Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Te Qaeda and the God Squad

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  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Who determines what is made public about the bail hearings? The crown, the police or the judge? They would presumably all have different motivations for not disclosing certain information. We may have unanswered questions at the moment but would this alleged secrecy have any negative or positive effect on the defense case?

    I suspect the judge has much the same attitude towards this as the government - even if there is only a small chance that the police are correct it's still worth indulging them because the stakes are so high. If the judge releases someone on bail who then goes on to blow up a food court full of people the judicial system isn't going to look too flash. The judge also has the luxury of knowing that if it is all just an enormous blunder its the cops who will take the fall.

    The HoS has a story in which Jamie Lockett claims his threats to wage war against the state were a joke he was playing because he knew the cops were monitoring his phone - this wouldn't have sounded very plausible to me a week ago but ever since the raids I've amused myself by phoning friends and starting conversations with 'terrorist napalm assassinate clark nuclear koran Tuhoe Hi its Danyl here', so who knows?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I'd forgotten that Broad was the wingnut who saw demons at work in the Christchurch Creche.

    Not sure whether Broad ever expressed anything quite so OTT in relation to the Ellis case - Chief Inspector Brian Pearce, the officer later in overall charge of the police case. "claimed on the television current affairs show Holmes (TV One) June 1992 that the Civic childcare centre case was evidence society was reaping the fruits of mocking morals campaigner Patricia Bartlett, conservative politician John Banks and God (McLoughlin 1996)."
    http://www.homepages.paradise.net.nz/r.christie/1.html

    "the officer in charge [of the Ellis investigation] was Detective Sergeant Bob Hardie of Christchurch who led a team of 15 detectives. In turn, Bob Hardie was supervised by Detective Inspector Brian Pearce." As a detective inspector Harold Broad was part of the team.
    http://www.crime.co.nz/c-files.asp?ID=87

    "With Howard Broad’s appointment as the country’s top police officer, there is a real risk that ongoing damage caused to the fabric of New Zealand society by sex abuse hysteria and false allegations will continue unabated."
    Lynley Hood. author of A City Possessed.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0604/S00041.htm

    As long as we're in the dark, I think we're entitled to wonder why a history of credulity regarding false sex allegations shouldn't br taken into account when Broad talks about the reality of domestic terrorism.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Ooops - Howard, not Harold Broad.
    Reasonable doubts on the basis of past performance is one thing, getting his name wrong is a clear my bad.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Wasn't there a bit of dodgy dealings of an investigating cop getting his leg over one of the mums of one of the kiddies in the case?

    An interesting look into police ethics.

    Great link there Joe. Moral Panic & Media Hysteria along with a massive ring of conspritors involved, but only one convicted.

    I wonder if they won't find the tunnels in the hills like they didn't find under the Chch Civc Creche.

    After Nicky H Secret Power book all of my emails included the word echelon, for giggles.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Wasn't there a bit of dodgy dealings of an investigating cop getting his leg over one of the mums of one of the kiddies in the case?

    If you don't have access to Lynlley Hood's excellent A City Possessed, an NZ-only Google search for "Colin Eade""Peter Ellis" should prove most enlightening.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Yoza,

    This whole NZ 'anti-terror' campaign is as inept in its execution as the U.S. sponsored 'war on terror' is globally. In both instances real terrorists are not the target and the collective punishment being meted out to the communities, which have the misfortune to inspire the mad fantasies of the security forces persecuting them , will react domestically as they have reacted internationally. As with the U.S.'s 'war on terror' this latest operation conducted by N.Z.'s security apparatus is fueling anti-establishment sentiment rather than suppressing it.

    Realistically those described as the extreme fringe are the greatest beneficiaries of this massive waste of tax-payers money as they have just been handed the moral high-ground by the security forces. I can say, without any doubt, the police paramiltaries have not turned up any substantial terrorist weapons: explosives, grenade launchers etc, because if they had it would be all over the news.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    it's the judge who determines what can be published.

    Which might mean there are good reasons for with-holding information such as not prejudicing future possible trials. That's complete speculation but it's a possible.

    The HoS has a story in which Jamie Lockett claims ...

