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UK Seeks To Hold Terrorism Trial In Secret

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the for-our-eyes-only dept.

United Kingdom 240

hazeii (5702) writes in with news about a secret trial set to take place in England. 'A major terrorism trial is set to be held entirely in secret for the first time in British legal history in an unprecedented departure from the principles of open justice, the court of appeal has heard. The identities of the two defendants charged with serious terror offences are being withheld from the public, and the media are banned from being present in court to report the forthcoming trial against the two men, known only as AB and CD.'

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Dear UK (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169789)

I know you may still be annoyed at the US for breaking away from the Empire. Attempting to lure them back by imitating their practices is however NOT a good idea.

Sincerely,
The rest of the world

Re:Dear UK (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#47169961)

How do you know it's not a case so important and transcendental that absolute secrecy is required to protect British society as a whole?

We only know it's a terrorism trial.

Maybe AB downloaded a Justin Bieber song. Maybe CD whistled a Disney tune during a bus trip without paying the representation fees. Maybe AB is brown skinned!

See? Now I'm afraid. I hope they have already been executed, just to be sure. Or sent to an american torture camp, to be exchanged for the next marine that's abducted by a pirate arab communist hacker terro-jihadist.

Re:Dear UK (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 5 months ago | (#47170037)

I enjoy your sarcasm, but I will still answer your 1st question as if you were serious.

How do you know it's not a case so important and transcendental that absolute secrecy is required to protect British society as a whole?

Because the system on which our liberty and freedom is based is more important than some guys setting of a bomb, no matter how large the attack.

We just cannot - under any circumstance - accept a situation that a government can capture, try and imprison people without ever having to be accountable for those actions.

I could accept a situation where trial is postponed because of ongoing investigations against others, but the trial must be public. Heck, we (= the West) have been fighting regimes that did this in the past, saying we had to liberate the people from the oppression, etc. etc., and now we're doing it ourselves? Does not compute.

There is accountability (4, Insightful)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 5 months ago | (#47170207)

There will be a jury - though one may be sceptical about how unprejudiced they will be - and the judge will be responsible for ensuring real fair play. The issue is, of course, about trust of these institutions given there is no chance for the gawping public to follow the details of the case. Given the inability of the public to accept jury verdicts when the they are 'sure' that the opposite answer is the right one, one has to doubt that the gawping public offers a great deal. I admit I'm thinking out loud here - I really don't know the right answer, I'm just not 100% sure 'open justice' really doesn't descend into witch hunting on a regular basis.

Re:There is accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170231)

Open justice means the people can see what the people who are supposed to bring justice are doing. Whether this works in practice is irrelevant; it's the only moral way to run a free & open society.

Re:There is accountability (2)

iapetus (24050) | about 5 months ago | (#47170273)

Open justice means the people can see what the tabloid papers want us to think the people who are supposed to bring justice are doing.

Re:There is accountability (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47170505)

Right. Which is to say, the government doesn't get to shy away from giving ammunition to its critics simply by moving the justice system underground.

Re:There is accountability (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47170681)

That's missing the point. There are lots of trials where shoddy evidence or misconduct by the police or CPS came to light, but due to the way the system works could only be investigated afterwards and brought up in an appeal. Lots of people have been subsequently found not guilty on appeal thanks to various interested parties taking up their cause and finding new evidence on their behalf.

For there to be proper scrutiny the evidence and testimony have to be made public. With a secret trial we don't even know what the prosecution's case is, and it becomes extremely difficult for the defence to refute some of it if they can't make it known publicly.

Re:Dear UK (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 4 months ago | (#47170371)

> Because the system on which our liberty and freedom is based is more important than some guys setting of a bomb, no matter how large the attack

Let's be very careful about absolutes. I can certainly imagine circumstances in which a summary execution without a trial could be morally justified. But I'd expect the executioner to go to jail for murder.

> We just cannot - under any circumstance - accept a situation that a government can capture, try and imprison people without ever having to be accountable for those actions.

Which is not, legally, what they're doing. There is a review process available, with appeals courts. But the trial and review processes themselves would be secret. And that is hideously dangerous, as the recent experience with Guantanamo Bay in the USA has shown. When normal legal process is thrown aside in the name of "national security", you get the abuse and torture that have been documented there, with no perceptible benefit. There has been no evidence of any terrorism prevented by imprisoning people at Guantanamo Bay: instead, like Abu Ghraib, it's been another rallying cry for further rebellion and even terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If Western courts engage in secret trials and sentencing, then how can any "terrorist" nation have confidence in their justice and perceive them as other than repressive, dangerous foes?

