Thursday, November 21, 2013

SPYING? ... be discreet about it please

... be discreet about it please

Julie Bishop’s Indonesian counterpart, Mohammad Marty Natalegawa, is in posturing election mode when he says Australia’s spying could impede Indonesia’s current cooperation on people smuggling. Is Marty suggesting an original lack of cooperation? Yes he is! But he didn’t mean to say that.

Discretion was hardly on Marty’s mind last month when he publicly disclosed details of private conversations he had with Julie Bishop. That was very naughty of Marty.

Of course the wily Marty knows international espionage has been alive and well for 200 years, even among friends and allies. To suggest it is an affront to Indonesian sensitivity is an exercise in ambidextrous electioneering.

Embassies world-wide are involved in spying on their hosts and each affords the other diplomatic immunity from otherwise covert illegalities. 

Foreign Affairs is the respectable face of Australia’s six separate spy Agencies and our ambassadors, attaches and diplomats are not there just for the cocktail parties. 

Even the US compiles information on Australians, just ask Labor’s Mark Arbib, Bill Shorten and even Bob Hawke who were regularly seen slinking the back streets of Yarralumla to confirm or deny US surveillance.

Julie Bishop is about to leave for Jakarta to “patch things up” when there is actually nothing to be patched up. 

Machiavellian Marty will greet tyro Julie with a “gotcha” grin, order tea be served, perve on her legs and discuss the weather before Julie flies home to tell us all is well.

Should Australia have no covert political interest in the most populous and corrupt Islamic nation on earth to our near north, a nation that purposefully invades our borders, a nation that will agree to desist only when confronted and then threatens to continue with the trade if we hurt their damned feelings? 

Crumbs! Go fly another kite Marty!

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