Saturday, August 07, 2004

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS is right: Spaniards are unhappy with the probe investigating the March 11 bombings:
Five months after the worst terror attack in Spain's history, a parliamentary inquiry into the March 11 Madrid train bombings has little to show save a spreading discomfort among Spaniards about its members' jockeying for political gain.

The inquiry now recessed after a month of hearings has drawn unflattering comparisons to the recently concluded U.S. 9/11 investigation, which was perceived here to have been far more comprehensive, forward-looking and bipartisan.

[...] A poll published last week by the state-run Center for Sociological Studies indicated 58 of every 100 rate the commission's chances of clearing up what happened as either "poor" or "not at all." The poll surveyed 2,487 adults and had a two percent margin of error.

"They really weren't looking for what happened, the truth," said Alcaraz of the victims association. "What they wanted was to blame the other."
Anyone who followed the two commissions, as I have, cannot arrive to a different conclusion.

First, because the Madrid probe is taking place too soon after the atrocities, while there's still a parallel police and judicial investigation about its criminal aspects going on. And this invites for pure political manoevering. Only the foot soldiers have been caught, but there's no way that these bunch of lowlifes, of 2nd rate thugs, could have managed to pull such a devastating act with such decisive political repercusions on their own, with no support and no help in the planification. So we still don't know who the intellectual authors were and, if one considers some information which has been appearing in the Spanish press and applies some critical, sherlockholmian thinking, some of the possibilities are indeed worrisome, and not all of them involve al-Qaeda: from a possible ETA / Islamists joint job (which some are dismissing too soon with arguments that are too similar in their simplicity to the canard that "there's no way that secular Saddam could have links with a religious fanatic like Osama bin Laden"), to the collaboration from some third countries, or to some support within the country, from some underground elements with, perhaps, political connections. Won't go any further now because there's not enough evidence -at least not yet. But I will, don't worry.

Another reason why the 9-11 and the 3-11 are so different is that, in the former, the commissioners were especially appointed according to their previous experience and knowledge in anti-terrorism and intelligence affairs. Yes, you could also notice a political side of it, but it was a hundred times better, and more professional, than seeing 'regular' congressmen chosen in the same proportion than the parliament composition; chosen only because of the party they belong to, regardless of the fact that most of them don't have a clue of what intelligence or law enforcement work really means. You could see in their questioning: they were clearly speaking of something they rushed to learn in a couple of reports and books just to get ready for the probe.

A complete disgrace altogether.