"The Terrorism Files"

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  • Russell Brown,

    The police are waging a PR war here ...

    To be fair, they're hardly the only ones, and arguably not even the instigators. As far as I can tell Broad never uttered the word "terrorist", and in his initial statements he was at pains to say that the public should not jump to conclusions.

    On the other other side, there's been all manner of crazy talk from a lot of people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    "February 28: 12.32 pm Sunday Star-Times journalist phones a suspect saying the paper has an anonymous letter about guerrilla training in the Ureweras. Suspect denies it."

    Anyone know more about that?

    No, but I bet they're kicking themselves over the the SST. Mind you, after the Operation Leaf fiasco, they were probably right to err on the side of caution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    "s far as I can tell Broad never uttered the word "terrorist",

    He just ordered raids based on the terrorism suppression act, how could people be so easily confused?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And where's the bloody context? If X, Y, or Z say something in the midst of a conversation, then the whole thing needs to examined to determine intent etc. In court you get that opportunity - in the media there is no way of defending yourself and presenting a defence against cherry picked comments from two years of surveillance. Seriously, %&* this trial by media, and trial in the comments sections of blogs.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    Operation leaf, interesting you should mention that. Was that not the crazy notion that Police were bugging Maori activists?

    Well we all know how silly an idea that turned out to be.

    Oh hold on.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Were they? thats the point.

    The question shouldn't be 'were they', it should be 'what did the police have good reason to believe'. Police are always having to deal with the best information that they have, and their best guesswork.

    The Dom material that we've seen today indicates that they could have been seriously talking about it, but probably weren't close to enacting anything (unless the time period Oct 10 - Oct 15 had something happen in it that led to the police raids along those lines).

    The two questions about police actions should be separated.

    1. Should the police have intervened when they did?
    2. When they intervened, did they use appropriate methods?

    I think it's useful to consider them as separate questions. You could see an alternative version of events where the police intervened, but Ruatoki was no where near as 'ramped up' (eg, no AOS), and people didn't feel so threatened. The police actions on the day don't necessarily mean that they were wrong to be there, they may just mean that they did it wrong.

    Ignoring 2 for the moment, for 1:

    Clearly there was stuff being said and done that police should definitely have been interested in. We want police at least keeping an eye on people who are talking about killing other people and who have weapons and training camps along those lines.

    They could have intervened earlier, but it may be that they were waiting for evidence and more incrimination. Obviously one of their concerns is getting convictions and putting people away. If they'd jumped earlier in the operation, they might have missed some people or important evidence.

    I'm not sure why the police intervened when they did, perhaps that's just information that we don't have. Obviously at some stage, if things had gone down a path where something was going to be done, you'd want them to intervene to stop it in a safe way.

    Of course, if the activities had come to nothing, waiting would have had the advantage of seeing things through to an end game (group fizzles out or something), and then deciding what charges if any should be laid.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    He just ordered raids based on the terrorism suppression act, how could people be so easily confused?

    The flipside of that argument being that he ordered raids based on the only law he could use, that he never named himself (presumedly some lowly paid civil servant invents legislation names?)

    The insinuation of a comment like yours is that he used the act to use the word - seems a bit of a leap to me. "Gee, this isn't the right act to use but I'll ignore the others because this has a great name..."


    /DevilsAdvocate

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    it's just talk though, no one did anything

    Well, y'know, nothing except buying guns, having regular meetings in secret locations, simulating police interrogations and practicing with live ammunition. Just the usual stuff.

    you're white, middle class in your 40's, uni educated and probably christian. You don't have many non white friends, poor friends, young friends or stupid friends, maybe you don't have any at all and are looking to apply your set of standards and morals on others while disapproving of those whose standards and morals differ

    Thanks, that was a good lunchtime giggle! Want to come over to my middle-class BBQ on the weekend where myself and my blonde, blue-eyed children will be storming a model of parliament and detonating mock backpack bombs?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "February 28: 12.32 pm Sunday Star-Times journalist phones a suspect saying the paper has an anonymous letter about guerrilla training in the Ureweras. Suspect denies it."

    Really - so eveyone invovled knew that the press had tip offs to silly buggars in the hills in Feb & they kept playing at it?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Operation leaf, interesting you should mention that. Was that not the crazy notion that Police were bugging Maori activists?
    Well we all know how silly an idea that turned out to be.
    Oh hold on.

