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The new terrorism: working for peace!

by Hamish Alcorn, Webdiary's permanent site co-ordinator

On Saturday US peace activist Scott Parkin was arrested without charge in Melbourne. He is being detained, pending deportation, as a "threat to national security".

Webdiarists Kerri Browne and I attended on Monday morning what was, to my knowledge, the first public action about this, at the Halliburton building in Brisbane. Kerri took some pictures.

Below are two articles. The first is by threat-to-national-security Khristo Newall, who débuted in Webdiary with Khristo's crime at the Baxter protests. Also, seeing as a major concern of Scott's activism has been speaking about Halliburton's activities, we commissioned Webdiary columnist Richard Tonkin (see Halliburton's Adelaide) to see if he could connect any dots.

We are interested at Webdiary if any of our conservative regulars wish to submit a third piece, along the lines of, "Why Scott Parkin is a threat to national security and must be deported".

For more information on Halliburton, try www.halliburtonwatch.org.

The new terrorism: working for Peace!

by Khristo Newall

Disclaimer: I met Scott Parkin recently at the protests in Sydney, attended workshops with him, and from our brief acquaintance, no doubt share many similar political viewpoints, not least of which is a commitment to peace.

In this climate of fear and loathing, of the so-called war on terror, and the apparent need to have ever-increasing ASIO powers, this week has foreshadowed just a hint of where this could end up.

On Saturday an American named Scott Parkin had his visa revoked and was then arrested by ASIO in a Melbourne cafe.

His crime? Well, there are no charges and there is no crime to anyone's knowledge. Scott Parkin is an activist for peace who has been running workshops on peaceful protests and non-violent people power. He took part in the protests against Forbes in Sydney recently, and has campaigned both here and in the US against corporations such as Halliburton.

ASIO's response? To deem him a threat to national security, to arrest him without charge and to detain him indefinitely as he awaits deportation.

This is the thin edge of a very dangerous wedge. This is the subversion of laws meant to stop violence and terrorism being used to stop dissent, the right to protest, and ultimately democracy. If we cannot protest peacefully, then how is this a democracy?

Scott Parkin is perhaps a useful target; he is a white foreigner – an American at that. No ethnic minority groups for the Government or ASIO to be concerned about, and perhaps many Australians think little of it – 'he's not an Aussie'. The government doesn't have to concern itself with what to do with him as they would with an Australian citizen; with a foreigner it's easy; just deport them. Smear them as a threat to national security, hide behind the veil of the same to avoid giving any detail and wash your hands.

But for those of us here we have the need to not just be alert, but to be very alarmed. About what is happening to Scott Parkin, and about what that means is happening to our country. As we find ourselves in the unique situation of having Americans protesting at Australian embassies in San Francisco and Washington DC, we as a country must reflect deeply on the freedoms we are letting slip away under the guise of security. Australia prides itself on natural justice, on the belief that you are innocent until proven guilty; that no-one should be locked up without being found guilty of a crime. It is the denial of this last tenet in our treatment of asylum seekers which has so divided a nation, torn between natural justice and the manipulation of fears of 'the other' and of terrorism.

And now we find that it is creeping, and more rapidly than we realise.

An individual committed to peaceful people power is considered such a threat that a spy agency can arbitrarily detain him with no mechanism for accountability or judicial process. The intended message? As a fellow activist I can only infer that the message is not to dissent. I hope that all of us have the courage to realise that now, precisely now, is exactly the time to dissent. We must not be silenced and the police and the powers that be would do well to respect the right to peaceful protest. They would also do well to stop the farce that attempts to blur the line between peaceful protests and the violence of terrorism.

As John F Kennedy said: 'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'

We can avoid violence but we must speak now to hold our right to freedom and the right to dissent.

I believe in peaceful revolution, and I will not be silenced.
Khristo Newall.

Parkin's revenge: revealing the concealed

by Richard Tonkin

It now seems that a man is to be deported from Australia for inciting resentment of US corporate giant Halliburton's activities in Iraq.

Scott Parkin's aim is to put economic, social and political pressure on Halliburton so that they withdraw from Iraq. His holiday in this country lead to participation in recent street protests in Sydney. There he reiterated his complaint from Australian soil, that Halliburton and subsidiary KBR are the Poster children of war profiteering.

On Saturday Parkin was leaving a coffee shop, on his way to help present a workshop on nonviolent protest when he was apprehended by four Federal police, assisted by an unmentioned number of immigration officers. BBC News links his arrest to the Sydney Halliburton protest.

Parkin, according to Crikey's Guy Rundle is "not just any old anti-Halliburton activist – he knows more about the company than pretty much anyone around, and he's been a key organiser of campaigns against their AGMs and HQ in Houston."

What message is sent to Australian activists by Parkin's incarceration? As someone who has sensed unethicality in the company's activities both abroad and within Australia I feel vindicated in my beliefs.  To remove a person who might promote information implies a desire of the democratic actor, in this case Australia's Federal Government, to obscure and conceal what this man could portray and reveal, and what he could make us think.

