Category Archives: ABC

Citizen funding of the Australian ABC or Nationalise?

In the public interest.

This came into my inbox which is an example of advocacy.  I am studying this topic at the moment and grassroots action will have to be taken to ensure the Australian Broadcasting Commission (not Corporation) returns to the people it was created to reflect and represent. It was the mainstay of the public interest and typically challenged those in power, which is part of holding those in power to account.

I realise today that the assertions of ‘left’ wing is propaganda.  Essentially from my own research it has become apparent that it is anything that challenges power it is labelled, in this case ‘left’ wing which is euphemism for socialism alluding to communism.  In truth there is no right wing or left wing there are orientations of ‘service to self’ and ‘service to others’.  These perspectives are labelled to create ‘the other’ in adversarial conflict. In conflict resolution it is ‘othering’ or glee clubs to garner power ‘against’ so that they can defeat the evil ‘other’ rather than embrace democracy as diversity and listen to the helpful other (critic) who may be right.  Humility makes allowance for this and in reality it opens the mind to possibilities as life will always bring you this other as a form of rebalancing.  Then one embraced you look at what is left.

You will have to contemplate that, right? what’s left?

We are dealing in truth with fear of loss of control or beneath that powerlessness parading as power. The real power is within.  The ego reacts by seeking to control e.g. stacking boards, donations, lobbyists, mergers and acquisitions to consolidate power. Creating power blocs appears the trend rather than demonstrating an openness to contrast as democratic clashing it up. Those who desire the world in their image seek to influence their voice over others rather than learning from the agora of diversity that all voices are equal and have a purpose, often unseen until historians review an event. 

In the future it will be about honouring the voices and rights of all people to hold their own view but not controlling the agenda to force others to agree with a point of view.  Instead the hard work of conflict resolution asserts that it is only when people deeply listen to what they take offence about will the pearl of self understanding emerge.  The outcome of a win win is the art of reconciling difference to a point where both can co-exist sharing rather than dominating as is the foundation to any society or grouping of people.  A mature evolved society seeks to work out a fair outcome, perhaps this was the essence behind Advance Australia Fair.  Perhaps we have to relearn why this statement was made. 

Life is meant to clash it up as a means of honing what is wanted.  A clash forces you back onto your own truth to determine is this true, is it what you really want?  Many do not know how to communicate with their polar opposite, yet that opposite turns up the moment you declare yourself this way or that.  Life is full of contrast and always the teacher is in the form of the so called ‘other’.  Your enemy is your greatest teacher in reality.  They are the one you will learn from as they challenge your beliefs. Many resist this confrontation as they do not wish to confront themselves, so they suppress the other as they are uncomfortable. Yet this discomfort reflects a lack of peace within where a person hasn’t been honest with themselves or insecurity is sitting there unexamined. So the other comes to shine a light or create a conflict which challenges.  This is how we expand ourselves beyond what we believe. 

I encourage respect of the ‘other’ regardless or likes or dislikes. We all play our part.  The people are being placed in situations where they have to reach for their own power. Speaking up, reclaiming democracy, funding causes are ways that the voice of those marginalized (the Australian public) can be heard. 

In the end there will be a discussion about nationalizing of public assets to bring them back to the public who own them.  Assets are being sold off in order to weaken democracy and rights.  This is done without citizen consent or awareness.  Subtle control is exercised through boards – out of sight and out of mind.  This has to be put before the public in a referendum, not just the devolvement through public/private partnerships, staged corporatization or breaking up of important assets but through public consent. Do they want privatization or nationalization is a key question. 

From a higher perspective there is no other.

Over the weekend, Andrew Bolt lashed out at the ABC and GetUp members like you, Susan. Again.

Why? Because he’s clearly terrified about the power of 3701(and counting!) extraordinary people who chipped in for a campaign to get more funding for our ABC at the upcoming Federal Budget. Can you join them?

The Australian also attacked our recent “headline-making” ABC report today, while Bolt accused us of “shaking the can” for “the Left’s ABC”.1,2

They want more money, power and influence for the Murdoch Press’s anti-democratic, ultra-conservative, climate-wrecking agenda. And the ABC is one of few things standing in their way – with its unparalleled levels of public trust and outstanding independent journalism.

That’s why we’ll be making sure the ABC is front and centre of the upcoming Eden Monaro by-election – a contest the entire country will be watching. We’ll also work in strategic areas where the ABC provided emergency services during the bushfires, and make a powerful case for the additional services additional funding would make possible.

