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Eliza Manningham-Buller's first Reith Lecture: Terror

Monday 5 September 2011, 17:50

Jennifer Clarke Jennifer Clarke

Editor's update: The first of Eliza Manningham-Buller's first Reith Lecture is now available as a transcript and as a podcast to download - PM.

Eliza Mannigham-Buller

Tomorrow Radio 4 broadcasts Eliza Manningham-Buller's first Reith Lecture, Terror, at 09.00 BST. It will be repeated on Saturday 10 September at 22.15 BST.

On the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the United States on 11 September, the former director-general of MI5 reflects on the lasting significance of that day. Was it a "terrorist" crime, an act of war or something different? She offers a unique perspective on the event, its impact on the world and the repercussions which are still being felt today.

After the Tuesday transmission, you will be able to download the programme as a podcast and read a transcript on the Radio 4 website.

During the broadcast we will be tweeting links to useful relevant content from the @BBC_Reith twitter account, and will share some highlights via the @BBCRadio4 twitter account. Please include the hashtag #Reith if you would like to join the debate. You can also share your thoughts and reaction to the lecture here on the blog.

In the meantime, you may enjoy the range of "Reith Extra" programmes which we have been podcasting via Radio 4's Documentary of the Week podcast. These include histories of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, and a special programme from 2005, How Islam got Political, in which Frank Gardner traces the rise of political Islam in Britain and around the world.

You can also listen to many of these and other programmes from Radio 4's 9/11 coverage here. Radio 4's controller Gwyneth Williams has also written about the station's coverage on the Radio 4 blog.

Radio 4 has also recently published the Reith archive, and you can explore more than 60 years of lectures on the Radio 4 website, where you can listen to the programmes and read the transcripts. You can download the previous Reith Lectures via the two archive podcasts 1948 to 1976 and 1977 to 2010.

Jennifer Clarke is senior multiplatform producer, Radio Current Affairs

Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    Well, in anticipation of the lies and spin, no doubt the reflective rhetoric will be to consolidate the propoganda that we should all still live in fear of Fu Manchu. 9/11 and 7/7 were the work of the US, British and Israeli governments. Period.
    Stop living in fear, take your money out of your bank, go on holiday and avoid England during 2012, it's gonna get nasty!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Why has no one asked why the architect for the twin towers should not have been prosecuted for designing skyscrapers that collapse so easily when an aeroplane hits the top of it whether accidentally or deliberately. I have no doubt that if the Empire State building had been hit by both planes it would have stood and many less people would have died. On 9/11 many must have died when the buildings collapsed and Bin Laden must have been amazed at the success.

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    Comment number 3.

    It's amazing that MI5 could come to an immediate conclusion that al-Qaeda was responsible, and the following day they and those in Washington could have no doubt about their atrocities, before carrying out any forensic analysis or collecting any evidence.

    As Eliza Manningham-Buller herself said, it would be wrong to suggest that all terrorists belong to al-Qaeda. She stated in answer to a question that she was motivated by discovering the truth, but that's just what they didn't do. Instead, they were mutually assured because they were amongst "friends whom they trusted".

    A false-flag attack would mimic what people may be expecting, and any intelligence officer would know that. "But I do not expect terrorism as a tool, often used by states in earlier decades, now used largely by groups, to disappear", she told us. But why should we believe that anything has actually changed from the days when terrorism was used as a tool by states?

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    Comment number 4.

    I was intrigued, if a little disconcerted, by Eliza Manningham-Buller's allusion to the disturbing phenomena of so-called 'home grown' terrorists, but her failure to consider more than one reason for their emergence.

    She appears to believe that theirs was a response to the perceived unjust attacks against Muslim countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. What of the fact that in the region of 70% of the Imams preaching to young Muslims in British mosques come directly from Middle eastern countries, where religious and cultural practices are often stuck somewhere in the dark ages, where there is little empathy with or understanding and acceptance of Western freedoms, and where human rights are severely curtailed? I wonder why those able to effect necessary change, are unable or unwilling to acknowledge and respond to the blindingly obvious?

