Thursday, July 17, 2014

Above the law

The IPCA has finally released its report into the police's refusal to investigate the GCSB's illegal spying, and unsurprisingly foud that there's nothing to see here, move along. The reason? Basically, because the Solicitor-General and Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence are government stooges who don't want to rock the boat illiterates who can't read a statute book. The police's bullshit view that when the Crimes Act says its a crime to intentionally intercept a private communication by means of an interception device, "intent" means not just "intent to intercept" (as you might think), but also "intent to break the law" - that is, that ignorance is an excuse for officials, but not for peasants - came directly from the Solicitor-General, so they were entitled to rely on it. Which is fair enough, but I think what it tells us is that we should be looking for a new Solicitor-General, because Michael Heron is clearly not up to the task.

Likewise, their refusal to investigate another 56 unlawful interceptions was "reasonable" because it was based on the Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence's view that metadata spying was "arguably legal" (if you ignore the then-clear prohibition against domestic interceptions, the definitions of "communication" and "intercept", and all parliamentary intent). Given this view, the police could not conclude that the interceptions were "unequivocally unlawful" - a far higher standard than they ever apply to any of us - and "criminal prosecution of individuals in an attempt to clarify an inherently uncertain law would have been unjustified" (something which again they have no trouble doing when the target is a peasant, not a government agency).

All in all, its the expected whitewash, which once again shows how the police apply different standards of justice to us than they do for themselves and their mates. This practice has been effectively endorsed by the IPCA, so they're now useless and we might as well disband them (or just rename them the "Official Police Coverup Authority" just so no-one is under any illusions about the business they're in).

The upshot: the spies are above the law. If we want justice for this, we need to change the government. We need a full, independent inquiry from people not tainted by associations with the establishment and deep state. And we need to defund and disestablish the GCSB. None of that will happen under National.