Azara Blog: Tony Blair the tinpot dictator

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Date published: 2005/02/24

The BBC says:

Prime Minister Tony Blair has defended controversial proposals to deal with terror suspects as the most "responsible" action to take.

He was writing in the Daily Telegraph, after a Commons vote approved the plans, despite considerable opposition.

The plans, which include detaining suspects under house arrest without trial, face further Commons scrutiny on Monday before passing to the Lords.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has hinted that concessions may be made.

But in Thursday's newspaper article, the prime minister makes it clear he regards protecting the public from terrorism as his highest duty - above safeguarding civil liberties.

"There is no greater civil liberty than to live free from terrorist attack," he said.

The terrorists have won, Tinpot Tony has removed more and more of our civil liberties. These sinister attacks on civil liberties will do nothing to stop terrorist attacks and he knows it. Anybody fingered by the security forces as a possible terrorist already has their phone tapped, their email read and their postal mail examined, and no doubt they constantly get stopped when they are out and about on the streets.

Blair has shown himself time and again to be a serial liar, and the idea that we are supposed to trust his interpretation of intelligence data is ludicrous. It's obvious that they don't have any real evidence against any of the people they have already locked up, so why should we believe that these people are guilty as not charged. There is something called the rule of law, and it would be useful if the people who run this country started to pretend they believed in it.

As it happens, tonight Channel 4 News dedicated most of the 7 PM news slot to the story of Moazzam Begg one of the British Guantanamo Bay detainees. (The BBC also covered the story.) It was just more confirmation of what we already knew, namely that the Americans became fixated on the idea that Al Qaeda was a large international organisation which every terrorist and every Muslim was a member of no matter what the evidence was to the contrary. And so every Muslim anybody fingered for no matter what reason ended up in the dumping ground of Guantanamo Bay. Begg said that he was not particularly tortured at Guantanamo Bay itself (other than that the whole regime was torture of some form) but he was tortured at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. The American government believes torture is acceptable practise so it is up to them to disprove the allegations in this specific case, which they are unlikely to be able to do.

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