Can you chip in $12 and stand up to the Murdoch Press by fighting for a stronger, fully-funded ABC?

Here’s a copy of the original email we sent you last week.

References:
[1] GetUp collects money for the Left’s ABC, Andrew Bolt, The Herald Sun, 10 May 2020
[2] GetUp chases cash via the ABC, The Australian, 11 May 2020

——-

Susan,

“Never get between an ABC presenter and a bucket of taxpayers’ cash.”

That’s what Andrew Bolt spat at ABC legends Paul Barry, Adam Spencer and Ellen Fanning for backing a fully-funded National Broadcaster.1

Bolt was joining the IPA and others in the Murdoch Press seeking to repudiate a rigorous report, funded by GetUp members, which shows how much our ABC has lost.2

It’s clear they have an agenda in the lead up to the upcoming Federal Budget. And Bolt summarised it in two words: “Cut it.”3

But our ABC report also highlighted the deeply felt support and need for our National Broadcaster. And before the next Federal Budget, there’s set to be a hotly contested by-election in Eden-Monaro, where the ABC has been critical throughout the bushfires and coronavirus crises.

By working in Eden-Monaro and other strategic electorates, together we can launch a positive campaign about the ABC’s vital role in our national life. That includes a big advertising campaign, elevating the voices of people who relied on the ABC for bushfire broadcasts, and pushing for additional services that’ll scream out for more ABC funding.

Can you chip in $12 to support the campaign for more ABC funding ahead of the Federal Budget and the hotly contested Eden-Monaro by-election?

In just a few days, our new ABC report has generated more than 250 media mentions, attracted support from ABC presenters and even a response from Communication Minister Fletcher who actually tried to deny the ABC is being systematically defunded. 5 We’re definitely making waves.

But one of the key findings of our research is that while people love and rely on the ABC, they don’t realise how much has been cut by this Government. And what that has cost in ABC jobs, programmes, and resilience.4

When we make that clear, many of them – from young parents to retirees – are ready to take action to defend the ABC.

That’s the next frontier for our ABC campaign – educate and energise thousands of people in Eden-Monaro and beyond to demand more for our ABC, so it can deliver more for all of us. And with Bolt and the IPA already ramping up the attacks, we have to start now.

Click here to chip in $12 to energise people from all stripes to support a bigger, better ABC.

Our exclusive research has shown us who cares about the ABC, why they care, and what will get them out of their seats to defend it. Now we need to fund the campaign to light the spark:

  • A deep dive in Eden-Monaro. Specific polling and on-the-ground research in Eden-Monaro showing local support for increased funding and highlighting the local reasons and personal stories of why the ABC matters for their local communities
  • Advertising and community building. An advertising and action-taking campaign for Eden-Monaro and other strategic electorates to educate and energise communities to stand up for their ABC
  • Sparking exciting new content. Supporting the development of new content ideas for the ABC based on what our research shows people want to see from our Auntie (for example additional education content for our kids and increased emergency services)

The Federal Budget is a few short months away, the Eden-Monaro by-election could be set at any time, and Bolt and the IPA are lining up their ‘cuts’ agenda. If we don’t all stand up now for our ABC, who will?

Can you be part of it? Click here to launch a positive campaign to get more funding for our ABC.

Thank for standing up for our ABC,

Alix, Sarah, Tosca and Bea – for the whole GetUp team

PS – In a world turned upside down by coronavirus, the impossible happens every day. Newstart doubled overnight and millions are being supported to stay in their jobs, because it was needed. And as a nation, we’ve never needed our ABC more. That’s why more funding for the ABC is a fight we can win, if we all chip in together.

PPS – This won’t be the first time GetUp members have succeeded in putting the ABC front and centre of a by-election. In 2018 our movement mobilised in the Mayo by-election. The campaign was so successful it saw Liberal Candidate Georgina Downer, a former IPA staffer, professing her support for our National Broadcaster.

Check it out!

GetUp members dressed up as B1 and B2 stand behind Liberal Candidate and ex IPA staffer Georgina Downer
GetUp members having fun with Liberal candidate and ex IPA staffer Georgina Downer at the 2018 Mayo by-election.

