Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Low Down Dirty Rat

Today, in one of the most blatant scare campaigns ever, John Howard is attempting to fast-track the Australian terror legislation via a suspiciously-well-timed terrorist attack alert. All the usual excuses are in full swing... "We have specific details which we can't tell you"... "It's just a coincidence that this is happening now", "The government is between a rock and a hard place on this", bla bla bla bullshit bullshit lies lies lies.

Then, just to ensure the public get a full 12-inch reaming (no lube), the government table the new Industrial Relations reform bill on the same day.

Just the kind of psychopathic behaviour one would expect from Howard and his cronies.

And apparently, ASIO are standing by to swoop on a set of designated patsies... err, I mean, "terror cell" once the Senate and Governor-General have signed off. Because we all know, when lives are at stake, one must ensure the appropriate legislation is passed first before acting. ASIO wouldn't want to be sued now, would they?

It makes me want to puke.
The Prime Minister, John Howard, said yesterday he had received new, "specific" intelligence this week from spies and police indicating a "potential terrorist threat".

"The immediate passage of this amendment would strengthen the capacity of the law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to this threat," he said.

The Opposition agreed to the amendment after its leader, Kim Beazley, was briefed on the intelligence. Security agencies believe the new law increases their chances of successfully prosecuting suspects.

Despite the fresh intelligence, the overall terrorist threat level remains at medium. A "high" level indicates that an attack is believed to be imminent. "We might be advised any moment to change that," Mr Howard said.

The amendment to the anti-terrorism laws seems minor, but it has significant implications. Rather than having to prove that a suspect intends to undertake "the" terrorist act, the wording will be changed to "a" terrorist act.

This, the Government believes, means it does not need specific evidence about the timing and location of the planned attack to secure a successful prosecution, just that an attack was planned. The change will also significantly limit the ability of defence lawyers to defend terrorist suspects.


With Labor's support, the amendment will pass through the Senate today. The Governor-General will be on standby to give the royal assent.

ASIO and police will be able to make arrests almost immediately. A senior security source said the legal issues solved by the amendment had been the main barrier to the raids.

The Herald understands that, while the intelligence presented this week is actionable, it does not reveal a location or timing of an attack. It also builds on earlier intelligence.

The NSW and Victorian premiers, Morris Iemma and Steve Bracks, were briefed on the threat on Tuesday night, and offered their support. Other state leaders were also consulted.

Government and security sources downplayed speculation that the intelligence related to the targeting of trains, buses or aircraft, saying it would be wrong for the public to panic.

Mr Howard urged people to remain calm "in the time-honoured and wonderful Australian fashion".
Yeah, that's right you bunch of sheep. Stay calm. Don't get up off the couch, don't leave work, don't do anything. Just stay calm while we completely rape even the vaguest remaining glimmer of democracy in this country - in the time-honoured and wonderful Australian fashion.

And where is our "Federal Opposition"? On the other side of Parliament, claiming the bill "doesn't go far enough". I swear it would be funny if it wasn't so tragically serious.


Time for a new national anthem:
AUSTRALIA DOESN'T CARE

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are willing slaves.
With blood for oil we give our toil,
Until we're in our graves.

We all voted John Howard back,
Upon election day.
To make our land a satellite,
Of Empire: U S A.

In craven tones then let us sing.
"KNEEL TO... THE U.... S. A."
It might not have the same ring to it, but damned if it isn't a little bit more objective about the current state of democracy in Oz.

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