I am beginning to suspect that there is a large financial loophole being hidden within the activities of the Howard Government, but unfortunately the key, if flimsy, evidence that I had no longer exists. It was a job ad in the online version of The Economist, in which Halliburton KBR touted for a foreign aid specialist to handle its projects. This ad proclaimed that KBR's clients included the World Bank, USAid and Ausaid. The successessful applicant would be 'preferrably' based at KBR's offices Greenhill Road, Parkside, South Australia. If anyone can help me recover a version of this ad it would be most appreciated.

This ad was 'printed' in the week that the Australian Prime Minister made a surprise visit to Iraq to announce his country's role as aid distributor.

Many of us are nervous tonight, after having been told by our leaders that they don't like what we're doing. Some of us feel a sense of relief at the ramifications of a problem being finally revealed.
Richard Tonkin.

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re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Threat to National Security

Where do I get the T-shirt?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

R.I.P. Habeas Corpus.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Anyone *not* wanting to join Scott Parkin should *not* look at the state secrets revealed here - Google Earth threatens democracy.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

This was in The Age today...

A spokesman for Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock said yesterday that while Mr Parkin insisted that he was engaged only in peaceful protests against the US company Halliburton, he had encouraged "spirited" action by protesters.

Spirited action! He was arrested because he "encouraged spirited action by protestors"! This is over the top!

And who is Ruddock to talk about spirit? The man has none.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

All this stuff is a red rag to a bull to me. Here is a letter I sent to all Federal politicians, entitled "Magenta Alert":

Subject: Security - a sunrise "industry".

Dear Senator

Preamble: "When the economic hit-men falter, it's time for the jackals to swing into action." - J Perkins, USA.

The latest mini-trailer from our friends at al-cia-da signals some juicy insider trading. It's time for all savvy Australian investors to add Private Security firms to their portfolio.

For example, our old friends Giuliani Partners display a stunning prescience. When trouble looms, these people are never far away... such a comfort.

CACI and Titan are excellent companies with an established track record and not forgetting Blackwater who, fresh from their triumphs in Iraq, are even now in New Orleans giving a radical new meaning to that tired old cliché, "hard, but fair."

Should al-cia-da land a lucky punch on some rickety old infrastructure, Halliburton / KBR have the expertise to rebuild it nearer the heart's desire. Mind you, it costs an arm and a leg.... literally.

As for myself, I think a little flutter on Wackenhut would be sensible, especially if I fit Mr Ruddock's profile of a "person of interest" (and who knows, these days?). If I should be a guest in one of their nouveau gulags, it would be a comfort to know that I am doing my bit for Wackenhut's share price and my own portfolio.

QUESTION: Is this the ultimate in self-funded retirement?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

On Monday I e-mailed all the QLD Members of the Senate, as well as the Minister for Immigration (or should that be Emigration) and the Attorney General (Ruddock) simply asking after the reasons for Scott Parkin's detention. So far, silence. Except from Bartlett (Dems) and a couple of Labour MPs (Claire Moore, and Joe Ludwig) who have referred my request to the Shadow Minister of Immigration.

Anyway, a few people I've spoken to think it's fair enough for the Government to say, "in the interests of national security we can't release the details of Parkin's security assessment." But I don't buy that.

From memory, the Government seemed happy to give more details on Jack Roche's plans re the Israel embassy, or Hick's and Habib's overseas travels (except of course for Habib's detour to Egypt). So I wonder, say this wasn't Scott Parkin but a 'genuine terrorist' who was being deported, would the Government be so silent on why? Of course not. We'd be given as much of the person's history as possible that could make the Government's case. The news would be full of their movements over the past few days or weeks, their visits to potential targets (the MCG), links with overseas terrorist organisations, sightings of them at agricultural supply stores and so on. But with Parkin, all we've got is 'negative security assessment'.

Hogwash I reckon.

I've just finished reading 1984. I wish I hadn't. It's all too real.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

The concerns I expressed in M-words have already been vindicated. For those who say it can't happen here - it has already begun. Wake-up Australia.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Ahh, of course, the old "Spirited Action" caveat.
Must explain why Labor has been gagged from participation.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

At 12.30 pm tomorrow - Thursday 15/9/05 about 20 people will gather outside the Australian Federal Police building in Cairns to surrender ourselves as "threats" to Australia's national security.

After all, we practise exactly the same kind of politics as Scott Parkin and must therefore be guilty of the same "crimes".

I spoke yesterday with Federal Agent Jason Byrnes about our intentions, and he informed me that standard operating procedure in such cases is to close and lock the doors until we go away. He said "our experience is that people who want to turn themselves in are not the people we should be concerned with".

Funny business, this national security/terrorism schism.

Given the failure of the AFP to take national security seriously, we'll chain up the worst offenders (Greens, Social Justice advocates and the like) and whip them 600 metres to the DIMIA office to insist they be either deported or placed in camps. If DIMIA fails to act, we'll have no choice but to resort to summary execution of suspects.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Have a look at this piece from The Australian.

Notice how Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, while refusing to release any details of the assessment or alleged behaviour of Scott Parkin says the decision to cancel his visa "was based on matters related to politically motivated violence".

Philip Ruddock, as Immigration Minister in 2001 said "It's an absolute fact. Children were thrown into the water". He was lying then, and he's lying now.

