back to article Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

The definition of terrorism in current UK law is too broad and should be narrowed to avoid "catching" journalists, bloggers and hate criminals, a top lawyer said today. David Anderson QC, who is Britain's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, argued during an interview on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme this morning …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Like the Police take ANY notice of the law....

    ...just ask someone taking photos in a public place in London. Or how about retention of DNA?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like the Police take ANY notice of the law....

      Reminds me of a comment by a retired policeman when advising on a challenge to a new Government bill's loose wording. He said that in the police force they affectionately called them Martini laws. "Anyone, any place, any time."

  2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Happy

    Lobbyists

    On the plus side, if 'influencing Government' really is in the legislation we should see a swift end to lobbyists (one can only hope).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: Lobbyists

      or a lone bloke camping outside parliament.

      1. Otto is a bear.

        Re: Lobbyists

        Mind you doesn't casting a vote count as influencing the government. How far could you push the use of that term. Even so one man's influencing, could be another man's coercion.

        I listened to the guy on Radio 4 this morning,a thought, well there's either some context missing there or we are all terrorists. David Cameron should have himself arrested now, he's influencing the government, and probably coercing it as well.

        1. Matt 21

          Re: Lobbyists

          Indeed. It should probably be "influencing or coercing the government through illegal means which cause widespread fear."

          So, setting a bomb off is illegal and causes widespread fear, Fathers for Justice climbing Nelson's Column (don't know if they have), may be illegal but isn't causing widespread fear, hence they are not terrorists.

  3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    "MPs will be asked to "revisit" Blighty's current anti-terrorism law to address the broad definition problem."

    It will be found to be insufficiently broad, as apparently it didn't prevent someone from questioning the previous definition. This will be rectified promptly.

  4. Ole Juul Silver badge

    Good

    He said that instead the legislation should require that terrorists must be shown to "intimidate or coerce or to compel".

    Spammers and telephone solicitors still qualify then.

  5. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    He must have missed the memo

    That was the whole idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He must have missed the memo

      No, he's actually one of the good guys (I know him slightly and I'm not a lawyer).

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: He must have missed the memo

        "he's actually one of the good guys"

        So why isn't he in jail yet?

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: He must have missed the memo

        "he's actually one of the good guys"

        Ah, that explains why he hasn't been CC'd.

      3. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: He must have missed the memo

        >he's actually one of the good guys

        If that's what he sincerely believes, he needs to pay more attention to the surface on the road to hell...

    2. veti Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: He must have missed the memo

      No. A little context here - does no-one remember anything from more than six months ago any more?

      When these laws were passed, the tabloids' hate figure of choice was Abu Hamza. Since nobody thought they could convict him of "intimidation to coerce or compel", we just had to include the word "influence" in there.

      Now he's been shipped off and safely locked up by our American friends, it's OK to relax the rules a smidgen. We can always reinstate them if another such figure starts whipping up the Daily Mail again.

      And that's how lawmaking works in the UK. Has always worked, really. You may be familiar with the saying "hard cases make bad law"? It's literally true, and we're seeing it in action right now.

  6. Peter Galbavy

    The problem is that the law has been misinterpreted to suggest that the authorities terrorising citizens is the right way around, while the reverse is a criminal offence.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I have argued for many years

    That there should be *no* laws which specifically target terrorism.

    A number of reasons:

    - it's too broad: for example 'possession of material likely to help a terrorist'... a map of the London Underground? A recipe for gunpowder? Lunch?

    - it does away with the need for evidence: suspicion is apparently sufficient.

    - it does away with the normal checks and balances of a justice system: house arrests? Inability to see a lawyer? Lawyers (and you) unable to see the evidence against you? Extended periods of incarceration without trial? And more...

    - it gives a false legitimacy to the terrorist: he is treated as if he is a legitimate member of a political party, and not (in the case, say, of a bomber) as a psychopath intent only on maiming and death.

    - all the terrorist crimes are already illegal under existing law: murder, assault, conspiracy to cause an explosion, possession of arms and explosives...

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: I have argued for many years

      This is particularly true when you consider that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. Murder is easy to define, but terrorism is not as it depends on your viewpoint. A terrorist murder is simply a murder by someone you don't agree with!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: I have argued for many years

        @ Mad Mike, I see the random down voter is back...either the home office are bored or the anti terror squad are...

        Lets take two lovely scenarios.

        Ukraine and Israel.

        Current Ukraine Government GOOD! "Rebels" (see the clever wording right there) BAD! US/UK GOOD, Russian BAD

        Facts, but not how we (the west) like to present them.

        A democratically elected government (larger majority than the Tories BTW) was overthrown and now the freedom fighters with backing from the Russians want to restore the democratically elected government, Failing that, Crimea and the east of the country, which is of mainly Russian heritage, are fighting for and independent state.

        Israel (Good, in the view of the UK and US). Palestine BAD

        Palestine, is fighting to overcome the occupying force, Israel, which refuse to acknowledge the state of Palestine and continues to occupy large amounts of land thanks to overwhelming force and by illegal methods of collective punishment, such as restricting water supplies and destroying power stations. The Palestinians who suffer constant air, sea and road blockades by the occupying force, are run by the democratically elected Government of Hamas, which the US, Israel and UK refuse to recognise as legitimate authority, instead labelling them as a terrorist organisation, despite what people have voted for (Sinn Fein anyone?)

        .See, you can spin things how you want.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: I have argued for many years

          "The Palestinians who suffer constant air, sea and road blockades by the occupying force"

          Your high horse is leading you to the wrong conclusion.

          The majority of blockades affecting Paestinians are not Israeli, they are put in place by other arab/muslim nations because they don't want the Palestinians migrating to their nation - largely due to racism on their part.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: I have argued for many years

            @LucreLout

            "The majority of blockades affecting Paestinians are not Israeli, they are put in place by other arab/muslim nations because they don't want the Palestinians migrating to their nation - largely due to racism on their part."

            Ah, now I happen to agree with you somewhat. Egypt has a border with Gaza (for instance) that is very heavily controlled. If the Egyptians wanted to help the poor, downtrodden and abused Palestinians, surely opening that would help? Maybe, but it could also lead to an exodus, so they keep it well controlled. Egypt has also made a peace deal with Israel and to keep Israel onside tries to keep weapons out of Gaza as they normally end up being fired at Israel, prompting a backlash.

            I remember an incident in the Kuwait just after the first gulf war, where a Palestinian was stabbed by a Kuwaiti. He was arrested (he protested much), but was released next day with no charges. Why? As the arrested man said........"But, he's only a Palestinian!!" The dead persons offence? To be in front of the Kuwaiti in a queue in a bank and refusing to stand aside!!

