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ASIO raids Bernard Collaery? (with Brandis statement)

By johnboy - 3 December 2013 46

The ABC has word of an ASIO raid here in Canberra:

A lawyer representing East Timor in its spying case against Australia says his office has been raided by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Bernard Collaery says two agents seized electronic and paper files this afternoon from his law practice in Canberra.

He says the agents identified themselves as working for ASIO, and would not show his employees the search warrant because it related to national security.

East Timor has accused the Australia Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) of covertly recording Timorese ministers and officials during oil-and-gas negotiations in Dili in 2004.

Mr Collaery also believes that a key witness in the Timorese case – a former spy turned whistleblower – has been arrested in a separate raid in Canberra.

UPDATE: The Attorney-General has confirmed the raids but is less than convincing as to their motivations:

I confirm that today, ASIO executed search warrants at addresses in Canberra, and documents and electronic media were taken into possession. The warrants were issued by me on the grounds that the documents contained intelligence related to security matters.

I have seen reports this evening containing allegations that the warrants were issued in order to affect or impede the current arbitration between Australia and Timor-Leste at The Hague. Those allegations are wrong.

I have instructed ASIO that the material taken into possession is not under any circumstances to be communicated to those conducting those proceedings on behalf of Australia.

What’s Your opinion?


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46 Responses to
ASIO raids Bernard Collaery? (with Brandis statement)
CraigT 8:49 pm 04 Dec 13

bigfeet said :

Baggy said :

Given that the IGIS is a very capable and intelligent woman, both she and her staff fill me with confidence, and that Mr Irvine will be expected to justify every action his staff took to her office, I have no doubt that there is a perfectly valid reason for the raid. It’s not worth the hullabaloo that it would cause if it was not justifiable.

Well said. The nations intelligence services are easy targets for the tin-foil hat brigade because by their very nature they cannot publicly report on what they do or even respond to any criticism.

The oversight is there and it is thorough and extremely competent.

Of course this doesn’t go well with the loud ‘ Its my RIGHT to know everything’, Assange/Snowden supporter crowd.

Is it the job of our intelligence services to conduct espionage operations in foreign countries with no national security objective in mind, but with the objective of maximising profits for an oil company called Woodside?

Is it merely co-incidence that Alexander Downer went on to be on the payroll of said oil company?

Brandis said this today:
“no lawyer can invoke the principles of lawyer-client privilege to excuse participation, whether as principal or accessory, in offences against the Commonwealth.”

So, the raids were kosher and charges have been laid. Right?

Baggy 11:12 am 04 Dec 13

Robertson said :

Baggy said :

Given that the IGIS is a very capable and intelligent woman, both she and her staff fill me with confidence, and that Mr Irvine will be expected to justify every action his staff took to her office, I have no doubt that there is a perfectly valid reason for the raid. It’s not worth the hullabaloo that it would cause if it was not justifiable.

I am sceptical.
Think about the bugging of SBY’s phone. No apparent gain and massive consequential damage.

Scepticism is good.

No apparent gain – bear in mind it was in the days following terror attacks against foreigners, primarily targetting Australians but as always killing more locals, and IIRC there were strong sentiments that the Indons weren’t exactly helpful in conducting the investigation. Also note that what’s apparent or not apparent to the general public is dependent upon what information can be published – we may have obtained a bonanza, or maybe SBY’s secret bbq sauce ingredient. However, the operation wouldn’t have gone ahead without a good reason.

Further, the massive consequential damage stems from a leak within the American intelligence community, not Australian. It’s not something we have any control over, however we should be carefully considering what information is shared and the format in which it is presented. Unfortunately the American intelligence community is enormous, and it’s inevitable that you’ll have the odd crank out for a bit of publicity who is willing to break NDAs and laws (whether those laws are right or wrong).

Robertson 10:04 am 04 Dec 13

Baggy said :

Given that the IGIS is a very capable and intelligent woman, both she and her staff fill me with confidence, and that Mr Irvine will be expected to justify every action his staff took to her office, I have no doubt that there is a perfectly valid reason for the raid. It’s not worth the hullabaloo that it would cause if it was not justifiable.

I am sceptical.
Think about the bugging of SBY’s phone. No apparent gain and massive consequential damage.

bigfeet 9:44 am 04 Dec 13

Baggy said :

Given that the IGIS is a very capable and intelligent woman, both she and her staff fill me with confidence, and that Mr Irvine will be expected to justify every action his staff took to her office, I have no doubt that there is a perfectly valid reason for the raid. It’s not worth the hullabaloo that it would cause if it was not justifiable.

Well said. The nations intelligence services are easy targets for the tin-foil hat brigade because by their very nature they cannot publicly report on what they do or even respond to any criticism.