DIMIA instructed authorities at the Melbourne Custody Centre to deny media access to Mr Parkin.

The sad part of this story is that warmongering wannabe Kim Beasley has accepted without reservation, and without disclosing any details, the content of an ASIO briefing. The ALP will not help us, but then again, what's new?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

I don’t know why people are surprised by this. It’s the same tactics that the Government uses to not investigate legitimate complaints. They just discredit the person making the complaint, label them terrorists/rebels and/or trouble makers and that justifies them ignoring them or doing whatever they like with them including arresting them.

We are all targets, all you need to do is question the Government's actions and watch what happens. My family are being targeted and we have been black-marked because we complained and are seeking a proper and fair investigation into our serious allegations. The system files our correspondence away without acknowledgment, even formal request that we be afforded procedural fairness and natural justice are filed away on the basis that we are trouble makers. I guess in their eyes we are, the question is, are our complaints justified? I can assure you they are! But nobody questions those in power even though everybody knows that the majority of them are allegedly crooks and they cover everything up. In the meantime my children continue to be neglected, targeted, bullied, victimised, vilified and treated unfairly - just to name a few. Does anybody in power care - NOPE - do we have any rights - NOPE.

You don’t need to live in another country to be a victim of terrorism and be dealt blow after blow. Blows come in many different forms, sometimes it is better if it comes in the form of a bomb as that way it is open and transparent. The stuff our Government does is below the belt.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

'Lame Duck' Opposition leader in Scott Parkin "security threat" places all Unionist protesters at risk

Project SafeCom Inc.
Media Release, Wednesday September 14 2005

Federal ALP leader Kim Beazley, in immediately caving in his essential role as Australia's opposition leader, at the first briefing from the government over the purported "security risk" of US peace activist Scott Parkin places all protesters in Australia at risk, including those in the Union Movement who plan nationwide protests against the Industrial Relations legislation as proposed by the Howard government," WA human rights and refugee group Project SafeCom said this morning.

Mr Beazley will have to think again when in a few months time, renowned union leaders and fierce participants in the nationwide protests against the Industrial Regulations changes proposed by the Howard government will get arrested and detained by the Federal police, assisted by ASIO, and locked away, and if those amongst the protesters who are not Australian citizens, but 'residents only', will get deported from Australia, and Project SafeCom will be amongst those organisations that will condemn the ALP leader for his gutlessness in the Scott Parkin affair if that happens," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

All over Australia training in non-violent action and demonstrations takes place all the time, and amongst the techniques taught in these training workshops belongs the training for techniques of "outsmarting being arrested by police" during demonstrations - purportedly the security threat Scott Parkin poses and the reason for his arrest, detention and planned deportation. Also in preparation for the massive inion protests against the IR legislation, these types of training will be taking place.

Mr Beazley goes this week on the record of helping to undermine common civil expressions of democracy and dissent through protests through his abysmally weak-kneed lack of showing opposition leadership. It was the same lame-duck attitude that passed the Tampa Laws in 2001 with the complicity of Labor, and Australia has this week, with the Scott Parkin affair, sunk deeper into the abyss of a totalitarian Politician's Dictatorship State, where politicians rule without the intervention of the courts and the application of natural justice and redress. Kim Beazley will go on the record as helping to orchestrate this sorry state of affairs in Australia.

During the Tampa Affair politicians used Law and Order and Terrorism to fool Australians. And this manipulation by politicians is back in Australia's new terrorist legislation and the dealings with Scott Parkin's 'security threat', where the only truth is that he is a threat against the US Bush administration that allows 'unchecked profiteering in time of war' by Halliburton - where the Bush government through Dick Chaney stacks its own economic interests. Mr Parkin is one of the most informed citizens about Halliburton, and that is the only threat he represents.

The arrest and planned deportation is a national scandal, and thanks to the sheer stupidity of Kim Beazley, this scandal happens largely unchecked, and political opposition is left to the Greens and Democrats.

Scott Parkin Affair: Ruddock, DIMIA deliberately blur line between terrorism and civil protest

Project SafeCom Inc.
Media Release, Sunday September 11 2005

The arrest of US teacher and Peace activist Scott Parkin, followed by his "holding incommunicado" - presumably in Court lock-up facility on the corner of Williams and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne - constitutes a scandal and a deliberate undermining of democratic accountability by the Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock and the Department of Immigration," WA Human Rights Lobby and Action group Project SafeCom said this morning, in a statement endorsed by advocate Mr Ian Rintoul of NSW Refugee Action Collective.

US Peace activist and teacher Mr Parkin was this week "invited" to come in to ASIO for a voluntary interview, and he declined the invitation in a peaceful manner, stating he did not need the help of ASIO, but his visa was revoked and he was arrested shortly thereafter," said spokesman Jack H Smit.

It is abundantly clear to us why Mr Parkin was arrested and detained - without any court intervention - and that is because he conducted a protest in front of the US Corporate giant Haliburton.

Minister Ruddock acts hand-in-glove with the Prime Minister, and he has mobilized the DIMIA and the new terrorist laws, because the Bosom Friend of the Howard Administration, Mr George Bush, has his private and biased corporate allies in Haliburton once again questioned.

