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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Holy crap, it's Terror Alert Level: Elmo [20060810|10:47]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Alleged plot to blow up flights from Heathrow to the US foiled.

The Met Deputy Assistant Commisioner said: "We believe that the terrorists' aim was to smuggle explosives on to aeroplanes in hand luggage and to detonate these in flight."

You know, I'm glad that the (presumed) plot has been foiled and that (presumably) no suspects have been shot in the process and that (presumably) they'll be tried fairly. But can we please bring back the use of the word "alleged"? Can we at least pretend that suspected criminals are presumed innocent before proven guilty? Call them "alleged" terrorists. Scratch that, tone down the rhetoric. Call them "alleged" criminals.

Oh, and while I'm at it? He also said it was a plot to commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale." Unimaginable? There were up to ten flights involved. Ten flights with a couple hundred people on each plane is two thousand people. That's pretty horrific, but I find it easy to imagine, using the magical mystical skill known as simple mental arithmetic.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: foreverdirt
2006-08-10 11:11 (UTC)
the magical mystical skill known as simple mental arithmetic.

*snorts* That was pretty much my first thought.

(To be fair, my reading of the BBC article is that judicious use of inverted commas and "soandso says"s stand in for some of the necessary "alleged"s, but, sadly, not all of them.)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-08-11 10:38 (UTC)
It was interesting watching the news broadcasts after the airport was shut, as it seemed to me that viewers must have complained about the language being used. The plot was presented as a foregone conclusion at first, then became "alleged" a short while later. I also noticed that about half an hour after the arrests were announced, one of the reporters quoted a statement saying that none of the suspects had been harmed during the arrests.
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2006-08-10 14:52 (UTC)
I rather like people can't being liquids onto planes at this time. Liquids?? I know the bad guys came up with a liquid solution that, when mixed, would be explosive...but this smacks to me as the "convenience stores inside the airport" lobby trying to increase sales.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-08-11 10:47 (UTC)
Now that's a conspiracy theory that's much more fun that the one about this being an elaborate ruse to distract the public from the Israel/Lebanon debacle.
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2006-08-11 13:23 (UTC)
Israel/Lebanon debacle? What's going on there? ;)
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[User Picture]From: tepesh
2006-08-10 18:02 (UTC)
Heartily agreed on all points. Also sounds like a lovely excuse to further violate the 4th amendment.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-08-11 10:50 (UTC)
Yeah. And the fifth.
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[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2006-08-10 19:01 (UTC)
does the UK have that "innocent until proven guilty" clause?

I think it's a plot by the airlines to do away with carry-on luggage. Hope you weren't planning to fly anytime soon...

p.s. how's the life restructuring/job thing going?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-08-11 10:49 (UTC)
I think, since they're part of the EU, they do adhere to the presumption of innocence as declared by the Council of Europe.

I like repoman's idea that it's a plot by the merchants inside the airports to increase drink sales.
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[User Picture]From: hobbituk
2006-08-11 23:26 (UTC)
It's only two thousand people if you don't count those on the ground. Remember Lockerbie? Just imagine if each of those planes came down in a city - say somewhere like Canary Wharf - and you can multiply those hundreds by quite a bit more.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-08-12 10:16 (UTC)
That's true. It was my understanding from the initial reports that the plan was to detonate the explosives in mid-flight from the UK to the US, which would most likely put them over the Atlantic and not a populated area.

However, even if the planes came down in a city, you can still make an approximate calculation of the number of casualties. It's still not "unimaginable." I'm not denying the horrific nature of the crime, I'm objecting to the abuse of the language applied to it.
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[User Picture]From: hils
2006-08-12 10:37 (UTC)
Hi!

Uh...I think I've done something silly and defriended you by mistake. Am I ok to add you back?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-08-12 10:57 (UTC)
Hello! I wondered about that. I didn't know if I'd inadvertently given offense so I figured I'd let it go. I'm okay with you adding me back and I'll reciprocate.
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[User Picture]From: hils
2006-08-12 11:06 (UTC)
I dunno how it happened. I must have clicked the wrong thing or something. LOL

Sorry about that
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