Gas Week

EWN Publishing

Murky world where spooks and the police exist in a strange symbiotic relationship with the media, especially The Australian

Posted by gasweek on 21 September, 2007

Sensing that the Government was losing the media war, someone with access to confidential information – the key suspects being Andrews’s office, his department and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) – decided to leak to the media reported Anthony McClellan in The Australian (19/7/2007, p. 32). Police did not give all the facts of the Haneef case to the magistrate: How else can one explain the next day day’s front-page story in The Daily Telegraph by Canberra warhorse Malcolm Farr and Rhett Watson? The guts of their story was that Haneef had been under surveillance since the attempted London bombings. 24 hours before the borrowed SIM card was found in the Jeep used in the Glasgow attack. A key, question is, if that information is true, why wasn’t it shared with the magistrate? Is it because it was considered good enough for the Tele but not for the judiciary? Why, was the magistrate not given all the facts, so she could make an informed decision? This is the murky world where spooks and the police exist in a strange symbiotic relationship with the media. The public is left on the sidelines, not knowing who is telling the truth.

The Australian leaked the first taped interview : The plot thicked by with The Australian publishing Haneef’s first taped interview with the AFP. A great scoop, of which the paper should be proud. It should be less proud of what happened next. Keelty’s first phone call after reading The Australian was to its editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell. The Commissioner then announced on radio that Mitchell had told him the AFP was not the source of the leak. With a very limited number of people privy to this information, that was akin to Mitchell pointing the bone. He should have told Keelty nothing, as the paper did in the case of the leak two years ago about security flaws at Sydney airport. By yesterday afternoon Haneef’s barrister Stephen Keim had tossed up, saying he’d given it to The Australian as there was “no obligation on the detainee or anyone connected with him to keep such a document secret”.

Reference: Anthony McClellan runs the strategy group AMC Media Website: http://www.amcmedia.com.au

The Australian, 19/7/2007, p. 32

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