Monday, July 25, 2005

American Know-How 

Three headlines we found in a neat little stack at Antiwar.com:

Effort to Charge London Suspect Was Blocked by US
The Justice Department blocked efforts by its prosecutors in Seattle in 2002 to bring criminal charges against Haroon Aswat, according to federal law-enforcement officials who were involved in the case.

British authorities suspect Aswat of taking part in the July 7 London bombings, which killed 56 and prompted an intense worldwide manhunt for him . . . .

As law-enforcement officials in Seattle prepared to take that case to a federal grand jury here, they had hoped to indict Aswat, [James] Ujaama, Abu Hamza and another associate, according to former and current law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the case.

But that plan was rejected by higher-level officials at Justice Department headquarters, who wanted most of the case to be handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York City, according to sources involved with the case . . . .

At the time, however, federal prosecutors chose not to indict Aswat for reasons that are not clear. Asked why Aswat wasn't indicted, a federal official in Seattle replied, "That's a great question."
Neocons Turn on Blair for Being 'Soft on Terror'
The American Right, for four years a fount of rapturous praise for Tony Blair, is showing signs of falling out of love with Britain over what it sees as its soft and ineffective record on terrorism.

The July 7 bombings prompted outpourings of sympathy from Americans. But the media coverage of the bombings was marked by a tone of frustration at London's record of tolerance for Islamist preachers. This has intensified on the Right in the wake of Thursday's botched attacks.

Two prominent articles in the latest edition of The Weekly Standard, the neo-conservative journal with close ties to the Bush administration, have laid into Britain's domestic approach to fighting terrorism.

Under the headline "Letter from Londonistan" Irwin Stelzer concludes that British policy amounts to "easy entry for potential terrorists" and "relative safety from deportation and detention as enemy combatants".

He concludes that Mr Blair is the "prisoner of a dominant political class that is preventing Britain from responding to the threat the nation faces" . . . .

The Heritage Foundation, another prominent Right-wing think-tank, last week called on Britain to strengthen its anti-terrorist laws and consider withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights.
85% of Brits Say Bomb Blasts Linked to Iraq War
The overwhelming majority of the public believe that the London bombings were, at least in part, due to Britain's involvement in the Iraq war, according to a new opinion poll.

The YouGov survey for the Daily Mirror and GMTV found that 23% thought the war was the main cause of the attacks, while another 62% thought it was a contributory factor.

Only 12% said they thought that it was not a significant cause.

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