Face-Off: Airbrushing Accountability in the Terror War

Here's the Terror War ethos in action: when the security forces are caught red-handed in a flagrant act of, literally, overkill -- in this case, the totally unprovoked, multiple shooting to death of an innocent man in a London subway -- they will resort to any measure to avoid the consequences for their action. The BBC reports:

Police have been accused of manipulating a photo of Jean Charles de Menezes so it could be compared to that of one of the 21/7 bomb plotters. The image had been "stretched and sized" to form a composite image of the Brazilian and Hussain Osman to show the jury, prosecutors told the Old Bailey.

Mr de Menezes was shot dead after being wrongly identified as one of the men who targeted London's transport system. The Metropolitan Police denies breaking health and safety laws.
Mr de Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the head on a train at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July 2005, after being wrongly identified as Osman. The Met Police said the composite picture was created to illustrate the difficulties officers would have had in differentiating between the two men.

But Clare Montgomery QC, prosecuting, told the court it had been altered "by either stretching or resizing so the face ceases to have its correct proportions". Forensics consultant Michael George told the court that the police composite appeared to have a "greater definition" than the two images used to produce it.

He produced an alternative composite, which was shown to the jury, in which the two faces had different skin tones and their mouths and noses were not aligned.

We're seeing this kind of thing writ large in Iraq right now, as the Bush-connected Blackwater continues to deny -- against all the evidence -- that its mercenaries went beserk on a Baghdad street and gunned down 17 innocent people -- again, as in London, without provocation. The mercenary firm's warlord, Eric Prince, has declared that he "will not allow" his shooters to be face justice in Iraq. (Via Buzzflash.) He blamed the "accusations" against his company on the "far left," who went after Blackwater after being "unsuccessful in attacking Petraeus [Yes, he quite shamelessly omitted the Congressionally protected general's title!] and defunding the war, forcing a pullback of U.S. troops."

As for those dead bodies in the street, those grieving families, those tsunamis of anger and cries for revenge ringing across the conquered land after the atrocity -- Prince had nothing to say in his interview with the friendly folks at the cultic Washington Times. Why should he? Does the butcher mourn the meat he makes his money from?

NOTE: For much more on the Blackwater affair, see this stupendous compendium from the indefatigable Winter Patriot.
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