We will finally keep our freedom only by living free

Apr 25th, 2010 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief
The Trial can be ordered online from 360 Degree Films, for AU$29.95. The delivery of international orders is “reliant on overseas postal services.” Inside Australia itself the DVD is “ for legal reasons ...  currently not available for sale to residents in the state of Victoria.”

The Trial can be ordered online for AU$29.95. The delivery of international orders is “reliant on overseas postal services.”

So if Canadians are rightly “turned off by the ‘prurient obsession with the private lives of a couple who are encountering serious difficulties’” [best wishes Helena and Rahim], what else is going on that properly begs more serious attention?

Well, for one thing: “A former CSIS director has panned the Conservative [minority] government’s plan to reinstate two contentious provisions of Canada’s anti-terror legislation, saying they ‘slipped’ into law after the 9/11 attacks.”

On a parallel front: “The credibility of an informant in the so-called Toronto 18 case came under attack Thursday as the lawyer for an alleged terror leader tried to paint Mubin Shaikh as a drug abuser who gave selective reports to police.”

On yet another parallel front again our man down under, Greg Barns, has arranged for a compelling DVD documentary on  “Australia’s biggest terrorism trial” to be delivered to our door in a plain brown paper wrapper. And: “Perhaps more important than the case itself The Trial explores the threat to our human rights posed by wide-ranging anti-terror laws.”

Watching Australia’s biggest terrorism trial from the comfort of his office board room, in Ganatsekwyagon, Ontario, has prompted our resident political scientist Randall White to look a little more deeply into the strikingly similar Toronto 18 case in Canada — which is just now entering its final phases.  CLICK HERE for another of Dr. White’s exhaustive (and exhausting) reports on the subject, or see “Terrorism and human rights on trial : Melbourne 12 (and Toronto 18)” under the Countries of the World category to the right of this page.

What the DVD documentary from Australia does so well, Dr. White finds, “is raise the dilemma of anti-terrorism laws that ‘themselves could pose a bigger threat to our democratic values than the threat of terrorism itself’ in an adult way, which does not just evade all the attendant complexities.” In the very end “what The Trial from down under is ultimately reminding us is simple enough: we will finally keep our freedom only by living free.”

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3 comments
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  1. In his burning desire for justice, your man “down under” Greg Barns has taken the opportunistic road of defending the indefensible. He is implacably opposed to counter terrorism legislation and that is his right in a democracy. However, both he and your readers might like to consider what would happen if an over legalistic interpretation of laws was applied and you found yourselves looking for the names of relatives and friends among the dead.

  2. As I elaborate on in my longer review, Mr. Miller, what The Trial does so well “is raise the dilemma of anti-terrorism laws that ‘themselves could pose a bigger threat to our democratic values than the threat of terrorism itself’ in an adult way.” Whatever else, I cannot say the same about the rather hysterical juvenillia you have offered as comment on Mr. Barns’s views.

    It is your right in a democracy too, of course, to disagree with Mr. Barns’s opinions. But you don’t have any right to turn the English language inside out in the process. What Mr. Barns is doing is the very opposite of “opportunistic” and “legalistic.” He is just showing the courage and commitment to core values that it takes to keep any serious free and democratic society alive.

    His view has been nicely summarized, I think, in a piece by Ms. Marni Soupcoff in today’s National Post (almost certainly Canada’s strongest law-and-order newspaper), on our federal government’s current plan to reinstate two contentious provisions of Canada’s anti-terror legislation: “The government should continue to fight terrorism aggressively and relentlessly. But it should do so by using its normal police, intelligence and investigative powers; not by changing the laws to make our country less free and democratic — our attackers’ very own aims … Otherwise, the war on terror is hardly a war worth winning.”
    http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/04/27/marni-soupcoff-police-don-t-need-more-power.aspx

  3. The complete, comprehensive coverage of the Toronto 18 case can FINALLY be released. It had been taken over by sensationalist headlines, conspiracy theories & a whole collection of speculation. After four YEARS of being covered by publication ban, the EVIDENCE has been released to the public at:

    http://www3.thestar.com/static/toronto18/index.6.html

    Facts have a tendency of speaking for themselves.

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