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Warring Against Sources: The Australian National Security State, Journalism and the Public Interest

“What’s gone on this morning sends clear and dangerous signals to journalists and newsrooms across Australia. This will chill public interest reporting.” (News Corp Australia spokesperson, The West Australian, June 4, 2019).

These are dark times for journalists and publishers. It did not seem coincidental that Annika Smethurst, a News Corp journalist and political affairs editor, would be a target of an Australian Federal Police warrant. Chelsea Manning, courtesy of a ruling by Judge Anthony Trenga, remains in federal custody in the United States. Julian Assange is facing decline in the maximum security abode that is Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom.

The story supposedly linked to the AFP warrant had been published by Smethurst on April 29, 2018. More than a year had elapsed, with little in the way of public murmurings. Australians have, for the most part, fallen under the anaesthetist’s spell regarding intrusive, unnecessary and dangerous national security laws. Another set of them would hardly matter.

But since the story, titled “Let Us Spy on Aussies” broke last year, the security wallahs have been attempting to root out the source, mobilising the AFP in the process. The account detailed information on discussions between the Home Affairs and Defence departments on the possibility of granting the Australian Signals Directorate powers to monitor the emails, bank records and text messages of Australian citizens. Letters between Secretary of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo and Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty featured.

When the archaic official secrets provisions of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) were repealed in June 29 2018, leaving way for new regulations dealing with national security information, those dealing with publishing such material felt slight relief. A public interest defence, lodged in the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign) Interference Act 2018, had been introduced, protecting those “engaged in the business of reporting news, presenting current affairs or expressing editorial or other content in news media.”

The content in question might cover what the Act designates to be “inherently harmful information”: security classified information; information obtained by, or made by or on behalf of, a domestic intelligence agency or a foreign intelligence agency in connection with the agency’s functions; or information on “the operations, capabilities or technologies of, or methods or sources used by, a domestic or foreign law enforcement agency.”

It always pays, when reading such sections, to consider the exceptions. Conduct deemed a contravention of provisions regarding intelligence sources (the publication of names or identity of staff, for instance), does not satisfy the test, nor conduct deemed to assist, directly or indirectly, “a foreign intelligence agency or a foreign military organisation.” Logical, you might say.

The ineffectual nature of those provisions is borne out by how narrow the protection is. The Law Council’s efforts to convince the federal government to extend the public interest defence to suppliers of the information was rejected, leaving the way open for such cases as Smethurst’s: spare the journalist but attack the source. According to Law Council president Arthur Moses, the protection is shabby, a mere “mirage because it does not cover a journalist’s source.”

The other unspoken and unscripted assumption is how anaemic public interest defences work in Australian law. Its operation starts from a reverse premise from US analogues, privileging the necessity of ignorance against the dangers of revelation. The government keeps you ignorant for your own good; material published might be inimical to the public interest, but that “interest” is always that of the state, not the general citizenry.

So we come to the morning of June 4, with Smethurst readying to leave for work, only to witness Australian Federal Police bearing down heavily with a warrant. A statement from the AFP subsequently confirmed that it had “executed a search warrant at a residence in the ACT suburb of Kingston today (4 June 2019)” on a matter relating “to an investigation into the alleged unauthorised disclosure of national security information that was referred to the AFP.” The AFP “will allege the unauthorised disclosure of these specific documents undermines Australia’s security.”

The gravity of the allegations was affirmed in an update: “This warrant relates to the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret, which is an extremely serious matter with the potential to undermine Australia’s national security.”

The incident in Canberra proved catching. Hours after the AFP’s move on Smethurst, radio 2GB Drive presenter and Sky News contributor Ben Fordham revealed that he had also been the subject of an investigation after discussing the attempt of six asylum seeker boats to reach Australia. The story piqued the interest of a Department of Home Affairs official, who proceeded to scold Fordham’s producer for discussing “highly confidential” material. “In other words,” explained the broadcaster bluntly, “we weren’t supposed to know about it.”

