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In some ways i think that Orwell was both right and wrong about universal surveillance of the people in his seminal novel 1984. He was certainly correct about the possibilities of modern technology, of View-screens that could watch as well as be watched ( does your device have a web cam?), but what most people miss in the novel is the simple fact that it was only those in the party who were subject to detailed scrutiny from Big Brother. With this in mind I am rather bemused by all of the fuss and Hoo-Ha about the NSA collecting and analysing telephony meta-data especially by the way that various organs of the left like to characterise this sort of intelligence gathering as “phone tapping” take this example from today’s Age:
Once you read the article you find not one mention of actual surveillance of the content of any telephone calls because surveillance at that level would be logistically impossible. None the less minions of the left like to think that they are each important enough to invoke the sort of scrutiny they fear. Of course this ties in nicely with their misconceptions about just what is private in the age of the search engine. In my long years of blogging the number of people who think that they can put things up on the net that remain “private” never ceases to amuse me. You just have to assume that everything that you post on the internet is fully public and that even if you post it under a pseudonym it will eventually be associated with your real life. This simple truth should be the foundation stone of every computer literacy course in our schools because it is the best guarantor that our online past will not comeback to haunt us. The same goes for any calls you make on the phone assume that it is entirely private at your own peril, especially if you are interacting with dodgy characters but take comfort that the sheer volume of telephonic communications makes tapping of your innocuous calls unlikely unless you are a subscriber to Jihad-R-Us.
Fundamentally there has to be a sound reason for any intelligence agency to take any interest in the lives of the average citizen and as Judge Pauley says:
But the ruling from Judge William Pauley, a Clinton appointee to the Southern District of New York, will provide important ammunition for those within the intelligence community urging Obama to maintain the programme.
Judge Pauley said privacy protections enshrined in the fourth amendment of the US constitution needed to be balanced against a government need to maintain a database of records to prevent future terrorist attacks. “The right to be free from searches is fundamental but not absolute,” he said. “Whether the fourth amendment protects bulk telephony metadata is ultimately a question of reasonableness.”
Pauley argued that al-Qaida’s “bold jujitsu” strategy to marry seventh century ideology with 21st century technology made it imperative that government authorities be allowed to push privacy boundaries.
“As the September 11 attacks demonstrate, the cost of missing such a threat can be horrific,” he wrote in the ruling. “Technology allowed al-Qaida to operate decentralised and plot international terrorist attacks remotely. The bulk telephony metadata collection programme represents the government’s counter-punch: connecting fragmented and fleeting communications to re-construct and eliminate al-Qaida’s terror network.”
The one thing that all of this seems to be ignoring is that there are other modalities of communication that can circumvent any sort of surveillance and the one that occurs to me is online gaming which allows players to talk to each other privately while they play. So the next time that you are playing GTAV and you hear other online players talking in Arabic will you , like me, wonder if they are just enjoying the game or if they are plotting for the establishment of the global caliphate? Call me paranoid if you like but such thoughts are the reason that I think the monitoring of meta data has more virtue than vice in a world where religious totalitarians would have the entire planet praying in the same direction five times a day.
- Judge Rules NSA Mass Phone Data Collection Is Legal (theguardian.com)
- Judge Dismisses ACLU Lawsuit Against NSA, Citing Threat Of Terrorists’ ‘Bold Jujitsu’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- A Federal Judge Uses Every Known NSA Defense in Defense of the NSA (thewire.com)
- Judge sides with NSA (msnbc.com)
- U.S. judge upholds NSA phone surveillance program (reuters.com)
- Federal Judge in New York Rules that NSA’s Phone Surveillance Activity is Legal (blackchristiannews.com)
- Geoffrey R. Stone: The NSA’s Telephone Meta-data Program: Part I (huffingtonpost.com)
- Judge says mass phone surveillance legal (skynews.com.au)
Who can be ignorant of the ongoing civil war in Syria? As our blessed leader observed its a case of the bad guys fighting other bad guys and sadly in these days of easy international travel some of those bad guys just happen to hold Australian passports. The question is should we move to strip them of their Australian citizenship for doing so?
Late last year Broadmeadows bricklayer Yusuf Toprakkaya, 30, was killed fighting for the rebels. He had changed his name to Abdul al-Walid al-Australi, similar to our first suicide bomber, Abu Asma al Australi, a nasty piece of work from Brisbane who drove a truck and 12 tonnes of explosives at an airport checkpoint in eastern Syria, killing 35.
These two men and the three other “Australians” who have died with them were criminals. As are the other 200 still fighting in Syria.
Then Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus spelled that out at the time, their offences including breaking the Foreign Incursions Act, the Criminal Code Act (by assisting a proscribed terrorist group) and the arms sanctions imposed by us on Syria. They face serious charges when and if they return “home”.
But we should go a step further. It is a privilege to be issued an Australian passport, although I have no quibble with Australians holding passports for another country. I do so myself.
But “Australians” who use their second passport as a ticket to go to war in another country – like the Serbians “Aussies” who went to Kosovo in the late 1990s to kill Albanians – should have their Australian citizenship revoked.
