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WAR: Australia Introduces Tough New Counter-Terrorism Laws

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posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 05:51 AM
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These laws can be abused..


I may (hypothetically) speak out here saying I think that 9/11 was a conspiracy, the government is destroying our country, I could say the government is in cahoots with the Americans and does what it is told, I could say the government is selling our assets, I could say they are taking away things that have previously been made law and taking away rights, freedoms and causes we have fought long and hard for, I could speak out and tell Australians to wake up to what our government is doing to us, I could say everyone needs to act now before it is too late, I could say to register your disagreement vocally and publicly about your feelings as to what the government is doing to Australia, ......................I could say all that .....................................and more and I could be arrested for saying those things with these new laws. I could be accused of inciting terrorism against our country.

Thats when it becomes a problem, when someones right to have their say and speak out about how they feel is deprived from them and made illegal.



[edit on 9-9-2005 by Mayet]




posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 06:04 AM
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Originally posted by Jeremiah25
So my original question remains: what should the government do instead? What steps will sufficiently safeguard against terrorism to the extent possible (knowing full well that no plan can offer guaranteed protection) whilst not infringing on civil liberties?


You said it yourself. "no plan can offer guaranteed protection". In fact, I'm curious how these new laws are supposed to provide any protection at all. They seem to be after-the-event measures and unlawful restrictions on freedoms of those purely suspected of being a "risk". How are the current laws and processes that are in place supposed to be ineffective? Maybe you can explain it to me.

What should the government do instead? Nothing! There has never been a terrorist attack on Australian soil, and there has never been a terrorist attack by "Islamic extremists" on British or American soil that doesn't absolutely reek of spook engineering. If any Australians are truly pooping their Calvins in fear over the terrorist boogeyman (and no one I know is), then put more funding and personnel into the intelligence and federal police agencies, but don't start passing reactionary, idiotic laws restricting the rights of Australian citizens and changing our country to a "guilty until proven innocent" system. It's a slippery slope and this is just Phase 1. ASIO has always been a complete joke amongst international intelligence agencies, but instead of beefing up that agency's ability to counter terrorism, they just slap draconian measures on the innocent. What a crock. And tracking devices for people who are arbitrarily deemed a terror "risk"?! WTF is that?! Geez, even Orwell didn't come up with that one, but people are cheering for it! Way to go, Australia.


[edit on 2005-9-9 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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I cannot state clearly my disgust at these new laws for Australia.

Some of the powers Howard is trying to legislate are downright frightening and if anything will reduce our current australian way of life .......... the supposed way of life he is trying to protect!

I'm currently working on a podcast relating to this announcement by Howard. It should be up in about an hour or so if anyone wants to listen.



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 06:13 AM
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Just a thought to demonstrate that I am not, in fact, totally in favour of the introduction of these new laws. Many of these laws seem to be designed not necessarily to prevent terrorist attacks as they are designed to quickly determine, in the aftermath of a terrorist incident, who the perpetrators are and then to hold them to "prevent the destruction of evidence to prevent the trail going cold" (Reference - Sydney Morning Herald.

From my perspective, this is an effort on the government's part to ensure that a rapid response, similar to the one which received high praise following the London bombings, would be forthcoming and effective following similar attacks in Australia.

So I guess the question that also needs to be considered is: do we agree to potentially compromise some of our civil liberties in exchange for not only added security, but for justice, or even vengeance? If not, then why not? What criteria have we used to determine that the price for security is too high?

It is easy for us to denounce these laws as Draconian or an eroding of civil liberties, but in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, how might our perceptions shift? I am not saying that I agree with the introduction of these laws, but what I am asking is: at what point do the laws go too far? At what point have we exchanged liberty for security? Would we even recognise that point if we came to it? Are these laws, or others like them, simply a necessary evil?

Edit
I find myself agreeing with wecomeinpeace when he states that Australia has never been a victim of terrorist attack. Even in the current climate of fear and suspicion, what are the chances that we would be selected for such an attack? Surely there are softer and more prominent targets out there? Conversely, can the government really afford to do nothing? It would only take one attack, after all.

I also acknowledge that wecomeinpeace already brought up the issue of the laws' preventative nature.


Finally, I also agree that tracking devices are far too extreme. Surely one of the primary functions of our intelligence agents is to track suspected terrorists in a covert fashion?

mulberryblueshimmer - looking forward to your podcast. Your previous ones have been excellent and it is always nice to hear an Australian voice amongst all these Yanks.


