The whole of BBC News today is about Mohammed Emwazi. Everyone who ever came into contact with him since the day he was born has been interviewed on the television.
He was quiet and hard-working you know (apart from the occasional paroxism when walking past the house of a Jew.)
The BBC is mystified. It's trying to get to the bottom of where and how the studious young man was radicalised.
If anyone hasn’t already realised, this wild goose-chase has been designed to make us think that Emwazi was a patriotic British citizen until the fateful day he bumped into the fairy Jihadi-mother that preys on hitherto moderate Muslims. With one wave of her magic wand they’re howling at the moon and running off to join the Islamic State Ministry of Beheading where they are free to hack away at the necks of infidels for ever and ever.
Here’s what commenter Lamia had to say about Justin Webb’s ill-researched interview with Gita Sahgal about Amnesty International. An unrepentant Steve Crawshaw, deputy director of Amnesty International follows.
You can hear today's R4 interviews with Gita Saghal and Amnesty UK's Director Steve Crawshaw here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme...(starts at 01.09.15)
Crawshaw sounds shifty and most of all embarrassed through the phone call. You can actually hear the forced smile on his face. He claims Amnesty were 'shocked and horrified' by what Cage said about Emwazi last week. Why shocked? It's what plenty of people, including Sahgal, have been warning them about for years. The information has been easily available.The presenter did a mediocre job, no better. For instance, he didn't bring up the matter of Amnesty International's head Claudio Cordone endorsing 'defensive jihad' in April 2010 during the Sahgal affair, a phrase uncritically repeated by Amnesty UK at the time. That would have nailed Crawshaw's attempts to pretend that Amnesty has always completely and utterly repudiated violence against civilians.Amnesty's policy shift to support Islamist terrorism - for that is what Cage's 'defensive jihad' is, let us make no bones about it - was actually noted by John Tusa on the BBC website in December 2010 in an article asking whether Amnesty was having a mid-life crisis. Tusa wrote:More problematically, in a letter responding to supporters of Ms Saghal, Amnesty UK used the phrase "defensive jihad" as if the organisation itself condoned any violence that might be committed under its terms. Even supporters of Amnesty think the phrase was incautiously used.Throughout this time, Amnesty UK has played a straight bat, explaining that a full internal inquiry revealed nothing that required significant change in the way it behaved or presented itself.
Another institution investigating itself and finding it had no case to answer. Fancy that...And so, naturally, to the BBC itself: it has had several days and all weekend to get this important interview properly researched. In fact a decent researcher could do it quite comprehensively from scratch in about 10-20 minutes. Even better would be a researcher who actually has a decent memory and an interest in current affairs. I recalled and found that information in about 15 seconds. The BBC researcher and presenter couldn't even be arsed to search their own website.
Tusa's article was actually a decent one. At least he seemed to know his way around the subject and wasn't scared of asking awkward questions. The R4 presenter wasn't hostile to Sahgal but he seemed genuinely dumbstruck, and trying on air to get his head around what she was saying. He's a presenter on Radio 4 Today; he should have known about this years ago. It's his job.I am disgusted by Cage but then most of us here have been disgusted by Cage for the past decade. I'm not 'shocked' or 'horrified' by what they said about Emwazi, because it's what they were obviously going to say. 'Obviously' to anyone reasonably informed, that is.But I am really 'shocked and horrified' by how many people high up in our institutions are so uninformed and lacking in initiative. And I'm being really quite kind in assuming that that's all they are. As Gita Sahgal says in the interview of Amnesty, and this could be applied to many other organisations and institutions in our country: "I don't think Amnesty were naive. If only they were simply naive."I can only laugh with amazement when Radio 4 is cited as an excellent station. I find it pseudo-intellectual, ill-informed, and not very incisive at all. I could have conducted a more informed and penetrating interview with Steve Crawshaw, from memory, if I had been given about ten second's warning. The presenters on 'middlebrow' 5 Live are hardly amazing but they are far better at smelling bullshit, asking non-pc questions and demonstrating an awareness that most people are not 'BBC people', than the fumbling idiots on R4.