Monday, March 08, 2021

Still ignoring white supremacy

Two years ago, institutional racism in our police and intelligence services allowed a white supremacist to murder 51 people at two Christchurch mosques. In the wake of the attack, the police and spies promised they'd pay more attention to white supremacists. But just last week, a man was arrested after he threatened to bomb the Christchurch mosque on the second anniversary of the murders there. He was arrested not as the result of an intelligence-driven operation into violent white supremacy, but because anti-fascist researchers pointed out his public threats on 4chan to police. Which immediately invites the conclusion that nothing has changed, and that the police and spies are still ignoring white supremacy.

In the wake of the arrest, the spies were full of excuses, saying they can't monitor the “millions of pages of posts made online every day”. But no-one is asking them to. What we're asking them to do is pay attention to real, identified threats from terrorists who have already murdered 51 New Zealanders. Its fucking 4chan, for fucks sake! If they're not looking at that (and there is definite cause to do so), what the fuck are they doing? (The answer is probably still spying on Keith Locke and persecuting Ahmed Zaoui...) As for the police, they apparently have four counter-terrorism groups (the Strategic Intelligence Unit, Threat Assessment Unit, Police Terrorism Investigation and Intelligence Group, Special Investigation Group), all resolutely looking the other way.

Currently, we spend $108 million a year on the SIS, twice that on the GCSB, and an unknown amount on the police's various failures. And what we apparently get for that are organisations who do not do their fucking job, who consistently pursue fantasies rather than real threats, while ignoring stuff which is out there in public, right there under their noses if they care to look. And its hard to escape the conclusion that we could do a lot better by simply scrapping these agencies and firing all their staff and simply relying on public tips. It'd certainly be a hell of a lot cheaper.