OPINION

TV monstrosities

The surrender of Dimitris Koufodinas, the alleged main hit man for the November 17 terrorist group – a development that was obviously the fruit of the systematic mobilization and pressure by the police authorities – will not only allow the prosecutor to link suspects to additional evidence from a key operative, it will also allow the entire Greek population to realize the ludicrousness of the various scenarios articulated by several television personages. These figures have managed to frame public debate, putting forward monstrous assumptions that hinder rational discussion of even crucial issues such as the violation of individual rights and the legal assessment of specific patterns of behavior such as people’s moral reluctance to turn in someone they know, even if he or she is a criminal. Today, in light of Koufodinas’s surrender, it is worth listing the various scenarios which have been articulated on television over the recent period. Koufodinas was said to be in the hands of the CIA; he had made a deal with the USA; he had escaped after turning in other members of the organization; he had been eliminated so as to ensure that he remained silent; he was being blackmailed by the authorities who threatened to arrest his wife and take their child away. So where is the CIA now? Was the CIA really holding Koufodinas before releasing him, sending him by taxi to police headquarters? What’s left of the scenarios that said his life was in danger? How can one account for the fact that Koufodinas did not seem to feel threatened, as he turned up at the police headquarters on his own, without notifying any television channels, without even making his appearance with a lawyer? The surrender of the top echelon of November 17 shows that reality hides fewer conspiracies than those put forward by the self-styled experts who parade on televised political talk shows. It also highlights the insolence of these people, and the perils involved in adapting public debate to their revelations or views. The striking collapse of these scenarios will not deter the conspiracy theorists from disclosing dark secrets and obscure plots in the future. The public should remember their fall from grace and prevent them from ever again setting the tone for public debate about crucial issues.