The single letter that may save thousands of lives - Top stories - Breaking News 24/7 - NEWS.com.au... the article pushes the idea that the changes will save lives, that they are 'not controversial' and really don't matter. The only hint of dissent is then watered down by quoting an Independent Parliament member. It's like the media can't raise the energy to be outraged any more. This is about as close as it gets:
[The changes have] two significant political consequences. One is that news of the suspected and immediate terror threat swamped Labor criticisms of the proposed industrial relations laws.
By declaring there was a potential, imminent strike, it also added pressure on those opposing the broader range of anti-terror laws being reviewed by the states.
But that's well down the page. The article leads with:
The fight against terrorism is so finely balanced that the saving of lives can come down to the choice between a definite or an indefinite article.
...no, no it fucking doesn't. If the police have found a terrorist cell with intent to carry out an act of terrorism, to be sure of it they must have some form of evidence. Without evidence, you have no case except "they look funny". The laws are being changed so that anyone can be accused of terrorism without any form of proof, with no legal recourse and no access to family, support or even the media (the last line of defence when the law fails).
You do not need a police state to prevent terrorism. You do need a well funded police force with the ability to actually track down terrorist activity in the first place. Stuffing around with "a" and "the" ignores the fact that people planning to bomb a/the target HAVE A FRICKING BOMB which is illegal. They probably have GUNS, which are probably unreigstered and illegal (if they are registered, then registration is too easy and those laws need changing). They are likely to have committed a range of offences before the fact, all of which are sufficient to detain people under current laws.
Howard is just using terror tactics on the population to keep us from complaining. He will never have to produce any kind of proof that a terrorist threat exists right now, meanwhile he can score all the political points he wants.
The media will pass on the party line.