In the course of Wednesday morning, with no settling of dust in order, a second raid by the AFP was executed against the Sydney offices of the national broadcaster, the ABC. Those named in the warrant – investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, along with ABC director of news Gaven Morris – were linked to The Afghan Files, a set of ghoulish stories in 2017 revealing allegations of unlawful killings by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. Australia’s national security state has gotten very busy indeed.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, when pressed about Smethurst’s case, was untroubled. Having played the role of fatherly minder of the Australian nation, he was not going to let any alleged breach of security go by. Currently on a visit to the United Kingdom, he expressed little concern about the morning raid on a journalist’s home: “it never troubles me that our laws are being upheld.”

While News Corp has its demonic familiars (Rupert Murdoch’s influence hangs heavily), it was hard to disagree with the premise advanced by a spokesperson. “This raid demonstrates a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths. The raid was outrageous and heavy handed.”

The Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery, voicing agreement, considered the police raid “an outrageous move that should concern all Australians who value their freedom in an open society.” With confidence, the statement asserted that it was “in the public interest for us to know of any plan for greater powers to monitor our messages.”

Chris Merritt, legal affairs editor of The Australian, saw the raid as an ominous signal to all investigative scribblers. “Welcome to modern Australia – a nation where police raid journalists in order to track down and punish the exposure of leaks inside the federal government.” But such an Australia was also chugging along merrily before the raid on Smethurst’s home. (Like the unsuspecting priest living in a dystopian surveillance state, the police finally came for them).

Should Assange ever make a return to the country of his birth, he is unlikely to find peace in this US satellite state, with its flimsy public disclosure and whistle-blowing laws, its mirage-like protections. Hunting publishers, journalists and their sources is de rigueur down under.

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65 comments

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  1. Freethinker

    What happened this week in Australia brings me memories of Uruguay in the late 1960’s and the 70’s when independent newspapers and the weekly progressive press were closed by the draconian government first and the Military dictators after that.
    My father used to write on one of those weekly newspapers.
    At the beginning was under the “National Security Laws” then no excuses were needed.

    “Freedom of the press is custodian and guarantor of the remaining freedoms and rights. That is why the first thing dictators do is impose censorship and limit press freedom and from there they violate all other freedoms, ignore rights, act outside the law, steal, torture and kill. The equation is: less Freedom of the Press plus impunity. ”
    Danilo Arbilla
    Inter-American Press Association

  2. Phil

    Why are people so surprised? This is just the start of things to come. As an aside I see George Galloway the X UK MP and radio talk back host has just been fired from his weekly radio show, the excuse, antisemitism. Anything to shut him up from telling the truth. It’s odds on Paul Barry will get the arse soon. We are headed for a fascist state. Any one notice the police at the state level have been showing off their perceived new power now their man is back in the lodge.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Early warning signs of fascism No. 6: “Controlled mass media”.

    Look what’s happening in the USA: Trump’s continued attacks and harassment of the free press; and using Fox News as a propaganda media channel.

    And look at Australia: 2 weeks after the election there are a spate of police raids on journalists.

    This isn’t over yet.

  4. Mike Falconer

    David Icke Said in 2017 that 2018 would be the start of the big lockdown, people think the bloke is a butter but just about everything he’s predicted in the 20 odd years I’ve been reading his stuff has come scarily true!

  5. Kaye Lee

    The Department of Home Affairs.also contacted Ben Fordham saying an investigation would commence as a result of an “unauthorized disclosure” of information about boat turnbacks/arrivals.

    “Pastor Niemöller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something—but then it was too late.”

  6. paul walter

    Yes, Phil. This comes to pass because a few thousand village idiots in North Queensland, Tasmania, Western Sydney and WA couldnt tell shit from clay (hint, you can make tea pots from clay).

    What a stench.

  7. paul walter

    “unauthorised” by whom?

    Who does Dutton think he is??

    Welcome to Dzerzhinsky Square.

  8. Patricia

    Shades of 1920’s and 1930’s Europe.

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    ― Pastor Martin Niemöller

    Thanks to those voters who thought that by voting for Palmer and One Nation that they and our democracy would be protected from the LNP.

  9. Freethinker

    The draconian power that Dutton has was also voted by Labor. Are they going to learn something now? To late for regreats now.

  10. Phil

    ‘ Yes, Phil. This comes to pass because a few thousand village idiots in North Queensland, Tasmania, Western Sydney and WA couldn’t tell shit from clay (hint, you can make tea pots from clay).’

