Oct 9, 2014

Plastic sword the least of ASIO’s bungles in ‘terror raid’

Is ASIO willing to let innocent people suffer in order to secure more draconian powers? Or is it just incompetent?

Jeff Sparrow

Writer, editor, broadcaster, and an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University.

In 1950, when the Communist Party of Australia was banned by the Menzies government, police raiding militants often compensated for their ignorance of socialism by simply confiscating all books with red covers. The legendary Sydney waterfront activist Stan Moran supposedly even convinced constables that a portrait of Karl Marx merely depicted a jolly old Santa.

The revelation that anti-terror police conducting last month’s much-hyped operation in Sydney seized a sword made of, um, plastic suggests that the traditional incomprehension of Marxism has given way to a new incomprehension of Islam.

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21 thoughts on “Plastic sword the least of ASIO’s bungles in ‘terror raid’

  1. klewso

    I gotta hide my blow-up Mata Hari?

  2. alge percharkis

    Hang on a minute.
    The media showed pictures of a sword. It later turned out to be plastic.
    Ergo, the cops and spooks are xenophobic, religious bigots who’ll use any excuse to drum up anti Islamic fear?
    I suspect they knew the minute they picked it up that it was plastic.
    How were they to know what relevance it had to their investigation?
    Who knows?
    What I know is this… a sword was seen being taken out of the property in a plastic evidence bag.
    And the only people who leaped to conclusions, were the journalists who were covering the story.
    Now they’ve found out that it was a plastic sword, they’re mocking the cops and ASIO.
    But we couldn’t say that could we?
    Because then we’d be shooting the messenger.
    The same messenger that would likely howl in outrage if a suspected plot had become a real one.

  3. danger_monkey

    Time and again this government behaves in a way that presents only two real alternatives for understanding their behavior:

    a) We’re were too slipshod/too lazy/not smart enough to figure out that something is wrong.
    – or –
    b) We were misbehaving then and we are lying about it now.

    Seriously, Sinodinos on AWH, Brandeis on metadata, and the ASIO on pretty much anything.

  4. klewso

    And if you were the Stay Puft marshmallow man, I bet you wouldn’t be laughing about a plastic sword….

  5. klewso

    But of course there is the question of “Who are they going to blame if something happens somewhere else – while they’re out, playing Mack Sennett, with their PR camera teams, chasing these “political piñatas”?

  6. MJPC

    Being the “plastic police” I would have thought the AFP could have identified a plastic sword.

  7. paddy

    It’s a great time in “Reality Australia” for black humour.
    But it’s beginning to get a bit tiresome, as each new episode tries to jump a bigger shark.

    I’m *still* a bit stunned by the plastic sword.
    It’ll be hard to top that for idiocy, but I’m sure the AFP will do their best.

  8. Scott

    “We know now why Scipione was perplexed — his men had just raided Dirani and his friends on the basis that they supported a group that wanted to kill them.”

    Hang on a sec. Check out the names of some of Mustafa’s friends who were also raided. Osman, Dudu and Alou..they are predonimently Sunni in origin I believe.

    I think grouping “Dirani and his friends” together as all Shia is incorrect.

  9. Kristian

    So does this mean that me mate Dave can take his awesome samurai sword out of the shed now?

  10. Graeski

    Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

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