Thursday, 2 September 2027

Monday, 30 October 2017

Terror law to allow child detention, The New Daily, 31 October, 2017.

http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/10/30/detain-children-without-charge/


Terror law to allow child detention denounced




Malcolm Turnbull addresses a COAG meeting earlier in October. Photo: AAP
John Stapleton
SHARETWEETSHAREREDDITPINEMAILCOMMENT


The Prime Minister’s pledge to introduce national legislation to detain people, including children as young as 10 years old, for 14 days without charge is a march towards totalitarianism, civil libertarians have warned.

Earlier this month, in what is known in intelligence circles as “security theatre”, Malcolm Turnbull held a special National Security COAG meeting of all state premiers and first ministers to advance the new laws.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spoke for the group when he said: “Notional considerations of civil liberties do not trump the very real threat of terror in our country today.”

What was not disclosed to the public was that if anyone charged under Commonwealth terror laws spoke publicly about what happened to them in detention they would likely be sent straight back to prison.

Nor did the gathered leaders mention that if any journalist wrote about any alleged mistreatment during what are called Special Intelligence Operations (SIOs) they would also be jailed under changes to the ASIO Act.

The new laws have come under renewed focus with the recent release of ASIO’s annual report.

Distinguished former barrister and Canberra insider Pamela Burton told The New Daily she was extremely concerned about the extension of powers. Australia was a signatory to the United Nation’s Convention Against Torture and there had been significant efforts to implement a national system of inspections of all places of detention.

“I am dismayed at the path we now seem set on to authorise arbitrary power to detain people and children as young as 10, as a consequence of terrorism scares,” she said.

President of the Law Council of Australia, Fiona McLeod SC, echoed the concerns. She told The New Daily moves to detain 10-year-olds without charge for up to a fortnight was extraordinarily draconian.

“It’s the combined shock of having a pre-charge detention of up to 14 days and the revelation they’re going to seek to have this extended to the age of 10,” Ms McLeod said. “We’re talking about grade four kids. This has crossed the line.”

Attention on the extensive gifting of powers and budgets to Australia’s security services by the Abbott/Turnbull governments has renewed with the release of ASIO’s annual report.

Paul Murphy, head of the journalists union MEAA, told The New Dailyhard-won democratic and civil rights were being signed away through a deluge of national security legislation.

“These greater powers have to be balanced with greater scrutiny, particularly if we are going to proceed to where minors are being arrested. One safeguard is fearless and independent reporting and when that becomes a crime, we move into very dangerous territory,” Mr Murphy said.

Solicitor Stephen Blanks, President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, told The New Daily the Abbott and Turnbull governments had gifted ASIO excessive powers inconsistent with a free society.

“There are inevitably doubts about the possibility of ASIO overreach and abuse of power,” he said.

Greg Barnes, spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, told The New Daily it was difficult to imagine a more unsuitable candidate than Australia for the UN Human Rights Council.

“The torture of asylum seekers, including indefinite detention of infants and children; the detaining without charge of children as young as 10 under anti-terror laws … you name it, Australia has it,” Mr Barnes said.

Professor David McKnight, author of Australian Spies and Their Secrets, said there had been no case advanced for 14 days detention without charge: “What makes the debate so difficult in Australia is no one wants to be seen to be soft on terrorism.”

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Federal government appears more than ready to channel its inner bully, The New Daily, 30 October, 2017.



http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/10/29/government-bullies-mansion-awu/


Federal government appears more than ready to channel its inner bully


Malcolm Turnbull decided not to vacate his Point Piper mansion to live at Kirribilli House. Photo: ABC
ANALYSISJohn Stapleton
SHARETWEETSHAREREDDITPINEMAILCOMMENT



As the events of the last week have shown, this is a government run by bullies.

A year ago, The New Daily broke the story of concerns over cost overruns and security flaws at Malcolm Turnbull’s mansion.

We reported that the Prime Minister was potentially endangering the lives of his family, staff, neighbours and the AFP officers who protect him by choosing to defy tradition and live in his Point Piper mansion rather than at lodgings provided by the taxpayer.

The mansion is vulnerable to attack from the busy harbour, from the unsecured streets and houses surrounding it, and from the air, we reported.

Not one person has disputed the accuracy of The New Daily‘s story. AFP officers themselves were understood to be pleased with it, and improvements to security at the Prime Minister’s home were made immediately.

The story was leaked to us by a national security insider concerned over the significant potential for disaster.