References:
[1] ABC presenters cry for money they didn’t actually lose, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, May 7 2020
[2] Report on ABC funding cuts ‘surprising’ and ‘deeply regrettable’ says Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, The Daily Telegraph, May 6 2020
[3] ABC presenters cry for money they didn’t actually lose, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, May 7 2020
[4] It’s Our ABC, A report for GetUp by Per Capita, May 2020
[5] GetUp media monitoring services, 7 May 2020


GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you’d like to contribute to help fund GetUp’s work, please donate now! Please note we’ve updated our Privacy Policy. If you do not wish to receive updates to peacefull@worldpeacefull.com from GetUp, please unsubscribe.

Our team acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work. We wish to pay respect to Elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.

Authorised by Paul Oosting, GetUp Ltd, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Julian Assange Awakens Secrecy as Repugnant to Freedom

This is an article from the Australian ABC regarding Julian Assange, lawyers, breach of privacy and surveillance.  the article focuses on the recording of Geoffrey Robertson QC a famous Australian barrister, well known by those of us over 40 for the ABC program ‘Hypothetical’.  Geoffrey Robertson demonstrated justice as he challenged influential Australians to respond to controversial issues, scenarios indicating how they would handle a difficult problem. He demonstrated Justice and Inquiry. 

He is a human rights lawyer and his lawyer-client privilege was breached due to powerful interests not driven by Justice but power. 

I felt inspired to give J F Kennedy a voice in this blog which drives to the heart of this problem.  

Transcript: https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/american-newspaper-publishers-association-19610427

The keystone message of Kennedy is as follows:

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers–I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

The important question for US lawmakers and politicians is – Can you face high crimes and misdemeanours and correct mistakes rather than criminalise the messenger?   Wikipedia provides insight into the meaning:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_crimes_and_misdemeanors

When you deeply contemplate the journey of Julian Assange you realise he is a light on the hill as he reminds the US of its true purpose as they have lost their way.  He is a beacon who not only revealed US secrets but awakened the world to what is called the ‘dark side’ of surveillance and political corruption. Justice is not a business deal it is about the truth that sets all free.

Recently I wondered about him. I sent light and protection to him and that he is safe as the US seek to jail him for revealing what is on ‘a need to know basis’. 

When you have experienced inequality before the law, illegal surveillance, privacy breaches and corruption your Cinderella world view dissolves as you become dis-illusioned.  That is, the illusion falls from your eyes and you see clearly. 2020 (vision) is about clear seeing. Until you walk in Julian’s shoes you cannot know the sacrifice he made in the public interest, albeit global interest. We are learning about how power operates as distinct to Justice. The lengths people will go to, to win and pervert the course of  justice. The lack of ethics, integrity and manipulation of the rule of law is under the spotlight. 

It is noteworthy that those persons exposed of crimes and/or breaches to the Constitution are not arrested but the whistle-blowers are pursued as if criminals and rights to Justice undermined. The Brave New World is a teacher, we are being given glimpses into this possible future and every person is choosing. This is the real universal vote. Complacency or democracy?

The surveillance state is increasingly being privatised as contractors are paid by national intelligence agencies accessing secrets themselves.  Secrets (security) are leverage.  Imagine how wide spread is espionage as intelligence becomes private security (business) becomes intelligence in the revolving door of greed where there is always a back door to breach privacy and make money from vulnerability.  Greed is the key issue arising out of a desire to live like the US, yet, must we rob Peter to pay Paul. Debt is another leverage point.

Some key quotes from the ABC article below are worthy of contemplation.

“It’s important that clients can speak frankly and freely in a confidential space with their lawyers in order to be able to protect themselves and ensure that they have the best possible legal strategy and that the other side does not have advance notice of it,” Robinson said.

Referring to a Spanish allegation that the US Government had advance notice of legal conversations in the embassy, she said: “That is … a huge and a serious breach of [Assange’s] right to a defence and a serious breach of his fair trial rights”.

“I wasn’t surprised at all. It’s an occupational hazard for human rights lawyers. You’re bugged, you’re followed by secret police, you’re spied upon,” said Robertson, one of Australia and the UK’s most respected human rights barristers for almost 50 years.

The extradition hearing comes amid a flurry of activity related to Assange: on Friday his legal team also confirmed they will try to seek asylum for the WikiLeaks boss in France, and on Thursday an English court heard that Assange was offered a US presidential pardon if he agreed to say that Russia was not involved in a 2016 leak of Democratic Party emails.

When the ABC asked questions of the US embassy in Canberra, it referred questions to the US justice department, which did not respond by deadline.

