Friday, November 4, 2005

Australia's 'Anti-Terrorism' Bill: the framework for a police state

File [Photo] (Rooters)

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)

Over the past month, Prime Minister John Howard and the six Australian state premiers and two territory chief ministers have joined hands to draft draconian new laws that will erect the juridical scaffolding for a police-state. The Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 is unprecedented in both its content and in the conspiratorial methods that have been employed to push it through the state and federal parliaments.

"Anti-terror" legislation [to bolster support and quell dissent for the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East] introduced in the aftermath of [false flag] September 11, 2001 already provides for major attacks on basic democratic rights, allowing secret detention and interrogation by intelligence officials for up to a week without charge, closed-door trials and powers to ban political organisations by executive fiat.

The new laws take these attacks far further. First and foremost, they grant unilateral powers to the federal and state police to intern "suspects" without charge or trial. Under the legislation, someone whom police think may be involved in a future terrorist act, or may have information about such an act, can be seized for "preventative detention" for up to 48 hours. A hand-picked judge, former judge or magistrate operating in a "personal capacity" (i.e., not as a court, but as part of the executive) can then rubberstamp the internment for up to 14 days in an initial "ex parte" hearing, that is without the "suspect" even being present.

The suspect will not have the right to know why he or she is being detained. They will be held incommunicado and any conversations they hold with a lawyer can be monitored--removing any semblance of lawyer-client privilege. Anyone--including family members, lawyers and the media--who reveals that the person has been detained, can be jailed for five years. Parents cannot even tell each other if their son or daughter is being held. These extraordinary provisions are designed to ensure that no one knows how many people have been rounded up, or why.

Secondly, specially designated 'issuing courts' will grant 'control orders'--which can include house arrest, the fitting of personal tracking devices and bans on employment and all forms of communication--also without any initial notice or hearing. Like preventative detainees, those under house arrest can be barred from alerting anyone to their internment. The control orders can last 12 months and be renewed continuously. Detainees can only challenge them, possibly weeks or months later, in the same special courts.

The new laws overturn the presumption of innocence. They will allow governments and their security agencies to lock someone away based solely on what they allege the 'suspect' might be intending to do in the future. Internment can be imposed on the flimsiest of pretexts, such as 'reasonable suspicion' of an 'intention' to engage in a terrorist act, or 'reasonable grounds' for considering that an order would 'substantially assist' in preventing a terrorist act.

A vast range of serious criminal offences has been already introduced since 2001 covering every conceivable participation in, or support for, terrorism, including preparing, training for, assisting, financing and attempting a terrorist act. The latest measures are specifically designed for use where the police and intelligence agencies cannot produce any evidence of such involvement.

Many of the new powers will also operate retrospectively. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has signalled that among the first to be rounded up will be people who have trained in the past with organisations that have since been classified as terrorist, even though the groups were not banned at the time.

Moreover, preventative detention and control orders can be imposed on top of each other. This is in addition to existing provisions, introduced in 2003, for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the police to secretly detain a person for seven days for interrogation. This means that the authorities will be able to detain someone for a week of questioning, followed by 14 days of 'preventative detention' and a year or more of house arrest.

The legislation clears the way for practices commonly identified with totalitarian regimes. People can simply 'disappear' into police custody, without the media, or anyone else, being able to report it. Lengthy house arrest can be imposed on political opponents; the use of secret evidence will become commonplace; and security forces will have 'shoot-to-kill' powers.

As various lawyers' organisations have pointed out, preventative detention and control orders can be used for dragnet operations, secretly hauling hundreds of people off the streets and isolating them from the outside world. Under the earlier laws pushed through since 2001, 'terrorist acts' are defined so widely that they include any political protest that could cause violence or serious harm to any person or property.

At the most fundamental level, the purpose of the new provisions is to silence political dissent. Any organisation that 'advocates', 'praises' or 'counsels' a terrorist act can be outlawed, automatically exposing its members, supporters and financial donors to imprisonment as well. 'Praising' terrorism could mean merely expressing sympathy for, or calling for an understanding of, the social and economic roots of terrorism.

Most revealing is the radical extension of the law of sedition. 'Urging disaffection' against the government, promoting 'feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups' or urging conduct to assist an 'organisation or country engaged in armed hostilities' against the Australian military, whether or not a state of war has been declared, will all be illegal. Those convicted will face seven years' jail, and organisations that support such sentiments can be declared 'unlawful associations'.

These laws allow for the criminalisation of any criticism of the government, or support for resistance to Australian military interventions, including the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq or operations in the Asia-Pacific region, such as the dispatch of troops to the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia or the Philippines. Legal advice obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 'Media Watch"' program has confirmed that journalist John Pilger, who last year compared the Iraqi resistance to the legitimate struggle against the Nazi-imposed Vichy regime in France during World War II, could have been prosecuted for sedition under the legislation, along with the ABC for broadcasting his comments.

