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Lindt Café Inquest, Part 22: To Give or Not To Give State Police Power to the SAS

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katrina_five_30
Hurricane Katrina brought martial law (off the books)

by Mary W Maxwell, PhD (Politics), LLB

This 22nd  article in the series addresses a new question: Has someone, somewhere, probably in Canberra, decided that the Sydney siege is to be used to justify a greater military presence in civilian life in Oz? I will not be able to play the neutral reporter here. I advocate against such a development.

My background is this: I have seen local police departments in the United States (city, more often than state) get subordinated to …um… we are not sure. They have names like anti-terrorism squads and JTTF’s – Joint Terrorism Task Forces. (“Joint” could mean joint between several agencies or between local and non-local police.)

On the Streets of America

It began in the 1970s. At first the militarization of law enforcement was enabled by “the war on drugs” if you can believe that. Legislation for that encroachment was needed, as there are barriers against the use of military in law enforcement.

The main barrier is states’ rights. Each of the 50 states has the sole police power over its people. (Exceptions are so minor it is a nuisance to list them. The US Constitution designates a few crimes as inherently federal, such as manufacturing counterfeit money.)

Some federal laws invented by Congress also attach a penalty — let’s say dumping waste in a national park. So gradually there has been a build-up of some “police forces” relevant thereto. In this case, park rangers.

Since 1908 there has also been an FBI, federal bureau of investigation. It has no police power. I repeat: it has no police power.  You’d hardly know that, though, as we see men wearing FBI jackets going around like they were the sassiest cops in Christendom.

How can that be?  It is partly bluff. It is also that they sometimes walk into a city and asked to be deputized as local police (but still wear that super-macho FBI jacket). I’ll bet local cops hate this usurping of their function and their prestige.

The FBI also acts – this is comical – as I myself might act, making citizen’s arrest. Yes, it’s true. Mr Macho Jacket knocks on your door and says “Yer under arrest, you jerk.” Or words to that effect. Little does the person know that the apparent cop is only acting as a citizen, not a cop. Quel scream.

Anti-Terrorist Troops

And now, thanks to anti-terrorism laws, there is much encroachment on the states’ exclusive police power. I mean heck, with all those Arabs hijacking planes all over the place, only an old fuddy-duddy would  insist on the Constitution.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, folks on the ground had no idea who was bossing them around I believe that it was members of private security companies such as Blackwater. They have zip respect for people.

They no doubt received military training. That means you should be as rough with the people as possible. It’s all a part of winning the war.  Even if there really is no war, we fantasize a war into existence. The human brain loves to focus on an enemy. And Congress love to fund war. It’s blank chequesville.

I am opposed to all this. I wish the Americans had not let it happen and now I want the Australians to avoid falling in the same trap

Back to the Inquest

During the inquest into the deaths of three people, Tori Johnson, Katrina Dawson, and Man Haron Monis, much has been said, so far, about the job done by police — especially at the end of the siege when NSW cops stormed the Lindt Café.

My attendance at the Inquest has been spotty. I missed many of the witnesses who may have talked about ADF involvement. Occasionally I saw in the newspaper that SAS persons expressed disgust (not in the Inquest courtroom) with the way the siege ended, claiming they would have done a more effective job.

Being the suspicious person I am (based on the aforementioned experience in the US), I suspected that the media had a purpose in dropping those little hints about the possibility of a better outcome if SAS or commandos had been give their head. Or somebody else’s head as the case may be.

To me it looks like “somebody somewhere” has a plan.

Jeremy Gormly’s Statement

Recall that the quote about Holsworthy came from a document that acts as a summary of some of the Inquest’s doings. You can read that “Statement of Jeremy Gormly, SC, Regarding Australian Defence Force Issues” here.

In it, I note that he has made a request for anyone out there in the public who can help him regarding the matter below. (You should contact Melissa Heris, the solicitor to the inquest if you have information.)

The issue is that Gormly found that “respectable journals” had quoted unhappy ADF personnel – unhappy, that is, with the final storming of the café. They did not give their names. (And as far as I know, thanks to freedom of the press, the journalists cannot be made to sing.)

At Item 36 C of his May 16, 2016 document, Gormly mentions two of the complaints (made by the mystery informers):

— “that Army Special Forces have better equipment than State tactical operations units;

— that had the Army been given control of the siege its commandos would have used rifles that fire a much heavier 9mm round, which is specially designed for indoor situations that involve citizens and were less likely to fragment.”

Of course this alarms me. It looks like this may lead to a recommendation that SAS handle our next siege.

Note: regarding the second item, just as a point of logic, if the military has those better bullets, is there some reason why the state could not acquire the same ones?

Who Was in Charge?

