Law and Order?

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    Ackland says it as it is....


    Our national impoverishment, at the hands of poor-quality leaders, knows no bounds.
    A police media conference and flourishes from politicians accompanied the arrest, charging and court appearances of two men on terrorism-related allegations. On Wednesday Mohammad Kiad and Omar al-Kutobi were formally charged with acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts.
    This offence is to be found in the Commonwealth Criminal Code and applies even if the preparation or planning is not done in relation to a specific terrorism act. The maximum penalty either way is life imprisonment.
    Details are scant. The police claim that “a number of items were seized” in raids on premises at Fairfield in Sydney’s west, including a video, a flag, a machete and a hunting knife. The police have not said so publicly, but the Daily Telegraph declares this was a “plot to behead on our streets”.
    Never mind the prejudice. Normally once someone has been charged with a criminal offence, publication of overheated and prejudicial comments is off limits. Not so for a poll-starved prime minister who is keen to politicise this branch of the criminal law:
    This was an imminent attack in Australia inspired by the Isil or Da’esh death cult.
    He added: “This is a serious problem and I fear ... it will get worse before it gets better.”
    What bits of this turn out to be true or false will ultimately be up to a NSW supreme court jury, not Tony Abbott, the attorney general, the minister for immigration, or any of the other Little Sir Echos.
    The prime minister was reprising his performance from the September field army raid by 800 police resulting in the charging of Omarjan Azari. “This is not just suspicion, this is intent,” he announced then.
    Why do we bother with a criminal justice system at all when we have a fearless leader handing down off-the-cuff verdicts?
    On Thursday, Abbott and George Brandis made a glad-handing visit to AFP headquarters in Canberra where they congratulated commissioner Andrew Colvin for his important work in dealing with this “metastasising threat”.
    Abbott then went back into the parliament and selectively quoted parts of what one of the accused allegedly said on the video, about “stabbing the kidneys and striking the necks”. The prime minister added:
    I don’t think it would be possible to witness uglier fanaticism than this - more monstrous fanaticism and extremism than this - and I regret to say it is now present in our country.
    The attorney general was also quick out of the blocks to claim the beneficial results of his recent anti-terror laws:
    I was advised this morning by the [AFP] commissioner that it may be the case that the arrests would not have been able to be made under the higher tests under the previous legislation.
    This is a reference to the changed arrest threshold that was part of recent amendments.
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    The new law gives the police power to arrest someone in relation to alleged terrorism offences on the grounds of “reasonable suspicion” rather than “reasonable belief”.
    This is another way of Brandis suggesting that without his diluted threshold the accused might still be at large with their flags and knives – an entirely fanciful piece of spruiking.
    All the attorney general has done is underscore that the inflammatory remarks from Canberra and in the media are based on even lower grounds of suspicion than might previously have been the case.
    Then it was the turn of Peter Dutton, the immigration and border protection minister, to bring his special brand of enlightenment to the front of the stage. He and the Daily Telegraph (aka the Police Gazette) are in step, both saying that the accused are refugees who arrived by plane. One of the suspects might have entered Australia on forged documents and the other, even worse, “was on the dole”.
    Both the Tele and Dutton are saying that the latest “plot to behead” is really Labor’s fault, because boats were pouring in under the previous government and Asio was so snowed under it didn’t have the resources to check people arriving by plane.
    Until this very moment, refugees and asylum seekers arriving by plane were perfectly acceptable, while their cousins and aunties arriving by boats were reviled.
    All of this fits perfectly with the orchestrated defenestration of professor Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission’s devastating report detailing the inhumane treatment of children held in immigration detention.
    According to the prime minister the findings are “blatantly partisan” and the Human Rights Commission should be “ashamed of themselves”. The interweaving of boat people, terrorists and national security has long been a desperate dog whistle. Thursday’s federal question time was a showcase of contempt.
    On the basis of minimal information and a tide of leaks from self-interested parties, the process of justice has taken a back seat to fear-mongering and grandstanding politicians.

    From The Guardian
 
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