The first seven submissions to the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s Inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism in Australia have become available. What we find is an overall priority of ‘management’ coming from those state-based contributors.
There is no interest in investigating the causes behind so-called ‘extremism’ and ‘terror’, it’s simply a given. Terror exists and we must do something about it. The emphasis remains on both prevention and prosecution. The system must be maintained, and those threats to that system neutralised — but no analysis of the system itself or what could cause Australians and the ‘others’ to wish to do it harm. But then, that isn’t the objective of the ‘Inquiry’. It simply wants opinions on what threats these ‘groups’ and individuals pose to this unblemished system which we live under.
The broadest of these submissions, and the least nuanced, is ASIO’s. From them, the committee is advised that the nation is on a PROBABLE threat-level of a terror attack. It reads as though it was authored by a bonehead cop with ADD, who’s bursting to get out from behind the desk for after-work drinks. It’s not by any means an erudite document but is written in bullet-point form.
The descending order of threats is, of course, Sunni Islamic-extremists at the top, right-wing extremists much lower-level but increasing as a threat, and apparently, left-wing extremists don’t pose any threat at all. Coming after that we have a new category for COVID-conspiracists under the heading Issue-Motivated Groups.
The most dangerous breeding ground is online, where the tools of terror, propaganda, are fated.
The most vulnerable area of attack is ‘soft targets’ and they’re likely to be carried out by individuals or small groups, although a “large scale coordinated terrorist attack . . . cannot be ruled out.” Naturally, it couldn’t.
At the top of this report, we are reminded that ASIO’s vigilant functions in this ongoing war are to investigate and identify (the threat) before it occurs, and to “work with law enforcement agencies to prevent extremism and acts of terror.” There is a list of their accomplishments since 2014 in which there have been nine “nine attacks” and “19 major counter-terrorism disruptions.” Because these are largely hidden from the public we have only their word on the severity of the threat and the competence of those involved, but you can take it for granted, given ASIO’s grubby history, much of it has to be questioned. However, it won’t be.
Coming after ASIO and its predictable briefing is the Australian Federal Police (AFP). It acknowledges that Australia “continues to face a diverse and continually evolving threat of terrorism.” While it stresses that the AFP’s position is to target criminology and not ideology, it is nonetheless bothered that certain ideologies might have the impact of hurting the feelings of a particular group or individual persons.
To this end, they argue that “Criminal Code offences for urging violence and advocating terrorism or genocide require evidence demonstrating an intention to threaten harm or incite others to threaten harm,” but, and this is the thing, they “do not consider the degree of insult felt by a group. They do not extend to capture a number of instructional or extremist materials, including extremist symbols.”
We’re pretty sure they do cover ‘instructional’ materials unless the AFP is recommending including the prohibition under vaguer terms of reference. Moreover, this seems to infer “Right-Wing Extremists” since the Islamic-extremists are fairly broad on who they hate, which is everyone, and the concentration of ASIO and the AFP on Islamic extremism already creates a high degree of “insult” to that community. Nevertheless.
Their logic also presupposes that all material has a terror-attack as an end purpose which they lament since “law enforcement experience (sic) a gap in being able to pursue individuals who simply possess or disseminate abhorrent or violent content that is not instructional or does not meet these thresholds.” And why? Because investigators are “unable to disrupt individuals and small groups at an earlier stage in the attack planning continuum.”
By that, the AFP means that it wishes to be able to prosecute a person for possessing literature as though they had committed a terror attack. But, then again, they could just be bad at communicating.
They are, however, clear about the threats, which are again in the pyramid tier as laid down by ASIO, but also reference ‘Foreign Fighters’, those travelling overseas to fight in causes not endorsed by ‘the system’, and waffle on about post-correctional management. Meaning, they want to be allowed to do stuff with a perp once they’re released from jail.
The most practical of the submissions, surprisingly, comes from the Victoria Police. They are the only ones, so far, to name ANTIFA and highlight the threat of Left-Wing Extremism. We’ve noticed none of the others is prepared to ‘out’ their useful foot soldiers, which is why we await a report from the NSW Police, since they are ANTIFA’s guardian angels.
VicPol’s topography of the Far-Right and National Socialists is incorrect, as you’d expect, but otherwise, they’re the only ones touting an ‘intervention program’, of which theirs goes by the title ‘Network for Intervention and Tailored Engagement, or NITE.