The new laws have nothing to do with protecting ordinary people from terrorism. Howard proposed them in the wake of the July 7 bombings in London, claiming that new powers were needed to combat 'home-grown' terrorists. But, as anonymous security sources have told the Sydney Morning Herald, the measures were on the drawing boards long before July 7.

No terrorist incidents have taken place in Australia. Nevertheless Howard, like Bush in the US and Blair in Britain, has seized on every attack elsewhere, from September 11, 2001, to the 2002 Bali blasts to the London bombings and the most recent Bali attacks, to make ever-deeper inroads into basic legal and political rights.

Anti-democratic conspiracy

The deeply reactionary substance of the new laws is underscored by the extraordinary political conspiracy surrounding their development. Howard and his state Labor counterparts signed off on the measures on September 27 at a two-hour, closed-door Council of Australian Governments (COAG) 'counter-terrorism' summit.

The federal government needed the premiers' support because the laws explicitly flout the Australian Constitution. While the Constitution contains no bill of rights or any other specific protection against tyranny, it does enshrine the separation of legislative, executive and judicial power. It outlaws any form of imprisonment or punishment of a citizen without a properly constituted court hearing.

In violation of this fundamental proposition, Howard and the state and territory leaders agreed that federal authorities can impose 'preventative detention' for up to 48 hours and that the states and territories, which are not strictly bound by the separation of powers doctrine, can extend the detention for up to 14 days.

In order to provide a semblance of constitutionality, the premiers initially requested that detention and control orders be granted by judges, behind closed doors. This would, they calculated, give the appearance of judicial oversight. But, as various legal experts pointed out, this could also be ruled unconstitutional, because it amounts to asking judges to exercise executive power. The Labor premiers responded by expressing concern, not that the Constitution was being undermined, but that the laws might be struck down in the High Court.

After a series of meetings involving state and federal legal authorities, Howard gave a verbal commitment to judicial review of detention orders whereupon the state premiers, in the words of New South Wales Labor leader Morris Iemma, declared they would stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with him.

Besides subverting the constitution, the other main purpose of the COAG agreement was to prevent any parliamentary debate, let alone genuine public discussion, on the most draconian laws ever introduced in Australia.

In 2002 and 2003, the introduction of anti-terror laws was preceded by weeks of parliamentary committee hearings, where MPs were deluged by hundreds of opposing submissions. As a result, the ASIO detention scheme was delayed by a year. Ultimately the laws were slightly modified, before being passed with the support of the Labor Party. This time, it was the state and territory Labor leaders who proposed the COAG process as a means of jointly keeping the public in the dark.

Their plans were thrown into disarray when Australian Capital Territory (ACT) chief minister, Jon Stanhope, publicly released the initial draft Bill on his Internet site. While he supported the Bill at the COAG meeting, Stanhope became concerned about the legal and political implications of implementing it. Among other things, he received legal advice that the legislation was unconstitutional and in breach of his own government's Human Rights Act.

The government reacted furiously to Stanhope's actions, branding him 'irresponsible'. Its worst fears were rapidly realised when, having read the Bill's provisions, civil rights groups, lawyers' organisations, academics, and journalists, began condemning it. South African-born Nobel Prize-winning novelist J.M. Coetzee said: 'I used to think that the people who created (South Africa's) laws that effectively suspended the rule of law were moral barbarians. Now I know that they were just pioneers ahead of their time... All of this and much more during apartheid in South Africa, was done in the name of the fight against terror.'

Even the government's own Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission president confirmed an array of legal opinions that the Bill breached international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The legal profession's peak body, the Law Council, called on judges to boycott the new regime.

When another draft was sent to the COAG participants at the end of last week, it was accompanied by a letter threatening prosecution if it were publicly released. Acting on legal advice, Stanhope complied, declaring he would 'risk a legal response' from the Commonwealth if he breached the confidentiality provisions.

Regardless of the mounting public opposition, the Labor Party continues to extend its bipartisan support for the new laws. Federal opposition leader Kim Beazley declared that he would back the final Bill without even reading it, or bothering to consult his party colleagues.

A socialist program to defend democratic rights

The de facto coalition that has coalesced around the anti-terror laws cannot be explained simply by the anti-democratic tendencies of the individuals involved, whether Howard, Ruddock or 'Bomber' Beazley and his 'law and order' state Labor colleagues. It is rooted in deeper economic, social and political processes.

It is no accident that the three governments directly responsible for the criminal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq--the American, British and Australian--have all introduced police-state measures to suppress dissent at home. Howard's new Bill is, in fact, modelled on aspects of Bush's infamous Patriot Act and the Blair Labour government's Prevention of Terrorism legislation, although it goes even further in restricting access to lawyers and courts.