The ABC also sent questions to the CIA and the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Neither responded by deadline.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/julian-assange-and-his-australian-lawyers-were-secretly-recorded-in-ecuadors-london-embassy/ar-BB10hrG3?ocid=spartandhp

Julian Assange and his Australian lawyers were secretly recorded in Ecuador’s London embassy

Dylan Welch, Suzanne Dredge and Clare Blumer 2 hrs ago

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020.

© REUTERS/Henry Nicholls WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020. Barrister Geoffrey Robertson’s shuffles into the entrance to Ecuador’s embassy in London, a camera recording the sound of his shoes echoing on the hard tiles.

It’s just after 7:00pm on January 12, 2018.

The camera rolls as Robertson stops at the front door, unbuttons his overcoat and removes his cap.

Once inside the embassy, other cameras follow him as he’s ushered into a meeting room, where the storied Queen’s Counsel is offered a cup of tea.

After a few minutes, he is greeted by the embassy’s most famous resident, Julian Assange.

The camera continues to roll, recording every word of the confidential legal conversation which follows.

While this may be typical surveillance at a secure diplomatic property, what Robertson did not know was he and a handful of other lawyers, were allegedly being targeted in a remarkable and deeply illegal surveillance operation possibly run at the request of the US Government.

Pictures: The case of Julian Assange (Showbizz Daily)

And recordings such as Robertson’s visit are at the heart of concerns about the surveillance: privileged legal conversations between lawyer and client in a diplomatic residence were recorded and, later, accessed from IP addresses in the United States and Ecuador.

Robertson was only one of at least three Australian lawyers and more than two dozen other legal advisers from around the world that were caught up in the surveillance operation.

Long-time WikiLeaks adviser Jennifer Robinson was one of the other Australian lawyers caught in the spying operation.

“It’s important that clients can speak frankly and freely in a confidential space with their lawyers in order to be able to protect themselves and ensure that they have the best possible legal strategy and that the other side does not have advance notice of it,” Robinson said.

Referring to a Spanish allegation that the US Government had advance notice of legal conversations in the embassy, she said: “That is … a huge and a serious breach of [Assange’s] right to a defence and a serious breach of his fair trial rights”.

On Monday evening (Sydney time), Assange will face an extradition hearing relating to US criminal charges against him for his role in the WikiLeaks releases of classified US Government material.

The extradition hearing comes amid a flurry of activity related to Assange: on Friday his legal team also confirmed they will try to seek asylum for the WikiLeaks boss in France, and on Thursday an English court heard that Assange was offered a US presidential pardon if he agreed to say that Russia was not involved in a 2016 leak of Democratic Party emails.

The offer of a pardon was allegedly made by the US congressman Dana Rohrabacher when he visited Assange in the embassy in August 2017. Rohrabacher has denied he was making the offer on behalf of Donald Trump.

‘It’s an occupational hazard for human rights lawyers’

The surveillance was uncovered via a very public investigation into the Spanish company contracted by the Ecuadorian Government to provide security at the embassy, UC Global.

WikiLeaks Spanish lawyer, Aitor Martinez, told the ABC the surveillance came to light after Assange was arrested, when former UC Global employees provided a large file of material.

“This consisted of recordings from cameras installed in the embassy and hidden microphones; recordings made with secret microphones placed inside the embassy; hundreds of secret copies of the passports of Mr Assange’s visitors; multiple emails exchanged between the company owner and the employees,” Martinez said.

The recording of lawyers and legal conversations was not accidental, according to the Spanish criminal case, which is now investigating UC Global and its owner, former Spanish Navy marine David Morales.

“David Morales was justifying himself by saying that he had been expressly asked for this information, sometimes referring to ‘the Americans’,” a UC Global employee turned prosecution witness said.

“He sent on several occasions — via email, by phone and verbally — some lists of targets in which we had to pay special attention … they were mainly Mr Assange’s lawyers.”

“I wasn’t surprised at all. It’s an occupational hazard for human rights lawyers. You’re bugged, you’re followed by secret police, you’re spied upon,” said Robertson, one of Australia and the UK’s most respected human rights barristers for almost 50 years.

Robinson — also an Australian citizen — was spied on while providing confidential legal advice to Assange.

“It is incredibly troubling that our secret and privileged legal conversations with Julian Assange were recorded and apparently handed to US authorities,” she told the ABC.

