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Balancing Fear: Why Counter-Terror Legislation was Blocked after the Oklahoma City and London Bombings
Unformatted Document Text:  Case Selection Chart. 1974 Prevention of Terrorism Act Now let us turn to a capsule review of how counter-terror law has typically been passed in the UK. The 1974 Prevention of Terrorism Act was passed through Parliament and became statute eight days after the November 21, 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, which killed 21 people and wounded 160 5 . The executive at the time, Harold Wilson, plainly stated that the attacks meant that the country was in a state of war against the IRA 6 . The bill passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords with remarkable speed despite the slim majority that Harold Wilson’s Labor Party enjoyed. Indeed, the previous month’s election had given the Labor Party a slim three-seat majority 7 . The bill outlawed the IRA, extended powers of arrest and detention, and limited the movement of people into and within the United Kingdom. The PTA allowed the 5 Donohue, Laura K. Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers in the United Kingdom 1922- 2000. (Dublin, Ireland: Irish Academic Press 2001), pg. 207, 217. 6 Donohue, Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers, pg. 218. 7 BBC News, “1974 October: Wilson makes it four,” http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/in_depth/election_battles/1974o_over.stm. Threat Shaped as War Threat Shaped as Crime Legislation Quickly Passed George W. Bush, 9/11 Ariel Sharon, second intifada Harold Wilson, 1974 Birmingham bombing Yitzchak Rabin, first intifada Legislation Substantially Blocked Tony Blair, 7/7/05 Bill Clinton-1995 Oklahoma City bombing Bill Clinton-1993 World Trade Center bombing 6

Authors: Rubin, Gabriel.
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Case Selection Chart.
1974 Prevention of Terrorism Act
Now let us turn to a capsule review of how counter-terror law has typically been
passed in the UK. The 1974 Prevention of Terrorism Act was passed through Parliament
and became statute eight days after the November 21, 1974 Birmingham pub bombings,
which killed 21 people and wounded 160
. The executive at the time, Harold Wilson,
plainly stated that the attacks meant that the country was in a state of war against the
IRA
. The bill passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords with
remarkable speed despite the slim majority that Harold Wilson’s Labor Party enjoyed.
Indeed, the previous month’s election had given the Labor Party a slim three-seat
majority
The bill outlawed the IRA, extended powers of arrest and detention, and limited
the movement of people into and within the United Kingdom. The PTA allowed the
5
Donohue, Laura K. Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers in the United Kingdom 1922- 2000.
(Dublin, Ireland: Irish Academic Press 2001), pg. 207, 217.
6
Donohue, Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers, pg. 218.
7
BBC News, “1974 October: Wilson makes it four,”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/in_depth/election_battles/1974o_over.stm.
Threat Shaped as War
Threat Shaped as Crime
Legislation Quickly Passed George W. Bush, 9/11
Ariel Sharon, second
intifada
Harold Wilson, 1974
Birmingham bombing
Yitzchak Rabin, first
intifada
Legislation Substantially
Blocked
Tony Blair, 7/7/05
Bill Clinton-1995
Oklahoma City bombing
Bill Clinton-1993 World
Trade Center bombing
6


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