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: I have argued for many years

              "If the Egyptians wanted to help the poor, downtrodden and abused Palestinians, surely opening that would help? Maybe, but it could also lead to an exodus, so they keep it well controlled."

              Egypt and Hamas both know full well it'd lead to an exodus, as none of the peaceful Palestinians would remain in the Gaza strip.

              "Egypt has also made a peace deal with Israel and to keep Israel onside tries to keep weapons out of Gaza as they normally end up being fired at Israel, prompting a backlash."

              I suspect you already realise that the border could be opened in one direction only, allowing innocent people to flee, while preventing arms coming in.

              People continue to die in Palestine because of the conflict, in which there are no good or bad guys - only ingrained and generational ideological hatred, and because of outright racism on the part of neighbouring states with whom they share their religion.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I have argued for many years

            "[...] largely due to racism on their part."

            Jordan and Lebanon remember what happened after they gave refuge to a large number of Palestinians. IIRC they tried to take over the government of those countries.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I have argued for many years

          "Israel (Good, in the view of the UK and US). Palestine BAD"

          It not often mentioned that many Israeli Jews are involuntary exiles from other Middle Eastern countries - their homes of many generations from which they were expelled in various purges since 1948. So both sides have that grievance. Since the Yom Kippur War they have become the main influence in Israeli politics. This ethnic shift has apparently produced a shift away from European style political compromises - towards their Middle Eastern neighbours' "winner takes all" attitudes.

          It was said several times many years ago - that Yasser Arafat had a knack for "seizing defeat from the jaws of victory" when he refused peace deals that would nowadays look very good.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: I have argued for many years

        "This is particularly true when you consider that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter."

        Not this again... If I had a dollar.

        Freedom fighters attack only military targets, terroists attack civilians. It's extremely clear cut.

        "Murder is easy to define, but terrorism is not as it depends on your viewpoint."

        No, it really doesn't. There's far too much bed wetting liberal FUD being spread around terrorism, mostly because many of their icons were terrorists (Mandella, for example).

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: I have argued for many years

          @LucreLout

          "Freedom fighters attack only military targets, terroists attack civilians. It's extremely clear cut."

          Absolute rubbish. From dictionary.com

          freedom fighter

          noun

          a fighter for freedom, especially a person who battles against established forces of tyranny and dictatorship.

          Nothing about attacking military targets here. This is simply your definition of what you would like a 'freedom fighter' to be.

          You call Mandella a terrorist, but didn't he fight against tyranny against coloured people?

          Freedom fighters are simply people who commit terrorist acts, but you happen to agree with (or at least disagree with their opponents), whereas terrorists are those you don't agree with. It's about how it looks from your point of view.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: I have argued for many years

            Sorry Mad Mike, but your post is garbage.

            Terrorist - A person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.

            Terrorism - The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

            Freedom Fighter - A person who takes part in a revolutionary struggle to achieve a political goal, especially in order to overthrow their government.

            You will note that there is no mention of terror, armed conflict, terroism, violence, or intimidation in the latter definition. Perhaps that is because there is no confusion between the two except on the part of hand wringing liberals?

            "You call Mandella a terrorist" - erm, no. South Africa calls Mandella a terrorist. He committed acts of terrorism. He was tried for terrorism. Convicted of terrorism. And imprisoned for terrorism. However much he may have felt his cause was just, he was still a terrorist. To his credit, he never denied being such.

            "Freedom fighters are simply people who commit terrorist acts, but you happen to agree with (or at least disagree with their opponents), whereas terrorists are those you don't agree with. It's about how it looks from your point of view."

            If that statement isn't peak stupid, we're doomed.

            1. Lamont Cranston
              Joke

              @LucreLout

              It'd be a terribly twee "revolutionary struggle" that never involved any "unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation".

              Time for another remake of Red Dawn, wherein the Wolverines write strongly worded letters to the Soviets?

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: @LucreLout

                "Time for another remake of Red Dawn, wherein the Wolverines write strongly worded letters to the Soviets?"

                @Lamont Cranston

                I think I saw the original 30 odd years ago... If I recall correctly, were the soviets not invading America as the premise for the script? An advancing army rarely has internationally recognised stewardship of the state they're attacking.

                1. Lamont Cranston

                  Re: @LucreLout

                  My mistake. It's the Soviets engaging in revolutionary struggle against the capitalist US, so the film should open with an aggressive leafleting campaign against American institutions. I'm sure that'll stir the blood of every red-(no, not in that sense)-blooded American citizen.

              2. Mad Mike
                Joke

                Re: @LucreLout

                @Lamont Cranston

                "It'd be a terribly twee "revolutionary struggle" that never involved any "unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation"."

                Sounds like LucreLouts 'freedom fighters' are actually just politicians. As they can't use violence, the politicial process is the only thing they can use!! I really don't like the idea of people like Cameron, Milliband and Clegg being thought of as freedom fighters.

            2. Mad Mike

              Re: I have argued for many years

              @LucreLout

              ""Freedom fighters are simply people who commit terrorist acts, but you happen to agree with (or at least disagree with their opponents), whereas terrorists are those you don't agree with. It's about how it looks from your point of view."

              If that statement isn't peak stupid, we're doomed."

              By the thumbs up and down, I would say the statement is 'peak stupid'. Alternatively, the intelligent mind questions its conclusion based on the evidence before it.

              " erm, no. South Africa calls Mandella a terrorist. He committed acts of terrorism. He was tried for terrorism. Convicted of terrorism. And imprisoned for terrorism. However much he may have felt his cause was just, he was still a terrorist. To his credit, he never denied being such."

              Well, what a surprise. According to the 'tyranny' he was fighting, he's a terrorist. Think that actually proves my point as large areas of the world who opposed the apartheid regime called him a freedom fighter!! It's hardly surprising that the judiciary and legal system created by his opponents call him a terrorist.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: I have argued for many years

                "Well, what a surprise. According to the 'tyranny' he was fighting, he's a terrorist. Think that actually proves my point as large areas of the world who opposed the apartheid regime called him a freedom fighter!! It's hardly surprising that the judiciary and legal system created by his opponents call him a terrorist."

                I'm unsure if your ignorance of history is deliberate or unintentional.

                Mandela cofounded MK. Cofounded it. MK put bombs in substations, tortured and killed thier own recruits during training, bombed shopping centers full of civillians, beach bars, courts, banks, and sports stadiums.

                Tell me again how that is NOT terrorism?

            3. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: I have argued for many years

              @LucreLout

              So Freedom Fighters only engage in *authorised* intimidation and violence, to achieve the overthrow of their government (which could hardly be further from a 'political aim', huh?)

              BTW, since Freedom Fighters only attack military targets, and it's only terrorists who attack civilians, how do we read the Palestinian bloodbath at the moment?

