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The iron law of terrorism prevention

By John Tomlinson - posted Monday, 19 October 2015

The more spooks, spies and spivs we employ to spy on our and other citizens the outcome, in terms of the safety of our citizenry, is diminished.

The number of ASIO operatives employed in Australia has doubled in recent years. They have been provided with far more extensive search and control powers. We've had take from the poorest to meet their merest whim. They are now out of control.

We have made matters even worse by voting in authoritarian personalities such as Abbott, Dutton, Morrison, Michael Keenan (Minister for Counter Terrorism) in fact most of the Coalition's front bench and coupling that with a servile Labor Opposition. The reason that this exacerbates the problem is that this allows the government of the day to extend the legislative reach of terrorism provisions.


It creates a surveillance society where secrecy and subterfuge are the by-words. Everyone is a threat and everyone is at risk. None are to be trusted. The East German Stasi is the ultimate example of the potential for countries to slide into

a repressive panopticon.

We now have idiots, such as the afore mentioned Michael Keenan, running round the country telling anyone who will listen that if they suspect that a young person (read Muslim) is being radicalised then they should immediately ring the National Security Hotline and dob them in. Hand in hand with that you have the Australian Federal (read Feral) Police warning that they have applied for terrorism restraining orders against a 12 year old Australian citizen.

If the counter terrorism personnel in this country were even half smart they wouldn't be crapping on about young people being "radicalised" they would have moved in and shut down our previous Prime Minister when he started mouthing off about death cults, Team Australia, Muslim leaders not being serious about peace and all the other nonsense he spouted which alienated young Muslims.

We don't need to be militarising customs and immigration and dressing the Borderfarce employees in uniforms remarkably similar to Benito Mussolini's Black Shirts. We don't need to be repressing asylum seekers in offshore camps.

We don't need to threatening to close down hundreds of Aboriginal communities in remote Australia. We don't need any of this control and denigrate nonsense.


If we want to live in a peaceful Australia where people are free to go about their lives in ways that they desire. We have to build that Australia from the ground up. What is more, we are off to a bad start. Modern Australia was founded on the slaughter, rape, genocide and dispossession of Aborigines. We need as a first step to make adequate reparation.

In addition since the Second World War we have invaded Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and God know where else whenever our colonial masters asked. We have connived with the US in the murder of well over one thousand people by drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Syria and various parts of Africa by giving the US access to Pine Gap and other surveillance bases.

In 1961 we refused to intervene in West Papua when Indonesia forcibly incorporated its people into Indonesia. The West Papuans are still trying to gain independence from their colonial overlords. In 1975, we stood by when Indonesia invaded East Timor and subsequently killed one third of the population. It took a misjudged letter from John Howard to President Habibie to set East Timor on a path to independence. But this did not stop Australian spies bugging the Timor Cabinet room to gain information that advantaged Australia in its negotiations over oil royalties in the Timor Sea.

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About the Author

Dr John Tomlison is a visiting scholar at QUT.

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