Operational matters are now on the nightly news
When Scott Morrison was Minister for Immigration he very firmly stated that speaking about operational matters was a no-no.
“That goes to operational matters that, whether they affect current or future operational activity, you will not be getting commentary from this podium or that podium either way on those matters. We want to make it crystal clear: operational and tactical issues that relate to current and prospective operations… will not be the subject of public commentary from these podiums.”
Lieutenant General Campbell advised that the secrecy was necessary “to prevent the potential for messaging to people smugglers with regards to changes to procedures or our tactical activities that might evolve over time”.
Personally, I would have thought that loudly advertising every interception would have had a deterrent effect on the people-smuggling trade but I’m not a politician.
Apparently, this same logic does not apply to terrorism. We are filled in on every detail, often as it happens.
Television crews are invited along on raids. If they don’t make it in time, the police provide them with footage.
People who have not been charged with anything at all are named and their homes and families filmed.
We are told what evidence has been collected. It often gets paraded on the nightly news.
We are told how explosives enter the country, what the suspects planned to do with them and how.
We are told in detail about the inadequacies in our customs and border protection and what new measures might be trialled, at the same time as we are told there is no possible way we can scrutinise all mail and cargo or patrol our entire coastline.
Every day we are told more and more. What chemicals to use. Where you can get them. How to build a bomb. How to smuggle it.
We even advertise who dobbed the suspects in and what raised their suspicion.
If you were a terrorist network, or even just a disturbed teenager with bad thoughts, you just got given a hell of a lot more information and ideas.
Even if you can’t make a bomb, our politicians are keen to point out how simple it is – all you need is a knife, or a car, or some acid.
The aim of terrorism is to create fear and mistrust – something that our politicians and media have willingly aided and abetted.
They give the terrorists the attention they crave, the publicity they need to reach potential new recruits.
They victimise, alienate and isolate innocent people – Yassmin Abdel-Magied for example. Would she have been hounded out of her home if she wasn’t a vocal Muslim?
The police and military didn’t used to be used for advertising but now they are paraded before the cameras whenever the politicians need a distraction. Operational matters are now broadcast on the nightly news and described in detail to the Murdoch press who always go that step further in promoting hatred and blame.
Stop disclosing every last detail of foiled terrorist plots. Stop giving them publicity. Stop disclosing sources. Stop telling the media how security was breached and what new measures you are implementing.
Stop using national security as a political plaything.
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Quite disturbing the normalisation of authoritarianism round supposed terrorism or security measures in Australia, out of all proportion to the threats we face and ignores sub-optimal processes e.g. airport security, postal security etc..
The reason appears to be not simply trying to scare the public and electorate, but to reinforce negative tropes and fears publicly about ‘Moslem terrorism’ through having politicians, authorities, media, commentators and society constantly offering opinions and talking about it; precludes any serious analysis and policy making.
Political Media Communications for Nativists 101: PR campaign does not need to be true, the truth emerges from creating confusion and uncertainty, or even fear, then helping a negative consensus to be reached on the issue and solutions, preferably draconian and targeting ‘Immigrants’ aka Tampa etc..
We have been observing this with Brexit and Trump, one fears that Australia’s media and political establishment are neither really up to fighting nor interested….. especially when they spout the same bogus tropes and sometimes unfounded conclusions.
I do believe public sentiment of the LNP has reached obesity level in the waistline.
Terrorism, if properly targeted, can be a very effective strategy (apparently). That’s why we are in Iraq and Syria with bombers, troops and the like. First because (allegedly) they had weapons of mass destruction. And when that canard was debunked – because they resisted violently – and … . Or has someone an alternative explanation?
As for the local stuff – it keeps the punters on their toes. Or should that be – on the back foot?
Terrorism, as a concept, is now embedded in the current ‘common sense’. Once – heretics now .. Why even the mentally deranged are now classified as ‘terrorists’. It’s a one stop shop.
I recall when A Current Affair plastered “The Terrorist’s Handbook” all over our TV screens as part of a story some years ago during the infancy of the Internet.
A few mouse clicks later and I found out how to derail trains, how to make nitroglycerine in my bathtub, how to manufacture exploding light bulbs and all manner of potentially destructive mayhem.
Likewise “The Guide to Lock-picking” was another story about an easy-to-find source of information for potential criminals.
Without their valuable guidance I would have found it difficult to gather such information so easily and conveniently in a handy single document.
In their endless quest to make a quick buck out of ratings and fear-mongering they seem to have neglected their civic responsibility not to promote and display the availability of potentially dangerous information to those with antisocial impulses.
Now they are allowing themselves to be willing stooges in promoting political agendas and exposing numerous potential flaws in our security. The political end game is not to make people feel safer but to keep them alarmed and ready to progressively surrender their rights in exchange for ongoing protection and votes.
Their methods suggests desperation, false flag, scripted to embed the continuing control that is obviously being lost.
Quite right Kaye. Desperate PM craving attention gives terrorists craving attention what they want.
We all know who the REAL terrorists are in Australia!
The coalition’s PR people see a lot of mileage in getting Trumble in front of the cameras saying repeatedly that his first priority is to keep Australians safe, this resonates well with the electorate and this feeds directly into the strategy they need for the next election.
It seems that the same PR gurus have been saying that having security supremo Peter Dutton on the same podium as the PM would damage the message as the lack of trust in Dutton and his low of popularity would detract from the image and message that they are trying to create for Trumble.
