Much about wider military and general society is revealed by the alleged murders committed by special forces troops. Cover-ups and refusal to account for bad behaviour are rampant throughout politics and police forces, and strongly suspected among the security elite. CLA believes widespread change is needed to re-boot society, starting with a strong ICAC accountability mechanism to de-power ruling elites, and a human rights act and tribunal to empower the less-privileged.
What’s fair? Should all the special forces soldiers be punished for the alleged criminal acts of the few, by the withdrawal of the commendation as a meritorious unit? In fact, many SOTG soldiers had the moral courage to speak up when their superiors remained deathly silent. Shouldn’t charges be proven in a court of law before any action is taken? CLA member Dr Kay Danes outlines the issues…and asks supporters to sign a petition.
In capital cities around Australia, 9 November marked ’Stop the Prosecution!s’ day when supporters called on Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter to end the secret trials of Witness K from ASIS and his lawyer Bernard Collaery. Their trials – secret evidence in closed courts – are contrary to the rule of law, which the AG is supposedly the guardian of.
Criticise the federal government at your peril is the lesson from the 2020 Budget as the ANAO, ABC, human rights and other agencies suffer more funding cuts. Meanwhile funny money magically appears in ever-increasing amounts to continue the two-decade long expansion of security, police and intelligence agencies…even as state governments hand over our driver licence photos before legal and privacy protections are legislated.
It’s useful to review old critiques when new ones emerge, particularly to see if time has changed what’s important. Here’s a 2017 paper on integrity bodies. It suggests that, to secure funding against a recalcitrant Executive government, there should be a “special branch” of integrity agencies that get rum and rations directly from Parliament. What a good idea! Bring on a national ICAC with teeth.
CLA will appear before the Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy on Friday 13 November 2020. The inquiry is being held by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee. In its submission, CLA has told the committee two initiatives are needed to win back the trust of the people of Australia in our federal parliament: a National Anti-Corrupt Commission, with robust powers to investigate the actions or inactions of politicians and bureaucrats, and a bill of rights to power to the people enforce their liberties and freedoms when government tries to take them away.
How we turn out first responders to emergency mental health situations colours the entire way people with drug-health problems are then treated, Bill Bush says. We need to learn lessons from other countries whose systems are much more helpful to people regaining their health and place in the community.
Longtime security shenanigans observer, Jack Waterford, says giving executive power to ASIO was a big mistake, and exposes the hypocrisy of its recent claim to be offended by critical comments in relation to its China briefings, which compromise our diplomatic efforts.
There are vivid lessons to learn for the next emergency from the current Covid-19 pandemic. We need to identify the right ones, so that for the next virus wave or national disaster we better incorporate maximum freedoms and individual compassion and care into a process where lockdown, quarantine, personal fines and repression were allowed to become excessive and over-dominant recently. It’s not easy…but considering liberties and rights of everyone, from the beginning, would be a great start.
A South Australian MP in late-September 2020 has called in parliament for a royal commission into half a century of forensic disasters in SA that have put 400 criminal cases, and more, in doubt. He echoes calls by similar CLA in 2016 and 2019, and by others, including into a case where Australia’s longest-serving Aboriginal prisoner, Derek Bromley (photo), remains in jail 37 years after his conviction and 16 years after he could have had parole, because he refuses to admit guilt in a case where evidence from an unqualified and incompetent forensic “expert” sealed his fate. On 12 October, Ch 9 will air yet another expose on the can of worms underlies “justice” in SA.