Britain starts their own Patriot Act

Welcome to our community

Take a moment to sign up and join the discussion! It's simple and free.

Timmy G

Member
Messages
167
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

:blink: OMG - it's like THE FLU

Complete Article Here at the BBC
Head to head: Terror law plans

Home Secretary David Blunkett has announced plans for tough new measures to combat terrorism, including special anti-terror court sittings without juries and the use of phone-tap evidence in trials.

Two experts put their differing views on the measures, which will be brought in if Labour wins the next election.

Terrorism expert Paul Wilkinson considers many of the proposals sensible in the face of a serious threat from al-Qaeda, while Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti worries our civil rights have already been unacceptably eroded by previous legislation.

PROFESSOR PAUL WILKINSON, CHAIRMAN OF THE CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF TERRORISM AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS

It's important to recognise there is a serious threat. People who imagine there isn't a threat are living in a fool's paradise.

I don't think anyone in the government is trying to hype up panic. The fact is, there is a very real problem. Al-Qaeda has threatened the UK repeatedly and, as we know, the kind of attacks it launches are more deadly than those launched in the past by the IRA.

The government is quite right to be taking the problem seriously. We cannot be complacent. And of course we should be examining the tool kit of different measures we can use to protect our society.

As I understand it, these proposals are not going to be included in the Queen's Speech so there will be opportunity for parliamentary debate - that's terribly important, both from the point of view of how effective they would be and for their impact on civil liberties.

We don't want to destroy the freedoms we have - that would be doing the terrorists' job for them. It's a question of getting the balance right.

It's very important to enlist as wide a support as possible, from all political parties. That gives the proposals much more credibility and the chance of full public co-operation and support is much greater.

In terms of the specific proposals, I would pick out using wire tap evidence in trials. It does seem to me crazy that we are unable to use that kind of evidence in the UK.

I don't think it's a threat to human rights. It would simply enhance the ability of the courts to do their work and bring criminals to book.

Of course there must be safeguards - the defence must be entitled to access the evidence and there must be ways of making sure a recording has not been tampered with.

As regards special courts, the experience of France and the Republic of Ireland courts seems to be that they work well and there's no reason why this should not be so in the UK.

We know that in terrorism cases, juries can be intimidated and threatened, so to have a panel of judges instead, who are experienced and can specialise in the subject and can at least be protected, is a very sensible measure.

But I think there are great difficulties with the idea of using civil orders in terms of civil liberties.

We already have the Terrorism Act 2000, which was designed to deal with these types of offences and I feel if there is enough evidence against someone then they should be taken to court and prosecuted under that act.

If there isn't the evidence, then people should not be detained.

Other countries in the European Union and other democracies such as Canada have not resorted to these civil orders and I don't see what the purpose of them would be.

SHAMI CHAKRABARTI, DIRECTOR OF CAMPAIGN GROUP LIBERTY
The first thing to remember is that David Blunkett's announcement in the Dimbleby interview is vague about what exactly is proposed and it has to be vague until the Lords decides on whether to repeal part four of the 2001 Terrorism Act, which allows the internment without trial at Belmarsh Prison.

Until that is decided, everything is up in the air and that's why this is not in the Queen's Speech.

This possible new terror legislation is actually both an opportunity and a threat. It could be an opportunity to repeal these terrible provisions in the 2001 act and end the scandal of people being locked up without trial - possibly some of them on evidence obtained through torture at Guantanamo Bay - for three years now.

If what the home secretary is trying to do is come up with some alternative, then that's a good thing.

In that spirit, I welcome the possibility of lifting the ban on wire tap evidence in court. We say that if it's sometimes legitimate to listen in on a suspect's phone calls, then why can't we hear it in court and let him have a fair trial.

But the other things are slightly more worrying. The most worrying is this vague proposal that he might extend the Special Immigration Appeals Procedure to ordinary criminal trials. That's chilling.

Any suspicion that he is now fantasising about extending the use of secret evidence and secret trials to criminal suspects as a whole must be very worrying.

But we don't know exactly what he meant and we have to wait for the outcome of the Lords ruling and for more details to emerge.

