Nick's Collingwood Bulletin Board Forum Index
 The RulesThe Rules FAQFAQ
   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   CalendarCalendar   SearchSearch 
Log inLog in RegisterRegister
 
Abuse of national security legislation

Users browsing this topic:0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 0 Guests
Registered Users: None

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Nick's Collingwood Bulletin Board Forum Index -> Victoria Park Tavern
 
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:00 pm
Post subject: Abuse of national security legislationReply with quote

Yesterday, News Corp was raided over a story exposing the government's plans to spy on Australians. Today, the ABC has had the same treatment over an exposé on crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. It all points to a co-ordinated attack on journalism, and a desperate attempt to protect the powerful from scrutiny.

https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/06/05/the-national-security-lie-exposed-by-the-smethurst-raid/

Quote:
The ‘national security’ lie exposed by the Smethurst raid
Bernard Keane


Annika Smethurst’s 2018 story that led to the Australian Federal Police raid on her home yesterday was something all too rare in Canberra: actual news, as in something someone in power doesn’t want us to know.

It deeply embarrassed the head of the Home Affairs department Mike Pezzullo, and by extension Pezzullo’s minister Peter Dutton. Dutton and Pezzullo have for years now presided over one of the most malicious, bungle-prone least competent portfolios in Commonwealth history, while pretending to be national security tough guys holding the line against foreign evil.

Smethurst revealed that Pezzullo and the head of defence Greg Moriarty had cooked up a plan to given the Australian Signals Directorate power to spy on and target Australians within Australia. ASD is Australia’s military intelligence outfit; cowboys regarded poorly by other members of the Australian Intelligence Community, and best known for being repeatedly embarrassed by the Edward Snowden leaks. This included revelations that they’d spied on the Indonesian president and on Indonesian trade negotiators to help American tobacco companies, and that they’d had to ask the NSA for help breaking into the PNG military’s encrypted systems.

The Pezzullo-Moriarty plans for the ASD to target Australians hadn’t been properly put to the Turnbull government, but after Smethurst’s story — which was backed by actual documents — they were abandoned quick smart amid humiliation and denial.

The AFP, at the request of the government, has been gunning for Smethurst ever since. The fact that she obtained documents means that there’s a good chance some sort of trail exists between her and her source, who might be a public servant, but may also be a ministerial staffer… or higher.

If the AFP wanted to use Smethurst’s metadata to identify her source, it would have had to apply for a Journalist Information Warrant to Attorney-General Christian Porter, which would have required them to make the case that “the public interest in issuing the warrant outweighs the public interest in protecting the confidentiality of the identity.”

Porter being the man who is prosecuting Witness K and Bernard Collaery for revealing crimes committed by the Howard government, it’s unlikely he would have needed much convincing — but at least it’s a hurdle. There’s no evidence at this point that such a warrant has been applied for in the year since the investigation began.

There are ways around the warrant: the AFP could simply draw up a list of everybody who could possibly have access to the document in the article, and get their metadata — no warrant is required to get the metadata of sources, or to go on vast fishing expeditions. But in this case it relied on something else. The fact that if it’s not a journalist’s metadata, there are no restrictions on what the AFP can seize regardless of whether it relates to a source or not — just seize Smethurst’s computer and phone and go through it at leisure. As long as there’s a general warrant relating to the search and seizure, the AFP is unrestrained in the way it can go after journalists’ sources.

The AFP insists that the raid relates to “an extremely serious matter that has the potential to undermine Australia’s national security”. That’s a flagrant lie — it relates merely to the embarrassment of Mike Pezzullo, Greg Moriarty, Peter Dutton and national security bureaucrats who crafted a power-grab in secret and are furious at being subjected to scrutiny. The use of the term “national security” is generally intended to shut down any scrutiny or discussion that might embarrass governments, and to block media questions about any crimes or corrupt conduct committed by them.

“National security” is the basis on which Porter is attempting to prevent the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery from being held in open court, and why he wants basic procedural fairness voided in the trial.

The Australian media has long been complicit in this use of national security as a justification for cover-ups. Mainstream media journalists fall silent when politicians and bureaucrats utter the words “national security”. Because what few journalists left who cover national security rounds are heavily dependent on intelligence community sources (which are usually self-serving), they tend to support this abuse of it. As a result, politicians and bureaucrats know that all they have to do is refuse to answer questions because of national security, and they’ll get a pass from most of the media.

