ASIO tells Abbott to zip it

From The Australian:

ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has phoned Coalition poli­ticians to urge them to use the soothing language favoured by Malcolm Turnbull in their public discussion of Islam.

In what is thought to be an unprecedented intervention in politics by a head of the spy agency, Mr Lewis is said to have told the MPs that their more robust comments risked becoming a danger to national security. It is believed the Office of the Prime Minister has been involved in arranging for these phone calls to take place.

A number of Liberals are angry at what they see as an improper ­intervention by the ASIO head into legitimate political issues.

A newspaper interview with Mr Lewis that appeared in News Corp newspapers on Sunday was widely seen as a slap down of ­former prime minister Tony ­Abbott. The interview took place on Thursday last week, a day after an opinion piece by Mr Abbott ­appeared in The Daily Telegraph,in which he argued that Islam as a religion was in need of reform.

…In The Sunday Telegraph interview, Mr Lewis said that Muslim-baiting rhetoric could fuel a dangerous backlash against Muslims that would make it harder for ASIO to do its work.

This is not a question of ‘going soft’ on terrorism or ‘political correctness’. It is a question over whether you want to fight a ‘smart war’ or a ‘dumb war’. If the ISIS strategy is to recruit followers by dividing Muslims from their various Western nations then you can either counter and outflank that or exacerbate it.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. The IS strategy is to receive guns and funding from Qatar-S.A Turkey UAE and back door support for the U.S .
    For those that think the U.S wouldn’t stoop so low remember they supported Pol Pot against the Vietnamese – Iran Contra and off course the recent coup in Kiev with their Secretary
    of State for Eurasian affairs Mrs Victoria “Fck the EU Noland” Using Neo Nazis to do the job just to add a even sicker twist to the story
    All that happens here is theatre for domestic consumption .

    • They receive funding from the unregulated Australian property market. Where did freedom of speech go, ASIO has basically said if u say something bad about Islam they will use physical force on us.

    • Has anyone seen the recent email, showing the 14 x 40 footers of “furniture”, sent to the European refugees. The containers were full of weapons. Lucky they were intercepted in Greece.

      • AB, this is getting like climate change, so now who do we believe.
        Both outcomes are equally likely.
        Best would be if there were no refugees to send the weapons to. Especially in Aus.

      • AB, this is getting like climate change, so now who do we believe.
        Both outcomes are equally likely.

        Of course. In both cases, one possibility is a product of fevered paranoia and bigotry, the other of evidence and expert analysis.

        Obviously both are equally likely !

      • Both outcomes are equally likely.

        Hogwash. Use your brain WW, clearly you’re a smart guy, you just need to avoid emotion taking over from rationality. Why would you need to ship weapons to Europe? They’ve got more than enough in the black market from the collapse of the Soviet Union (where do you think all those AKs came from in the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks?).

  2. As it is impossible to take anything Mr Abbott says in good faith, he is the last person who should be wandering around offering advice on how the various ‘religious’ belief systems should reform their operations.

    The sooner we equip him with a nice white horse, a lance and an embroidered tunic and put him on a ship to the middle east the better.

    It is shame Mr Abbott is so hopeless on economics as reform of our monetary system and associated institutions (APRA and RBA) would give him excellent material for a grass roots subversive insider campaign against MalTurn and ScoMo

      • A bike would be better.

        Australia’s answer to Don Quixote. Perhaps we could have our own musical entitled “Don Quiduffer” with Abbott in the leading role as the Don. Tilting at windmills and all, and with Joe Hockey starring as his comic sidekick Sancho Pander.

        *Based on the book: “The disingenuous gentleman Don Quiduffer of Canberra” created by that renowned purveyor of fantasies, Rupert Murdoch.

