Unlimited detentions

The head of the Association of Chief Police Officers has gone beyond 90 days detention calling for some to be held:

“…for as long as it takes”

  • Cruimh

    Good man. They should introduce a ban on all marches at the same time.

  • k

    So citizens should be imprisoned indefinitely without trial, without the production of any evidence and without even being charged with a crime? All on the basis of MI5 ‘intelligence’? And we know how accurate that is!
    Give one single example of where a crime was committed because the suspect could not be held longer than the 14 days currently allowed.
    These laws are fine when only used against ‘bad’ people. But whats happens when the definition of who’s ‘bad’ changes?

    When first they came for the criminals I did not speak
    Then they began to take the Jews
    When they fetched the people who were members of trade unions
    I did not speak
    When they took the Bible students, rounded up the homosexuals
    Then they gathered up the immigrants and the gypsies
    I did not speak, I did not speak
    Eventually they came for me and there was no one left to speak

  • Cruimh

    So citizens should be imprisoned indefinitely without trial, without the production of any evidence and without even being charged with a crime?

    who said that ?

  • k

    That’s exactly what this legislation means!!
    Suspects can be held indefinitely without being charged. No evidence needs to be produced to allow this and no trial takes place. A suspect could be held for 7 days or “…for as long as it takes”.

  • Cruimh

    “Suspects can be held indefinitely without being charged.”

    That’s different. It’s not restricted to citizens for starters – and my understanding is that evidence has to be produced to the person who authorises the detention.

    Your beef, which is fair enough, is that this is not dealt with in court.

    So, ‘suspect’ Mr X – you have an informer Mr Y who has a good track record who says Mr X is coordinating attempted bombings – do you lose your informer by producing him in court – ending all future intelligence from Mr Y and almost certainly costing Mr Y his life ?

  • heck

    I suggest we indefinitely lock up Association of Chief Police Officers. These guys present a greater danger to our civil liberties the bin laden.

    I can porduce “an informer Mr Y who has a good track record” to say they are a danger!!

  • Liam

    Interment won’t solve this problem any more than it solved the Northern Ireland problem. It will just undermine any moral authority the UK has when talking about democracy and the rule of law.

  • Cruimh

    “Interment won’t solve this problem any more than it solved the Northern Ireland problem.”

    Solve ? It’s not meant to be a ‘solution’ Liam. If I came upon someone bleeding to death from a cut artery I wouldn’t refuse to apply a tourniquet because it didn’t solve the problem.

  • k

    No evidence needs to be prodced at any point. They simply need to get a judge to sign off on the detention. Considering how closely Judges are tied in with the State that’s not too difficult. How often have judges refused to extend detentions currently?
    ‘you have an informer Mr Y who has a good track record’. What about ‘we have an informer who heard a bloke say that another bloke’s mate told him that his girlfriend reckons thon boy is a wee bit dodgy’.
    Your assertion that these detentions will only be based on sound intelligence is naive. Look at the track record. It doesn’t inspire much confidence in MI5/6/Branch as impartial upholders of truth and democracy.
    We have trials for a very good reason. If you accept the basis for this legislation then why not just get rid of trials altogether and allow the state simply to imprison whoever they deem to be dangerous directly. Maybe even dress it a bit by using an ‘impartial’ Judge? Wait a minute…I’ve seen that somewhere before……?

  • Cruimh

    “No evidence needs to be prodced at any point. They simply need to get a judge to sign off on the detention. ”

    They have to show the Judge a reason k.

    We’ll have to agree to differ on this one.

  • This proposal is incredible.

    It just shows how desperate the counterterrorists are to solve anything – what, if adopted, would give then a continuous body of Muslim suspects that it could stitch up some way in solving any suspected terrorist act, whether real or just another ‘false flag’ one.

    Can’t you see the police going through their address books, bank accounts, club memberships, discussion boards, etc., to see it they could be connected to anything at all – like the Aussies have done with that Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef who gave a SIM phone card last year to the crazy guy who tried to commit suicide at Glasgow airport.

    The counterterrorists, in my view, are now a bigger danger than the terrorists.

  • kensei

    “They have to show the Judge a reason k.

    We’ll have to agree to differ on this one. ”

    No we won’t, and to be blunt you are [edited by moderator]. The effective suspension of habeus corpus would be both a gross violation of civil liberty, and a big deal.

  • Cruimh

    “No we won’t,”

    since when do you speak for k ??????

    ” and to be blunt [edited by moderator].”

    [edited by moderator] kensei.

  • fair_deal

    Knock the personal stuff on the head. Play the ball not the man.

  • Cruimh

    Thanks fair deal – it was a civil discussion with k. Good to see a moderator in action – It gets boring being sworn at and even threatened with a bullet in the head.

  • kensei

    Here is the ball, fd. What is suggested is the removal of the right to trial by peers, and the chance to answer charges put against you. It is one of the necessary conditions for a truly democratic and free society and it is a right stretching back well beyond even the invention of those things. We could go into natural justice and morality of it, the abuse or potential abuse of power by the state, the fact it is against every ideal Western civilisation has fought for, or the fact the security case is highly questionable. But really, why bother? Only three types of people will argue against it:

    1. Trolls
    2. Tyrants
    3. [edited by moderator]

    This is as about a fundamental a point as you can get. If you are arguing against it, you really don’t deserve to live in a free society.

  • Cruimh

    no matter how strongly someone feels about something they shouldn’t be allowed here to try and shout down those who disagree with them or to abuse them with f-ing and blinding.

  • kensei

    Sometimes swearing is entirely appropriate, and some positions deserve to be treated only with contempt.

