Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is what happens when a crime is redefined as war...

The sun never sets on the war on terror, even as it degenerates into blood and recrimination. The Woolwich trial of eight members of a supposed 13-member gang all but collapsed on Monday. Despite evidence of intent to blow up an airliner, the jury convicted three defendants of conspiracy to commit murder but failed to reach a verdict on the central allegation. 

It has been an open secret in police circles that Operation Overt, the most complex in counter-terror history, was sabotaged by the American vice president, Dick Cheney, desperate for a headline boost to the Republicans' 2006 mid-term elections. British intelligence was following trails and acquiring evidence against 20 suspects. They needed American surveillance help in Pakistan and shared their information, foolishly it now appears, with Washington.

The backstory is told in Ron Suskind's new book, The Way of the World. Tony Blair, bursting with news of the operation, discussed it in July 2006 with George Bush, who was impatient for action. The argument, says Suskind, was a classic between American gung ho and British patience. More...

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