It is claimed that the attacks were based on intelligence briefings, that convinced the Prime Minister that these Jihadis were a threat. Some of us recall the intelligence briefings that were used as an excuse to launch the Iraq war. Do you remember the claims that Saddam Hussein could attack the UK within 45 minutes, or that he had a huge arsenal of chemical and biological weapons? Of course it was all a load of old cobblers. The basis for this attack sounds equally dodgy. The Guardian reports that the men had admitted to undercover reporters that they had advised other UK Jihadis on how to attack the armed forces day celebrations. However you look at it, these guys were not professional terrorists. Think back to the days of the IRA. They were a well organised group. Their active cells didn't go around boasting to journalists how they operated. Security operations against them spanned decades. Despite the carnage they wrought, the UK did not wage a campaign of targeted assassinations against them. There were two reasons, firstly because that would be illegal and secondly it is ineffective. If you kill the people you know, then it is far harder to find those you don't know.
Cameron knows this, which is why he isn't going down the route of getting legal sanction from Parliament. Given the Tories have an absolute majority, surely this indicates just how dodgy this action is. David Davis, not a lefty pacifist by any stretch of the imagination, called yesterday for a proper system of judicial oversight for such attacks. I am a big admirer of Davis when it comes to such matters. What he is saying is that if the UK wants to conduct such attacks, let's make sure they are done legally. We are not a barbaric rabble like IS. We have the rule of law and no one, not even the Prime Minister is allowed to kill anyone without legal sanction. I won't be mourning anyone who is a terrorist who gets blown up by a drone, however I do believe in the rule of law, therefore Cameron has to behave within it. The subtext from what David Davis is saying is that Camron hasn't and that is deeply worrying. Tony Blair will forvever be tainted by his behaviour over the Iraq war. He clearly mislead parliament, which I happen to believe is a crime. I sincerely hope Cameron chooses a different route. He must get Parliamentary sanction for any action, there must be judicial oversight and he must be honest with Parliament. If he can't do these three things, then not only is his chosen course wrong, it is also illegal. If he can't get approval when the Tories have a majority, doesn't that give some indication that a lot of people smell a very large rat?