Re:Dear UK (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 4 months ago | (#47170455)

On the other hand, if they are not guilty at least their names won't be eternally linked to a major terrorism trial.

Re:Dear UK (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170061)

First it's once, then twice, and before you know it every single trial will be private. I still don't buy the whole terrorist defense we slap that tag on pretty much everything. Slap on the terrorist tag and you can pretty much ignore some unlucky fuckers basic human rights whether they;re guilty or not.

I don't care if it was Adolf Hitler, it needs to be public because this one fucked up precedent. You do not want to let this happen unless you're fine with your kids and their kids dealing with it.

Re:Dear UK (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#47170113)

...Attempting to lure them back by imitating their practices...

Wag the dog. The US never really broke away. They just rearranged the furniture a bit. God save the Queen!

Re:Dear UK (-1)

residents_parking (1026556) | about 4 months ago | (#47170467)

We don't give a rat's arse about stuff that happened 200 years ago or whatever. We leave all that stuff to your good selves. Most people don't even care if Scotland leave The Union. That's how it is.

We do care that Islamic Extremism is surging here in the UK. This is something the US you doesn't have to deal with 24/7, happily for them.

The problem with quoting The Guardian is that those guys don't actually care if Britain becomes Muslim. Some of them, eg George Galloway MP and former Mayor Ken Livingstone seem happy to get in line to further their own careers and damn what the rest of us want. Galloway even converted to Islam. And Islam suits "Red" Ken's chronic anti-semitism, as it does much of The Left.

I understand if you're ignorant about Islam's MO for taking over society, but kindly STFU until you've done some research. You want to see what we're up against? Google "UK School Trojan Horse Plot".

Re:Dear UK (5, Insightful)

rich_hudds (1360617) | about 4 months ago | (#47170525)

What a load of shit.

Most Muslims in the UK are quite happy with the way things are. You really think they want to turn us into Pakistan?

The 'UK School Trojan Horse Plot' is some hyped up nonsense based on a fake letter. Reminds me of the fake 'elders of Zion' hoax that still causes grief to Jews.

Some nutters blew up a couple of buses 10 years ago and as a result of peple like tyou playing into their hands by over-reacting we have awful legislation like this.

Islamic Extremism is not surging in the UK and don't bandy about your 'We' as if you represent me you ignorant arsehole.

What did you expect? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169795)

What else could you expect from a country, reigned by the QUEEN? When you look things deep down, there are no democratical foundations in this country, there is only "because-I-can" principle. So don't expect human rights and fair trials.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 months ago | (#47169825)

What else could you expect from a country, reigned by the QUEEN?

SLURM. It's highly addictive.

What did you expect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169847)

There's this funny concept called "mobilization" or perhaps "recruitment". "Agitation" might also be a word, or "Agitprop".

Let's say there's something you really hate but few other people care about, call it A.

However, there's something which a lot of people do care about and don't want more of. Call it B.

So in the usual state of affairs you are standing there with your microscopic demonstration nobody cares about. What you then say is "Hey guys, did you know that A is the main barrier to improving on B, like A completely poisons B and makes B completely unachievable, we just gotta destroy A just so that we can fix B!" And suddenly everyone who actually dislikes B is now on your side against A.

Utilizing this concept is something psychopaths do, so if you don't want a society where psychopaths have power, then it's usually best to recognize who does it and vote for whoever doesn't give them power.

Re:What did you expect? (5, Funny)

jandersen (462034) | about 5 months ago | (#47169859)

Oh give it a rest, will you? Queen were actually quite good, although their lead singer was a rather odd character.

Re:What did you expect? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169865)

What else could you expect from a country, reigned by the QUEEN? When you look things deep down, there are no democratical foundations in this country, there is only "because-I-can" principle. So don't expect human rights and fair trials.

F**K OFF wanker
At least we aint got a half Mushie in charge ..

Re:What did you expect? (2)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 5 months ago | (#47169959)

What else could you expect from a country, reigned by the QUEEN? When you look things deep down, there are no democratical foundations in this country, there is only "because-I-can" principle. So don't expect human rights and fair trials.

You do know the queen does little more than stand around looking pompous?

Re:What did you expect? (5, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 5 months ago | (#47170055)

What else could you expect from a country, reigned by the QUEEN?

