The nihilism that terrorists represent is innovative, flexible and cunning; it uses the newest technology and effective techniques. It isn't a particular government policy stance that is so offensive to terrorists; they want to destroy the values our society represents.
We have to contest their efforts to destroy our democracy, so we must strengthen our democracy and security. We must understand how they operate – every intelligence question is a civil liberties question, from CCTV to detention in prisons.
Are we prepared to threaten some liberties to gain intelligence so we can contest the people who want to destroy the fundamental nature of our democracy?
The question is actually one about the varying degrees of rough justice as it is unavoidable. There is no such this as ‘smooth justice’.
The goal of reducing the risk of another 9/11 or 7/7 justifies rebalancing the procedures of justice to make it more likely that the police can forestall mass murder before it takes place. So it is worth taking additional legal measures to give police greater chance to prevent the next suicide bombing.
Unless we take some steps to increase the power of the government and the police to take measures against terrorism, there’s going to be a very big loss of life.
If those fundamental principles aren’t with us from the start to the end, we will have lost the war.
Rough justice is not just, it does not work and it undermines the very values that we are fighting to defend when we are fighting against terrorism. Human rights are an instrument, not an obstacle to that point...Human rights are the only universal laws of humankind that transcend national identity and religious and cultural differences.
There is no justice in Guantanamo, it grew out of a false American philosophy that rough justice was a way to deal with suspects, harvesting hatred and resentment.
The threat of terrorism requires a coherent, strategic response and is not something you can go to war against. It is an instrument, a tactic, used by highly poisonous fanatics.
Three things are needed to improve our defense: highly efficient security forces and intelligence; more widespread alliances and institutional coherence to create coalition against terrorism; and getting people on side – domestically and internationally.
Terrorists are looking for an exaggerated reaction. Rough justice is ineffective in practice and loses public support and can turn into injustice. For example, the policy of internment in Northern Ireland was one of the most successful recruiting tools for the IRA.