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The Forum > Article Comments > Free flowing security statement > Comments

Free flowing security statement : Comments

By Peter Coates, published 15/12/2008

The Government's Security Statement is not the detailed document 'security experts' have been waiting for.

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The author's insightful views are only exceeded by his Adonis like figure, wicked sense of humour and manifest talents in positions unmentionable.

Yet after providing that mild assessment it is the same old problem about security debate in this country. Serious security people in Canberra reading this are prevented by law, convention as well as concern for their jobs from entering into public debate about Australian security matters. Watch it - your supervisor just looked over your shoulder.

It is left to supreme bosses, DG ASIO, the AG or PM to do the talking. Such is the Westminster convention of silence slavishly followed to extremes in Oz.

The US and India, by comparison, are much more articulate. Have a look at by my international colleague Kumar - especially the section on Intelligence. You wouldn't see that in Australia short of a Brief quickly scanned by an Australia Coalition pollie just before he goes out to nail a "security risk" like Haneef.

Rudd's Security Statement is a step in the right direction. Opening up issues for public debate - even if most only know how to complain after things go wrong...

Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 15 December 2008 2:05:51 PM
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Congratulations on a very clear and neatly encapsulated argument. However, while I agree that the anti-terrorist laws deserve a review, I would like to see it conducted by people who know what they're talking about and not the usual suspects from the left wing of academe, the judiciary, parts of the public service, let alone the general community and Muslim representatives!

I harbor grave suspicions about the efficacy and efficiency of Australia's counterterrorism forces and I'm extremely glad Kevin Rudd did not add a department of homeland security to the mixed marching company. Another layer of bureaucracy is about five too many! Unfortunately the only way a counterterrorist effort will be assessed is by its failures: there are those that witter on about Haneef, ul-Haque, David Hicks, Fodhi and even those convicted in the Melbourne terrorist trial. You simply cannot generalize about the cases. The laws need review because they are not necessarily good/bad laws but pause for a moment and consider what might have happened had certain individuals not been apprehended.

It is deplorable that people who write to OLO have raised Haneef to the status of a public celebrity: the question that should have been asked and wasn't was simple, not rocket science. Under the circumstances obtaining at the time, were the authorities justified in detaining him?

When blood flows in the streets, as inevitably it will, because what happened in Mumbai could happen just as easily here, then I will launch a scorching post that will shut up the idiot fringe for a whole day - such is their failure to comprehend the issues and willingness to blame the CIA for everything. I did not choose my screen name for nothing! In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Frankly I hope I'm wrong but I won't be and I predict much gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes to the accompaniment of selected music for the blame game.
Posted by Thanatos, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 6:06:37 AM
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