Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Can Be Seditious As Hell, But You Can't Call For Violence

Is there such a thing as a Psychological Terror Attack? Not yet, but maybe next year :
The new counter-terrorism laws - to be drafted in the first half of next year - will cover attacks that cause psychological as well as physical harm and will remove the term "sedition" to focus on crimes that urge violence.
Does this mean we have to be on the lookout now for non-BOOM! related terror events? Terror attacks where only emotions are terrorised and damaged, with no harm at all to the physical body? Will 2009 be the year politicians and media start talking of "emotional terrorism" and 'psychological terrorists"? And if so, what the hell would that exactly mean?

I can think of half a dozen anti-smoking and anti-boozing ads that leave me feeling psychologically terrorised.

For now, the Rudd government are talking big about sweeping away still more of the Howard era's more disturbing, supposed, anti-terror laws, but right now we don't know what the current government means when they say they are going to "protect free speech" :

The Howard government's sedition laws - which the commission said failed to distinguish between dissent and genuine incitement to violence - had come under heavy attack for restricting free speech and academic freedoms.

The Government also agreed to broaden the powers of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to allow inquiries that extend across all national security agencies. A separate official, to be known as the National Security Legislation Monitor, will regularly review the nation's counter-terrorism laws.

The stream of lies, distortions and calls for violence from the vast majority of Australian media, that is, nearly all of the Rupert Murdoch media, in the build-up to the War On Iraq would certainly have to qualify as a mass psychological terror event.

BTW, Merry Christmas to all the readers here. I'll do some highlights of 2008 over the next week, and if I can think of an ending that doesn't make me shiver and cringe, I'll have a new piece of fiction, A Christmas Story, up here in a few hours. It's a few thousand words long, so feel free to cut and paste it into a blank Word Doc for easier printing if you still hate reading off the screen.