The problem remains exactly as it was a year ago.

In recent days there have been revelations of an internal memo claiming the AFP has had to scale back its crime-fighting operations, linking this to the high cost of maintaining both the official residences and Mr Turnbull’s private mansion.

Asked about the issue in Parliament, the Prime Minister declared: “We have given record funding to the AFP.”

While a year ago Tony Abbott declined the opportunity to comment, this time around, with open war breaking out in government ranks, there was no such hesitancy. “It is a reasonable question to pose,” he told reporters.

Mr Turnbull is understood to have been furious with the original story, determined heads would roll.

An essential link in the story was the Australian Federal Police Association (AFPA), the union representing the officers themselves. AFPA President Angela Smith was quoted saying maintaining official residences in Canberra and Sydney was an indulgence taxpayers could not afford.The Prime Minister is under fire over his decision. Photo: AAP

Following normal journalistic practice, these comments were transmitted to The New Daily via the Association’s publicity officer.

From the moment the story broke, the publicity officer was hauled over the coals. She was sacked shortly afterwards, all for drafting up and then transmitting comments from her boss.

As she had only worked for the AFP Association for five months, the officer could not sue for unfair dismissal and was not entitled to a payout.

While none of the players in the chain of command – Mr Turnbull, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin or Ms Smith – could be easily sacked, the inference could be made that the head kicking went straight down to the first person vulnerable in the chain: a press secretary who was just doing her job.

It was all over a story which was factually correct and clearly in the public interest.

Distressed, the publicity officer faced Christmas without a job and despairing for her own future.

A year later, another staffer, David de Garis, has taken the fall for the politically motivated raids on the Australian Workers Union, formerly headed by Bill Shorten, which have backfired spectacularly on the government.

It is another classic case of bullying. As always, it is the ‘little people’ who get hurt under this government.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Opinion. Draft. 25 October, 2017.

OPINION

JOHN STAPLETON


Useful fools, the Cultural Marxists pouring out of the nation’s universities and into our institutions, got one thing right.

It is all about power.

At the centre of the circus which has enveloped conservative politics lies one man: Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull has long had a reputation for bullying his way to the top.

But the last week has demonstrated one thing, there really is such a thing as karma.

It is not just Tony Abbott who haunts Turnbull’s every waking hour. So, now, does the rest of the country.

On his watch, Australia has entered a parallel universe.

It is now a country which has, literally, some of the most expensive electricity, hopeless internet, unaffordable housing, ridiculous levels of red tape and highest costs of living in the world.

Pundits prattle diversity, but the country has never been more divided, while the conservatives have deliberately poisoned the public square with a putrid debate on gay marriage. An issue which could have been solved in an afternoon.

As the last week has shown, this is a government which never learns from its own mistakes.

The raids by the AFP last year on Senator Stephen Conroy’s offices over leaks to the media on the fiasco of the NBN backfired on the Coalition almost immediately.

This time around, the AFP raids and the leaks to the media backfired even more quickly. The AFP and Turnbull can concoct their faux outrage as much as they like, the public perception is that they are witnessing a clear abuse of power. In effect bullying.

Nor, when it comes to national security has Turnbull learnt anything. The endless beating of the terror drum did not save Tony Abbott. It will not save him.

And it has all come home to roost, literally.

The New Daily broke the story of concerns over cost overruns and security flaws at Turnbull’s mansion a year ago:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is potentially endangering the lives of his family, staff, neighbours and the Australian Federal Police officers who protect him by choosing to defy tradition and live in his own mansion rather than lodgings provided by the taxpayer.
That’s the opinion of top security experts who ...  believe his mansion, in Sydney’s most expensive suburb of Point Piper, is vulnerable to attack from the busy harbour, from the unsecured streets and houses surrounding it, and from the air.

Not one person has disputed the accuracy of The New Daily's story.

AFP officers themselves were understood to be pleased with it, and improvements to security at the Prime Minister's home were made immediately.

Make no mistake, with Turnbull and his government responsible for dropping more than 100 bombs a month on Iraq and Syria, he and his $50 million mansion are the country’s number one terrorist targets.

The story was leaked to us by a national security insider concerned over the significant potential for disaster.

The problem remains exactly as it was a year ago.

In recent days there have been revelations of an internal memo claiming the AFP has had to scale back their crime fighting operations, linking this to the high cost of maintaining both the official residences and Turnbull’s private mansion.

Asked about the issue in parliament, Turnbull declared: “We have given record funding to the AFP.”

