As fellow blogger and former colleague from a past life The Fat Bigot would say – there is a goat over there, let’s scape it. The Police are to investigate The Security Service MI5 “about allegations that it was complicit in the interrogation and torture of a Guantánamo Bay detainee” (The Times) . It is believed that this is the first time Police, who work closely with MI5 on counter-terrorism matters, have been asked to formally investigate a branch of our intelligence services.
Presumably there is sufficient concern to justify such unprecedented action and, indeed, The Times reveals that Attorney-General, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, QC, said that there were “grounds to open a criminal investigation, adding that it should be conducted “as expeditiously as possible given the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved”. She stopped short of agreeing to a full judicial inquiry as sought by some, including Sir Ken Macdonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions”
If a former DPP, Sir Ken McDonald QC, suggests a full judicial inquiry, the immediate question which springs to mind is why the Attorney is so reluctant to hold one. Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Milliband have both stressed that Britain does not condone torure – although there is also reluctance to hold an inquiry into the Iraq War in public, perhaps for different reasons – so I feel some unease with the present compromise and fudge. Putting one branch of a counter-terrorism, policing and internal security service to investigate another may prove to be difficult in practice, however impartial the investigating officers may be.
Let’s hope, as David Davis MP (a former shadown home secretary) has suggested, that we don’t find a low level M15 ‘goat’ and scape it.
The Independent reports: G20 protests: Cry havoc – and let slip a rainbow alliance of summit protesters. Anarchists and climate campaigners have joined forces to carry a message to world leaders meeting in London. Protest is good, debate is to be encouraged, but it seems that the Police will have more to contend with when the G20 leaders turn up in London for Gordon’s address to them about how he plans to save the world. Instead of reasoned debate, intelligent analysis and interaction, some will pick up sticks, stones and kick their way into the financial heart of London and ‘attack anyone wearing a suit and tie’ according to press speculation. I have little interest in these people and none for their methods. Frankly, at a time of serious crisis, not just for the Britain but for the world, climate change, while important, is nowhere near as important as getting medicine (and possibly surgery) to the present financially sick world.
It is quite possible, of course, that the press is whipping up a bit of froth here and even The Independent used the well worn technique beloved of tabloid hacks – ‘the one story claimed’ ploy and wrote… “One story claimed protesters would use “discarded lumps of concrete, bricks and wooden stakes”. Another said an anarchist cell was arriving in a tank.”
A tank? Protesters are going to arrive in a tank! Excellent nonsense. Get a traffic warden to slap a ticket on it immediately they stop where they shouldn’t stop. That should sort it. Get a herd of Police Community Support Officers to give the protesters some of their iced buns and doughnuts.
We shall see what transpires….