Wednesday 27th of August 2014

inadvertently losing the plot...


faulty gps...

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says he will not tolerate people "sledging" Australian Navy personnel amid allegations asylum seekers were burned after being forced to hold on to parts of a hot boat engine.

ABC News has obtained vision of asylum seekers being medically assessed for burns that Indonesian police say were inflicted by the Australian Navy.

The police say they had to get treatment for 10 asylum seekers, seven of whom had severe burns on their hands, after they were picked up in Indonesian waters on January 6.

Police say the asylum seekers suffered the burns when Navy personnel forced them to hold onto hot pipes coming out of their boat's engine.

Mr Morrison says the claims are unsubstantiated.


crystal clear...

$7.30's Lee Sails interviews Tony Abbott over reports three Indonesian Naval vessels have entered Australia’s territorial waters near Darwin.

Studio: And now to some breaking news. Reports are coming in that three Indonesian Naval vessels have entered Australia’s territorial waters near Darwin. Eyewitnesses report the vessels were escorting four boats containing asylum seekers that they had towed from Indonesia to Australia.

We cross now to our chief naval reporter, Lee Sails, in Canberra where the Prime Minister has agreed to come out of hiding to answer some questions.

Lee Sails: Good morning Prime Minister. What can you tell us about the presence of the Indonesian Navy in Australian waters?

Tony Abbott: Well, let me make this crystal clear, Lee, crystal clear. Australia will not tolerate any unauthorized incursions into Australian territory. I’ve written a letter to President Yudhoyono, making that crystal clear. We have put the entire Australian fleet on standby and many ships on duty in the Middle-East have been recalled to defend the homeland.

Lee Sails: Isn’t that an over-reaction, Prime Minister? 

Tony Abbott: No, it’s not an over-reaction, Lee. This is a very serious matter. It is an incursion into our sovereign territory. Darwin could be wiped off the map. That is why our response has been to work our way slowly, and carefully, and methodically through the situation as it now stands.

Lee Sails: So what exactly are you proposing to do?

Tony Abbott: We have a plan, Lee, we have a plan. A positive plan for Australia’s defence. I have put the country on a war footing and upgraded Operation Sovereign Borders to Operation Homeland Defence. Scott Morrison has been appointed Minister for War and First Lord of the Admiralty.

Lee Sails: First Lord of the Admiralty? Isn’t that a British appointment?

Tony Abbott: That’s right, Lee. But under my emergency powers, I’ve made a leader’s call and reinstated the British Honours System. Lord Morrison will make a statement soon. I understand he has promoted Lieutenant General Angus Campbell to Generalissimo in charge of Operation Homeland Defence.

Lee Sails: But Mr Abbott, isn’t it possible that this intrusion may have been inadvertent, perhaps as a result of a navigational error?

Tony Abbott: Well, frankly, that’s a ridiculous proposition, Lee, if I may say so. Heh, heh. You don’t have to be a tech head to know the Indonesian navy has all the latest satellite navigational equipment. You wouldn’t exactly be a suppository of wisdom if you thought that they didn’t know exactly where they were. I think you insult your viewers’ intelligence if you are asking them to believe such a ludicrous suggestion.


read more:,6089

burns on their hands...

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia will cooperate with an Indonesian police investigation into claims asylum seekers were burned while under the direction of Australian Navy personnel.

Footage obtained by the ABC shows several asylum seekers - who Indonesian police say were on a vessel forced back by the Australian Navy on January 6 - being medically assessed for burns on their hands.

The asylum seekers say they were kicked and burnt when the Australian Navy forced them to touch part of their boat's engine, allegations which police in Indonesia say have been referred to the country's national police headquarters.

trusty personnel afloat or adrift....

The ABC aired footage of the asylum seekers being treated for burns on their hands. When Abbott was asked if it constituted evidence, he said: "Who do you believe?

"Do you believe Australian naval personnel or do you believe people who were attempting to break Australian law? I believe Australian naval personnel."

Okto George Riwu, a spokesman for Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara provincial police, said earlier officers were looking into the allegations but did not yet have evidence to back up the allegations.

Is this the same impeccable navy that:

young male sailors on a warship involved in tracking down asylum-seeker boats.

Chief of Navy Ray Griggs said this week the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service was investigating allegations of inappropriate behaviour by some members of the crew of the frigate HMAS Ballarat.