This scandal should be discussed this week when Parliament sits, and the ALP should together with the Greens and Democrats expose the use of terror as a cloak to stifle citizens' dissent in Australia.

Mr Parkin is a well-known peace activist, who simply protests against the stacking of American interests in Iraq, and who, like millions of people in the US and Australia, wants an end to the global dominance of the US and its corporate giants, and he wants an end to the horrors of the slaughter in Iraq: he should immediately be released from the illegal imprisonment - smartly orchestrated to become legal by the Attorney-General and DIMIA - that has been forced upon him by Australian authorities.

The only threat Mr Parkin represents, is a threat against the neo-conservative government dominance of the USA and of the Howard government. It is a scandal that the Attorney-General stoops to these new lows under the cloak of security and terrorism in the handling of Mr Parkin's case. September eleven thus has deteriorated to become a memory of politicians using the Twin Towers drama as an excuse to intimidate citizens and their legitimate protests.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

G'day. I would like to link to the best independent news archive of this incredible story, bringing together all the media and blog reports possible, divided into news and comment, Australian and international. Would a Webdiarist like to do this job, or send me the link to another site that is already doing it well?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

I just love peace demonstrators. I can't forget the ones who started destroying a church on a recent anti-war march because they thought it was a synagogue. I also loved the peace demonstrators who worked hard to protect the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. I love the ones too who facilitate and apologise for the movement and conduct of terrorists, because after all sometimes you need to use terrorism to make a point.

We should remember that everyone who comes to Australia loves and shares our values and we shouldn't have anything to worry about except for global warming. And even then it is America's fault.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

I have not followed the arrest and potential deportation of this American as closely as others obviously have. However I do recall hearing (I think on Lateline a few nights ago) that he had been requested to attend a meeting\interview with ASIO and had refused\not turned up. Does anyone know if this is the case? And if so, aren't foreigners (no matter what their political beliefs) required to follow lawful orders of foreign governments while in their country?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

First they came for the boat people, then they came for the alleged “terrorists”, then they came for the peaceful political activists, next it might be Australian Muslim communities...

I said three years ago that the drowning of 353 people on SIEV X was the canary in the mine. All these abuses of human rights are linked. We cannot afford to neglect to resist any of them.

Kim Beazley’s over-ready acceptance of the ASIO private briefing on Scott Parkin is an utter disgrace to his party. Every decent newspaper editorial in Australia is saying the deportation is wrong but Kim says it is OK – leaving his shadow A-G Nicola Roxon stranded.

Was this what you did on SIEV X in October 2001, Kim? Did some official agency give you a confidential briefing on what they claim happened, and were you silly enough to believe it?

Relevant to this thread are three new files on my website www.tonykevin.com:

1. “Vilifying asylum-seekers, and falsifying SIEV history” - Open letter from Tony Kevin to David Marr, Marian Wilkinson, Marg Hutton, Margo Kingston, Julian Burnside, Hannie Rayson, Hilary McPhee, Robert Manne, William Maley, Frank Brennan, 11 September 2005;

2. Will a SIEV X National Memorial be allowed to be built in Canberra? – recent media readings, and website commentary by Tony Kevin 12 September 2005:

“I have no doubt that there will be a permanent national memorial in Canberra sooner or later, because SIEV X is part of our national migration history now; as much part of our history as all the other immigrant vessels that sank on their way to Australia and are memorialized around our country. To those who feel uncertainty about the idea of a SIEV X national memorial, I suggest: this is about inclusion and tolerance, values that we Australians should cherish and share.”

3. The Australian Senate briefly considers the case of David Hicks and the US Military Commission :

- An agreed Senate opposition parties’ motion was voted down by Government numbers, and a Q and A exchange took place between Senator Natasha Stott Despoja and Justice Minister Ellison, on 5 September 2005 - texts and commentary herewith.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Jannice Caldwell'Threat to National Security

Where do I get the T-shirt?'

In jail.

Tony Kevin, still with the conspiracy theories? At least you say 'drowning' of the 353, not murder. For that is what it would be if the government had a direct hand in the sinking, or in the untimely failure to respond to the incident. If you had any real proof, it would be murder, instead of inane conspiracy theories peddled on the web.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

The most interesting thing from this article in the Australian is where it gives this statement - "A spokesman for Labor leader Kim Beazley said last night the Opposition would not oppose Mr Parkin's deportation, following a briefing by ASIO."

Now if there was no reasonable cause for deportation, why would the opposition be staying quiet over the affair? After trying to gain some points over Telstra, Tony Abbot's remarks (including a petty sneer by his opposite number, Julia Gillard over his apology) and all the rest over the past two weeks, why doesn't the Opposition want to latch onto this particular issue?

It's either a conspiracy (yeah yeah, wait for the theorists to jump out of the woodwork) with the Federal Government controlling the Opposition, or there is, at least in the Federal Government and Opposition's eyes a legitimate and necessary reason for deportation.