A different matter of interest to the Inquest is: who ran the show? Here at Gumshoe I have presented my shorthand notes of several discussions by police witnesses. Recall in Part 5, the evidence of “Dennis Albrecht” (that name was my way of avoiding his code name, Delta Alpha).

He was the leader of Team Tango Charlie. Then in Part 14 we heard testimony from “Officer A” (the cop who killed Monis).  In Part 11, which was entitled “Holy Fuck; It’s Turned Real,” the shield bearer gave his impression of the chain of command.

Each man said he was not the decision maker. I believe it was in Albrecht’s evidence that it was stated the decision would come from higher up than his boss. Even Officer A who said he took his commands from Officer B, gave me the impression that Officer B was not the decision maker.

That is, even when they heard the shots that should have automatically caused them to storm the café, they still awaited word on the police radio. Excuse me, I am not dead sure of that — would need to get a hold of the transcripts (which, as I mentioned, the media have access to).

Perusing the Gorlmy Statement

Since the Gormly Statement is dated May 13, 2016, it does not contain the (later) oral testimony of any of those three men. I think it does contain what they sent in, in writing, plus reports of their official walk-through that took place in early January 2015.

Item 6 of the May 13, 2016 statement by Gormly says:

“It is well known that the NSW Police had management of the siege. It made the critical decisions, using NSW Police resources. It managed the siege from start to finish; that included the forced entry of the Café using officers of its Tactical Operations Unit.”

Mr Gormly would now have to amend that, I think, based on evidence given in June and July. It simply is not the case that “the NSW Police… managed the siege from start to finish.”

I believe SAC-PAV was in there. As far as I know it is their job to be in there when a hostage-situation is happening.

You must pardon me for the fact that SAC-PAV’s hidden involvement in the Port Arthur massacre (and I don’t mean involvement in the rescue, folks) has left me skeptical of any claim that Canberra was not running the show. Surely Canberra was in, deep, back in 1996.

Skeptics with bigger skepticism than mine say the “highest point” in the chain of command was not even in Australia. I am not going to go there today as I have zilch information about that.

But from remarks made by cops in the witness box, heard by my very own ears, I can say “Canberra very likely – yes.”

Speaking of my very own ears, there was no perception by my very own eyes. Whenever a cop was in the dock we were prevented from seeing him or hearing his real name. Thus, while he took the oath, the court was cleared. He couldn’t very well say “I, Dennis Albrecht” or “I, Officer A,” or “I, Claudius,” or anything fictitious, with one hand on the Bible.

(Actually, Bibles are not used in this coronial court. We did get to see expert witnesses, such as Lucas Vander Walt, take the oath and it was hands free.)

Conclusion, for the Moment

The Inquest needs to go explicitly into the issue of a possible plan to give more power to the SAS.

Surely we can judge from the Boson Marathon experience, that it is easy to overwhelm a community with a martial-law like show of force. No legislation was needed for the governor of Massachusetts (sorry — Assachusetts) to go on TV and tell the people that their safety required house-to-house searches.

None of that Ciceronian “Salus populi suprema lex esto” nonsense when there is a Muslim on the loose. Folks: you will obey.

I say if it’s going to happen in Australia, let it happen by the Powers That Be coming right out and saying “Gotcha.”  That would be preferable (in my law-loving book) than using an inquest to make it happen by a side door.

I ain’t saying it is happening in this inquest. But I say we have to be alert for it.

— Mary W Maxwell can be reached at her website (that she has not updated in years for lack of time): ProsecutionForTreason.com

 

Photo credit: media.sacbee.com

 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. The situation should never be allowed to happen whereby the Military are used against civilians ever, let alone in our own country. Unfortunately our politicians use their services (pardon the pun) for any number of deaths worldwide.

      • In theory WA legislation prohibits a warrant-less police raid save in an emergency. In practice there are no checks or balances whatsoever:

        PROSECUTOR: Can you tell his Honour what you did in relation to the information you got?

        SERGEANT S: I knew the family as a result of being a policeman in the district for some time. I had grave concerns about what else might be going on so I ordered Constables Hallett and Bond to attend the defendant’s address and secure the premises under the Firearms Act…………

        HIS HONOUR: So you didn’t get a warrant? You used the provisions of the Firearms Act?

        SERGEANT S: Yes Sir

        HIS HONOUR: And what provisions are they?

        SERGEANT S: ………….off the top of my head , that if I have sufficient concern about events occurring that I can go to a house and enter that place without a warrant. Then I’m required to submit a report to the Commissioner as to why I did what I did.

        HIS HONOUR: Any questions Mr. Berry?

        S BERRY, MR: Yes. Was that report submitted?

        SERGEANT SPICER: Yes

        S BERRY, MR: How come we were never given a copy ?

