Mate’s Rates

Federal police have confirmed ABC journalist Dan Oakes will not be prosecuted over his reporting on alleged war crimes carried out by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

The Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) said there was a reasonable chance of securing a conviction against Mr Oakes over the leaked classified documents that he used to form the basis of his reporting.

But the CDPP said there was no public interest in pursuing a prosecution.

 
So there you have it. It is now permissible to publish stolen Defence documents. No, not for you, of course. The CDPP acknowledges the law has been broken – the law enacted by a democratically elected government – and also that a conviction is highly probable. But it is setting aside the law because it is in the “public interest” that the same public’s own laws not apply to an entitled class.

This entry was posted in Media, National Security, Rule of law. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Mate’s Rates

  1. Suburban Boy

    Ah, the good old “public interest”. Legalese for “whatever the DPP thinks should happen, and bugger the law”.

  2. jupes

    But the CDPP said there was no public interest in pursuing a prosecution.

    Good precedent.

    Now they should bin the Brereton Report, because there is no public interest in pursuing a prosecution against any diggers named in that ridiculous waste of time and money.

  3. Bronson

    How do these brains trust define what is and what isn’t public interest. What tests and or measures do they use to define it? Why have a law that if you break it you’re not prosecuted?

  4. Albatross

    Don’t know how to feel about this one. Was there some public interest in publishing the materials? Who made these “allegations”?

  5. Albatross

    Not generally a big fan of government secrecy.

  6. DaveR

    When is an opinion from a public servant that there is “no public interest” a basis for non-prosecution if a law is broken?

    In what world is the arbitrary application of the law determined by a public service department?

    Several flagrant breaches of Commonwealth Law right there.

    And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.

  7. Slim Cognito

    I assume all those fines for breaches of “lockdown” laws will now be waived given the test is now public interest.

  8. Eddystone

    I’ll be writing to my MP (Sharkie!) demanding this be reviewed.

  9. HT

    Albatross
    #3619782, posted on October 15, 2020 at 9:55 pm
    Not generally a big fan of government secrecy.

    There are legitimate reasons for state secrets. The real problem becomes when things get over-classified. This happens largely not because of nefarious intentions, but because people working with classified materials just get so used to working with classified materials they just start at the assumption that everything is at least secret. Classifying information as “Secret” (or higher) is also a safe option for draftee, very rare to see an under-rated document. If secrets keep leaking though, the response is to elevate the security tags and caveats, there is a level where the control of highly rated material is near-on manic, and ain’t nobody but a very, very few even know the information is either collected or reported.

  10. HT

    Bronson
    #3619768, posted on October 15, 2020 at 9:47 pm
    How do these brains trust define what is and what isn’t public interest. What tests and or measures do they use to define it? Why have a law that if you break it you’re not prosecuted?

    I’m sympathetic to your point of view, but be careful what you ask for…

  11. HT

    For those that think “why have a law and not enforce it”, I agree in principle. But! we have too many laws, our government should be reducing the number of laws and regulations and get out of our lives to the greatest extent possible. Imagine a world where laws are made by Daniel Andrews and enforced with all the enthusiasm of a council Parking Inspector: it’s already pretty much what we have in Victoria ATM and it’s not pretty.

    I may or may not like the release of those Afghanistan files, but I’m happy enough to live somewhere where discretion is still available.

    Just a random thought while I await Mrs HT to return to the car 🙂

  12. Gilas

    Sheeples getting what they deserve.

  13. cuckoo

    Of course the ABC reported this with the utmost triumphalism, hailing Oakes as if he were Mandela walking out of Robben Island.

  14. billie

    there’s no public interest in charging the victorian porsche driver, who had nothing to do with police being run over by a truck, with being a dyckhead .. yes we all know he is, but if you were going to charge everyone who was, where do you stop?

    yes, they pulled him over etc, but is he responsible for the way they did it?

    or the law to slow down to 40kph on a freeway because flashing lights?

    public interest my donkey, it comes down to the conviction of the authority and I imagine the Dept Defence are absolutely furious about this betrayal

    the filth should be prosecuted at any cost to make the point that a principle is involved and you don’t walk away from it like vic police did years ago when they decided it was more expensive to fight G20 protesters in court then to pay them off

    it’s morally wrong to declare there is no public interest

    so much for the security of the nation when leaked military secrets are allowed to be published without consequences

    we’vce been hillaried

  15. Richard Bender

    Yes, it is absolutely right to disclose Defence documents when they reveal blatant and unacceptable conduct by Australian defence forces. Why does anyone think that sort of conduct should be hidden? If you do, please fuck off to China or Cuba or some other country that tolerates such things rather than drag Australia down to this level.

  16. John A

    Suburban Boy #3619693, posted on October 15, 2020, at 8:37 pm

    Ah, the good old “public interest”. Legalese for “whatever the DPP thinks should happen and bugger the law”.

    The same “public interest” which Diktator Dan recognised when he defended the NON-imposition of fines for breaching the lockdown regulations in “the Dandenong-Casey cluster” (reported late Sept in local paper Berwick Star News).

  17. Michel Lasouris

    As far as I can see, Oakes has no experience of life in ADF, and cannot the conceive of the stress imposed on those charged with protecting Australian interests abroad. Whilst I personally wish that the ADF only operated as a defense force and did not venture overseas, the reality is otherwise.

    It seems to me that (in common with most non productive elites) Oakes is merely a trouble maker and seeks only noteriety ; typical of left leaning elitist ABC ‘journalists”. Never forget their oft chanted claim ….”without bias or agenda” .

  18. Rex Anger

    Yes, it is absolutely right to disclose Defence documents when they reveal blatant and unacceptable conduct by Australian defence forces. Why does anyone think that sort of conduct should be hidden?

    What conduct, Bent Dick?

    Salacious allegations from ambulance chasing ‘investigators’ paying Afghans to say whatever will get them maximum payout from the infidel? Wilful and deliberate misinterpretations of differences of opinion between 2 operators in the aftermath of a hard fight, some 15 years later?

    All of inflated and breathlessly spruiked for maximum emotive effect by the ABC, the Guardian and every anti-ADF and anti-conservative media outlet it could be leaked to?

    And all to solely enforce an ADF General Staff member’s internal political agenda (for the sole benefit of their feelz), at the expense of all of SOCOMD and the wider Australian Army?

    If any of it was actually real or constituted an honest to goodness crime, it would have been dealt wirh a decade ago, when it all allegedly happened.

    You bend it any harder Dickie, and it’s gonna snap off…

Comments are closed.