    • Honestly at this point I think we need to get rid of him by whatever means necessary. Give him the UK Ambassador role on the condition that he shuts up. Then again that would probably end up like every other promise he has made in public life…

  3. Just another case of politicising public service, ASIO should not be making public announcement it’s an intelligence agency working quietly in the background. As for Tony Abbott, let’s say he has been punched once too many times in the ring and his observed drinking habits indicate a problem, so Tony has his own problems and should just go quietly and seek help.

    • Since Abbott refuse to listen to advice, what other choices is there? Arrest a former PM for sedition?

    • I’ve often legitimately wondered if Stony was suffering from TBI symptoms – just watch some of those interviews where he can’t seem to answer questions and you get the impression of neurons trying and failing to connect properly. I actually feel a bit sorry for him.

    • “Just another case of politicising public service, ASIO should not be making public announcement it’s an intelligence agency working quietly in the background.”
      Unfortunately ASIO can’t “quietly” do its work if it can’t build cooperative relationships with the Islamic community. The more idiots like Abbott marginalize Muslims, the more difficult for ASIO to be trusted by the community and to get good intel’ that helps distinguish friend from foe. It’s that simple. Frankly I am glad ASIO spoke out as they can see what is at stake here better than most.

  4. “A number of Liberals are angry at what they see as an improper ­intervention by the ASIO head into legitimate political issues.”

    They really are a bunch of dickheads. It’s not a national security issue to them, it’s purely a political one. I wonder what the intersection is between the angry Liberals and those still holding a torch for Abbott’s return. 100%?

    • That’s the galling thing – they’re all about national security and listening to the relevant agencies, right up until it makes things inconvenient for them.

    • How many of these pollies actually secretly want a full-on terrorist attack on Australian soil, just so they can use it to make some political brownie points?

    • Well said. That bunch would trade national security for political gain any day of the week. Just like they did for action on climate change, treatment of refugees and so on. John Howard’s fine legacy.

  5. Im glad I dont live in Europe, it looks like an invasion with all those refugees.
    Also the main problem I see is the desire or the ambition of the muslim believer to takeover their new homelands systems eg education, judicial, political etc.
    They seem to get to a tipping point and then change starts happening.
    I think Europe has a lot of problems ahead.

    • It is an invasion.

      Take an army, remove their uniforms and weapons. Those “refugee” streams are what such an army looks like.

      There’s a real rape culture now emerging close to where they are being settled. But hey, that’s SJW for you.

      Its not rational to expect any other outcome.

    • Uncontrolled mass migration is always detrimental to the existing population. This is because ‘Time woman of the year’ had a brain-f$ck and said Germany will take everyone.

      • The tipping point would be once the ratio of any group gets high enough in a local, state or federal electorate to influence and or directly change the rules, laws etc to suit any groups desires.
        I think this applies to any group and all the varied flavours of them, e.g. labour, coalition, greens, asian, muslim, australians, black, white etc etc.
        Its just getting that majority or in some cases just enough influence to start the change in the direction they desire.

      • Yes, yes. That’s normal cultural shift that happens at micro- and macro-scale everywhere, all the time.

        But your claim is that it has already happened, with a strong implication of reference to modern, western, secular democracies.

        So… For example ?

      • How does a high enough ratio in one electorate lead to a tipping point? What happened to the majority requirement for legislation?

      • For the Western countries, it goes kinda like this:

        When a minority of any shape, kind or form reaches a certain proportion of the overall electorate, they become more and more vocal about their cause, demanding equality, respect for their rights, culture, etc. The majority of the western electorate, given their brainwashing over last 50+ years, start to support those demands, be it because of “white guilt”, “multiculturalism” or whatever other label/slogan. The opposing views of the western electorate get filtered out or outright manipulated/squashed, sort of what happened with Marie Le Pen recently. And presto, the minority is able to impose their demands and views onto majority.