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    Comment number 5.

    @Colin Wilson: You might be surprised to learn that the airplane impacts were not responsible for the collapses. NIST, the Government agency responsible for the examination of the structure from impact to collapse initiation, said so. In addition, a structural engineer who worked on the original design stated that the buildings did what they were designed to do: withstand airplane impacts.

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    Comment number 6.

    I found the first Reith lecture of 2011 to be impressively rational and thought provoking. I agreed very much with what Dame Eliza had to say.
    My reason for writing was that I heard today what was for me the first feasibly genuine and sensible reason why the Americans wanted to attack Iraq. It lay in the rebuttal of Dame Eliza's expressed view - that the war in Iraq was a distraction from that in Afghanistan - which was made by the American political commentator Charlie Wolf. His point was that in breaking down the structure and organisation of the Iraq state, America invited al-Quaida to come into ground of its own choosing. This enabled America to fight it there instead of sitting in the USA waiting for the next blow.
    I didn't like the selfishness apparent within this motivation. Nor I think did Dame Eliza. But I think it made some sense of what otherwise, up to now, has appeared to be a very expensive venture motivated by some personal vanity of President George Bush.

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    Comment number 7.

    Quite recently I learnt that the truth is not to be found through the mainstream media, least of all at the hallowed portals of the BBC. Just google – “who really owns the media” to find out that it’s owned by a few multinational corporations. Just the other day I heard Libby Purvis on radio 4’s I PM say that the BBC staff have no control over what goes out, “we are all puppets” she said. I don’t think that she realized the horrendous truth of what she said. 90 % of the mainstream media is controlled by those members of secret societies such as The Bilderberg Group; The Trilateral Commission; The Council on Foreign Relations; The Royal Institute of International Affairs; The Bohemian Club etc. In short – The Secret Government who decide the agenda for world politics behind closed doors and tell the media what to tell their readers listeners and viewers. Is that why Annie McMahon, the courageous former M15 agent whisleblower, and now supporter of the truth movement, has not been chosen for the Reith Lectures?

    I woke up from my ignorance about a year ago to discover truth for the first time in a life of being completely misinformed, when I started to research the, as yet, uncensored content of the internet. I was no longer a caged factory farm animal dependant on a diet of spoonfed propaganda, I could see clearly now and as I researched I found that history, politics, news and world affairs all suddenly started to make sense, I could see the bigger picture and what I found shocked me to the bone.

    Gradually the mainstream media is losing it’s monopoly of (dis) information, and a lot of journalist’s jobs will be on the line as truth sites and blogs take over to bring the other side of each and every story.

    When World Trade Centre building 7, which wasn’t even hit by a plane on 9/11, fell for 2.5 secs at freefall speed - 9.81 metres per secs, see David Chandlers science now finally accepted by NIST the official government body –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I

    simple schoolboy physics tells me that a fraction of a second before building 7 fell there were thousands of tons of steel holding it up and then for 2.5 seconds the same thousands tons of steel were instantly taken away and all that was holding WTC 7 up was fresh air.

    Whatever it was that took away the thousands of tons of steel instantaneously should have been the subject of this years Reith Lectures. If you a

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Quite recently I learnt that the truth is not to be found through the mainstream media, least of all at the hallowed portals of the BBC. Just google – “who really owns the media” to find out that it’s owned by a few multinational corporations. Just the other day I heard Libby Purvis on radio 4’s I PM say that the BBC staff have no control over what goes out, “we are all puppets” she said. I don’t think that she realized the horrendous truth of what she said. 90 % of the mainstream media is controlled by those members of secret societies such as The Bilderberg Group; The Trilateral Commission; The Council on Foreign Relations; The Royal Institute of International Affairs; The Bohemian Club etc. In short – The Secret Government who decide the agenda for world politics behind closed doors and tell the media what to tell their readers listeners and viewers. Is that why Annie McMahon, the courageous former M15 agent whisleblower, and now supporter of the truth movement, has not been chosen for the Reith Lectures?

