Saturday 20th of July 2024

dangers to society .....

keeping who safe ....

Is it possible that Gordon Brown's United Kingdom has joined George W. Bush's United States in the questionable practice of locking up its own citizens for things that the government believes they might do sometime in the future as opposed to things they have actually done? It certainly seems like it.  

Today in London, a 23 year-old Heathrow airport employee named Samina Malik, born and raised in England, was declared guilty of possessing material likely to be useful in terrorism. 

Malik was charged and tried under the United Kingdom's rather outlandish Terrorism Act 2000, Section 58 of which permits the charging of an offense and imprisonment of up to 10 years against anyone collecting or in possession of "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism," a definition that would seem improbably broad. It is hard for a writer such as myself to forget, for example, that the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara was known to have studied Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and its meticulous descriptions of the Spanish Civil War while camped out with Fidel Castro's rebel army in Cuba's Sierra Maestra, or that William Butler Yeats wondered aloud, after learning that some of the Irish rebels of 1916 quoted his play Cathleen ni Houlihan as they faced the executioner: "Did that play of mine send out/Certain men the English shot?" 

It just seems to me to be a slippery slope once you start arresting people for things that you think they might do in the future. And our current crop of political leaders - who have already managed to cause death and destruction on a mass scale - would seem to be the last people in a position to judge who will and who will not be a danger to society.  

On Lyrical Terrorists