Is there a problem and what’s the solution?

This is what Arthur Cummings II, the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of counterterrorism and national security investigations in the United States, has said about trying to get cooperation in dealing with terrorist threats.

The FBI has outreach programs to try to develop sources in the Muslim community and solicit tips, but Mr. Cummings found little receptivity. He found that while Muslims have brought some cases to the FBI, Muslim leaders in particular are often in denial about the fact that the terrorists who threaten the United States are Muslims.

The article should be read in full. Fascinating detail of the kind that seldom becomes available.

Meanwhile this is what the head of ASIO in Australia has said, and done with the full support of the PM and Julie Bishop:

ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has phoned Coalition poli­ticians to urge them to use the soothing language favoured by Malcolm Turnbull in their public discussion of Islam.

In what is thought to be an unprecedented intervention in politics by a head of the spy agency, Mr Lewis is said to have told the MPs that their more robust comments risked becoming a danger to national security. It is believed the Office of the Prime Minister has been involved in arranging for these phone calls to take place.

But what I would really like is if Malcolm, Julie and Mr Lewis would spell out whether there is a problem of any kind that needs to be dealt with and then, when they have identified the problem, they identify what ought to be specifically done.

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47 Responses to Is there a problem and what’s the solution?

  1. Leo

    Who and where does this bloke Lewis think he is? He is a public servant, for goodness sake, and under our system of the separation of powers, he is responsible directly to his minister, and through that office, to the PM. His role is not to engage in public advocacy. He can speak to the public and to members of parliament only with the express authority of his minister or the PM. If he has done so on this occasion, it should be openly acknowledged by either the Attorney General or the PM. If he hasn’t, and has taken it upon himself to make these phone calls, then he should be severely reprimanded for exceeding his authority, and for breaching the separation of powers. Either way it is not up to Bishop, as Foreign Minister, and not the responsible minister, to say it’s OK. She is playing fast and loose with an issue that goes to the heart of how we are governed. This mob have gone from bad to worse since the coup.

  2. herodotus

    Don’t say anything anti-muslim. But build special extra security around every sporting event for the foreseeable future.

  3. Stackja

    There is a Moslem problem. The Moslems have to solve the problem. Non-Moslems can help but ultimately it is a Moslem problem. MT etcetera are in denial. ASIO has lost the plot. Man Monis? Oh lets forget him.

  4. Cave

    This story is very concerning.
    I did think Turnbull’s instincts would have fallen on the side of liberalism. That the PM and the foreign minister think that censoring everyday people’s views is the way to confront and defeat the ideology of international Islamic terrorism shows we have a very long way to go.

    It also highlights to me a problem with our politicians over many recent years. If you aspire to high political office you are there to represent the people, and ideas you will uphold because you believe them and to lead.

    You are not there as head corporate manager of your departments to do the bidding and manage the egos of your divisional general managers. I’m awaiting the corporate speak defence of their actions to emerge, just doing their jobs, listening to the “expert advice” today.

    A liberal prime minister with any convictions must at any suggestion from ASIO or any other govt department, that just not talking about Islam or terrorism is the best option, politely or perhaps not politely point out this is free country that values free speech, that options not on the table, and with all the extra laws and resources surely they can come up with more than that.

    It would be of course be far concerning if it started the other way, ie PM’s office directing ASIO to do this…….

  5. Rohan

    Lisa Wilkinson and some other clown from the print media were discussing this on the Today show. They omitted the obvious likely hood that this was done under the explicit instruction of Chairman Mal. At least the other clown supported the Abbot666’s right to free speech, but they didn’t go in hard enough at the overreach of public servants dictating to elected members of parliament.

    If it was an explicit instruction from Chairman Mal, then why doesn’t he have the brass ones big enough to come out and discuss it directly with those MP’s?

    Yeah I know, rhetorical question. This country is being led by an amateur beta male.

  6. Rohan

    It would be of course be far concerning if it started the other way, ie PM’s office directing ASIO to do this…….