“It is one of the most fundamental principles of protecting attorney-client relationships that we are able to have confidential and private meetings, to discuss legal strategy.”

The concerns about illegal monitoring of confidential legal discussions may become part of his defence, with his lawyers expected to argue that the espionage has denied Assange his basic legal rights.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne did not respond to ABC questions about the Spanish case. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) also declined to discuss it, only noting that it had previously sought assurances that Assange would be treated appropriately under UK law.

“The Australian Government cannot intervene in any extradition request for Mr Assange, which is a matter for the UK authorities,” a DFAT spokeswoman said.

Robinson said that she believed Canberra had not done enough to protect Assange, an Australian citizen.

“This is a case in which an Australian citizen is facing 175 years in prison in the United States for the same publication for which he won a Sydney Peace Prize and the Walkley award for the most outstanding contribution to journalism,” she said, referring to WikiLeaks’ publication in 2010 and 2011 of confidential US documents that revealed, among other things, war crimes and illegal spying on world leaders.

“His Australian lawyers — all of us Australian citizens — have [also] had our rights as lawyers and our ability to give him a proper defence superseded by the US and potentially the UK Government.

“This is something that the Australian Government ought to be taking very seriously and ought to be raising both with the UK and with the United States. It is time the Australian Government stands up for this Australian citizen and stops his extradition.”

The file

The ABC has obtained hundreds of internal UC Global documents, videos, audio files and photos tendered in the Spanish case, which commenced in April last year days after Spanish newspaper El Pais published videos and audio of Assange and guests being spied on in the embassy.

The files reveal the remarkable and expanding secret surveillance targeting the WikiLeaks boss and his guests.

In an email from September 2017, Morales ordered UC Global staff to find out what the walls around Assange’s bedroom were made of, and to photograph the embassy’s rooms and its furniture.

Then in December, UC Global updated the embassy’s camera system, installing audio-capable cameras.

A month later, and under instructions from Morales, they installed a listening device in the false base of the meeting room’s fire extinguisher.

They also installed a microphone in the women’s bathroom — a place where Assange would regularly hold sensitive legal meetings.

The case is being investigated by Spain’s federal court, the Audencia Nacional, which is examining whether Morales and UC Global are guilty of breaching both Assange’s privacy and lawyer-client privilege, as well as crimes relating to misappropriation of funds, bribery, and money laundering.

“From 2015 to mid-2018, when UC Global lost the embassy’s security contract, a battery of illegal espionage measures was deployed, with massive interference in the privacy of [Assange], in his communications with his [legal] team, in meetings with his doctors, and in general against everyone close to him,” a criminal complaint filed by Assange’s Spanish lawyers stated.

“In those years the defendants created a sort of ‘Big Brother’ in which all the movements of Mr Assange and the people close to him were monitored.”

The case commenced after a group of Spanish citizens contacted senior WikiLeaks employees and demanded a significant sum of money in return for what they said was voluminous proof of the espionage.

A former UC Global employee — who cannot be identified for legal reasons — also separately approached WikiLeaks, wanting to reveal what they saw as the illegal behaviour of their former company.

WikiLeaks referred the case to Spanish courts, who launched an investigation and arrested Morales. He was later released on bail.

“This spying did not only affect Mr Assange’s lawyers, it also affected all of his visitors, including journalists,” Martinez said.

“It got to the point where, during a visit to Mr Assange, the head of Ecuador’s intelligence service [Rommy Vallejo, on December 21, 2017] was also spied on,” Martinez added.

“In the meeting between Mr Vallejo and Mr Assange the possible release [from the embassy] of Mr Assange in a few days later was discussed.”

Within hours of that secret meeting, which was known to only a few people, the US Ambassador to Ecuador complained to Ecuadorian authorities, and the next day the US issued an international arrest warrant for Assange, Martinez said.

“That leads us to believe that the conversation was urgently sent to the US authorities and that they urgently issued the international arrest warrant the next day,” he said.

Martinez was himself spied on while having legal meetings with Assange at the embassy.

“Mr Assange began to suspect that he was being spied upon … so he asked us to hold the most sensitive meetings in the women’s toilet at the back of the building,” Martinez recalled.

“We honestly thought it was an exaggerated step to hold our legal meetings in the women’s toilet, where he would even open the water tap to avoid anyone listening.

“It was interesting to find out that Mr Assange was, in fact, correct: the material before the court proves that UC Global knew the meetings were held inside the women’s toilet, as they proceeded to install an additional microphone [there].”

