Freesteel Blog » New Zealand gets with the terror program

New Zealand gets with the terror program

Sunday, October 21st, 2007 at 1:13 pm Written by:

It has been brought to my attention that there is a Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill going through the New Zealand Parliament.

As usual, there are a few suspicious police raids which are too unsubtly timed to match with the legislative process to work as intended. It’s a lie only if people believe you. And as no one believes it, there are lots of good protests going on.

What of the Bill itself? Well, it’s 90 pages of PDF from which nothing particular emerges except a mishmash of the provisions found in Terrorism Acts of the UK, and some stuff about a new offense of a terrorism using nuclear material.

That’s interesting. The UK Act was more fun because they decided that all the nuclear treaties were not enough, because in 2001 a law was passed which said:

A person who–

    (a) knowingly causes a nuclear weapon explosion;
    (b) develops or produces, or participates in the development or production of, a nuclear weapon;
    (c) has a nuclear weapon in his possession;
    (d) participates in the transfer of a nuclear weapon; or
    (e) engages in military preparations, or in preparations of a military nature, intending to use, or threaten to use, a nuclear weapon,

is guilty of an offence.

Well, I wish. There’s a tonne of exceptions added in later clauses to make it okay for Government agents to do all these sorts of things themselves, unfortunately. I don’t have the time to go on about that, but I take issue with this vote in particular.

Drafting nuclear materials laws is a tricky business because you have to make sure that inevitable accidents due to recklessness cannot be brought to book, whilst peaceful protesters who are attempting to shed light onto that recklessness of even having this material at all, can be prosecuted for getting in the way.

But I haven’t got time to read it.

I did have time to look at the First Reading debate of the Terrorism Bill which took place last March. This was interesting because they made frequent invocations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267, about which I am the world wikipedia expert. That all started off because of an action based on that resolution which took place on the streets of Liverpool, as reported in my blog post, which after some curious investigations (I don’t just wait like a vegetable for newspapers to feed me their selection of stories; I follow what’s interesting) has led to the development of the webpage: www.undemocracy.com.

New Zealanders should go read up about that Security Council resolution, seeing as it seems to be the foundation on which their Terrorism Act is being built. The UK did not pass a special Act of Parliament to implement it themselves, choosing instead to rely on the authority of their United Nations Act 1946. Ironically, that Act was passed by a generation of politicians who had just been through a World War, and who gave us the fundamentally unambiguous document of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Read it. It’s quite clear and relevant to this.) What they didn’t realize was that a generation of politicians would emerge 50 years later who were so mendacious that they willing to get out of the basic Human Rights obligations (eg right to Habeas Corpus) by simply declaring against evidence from all five senses that there was, within the shores of Great Britain, a “public emergency threatening the life of the nation” from 13 November 2001 on till 8 April 2005 after Lord Hoffman had observed:

The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these.

Essentially, the people who wrote these derogations about suspending due process in in time of an emergency were thinking about World War 2 and bombs raining down from the sky when people might not have the time to go through with convening courts and gathering evidence, and so forth during the heat of the crisis. They didn’t expect Governments to be this lazy and for citizens to be this politically stupified that they could get away with banging innocent people up incommunicado for years on no evidence to show that there was a War on Terror without even so much as needing to go to the effort of staging a show trial in a kangaroo court. It’s that bad.

The UN resolution 1267 operates in the following way. Any government has the right to fax the name of anyone they like to the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee of the Security Council where they will kindly insert the name onto their list.

Well, not just anyone. If you’re dark and Muslim you get onto it straightaway because the stupid white men running the Security Council find it easy to accept a claim that you could be Taliban or Al-Qaida if you are of the right colour. If you don’t look the type, they might require some evidence.

This list gets incorporated into the terrorism sanction lists of the member states where they have laws — like that Terrorism Act in New Zealand — to impose economic sanctions onto the victims.

Now, they think that these economic sanctions are quite a clever device, because to a really stupid nitpicking lawyer it appears not to violate any Human Rights. You see, an offense is created for people other than the targeted person. The target is perfectly in his rights to do anything he could do before, such as go into the bank and ask to withdraw some cash from his bank account. But it would be illegal for the bank teller to give him the money. Got it? So the victim’s rights are not infringed, only the bank’s rights are limited. And since the bank can still hand out money to anyone else whom they choose in the world, their rights are much reduced.

Beautiful, isn’t it? And, of course, after some years it finally got tested in the court which kindly “recognized that freezing of funds constitutes a particularly drastic measure, but adds that that measure does not prevent the individuals concerned from leading a satisfactory personal, family and social life, given the circumstances.”

The circumstances in one of these cases was that the undeniably innocent wife of a terrorist suspect who was in jail at the time was not allowed to withdraw more than ten pounds at a time and was “barred paying for a taxi or bus or for paying for their children to go swimming or to the cinema.”

It’s important to get right down to the specific instances, because otherwise people have the propensity to believe that the Government can be trusted to act reasonably when they are given power without any oversight. These stories matter. If an MP in the Parliament is able to deplore the failure of the New Zealand Government for not doing their bit against terrorism because they don’t designate enough people as terrorists, then it’s not good enough. In the MP’s speech he also named Ahmed Zaoui, possibly with the idea that this was the sort of person who ought to be on the list, for example.

I had a little look on the old wikipedia article about this dude, and a throwaway comment in the discussion page helped me rescue from the memory hole this 2004 article:

Prime Minister Helen Clark admitted yesterday that she could not back up a statement issued by her office, linking asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui’s former political party with al Qaeda.

The statement was issued over a week ago and its accuracy subsequently challenged by a member of Mr Zaoui’s former party, the FIS (Islamic Front for Salvation).

The statement listed individuals and organisations designated as terrorist entities, following a United Nations Security Council decision to list them.

The designation denies any of those listed entrance to New Zealand.

The UN website which lists terrorist entities does not mention FIS.

Professor George Joffe, a specialist in North African affairs from Cambridge University, said any claim the FIS was linked to al Qaeda was “laughable.”

“There is no evidence that al Qaeda was operating at the time when the FIS existed. In fact, they didn’t exist .

“Secondly, there is no evidence the FIS as a movement espoused or endorsed any of the values that were subsequently associated with al Qaeda.” It was a “quite unnecessary smear.”

“I can’t imagine any Government would willingly inflict upon itself the kind of media damage it seems to be going through.”

It’s the same-old same-old, over and over again! Wherever you look! Had the Government been a little more competent they would have organized for Belgium, Algeria, or even Australia to have forwarded Zaoui’s name along with some fabricated “secret” evidence to the 1267 Committee and got him put onto the list. Then they could have used the power of the Security Council to deport him without being responsible for any justification.

Any Kiwis who want to get involved in doing some wikipedia reported research on the Resolution 1373 which is also part of this mess, please do, because I haven’t got time. I’ll give you all the help I can through the www.undemocracy.com website, which doesn’t have enough users at the moment and needs some activist feedback. The stories have got to get out everywhere. I am tired of these nuts in Government lying and lying and lying because they know how to abuse human nature which makes us instinctively believe authority.

1 Comment

  • 1. Incorporated In The Unite&hellip replies at 5th February 2008, 2:37 am :

    What is the Best Location to Incorporate?

    Okay, you have made the decision to go ahead and incorporate to protect yourself. The next question is where is the best place to do so?

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