ASIO, Beyond The Pale and Black Lives Matter

 Somebody please explain to Mike Burgess what an old phrase means                                            

AT Friday’s hearings of the parliamentary inquiry examining proposed amendments that would allow ASIO to interrogate minors as young as 14 and attach tracking devices to cars without a warrant, David Neal for the Law Council of Australia riled Australia’s top spy by comparing such powers to those being used to crush dissent in Hong Kong. In fact, Neal argued the proposed laws – which would enable spies to question those suspected of planning politically motivated violence – could be broader in scope than Communist China’s. ASIO’s Director-General Mike Burgess replied that he was “actually offended by that statement.” Furthermore…

“To suggest that these bills are comparable or in fact our bill is worse, is just beyond the pale – it’s completely, completely wrong,” he told the inquiry on Friday afternoon.

Mr Burgess said the Hong Kong law made it a terrorism offence to damage public transport, granted life immunity from prosecution to Chinese security agents and could subject peaceful protesters to a term of life imprisonment if they had foreign links.

“That is ridiculous, nothing like this amendment bill,” he said.

 
More properly, what’s “beyond the pale” here is an ultra vires novelty that is contrary to the rule of law as it is understood and administered in every other place and situation within the borders of the Commonwealth. It is precisely because Australia is not Communist China that what Burgess calls “our bill” may in fact be worse, all ethical and historical things considered. But Neal wasn’t finished with the D-G just yet. His next plucked-from-the-headlines comparison was either proof of the Law Council’s fashionable leftist stupidity or a deft ambush that commits ASIO to an exceedingly odd detachment from real – as distinct from hypothesised – terrorism:

Dr Neal, co-chair of the Law Council’s national criminal law committee, also warned the proposed powers relating to politically motivated violence could be applied to Black Lives Matter protesters, particularly if they were involved in property damage.

But Mr Burgess said: “We are actually prohibited under our bill from getting involved in protests.” “Protests are lawful in this country and we stay away from them. The only time we get involved is if there’s acts of violence but protesters are fully supported,” he said.

 
I’m not sure why Neal thinks it would be especially worrying that ASIO might question local BLM organisers. They were, after all, responsible for the most egregiously life-endangering series of offences this century – or were politicians and health ‘experts’ lying about the epidemiological consequences of their actions? Why would BLM protesters – who have a track record overseas for assault, murder, rape and anti-social terrorism – not be on the radar of national security agencies? Also: why does ASIO want powers to supposedly head off violence when its boss says he has no interest in political movements unless and until there is violence? Well played, Dr Neal – I think. Clever lawyering or not, the Law Council was still pandering to the left in order to make a moral case that should be made by reference to unfashionable people and causes – not just tony ones like Black Lives Matter. That is the real essence of this discussion but I get the feeling that none of these people can get beyond ideological gamesmanship to even recognise it.

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26 Responses to ASIO, Beyond The Pale and Black Lives Matter

  1. stackja

    In the past the MSM criticized ASIO for pursuing leftists. Now ASIO only sees right thinking people as suspicious.

  2. PB

    “also warned the proposed powers relating to politically motivated violence could be applied to Black Lives Matter protesters, particularly if they were involved in property damage.”

    God forbid that precious, proud persons of Colour should be held accountable for bad behaviour like everyone else.

  3. Judge Dredd

    There’s been many tells lately that ASIO is not on the side of the good and as a result it will continue to sink into wickedness as they seek to put in more laws with “good intentions”. Don’t people learn that is what the road to hell is paved with?
    To these laws, all you need to say is “no”. You don’t need to justify it, you only need to say “no”.
    Sacking the leadership will help ensure that people pushing more laws will not be looked in kindly.
    Chances of any of this happening is zero.

  4. Roger

    “Protests are lawful in this country…”

    Tell that to the two old blokes arrested and charged for quietly praying near an abortion “clinic”.

  5. NoFixedAddress

    Good to see the Australian Public Service Government(TM) are being pro-active in tracking down and dealing with subversive elements that could harm The State.

    Well done Director-General Mike Burgess – keep “the bills” flowing.

  6. Hay Stockard

    ASIO always has been a clown show. It’s way past its use by date.

  7. Des Deskperson

    ‘ASIO always has been a clown show. It’s way past its use by date.’

    On recent decades, ASIO has attempted to refurbish its – fair or unfair – image by a focus on graduate recruitment. The basic qualifications now for a job in ASIO is a degree and a driver’s licence. – a lot of its work seem to involve mucking about in cars. The extent to which the focus on tertiary educated recruitment has affected the culture the organisation is an interesting question.

    I wonder what motivates a clever and ambitious young person to join ASIO. Career opportunities would seem limited and the skills and experience acquired don’t seem to be particularly transferable to the broader public sector.

    Yet in 2004, I lost and extremely talented and intelligent young graduate in my team to ASIO.

  8. JohnL

    ASIO – Australian Siliest Incompetent Organization

  9. Colonel Crispin Berka

    >> “Protests are lawful in this country and we stay away from them.”
    > “Why would BLM protesters not be on the radar of national security agencies?”

    Yeah nah. BLM protests and BLM protestors are not the same thing. Crafty response from the D-G.

    Regarding mass-surveillance, I’m beginning to think that buying an ex-Hong Kong phone is a good move because if the CCP’s spyware is pre-installed on it, that means the NSA’s isn’t. And my government in theory has to protect me from Chinese extortionists, but they’re under no obligation to protect me from their own excesses.
    Gotta get these governments bickering amongst themselves so they stop hassling us Poor Innocent Guys.