Think about it? Why would Labor not run with this ball otherwise? And dont give the 'copying the Liberals/both right wing extremist parties' crap either. It just doesn't wash. And neither does just about any attempted beat up over this deportation, from first view.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Margo Kingston: "I would like to link to the best independent news archive of this incredible story, bringing together all the media and blog reports possible"

Here's a humble start - I've posted most items I found in the online print press to the Project SafeCom newsletter, especially today's (not showing in the archives as I write this - coming soon), yesterday's and Monday's newsletter.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Get this for double, triple, no, verging on corrupt standards. See Detained couple were issued false IDs by Joseph Kerr:

"The Department of Foreign Affairs issued identity documents to a couple under false names and allowed two sets of documents for them to be on issue at the same time.

"But the Federal Government angrily attacked claims by the Opposition that the Immigration Department asked Foreign Affairs to issue identity documents it knew were false..."

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

'Terrorism' is becoming the over used word that the world cannot agree on. The leaders of the world cannot even agree on a definition. Yet increasing it's becoming a well-worn cliche used by administrations around the world to cover more and more laws which reduce and encroach on well established liberties and the rule of law to everyday individuals.

Does this mean that when I attend protests in the future on say the proposed reductions in workers entitlements that if I act in a spirited manner I could be considered to be inciting unlawful conduct?
Please Kim no more small target strategies!

Tell me that I'm being cynical in that the massive security services at the Opera House Forbes meeting needed something to justify the extraordinary cost of their massive presence.

PS: The average Aussie is more concerned about petrol prices than that of terrorism.
(Source Nat Nine Morning News 1100 today)

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Dylan Kissane: "However I do recall hearing (I think on Lateline a few nights ago) that he had been requested to attend a meeting\interview with ASIO and had refused\not turned up."

"And if so, aren't foreigners (no matter what their political beliefs) required to follow lawful orders of foreign governments while in their country?"

Dylan, a "request" is not a "lawful order".

So no, foreigners are not required to respond to the requests of petty bureaucrats as though they were law.

At least not until now.

As an aside, apparently Scott Parkin is being held in the Melbourne Custody Centre at a cost to himself of $130 per day. Can anyone say how the authorities intend to get this money out of him, or have they just appropriated his VISA card?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

"Can I say with some feeling that this discussion on aid sometimes obscures the fact that trade barriers in the developed world cost poor countries more than twice the amount of the official development aid they receive." said P.M. Howard to the Asia Society in New York on Monday.

Does this imply that Australia is buying foreign trade with foreign aid?

Howard's next announcement was that Australia would double its aid contribution as long as recipients did as they were told. A Prime Ministerial media release stated "This new decision reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to continuing to meet its share of the aid burden, subject to the continued effective application of resources and the performance of partner governments and institutions."

Here is a funny little cover up... look at the first Ausaid google blurb's reference to KBR. The three year old Ausaid media release, as demonstrated by the blurb, described KBR as an Adelaide company receiving aid contracts (trust me I've read it many times) and now it doesn't. Here's Crikeys background on the media contact.

Things are definitely not as they appear.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord. As you should well know by now many people posting here have been following the SIEVX inquiry from start to finish. Not only that, they have become intimately involved with the detail. Moreover, they contributed to and followed the Senate inquiry into the events following the sinking of the SIEVX and the tragic avoidable loss of 353 people. Nothing can detract from the fact that Tony Kevin stood up to a giant administration that sought to hide the unnecessary loss of 353 men women and children. Tony should be commended for that by all and not chided for it!

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord, there is a conspiracy between the Federal and State Governments. Life is a conspiracy, you shouldn't be so surprised. The code of silence is what the conspiracy is called!.

If Kim Beazley doesn't challenge the decisions then, it appears on the face value, because of lack of action, that our Government has something on Scott Parkin and is doing the right thing!

If both Federal and State Governments agree to use the same processes and procedures, and they do, and they turn a blind eye to issues of contention - then they are both safe and they can do whatever they want.

Dylan Kissane from what I heard Scott was asked to be interviewed. Scott asked whether he was required to be interviewed and he was told NO - so he decided not to be interviewed. He has that right.

I believe that this same right that Scott exercised to say no to being interviewed is the same right that our Government and bureaucrats have and use to not be investigated and interviewed for their actions!

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Re-living history can be very depressing can it not?

How many times in the last hundred years or so have the citizens of a nation sat idly by while their government insidiously eroded their rights and dismantled their democracy while at the same time gave themselves ultimate power after ensuring the checks and balances those citizens took for granted were removed from under their noses?

Webdiarists should look carefully at what is happening here in Australia and compare it with what has happened to other nations in the past. Many would be too frightened to compare what is happening today with what happened in Italy in the 1920s or Germany in the 1930s, or Greece in the 1960s or Chile in the 1970s.

Can’t happen here? Think again. It already is.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Simon Ellis. Or maybe the Federal Government has some "information" on the State Government's actions that could harm the State Government's reputation and position so the State Government doesn’t want to speak up against the Federal Government because it is not in their best interest to rock the boat.

Maybe the state government is even being bullied by the Federal Government? It is the culture!

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord, you ask what other possible reason could Beazley have to support the deportation, other than that Scott Parkin really does pose a threat to national security? Well, another plausible reason is that Beazley's advisors have told him that the polls show most Australians don't give a rat's about American peace demonstrators, and that it is more politically expedient to support the deportation.

