Sunday, April 09, 2006

Matt McCarten: Spymaster silliness like April Fool's joke

Our secret police dished up a lot of self-serving nonsense last week in the SIS annual report.

Chief spymaster Richard Woods admits his spies can't link anyone to terrorism in New Zealand. But he still warns us we can't be too careful. The best he could come up with is that some people living here have participated in jihad - holy war - in Bosnia. What nonsense! There was no jihad in Bosnia.

Instead there was a genocidal campaign by Serbian-backed militias that slaughtered thousands of Bosnia Muslims - grotesquely claiming they were doing it in the name of Christianity. It was a war of conquest by Serbia in an attempt to absorb Bosnia. The local population took up arms to defend itself against the atrocities carried out by these militia thugs. In this genocidal campaign other Muslims did indeed come and defend Bosnia, as did the United Nations.

A year ago I met one of these men who fought against these militias. He moved here with his children to build a new life. He had lost everything. Most of his extended family had been slaughtered. I assume our spies have him down as someone linked to al Qaeda in Bosnia. After all, he is Muslim and did use a gun to defend his village. Our secret police could find out all they need to know by reading his refugee immigration application.

If there is anyone here with links with al Qaeda - as our head of the secret police implies there is - then surely a visit by the local police and the immigration department can fix that.

But our spymaster neatly side-stepped this obvious solution to dealing to these foreign devils and claims it's more complex than that. Apparently these unknown terrorists could, more sinisterly, be born in New Zealand. This widens the potential terrorists to four million waiting for the right moment to strike. In the SIS report he admits that maybe these local terrorists in waiting haven't actually any link with the al Qaeda head office. But he suggests that Bin Laden may inspire them by example. Because of this possibility, our spymaster warns, we have to be even more vigilant.

That will account for why we have little old ladies at our domestic airports having their nail files confiscated after forgetting they had them in their handbags.

I thought our airport security was merely an act of solidarity with the US after 9/11. But now I see it's all part of our vigilant guardians protecting us from these terrorists hell-bent on our destruction.

I presume our secret police will need even more agents and money to keep watch on us. In their report they proudly claim to have 19 bugging operations under way.

The Prime Minister gets briefed regularly by our spies so she will enjoy the sense of power that comes from being privy to the private affairs of her citizens. I've always thought a country having a secret police is a vanity thing. It's a bit like countries with nuclear weapons. They are of no use but it makes their leaders feel powerful.

Dr Paul Buchanan, of the University in Auckland, is probably the best of our security experts. He ridicules the SIS report as "bureaucratic justification". Buchanan points out the bleeding obvious - that New Zealand has no history of conflict with any Islamic country or group and we haven't taken part in the invasion of Iraq. What he does say is that the report is "outrageously alarmist" and scapegoats Muslims, crying wolf to scare New Zealanders and justify the spies' jobs.

What the SIS report doesn't do is update us on our only identified resident terrorist, Ahmed Zaoui. Remember him? Zaoui is the former Algerian MP sentenced to death by an illegal military regime that overthrew his country's parliament. We currently have him under house arrest. According to our secret police last year, he is our No 1 terrorist threat and must be deported forthwith. Our secret police hinted they had hard evidence proving he was a terrorist.

Our senior politicians swallowed this story hook, line and sinker. Apparently the main basis of their claims was stuff they downloaded off the internet from some right-wing blog website. The mind boggles. No wonder the SIS and our senior politicians don't mention Zaoui any more.

If the SIS report was tabled earlier we could have assumed it was an April Fool's joke and had a good chuckle. But we do have to stop this silliness. Of course citizens need to be protected. We can do better at this if we just abolish the SIS and give their budget to the real police. My local cops may then get the resources they say they need to catch the bugger who stole my laptop.


Post a Comment

<< Home