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Secret Trials
Publication date: 2005-08-18

Tony Blair is calling for secret trials and special judges.

But why the secrecy?

Some say that the secrecy is necessary so that the Secret Services would be able to keep the identity of their sources secret.

But it is not necessary to disclose the identity of the sources. What is at issue in court proceedings is not the identity of a source, but the quality and reliability of the evidence provided by him. In all the proceedings a source can be made "anonymous" by referring to him as "X", or some other label. And even, if such source is cross-examined in court (which would be rare), he could wear a hood (or be placed behind a screen) to protect his identity.

So, protection of identity of security sources is clearly not a valid reason for making trials secret.

But, if not protection of identity of security sources, then what is the reason for secret trials proposed by Tony Blair?

The reason for the openness of court proceedings is to ensure that trials are conducted fairly and honestly and not abused by the powers that be. The openness of the court proceedings allows the public to see that justice is done.

But the purpose of secret trials is precisely the opposite. It is to allow the powers that be to abuse their powers as they please in secrecy. This allows them to use the legal system as a means of suppression of any opposition to themselves rather than administering justice. It is precisely to prevent such abuses, that trials are open to the public.

So, why does Tony Blair want trials to be secret?

Tony Blair in no ordinary British Prime Minister, that is, a servant of the British Crown. He sees himself not as just another humble servant of the Crown, but as a Great National Leader responsible to none but History - like Hitler or Stalin.

And just like all Great National Leaders, he seeks unlimited powers, and seeks to justify these powers by an ideology.

But as all ideologies are based on false assumptions, and open to challenge, Great National Leaders need means to suppress any challenges to their ideologies. And because open trials can present challenges to the ideological assumptions of the National Leaders, they make their trials secret.

While Tony Blair has started his career as a Socialist, just as Hitler and Stalin did, his present ideology is "War on Terror", by which he seeks to justify his wars and unlimited powers.

Secret trials and torture have been part of the War on Terror from the very start - the American Guantanamo camp is a clear example.

But secret trials and torture have always been part of all ideological governments.

And as Tony Blair's ideology of War on Terror is becoming more and more discredited, Tony Blair seeks to protect his position by secret trials, just as all the ideological Great National Leaders have always done.

Once secret trials are part of the British Legal System, Tony Blair will be able to proclaim anybody a "terror suspect", or a "terrorist sympathizer" or a "terror justifier", and then the secret courts will give their verdicts and nobody will know how and why these verdicts were arrived at. But announcements will be made that a "terrorist" has been found guilty of whatever crime Tony Blair will want him to be found guilty of. Just as it was in Stalin's Russia.

But ordinary British judges are not used to such trials - special judges need to be specially trained for such secret trials.

And this is why Tony Blair needs secret trials and special judges.


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