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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Anything to get roof insulation off the front pages, it seems. That's what the Rudd government tells us by releasing a "white paper on counter-terrorism" "that was originally promised at the end of last year", according to the ABC. The Age tells us:

The paper warns that since 2004 there has been an increase in the threat from home-grown terrorists - people born or raised in Australia who have been influenced by violent jihadist messages from overseas.

But in response to the threat from home-grown terrorists, the government has announced that it will "will target people from 10 countries for stringent new visa checks in a push to prevent terrorists getting through the security net".

The government will spend $69 million over four years to bring in biometric checks for visa applications from high-risk countries.

There's a list of countries in existence, but they won't release it to prevent keen plotters scurrying into Australia before the necessary technology is in place at airports.

It's all quite craven, when you think about it. Despite the fact that interested individuals living in Australia can easilly glean tons of info about terrorist techniques using the Internet, the boffins have decided that to prevent home-grown plots hatching it's necessary to put in place additional immigration checks.

"The nations will be announced over the next year," reports The Age without asking any difficult questions about the timing of this bizarre, confusing announcement. Not only does the story contradict itself - home-grown terrorists to be combated by screening arrivals - but the timing of the announcement should send shivers up the spine of any self-respecting journalist.

To combat Tony Abbott's poll rise, federal Labor is turning to the divisive tactics of Howard. Shame.

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