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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Q. Where are we without clear ground rules? A. We are where we are now - and that frightens me.

But where are we heading in a world without clear rules?

In a world where men are detained a decade without trial, tortured, punished by sleep deprivation before a trial has even begun.

Where the people exposing such abuses are jailed.

Where international borders are disrespected, executive assassination orders re-instated, diplomatic protocols disrespected.

Where everyone is a suspect, everyone is watched, and, through the excessive use of secrecy, few are afforded the right to challenge what their governments do in their name.

Yes we have been wronged, and yes we are fighting unsavoury enemies who threaten to use the open nature of our society to attack us.

But without clear rules not only are we endangering the very thing we set out to protect: we give comfort to our enemies.

Humanity is a cornerstone of democracy, once we start acting inhumanely our house comes crashing down.

We demonstrate to those who oppose democracy that even the loudest proponents of democracy can't practice what they preach.

Each line we cross opens hundreds of doors to even more unsavoury outcomes.

What can possibly follow rendition and indefinite detention but death, whether it be at the direct hand of the state, from hunger strike or through a whole life incarcerated.

What can possibly stop states acting on intelligence to further their political goals.

What can possibly prevent state-sanctioned murder when the self-restraint of our leaders evaporates.

What can possibly safeguard against the actions of a few when so many are shackled by over-arching vows of secrecy.

In a world where the rules of normal diplomacy are disobeyed the instruments of peace are blunted.


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