    Lockett I think is the person most likely to have been doing what the police have alleged. He is a dangerous person.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    suspect the judge has much the same attitude towards this as the government - even if there is only a small chance that the police are correct it's still worth indulging them because the stakes are so high. If the judge releases someone on bail who then goes on to blow up a food court full of people the judicial system isn't going to look too flash. The judge also has the luxury of knowing that if it is all just an enormous blunder its the cops who will take the fall.

    As I keep saying, it seems clear that the police have ample evidence to justify intervention. Where the blunder may yet lie is in how wide they have cast the net. I think one of the most imprtant questions here is what they're planning to do with evidence relating to people who clearly have no involvement.

    The HoS has a story in which Jamie Lockett claims his threats to wage war against the state were a joke he was playing because he knew the cops were monitoring his phone - this wouldn't have sounded very plausible to me a week ago but ever since the raids I've amused myself by phoning friends and starting conversations with 'terrorist napalm assassinate clark nuclear koran Tuhoe Hi its Danyl here', so who knows?

    Jamie Lockett is such a nutter that it could be true either way, but it doesn't actually make much difference. Even on what might prove to be a hoax, police are obliged to act.

    They not only had Lockett -- who has form -- saying these things, they had a connection to Iti and the training camps (which, according to the balaclava guy on Campbell Live on Friday, do seem to have been a bit more than traditional bushcraft lessons). The cops have evidence of Iti trying to obtain grenade launchers.

    And they also have, as the SST reveals today, discussions about assasinating Clark, Key and (had he visited as planned) Bush. It probably was all bluster, but people were amassing weapons, and it does literally only take one or two nutters.

    I knew about the Key thing, but I thought it would be prudent to wait till it was aired in court, and it's really not clear when that's going to happen.

    So we depend on a steady flow of police leaks (and the off one from the other side), which is completely unsatisfactory. I think that's where the police risk blowing it, not in being "hoaxed" or anything, because I think they did have to intervene here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . we depend on a steady flow of police leaks . . .

    - plus ongoing spin from the police themselves, some of which is starting to sound downright intimidatory, e.g. Police Association president Greg O'Connor's sneering at the inhabitants of 'leafy suburbs', and his claim that 'criminals didn't respect the sanctity of school buses.' While I realise he's trying to fudge the issue with a reference to an incident from four years ago where gang members supposedly sought to evade police by sheltering in a kohanga reo bus, the issue is about people who haven't yet been found guilty, i.e. declared to be criminals.

    Draconian laws, weak government.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    "according to the balaclava guy on Campbell Live on Friday, do seem to have been a bit more than traditional bushcraft lessons"

    I thought the interviewer had his number the whole way "are you a dreamer?" & he answered yes. He thought she was asking if he was an idealist. He clearly needed a few life skills.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    And they also have, as the SST reveals today, discussions about assasinating Clark, Key and (had he visited as planned) Bush.

    That vist was cancelled months ago. The threat can only be considered credible if it occured before that, so why are they acting on it only now?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm glad to also read that the Americans graciously opted to let the NZ police deal with it. Very big of them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Yoza,

    "The vested interests - if we explain the situation by their influence - can only get the public to act as they wish by manipulating public opinion, by playing either uponthe public's indifference, confusions, prejudices, pugnacities or fears. And the only way in which the power of the interests can be undermined and their maneuvers defeated is by bringing home to the public the danger of its indifference, the absurdity of its prejudices, or the hollowness of its fears; by showing that it is indifferent to danger where real danger exists; frightened by dangers which are nonexistent." Sir Norman Angell 1872 - 1967

    It is hard to take seriously the proposition that because Clark, Key or Bush might be assassinated by some nut the rest of society must face greater 'official' scrutiny and intrusion into their private lives. These people, the Clarks, Keys and Bushs , of the world are little more than talking heads reading from carefully prepared scripts (hopelessly in Bushes case). Nobody forced them into public office and if one of them is abducted by aliens, assassinated or spontaneously combusts, there is a little army of like minded individuals crawling over one an other to replace them.

