Further to my 21/9/12 post Behind the Sacking of AusAID, I quoted The Australian's foreign editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, thus:
"The PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] is a proscribed terrorist organisation under the relevant UN list, Australian legislation, and of the legislation of numerous other countries." (Don't give aid to groups with terrorist connections, 3/6/12)
Now for someone billed as "Australia's most influential foreign affairs analyst," you'd expect the bugger to at least get some of the basics (if nothing else) right, right? Well, let's see:
Take that "UN list" for example. Ever wondered what's on it, and who's responsible for maintaining it? Wonder no more:
"The United Nations maintains only one list (the '1267 Committee list' or 'the list') of names of individuals and entities that are linked to terrorist activities. The list, which was introduced as part of the Taliban sanctions regime through Resolution 1267 (1999) of the Security Council, was subsequently amended and extended various times, especially in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks... Resolution 1267... created a Security Council Committee recently renamed the 'Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) Concerning al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated Individuals' ('1267 Committee' or 'the Committee') which oversees the implementation by States of the sanctions imposed by the Security Council on individuals and entities belonging or related to the Taliban, Usama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda organization... It is worth emphasizing that the list kept by the United Nations is limited to entities linked to Al-Qaida and the Taliban regime, and is not a general list which is meant to include all forms of terrorism. In part, this is due to the fact that there is no agreed definition of terrorism in international law and the United Nations can only act and deal with very specific situations as mandated by its membership." (Listing & De-listing of Terrorist Organisations: the Cases of the United Nations & the United States, Chiara Giorgetti, April, 2006, hdcentre.org)
You will, of course, have noted that the PFLP doesn't come, as we say here in Australia, within cooee of being on this list.
But what about that "Australian legislation"?
"For an effective counter-terrorism regime, it is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts, but also the organisations that plan, finance and carry out such acts. In 2002, a range of new terrorist organisation offences were enacted enabling the Government to deal with organisations involved in terrorism - Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002. These offences apply in relation to 'terrorist organisations'. Either an organisation may be found to be such an organisation by a court as part of the prosecution for a terrorist offence, or it may be specified in Regulations, known as 'listing'. For a listing to be effective, the processes set out in the legislation must be followed. The Government has prepared a listing protocol outlining the process and requirements that apply to the listing of terrorist organisations... There are 18 organisations now officially listed." (Listing of terrorist organisations, nationalsecurity.gov.au)
Now would it surprise you to find that the PFLP is nowhere to be found among the 18 organisations on this list?
That leaves "the legislation of many other countries." If the US and its EU and Canadian clients constitute "many," then we'll generously concede him that one, OK? (See 'List of designated terrorist organisations', wikipedia.org)
Getting one out of three right passes for 'quality journalism' in this country.