As for trials without juries, I'm worried because this government has been quite anti-jury trials for a long time. I'm quite worried the right to jury trial could be eroded because of the war on terror.

His other proposal, which is the equivalent of anti-social behaviour orders for terrorism, I'm very nervous about, because it would be a further blurring of civil and criminal standards of proof to get rid of the presumption of innocence.

I want to know what it is that would have to be proved for an individual is considered a suspect. What would the government have to prove before it slapped one of these orders on you?

But the bottom line is we cannot have a constructive discussion about anti-terror laws in this country until we see the repeal of part four of the 2001 act.

Until the government repeals internment without trial, the whole of anti-terror law is in dispute due to the suspension of the normal rule of law. It's the most fundamental abrogation to intern someone year-on- year on the basis of a politician's suspicions.

Allowing the use of intercepted material, such as telephone calls should help, as it ought to help bring to trial some people who the government says it has not been able to, using the inadmissibility of the evidence as an excuse.

This would be much better than locking people up without trial.

Part 4 is making us less safe rather than more safe, just as Guantanamo is making the Americans less safe because of the injustice and the ammunition it gives to people trying to fight an anti-UK or anti-US cause.

We have understandable and legitimate fears of terrorism but we've got think seriously if all this tough talk is making us safer and I doubt it is. The war on terror is supposed to be protecting our democracy not destroying it and that's what's happening.
 

Jimbomonkeypie

New Member
Messages
12
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

Sorry if this sounds naive, but is the current government in power Liberal, Labour or Democratic?

Interesting...
 

CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

Good find Tim. Seems the fears of a pandemic flu outbreak is well grounded, but not the CDC kind. The growing negative social mood will push world govts. to become increasingly oppressive. The world is getting a case of the "bad mood" flu. To quote a Carpenters song, "We've only just begun." Yeah, I know it's elevator music, but it makes the point. Happy Thanksgiving pal.

Cary
 

Grayson

Senior Member
Messages
1,079
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

Originally posted by Jimbomonkeypie@Nov 23 2004, 05:12 AM
Sorry if this sounds naive, but is the current government in power Liberal, Labour or Democratic?

Interesting...


We have a Labour Government in power at the moment, hmph, most likely will after the next election too.

A curious thing has ocurred under this Labour Government/Administration. The Police, HNU, MI6, MI5 and Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorism Branch have all gotten new powers to enforce both the Law and the Anti-Terrorism Act, yet they have all seen manpower cuts in real terms due to the numbers of Officers dedicated to this new end. PACE, the Police And Criminal Evidence regulations have been suspended in the face of Acts of terror however, thus cutting down the paperwork needed to hold an alleged Terrorist/sympathiser on suspicion of a crime. So, the nett effect has been to make it harder to enforce the real Laws of the land and easier to detain a person on the much more serious charge of Terrorism, without evidence or trial... indefinitely if they want.

Which is a very odd situation for the UK to be in, as we have been dealing with Acts of Terror for decades now as a result of our attempts to suppress the free Irish people of Eire. Curiously, these measures fall into line with the American view of how these plotters and demons against democracy should be dealt with for plotting against Western supremacy. It is worth noting that America never supported the British occupation of Ireland, at a time when American Nuclear Missiles were on English soil, not Welsh or Scottish, to defend Western Europe against the might of the Red Army. America vehemently opposed any efforts by the British Government to bring such a powerful Act into force, repeatedly. So now we're pals and share a common cause, we are allowed to vigourously root out and punish Terrorsists, not Irish terrorists of course, just those Middle-Eastern bad guys.

I am all in favour of punishing Terrorism, the kind that is perpetrated against the young, the innocent and those who simply go about their daily lives, emphatically so. What gets me to thinking though, is this. When does a terrorist cease to be so and at what point do they transcend into being Freedom Fighters? I ask this because we, the West have supported, promoted and paid Freedom Fighters for a long time, in various theatres across the Globe. In their attempts to free oppressed people's, civilians have been killed and their deaths dressed up as collateral damage, the acceptable cost of Freedom or simply been ignored by the Policy Makers and News Breakers. I suppose that those non-compliant Governments saw these Western funded Freedom Fighters as terrorists also, but they were not right in this view apparently, because if you fight for Democracy you can't logically be a Terrorist can you?