    If we are to assume that readers here are to sensitive to hear any naught words, the least you do do is only remove the offending swear word, fd, rather than the whole lot.

  • k

    ‘They have to show the Judge a reason k.’
    The reason could be something as simple as ‘he went to a madrassa and his brother is a radical imam in Pakistan’. Guilt by association will be everywhere. Judges here are too pally with the state to really stand up against them.
    We already have the situation in the 26 counties where people are imprisoned for IRA membership purely on the basis of a Garda’s opinion. The opinion doesn’t have to be backed up with evidence. The Garda merely has to say that it is based on confidential information that he cannot disclose on the grounds of national security and Bang! you’re doing 5 years!
    If we do away with trial by jury and move to trial by secret intelligence info then let’s just stop pretending that we live in a democracy.
    Cruimh, I think there are too many people like you who think that this will only be used against subversives/muslim extremists etc. That’s not the point. Once enacted, these powers will be used against anyone the state deems to be a threat and that definition will change with time.
    We’ve already had the new ‘Anti-terror’ legislation used to forcibly remove a heckler from a labour party conference. Ironically, he was a concentration camp survivor and was deemed to be a terrorist simply for shouting ‘rubbish’ at Jack Straw! It’s the start of the slippery slope.
    And anyway, name even one case where the lack of these powers has allowed an attack to happen that would otherwise have been foiled?

  • Cruimh

    It’s not a discussion that can comfortably continue K.

  • The position of the counterterrorists is far worse than you indicated, k.

    9/11 was caused by the CIA, hoping to get the better of the FBI because of the spying by its Robert Hanssen, trying to outdo the suspected highjackers as unarmed policemen, only to discover that they were well prepared suicide bombers – a pattern when it was finally established when the last flight was over Pennsylvania that SOD Donald Rumsefled ordered it to be shot down to avoid devastatating blowback.

    And Britain’s 7/7 attacks were the result of Operation Crevice trying to entrap Muslims – what created so much blowback among their underlings, especially Mohammed Khan, that they organized their own domestic suicide bombings.

    In sum, the counterterrorists are almost always the instigators of the terrorist acts in the Western world, and it is way past time to rein them in rather than just giving them more powers to muck us around.

  • Jocky

    Given that the intelligence community cant tell the difference between a braqzilian electrician and a suicide bomber, I aint taking their word on anything.

    Cant help thinking that Britain has tied itself in knots with this proposed legisilation and the home office detention orders that simply dont work, all because they have decided not to deport known terrorists to countrys that use torture.

    Not our problem, you reap what you sow, why are we left holding the(dangerous) baby?

    Great we can feel all smug on our moral high horse all the while we are a soft touch and safe haven for wanted terrorists, great!

  • ciaran

    Maybe they could call this the patriot act,(or is that already taken).
    Just wandering cruimh why can the discussion not comfortably continue.

  • Cruimh

    “Just wandering cruimh why can the discussion not comfortably continue. ”

    It’s a subject worthy of serious discussion ciaran – and one I’d otherwise enjoy discussing with k- and it’s unlikely to happen here with barracking and louts interrupting to shout other people down. I cannot be bothered – especially as it’s unlikely to end up anywhere but as a rehash of the events here 35 years ago, a vehicle for proclamation of victimhood.

  • Cruimh

    p.s. the rehash business wasn’t aimed at k but at the disrupters.

  • Liam

    “Solve ? It’s not meant to be a ‘solution’ Liam. If I came upon someone bleeding to death from a cut artery I wouldn’t refuse to apply a tourniquet because it didn’t solve the problem.”

    Fair enough but how about the main part of my post? I am saying it would be a pyrrhic victory if we had to utilise such measures in the struggle against terrorism. Suspects by definition have not been proven in a court of law to have committed a crime so it would fly in the face of hundreds of years of common law to throw them in prison for an indefinite amount of time. With the IRA such strategies arguably increased membership and they could do so with Islamist groups. We should be strengthening our democracy and our laws as they have been for years in order to hold out against such opposition, not bending them when it suits us to win short-term victories, if indeed we win any at all.
    With ID cards, the suspension of habeas corpus and the right to trial by jury and many other measures we could undermine the great freedoms we have and that would be the worst defeat at all.
    Of course we need to secure ourselves against terrorism but that doesn’t require such measures at all. Wiretap evidence could be allowed in British courts like it is in countless other Western democracies and we could greater secure our borders.
    Shami Shakrabarti made a good point also, ‘We elect politicians to determine legislation and we expect chief constables to uphold the rule of law, not campaign for internment.’

  • kensei

    “It’s a subject worthy of serious discussion ciaran – and one I’d otherwise enjoy discussing with k- and it’s unlikely to happen here with barracking and louts interrupting to shout other people down. ”

    When we are as offended by the suggestion we should destroy hard won civil liberties as we are by sweary words, we will have made progress. Debate on whether or not to remove habeus corpus absolutely should be shut down, because the idea that it is even an arguable position should be fought. It should be like arguing to remove murder as a capital offense. Fun in an intellectual kind of way, but as a serious proposal? Dear God.

  • kensei

    Capital offense? Meant criminal. Bah. I am incoherent with righteous anger.

  • IQHQ

    It is worth recalling the closing statements of Lord Hoffmann in the 2004 Belmarsh Detainees Case, A & Others. He said, in reference to similar legislation (whilst not identical, yet similar enough for the words to retain their applicability and relevance) :

    “[i]In my opinion, such a power in any form is not compatible with our constitution. The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these. That is the true measure of what terrorism may achieve. It is for Parliament to decide whether to give the terrorists such a victory[/i]”