Wednesday, February 2, 2011

National Security Violations

"There can be no secret anywhere in Jamaica that allows the breach of the citizen's constitutional rights."


Frank Phipps Q. C.
Manatt COE Feb 2, 2011


  • The four MOU's were classified as secret documents executed by the then Minister of National Security and Justice, Dr. Peter Phillips, and security agencies of the US and UK Governments.

  • So "SECRET" was the classification that they could not be located in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not seen by those in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and apparently not located in the Ministry of Justice - specifically in the Solicitor General's Department.

  • There is no evidence to date that the mystery memoranda were discussed by the Cabinet or brought to the Parliament of Jamaica.

  • The plot thickened when it was revealed that the representatives of the US Government purported to rely on such memoranda but refused the GOJ request for copies.


    • The Happenings


      • It now turns out that the Attorney representing the JLP appears to have had in his brief a copy of memoranda and had in fact offered to supply a copy to fellow counsel from as early as January 17, 2011.

      • From the manner and detailed reference to the mystery memoranda by the Attorney representing PM Golding, it is reasonable to infer that he too may have been supplied with such information in his brief.


      Preliminary Considerations


      • The unauthorized possession of national security documents that have been coded "SECRET" is not protected by claims of attorney privilege. Moreover the quotation above is a political statement, laced probably with moral/philosophical justification, but devoid of any legal basis.

      • Indeed we may be left to wonder if the forces that facilitated the unauthorized possession of classified documents to the attorney are the same ones that facilitated the unauthorized possession of classified documents to the fugitive.

      • No civilized society can be run on the basis of any one man - irrespective of his legal acumen - deciding that national security classification of any document can be ignored because in his personal opinion such document "allows the breach of the citizen's constitutional rights".

      • That does not provide any legal justification for his unauthorized possession or the sharing of such with elements in the media by facilitating forces. The recipients should be made to account for how they got illegal possession or unauthorized access to such highly classified national security documents.

      • In some countries the "unauthorized possession of access to or control over classified documents" especially in the national security portfolio, is designated a felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor). In a world increasingly characterized by organized transnational criminal activity (and the concomitant widespread public corruption), respect for the classification of highly sensitive security documents is a necessity (even if not deemed desirable by some).

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    This is outrageous. The present administration and its cronies has more holes than swiss cheeese and smells just like it.