Criticism of the ‘war on terror’ not acceptable in the civil service 2

Nouse – Taking a stand against human rights abuses: From a British perspective, Mr. Murray observes that a “terrible thing happened in the Civil Service” following the September 11th attacks. Criticism of the new ‘war on terror’, he argues, is increasingly unacceptable within a Civil Service that is no longer impartial. He ascribes this particularly to the close cooperation between the Blair government and the Bush administration.

His criticism of Labour also extends to issues of civil liberties within the U.K. Discussing the new anti-terror legislation proposed by the Home Secretary Charles Clarke, he asks: “who’s seen the emergency?” Adding that “nobody in the U.K. has ever been killed by an Islamic terrorist”, he likens the situation to a “case of the emperor’s new clothes”. His suspicion at the justification offered for abuses of human rights both abroad and at home is all too evident. We have, he argues, “lost all perspective of legality in international relations”. This is a grim assessment to be made by a man who until last year was responsible for high-level diplomacy.

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