    The real danger is the publics propensity to take these people so seriously that they allow their civil liberties to be eroded so those who exercise control can continually extend their authority. Tama Iti and his sympathisers are less of a danger to society than the global crack-down on political dissent and activism operating under the guise of a 'war on terror'.

    When people are silenced, alienated or face abuse at the hands of state sponsored terror they cease considering the peaceful option. The lesson the police and security intelligence agencies are teaching their targets is in future be more careful.

    If the police/intelligence agencies were as sophisticated or intouch as they would have the public believe there would be no drug dealers, illegal weapons or criminal networks in Aotearoa/New Zealand. They are not and the Tama Iti's and activist networks are easy targets. This whole thing is propaganda, nothing else.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Draconian laws, weak government.

    The Terrorism Suppression Act as it stands isn't draconian by world standards. I think it was Idiot/Savant who said "it's not so bad". The amendent bill is another matter.

    But what do you mean by "weak government"? What do you want the government to do in this case?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    These people, the Clarks, Keys and Bushs , of the world are little more than talking heads reading from carefully prepared scripts (hopelessly in Bushes case). Nobody forced them into public office and if one of them is abducted by aliens, assassinated or spontaneously combusts, there is a little army of like minded individuals crawling over one an other to replace them.

    Wow. So can anyone play the assasination game in this fantasy world of yours? I mean, the CIA used to be pretty good at it. And I take it you'd have no problem with what happened with Benazir Bhutto this week?

    But seriously, do you believe this shit? Do you really think my civil rights don't suffer and die if someone murders the democratic leader I voted for?

    When people are silenced, alienated or face abuse at the hands of state sponsored terror they cease considering the peaceful option.

    I'm not clear on what you're saying. Are you saying that's the case here? That it's acceptable to use deadly violence for private political ends in New Zealand?

    There are lots of alienated right-wingers around on the local blogosphere. Can they play too?

    The lesson the police and security intelligence agencies are teaching their targets is in future be more careful.

    That's it?

    Your attitude scares me much more than this week's "terror plot" itself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    But what do you mean by "weak government"? What do you want the government to do in this case?

    We seem to have forgotten that government might have some role in promoting social cohesion. Forgive my naivety, but I'd assumed that this was something that MMP was supposed to foster, and that the rank divisiveness of the Muldoon years would become a distant memory.

    Right now we have the most potentially divisive situation since 1981, with no indication of when justice will be done, and the government legally distanced from so much as commenting on events.

    Key has inadvertently revealed that the SIS is involved. Why should we trust the people who got it so wrong with Zaoui? The implications of the latest police action, presumably based on SIS-supplied info, are vastly more serious.

    Outside of the media and the legal profession this looks more bizarre with each passing day that we're kept in the dark. Trickled-down assurances by privileged insiders as to whether or not the police have a case are a poor substitite for a statement from the PM, or at least a relevant minister. Instead of a host of expert opinions as to why the government can do nothing, it might serve to restore a little faith to have a public statement of some substance from Clark. Once upon a time she gave the impression of having the political imagination to deal with crises.

    Re. IdiotSavant's opiniion of the Terrorism Suppression act - with all due respect to I/S, (s)he's an anonymous blogger. I think that pretty much sums up the mushroom scenario we're in.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Yoza,

    I wouldn't advocate assassinating a head of state or public official of any sort, aside from being completely pointless - as I point out another one just pops up in the last ones place - it also feeds the paranoia machine and increases the excuses for furthering "draconian laws". I think you will find that your civil rights are directly proportional to the amount of wealth at your control - the richer you are the easier it is to pursue your rights regardless of the fate of your 'democratically' elected leader. Do you actually believe if we voted for a leader who seriously challenged the authority of the Anglosphere's rulers plans for this country it would be allowed? Perhaps you have already forgotten the Palestinian experiment with democracy. "If voting could change the system, it would be illegal." -Theodore Adorno

    Interesting point though bringing up the terrorist attack on Benazir Bhutto and the CIA in consecutive sentences. I like this phrase__"...CIA used to be pretty good at it."__ ,so the C.I.A. having discovered the error of their ways and now-a-days cruise the planet spreading love and freedom,...surely this is the fantasy.