    I smell a that rat.

  7. candy

    You can see why M.Turnbull would let this happen, as he wants to differentiate/damage Tony Abbott’s approach and he is using the head of ASIO to do it. For him it’s personal.

    Yet why the head of ASIO would think this was ethical or legal and not a breach of contract, is extremely puzzling.

    Who does this Lewis person think he is – advising Federal ministers on how to do their job.

  8. cuckoo

    The medium is the message. A tiny sign that says ‘No Parking’ or ‘Please don’t litter’ is really saying ‘We’re not serious about this – if you park or litter here, nothing will probably happen to you’. Nothing shouts a louder message than the silence, or the ‘soothing language’ of the coward.

  9. Excellent article – do read the whole thing.

  10. Roger

    There is a Moslem problem. The Moslems have to solve the problem. Non-Moslems can help but ultimately it is a Moslem problem.

    Exactly what Tony Abbott was castigated for saying.

    He was even vilified as a “cultural supremacist” by a self-styled progressive Muslim for merely suggesting that the Islamic world might learn something about moderation from the history of the West. Well, if Muslims aren’t here in great numbers to learn from us, what are they here for? To rape and pillage?

  11. John Comnenus

    I have a few problems with this apart from the ‘unusual’ arrangements of a senior public servant advising elected officials what they should say. By the way Lewis presumably works for Brandis as ASIO is a domestic agency, another one operate overseas. So why is Bishop involved?

    1. This smacks of censorship – it is a seriously bad look and Lewis was foolish to engage in it. One wonders whether Lewis’s position remains tenable.

    2. I thought Turnbull was the great explainer – why can’t he convince his own backbench? If he can’t even convince his own backbench he has got buckleys convincing me.

    3. What evidence shows that a softly softly approach works. Sweden, for example, has seriously gone down the softly softly path. Yet Swedes are getting convert or die hate mail.

    4. If Islam were a religion of peace there would be no need to tip toe around their sensitivities.
    The action refutes the words, and wherever an action is inconsistent with the words the action is the most reliable indicator of what people really believe. Therefore Turnbull, Bishop and Lewis know that Islam is a problem. Are they cowards or are they incompetent?

    5. Turnbull was touted as the ‘freedom’ candidate. Apparently freedom doesn’t extend to a robust or even honest discussion of important issues. Let alone asserting any national cultural confidence. Turnbull’s behaviour refutes his idiotic claim that freedom stands up for itself. It doesn’t and it certainly won’t when undermined by the PM supported by our intelligence agency heads.

    6. Turnbull, Bishop and Lewis think the victims are the problem – that’s why they can’t let their elected representatives actually represent the concerns in their electorates.

    7. Turnbull has trashed the Liberals key virtues – strength on national security, the budget, economic management and climate change.

    Contrary to my hopes, Turnbull appears to have learnt nothing and will destroy the Liberal Party. The Libs will be smashed at the next elections. And remember that apart from national security Abbott was no better.

    Abbott Turnbull is indistinguishable from Rudd Gillard Rudd except the debt and deficits are larger under the Libs.

  12. 3d1k

    I’ve just finished one of The Spectator Books of the Year, Submission by Michel Houellebecq. Put it in your Christmas stocking.

    “…As the 2022 presidential election approaches, two candidates emerge as favourites: Marine Le Pen of the Front National, and Muhammed Ben Abbes of the nascent Muslim Fraternity. Forming a controversial alliance with mainstream parties, Ben Abbes sweeps to power, and overnight the country is transformed…”

    Funny, filthy, philosophical. The West’s subtle acquiescence, all cultures are equal except Western Culture which is fashionably derided by the left, loss of belief… soothing language… gradual submission…

  13. Myrddin Seren

    That the PM and the foreign minister think that censoring everyday people’s views is the way to confront and defeat the ideology of international Islamic terrorism shows we have a very long way to go.

    Defeating international Islamic terrorism ?