‘It goes to the heart of client-lawyer privilege’

While the case made headlines in Europe and the UK, there has been little to no discussion here about what it means for the Australian citizens and lawyers caught up in the alleged espionage operation.

The Law Council of Australia told the ABC the alleged surveillance operation was “deeply disturbing”.

“The allegations that Julian Assange’s conversations with his lawyer were being recorded are really serious,” the council’s president, Pauline Wright said.

“If you can’t have that full, frank discussion without fear that that’s being recorded and potentially released to the authorities … it erodes trust in the whole system.

“It goes to the heart of the client lawyer privilege.”

The file also reveals that Morales’ surveillance project — dubbed Operation Hotel — did not just observe Assange and his guests. Internal UC Global documents reveal staff also stole or illicitly photographed visitors’ belongings.

The file includes photos of passports, mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices owned by dozens of activists, journalists, lawyers and public figures that visited Assange.

The file also reveals a growing desire, on Morales’ part, for ubiquitous surveillance of Assange and his visitors.

Morales directed UC Global to scrutinise particular people visiting Assange, whom he refers to as “el huesped” (the guest).

“We must … create or improve the following profiles (personal data, relationship with the guest, phones, emails, number of visits, et cetera) of these regular visitors or collaborators of the guest,” he said.

He lists nine people, one of whom is Robinson.

“We must do everything to know their data … I want a person completely dedicated to this work, so if you have to hire someone for it, tell me,” Morales said.

“All this must be considered top secret.”

UC Global staff sometimes resisted their boss’s more intrusive requests. In December 2017, Morales allegedly directed an employee to steal the used nappy of a baby who sometimes accompanied his mother when she visited Assange.

The theft was necessary, Morales said, to DNA test faecal matter to establish if the child was Assange’s son.

“I decided to talk to the mother of the child,” the employee said in his statement to the court.

“When we were outside of the embassy, I told her that she must not take the child to the embassy anymore because they planned to steal her baby’s diapers to prove whether he was the son of Julian Assange.”

‘Amigos americanos’

The Spanish criminal complaint states the turbo-charged surveillance operation began after Morales travelled to Las Vegas in 2015 for a security fair. There, he signed a contract with Las Vegas Sands, a company owned by billionaire Trump donor Sheldon Adelson, according to the complaint.

Ostensibly, the contract was to provide security services to Adelson on his mega yacht, the Queen Miri.

But, when Morales returned to Spain, he told UC Global staff they were now “playing in first division”, according to two witness statements tendered in the case.

“[Morales] said he’d gone to the ‘dark side’, referring to himself as a casual collaborator with US authorities, and he said that as a result of this collaboration, ‘The Americans will get us contracts all over the world’,” one witness said in his statement.

Throughout the operation, the employees were repeatedly told by Morales that the surveillance operation was being directed by people he referred to as “amigos Americanos” (American friends).

Concerned about the increasingly illegal behaviour, the UC Global associate pressed Morales on the euphemistic references to “Americans”, demanding to know exactly who they were working for.

According to the statement, Morales replied: “la inteligencia de Estados Unidos” (United States intelligence).

“However, when I asked him who was the particular intelligence person he was meeting to provide them information, Mr Morales ended the conversation and told me that this topic was handled exclusively by him outside the company,” the UC Global associate told prosecutors.

The associate told the court he had repeated and heated discussions with Morales about the operation and who was behind it.

Once such conversation ended with Morales making the gesture of opening his shirt and saying: “I’m a mercenary!”

US action

At first, Morales collected the surveillance footage and delivered it by hand to unknown people in the US.

Later, he asked staff to create a file server and then a secret website to stream the embassy cameras.

A UC Global employee responsible for running the secret website told the Spanish court he noted at least one visitor to the site with an American IP address.

In a Spanish interview, Morales said neither he nor UC Global staff installed any listening devices in the embassy and suggested WikiLeaks had placed the microphones around the embassy.

When the ABC asked questions of the US embassy in Canberra, it referred questions to the US justice department, which did not respond by deadline.

The ABC also sent questions to the CIA and the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Neither responded by deadline.

Should We Getup to Protect the ABC as a Public Good?

This is from GetUp!  I may for fun put in CAPS my view.

Morrison’s cuts will force the ABC to fire up to 200 staff, Susan.1

IS THAT TRUE?