The war on Iraq was launched to assert unchallenged US hegemony over the resource-rich and strategically vital Middle East, marking a new period of neo-colonial aggression. Despite mass antiwar sentiment across Australia, Howard signed on in order to win US backing for the use of similar methods in defence of Australian corporate interests in the Asia-Pacific.

The policy of war abroad is invariably bound up with political repression at home. Just as ordinary Iraqis are denounced as 'terrorists' for resisting the US-led occupation, anyone in Australia expressing support for them can be jailed for sedition or for advocating terrorism.

At the same time, the bipartisan attack on wages, jobs and conditions and the growth of unprecedented levels of social inequality are fuelling increasing hostility, on the part of wide layers of the population, to the entire official establishment. The politics of social compromise and concessions that characterised the years of the post-war economic boom, have given away to social tensions and a deepening social polarisation that will not be contained through the old political channels. That is why both the government and the opposition are jointly moving to dispense with democratic forms of rule.

Last September's deportation of Scott Parkin, an American antiwar and anti-corporate activist, for endangering the 'safety or good order of the Australian community,' is a foretaste of how ASIO and the federal and state police will use the new laws. With reports that ASIO has a list of 80 or so people lined up for control orders because they allegedly trained with Islamic groups overseas, there is no doubt that Muslims will be among the first to be victimised. But the methods pioneered against them will inevitably pave the way for wider application.

In the early 1990s, asylum seekers--the most vulnerable and isolated sections of the population--became the first targets for mandatory detention. Indefinite detention without trial, introduced by a Labor government in 1992, was continued and upheld by successive governments, and supported by the trade unions. This laid the basis, politically and legally, for the advent of Howard's new anti-democratic laws.

Far from functioning as the defender of basic legal rights, the courts have helped destroy them. Last year, a majority of High Court judges sanctioned the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, even for life, regardless of the harsh and cruel conditions they were forced to endure in the government's detention centres. Several judges suggested that citizens could also be subjected to indefinite detention, provided it was for community 'protection' rather than punitive purposes.

The record demonstrates that neither parliament nor the judiciary will defend even the most fundamental civil liberties. Notwithstanding the appeals of the Greens, the Australian Democrats and various dissident backbenchers, no amount of popular pressure will reverse their course. The defence of democratic rights requires nothing less than the development of an independent political movement of the working class, fighting for a socialist strategy aimed directly against the profit system itself--the real source of war, social reaction and inequality.

By WSWS posted by Just Us 4 November 2005


ASIO settle wrongful detention case out of court
On the first of November ASIO and the federal Government of Australia settled out of court with a couple whose house had been raided a couple weeks after the [US false flag] September 11 2001 attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers in the USA.

The race that doesn't stop the nation
CANBERRA: And welcome to Canberra on the first Tuesday in November for the race that doesn't stop the nation. The Anti-Terrorism Cup. The final horses are being brought into the barriers, and we are almost ready for the start.

Constitution: Defending Against State Terror and Despots
Australia has no major laws that are not derivatives of English Law and all of our major laws rely on British court precedents for interpretation and implementation. These laws and our Constitutional Monarchy system create a situation where, even if Howard and all State Premiers vote unanimously on the Anti-Terrorist laws, and every ALP/Dem/Lib/Nat/Green party hack also votes unanimously on their laws, and even if such laws are given Royal Assent, those laws are still void.

Open Letter to Australian Senate
Every West Australian needs to take note of the proposed terror legislation that will be debated in the Senate next Tuesday. Our own Premier has sold us out, and the time has come for some serious and organised protest in WA to protect our democracy and civil liberties. Write to the Senate, to the papers, and to every political party. This is a fundamental issue that affects the future of our society.

$145,000 for false arrest in NSW
The lawyer - who has represented almost all Sydney's high-profile accused [alleged] terrorists, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East] including Mamdouh Habib - who was kidnapped and tortured and who successfully sued the state for wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

Preventive Detention: A Shield or A Sword?
There is a consensus among educated Australians that Preventive Detention is inimical to the democratic evolution of our country. Many are those who argue that given the standards of our time preventive detention is an unnecessary evil.

What's the Difference Between CHINA and AUSTRALIA?
If John Howard's terror law comes into effect, what is the difference between China, and Australia? No rifle executions? I think it is time to approach the Governor General, to dissolve Parliament on the basis that the present Government is attempting to achieve Dictatorial Powers.

Cracks in terror solidarity
In remarks that are at odds with the Premier, Morris Iemma's determined support for the legislation, Mr Debus said yesterday: "I think I share the concern about the legislation with plenty of other people. I don't query that we need to have very tough responses to the threat of terrorism [actually though, the community do query it because the actual threat of terrorism is coming from the Government] and I don't query that the premiers have signed off on a framework last month.

