March 16, 2004

Euro-Cohesion Watch

A rush of 9/11 fellow-feeling sweeping the Continent post 11-M?

Not quite.

Instead, sadly, recriminations against the ousted Spanish Popular Party instead.

I've already discussed how I don't believe Aznar's government tried to pull a Big Lie re: the perpetrators of the Madrid bombings.

After dealing with ETA for many long decades, they might have been forgiven for jumping (albeit with a bit too much alacrity) to conclusions placing responsibility for the carnage on the Basque separatist terror group.

The most damning information, for those who don't think the Popular Party purposefully misled the Spanish public, is a report that Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio's Ministry issued a directive to all Spanish missions worldwide.

According to the NYT, relying on left-leaning El Pais' reporting:

"Ms. Palacio sent directives to all Spanish embassies around the world urging her country's diplomats to stress the ETA connection, European officials said.

You should use any opportunity to confirm ETA's responsibility for these brutal attacks, thus helping to dissipate any type of doubt that certain interested parties may want to promote," her memo said, according to the daily El Pais.

Ms. Palacio, who said she had not seen the message before it went out in her name, acknowledged that such a message was sent but said it happened early on Thursday "because all the embassies were asking for guidance."

"We just sent what we knew," she said. "It would have been so stupid for us to manipulate. When the minister of the interior came out with additional information, we were as bewildered as everyone else."

Not wise to have sent that directive, yes.

But a purposeful hoodwinking to help the Popular Party stay in power?

I think not.

Remember, as soon as evidence emerged regarding the involvementof Moroccan nationals, the government released the information, before the election.

And even after the election, Palacio continues to believe that possible ETA involvement in the attack (perhaps in collaboration with al-Qaeda) remains a real possibility.

Hardly the stuff of Francoist dissembling.

UPDATE: More on a possible ETA-al-Qaeda link. Go read it.

Posted by Gregory at March 16, 2004 09:00 AM
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