I would expect it all, and I would expect it now.

Secret trial in UK "first in legal history" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169803)

Formally, UK legal history goes back to the coronation of Richard 1 in 1189. Practically, it goes back to the 8th century or so. This is (one of) the few trials in camera in the last 100 years, that's all.

Not The First Time (5, Informative)

mentil (1748130) | about 5 months ago | (#47169807)

for the first time in British legal history in an unprecedented departure from the principles of open justice

Wrong [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not The First Time (4, Informative)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 5 months ago | (#47169879)

I'm pretty sure they were referring to the MODERN justice system, ie post https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not The First Time (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#47169975)

I'm pretty sure they were referring to the MODERN justice system,

Don't you mean the Scottish justice system?

Not The First Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169995)

How would they know if it's the first time? The press only knows it's the first time that they've heard about this happening.

Re:Not The First Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170077)

A relevant quote from the introduction to that Wikipedia article:

> Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

Re:Not The First Time (1)

slowLearner (2498468) | about 5 months ago | (#47170165)

Wrong the Act of Union was 1707 which brought the united kingdom of Great Britain into being which is long after the Star Chamber was abolished (1641), just saying like!

Sigh (2)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#47169809)

I guess we are following the Americans with their secret courts afterall. I was hoping we would avoid this.

I don't even understand the rationale behind it, the whole thing has to be held in secret because even naming the defendants would risk national security, but if it can't be held in secret and the defendants are named the case has to be dropped? So what's to stop the defendants or their family going to the media to say they're the defendants to get the case against them dropped? It doesn't make any sense.

At least it's still a jury trial if nothing else, but it begs the question as to how anyone outside the system can verify the jury isn't rigged.

Re:Sigh (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 5 months ago | (#47169853)

maybe the family and friends do not know they are in hands of UK authorities - maybe they even came to those authorities in search of help to find their kin? That this is causing speculation is bad already. Latest when they are sent to prison or set free they will be able to communicate unless of course they will be executed after the sentencing: 'this court finds the defendants innocent and orders their release and for the reasons of national security orders an immediate hanging by their neck until they die'. The odd thing is, it can even be that authorities act in interest of the public as majority of servants of the state probably at least intend to do. We will not know that of course.

Re:Sigh (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 5 months ago | (#47169947)

So they've also brought back capital punishment (secretly, of course)? Good to know...

Re:Sigh (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#47169999)

You don't know they brought back capital punishment. And if they told you, they'd have to kill you.

Secretly.

Re:Sigh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169867)

I guess we are following the Americans with their secret courts afterall.

Americans don't have secret courts. Secret evidence sometimes, secret charges rarely, but never anything like this. UK is the vanguard of the Orwellian State.

Re:Sigh (4, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 months ago | (#47169919)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the court is a "secret court"

Re:Sigh (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 5 months ago | (#47169937)

Americans don't have secret courts. Secret evidence sometimes, secret charges rarely, but never anything like this. UK is the vanguard of the Orwellian State.

It does annoy me when I hear my fellow Brits talk about some of the things America has done in recent history as though they are somehow worse than what we ourselves are doing (Gitmo aside). We ultimately have the same problem that the US has: Politically there's very few votes to gain by being reasonable to "terrorists", and plenty to lose by being see to be tolerant of anyone Islamic. The rules that set this up were put in place 2 prime ministers ago, under Labour and are now being applied by the Conservatives/Liberals. Things are only getting worse, because the new force in British politics is an anti-immigration, party which is even less tolerant of Islam and wants to vastly increase our military spending. Thus the moderate voices get drowned out in the voting process.

Re:Sigh (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#47169953)

Did you miss the Snowden revelations as to how US companies are being pressured into things? how the whole system of oversight of the NSA's activity works?

Sometimes? Rarely? (1)

Camael (1048726) | about 5 months ago | (#47170051)

Americans don't have secret courts. Secret evidence sometimes, secret charges rarely, but never anything like this. UK is the vanguard of the Orwellian State.

  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [wikipedia.org] begs to differ.

Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the court is a "secret court" – its hearings are closed to the public. While records of the proceedings are kept, they also are unavailable to the public, although copies of some records with classified information redacted have been made public. Due to the classified nature of its proceedings, usually only government attorneys are permitted to appear before the court. Because of the nature of the matters heard before it, court hearings may need to take place at any time of day or night, weekdays or weekends; thus, at least one judge must be "on call" at all times to hear evidence and decide whether or not to issue a warrant.