Australian Prime Meanster 'tells' States?
Prime meanster john hoWARd's original pact with the states seems to have fallen into disarray because his new anti-liberty laws breach human rights obligations and the commonwealth constitution.

Anti-Terrorism Bill details draconian police-state plans
First and foremost, the legislation provides for extensive detention without charge or trial, on the flimsiest of pretexts. With no notice or legal hearing, any person can be thrown into secret "preventative detention" or placed, by a "control order," in isolation under house arrest.

Shoot to kill on the belief of reasonable grounds is a problem
Provisions in relation to use of force in s105.23 raise serious concerns. In particular subsection 105.23(2) specifically contemplates the use of lethal force against a detainee where an AFP member believes on reasonable grounds that this is necessary to protect life or to prevent serious injury to another person.

ASIO laws: Don't be silenced
The secrecy surrounding the proposed national anti-``terror'' legislation stands in stark contrast to previous ASIO and "anti-terror'' laws that have been subject to scrutiny by parliamentary committees and public hearings.

Brisbane Peace Convergence calls on Beattie to reject terror legislation changes The Brisbane Peace Convergence (BPC) are calling on Premier Peter Beattie to reject the Federal governments proposed amendments to anti-terror laws. The BPC consider the changes to pose a threat to fundamental rights in a democratic society, including life, liberty and democratic action.

How's this for sedition?
Edmund Burke, who declared the tyranny of bad laws, was a deep political thinker and a ferocious polemicist. In 1777, he wrote to the Sheriffs of Bristol that the true danger to freedom was when liberty was nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.

Sydney Morning Herald Poll flawed
Sydney Morning Herald: "According to the latest Herald Poll, about three-quarters of voters think it is OK to lock up suspected terrorists [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killings resource wars in the Middle East] without charge, put them under house arrest or shackle them with tracking devices."

The Howard Government wants to give police executing preventative detention orders the power to shoot to kill. This is shoot to kill madness.

New anti-terror laws and the Muslim community
On 8 September the Prime Minister introduced a 12-point plan outlining new anti-terror laws [draconian laws to bolster support for John Howard's resource wars in the Middle East] in a press release. Two weeks later he went to the Council of Australian Governments meeting with the proposals. They approved the measures by and large.

Secret agents brief Bracks on 'seditious' protest
Australia: Melbourne: Thursday 20 October, 2005: A phalanx of "secret agents" delivered a written briefing to Premier Steve Bracks at Parliament House today to tip him off to potential "seditious activities" at a planned demonstration for civil liberties on Saturday.

Shoot-to-kill bluff
AUSTRALIA: federal labor leader kim sleazley has predicted the federal dictatorship will fail in its push for a shoot-to-kill policy to be included in its counter-terrorism laws.

Sedition Laws Target Peaceful Civil Disobedience
The new Sedition Laws in the anti-terror bills clearly target people who call for acts of non-violent civil disobedience. Under the laws there is no defence for calling for change to any law by anything other than lawful means. Penalty is up to seven years jail.

Stanhope flags doubts on 'hasty' terrorism bill
ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says he may refuse to sign off on parts of the Federal Government's hasty terrorism bill. Mr Stanhope published a draft of the controversial laws [draconian laws] on his website on Friday and has refused to take it down despite a directive from the Federal Government.

Despoja: Stanhope hero of the hour
Natasha Stott Despoja has described Mr Stanhope as the "hero of the hour". Senator Despoja says there is meant to be a vote on the draft legislation in the week beginning November 7.

Stanhope stands his ground
Stanhope: It is bizarre to think legislation of this significance can be rushed into Parliament without consulting a single Australian.

Anti-terrorism laws inquiry 'too short'
Australia: The Opposition says the inquiry effectively gives senators just one day to examine the bills. Labor's homeland security spokesman, Arch Bevis, says the inquiry will be unable to scrutinise whether the legislation provides a balance between security and civil rights.

Australia: Draconian laws draw rights watchdog's ire
Human Rights Watch has condemned Australia's proposed anti-terrorism laws as a "shocking departure" from its historical championing of the rights of the individual.

Dissent Isn't Taken Lightly Down Under
Historian Michael Foley said during times of war pacifists often get mugged. As a nonviolent activist working to end the war in Iraq and the corporate war profiteering that comes with it, September 2005 has been the most surreal time of my life and I definitely feel like I got mugged by Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock and the Australian government.

Australia: Rattling the cage
Recently, the federal government announced a controversial new 'counter-terrorism' package. Civil libertarians were quick to raise the spectre of a police state . Yet Muslim groups argued that the new security regime is already having an impact on the democratic freedoms and everyday safety of their communities.

Hand picked alleged Australian Muslim leaders are being used to cut their own throats the same as the hand picked Indigenous mob have been used by the John HoWARd Government to screw ATSIC.

Anti-terrorism laws put rights at risk: Fraser
Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser says Australians could be treated unfairly under the Government's anti-terrorism [draconian] laws unless a human rights act is introduced.

