Saturday 20th of July 2024

Are Aussie Spooks Using 2nd-Hand US Intel?

The whole bloody thing is turning into a fiasco. I'm still amazed that the Australian media haven't arced up more on the obvious double-violation by ASIO in that they undoubtedly used improperly held US intel to make their adverse security classification. Quick refresher time: A Defense document shows that Army analysts wrote a report on the Halliburton protest and stored it in CIFA [US Army's Counterintelligence Field Activity]] 's database. It's not clear why the Pentagon considered the protest worthy of attention--although organizer Parkin had previously been arrested while demonstrating at ExxonMobil headquarters (the charges were dropped). But there are now questions about whether CIFA exceeded its authority and conducted unauthorized spying on innocent people and organizations. A Pentagon memo obtained by NEWSWEEK shows that the deputy Defense secretary now acknowledges that some TALON reports may have contained information on U.S. citizens and groups that never should have been retained.------------------------------------------

... which ASIO took and gave to the Howard Cabinet. Of course they're still fighting not to divulge- if the story has a chance to "break" before the election it will, coupled with the splendiforous NSA net-theiving (and they're probably sucking Australia's net-output in on the side, too) the Australian public is going to become extremely suspicious that this federal government might be allowing its citizens to be electronically monitored by Cheney. Parkin demonstrated how corrupted the intelligence flow can become, the NSA are showing the magnitude on which such operations can be carried out.

As you will have read by now, Fraser and Whitlam have called for ministerial accountability for this growing litany of civil liberties violations. I wish they'd also called on ASIO to 'fess up. We need a case to be out in the open, and given that the timing of the last legal round of the Parkin hearings coincided with calls for a civil libertiws election, I belief that a good dose of spy-paranoia could be the political straw that breaks Howard's electoral back.

It was so much easier in the seventies. A short-wave with sideband would pick up a lot of phone traffic. Now ASIO has to ask Cheney to run off a copy of what he gets from the NSA. How much do you wanna bet?