Terrorism and thoughtcrime

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, October 13th, 2014 - 51 comments
Categories: Ethics, human rights, law, war - Tags: ,

John Key is playing the terror card for all it’s worth (and contradicting himself in the process). It’s about to get worse:

NZ PM talks changes to anti-terror laws similar to Australia

New Zealand is considering detaining people with terrorist links on the grounds they may commit crimes. Prime Minister John Key said on Sunday he was concerned there was a risk of New Zealanders travelling to Iraq or Syria to support the Islamic State group and then coming home. …

Cabinet will consider what changes should occur rapidly.

“Potentially we would have greater powers and potentially even powers to look at arresting someone under the view that they would undertake what would then be deemed to be a criminal act. “That’s a very big step – I’m not saying we will take that.”

Yes, our PM is considering bringing in thoughtcrime. Guilt by association. Detaining people because they may commit a crime. It’s contrary to every legal principle that I’m aware of (not a lawyer), and certainly to natural justice. And he’ll do it too, unless there is resounding protest.

A good weekend piece by Andrea Vance sets out four reasons that Key shouldn’t be trusted on spying:

Reasons to doubt Key’s spy overhaul

1. TERROR THREAT ALERT: UNKNOWN

… No evidence is publicly available to show New Zealand is facing an increased risk. … Key talks about national security issues only when it suits a political end, so on this impending Islamist onslaught we have only his word.

2. IS THAT GOOD ENOUGH?

No. To date, on high-profile intelligence matters, Key has been slippery. …

3. WHY SO SECRET?

The public has again been kept in the dark about intelligence plans. …

4. IS THIS REALLY ABOUT THE -UP IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

Fighting alongside Isis and Jabhat Al-Nusra is already a criminal offence. … Experts suspicious of the expansion of surveillance powers in Australia have judged they have nothing to do with jihadis – and are aimed at countering economic espionage …

Paul Buchanan agrees:

Meanwhile, an international security expert has accused the Prime Minister of “scaremongering” to build a case for war by claiming New Zealand could face domestic beheading threats. … International security expert Paul Buchanan said the claims were “absurd”. “He’s building a case for war. He’s pulled the beheading imagery out for what I think are spurious purposes.”

Final word to Phil Stevens:

51 comments on “Terrorism and thoughtcrime”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    “Minority Report” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181689/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    was one of the earlier films to deal with “predictive law enforcement”.

    For those possibly familiar with it, I nominate ShonKey be placed in the equivalent of a “Pre-Cog” immersive tank to test this bs.

  2. Janice 2

    JK says that there will be consultation with allies before it is decided how NZ can contribute to any international force. He reminds me of a kid with his hand up, clicking his fingers and saying “pick me, pick me, I am doing all the right things look at what I am doing, look at how much power I can exercise in NZ, the sheep love me”.

    • rawshark-yeshe 2.1

      Consultation with a full Parliament would be more useful. Bloody poodle he truly is.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Punishing people for things they haven’t done sounds like terrorism to me.

  4. les 4

    its all about ‘unknown,unknowns’…Key can claim to have enforced an effective deterrent ,for crimes that have never been committed ,but would have been, if not for his caring foresight to protect the NZ public from the bogey man of the day.

  5. SHG 5

    Options:

    a) vote National out of power peacefully
    b) overthrow the govt by force
    c) leave the country

    But what you’ll actually do:

    d) nothing

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      You don’t have to use force to overthrow a government.

    • Dialey 5.2

      e) Non-co-operation is a protest against an unwitting and unwilling participation in evil….Non-co-operation with evil is as much a duty as co-operation with good.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1

        OAB and yourself have got it right. Peaceful civil resistance has been the key to undermining many a totalitarian government. Which NZ does not have, but certainly shows predilections towards.

    • minrch 5.3

      “But what you’ll actually do:

      d) nothing”

      Gee whizz, lucky we have hardy men of action like youself SHG !

      pfffft…. 🙄

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Meanwhile, in suburbia, mission-creep.