Stop the war on civil liberties!
Prime Minister John Howard is using the "war on terror" to promote widespread fear about "terrorists" and "terrorism" in Australia. This is despite the fact that the biggest act of terror being committed today is being carried out by foreign troops, including Australia's, in occupied Iraq.

Spots and Stripes
It is well known that John Howard, infamous lackey and liar, is devoid of anything that could be remotely regarded as masculine or manly; the draconian measures he has implemented to 'secure' Australia against the terrorist bogeyman are astounding.

They know where you live
Twenty-four hours after the country's leaders agreed to draconian counter-terrorism laws this week, the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, was playing down media claims that ASIO believed there were 800 would-be suicide bombers living in Australia.

When Terrorism Outlaws Democracy
On September 27, 2005, Australian democracy surrendered to terrorism. On that day, a coalition of willing federal and state leaders agreed to anti-terrorism legislation that will enable police persecution of the Muslim community and threaten dissidents with imprisonment. In a country without a Bill of Rights, the prospect of more draconian Terror Laws delivers ultimate control through fear. Australia, with its history of penal colonies, racism and detention centers, is now set to become a police state.

Evans: moderate threat
Evans doubts reports that 800 potential terrorists are living in Australia.

No! Your Rights Australia
You have the right to not remain silent.

800 people deemed a potential security risk?
As reported in the Australian today, ASIO has apparently identified up to 800 people deemed a potential security risk. Ruddock says the draconian COAG measures "deal with people who pose a risk to the safety and security of the Australian community." Hmmm, like detained and deported US peace activist Scott Parkin perhaps? What is this broad definition of a "Terrorist"?

Democrat Will Oppose Anti-Terrorism Laws
NSW Democrat MLC, Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, has accused the Premier, Mr Morris Iemma, of selling out to John Howard after agreeing to new 'Anti-Terrorism' laws yesterday. Dr Chesterfield-Evans said the proposed laws agreed to by Morris Iemma will not work.

Mein Kampf by John Howard
Months before Bali Au warships were seen invading Iraqi territorial waters in deliberate provocations under American protection. It was obvious that Howard had decided before Bali to join in an illegal and aggressive invasion of Iraq and in fact , when that happened, it was led by Au stormtroopers BEFORE the ultimatum given Baghdad had even run out!

Collection of Terrorists Meet to Take Away Our Rights
Tomorrow (27th of September) the State Premiers and the Federal Government are meeting to conspire to strip Australians of their rights. Welcome to the brave new world of electronic tagging and "preventative" detention.

Tell Your State Premier: Don't Do Ruddock's Dirty Work
Over the past several years, the Howard government has passed a series of dangerous new laws. These laws have undermined our basic legal and democratic rights.

Australian government unveils legal framework for police state
In the lead-up to his September 27 "counter-terrorism summit" with the eight Australian state and territory leaders, Prime Minister John Howard last week unveiled a package of legislation that goes well beyond the already deep inroads made into essential civil liberties under the fraudulent banner of the "war on terrorism..."

Australia: Counter-liberty plans unveiled
AUSTRALIA: VIC: BLACK Hawk helicopters and fighter jets will patrol Melbourne's skies during the Commonwealth Games next March, as part of counter-terror measures outlined today.

John H.o.W.A.R.d line roars at Fascism Week
AUSTRALIA: Parody: (Rooters) - While Attorney General Phillip Duddock helped wrap up a US protester for Prime Meanster, John HoWARd during Australia's Fascism Week after a 5 day detention debut and the removal of Mr Scott Parkin a peace activist who was deported back to Houston, Texas. The h.o.W.A.R.d fascism line, adding a dash of despotism to a week of largely draconian styles.

Parkin charged $11,700 for detention and removal
Los Angeles Friday, 16 September, 2005 : American peace activist Scott Parkin arrived back in the US today, escorted by 2 Australian immigration officials. He is expected to arrive in Houson, Texas on a Continental Airlines flight at around 3pm AEST.

Government out of control on security: Wilkie
Australia: Canberra Thursday, 15 September, 2005 : Former intelligence analyst Andrew Wilkie today staunchly defended US peace activist and teacher, Scott Parkin, saying that the government's national security agenda is out of control.

Australia, USA, Iraq: Scott Parkin
The rapid and widespread response to the detention of US peace and global justice activist, Scott Parkin, has been heartening and effective on many levels. Actions have taken place in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and outside several Australian Consulates in the United States.

Peace Activist Agrees to be removed but challenges security review

Australia's fascist ideal: Proof
Philip Ruddock, Federal Attorney General to Australian, hopes to eclipse the neo-cons of the US in the race toward the fascist ideal of social uniformity and control (oppression).