    Indeed agree with all of that. I am no orphan ( and appreciate it is only anecdotal) who now thinks this election has been rigged. I don’t know anyone that was going to support this rabble.

    Moreover on the raid of the journalist in question, It may be coincidental but for mine, the State Police have started to go out of their way to give the population a good case of the proverbial shit on the liver. Mud on vehicle number plates, is now a major crime, paying a windscreen cleaner is now a crime etc, etc etc. Make no mistake, they know trouble is coming down the pike. We are on the verge of a total financial crash and a possible war with Iran. This is just a subtle reminder to the hoi polloi who might think of dissenting, that the state is in charge. This btw is nothing new. WA. is already a police state and anyone trusting the constabulary here, is a dead set moron.

  11. Perkin Warbeck

    The Nazis called them Gestapo:
    The Soviets called them KGB:
    We call them AFP.
    The State Police.
    At the beck and call of Dutton.

  12. Baby Jewels

    Warning. Two friends in 24 hours, blocked by Facebook after posting on Morrison’s page about this issue.

  13. Pete Petrass

    This is a government that is based on secrecy, a government that abhors criticism and will do anything to stop/prevent it. This is a fascist government doing everything it can to suppress the masses in order to remain in power. Forever if they can. They have the likes of Murdoch and the rich and big business to help them out.

  14. Paul Davis

    So HolyMo ‘discusses’ the ‘Taiwan problem’ with the leader of a pacific nation he says he will offer $250m in development aid to. The Solomons is one of few nations that recognize Taiwan. China of course are very unhappy about anybody even believing that the Taiwanese are human beings let alone a modern democracy, imagine the slaughter when they eventually invade. So what’s the betting on the Solomons rolling over like obedient little puppy dogs.i

    Meanwhile on the homefront the barefaced mendacity, the systemic corruption, the emboldened intimidation of the weak by the ruling class bullies continues apace bringing their police state three or four steps closer.

  15. whatever

    The raid was scheduled for when Scotty was overseas, so he can come back and say “Good Heavens! Is that what happened?”

    They did similar dirty work when John Howard was out of the country.

  16. Aortic

    And the Uberstubenfuhrer Dutton denies all knowledge of the AFP raid on the ABC offices. Dear oh bloody dear one by one the voices of independent investigative journalism are being extinguished. I am too old to get around much any more, but if these regressive Neanderthals proceed apace with the privatisation of the ABC , I will make it a point to hobble to the nearest protest and if necessary spill blood for the cause. Bastards all of them.

  17. paul walter

    Free thinker, you have a case for lack of intestinal fortitude, but I do not think an ALP government would have abused the laws in the way Dutton and Morrison are (have you heard Morrison speak against any of it?).

    They created the legislation with a threat of a fear campaign if Labor opposed it and I believe fully intended to use it in the current way when the chance came, to stamp out information and hence dissent and cover up more and more corruption.

    Next election should be a dream, with the public corralled in a propaganda bubble and caught in an information vacuum. That is if we have elections as we’ve known them again.

    As I have said before, the truth has come here to die..

  18. Freethinker

    paul walter, any politicians or member of the public that think that Dutton or Morrison would not be going to abuse the power of the laws has to be naive or complete out of touch,
    I do not say that Labor was going to abuse those laws, I said that they are in place because the Labor supported them knowing how is Dutton and unknowing who will be in power in the future.

  19. paul walter

    According to a friend, the warrant served is tough..the AFP can “add, delete, copy or alter” material on the ABC computers and they are now several hours and onto the ten thousandth nearly file, observed by a few ABC staff.

  20. Josephus

    All true, but do WHAT? Demos outside Parliament? Lie down in a die-in somewhere where traffic is disrupted , a la Extinction in London? Appeals to Amnesty? Pro bono lawyers please help, give suggestions. Just complaining is not that useful. Satire , comedy, protest songs – in totalitarian states these can be effective, if a bit dangerous….

  21. Kronomex

    You can’t really blame the AFP as such, all of the blame lies squarely on the hideous heads of Scummo, Duttonolini, Pezzulo, Outram, and the rest of the top level thugs in Home Affairs and the born to rule LNP.

