British government to further restrict free speech
August 23, 2014
Less than a week after a highly suspicious video many are dismissing as a fake surfaced the British government is announcing plans to implement more tyranny.
The video, described as too graphic for Youtube and Twitter, does not show the beheading of photojournalist James Foley by ISIS. Despite this, the corporate media and the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom characterize the video as a grotesque snuff film deserving a violent military response and the violation of Syria’s national sovereignty.
From the Irish Times today:
Home secretary Theresa May said she was preparing new laws to tackle Islamist militants at home and to stop them going abroad to fight, adding that Britain faced a long struggle against a “deadly extremist ideology”.
We will be engaged in this struggle for many years, probably decades. We must give ourselves all the legal powers we need to prevail,” May wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
While details are yet to be confirmed, Ms May said the new powers would be designed to restrict the militants’ behavior, ban involvement in groups preaching violence and require prisons, broadcasters, schools and universities to take a greater role in combating the radicalization of Muslims.
In other words, the British government will decide what is appropriate behavior, what groups Britons may join, what can be broadcast over the media and discussed in schools and universities.
The proposed law will augment Britain’s Section 44 Terrorism Act. It allows police to decide who is a terrorist and grants them the authority to search and detain citizens. The law is used on a regular basis against peaceful and lawful protesters.
Britain has enacted a number of successively restrictive laws. In 2000, before the 9/11 attacks in America and the July, 2005 attacks in London, the UK passed the Terrorism Act 2000 which makes it an offense to collect or possess information likely to be used by a terrorist. The Terrorism Act 2006 makes it an offense to “glorify” terrorism.
The UK has used a D-Notice system for over a hundred years. The notices are used to censor the press on the grounds of national security. D-Notices are routinely used for political reasons. For instance, in October, the British Prime Minister threatened to use D-Notices against newspapers that did not show the appropriate degree of “social responsibility” in reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ for short.
Eric Margolis: Beware of Suspicious Foley Beheading Video
The UK is merely the first country to exploit the alleged beheading of James Foley for domestic political purposes. Others, including the United States, will undoubtedly follow suit. The U.S. is using the questionable incident to announce it will soon begin military operations against ISIS in Syria.
On Saturday a former Toronto Sun journalist, Eric Margolis, questioned the Foley incident.
“Was Foley’s head really cut off? Hard to tell. We have been fed so much fake government war propaganda in recent decades – from Kuwaiti babies thrown from incubators to Saddam’s hidden nukes – that we must be very cautious,” Margolis writes.
The journalist asks if “the orchestrated outrage over Foley [is a] media prelude to direct US intervention in Syria where the jihadists backed by Washington are losing. It’s all very confusing. In Iraq, ISIS are demon terrorists. But across the border in Syria, they are on our side, fighting against the ‘terrorist’ regime of Basher Assad.”
Margolis’ former colleagues, however, are dutifully pushing the government narrative that Foley was in fact beheaded, despite a nearly complete lack of evidence, and paving the way for yet another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.
This article was posted: Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:27 am