The recent revelations of Snowdon and the cartoon today from Bell don’t really seem that new. Though the following is also another paragraph from the Panto book to fall as a cutting to the floor, I remember the report where MI5 decided that we were all suspect:
If MI5 say there are no particular characteristics of a terrorist, nothing marks them out, all of us are suspect – and indeed, the contemporary nation state is increasingly only one of armed power. Jankel armed police vans in the streets of Britain, attack helicopters in Afghanistan, taps on your phone and inside your ipod. The people with beards are not all terrorists, and people without beards are not all terrorists, rather, all those with or without beards should be investigated, kettled and corralled – the terrorists are everywhere. They are, you are, we are – at risk of the wrath of Slavoj Žižek – all terrorists while actual attacks on particular sectors of the public, and with new legislation, new legal and administrative powers (detention, DNA, CCTV), Extraordinary Rendition (see Paglin 2006), expanded prison population, deportations, exclusions and a Whitehall Research Information and Communications Unit to counter Al Qaida brand ‘spin’ (Guardian August 26 2008) just some of the wide-spectrum targeting that runs cultural cover for political control.