And who will they be?

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS, WHISTLEBLOWERS AS TRUTH TELLERS HMMM

Will they be the journos who risk their freedom to protect ours?

THEY DON’T RISK THEIR FREEDOM TO PROTECT OURS, THEY ARE CLEAR ABOUT THE LAWS AND ARE INSPIRED BY STORIES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

FREEDOM CAN’T BE TAKEN.  WE CHOOSE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

Will they be the story-tellers creating the programs that help us understand ourselves? Will they be radio producers holding their communities together with emergency fire broadcasts?

IS THAT TRUE?

These sackings are the ugly reality of Morrison’s cuts to our national broadcaster – and he’s going to try to cut even more from the ABC in the upcoming budget.2

I WONDER WHY?

WHAT YOU RESISTS PERSISTS WHAT IS LOOKED AT DISAPPEARS.  THAT IS, THE MORE THE LAST REMNANT OF DEMOCRACY IS DISMANTLED (FREEDOM OF SPEECH) THROUGH CRIMINALISATION, THE PUBLIC WILL START TO AWAKEN TO WHAT IS BEING LOST. MANY DO NOT KNOW THEIR RIGHTS NOR DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF DEMOCRACY, EVEN IF IT IS BELIEVED MORE THAN A LIVED EXPERIECE.  WHEN THEY REALISE THAT INFORMATION IS CONTROLLED AND NOT TRULY INFORMING OR DIRECTED, THEY WILL MAKE ANOTHER CHOICE.

But the fringe politicians who attack the ABC just don’t get it.

DON’T KNOW WHO THE FRINGE ARE.

They don’t realise that more than 18 million of us rely on the ABC every week, or that more than 80% of us trust our national broadcaster.3

NOT SURE THE PERCENTAGE IS THAT LARGE.

THEY DO DO REALISE IT IS POPULAR.  THE LIBERAL PARTY VOTED TO PRIVATISE THE ABC (SECRET FOOTAGE REVEALED).  YET DON’T UNDERESTIMATE JOURNALISTS NOR THE PUBLIC WILL.

We have to come together and speak up – louder than these ideologues – for the broadcaster that gives us so much:

A MEGAPHONE MIGHT BE FUN, YES YOU HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN DEMOCRACY IF YOU WANT TO PRE-SERVE IT.  THE CHALLENGE IS TO LIVE THE DEMOCRACY YOU SAY YOU WANT.  WHAT IS IT? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? CAN YOU TOLERATE THOSE WHO ARE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC?

Will you sign the petition calling for a fully funded national broadcaster? We can’t take the ABC for granted.

NO AS THEY USE PETITIONS TO PROFILE PEOPLE.  MY PREFERENCE WOULD BE TO DEVELOP MORE PUBLICLY FUNDED MEDIA BY THE ACTUAL COMMUNITY ITSELF.  PERHAPS GRASS ROOTS MAGAZINES, COMMUNITY MEETINGS, COMMUNITY BUILDING TO FIND THEIR VOICE.  THERE IS A STRONG MARGINAL FOLLOWING OF THE ABC BUT THE MAJORITY DO NOT WATCH IT AS INFOTAINMENT DOMINATES. HOWEVER, THERE ARE OTHER NEWS SOURCES GLOBALLY NOW.  INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM MAY WELL THRIVE, PARTICULARLY OFF SHORE.

It’s a powerful time to raise our voices, Susan.

IT IS – BUT DO IT IN A WAY THAT IS POSITIVE, CONSTRUCTIVE AND ENVISAGING OF SOLUTIONS WITHIN A DEMOCRATIC DISCOURSE.  IF YOU FIGHT AGAINST YOU WILL ATTRACT WHAT YOU DON’T WANT AND MORE LEGISLATION IS PASSED AS THEY IDENTIFY A ‘THREAT’. THERE IS MORE VULNERABILITY TO CRIMINALISATION GIVEN THE LINE OF DISSENT IS HARDENING IN RESPECT OF SEDITION LAWS, ANTI-TERRORISM AND THE ASIO ACT.

Note and Refer to:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Security_Intelligence_Organisation_Act_1979

Fresh-faced Liberal MPs understand the ABC’s incredible popularity in their urban electorates. Old hands in the National Party know how much their remote constituencies rely on regional radio. This is bigger than party lines.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT PARTY LINES, NOR REMOTE BROADCAST MEDIA OR POPULARITY, IT IS ABOUT CONTROLLING INFORMATION FLOWS TO PREVENT UNAUTHORISED DISCLOSURES.  DEFUNDING IS A MECHANISM WHICH WEAKENS INSTITUTIONS AND CRIMINALISATION TENDS TO INTIMIDATE DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION. PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE ARE 7 YEAR JAIL TERMS.

