“SO freaky how there’s no recognizable name for the Chinese Secret Service,” Samuel L. Jackson’s villainous Valentine notes in Kingsman. “Now that’s what you call a secret, right?” Right. The thing about ASIO’s “rare” public forays is that they aren’t as rare as they used to be. True, in a democracy – where spy agencies supposedly answer to the people – there are times when their chieftains have to “flick the switch to vaudeville,” as ASIO hater Paul Keating would say, in order to drum up cash and a continued reason for being. But they should never be seen “tripping over television cables” – Keating again – in the studios of the ABC. The national broadcaster is the vast propaganda wing of the Labor/left in this country. For years it promoted misinformation originating in dark corners of the intelligence world to slander Donald Trump. It has been accused of colluding with comparably dodgy individuals to defame and railroad Cardinal George Pell.
I therefore question the wisdom of Director-General Burgess appearing on 7.30 to be ‘interviewed’ by Leigh Sales. Ponder the drama if an ASIO boss had appeared on The Bolt Report to say it wasn’t “helpful” for certain parties to be linking the Trump Administration to the Kremlin. The Chau Chak Wing affair is odd. Why reveal that a foreign corrupter of election candidates was exposed and shut down? What happened to the spymaster’s creed that failures may be lamented but victories remain unknown? Of course the media was going to name the “puppeteer.” Of course it would be political. Properly so; an adversarial democracy’s brutal politicking – not its intelligence community – is the real last line of national security defence. To then chastise politicians for doing their job creates an impression that the Parliament toes ASIO’s line rather than ASIO Parliament’s.
In the parlance of America’s liberal media, many journalists quickly pounced on the Burgess-Sales chat. Exhibiting the dual mastery of amnesia and historical illiteracy that distinguishes the modern leftist, a grateful Katharine Murphy described Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton as “McCarthyists.” Given that the ABC and its audience – to wit, every Laborite/Greenie in Australia – went bananas for four years about the ‘collusion’ of Trump Republicans with Vladimir Putin, you have to laugh at Murpharoo’s switcheroo. Unlike the Senator from Wisconsin, Sarah Ferguson is unlikely to ever be vindicated by a Venona transcript.
Finally, on the essence of this debate rather than its forms: when it comes to loathing communism, I bow to none but survivors – in whose number, pre-covid, I never expected to count myself. Even I, however, am alarmed by the increasingly loony campaign being waged against Anthony Albanese by the Morrison government for not “standing up” to China. Mr Albanese didn’t hand over the Port of Darwin to the CCP. The Liberal Party did. Yes, I see your video of the Labor Leader addressing a gala Australia-China economics and culture forum in 2018 and I raise it with a picture of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg congratulating Darwin’s new overlords three years earlier.