While a year ago Tony Abbott declined the opportunity to comment, this time around, with open war breaking out in government ranks, there was no such hesitancy: “It is a reasonable question to pose.”

Turnbull is understood to have been furious with the original story, determined heads would roll.

An essential link in the story was the AFP Association (AFPA), which is the union representing the officers themselves. President of the AFPA Angela Smith was quoted saying maintaining official residences in Canberra and Sydney was an indulgence taxpayers could not afford.

Following normal journalistic practice, these comments were transmitted to TND via the Association's publicity officer.

From the moment the story broke she was hauled over the coals and sacked shortly afterwards.

All for drafting up and then transmitting comments from her boss.

As she had only worked for the AFP Association for five months, the officer could not sue for unfair dismissal and was not entitled to a payout.

While none of the players in the chain of command, Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin or Angela Smith could be easily sacked, it would appear the head kicking went straight down to the first person vulnerable in the chain - a press secretary who was just doing her job, and doing it well.

All over a story which was factually correct and clearly in the public interest.

Distressed, the publicity officer faced Christmas without a job and despairing for her own future.

Once again, Christmas is upon us.

This time around, as he tucks into his turkey, the Prime Minister can only ponder his own shattered career.

Karma.

Friday, 20 October 2017

ASIO: The Secret Police Force doing enormous damage to Democracy, The New Daily, 21 October, 2017.

http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/10/20/asio-civil-liberties-concern/

ASIO: The secret police force doing enormous damage to democracy


Director general of security and head of ASIO Duncan Lewis and Australian Attorney-General George Brandis. Photo: AAP
John Stapleton
SHARETWEETSHAREREDDITPINEMAILCOMMENT



The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, better known as ASIO, was born out of the anti-Communist hysteria of the post-war era, and has always been closely associated with the conservative side of politics.

The unprecedented expansion of its powers and budgets under the Abbott/Turnbull governments has provoked widespread concern among academics, lawyers and civil libertarians.

This week’s release of ASIO’s Annual Report has done nothing to allay its many critics, some of whom describe ASIO as a parallel secret police force doing enormous damage to Australian democracy.

The report is significant because ASIO is the only one of Australia’s ultra-secretive security agencies required by law to present an annual report.

As such, this is the single window the public gets to determine whether the billions being poured into national security are being well spent.

Major points of contention are the detaining of people without charge and the exemption of ASIO officers from charges of illegal conduct.

Any suspect who speaks out about what happens to them while in detention faces a jail term, as does any journalist who writes about what are classified as Special Intelligence Operations (SIOs).

Barrister Greg Barns, adviser to Wikileaks and Julian Assange, argues that with the gifting of ever more powers to ASIO, Australian democracy is dying.

He describes this month’s spectacle of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the state premiers lining up to declare suspects can be arrested for 14 days without charge as sickening.

ASIO could, during the course of this detention, deprive people of sleep, keep people in isolation and refuse to allow access to family members, a clear breach on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Mr Barns told The New Daily: “ASIO now has the capacity to invade every person’s every communication and movement. With no Human Rights Act to protect against abuse this means ASIO can act with virtual immunity from challenge.

“The use of taxpayer funds to surveil, harass and spy on NGOs and ethnic groups is now ASIO’s bread and butter. It is generally unaccountable about how funds are deployed because secrecy laws protect against disclosure. It is very concerning.”

These concerns were echoed by eminent former diplomat Dr Alison Broinowski who told The New Daily that MI5 in Britain had made similar announcements on the curtailment of civil liberties this week.

“As always, needing more staff, facing more threats, foiling more plots, catching or killing more terrorists. Having got the states on side, Turnbull’s plan is to be able to hold people without charge not just for 14 days but up to 28 days, and people as young as 10,” Dr Alison Broinowski said.

“At the least, we need supervision of what happens to them while they are there.”

Not even the details of their enhanced powers are reflected in ASIO’s annual report, which is packed with bureaucratic language such as: “Within ASIO, we continued to progress strategic reforms to ensure we are focused on work that provides clear value for our stakeholders and that we have the right culture, people and systems. We re-examined our value proposition …”

The failure to address the numerous political, legal and civil liberty issues facing the organisation has come as no surprise to observers.

Professor of law at the University of NSW George Williams told The New Daily the 67 pieces of anti-terror legislation passed since 9/11 have shown fundamental flaws in Australia’s political system.