Last night, Vice-Admiral Griggs said the warship was deployed on border protection operations. He said the investigators had not yet been able to board the warship because of its position and would not be able to do so for several days.

"The allegations were raised on Monday by one of our sailors," Vice-Admiral Griggs said.

"The matter was quickly reported through the chain of command for further investigation."

Vice-Admiral Griggs said he applauded any member of the navy with the courage to raise such concerns.

"I encourage anyone who is aware of, or who experiences, unacceptable behaviour to do the same."

Vice-Admiral Griggs said the alleged behaviour was not consistent with navy values.

"Navy does not tolerate inappropriate behaviour and will act accordingly if any of the allegations are substantiated," he said

Sailor charged over patrol boat robbery
December 21, 2012
A sailor has been charged over the robbery of weapons from a navy patrol boat in Darwin late last month. READ: Carnage at US elementary school READ: Kanye West's most shocking moments READ: Artists who made it big on YouTube Northern Territory police say the 26-year-old leading seaman is a serving member of the patrol boat fleet based HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin . A dozen semi-automatic

Far from me to sledge the navy which has been placed in a rotten spot by the policies of this Abbott ningnong government. 

Sukhoi Su-27/30 deployment in response to "apologies"...

Indonesian warships, including torpedo and missile craft, have been moved to its border with Australia in an effort to stop any more incursions by the Australian navy into Indonesian waters when towing back boatloads of asylum seekers.

The Indonesian navy’s chief spokesman, Commodore Untung Suropati, has confirmed a number of warships had moved towards the Australian border including frigates, fast torpedo craft (KCT), fast missile craft (KCR), corvettes and maritime patrol aircraft, the Jakarta Post reported.

“All the ships are on the move, patrolling the waters,” he said without specifying how many ships had been deployed.

Air force radar was also being used to patrol the border for Australian boats and Air Commodore Hadi Tjajanto said Australia was “reachable” from the Makassar base.

Australia apologised unreservedly last week after it was revealed there had been several naval incursions into Indonesian waters.

navy blues...

A retired senior Royal Australian Navy (RAN) officer has hit out at the Federal Government's stop the boats policy as "morally corrupt and totally indefensible".

"For our leaders to proclaim personal and religious ethics amazes me," said retired RAN Captain John Ingram, recognised in yesterday's Australia Day honours with an Order of Australia Medal for his decades of work supporting the Indo-Chinese community, and also for leading a naval rescue of 99 asylum seekers from a sinking boat.

"The concept of turning boats back is absolutely abhorrent. I have an issue with the hardline approach, the fact that RAN sailors are (now) being used for political purposes," he said.

"And turning back boats on the open sea and pursuing towards Indonesia, which happened just recently, is not the naval way of doing things."

love thy neighbour...

Could we do more to offend the Indonesians? John Menadue
Posted on January 19, 2014 by John Menadue

Could we do more to offend the Indonesians? Yes, I think we could by appointing, as has been suggested, Peter Cosgrove as our next Governor General. He was the military Commander who led the INTERFET forces against the Indonesian military in East Timor in 1999.  This was much more than just a military defeat for the Indonesians. It resulted in Indonesia’s political humiliation in the eyes of the world. Indonesia had to withdraw from East Timor with loss of face.  I don’t think that Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, in their reading of the Lonely Planet Guide to international relations would be aware of this. Stopping the boats is everything regardless of the human beings involved or our relations with Indonesia.

I believe the Australian-led intervention in East Timor was justified and in normal times the appointment of a former military opponent of the Indonesians would largely go unnoticed. But because of the Abbott Government we are not in normal times in our present dealings with Indonesia; the country that is more important to us strategically than any other.

The Abbott Government has trod clumsily and provocatively in our relations with Indonesia. It should not add to the problem.

The phone-tapping of the Indonesian President, his wife and senior colleagues by an Australian security agency occurred before the Abbott Government came to power. But the insensitivity and amateurish response by the Abbott Government really caused annoyance in Indonesia.

read more :

distracted by the wind or tides...


The prime minister, Tony Abbott, says Australian border protection vessels may have ventured into Indonesian waters because personnel were distracted by the wind or tides.

Abbott was asked on Tuesday to explain how highly skilled and well-resourced naval and border protection professionals could have been unclear about the location of a maritime border with a key regional neighbour.