You should like that as an explanation - it shows that Beazley is a man of the polls, not a man of principle. Unfortunately it would also highlight some pretty nasty stuff about the Government, so I guess I can see why you might reject it.

Whaddya think - reasonable alternative theory?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

I think Stuart Lord makes a valid point about the ALP and its acceptance of the ASIO brief. If the subject concerned is such a threat to national security then deport him now! He is a citizen of the USA lets get rid of him. But no. Why not? The latest excuse from DIMIA is that there are no flights - what utter BS. I can get a flight to USA for later this PM or numerous flights all this week according to the qantas website.

Could it they don't want to deport him now that they realise that he can still continue with his MRT appeal even if he is deported. There first reason for not derporting him was the pending MRT appeal. Either they don't know the rules under which they function (quite possile given past record) or they are deliberatly not deporting him - why that would be I don't know?

I wonder if a second ASIO investigation/assessment cleared him and his visa restored would the MRT appeal go ahead? I suspect the DIMIA has been caught out by the fact the MRT can go ahead even if he is deported and as such the truth of his ASIO assessment will be made public and the governrment is not willing to let this happen and is working in the background to find another way out. This is my opinion only and I only have circumstantial evidence at present.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Another thing, Simon Ellis - if your scenario is true, and most Australians don't care, doesn't this show the how unrepresentative Webdiary is? True, if your scenario is true, then Australia might be wrong to not care, but still, it's a double edged sword in both of our hands.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Habeas corpus died with Al Khateb and Woolley which said we can lock up aliens forever without charge, including children.

Can we lock up the warmongers in parliament for "spirited" arguments for blowing up and murdering Iraqis?

There is something reminiscent of locking up objectors during the Vietnam adventure. People who didn't want to go and kill people or be killed or sprayed with Agent Orange got locked up.

For being peaceful.

Deserters from armies get charged for not wanting to go and kill people.

The men who draw No War on the Opera house got intermittent jail.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Simon Ellis Well, I'll run with your theory. Let's take it like this.

Beazley doesn't pick up the issue because it isn't really worthy in the polls. He doesn't want to take away attention at Labor's fumbling attempt at attacking the Government over Telstra, etc. Or he doesn't want to look weak in the face of protest violence and doesn't want to give the Government ammunition at the next poll over weak national defence from the Labor party. Yet I don't really buy it. Why?

Because this issue is a perfect stick to hammer at the Government if the deportation is either unlawful or unjust. It would involve misuse of power, especially at DIMIA, giving the opportunity to dredge up Cornelia, Vivian, those at Baxter and Woomera, all the blunders that have been going on, and snowball it all.

It would imply that the government is either incompetent, or its agencies are, or it is on a power trip, if the circumstances prove it out - great political capital, even if it is well out from the polls.

Why wouldn't Labor use this? If there was a serious chance of it being any of the above things, why wouldn't they jump all over it?

It just doesn't make sense.

Barry Rutherford It's called flogging a dead horse. He may have stood up to the Government, but not only did it not really produce anything; it didn't look like it ever would, really, because there was nothing to find. It's speculation, pure and simple, with no real substantiation to mention.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Thanks Jolanda and Graham. As I said, I haven't been following this too closely and I was not sure whether it was a 'request' or a 'lawful order' or whatever. Thanks again.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord asks why Beazley isn’t saying much about the Scott Parkin affair. Perhaps it’s because this useless excuse for an opposition ‘leader’ has been conned by Howard and his motley crew of fascists just as you seem to have been.

Are you saying that there is something Beazley knows that we, the people, don’t? Does that not constitute a conspiracy theory Stuart Lord? Are YOU not then propagating a conspiracy theory?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Jolanda Challita. What does Kim Beazley have to do with state governments and cover-ups? Do you really think that Labor wouldn't sacrifice a State government or two for a good shot at the Federal level? Or is it a conspiracy between the Federal Government and the Opposition? To put Australia into a fascist, totalitarian state? That question time is a sham, with nods and winks, and shared booze afterwards after a good day of fooling the Australian people? Maybe they are in league with the Masons, the Neocons, Rupert Murdoch and the Chess Association of Australia (I never did trust those guys) to take over the country, then the world? So they can turn the world into a giant cheese production facility in line with their evil plans? They are probably also responsible for my socks not matching as well.

Do you get the point that irrationality can only take you so far? Conspiracy theories are just a nice way to avoid reality for a while and substitute your own.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

In response to Stuart Lord who writes: "It's either a conspiracy (yeah yeah, wait for the theorists to jump out of the woodwork) with the Federal Government controlling the Opposition, or there is, at least in the Federal Government and Opposition's eyes a legitimate and necessary reason for deportation.

Think about it? Why would Labor not run with this ball otherwise?"

Well if there is a reason, let's hear it. They have to do better than 'negative security assessment' - that's meaningless. We heard plenty of reasons from the Government why we should be scared of Hicks and Habib, and before Roche was convicted I heard plenty on him too. I can only think the reason we've heard nothing on Parkin is because they don't have anything other than he's a pain in the butt and is good at exposing Halliburton.