              Palestinians have killed 13 soldiers and killed or injured 6 civilians

              Israelis have killed >600 civilians, mostly women and children.

              I could be reading this wrong, but that makes Israel terrorists and Hamas Freedom Fighters who are a little bit terrywristed.

              2While I'm o another rant, and while the IRA were bombing and shooting civilians in NI and the rest of the UK in the 70s, merkins regarded them as 'freedom fighters'.

              Is that because they were using the wrong dictionery?

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: I have argued for many years

                @Divided - If you want to bitch about the definitions, take it up with OED. I used their definitions.

                I'll never forget going to a bar in NY on the night of 9/11, an seeing the dawning realisation of those "passing the hat", that maybe, just maybe, paying people to bomb your "special friend" and ally was wrong.

                "how do we read the Palestinian bloodbath at the moment?"

                I read it as the world has 2 choices. Wait for the Iranians to build a nuke, and Israel will destroy it (they'd have to). Once that happens, merry hell will break out, and a renewed focus on resolving the issues will begin.

                Choice number 2 is for the arab nations bordering Gaza and the West Bank to open their borders and allow those that do not wish to fight a war to leave.

                Hamas continue to hide amongst civillians, and the civillians continue to let them do so. It is sickeningly inevitable then, that there will be civillian deaths.... not least of which are those being abused as human shields by sitting them on/near rocket launchers and other weaponry.

                Don't misunderstand that as my viewing Israel as doing no wrong. My view is that nobody out there is doing anything right.

        2. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: I have argued for many years

          "Freedom fighters attack only military targets, terroists attack civilians. It's extremely clear cut."

          So we just need to make everyone a member of the military and terrorism will be eliminated at a stroke? And there I was thinking it was a difficult social problem to resolve...

        3. Lars Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: I have argued for many years

          @ LucreLout, The fact that you cannot spell Mandela proves you are not South African and that you know nothin about it. I am happy about that and I cannot help you, but why not try this:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg60JmFhTMs

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: I have argued for many years

            "The fact that you cannot spell Mandela proves you are not South African and that you know nothin about it"

            I can't spell Yngi Malmstein correctly most of the time either, but it conveys no evidence regarding my familiarity with his work. Its a forum post, not a thesis.

            You don't blow up busses full of civillians and then claim you aren't a terrorist. That you later run the state you once terrorised does not rewrite the history of your actions, nor does it provide comfort to the families of your victims.

            1. Lars Silver badge

              Re: I have argued for many years

              Hello LucreLout. I have this vision of a huge flor with a huge number of trousers from different times and different countries. All there for me to pull on and listen to them trying to tell me about the life they lived.

              So, now in the trousers of a Cuban man who tells his son about his life on Cuba then living in Florida. We had this huge wonderful house, there was this beutiful garden with all the flowers and there was a water fontain and from the veranda on the second floor you had this beautiful view to the sea. The servants we had and the car, American, and Jose this wonderful old man, my chauffeur. Always ready anytime, day or night. How he policed the car, only once did I have to punish him. So modest never asking for more money. The influence I had, always the best table at any restaurant. And your mother, what a beutiful person she was. How she suffered her in Miami having to carry all the food home, she had such a weak heart since a child. How I miss her, what a great help she was. And there was Fulgencio, yes the Colonel the President Batista. What a wonderful man and a friend he was. How the Americans respected him. In the palace, I was invited with your mother, and he asked her to dance with her, what an honor that was.

              And those terrible days and we had to leave suddenly. All those promises by the Americans but no results. There is no justice in this world.

              Now I will leave the trousers of the son of a Cuban farmer on the floor, and lets go to South Africa.

              I was there in the sixtees. A wonderful country, fine peope in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. But day by day you started to wonder about things. In the post office there was this vertical piece of cardboard so that you would approache the guy sitting there from the right while those others would stay on the left. You would be served first no matter how many there was on the left side. And of course there where separate park benches too. Once there was this bold fellow who sat down on my bench and my democratic European heart kicked in and I gave him a nodd and a smile. He smiled politely too. But then we were spotted. a police car stopped in front of us and two guys stepped out and approached us. I looked at my black bold friend, but he was still smiling and I started to wonder if perhaps the police could spend their time on bigger crimes. Then I felt a great disturbance in the force and I realised the police men had stopped in front of me, not a word, just two tight faces stairing at me. Then I suddenly realised I was sitting on the wrong bench. Did I feel like a potential terrorist then, no, stupid yes.

              One of the senteces you eventually got a bit fed up with was the "we love our blacks". The first time you hear it you look at the nice person and perhaps you nodd or something but there seems to be absolutely nothing you could or should say. Next you realise that those same people probably never say it to eacjh other and it's for foreigners only and it starts to sound like when Europeans say "we love our cats, dogs whatever, only that they may infact do it.

              Then there was the "This is Gods country" people. Always by the Boer part of the people. My vocabulary is not good enough to describe how creepy that starts to sount after a while. Begins aroud your arse and travels up your spine till it hits you in the neck.

              In Durban I jumped onto a buss and sat down. Then a guy run towards me, while I was digging for my coins, and said no no you cannot pay, this is a Indian buss only, but it's OK, but you cannot show your head, you must keep it down. So there I was keeping my head on my knees, in Gods country, for free.

              In those years sanctions by some European countries had begun against SA. Most people did not think they would affect anything then, the gold, the diamonds, the fruit and the support from countries of inportance would take care of all silly sanctions. I think only one person I met then realised that things had to change and would.

              I think most South Africans understand how lucky they where having guys like Mandela and Tutu.

              So who ever you are, LucreLout, try on some Bantu trousers and listen, there is always a story, always something to learn, sometimes something forgive, never anything to loose.

              The "Searhing for sugar man" video is about a man his life and music but also about a people who was able to change.

              And I will never try on Mandela's trousers, they are way way too big for me and for most of us.

              Americans understand this "We the People". It was never "I the King" or "We the Queen" or "I the Government" or "We the White". No matter, If it is not "We the People" it will no better than "Ich Adolph".

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: I have argued for many years

                @Lars

                So your justification for a bombing campaign lasting decades is you got on the wrong bus?

                I'm quite well aware of the problems caused by apartheid, but is is no excuse what-so-ever to murder innocent civillians, some of whom most likely shared the view that the government of the day were in the wrong.

                Desperately rewriting history to make Mandela a saint won't wash the blood from his hands, it won't unburn his victims nor return their lives. It's all getting a bit saw no evil, heard no evil, and it's fundamentally wrong. whatever else he was in later life, Mandela was first and foremost a terrorist who built one of the most active terror organisations of its day.

                1. Lars Silver badge

                  Re: I have argued for many years

                  @ LucreLout, my justification for what!