The Abbott government made repeated public assurances Australia would respect Indonesia’s maritime border as it intensified efforts to turn back to Java boats carrying asylum seekers as part of its Operation Sovereign Borders policy, a policy to which the Indonesian government has publicly objected.

Of the flimsiest excuses I have heard for finding oneself in the wrong place while being equipped with massive horsepower and ultra-precise positioning technology, this one takes the cake...  Even Captain Cook and his coal ship would have done better at knowing where he was...

Tony Abbott is an idiot who tries to take us for fools...


hidden dangerous events on the open seas...

Navy personnel have been involved in dangerous events on the open seas, but some news outlets who should be chasing that story are instead fixated on how the ABC is reporting it, writes Alan Sunderland.

There is a very important story running across daily news bulletins and the front pages of the newspapers at the moment. Some organisations, for reasons that are painfully apparent, think it's a story about how well the ABC carries out its journalism.

It is not.

Over the past few weeks, two boatloads of asylum seekers heading for Australia have been stopped, turned around, and sent or helped or towed back to Indonesia. The Navy has, it says, inadvertently entered Indonesian territorial waters while doing so. In the process of these activities, there appears to have been scuffles or contact between asylum seekers and Navy personnel. There have been injuries. All sorts of claims are being made about precisely what happened on board those boats.

By any measure, and regardless of whether you consider the Government's decision to turn back asylum seeker boats good policy or bad, these are important and highly newsworthy matters. In the past (think no further back than the 'children overboard' controversy of 2001) such drama on the high seas involving Australians has been major news.

But this time, there is a big difference. This time, the Australian Government has adopted a carefully considered position of making no comment whatsoever on operational matters when it comes to asylum seeker boats. They have put forward their clear and principled reasons for taking such a stand, and they have stuck to it.

Journalists, though, have a different set of responsibilities to governments. Journalists have a responsibility to inform the public about important matters that affect them. Good journalists will chase important stories through every available source, even when official sources refuse to comment.

So when those boats were turned back, and when the allegations of violence and mistreatment of asylum seekers began to emerge, the ABC started reporting. Equally importantly, we started probing.

In early January, when the allegations of mistreatment and burnt hands first emerged, they were flatly denied without qualification by Australian authorities. The ABC reported the allegations after first seeking a response. Then, when the response came, we reported those denials prominently and for some time the matter rested there. Then, some weeks later, video evidence emerged. This too was reported.

Behind the scenes, the ABC's journalists kept probing. Our contacts on the ground in Indonesia were strong, and we worked them relentlessly. We travelled to where the asylum seekers were and sought as many different accounts as we could. We reached out to all of our contacts in Australia, including among the armed forces, to get information from as many sources as possible. And at every possible opportunity we sought official information on the details of precisely what happened.

read more :

dirt to hide...

The Abbott government has blocked a bid by the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, to visit child asylum seekers sent to Nauru under its ''stop the boats'' policy.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison wrote to Professor Triggs late last month denying her request to visit the island detention centre on the grounds that the commission's jurisdiction did not extend beyond Australia's borders.

Professor Triggs had hoped the visit would inform an inquiry into the detention of more than 1000 children in mainland detention centres and on Christmas Island that will release its report in nine months. Around 100 children are detained on Nauru.

The inquiry will investigate the ways in which life in immigration detention affects the health, wellbeing and development of children. It will also examine separation of families across detention facilities and the adequacy care of unaccompanied children in the detention network.

Although a similar inquiry a decade ago resulted in a significant drop in the number of children in detention, Professor Triggs conceded that the political climate was more difficult now than when the report ''A Last Resort?'' was released in April 2004.

Read more:

extremely nervous...

The first video of what appears to be a lifeboat full of asylum seekers being towed by an Australian vessel under Operation Sovereign Borders has been obtained by the ABC.

The video, received from Indonesian sources, appears to have been filmed from inside an orange lifeboat which is being towed by the Australian Customs vessel Triton on the high seas.

At least one young child can be seen on board the lifeboat and another large vessel can be seen nearby.

It is believed the same lifeboat arrived on the southern coast of Java on Wednesday night.

The Indonesian navy says there were 34 asylum seekers on board the boat.

Last month the Defence Force confirmed reports that it had bought lifeboats for use in Operation Sovereign Borders, but would not comment on reports they would be used to send asylum seekers back to Indonesia.

