Yesterday in Crikey, Bernard Keane made a rational case for accountability from state counter-terrorism agencies. Peter Dutton makes the irrational case for these agencies that they faced “difficult circumstances to stop”. Home Affairs looks to many of us in November much as it did to state auditors in June: underperforming. Perhaps itself a set of circumstances now so convoluted, Home Affairs no longer has the capacity to stop unpatriotic tweets before they happen, much less murders.

It took years of racist Cold War 2.0 propaganda to build this mega-ministry. Without our consent, counter-terrorism could not be so powerfully preached to intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Without our fear, our sacrifice of civil liberties and tax dollars would appear, as they are, too great.