Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tony Blair talks rubbish on the war on terror

Tony Blair has penned this article in the Sunday Times entitled "Shacked in the war on terror".

Here are some choice quotes:
The absconding of three people on control orders because of suspicion of their involvement in terrorism has, once again, thrown into sharp relief the debate about terrorism and civil liberty. Within the next few weeks we will publish new proposals on anti-terror laws. Our aim is to reach a consensus across the main political parties.
Well, given that you do not appear to have listened to people who have considerably more anti terrorist experience than you I very much doubt you are going to achieve much in the way of a consensus.
But at the heart of these new proposals will lie the same debate: the balance between protecting the safety of the public and the rights of the individual suspected of being involved with terrorism.
The problem with saying "the individual suspected of being involved in terrorism" is that it appears to try to make it look like it is only a few people. It need not be, it could be anybody. The state can and does make mistakes in these things and the whole point of the British system is to protect the individual from the state.
And, of course, we lost the crucial vote on 90 days’ precharge detention, despite offering a week-by-week court hearing throughout the 90 days.
Yes, there is a reason for that. It is a stupid idea and would be a recruiting sergeant for the extremists.
So when there is an outcry about the three absconding, we should remember that consistently over the past few years, and even after July 7, attempts to introduce stronger powers have been knocked back in parliament and in the courts.
Again there are reasons for that. Firstly control orders that are overly strict will look like house arrest and will be a recruiting sergeant for the extremists. Secondly these people should be prosecuted with the use of intercept evidence. We are virtually alone in the western world in not allowing our own intercept evidence in court though we do allow Belgian intercept evidence. The reason for the outcry over the absconding is that we can't believe that people believed to be so dangerous are not more closely monitored. They are either dangerous or they are not. Keeping people in some kind of limbo for years at a time is simply un British and unacceptable.
So the fault is not with our services or, in this instance, with the Home Office. We have chosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first.

I happen to believe this is misguided and wrong.
Well you would do, your a fascist prat. Seriously we have to ask what it is we are trying to defend here. It is after all key to how we defend it. Surely we are trying to defend a free society in which people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This country is about so much more than warm beer and cricket. To suggest that a suspect loses all his rights simply because he is a suspect is bonkers. Even when asked to prove things beyond reasonable doubt mistakes are made. If you look at the number of people who have been arrested under anti terrorism legislation in recent years compared to those charged the figures are stark, 90% of them being released without charge or charged under much less serious legislation.
It is clear that the police may have reasonable suspicion in many cases but then it transpires they have nothing more than that. Can we really afford to erode our liberties to a point where people can be locked up for long periods of time without charge?
Their right to traditional civil liberties comes first. I believe this is a dangerous misjudgment.
You said that earlier in the same piece, and repeating it does not make it any more more true. I note the use of the word "their" when in fact it will be every bodies civil liberties under threat. After all the police have used anti terrorism legislation to break up legitimate demonstrations.
This extremism, operating the world over, is not like anything we have faced before. It needs to be confronted with every means at our disposal. Tougher laws in themselves help, but just as crucial is the signal they send out: that Britain is an inhospitable place to practise this extremism.
Well I am not sure this is unlike any threat we have faced before but I will let that pass. However what tougher laws does Tony want? It has been the case since the 1986 public order act that you could prosecute and charge people for inciting acts of terror. In fact you can generally prosecute people for inciting most criminal acts.

This government has only used the existing law once. Yet if it used it to tackle the extremism of which he complains then he would be able to lock up those who are recruiting for the extremists. Yet this government for its own petty and stupid reasons does not want to do that, instead it wishes to damage our democracy beyond repair.


erik said...

Good Afternoon, Bennie.
I have a gift for you.
It concerns the moronic war on terror conducted by this insane gov't.
The security forces of this country have their heads well past their sphincter muscle.
Use this gift as you will, but use it you must.
HEREWITH, read on:-
Sunday, May 27, was a red letter day for Hamas. One of the hundreds of Qassam missiles fired from Gaza in the last 12 days hit a car in Sderot’s center driven by 35-year old Oshri Oz from Hod Hasharon, whose company provides computer services in the battered town. He died on the way to hospital. He is survived by a two-year old daughter and a pregnant wife, who was hospitalized after she received the news of his death.

