I wrote last September about a coincidence regarding a “terror” attack and legislation. On Thursday morning of the 25th of September 2014, a 41-year-old member of the Defense Force (in uniform) was allegedly threatened and assaulted by two men of Middle Eastern appearance in Bella Vista (Sydney) at about 6.30 am (ABC). Later that night, legislation to beef up the powers of the domestic spy agency ASIO passed in the Senate by 44 votes to 12. The following day (Friday) the NSW Police issued a statement announcing the “allegation of assault has now been withdrawn”.
I read in this morning’s paper that an additional $450 million to fight terrorism within Australia is part of the Australian Federal Budget announcement today.
Let us review the recent events leading up to Minister Joe Hockey’s budget announcement this evening – making the additional expenditure to ASIO more palatable to Australians.
April 30. “a member of the public cold-called the National Security Hotline on April 30 to express concerns about the boy’s activities… For the next nine days, Operation Amber zeroed in on the boy’s history, with the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police and ASIO trying to gauge what threat, if any, he posed to public safety.” The Australian.
May 8. The police swoop and arrest the seventeen year old.
For several days there is wall to wall coverage of the teen’s alleged plot.
Rudimentary devices were found by Australian Federal Police and then rendered safe following controlled detonations. Butane canisters were seized – and this was reported and shown in The Herald Sun. Picture: Mark Stewart
Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said, “We do believe that the young man intended to explode a device at an event over the coming days.” And in the Herald Sun, the headline “Mother’s Day plot: Lives saved when teenager’s alleged attack foiled, police say”
It is understood that the teen is dependent on his upstanding parents for money and transport.
May 10. Reports that 30,000 runners “brave” the terrorist threat.
May 11. 17-year-old faces the Children’s Court, plus headlines like “Melbourne teen posted extremist rants before bomb plot arrest”.
May 12. The Herald Sun headline below.
The Federal budget 2015 will be released at 7.30 this evening. But in a pre-announcement, the Abbott government commits an additional $450 million to fight local Jihadis.
The Sydney Morning Herald writes: “The Abbott government will commit a further $450 million to the fight against homegrown terrorism in Tuesday’s budget as it warns of a dangerous new trend towards teenagers, some as young as 14, taking up the cause of violent extremism. The new spending pushes the government’s outlays on national security and de-radicalisation programs to well over $1 billion, despite severe budgetary pressure.”
October 2014. ASIO had already received an increase to fight terrorism last October. “SPY agency ASIO will receive a $200 million boost over the next four years to combat terrorism,” (The Australian or here).
The additional $450 million was possibly initiated as a result of the Martin Place siege, and inked when police seized knives and swords – preventing the alleged ANZAC day terror plot.
The timing of this budget announcement, after wall-to-wall media saturation of the Mothers’ Day Bomb Plot, makes the allocation of $450 million MORE to fight internal terror palatable to both politician and punter.
What I find disturbing is the style and manner of the media’s saturation of this teen’s Facebook rant – and including photographs like the butane canister. I have presently four butane canisters stashed with the camping stove. The drama and implication of deadly pipe bombs had disproportionate coverage – day after day (for five days).
Meanwhile – over the last five days approximately 33 Australians committed suicide, 16 people died on the roads and 5/8th of a woman was killed by her partner (statistically speaking).
We understand ASIO and the police have to act efficiently and professionally to these threats – but it is almost impossible these days to get an honest and factual portrayal from the media of what is really going on. The media also exacerbates the “terror” connection to significant events (e.g. ANZAC day or Mothers’ Day).
Sometimes the timing of these events just happen to coincide with legislation or expenditure, but the media and the political process are now using terror buzz words to hype, spin and plug fear into the heart of society – all this providing easy passage for huge sums of money. I presume some of the additional $450 million will be funneled into more surveillance. (Note: This was a Facebook tip off)
The mainstream media should claim their commission on the additional $450 million.