A series of bomb blasts ripped through the London subway system during rush hour this morning. As many as 7 separate blasts have been reported. At least one double decker bus was also reportedly blown up, with witnesses describing it like a can of sardines being ripped open. Details remain very vague but officials are saying that many people have died and scores more have been injured. As people emerged from the underground, they described what had happened. Police officials say there was evidence of explosives in at least one of the six sites. Prime Minister Tony Blair has left the G8 summit in Scotland and is headed back to London. Before leaving, Blair addressed the world media:
- "Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack, or a series of terrorist attacks, it's also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G-8. There will be time to talk later about this. It's important, however, that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilized nations throughout the world."
Israel Says It Was Tipped Off About Attacks
Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official has been widely quoted today as saying that British police told the Israeli Embassy in London minutes before today's explosions they had received warnings of possible terror attacks in the city. Israel was holding an economic conference near the scene of one of the explosions. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to attend, but the attacks occurred before he arrived. The official sais that just before the blasts, Scotland Yard called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy and said warnings of possible attacks had been received.
- Series of Bomb Blasts Rip Through London in Rush Hour
- Israel Says It Was Tipped Off About Attacks
- NY Times Reporter Judith Miller Goes to Jail
- NY Times: Karl Rove Was Cooper's Source
- Ambassador Joe Wilson Speaks on Miller's Jailing
- More Than 100 Iraqi MPs Call for US Withdrawal
- Halliburton Gets Another $5 Billion
- US to Use Blimps in Iraq
- Five US Citizens Being Held in Iraq
Tony Blair is calling the subway and bus explosions in London a series of terrorist attacks designed to coincide with the G8 meetings in Scotland. The blasts ripped through three subway trains and a double-decker bus. Forty people are confirmed dead and more than a hundred injured. We go to London for eye-witness reports and comment from former parliamentarian Tony Benn and independent journalist Omar Waraich.
New York Times reporter Judith Miller was sent to jail Wednesday after a federal judge declared that she was "defying the law" for refusing to divulge the name of a confidential government source in the outting of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, was spared after announcing a last-minute deal with a confidential source that he said would allow him to testify before a grand jury. We speak with New York Times Op-Ed columnist Bob Herbert.
Judge Thomas Hogans decision to haul Judith Miller off to prison for four months is a blow to journalism, and a blow to democracy.
Judith Miller was collecting information legally, and she was honoring her word to her source. Neither should be a criminal offense.
When a judge forces journalists to disclose their sources, that judge is interfering with the customary way journalists do their jobs, and these jobs, by the way, are the only ones expressly protected by the Constitution.
And thats for good reason: The founders understood that a free press is vital to the functioning of our democracy. Any time the government interferes with the press, it is limiting freedom. Thats why the words of the First Amendment are so unambiguous: Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.
Like bricklayers who use mortar, investigative journalists rely on the anonymous source. (We can do our work without it, but its not nearly as good.)
Make no mistake: This decision will force potential whistleblowers to have second thoughts whenever they are contemplating leaking information to a journalist who is promising them confidentiality.
In a press conference today, Cooper explained that he had not been swayed by the general waiver of confidentiality signed earlier by his source, since it had been obtained under duress. But is not the same true of the personal waiver Cooper received at the last minute? Since Time Inc. had already pulled the rug out from under its reporter, over his objection, by handing over documents naming that source, the source had nothing to gain from Cooper staying silent and going to jail. But he or she did have something to lose: It would have looked selfish and callous for the source to stand mute and let Cooper go to jail when his or her identity had already been revealed. So the source, backed into a corner by the federal prosecutor, did what made sense -- he or she freed Cooper from his obligation. It was a decision made under duress, just as surely as the decision to sign the general waiver of confidentiality was made under duress.
[. . .]
We don't feel comfortable cavalierly suggesting that any honest journalist -- and Cooper is one -- ought to blithely skip off to prison when offered a sing or Sing-Sing choice by a judge. But the fact remains: Judith Miller has made a powerful statement that the press should not, cannot and will not be pressured into violating the ethical codes on which it operates, and Matt Cooper has not.
ben | 07.07.2005 10:56 | London
Rescue services prepare
police and emergency service inside station
I personally witnessed two bodies which I assume were dead and not injured due to lthe absence of parmedics, being carried from aldgate station in East London. (footage to follow)
News sources are reporting at least five explosions in London stations and on a bus which suggests something other that a power surge as earlier reports suggested.
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07-07-2005 11:14: Five London tube stations and at least one bus have been targeted by bombs. Two fatalities confirmed - some sources suggest 20+. 183 casualties taken to Royal London Hospital, 8 critical. London Transport system shut down. A group calling itself 'Secret Organization Group of al Qaida of Jihad Organization in Europe' has been claiming responsibilty. Tony Blair has said he is returning to London from Gleneagles.
Please post updates to this newswire post
Indymedia UK Statement on London bombsShort statement on the bombs in London today:
"Indymedia UK stands in solidarity with all the victims of today's horrific attacks in London. We share the disgust felt by all about these acts and their perpetrators, our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We are also acutely aware that these events will be exploited by the most reactionary elements of the British media and political establishment for their own selfish purposes.
We are particularly concerned about a possible backlash against Britain's Muslim community as we saw following 9/11 in the USA. We urge all activists involved in progressive politics to do everything they can to stop this from happening. Now is the time to be building bridges between all communities as we have seen with the anti-war movement. Don't feel helpless, do something.
We will continue to give a voice to all who have an opinion on these events and have little or no voice in the mainstream media. Our usual editorial guidelines apply.
IMC'ista, 07.07.2005 16:15
A man today told of passengers' terror when their Underground train ground to a halt after an apparent explosion in London.
Arash Kazerouni, 22, said: "There was a loud bang and the train ground to a halt. People started panicking, screaming and crying as smoke came into the carriage.
"A man told everyone to be calm and we were led to safety along the track."
Mr Kazerouni, from Edmonton, North London, who works for Barnet Council as a trading standards administrative officer, was heading from Liverpool Street to Cannon Street for a job interview in IT support.
He said: "Everyone was terrified when it happened.
"When they led us to safety, I went past the carriage where I think the explosion was. It was the second one from the front.
"The metal was all blown outwards and there were people inside being helped by paramedics.
"One guy was being tended outside on the track. His clothes were torn off and he seemed pretty badly burned.
"This whole thing teaches you, appreciate your life, you don't know what's round the corner."
We've heard from most of the community members in the UK (and thanks to WB at the protests in Scotland for the head count/roll call). Pru is working on something that she hopes to have ready in a few hours. Whether it's completed today or later, we'll gladly post it here.
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