    As you are probably aware the C.I.A. have a long history of colluding with the I.S.I (Inter-services Intelligence) and through that agency channeled Saudi money to radical islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. General Pervez Musharraf warned Bhutto of an impending attack and pretty much on cue it occurred almost immediately as Bhutto began her political campaigning fueling further anti-terror activities by the security forces there.

    As for real terrorists the New Zealand government was pretty quick to prevent the Israeli terrorist Moshe Ya’alon from being arrested. This guy was a real mass-murderer not some S.I.S./police fantasy terror suspect.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We seem to have forgotten that government might have some role in promoting social cohesion. Forgive my naivety, but I'd assumed that this was something that MMP was supposed to foster, and that the rank divisiveness of the Muldoon years would become a distant memory.

    Right now we have the most potentially divisive situation since 1981, with no indication of when justice will be done, and the government legally distanced from so much as commenting on events.

    If the police want to bring Terrorism Suppression Act charges, they need the permission of the solicitor general (the senior non-political law officer) via the attorney general's office.

    I'd be bloody uncomfortable with the government directing prosecutions, for obvious reasons. One of the things I don't like about the amendment bill is that it makes the process more political and less judicial.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Do you actually believe if we voted for a leader who seriously challenged the authority of the Anglosphere's rulers plans for this country it would be allowed?

    I do. This is not Palestine.

    More likely, however, is that the bulk of our leaders will be elected from the Anglosphere. So such questions seldom arise in practice.

    NZ has elected leaders who have enacted policies that are unpopular with the elites, from time to time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is timely ...

    I'm very grateful to Graeme Edgeler for answering the call and writing a summary of the Terrorism Suppression Act, what it is, what it does, and what it doesn't do, for the benefit of Public Address readers and everyone else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As for real terrorists the New Zealand government was pretty quick to prevent the Israeli terrorist Moshe Ya’alon from being arrested. This guy was a real mass-murderer not some S.I.S./police fantasy terror suspect.

    And ironically, the warrant related to Ya'alon's involvement as former Israeli Chief of Staff in a political assassination that killed 14 innocent people.

    I can't quite work out what I think about that case. On one hand, universal jurisdiction should apply to Geneva Convention breaches if they're to mean anything. On the other hand, I'm slightly wary of a foreign organisation (the British-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights) going jurisdiction shopping having failed to secure a warrant elsewhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    On the other hand, I'm slightly wary of a foreign organisation ... going jurisdiction shopping having failed to secure a warrant elsewhere.

    An interesting quandary.
    Take the politics out, make the alleged perp an alleged paedophile ... and what's your response then?
    Or try the example of child custody. Just because one country fails to act under the Hague Convention, should NZ do the same if the non-custodial parent then takes their child on to NZ?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Take the politics out, make the alleged perp an alleged paedophile ... and what's your response then?

    Of course. And if it'd been a paedophile, we'd all be home in time for dinner.

    Cullen quoted Crown Law advice that there wasn't enough evidence to proceed (Ya'alon had admitted to ordering the aerial bombing in an interview, I think). But this was, coming out of the chilling in relationships around the Israeli spies, yer actual can o' worms.

    Especially given that -- correct me if I'm wrong here -- the previous dozen or so cases of this kind heard have been ones in which the suspect was extradited to a specific territory where s/he was wanted. We'd have been seriously on our own.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Cullen quoted Crown Law advice that there wasn't enough evidence to proceed

    He was also quoting (and rather happy to do it, for a change) people like Tony Ellis - whom Radio NZ got for expert human rights comment and were surprised when he thought there was nothing in it. No senior criminal lawyer I spoke to thought there was much in it - and the idea that arrest was appropriate to give those who sought the arrest enough time to gather evidence to present a case to the A-G does fly against some of the comment we've seen recently.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    No senior criminal lawyer I spoke to thought there was much in it - and the idea that arrest was appropriate to give those who sought the arrest enough time to gather evidence to present a case to the A-G does fly against some of the comment we've seen recently.

    I think we'll have to dub you Graeme "Good Point" Edgeler ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

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