From the outset, it must be understood that the State cannot in any way find itself to be culpable for anything that would reflect badly upon it, and history is littered with countless examples of the State absolving itself of responsibility, illegality, or immorality in all degrees.
Sure enough, this is precisely what has happened. Today, Lady Justice Hallett has returned her verdict of unlawful killing and has absolved the corporate State and Security Services of any blame or responsibility. The full verdict report can be read here
While we analyse the contents of the report in detail, it is initially important to seize on the following paragraphs taken from the Introduction to the report:
8. It is not generally a proper function of an inquest to attribute blame or apportion guilt to individuals, nor is it a proper function of a Coroner to express opinions in the verdicts returned. The Rules are clear and I have not strayed from those restrictions in the verdicts I have delivered. However, the exceptional circumstances of these Inquests mean that it is appropriate to name the bombers within this Rule 43 report, which is not subject to the same constraints. There are three principal reasons: the bombers are dead. There can be no question of prejudicing any criminal or civil proceedings against them and I cannot defame them. Further, I cannot consider the issue of preventability, one of the most important of the issues I have set, without stating in positive terms that they were the bombers. Finally, the evidence is utterly overwhelming.
9. To argue or find to the contrary [i.e. that Khan, Tanweer, Hussein and Lindsay were not the bombers] would be irrational. It would be to ignore a huge body of evidence from a vast array of sources. Had there been a conspiracy falsely to implicate any of the four in the murder plot, as some have suggested, it would have been of such massive proportions as to be simply unthinkable in a democratic country. It would have involved hundreds of ordinary people, members of the bombers’ families, their friends, their fellow terrorists, independent experts, scientists, as well as various police forces and the Security Service. It would have cost millions of pounds to fabricate the forensic evidence. Independent barristers and solicitors who have had access to the source material (for example the CCTV footage) during the criminal trials and these proceedings would have had to be involved. Just to state the proposition is to reveal its absurdity.
We will gloss over, for the moment, the fact that there was no need to fabricate CCTV evidence for the simple reason that there was no CCTV evidence at all
of three of the accused on the London Underground on the morning of 7 July 2005, however the fact that the police lied
about when they viewed some footage from Luton is certainly noteworthy.
Much of paragraph 9 is the standard fare of objections trotted out routinely by official 'conspiracy theorists', in a not fantastically intellectually clever way, to quiet the objections raised by those who suspect something is not quite right with whatever story the general public are being fed. Similar methods were used try and suppress the questioning of those who suggested that Colin Powell's cartoon evidence
of Saddam Hussein's vast caches of 'weapons of mass destruction' (which he would have acquired from Western-sources) was largely fabricated. That evidence would also "have cost millions of pounds to fabricate", yet that is indeed what happened.
Conspiracies to "falsely implicate" individuals and groups of individuals that are "Simply unthinkable in a democratic country" are in fact quite routine and commonplace in democratic countries. The British State has a particularly exemplary history of "conspiracy to falsely implicate" through "independent experts, scientists, as well as various police forces and the Security Service." We need not look terribly far back in history to find the cases of the Birmingham 6, the Guildford 4, the Maguire 7, Danny MacNamee, Judith Ward, and many others of Irish descent against whom the State conspired for its own politically expedient gains. Countless similar examples exist. Just to state the proposition (that the aforementioned were falsely implicated) was also dismissed as absurd at the time.
That the inquests did not uncover any such conspiracy comes as no surprise, for the function of an inquest is to determine how an individual died, where they died and when they died. The function is most certainly not that of a criminal investigation, in much the same way as the function of an inquest -- as re-stated both by Hallett and her Counsel to the Inquests, Hugo Keith QC -- is most certainly not "to attribute blame or apportion guilt to individuals". Yet, in both instances of improper function of an inquest, this is what has occurred and the inquests have masqueraded as a legitimate form of investigation, trial and prosecution of four unrepresented men accused of a heinous crime.
Instead of "a conspiracy falsely to implicate any of the four in the murder plot... of such massive proportions as to be simply unthinkable in a democratic country" that "would have involved hundreds of ordinary people, members of the bombers’ families, their friends, their fellow terrorists, independent experts, scientists, as well as various police forces and the Security Service" and "cost millions of pounds to fabricate the forensic evidence", what the public are left with is the same tidy, if inconsistent, unsubstantiated and unproven, 'narrative' that we started with and a proxy investigation, trial, prosecution, and judgement "that cost millions of pounds
" that "involved hundreds of ordinary people... families, their friends...independent experts, scientists, as well as various police forces and the Security Service."
The very same process succinctly described by Lady Justice Hallett outlining why "a conspiracy falsely to implicate any of the four in a murder plot" could not have occurred, is exactly the process by which the four accused have indeed been implicated, accused, tried and found guilty.
Franz Kafka would have been justly proud of such a convoluted and contorted conclusion to the 7 July Inquests process.
Meanwhile, on the subject of the resumption of the inquests into the four accused:
The only submissions I have received have come from an organisation calling itself the July 7th Truth Campaign. I have considered those submissions, but in the light of all the evidence I have heard during the 52 inquests, I consider they have not provided any sufficient reason to resume the inquests into the four bombers.
One would hope, therefore, that these proceedings will be an end to the investigation of what happened on 7/7.
The inquests may well be an end to the investigation of what happened on 7/7 as far as the State is concerned, but the vast number of testimonies and evidential submissions generated by the inquests is just the beginning of the investigation of what happened on 7/7 for those who desire to know the truth.
[Further reading/viewing - Gareth]