    I woke up from my ignorance about a year ago to discover truth for the first time in a life of being completely misinformed, when I started to research the, as yet, uncensored content of the internet. I was no longer a caged factory farm animal dependant on a diet of spoonfed propaganda, I could see clearly now and as I researched I found that history, politics, news and world affairs all suddenly started to make sense, I could see the bigger picture and what I found shocked me to the bone.

    Gradually the mainstream media is losing it’s monopoly of (dis) information, and a lot of journalist’s jobs will be on the line as truth sites and blogs take over to bring the other side of each and every story.

    When World Trade Centre building 7, which wasn’t even hit by a plane on 9/11, fell for 2.5 secs at freefall speed - 9.81 metres per secs, see David Chandlers science now finally accepted by NIST the official government body –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCDpL4Ax7I

    simple schoolboy physics tells me that a fraction of a second before building 7 fell there were thousands of tons of steel holding it up and then for 2.5 seconds the same thousands tons of steel were instantly taken away and all that was holding WTC 7 up was fresh air.

    Whatever it was that took away the thousands of tons of steel instantaneously should have been the subject of this years Reith Lectures. If you

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    (contd)

    Whatever it was that took away the thousands of tons of steel instantaneously should have been the subject of this years Reith Lectures. If you accept Newtons Laws of Motion then the only conclusion that is scientifically acceptable is that WTC 7 came down as a result of controlled demolition.

    It has been said that if you are going to tell a lie, then tell a big one, because it will be so fantastical that no-one will ever believe it. On the 11th of September 2001 the world was told the biggest fantastical lie in the entire history of the world, and we all fell for it hook line and sinker! This lie - that the attrocities were committed by a man in a cave and 19 arabs with box cutters, five of whom, incidentally reported to the BBC itself on the 12th September 2001 that they were very much alive and kicking, is now commonly referred to by all those who are courageous enough to demand the truth, as the ‘Official Government Conspiracy Theory’.

    If you care about the world then start googling “911 truth” now, or if not just carry on with your life and your head in the sand. . . . . . but beware, if your head’s in the sand when the hurricane comes you wont see or hear it coming and your bum is going to get one hell of a beating.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    Eliza Manningham-Buller's Reith lecture contained an interesting linguistic spoiler that shows how far-reaching is the influence from the USA. (And I'm surprised that the speaker, given her profession, did not catch this herself, which she evidently did not.)

    It was this: a distinctive difference between American-English and English-English is the use of "try to" by Americans and "try and" by the English. This usage is so endemic that Brits hardly notice it, but it stands out clearly to an American ear (like fingernails on a blackboard to some of us!). "Try to" was all the way through the lecture, but once Manningham-Buller was on her own feet, answering questions from the floor, she fell back to her English heritage and used "try and".