In other developments:


'When you give me something to act upon that is more than just hearsay, innuendo and rumour, we will cross that bridge when we come to it,'' he offered, saying he'd spoken to senior command and had been told there was nothing to the allegations.

And when confronted with Fairfax's report of an extensive interview with the asylum seeker who acted as interpreter on the boat in question, and who insisted he'd seen with his own eyes the alleged mistreatment, Senator Johnston dismissed the claims as a ''small number of misbehaviours''.

When asked why Defence hadn't previously answered questions posed by Fairfax on the issue, Senator Johnston fobbed off responsibility altogether.

''Border protection, with over 50,000 people on 800 boats coming in, in four years, is a civil public policy issue,'' he declared. ''It is not a military exercise. We need military skills, we need military logistics and capability, but it is a civil public policy problem. Immigration and border protection need to be kept in the context of a civil public policy output.''

An astonishing performance.

Read more:

One has to realise the first ABC report was "qualified" as "allegations" of mistreatment by the Navy personnel of asylum seekers. But ONLY the Sydney news bulletin referred to it as if it had been certified... The second thing here is that whether the Navy has 50,000 personnel or one penguin, the Navy HAS to investigate the "incident" or it is derelict of duty. I personally don't care if the minister was sick in the stomach, in the head or in the gonads... His views is irrelevant to the "incident" as it happened or not and one can see here an carefully choreographed orchestration: after the drums of war from Abbott and the merde-och press Wagnerian chorus, we're getting the violins of a dramatic crocodile queen from the minister. Pitiful really. 

when peter reith lied... and still lies...

Burnt hands, children overboard, it all seems the same to Peter Reith


In complaining about ABC bias, Peter Reith was unwise to draw a parallel with the children overboard affair – the way the allegations against the navy have been handled are too reminiscent of 2001

Now Peter Reith is whining about ABC bias, and the hard time the national broadcaster gave him in the children overboard affair. Really? Was there no old friend to warn the former minister for defence not to go there, to stay well clear of the great controversy of the Howard years?

“Mr Reith,” said the ABC’s Virginia Trioli, “there is nothing in this photo that indicates these people either jumped or were thrown.” She was right. But Reith kept insisting the blurred, uncaptioned photograph was proof that ruthless asylum seekers had thrown their children into the sea.

That 2001 exchange with Trioli would come to haunt Reith. The navy knew no children had been thrown overboard. The navy had already warned the minister’s office the photographs were of another rescue on another day. Their use grossly misrepresented the truth.

As Trioli kept pressing, Reith kept claiming he had the navy on his side. Mounting his high horse, he said: “You may want to question the veracity of reports of the Royal Australian Navy. I don’t.”

Now in the Fairfax press Reith is reiterating his plea of innocence – “I believed the children overboard story to be true at the time” – and damning the ABC for trying “to undermine the efforts of the new government to stop the boats. It is a classic case of bias.”

How the allegation of burnt hands brings back those sordid weeks as Howard and his ministers twisted and turned to keep the truth from coming out before the nation went to the polls in November 2001.

Then and now the press was not allowed anywhere near the navy; all questions were routed through the office of the minister of defence; and any doubts raised about the military operation against the boats was met with a blast of Advance Australia Fair. To question was close to treason.

Read more:

the admiral should resign...

Australian naval ships entered Indonesian territorial waters often and with ease before the incursions sparked a diplomatic incident in January, according to a leaked Indonesian navy report, and an Indonesian navy spokesman reiterated that the 6 January incursion was a knowing and intentional breach.

The dossier, signed off by a senior naval commander in eastern Indonesia, is an official report into the boat that landed on remote Rote island on 6 January after being turned back by the Australian navy. The report suggests three Australian naval vessels had entered Indonesian territorial waters and implies the incursion may have been intentional.

“It was too easy for the Australian warships to enter Republic of Indonesia territorial waters without detection,” the report says.

The same boat was the subject of allegations that asylum seekers on board had their hands burned by naval personnel. The report, parts of which have been seen by Guardian Australia, also contains further details on those allegations.

The report says incursions were becoming more regular: “In anticipation of the entry of Australian warships (foreign war vessels) into Indonesian territorial waters, already occurring more and more often, it is necessary to increase Indonesian sovereignty in carrying out more patrols in and around the waters of Rote Ndao and Dana Island, so that foreign warships do not enter Indonesian territorial waters again,” it says.

