Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Miranda Devine's conspiracy theory travels into regional NSW

On 26 October 2013 Prime Minister Tony Abbott had a handful of right wing media trolls to dinner at Kirribilli House and one, Miranda Devine, returned this hospitality by obligingly beginning  a conspiracy theory on 20 November about the timing of Fairfax media reports on Australia’s spying activities in Indonesia.

Why did The Guardian sit on its bombshell allegations about Australia spying on Indonesia for five months? Ms. Devine began, went on to imply the timing was suspect, then demolished her own argument by including some inconvenient facts.

Andrew Bolt hopped on the bandwagon (along with fellow dinner invitees Greg Sheridan and Paul Sheehan) on 21 November and hasn’t exhausted his vitriol yet.

Her theory was also quickly picked up by a Northern Rivers troll who ditched the inconvenient facts and sent off a letter to the editor which was published in The Daily Examiner on 21 November 2013:

Leftwing nonsense

According to the latest revelations by the ABC, Australian spies have had their eyes and ears focused on Indonesia for years, intercepting the president's telephone calls at will and generally doing what spies are paid to do.
Shock, horror in Indonesia and threats to disembowel present relations with Australia, while the ALP demands PM Tony Abbott apologise and the ABC lovingly stirs the pot.
The question here is just when did this ABC/Guardian coalition really discover these damning revelations considering the so-called Snowden leaks have been about for quite a while, certainly before September 7, 2013, and the spying claims relate to the period of the previous Labor/Green government.
Why now with relations with Indonesia at a critical point, and not at any period of time between 2007, a year Snowden alludes to, and September 6, 2013, the six years Rudd/Gillard/Rudd took turns in the captain's cabin steering us in circles?
The election loss really got up the noses of Labor and the Green lefties and this sort of nonsense designed to detract from the workings of the new government is a good reminder of just why we voted them out en masse.
Fred Perring,
Halfway Creek
Almost as quickly, the Perring version of this conspiracy theory was knocked down in another letter to the editor on 23 November 2013:

No conspiracy
Fred Perring [The Daily Examiner, November 21, 2013] is hot on the heels of what he obviously believes is a possible Guardian Australia-ABC conspiracy, with regard to their reporting of alleged spying on the Indonesian President, his wife and assorted ministers/advisers.
"Why now, with relations with Indonesia at a critical point, and not at any period of time between 2007, a year Snowden alludes to, and September6, 2013, the six years Rudd/Gillard/Rudd took turns in the captain's cabin steering us in circles?" he asks, concerning publication of these news articles.
Now let me see - the public record shows that the original story broke on June 5, 2013, that the US National Security Agency was collecting metadata from internet service providers' records of phone calls.
The whistleblower revealed his identity on or about June 9, and then revealed Australia's links to the spy web, with a map identifying the location of Australian assets assisting American Government covert operations.
Between June 16-27 it became obvious that Snowden had taken a large number of classified intelligence documents and was releasing them to select international media as a single information transfer.
On October 31, the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted that the classified documents stolen numbered somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 individual documents.
The agency also admitted it had no way of knowing precisely which documents had been accessed until the media reported on them.
ASIO has conducted an audit of documents it shared with foreign intelligence agencies, but the Department Of Defence's Signals Directorate remains silent on whether it was aware that its documents has gone feral, before Guardian Australia and the ABC jointly reported on the directorate's alleged spying activities.
Now, if we take NSA's conservative estimate of 50,000 documents available to the media, a news agency would have to read and check the details of at least 295 intelligence documents a day to have opened all the documents by the day I write this letter.
All of which points to the fact that The Guardian UK did not have these documents before June 5, and has not yet completed reviewing all the documents in its possession.
In fact, according to evidence before a November 19 Senate Estimates Environment and Communications Legislation Committee hearing, The Guardian UK did not give Guardian Australia access to the relevant documents until November, and the ABC was not alerted to the existence of documents outlining alleged spying on Indonesia until approximately 24 hours after Guardian Australia came into possession of these documents.
Senate Estimates evidence also revealed that the ABC consulted with government authorities prior to publication and "in light of representations that were made, a decision was made to withdraw some elements" of these sensitive documents.
So on the basis of the publicly available timetable of the Snowden leak, it was impossible for the ABC to publish any details between 2007 and September 6, 2013; and therefore Mr Perring's conspiracy theory fails.

1 comment:

John Fraser said...


Congratulations are in order.

Thankfully some Australians are not swallowing the b/s that the American Murdoch is feeding Australia.

"Don't feed Murdoch".