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Happy ThoughtCrime Day!

October 13, 2015

Today might not be remembered in the annals of Australian history. No one won a grand final, an Australian did not garner a prize for a role in an American movie, and in even lesser pursuits, there was no leap forward in curing cancer or inventing the 5D television.

But this morning a Melbourne jury found a man guilty of planning on travelling to Syria where he MIGHT have joined our current enemy the Islamic State, or maybe our former enemy, now ally the Al-Nousra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria). Amin Mohamed (in trouble with that name from the start) was not arrested as he returned from Syria having spent months in Syria promising violence on Australia soil, or inciting members of Australia’s Muslim community.

He wasn’t captured in Syria after an extensive man hunt because he put hours of video online threatening to blow up Parliament House, the Sydney Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and something that might be iconic of Australia in other cities.

Australian Federal Police and Australian Secret Intelligence Service agents didn’t call in favours from their contacts in Europe and Asia (all their contacts are through the US anyway, let’s face it) ala any Bond type movie you’ve ever seen in an intricate cat and mouse thriller hunting a man threatening to use drones on Australian territory to kill people, including innocent kids attending a large wedding party (well, no one is as resourceful as the US government on that count).

No, Amnin Mohamed had his phone tapped and applied for a New Zealand passport. The man had not left the country, had not posted on facebook that he was planning on joining the Islamic State, or any terrorist group. He had spoken, according to the juries findings, in a secret code of going to Syria to fight. I could go through the detail with you of why I think Amin was screwed over by the justice system and whilst facing 30 years in gaol over phone calls and a passport application is a heinous blow against all of our civil rights. But I won’t go there.

Instead I’ll ask a simple question. If I ring a mate and say “I’m thinking of robbing a bank, I want some of that sweet, cold hard cash they’re always going on about on the FM morning talk shows” and then I apply for my car license so I can drive to the bank legally- should I go to gaol for bank robbery?

Is the mere thought and speaking of possibly committing a crime the same as committing a crime?

Mark down today, October 13th. Get ready to tell your grandkids and to get them to tell their kids. This is the day someone was found guilty and might go to gaol for 30 years because he thought about a crime and rang some people with the idea. Amin committed ThoughtCrime. Today, like so many days around us at the moment as the spy state grows stronger and has far greater reach into our privacy than ever before, or as we become immune to the scenes of millions of people fleeing for their lives from wars our over consumption and greed has started, we quietly ceded a little more of our freedom whilst we remain glued to the boxes that tell us freedom is choosing what colour kitchen you can have and the ability to change what team you support.

Today was the first time, that I know of, that you can be found guilty for thinking about committing a crime against Australia.

Happy ThoughtCrime Day everybody!


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One Comment
  1. Nice post Greg. I thought it was going to be about the data retention laws. Anyway, happy Thoughtcrime Day!

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