“This government has seen some very significant expansions in the power of ASIO, particularly the power to conduct Special Intelligence Operations,” Professor Williams said.

“These powers can place it outside normal legal processes, and lie well outside the powers of similar agencies in the US and the UK.

“Journalists face up to a decade in jail for reporting on an SIO, even if it is in the public interest.

“There are inadequate checks and balances. In key areas, the powers gifted to ASIO are disproportionate. There are a long list of things where the operations of ASIO now lie outside normal democratic values.”

AMANDA VANSTONE TAKES A POTSHOT.
NOT QUITE SURE WHY OR WHAT IT ACHIEVED:

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/fake-news-has-been-around-a-lot-longer-than-donald-trump-20171103-gzef0u.html

The US has been under the spotlight globally since Trump was elected. The allegation of Russian intelligence operations interfering in the recent US elections is of great interest to Western nations around the world. In relation to that allegation and many others, President Trump has invoked a new trope: "fake news".
There's an understandable degree of horror on the part of many who can see that using "fake" as an adjective so often linked to "news" runs a risk of permanently damaging our concept of news within a free press as a valuable element of a democratic system. Nonetheless, people have short memories.
It's only the older people who smile and say "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose". This came back to mind when a recent article in The New Daily was drawn to my attention. Its headline made the bold claim that ASIO were the secret police doing enormous damage to our democracy. It asserts that ASIO "was born out of the anti-communist hysteria of the post-war era and has always been closely associated with the conservative side of politics".
The unsuspecting reader might take this to be a statement of fact. It was presumably intended to convey the idea that people right-of-centre like the idea of secret intelligence agencies and whipped themselves into a false frenzy about communists after WWII, hence we have this dastardly agency called ASIO.
What is not said is also what is conveyed: sensible lefties would not have been so sucked in by the hysteria. A quick look into ASIO history tells a different story. It was in fact set up by Labor under Ben Chifley. Under the "five eyes" intelligence sharing, our government knew from material acquired through Operation Venona, run by the United States, that there were Russian operatives active in Australia during and after WWII.
Chifley's famous 1949 speech referring to the "light on the hill" may have drawn inspiration from the parable of salt and light at Matthew 5:14: "You are a light to the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." 
But in setting up ASIO he knew, as our allies knew, there were "reds under the bed". In fact, there was one in Herbert Evatt's office, who was attorney-general at the time.
So ASIO was set up by Labor, not the Liberals, and not because of post-war anti-communist hysteria (read false or exaggerated) but in fact because of shared five-eyes intelligence confirming the Russian operatives. (That Labor subsequently sought to disown Chifley's child and argued that Menzies had manipulated if not "faked" the whole Petrov defection is irrelevant. The official history of ASIO has confirmed the "truth of the matter". Don't expect any apologies from Labor.)
So just in that one example you can see how our media can feed us rubbish in the most indirect way. The bias or misinformation is slipped in not as comment but as scene-setting fact. Arguably that is the least open and frank way.
Another example of misinformation or fake news might be the ever-so-often run line that right-of-centre politicians are racists.... 


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Victory over Islamic State, but at great cost of civilian life, The New Daily, 17 October, 2017.

http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2017/10/17/victory-great-cost-islamic-state/

Victory over Islamic State, but at great cost of civilian life


John Stapleton
SHARETWEETSHAREREDDITPINEMAILCOMMENT



The ancient, once beautiful city of Raqqa in Syria lies in ruins. The smell of death is everywhere.

Victory over Islamic State, which declared the city its capital in 2014, is all but complete and expected to be announced at any time.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias backed by a US-led international alliance, have been fighting Islamic State inside Raqqa since June.

A senior SDF commander, Brigadier General Talal Sillo told the AP on Wednesday morning (AEST) that major fighting in Raqqa had ended and his forces were in control, combing the city for land mines and searching for any IS sleeper cells.

General Sillo said a formal declaration that Raqqa has fallen would be made soon, once troops finish their clearing operations in the city on the banks of the Euphrates River.

Since Sunday’s final assault hundreds of IS fighters have either been killed, fled the city using human shields or have surrendered. Those remaining, believed to be a hardcore of foreign recruits, are expected to fight to the death.

Video footage from the frontline shows soldiers working their way through scenes of almost unbelievable desolation, street after street where every single building has been destroyed.

Video footage of children killed or injured as a result of a relentless barrage of Coalition airstrikes have fuelled jihad propaganda and anti-American sentiment worldwide.
















