Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
The Piccadilly Panic

The London Car Bomb

by JOHN CHUCKMAN

We should all exercise a healthy skepticism regarding the story of the car-bomb just found in London.

There are powerful reasons for this.

The grant of an appeal to the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. There is powerful evidence that key evidence in his trial was tampered with or manufactured by the CIA. The U.S. wanted this matter off its plate, the families of the dead being a constant irritation. And who better to pin it on than the then much-disliked Libyans?

Actually, nothing is easier to fake than an amateur device like this. It takes little sophistication, and there is low risk of discovery.

The CIA has just released papers it terms the ‘family jewels’ which concern many dark matters from decades ago. While these papers are carefully selected to make the CIA look more ineffectual than it is and to give it a public-relations boost in light of its torture and kidnapping activities today, they still document a perfect willingness to engage in the most unethical behavior.

Mr. Brown has just taken office, and expectations are high that he will distance himself from Blair’s foreign policy, a policy many thoughtful people regard as foolish, destructive, and rather servile.

In the United States, paranoid games have been regularly – such as phony terror alerts and ridiculous arrests -played concerning threats to keep fears fired up.

JOHN CHUCKMAN is the author of What’s It All About? The Decline of the American Empire, published by Constable & Robinson Ltd, London. Available from Indigo Books, Canada.