    The Turnbullians’ care factor – about zero, until somebody takes a shot at one of them anyway.

    In common with the rest of the Western political class, this about wedging the last remnants of the right-of-centre with ‘And shut up’.

    Lord Maocolm Voldemort has seen the real Enemy he fears, and they wear blue ties, not dishrags on their heads.

  14. Leigh Lowe

    Captain Agility said after the coup that he wanted a “return to Westminster style Government”.
    Now the Cadaver (presumably with the approval of Maocolm) thinks it is fine for a bureaucrat to attempt to shut down elected members of Parliament.
    You cannot have it both ways you pompous prick … is it Westminster? Or is it the Kremlin?
    Make up your mind.

  15. Struth

    As our corrupt, big socialist state grows and gets ever more traitorous, these nobody, unelected police chiefs, and asio heads and Human rights nobody parasites and even traffic bureaucrats all step up to throw their weight around.
    The constitution is now openly ignored and so where do we think this will all end?
    The sad fact remains.
    We actually didn’t vote for this.
    Greece voted for what they got.
    We didn’t.
    The Australian people, a majority conservative, hard working , non complaining people , had it stolen from them.
    The noisy socialist minority ……..
    Criminals.

  16. H B Bear

    I’ve just finished one of The Spectator Books of the Year, Submission by Michel Houellebecq. Put it in your Christmas stocking.

    Me too. I thought Houellebecq was actually pretty soft on the muzzies compared to his earlier stuff. He seems to have come around to the thinking that the West basically deserves to get what is coming. His work has always been highly critical of what passes as “progressive” Western thought.

  17. 3d1k

    HB Bear, perhaps Houellebecq’s submission to Western pc complacence. But I think it works.

  18. Cave

    Its actually worse when you think about it more,

    They may choose different words to describe it , but basically in 2015 in Australia , we have our PM , foreign minister and head of ASIO ,advocating for the application of Islamic blasphemy laws……….

    How did we get here?..

  19. gabrianga

    How “innovative”. Don’t speak to your own Party M.P s. about Islamic terrorists lest you upset the sweethearts.

    Just use ASIO’s Lewis as your private message boy.

    What a weak kneed wanker is our Lord Wentworth.

  20. jupes

    The Moslems have to solve the problem.

    Wrong.

    We have to solve the problem. The Muslims are the problem.

  21. Jeremy Steyer

    Muslims are indeed the problem.

    That fact that most Muslims (like most people in general) are not extremists is PART of the problem, not a proof against its existence.

  22. brennan

    Having talked to a few muzzies at various social functions recently, I’m not at all surprised at the FBI Director Kessler’s experiences. What makes the experience so much better is telling them you’ve read the quran, hadith and sira (translations supplied by a well known local islamic association) so I understand exactly where the headlopper’s motivations and justifications are coming from.

  23. jupes

    ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has phoned Coalition poli­ticians to urge them to use the soothing language favoured by Malcolm Turnbull in their public discussion of Islam.

    One can only hope that Cory Bernardi and Tony Abbott told him to fuck off.

  24. one old bruce

    Steve, you seem to miss that many of these problems are specifically American. I read the FBI story, I don’t see that same problems here in Australia, or in the EU. The FBI article seems to describe US Muslim leaders as having some sort of Dale Carnegie ethos. They did not bring that from their Old Countries, “Keep smiling and have a nice day. Radicals? oh no it’s just a difference of opinion, a different Denomination”.

    Denomination – a US-invented concept as Peter Berger points out:
    http://www.the-american-interest.com/2013/11/20/the-denominational-imperative/

    The mysterious alleged “radicalisation” (foreign influence!) covers up the fact that the San Bernadino shooter was totally a product of the Obama/US elite dominated era. His entire adult life, he grew up in an American liberal environment, and the Obama Presidency with all its promises. It’s not that he was “radicalised” so much as that the American Dream is a failure for most in the long run. You doubt that? Bruce Jenner! Lena Dunham! Which civilisation can survive being weighed down by so much pond scum? Harbingers of worse to come.

