Australia foils "terror attack"

I’ll believe it when I see it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4416254.stm

Is it a real planned terror attack, or is it the government justifying its new anti-terrorist powers by arresting some loud-mouthed militant muslims with a few pots of castor oil.

Have any of the many post 9/11 “planned terrorist attacks” in the US, UK and Australia actually been prosecuted successfully yet?

Relevant transcript from the Power of Nightmares series.

Thing is, if Seamus O’ Semtex or Abu Al Bomba wants to blow stuff up and is dumb enough to do and say things that are necessary prep for blowing stuff up, it is indeed a “planned terrorist attack,” in much the same way as buying a lottery ticket or dreaming of owning a Bentley is a “planned wealthy lifestyle.”

So, it’s a language thing. Because some terrorists are idiots and morons just waiting to get caught, any radicalized Laurel and Hardy provides a pretext to shut down the subway, investigate your library withdrawals and wiretap your puppy.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any planned attacks - that would be moronic. They don’t appear out of nowhere. I’m just commenting on the apparent overreaction on the part of our governments, which seems solely aimed at making us feel that their efforts to shut down our liberties are justified.

How on earth do you know or suspect it’s an overreaction? Why even throw that out there randomly?

Well, it has something to do with the fact that all the other “thwarted” terror plans seemed to have turned out to be along the lines of “Arabs take movie at Disneyland and spend a little too much time focusing on a trash can so must be terrorists plotting to blow up civilians”. I have heard lots of “thwarted” terrorist attacks, and a few actual terrorist attacks, but I don’t recall a single alleged terrorist plan be actually thwarted in the courts of law.

You have to admit rounding up dodgy looking Arab types, putting them in jail under the new terrorist laws, and then never actually prosecuting them is a great way to make headlines and have people feel that you are “winning” a “war on terrorism” when you haven’t actually got many terrorists planning anything at all (and none that you actually have a handle on).

So the only real terrorist plots are the ones that actually succeed and kill people? And all law enforcement does is mop up after these and never has any effect whatsoever in actually thwarting any real, planned attacks?

Umm, ok…

This very problem (of being seen to prevent real attacks rather than vague inchoate terrorist plans) has always been of interest to the authorities.

A good example in the gunpowder plot. This was a terrorist attack on the House of Lords in the 17th century. It was demostrated, with great spectacle, just a few weeks ago that this would have been a stunning success had the gunpowder gone off – the test explosion completely obliterated the entire building and would have flattened about a quarter of a mile around.

The point man was captured barely moments before the act. It’s thought by many that the plot was uncovered much earlier. However, the authorities waited until foiling it would itself be a public spectacle. They knew that simply shutting it down early would not be as politically useful.

So, here’s the question: if a group of terrorists is cracked, and we know what they are up to, why would be arrest them now, when they have nothing but plans, when we could arrest them assembling the bombs three weeks later?

Nothing but plans? Plans, legitimate plans, to do a lot of property damage or kill a lot of people, is a serious offense.

You’re saying we should encourage these people to continue, in the hopes that they commit more offenses, so that they can be charged with more? That’s pretty cynical and monstrous, wouldn’t you say?

What happens if they are allowed to continue, they catch wind of what’s going on, they LEAVE and reform elsewhere and go through with their plans. Congratulations, because then any son of a bitch who LET them leave should be put through the ringer.

When you discover a crime, you don’t let it go in hopes of more crimes being committed… you stop it immediately.

The point is not to maximize the crime committed, so that you can play Gotcha games with the criminal… the point is to prevent/reduce crime to the extent supported by the social structure.

No, real terrorist plots involve real terrorists who end up getting convicted of their crimes, not showcase arrests of dubious merit for people who either get released later (quietly) or end up sitting in jail without charge until they are forgotten.

No, real terrorist plots involve real terrorists who end up getting convicted of their crimes, not showcase arrests of dubious merit for people who either get released later (quietly) or end up sitting in jail without charge until they are forgotten.[/quote]

I think you have may have expressed yourself poorly there, because you aren’t making any sense. If the only “real” terrorist plots involve convictions, you’ve excluded the 9/11 hijackings.

Nick, 9/11 was an actual terrorist attack, not a plot. They wouldn’t be tried for plotting to kill people at the WTC, they’d be tried for actually killing them. If you want to get really pedantic, you need a different tack. Try this one: there are also real terrorist plots that never end up in convictions because they decide not to go through with it. I had thought we had reasonably intelligent people in here that don’t need every single alternative penned out for them in order to understand simple English.

Personally, I think it’s bullshit. Terrorism arrests happening just when the new laws are having a bit of trouble getting passed? Suuure. It’s a bit like your alerts happening every time the government needs a distraction.
What I found bizarre is that the arrests were telegraphed as going to happen a couple of weeks ago. What that means is that the ‘terrorists’ are pretty fucking stupid if they didn’t destroy the evidence. Or that they aren’t terrorists and our government has learnt a lot about manipulating public fears from your government. Fuckers.

