Tuesday, September 07, 2004

News from Spain

Barcepundit has a wrap-up and some commentary on Spain's equivalent of the U.S. 9-11 Commission. The investigation into the March 11 bombings is taking some tortuous turns over who should, and shouldn't, testify. To some observers it looks like the now-ruling Socialists don't want the representatives of Aznar's party to take the stand, because their testimony might overthrow the CW that Aznar lied about the Islamist connection in the attack to promote his chances in the upcoming election. As Barcepundit points out, that story has problems even without further testimony:

Unlike the myth that has been propagated all around, it was Angel Acebes, then Interior Minister in the Aznar cabinet, who, at 8.30 p.m. of the very same March 11 during a nationally televised press conference, talked about the van which was found with detonators and a tape with Koranic verses inside. As he did in several occasions during these days, as more information was available. No media organization broke the news that there was an Islamic clue, it was Aznar's government.

The sensation that many people were getting that they were lied was due because the media -- particularly the pro-Socialist leading media group PRISA, owner of the leading TV and radio networks, and the main newspaper, El PaĆ­s -- were feeding false information and then blaming the government for not telling the truth. For example, a key moment was when the SER radio informed that according to three separate sources, a suicide bomber had been found in one of the trains but the government was covering it up. They even offered specific details like that the body was completely shaved and was wearing three sets of underwear, saying that this is what suicide bombers do. Of course, autopsies positively denied that there was any suicide bomber.