Name the Chinese spy (updated)


FFS, ASIO, get over it:

Revealing details of a spy network dubbed “The A-Team”, the ASIO director-general said if the agency had a threat level for espionage and foreign interference it would be classified as “certain … the highest level on the scale”.

Mr Burgess said several years ago, the A-Team “successfully cultivated and recruited a former Australian politician (who) sold out their country, party and former colleagues to advance the interests of the foreign regime”.

“At one point, the former ­politician even proposed bringing a prime minister’s family member into the spies’ orbit,” Mr Burgess said. “Fortunately that plot did not go ahead but other schemes did. Another Australian, an aspiring politician, provided insights into the factional dynamics of his party, analysis of a recent election and the names of up-and-comers – presumably so the A-team could target them too. ASIO disrupted this scheme and confronted the Australians involved.”

The public has the right to know who this person is and for what country they are working, although we all know it is CHINA, because they are the only one we don’t name.

There’s a fair bet that it’s a Labor stooge. Would Joe Hockey say this about a former colleague?

My first thought the former politician is a traitor. It wasn’t an allegation by the head of our intelligence agency. It was a statement of fact.


And in making that statement of fact, I can only think that the head of Asio was fully aware that there will be calls for that person to be named.

Because it is absolutely inconceivable that you would have a former politician representing their community representing the country who then goes and engages with a foreign adversary.

And somehow they’re allowed to walk off into the sunset without having their name or their reputation revealed. And that is absurd. It’s already raised questions here in Washington, DC. It raises questions for our Five Eyes relationship, and this sharing of intelligence particularly with existing members of parliament and former members of parliament for Australia.

And also, it makes us all question as representatives in the parliament, who we can trust who of our current and former colleagues can we trust? And that’s ridiculous.

Damn right. More from James Patterson:

“I shouldn’t speculate publicly, all I can point to is that the director-general very pointedly said that the people involved in these activities were lucky that our espionage and foreign interference reforms are not retrospective. That means that there are people who are engaged in this conduct prior to 2018.”

Chicken Chamlers is his usual, cowardly self:

“I respect their advice and I don’t intend to second guess it. You know, I know Mike Burgess, I work with Mike Burgess and I know that he wouldn’t have said this without good reason,” Chalmers said.

Asked if this revelation makes us doubt all politicians who served the country, Chalmers disagreed.

“Not necessarily, but I guess I can only repeat what I said a moment ago, he wouldn’t have done it this way if he didn’t think it was necessary to do it this way,” he said.

Richard Marles is also hedging:

“As the director-general [Burgess] has said, they’ve completely undermined and sold out both their colleagues and their country and that’s really the issue here,” Marles told ABC TV this morning.

…Marles disagreed with needing to name the politician, as he himself does not know who the individual was who betrayed Australia.

“I think there’s a whole range of reasons why individuals would not be named and that detail is not out there, so I respect the decision that ASIO made in relation to this,” he said.

Of course, s/he must be named. And the country s/he works for.



It looks like it will be a pretty mundane outcome:

“I think it is unfair on a lot of former MPs who are patriotic. as 99.9 per cent on both sides are, and if there’s one that they’ve identified who’s not, then frankly that person should be outed and shamed.”

Hadley said he believed to have narrowed down the identity of the politician to a former Labor member from NSW, adding the country in question was China. He asked Dutton if that would be where he was looking.

“That’d be where I put my money,” Dutton replied.

Narrowing indeed.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.