Friday, April 10, 2009

Britain's top anti-terror chief resigns after blunder re: top secret papers

After being photographed outside 10 Downing Street, holding a document marked "Secret" that outlined details of an undercover operation, the news yesterday that Britain's top anti-terrorism official resigned is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that Bob Quick made such a serious blunder. It's not as if he wasn't expecting to find a horde of photographers standing in Downing Street! That plus Steve Back, the photographer who took the picture of Bob Quick's briefing note on the terror raids in the north west of England said that he had tried to warn the Government before that photographers were able to read top secret papers when people go through the door of 10 Downing Street. (links via To carry top secret papers tucked under his arm like that was a highly embarrassing and potentially dangerous blunder! Why on earth didn't he have the papers covered up or better yet, put away safely inside a locked briefcase? We get all this surveillance in the name of security (CCTV. databases. etc.) and yet the head of anti-terrorism makes a stupid and dangerous mistake that could have put a lot of innocent people's lives at risk. And no, I'm not exaggerating. This is from BBC News, Politics, Martha Kearney's week: What would be a trivial matter for most people - letting a document be photographed - is a matter of life and death for the country's most senior counter-terrorism officer. That was the view of Sir Chris Fox, the former head of the Association of Chief Police Officers.

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