Saturday, April 16, 2005

fake apologies

Britian says sorry to suspects for ricin blunder
April 16, 2005

I am not surprised by such abominable news items anymore. The Home Office in London has apologized to 10 men placed under controversial anti-terrorist control orders after it linked them to the ricin plot in London. To me it is a plain case of an about turn after putting ten innocent people through the toughest time in their lives for no sins of theirs. It was on the basis of the ricin scare that US secretary of state, egged on by his British cronies, scared the entire ensemble in the august precincts of the UN, one gloomy day. Iraq was soon invaded. The entire region plunged into deep chaos and a nation was caught up in a deep quag, it is still finding itself difficult to extricate from. Many US troops lost their lives and now lie in the Arlington cemetery. Their young lives cruelly cut short. The headstones call them war hero's. An important question however remains unanswered.

Who's war was this. Not America's. Not the average Iraqi's, for sure. The country is one large badland now. Hundreds of thousands have been maimed since. Many tender Iraqi lives were lost, mercilessly executed on roadsides and countryside. No Arlington's here but how can one define an Iraqi solider dead in his modest grave. Perhaps, a small unsung hero. The burden of heartaches and body bags could have been easily avoided but the neocons had already decided otherwise in Washington. London followed in the tracks. Modern historians will never miss to mention significant three developments. That the Gulf war-II was George Bush's personal agenda, that a certain black once-respectable gentleman Collin Powell, was utterly dishonest in his articulation to build the war tempo and Tony Blair, with his shoddy dossier was, well no guesses, a rank opportunist.

Now to the poison panic again. The British government, under Blair, once described as a typical salesman of a second hand car company, attempted to connect the 10 innocent men - who were detained without charge and trial for more than two years before being released under stringent conditions - to the ricin plot. Ricin can be readily precipitated from the remnants of the castor bean mash. Ricin in its toxic form consists of an "A" and "B" chain. The latter part attaches itself to the cell, and the A segment secretes itself into the ribosome, inhibiting protein synthesis. This results in the death of the cell. Victims of ricin poisoning may experience varying symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, headache, and shock that can lead to death. Ricin is 6,000 times more deadly than cyanide.

Spooky enough to make your hair stand up. So, when you have arrests. A bunch of them masterminding the poison plot, imagine the excitement. The British home department was hopping mad. After an agonizing two years the men were let off and the British government officially admitted having made a 'clerical error' when it said the grounds for the measures was that they 'belonged to and have provided support for a network of north African extremists directly involved in terrorist planning in the UK, including the use of toxic chemicals'. Kamel Bourgass, the only guilty bloke, is expected to spend at least 30 years in prison for the ricin conspiracy and the murder of Detective Constable Stephen Oake. The rest shall suffer quiet indignation and Britain will add another stain to its colorful raiment.

Sameer Bhat