Not nearly paranoid enough (rant)

A while ago I changed my name here. It was a good idea anyway, but if you read between the lines you might have noticed a hint of paranoia. Just a stupid fleeting thought that maybe it wasn’t a good time to have a screen name close to my real one.

Around this time I had mentioned that I was involved with a group taking legal action against the Australian government alleging that the political stunt they were undertaking to win the election involved breaking the law. The government subsequently retrospectively legislated to make their actions legal and having conducted a campaign of lies, fear and dehumanisation against refugees, they won the case and the election.

It now emerges (amongst many other disgraceful things) that the Defence Signals Directorate illegally monitored the telephone conversations of those planning legal action against the government and illegally briefed the government about those conversations. The “inadvertent” tapping of 'phones of Australian citizens just happens to turn out to have been those trying to get the government to obey the law (as it then was). The Defence Department is now sending out letters of apology to those whose ‘phones it illegally tapped. [links to come, fresh but apparently not big news here] Maybe we’ll get a nice little letter, maybe not - but I certainly feel a bit foolish about not worrying about it more at the time. And I doubt they’ll come clean about all the intercepts anyway.

So, to the government, particularly PM Howard, Minister Ruddock and former Minister and now arms peddler Reith: fuck you. You and your hirelings are filth, prepared to scam your way back into office on the backs of a costly stunt paid for by taxpayers and vulnerable people who you heartlessly abused and slandered. When you die I hope your graves are never dry.

To the bureaucrats who ran Operation Relex: fuck you, you pissweak bastards. You knew more than enough. If all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, it looks like the complicity of a few weasels can make things a little worse. In licking the rancid crack of the government of the day you surrendered your duty to government and you betrayed the people it is supposed to serve. Under what circumstances can we expect you to stand up? This goes for most of the opposition too.

And to the voting public: fuck you, you credulous pillocks. You allowed yourselves to stampeded like a mindless incontinent herd into the arms of hatemongers. And now you pretend you don’t see the mess. You want all this to go away, for the few who are outraged to stop talking about it. And in ten years time claim that you knew nothing of what was going on. Shameful.

I wish you’d posted this as a GD. As someone who used to live with people who worked for both the DSD and who had OSCA clearances, I feel your pain.

Nonetheless, when I actually managed to apply enough political leverage to get a copy of my own ASIO and ASIS (everyone always forgets ASIS because they focus on ASIO) files, I was kind of disappointed by the public domain information they hadn’t even picked up.

I have NEVER been subjected to a security clearance in my own right - never needed one - but I’ve been subjected to background clearances in respect of many people (some military, some intelligence community, some political). It appalls me how much wrong information ends up on those files.

I’m kind of disappointed that the tinfoil hat brigade can claim persecution by the authorities and I don’t even rate a mention in the grand schemes of the intelligence communities.

BTW, don’t mean to hijack this thread, but different countries have different standards for “classifying” information. And it’s really not appropriate to discuss those methods in public, just thought people should know that. The “general” information is available on “google”, the specific information is not.

A link to a story on this. Another I wonder whether the government will still be claiming that there were no significant breaches of the rules.

Sorry I couldn’t start this in GD reprise, but I’m going through one of my “incoherent with rage” stages on this issue. But I’ll eschew a tinfoil hat for now - it would crush my wavy tresses.

Just so that you know, paranoia can be a good thing.

After world war two my pacifist grandfather was in Holland. He was a coal mine engineer, talking to someone there he went with this german guy to see some of the coal mines and power stations in Germany. It was just after the war and so no border controls or anything.

10-20 Years later, after many unsuccessful attempts to get work overseas and at universities and to go to conferences overseas, he was finally allowed to go to one. And this time his boss said, “just make sure you don’t go to Russia this time” To which my grandfather went “what?”

It turned out there was an ASIO spy on the trip to Holland after WW2 and had written a report stating that my grandfather had gone to Russia and was a suspected communist spy. This had stopped my grandfather from getting ahead for 20 years before he fiunally got it all cleared up. Even though most of the people on the Holland trip knew where he was going and what he was doing (and why), this one person didn’t and caused his life to be very different.

So hopefully we are not going anywhere near that sort of level of spying again, but I am not too sure. So Hawthorne, be careful and try to get your ASIO and ASIS files to make sure that everything is accurate.