If the public has no idea what is going on in the FISC, then yes, it is a secret court.

Re:Sometimes? Rarely? (2)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 5 months ago | (#47170125)

Fair enough. Maybe he should have said secret trials. FISC is basically a warrant rubber stamp factory.

I'm genuinely curious about he extent of secret trials in the US. My understanding is that there are restrictions when it comes to public trials for minors. Probably other situations. Where the boundaries are, I'm not sure.

Re:Sometimes? Rarely? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#47170257)

If it's about secret trials for terrorism then America still trumps Britain to an even greater extent - they just skip them and go for summary execution, or abduction to black sites. Secret trials would actually be a step up for many terrorism suspects compared to what the US currently does, though I understand Obama has tried to justify this by claiming all such actions are carried out after consulting legal advice, so it's possible that they do carry out secret trials, albeit presumably without a civilian jury when deciding whether to send a hellfire from a reaper down a suspect's spine or not.

Re:Sigh (5, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47169903)

My theory is because currently terrorism still has a bit of 'awe' factor behind it. Treating these cases like any other case would diminish that. The emperor has no clothes, and they are terrified at letting us see what precisely is going on, and what we're giving up civil liberties over.

Terrorism is the vehicle by which the authoritarian elements in society (on both sides of the pond) can use to gain more power and exert control over the populace. Since 9/11 (and I'm sure 7/7) the state has granted itself more power at the expense of personal privacy.

Allowing us to see that in reality it's not an extraordinary case, that plotting to murder people over ideology shouldn't be treated any differently than plotting to murder people indiscriminately -- takes that avenue away from them.

Re:Sigh (5, Interesting)

oobayly (1056050) | about 5 months ago | (#47170007)

My theory is because currently terrorism still has a bit of 'awe' factor behind it. Treating these cases like any other case would diminish that.

If that's the case, then we've gone backwards in the last year. I was incredibly relieved when the CPS decided to charge Lee Rigby's murderers [wikipedia.org] with murder, rather than elevating them to terrorists. This meant that they could be shut down when they started sprouting their insane bullshit - which is what happened during the trial.

When that happened, I thought we'd started to reach a turning point - that terrorism wasn't a simple way of getting us to agree with policies - and I haven't received or heard any of the ridiculous ACPO* [wikipedia.org] "suspect your neighbour" leaflets. We do have an election coming up next year, so maybe that's the reason.

The sane way to deal with this would be to charge them attempted murder, thereby making any political statements irrelevant to the trial.

* The ACPO is tentatively a non-profit organisation, but they do like to lobby and earn cash for selling records at 11667% of cost (£70 for a 60p cost)

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170221)

I wish I had a mod point. That was interesting.

Re:Sigh (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47169909)

It depends on who is requesting no press.
eg "Exclusive: US blocks publication of Chilcot’s report on how Britain went to war with Iraq" (14 November 2013)
http://www.independent.co.uk/n... [independent.co.uk]
Re "So what's to stop the defendants or their family going to the media to say they're the defendants to get the case against them dropped? It doesn't make any sense."
They might be invited in for a chat and told if they talk or the cleared legal team talk they all get bundled in on long term charges, risk deportation, loss of work. That can be very chilling.
The laws where set up facing WW1 Germany, the Soviet Union, Ireland (as in recording all calls, data in and out). Later laws where updated to contain/track the people released after the Irish peace talks. A lot of telco, cleared lawyer only changes over the past years.
Layers of powerful laws over generations not really intended for use on everyday people with an extended family.

Re:Sigh (2)

1s44c (552956) | about 5 months ago | (#47169917)

If it's held in secret how can anyone be sure it's anything that remotely resembles a fair trail? Maybe the defendants don't even know what that are being charged with. Maybe they are not allowed lawyers.

Secret trails are not the worst of this though. Since about 2005 the home secretary has the power to put anyone under house arrest indefinitely without any burden of proof. The UK government don't even need trails anymore.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/... [theguardian.com]

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#47170507)

That is not the problem of a secret trial. The real problem of a secret trial is the presumption of guilt and the defendants must prove their innocence. That presumption of guilt is basically being "LOUDLY" and "PUBLICLY" declared tainting all possible juries. The trial has to be secret because they are guilty and 'er' 'um' because they are guilty. The judge in upholding the secrecy has publicly declared their guilt. So the trial is not longer a trial of guilt or innocence simply a secret declaration of an pre-agreed punishment to be handed out. The whole point of public trials to to force government to publicly prove it's claim because we don't fucking believe them until they do so and every time government fails to prove it's case it is because it is lying.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170643)

Well, in the USA, when you apply for most jobs you are assumed to be a drug-raddled illegal immigrant until you prove your innocence. Every single time you get hired. It's been this way ever since Ronnie Raygun promised to "get government off the backs of the people."

