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Aug 21, 2014

Why Australians can fight for the IDF, but not the Islamic State: ASIO chief explains

ASIO boss David Irvine has tried to explain how and why Australians join foreign armies, and allay concerns about the Coalition's proposed anti-terrorism laws. But given its murky past, ASIO's reassurances should be taken with a grain of salt, writes freelance journalist Andrea Glioti




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18 thoughts on “Why Australians can fight for the IDF, but not the Islamic State: ASIO chief explains

  1. chpowell


    A$630M to monitor 150 expat fighters: that’s A$4,200,000 per ‘fighter’.

    Whatever happened to Australia’s ‘budget problem’ the Liberal gov’t assures us is looming?

  2. Kevin Herbert

    So Aussie citizens can fight for another country committing war crimes & genocide i.e. Israel, that’s legal.

    However, to fight for the Quassim Brigades against the Israeli war criminals in Gaza is illegal.

    What a wonderful democracy we live in.

  3. klewso

    Like all “terrorism” – “In the eye of the beholder, who beholden the reins”?
    Did Bush/Howard get around to defining it/them – beyond the arbitrary airy fairy; without implicating the West/US for some of their “clandestiny”?

  4. Andybob

    Sounds like a different explanation as to what is intended as regards meta-data than Malcolm gave us. Malcolm said the data which the ISP must keep and which can be accessed without a warrant is the IP address of customers, which can change with ADSL connections. This sounds more like what Brandis was saying.

  5. Benny

    This constant reference to envelopes is presumably meant to make us feel that the situation is no different to what currently exists with the snail mail system, but if we send a letter, we are under no obligation to put a return address on that envelope. If we receive a letter, even with a sender’s address, there is no indication whether the mail is solicited or not.

  6. extra

    Mr Irvine’s statement leaves us with the ironic situation where the Australian who joins the Syrian Army to fight ISIS is doing something illegal, even though they are doing far more to advance Australia’s, and the civilised world’s interests than an Australian who (legally) joins the IDF to pulverise Gaza.

    Still, Abbott &co are going to look really stupid when they are reduced to lamely quoting UN resolutions to justify prosecuting someone who’s been doing something practical to rid the world of ISIS.

  7. David Vaile

    Essential reading, recent serious and competent explanation of metadata, reveals source of the confusion:

    Geoff Huston APNIC chief scientist
    What is Metadata, and Why Should I Care?
    http://www.potaroo.net/ispcol/2014-08/metadata.html (the Queen and metadata)

    TL;DR: Even basic online identification by your Internet source IP address now technically and unavoidably requires your destination IP too, 33,000 times per user per day. There is no longer a distinction collecting between basic source IP and logging every site and element you touch, even if “browser history” is not intended.

    Carrier-Grade NAT (CGN) is how mobile Internet survives after IP address exhaustion in 2011. CGN shares your public IP with many other people at once, changing constantly, so the envelope analogy is dead: you share the envelope 1,000 times per hour with lots of other people, so even just to identify you once, your ISP needs to all log those 1,000 destination IPs you each touch per hour, down to the millisecond. 17,000,000 bytes per day each person (where your address on an envelope might take 800). 425 Terabytes per day for a big ISP, fills a new 1T disk every 3 minutes.

    This also apparently negates the misleading claim that destinations are content, and need a warrant. You are your destination, under CGN.

  8. Michelle Moshelian

    Why not say the truth? No-one is scared about someone serving in the Israeli army and coming back to Australia and committing a terror attack…. conversely…..

  9. Jake

    Don’t try talking sense, Michelle, to those who wish to simultaneously clutch at straws, muddy the waters AND stick their heads in the sand.

  10. Kevin Herbert


    Your fatuous attempt at analysis deserves comment & your further clarification.
    Q: why would IDF returnees have any beef with the Australian Government, which openly supports the genocide against Gaza & the West bank, and the occupation. So I ask do you support the current Australian Government policy of supporting Israel?

    Whereas, people of Islamic background have a wide range of continuing human rights abuses against their kind on which to draw. Heard of Iraq & Afghanistan….maybe 4 million killed & seriously injured.

  11. Jake

    You’re right Kevin. Like you, I have also wondered why “people of Islamic background (with) a wide range of continuing human rights abuses against their kind” only stage protests against Israel.

  12. AR

    If the IDF is not deemed to be a terrorist organisation then one could wonder what is the criterion for that label.
    Body count? Physical destruction of buildings, eg Twin Towers and UN schools & refugee centres? Sheer immorality?

  13. Jake

    AR, if body count and destruction of buildings define a terrorist organisation then every army that has ever engaged in conflict is one.
    Twin Towers? Are you suggesting the IDF was responsible for 9/11? If so you are so far to the lunar left that there’s really no point anyone trying to engage you in rational argument.