[edit on 9/9/05 by Jeremiah25]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 07:13 AM
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I'm out the door to get hammered. If I come back in a number of hours and post something really dumb, obnoxious and unreadable, you'll know why and please forgive me.
Just a couple of last points:


I am not saying that I agree with the introduction of these laws, but what I am asking is: at what point do the laws go too far? At what point have we exchanged liberty for security?

That's the million dollar question, and that is exactly why such laws need to be carefully assessed as to their actual ability to prevent anything at all, and more importantly their ability to be abused, rather than an unthinking "it's ta catch those bloody bastard terrorists, mate!" People die in car crashes every day, but I don't see Howard mandating random "stop and test" driving ability assessments and license cancellations, because laws like that are just ridiculously reactionary and disturb the balance between liberty and security/safety. It's the same situation with this prevention of a future terrorist attack bollocks when one has never occurred before in the first place.


I find myself agreeing with wecomeinpeace when he states that Australia has never been a victim of terrorist attack. Even in the current climate of fear and suspicion, what are the chances that we would be selected for such an attack? Surely there are softer and more prominent targets out there? Conversely, can the government really afford to do nothing? It would only take one attack, after all.

The problem with this line of thinking is that if a terrorist attack does happen in Oz, everyone will say, "Oh no, I guess we were wrong. Let's pass those laws quick smart!", again without stopping to assess the laws for their effectiveness and relevance to terrorism prevention. Like I said, I'm all for beefing up the intelligence resources and other preventative measures, but a tracking device on my ankle because I'm Muslim and have relatives in Afghanistan and therefore a terrorist risk according to the feds? No thanks. Keeping me in prison for 14 days without charging me so that you can illicit a confession from me for something I didn't do? Piss off! Add in to the mix the suspicious nature of the Bali bombing and what do you have? Hegel's Dialectic.


mulberryblueshimmer - looking forward to your podcast. Your previous ones have been excellent and it is always nice to hear an Australian voice amongst all these Yanks.

Yeah, I agree. Keep 'em coming MBS.
Although having lived abroad for a number of years, every time I hear the Aussie accent it makes me simultaneously cringe a little, and miss home at the same time.

[edit on 2005-9-9 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 07:19 AM
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What do I suggest we do instead of instating draconian laws such as these? Well its very simple actually.

First things first, lets get some perspective. The threat of a terrorist attack and the resulting death toll is a relative insignificance. What I mean by that is that drink driving and passive smoking from cigarettes kill vastly more people than terrorism EVER WILL. Are you willing to allow the government to ban cigarettes and alcohol to safeguard other peoples lives? If you support these laws then you should support any measure that saves lives, including bans on those items. Once you put this over-hyped, over-dramatized and trumped up threat into perspective you can handle it appropriately.

With regards to the terrorists themselves: we dont have to enact any new laws to combat them. Any politician that says we do is lying. If our government detects a terrorist they should arrest them, charge them with conspiracy to commit murder/attempted murder, throw them infront of a judge and jury and allow the evidence to speak for itself. Funny how this system has been used for centuries just fine, yet a relatively minute amount of people die and our government terrorizes the population into handing over their rights.

If we were to change anything I would hire more federal police and intelligence officers. Increase their department's budgets and thats about all we need to do really.

"Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

[edit on 9/9/05 by subz]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 07:34 AM
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Originally posted by subz
If we were to change anything I would hire more federal police and intelligence officers. Increase their department's budgets and thats about all we need to do really.

Well said. Perhaps the fact that Australia has not yet suffered a terrorist attack is evidence that our intelligence agencies are in fact doing a decent job. Rather than pass laws which appear to have been hastily assembled and may not in fact do anything to enhance our security, perhaps we should allow the people who have been doing their jobs in an adequate fashion to keep doing so.

I would also like to know what the "certain conditions" needed to detain individuals without charge actually are. A little transparency and genuine debate regarding laws of this type would perhaps go a long way towards their acceptance, or at least towards a better understanding of their applications and limitations.

Edit
On another point, wecomeinpeace stated that "no one other than a few uni students will be willing to join the cause until it's too late". I think the reason for this may be a lack of knowledge of what means are available to voice your displeasure. After all, when people here think of 'protests' they tend to picture uni students throwing paint at cops and generally behaving foolishly to get themselves on television. This kind of protest helps nobody. Perhaps if more people were aware of other, less direct avenues of protest they would be more willing to take part and there would be more of a public outcry concerning these kinds of events?