Anti-War Extremists Loyal to Scott
What can I say to someone like Scott Parkin? Sorry mate, to get a PEACE prize in this country you need to be drop dead sexy, go-tees are out - you gotta go. Peace Prize.

US Peace Activist to be Deported
Scott Parkin, a Texas based peace activist was detained by Federal police at approximately midday Saturday. He was en route to give a workshop about the progress and success of the peace movement in the US and companies profiting from the Iraq war.

Howard government threatens academic freedom
As Peter McGregor noted in GLW #639, I recently resigned in protest from a committee of the federal government's National Health and Medical Research Committee (NHMRC) and called for a boycott by academics of government committees generally.

'Different times' call for bill of rights, says QC'
To ensure no future government can erode basic human rights. Lex Lasry, QC, gave last night's key note address at the University of Western Australia's annual Day of Ideas.

Australia: a little dab will do ya .....
Reflections on the phoney, hypocritical "values" debate being promoted by the federal government, as part of its proscriptive program to emasculate our democracy.

Government warned Terror Laws "inherently dangerous, draconian and open to misuse" John North, Law Council of Australia: "In times of fear, it is easy for governments to impose ever (more) draconian laws."

Fishing expedition pays off
A man whose home was targeted by ASIO in fishing raids this year is facing fraud charges along with a co-accused who is linked to firearms offences.

The Terrorism of ASIO Laws
Wanda Fish asks Australian Senators to reject Howard's proposal to strengthen laws that already erode our basic legal rights. This legislation has the potential to turn ASIO agents into terrorists who can kidnap and detain innocent Australians simply because they "might know something".

Terrorgraph not quiet on 'Aussie militant' probe
AFP refuses to comment on investigation into militant video: hoWARd's abc.

Phillip Duddock's 'accent' heard in militant broadcast
Australian/Arab television has broadcast a video showing a masked militant with an apparent Australian accent criticising British Prime Minister tony bliar over Iraq.

HICKS: Not a Happy Birthday!
AUSTRALIA/CUBA/US :David Hicks, the Australian imprisoned at the US Base of Guantanamo Bay, will be 30 years old this coming Monday August 7, 2005.

GetUp! Stand Up! Stand Up For Your Rights!
Because of you, something exciting happened in our democracy last week. From every corner of the country, more than 20,000 emails were sent to the Coalition Senators. Our message was simple: now you have control of the Senate, we will be holding you to account. Thousands of you added personal messages to your representatives about the issues you care about.

Australia: We're Living In A War Zone
Prime Minister john hoWARd and his cronies have now placed us in a war-zone moving defence capabilities to Australia's south-east coast.

All the alleged terrorists are Muslims
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner mick keelty, a well know propagandist and liar, now claims that 60 Islamic extremists are operating in Australia and they are not news to the police and intelligence agencies.

All the wicked witches in Pakistan?
Pakistani authorities say 800 suspected militants [scapegoates and patsies] have been arrested in raids following the deadly London [false flag operation] bombings, as Islamic groups protest a move to expel 1,400 foreign students.

It's just not cricket: Khan
The perception in the West remained that somehow Islam was connected to militarism and terrorism, that all Muslims believe that all suicide bombers go straight to heaven. No one mentioned that before [false flag operations of] 9/11 70 per cent of suicide bombings in the world were committed by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, who were Hindus.

Lawyer dismisses ASIO fishing raids as PR stunt
Fascist federal Police (AFP) and ASIO officers conducted more raids in Melbourne and Sydney yesterday but the publicity surrounding the raids has been dismissed as a public relations exercise by the Melbourne lawyer for an accused terrorist.

Howard off to US, UK - part 5
PART-5- PRIME minister john hoWARd will meet US president george w buSHIT, British prime minister tony blair and queen 'imperialism' herself during a 10-day visit to the United States and the UK next month.

hoWARd, ruddock, ellison, keelty and news ltd plotted chaos
AUSTRALIA/CUBA: Government and corporate propaganda agencies 'believe' they have foiled an attack on the Melbourne Stock Exchange by a radical Islamic network linked to a covert group, which has carried out surveillance on key Sydney sites.

Houses raided over 'possible' political attack plans?
ASIO have raided a number of properties in Melbourne on a 'fishing expedition' in relation to a 'possible' political scare campaign by the hoWARd government, playing on the fears of all Australians... again!

Is this our most dangerous Newspaper?
The Daily Terrorist should be managed with manacles and flown into Siberia via a jumbo jet tomorrow amid fears government fascists may attempt to use them again on someone else.

This forum will bring together legal representatives and victims of counter-terror, along with justice campaigners and organisations in order to share strategies for achieving justice for these men and the many other like them.

The Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group & the Justice for Hicks & Habib Campaign welcome the statement by Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan, condemning the US Administration for condoning torture and the suppression of 'human rights' in their 'war on terror'.