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/federal-police-raid-abc-offices-in-sydney-over-a-2017-story-about-afghanistan/news-story/3bb1fbe51571d757ca05bb8da0b763d1

    Next thing we know The AIMN and other groups will be investigated for daring to have free thought and criticizing the government. The slippery slope gets steeper.

  22. Phil

    ‘ You can’t really blame the AFP as such, all of the blame lies squarely on the hideous heads of Scummo, Duttonolini, Pezzulo, Outram, and the rest of the top level thugs in Home Affairs and the born to rule LNP.’

    Bwaaahahahahahahaha oh really? Utter bollox these Get Smart wanna be’s would be revelling in this. Btw you must be as naive as the day is long, if you think this web site is not monitored. Certain people that comment here would be on a watch list and that aint idle speculation. I was a lowly union waller and my phone was tapped. Jesus H Christ no wonder the so called left has lost the plot.

  23. paul walter

    Free thinker, surely no person has complained more than I concerning the custard guttedness of Labor in opposition concerning national security, arbitrary detention, data retention and allied issues involving suppression of information re FTA’s, for example.

    Its just that, given the peculiar types of people who comprise the current government, I particularly worry about agendas and where things may go from here in the future.

    The ALP is basically irrelevant to a big degree by its own hand now that we have had the Palmer plebiscite, it is the rabbits let into the carrot patch in the wake of the election that has my whole attention.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Phil,

    If I type the word ‘bananas’, send help.

  25. Phil

    ‘ If I type the word ‘bananas’, send help.’

    Is that Joe Bannana’s or just ‘ bannanas ‘?

  26. Phil

    ‘ The ALP is basically irrelevant to a big degree by its own hand now that we have had the Palmer plebiscite, it is the rabbits let into the carrot patch in the wake of the election that has my whole attention. ‘

    Worry not, Albo will lead us into the promised land. It’s all about Infrastructure I tells ya Infrastructure. We are in a world of shit. For mine I can’t wait to see the look on the faces of the pensioners when they get their Indue card in the post. They will soon be getting the bill for blood tests etc and will be squealing like stuck pigs. I have already come to terms with it.

  27. paul walter

    Pretty much, Phil. I agree mightily with yourself and the Freethinker as to the feeble effort over time from the ALP concerning the security organs. I just don’t think they are (as) deranged in the way the rightist dregs of the in-government LNP are.

    Joseph Bonano was, of course, a major sixties crime figure in New York as head of one of the :Five Families (famiglia) that ran organised crime in the Big Apple.

    Just figured you needed to know this.

    Ps, on the Drum this evening they made an interesting observation. When raiding Smethhurst over some time, they searched every where, including gong through her draws- literally.

    But they didnt raid her office.

    So apart from their incompetence, we wonder if Annika should sue them for a new set of lingerie on health concern issues. Cost a bit?

    Perverts.

  28. Phil

    ” Joseph Bonano was, of course, a major sixties crime figure in New York as head of one of the :Five Families (famiglia) that ran organised crime in the Big Apple. ”

    The name of the member of one of the crime families from the Big Apple whose name now escapes me, it wasn’t Joe, was interviewed in Sydney in the seventies, after the government under pressure granted him a visa. He was on record as saying after being asked why he was here said… ‘ Taking money from Australians was easier than giving kids candy or words to that effect. It explains much.

    I have no faith in law enforcement in this country, most of them couldn’t track an Elephant in the snow. When they stumble on a couple of tons of drugs, they have the community convinced it was their in depth investigations that found them. But I digress.

    We are headed under this government, who now think they have a mandate to do what they like, for a world of trouble. If i could be serious for a moment, I was going to sell my house and piss my kids inheritance up against the wall,take a cruise or two but, it is not beyond the realms of possibility, one or two of them may have to move back in with me. It is unbelievable that most people don’t realise where we are headed. I despair.

  29. paul walter

    Hahaha ..yes!!!

    Far easier when the bastards running it turn the keys over the big fish (for a consideration of course, Palmer?) and even less chance of the public finding out now, with mates rates. Adani will be as child’s pay compared to what is opened up with a silenced msm.