At the centre of the fighting lies the famous Paradise Square at the city centre, once loved by locals for its famous ice cream parlour.

After 2014 it became emblematic of Islamic State’s harsh rule, a scene of frequent public executions and beheadings.

The SDF announced on Monday it had finally seized control of the hugely symbolic Square after four months of fighting.

But despite significant military losses over the past six months, including the fall of Mosul, whether defeat in Raqqa will mark the end of Islamic State is a moot point.

One of the world’s leading experts on Islamic State Graeme Wood, author of The Way of the Strangers, has repeatedly warned that a failure to understand the religious underpinning of Islamic State has led to the waste of billions of dollars in trying to defeat them militarily.

While Islamic State warriors, who see themselves as key players in a coming Apocalypse, are now fighting to the death in the ruins of Raqqa, the very devastation of Raqqa plays into these beliefs.

Mr Wood told The New Daily: “Coalition bombing has destroyed the city of Raqqa, and the most important surviving power-centre of the Islamic State along with it. Residents of Raqqa might decide that IS’s harsh rule was preferable to living in a pile of rubble.”

With extremely high civilian casualties, the US strategy of essentially carpet bombing Middle Eastern cities into ruins and then claiming victory is being widely questioned.

In July, Amnesty International accused Australia of potential war crimes after more than 40,000 civilians were killed in nearby Mosul, and such accusations may arise again in Raqqa.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of HRW’s Middle Eastern Division, told The New Daily: “We have very serious concerns about the unlawful and indiscriminate strikes carried out by the anti-IS coalition. We are deeply disturbed by an apparent new level of laxity in targeting since the Trump administration came to power.

“No one should be under any illusion that the defeat of IS in Raqqa will end Syria’s problems. First and foremost, the horrors of the Assad government far outstrip anything IS has ever done.”

There are also numerous concerns that Australia’s involvement in the US-led Coalition in Iraq and Syria has had a galvanising impact on the radicalisation of ​and alienation of ​Australian Muslims.

Leading Muslim spokesman Keysar Trad told The New Daily: “I am a longterm critic of IS and its murderous ways, but bombs by their very nature are chaotic beasts whose damage cannot be fully controlled.

“These wars that coalition governments have dragged us into have cost many innocent lives and I know that the majority of Australians – speaking as one of them – do not want this on our conscience.”

​Reliable figures place the number of deaths in Syria since the conflict began in 2011 at 470,000, with a further 6.1 million internally displaced and another 4.8 million seeking refuge abroad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has recorded almost 300 deaths since Friday, October 13.

Australia’s involvement in the bombing of Syria began two years ago under then prime minister Tony Abbott. Defence Department statistics updated this week show almost 200 incursions by Australian fighter planes into Syrian airspace so far this year.

-with AAP

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Thailand Promises Crime Crackdown. Thailand: Deadly Destination gets a mention. TTR ASEAN Travel NEWS Weekly . 3 October, 2017.

http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2017/10/thailand-promises-crime-crackdown/

Thailand promises crime crackdown

October 3, 2017 by   
Filed under NewsThailand
BANGKOK, 3 October 2017: Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, has ordered a crackdown at major tourist destinations in the country targeting foreign ‘Mafia like’ gangs, scammers and illegal immigrants.
Defence Ministry’s spokesman Maj-Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich confirmed to the Thai PBS TV news channel that the deputy prime minister had ordered all security branches to crackdown on illegals residing in tourist destinations such as Pattaya and Phuket.
Thai PBS said the crackdown would focus on so-called “dark influential figures” linked to prostitution, money laundering, drug and human trafficking. Foreigners who are illegally working and resident in the country have been a target for at least two years with offenders often deported.
Call centre and real estate scams are also prevalent at all major resort destinations and are prime targets.
Pattaya was the first target for the crackdown,  but authorities said they would follow through with similar campaigns in Phuket and Samui.
There is also a whistle blower scheme where local residents are encouraged to report possible scam and criminal activities.
Thailand is heading for membership in the mega-tourism club as visits approach 35 million this year, but it has come at a high cost in safety and security.
Accurate statistics on crimes involving foreigners are difficult to source  A website that collects statistics on the deaths of foreign tourists in Thailand identified 281 fatalities this year from all causes.
Books identifying the risks have been penned such as ‘Thailand Deadly Destination’ by John Stapleton (2014) that outlined potential threats that await tourists.
In response to a Q&A with the website One Weird Globe to the question of safety, Stapleton said: “No country is perfectly safe, of course, and many of Thailand’s dangers can be avoided, or lessened with a few tips.”
Stapleton’s takeaway tips:
Avoid attempting stuff beyond your skill or ability level. Just because a friendly Thai person is willing to rent you a jetski, or powerful motorcycle doesn’t mean you should;
Keep your common sense – and wits – about you. Some of the most common stories of theft, injury, or detainment happen when you demonstrate your clear inability to care for yourself.
Watch as your drink is made, and keep it with you.
Be suspicious of a local that approaches with a sales pitch or spiel.
Know at least something of the country before arriving. Simply reading the Wikitravel page to Thailand is a start, and picking up some light reading on the country certainly won’t kill you.
Keep a firm hand on your belongings while traveling, and avoid letting them out of your sight.

