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ASIO’s new power grab: be alert and alarmed!

Categories: ASIO, Australian Federal Police, Corruption

by: Bakchos
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Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell.

Why have there been no terrorist attacks in Australia (except for the bombing of the Sydney Hilton Hotel during CHOGM in 1978, for which ASIO opportunistically blamed members of the Australian branch of Ananda Marga, and the 1986 bombing of the Melbourne Turkish consulate, a crime for which Levon Demirian, an Armenian-Australian restaurateur, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 25-year minimum) either before or after 9/11? How easy would it be for a single person with a backpack filled with explosives, or a car bomb, to launch an attack. So why hasn’t it happened? The answer is surely not due to the vigilance of ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, who cannot stop terrorists from entering the country, legally or otherwise; it is surely not the Iraq War which has generated nothing but hatred for the United States and its allies around the world and wasted many thousands of lives. Terrorist attacks have been regular events for many years – usually killing handfuls of people, sometimes more, but nothing comparable to the suffering and destruction wrought on innocent civilians in retaliatory/revenge strikes.

Is it possible that there is a simple explanation for the peaceful Australian home front? Is it possible that there are no Al-Qaeda terrorists here? Is it possible that the ‘war on terror’ has been an opportunistic reaction to a rare event? Look at the situation in the United States, the target of the 9/11 terrorists, where 80,000 Muslims and Arabs have been subject to fingerprinting and registration and more than 5,000 foreign nationals have been imprisoned, yet there has not been a single conviction for a terrorist crime in America. It is interesting to consider the reasons behind the United States’ administration sanctioning the extra-judicial murder of its most wanted man Osama Bin Laden, in light of the zero conviction rate for terrorist crime in America.

On the back of 9/11 the United States and its allies, including Australia, have gone to war in two countries killing tens if not hundreds of thousands of people. Our civil liberties have been undermined and curtailed and now ASIO wants to increase its powers via the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, enabling it to create vast databases of information, once considered private. Politicians and pundits have berated us about national security, while encroaching on our freedoms and sending our young men off to die.

It is time to consider the hypothesis but dare not speak its name: we have been conned by our politicians into committing gross acts of injustice and mass murder in the name for freedom! Terrorism has been used in an attempt to secure political ends for decades, indeed for centuries prior to 9/11. The odds of an Australian being killed by an act of terrorism, even taking into account the Bali bombing, which while killing 88 Australians did not take place on Australian soil, is microscopic. In general, international terrorism does not do much damage when considered in almost any reasonable context.

The capacity of Al-Qaeda or any similar group to do damage in Australia, pales in comparison to the capacity of other dedicated enemies, particularly home grown graft and corruption amongst and politicians, public servants and business elites. Lashing out at the terrorist threat is frequently an exercise in self-flagellation, because it is usually more expensive than the terrorist attack itself and because it gives the terrorists exactly what they are looking for. Much, probably most of the money and effort expended on counterterrorism since 9/11 (and before, for that matter) has been wasted.

The terrorism industry and its allies in Canberra, Washington and London have played on our fears and caused enormous damage. It is time to rethink the entire enterprise and redirect the enormous amounts we are squandering on war, retribution and propaganda and redirect our tax dollars to areas that really matter such as education, health, job creation and transparency in government and law enforcement.

It is likely that any increase in ASIO’s powers will translate into an increase in the powers of the Australian Federal Police, which itself is nothing more than an rogue arm of government at the disposal of our political masters to enforce their political agendas.

Before we as a community acquiesce in giving away more of our rights and freedoms in the name of the ‘war on terror’, it is worth giving some consideration to the type of society we are likely to create for ourselves as a result.

Since commencing BlakandBlack in August 2010 I have received literally hundreds and hundreds of emails from readers providing me with information about corruption and wrongdoing by our police, politicians and business elite. One such e-mail came from a man who goes by the name of Keith. I have included Keith’s email to me in full because it come from the member of the so called ‘mums and dads’ the backbone of Australia society and it shows how far Australian Federal Police corruption has penetrated into Australian society and the devastating effects it can have on innocent individuals within our society.

