Questions Begin For Mark Mardell Over Boston

The BBC’s top man in the US, Mark Mardell, has some questions for the FBI in the aftermath of the Boston bombing. And I have some questions for the BBC’s wrongly-titled North America editor.

Questions begin for FBI over Boston

The relief was palpable in a city where 19 April 2013 had been cancelled, paralysed, because of the manhunt for a terrorist.

When the news broke that the second suspect had been caught Boston residents who’d been cooped up under a day-long curfew poured onto the streets whooping with joy.

That raises a question before we even get to Mardell’s questions for the FBI. Why no mention that the only reason the second suspect was found is that the owner of the boat where he was hiding was able to find him only because the lockdown was lifted and he stepped outside for a smoke? Why no question from him as to why the lockdown in the first place? It clearly hindered the goal of finding the suspect, not to mention the ominous overtones of the government forcing citizens to remain indoors not because they were in danger but simply to make things easier for government officials to move around.

Mardell remarked in a previous blog post about how surprising it was to find the entire city shut down like that. But he felt it was necessary, and worried only that people wouldn’t feel safe again until the perpetrator was caught. Not that people got a bad impression from the government ordering them to remain indoors in a situation that wasn’t something immediately threatening to everyone, such as an imminent nuclear attack, but that this made them feel even more scared of the bad guy. The extreme exercise of State power didn’t bother him at all. Why not?

Back to Mardell’s “analysis”:

When President Obama spoke, the normal level of chatter returned and no-one seemed to be paying much attention. But he had something important to say.

Naturally, the President must be brought into the conversation, even if it’s just as a launchpad for the real point Mardell wants to make. Actually, it’s probably more than just his reflexive response to view everything through the prism of Him. Normalcy started to return not when news broke that one suspect had been found and killed while the other was now running scared, but because He spoke to us.

Now, about that point Mardell wants to make. The President asked the rhetorical question of “why did they do it”.

“How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers. The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand and walk and live again, deserve answers.”

The president might be wise to start by asking President Putin. I have no evidence that the “foreign government” asking questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev was Russia, but that is my strong suspicion.

It’s not His fault, you see. These young men were not radicalized by the Iraq War or Afghanistan, and definitely, no way in hell, never in a million years were they radicalized to murder their neighbors by seeing all those fellow Mohammedans get killed in cold blood – innocent women and children included – by drone bombs under the President’s orders. Nope, they’re Chechens now, not home-grown US terrorists anymore. So of course Putin must bear some responsibility because of that whole Russia/Chechnya scene. I do hope this won’t make any Beeboid start to have second thoughts about the theory that these people are all radicalized by Iraq/Afghanistan/US Foreign policy. To think that there might be some sort of global, pan-Islamist connection regardless of which country is oppressing them is one of the most unapproved thoughts imaginable.

Whoever it was, they warned the FBI that Tamerlan was a strong supporter of radical Islam. The FBI say they investigated, interviewed him, and found no links with terrorism. This is quite remarkable. Let me repeat it. The FBI had been warned that the man who apparently carried out the first terrorist attack on an American city since 9/11 was a strong supporter of radical Islam.

It’s actually not at all remarkable to anyone who follows reality outside the Beltway bubble and far-Left blogosphere. I don’t remember Mardell finding it so remarkable that the US Army knew for some time that Maj. Hasan was going radical and expressing disturbing thoughts. As most people here have known for some time, the FBI purged language about Islamic terrorism from their materials. (Actually, one change to the guidelines made at the same time is right on the money: the bit about how there really is no more international functional Al Qaeda super-group any longer, and it really is a hodge-podge of gangs and cells and freelancers and inspired lone wolves and wannabes.) Aside from that, it shouldn’t be remarkable to anyone who follows reality outside the Beltway bubble and far-Left blogosphere because even the Washington Post reported that Russia told the FBI about Tamerlan.

Why is Mardell being so coy? Why pretend he doesn’t know? Is there some BBC legal eagle keeping him from saying it out loud? Or is he just that far behind the times again? He knows Tamerlan traveled to Russia last year, because his colleagues mention it on the “Chechen links” section of the special feature on the bombers. So it’s silly for him to play this game. Maybe there’s just some legal reason he can’t say it, even though he and his colleagues can speculate all day long about right-wing connections.

People will want to know how far they delved, how hard they tried, how seriously they took the information. Some of the criticism will be unfair, based on hindsight – they must get thousands of such warnings ever year. Or perhaps they are quite rare. That is another question.

No, Mark. The real question is: who gave the order over a year ago to make the FBI turn a blind eye to the specific radical Islam component to these things. And why. One suspects that Mardell won’t be asking any of either his or my questions any time soon. Nor will anyone at the BBC, because that’s not what they do.

One last question for Mardell: Will you and your colleagues finally learn the lesson and not only stop speculating that these attacks are probably from Right-wingers, but also stop speculating that it can’t be connected to radical Islamists? Speculate about everyone or no one.

9/11 BBC Question Time Video

Many of us watched the Question Time Special immediately following the 9/11 atrocity in utter disbelief as it took a rabid and disgusting anti-American line.

The former US ambassador to Britain, Philip Lader, was almost reduced to tears on the panel as the audience shouted him down and hurled abuse. It was a shameful night for the BBC and prompted thousands of complaints. The BBC underplayed the aftermath here.

Recordings of that particular programme are particularly hard to find anywhere (odd, eh?) but regular contributor here TooTrue remembered that a fellow Biased-BBCer had mentioned having a version. So after a bit of tech stuff, here it is. Our grateful thanks go to both of them.

It’s now hosted on EyeTube – my censorship-free video hosting site.

It is disgusting. Don’t watch with sharp objects nearby.