  14. GideonPolya

    Australian Intelligence has an appalling record of disservice to Australia in the interests of nuclear terrorist foreign powers like the US, UK and Apartheid Israel (see Gideon Polya, “50 ways Australian Intelligence spies on Australia and the World for UK , Israeli and US State Terrorism”, Countercurrents, 11 December 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya111213.htm ) and is being disingenuous about Australian Israelis being able to serve with the war criminal IDF because such Australian Israeli traitors and war criminals are also complicit in war crimes against AUSTRALIANS as set out the comment below that was submitted by me in response to a Guardian article about the Australian anti-terror laws and CENSORED by The Guardian Australia which has an appalling record, like other Western Mainstream media, of censorship of views critical of US state terrorism and of nuclear terrorist, serial war criminal, democracy-by-genocide, genocidally racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel (see “Censorship by The Guardian Australia” : https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home/censorship-by-the-guardian-a ).

    START CENSORED COMMENT. “The proposed new anti-terror laws of the pro-war, pro-Zionist, US lackey, human rights-abusing Coalition should be opposed because they are unfairly aimed at Muslims, ignore the massive threat of state terrorism to Australia and the world, and:
    (1) include the dangerous Orwellian absurdity of the need for Australians to prove that they are not terrorism supporters (from a philosophy perspective, it is usually very difficult and sometimes impossible to prove a negative e.g. “that Tony Abbott is not an alien from outer space”);
    (2) are clearly aimed at Australian Africans, Asians, Arabs and Muslims (unacceptable community-wide defamation, racism and bigotry);
    (3) grossly invade Australian privacy;
    (4) totally ignore the serious problem of US state terrorism, UK state terrorism, French state terrorism , Israeli state terrorism and indeed Australian state terrorism linked to 12 million Muslim deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation since 1990 and over 20 million Muslim refugees in the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims (Google “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”) versus 2,000 Westerners killed by Muslim-origin non-state terrorists in the last half century (this ignoring 2,000 Zionist invaders killed in Palestine and 3,000 killed in the 9-11 atrocity that almost certainly involved the US Government; Google “Experts: US did 9-11”);
    (5) totally ignores non-Muslim Australians fighting for and committing war crimes and indeed war crimes against Australians for foreign states, notably Apartheid Israel that has tasered, bombed, shot, shelled, mangled, killed, kidnapped, tortured, falsely imprisoned and robbed Australians and their relatives as well as doing large-scale forging of Australian passports and subversion of Australian MPs, media and institutions (for a detailed and documented dossier sent to Australian MPs, media and the AFP Google “Racist Zionism and Israeli State Terrorism threats to Australia and Humanity” ).
    Decent, sensible, informed, patriotic Australians with a prime loyalty to Australia and no others will reject the lying terror hysteria of the pro-war, pro-Zionist, US lackey, state-terrorism-supporting Coalition, vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last.” END CENSORED COMMENT.

    For details and documentation of the above see “Experts: US did 9-11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/ and “Racist Zionism and Israeli State Terrorism threats to Australia and Humanity” : https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/racist-zionism-and-israeli .

  15. AR

    Jake Hasbara – all armies are, it’s in the job description.
    And your 2nd attempt at obfuscation it is a good indication of someone working from a crib sheet – defending the indefensible is difficult enough without going off script.
    Better get a new one, preferably not written in crayon next time.

  16. The Old Bill

    Doesn’t take long to fire up the Zionist Muslim brigades.
    Violence begets violence. Israel was founded via a violent takeover of mainly native Palestinian land in 1948. Colonial and US involvement in the formation of both Israel and the artificial borders of many Arab nations during the last two centuries has created pockets of ethnic and religious unrest ever since.
    All of the main protagonists worship the same God, unfortunately they all get different answers from their imaginary friend. Worse still, God tells even those of the same faith a different story, creating even more division and argument.
    Can’t think of an answer really, but no Western Invasions, no tax breaks for religious entities and a genuine support of secular education and the young refugees from the mess we helped make would be a start.

  17. Jake

    AR it’s amusing that you think you’re expressing an individual viewpoint instead of spouting unthinking left-by-numbers ideology, the only variant being how extreme the conspiracy theory you’re prepared to swallow.

  18. AR

    HasbaraJerk – “spouting unthinking left-by-numbers ideology“…ummm, I’ve looked at my original post, 2 lines, fewer than 40 words, but cannot detect that to which you dumbly refer. Plz’splain.
    That’s the trouble with astroturfers – their robotic replies do not allow for yer akshal engagement,just rote rubbish.


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