I have outlined in previous blog how the government has in essence stripped the people before the State and shrouded itself against scrutiny. Earlier in the year the case of David Miranda became a significant milestone in the treatment of journalists. He was detained under the anti-terror legislation at an airport because he possessed encrypted intelligence documents. More recently news surfaced that Metropolitan police had been recording journalistic activities on a secret database designed to monitor “domestic extremists”. Journalists are being “assaulted monitored and stopped and searched by police during their work, which often includes documenting police misconduct”.
The question remains, for a government which promotes democratic principles to the point that it happily enforces its respect in the guise of “British values”, why are journalists whom are supposed to be the practical manifestation of the principle of government transparency being harangued and monitored like this? To reverse the question to the State: what have you got to hide?
Inextricably linked is the treatment of whistle-blowers. Miranda’s detention is but one example. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have helped disclose the excesses of western governments which would have otherwise gone unnoticed without accountability. Yet these individuals are pursued to the point that they have to hide in embassies and seek asylum.
Closer to home, Moazzam Begg, a man whose nuanced narrative of the situation of Iraq drove a horse and cart through the simplistic Daily Fail-esque “ISIS and ideology are a threat to Britain” narrative, and who was to disclose Britain’s complicity to torture in Syria, was arrested and detained under terror charges. In his absence, the Trojan Hoax was pushed through with impunity with the purpose of solidifying the oppressive and discriminatory PREVENT strategy into statue at the expense of the Muslim minority and the Islamic faith, several individuals were prosecuted for terror offences and motions were passed in Parliament authorising airstrikes in Iraq. Once these goals were attained and precedents created, charges against Begg were dropped.
The knowledge and actions of Begg would have contributed to a more informed debate around the issue of “extremism” and “terrorism” as well as foreign policy. Our government and intelligence agencies, hell-bent in the neocon pursuit of elitist goals, however, saw differently and Begg was effectively gagged.
Iraq Lies Once More?
Further architecting of a controlled flow of information occurred with the diplodocus in the room – the stalled Hutton inquiry. The report, which was supposed to have been published in 2011, has since been censored and delayed. The damage wrought from its publication would have most likely jeopardised the authorisation of the present military involvement in Iraq. Political expedience is a suspicion which is not far-fetched. Indeed Tory MP Rob Wilson last month suggested that the excessive moratorium on the publication is fuelling the suggestion of an “establishment stitch-up”.
What all the above amounts to is the attainment of uniformed consent of the people on critical issues of foreign and (indirectly through counter-extremism efforts) domestic policy.
Perhaps more damning of David Cameron’s government are the lies being pedalled once more, echoing the stain on humanity that the Iraq 2003 war has become. In August 2014, the British people were told by Cameron that the UK will not deploy boots on the ground. On the 5th of November defence secretary Michael Fallon insisted that British troops heading to Iraq were only “invading” Iraq as part of a “limited training mission”. It is not, he insisted, “boots on the ground”. Amnesty International sought assurances that British forces would be not be complicit in Baghdad-backed death squads. Come 22nd November, the Daily Fail reported that British SAS “quad bike squads” have killed 200 in four weeks.
Blusterous lies are a neocon quality. The British public has been duped once again.
Inquiries? What Inquiries?
Inquiries, like the Chilcot Inquiry are supposed to be mechanism to hold the executive to account and provide transparency to the electorate. However of late even inquiries have become farcical. We have a government which literally shreds evidence to pieces in an effort to prevent further investigation into scandalous MP expense claims. And how can anyone forget the insult to victims of paedophilia afflicted by Theresa May the extremist through her choice of individuals linked to alleged paedophiles, not once but twice? This despite the extent of the evil harbouring in Westminster, and the corruption and complicity of the security service coming to a nauseating light. As one individual in a report gave his reasons for attending the Million Mask March,
Also taking part in the march was Steve Foster, a 36-year-old storeman from Liverpool, who said: “The inquiry into institutional paedophilia is probably the main reason [why I am here]… “I am actually a victim myself, though not institutionally, when I was a kid. I want to see a real inquiry and I want to see prosecutions and people jailed in the establishment, where we all know it is rife. That is my biggest reason.”
People want justice and are asking questions. The government in response seems to be administering heavy doses of fear. Do inquiries mean anything anymore? Are the British public meant to maintain confidence and trust of government which misleads and seeks to obstruct government scrutiny? With the above in mind, I would argue no. The neocons are philosophically deceptive. Twisting, lying and architecting phantom enemies to enable or continue war are traits which make up neoconservatism.
Perhaps I am being overzealous in my analysis, but would Reprieve, Amnesty International, Liberty, Cage, Rights Watch UK, Freedom From Torture, Redress, Justice and the legal charity the Aire Centre also be categorised as overzealous if they made similar claims?
In a damning report, the above nine organisations are boycotting the official inquiry into UK’s involvement in torture and rendition due to concerns of an establishment cover-up. David Cameron had made, what has now materialised to be, false assurances that the inquiry would be led by a judge as opposed to the intelligence and security committee. The ISC has frequently failed to identify wrongdoing on the part of security agencies and its previous investigatory conclusions have been “spectacularly misguided”. Now the government has handed the responsibility of the investigation to the ISC, contradicting its previous stance and tarnishing any credibility of future findings.
When not one, but nine human rights organisations start losing confidence in the transparency of the government, then it would be no exaggeration to say that the government has lost its legitimacy. This is a government which is controlled by neocons, which is dismantling protections of the people against the state, ironically in the name of protecting those very protections of the people, and which is scapegoating an entire minority to purse the above. And at the same time, it is deflecting against its own state-rocking failings.