        SERGEANT S: I don’t know

        S BERRY, MR: Here where you state on paragraph one of your statement:
        ” I concluded that the two persons in custody were acting in concert and that they had planned some unlawful activity. Having knowledge of the family I believed that there was a serious threat of harm being suffered by some person as the third brother and mother were still at large”

        SERGEANT S: That’s true

        S BERRY, MR: What was that based on ?

        HIS HONOUR: Well I mean Mr. Berry, that is a very silly question to ask to a courtroom, under theses circumstances

        S BERRY, MR: How so ?

        HIS HONOUR: How so? Well, you go ahead and ask it. But I’m telling you its not a good idea to ask it because you may well get an answer that could be prejudicial to your family.

        S BERRY, MR: I’m trying to establish that there was a prejudice.

        HIS HONOUR: All right, you ask the question. I’ve warned you against asking it. You’re going to get an answer that you might not like……….It may well be information that is completely irrelevant to these charges

        S BERRY, MR: What was the basis of the assumption that my middle brother or my mother would cause harm to someone?

        SERGEANT S: In times previous to this event I had conversations with the bailiff who had attended at your place and he was there serving processes. At that time he came back to me and said that you had machetes down your trousers, that he felt extremely threatened. When he was going to attend there again he wanted a police escort because he felt his life was in danger, and the behaviour of your family on his attendance was threatening and he thought that he was in danger

        S BERRY, MR: We’ve never threatened anyone who’s come to our property. Is there any police record of violence ever occurring?

        SERGEANT S: Not that I’m aware of, no.
        SOURCE OF RECORD WITHHELD FOR OBVIOUS REASONS

        No charges were ever preferred against “the third brother and mother”(myself) and no charges corresponding to the operation were were upheld, but so far violating our collective rights and reducing us to a state of constant terror it was a raging success.

        As there’s no means of holding any State or Federal Police service to account the sky’s the limit.

        Mass resistance might well necessitate Army back-up. So far as I know there’s no such organisation within Australia.

        • I was taught at Adelaide Law School that all South Australia police are issued every six months with a general search warrant to be used as they see fit.
          This did not cause the teacher to make the slightest comment.

        • The beauty about the trial process is that it allows certain dots to be put together. The value of the above exert is that it confirms an affiliation between certain Police officers and the family’s long-standing civil opponent.

          Small wonder that the process had to be ditched re Port Arthur

        • Berry,
          in the light of two family’s examining at the the Lindt Cafe inquest, just imagine what a coronial inquiry would have exposed by 35 victim’s (murdered) counsel testing the Port arthur mass muder scenario?
          Perhaps it is time to investigate the Port Arthur mass murder, be it with a Royal Commission?

        • Paul, yes we could have a commission on events over the last 20 years, even over à couple of hundred and more.
          But a couple, re events over the last 20 will do the trick to awaken those who are alive and want exposure in current times to recognise a pattern of deceit over the last 200+ years.
          Now is the time to recognise the historical false flags of
          serial deceit and murders with exposure of recent events, thus the current need to expose the bastards who are currently operating.

      • Berry,
        Dare i also suggest that there also should be a Royal Commission into our involvement in the ME wars and the killing of over a million humans, to explian how our then PM; Mr. John Winston Howard came to be now ’embarrased’ as a demonstrated sucker together with his running dogs of the corporate mass media.
        Hopefuly we will be saved in future from future lies by a gaggle of ‘independants’, in the Senate kindly, provided from the electorate by our present PM.
        Oh bugger, …..?… I forgot Senator Hinch, who has not demonstrated the intellect to distinguish a false flag ruse from reality.
        Tell us Derryn how we were also suckered into having 550 of your (and mine) peers killed by the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ lies so as to invade Vietnam. Been there on a cheap holiday there lately to commenerate our kids killed at Long Tam. (Sp?)

        • Really Ned, you could have a royal commission into the whole past 20 years. Virtually everything everywhere has been dodgy in the extreme in that time-frame. I wonder if there will be future generations who will study the affairs of our time and marvel at the breathtaking depth of institutional dishonesty and corruption, and the exhausting stupidity of the mass of the people that enables it. Future people, looking back on us will at least see a lot of what we still fail to see in the here and now.

  2. Please re-read my article on “the independent DPP”.

    https://gumshoenews.com/2016/01/07/the-dpps-independence-you-could-knock-me-over-with-a-feather/

    What I learned at the Lindt Cafe Inquest today is that NSW also has an independent Police Force.
    Is that fascinating or what.
    Assistant Commissioner Cath Burn was in the witness box today. I admire her. I don’t think the orchestra pit does, though.
    Tomorrow Ms Burn and Ms Bashir go head to head. Your scribe will let you know how it works out.
    My money’s on Cath.

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