Even respected criminal lawyer, Rob Stary, who has represented terror suspects and is known for his generous estimate of some fellows you’d rather not live near, believes some offenders should forfeit their citizenship. He sees Benbrika as an example and believes we should be able to revoke such criminals’ citizenship.
“I wouldn’t have a blanket provision that once you are an Australian citizen, you are immune to deportation or revocation of citizenship,” Stary said.
It’s one thing to “turn back the boats” of desperate asylum seekers as the Liberal Government vowed to do in opposition, but what about those who have already entered: the now Australian Muslims who want to conduct Islam’s centuries-long civil war between Shia and Sunni wheresoever it erupts?
The 200 Australians fighting in Syria have mostly been associating with groups that are proxies for al-Qaeda. Brainwashed and radicalised, they are the last “Australians” we need.
We shouldn’t worry that they have Australian wives, or Australian children. We should worry about ourselves. Their Australian passports should be cancelled.
I think that if stripping them of citizenship were to render them stateless it would be easy to say a very resounding “no” to taking away their right to be an Aussie but in this day and age when dual citizenship is the rule rather than exception they would still have citizenship of their country of origin so that would not be an issue. Or should it continue to be the case that once they have aquired citizenship that nothing should ever take it from them?
What do ya reckon Comrades?
- Push to stop Australian fighters coming home from Syrian battlefields (abc.net.au)
- ‘Ban Syrian fighters’ says ex-Army chief (skynews.com.au)
- Syria war combatants to be shut out of Australia (craighill.net)
- Get tough on youths fighting in Syria:Carr (sbs.com.au)
- Bye-bye, birthplace (bbc.co.uk)
- MP wants debate on Australians fighting in Syria (abc.net.au)
- ASIO concerned about domestic terrorism from Syrian conflict (abc.net.au)
- Dual citizenship (adizokanan.wordpress.com)
Algerian forces who had ringed the Ain Amenas complex in a tense standoff had vowed not to negotiate with the kidnappers, who reportedly were seeking safe passage. Security experts said the end of the two-day standoff was in keeping with the North African country’s tough approach to terrorism.The kidnapping is one of the largest ever attempted by a militant group in North Africa.The militants phoned a Mauritanian news outlet to demand that France end its intervention in neighboring Mali to ensure the safety of the hostages in the isolated plant, located 1300 kilometres south of the capital of Algiers.Phone contacts with the militants were severed as government forces closed in, according to the Mauritanian agency, which often carries reports from al-Qaida-linked extremist groups in North Africa.
The news coming out of Algeria is still rather uncertain but what is clear is that the rescue effort has resulted in some casualties amongst those held by the Islamists as sad as that is you just can’t dwell upon that or blame those soldiers who have mounted the operation. It has been my belief ever since the exceptional rescue of hostages from Entebbe by Israeli Commandos way back in the day that the only way to realistically consider such events is to work on the basis that you consider the hostages already dead and any that you manage to save are enjoying a second life which is a bonus.
Does that sound rather heartless?
Well maybe it is but it is also realistic given how too many of those who worship Allah want to buy their place in heaven with the blood of infidels. You just can not negotiate with such people and the only thing that you can realistically do is take them out as quickly and as effectively as you can. Perfection in such operations is of course achieved when all hostages are freed but to my mind a rescue operation is still a success if only one hostage is resurrected and all of the terrorists are killed or captured. It Is still unclear as to how many of the hostages have survived but its more than one so a success in my book.
Cue a chorus of complaints that will decry the deaths of the hostages and suggest ineptitude by the Algerian rescuers rather than celebrate those who have been saved.
- Militants say 35 hostages dead in Algerian raid (miamiherald.com)
- Militants: 35 hostages die in Algerian raid (posttrib.suntimes.com)
- Islamists say scores dead in Algeria (bigpondnews.com)
- Militants say hostages die in Algerian raid (kansascity.com)
- Militants: 35 hostages dead in Algerian copter attack (cbsnews.com)
- Bloodshed at gas plant as Algerian forces attempt to liberate hostages (washingtontimes.com)
There are not words enough
Cheers indeed Comrades!!!!!
“You should consider life sentencing possibilities when you consider the facts in this case,” prosecutor John Murphy told the court, adding that Hamdan should be imprisoned for “not less than 30 years.”
A tough sentence will bring “a consequence so great that others will think again before they ally themselves with Osama bin Laden or the next Osama bin Laden,” Mr Murphy said.
“Do justice for all the victims of material support for terrorism in this case.”
Hamdan’s sentencing hearing came after he was convicted Wednesday of providing support to al-Qaeda, in the first military trial of a detainee at the US Navy detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Hamdan’s lawyers had said they would ask for leniency in the case, after the Yemeni was cleared on more serious charges that he conspired and plotted attacks for al-Qaeda.
But the US Defence Department has made clear on that whatever his sentence, he will be kept in prison for an indefinite period.
“In the near term at least, we would consider him an enemy combatant and still a danger, and would like (that he) still be detained for some period of time,” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said this week.
Thirty years is probably insufficient, however It will do as a start in bringing justice to the terrorists detained in sunny Cuba. As i predicted in my post yesterday about the conviction of this scrote, there has been some leftard whining about the process and in typical leftist style the author plays the man and not the ball.