Nothing but plans? Plans, legitimate plans, to do a lot of property damage or kill a lot of people, is a serious offense.

You’re saying we should encourage these people to continue, in the hopes that they commit more offenses, so that they can be charged with more? [/quote]

No.

Tim, don’t try to hide your biases by claiming the original post contained a shred of rational thought. You’re reacting to the arrests with nothing but personal opinion, and it’s about as sensible as the Bizarro World Tim Partlett saying “See, them ragheads are at it agin!”

Shit, you know about that down there? :oops:

The rational thought was: what are all these arrests of alleged terrorists for if there are no convictions? My logical conclusion was: that it’s very likely they are a way of pumping up support for the government and its aims of increasing its power base at the expense of civil liberties.

What was the rational thought in your post? Let me guess: I’m angry because someone has a different opinion to me so I’ll post about how they are biased and irrational!

The new anti-terrorist laws in Australia (not passed yet) are a load of codswallop. There has been no request by the police or the feds for more power. The only justification our PM has given is “he was shocked by the attacks in England”. You don’t make policy based on “feelings”. Worse yet the arrests of these terrorists (assuming) was done under the old legislation. So what possible justification is there for the new ones? How will they actually help? He is playing on peoples fears and manipulating the voters. The other issue is that the current governement has total control of the two houses so can force through anything they like…

“Anyone who surrenders freedoms for security deserves neither”

I’m not angry at all; I’m laughing. You start the same thread about every three months. It’s always regarding some news story which leads you to assume that people are mistreating Muslims, that there is no organized Islamist terrorism, that racism and poverty are the causes of all evils, etc., and then get outraged as soon as someone suggests that, y’know, you’re coming at this from an extremely biased point of view. How could I not find this hilarious? You’re as bad as the right-wing nuts here, in that you’ve never met a news story you couldn’t twist around to accommodate your perceptions of the world.

You seem like a nice guy, but man, you’re so close-minded about these things. Ever think that there just might be a middle ground? That maybe some of these terror arrests are for good reasons? And that Islam may be a root factor behind the isolation that leads to the poverty and anger in Muslim communities?

I’m not angry at all; I’m laughing. You start the same thread about every three months. It’s always regarding some news story which leads you to assume that people are mistreating Muslims, that there is no organized Islamist terrorism, that racism and poverty are the causes of all evils, etc., and then get outraged as soon as someone suggests that, y’know, you’re coming at this from an extremely biased point of view. How could I not find this hilarious? You’re as bad as the right-wing nuts here, in that you’ve never met a news story you couldn’t twist around to accommodate your perceptions of the world.

You seem like a nice guy, but man, you’re so close-minded about these things. Ever think that there just might be a middle ground? That maybe some of these terror arrests are for good reasons? And that Islam may be a root factor behind the isolation that leads to the poverty and anger in Muslim communities?

Brett, we all have biases, they are called our opinions, only some of us can recognise that we aren’t perfect, and others go around telling everyone else they are biased (because they couldn’t possibly be). An “extremely biased point of view” is completely relative. My position might be extremely biased from your perspective, but in the other thread you were posting a perspective on a “global jihad” that was only shared by far-right American and Israelis, and not one shared by the most right-wing British daily. If that is where you stand, then extremely biased could be exactly the “middle ground” you claim to be holding.

I think the riots in France are caused by racism and unemployment, as do all the commentators I’ve read in a wide spectrum of newspapers from right to left, but you think it is part of a global jihad and Rollory thinks its because blacks and arabs are basically criminals who can’t live alongside good thinking white folk. I wonder which opinion is out on a limb there?

Here I am only posting my suspicions about the latest terrorist arrest. They are not wacky far out ideas, but ones shared by, among others, a mainstream BBC journalist, an Australian (Peter Frazier) who knows his government better than any of us do, and a number of other relatively moderate members of this forum (like Brian Rucker). You view is shared by, among others, Daniel Pipes of the ultra-conservative FrontPage, who recently claimed that the reason the mainstream press weren’t sharing his opinions on the global jihad happening in France was because they were conspiring to hide the Truth.

(The Boston Globe once wrote of Pipes, that if his advice had been followed in regards to foreign policy, the US would be at war with every nation in the Middle East.)

Now I don’t want to get into a war of words about who holds the “middle ground” here, because it is ridiculous. As I said, everyone has their biases, including myself. What you are doing here is just typical windbagging: you haven’t got any way of countering what I say and so you just attack me as being unreasonable and ridiculous. That is your plot every single time you disagree with me. It’s pretty childish and boring.

You claim I’m not capable of rational discourse, but it’s not me that resorts immediately to name calling every time I see a different opinion to my own. So please, grow up, and stop attacking the person and start debating the idea.