Tuesday 22nd of October 2019

Attorney-General Throws Christians To The Liars

The protesters who broke into Pine Gap are about to be treated as "examples" This is going to be a major warning to protesters that contravention of law will not be tolerated.

Here's tomorrow's Daily Telegraph story. 

 

A GROUP of anti-war
protesters claim "operational secrecy" is hindering their efforts to
defend themselves against charges of breaking into a top secret
Australian spy base.

Donna Mulhearn, 37, Jim Dowling, 50, Adele Goldie, 29, and Bryan Law,
51, have faced a committal hearing in Alice Springs Magistrates Court,
charged with breaking into the Pine Gap spy base in central Australia.

The four were charged under the Defence Special Undertakings Act with
entering a prohibited area and taking photos on December 9 last year.

The group, which styles itself Christians Against All Terrorism,
fronted the hearing wearing jackets and overalls saying "Citizens
Inspection Team".

Mulhearn, a well-known Catholic pacifist from Maitland, is a former
"human shield" who was captured and later freed by insurgents during
her second trip to Iraq.

Members of the group claimed to the court that US military action in
Iraq was "terrorism" and a humanitarian emergency that Australian
citizens should deal with.

They said they would rely on the defence "of necessity", which says
private citizens can take illegal action when there is an extraordinary
emergency threatening them.

Representing themselves, the members claimed that the fact they had
gained access to the site showed the Australian Federal Police
protecting the base were unable to protect Australia from a terrorist
threat.

Among those quizzed by the four about the role of Pine Gap in the
targeting of missiles in Iraq was the deputy chief of the Pine Gap
Joint Defence Facility, Michael Burgess, the top Australian official at
the base.

However, the defendants were told the base was an intelligence collection facility and that operations there were classified.

In court, the group tried to extract information about buildings at Pine Gap, 20km from Alice Springs, and what they were for.

"We needed to inspect Pine Gap for terrorist activity," group member
James Dowling told the court, after calling US Intelligence chief John
Negroponte "a known terrorist".

Mr Negroponte inspected the base just three days before the group broke in.

But the protesters were told repeatedly that most things about the
base, including even whether employees rode bikes on the grounds, was
"classified".

All four protesters are charged with criminal damage and entering a prohibited area.

Goldie, Dowling and Mulhearn are further charged with using a camera in a prohibited area.

The charges carry jail terms of up to seven years and their use had to be decided by Attorney General Phillip Ruddock.

The group face separate charges of criminal damage under the NT criminal code.

Law said the group was the first to ever be charged under the Defence
Special Undertakings Act and had been kept in suspense for four months.

"It has certainly raised the stakes," he said.

Law, a father of one, and Dowling, a father of seven, said they
expected custodial sentences if the case went to trial and they were
found guilty.