Do you remember the ‘be alert, not alarmed’ ads?
They first aired back in 2003. It was a response to the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.
A couple of years later, in 2005, the Australian Attorney General at the time, Phillip Ruddock, said the hotline received over 50,000 calls. Shortly after, the Aussie government decided to bring back the campaign once more.
Anti-terrorism rhetoric was ramping up again. It helped the government pass some of the world’s most draconian anti-terrorism laws, which became effective on 6 December 2005.
Almost a decade later, in 2014, Clive Williams, a lecturer on terrorism studies at Macquarie University, claimed Aussies had more chance of being knocked down by a car than being involved in or witnessing a terrorist attack.
The outcome from the campaign? Since inception, the Attorney General’s office claims it has received a total 200,000 calls.
But it seems that the government hadn’t scared the public enough…
While you weren’t watching
A few weeks ago, an updated version of the ad campaign was back on the airwaves.
It ends with the same idea: Report anything that doesn’t look right to you.
Quite what authorities deem as not ‘looking right’ escapes us.
Either way, there is an agenda at play here. And it all goes back to 17 July.
With warmongering between two megalomaniac dictators, this development was easily missed. Some frightening new legislation was introduced into Australian law right under our noses. And nobody seemed to notice.
In July, The Australian reported on a new proposal to grant powers to control the public in the event of an emergency.
We now live in a country where the military can be called in at the request of police.
Until recently, there was a clause in the Defence Act that limited local law enforcement in calling on the Australian Defence Force (ADF) if they felt they couldn’t control the situation.
This represents the first review of the ADF’s role in domestic terrorist activities since 2005. The potential changes allow military involvement should another terrorist attack take place. According to The Australian:
‘The review will also create closer ties between the ADF and state police forces, offer military counter-terror training for elite state squads and allow ADF troops to “pre-position” themselves close to an unfolding terror attack. Defence will offer states and territories officers who can help with liaison.’
This once-in-a-decade overhaul comes on the back of the March report New South Wales Coroner Michael Barnes conducted into the police responses to the 2014 Sydney siege.
However, as Barnes concluded in his report: ‘Monis [the attacker] was a single, armed offender staging a siege in the Sydney CBD. He presented a real and terrible threat, but responding to that threat was at all times within the capacity of the NSWPF.’ He also added that, under current legal wording, local police couldn’t justify calling in the military for help.
But these proposed changes mean that local police will be able to ask for a military response should they feel the situation is beyond them.
In my view, we don’t need these laws as they curb our freedoms.
Several of the country’s state police officers have undergone ‘SAS’ military training. Furthermore, in June this year, the New South Wales government gave state police ‘shoot to kill’ powers when dealing with terrorist activities.
Why is this relevant? Because a police presence arises after the event in most terrorist-related instances. Which means the proposed changes allow for a military presence after a catastrophic event has taken place.
In other words, in my view, the government is setting up a situation to introduce martial law when necessary.
Yet what a military presence will do is incite even more fear in the public. After all, if you aren’t scared of living your life, you won’t buy into the propaganda.
Bad guys use payday loans, not Bitcoin
Speaking of propaganda, Bitcoin is being whacked about in the press this week. Most of the focus is on unconfirmed reports on whether China is shutting down its cryptocurrency exchanges.
However, one of the lines trotted out to dampen the enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies is that they are used to fund terrorist activities.
Thankfully, British defence and security think tank the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has put a wet blanket on that idea.
In a RUSI report produced recently, they state that most lone terrorist use student loans, payday loans, welfare benefits and cash to fund activities.
RUSI consultant David Carlisle says there’s too much attention focused on bitcoin being used to fund terrorist activities, when there’s insufficient evidence at this stage to suggest that’s the case. He adds: ‘[Terrorists generally have fast] financing streams, which show little sign of drying up,’ and that this is an ‘overreaction [that] could stifle an important new finpropagandaancial technology.’
Yet that hasn’t stopped governments jumping on the bandwagon and demonising alternative forms of money.
Make no mistake about it: Your government wants you to be scared. And they are doing a remarkable job of waging wars against your freedom.
While they’re at it, they’re going to tell you to be fearful of any money that doesn’t come from a ‘trusted’ source.
Cryptocurrencies are a genuine alternative to remove some of your money from the financial system. Click here to learn how you can get started.
Editor, Markets & Money