Equally surprising, and sensible, is that they do not advocate proscribing ‘symbols.’ They say, “… that legislative restrictions on speech, symbols, ideas and associations can, in certain instances, have the effect of confirming victimhood and oppression narratives common to most extremist groups and viewpoints.”
Very true, if they ban ‘symbols’ and codification of speech they risk proving the ‘extremist’s point, which they do anyway.
All of this, we say, is part of the great fantasy that keeps this deliberate system of chaos and doubt we live under, functioning in its insidious fashion. As we’ve said, nobody has questioned the system to ask why Far-Right groups exist or examined the role that multiculturalism plays in the Islamic-extremist threat, much less the grievances of the Islamic-extremists, be they right or equally false.
The whole thing is about proscription, folk devils, and greater empowerment. It’s about, at the end of the day, expanding departments, widening powers, and creating laws. It is about sustaining the system that created the supposed ‘threats’ in the first place.
ASIO is in no position to lecture anybody about anything. Spooks are a vile breed, and their targets are inevitably phantoms. Much can be made of the role of Britain’s secret service and the intelligence networks in the USA that deliberately fed misinformation which resulted in the disastrous invasion of Iraq. And they did it for reasons of the vainest mediocrity because they liked playing cloak and dagger.
Again, fantastical information provided by spies led to the torture and humiliation of numerous persons in the conduct of their ‘war on terror’.
ASIO was complicit in styling the Petrov Affair which resulted in the Labor Party (when it was the Labor Party) spending decades in the political wilderness. Its conspiracy with Robert Menzies split the party in two and drove old Doc Evatt out of his scone.
They colluded with the very ‘Far-Right Extremists’ that it now wishes to proscribe when the threat of Communism was the fashion of the day. As soon as it became about Neo-Liberalism they dropped them in the fireplace and ran false operations with seedy coppers who were no better than gangsters to persecute groups espousing incompatible ideologies.
This committee intends to proscribe, and it will do so. It will placate alien agitators like Dvir Abramovich, and use their guileful rhetoric to bolster the ‘threats’ that keep the system operating.
This is all about the tweens (sic) from The National Socialist Network. Their genesis from the Antipodean Resistance modelled itself directly on the proscribed British organisation National Action. Its members interacted with Atomwaffen, and all manner of festering online deviants that don’t understand politics, aren’t equipped to play at being ‘revolutionary’, and fail to even understand that revolution has universally failed.
They have aped all the characteristics of the very thing that the Australian authorities covet, and when, of all people, their humourless leader Thomas Sewell raises protestations he does so seemingly ignorant to the degree to which he’s already undermined his objections with what he’s said, how he’s behaved and the forms that his ‘activism’ has taken.
This committee isn’t interested in the fact that the NSN hasn’t perpetrated acts of terror, it’s eyeing those who are ‘influenced’ by them to do so. And what a perfect subject they handed the state, dressing to script, behaving to script, and adopting ‘National Socialism’ to script.
They are ASIO’s wet dream and keep Abramovich’s dreidel spinning excitedly.
We have no crystal ball, and in this age of surprises that leave you surprised by nothing, we hesitate to bet on it, but we wouldn’t gloat if our prediction that the NSN is added to that ‘list’ that the Feds are so eager to see enlarged comes true.
The Department of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and the Attorney-General’s Department are all revved up and eager to start proscribing groups as terror organisations, and we doubt very much they’re solely referring to Islamic-extremists.
They point out, “There are a large number of organisations that meet the legislative criteria and could be considered for possible listing. To guide and prioritise the identification of organisations for consideration by the Minister, security and law enforcement agencies may also give regard to a range of non-legislative factors.”
Aside from what you’d expect, two of those “key non-legislative factors” include “the organisation’s ideology” and “threats to Australian interests.” The propensity for a broad interpretation of either is where they argue an organisation might qualify. Bear in mind, the former factor is supposedly outside of the AFP’s interests, but maybe not for long.
For instance, if certain symbols are banned, or a group outlawed because the committee believes that it warrants prohibition for a wide range of factors, could not another group, not of its oeuvre, fall foul because they’re deemed to be similar?
Likewise, if targeting Chinese imperialism upsets the CCP, does that mean groups that oppose it now pose a threat to “Australian interests” if they decide to pull their business?
Ominously, and in the occlusive techno-babble, it goes on to say, “Depending on available information, some factors may carry more weight than others in identifying organisations for consideration may. A lack of information with respect to one or more factors will not preclude an organisation from being considered for listing.”
A ”lack of information with respect to one or more factors”? We’ll ponder that lack of clarity.