“Counter-Terror” Really “Counter-Whatever We Want”

23:02 Sun 30 Nov 2008. Updated: 17:08 28 Jan 2009
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In Britain, a Member of Parliament was recently detained for nine hours by “counter-terrorist” police forces, and had his phone and computer seized.
His heinous alleged crime?

The MP was arrested under common law “on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office”.
“Damian Green arrest: PM accused of contempt for parliament”, Andrew Sparrow, Nicholas Watt and agencies, guardian.co.uk, 28 Nov 2008

Wow, misconduct in a public office. I bet everyone’s really glad that dedicated, militarized anti-terror forces were ready to stop that foul, threatening-the-lives-of-millions, plot in its tracks, using the full force of the law.

The MP in question, Damian Green, is a Tory, educated at Oxford, and used to be a financial journalist. I bring this up to point out that he’s pretty clearly part of the political class. The fact that the UK government is willing to use “anti-terror” forces for the settling of political scores is a very bad sign. Green apparently pissed off various government big shots by soliciting leaks from civil servants in order to embarrass various ministers, something that’s been a part of the political game in Britain for a very long time.

I’m quite surprised and worried that they’re using such tactics against sitting MPs, but they’ve already done worse, and perhaps Green should count himself lucky that he’s as well-connected as he is, otherwise who knows what might have happened to him?

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