Civil liberties and battling terrorism

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Technocratic_Turbine, Feb 17, 2008.

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  1. If you want to 'fight' terror, can you only do this by making sure legislation is as unrestricting as possible?

    I.e. no detention for 30 days without charge?

    Can any of the terror laws be repealed?

    Do groups like 'Liberty' (Shami Chakrabarti) whinge too much or do they have a point amidst the hyperbole?
  2. Terrorist by their nature don't have any Civil Liberties!

    Those who murder and maime innocent women and children, for any cause, other than to liberate their own country and with their government blessing should be exterminated.

    End Ex!
  3. We should take care on the way a war against "terror" is fought. If in 20 years time this country has Shia laws, the Imans will be using the laws, made to protect Freedom, to imprison you.
    One mans Terrorist is another mans Freedom Fighter.
    This Government has given the people a perception that the Police are in the front line against Terrorism, when in fact it is the Army and security services who have the expertise but not the funding. wonder why..
  4. What I'm getting at is do things like Guantanamo Bay (a loophole and a way around the Geneva Convention) and the Patriot Act aid in fighting/capitulating to the terrorists?

    Does bringing in more terror legislation only hand groups like Al Qaeda a victory?

    Ultimately do you ensure you have greater civil liberties to make sure democracy doesn't falter in the face of terrorism?

    I'm asking a lot of questions here but it's a debate I'm fascinated with. Is the price of freedom, freedom itself?

    I see what you mean about laws which protect freedoms and could enable nutjob Iman types to take advantage. However I can't see any form of Sharia law coming into the British legal system.
  5. If MI5 had good intellignce that something BIG was about to go down and the individuals were to disserpear, who would be concerned US or THEM?
  6. Who needs groups like Al Qaeda when we have Labour in charge, they seem to be doing their job for them at the moment. :roll:
  7. My understanding of the geneva convention puts the present occupants of Guatanamo bay as non-uniformed combatants and as such should not be afforded the rights given to uniformed combatants. In other words they should never have been captured alive.

    Doubtlessly someone will shoot me down in flames
  8. Shami Chakrabarti is a media whore who would protest about herself if there was nothing left to protest about.
    I wouldn't pay too much attention to her. She's the laughing stock of decision makers everywhere. She serves a vaguely useful purpose as representing the extreme left of public opinion which makes her a sort of political goalpost, allowing people to aim their verbal-balls better.
    Even hardcore lefties think shes a dick.
  9. Labour are just inept. The criminal lack of funding for the army is a disgrace.

    But what about answering my question of civil liberties; does safeguarding them defeat terrorism?

    Or is a compromise necessary?

    Only an idiot would flame you for voicing a legitimate opinion. That is true what you say, but to me it seems naming them 'enemy combatants' rather than what it is usually termed seems a sly way of wriggling out of the Geneva Convention. Also enacting such legislation as the Patriot Act and using such facilities as Guantanamo Bay flies in the face of 'fighting for democracy and liberty'. You can't claim to fight for liberty yet take measures which restricts that liberty.

    Haha that made me laugh. But it is true, we have whinging hypochondriacs who seem too pre-occupied with Orwell's Big Brother than reality. Whilst they have a valid point regarding civil liberty they mess it up with waffling on the 'oppressive state'.
  10. To answer your question Technocratic, you can argue for safeguarding them and the compromise of liberties.

    For the safeguarding of civil liberties, how can you justify taking away liberties that have taken hundreads of years to develope by saying that we are protecting you and your future by taking these away from you. Plenty of people have died to give us these liberties today with the understanding that they were doing the right thing for the future generations.

    With the arguement of compromise i can see the point when people say if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about but does that justify the amount of government department's that can check your phone records and emails etc...
    Personally i don't see why anyone bar the police and security service should have access to these.

    Maybe some compromise is needed to fight terrorism for the time being but then could you trust the government to repeal the act if when/or it is not needed anymore.
  11. Labour are much more dangerous, mate.

    After all, we're allowed to shoot members of Al Qaeda! :twisted:

    PS: Cool avatar.
  12. There is a very fine and delicate balance to tread between civil liberties and oppression.

    The age old argument between what constitutes a terrorist from a freedom fighter will no doubt rage it's ugly head.

    If a mature, honest, open and fair democratic system exists, where all parties have full and equal access to the democratic process, then anyone who uses violence to impose their minority will over the majority is a terrorist.

    If a corrupt and biased system, where the state uses violence and coercion which denies the majority their clear will exists, then anyone who uses violence to overthrow this situation, with the explicit aim of restoring democracy is a freedom fighter.

    Or am I being simplistic?
  13. The difference between democracy and oppressive government is a fine balance. This equilibrium is now in serious danger of skewing relentlessly towards oppressive Government.

    In the USA, post 9/11 congress fast tracked and rubber stamped the “Patriot Act”.

    Quite a clever title as those who would oppose this Act would seem to be unpatriotic in the eyes of his/her fellow countrymen.

    Some concerns over the Patriot Act have been voiced for several years now. In short:

    It creates a broad definition of "domestic terrorism" that may have a negative effect on the U.S. and international rights to free expression and association.
    The law defines "domestic terrorism" as acts committed in the United States "dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws," if the U.S. government determines that they "appear to be intended" to "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion," or "to intimidate or coerce a civilian population." Such ambiguous language allows for loose interpretation that might violate civil liberties and international human rights.

    Allows non-citizens to be detained without charge and held indefinitely once charged.
    This is permissible if the U.S. government certifies that there are "reasonable grounds" to believe a person's action threatens national security. This runs counter to U.S. and international rights to due process and could also lead to violations of rights in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which guarantee that governments be notified if their nationals are detained.

    Infringes on the right to privacy and removes many types of judicial review over intelligence activities.
    The USA PATRIOT Act permits the government to scrutinize peoples' reading habits by monitoring public library and bookstore records, without notifying the suspect. It also allows for "sneak and peak" tactics such as physical search of property and computers, wiretapping and monitoring of email, and access to financial and educational records, without providing notification. These activities contradict the right to be free from arbitrary interference with individuals' privacy, as protected in the U.S. Constitution and the ICCPR.

    Unfortunately, our own Government has been as complicit as the USA in devising laws which at first glance seem innocuous to the average citizen, but on closer analysis are used indiscriminately against the population they were enacted to protect.

    I would draw a parallel between the Terrorism Acts/Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 in the UK and the US Patriot Act.

    SOCPA in short:

    Bans all unauthorised protests within 1 km of Parliament.

    Also makes all offences arrestable, allowing for DNA extraction, fingerprinting, photographing and a subsequent PNC record even if found “Not Guilty”.

    Also the Terrorism Act 2006 has been introduced which has been used inappropriately to inhibit free speech.

    The introduction of this draconian legislation has not, in my opinion, made the UK a safer place from the terrorist threat. It has been used predominantly against the average UK citizen as a “catch all” piece of legislation allowing attainment of Governmental statistical policing targets.

    Our political security agenda has been seriously contradicted by the introduction and blatant abuse of the Human Rights Act and the lack of immigration oversight and border controls.

    This in turn has forced the Government to introduce new laws to appease growing electorate discontent, which are being used inappropriately by the Home Office.

    Groups such as Liberty etc may seem to be a bunch of lefty bearded guardian loving tree huggers, but they do have a very valid point to make on the erosion of civil liberties.
  14. While the big worriers over civil liberties are the same ones making excuses for terrorism, I'm not going to stress about civil liberties.
  15. Aye, but I do find her strangely arousing. 8O