                  Perhaps we could agree that a man who was a terrorist and become a president is better than a man who become a president and a terrorist.

                  The rewriting of history I think you should ponder a bit deeper. History written very shortly after events is written with very tight trousers and without even the slightest thought of trying on somebody elses.

                  History written before history is history is called propaganda.

                  If you try to write about Roman history to day, it's not about tight trosers but the problem of finding any from that time with any voice left. Spot the trend.

                  Kudos to Oliver Stone for "The Untold History of the United States" that is not about something far ago, but already it is obvious that more voices are needed to understand that time.

                  As for writing about history you can of course write in a "train-time-table" way.

                  Man walks from A at: and is a B at:. But that is worthless if you don't ask why Man decided to walk from A to B and why he was at A in the first place. And, is it not funny, while when we cannot decide on our color, gender, day of birth, religion, country, native tongue..... then thouse things are more or less always the ones we are so eager to fight about.

                  I have faith, I suppose somebody would call me an atheist, but I dont like any stamps on my forehead, a bit like having a postal code on your forehead. I gave up on religion, none of any interest. I decided not to bother creating any new Gods, and sertainly non in my image. Leave that to the Americans, just kidding, I hope that period is ower. And I decided not to adopt any of the previous inventions. And look at the heavens, harp playing, no, a large amount of virgins, no thanks, tried once, it was awful. Walhalla not so bad, a sort of a wordly spin to that venue. You go out in the morning to fight. And in the evening sexy women put jour limbs together and there is food boose fucking and all the best in the world, no mention about eternal life, as you would be a fool if you didn't get it. Lately I have, however, become slitgly suspicious, are they perhaps pulling my leg. On the other hand the world goes forward, and if perhaps sports has replaced the bloody bart of the fighting, I might apply.

                  Not that I can find them on Facebook any more, Have they given up against the Mormoruuns, perhaps.

                  Which remains me, no need, or beliefe in a planet of my own either, no servants in that deal I think.

                  And before I am vividly corrected regarding heavens, I am on vacation, all manuals regarding heavens forgotten at home and a laptop, not of my own, with a spell checker of dubious character.

                  No, I think we should more consentrate on to days election promises than on all those old ones.

                  I was about to forget about the hells, rather boring, not much to choose from. I belive that when the church was able to create hell on earth for the opposition the creative energy regarding hell flopped.

                  Colour, the best I can manage in that respect is pink, with some tweeking, long ago, it was slightly better.

                  But soon as you think you won because of it, there you go. Dropping your trousers and you are exposed.

                  Trying to chear you up a bit, I am told that, on the other hand, the favorite colour among those who are tweeking the colour of their arse is indeed towards white.

                  I have given up on colour. There are more important things.

                  Country, trawel, the more the better. Looking out the window, there is one of many good countries. And lets not drop the "o".

                  Language, first there is one, then add some more, the moore the better. The best language in the world is the one you choose to be the best.

                  Take care, regards Lars

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: I have argued for many years

                    @Lars

                    Your post generally makes no sense in English. I presume it's losing something in translation. Har du taler dansk eller svensk?

                    "Perhaps we could agree that a man who was a terrorist and become a president is better than a man who become a president and a terrorist."

                    It would be better not to have been a terrorist at all!

                    Had Mandela done what he did this side of 9/11, he'd have been shot in the face by a Seal team, and rightly so.

                    1. Lars Silver badge

                      Re: I have argued for many years

                      @ LucreLout

                      Yes, lets leave it at this. But, when you write "I'm quite well aware of the problems caused by apartheid" don't you think it would have been better if there was something lost in translation in that sentence. Shit it shit, there is no way to describe apartheid like that. It sounds like "aparthaid is OK but there are some minor progblems for some, but not for everybody.".

                      Also, I am sure you did understand that my jumping on the wrong buss was about a sic system where four classes (if not more) of busses where needed. One for the black, one for the white, one for white + black and one for Indians only. In the white + black you would sit in the front (1 class) and behind a chicken net was the cattle (2 class).

                      I am not sure how Indians where "rated", half black or half white or something. Anyway, resourceful as they tend to be and with a long presence in Durban (Gandhi comes to my mind) they apparently decided to have their own busses. And I assume that in order to get a permit they had to promise that they would not allowe white or black or Eskimos or Japaneese, Chineese and so forth,on the busses, not to rock the system.

                      As for Mandela, perhaps he should have understood the minor problems with apartheid and living in some homeland, appreciating the joy and adwantage of living close to gods country.

                      People will always, eventually, react against abuse. We are all like that, and I hope we will remain like that.

                      So if you are in searh of the vilians, first have a look at who created and upheld that system. It's not enogh to know what happened you also need to know why.

                      During those bloody years in SA I knew a guy from Namibia who studied in Europe, I think his studies where paid by the UN. A nice and intelligent guy who took his opportunity seriously. Then once I asked him if he understood why the blacks in SA where fighting each other, all that horrible stuff with burning car tires and such. I think I was expecting a long story about the ANC and the rest, but instead he looked at me and said - Lars, did you ever read European history. Try to find an answere to that.

                      Looking at that "Sugarman" -video about a yonger generation of white South Africans gives me more faith in us. Kudos to them.

                      I am leaving, Lars

                      As for that Google translate, poor as always. I can read it like several other languages.

        4. Graham Marsden
          Boffin

          @LucreLout - Re: I have argued for many years

          > Freedom fighters attack only military targets, terroists attack civilians. It's extremely clear cut.

          Wow! I wish I lived in your lovely black and white world where things are so clear cut.

          Still, you must be right, after all, no innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israel in the last week or two, have they?

          And all those people who lived in Dresden must have been in the German military because it would have been terrorism to firebomb a city full of civilians.

          And there's no such thing as Collateral Damage.

          And...

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: I have argued for many years

      Exactly:

      1. it's too broad: for example 'possession of material likely to help a terrorist'... a map of the London Underground? A recipe for gunpowder? Lunch?

      Why go so far. Example the brain of a chemistry degree educated person. According to UK legislation the possession of my brain would be a lifetime jail offence because it contains:

      An MSC in chemistry from the days when we did study toxicology from a chemical weapons perspective as well as proper organic synthesis. How would you like that Tabun, with TNT or hexogen sprinkles? All I need is to dig around the more dusty corners of it for the correct syntesis steps for it.

      This law if applied literally should lead to immediate jail time for:

      1. Anyone with a Chemistry Degree

      2. Most people with Molecular Biology and all people with Microbiology Degrees

      3. Most electronic hobbysts and pretty much anyone with an electronics engineering degree

      4. A large fraction of degree educated software developers

      5. Most people with civil engineering degrees. After all, the knowledge of what it would take to knock out a building is the most essential possible material of use to terrorists (and so are things like how to build gas pipelines, etc).

