Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Unlovable Rogues

Monday's 7.30 Report:

Leigh Sales, Presenter: The furore over Australia's spying activities overseas has taken a new turn today with revelations of potential domestic spying here at home on Australian soil. A new document dating from 2008, purportedly from American whistleblower Edward Snowden, appears to show Australia's surveillance agency, then known as the Defence Signals Directorate, discussing the idea of sharing data collected about Australian citizens with its overseas counterparts.

Carl Ungerer, Security Analyst: Australians have to understand that the Australian Signals Directorate is operating within Australian law and doing so for the direct benefit of Australia's national security. The idea that they're a rogue agency out there collecting in inappropriate ways should be anathema to anyone who understands national security.

Tuesday's 7.30 Report:

Leigh Sales: As we go to air tonight, there are reports that ASIO has raided the office of the Canberra-based lawyer who claims Australia bugged the East Timorese cabinet during sensitive negotiations about a billion-dollar gas deal. For the first time there's a hint as to who provided the information that's the basis for that case, with the East Timor lobby claiming a retired Australian spy who acted as a whistleblower was arrested today.

Frank Brennan, Law Faculty, Aust. Catholic Uni: It seems that yesterday, 15 ASIO agents descended on the home and office of Bernard Collaery... conducted a very ruthless search... and took away everything which is germane to this case. There was also a visit made to the home of the prime witness for the Timorese and these proceedings, a retired ASIS agent. He and his wife were detained and he was questioned for some time. Whether or not he was arrested, I am not apprised of that information. But I can tell you that on Thursday these proceedings were to begin at the Hague with the arbitration. And the understanding was that the parties were to determine how to deal with the witnesses, particularly this key whistleblower, the allegation of the Timorese being that this whistleblower is able to provide credible, direct evidence of the bugging of the cabinet room and that that was done for commercial gain and would require the approval not only of the Director-General of Intelligence but of the requisite Australian Minister.

Today's 7.30 Report:

Conor Duffy, Reporter: Under the guise of an aid program for the impoverished country, a spy from the ASIS slipped into Dili. Far from helping out, he was there to bug the East Timorese cabinet, the room where the negotiating team talked tactics... The spy has now revealed all and is the star witness for an East Timorese legal action in The Hague to have the billion-dollar treaty scrapped... 7.30 has part of his crucial affidavit, which says that the then head of ASIS instructed him to plant a listening device in East Timor on the orders of then ASIS head and now ASIO boss, David Irvine... Yesterday, ASIO launched a pre-emptive strike, raiding Mr Collaery's home and office just before the hearings in The Hague, which start on Thursday... They also raided the ASIS whistleblower, seizing his passport and cancelling it, effectively stopping him from backing up his affidavit with oral evidence... Today, Attorney-General George Brandis rejected suggestions the raids were designed to hobble East Timor's case.


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Anonymous said...

I wonder if the "retired ASIS agent" turned whistleblower has suffered some kind of rendition to an Australian Abu Ghraib Prison to be waterboarded and humiliated, complete with Colonel Dr. Mike Kelly [ret] standing by with some free legal advice for all concerned?

Kelly even claimed whistleblower status himself, after the event was, of course, exposed by others!

Such chutzpah had Kelly parachuted into parliament AND become the darling of the usual suspects at News Limited, no mean feat for a Labor candidate and whistleblower.

We might never find out about the OTHER whistleblower, national security you know, ssshhh.

Looks like different whistles for different blowers.

It is interesting how Carl Ungerer misses the point of the question with his catch all reply, for "the benefit of Australia's national security".

It seems that sharing private data on Australians with FOREIGNERS has become, ipso facto, cringe , cringe, a part of "Australia's national security" too.

George Orwell, get down and boogie.