Monday, 11 September 2017

In a war without end, the events of 9/11 still central, The New Daily, 12 September, 2017.



http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/09/11/911-terror-attack-anniversary/




In a war without end, the events of 9/11 still central to world affairs


A man and his daughter take time out at the 9/11 memorial pool in New York. Photo: Getty
John Stapleton
SHARETWEETSHAREREDDITPINEMAILCOMMENT



Sixteen years on from the fall of the Twin Towers in New York, the ritual laying of flowers in the world’s major cities after another attack has become the norm.

In a war without end, it appears the jihadists have won.

Tens of thousands of civilians, Islamic State warriors and members of security forces have died in recent years.

The massacres from the Philippines to Europe, from Turkey to the United States, the concrete bollards, the burdensome airport security, the universal surveillance, means terror has arrived on everyone’s doorstep.

Think Paris, London, Brussels, Barcelona, Manchester. And that’s just this year.

There were more than 11,000 incidents across 104 countries in 2016.

Spreading fear into the homelands of the unbelievers was an aim repeatedly stated by Islamic State. Goal achieved.

And all of it took hold in the most dramatic way possible – 16 years ago, on September 11, 2001.

The world awoke to the unforgettable images of planes smashing into the 110-storey Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. Scenes seared into our collective memory.

Eleven Australians were among the 2997 people killed.

This day in the US is a solemn anniversary for those lives lost. But their deaths were only the beginning.

The west’s response, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, is now widely criticised as terror has metastasised from one country to another. Estimates of deaths in Iraq alone range over the million mark.

From the chaos rose Islamic State.Islamic State fighters in Syria. Photo: Getty

That organisation’s ultra-violence, featuring mass beheadings, shootings and crucifixions, has attracted followers worldwide.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard strutted the world stage as members of the Coalition of the Willing.

Their reputations have since been savagely damaged. Britain’s recent Chilcot Report slammed the nation’s rush to war.

A report from the Australian Directorate of Army Research, declassified last year, demonstrated that the only reason Australia was involved in the war was to shore up its alliance with the USA.

The conflict reverberates to this day, with Amnesty International recently accusing Australia of war crimes.

The ADF has dropped some 700 bombs this year in the ongoing conflict.

Dr Isaac Kfir, director of the National Security Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told The New Daily: “Most people would take the position that we are less secure today than we were pre-9/11. Jihadism was confined.

“Most had no idea who they were. Now the whole world knows.You can see its presence in every continent in the world, Asia, Africa, Europe.”

Terror expert at the Australian National University Clarke Jones told The New Daily that counterterrorism tactics had backfired, damaging Muslim and government relations.

“They have worked to marginalise and ostracise Muslim communities,” Dr Jones said.
Australia mishandled its response to 9/11

Alison Broinowski, vice-president of Australians for War Powers Reform, told The New Daily the US, UK and Australia badly mishandled just about everything to do with 9/11, and the world had been paying the price ever since.

“It should have been seen first and foremost as a heinous criminal act and not cause for some ridiculous so-called war on terror,” Dr Broinowski said.

“The mother of all mistakes was to widen the conflict to Iraq which set in train the series of events that now destabilise a number of countries and gave birth to Islamic State. Australia should have stayed well clear.”

Former intelligence officer Andrew Wilkie, author of Axis of Deceit and the only insider to publicly speak out about the false evidence used to justify the invasion of Iraq, stands by his stance at the time.

“Prime Minister John Howard and then foreign minister Alexander Downer rightly stand accused of war crimes and their actions should be properly investigated,” he told The New Daily.

“The bottom line is that these matters constitute Australia’s greatest foreign and security policy blunder in our history.”