It's only natural once you start from the point of assuming guilt for common employees to extend the concept up to more serious matters.

against the two men, known only as AB and CD.' (4, Funny)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 5 months ago | (#47169839)

OH MY FG!

Re:against the two men, known only as AB and CD.' (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 5 months ago | (#47169883)

Ahmed the Bomber and Caleb the Destroyer! FEAR THEM!

Re:against the two men, known only as AB and CD.' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170001)

I assumed that the terrorist called CD would be Celine Dione, but I guess Caleb is equally likely.

Re:against the two men, known only as AB and CD.' (1)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | about 4 months ago | (#47170469)

So the only information we have is that there's maybe going to be a secret trial of two unidentified alleged terrorists for planning some unidentified terrorist act.

Beats me why they fucking bothered telling anybody about it at all. Still I guess it makes a change from Operation Yewtree.

Welcome back to the ABC days (4, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47169849)

Recall when Duncan Campbell, Time Out reporter Crispin Aubrey and former SIGINIT operator John Berry faced witnesses from the UK intelligence community:
Colonel 'B'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
The UK court system has reverted to 1977 and the Official Secrets Act 1911 to try and stop the press from reporting again. All this has been tested in the UK press and legal system before. Secret courts did not save the GCHQ from Time Out article "The Eavesdroppers".
If the case is so "major" and is legally sound, let the press in to see the UK justice system at work. The same issues where faced over Ireland, UK gov staff working for the Soviet Union, the first super grass efforts (well connected informers getting reduced time).
How a secret national security trial will legally challenged in open court after a conviction for the tactic of "major terrorism" will be interesting.

Out ye go (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169855)

Well as long as the net result is they are thrown out of the country fine by me .
The ECHR stinks the EU is just as bad eff orft out ,
It is about time we started taking control of our own Country once again ..

Re:Out ye go (1)

MeesterCat (926256) | about 5 months ago | (#47170225)

What are you blathering on about? It's got nothing to do with the EU.

England knees on terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169863)

Even the justice system are scared.

Haven't they heard of "parallel construction" (2)

Kevin by the Beach (3600539) | about 5 months ago | (#47169871)

Maybe they haven't quite perfected the "parallel construction" that our intelligence agencies coach US law enforcement on. You need a good cover story that establishes probable cause so that you don't need to rely on illegally gathered intelligence as evidence. Ship them to GITMO I hear there are a couple empty bunks. That will allow you to avoid those pesky civil courts all together.

Re:Haven't they heard of "parallel construction" (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47169973)

Why would the UK bother with "parallel construction"? Just seal the court and have a gov official introduce a person as an expert witness to read back the logs/recordings/let the security cleared defence ask questions.
The 'expert witness" will have no name, past, court reviewed academic history as an export but will be able to affirm the copper line was tapped at the exchange or digital log was saved over 2 years...
The court is then reopened and nobody is any the wiser about UK methods.
In the US in theory you would get to face the gov expert with your own experts making parallel construction so vital for the US gov.

Re:Haven't they heard of "parallel construction" (2)

boorack (1345877) | about 5 months ago | (#47170233)

Maybe. Other explanation that comes to my mind is UK does not want inconvenient facts to come out. Maybe they trained and sponsored those two terrorists to fight in Libya or Syria and this is too embarassing to become public.

Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 5 months ago | (#47169923)

And the global dictatorship is slowly being pieced together.

And citizens do nothing, amazingly. People with any knowledge of history should be scared shitless - I know I am.

And soon it'll be too late to do anything about it...

Re:Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169943)

Not scared enough, you're posting from an account.

Re:Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#47169989)

People are doing something, they're voting against the main parties.

The problem is in the process they're leaning towards the lures of the far right like UKIP with it's populist lies.

I find it incredible that the three main parties are running round like headless chickens screaming "Oh my god, we're losing votes to the far right, how do we stop this disease in our society!" yet remain completely oblivious to the fact that this sort of shit is exactly why people are flocking away from them en-masse.