The document provides the first official documentation that an Australian naval incursion had occurred, and shows that Indonesian agencies were aware the incursions were continuing.

Unsafe to do so and breaking international law... The navy should revolt against the government. The admiral should resign in a voice of protest against a government that has no regard for life nor for international relations. Fascista is the word that comes to mind to define Abbott, his cronies and his regime. Abbott is slowly turning into general Franco with sprinkles of the North Korea dictatorship...

morrison tries to sell appeasing crap...

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says an internal report on Australian intrusions into Indonesian waters will be shared with Indonesia before it is released publicly.

Mr Morrison says the Customs-Defence report confirms Australian border protection ships inadvertently entered Indonesian waters during Operation Sovereign Borders.

He revealed last month that the Navy had breached Indonesian waters on several occasions.

Speaking on ABC's Insiders program this morning, Mr Morrison reiterated that the intrusions were unintentional and said the review findings would be shared with Indonesia before being made public.


Am I still too cynical?... Why am I prepared to believe that the report will be "edited" or in intelligence parlance "redacted" to show that the Navy "inadvertently" went so close to the Indonesian coast, the ships could have run aground?... Some towed-back asylum seeker boats did run aground, possibly being towed there. So there...

weasels are good swimmers...

“The review found that Indonesian Maritime Boundaries constituted important operational information that should have been provided by the headquarters to the commanders of vessels assigned to Operation Sovereign Borders,” the report said.

And it found that customs vessel masters had been trained on how the UN law of the sea convention applied to navigation within Australian waters, but they had not been properly trained in how it applied to calculating Indonesian maritime boundaries.

Indonesian officials have been briefed on the report, which also recommended the navy and customs look for any “individual lapses in professional conduct” that may have contributed to the mistakes and also improve training.

The review received more than 2,200 documents, the report said, to generate a “narrative” of events.

Asylum seekers who were “turned back” by the naval boats have claimed the vessels sailed close to the coastline with their lights “dimmed”.

The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said on Wednesday the report had not been asked to make any findings about that question.

“The review was into border breaches and that’s what the review addresses,” Morrison said.

riot of the peaceful person...


The other explanation is that there is something about the circumstances of detainees that generates this behaviour. Put any group of people through this wringer, and they will eventually respond with riotous protest. Such behaviour, then, is not a function of the defective personalities of individuals, but the inevitable human reaction to inhuman treatment: that the violence we've witnessed over and over is simply a product of the system.

Naturally, officials cannot abide this. Certainly, they are keen on talking about our ''system'', and preserving its integrity. But they present it as entirely passive; as a set of rules and processes that facilitate orderly management, rather than something active in its own right. As far as politicians are concerned, our systems don't have consequences.

This, of course, is bollocks. But it's bipartisan bollocks, so for most relevant purposes it masquerades as truth.

Read more:

sack morrison....

Arrogant, evasive, dishonest and now with blood on his hands: Scott Morrison has shown he cannot be trusted to responsibly and fairly administer the vital immigration portfolio. He must go. (Image via,6207

not denying, only that the allegation are unsubstantiated...

An asylum seeker whose boat was turned back to Indonesia by Australia has given the ABC a detailed first-person account of being deliberately burned by Australian military personnel while in their custody.

It is the first time any of the three alleged victims of the January incident, on a fishing boat called the Riski, has given their version of events.

The account of Mustafa Ibrahim, a 23-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker, and other evidence found by 7.30's investigation raise new questions about the turn-back of the boat by the military between January 1 and January 6. 

The Australian Government has said allegations that people were deliberately burned on the boat were "baseless" and "unsubstantiated".

The ABC has established that a distress call was made from the boat shortly before it was turned back.

Two Somali passengers interviewed by 7.30 each described losing a brother overboard during rough weather when closing on the Australian coast, just hours before they were intercepted and turned back to Indonesia.

one-way frequent-smuggler points...

Discounts, multi-buy offers and new ways to travel are just some of the methods people smuggling syndicates are using to respond to Australian policy changes, as they attempt to cling onto their market.

Like any organised crime outfit, people smuggling networks are nimble and respond quickly to what CEOs would call "political challenges to their business environment".

For smuggling networks operating through Indonesia, that has been a series of changes to Australian policy.

Passengers from the only boat known to have reached Australian territory this year have told the ABC they paid as little as $1,000 per person for the voyage.