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On intelligence and government neglect

Richard Shortt writes: The cloak appears to be slipping. Perhaps it is time for a senior ASIS/military intelligence spokesperson to reassure the citizens of Australia — whom the organisation(s) works on behalf of — that staff are properly cared for and do have access to both a complaints system and health assistance in the stressful role it undertakes.

Mark Dunstone writes: Another thoughtful piece Bernard. You may not be aware but a colleague of ours in the past was previously an ASIS officer whose identity was outed by managers. He was of-course then unable to continue his work there and hence had to be moved to another federal government department. Some of the injury to him was minor; neither he nor anyone in his immediate family could ever again travel overseas. Some was severe, such as the ongoing mental illness, which incidentally was managed by the receiving department and never fully brought to account to ASIS for not properly supporting their officer. Were there any consequences in ASIS following the disclosure? I doubt it. History maybe, but it would be interesting to compare what happens following disclosures made by higher ranking officers compared to lower ranking field officers.

Desmond Graham writes: What is more worrying is the compliant judiciary — secret trials are the norm in places like China, and even the Russians have open trials but with concocted evidence. So our judiciary pride themselves as being independent — ha ha ha!

On Roy Cohn’s legacy

Barry Welch writes: Newly minted PM and Trump sycophant Scott Morrison pompously pronounced “Trump gets it”. And Trump does get Roy Cohn’s dictum: never apologise; if someone hits you, hit them back a thousand times harder; any publicity is good publicity; find an “other” (to lash out at). Morrison gets it in spades! And Angus Taylor really seems to be getting it! And Peter Dutton has always got it! All Coalition roads lead back to Cohn.

On disappearing medivac

Michael Anderson writes: One day there will be a royal commission into this inhumane treatment. There will be an apology and probably compensation for the torture and mental health crisis imposed on these refugees who, as Michael Bradley correctly says, have done nothing wrong. A count must be kept of the deaths under Dutton, and Morrision of these innocent people, and of the mental health victims for which they are each responsible.

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