And as far as the opposition running with it, why would they? It seems that for years they've been scared to take a stand on anything the government stamps as a security issue. They seem to think that all they stand to gain is being labelled as bleeding hearts or being too soft. If Beazley did come out on this, much of the media would immediately frame it as a slanging match between he and Howard. All it would take from the Government's end to 'win' such a slanging match is a couple of derisive comments about Labor's lack of commitment to national security and inability to take 'tough decisions'. Then blow up and isolate a couple of quotes from Parkin's work to use against him, such as his teaching on techniques to thwart police attempts to remove protestors for example (didn't Gandhi teach the same thing? It's not exactly radical and if you're going to protest peacefully, you might as well be prepared). The broader issues of what Parkin stands for, or the necessity of rights to protest in a democracy wouldn't get a look in and Labor would be left defending some yank who hates young constables. In a media environment addicted to sound bites, it's not much ammunition.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord, you are ridiculing people about "conspiracy theories" yet you failed to answer a question I put to you on another thread:

"Stuart Lord, would deciding on a course of action, fabricating evidence and lying to the public constitute a conspiracy? And if this conspiracy involved mass murder, would it be a particularly vile one?"

I have another question for you:

What are your criteria for napalming people?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Marilyn Shepherd, the people who painted 'No War' on the Opera House were convicted of a crime.

For those in the army who go AWOL - if they signed up for the Army, then they knew the risks they were taking at the time, and are obliged to follow orders or receive punishment for it.

For conscripts - well I feel sympathy for those compulsorily called up who don't want to fight, for whatever reason. They didn't sign up for what they are being asked to do by their government and their country. There should be a way where those who don't wish to actually fight could work in non combat roles helping wounded and the civilian populations, if conscription was introduced.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Damian Lataan Yeah, I am saying that Beazley knows something that the Australian people don't. What does he know? The contents of that ASIO briefing he received. After receiving that briefing the spokesperson for Beazley said that the Opposition wasn't going to act against the deportation move. Not conspiracy theory, Damien, but fact. Where is the conspiracy?

And if the Government is such a 'motley crew of fascists' as you claim, wouldn't you feel rather depressed being beaten four times by them?

Plus, by making that claim, you either say that an electoral majority of Australians are either supporters of fascists (and if we were, couldn't we do better than a 'motley crew'?), or are gullible and can't see that they are fascists (while it's nice to say that your views are marginalised simply because others don't have the capacity, intellect or education to see your views as correct, it is rather patronising, and probably untrue) with the Government tricking them again and again.

It's always possible to take the easy road out and say that the people were tricked and bamboozled into voting for the Coalition, because of scare tactics, etc.

It's harder to face the idea that maybe they voted for the Coalition because they reject your ideology and vision. And even harder to face the idea that they could be right.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

One of the reasons that Kim needs to speak up is that historically the complicit behaviour of 'oppositions' was precisely what helped to put authoritarian regimes in power or helped to keep them there.

Write to your reps (both sides of the house) and ask them what the hell is going on. As many of you have pointed out, this is a very dangerous precedent. Hopefully some of the US organisations will pick this case up too.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Margo, you wanted a website with all of these stories and Jack has offered one suggestion. I don't know if anything will have all of what you want, nor in the format but Indymedia all over the world has been following the story and Perth's is a great site to start with. It has plenty of Scott Parkin stories; but the one that has the best collection of info, pictures and links (everything from Channel 7 to al Jazeera) is here for what you sound like you want. I imagine someone will have to set it up and if they can that'd be great.

Hi Khristo. How about we help Jack and co pull together a comprehensive archive for Webdiarists. I want:

A NEWS archive, divided into international and Australian, and mainstream media and independent media, including blogs,

An ANALYSIS archive, same divisions,

A COMMENT archive, same divisions, and

A BACKGROUNDER archive on Mr Parkin's history in USA public life and how he came to visit Australia and what he did here, same divisions.

Webdiarists can help by posting links here. How does that sound?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord, you say the people who painted slogans on the Opera house were "convicted of a crime".

How is what those people did any more of a "crime" that six thugs walking into a restaurant and abducting Scott Parkin and throwing him into solitary when he has not committed ANY crime AND IT IS KNOWN FULL-WELL, that he hasn't?

He is not some one who has turned up on the door step that we need to check over because his identity is a mystery.

There is no chance that the authorities do not know the same as you can honestly say you do not know, know, full-well, that he is only a political dissenter. But you people have conflated "dissent" with "crime" in the best Nazi tradition.

If you are going to reply to my post, please answer honestly next time.

Start with "do unto others as you would have done unto you"...

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Ah, Stuart Lord. At last you are waking up. You have it in one with your observation that: "…you either say that an electoral majority of Australians are either supporters of fascists… or are gullible and can't see that they are fascists…" Well done. It took a while for you to get there but better late than never!

On a more serious note, I do suggest that many white Australians are, unfortunately, very much racists - that's an inescapable reality - and, indeed, are more than likely to support racist politicians like the Lying Tyrant Howard and his motley crew of fascist/neocons just as those same racists once supported One Nation.

Fortunately these people are in a minority, but I would also assert that many Australians have concerns that are outside of political or racial ideology, concerns that are more related to their hip pocket. They also have fears that can be easily manipulated by a lying incumbent Prime Minister and government.