Now, some of you may read this and get all antsy about it, may think that I am taking a pop at America, the West, or snidely supporting the Terrorists that we are facing coming out of the Middle-East at the moment. some may think that I am being disrespectful to the memories of those that died at the World Trade Centre disaster on 911. Well, you would be wrong, it is merely an argumentative point of view. If you are gonna get upset about this, don't reply and try to get snotty, it ain't worth it.

I would add one final point to this, much has been said in memory of the of the 911 Souls, many have been the lamentations since the event and angry is the heart of America since this heinous act was committed on US soil. The UK lost many times more innocent civilians during the Northern Ireland Crisis through the bombing of bars, shopping centres, street car bombs, drive by shootings and mortar attacks, than America has so far. I lost a cousin to the Warrington bomb planted by the IRA and he was Southern Irish... fate can be cruel with a twisted sense of irony. We see the pain, we know the fear, we lived the nightmare for decades and we were never allowed to vent our anger as you do in America now. Maybe not as a people, but as a Government in possession of an Army by the Will of the people. We have a lot of frustration to get rid of and your Government has given permission to unleash it... that may yet be a decision that we all come to regret in time.

God forbid that a Conservative Government comes into power with the Anti-Terrorism Act in its back pocket.
 

Timmy G

Member
Messages
167
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

I suppose that those non-compliant Governments saw these Western funded Freedom Fighters as terrorists also, but they were not right in this view apparently, because if you fight for Democracy you can't logically be a Terrorist can you?

A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist... terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear. Typically it is done by small cells, however it could be applied to a very broad base of people... especially the "INSTILLING FEAR" part --- ohh, BTW - what is our FEAR LEVEL -- errr, Terror Level at for Thanksgiving... Orange? Red?

Have a great Turkey Day everyone >:D< if you travel, be safe.
 

Grayson

Senior Member
Messages
1,079
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

Originally posted by Timmy G@Nov 23 2004, 02:21 PM
I suppose that those non-compliant Governments saw these Western funded Freedom Fighters as terrorists also, but they were not right in this view apparently, because if you fight for Democracy you can't logically be a Terrorist can you?

A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist... terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear. Typically it is done by small cells, however it could be applied to a very broad base of people... especially the "INSTILLING FEAR" part --- ohh, BTW - what is our FEAR LEVEL -- errr, Terror Level at for Thanksgiving... Orange? Red?

Have a great Turkey Day everyone >:D< if you travel, be safe.


Most Freedom Fighters fought/fight for Political and Ideological reasons, the American Independence Revolutionaries who fought for religious, Political and Ideological reasons, The French Resistance and the Afrikaan rebels are such, as was the IRA Freedom campaign. In America the IRA were seen as Freedom Fighters, in the UK as Terrorists and in Ireland as Soldiers against oppression. Now America is suffering at the hands of such as the IRA were, they are no longer regarding these types of violent acts as Freedom Fighting, nor acts of Liberation.

Curious.

EDIT: Just to correct a misconception you have. Terrorism is not the calculated application of violent protest or action to achieve any goal, it IS the calculated application of thefear of violence to achieve a given goal.
 

Timmy G

Member
Messages
167
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

EDIT: Just to correct a misconception you have. Terrorism is not the calculated application of violent protest or action to achieve any goal, it IS the calculated application of thefear of violence to achieve a given goal.

Grayson - we basically agree here, however I have to say that my post did not include the words in red above - violent protest or action, I said nothing of the like.

You say it IS the calculated application of the fear of violence which is exactly what I emphasized with the underline in my post: this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.

To once again answer your question that I originally quoted "because if you fight for Democracy you can't logically be a Terrorist can you?" Terrorism is Terrorism is Terrorism... like the old fast food commercial about chicken nuggets... parts is parts is parts. No matter what pieces of the chicken you cut up and press into a happy little chunk - it is still chicken. When they instill fear - or use violence (or threat of violence which easily = fear) against civilians to achieve a goal, (no matter who is doing it, the IRA - the NRA - the Republicans / Democrats or even the Pope); They are committing terrorism - period.
 