I want them to change course not simply because things like this sicken me as they did during Brown era authoritarianism, but because the fact they're pushing people into the arms of the far right is even more disturbing.

Re: Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170329)

You're cute. Voting only changes the names of the people you're supposed to blame of the shit ever hits the fan, nothing else.

Re:Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 5 months ago | (#47170027)

And the global dictatorship is slowly being pieced together.

And citizens do nothing, amazingly. People with any knowledge of history should be scared shitless - I know I am.

And soon it'll be too late to do anything about it...

Short of a bloody revolt, what exactly can the citizens do about it?

Re:Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47170653)

Short of a bloody revolt, what exactly can the citizens do about it?

They can stop voting for people who pander to their fears.

Re:Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 4 months ago | (#47170683)

Short of a bloody revolt, what exactly can the citizens do about it?

They can stop voting for people who pander to their fears.

Who exactly do you suggest? Coz the only way I can see to do as you say is to simply not vote for anyone, and I can't see how that's going to help.

Re:Secret courts are the stuff of dictatorships (3, Interesting)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 5 months ago | (#47170187)

The senior judiciary appear to be pretty horrified by the prospect as well so there is perhaps some hope. See this article [lrb.co.uk] by Lord Phillips, who before he retired had been Lord Chief Justice, the Senior Law Lord and the president of the Supreme Court.

Good skive for the Judge (2)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 5 months ago | (#47169949)

Just don't and say you did. "Oh those two guys, yeah they were guilty, the evidence was overwhelming but ya'know classified innit so I cant talk about it. Biiiiig secret"

The two guys probably don't even exist, the Judge just wants to play GTA or something for a bit and not be disturbed in his secret court. Probably has pillow forts and everything.

Maybe forr once they really have to keep it secret (0)

Vapula (14703) | about 5 months ago | (#47169977)

We are talking about a terrorism trial... There are more than only the defendants at stake.

Invalid passport, copy of a booklet or even possession of illegal weapon are insufficient to prove that someone is a terrorist. There probably need some witnesses. And thoses are at a great risk if their identity goes public... Some may be as good as dead !!!

So, yes, it's not nice, there may be doubt about what really happened behind those closed doors... But in this specific situation, it may be needed.

And it's quite better than to have these "potential terrorists" brought to court than to have then killed^H^H^H^H^H^Hhave an accident during their arrest.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170021)

Right up until they turn states wittiness and incriminate you eh?

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170067)

We are talking about a terrorism trial... There are more than only the defendants at stake.

Invalid passport, copy of a booklet or even possession of illegal weapon are insufficient to prove that someone is a terrorist. There probably need some witnesses. And thoses are at a great risk if their identity goes public... Some may be as good as dead !!!

So, yes, it's not nice, there may be doubt about what really happened behind those closed doors... But in this specific situation, it may be needed.

And it's quite better than to have these "potential terrorists" brought to court than to have then killed^H^H^H^H^H^Hhave an accident during their arrest.

This opens the door for secret trials, with secret charges, where you as a defendant may not even get to be present. Once the door is open what is to stop the scope of cases suitable for secret trials to be expanded?

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#47170085)

And it's quite better than to have these "potential terrorists" brought to court than to have then killed^H^H^H^H^H^Hhave an accident during their arrest.

That's the obvious alternative. When you have Muslim scum who are willing to go to any lengths to kill non-muslims and undermine freedom and democracy you have to do something.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170161)

That's the obvious alternative. When you have Muslim scum who are willing to go to any lengths to kill non-muslims and undermine freedom and democracy you have to do something.

So you want to stop them undermining freedom and democracy by undermining freedom and democracy?

Seems legit.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#47170205)

That's the obvious alternative. When you have Muslim scum who are willing to go to any lengths to kill non-muslims and undermine freedom and democracy you have to do something.

So you want to stop them undermining freedom and democracy by undermining freedom and democracy?

Seems legit.

Only for the terrorists - who don't believe in it anyway

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

MeesterCat (926256) | about 5 months ago | (#47170245)

You do realise how ridiculous you sound, right?

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170331)

They kill far more muslims than non muslims, maybe the problem will work itself out if we give them enough time. Either the 'moderate muslims' will get sick of dying/defending the idiots. Or all the muslims will end up dead. win win.

Re: Maybe forr once they really have to keep it se (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170347)

So you have christian^wmormon^wrandom scumm who are willing to kill other people.