      • When a minority of any shape, kind or form reaches a certain proportion of the overall electorate, they become more and more vocal about their cause, demanding equality, respect for their rights, culture, etc. The majority of the western electorate, given their brainwashing over last 50+ years, start to support those demands, be it because of “white guilt”, “multiculturalism” or whatever other label/slogan. The opposing views of the western electorate get filtered out or outright manipulated/squashed, sort of what happened with Marie Le Pen recently. And presto, the minority is able to impose their demands and views onto majority.

        Still waiting for an example….

      • DrS
        Lebanon is an example
        http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/11/is_britain_the_new_lebanon.html
        Explain why this is factually wrong.

        Once Christian,
        See also: Demographics of Lebanon

        “The number of Christians in Lebanon has been disputed for many years. There has been no official census in Lebanon since 1932. “In 1926, when the newly independent Lebanon conducted its first census, Christians accounted for 84 percent of the population.”[10] However, “by 1932, when the last census was done, they were 51.2 percent. They were still half the country by mid-century, but by 1985, only a quarter of all Lebanese were Christians.”[11] Many argue over the percentage and population of Christians in Lebanon. One estimate of the Christian share of Lebanon’s population as of 2012 is 40.5%.[12] Therefore, the country has the largest percentage of Christians of all the Middle Eastern nations.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Lebanon

      • LOL

        More right-wing drivel full of hyperventilation, fallacies, and dishonesty.

        Tell us more about how the Lebanese civil war is somehow comparable to contemporary Britain.

        You could start with how a 50/50 cultural divide, each aligned with opposing cold war sides, is an example of “surreptitiously undermining Judeo-Christian values and using the liberal values of tolerance, multiculturalism, and free speech to take over democratic societies.”

      • Facts please, not left/right wing drivel. “Christians accounted for 84 percent of the population.”

      • Facts please, not left/right wing drivel.

        Fact is nothing about the history preceding the civil war in Lebanon resembles the suggestion that Muslims are going to somehow gain enough political influence in Australia to implement Sharia Law, or whatever halfwitted idea Jacqui Lambie has come up with this week.

        No amount of fallacious rhetoric or scaremongering lies in opinion pieces like the one you linked to will change that.

        “Christians accounted for 84 percent of the population.”

        In 1926.

        Fifty years later when the civil war, between factions siding to and backed by the USSR and USA started, it was 50%.

      • I note the only facts you use are ones I supply. You asked for an example, I gave you one, I asked you to say why this is factually wrong, all I get I reply is ideological garbage.

      • I note the only facts you use are ones I supply. You asked for an example, I gave you one, I asked you to say why this is factually wrong, all I get I reply is ideological garbage.

        It’s “factually wrong” because it’s irrelevant. It’s not an example of what is claimed is happening.

        You offered an opinion piece – riddled with bias, fallacies and lies – making the prima facie absurd argument that the civil war in Lebanon in parallels in some meaningful fashion what has, is, and will at some point in the near future, happen in Britain (and, presumably by extension, Australia) because of Muslim immigration.

        I’m still waiting for an example of this or this happening in a modern, secular democracy. The way you guys talk you’d think we were just an election or two away from Sharia Law.

      • “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes,our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence”

      • The quote is from John Adams, not me. He was saving the lives of men he was ideologically opposed to, before a jury who shared his views.

        I use the facts in the same sense he used it. Left wing -right wing is a BS irrelevance.

      • I use the facts in the same sense he used it.

        No, you’re using cherrypicked “facts” to push an ideological and bigoted barrow. Hence the reason you’re trying to present a comically partisan and dishonest opinion piece as something useful and relevant.

        The hypocrisy of that quote being used to justify a position of condemning an entire class of people based on their religious beliefs rather than any evidence of wrongdoing is staggering.

        Left wing -right wing is a BS irrelevance.

        LOL. Hence the reason you’re referencing a right-wing echo chamber like American Thinker ?

        Still waiting for a relevant example of the insidious muslims infiltrating a secular democracy and using legitimate political influence to impose diametric laws on society. You know, like we’re being told happens all the time.