      6...

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: I have argued for many years

        The problem they constantly try to get around is the thorny subject of intent. Possession of material likely to help a terrorist could be absolutely anything. Anybody got any fertiliser? That's bomb making material that!! The issue they need to deal with is proving intent. The whole problem and issue is around intent. Just about everyone has material that COULD help a terrorist. The issue is whether they INTEND to.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I have argued for many years

          In the consultation phase of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 the drafting committee specifically left out the words "with intent" in the "indecent exposure" clause - because the police said it was making it difficult for them to get convictions.

          1. JimmyPage Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Sexual Offences Act 2003

            In the consultation phase of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 the drafting committee specifically left out the words "with intent" in the "indecent exposure" clause - because the police said it was making it difficult for them to get convictions.

            Leading to the alarming situation that a woman could catch a glimpse of her [male, natch] next door neighbour sunbathing nude, and get him arrested and charged with indecent exposure, and a spell on the Sex Offenders Register.

      2. charlie-charlie-tango-alpha
        Black Helicopters

        Re: I have argued for many years

        6... any of the old chemistry books I possess (from the days when they included details of explosives, or "hazards in the chemical laboratory").

        7. Copies of strong anonymising software such as tails or whonix.

        8. Copies of privacy enhancing software such as GPG.

        9. Provision or maintenance of privacy enhancing tools such as Tor....

        10......

      3. cortland

        Re: I have argued for many years

        So here in the Untied Snakes, when asked why I don't own a firearm, I replied, "I'm an engineer. I can do worse with what's on the shelf at my supermarket." End of conversation, as my hearer sidled nervously away. So could any intelligent teenager FWIW.

        We kill more of our fellows with automobiles than firearms anyway; an online acquaintance there in the UK wrote some years ago he was going to print bumper stickers reading:

        "I'll start worrying about terrorists when I can stop worrying about motorists."

        Watch out! There's a man with turban driving a car! Call the Army! Call the police! Call me a taxi!

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          Re: I have argued for many years @ cortland

          You're a Taxi.

        2. chris lively

          Re: I have argued for many years

          You should drop the word "intelligent" when applying that to a teenager.

        3. Someone Else Silver badge
          Coat

          @ courtland -- Re: I have argued for many years

          You're a taxi.

          (Sorry...)

      4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: I have argued for many years

        @The Right Hand of Volund

        Most electronic hobbyists and pretty much anyone with an electronics engineering degree

        Indeed.

        I make robots that work at the bottom end of an oil drill, three miles underground. Want to bet I can't build a timer/igniter that would work up to a couple of years in advance, with a precision of a couple of minutes?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I have argued for many years

        "Most people with civil engineering degrees. After all, the knowledge of what it would take to knock out a building"

        That would ofcourse be a plane which melts the building down and leaves paper passports intact !

  8. Anomalous Cowshed

    The definition of terrorism is too broad

    I protest, the definition of terrorism is not broad enough.

    Let us consider a few salient facets of the definition of terrorism:

    Average person's definition of terrorism: an act committed by a nasty man, most often dark of skin, involving shooting or bombs, most often 'in the Middle East'. We are protected from terrorism by 'police', 'the security forces' and CCTV cameras.

    Government definition of terrorism: Potentially any act committed by a terrorist, i.e. a member of the public. Acts of terrorism are to be repressed by passing laws rubber-stamped by what is known as a 'parliament'. They are to be repressed by 'police', 'the security forces' and CCTV cameras.

    Press definition of terrorism: Any act committed by any person whom the government contends is a terrorist.

    Terrorist* definition of terrorism: the government, acting through the 'police' and 'the security services'.

    * Member of the public arrested by the 'police' or 'the security forces' or what-have-you, for committing whatever-it-may-be.

    Drunken bastard's definition of terrorism, sitting dazed on the pavement outside a pub at 11:30pm on a Saturday night : "f*** off you c***!"

    Taking all these definitions together:

    Global definition of terrorism: anything done by anyone which you don't agree with. So f*** off you c***!

    As you can see, there is room for an even wider definition of terrorism.

    1. d3rrial

      Re: The definition of terrorism is too broad

      I'd simply say anyone who isn't me is a terrorist. Problem solved.

      1. David Lewis 2
        Big Brother

        Re: The definition of terrorism is too broad

        Anyone who isn't me is a "potential" terrorist! TFIFY

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: The definition of terrorism is too broad

          But you're a potential terrorist too!

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: The definition of terrorism is too broad

            Cogito ergo terroris.

            Or something like that...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The definition of terrorism is too broad

              Didn't some French guy once say "I think, therefore I am ..."?

              He was probably going to finish "... a terrorist", but no doubt was arrested for treason or something just in time.

  9. Crisp Silver badge

    "intimidate or coerce or to compel"

    That describes almost every Daily Mail article ever written.

  10. Schultz
    Go

    Definition too broad?

    If somebody is afraid of you, then you are a terrorists. Full stop. Turns out the politicians / the police are afraid of a lot of things, so the broad definition makes perfect sense.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Re: Definition too broad?

      I am afraid of the politicians.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was thinking that under the police dictionary the definition of terrorist was:

    Terrorist: Anyone who think differently, analyse or criticise the government or society.

    Example: Climate camp participant, vegetarian, hippies, photographs. More broadly anyone you can kettle, beat up or bully without any risk to your own safety.

    1. John Sturdy
      Unhappy

      No, they spotted that one

      They invented the term "domestic extremist" for those, in case anyone decided that they couldn't call them terrorists. There, a government thinking ahead. Who'd have thought it?

  12. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Unhappy

    When did Britain lose its way?

    The terrorist hysteria was more expected in America, as it was generally a new phenomenon.

    Here in Britland, we've had to deal with proper terrorism for years, and everyone has dealt with it with rational perspective.

    Back then we were tough and dealt with things - we didn't have the Matt Bryant / Daily Mail paranoia that we have now.

    I know it's due to governments wanting to keep us scared to make us easier to manipulate but still... If those who survived the Blitz were aware of things now, they'd be turning in their graves.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: When did Britain lose its way?

      Yes, knowing that it was Hitler dropping all those bombs must have made it so much better than a terrorist doing it!!

      Anyway, wasn't Hitler just a freedom fighter, freeing Germany from the unfair terms of the reparations claimed after WWI? Just depends on your viewpoint!! In Germany at the time, they believed they had been very badly treated after WWI and were suffering horribly as a result. Rampant inflation etc.etc., people dying of starvation etc. Hitler offered a way out. So, a lot of them took it. Were the conditions imposed on Germany tyrannical? Discuss.