    What this means is that the lecture was proof read and edited by an American (possibly to catch any inappropriate statements?), and Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, used the version that came back to her, not noticing that she was now reading American-English!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    Towards the end of her lecture Eliza Manningham-Buller expressed the hope that in future we may see less al-Qaeda related terrorism. She proceeded to give a lop-sided list of reasons for hope, focusing mainly on the changing politics of the Middle East. Earlier on in the lecture she acknowledged that much anti-western Moslem terrorism sprang from the will to avenge the plight of the Palestinians, so I found it strange that her list lacked something along these lines: that maybe, just maybe, our own more enlightened policies - particularly as regards the need to render justice to the Palestinians - might lead to a diminution of terrorism against us.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    A couple of things: is it not generally accepted that the invasion of Iraq was planned long before 9/11, so 'fighting Al-Quaeda on America's chosen ground' doesn't hold true? If it were true, then the enormous cynicism of inflicting thousands of casualties on civilians in Iraq in order to pursue Al Quaeda, in addition to the effects of sanctions, should surely give that American apologist pause as a 'justification' for America's foreign policy in this regard. Even on the horrible logic of 'an eye for an eye' there is no justification for the carnage of America's bombing and invasion.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    What utterly abstract and revisionlist nonsense from Charlie Wolf suggesting that the US invaded Iraq in order to fight Al Qaeda on a 'ground of [their] own choosing' - as though the densely-populated urban areas of downtown Baghdad or Basra would ever be the ground of choosing for any military commanders or planners, unless they were suicidally-devoted exponents of the 'Stalingrad Academy of street-fighting'. If they wanted a ground of their own choosing they already had a far better one in Afghanistan, not least because that's where Al Qaeda actually were at that point. What Mr Wolf's ill-considered abstractions actually amount to is the suggestion that the US decided to invade Iraq, not to fight the then-existing Al Qaeda (who weren't even there), but to inspire the formation of various related groups and do battle with them in the swarming civilian areas of Iraq. It's so absurd as to be laughable. What's the time, Mr Wolf?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 14.

    Thank you, Steve: that's what I meant to say!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    It is very heartening to see that some people have the intelligence to see through the 11/9 charade. If the evidence and testimonies were to be interpreted impartially, we would see a very different picture of 11/9. Too many loose ends here that do need tying up. It would please me if Auntie used her investigative power to get at the truth of it all. But there is no hope of that as Auntie is a very good girl and does what the puppet masters tell her. 11/9 was almost certainly an inside job. If you weigh the world situation up and the way that the US and UK governments are surreptisiously going, 11/9 was inevitable. Why? The people of this world see that their wishes count for nothing and are being bulldozed to a reality that is very scary. Where they have no say and only exist to serve the system. We have seen the blooming of population control in this country and many others. Look at the legislation that has been introduced to control what you say, think and do. So the PTB invent an outrage that is so heinous that the people can do nothing but take note. Then let them give the guilty party a name, the name of a database, Al Qaeda. Great. Now lets us attach a label, Terrorism. And with mainstream media reinforcement, we now have the pieces in place. We have now successfully diverted attention from the problems we are all facing by virtue of oppressive government to Al Qaeda and a terrorist war. We are all scared now and government puts in place tons of repressive legislation to keep us safe. Legislation that straight jackets us all. So by virtue of a fabricated event, we are now even more under the cosh of state control. And who is behind 11/9? Now we are in the realms of conspiracy theory. I suggest the proponents of The New World Order are well at work here.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    WHEN A TOP SPOOK "NOTICES NOTHING ODD" . . .

    Ordinary folk are left to join her dots.

    This is the Age of Perversity.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    SHREWD OBSERVATION BUT (#10)

    I do not write exactly as I speak, and EMB strikes me as a 'constrained' type.
    I would guess that 'try to' is correct English as taught to ladies.

    Your observation, nevertheless, shrewd and admired.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    (with apologies)

    CORRECTION
    The sentence in my earlier comment - 9. At 15:47 6th Sep 2011:

    “It has been said that if you are going to tell a lie, then tell a big one, because it will be so fantastical that no-one will ever believe it.”

    SHOULD HAVE READ

    “It has been said that if you are going to tell a lie, then tell a big one, because then everyone will believe it.”


    Apparently this quotation was by Joseph Goebbels and there are multiple variations (source – wikiquote)

    (multiple variations) If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. // If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. // If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. // If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth. // If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    An eloquent clear speaker, she then says "I used to teach English.." but goes on to say "me and my team .." (or was it "unit" whatever...) instead of, of course, "my team and I..."!!

    We're all human but I find that surprising from such an eminent lecturer...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    it means that grammatically, and according to proper convention - certainly in her circles, the phrase is incorrect and I did give the correct phraseology

 

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