  25. H B Bear

    HB Bear, perhaps Houellebecq’s submission to Western pc complacence. But I think it works.

    Quite possibly. It is ambiguous.

  26. billie

    Tolerating the Intolerant is just rewarding their behaviour, and penalising ours.

    WTF is going on?

    Has this worked anywhere?

    I get it, the pollies and law enforcement don’t want the inevitable cultural clash on their watch, but the longer it takes the worse it will be.

    It seems inevitable, since the Intolerant are not going to change and we’ll eventually run out of patience.

  27. Harald

    The ASIO director calling MP’s to have a word with them about their recent statements… Om my.. This is so wrong, I do not know even where to begin.
    .
    First, it is blatant intimidation if our representatives in parliament, very likely some completely wrongheaded attempt by the PM to reign in his dissenters. That man is so inept, he has no judgement.
    .
    Second, by warning the MP’s this way, the PM, deputy and ASIO director, clearly show that, according to them, the threat from inside Islamic community is real – because why would you otherwise have to be so careful with your words?
    .
    Third, not only do they know that threat from the Islamic community is real, the ASIO director, the PM and his deputy have decided to capitulate to that threat. That means: Islam does not accept certain words and/or behaviour in the public sphere, and under the threat violence, they oblige. And the new rules of behaviour in the public sphere subvert the very basic freedoms we hold dear, such as freedom of speech, not to mention freedom of religion.
    .
    Fourth, not only do the PM and hist deputy capitulate to the threat arising from inside the Islamic community. Worse yet, they become agents of the aggressors by even demanding of others to live within the new rules forced on us.
    .
    Stockholm Syndrome has taken hold of our government.
    .
    I guess the war on terror is over.
    We lost.

  28. Oh come on

    MT’s head is stuck firmly up his rear end on the Muslim issue.

    Recall the Australian ‘grand mufti’ copping flak for attributing the Paris attacks to “causative factors”. After the public outcry, the mufti “clarified” his statement by basically saying the same thing he said before.

    And dhimmi Turnbull welcomed the non-clarification.

  29. Ant

    So we counter, with “soothing language”, bullets and pipe bombs, and the medieval death cult propaganda spewed forth by the fanatics in this country?

    Genius. Thank Allah for Maol.

  30. Oh come on

    Stockholm Syndrome has taken hold of our government.
    .
    I guess the war on terror is over.
    We lost.

    Nah, it hasn’t really even started. If this were WWII, it’d be the Phoney War period.

  31. Struth

    Our leaders are in a sinking boat surrounded by sharks.
    They drilled holes in the boat to let more air in.
    They are now just babbling incoherently, in fear ,as the historians on shore won’t let them land.

  32. jupes

    Steve, you seem to miss that many of these problems are specifically American.

    Yeah American Muslims are mean. Ours of course are nice.

  33. jupes

    The ASIO director is “doing Islamic State’s job for them“.

    Seriously.

  34. Struth #1890418, posted on December 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Our leaders are in a sinking boat surrounded by sharks.
    They drilled holes in the boat to let more air in.
    They are now just babbling incoherently, in fear ,as the historians on shore won’t let them land.

    Love it. A most quotable quote.

  35. eb

    Serious question. What would any politician who wants to be popular do, given the choice between being seen to be a “racist”, and having a couple of dozen citizens killed by some group that he could not be held responsible for?

  36. Gutho

    Perhaps Mr. Lewis should have a quiet word with those who represent the Muslims

  37. gabrianga

    “Is that the Member for Woop Woop ? “M” here.

    One more word from you about Lord Wentworth heading a wind farm cartel and 007 will be let loose on you. Understood?

  38. Boambee John

    Harald
    #1890404, posted on December 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm
    The ASIO director calling MP’s to have a word with them about their recent statements… Om my.. This is so wrong, I do not know even where to begin.
    .
    First, it is blatant intimidation if our representatives in parliament, very likely some completely wrongheaded attempt by the PM to reign in his dissenters. That man is so inept, he has no judgement.