  10. Win

    A law to interrogate 14 year olds but 13 year old football fans have no such protection It’s a free for all from security guards. What a horrible people we have become. Add the ABC and their incideous fomenting and massaging of civil arrest the promotion of racism through division.Hitler must be thrilled.

  11. John A

    ASIO’s Director-General Mike Burgess replied that he was “actually offended by that statement.”

    Oh? Good! Mr Burgess, you have the permission of the citizens of this great nation to be offended. But the consequence of that is to see that you and your staff actually do the job that you are employed for. You Have Only One Job, as the memes tell us all.

  12. Behind Enemy Lines

    Des Deskperson
    #3510653, posted on July 12, 2020 at 11:14 am

    On recent decades, ASIO has attempted to refurbish its – fair or unfair – image by a focus on graduate recruitment. . . . I wonder what motivates a clever and ambitious young person to join ASIO. Career opportunities would seem limited and the skills and experience acquired don’t seem to be particularly transferable to the broader public sector. Yet in 2004, I lost and extremely talented and intelligent young graduate in my team to ASIO.

    It looks sexy from the outside, and they do some cool work if you land well. For people who already wanted to work there, it’s a lot easier to go in as a grad than on a lateral transfer into the middle grades. The grads do all the sort of buzzword-friendly stuff that other APS grads endure. So if you leave soon enough, you can translate it into interesting work elsewhere. For example, there’s a pretty good network out there in the broader IC / former IC world.

    It’s also the kind of place that appeals to the sort of young people who’d be eager to participate in a leftist terror. I’ve met too many people from there whose eyes would roll back in their heads at any favourable mention of hideous illegal fascist things like evil John Howard’s evil regime of bottomless evil.

    It would be dangerous to grant them any conceivable power to threaten conservatives or libertarians for exercising free speech. Especially given that they remain utterly blind to regular and predictable leftist political violence.

  13. Boris

    What’s wrong with interrogating 14 year old terror suspects? They can be terrorists all right at that age.

  14. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Australian Silliest Incompetent Organisation

    Closely followed by the greenfilth, the ALPBC, the labore pardee, the gliberal/national agrarian socialist pardee, the Garudain, Neinfax, the other braindead FTA commercial channels, the big four banks, quaintarse, the ALPFL, the ALPRL, the ALPRU, the ALPFA, the AHRC, the ACCC, ASIC, the ADF and onandonandon, FFS, in this stupid, stupid country …

    🤬

  15. Damon

    Slightly off topic, but is penalising unsuspecting overseas arrivals by subjecting them to arbitrary quarantine, for which they have to pay, actually legal?

  16. Boris
    #3510937, posted on July 12, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    What’s wrong with interrogating 14 year old terror suspects? They can be terrorists all right at that age.

    Secrecy, lawyer representation, responsible adults…

  17. C.L.

    ASIO wants the power to detain children indefinitely, Boris.
    No legal representation, no charges, no arraignment, no media.
    Gestapo stuff.

    Burgess claimed on Friday that ASIO is currently observing possible terrorists who are minors.
    If that’s true, the law allows police to intervene and bring charges, prosecutable in open court.
    If they really are dangerous and are committing offences online or in TRW, why haven’t they been arrested?
    Is he risking Australians’ lives? He doesn’t seem to think so.

  18. Chris M

    No legal representation, no charges, no arraignment, no media.
    Gestapo stuff.

    Aw, our very own Oz-Stasi.

    So there must be a reasonable number of these early teen terrorists then to put all this effort in? Do they memorize the Koo-wran to qualify? Where’s the bar here, and how many teeny attackers have been intercepted so far?

  19. Ed Case

    Kindy Terrorists, eh?
    Reminds me of the Irish joke about the makeup of the typical IRA 4 man terror cell;
    One RUC bloke, another UDF bloke, a third MI5 bloke, and poor dopey old Paddy.

  20. Squirrel

    “I’m not sure why Neal thinks it would be especially worrying that ASIO might question local BLM organisers.”

    Indeed – we’re a very long way from the distant days of well-meaning, genteel middle class folk collecting signatures and organising morning teas in church halls in support of an innocuous amendment to the Constitution.

    BLM is about useful idiots being used by people who really do want to “destroy the joint” – and that’s what ASIO and others are here to stop.

  21. NoFixedAddress

    C.L.
    #3511082, posted on July 12, 2020 at 6:59 pm
    …..
    Burgess claimed on Friday that ASIO is currently observing possible terrorists who are minors.
    ….

    Sounds like the Police should be investigating ‘the pervs’ at ASO.

    ASO – another Australian Secret Organization ™ without Intelligence.

  22. Ed Case

    It’s more likely that ASIO are directing the activities of the useful idiots than it is that they’ve been caught on the hop.
    Much more likely.

  23. NoFixedAddress

    Ed

    Do you think ASO has ‘Working with Children’ clearances

  24. Chris M

    Do you think ASO has ‘Working with Children’ clearances

    We may need another government organisation to watch their own children. Everyone can spend all day watching each others kids. And encourage the kids to report on the parents of course.

    They are still fluffed up with triumph from the Lindt cafe attack; after it smoke cleared they were proudly able to proclaim they already knew the attacker prior and had a file on him. Success!

  25. Ed Case

    Do you think ASO has ‘Working with Children’ clearances

    For sure.
    Probably got a deskful of blank ones they sell to perverts for $50.

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