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The Forum > Article Comments > The paramilitary wing of the AFP > Comments

The paramilitary wing of the AFP : Comments

By Bruce Haigh, published 25/2/2008

Terror has been the vehicle for unrestrained empire building with minimum accountability by Keelty and the AFP.

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Another good post Bruce.

Politicians and the public rightly fear Commissioner Keelty. Hes scary. He announces and probably organises his own policy directions, while seeking hardline censorship for "terrorism cases".

He has been boss of the AFP longer than Rudd has been in the national eye. Aussie Drug Mules flick-passed to Death Row in Bali appear to be only a fleeting concern for him and Rudd.

Like a long serving federal policemen of another country (J. Edgar Hoover) Keelty probably has incriminating dirt on every politician - by virtue of B-party wiretaps I suggest.

If ever the current Canberra politicians make the mistake of creating a Department of Homeland Security (a bigger Empire) I'm confident these Pollies will promote Keelty to the job.

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 25 February 2008 1:19:43 PM
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Unfettered power in the hands of this group is a danger in itself. Are they the 'new terrorism'? The unaccountability factor is frightening and I have been a little surprised that Rudd does not seem to have it on his agenda. Why not? Could Plantagenent have been right and 'something on every politician' be correct? I can't see why not. Every one has a skeleton or two dangling in the cupboard. But how does a private skeleton match up to public security? There are ways of dealing with it. I am told.
Good article, Bruce. There needs to be more questions asked.
Posted by arcticdog, Monday, 25 February 2008 1:34:37 PM
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I agree with much of what you say in your article Bruce.

I might add that there is much overlap between the AFP and other national agenices in the areas of counter-terrorism policy, planning, education and training, emergency managment, dissemination of information and policy surrounding critical infrastructure. A situation which has contributed to empire building opportunities by various public servants in a number of areas and raises the potential for the 'creative' use of funding deployed for these various purposes.

While its not a popular, a Department of Homeland Security may not be such a bad idea. It might work to bring together a number of duplicated functions which is evident in the whole-of-government approach to counter-terrorism/national security and allow greater scrutiny, which is difficult in the present arrangements because of the spread of responsibility and jurisdictional hindrances and considerations. In short, it is an unwieldy beast.

One large department (rather than lots of smaller ones including the various national security style Divisions within larger departments) would hopefully prevent some of the inter-jurisdictional in-fighting and competition which would allow a greater flow and sharing of critical information.

This website gives you some idea of the number of players involved:

http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/
Posted by pelican, Monday, 25 February 2008 1:48:42 PM
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Great Article Bruce, the democracy that four generations of my family including myself have fought for in this country, is now in danger of being replaced by a terrorist under the bed campaign run by an un-elected upstart copper operating out of Canberra.

With the millions spent on Intelligence work in Asia through ASIO and the Federal police, Bali and the rise of the muslim terroists group in Indonesia was somehow over looked resulting in tragic circumstances for the 88.

The AFT has proven to be incompetent and were it not for the public giving the AFT information on terror suspects, these people couldn't find a single terrorst in Saudi Arabia under the bed.
Posted by Yindin, Monday, 25 February 2008 2:00:44 PM
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Nice article Bruce.

Any chance on getting a piece written on where the responsibilities of the AFP, ASIO, ASIS and DFAT overlap?
I imagine there's a few interesting revelations to be had there. Heck, I suspect plenty of people aren't even aware ASIS exists.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Monday, 25 February 2008 2:07:27 PM
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Oh, and I suppose the roles of the ADF would need to be considered in such an analysis as well.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Monday, 25 February 2008 2:10:12 PM
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