      The allies actually learnt something from this, which is why Germany was rebuilt after WWII and did not have to pay reparations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When did Britain lose its way?

        I sometimes wonder where commentards got their education (if they ever did)

        "Anyway, wasn't Hitler just a freedom fighter, freeing Germany from the unfair terms of the reparations claimed after WWI?"

        No, no he wasn't...also you need serious help if you really think that!

        "Just depends on your viewpoint!!"

        No it doesn't it depends on whether you support the mass genocide of an entire race of people in an attempt to get the world to dance to your drum beat.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: When did Britain lose its way?

          @AC

          "No, no he wasn't...also you need serious help if you really think that!"

          I wasn't saying I believed that. I was simply pointing out that its a matter of perspective. Hitler was ELECTED. Now, some might question whether a degree of force was involved (brownshirts etc.), but he was elected. So, a good many people must have agreed with him and supported him and its widely agreed by historians that actually a lot of Germans supported him as he gave them a way out. So, clearly a large number of people, at least initially, thought he was 'freeing' Germany.

          "No it doesn't it depends on whether you support the mass genocide of an entire race of people in an attempt to get the world to dance to your drum beat."

          What a crass statement. Firstly, when Hitler was elected, the genocide was really something of the future and his hatred of the Jews (and others, which you seem to have forgotton) was not as extreme or as widely known. He also used the Jews as the reason for all Germanys troubles and a lot of the population agreed. Secondly, many, many countries have either carried out or attempted to carry out genocides. Not least amongst these is the USA of their native population. In fact, I would wager that if you go back in time, most countries have carried out a genocide or two, so stop thinking Hitler was particularly unique in this. Also, the sending of the New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell to Ireland could well be classed as this as well.

          You also need to understand why he killed the races and groupings he did. Did he really believe that murdering them all would suddenly make the world 'dance to his drum beat'? I think not. At least one of the reasons was to find a common enemy for Germans to unite against. Germany was ravaged by internal fighting between the wars and used the Jews as a target for all their frustrations etc. and as a means of unifying the Germans behind him. Been done many times in history. Bearing in mind he tried very hard to hide the slaughter, he wasn't really using it to try and make the world do what he said.

          What I'm trying to do is get people to think rather than knee jerk. Think about it from all perspectives rather than just the official history we're given, which is selective to say the least. Germany was in all sorts of troubles after WWI and a large part of that was the reparations it was forced to pay. Was that right? Official history in the UK says yes, but the Germans certainly didn't believe that. It's also interesting that after WWII, no reparations were forced, so maybe politicians had learnt something? It's pretty much agreed that reparations was one of the major reasons for the rise of Hitler and WWII, as it gave Germany nothing to loose in having another go!!

          Your viewpoint is that these things were all bad and I don't disagree, but at the time, many would disagree with you. Do bear in mind as well, that Britain (and the allies) had plenty of evidence of the holocaust for some considerable time before it was acknowledged and arguably even tried to keep it quiet.

    2. jason 7

      Re: When did Britain lose its way?

      I remember the days of the IRA bombings. We'd get two days of rightful outrage in the press and then back to normal ASAP.

      Stuff happened in the background but we didn't know and it didn't appear to affect us or require any major changes in laws and legislation at the time.

      But as I mention elsewhere the masses were a little happier and less informed/aware of the bigger picture back then.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: When did Britain lose its way?

      Here in Britland, we've had to deal with proper terrorism for years, and everyone has dealt with it with rational perspective.

      Back then we were tough and dealt with things - we didn't have the Matt Bryant / Daily Mail paranoia that we have now.

      Lets go back a sec and look. The majority of terrorism that we've encountered in the UK was due to The Troubles, and the government response to that was.... to give military intelligence to the "good" Protestant terrorists so they could go kill the "bad" Catholic terrorists (and deal drugs and run criminal enterprises).

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: When did Britain lose its way?

        " Lets go back a sec and look. The majority of terrorism that we've encountered in the UK was due to The Troubles, and the government response to that was.... to give military intelligence to the "good" Protestant terrorists so they could go kill the "bad" Catholic terrorists (and deal drugs and run criminal enterprises)."

        I'm not disputing that at all, but the public weren't whipped up into a frenzy - in fact, it was the 'British Way' not to be intimidated. The only restriction I can recall was the BT (post office tower) being closed to the public unless using the restaurant, and my Irish friends often being treated as terrorists, (especially at airports) but that's another story..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When did Britain lose its way?

      This exact day, mate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings

      After that, under f*****g Blair, the whole thing turned into a state of quasi-terror.

      He also extraded only a couple of days after the finance guy behind the 1995 terrorists attacks in Paris. The guy had been jailed in the UK for more or less a decade before, but Blair was apparently of the opinion terrorist attacks were a thing of continental Europe or France only, so no need to even try to counter it.

      How can a political leader be that stupidly criminal ?

      We're not doing really good in France with political leaders, granted, but those who lost friends or family in july 2005 London bombings should really think about thanking Blair for it.

    5. Vincent Ballard

      Re: When did Britain lose its way?

      Some people who survived the Blitz are still a bit too alive to be in graves. And they're pretty much core Daily Mail demographic.

  13. Julian Taylor Silver badge

    Terrorism: criminal or illegal acts of violence at randomly chosen targets, in an effort to raise fear.

    Disambiguation: lawyer, tourist [see George W Bush: pronunciation of 'terrorist'],

    Usage:

    "I knew he was a terrorist, he's a Muslim/Irish/Cat Lover/Putin Supporter".

    "I knew David Cameron was a lawyer from the moment he shook my hand and I saw 2 of my fingers were missing".

    See also: ISIS, Putin, Anthony Blair. Arafat, HAMAS, Al Queda

  14. jason 7
    Meh

    It's all about...

    ...protecting the 1% from the other 99% when they come asking for it all back.

  15. bpfh
    Big Brother

    The purpose of terrorism...

    is to terrorise... but just as every network based IT concept I have learned to love over the last 20 years has become the "Cloud", any legal offence commited seems to have become terrorism... Someone needs to get our manderins a copy of the OED and get some of these bloody words used in their proper and real context... It may be a nice word you can communicate and spin with, it does not mean that the word in question is actually what they are really talking about and really meaning...

  16. Chad H.

    There was a guy in the US charged with supplying military matrerials to terrorists.

    The materials: Waterproof socks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's just a shame the US wasn't charged with supplying military materials to the terrorists. (IRA, Taliban, Iran, al-Qaeda in Syria)

  17. Maty

    Don't blame Blair ...

    We elected him. And the reason we as a nation go along with the government stripping away our liberties one by one is, to put it tactfully, because we're a generation of lily-livered cowards.

