Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Is this a contrast?

I am vigorously opposed to terrorists. In this country they are not freedom fighters (and that is not to say they are freedom fighters in other countries), they are little more than brainwashed morons:

"All stand," they were told, but someone said: "He's not allowed to."

Abdullah Merhi, a sharp-featured 20-year-old apprentice electrician from Fawkner, leaned forward from the front row of the dock. "Nobody can ask me to stand up but God," he said.

Yeah, fine, you live here, respect for laws etc. (the RWDB in me awakes) Fuck off.

I have little to no sympathy for these guys. At this stage they have only been charged with "belonging to a terrorist organisation", the Feds et al better have more charges than that, or they will be back on the street in months not years.

But I do wish to contrast two Federal Police investigations: This one and the Bali 9.

The Bali 9 were toast before they left Australia. They had all been bugged, investigated, followed and sorted out. When they left Australia, the Federal Police handed the Indonesians a dossier that even they couldn't fuck up. And, so far, they haven't. The 9 look like going all the way to the firing squad/Calvary/gallows pole.

Alexander Downer has come out and said that the 9 can't blame the feds:
Alexander Downer says the AFP has to share information with police forces in the region if Australia is to stop drug smuggling.

Mr Downer rejects claims the AFP put Australian lives at risk by giving intelligence to Indonesian police.

"I don't want to sound too tough in saying this, but I don't think we should be blaming the Australian Federal Police for Australians at least allegedly getting involved in heroin trafficking," he said.

In a sense he's right. They all had free will in this case. They chose to go on this trip. But why didn't the Feds arrest them before they left? They clearly had enough evidence to support a conspiracy to import charge, and it mean that the Federal Police made the collar and John Howard would have had another moment in the sun. It also would have avoided having the Federal Government have to beg for the life of the 9- as they will and as they have in Van Nguyen's case. Having to beg third world countries and/or moral superior types with the death penalty for drug trafficking is most unbecoming. It annoys me in the extreme.

The annoyance of state sanctioned murder aside, are the police no longer in the business of crime prevention? What happened to "nip it in the bud?" Is it now about "get them so the charges are the biggest possible?" It would appear that this is the case for the Bali 9. Contrast this with the terror suspects who may not face the full weight of the law as, despite the government telling us that an "attack was imminent", they may not have enough evidence of the imminent nature of an attack. These terror suspects have been investigated, bugged, tapped, followed, sniffed, probed, investigated probably more than any other crime suspects in Australian history. (Let me just say, I imagine the budget for terror investigations is unlimited). So why arrest them now? Did John Howard force the hand of the law enforcement authorities when he announced that an attack was imminent? Has John Howard actually reduced the sentences these terrorists will face by opening his mouth? It does have a moonbat conspiracy smell about it, but it also makes some sense. It's not like his government has a perfect record for being quiet when asked to.
Kim Beazley on Peter Costello's gaff (when he leaked info about the meeting he'd had with Alan Greenspan) in 2000:
I was trying to recall when I had last seen him look so uncomfortable. Was it when he verballed Alan Greenspan and single-handedly moved the US bond market?

Costello aside, Howard conspiracies aside, have the Federal Police, ASIO et al mounted this series of raids too early? Have they gone too early on this case and too late on the Bali 9?

I. Say. Yes.

John Silvester, respected, near-legendary crime reporter (and notably non partisan/lerft wing as no doubt the right will call him as an employee of The Age) says this:
But it was not the media that tipped off the targets. It was the Prime Minister who last Wednesday publicly stated that the Government had received "specific intelligence and police information this week which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat".

Mr Howard made his statement after an amendment in the new anti-terrorism laws from "the terrorist act" to "a terrorist act" was rushed into Parliament.

Police working on Operation Pandanus, the investigation into a radical Islamic splinter group active in Sydney and Melbourne, immediately identified a "flurry of activity" involving the suspects.

They held meetings where they quickly concluded they were the group identified by Mr Howard, telling each other to be ready for imminent raids and to immediately increase counter-surveillance tactics. The police assigned to conduct the raids were livid that they had lost the element of surprise, substantially increasing the risks involved.

..and that's all I needed to hear. Howard= fucking idiot.

The Age- How the PM tipped off suspects
The ABC- Group committed to jihad, court hears
The ABC- Downer- Bali 9 comments.
The Age- Angry young men come and go with intent
posted by thr at 11:11 am


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