Friday, July 20, 2007

Material Support

The other day I was buying my paper at the shops. I didn't have the right change so I gave the shopkeeper $2, and told him to keep the change.

On the way out I was stopped by two dour-faced men in sunglasses, who asked me a few questions.

Did I know the man whom I had given the $2 to?

Yes, he's the guy I buy my paper from every day.

Was I aware that I had just given him more than the dollar value of the paper?

Well, yes, but-.

I quickly found myself bundled inside a car, then taken to a prison cell, stripped of my clothes and possessions, and told to don dull orange jumpsuit. Questions were fired at me in rapid succession.

Was I aware that I had just given material support to a suspected terrorist?

Um no.

Is it true that you meet with this man every morning?

Yes, but -

What is your association with this man?

I buy the paper off-

You are buying literary, possibly incendiary material off this man?
They dropped my Sydney Morning Herald on the table in front of me – there was an article mildly critical of the government on the front page.

Sometimes you are given to anger, aren't you Mr J?

No, well, but-


Three days I spent in that cell. My lawyers could tell me nothing, they didn't have all the evidence.

Shouldn't have bought a Fairfax paper.

Finally the charges were laid. Material support to a suspected terrorist. I was shipped to another cell, where I was allowed magazines and a television.

I am alert, but not alarmed. After all, we need to stop terrorists, so in a way this is really good for the nation, it was my own silly fault for repeatedly buying my paper there, I can see how suspicious that looks.

I'll be in court in another three months, I am coping well in detention, I'm even allowed to read the paper again, but I don't want to.

1 comment:

Andrew Macrae said...

my god, you deserve everything you get.

don't you understand the danger you and your kind pose to the very fabric of our way of life?

don't you?

no?

well, i could tell you, but that's top secret information, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.