Because, at a time when social media giants and the commercial press divide us up to make a quick buck and sell newspapers, the ABC brings us together.

YES, THEY DO DIVIDE TO CONQUER AS THEY ARE BUSINESS INTERESTS MAKING PROFIT NOT WORKING IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST OUT OF SOCIAL CONSCIENCE.  THE ABC IS THE BEST OUT OF A HIGHLY COMPROMISED (CONCENTRATED OWNERSHIP) MEDIA THAT IS DELIBERATE IN INFORMATION DELIVERY. IT HAS NOT PROVIDED FULL DISCLOSURE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.  IF IT TRULY DID, OUR WORLD WOULD CHANGE OVERNIGHT.  YET DISCLOSURES ARE HAPPENING NOW AROUND THE WORLD.  WE ARE STILL IN A WINDOW WHERE THIS CAN HAPPEN.

The broadcaster must finalise which staff will be sacked early next year, which means we have to raise our voices now:

THE ABC STAFF COULD CONSIDER CREATING ALTERNATIVE NEWS AGENCIES WITH PUBLIC CROWD FUNDING AND SPONSORS.  THEY MAY FIND THEMSELVES FREE TO SPEAK BUT IN WAYS THAT DO NOT CONTRAVENE THE LEGISLATION CRAFTED TO LIMIT THIS FREEDOM.  CREATIVITY IS WHAT IS REQUIRED AND INFORMING THE PUBLIC FACTUALLY. DON’T FALL INTO THEM AND US, THAT IS DIVISION.

No more sackings, no more cuts! Let our public broadcaster do its job – and bring every corner of this country together!

THE ABC DOESN’T BRING THE COUNTRY TOGETHER BUT IT IS A PLATFORM THAT DOES BROADCAST STORIES FROM CAPITAL CITIES, REGIONAL AND RURAL.  IT SHOWS COURAGE IN ITS DELIVERY OF CONTROVERSIAL STORIES HOWEVER THERE IS INTERFERENCE IN ITS MANAGEMENT WHICH WATERS DOWN ITS ABILITY TO BE NEUTRAL AND IMPARTIAL.  THIS IS CRITICAL IN JOURNALISM.  THERE ARE FOREIGN INTERESTS AT PLAY AS WELL.

In defiance,

CONSIDER A DIFFERENCE CHOICE OF WORDS.  I WOULD ADVISE TO STAY IN THE TRUTH AS YOU UNDERSTAND IT. LOOK AT BOTH SIDES, TRY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM NOT HATE PEOPLE OR INSTITUTIONS.  THERE ARE NO ENEMIES (THEM AND US) ONLY OPPORTUNITIES TO DECIDE WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU.

DEMOCRACY IS ABOUT THE MANY VOICES, INCLUDING THOSE PEOPLE MAY DISAGREE WITH, THE CLASHING IT UP IS WHERE NEW IDEAS EMERGE, SO IT IS A GOOD THING.

WHAT YOU RESIST PERSISTS WHAT YOU LOOK AT (CLARITY) DISAPPEARS.  WHEN WE FIGHT AGAINST WE ENSURE WHAT IS RESISTED IS FIRMLY IN PLACE AS THEY WILL FIGHT BACK.  THEN WE TURN THEM INTO THE ‘EVIL OTHER’ WHEN THEY ARE SEEING DIFFERENTLY.  DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL JUST LOOK DEEPLY AT WHAT IS DRIVING DEFUNDING AND CHANGE.  SMART DISRUPTION IS A CRITICAL PLACE TO START.

IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SILENCE PEOPLE FOR VERY LONG AS THEY WILL REBEL, IT IS THE NATURE OF PEOPLE TO EVENTUALLY, AFTER SOME PAIN, STAND UP AND SPEAK UP AS THEY CAN’T BARE IT ANYMORE – USUALLY GETS TO THAT POINT.  IT WILL BE THE PEOPLE WHO BRING OUR NATION TOGETHER AS THEY WILL MAKE A CHOICE.
Patrick, Justine, Sarah and Tosca for the GetUp team