Murdoch's war on truth in war reporting
People who remain to be convinced that cross-media laws are important to maintaining the fabric of our democracy need look no further than today's page one of The Daily Telegraph.

Chomsky signs on for justice
Noam Chomsky has signed the Justice for Jack campaign petition which calls on the Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock and Director of Public Prosecutions to "drop any charges reliant on records of interviews conducted under duress without the presence of a lawyer."

If he'd been given his passport he'd be a free man
A Sydney man [scapegoat in the Coalition of the Killings resource wars in the Middle East] has been found not guilty of preparing for a terrorist attack on a Commonwealth building [ruling class propaganda.]

Trial by unrelated video clips
Should alleged terrorist suspects [scapegoats for the resource wars in the Middle East] be shown on television side-by side-'terrorist training camp film clips' gathered by the government and media archives to give the wrong impression of accused people facing trial?

Accused Australian Citizen 'denied passport in 2002'?
AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN who was refused a passport by DFAT in mid-2002 became frustrated at the government for treating him differently.

Court should be told Gov't using 'Jack'!
A Melbourne court should have been told a man accused of working for Al Qaeda is being used by the fascist Australian Government as a pawn in their leverage to win support for their illegal and degrading activities.

Noble Cause Torture?
AUSTRALIA: The Labor Party has decided not to support a Senate inquiry into new allegations made by Mamdouh Habib that the Australian Government cooperated with Egyptian intelligence authorities who he insists tortured him.

New account adds weight to interrogation claims
Australia/Cuba/Iraq: The fascist Federal Government is under further pressure today because Australians were involved in the interrogation of tortured Iraqi prisoners.

Australian senate accused govt of war crimes
Did you hear the one about David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib having a Barbeque in Afghanistan with Bin Laden? Yeah it was reported on Channel Seven's Sunrise this morning! But they don't know if it was a sheep or a goat, but sources say it was most likely a goat.

DPP to appeal innocent man's bail
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will seek to have an innocent Melbourne man Joseph 'Jack' Thomas, returned to isolation in custody?

Fascist Australian Govt torture exposed
The fascist Federal Government has been exposed for the torture of Australian Mamdouh Habib and the US Government's allegations against him (if they were true) would have been made under duress.

Innocent witch verballed by federal fascists!
Shame on the federal fascists. The wicked old witch is dead! A Melbourne Magistrates Court has heard that a 31-year-old innocent Victorian man was facing terrorism charges?

Lawyer blames police for Habib break-in
John HoWARd, Alexander Downer, Phillip Ruddock, Robert Hill, to name just a few....HOW DO YOU PLEAD?

No reason for Habib to sell story: Beazley?
Federal Agreement Leader Kim Beazley is a well-paid loser. A loser who supposed to be defending our democratic rights by standing up to the HoWARd Government's fascism.

Australia: a presumption of guilt......
KAREN PERCY: Two of Australia's leading barristers have seized on the return of Guantanamo Bay detainee, Mamdouh Habib, to launch an unprecedented attack on the Federal Attorney General, Philip Ruddock.

Aust Community criticises Govt for 'crimes'!
Australia: The Law Council of Australia is warning that the Federal Government must learn from its mistakes over Guantanamo Bay? Now that's a mistake!

Australian Govt Guilty of Crimes: Community
Australia: The community says federal fascists who allowed the torture of its citizenry including Mamdouh Habib may be arrested when the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal address the War Crimes Indictment set out by the community.

What they did to Habib
Mamdouh Habib was the victim of atrocities fit for a concentration camp, including being tied to the ground while a prostitute menstruated on him, his lawyer said yesterday.

Innocent witch verballed by federal fascists!
Shame on the federal fascists. The wicked old witch is dead! A Melbourne Magistrates Court has heard that a 31-year-old innocent Victorian man was facing terrorism charges?

Innocent Victorian man held in custody for Xmas?!
Lawyers have argued the case against Mr Thomas was weak and based on a statement he made in Pakistan without a lawyer present and therefore unlawful.

Innocent Melbourne man makes second bail bid
Rubish, just plain propaganda, fear-mongering, draconian nonsence from the HoWARd goverment's war agenda stink tank.

MPs to review spy agency powers
Australian spy agency ASIO'S controversial powers to detain and question suspected terrorists [scapegoats for HoWARd's resource wars] will be re-examined by a parliamentary committee. Parliament passed the new counter-terrorism powers in July last year.

Goulburn Jail breaches UN standards
NSW: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on Justice Minister John Hatzistergos to bring Goulburn Jail's Maximum Security Wing into line with United Nations standards, after a prison inmate's covert survey of his fellow inmates revealed problems with rehabilitation programs and basic amenities.

Lodhi toilet paper: crap!
He is facing nine charges and is accused of planning a major terrorist attack on Sydney defence sites and the electricity grid using downloads off the internet and having 100 rolls of toilet paper to wipe his arse after low level bombs and farts.