    Except that the story involved completely different people, at a different time and, more importantly, turned out to be based on the claims of a known fantasist who led journalists on a merry chase before wholly failing to produce any evidence for any of what he said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    I don;t think anyone is claiming they were smart Shep

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    A S said:

    Sad but true. And I'd hate for us to think that there was actually some neutral body making rational calls on this somewhere after all....

    Well, that's what the courts are for, and since the courts ruled there wasn't enough for a trial, the matter was closed. Until the police decided to fire another salvo.

    There are people facing arms charges, and those people were facing considerable damage to their reputations anyway for their involvement in things that were stupid but not illegal, but there was and is no terrorism. That's was state's decision, but the police, and the media, and a considerable section of New Zealand's population don't want to accept that conclusion.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    Which makes me think Shep that this was not serious.

    I doubt the IRA would have continued with an operation if the Belfast Telegraph had called up asking how it was progressing.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • dubmugga,

    Well, y'know, nothing except buying guns, having regular meetings in secret locations, simulating police interrogations and practicing with live ammunition. Just the usual stuff.<quote>

    ...and the only crime was the guns weren't registered yeah ???

    <quote>Want to come over to my middle-class BBQ on the weekend where myself and my blonde, blue-eyed children will be storming a model of parliament and detonating mock backpack bombs?

    ...yeah sure, i'll bring the weed and napalm just in case you ran out. I guess the real important question here is should i wear the pink camos or the blue camos ???

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    David Cuachi:
    [sorry for the delay]

    According to section 13(2), you participate in a terrorist group if you do anything 'to enhance the ability of any entity (being an entity of the kind referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b)) to carry out, or to participate in the carrying out of, 1 or more terrorist acts', which I would imagine includes training to do these things.

    True, but as I expect you anticipate, this misses a couple of potential problems:

    1. You can only enhance the ability of a terrorist entity if it is already a terrorist entity. Even if you're helping it towards committing a terrorist act, if your help is before it becomes a terrorist entity, then you haven't committed the offence.

    2. There potentially also has to be a level of specificity to the terrorist acts you're helping to prepare it to carry out. If all they're training toward is to get ready to commit some terrorist act in the future, but which hasn't actually been decided on, then maybe that isn't enough. Basically, it's the difference between training to be a better shot, knowing that someone might ask you to shoot a particular target at some point in the future, and training to be a better shot so you can shoot Anne Onymous according to some plan (though you may not have to know the plan or even the target).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Lambert,

    I thought long and hard before I used the verb "terrorise". But what else would you call a pre-dawn raid by fully armed, armoured and masked people?

    Terrifying for those caught up in the raids, yes, and I have no doubt some Police love nothing better than dressing up in their cool combat outfits, strapping on the heavy artillery and charging around on a power trip.

    But if there is a chance of an armed confrontation, even a minute one, arming the officers involved would be standard practice anywhere in the world (for good reason - nut cases with guns have been known to resist arrest, and at least one or two of the people under surveillance in this case could reasonably fit into this category).

    As would carrying out the operation at a time most likely to catch the suspects by surprise, thus lessening the chances of an armed confrontation in the first place.

    I can understand why many in Ruatoki were so upset (and taking photos of everyone trying to enter and leave town was very dodgy to say the least), but what was the alternative? Not trying to arrest people when there is evidence they are breaking the law?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    Over at Norightturn, Idiot/Savant has posted. This extract, I thought, sums up exactly the problems with the actions of the police (if, indeed, they were the leakers):

    I have already said that I am against trial by media, and this clearly demonstrates why. If this material had been revealed in court, the defence could have properly tested it and cross-examined the witnesses. That right has now been denied to them, as they cannot respond for fear of prejudicing their case on the remaining charges. The effect will be to establish "facts" in the public mind (and thus of potential jurors) which have not been properly tested - "facts" which are highly contentious and could have a significant bearing in a case which is ultimately about the purpose for which firearms were being used.

    It’s all the worse when you consider that in an effort to avoid prosecution, the Dominion-Post has anonymised the evidence. While on the one hand this seems to avoid some of the worst features of trial by media, the net effect is to lose any distinction between the accused, and tar them all with the same brush. According to Campbell Live, the number of people recorded making dangerous and violent statements was five - but now all seventeen defendants get to be smeared with the extremist views of Jamie Lockett.