  30. Paul Davis

    Annabel Crabb and Fran Kelly will caretake Insiders for the rest of the year until Speers has completed his Sky contract. Two reasons not to bother watching after this Sunday’s Cassidy farewell. Both ladies are the most vocal Liberal cheerleaders on My ABysmal, embarrassingly so. With no other unbiased political discussion program on television, HolyMo and his stooges will have a clear run for the next seven months or so. Can’t imagine the IPA will be complaining about nonrepresentation.

  31. paul walter

    Warning appreciated Paul Davis.

    Bad enough when Cassidy hosted it.

  32. John Lord

    The Department of Home Affairs.also contacted Ben Fordham saying an investigation would commence as a result of an “unauthorized disclosure” of information about boat turnbacks/arrivals.

    A very important point Kaye.

  33. ChristopherJ

    Paul, to be fair, the village idiots I live with and make friends with here in FNQ…

    Apart from thinking, curious people like self, my friends get all their news from the Cairns Post, the Courier Mail, Channel 9 or Channel 7 (they have the best cash cows in the morning).

    Such a menu is just going to deliver the great news about the economy, the mining boom, the great health of the environment, how good they are on the wars for terror and so on. That high taxing, untrustworthy, Labor. Well it wasn’t just the media, it was every other politician, including Palmer (who spent big) and ON – all were advising against Labor.

    So here we are with the liar and serial fiddler, Warren Entsch et al

    I thought through my readings that Labor were a shoe in, could not lose. I was wrong. Queenslanders may be pig stupid when it comes to politics, but we are your pig stupid, eh? And we can still play a big game.

    I’ve been on a watch list for about 20 years, but you can hide up here and snipe occasional missives. Until you can’t

    Thanks AIMN and commenters

  34. Kronomex

    Just a wee bit too much of Screeching Harpy Cash and her “I didn’t know.” bs.

    “Mr Dutton said he had no involvement in the AFP’s investigations and was only informed of the raids after they had taken place. The AFP echoed that statement.” Yeah right, another minister who knows nothing! Maybe it’s a new mind virus; the Cashus Sgt. Schultz Virus?

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/police-raid-on-abc-offices-sparks-firestorm-over-press-freedom-and-national-security-20190605-p51utw.html

  35. Josephus

    Heard this morning a British spokeswoman for a journos outfit there say Oz had slipped further on an international index for Press freedom , being already fairly low on it. Can anyone provide details please?
    Worst is that these security thugs can PLANT evidence- I am so shocked I cannot continue typing.
    What can we do?

  36. Kronomex

    So Paul, you mean to say that every single AFP officer all the way down the line to the lowest rank is as culpable as the people at the top who make the decisions?

    “Btw you must be as naive as the day is long, if you think this web site is not monitored.” You are an idiot. There is a difference between “investigated” and “monitored”. For your edification –

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/investigate(d).

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/monitor(ed).

  37. Zathras

    How good is Australia?

    The day when reporting a crime becomes a crime itself.

    Remember this is a Government that previously tipped off the media about an imminent raid on a member of the Opposition for political reasons and then threw a staffer under the bus to deflect from their role.

    When in Opposition they conveniently and deliberately used the Victorian police and media to publicly humiliate Craig Thomson during a press conference by then leader Tony Abbott.

    They have no problem using security forces as a political tool.

    People should be very worried about where this may lead and not just members of the ABC.

    “One day they came for the journalists
    I don’t know what happened after that”.

  38. Paul Davis

    Well it could be much worse, we could be living in Nepal or Turkey or Sudan …. and if so we might consider trying to escape (emigrate if that is allowed) to somewhere “free” like Straya. Speaking of Sudan, the army shot dead over 100 unarmed protesters and wounded hundreds more, the government has launched an inquiry into why all the protesters (gangsters and traitors) weren’t executed.

  39. Zathras

    It’s also interesting that we seem so sanctimonious about how China is censoring its history about Tiananmen Square when we are likewise not permitted to know about potential war crimes committed in our own name and punish those who dare mention them.

  40. Phil

    ” “Btw you must be as naive as the day is long, if you think this web site is not monitored.” You are an idiot. There is a difference between “investigated” and “monitored”. For your edification –”

    Pedantic clap trap. If I’m an idiot I’m still smarter than you shit for brains by an order of magnitude. Back at ya, Idiot.

