Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Cease and Desist Request to Gordon Brown re the illegal military action in Afghanistan

I sent this by email yesterday as well as hard copy of the letter to visible recipients.

I think it's self explanatory.

It's time the illegal UK military operation in Afghanistan stopped.

8th February 2010

James Gordon Brown MP, 10 Downing Street
Robert William Ainsworth MP, MoD

Cease and Desist Request
Afghanistan War: Multiple Serious Criminal Offences under the Terrorism Act 2000


I write to you to request that you and the civil servants and the military personnel under your authority forthwith cease and desist from acts related to military action in Afghanistan many of which, I believe, constitute offences in UK law under the Terrorism Act 2000.

I urge you to give this important matter your urgent and careful attention.

The foundation of my request is my belief that the military interventions by the United Kingdom in Afghanistan constitute “terrorism” as defined in Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The text of the Terrorism Act 2000 is available online and Section 1, where “terrorism” is defined, is not particularly opaque.

As individuals you are, in my view, committing offences under Section 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000. You will note that the punishment, on conviction, is life imprisonment.

Further, I believe you have a legal duty to inform your staff of this information.

Since funding activities related to acts of terrorism may constitute criminal offences under Sections 15 to 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000 I am copying this letter to Alastair Darling for him to consider how these matters apply to his own responsibilities and the actions of those under his authority. He may also wish to review the relevance of Section 19 of the Act for himself and those who work for him.

I fully understand that you will require to take authoritative legal advice before deciding how to proceed. I urge you to do that as a matter of urgency. I am copying this letter to Baroness Scotland and the Director General of Legal Services at the Ministry of Defence to facilitate the process.

I think that, once the question is asked, the matter is remarkably straightforward (if potentially hugely disturbing to some).

If ministers, civil servants and military personnel persist in unlawful actions in connection with Afghanistan it seems to me that you place yourselves and those under your authority in a highly precarious legal and moral position.

I am copying this letter to a number of individuals, including my constituency MSP Alex Salmond MSP. The list of visible copy recipients is below.

You may also wish to be aware that I have separately drawn my concerns on this matter to the attention of Sir William Jeffrey, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and Sir Graham Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff and others.

Thank you.

Your sincerely

Andrew H Watt


James Gordon Brown MP
10 Downing Street

Robert William Ainsworth MP
Secretary of State
Ministry of Defence

cc. (Ordinary Mail)

Sir Augustine O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary
Jonathan Baume, FDA
Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
Alex Salmond MSP
Baroness Scotland, Attorney General
Martin Hemming, Director General Legal Services, MoD
Elish Angiolini, Lord Advocate

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