    Seventy-seven of the 151 councils who responded to a Freedom of Information request admitted using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to crack down on “domestic waste, littering or fly-tipping offences” in the last three years.
    Last month The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that three-quarters of local authorities had used the act – which was introduced to help the police fight terrorism and crime in 2000 – to tackle minor misdemeanours.
    The Act allows public bodies – since expanded to include councils – to place residents and businesses under surveillance, trace telephone and email accounts and even send staff on undercover missions.
    Councils are also using the Act to tackle dog fouling, the unauthorised sale of pizzas and even the abuse of the blue badge scheme for disabled drivers.

    Who’s your Nanny now?

  7. David Cameron tells the UN that people who think that 9/11 was not done by 19 boozing, coke snorting, whoring “Muslims” and who think that 9/11 was used as an argument to start a crusade against Muslim countries all of whom accidentally happen to sit on large amounts of oil and other lootable assets are “non violent extremists”.

    Obama, Harper, Abbott, John Key and David Cameron are all using the beheading argument to take more freedom away from their populations while they are all preparing to take us to another stinking illegal war of aggression.

    You’d almost think they meet in little backrooms and plan the next step together. But that would be conspiring and we all know that never happens. Our governments are our own, voted in by us and we have sovereignty and our governments have our best interest at heart and they would never ever conspire against us. That is just ridiculous conspiracy theoretic thinking.

  8. fisiani 8

    The problem for some people posting here is that there are a few really bad people in New Zealand who need to be stopped from doing really bad things. Not many but enough to be of concern. Opposing such sensible security measures is one of the many extremist reasons that the Left got such a thrashing. Time surely to rethink the notion that everything that National proposes is always bad. Note how Andrew Little , David Parker and Grant Robertson are not wading into this.

    • mac1 8.1

      Fisiani, notice how people don’t need to hear from Little, Parker and Robertson or other Labour leaders in order to make up their own minds or know what to think? Notice how some commenters here don’t need Crosby/Texter, Whale Oil, David Farrer or the Prime Minister’s office to give them their thoughts for the day? Notice how some commenters believe in adulation that the PM walks on water, and does not ‘wade’ in the murky outflow below the effluent outlet of money, power and politics?

      I’m old enough to remember Holyoake’s ‘guns for butter’ as a reason to get involved in South East Asia. Then the ‘wisdom’ of the time was that that was a holy crusade against communism, and the domino theory was the great thinking of the time.

      We all know how wrong that was. The only thing left about that disgraceful episode is to have the Government apologise to the peoples of South East Asia. Yeah right.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      there are a few really bad people in New Zealand who need to be stopped from doing really bad things.

      Yeah, there are – the present government.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3

      Nanny Fisiani, your rank hypocrisy is showing.

    • vto 8.4

      ” is that there are a few really bad people in New Zealand who need to be stopped from doing really bad things”

      Yes, no different from any other year in the last ten thousand years or more. There have always been really bad people. There are no more really bad people than before ffs.

      fail

    • minrch 8.5

      cmon Fizz why dont you take some personal responsibility for looking after yourself

      Making me pay for your protection via my tax $ is just theft isnt it?

    • wekarawshark 8.6

      We already have legislation for stopping really bad people from doing really bad things.

  9. djp 9

    As a libertarian nutbar. I endorse this message

  10. les 10

    ‘ few really bad people in New Zealand who need to be stopped from doing really bad things. Not many but enough to be…’ are you serious?As if these measures will make an ounce of difference to preventing ‘really bad people from doing bad things’!

  11. hoom 11

    If we are going to ban people from going overseas to fight in wars it should be an equal sided ban.

    Ie it should ban kiwis from going overseas to be mercenaries/PMC/security contractors to the same extent.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 11.1

      Though if we ban them from going overseas doesn’t that increase the likelihood of them doing something here?

  12. By your definition of “thoughtcrime”, shouldn’t this section also be removed from the Crimes Act 1961: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM330794.html?search=sw_096be8ed80e0c070_conspiracy_25_se&p=1&sr=6 ?

    And also http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM329326.html?search=sw_096be8ed80e0c070_conspiracy_25_se&p=1&sr=5 ?

    Having said that, don’t these sections already cover someone planning to go to kill people or commit other crimes as part of ISIS?

