Friday 25th of May 2018

human nature versus human spirit...


black and white...

Australia’s attorney general, George Brandis, has warned of the risk posed by “trusted insiders” ranging from Judas Iscariot to the “treacherous” former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Brandis, a frequent critic of Snowden for leaking documents related to US intelligence and other “five eyes” partners including Australia, told a security conference that “the threat of the trusted insider is an enduring one because sadly treachery is endemic in human nature among some”.

The attorney general told the 2014 Security in Government conference in Canberra on Tuesday that a trusted insider could become an “insidious enemy”.

“Trusted insiders are exactly that – they work within our organisations, they have access to our information – they know how things work,” he said. “From that privileged position, a trusted insider can cause enormous damage.”

Brandis said the trusted insider was “a familiar figure throughout our history, and indeed, our literature” and he cited Macbeth and Brutus.

“Judas Iscariot is one of the historically best-known examples of a trusted insider,” he said.

“Guy Fawkes was part of a revolutionary group who plotted to blow up most of England’s aristocracy, including the king, in 1605. Using a pseudonym, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators leveraged their positions and contacts to place barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords. The infamous gunpowder plot was foiled by authorities who caught Fawkes before he could carry out his treacherous intentions.

“More recently, I don’t need to remind anyone in this room about the damage caused to the US and her allies through the treachery of Edward Snowden.

“Snowden, and his apologists, claim that he acted in the public interest but he has sought refuge in a country that is an historical opponent of the US. From there he continued to leak the information to which he had privileged access as a government contractor and which he exfiltrated unlawfully.”

Brandis said Snowden’s revelations had “placed Australia’s relationships with countries in our region under strain”.

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And why Australia’s relationships with countries in our region placed under strain, you may ask? Well the Australian government has been duplicitous, deceitful and did some "bad things" under the cover of being friendly, including buggering Timor Leste... So, is knowing of our country's bad deed a good or a bad thing?... It's good for the general public to know that the boffins in Canberra are crooks, but bad for the government being exposed it was involved in deceit... Brandis is clutching at straw with the grip of a snake's fist... 


killing freedom with free hypocritical bigotry...

As the Australian parliament adopts more stringent laws on terrorismand refugees, it is timely to ask how well the government is fulfilling its traditional “freedom” agenda. It famously retreated from its battle to maximise free speech by minimising racial hatred protections. It lost that battle but its ideological war for freedom continues.

Recall that George Brandis, the attorney general, announced a law reform inquiry into traditional civil and political freedom. Brandis is especially concerned about corporate, environmental and industrial regulations which restrict rights.

Brandis also appointed a “freedom commissioner”, Tim Wilson, who is conducting his own inquiry and is concerned, for instance, that native vegetation laws impinge on land rights, and that councils prevent those with ocean front land from developing it in the face of rising seas.

Nelson Mandela’s freedom agenda pales next to this. The suffering of News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt, who breached racial discrimination laws, is especially incomparable.

The attorney general’s “freedom” agenda is really an ideological war on human rights that pretends to defend them. The freedom agenda is ridiculous for so many reasons. It is an attempt to co-opt the language of rights to protect business interests. Corporations are not generally downtrodden, and by the way, are not entitled to “human” rights.

It attempts to silence, diminish or deflect the human rights violations suffered by those who are most vulnerable, disadvantaged, or powerless. It denigrates the rights that most Australians think important, such as freedom from discrimination or being sacked for being pregnant. It fails to understand that the state is not just a threat to rights, but a necessary guarantor of them from intrusion or predation by private interests.

It is obsessed with boutique concerns, like defending bigotry, which most Australians believe to be cruel and unreasonable. It naively believes that law has no place in dealing with racism, and that victims of abuse on a bus can somehow engage a racist thug in a reasoned conversation and persuade them they are wrong.

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