[edit on 9/9/05 by Jeremiah25]



posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 09:32 AM
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ok podcast is *finally!* up and running guys!

and thanks for the nice words!



posted on Sep, 10 2005 @ 11:41 PM
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MBS pointed out a poll that ninemsn.com has running:


ninemsn.com.au...
Do you think the Government's new anti-terror laws go too far?
Yes: 24056 (40%)
No: 34955 (60%)



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 02:04 AM
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Originally posted by Jeremiah25
So they have to do something. Yes, a lot of it is probably just paranoia, but I for one believe that the government does have a legitimate obligation to protect Australian citizens from the possibility of terrorist attacks. So my original question remains: what should the government do instead? What steps will sufficiently safeguard against terrorism to the extent possible (knowing full well that no plan can offer guaranteed protection) whilst not infringing on civil liberties? Anybody care to offer a serious answer?


Nothing. No matter how many laws they make, terrorists will always get past them.

The only sure way to stop terrorist is to impose permanent martial law on the country, and these laws are getting very close to that, and like others said, these laws will be abused by the "law enforcers".



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 02:41 AM
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According to The Advertiser, the Federal Government is considering writing sunset clauses into the new anti-terror legislation.

For those who don't know what a sunset clause is, it is essentially a clause in the law that states that, after a specified period of time, the law must be reviewed and an expiry date eventually set.



Prime Minister John Howard and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty appeared open yesterday to the idea of so-called sunset clauses on some counter-terrorism measures being contemplated. "If people make suggestions (for a sunset clause) obviously we will consider them," Mr Howard told reporters at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta.


AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty also stated that



With any new legislation, particularly legislation of this type, it's appropriate that it has review mechanisms after some periods of time of operation


Does this indicate that Government is acknolwedging the outcry that has arisen concerning these new laws or not? Note that they merely said that sunset clauses would be "considered" rather than introduced as a certainty.

In my opinion, sunset clauses are essential in legisaltion such as this, which is created to address a specific issue, in this case terrorism. When that threat has been eliminated, the laws enacted to address it should naturally be revoked. The problem lies in the fact that the war on terrorism has frequently been referred to as a war with no end in the foreseeable future.

[edit on 11/9/05 by Jeremiah25]



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 03:02 AM
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i also am an austrlian citizen

i live on a farm. i have guns

they are sinlge shot bolt and lever action rifles

more than enough to shoot any thing that needs to get shot, such as ducks rabbits and foxs
really that guy above me had the point, you dont need an assult rifle to hunt kangaroos even.

but if you are good with a lever or volt action, say with a 10 round
you could kill 30 people in 3 minutes no worries,


when i walk down the street, i am not watched by police, and i never pay for tram tickets,

we are no where near to a police state, sure there are these laws, but you have to do something to get attention first

if you dont do nothing bad, you wont be harrased

my self i think it is a good thing, it will make sure any one having ideas will be taken care of

also i for one think john howard is a good leader



posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 07:35 PM
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The nation's anti-terrorist air marshal program will be boosted with more recruits and overseas routes.

Up to 40 more air marshals, officially called air security officers (ASOs), will be trained next year, bringing the number to 170.

The government is negotiating to extend the air security program to more South-East Asian destinations.

A News Limited investigation into the aviation squad run by the Australian Federal Police has revealed:

* Up to 10 armed ASOs have flown together on flights;

* Marshals have been involved in one incident, when a 68-year-old man produced a Stanley knife aboard a Virgin Blue flight between Sydney and Cairns on June 10, 2003. The officers helped the crew subdue the man without revealing their security role to passengers;

The Age



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 08:13 PM
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If I wanted to express my concern over these laws, how would I go about it?
Who should I write to?
And are there any kinds of protests planned?

I do have some concerns although I think other aspects of the draft are reasonable. My major issues have already been covered here so I won't bring them up again.
Two other points that worry me are;
I think that detaining a person and not allowing them to tell their family where they are, or even that they are being held is unreasonable.
I think treating a 16 year old MINOR as an adult is also unreasonable.

We do need to protect all of our citizens, these laws don't do that. These laws take away the personal freedoms of people under mere suspicion. These laws could very easily be abused. There needs to be a lot more checks put in place.

I am all for boosting our intelligence and defensive forces and think that that would be a much better counter-measure than the erosion of our citizens rights.


BTW, the sunset clause in the draft is 10 years.



[edit on 16-10-2005 by ilandrah]



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 03:52 AM
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write or email EVERYONE!

your local MP at state and federal level

the Greens
The labor party
the democrats

the Civil libertarians
the law council

just keep writing.



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 05:39 AM
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If you're in Melbourne this weekend:







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