    That of course was the aim of the police in leaking this - to show that they were justified by smearing the accused. This is grossly improper for any police officer, and speaks of an utter contempt for the judicial process and rule of law. And in the face of such gross malfeasance by the police and the media and the damage it has done, the court now has only one option: to declare a mistrial.

    I'm not sure that I agree with calls for a mistrial (yet) but I do think that, what we desperately need now, is a police force that obeys the laws they are supposed to enforce. I'm not anti-police but I think it's critical that the defendants in this case get a fair trial. I also think that there is a more general point about the enforcement arm of any democracy needing to be squeaky respect the legal system. Once that respect goes you are on a heck of a slippery slope*.

    __________________
    *I feel this all the more acutely because I have just returned from Australia.

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    With domestic terrorists we don't have one single example. No one has ever actually done it.

    Um, Te Kooti would probably count. Funnily enough, though, his biggest legacy has been his ideas, mostly expressed through art (see the chapter in the Binney biography on artistic responses to him).

    Tame is to my mind first and foremost an artist. Most artists i know especially the good ones are loaded with baggage, very self centred and court publicity. It's his nature to be that way and I respect him for it.

    And this gets right to the crux of it. Art is much more effective than violence. Even the yanks realised they had to cover the copy of Guernica in the UN when they were making their case for invading Iraq there. Compare Delacroix's Liberty leading the people to the Revolutionary Terror, one of these rallied people to the Revolution and the other derailed it. Look at how the historical avant-garde completely reshaped the way we see the world (even milk ads use cubism now!). There are lots and lots of examples (including McCahon's Urewera Triptych).

    To be a good artist, you need to have a certain obsessive nature and a lot of self-confidence. I'm not sure that equates to baggage and self-centredness though. Courting publicity? Well, everyone wants their pictures seen.

    I too went down to Parliament at lunchtime, and found myself joining the hikoi for a stroll along Lambton Quay. The flags were glorious in the breeze, especially the Tuhoe one.

    Visual art wins every time!

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    dubmugga

    If you're going to critique a comment, at least try to include the whole of it, rather than selectively quoting out of context.

    Tame is to my mind first and foremost an artist. Most artists i know especially the good ones are loaded with baggage, very self centred and court publicity. It's his nature to be that way and I respect him for it.

    You seem to indicate your respect from someone who has quite probably shafted his community in terms of resources, assistance and any chance of getting ahead, because of his idiocy. Are you really saying that?!

    If you were misquoting someone else to talk about a comment I made earlier about stereotypes, then I hate to disillusion you, you are entirely wrong on every count.

    Maybe you should take a deep breath before posting sometimes.

    ;)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    Lambert, as Matt Macarten pointed out, if you wanted to talk to Tame Iti all you would have to do is either a) invite hime to the cop shop with his lawyer or B) wait until he was travelling and stop the car.

    No need for dawn raids unless you were aiming for drama.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    As far as I can tell Broad never uttered the word "terrorist", and in his initial statements he was at pains to say that the public should not jump to conclusions.

    Sure, but he must have said 'terrorism' in his first briefing, which isn't terribly different. Even if it was just, 'yes the warrants did list the Terrorism Suppression Act' or "we must be careful to avoid jumping to conclusions, we'll look at the evidence and there may not be enough to charge some or even all of those arrested under the Terrorism Suppression Act'.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    sonic

    The Ira did carry out their activities under a lot of scrutiny. They were highly compromised by informers and they knew they were iunder observation, and so would move locations for some of their activities

    which is also exactly what the urewera people did too...

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    Now if I was a complete cynic, would it be mad to suggest the potential for the accused to have leaked this information?

    After all, if they could potentially achieve a mis-trial, wouldn't it be worth their while to flick this info to the DP?

    I'm taking the mickey with these statements, but it is an interesting flip on the evil police leakers argument that seems to be bandied about a bit here today.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    Insider, no offence but I grew up in that part of the world. No Journo ever phoned up Martin McGuinnes when he was chief of staff in the army council of of PIRA and told him he had heard there was an operation in the works.

    The Journalist and his informant would be toast.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    No need for dawn raids unless you were aiming for drama.

    Or believed you were coming up to arrest a bunch of people who had been training in military tactics with live ammunition


    (Why does every post on here need a counterweight posted just to balance it out?!)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

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