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What happened to the Al-Qaeda base in Venezuela?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 17.02.04 – One year ago Britain got a wake up call; a man carrying a hand grenade was caught at Gatwick airport. The man, who was believed to have been born in Bangladesh, flew into England on Feb 13th 2003 on a British Airways jet he had boarded in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. He was arrested and was taken into custody to London’s police anti-terrorist department.

I will not go into the detail of the complete report published by Sharon Churcher [in Caracas at the time] on the Mail on Sunday of Feb 16th 2003. However in light of the bombastic nature of the British tabloids, it strikes me that nothing else has been commented on the issue. Serious allegations were these, yet a year on, no one has heard about the fate of the detainee; whether he was indeed a Venezuelan citizen; whether he had any connections with Al Qaeda, and more importantly, whether Al Qaeda had turned Maragarita Island into a launching platform for its American operations. A similar stupid allegation, echoed also by the Mail on Sunday, made by Andrew Gilligan has brought prolonged shame and discomfort to the once widely admired BBC. Ergo such an amnesic treatment is not characteristic of British journalism.

The Guardian is guilty also of entertaining baseless allegations; this time round John Tackaberry, media relations person at the Canadian section of Amnesty International, expressed without substance, that the decision of withdrawing the Irish propagandistic film “The Revolution will not be televised” from the British Columbia film festival was due to the “threats that Amnesty’s staff had received in Caracas.” Perhaps they were threatened by Al-Qaeda members based in Margarita Island… Quite clearly it seems that Amnesty’s had to excuse itself before the world’s left, that cried foul when learned about the decision, for having withdrawn the film and who is better suited to withstand all the blame than Venezuela’s opposition?

So the title’s question can be reformulated as; what happened to journalism? What happened to accuracy and impartiality? The tabloid culture is an intrinsic part of Britain’s journalism, as a matter of fact very many of the BBC’s reporters and journalists have learned the tricks of the trade working for the tabloids. A perfect simile of the British establishment incongruent figures would be the Lord Chancellor, who is the head of the judicial, member of the cabinet and sits as legislator in parliament. This man appears to have supra-natural characteristics for he can divorce himself from either of his duties depending on the situation. Equally, professional prevaricators [a.k.a journalists] would have you believe that they have buried the tabloid alter ego, alas, as Gollum showed us, the bad –in this case the tabloid- always comes on top.

Comical to read in US newspapers and media outlets that a considerable portion of the American population is turning its favouritism to British media, obviously they haven’t got a clue that they will become recipients of much fabricated bullshit.



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