Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
LONDON – Britain’s most controversial top lawyer, Lord Goldsmith, who was the Blair government attorney general (2001-2007) and advised Blair legally could go to war against Iraq, now has delivered a devastating blow to Blair’s successor, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Lord Goldsmith has said he cannot support Brown’s proposal to extend from 28 days to 42 days the pre-trial detention of suspected terrorists.
Both MI5 and MI6 intelligence agencies want the extension. And Gordon Brown faces his hardest test in months of political struggling when he tries to push the legislation through parliament next week.
There is mounting speculation in Westminster that, if he fails, Brown will be driven out of office barely a year after entering Downing Street.
The entrance of Lord Goldsmith into the debate could well tip the scales against the prime minister. Both John Scarlett, head of MI6, and his opposite number at MI5, Jonathan Evans, have made no secret of their concern over Lord Goldsmith’s decision to publicly oppose the 42-day extension.
“We are dealing here with highly dangerous terrorists who have been trained to withstand lengthy interrogations. We need every day to question them. Those extra 14 days could be invaluable and give us time to legally expand our investigations,” said a senior counter-intelligence officer.
But Lord Goldsmith insisted this week that while he “strongly supported our intelligence agencies,” he can see no case for the extension.
“How can it be right to lock someone up for weeks, only to release them after 42 days without any charge let alone conviction,” argues Lord Goldsmith.
Human rights organizations in Britain have backed his argument that “we start to destroy our values and our way of life and the very basis of our free society if we readily give away critical liberties. One is the right we all have not to be held arbitrarily without charge. Extending the period for which suspects can be held without charge is a serious incursion on our fundamental freedoms,” said Lord Goldsmith.
Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.