The oversight is there and it is thorough and extremely competent.

Of course this doesn’t go well with the loud ‘ Its my RIGHT to know everything’, Assange/Snowden supporter crowd.

Baggy 9:13 am 04 Dec 13

Given that the IGIS is a very capable and intelligent woman, both she and her staff fill me with confidence, and that Mr Irvine will be expected to justify every action his staff took to her office, I have no doubt that there is a perfectly valid reason for the raid. It’s not worth the hullabaloo that it would cause if it was not justifiable.

Robertson 9:11 am 04 Dec 13

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3904428.htm

“I mean, we go back to 2004, when the present Director-General of ASIO was then the newly-appointed – from Foreign Affairs – Director of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, when he ordered a team into Timor to conduct work which was well outside the proper functions of ASIS.

Our Australian people don’t expect their espionage service to be assisting revenue deliberations and commercial negotiations between partners. East Timor and of course, as your viewers know, and Australia were joint partners in this enterprise. There was a dispute about the revenue split and the responsible Minister, Alexander Downer – responsible also for ASIS, the Secret Intelligence Service – brought about a situation where the internal negotiation deliberations of the East Timorese was bugged. Eavesdropped. Listened.

This had nothing to do with our national security, nothing to do with protecting Australian people. All it’s done is to drag our name down in face of the world once again.”

Robertson 9:10 am 04 Dec 13

eyeLikeCarrots said :

DrKoresh said :

This makes me feel sick, it’s f***ing disgusting. What the Hell is an Attorney-General, would someone please explain.

I believe, he was sitting as his desk, smilling and fapping while his secret squirrel thugs live streamed the show to his office.

I prefer to believe that he was doing East Timor a favour – how better to enhance the credibility of the witness than to send the secret police in to take his passport away thus preventing him from appearing at The Hague?

Deref 8:56 am 04 Dec 13

eyeLikeCarrots said :

DrKoresh said :

This makes me feel sick, it’s f***ing disgusting. What the Hell is an Attorney-General, would someone please explain.

I believe, he was sitting as his desk, smilling and fapping while his secret squirrel thugs live streamed the show to his office.

Yep. WTF is this country coming to?

eyeLikeCarrots 8:44 am 04 Dec 13

DrKoresh said :

This makes me feel sick, it’s f***ing disgusting. What the Hell is an Attorney-General, would someone please explain.

I believe, he was sitting as his desk, smilling and fapping while his secret squirrel thugs live streamed the show to his office.

johnboy 7:44 am 04 Dec 13

Maybe best to familiarise yourself with the most public basics of our security establishment before voicing strong opinions?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney-General_for_Australia

DrKoresh 1:35 am 04 Dec 13

This makes me feel sick, it’s f***ing disgusting. What the Hell is an Attorney-General, would someone please explain.

pirate_taco 10:04 pm 03 Dec 13

CraigT said :

And they did it like arseholes – detaining the sole female staff member all day, declining to show any warrant, disallowing her any lunch, and watching her on the toilet.

That’s because this wasn’t about collecting evidence, at all, it was about intimidating the lawyer to disrupt his case, and send a warning to others who may consider becoming a whistleblower to our government’s criminal behaviour.

This is about as legitimate as detaining Glenn Greenwald’s partner for hours and forcing The Guardian to destroy hard drives because of the Snowden leaks. Neither of these actions would do anything to stop further publication of leaks, they were just being punitive assholes and to try and intimidate others from doing the same.

The whole, “we’ve got a warrant but we can’t show you because, national security” is a nice tin-pot dictator touch.

caf 9:30 pm 03 Dec 13

I have instructed ASIO that the material taken into possession is not under any circumstances to be communicated to those conducting those proceedings on behalf of Australia.

Was that with a broad wink?

CraigT 9:07 pm 03 Dec 13

“I have instructed ASIO that the material taken into possession is not under any circumstances to be communicated to those conducting those proceedings on behalf of Australia. “

Bwahahaha. Clownshoe factor 9.9!!!!

CraigT 9:00 pm 03 Dec 13

And they did it like arseholes – detaining the sole female staff member all day, declining to show any warrant, disallowing her any lunch, and watching her on the toilet.

Interestingly, one of the first places to run this story tonight was,
http://www.scmagazine.com.au/News/366410,asio-raids-lawyer-office-seeking-timor-wiretap-documents.aspx

The bottom line is, this case is being heard at The Hague, starting today, and Australia’s defence
(for this:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-47k-uMkUDSo/T4HNcUoYMHI/AAAAAAAAAZE/aC51CMnXxGI/s320/fig27EvansAlatas.jpg
)

Will be, “Oh, we raided East Timor’s lawyers’ offices today because we think The Hague will be Very Impressed”

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