That day, too, Ghazi Hamad, spokesman of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniya of Hamas, was the honored guest at a prestigious English literary festival at Hay-on-Wye in Wales. Invited to the event by the British Guardian newspaper, the Palestinian terrorist shared a platform with future and past British premiers, Chancellor Gordon Brown, who enters 10 Downing on June 27, John Major, the designer Vivienne Westwood and other glitterati. The Palestinian jihadi starred in Sky television’s Adam Bolton’s Sunday interview program.

Hamad rewarded his British hosts with a pack of lies and omissions, telling them what they wanted to hear about the fate of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped on March 12 in Gaza City and never heard of since.

"I know that he is well and healthy. No-one has tried to harm him or hurt him," said

Hamad. "I think there are continuous efforts to release him. We hope we can do it very, very soon." He said he had received news about Johnston two days earlier through his own channels.

"According to my analysis, I think it's possible to release him. I hope to make it very, very fast."

The facts are quite different.

Johnston was snatched by gunmen of the local Gazan Durmush clan, which controls the “Army of Islam” or “Al Qaeda-Palestine,” a group which is structured on the same lines as its fraternal Fatah al-Islami, which has commandeered the Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon.

Hamad knows exactly who is holding the BBC reporter, but nothing at all about his condition or state of health. He and his boss, prime minister Haniyeh, are not involved in any way in the halfhearted British effort to free him, simply because the Durmushes and Hamas leaders, including Haniyeh, are locked in a blood feud.

At the same time, Hamad is important in the Hamas Islamist terror machine in his capacity as director of the smuggling routes of funds and weapons from Damascus and Tehran through Egyptian Sinai. The money is spent on the manufacture of the Qassam missiles which day by day terrorize the Israeli civilian population abutting on Gaza. Some of the cash arrives in the infamous suitcases whose passage is allowed by the international observers posted at the Rafah crossing from Sinai.

Israel’s government heads know all this. Yet foreign minister Tzipi Livni has refrained summoning the British ambassador to protest the Hamas smuggling expert’s admission to Britain as star of an august literary event; nor has the Israeli ambassador to the Court of St. James asked the Foreign Office for clarifications.

On the day of the Hamas terrorist’s star performance in Hay, Tony Blair initiated new anti-terror legislation. In Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, declared solemnly at the weekly cabinet session: “No one involved in the Qassam offensive will escape; no one is immune.”

While Britain grants admission to the spokesman of one of the most brutal and destructive terrorist groups in the world and honors him alongside noted British writers, scholars, political leaders and self-styled peace campaigners, the Israeli prime minister tosses out empty words and conducts a misdirected air campaign, which failed in Lebanon to stop Hizballah rockets, in a vain effort to halt Hamas’ vicious missile campaign against Israeli civilians.

As long as people like Ghazi Hamad are made welcome at British literary festivals, there is little hope for Alan Johnston or the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit, both kidnapped by the same nihilist al Qaeda-Hamas gangs. Neither will the UK be safe from jihadist terrorists, or Sderot live like a normal town.

Interestingly, leading UK organizations dish out the reverse treatment to the very people Hamas has singled out for destruction. British academic, medical and architectural groups have eagerly embraced a boycott of their Israeli colleagues - not to mention the Church of England’s divestment campaign. These arbiters of political morality generously offer Israeli academics and professionals a chance to avoid being blacklisted by disowning their government’s policies.
Up yours toni. Up yours ehud.

erik said...

Your people are
crying out for help

. Will you fail them like the Blair Gov't?

erik said...

Your citizens are crying "foul"
Will you fail them, like the
"not fit for purpose"
Scots bafffffooooooon?

erik said...

Our fellow countrymen are being lied to by a
stupid press, and stupid politicians
You know the truth.

erik said...

I grow fatigued with superficial tripe.
Details matter, and the exposure of the truth from beneath the crap.
Some people don't care.
Some people profess to tell the truth, but wouldn't recognise it if it jumped up and castrated them.

erik said...

Bennie, in a previous blog you said you were a physicist.
Can you settle a family disagreement for me.
How many stable elements are there in this universe that we occupy?
Many thanks.