Government Prepares To Win The Election Any Way It Can
The Government of Barbados under Prime Minister Owen Arthur may have already used a secret Order In Council to invoke far reaching executive powers to intercept the private communications of Barbados citizens – including the political opposition.
Two independent and previously-reliable sources inform Barbados Free Press that as early as July of 2007, senior government Cabinet Ministers held talks about intercepting private communications and sought legal advice about how to legitimize this action without informing Parliament.
We are told that some weeks ago Prime Minister Arthur announced his decision to a group of inner party members that his government would use a secret Order In Council “legalize” the tapping of phone calls and the interception of emails and other electronic communications.
The purported intent is to stop leaks of government information that have recently been exposed on the internet, but our sources indicate that the government’s intent is far more sinister and wide-ranging.
Orders In Council – A Means To An End, A Means Of Getting Around Parliament
In Commonwealth countries, an Order In Council (OIC) is primarily used as a method for the government to create minor laws and regulations without going before Parliament each and every time a minor change is needed. For instance, increasing the fine for submitting late tax information might be done through an Order In Council.
According to Wikipedia and some other research we’ve done, OICs are created by Cabinet and must then be approved by the Governor General.
Parliament and the public are notified about most OICs, but the most controversial use of Orders In Council happens when a government wishes to cross the lines of democracy, but wants to keep to the “letter of the law” in case they get caught. The solution: make a new, secret law that Parliament and the people don’t know about – that lets the government do as they please, but provides them with a “get out of jail free card” in case things get exposed.
An Order In Council could make an otherwise illegal wiretap “legal” – with no judge’s warrant necessary. (As long as the government is willing to say “to Hell with democracy”)
For examples of controversial uses of an Order in Council you can check Google or read a bit on Wikipedia here.
“No Warrant” Communication Interceptions Have Already Started
Our sources are not in a position to know if the secret Order in Council has already been signed, but one source reports that the interceptions of communications without warrant have already started as if the OIC had been signed.
Our sources state that the Owen Arthur government will be intercepting the private communications of opposition party members, government workers and others who are suspected of being behind the leaks and the various Barbados blogs that have been causing the government so much concern.
The skills and interception equipment gained during Cricket World Cup are now being used to implement the intent of the Order in Council. It is believed by one of our sources that at least some police officers and or defense personnel would have to be working closely with the government. In other words, while most of the communications interception team would be told that their purpose is to identify persons leaking confidential government information, at least SOME of the personnel would have to be part of the larger agenda to gather information about the political opposition.
Barbados Free Press Was Notified Four Weeks Ago Of Nation Newspaper Server Downtime
In the early hours of September 15, 2007, the servers at both the Nation News and the Barbados Advocate were taken offline simultaneously. BFP had been notified of this several weeks ahead of time so it came as no surprise – although several comments by readers showed that this strange occurrence did not go unnoticed by some of the public.
BFP can now let our readers know that the reason the newspapers’ servers were taken down was to install new monitoring software to facilitate the government’s efforts to identify the writers of Barbados Underground and Barbados Free Press. This was done with the cooperation of the senior management at both news organisations.
Barbados Free Press Responds
As must be obvious to everyone by now, some of the sources who provide BFP and Barbados Underground with information probably work for or within the BLP Owen Arthur Government.
While we must all be careful of the agendas behind any news organisation or information (and that includes BFP – we expect our readers to question and think about everything and that includes BFP), it is apparent to the writers at BFP that some within the government are appalled at this latest Owen Arthur government assault upon democracy.
Barbados Free Press has taken the steps we needed to maintain our privacy. In the end, Owen Arthur’s problem is that many in his own organisation are appalled at what is happening to our democracy and our country.
So, Mr. Prime Minister, the next time you are talking about intercepting private communications and abusing your power, just remember that some of the folks in the room might actually care more about their country than their political affiliation.
Because such good people exist, we have four words for you and your thugs, Sir: “Private Data Network Uplink”
Dear Mr. Thompson
This article should serve as confirmation about some of the things you have been hearing from your own sources. During the past year, you and your party have not been an effective opposition. When the government wanted to change our constitution with four days’ notice and zero debate – and empower foreign troops on Bajan soil – you and your party allowed that to happen.
Time to stand up in public, whether in Parliament or not, and ask the question directly of the Prime Minister. Time to refuse to accept non-answers.
Time to see what you are made of. Time for us all to see if you have what it takes.
Next Article In This Series…
Blank Search Warrants Pre-Signed And All Ready To Go