Community seeks more power to interrogate ASIO suspects
Greens Senator Bob Brown does not think increased police powers are necessary. "We have enormous powers for surveillance, apprehension or punishment of people who are engaged in or intending to engage in or thinking about being engaged in terrorist acts in this country," he said.

Greens warn of 'politicised' terror trials
AUSTRALIA/CUBA?: The Australian Greens say they are concerned that new anti-terrorism laws being debated in the Senate allow for the "political black-banning" of defence lawyers at terrorism trials.

Melbourne man charged over ASIO links
ASIO a know Australian terrorist organization is verballing the community again...about allegations that a man, while living overseas, received funds from Al Qaeda and had close association with the members of the terrorist group.

A court has been told Joseph Thomas is a sleeper? ZZZ! Melbourne Australia: A court has been told that Osama bin Laden asked a Melbourne man to become a "sleeper" in Australia before undertaking activities for the Al Qaeda network? Munchkins: "Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead."

AFP: The unlikely CRIMINAL
It was born of a bombing and it made its name after a far more devastating act of terrorism. But for most of the 25 years in between, little was known about the Australian Federal Police force or the work it did.

Australian Federal Government complicity in war crimes
Complaint to Australian law officers about Australian Federal Government complicity in war crimes.

There is no justification for torture
In the weeks since the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were revealed, evidence continues to seep out of similar mistreatment of prisoners in other US military detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.

Howard rejects spy agency overhaul
Prime Minister John Howard has played down the need for a major overhaul of Australia's spy agencies as a result of an inquiry by former intelligence officer Phillip Flood.

Mamdouh Habib: Taunted and Tortured!
Four Corners [Walls]: Terrorist - or Taunted by the Australian Defence Force who sacked him as a cleaning contractor? Who is Mamdouh Habib? And why was he harassed by the Australian Federal Police? Then tagged and labelled as a spy? Why was he vilified by the community? When he fled to Pakistan how did he end up being tortured in Egypt? And how did he end up at Guantanamo prison camp reserved for the men America calls "the worst of the worst.

He was an undercover agent for the blues
He was my journalist, he was working undercover. The fellow knew all of the moves.... He really had me romping, bare footing stomping. He just kept igniting my fuse....

Up there Khasali: Innocent man new bail laws
The New South Wales Supreme Court has asked innocent man Bilal Khazal to increase to amount of surety offered, before the bail is formally continued.

Young men terrorised, tortured, and threatened with charges for no crime by Australia mate the lucky country. Lucky if you're not used for Howard's FEDERAL ELECTION and George Dubya's WAR ON LIBERTY! Who shot liberty? IGNORANCE!

Ul-Haque 'the man who wants to become a doctor'
The taskforce is investigating French man Willie Brigitte, who was tipped back home for a visa breach. Allegedly the Un-Australian Newspaper claimed he also attended training camps before his six-month stay in Sydney. Police have not alleged Mr Ul-Haque knew Brigitte. The Un-Australian just mentioned it because they are 'you guessed it' up John Howard's butt and they like the USA want 'you guessed it' our Federal Government. Well Yankee go home!

Brain injury for suspicion 'inhumane'
Faheem Khalid Lodhi refused bail by a Sydney court and remanded until June in hell at the (HARM-U) High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn. While he is in there he will receive a brain injury and is likely to self-harm due to the gross violation of living standards.

Keelty foresees more terrorism
Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty says terrorist groups will continue to find new ways to threaten countries.

Daily Terror rolled-over for Howard's war games
The DAILY TERROR is suspected of being the source of the news this morning that Willie Brigitte is a terrorist and that Sydney faces a bomb attack.

Lawyer claims Al Qaeda suspect's evidence tainted!
Before returning to Australia last year, Thomas was arrested and held in custody for five months by Pakistani authorities before being released without charge.

Man terrorised by ASIO remanded in 'AA' isolation!
A Victorian man has been remanded in custody after being charged with terrorism offences, including having links to Al Qaeda?

Ruddock foreshadows new terrorism laws
The new laws will allow police to access emails and mobile phone SMS messages, enable wider use of surveillance devices, and protect sensitive national security information during terrorism trials.

Islamic movement denies links to Al Qaeda
The Islamic Youth Movement has denied having any links to Al Qaeda and says it is considering legal action against the Four Corners program. In a statement released early this morning, the group rejects allegations it is helping coordinate any kind of terrorist network inside Australia and says it is being unfairly targeted.

2nd Renaissance -10 The War on Witches [150]
In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued a Papal Bull that became the rationale for establishing the Inquisition in Germany. The following excerpt from the Bull sets out the official view of the danger of witches to the community. The Bull and this this passage provided the sole excuse for the torture and cruel executions that were, ultimately, to be the fate of up to fifty percent of the population of some villages.