“National Security” excuse used one too many times?

Shami Chakrabarti at Humber Mouth on 28 June 2007

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The government has been accused of using the fabled “threat to national security” excuse as a justification to suppress or withhold information that does not, in fact, pose any threat to national security.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the civil rights group Liberty, wrote to the attorney General, Dominic Grieve, stating that ministers and their lawyers were abusing their positions. Chakrabarti stated that increasingly, the government is citing “national security” in court cases to supress information that could be potentially embarrassing.

The “War on Terror” essentially allows governments and ministers to abuse the perpetual hightened security alerts that they themselves implement. The most common excuse used to justify the witholding of information or for persuing a contentious course of action is that it is for the preservation of “national security”. It is difficult to contest this as, typically, one has to take the government’s “word” for it; they cannot show “evidence” for their claims as that, too, could breach “national security”. Which is convenient.

Now, however, the government has come under attack Continue reading