      • And your disputed fact is ?

        That the circumstances around the civil war in Lebanon are in any way relevant to contemporary Britain (or Australia). Because it’s not a fact, it’s opinion. You keep using that word… Etc, etc.

        Let’s try a different tack.

        What “fact” do you think you have provided that supports the premise that Muslims are going to surreptitiously gain enough political power in Australia (or any other secular western democracy) to start enacting laws based on their religious beliefs ?

    • Uncontrolled migration is a silly policy! When huge numbers of migrants are flooding in it isn’t as easy to integrate them into their new country as when it is controlled and in small doses. Muslims also do not integrate as well as other cultures, this is just fact. Also their birth rates are much much higher than other cultures. If you have a mass flood of migrants who don’t assimilate, because it is a mass flood and not a controlled number, the children won’t assimilate as well either.

      • @dr smithy
        I dont have first hand experience, just browsing, a lot of activity in the English area for sharia councils and tribunals as an example.
        My feeling is English Muslim populations are not as traumatised as the recent flood of refugees into Europe are, so I would expect more explosive or fanatical change to eventuate in the refugees new places of abode. This will be terrible if you are one of the locals.

      • “Muslims also do not integrate as well as other cultures, this is just fact.”
        Your first mistake is to generalize Muslims as being of one culture. They are from a diverse range of cultures and many behaviors are actually shaped more by national/tribal culture, rather than their religion. I work with Muslims every day and I see no evidence of “integration problems” in my workplace.

        Secondly, you need to determine the cause of any integration problems. Sure I have seen evidence integration problems in my local area where there is a significant Islamic community. Some certainly come from some pretty backwards areas where violence (in some cases towards women) has been normailsed. However, many problems are also a product of the poor integration support we offer many refugees. The mandatory detention regime of the Howard years led to a large number of psychologically traumatized refugees being treated barbarically for an extended period of time before being released into the community. Hardly a recipe for success is it?

  6. It feels a little PC to me, if that is what ASIO truly what is intended… they should never get involved in the politics, and it should have no bearing on what they do. As for making it harder, please, who’s leg are they joking!!!

    But i am not for baiting minorities either – and we must not allow ourselves to be dragged into the Middle East in a land war we would, under any circumstances or reasonable outcomes – never win. We can help via refugees and the UN.

    Islam, after being relatively dormant for a very long time is slowly waking. You do not want to bait her, or get in her way. Or the possible effects for Oz in the long-run could be diabolical.

    • I think ASIO is being strategic rather than politically correct. If Lewis was telling the government not to say anything critical at all I’d agree with you, but it seems that his goal is to keep as many Muslims as possible in our tent by toning down the language rather than pretending everything is great (like some apologists on the Left seem intent on doing).

      Not that Tony Abbott’s comments are likely to turn moderate Muslims into new ISIS recruits, but Lewis is probably concerned about the fringes of Muslim society. Some Muslims already feel marginalised or isolated for various reasons (some their community’s fault, some the fault of society more broadly), so minimising aggressive commentary gives the fringes less of an excuse to reject western society and run off to Syria.

      • Totally agree with what you wrote. its considered. But also, I lived on the edge of Bradford in the UK for three years. There are now three and four generations that haven’t really integrated. And they never will, and I respect and understand that. Its actually part of their culture and religion. It is what it is… similar to certain bits of London. But life goes on. The restaurants were great, but make no mistake you wouldn’t want to live there.

        The UK doesn’t have the worlds largest Moslem nation sitting on its doorstep. We do, we have to be respectful, and circumspect. We also have to be strategic (i.e. even if we don’t want to be under China’s sphere of influence, at least don’t try and annoy them), in many areas such as refugees, defence, etc, etc.

