Dead Men Left

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Charles Clarke and (muffled laughter) preventing terrorism

Andrew Bartlett's written a letter to Charles Clarke:

Dear Mr Clarke,

You are reported by the press as justifying the new anti-terror legislation, which includes provision for house arrest and lesser categories of ‘control orders’ by saying: “I cite only the most recent example in Europe. The Madrid atrocity took place in the Spanish general election campaign. Maybe such things can be possibilities here too. In those circumstances, it’s necessary to be able to take what steps are necessary to stop that happening.”...

Except, of course, the Spanish government initially, and wrongly, blamed ETA for the Madrid bombing. Either Clarke believes that locking the wrong people up on the basis of false or malicious intelligence will actually prevent mass murder, or he's using the deaths of two hundred people as a macabre "trump card" (Andrew's phrase) to stifle public debate.

It may be necessary in the next few months to use some of your lifetime's supply of liberal democracy against this sort of thing.