The AFP Commissioner, Mick Keelty, was on ABC radio this morning with Andrea Close and despite speaking in the elliptical fashion for which police are famed he clearly laid the blame for the death of the Chief Police Officer Audrey Fagan at the door of both Jack Waterford and Geoff Pryor.
Consistent with the tight spin control which, if he is to be believed, got us here, he’s demanding there be a “week of respect” in which the media knuckle down and report only that which he would like us to report.
It seems odd that he could be so certain of what is to blame at this time. It certainly helps divert attention from his own organisation which would appear to have failed miserably in either the promotion of CPO Fagan to a position she couldn’t handle, or in the support and resources it gave her to meet the demands placed on her.
Of greater ongoing significance Commissioner Keelty asserted that the Chief Police Officer was answerable only to the Minister for Police and that the public and media had no business in questioning her policies. If this is so then it needs to be changed, the Minister for Police is but one member of a Government elected once every four years on a vast array of issues.
There will be a full police funeral on Friday at a venue to be confirmed.
If you missed it an MP3 of the interview is here.
UPDATED: The Canberra Times is counter punching:
“Anger over Fagan’s death is perhaps understandable in the circumstances not all of which are publicly known at this point but the criticism of this newspaper is unfair and ill-directed.”