      • A quick read of the synopsis highlights just how much of a work of fiction it is:

        And he is not alone. As the 2022 Presidential election approaches, two candidates emerge as favourites: Marine Le Pen of the Front National, and Muhammed Ben Abbes of the nascent Muslim Fraternity. Forming a controversial alliance with the mainstream parties, Ben Abbes sweeps to power, and overnight the country is transformed. Islamic law comes into force: women are veiled, polygamy is encouraged and, for François, life is set on a new course.

      • Of course it’s a work of fiction. It is a novel. The best one I’ve read this year. Put it in your Christmas stocking.

        (The time compression is a deliberate counter: we (the West) slowly erode freedoms, cultural heritage, religious beliefs ignorant, apathetic, submissive to the infiltration eventual domination of…other systems. Then we awaken “These changes happened overnight!”)

        But Submission is more than that. Funny, filthy, philosophical.

        ,

  7. Sometimes I get the impression that the culture warriors on the Right of the Liberal Party WANT to inflame tensions and instigate a world war against Islam. If that’s the case, they’re as big a threat to global security as ISIS…

  8. Now let’s see. A mild critique of aspects of a particular religion are now considered a threat to national security. If indeed that is true, then by extension, so too must be the critique.

    Words as weapons? ASIO seem to be saying that mere criticism of a religion justification for some kind of violent response. That said response is simmering so close to the surface? Perhaps aspects of the religion are indeed in need of reform.

    • Agreed 3d1k. If they thought that they would be a threat and we had to spend billions to watch them after they arrive, it is a bit rich to get upset if are warned that you might hurt the feelings of one group of many in our country.

      Good thing our country has a sound immigration policies.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      I took it as ASIO being concerned intelligence gathering from the Muslim community could become more difficult if they feel they are being marginalised by government.

      • “I took it as ASIO being concerned intelligence gathering from the Muslim community could become more difficult if they feel they are being marginalised by government.”

        This is exactly what they are concerned about. All the intelligence comes from family members and friends.

      • Exactly. To fuckwits like reusa and their ‘love it or leave’ cries; well guess what, they’re here and they ain’t fucken leaving nor once have they become radicalised will they love the joint. That’s where agencies like ASIO need to develop trust to work with communities, families, friends etc to fight radicalization and they sure as fuck do not need supposedly intelligent people making their job any harder that it already is.

  9. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Good on Abbott for speaking his mind. This is a free country. He should publicly tell ASIA to fck off and shame them for going above their pay grade. Seriously! Now if Moslems don’t like it they can fck off back to Africa!

  10. Turnball has correctly identified we are targets of these terrorist scum bags not because “they hate our freedom and values (lol) ” but because we are part of an alliance that has run roughshod over the entire mid east, and as such are seen as supporting interventions, renditions and extra judicial assassinations via the massively (under Obama) expanded drone program – a program those in the US intelligence community describe as the single biggest and successful jihadi recruitment tool.

    Turnball (unlike Abbot and Shorten) understand this is blowback for our support of US policies in the ME region. I sense, from his public commentary on foreign policy matters that he understands the need to balance our relationship and alliance with the US without unnecessarily over committing us in to the region in a military sense and painting an even larger target on our country. FOR THIS HE HAS MY VOTE!

  11. What? The spies telling elected representatives to zip their lips! This hasn’t been done since ASIO refused Whitlam’s demand to cut ties with the CIA … http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/16/asio-chief-defied-gough-whitlams-order-cut-ties-cia-1974

    We seem to live in an emerging police state. Fucking border Nazis and spies jabbering on in the background – go back and keep checking out our emails you half wits! I’m sure you’ll find some juicy porn sites.

  12. I read that the Boston bombers were unemployed and the female terrorist in San Bernardino was an immigrant from Pakistan/KSA.

    Mr Man Monis the terrorist in Sydney is an immigrant.

    If you have mass immigration from 3rd world basket cases, you will get a lot of bad eggs.

    England only allows foreign “students” to stay for 4 months after their studies are complete. AUS and Canada allow them to stay for 2-3 years!