"Much less understandable was the flagrantly mendacious briefing about the shooting of Mr Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician. The streets of London are still dotted with out-of-date hoardings announcing that a bomber was shot on the Tube, when he was of course nothing of the kind. For 24 hours after they shot an innocent man seven times in the head, the ‘security services’ continued to tell journalists that he was ‘directly linked’ to anti-terror operations. Why? Why not just tell us the truth, that they weren’t sure what they had done, or whom they had shot? Why not just keep silent until all the facts could be established? The Prime Minister has excused the officers’ actions by asking us to imagine the difficulties in making a ‘split-second’ decision. But the police did not have a split second to deal with Mr Menezes; they had followed him for two miles. Why, if they suspected he was a suicide bomber, did they allow him to board a bus to get to Stockwell station? Why did they not block the entrance to the station instead of allowing him to vault the ticket barrier and reach a train? But that was not the end to the government’s willingness to dissimulate. On Monday the BBC reported — apparently quoting ‘security sources’ — that Mr Menezes had been an illegal immigrant. Even if this claim had not turned out to be wrong, it would be quite obnoxious for this to be presented as a kind of excuse for the shooting. We do not have the death penalty in Britain even for murder, let alone for allegedly overstaying a student visa."
And the further problem is what do we believe when the Metropolitan Commissioner or the Prime Minister next gives us assurances.