    Keating’s assessment of Maolcolm, IIRC

  39. Boambee John

    Where are the screams of outrage from the civil libertarians and the political left, long-term opponents of the “secret police”?

    Perhaps ASIO needs a name change, maybe to the Committee of State Security (the Anglicised expansion of KGB), or Secret State Police (the Anglicised expansion of GESTAPO)?

  40. candy

    The PM’s office denies asking ASIO head to intervene.

    He did it off his own bat. apparently. Hard to believe. I think Malcolm Turnbull asked him to do this and the PM’s office is lying on his behalf.

    It is hard to see ASIO Head picking up the phone to tell government ministers what to do, unless he was instructed by M.Turnbull to do so.

  41. notafan

    It’s pretty obvious that ‘moderate’ muslims in the west all sing from the same song book.
    And it’s all very carefully planned and orchestrated.

    Who dobbed in Benbrika, someone in the group who got cold feet.
    Who dobbed In Greenvale pipe bomb boy, a mate.
    Kids are dealing guns at Parramatta mosque and no one notices.

    They are all going to mosque /prayer room but it’s all
    Surprise Surprise.
    It’s all about saving face and maintaining muslim separateness and superiority.

  42. I get it, the pollies and law enforcement don’t want the inevitable cultural clash on their watch, but the longer it takes the worse it will be.

    That’s correct Billie. I wonder if they have a pressure cooker at home, and just keep tightening up the valve?
    They are that bloody stupid.

  43. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Keating on The Spiv: “Turnbull has no judgment.”

    The drongo thought he had Comrade Dear Loser on toast when he found a constituent had contributed to his campaign with the equivalent of me handing out how to vote cards on election day. He relied on the say so of some nutter in the public service, being paid good money to run some obscure sub agency assisting used car dealers, that the constituent had – shock, horror – lobbied his local member.

    His failure was so outstanding, so grand, that even that moron Swan got to mock him mercilessly on national television.

    The Spiv, a brilliant man, remains puzzled why it didn’t work.

    He’s in this current affront up to his elbows. Every potential political opportunity is fertile ground for a time. He found his very own Admiral Sir Yes Ma’am Houston at ASIO.

    The penny will drop for that dill when The Spiv doesn’t bother to answer his calls.

    The Spiv would have as many long term personal friends in his life as Comrade Dear Loser. He wouldn’t have noticed that either.

  44. Harald

    Oh come on, #1890412, posted on December 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm.
    .
    Very simple:
    Terrorism is violence, or the threat thereof, used to bring about political change.
    .
    The PM, his deputy and the ASIO director-general agree that politicians need to change, otherwise the (aspiring) terrorists will get upset.
    .
    If that stands, the terrorists win.
    We lose.
    .
    And: if that stands, prepare for a whole lot more terrorism. Why?
    Because it works – that is a way to get what you want. The PM, his deputy and even ASIO said so.
    .
    They put us all at risk by being cowards. Weakness is extremely provocative.

  45. kraka

    Has the doomlord commented on this foray into limiting free speech and the (likely) involvement of the PM’s office implied? Does anyone seriously believe MT didn’t initiate this in an attempt to hurt Abbott?

  46. Harald

    If there was any doubt:
    Yep, it is indeed our PM who has capitulated to terrorists – he raises the yellow flag here.
    .
    Again:
    The PM shows by his actions and words that terrorism is a viable way to change this country. By being cowards, the PM and his ASIO director general put us all at risk.

  47. gabrianga

    Wasn’t this what Credlin was condemned for?

    Phoning, contacting “recalcitrant” Liberal MPs at Abbott’s bidding?

    Of course Lord of the Manor in defending Lewis stated that “he’s his own man” supposedly opening the doors for anyone who is their “own man ” or “own woman” to do a ring round the backbenchers?

    Time warp back to the Murphy days?

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