  41. Freethinker

    Not long ago, on the news:
    AFP Acting Commissioner Neil Gaughan addressed the media on Thursday to discuss the raid at ABC headquarters yesterday. Gaughan insisted the raid was not initiated by any requests from the federal government and said he will not rule out the prosecution of journalists.

  42. Kronomex

    “Pedantic clap trap. If I’m an idiot I’m still smarter than you shit for brains by an order of magnitude. Back at ya, Idiot.” Phil, what a brilliantly witless, I mean witty, retort (golf clap). I was thinking of replying at your gutter level but I have better things to do. By the way, I will say sorry for getting your name wrong.

  43. Phil

    ‘. I was thinking of replying at your gutter level but I have better things to do. By the way, I will say sorry for getting your name wrong.’

    Indeed you do. Only in your case it’s two because, no one could be as thick as you pulling one. Now go back to sleep, if anything exciting happens in the world, I will wake you.

  44. johno

    I am amazed no one here has started blaming the greens yet.

  45. Freethinker

    They cannot johno, Andrew Wilkie, the Greens and I believe Melissa Parke, Labor from WA opposed to voting for these draconian laws

  46. Kronomex

    “Indeed you do. Only in your case it’s two because, no one could be as thick as you pulling one. Now go back to sleep, if anything exciting happens in the world, I will wake you.”

    Wonderfully vague and nonsensical statement. Keep trying, your next comment might even make some sense.

  47. Phil

    ‘ Wonderfully vague and nonsensical statement. Keep trying, your next comment might even make some sense.’

    It’s not my fault you’re a moron.

  48. Phil

    paul walter.

    The latest cover up of the activities of the SAS in Afghanistan is just the latest embarrassment to the government. They want to shut journalists up so they can carry on their political objectives in company with the US who btw are losing the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban control more of Afghanistan now than they did before the US invaded the place.

    Your comments above reminded me of the denial of the government as far as ‘ Agent Orange ‘ is concerned. The ramifications of that being passed on to the children of Vietnam Vets. The Australian government is still in denial about the damage not only done to our troops, but civilians who have used it here in Australia. Not to mention the thousands of Vietnamese still suffering health problems to this very day. To admit liability would cost the government millions .All of this as it relates to our crusade in the ME. is all connected.This government like governments from the mists of time, just make bullshit a science. A scapegoat will be found and no doubt prosecuted and this will all just be forgotten in a few months.

  49. Kronomex

    Phil,
    Yawn.
    Another “witty” retort.
    You win.
    You’re as big a moron as am I.
    The end.
    Don’t bother replying.

  50. Phil

    Kronomex.

    For someone who wasn’t going to reply, you have excelled yourself.

    Just a thought, I was born a moron what’s your excuse?

  51. paul walter

    Phil the Dill.

    More an idiot than a moron.

  52. Phil

    paul walter.

    I bet you taxed yourself with that one?

  53. paul walter

    Then the revenue would still go to me.

  54. Freethinker

    Is a shame that so important topic has become like a conversation between uneducated teenagers
    that only have the capacity to insult instead to respect the opinion of the other.
    Perhaps in a sign of respect towards Mike and Carol, the participants can change their behavior?
    Have a nice evening.

  55. Kronomex

    “Is a shame that so important topic has become like a conversation between uneducated teenagers that only have the capacity to insult instead to respect the opinion of the other.”

    Welcome to the Uneducated Teenagers That Only Have the Capacity to Insult Instead to Respect the Opinion of the Other Club Freethinker with a statement that places you in the same boat as those you just railed against. Next time be a little more careful how you comment.

  56. Freethinker

    If you believe that your behavior was of a well-educated and respectful adult person then I have not more comments to make.
    It is of no use.
    Think before you reply, read again your posts and see how well informed are in relation to the topic.

  57. Phil

    ‘Then the revenue would still go to me..’

    The problem is, you will still be bankrupt. Next.

  58. Mark

    Kronomex, you’re on the wrong tab. This is AIMN, not Facebook

  59. paul walter

    Let’s not forget, the last dozen or so comments arose from an unprovoked ad hominem from Phil toward me. Then the likes of Kronomex are vilified for pointing out the ermperor’s nakedness.

    But perhaps the mods prefer trolling to adult current affairs conversation, so we presume AIM is going tabloid?

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