Terrorism is just a scary word to convince morons they should give up their freedoms so they can be protected from some other group of people with different views to them. There are perfectly good laws, and a perfectly good legal system to deal with mass murderers.

It's like shooting fucking fish in a fucking barrel to get morons to hand over their freedoms in fear of some evil group, if you coin a scary sounding word to describe them.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (5, Insightful)

Camael (1048726) | about 5 months ago | (#47170099)

We are talking about a terrorism trial... There are more than only the defendants at stake.

Invalid passport, copy of a booklet or even possession of illegal weapon are insufficient to prove that someone is a terrorist. There probably need some witnesses. ...

And, pray tell, how do you know the accused are terrorists? That the government has clear evidence that they are terrorists? Or that there are any credible witnesses at all?

You don't. In truth, you don't know anything at all. Because the whole proceedings are secret and hidden from you.

The government could drag you before the same secret court tomorrow, and none would be wiser. Think about it before you so enthusiastically throw away your rights. Secret trials because of "terrorism" can be used to hide many sins and subvert inconvenient rights.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170219)

There are 2 things which seem to be the excuse for many reductions in human rights at the moment, terrorism and some types of porn. As soon as a government says that something is necessary to combat one of these then "the people" accept the legislation without question as they are presented with a "which is the lesser evil?" type of question and most people will quietly give up freedom to combat these perceived greater evils whether the legislation in question makes sense in the context of those crimes or not.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170235)

I would rather we lost innocent lives because some terrorist acts weren't stopped than we take away freedom from our own citizens. We should endeavour to be the best we can be and pay the price that entails.

[NB: I have not lost anyone in a terrorist attack and so I don't really have the right to say the above.]

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170673)

I would rather we lost innocent lives because some terrorist acts weren't stopped than we take away freedom from our own citizens. We should endeavour to be the best we can be and pay the price that entails.

[NB: I have not lost anyone in a terrorist attack and so I don't really have the right to say the above.]

I have, and I say the same thing.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

WhatHump (951645) | about 4 months ago | (#47170523)

Then why bother announcing there is a trial? If it needs to be that secret, throw a gag order over the whole damn case. Why tease the public by saying "we caught some bad guys, but you're not smart enough to deal with it like we are"? I hate the idea of secret trials but I also live in the real world and know that sometimes the government has to work in the shadows.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47170661)

"Then why bother announcing there is a trial?"

To frighten any other potential troublemakers. Just keep your nose clean, keep your head down, do what you are told and never complain or criticize the authorities. And you'll have nothing to fear. Otherwise...

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 5 months ago | (#47170243)

Invalid passport, copy of a booklet or even possession of illegal weapon are insufficient to prove that someone is a terrorist.

True if you are talking about the common language definition. But absolutely not true if you are talking about the legal definition. For example, how about this woman [wikipedia.org] who was convicted (although this was later overturned on appeal) of terrorism for possessing books (including poetry she herself had written).

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170259)

Yeah, they already have trials where the witnesses are as good as dead if they speak. They have ways around that (e.g. televised evidence) without compromising the entire "public trial" concept.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | about 4 months ago | (#47170361)

The only thing secret trials are useful for is removing political opponents by imprisoning or executing them on fake charge. It's easier to go public in other situations. Witness lives can be safeguarded by appropriate programs. And they are hiding defendants' names, not witnesses'.

Re:Maybe forr once they really have to keep it sec (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47170669)

We are talking about a terrorism trial... There are more than only the defendants at stake.

Invalid passport, copy of a booklet or even possession of illegal weapon are insufficient to prove that someone is a terrorist. There probably need some witnesses. And thoses are at a great risk if their identity goes public... Some may be as good as dead !!!

So, yes, it's not nice, there may be doubt about what really happened behind those closed doors... But in this specific situation, it may be needed.

And it's quite better than to have these "potential terrorists" brought to court than to have then killed^H^H^H^H^H^Hhave an accident during their arrest.

I believe that there are techniques by which a court can take testimony from a witness while obscuring his/her identity. Techniques that, in fact, long predate the War on Terrror and were used against organized crime.

Dropping a birdcage cover over the entire trial should be an action of last resort. Like when the very presentation of evidence could start an international war.

National Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47170005)

"It's a matter of national security"

Surely that just means what ever they want it to mean doesn't it?

How long before the success of closed door "terrorism" trials makes the heads of those in power swell to the point where a simple traffic ticket is now a closed door trial?

