenge him - if in fact they did
- or run after him after he was in a place where he could do real damage? The
Official Story has so many holes in it that it appears that at least part of
it was made up after the fact, in order to justify what seems to be an unjustifiable
5. Shoot-to-kill makes some sense in the twisted world of Israel.
After all, in the Occupied Territories, if you shoot someone in the head who
you think just might be a suicide bomber, you've either stopped a suicide bombing
or killed a Palestinian. It's a win-win situation! In London, however, the odds
are against you. You have to weigh a very, very tiny chance of stopping a suicide
bomber against the huge probability of allowing the police - or military - to
be judge, jury and executioner of an innocent man. On top of that, you have
to consider that the fear and anger caused by a mistake could be the cause of
real suicide bombings in the future (this side effect is another thing that
is considered a bonus in Israel, as the provocation of terrorism allows for
the Israeli state terrorism which is being used in the ethnic cleansing of the
Occupied Territories). How are young Asian men going to feel riding the subway,
or even walking down the street, knowing that at any instant they might be fatally
shot by plainclothes policemen? Unless the British authorities want to start
a race war against a significant portion of the British population, shoot-to-kill
is dumb as a practical response to terror, as well as being immoral and politically
fascist. It is extremely dangerous as it is subject to abuse by the type of
right-wing factions you always seem to find in the military and police who would
like nothing better than to provoke a race war (which is exactly what this incident
6. Shoot-to-kill is still
official British government policy.