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Should we be as afraid as Mr Blair would like us to be? (Independent / UK)

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-05 04:55 PM
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Should we be as afraid as Mr Blair would like us to be? (Independent / UK)
The Prime Minister warned Britain last week that there are 'several hundred people in this country who are engaged in plotting or trying to commit terrorist acts'. His security services disagree with him, saying there are no more than a couple of dozen. So why the discrepancy? And how should we assess the threat?

Raymond Whitaker and Paul Lashmar investigate

06 March 2005

<snip> Speaking of the need for new powers to control terrorism, Mr Blair said: "There are several hundred in this country who we believe are engaged in plotting or trying to commit terrorist acts." He seemed to be implying that once the Government succeeded in getting its plans for control orders through Parliament, hundreds of British people could be subjected to such orders, preventing them using mobile phones, meeting certain people, or surfing the internet.

Yet this claim, far from leading news bulletins, caused little reaction. Most of the reporting devoted to his words emphasised that security officials considered them "sloppy". In their view, the number of people who could be considered a "serious" or "moderate" threat was no more than about two or three dozen.

What was behind this remarkable discrepancy? Downing Street later said the Prime Minister was talking about "people who there are concerns about ... Potentially they are planning and thinking about terrorist action". <snip>

But Mr Blair himself said a few weeks ago that only "a handful" would be affected by the control orders being proposed. The Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, says there is no need at the moment to put anyone under house arrest, not even those foreign citizens being held in prison without trial under the current anti-terror law, which is about to expire. In little-noticed evidence to a Commons committee last month, Mr Clarke said the number facing restrictions close to house arrest might not be "significantly larger" than the 17 people who have been detained without trial at various times. <snip>

Panic! Give us our terror law! Wait, we didn't mean panic yet ... But will we be prepared to panic?

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dbeach Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-05 05:21 PM
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1. blair..bush same club..
be scared be scared trust us..we know whats best..give up all your freedoms and we will make you as in maximum safe as in maximum security..
the real threats to freedom are these 2 liars...
keep scaring the sheeple and keep power..simple but time tested formula for treason...
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Briar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-05 06:13 PM
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2. The Power of Nightmares
exposed this whole ploy. But it might as well never have been screened: the politicians and (most of) the media are going on just as before, concocting their manipulative scenarios of terror and counting on the ignorance and stupidity of those willing to surrender freedom for "secruity".

While the Indie asks questions, the gutter press (like today's News of the World) just keeps pumping out the propaganda.
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-07-05 12:23 AM
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3. Did you see Bowling For Columbine?
It speaks quite well as to the politics of fear. I believe there is a political purpose to put the people in fear about the 'known' so they will be even more fearful of the unknown.
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