September 11, Keystone Cops, and “toy soldiers”…
When the world changed irrevocably on 11 September 2001, at 8.46am (local time), that seismic shift reached our country as well. As the USA declared it’s “War on Terror” (more accurately, “War of Terror”, as ‘Borat’ suggested in his eponymous movie), New Zealand moved in lock-step and adopted stringent airport security procedures; locked up a refugee as a “security risk“, though never charged or convicted of anything; and enacted a draconian anti-terrorist law.
In the backdrop of a global post-11 September hysteria, early-morning raids in October 2007 involved more than three hundred police conducted searches in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Christchurch using warrants under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.
The Solicitor-General, David Collins, subsequently refused to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 – saying the law was “almost impossible to apply in a coherent manner“. Only firearms charges remained.
Finally, of the original 18, four stood trial this year. Of the firearms charges, roughly half were proven and the remaining dismissed. The Jury could not agree on the charge of “participating in an organised criminal group“,
So what have we ended up with?
- Raids up and down the country in the early morning hours of 15 October 2007; smashing down doors; terrorising families; and alienating an entire sector of New Zealand society
- Labelling people as “terrorists”
- Wasting police resources, time, money
- Tieing up 300 police on the raids
- Costing the taxpayer $6 million – and rising
All for some rather ordinary firearms charges – and even those were not all proven.
I’ll depart from my normal partisanship and say that neither Labour nor the Nats come out of this smelling of roses.
This sh*t makes the Keystone cops look gooood…
I live in eternal hope that this expensive fiasco has been a salient lesson to our elected representatives, and those who manage our police force. American style terrorism hysteria is never a good starting point to investigate a possible crime and mount prosecutions.
The impression many people will get out of this is that the police were overly “gung ho” and both Labour and National politicians lost their capacity for common sense.
Cost to tax-payers: $6 million and mounting.
Cost to society: a waste.
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