Monday, October 15, 2007

Did I say the wrong thing?

Fundamentalist Jihadi Terrorist; by writing those words I have just found myself in breach of the Annex to the Annex of the 'Revised Media Communication Strategy' or more properly the 'European Union strategy for combating radicalisation and recruitment through effective communication of EU values and policies'. What this is, is the European Council document Council document 5469/3/07 Rev 3 Ext 1, commonly called the EU terrorist lexicon. Or I think I might have done, but due to secrecy on the part of the EU I cannot possibly find out.

If you remember according to the Council officials the idea is to provide a set of words that should, or shouldn't be used by Government officials and ministers. Words that are proscribed are those such as the one's above that accurately describe the situation, they must however be replaced. Indeed what we now must have is a "non-emotive" discussion of terrorism.
According to the Daily Telegraph,
"European governments should shun the phrase "Islamic terrorism" in
favour of "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam", say guidelines from
EU officials".
This mealy mouthed attitude was responded to in a typically forthright fashion by Gerard Batten the UKIP MEP for London who replied,
"This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The
major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is
inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam.

Gerard took his campaign for honest language further by demanding to see the full lexicon in a Parliamentary question and if not why not. The answer came back,

"The Council has decided to make the common lexicon partially available (see Council document 5469/3/07 REV 3 EXT 1). Full disclosure of the lexicon would weaken the EU's ability to develop an effective policy to prevent and combat terrorism and thus harm the public interest as regards public security".

Which of course is no answer at all. Remember this is a communications strategy, not technical or operational secrets that might put investigations under threat. Seriously, in what way would disclosure of the terms used by press officers and officials hamper security and give succor to terrorists? The only thing that this approach does is further alienate the governing classes from the concerns and fears of the electorate. What is more, finding the document requires a degree in EU politburo studies. Go on, try googling it. What you will find is one Czech and one Swedish reference to the document, but of the document itself nothing. But with the perseverance required of operating in this city one friend managed to dig it out of the Council website.

Having done so it is shall we say not very useful. For example, Target audiences for the lexicon are described as 'NOT DECLASSIFIED', why? Equally we are not to know what the many of the Key messages are. In all of the 23 points of the Annex to the Annex, 21 are either partly or wholly censored.

But that of course is not all, because within the document is the Common Lexicon itself, or as it is officially known, the 'Annex to the Annex to the Annex'. Or should we say part of the Lexicon, again because pages 18 through 24 and 35 are nowhere to be seen. What we do have is a mission statement for this, "living and dynamic document", that is, "to support the communication of the Union's counter terrorism policy in a more effective way by encouraging unanimity of language". All this to "avoid the linkage of Islam to Terrorism".

The problem is that this is self contradictory because the Council has already responded that "The EU does not consider itself able to decide what is and is not authentic Islam," so how can they know?

1 comment:

IanP said...

What makes this totally absurd is that people actually sit down and devise ways of keeping us all in the dark.

As neither the EU nor the EC is a state, they have no authority over the classification or declassification of secret documents.

Only a state can classify documents as secret, and until the ratification of the constitution, they are merely a functionary organisation.

In the same way that we are not citizens of the EU, only of our member states. Only a state may acquire citizens.

What punishments could a non state impose for publishing a non document.