Monthly Archives: January 2007

Counter-terrorism measures as a political weapon

I am often amazed to see political parties accuse one another of utilizing the State’s counter-terrorism strategy as a political weapon.

What exactly is wrong with it?

Counter-terrorism measures are made up of counter-terrorism policies and strategies, and of the implementation of both. It is one of the most important problems in Spain. Therefore, any possible discrepancy of a political party with the Government regarding counter-terrorism policies is a legitimate argument for political fight, like any other matter which may affect the State.

Should this matter be excluded from political debate, we would be restricting freedom of debate and granting the Government a blank check. We would find ourselves in an obscure climate of censorship, in which it is only possible to speak about certain issues in public. This is not acceptable: transparency in the administration and freedom of speech are two fundamental virtues that our governmental systems should promote and defend.

The only valid reason to explain a lack of political fight about counter-terrorism would be the existence a publicly-known agreement among political parties in this respect. Such agreement may take different shapes, but an essential characteristic it must have is its detailed publication before public opinion, whether it is a pact among political parties, a parliament resolution voted for by the agreeing parties, a law agreed to in parliament, etc…

While no agreement exists, the differing opinions will lead to debate and to utilizing the issue at hand as a political weapon.