They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, September 15, 2005

UK: Police chief insists "shoot-to-kill" policy remains in force

WSWS: A "shoot-to-kill" policy for terrorist suspects remains in force following the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has said.

De Menezes was gunned down while he was seated on a London Underground train on July 22, despite having no connection with terrorism and presenting no threat to the police. Fabricated stories were leaked to the press in an attempt to justify the killing - including claims that de Menezes had attempted to evade capture.

Some of these stories could only have come from the police. Commissioner Blair himself had issued a statement claiming that de Menezes had refused to obey police instructions, despite the fact that he had been shot multiple times in the head by plainclothes officers who had issued no warning. It also emerged that Blair had delayed an obligatory investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for several days, fuelling calls for his resignation.

Despite this, the Commons all-party Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the July 7 London bombings gave Blair an easy ride - even when he made clear that Parliament had no say on the new police policy.

Blair admitted that the shoot-to-kill strategy, which he insisted on dubbing a "shoot-to-protect" strategy, was drawn up in secret with no reference to Parliament. Read more

db: Tony Blair claimed in a TV interview shortly after Jean Charles de Menezes's murder that this policy change - the introduction of shoot-to-kill-"to protect" - never even crossed his desk.