http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... -retention
More than an administrative error
In trying to justify the retention of DNA of innocent people, the Home Office attempted to use the same case study twice
Posted by Henry Porter Friday 12 February 2010 13.00 GMT
Channel 4 News's story that the Home Office made up a case study to push for the retention of the genetic profiles of innocent people is not surprising, because the Home Office's support for the DNA database is shot through with dishonesty and underhand manoeuvring. Let's not forget that the government is already in breach of a 2008 judgment from the European court of human rights on this matter.
What is surprising is how second rate was the attempt to deceive the committee scrutinising the crime and security bill by Home Office minister David Hanson and his staff at the department. In a letter to the committee, Hanson set out five case studies to justify retention. A Conservative MP with a name from Trollope and an eye from Conan Doyle, James Brokenshire, noticed the first case study, involving a rape, bore a remarkable similarity to the fifth study Hanson had offered in evidence.
"Under questioning, the Home Office minister admitted that the two cases were one and the same," reported Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News. When caught red-handed, the Home Office said that the duplication was the result of "an administrative error". I'd like to know what that is if it isn't a direct lie, because to repeat the details of the first case while composing the letter required a deliberate act of manipulation. Someone knew the evidence was falsified, even if it wasn't Hanson.