Bin Laden’s Death: Illegal Assassination or Legitimate Target? Depends On Who’s President…..

Have Your Say, 2001:

Can state assassinations be justified?

US President George Bush has told the CIA to find and destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network.

The president has given the agency the green light to do “whatever is necessary” – which could include an assassination attempt – and has given it £700 million in funding to carry out the mission.

The operation will include the CIA working with commandos and other military units to act immediately on intelligence uncovered by American spies about enemy targets.

Should the CIA have been given the go ahead to assassinate Bin Laden? Can such actions ever be justified?

Have Your Say, 2011:

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden dead: Your reaction

BBC News website readers in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been sharing their views on the death of al-Qaeda’s founder and leader, Osama Bin Laden.

Osama Bin Laden evaded the forces of the US and its allies for almost a decade, despite a $25m bounty on his head.

Enough said.

UPDATE May 3: Der Spiegel asks the question the BBC has curiously stopped asking:

Was Bin Laden’s Killing Legal?

Congressman Allen West (D-FL) Speaks Truth To Islamic Power. Any Thoughts, BBC?

Republican Congressman for Florida, Col. Allen West vs. the Executive Director of the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). No prizes for guessing who comes out on top. Unless, that is, you work for or defend the BBC, in which case this video clip will make your head explode.

The only time the BBC actually mentioned Col. West before was right before the elections last November, where Kevin Connolly (he who insulted hundreds of thousands of people on air and online with a sexual innuendo) briefly discussed one of West’s campaign ads, in which Candidate West tries to discourage voters from choosing his opponent by tying him to the President (not counting the separate page where they posted the ad with a short blurb). He barely got a mention for his victory on election night, as if he didn’t exist and wasn’t a huge smack in the face of the BBC’s lie about how racism is a main factor in the Tea Party movement.

Connolly was unable to process the information even then, and made the following very revealing statement:

It is a common enough practice in tight races where the presence of a political big-shot can tip the balance.

What makes the ad unusual is that it is paid for by a Republican candidate, Allen West and he is gambling that Mr Obama’s intervention in the race will be a plus for him and a negative for his Democratic rival, Ron Klein.

It’s unusual for a Republican to do this? Um, yeah, NO. This is Beeboid Connolly simply unable to grasp the concept of a black man not slavishly (oops!) siding with another black man in politics. Of course, the BBC generally supports and understands people voting along racial lines: when it’s non-whites doing it. So it’s only natural that Connolly would be confused by this black man opposing a black President. Connolly is so out of touch that he also said this:

The biggest single factor contributing to those declining ratings is the economy. There is an iron rule in American politics that when unemployment is high, as it is here in Florida, the presidents gets a pummelling.

But there is more to it than that. Somehow the two signature achievements of Obama’s first two years in the White House are being made to feel like electoral liabilities.

Somehow the “two signature achievements” are made to feel like liabilities? As if those “achievements” aren’t connected to the crap economy in any way? His bias prevented him from grasping two simple concepts. Thankfully, the BBC has since transferred him out of the US.

In any event, don’t hold your breath waiting for the BBC to report this, or anything positive about Congressman West at all. They sure as hell don’t want you to know about this. In fact, this is a discussion forbidden on BBC airwaves by anyone.


A B-BBC reader provided me with this excellent example of how the BBC seeks to sanitise. Same story, two variations.

This is the BBC version where the headline is “Dutch Police Question Two Men on Transatlantic Flight”, whereas this is the NYT version where it’s highlighted the men are from Yemen and the issue is “were detained by the Dutch police after landing on Monday in a bizarre episode that American officials feared might be a dry run for a terrorist plot.”

From NY Times, “carrying $7,000 in cash and that his luggage contained a cellphone taped to a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, three cellphones taped together and several watches taped together, a senior law enforcement official said.” 

BBC did not mention the cash, did not mention their ethnic origin, did not mention what it was that worried US security officials. Oddly, the BBC brings in the last sentance “A Nigerian man was detained in the US on Christmas Day, after flying from Amsterdam to Detroit, and charged with trying to detonate a bomb.” Why is it important that it was a Nigerian when this incident involves Yemani’s and not mentioned?

Now the New York Times is the doyen of liberal opinion States-side and it tells us plenty about the BBC that the Gray Lady seems quite robust and fearless when one compares their coverage of the same story!


Nice to see that Jacqui Smith is politically correct even with those included on the list of those she denies access to Britain. So, for every Jew-hating Hamas extremist, there is a counter- balancing Jewish extremist. For every Islamic maniac, there is a white supremacist or a loony Baptist. All very nice, I must say. I am curious about the inclusion of US radio host Michael Savage on the list. The BBC states that “his views on immigration, Islam, rape and autism have caused great offence in America. “ I thought he was rather popular over there and wondered who exactly he offends that so exercises Ms Smith? Also, I notice that vile creatures such as renowned Islamic cleric Al Qaradawi (Livingstone’s pal) are not on her list and so permitted to come here – wonder could the BBC not investigate such glaring inconsistencies? I suppose investigative journalism only goes so far when there is that tricky Islamic issue lying at the heart of things.


The BBC approach to Lord Goldsmith seems to vary, doesn’t it? When he was advising Tony Blair that it was OK to assist in the liberation of Iraq, his judgement was questioned. But when he argues that Britain should open it’s arms and embrace some of the Jihadi scum currently detained at Guantanamo, he’s suddenly a good guy! The BBC line on Islamic terrorism is consistent and profoundly dhimmified. The meme is that all those in Gitmo are innocent and it is vital that the UK accepts as many as possible, after all it’s what Obama wants. And so the New Year begins with the UK actually seeking to import terrorists and the BBC sees no wrong in this and provides no space for those who hold that this is reckless beyond words.