Terrorism (1)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | about 5 months ago | (#47170057)

But.... Then it is /not/ justice!
It is more like state terrorism against civilians.
Civilians now know that the moment that the state will destroy them, in secret, for any petty offence is not far off. And out of terror, people will start acting afraid and careful.

Major Not (5, Insightful)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47170071)

It is obvious that we lost some wonderful and brave people on 9/11. We also lost some expensive buildings and the suffering of many people may ruin the lives of many families for life. Sometimes 9/11 is compared to Pearl Harbor. But in all seriousness 9/11 does not compare to Pearl Harbor at all. During that attack we lost ships and sailors and airmen that we would need to save our nation and the pain to our nation included the threat of loss of the nation. The 9/11 attack was not a major attack in that sense. I don't think many people viewed 9/11 as threatening to collapse the entire nation. The idea that for purposes of trial we label 9/11 as a major attack doesn't sit well with me. Yes, we do have a lunatic, cult like, group of incompetents who would like to crush us. But we see them more as idiots than a military threat. I think the term idiots is justified as none of the enemy will improve their place in life from the wretched little fight that these folks have put up. In the end these people live at our leisure. If they really were a "major threat" then we would have gone to the big weapons and simply erased them from the face of the Earth. Covert actions by our government may be far more dangerous than a bunch of religious primitives running about with AK47s.

Re:Major Not (2)

lisaparratt (752068) | about 5 months ago | (#47170209)

9/11 compares to VE day. The problem is, the west is playing the role of Germany.

Re:Major Not (1)

Rashdot (845549) | about 4 months ago | (#47170327)

This world is in a terrible spiral of violence, which escalated with 9/11, but according to the religious nuts, that wasn't the start of this spiral. Since then the whole world is suffering from this. I even think that the economic crisis that started in 2008 is partly due to the huge worldwide economic costs of this still worsening spiral of violence.

My initial gut reaction was also in favor of 'preventive culling' on these nutcases, but I have come to the conclusion that a more effective weapon against them would be education. The world needs to educate the masses where these idiots come from, to prevent them from getting any foothold anywhere. It will take a long time, but the end result will be a lot prettier than the battlefields that we see emerging now. Answering violence with violence means we're playing their game instead of our own.

Re:Major Not (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170385)

Educate the women. Their role in reducing religious fanatacism, and educing the birthrate that creates flocks of angry, unemployed young men without jobs who participate in Jihad, is enormous.

Re:Major Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170703)

Western power is dropping like a rock because of the educated women not bearing any ambitious youths, much more direct to just exterminate the populations of underdeveloped regions with a biological or radiological weapon while we still can so that our old ladies can enjoy humanity's last days in peace.

Re:Major Not (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47170695)

This world is in a terrible spiral of violence, which escalated with 9/11, but according to the religious nuts, that wasn't the start of this spiral. Since then the whole world is suffering from this. I even think that the economic crisis that started in 2008 is partly due to the huge worldwide economic costs of this still worsening spiral of violence.

My initial gut reaction was also in favor of 'preventive culling' on these nutcases, but I have come to the conclusion that a more effective weapon against them would be education. The world needs to educate the masses where these idiots come from, to prevent them from getting any foothold anywhere. It will take a long time, but the end result will be a lot prettier than the battlefields that we see emerging now. Answering violence with violence means we're playing their game instead of our own.

Actually, according to stats, violence has been going down. It's just that the less of it there is, the more the remaining violence gets played up.

Same thing with crime stats.

First that we know of. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#47170119)

How many were there previously that actually stayed secret? We only know about this because a hint of news escaped to the press.

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170315)

it's a lot easier to deal with patsies used in staged terrorism that way..

International court (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170325)

I have to wonder what the international court of enforcing the european treaty of human rights has to tell about this....

AB and CD? (4, Funny)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 4 months ago | (#47170527)

This might be the most dangerous parallelogram in history!

Franz Kafka and Perfect Forward Secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170613)

To ensure Perfect Forward Secrecy, they should keep the charges secret from AB and CD too.

King Charles I called... (1)

Archtech (159117) | about 4 months ago | (#47170649)

... he wants his Star Chamber back.

There were also notes of congratulations from Cardinal Richelieu and Joe Stalin.

Couldn't help myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47170685)

a b c d fishes?
m no fishes.
s a r fishes.
e d b d fishes.
c m?

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