Australian journalists growing a spine and refusing to accept this mushroom treatment is the first step in pushing back against the mindset that sees journalists raided for embarrassing bureaucrats. The first of many.

_________________
"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence." – Julian Assange
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger  
stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Back in lockdown

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:27 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he may have a few points wrong there in regard to what they're looking for at least.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-05/abc-raided-by-australian-federal-police-afghan-files-stories/11181162

In regard to wanting journalists to play the game and shut up, entirely plausible.

_________________
noli illegitimi carborundum. The hardest part of a 7 day lockdown is the last 3 weeks.
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
Deja Vu 



Joined: 20 Apr 2008


PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:17 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s not abuse of legislation if the legislation permits the behaviour.
_________________
http://youtu.be/hvtdbfI1sqQ
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:24 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe not literally. But all of this legislation (backed by both major parties) has been sold as a means of keeping Australians safe from harm. Using those laws to then punish attempts to keep government accountable to the public is an abuse of process, and certainly an abuse of the principle under which the laws were promoted.

Of course, some warned that this was precisely what would happen if this kind of “national security” policy was made law. But not enough people cared then. Hopefully a few more will be paying attention now.

_________________
"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence." – Julian Assange
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger  
Deja Vu 



Joined: 20 Apr 2008


PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:43 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. I’m OK with giving up some things in the name of public safety, but this legislation went too far. Someone was asleep at the wheel
_________________
http://youtu.be/hvtdbfI1sqQ
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
watt price tully Scorpio



Joined: 15 May 2007


PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:24 am
Post subject: Reply with quote

Appalling behaviour. Makes Australia look like a second rate democracy....no wait....

The AFP need to be brought to task on this as do the PM, the undertaker Dutton and the oh so very Christian Porter.

_________________
“It was never about the money” Israel Folau
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
Jezza Taurus



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Location: Ponsford End

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:33 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
_________________
| 1902 | 1903 | 1910 | 1917 | 1919 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1935 | 1936 | 1953 | 1958 | 1990 | 2010 |
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
Wokko Pisces

Come and take it.


Joined: 04 Oct 2005


PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:02 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6049089610001
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
KenH Gemini



Joined: 24 Jan 2010


PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:13 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Wokko wrote:
https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6049089610001


Should have stopped when I saw Sky news, did stop when I saw Chris Kenny!

_________________
Cheers big ears
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message  
David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:46 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, at least we now know (if we didn't already) who's the biggest Liberal Party plant and authoritarian suck-up in the media. Kenny provides no proof whatsoever that the sentences laid down for Richard Boyle's 66 charges would all be served concurrently as opposed to consecutively; we likewise can't be sure which of Julian Assange's 18 charges (totalling 175 years) would be served concurrently or consecutively, and anyone with a brain knows that, in his case, a life sentence is entirely plausible.

But otherwise, it seems that this nitpicking exercise is of greater concern to Kenny than the outrageous fact that people like Boyle are even facing any criminal proceedings at all. At least some of his right-wing colleagues at News Corp seem to have a basic understanding of what's at stake here.

_________________
"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence." – Julian Assange
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger  
David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:30 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Reported today that Witness K will plead guilty, whereas his lawyer continues to fight the case. Important to recognise that neither of these people have done anything wrong, and indeed have merely revealed Australia's criminal behaviour in Timor-Leste. So any prosecution that comes from this will be, of course, a grave injustice.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6312557/witness-k-to-plead-guilty-as-collaery-committed-to-stand-trial/?cs=14329

I highly recommend listening to this 20-minute radio segment from the ABC, which goes into the case in great detail, particularly if you don't know much about the case. It really is the biggest national scandal of the decade:

https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgAV3Ela4G

_________________
"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence." – Julian Assange
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger  
David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:22 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Witness K was finally sentenced last week. Bernard Keane is suitably excoriating:

https://www.crikey.com.au/2021/06/21/witness-k-bernard-collaery-sentencing/

Quote:
The wrong person was in the dock being sentenced last week in the ACT Magistrates Court in relation to Australia’s 2004 bugging of the Timor-Leste cabinet room.

It is Alexander Downer who should have faced court, along with John Howard and David Irvine, the then-head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). Ashton Calvert, then-head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has since passed away, but senior officials of that department at that time, as well as Downer’s staff, some of whom have gone on to subsequent parliament careers, should also have faced investigation.

For what? Ordering and overseeing a potentially illegal act by ASIS, one intended to benefit fossil fuel giant and political donor Woodside. Both Downer and Calvert went on to take positions with Woodside.