    There was a time when we accepted that the IRA would exploit the benefits of living in a free society to perpetrate acts of terror. We didn't think that the answer was to stop living in a free society. Today ...

    Ah well, at least they haven't banned coffee yet.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Don't blame Blair ...

      " There was a time when we accepted that the IRA would exploit the benefits of living in a free society to perpetrate acts of terror. We didn't think that the answer was to stop living in a free society. Today ..."

      THIS!!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As Mad Mike says.

    The definition of Terrorism depends on which side you're looking from. If you're a small force of rebels fighting an obviously just cause against a tyrannical government and it defends its military assets to the point where you simply can't get near them, do you give up?

    One might debate about whether the widespread 'collateral damage' the U.S. Military achieves so consistently is incompetence rather than strategy; but somewhat less open to misinterpretation was the carpet bombing of German cities in WWII. U.S. emulation of Harris' strategy in Indo-China was, again perhaps, more open to interpretation - or more so, anyway, than the destruction of villages and executions of civilians which should have been tried ala Nuremburg.

    While it is difficult to pin down the justification for the atomic bombings - both sides of the argument are compelling, and horrifying - I always end up supporting them. It is difficult not to see only with hindsight, something that occurred before one was born, but one must try, and I think that of what was known of the Japanese conduct at the time and the fact that the American soldiers were almost entirely not career soldiers, thus also innocent victims it came down to weighing the deaths of a few hundred thousand Americans against a few hundred thousand Japanese and Truman made the correct and understandable choice (though quite possibly for highly immoral reasons).

    I'm far less convinced about the fire-bombing of Tokyo though.

    Were it not also before my time, I imagine I'd have felt Mandela unfortunately justified. I was certainly pulling for the ANC back when Oliver Tambo and Desmond Tutu were regulars on British TV. I regretted the loss of innocent life and accepted that I knew far too little to be able to pronounce a verdict on the ultimate right or wrong of it, but it was obvious the IRA had the just cause, just as it is obvious the Palestinians do. As do whoever exactly it is who's fighting Assad.

    I'm proud to be British for the way we stood up to Hitler (eventually), but I don't think, even as an Air Force enthusiast, I'll ever feel Dresden was as justified as Hiroshima was. Anyway, that pride aside, it does seem that if you look at conflicts both major and minor since the middle of the last century, with eyes attuned to the obvious injustices and thefts and atrocities that show quite clearly who the victims are and who according to the ethics we at least pretend to stand for, rather than through the eyes of some intellectually-impaired automaton who just swallows whatever the authorities say, repeating it ad nauseum seemingly oblivious to the hypocrisy of the argument claimed to support it, or perhaps more likely proudly proclaiming a complete disregard for morality, are the villains, Britain and the U.S. have consistently been on the side of the dictators, and in the English language the freedom fighters have been defined as terrorists.

    1. cynic56

      Re: As Mad Mike says.

      I wish I was as clever as you. If I was, I'd probably understand why the things you describe as obvious are indeed obvious.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: As Mad Mike says.

        @Cynic56.

        I think he means obvious to him. As both he and I have said.....it's a question of perspective and each individuals beliefs. I don't agree with everything he says, but that's his perspective on things. Right and wrong are not absolute. Something can be both to different people and that's part of the problem. It would be much easier if that weren't the case.

        In times of yore, armies would meet on a battlefield, slug it out and a winner would (generally) emerge. Civilian casualties were light during the battle, but sometimes very bad afterwards as the winners went on the rampage, maybe as revenge. The beginning of the 20th century saw the turning point. Partly due to the weapons then becoming available and a change of belief, civilians became valid military targets. In a lot of way this makes sense. In a war, is there really a civilian? The populations of both Germany and Britain (and others) were making the weapons used by the soldiers. Doesn't that make them part of the supply chain and therefore part of the greater army. After all, if you degrade the ability of the army to get weapons, doesn't that help you? Are the farmers not providing the food for the army and 'civilians' making the weapons?

        The line between civilians and military is well and truly blurred now and arguably during conflicts doesn't really exist. This was definitely so during WWII, so the mass bombing of Dresden (and other places such as Tokyo) arguably degraded their military through degrading their support structure. Does that jusitfy it? I'm not attempting to answer any of these questions, as its a very personal opinion, but it isn't anywhere near as simple a thought process as people try to make it. It's far more complicated than the straight yes/no answers the official accounts tend to give.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. JaitcH
    WTF?

    EVER NOTICE ... how often anti-terriorism laws are used against non-terrorists than the real thing?

    The problems seem to be centred around what a 'terrorist' actually is. Too many governments are accepting a definition of a 'terrorist' as laid down by the USA.

    Same for 'support' to a terrorist organisation. Until recently donating money to worthy causes such as health, housing or education related charities was fine until the damn USA decided, alone, that charitable help was also 'assisting' terrorists.

    The unfortunate Malaysian air 'incident' over the Ukraine wasn't 'terrorism' as many news outlets suggested, it is a civil war (if wars are ever civil), a war for independence. They aren't 'terrorists' they are Freedom Fighters.

    Attacking poorly managed computer systems, such as the US military, isn't 'terrorism' it's either the Chinese updating their information or amateurs testing their computer prowess against a country that claims to be a world 'technology leader' - at least in their own eyes.

    So let's straighten out exactly what is a simple crime and what is 'terrorism'.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: EVER NOTICE ...

      "They aren't 'terrorists' they are Freedom Fighters."

      Depends which side of the fence you sit. To those in eastern Ukraine, they're freedom fighters. To those in west Ukraine, they're terrorists. To the rest of the world, it's based on whether you like Russia at the time!!

      The downing of the airliner looks like a terrible mistake. They didn't intend to do it. So, is it an unfortunate mistake by 'freedom fighters', or a terrorist atrocity? Depends on your viewpoint and who you support in that conflict. It's certainly true that an elected government was overthrown. Is the fact that the population could do that evidence that it was correct and the government needed to go or not? Isn't then helped by lots of other countries getting involved and interfering.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: EVER NOTICE ...

        "The downing of the airliner looks like a terrible mistake. They didn't intend to do it. So, is it an unfortunate mistake by 'freedom fighters', or a terrorist atrocity? Depends on your viewpoint and who you support in that conflict."

        I'd agree it was probably a mistake, but we don't know, as those who made the mistake have embarked on a cover up and fled to safety.

        Were they actually "freedom fighters" then they'd own up to the mistake, face trial at ICC, and take their punishement on the chin. Leaving bodies in fields for days on end while you hide the evidence in Russia correlates more strongly with terrorism than freedom fighting.

        I don't support either side and have no reason to like or dislike Russia - hot women, good vodka, dodgy politics. Sort of like Greece, but with hot women & vodka.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: EVER NOTICE ...