Hello Mark,
I am writing to you after reading your interesting blog, especially regarding the Australian Federal Police.
Unfortunately, I too am a victim, and the more I research, the more disgusted I am with our own Government and Police.
To give you some background as to what happened, I want to explain that my identity and where I live and work is necessary for me to keep confidential – I’ve suffered enough at the hands of a vindictive AFP.
I’m of mixed background, though I appear very ‘white’ with blond(ish) hair and blue eyes, my grandmother was an Original Australian from the Charters Towers area who moved up to Thursday Island and married my grandfather who was an English chap (immigrated here as endentured [sic] labour at 12 years of age!). My other side of the family are Irish and Jewish. I guess this makes me a man of many cultures. I also guess that I am one of the ‘lucky ones’ in our family, some of whom are black, and some are white. The implications of being white in appearance in our society along with the privilege [sic] it provides has not gone unnoticed in our family!
Anyway, my involvement with the AFP started in 2007, when I was arrested for something I didn’t do. At the time, I was working in one of our goals, and was making quite a good career for myself (or so I thought).
They came to my house, and said that someone had ‘downloaded’ some illegal material, so they were going to search my house and computers. They didn’t find anything illegal, and the only explanation I could think of at the time was that someone had used my wireless connection to access my service without my knowing.
Anyway, what they did find was a deleted adult movie (viewing adult material is not against the law in Australia), that was readily available for sale in Australia. What I didn’t say at the time, and what I don’t want them to know out of fear they will go after my son is that he had been staying at my place during this time, and as many teenaged boys will do, he used my computer to view this stuff – which was totally legal in every sense of the meaning.
The police (AFP) arrested me on the basis of that legal movie, and took me into custody. The arresting Agent persisted with the charge, despite knowing they didn’t have a case against me. In fact, he lied on the witness stand at the Committal Trial when he was asked if anyone had advised him if he had a case against me, because I have proof that the Computer Forensics Agent told him several times that they did not have a case against me.
After several mentions, the case was thrown out after approximately 30 minutes at Committal Trial in front of a very cranky Magistrate.
The defence cost to me up to this stage was staggering. I wasn’t able to work due to the nature of the charge, and I had to sell stuff in order to afford the $15,000 it cost me to pay a lawyer to defend me.
They didn’t bother to check out if I was the victim of being set up, or of someone using my wireless service. They just thought I was an easy mark and they thought I would probably plead guilty to avoid any publicity.
In the time after I was arrested, they released my name to the local media, and my life was made a complete hell. I thought about taking my own life on at least 8 occasions seriously. 10 months later, the case was thrown out, but my reputation was completely shot.
I guess there is one upside to this in that I have been forced to relocate, and I have managed to find another job in the meantime as a counsellor, helping out some brothers in the Cape area.
You know, I thought by making an official complaint to the AFP Professional Standards might get a result. Over 2 years ago I set about doing just that, but I am sorry I ever did now.
You see, I complained about that Agent submitting false evidence (proven), being assaulted in my own house (which the Federal Agents actually recorded themselves colluding to cover it up!), and a whole host of serious complaints (15 in all) about abuse of process and similar issues.
2 years later, and I’m still waiting for a response or outcome! The Ombudsman recently issued an ‘Official Criticism’ of the process, finding “Maladministration” in relation to my complaint due to the length of time it has taken without an outcome.
Mind you, when they were interviewing the police who are the subject of my complaints, someone called my employer at the time to tell them of the false charges that were made against me! Rather a co-incidence eh?
I’ve been left with little alternative but to sue them myself. The issue is that no lawyer wants to take on my case because they don’t want to be seen to be taking on a case where a person was accused of such a heinous crime! Even if I am totally innocent!
I have started the process myself in the Federal Court, to sue them for false imprisonment. I don’t know how far I will get, but to me it is worth it.
You know, in this process I have been labelled as a ‘vexatious complainant’ as a way to discredit me. I can’t even get a response out of the Minister for Home Affairs – who is refusing to answer my letters! Talk about a conspiracy of cover-up.
When you place my situation in the context of others who have suffered at the hands of the AFP, one has to question the integrity of the system as a whole.
For example, the case of Fred Martins, who was wrongfully convicted of Child Sex Tourism by the AFP, who’s officers gave evidence in court that they could not find or produce the evidence that provided a solid alibi for him. What the public don’t know about this case is that the AFP paid the ‘witness’ a very large amount of money to provide her ‘evidence’, they also testified that they could not find the evidence that could have exonerated this man, as well as freezing this man’s assets so his family (New Guini folks) [sic] could not pay for medical treatment and his daughter died as a result! The man was freed after 18months in goal, in the process he lost his business and it appears recently his right to sue the police for what they did! If you google this name, you will be shocked at what has happened to this man – and I might say it is shocking to see a young girl die in the name of “protecting children” at the hands of the Australian Federal Police. But who gives a damn anyway, afterall she was black!
After reading what you have said about the AFP, I am left in no doubt what so ever that the AFP are corrupt to the core, have much to hide, have a culture of cover-ups, and definitely don’t like it’s dirty linen [sic] hung out to dry in public! Along with that, we have a Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, equally as culpable in thier actions against ordinary Australians in the name of a distorted justice system that allows such corruption to exist – and backed up by an equally corrupt Labour Party Government (they are all corrupt, doesn’t matter what label you put on them).
I encourage you to continue with your blog,

 Yours sincerely

Next time you take a moment to consider the real threat to your safety that has arisen as a result of the so called ‘war on terror’, soon to be reinforced by the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, give some thought to Keith’s story.

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