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The Fabled ASIO Act (Here It Is!)

  1. Nov 12, 2003 #1
    And they said it would never happen! Underneath is a link to the most incredible “anti-terrorism” legislation ever inflicted upon the Western World. The legislation was passed in a midnight stealth-session of the government in Australia (I think what little opposition that existed, were actually asleep at the time). Australia hangs its head in shame, becoming the most totalitarian “democratic” nation on Earth (potentially, the legislation can imprison a person, including children, for up to 30 years without charge).
    Watch out all those who believe they live in a “democracy”. This legislation will be the baby from which all freedoms are lost, and your nation could be next on the ultra-paranoia “hit-list”.

    Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002

    http://scaleplus.law.gov.au/cgi-bin...=scaleview%2Ehts&ResultStart=1&ResultCount=50

    And if that madness wasn’t enough, the nefarious Liberal underling Richard Alston then rams through more erosions of liberty. What follows is a “green light” to legitimately intercept ALL communications by private Australian citizens. This has always been tolerated (with ECHELON), but never acknowledged, like it is here.

    Communications Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2003

    http://scaleplus.law.gov.au/cgi-bin...=scaleview%2Ehts&ResultStart=1&ResultCount=50

    From the same website anybody who is interested in the so-called “Joint Space Research Bases” of the US/Australia (eg. PINE GAP, EXMOUTH etc.), can access the “notes” regarding the creation of these - the most classified of all US military facilities.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2003 #2
    On the American front:

    Trials and Error

    By Philip Allen Lacovara
    Wednesday, November 12, 2003; Page A23

    Two years ago this week, President Bush authorized trials by military commission for people accused of membership in al Qaeda or attacks on the United States. Six men have been identified thus far to appear before these commissions.

    Shortly before the president issued his executive order, and just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, I raised my voice in strong support of military commissions. As deputy solicitor general in the Nixon administration, I had been in charge of the government's criminal and internal security cases before the Supreme Court. I understood how the Bush administration could invoke the laws of war sanctioned by the Supreme Court to deal with international terrorists -- as distinct from "mere felons" (including mass murderers) and legitimate combatants entitled to protection under the 1949 Geneva Convention as prisoners of war. I urged the administration to do so.

    When I proposed using military commissions to try terrorists, I conceived of trials with fair and reliable procedures designed to ascertain guilt -- or, equally important, innocence. I knew there would be critics of this approach but was confident that both legal and policy factors justified such trials.

    Now, two years later, I reluctantly conclude that the administration's approach to military commissions confirms many of the critics' worst fears.

    The rules governing military commissions depart substantially from standards of fair procedure. Most problematic, they undermine the basic right to effective counsel by imposing significant legal constraints on civilian defense attorneys. The rules negate normal attorney-client confidentiality and authorize the withholding of key evidence from defendants and their civilian counsel. In addition, the military commission rules permit the Defense Department to restrict defense lawyers' ability to speak publicly about a case -- while Pentagon officials face no such constraint.

    While the government reserves the right to listen in on attorney-client communications, defendants and their civilian counsel may be denied access to relevant and even exculpatory information if the military concludes that concealment is "necessary to protect the interests of the United States." The rules also purport to bar the civil courts from any review of the eventual judgments of the tribunals.

    Not surprisingly, few eligible defense lawyers have decided to participate in these cases, and the criminal defense bar has called for lawyers to boycott the proceedings. In defending these military commissions, representatives of the Bush administration constantly refer to the well-known Quirin case -- in which the Roosevelt administration established a military commission during World War II to try eight Nazi saboteurs who had sneaked into the United States and thereby forfeited their status as soldiers entitled to be treated as POWs.

    What they fail to note is that the Supreme Court decision in that case accorded much more in the way of legal rights to those eight Nazis than the administration is proposing today. The accused saboteurs retained the right to confidential communications with their counsel, access to all relevant evidence and Supreme Court review of the lawfulness of the proceedings against them. In a subsequent case involving the notorious Japanese Gen. Tomoyuki Yama****a, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this important principle, granting even enemy leaders the right to have civil courts review the lawfulness of their prosecution and conviction by military commissions.

    Surely if such procedural guarantees could be extended to acknowledged enemies prosecuted under the Articles of War applicable during World War II, they also can be accorded to the suspects the administration wants to put on trial before specially constituted military commissions today. But they are not. Further undermining the legitimacy of the process is the fact that the Defense Department's instructions for the military commissions grant broad discretion to the president and secretary of defense to close the entire proceeding, acting on undefined "national security interests." Armed with this license to close the trials, the Defense Department has also failed to respond to repeated inquiries from human rights groups and others seeking authorization to attend military commission trials as observers.

    As a lawyer who has served as an international observer at "state security" trials in Yugoslavia and Turkey, I know how important it is to ensure that the antiseptic glare of sunlight be allowed to shine on politically sensitive trials. Earlier assurances by senior administration officials that proceedings before military commissions generally would be open, with some type of public access provided, have given way more recently to vague statements that the issue of access for impartial legal observers will be addressed once trials are officially scheduled.

    The administration's refusal to make a definitive commitment now suggests that public access may become another casualty in the war on terrorism.

    All of this needs to be scrutinized and sorted out quickly -- especially now that the administration has identified six potential defendants for these military trials. Given the stakes for both security and liberty interests, a more precise and balanced -- and therefore more credible -- approach to military justice certainly is in order.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2003 #3
    Jesus, Australia is worse than the US in this department...
     
  5. Nov 13, 2003 #4

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