Instead, the person in the dock was an elderly former ASIS officer, a highly regarded man who had served Australia loyally over many decades, including in dangerous circumstances. Dangerous enough that if his identity is ever revealed, his own safety and that of his family would be compromised.

His decades of service to his country have been rewarded with being effectively dismissed from his job, being hounded by the government for years and finally subjected to a vexatious, drawn-out prosecution — all for revealing the Australian government’s crime. A crime that deeply offended him, especially after Downer took employment with the beneficiary.

And Witness K had been failed at every turn by our major institutions.

He was failed by ASIS, which repaid his loyalty with an effective dismissal from his job despite his record of service. And failed by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, whose advice he followed in relation to his workplace dispute with ASIS, only to be publicly abandoned by that IG’s replacement.

He was failed by ASIO, under the direction of his former boss David Irvine, which raided his home and seized his passport purely to prevent him from giving evidence in support of Timor-Leste’s dispute with Australia over the Timor Gap Treaty, the fruit of the deeply poisoned tree planted in 2004.

He was failed by appalling spy chief Nick Warner, who vetoed the return of his passport. Despite strong support for him among former colleagues within the Australian Intelligence community, K was failed at the most senior levels by the institutions he had served so well.

He was failed by Christian Porter, that privileged man-child whose record of public service is barely a footnote to the real service of K. Porter immediately permitted a vexatious prosecution that George Brandis, for all his spectacular faults, had declined to approve. And he was failed by a Coalition-chosen Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Sarah McNaughton, who pursued the shameful prosecution half a decade after the alleged crimes.

He was failed by Labor, which stood silent on his prosecution and that of Bernard Collaery, with only a handful of MPs — Graham Perrett, Alicia Payne, Luke Gosling — willing to speak out. Anthony Albanese at least publicly stated that the Howard government’s actions were wrong, but the opposition tiptoed around the prosecution even as it was covered up and drawn out by Porter.

The crossbench did not fail him. Andrew Wilkie, Rex Patrick and the Greens, and Nick Xenophon before his departure, spoke out consistently about the mistreatment of both K and Bernard Collaery. They used parliamentary processes to ask questions, they refused to be put off by the silence of the government and opposition, they criticised the abuse of process to which K was subject.

But much of the media failed him. The prosecutions of K and Collaery, and Christian Porter’s attempts to cover them up, were allowed to proceed with little more than the occasional disapproving editorial from major newspapers. Some journalists such as the ABC’s Steve Cannane, and Elizabeth Byrne who covered the trials for the national broadcaster, Guardian Australia’s Christopher Knaus and Richard Ackland, along with academic Clinton Fernandes, who has written for several outlets including Crikey, have provided crucial coverage and context.

But we know from the fallout from the AFP raids on the ABC and Annika Smethurst that a strong press reaction against government intimidation can force authorities to pull back, refuse to prosecute and fret about media reaction to further attempts to intimidate. At no stage have have K and Collaery been afforded that sort of response — despite The Australian being the outlet that broke the story of our crime against Timor-Leste in 2013. Despite the trials happening a few minutes down the road from Parliament House, a five-minute drive from the Press Gallery, which reacted with indifference to a blatant cover-up of Australia’s biggest scandal in a generation.

And ultimately K was failed by the ACT Magistrate’s Court, which despite recognising that his motivation was justice rather than personal gain, and handing him a suspended sentence, still criticised him for his actions and portrayed him as someone who had “deliberately” “unilaterally” departed from his obligations.

In fact, K was at all times acting in accordance with the advice he had received from the IGIS, and acted completely appropriately in revealing that a crime had been committed.

That these failures have been allowed to happen shows that, for all that we pat ourselves on the back that Australia is a democracy with the rule of law, we more closely resemble a banana republic. Corrupted institutions, self-interested politicians and senior officials, inadequate safeguards, a silent opposition, a sleeping watchdog.

The crime against Timor-Leste is a stain on Australia’s recent history that will never be cleaned off. So too, now, is the conviction of Witness K. This is how Australia’s most pre-eminent institutions treat a brave, patriotic servant — and how they allow the powerful to act with impunity.


The prosecution of K's lawyer, Bernard Collaery, remains ongoing.

_________________
"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence." – Julian Assange
Back to top  
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger  
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Nick's Collingwood Bulletin Board Forum Index -> Victoria Park Tavern All times are GMT + 10 Hours

Page 1 of 1   

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum



Privacy Policy

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group