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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Anti-Terrorism Opportunity

Much has been said about how the need to combat terrorism has clashed with the rights of individual citizens. From the Patriot Act in the USA to the Civil Contingencies bill in the UK, the Big Bad Blunketts of the world did not let their opportunity pass. It will come as no surprise to any of you that Mr Blunkett is joined by Herr Blunkett, Monsieur Blunkett and many other cousins across the EU. The major difference between the badly written laws passed in individual countries and the EU measures is that the first have at least been discussed. On the other hand, these have hardly made the news at all.
In June 2004 Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for defence and foreign policy, announced that internal security services (eg: MI5 in the UK) are to provide intelligence on terrorism to the Joint Situation Centre (SitCen) - part of the EU’s emerging military structure. At the same time he revealed that the external intelligence agencies (eg: MI6 and GCHQ in the UK) had been cooperating with SitCen since "early 2002".
Well I’m a complete anorak and I was not aware of it, so you can be sure that most people are completely in the dark.
However sensible this initiative may be it still begs the question of accountability and scrutiny. It would be almost inconceivable at the national level for a body whose role was military to have its remit extended "at a stroke" to include anti-terrorism without a formal procedure being undertaken - and to ensure that a chain of accountability and scrutiny both to government and parliament was set out.
Again the EU disease. Just because they think it’s a good idea, the need for accountability is not considered important. But of course this all fits in with the EU’s general way of usurping power. Do it sneakily and present it as fait accompli.
The EU Police Chief’s operational Task Force, which was set-up in 1999, still has no legal basis for its activities and the EU Border Police is developing in the same ad hoc fashion.
So Big Brother is being built and they will only think to ask us about it later.

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