Spooks: civil liberties may have to be "eroded"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Sep 10, 2005.

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  1. Hmmm.

    Now, the Security Service does not have a particularly good record of late, does it? So why should we listen to them now?

    Our civil liberties should not be eroded! If they are, we'll find ourselves fcuked around by the government (ID cards, being questioned on spurious grounds for protesting against arms fairs) whilst the terrorists continue to plant bombs.

    So, double-barreled name woman - have a nice cup of shut the fcuk up! :twisted:


  2. Why not take something to stop that knee of yours jerking so violently and actually read what the woman said, especially:

    This is the biggest dilemma when investigating almost any serious and/ or organised criminal enterprise. You would not believe how difficult it is to get an apparently watertight case past barristers, most of whom treat the criminal justice system as an esoteric parlour game to see just how many angels they can get dancing on the head of a pin.

    I thought EM-B's speech was timely and appropriate personally. I have a wife and child, live in London use mass transit regularly. If ensuring our safety involves p*ssing off a bunch of barristers, unelected judges and professional human rights lobbyists as a by-product, well that's just a bonus as far as I'm concerned.

  3. I heard the same stuff from, her predecessor. In his case he was arguing that since the cold war had gone away the rise in organisaed crime was such that we really really needed to deploy his crack spooks on police work.

    Of course they argue we need just a tiny erosion of civil liberties and its a vital threat they face. Last decade it was the IRA, then drugs and now its AQ. Now tell me. Has the secret services budget gopne up or dopwn in the last thirty years? Do we get good value for this? How do we know?
  4. I'm with Vegitus - if the country at large was aware of the childish games that masquerade as justice in our courts they would agree we should equip ourselves with as many "leg-ups" as possible in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. In my experience in many cases they are the same fcukin people anyway!
  5. Do you have any solutions to this problem? Mutinous as they may read.
    Napoleonic code? Grand Jury? Diplock? WTF?
  6. Necessity has been the plea of every aspiring tyrant going back at least to the days of ancient Rome. This doubletalk-spouting Dame Eliza has said nothing novel.

    "Those who would sacrifice essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety will have neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
  7. She wants the rights of Englishmen to be "eroded" but "not damaged." This ambiguous, self-contradictory formulation is sure to be a source of comfort to anyone who doesn't read it very closely.

    She isn't very explicit but I think we can infer her masters' wish list. They have been pushing for it for quite some time now with notable though still partial success:

    ** Continuous, warrantless surveillance and recording of all electronic communications.

    ** Expropriation of anyone who displeases the government or who possesses something the government wants.

    ** Government discretion to criminalize whatever speech it claims to regard as disruptive, provocative, or offensive.

    ** Abolition of trial by jury.

    ** Abolition of habeas corpus.

    ** Trials from which the public is excluded.

    ** Abrogation of an accused's right to confront and cross-examine his accusers.

    ** The replacement of a father's authority as head of his household with that of a swarm of government social workers.

    ** Continuous monitoring of every subject's whereabouts through ubiquitous CCTV, compulsory national identification cards and RFID technology.

    ** Confiscation of all arms in private hands.

    ** Summary execution, without trial, or accountability on the part of the executioners, of anyone purportedly suspected of being a terrorist.
  8. The thirty day detention before charge (supervised by a judge or magistrate) under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the introduction of telephone intercept product as evidence would, in my humble opinion, be a good start.

    I don't believe in the erosion of the presumption of innocence, nor the evidential burden of beyond reasonable doubt. What I am against is unelected, implacably left-of-centre judges thwarting the attempts of elected politicians to protect the public at large. I am also increasingly sceptical about the whole premise behind the Human Rights Act 1998, framed and implemented before the onset of determined, Islamist Mass Casualty Terrorism. And I say this as someone who is manifestly not a big fan of politicians.

    Eliza Manningham-Buller is right. Cops don't usually agree with spooks, but on this one she's bang on the money.

  9. My knee can't help it!

    The intelligence services need to sort their act out.

    The Hutton and Butler Reports (certainly in terms of the evidence, if not the conclusions) pointed to how intelligence was twisted for political ends with the connivance of senior officers of the intelligence and security services. Those who attempted to criticise the inflation ("sexing up") of intelligence (DIS experts) were told to wind their necks in.

    The only two people to be disciplined over the WMD debacle were Andrew Gilligan (more correct in his assessment than the two "dossiers" were in theirs) and Dr Kelly, who later killed himself. The egregious John Scarlett was later promoted despite his crucial role in producing two documents that were deceitful in purpose.

    I do not believe any of the recommendations of Butler have been implemented. I do not trust the intelligence and security services (see WMD debacle above) and will not until the Butler recommendations are implemented.

    Any laws that have been introduced are more often targeted at members of the public making a nuisance than terrorist suspects. A law was introduced to make it an offence to demonstrate in Parliament Square without permission (how easy would it be to get that?) and this law was clearly targeted at one particular protestor. True to form, it was ruled (evil judges!) that as the protestor's protest pre-dated the law, his continued protest was not illegal. I don't need to dwell on the contemptible nature of this legislation.

    There is also the matter of the wrong persons being targeted. The issue of the Brazilian has been debated extensively elsewhere and is probably an operational c0ck-up. However, there is an example from some years ago in which a Brit living in South Africa was fingered as one of the FBI's most wanted and arrested and extradited, because of a co-incidence of name. It was some weeks (as I recall) before the bloke was released. If the head of the Security Service wants to use intelligence that is not robust enough to be considered as evidence, then the wrong people will inevitably end up in the nick. This is not an acceptable price to pay.

    I don't like this at all!
  10. Couldn't agree with this sentiment more. The recent proliferation of former spooks to conventional law enforcement positions has lead to all sorts of feck ups. Whereas in their previous lives they'd operated in the black and until recently didn't even "exist" , now they're having to cope with evidence,disclosure, Human bloody rights etc. Dreadful shock to their system and one which does precious little to garner any respect for them amongst the grunts.
  11. If you look back to WW2, there were a hell of a lot of civil liberties being eroded: Control of movement, censorship, internment of possible enemies, conscription, etc. Now if we are at war, it seems sensible to curb some civil liberties for the "good of the nation". The question is, are we at war?

    We've invaded two countries, and are still conducting operations there, but we're now "supporting the new regime". Does this mean we're not at war?

    The Tube bombers apparently all believed they were at war with us, but as there is no formal banner under which they serve (or at least one that we can attack conventionally), can we honestly claim to be at war with an amorphous entity?

    When under emergency powers the Govt interned potential (In their view)terrs and cheerleaders, the Law Lords reversed their decision and now they're on the MI5 version of Gardening Leave as far as I can make out. Is this the action of a state organisation of a nation which is at war?

    IMHO, the Govt has to answer the fundamental question of whether we're at war or not before eroding civil liberties. If we are, then it's time to take off the kid gloves and fight that war with all the might and fury which the nation can muster.

    If not, then someone had better come up with another plan PDQ.
  12. Given that the public can only elect a government every 5 years or so
    Who but the courts is going to act as a check on executive in the mean time ?
  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    I'm with N_W_D on this. I've been a professional intelligence officer for 20 years and while I strongly believe in doing everything we can to catch and prevent terrorists, including killing the feckers, we cannot afford to trample on the law or anyone's rights while we do so. It may seem contradictory but I don't believe it is. Preserving our way of life from these feckers, shouldn't mean that we have to change our way of life.
  14. Lawyers !
    What's the old 'joke'
    What does a defence lawyer do when he knows his Client is guilty.
    He takes his money and makes as ass of the law.
    Any answers from board members ?
  15. "People can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Hermann Goering