    If so, that might make the idea of further legislation redundant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Boarding a plane is not evidence of anything in the way that, say, buying a gun or paying someone you believe to be a contract killer, or supplying an address to people discussing murder, are.

    • hoom 12.2

      Well thats pretty much the point.

      (nearly) All of the previous ‘anti-terror’ legislation has had public justifications already clearly covered by existing laws.

      The new laws then introduce unjustified impingement on domestic human rights/privacy etc.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2.1

        Haven’t you heard? Those existing laws are ineffective, it’s too hard to get a conviction. Top line advice says it isn’t straightforward. It might be too late to bring our laws into line with other countries, and other meaningless weasel gibberish.

        • Murray Rawshark 12.2.1.1

          “it’s too hard to get a conviction” usually means the investigating agencies are incompetent, and/or the accused was innocent. Unsuccessfully prosecuting innocents should not be used to give control agencies more power.

  13. cogito 13

    Meanwhile mindless kiwi sheeple look the other way.

    What will it take for kiwis to wake up and take a stand?

    Key is poison.

  14. Graeme Edgeler points out in this post that going off to fight for ISIS is already illegal under our existing ridiculously BoR-hostile anti-terrorist legislation. As usual, you’re left wondering whether the people running the country have passed so many fucking laws they can’t remember what’s in them any more, or whether they’re weasels with an agenda distinctly unfriendly to our civil liberties. Personally, my money’s on ‘weasels with an agenda.’

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      Geddis (on morning report) points out that while joining IS is illegal, fighting alongside them isn’t.

      Sloppy weasels in a hurry.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      As usual, you’re left wondering whether the people running the country have passed so many fucking laws they can’t remember what’s in them any more

      I’m not – I know damn well that they can’t and that we end up with bad and conflicting laws because of it.

      or whether they’re weasels with an agenda distinctly unfriendly to our civil liberties.

      In this case I don’t think it’s either/or but both.

  15. adam 15

    IN a world of manipulation and lies – the worst part of our overly authoritarian government. Yes, yes I know it’s an elected dictatorship – ie: what most will settle for as a democracy.

    But the reality, our parents and grandparents had more freedoms – we seem to be happy to let one slip away after another. If you think freedom is the ability to buy a galaxy over an apple – then move along.

    But back to the post – I’m pretty sure Mr Key would have called the Spanish Republic a den of terrorist, and Franco the saviour of traditional freedoms. And if we’d had in place laws which would have prohibited people from volunteering (So much for self reliance or my favourite right wing double speak – freedom of choice) then this gentleman – Dr Douglas Jolly would not have gone, and many, many more lives would have been lost in world war two and after.

    Have a look, have a read – a socialist and a hero to boot. But, in this day and age – a terrorist.

    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/douglas-jolly

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Prof. Geddis on Morning Report raised exactly this point: the list of “terrorist” organisations is maintained by the UN; getting on it is a highly politicised process.

      • adam 15.1.1

        I’d be tempted to call the UN an enabler of that process. It’s like the elites have truly gone crazy, including those inclined to be sympathetic to working people.

  16. Ad 16

    Key’s hand is forced by the Australian measures already announced.
    New Zealand is already an immigrataion back door into Australia, and Key knows he needs to shut it fast.

    My problem is with Key’s proposals for engagement in Syria and Iraq. Very similar to the “quagmire” problem written so extensively about Vietnam, by answering policy questions about engagement options:

    – what is the definitive effect we are seeking to achieve?
    – how much will it cost NZ, in $$, in reputation, in trade, etc?
    – why – very succinctly – are we doing it?
    – what is our mandate, and our mission scope?
    – what’s the worst that could happen, and what’s most likely?
    – how long is this going to take?
    And finally, of course,
    – how do we eventually get out of it, with the maximum effect and dignity intact?

    Beyond the semantic shifts, I want to see this real debate.

    Would be great to have a functioning opposition right now.

  17. coaster 17

    How are they going to know if you are going to become a fighter?. Unless there is wholesale spying on all nzlanders, but we all know this doesnt happen.

  18. Instauration 18

    Why NZ in a list of only 20 ?
    And who specifically was there ?
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/14/obama-meets-foreign-military-chiefs-isis-strategy
    “Representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates were expected to attend.”

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