Rights to Free Speech and Fair Trial attacked

  Under the guise of fighting terrorism after September 11 2001, governments both in the "Free World" and in the less free nations are depriving people of the right to Free Speech, a Free Press, and even of their right a Fair Trial. Although quite a percentage of Australians don't read newspapers or take note of electronic news media, so are unaware that it is happening, these rights are being destroyed, even in countries which boast high standards, and have been critical of dictatorships for many decades.

  It is no good saying that what has happened to the people captured in Afghanistan and either massacred or cooped up for more than a year in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba, or being seized in Britain or the United States, cannot happen to us -- if even one person in the power of a supposedly civilised country can be held without the right to a fair trial, we are all at risk.

  Another of the more insidious attacks on freedom has been going on for decades. The anti-discrimination laws that have been brought in gradually with the best of intentions are now catching people who want to preserve their own culture and identity, or wish to discuss matters of history. In fact, the changing of history is no longer confined to places like Japan (omitting the Rape of Nanking), or elsewhere!

  The danger is real. For example, in Yemen a vehicle was driving along when suddenly it blew up. The news media quickly had diagrams of how their sources believed it had been destroyed -- a pilotless U.S. aircraft supposedly fired a rocked at it. If these reports are true, the U.S. has joined the nations that the U.S., the United Kingdom and others support that kill suspects without trial, either through helicopter gunships, rockets, or assassination similar to the fictional James Bond, "007". Nobody really knows if the people in that Yemen vehicle were suspected terrorists, or just people, like the rocketed wedding party in Afghanistan, going about their normal lives.

  The democracies' credibility goes down to floor level, if they start acting like the dictatorships which govern more than half the world's six billion people. Billions of people ground down by hate-filled regimes have a little less hope and will to resist as they learn that the West, supposedly a possible beacon and haven, is just as unjust as their own rulers.

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