"Lord Goldsmith consulted the prime minister, the defence secretary, foreign secretary, and the intelligence services, and they decided that "the wider public interest" "outweighed the need to maintain the rule of law". Mr Blair said it would be bad for Britain's security if the SFO was allowed to go ahead, according to the statement made in the Lords by Lord Goldsmith. The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the threat."The public interest outweighs the need to maintain the rule of law. Let's read that again: the public interest outweighs the need to maintain the rule of law. Then let's delete 'rule of law' and try it with 'democracy' or 'liberty'.
The Blairites will say, "Don't be ridiculous - this would never happen". I'd have to ask, why not? By what principle could it be excluded? Certainly not the one that informs the Prime Minister's concept of the 'public interest'.
There's something else as well:
"One witness who gave evidence to the SFO, Peter Gardiner, a director of a travel agent used to make alleged slush fund payments, said last night: "It's an interesting signal that this gives to industry and the world I am thinking of the hundreds of hours I have wasted and all the personal problems this has caused me.""I'm not one of these who thinks they know the inner-workings of intelligence services throughout the world but I can't think of a single Middle East commentator that doesn't agree that much of the money used to fund the Terror we're supposed to be at War with comes via Saudi Arabia, with figures in the intelligence services and the army high in the hierarchy of suspicion. You could say, then, that this government's cavalier disregard for the protocols of criminal investigation sends an 'interesting signal' to them too.