Grayson

Senior Member
Messages
1,079
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

Originally posted by Timmy G@Nov 23 2004, 05:13 PM
EDIT: Just to correct a misconception you have. Terrorism is not the calculated application of violent protest or action to achieve any goal, it IS the calculated application of thefear of violence to achieve a given goal.

Grayson - we basically agree here, however I have to say that my post did not include the words in red above - violent protest or action, I said nothing of the like.

You say it IS the calculated application of the fear of violence which is exactly what I emphasized with the underline in my post: this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.

To once again answer your question that I originally quoted "because if you fight for Democracy you can't logically be a Terrorist can you?" Terrorism is Terrorism is Terrorism... like the old fast food commercial about chicken nuggets... parts is parts is parts. No matter what pieces of the chicken you cut up and press into a happy little chunk - it is still chicken. When they instill fear - or use violence (or threat of violence which easily = fear) against civilians to achieve a goal, (no matter who is doing it, the IRA - the NRA - the Republicans / Democrats or even the Pope); They are committing terrorism - period.

Sorry, blindspot to your caveat in brackets. :D'oh:

The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was fighting for Democracy, their Democratic right to self-rule and this is where any Terrorism argument that comes out of the USA falls down. The USA supported them and then condemns OBL and his mufties, who are fighting for freedom from Western financial and Military oppression... or have I misunderstood their intent?

I am simply puzzled by this splitting of hairs in US Foreign Policy.
 

CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was fighting for Democracy, their Democratic right to self-rule and this is where any Terrorism argument that comes out of the USA falls down. The USA supported them and then condemns OBL and his mufties, who are fighting for freedom from Western financial and Military oppression... or have I misunderstood their intent?

I am simply puzzled by this splitting of hairs in US Foreign Policy.

The U.S. govt. (CIA) did support OBL as a "freedom fighter" when he and his boys were taking it to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Saddam got military, financial and technical assistance from the U.S. govt. when he was fighting "those crazy muslims" in Iran. Hell, there's pictures of Rumsfeld shaking the man's hand and being all buddy/buddy with him. So now, these two dogs get off their leash, and they're terrorists. What's different now compared to when they were "speical friends" of the U.S. govt.? Not much. Yeah, go ahead and talk about 9/11. It was less than a month ago that OBL even alluded to the 9/11 event. He spoke about why it happened, but to my recollection, did not say he ordered it, or was responsible for it in a direct way. (Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't claim to have a photographic memory of the text of his video tape announcement, and the video tape is suspect anyway.)

Being puzzled aboout U.S. foreign policy could be a whole new religion Grayson. I'm pretty damned confused by it myself. A lot of mystical and mythical crap rolled up into that.

A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist depends on the standards applied to the assessment. So when did OBL and Saddam go from being "freedom fighter" and "ally" to "terrorist" and "evil dictator"? At the most convenient time for the PTB is my take.

Cary
 

Timmy G

Member
Messages
167
Britain starts their own Patriot Act

I have to say that I really agree with what I read here.

It is my belief that as an individual, organized group or nation - you have the right to a) defend yourself; and B) state your dislikes about whatever it may concern & within acceptable means try to change it.

This does not mean killing thousands of innocents, which I'm sure we also can all agree upon. It is truly funny that regime X was once our friend - and even today they still fight for the same things they fought for when we were buds, but somehow - magically they are now the enemy. I believe it simply boils down to wants & needs for the present - or as Grayson so well put it - the splitting of hairs.

Do I agree with or support it? Nope... to me, everything in life should be black and white or, simply stated... right & wrong. There shouldn't be partiality, which as it so happens, is as common as sunshine.

I'm just a man trapped on the outside looking in - wondering how the hell his miniscule li'l voice, which chimes along with thousands of others, is going to be heard on the inside by those who make it so. :unsure:

Chances are, it's not...


The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was fighting for Democracy, their Democratic right to self-rule and this is where any Terrorism argument that comes out of the USA falls down.
Does this give the IRA the right to bomb coffee houses and kill civilians at will? (and I'm not quoting that they did these things, but these are the things I consider terrorism) OR, are they trying through other channels to be heard? Perhaps violence IS THE ONLY WAY - but for some reason, I find that hard to believe.
 

Top