The home secretary, John Reid, today cautioned against scaremongering over the nature of the terrorist threat facing Britain but then went on to warn about the “devastating consequences” of a potential al-Qaida assault on Britain’s financial markets and energy supplies. [Guardian]
Well there’s a surprise – John Reid makes contradictory scare-mongering statements.
Despite the high-level denials, the Liberal Democrats produced a dossier of what they said were “numerous cases” in which “Whitehall sources” had given unauthorised briefings during ongoing terror investigations.
Interesting. Does anyone know more about this dossier? Liberty issued this today:
Liberty today welcomed the condemnation of leaks to the media during anti-terror operations by the UKâ€™s top anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke. Following extensive leaks to the media during an anti-terror operation in Birmingham in February 2007, the human rights group sent a freedom of information request to the Home Office seeking clarity on its public briefings policy. The response, due on 3 May 2007, will help Liberty to determine whether new guidance on off the record anti-terror media briefings should be established.
Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti said: â€œSecret off the record anti-terror briefings not only heighten public fear but also undermine police operations, prejudice fair trials and isolate communities who could provide key intelligence. There is grave danger of party politics trumping public safety considerations if political staff do indeed play a role in off the record media briefings during these anti-terror operations.”
“I believe it is crucial that the home secretary wakes up and thinks about the security of the nation first and foremost every morning. That is what I do now,” said Mr Reid.
In other words, “I have no other purpose in life other than to scare you into submission”. Can’t wait until Gordon Brown shuffles him out.
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