Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The more they tell us, the less we know

As the Official Story of the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes develops, it gets weirder and weirder:

  1. The police were staking out the block of flats in which he was living because the address had been found in documents left in one of the abandoned rucksacks that didn't blow up in the last series of attacks. That's a good place to leave the address of your safe house!

  2. There were eight separate flats in the block, and he did not look like any of the suspects, but the police decided to follow him anyway.

  3. Although they feared he might be a suicide bomber, they let him get on a bus!

  4. For some reason, they decided he must not be allowed to get on the subway platform, even though it was fine for him to take a ten-minute bus ride.

  5. His cousin, Alex Alves, claimed in one account that the victim was "playing around with a friend in a game of chase outside the station", although the police story is that he was alone (and playing around in a game of chase is an interesting thing to do before you go and blow yourself up).

  6. They claim they gave a shouted warning to him - odd if they really thought he was going to blow himself up so quickly that shoot-to-kill was necessary - although witnesses heard no such warning.

  7. The latest version is that he was shot eight times at close range, seven times in the head and once in the shoulder (although this is inconsistent with the original reports of five shots and inconsistent with the report of Alex Pereira, another cousin - ? - who saw the body when he identified it). If a coroner saw a corpse shot seven times in the head at close range, he would assume that the shooter was extremely angry and emotionally involved, and that this was a crime of passion. The overkill is inconsistent with a professional shooter, and was potentially dangerous as an errant shot could have set off the bombs the victim supposedly carried.


As usual, the more they tell us the less we know.

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