Your right-wing fascist/neocon ideas are nothing new but, unfortunately, to some of the people that are listening to them they are. It's the reason why fascism seems to be self perpetuating.

The world has come a long way since the Geheime Staatspolizei came knocking on people's doors late at night… Or has it?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Link from Korea.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Damian Lataan, Australians are not the only ones that are racists in the sense of the word. I think racism, to different degrees, is pretty universal.

Most think that they are superior to others in some way or another. So long as they don’t do anything negative or criminal and people obey the law then it should be their right to think whatever they like!

It's really only the level of racism and the actions and negative reactions as a result of racism that differs from person to person. We put too much emphasis on racism in general instead of focusing on acts of racism that are based or stem from malice, spite and prejudice and are intended to do harm.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

The ALP and the Liberal party seem to be in a bidding war to take away our freedoms. See this: The Western Australian Government will introduce new counter-terrorism laws into Parliament to satisfy police demands.

WA Premier Geoff Gallop says the laws will grant police special powers to search, apprehend and detain people suspected of terrorist activities.

Police will also be able to conduct covert counter-terrorist operations. The legislation is yet to be finalised, but Dr Gallop says the powers will need to be used responsibly.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has welcomed the proposed package.….."

The major parties want to be seen to be "tough on terrorism" almost the same way they must be "tough on crime."

Terrorists are minor threats to our way of life, more Australians will die in motor vehicle accidents, and still more will die due to lack of care in our hospitals.

As shown recently in the US, others will die due to lack of money being spent on the much bigger threat of climate change.

Yet the politicians still want to cling to their fantasy of winning the war in Iraq.

We must not continue to throw money away on "The War On Terrorism."

Leave our legal systems alone. We have laws for murder and any other crimes the terrorist may commit, most have stood the test of time. Are "Terrorists" any worse than organised crime gangs that have be killing and bombing for years?

Change the things we can change, improve our health systems, fix our roads, improve our infrastructure, encourage and support better international law, give more in overseas aid to help prevent poverty.

Don't ever invade another country.

This is what our politicians should be doing.

Leave our laws alone and get on with the job of leadership.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Stuart Lord- "What does Kim Beazley have to do with state governments and cover-ups?"

This comment is just mind-boggling, to me. Kim Beazley is the head of the Labor Government. The State is run by Labor. There are just as many cover ups, and probably even more, in the State Government than in the Federal. I know because my families allegations are being covered up by the State and Federal Governments and there are many issues in Health, Education, Transport etc., that are not being dealt with fairly and properly and are being covered up as we speak. The State and Federal Labor party are not two separate parties - Kim Beazley has everything to do with it as he keeps talking about integrity.

This is how our Governments get away with neglect, misconduct and often even murder. They just all say that it is not their responsibility or not in their jurisdiction and pass it on and around.

Our Leaders should be our leaders. Just like parents should take responsibility for their children our Leaders should take responsibility for the actions of those they are supposed to be supervising and leading.

If our Leaders are not responsible and parents are not responsible then who is responsible and who is in charge? Our leaders are under no obligation to do the right thing. Its no wonder Australia is becoming aggressive and hostile and going backwards.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Bob Wall: To question 1 -Yes, it would be. But prove it.

To question 2 - Criterion - must be at war with said people/country. Must be intended for use against armed forces of said enemy nation.

However, others disagree with me, either for being too harsh or too strict with my use.

And a question for you - at what point would you cause your nation to intervene militarily with a dictatorship that:
1 - After signing an armistice at the end of the last aggressive war it started, the proceeded to violate almost every single aspect of that armistice, continue attacks against your aircraft, hiding information from inspectors, etc
2 - Had caused and continued to cause violent repression in his own territory by using the military on his own people, and caused over 4.5million refugees to flee his country, with a suspected 300,000 in mass graves
3 - Provided funds and comfort to terrorist organisations that deliberately targeted civilian populations
4 - Had a leadership that syphoned billions from food for oil schemes (after first rejecting the scheme, causing millions more to suffer malnutrition and disease) to spend on its own devises or bank overseas
5 - Had comprehensively corrupted said scheme and partially compromised watchdog authorities through corruption and bribery
6 - Had two potential rivals for leadership after the current dictators death, each more psychopathic than the father.


Paul Walter Scott Parkin is being deported, not charged with a crime. The Government and Opposition seem to think that the order is legal. Again, deported, probably tomorrow morning. Those (six?) people who detained Scott Parkin were carrying out the orders of their legally constituted chain of command, under the Constitutional power enabling the Federal government to legislate ASIO into existence and give it the powers it has.

Those who wrote 'NO WAR' on the Opera House committed criminal damage against public property to make a political statement. They knew the risks, they chose to break the law, and they received the consequences. It's not like they were deported to the gulag and then shot, is it?

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Bob Wall, you want to know Stuart Lord’s criteria for napalming people?

George Bush/Tony Blair/John Howard said it was OK.

re: The new terrorism: working for peace!

Remember this?

Ruddock compromises Australian security and the link to expulsion of diplomats from New Zealand

And there was a little matter of Dante Tan, crooked friends of the powerful in 2003.

Now whom did we say should be interrogated by ASIO?

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