Sunday 11th of April 2021

potato man tells you that the australian federal police is "doing its successful job" to protect you from knowing something...


Peter Dutton has rejected any suggestion the latest Australian federal police raid on an intelligence officer was an attempt at “intimidation”, while maintaining the government is not seeking to extend the remit of the nation’s domestic spy agencies.

On Wednesday AFP officers raided the home of intelligence officer Cameron Gill, leaving with several bin bags of seized items. The AFP has not linked the raid to any ongoing investigation.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said the raid was the “AFP doing their job”, and cautioned against what he said was “speculation” regarding it’s reason.

“The details of this investigation would be known to the AFP and to draw links to other things I think is just mis-speculation,” he said.

The News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid had labelled the latest raid as an attempt at intimidation.

“We have always said the AFP raids on journalists were not intended to intimidate journalists but the people who have the courage to talk to journalists,” he said in a statement.

The home affairs minister rejected that suggestion.

“I think people who try to portray the Australian federal police other than a professional organisation of men and women led by Andrew Colvin, one of the most successful commissioners of the Australian federal police, I think they’re wrong,” he said from Brisbane.

“They have a job to do under the law and they do it and they should be allowed to conduct their investigations, and I don’t have any comment to make in relation to this particular matter, as I said before.”

Dutton, who is the minister responsible for the AFP, said he was not told of the raid ahead of time.

The Gill raid came just months after AFP officers searched News Corp political editor Annika Smethurst’s home, more than a year after she published a story suggesting the Australia Signals Directorate was seeking to broaden its powers to spy on Australian citizens without their knowledge.

The government has continued to deny it was seeking any such changes, but the investigations into Smethurst’s story continues.

Dutton was asked again on Thursday whether there were plans to extend domestic spy powers and whether the public had a right to know about that.

“What are you referring to? What does your text from Canberra say? What are they referring to? Ask for background next time. I think you’ve been set up on that question,” he said.

“There’s no such proposal.”

Morrison was asked separately about the public’s right to know about any proposal to extend spy powers and also rejected it.

“The government has no such plans. Never did and so it is a hypothetical,” he said.

AFP officers also raided ABC’s Sydney headquarters in June over a series of stories into the clandestine operations of Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

The media raids have sparked two parliamentary inquiries into press freedom in Australia, which are due to report on their findings later in the year.

Dutton’s departmental head, Mike Pezzullo, told one of those inquiries last month that he believed the individual who leaked sensitive documents to Smethurst should, following proper judicial processes, be imprisoned, and said then police were close to identifying the source.

The Labor leader Anthony Albanese said he was “not comfortable” with the government’s attitude towards press freedom.

“Freedom of the press is an essential component of our democratic system and the fact is that in terms of the basis of these raids that have occurred, whether it’s the issues published by Annika Smethurst or the revelations broadcast by the ABC, they met the public interest test,” Albanese said.

“The public did have a right to know on those things. And the truth is that journalism is not a crime.”

Albanese said protections for any potential whistleblowers also needed to be heavily considered.

“When whistleblowers give information that the public have a right to know, such as in the case concerned, it was about a debate taking place between government departments about surveillance, increased spying, if you like, on Australians going about their day-to-day business,” he said.

“Now, there were privacy concerns with that. Australians had a right to know that that discussion was taking place.”

Morrison said there was “absolutely no question” his government was “committed to press freedom”, but said again no one was above the law.

“And the law will apply. And the wonderful part about our democracy is press freedom and that is not under threat in this country, from my government or anyone else.”


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the government is a threat to the community...

Australian Federal Police (AFP) carried out a secretive, early morning raid on a house in Canberra belonging to Australian Signals Directorate officer Cameron Gill, husband of the country’s ambassador to Iraq Joanne Loundes.

Witnesses reported hearing loud bangs coming from the house during the search and police officers were seen leaving the building carrying black sacks several hours later at roughly 3pm local time.  

Gill, who previously worked as a policy advisor for a number of government ministries, is known to have lived in the property as recently as March of this year, and Loundes is understood to have returned from overseas recently. The exact circumstances of the raid remain somewhat of a mystery and the AFP have issued only generic statements regarding the operation.

This activity does not relate to any current or impending threat to the Australian community, the AFP said in a statement.

As this is an ongoing matter, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.

The AFP has thus far refused to respond to questions regarding the raid from Australian media. 

Canberra lawyer Kamy Saeedi, who was on the scene when the media arrived, told reporters outside the Canberra home that the situation was “complex” and “sensitive” and declined to comment further. 

It remains unknown whether the raid is linked to previous raids conducted by the AFP on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst's home regarding a story she had published reporting that the heads of Defence and Home Affairs were planning to expand state surveillance powers, citing leaked documents marked “secret, Australian eyes only.”

“We have always said the AFP raids on journalists were not intended to intimidate journalists but the people who have the courage to talk to journalists,” News Corps executive Campbell Reid said in a statement.

“Today we are seeing that process of intimidation continue.”

At the time, a parliamentary inquiry was launched to investigate the infringement of press freedoms. 

Greens senator and chair of an inquiry into press freedom and whistleblower protections, Sarah Hanson-Young, said the federal government must declare whether Wednesday's raid was connected to the previous Smethurst raids. 

"First the Federal Police raided the journalists, today they’ve raided public servants. For what purpose? Intimidating whistleblowers and truth tellers? Australians deserve to know what is going on and who in the Government wants the public kept in the dark," she wrote on Twitter.


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they are dragging this country down...


the Daily Tele must have told the truth! The government was not amused.


Meanwhile — in an impecably pressed blue suit and sporting an Il Duce cranium seriously polished with brasso, silvo and a coat of UV-rated boat (or was it boot) varnish — Dutton, carrying some folders of highly important fecal matters under his left arm, showing his tight-arsed bleeding heart while riding a Christian road away from Damascus on a specially designed ruthless policy-camel, in a naughtily nautically loaded vernacular announced with gravitas, stoic like the captain of the Titanic as the beast sank to 20,000 leagues: "women and children overboard! They are dragging this country down!..."


Peter Dutton has referred to the two children of the Biloela Tamil family as “anchor babies” and blamed them for costing taxpayers millions of dollars in incendiary comments defending the government’s decision to deport the family.

In an interview on Thursday the home affairs minister echoed anti-immigrant rhetoric from the United States, borrowing a term used by Donald Trump to justify a plan to end birth-right citizenship, to claim Labor, the Greens and refugee activists are attempting to “bully” the Morrison government into allowing the family to stay.

Labor has already emphatically rejected the label, arguing that it wants Dutton to allow Priya, Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, to remain in Australia because they have been accepted by the community of Biloela in regional Queensland.


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