Crikey Says

Nov 26, 2015

We need to hold East Timor spies to account

To date, no one -- in politics or the bureaucracy -- has been held accountable for bugging the East Timor cabinet room.

6 comments

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6 thoughts on “We need to hold East Timor spies to account

  1. Jaybuoy

    Our bugging of the East Timorese cabinet room was disguised as a helpful renovation for security purposes..It was used by Woodside Petroleum to eavesdrop for commercial gain..Surprise surprise the former foreign minister Alexander Downer worked as a lobbyist for Woodside after leaving parliament in 2008…

  2. Dogs breakfast

    This was such a disgraceful episode, and Alexander Downer’s role in it was appalling, just a bully-boy tactic.

    The thing is, it was politically smart for Australia to have a strong East Timor, but we went for the commercial imperative rather than the political.

    Just dumb on so many levels, as well as being unethical and as you suggest, probably illegal, if there are any laws in international relations.

  3. klewso

    Let’s just chill for moment and look at the evidence – Tony Jones seemed sceptical about the allegations, on Lateline last night? … Then again why would they want to get off-side with this government again?
    [Apparently industrial/commercial espionage is not a crime? Especially when your government does it, funded by us tax-payers – “in our name”?
    How much were ‘we’ able to save/subsidise/off-set costs for Woodside, doing this for them?
    “If some foreign country did the same thing to us we wouldn’t give a rat’s!”?
    Downer : AWB, NPA?]
    But that does raise another question :- “Why do ‘we’ get upset when a trade partner, as important and as venerable as China, does it?”
    Then there’s Irvine’s paw-prints over all this too – “In charge of the ASIS buggery; then at ASIO in charge of “gathering” evidence from involved parties after”?

  4. AR

    Tricky Dicky claimed, “when the Prez does it, it is not illegal.” and this Divine Right of Governance by/for Spooks gives the unethical, immoral & illegal notion as retread.
    So banal we can’t even make new mistakes.
    Just quotidian grubbiness.

  5. Alex

    All in keeping with this government’s unconscionable behaviour on nearly all fronts.

  6. CML

    Before we get into the “…successive Australian leaders…” (read Labor Party PMs), it should be recognised that this appalling behaviour was ALL the work of the COALITION government of one John Howard!!
    On Lateline, there was mention of PM Gillard’s reaction when she was notified of the bugging. But it then seemed she was advised by OUR spooks that there was nothing to worry about, and they would send someone over to East Timor to ‘sort it out’. Apparently ASIO sent the very person who was responsible for this charade in the first place.
    Was Gillard even given this information? Peter Galbraith, the US chief negotiator for East Timor who was interviewed, didn’t seem to think so. He also said he did not know of any other country where an intelligence agency had directly spied on an ally – not to protect their country, but for commercial interests??!!
    And then there was the outrageous ‘raid’ on the home of a witness and the office of the Australian lawyer representing the interests of East Timor. All done under ‘successive’ COALITION governments.
    Thanks to the neocons therein, our spooks are out of control. Trust the Liberal/National parties with our security? NEVER!
    Maintain the Rage!!!!

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