|Quoting A380900 (Reply 22):|
May I suggest, you, Sir, try a little perspective? And may I suggest too that you tune down the condescension and chauvinistic defense of YOUR government? One is supposed to grow up to a level of maturity where they can see faults in their parents (10yo?) and then their rulers (15yo?). Jingoistic reflexive defense does not make for good debate.
If you had read any previous post by me on UK politics you'd know I'm no fan of the current UK government, you'd also know that I was against the 2003 Iraq war.
Perspective indeed, was Iraq driven by dishonest interpretation of intel? Yes.
But as an illegal 'war of aggression' it was about as illegal as the 1999 intervention in Kosovo.
So call me a 10 year old, I'm not the one quoting from the cliched knee jerk slogans.
I'm also not in favour of torture, for a start it doesn't work so well.
For another, it's immoral. For me it's like the death penalty, it's the same as abusing or killing prisoners of war. They are captured, threat over.
The real perspective is needed in terms of how intel and the laws like guide the state institutions, trying to keep up with the massive advances in communications technology and scope of the last 15 years.
From dial up Internet to today.
The other side of this is fear.
Fear of democratically elected governments losing power if they are perceived by their people to have fallen down on the part of their job that involves protecting their country from threats like terrorism.
We live in risk averse societies, many of those who might agree with this general point also are the ones, who like it or not, might be a silent majority who don't give a crap about how much snooping is done by governments as long as they think it's keeping threats at bay.
That's a simplistic view, somewhat depressing even, but likely more popular than all these activists, from a very narrow self selecting group, are prepared to concede.
Terrorists have used the net and other modern communications to plan and execute attacks.
The intel agencies have to respond to the changes in communications, the only debate should be to what extent.
Intel agencies in all nations have always had data.
Today's communications means that now, it's like data in every other walk of life, there is exponentially more of than there would have been just a few years ago.
While it's true that all too often the terrorist threat has been likened to former super power enemies, Nazi Germany, the USSR
, which is absurd.
But it's not absurd that Al Queda have been driven in their planning by two obessions. One is attacking air transport, the other is getting some kind of WMD capability.
Something that Bin Laden spent much of his time in the late 1990's obessing about.
In this respect, Putin's rather unfriendly, authoritarian government has been of help. At least all those old nuke and chem/bio sites are better protected than they were in the 1990's.
The fact that Chechen terrorists would love to stick Moscow with a WMD no doubt was a motivating factor here too.
It's less likely, though not impossible, that Islamists could get a WMD than before.
Some of this has been helped by 'snooping' by governments.
Still, the fear is still there.