Yesterday the Australian was reporting that Edward Snowden had stolen thousands of files so undermining national security.
MORE than 15,000 secret Australian intelligence reports may have been stolen by rogue US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in what the Coalition government is now describing as the most damaging blow dealt to Australian intelligence in the nation’s history.
Maybe he has – but ultimately that’s bad luck; a rogue foreign agent for whatever reason decides to reveal information to the world. Nothing much the Australian authorities can do about that.
But we should really turn our attention closer to home. During the year we experienced the blackest day in Australian sport (emphasis added).
A 12-month Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation revealed the increasing use of performance-enhancing drugs across multiple codes and highlighted links with organised crime. The ACC also drew comparisons with the case of Lance Armstrong, who recently admitted to using banned substances in each of his seven Tour de France victories.
Richard Ings, the former head of the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority (Asada), told ABC TV that Australians had been complacent about the idea of drug use in their country. “I think we have been seduced by the romantic nature of sport,” he said. “There has been a belief with some sports and even with some officials that doping just would not take place in Australian sport and if it did it was isolated and sporadic.
“I doubted those claims, the evidence pointed contrary to those claims and the evidence that has been presented today vindicates the fact it is a widespread issue. This is not a black day in Australian sport, this is the blackest day in Australian sport.”
Jason Clare, the national minister for home affairs and justice, said: “The findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans. It’s cheating but it’s worse than that. It’s cheating with the help of criminals.”
So a massive investigation followed that was closely reported by the media – especially journalists from The Age and The Australian. There is no doubt that leaks occurred from the official investigation. I am strongly of the view that if leaks to the media occur, that leaks to organised crime will also occur. Yet there seems to be no follow up.
For all the angst about Snowden, it is hard to get too excited. Yes – the American spy on Germany. Yes, Australia spies on Indonesia. Yet leaking from Australian anti-crime agencies doesn’t seem to worry anyone?