          "Were they actually "freedom fighters" then they'd own up to the mistake, face trial at ICC, and take their punishement on the chin."

          I have to admit, I never heard of any freedom fighters anywhere in the world who would do things like that. A British MP would sooner voluntarily own up to fiddling his expenses...

          "Leaving bodies in fields for days on end while you hide the evidence in Russia correlates more strongly with terrorism than freedom fighting."

          But they were damned if they did and damned if they didn't. As soon as they started collecting the bodies they were immediately accused of stealing them, using corpses as leverage and almost of any other crime against humanity short of cannibalism.

          Also, the hiding of evidence didn't seem to be going on either. If you dig through reports even on the BBC it is clear that journalists or any other international experts who did not look like they were working directly for Kiev were given access to the site pretty much all along.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: EVER NOTICE ...

            "Also, the hiding of evidence didn't seem to be going on either"

            Not sure if serious.....

            A fecking great missile launcher is video'd entering Ukraine from Russia a short while before the plane is destroyed and the same one is then video'd making a hasty return to Russia, sans one missile, just days afterwards. Any you don't think that is hiding evidence?

            "experts who did not look like they were working directly for Kiev were given access to the site"

            Sorry, but that simply isn't true. International experts were only allowed access to the site a couple of days ago. Long after the launcher that downed the plane was safely back in Russia, along with incriminating evidence.

            The destruction of the plane was probably an accident. The cover up isn't. Russia and Putin will come out of this looking very dodgy indeed, at least, they will without a guilty plea from those responsible for firing the missile.

            1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

              Re: EVER NOTICE ...

              "A fecking great missile launcher is video'd entering Ukraine from Russia a short while before the plane is destroyed and the same one is then video'd making a hasty return to Russia, sans one missile, just days afterwards."

              This is totally different from what is happening on the crash site. The people who fired the missile are unlikely to be even in the same group of rebels as those who guard the site. There are no "central" authorities there. There are groups of "militia" mixed from locals and foreign (Russian, Chechen etc) fighters and they would trade their loyalty for funding and weapons with the "leaders". Their allegiances may and do change on a weekly basis.

              As for the video "evidence" - for myself I disregard it completely. Whose TELAR was transported, when, where even? The Russians recently presented satellite pictures apparently showing Ukrainian Buks in the area, one of which having been moved on the day of the shooting. Whose evidence is more evident? Americans were claiming they also have evidence but are now saying "no links to Russia"?

              I recommend to reserve judgement about any such "evidence" for the time being.

              "International experts were only allowed access to the site a couple of days ago."

              International experts only reached the site 3 days ago, whereupon they were given full access.

              Previously, a team of OSCE observers arrived and they were escorted around the site but not allowed full access.

              Precisely why the experts only arrived on Sunday is not clear to me - the rebels are blaming Kiev and accusing them of deliberate procrastination. Knowing a bit about Ukraine I can say that procrastination is their authorities' favourite pass-time in the best of times... However, I noticed that the things started to move only after Kiev said they handed over control over the investigation to the Dutch.

              Overall, it seem like a "normal" spat between 2 warring factions in a civil war and not an attempt to specifically hide or tamper with evidence. I am actually impressed by the fact that any bodies collection, cordoning of the area etc have been done at all. Try crashing a plane in Nigeria and see what happens afterwards...

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: EVER NOTICE ...

                "As for the video "evidence" - for myself I disregard it completely. Whose TELAR was transported, when, where even? The Russians recently presented satellite pictures apparently showing Ukrainian Buks in the area, one of which having been moved on the day of the shooting."

                You might have had a point, had Russia seized the Buk at its border and made it available for inspection. They didn't. It's been hidden, which lends itself to the presumption that its being tampered with or destroyed.

                "Precisely why the experts only arrived on Sunday is not clear to me"

                Its because they didn't want to get their arse shot off.

                Putin is up to his elbows in cover up and subterfuge. The damage being done to Russia's international standing will define it for many years. The only way back now is transparency and accountability.

                The missile system that downed the plane was Russian, and no amount of concealment will change that. It's just good luck it wasn't built and sold to Russia by Britain. It's not like we're whiter than white here, nor will there be zero American weapons deployed.

                What has happened is a tragedy, and its time for accountability, not politics.

                1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                  Re: EVER NOTICE ...

                  "if Russia seized the Buk at its border and made it available for inspection. They didn't. It's been hidden, which lends itself to the presumption that its being tampered with or destroyed."

                  The value of the actual Buk which launched the missile is close to 0 in this investigation. All the evidence that is required is at the site of the crash. And I see nothing supporting a presumption that the rebels are interfering with that evidence.

                  "The missile system that downed the plane was Russian"

                  I honestly don't see the relevance of that. Of course, it was Russian, they all are. Doesn't mean that Russia is accountable for every use of its weapons by anyone in the world. If you mean this in broader terms - that Russia is supporting the rebels when it shouldn't, well, that's a totally different discussion...

                  "The damage being done to Russia's international standing will define it for many years."

                  The damage is in the eye of the beholder. When the US cruiser shot down an Iranian airliner in the Persian Gulf the US Government gave the captain a medal and were generally quite smug about it.

                  "What has happened is a tragedy, and its time for accountability, not politics."

                  Accountability is of no value here if we are talking about finding and punishing the person who pressed the "Launch" button. The true accountability for this? Is it with the succession of the Ukrainian leadership who neglected their duties in favour of lining their own pockets? Is it with the US who cynically played that situation in order to create a cold war casus belli with Moscow? Is it with Russia, who support what they think is a rightful rebellion against foreign interference by hostile powers? Is it, perhaps, with all of them?

  21. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Holmes

    The definition of terrorism is too broad??

    In other news, water has been found to be shockingly wet!!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Terror et al

    It was a truism to say "That if treason be successful then none dare call it treason" applied here a freedom fighter is a successful terrorist (in hind sight obviously) - those who indulge in the killing of "innocents" are always bloody handed murderers no matter what the given reason

    Terrorists by their actions incite governments (who often need little excuse anyway) to impose oppressive restrictions on their populace to oppose the terror - this affects the citizen most and rarely really affects the terrorist - not surprising after all, Governments & the elite are more fearful of their citizens then a terrorist and always want more control.

    This is fine for the terroist as given enough time eventually it will force a split between the elite and the citizen - which can be used to the benefit of the terrorist. So governments/elite have to be wary they don't go too far for their own sake.

    Then there is State terrorism - another related topic

  23. Rottenham

    Eschew PC Speak

    Unless you think 1984 was an instruction manual, you might want to avoid using the expression "hate crime," as is used in this article. It is the vague definition of the crime, among other things, that allows for the broad definition of terrorism.

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