Would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall when they are setting up these media events, knowing full well that for security reasons the PM can’t actually say anything.
Terry2, Turnbull’s main and only priority is to keep Turnbull safely in “charge” and in the lodge. End of story.
Recent events give wonderful opportunities to an Opposition which wanted to differentiate itself from a failing, floundering PM and government but is our Opposition such a beast? On Manus/Nauru and National security, I don’t think so.
Defence spending on obsolete weapons of war is an obscene waste of resources. But powerful people, including governments, make a lot of money from the arms trade and they are in no way discerning about who they sell to. We are all tripping over each other to pour more and more weapons into the Middle East and then pretend dismay at the Saudis decimating Yemen or the sophisticated weapons in the hands of terrorists.
Not a word from Labor.
Kaye Lee..Not a word from Greens either..You forgot to mention that..you just constantly bash Labor..Why bring Labor into this..blame Labor blame Labor..Labor doesn’t use FEAR..they don’t want to escalate FEAR!! Why would they even mention this..they are way more concerned about protecting us from the the funding cuts to healthcare, education, jobs, workers rights, pensioners and the disabled! Are you a Greenie Kaye Lee.
This is the Greens policy on peace and security including their aim for “A reallocation, and where possible, reduction in Australian military expenditure”
I disagree that I constantly bash Labor but what I have noticed is that any perceived criticism is met with a torrent of “stop bashing” comments. I have written countless articles about Labor’s superior policies but I have yet to find any party with whom I agree one hundred percent of the time. I don’t do unquestioning acceptance or party loyalty. I have no allegiance to any party – I just express my opinion. Is there no room for improvement in policy?
I thought the same thing, thanks for the article. Am I the only one who thinks that a programme on ABC tv tonight which promises to take us into all the underground nooks and crannies of The House is just the weirdest timing? Guy Fawkes would be thrilled.
How is it that a Christian cleric is charged with crimes that cannot be disclosed, supported by evidence that will not be disclosed, due to the principle of sub judice, yet an alleged terrorist gets no such presumption? Admittedly, interfering with children is a heinous crime and any allegation needs to be treated in the context of the hysteria evoked by the allegation. But isn’t that what our politicians tell us terrorism is? A heinous crime that should evoke hysteria?
“The public’s waitin’
For the killin’ and the hatin’
Switch on the station, oh yeah
They do a lotta sellin’
Between the firin’ and the yellin’
And you believe in what they’re tellin’, oh yeah”
Who would have thought a pop group in 1975 would have summed up 2017 so well.
“It’s a horror movie right there on my TV”
“it’s the six-thirty news
Horror movie, it’s the six-thirty news”
Thank you Ms Lee. Take care
How many times have we heard or read something of this nature: ‘what police have described as “the most sophisticated’’ terrorist plot ever directed at Australia’? Then we get told how the accused took a bomb in bag to the airport and then pulled out of trying to put it on the plane. Then we find out that they also were a long way off working out how to make a gas dispersion weapon.
Sophisticated? We are treated like fools.
One can only assume that this airport terror threat ‘beat-up’ is pure propaganda.
Let’s not forget how it was labors policy to remove the mainland from the immigration zone. Let’s not forget it was labor that paved the way for unwarranted and unchecked mass surveillance of Australian citizens.
Let’s not forget labor.
They may be slightly better at putting forward social policies, but they’re just as bad as the LNP on national security, surveillance, immigration and pandering to Murdoch.
Turnbull made a speech at the Sydney Institute 2 years ago where he took a not so veiled swipe at Tony Abbott’s overblown rhetoric about terrorism.
“We need to be very careful we don’t get sucked into their strategy and ourselves become amplifiers of their wickedness and significance”
That caution was very quickly thrown away. Appointing Dutton may have been politically strategic but it was a disastrous result for honesty, the rule of law, and the rights of individuals.
I see they will probably have to release another ”terrorist” by to-night,due to lack of evidence,these so called charges are all bullshit, and if they cant make them stick they will fabricate evidence to gain a conviction.
People dont realise how corrupt most of our law enforcement agencies really are!~~!
It’s passing strange that no details about the charges against Cardinal Pell can be published or anyone openly discussing the case is open to contempt of court, but when it comes to terrorist matters the media are invited to tag along for the arrests & all the details are openly published & discussed ad verbatim with no fear of contempt of court or the details possibly sabotaging any future court cases against the so called terrorists.
And what has happened in the foreign bribery cases involving Securency and One Note? The suspects there have had their reputation protected at all costs whereas the “suspect” they released on Tuesday night without charge had all of his details released to the media thereby ruining his reputation. I dare say this will be another of those quiet settle out of court payments that are costing us a motza to compensate for the DIBP’s mistakes.
Good point, Shogan.
Kaye Lee, knocked out by that delicious piece of lateral thinking. So sick of the constant ideological barrage, particularly now that the ABC has become a vehicle for state propaganda.
The Pell comments also answer a question at the back of my mind for some time..the ban defeats the whole point of the legal process.
By the way, because you dare think for yourself you are not an anti ALP zealot. Most here will actually ponder the reason for uncritical boostering of the ALP from some sources including against evidence and logic. Are ulterior motives involved?
My bet is that like myself you have actually been a long term supporter of the ALP driven to frustration at their inexplicable abandonment of the politics of principle on keystone issues.
It’s not “captured” Labor you are disappointed with, but neolib Blairites.