I was a bit distracted from the news yesterday by my own concerns, as a result of being verballed by Tim Blair and his goon squad. So I missed the more important fact that much the same thing was being done to AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty, who was accused by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer of “expressing a view which reflects a lot of the propaganda we’re getting from al-Qaeda”. Under this attack, and more pressure from Howard, Keelty buckled and said his remarks had been taken out of context. Meanwhile, Downer put in a truly pathetic performance on Lateline trying to back away from his smear of Keelty (link via Chris Sheil).
A point of minor interest is that the Oz buries the entire story deep in a feel-good piece headed “Terror war gets $400m budget lift”. Clearly, Murdoch is in full campaign mode.
UpdateThis is truly pathetic
fn1. As readers should be aware by now, I don’t in fact agree with the view, imputed to Keelty, that our participation in the war in Iraq raised the risk of a terrorist attack because it offended Osama bin Laden. But Howard, Bush and Blair have increased the risk of a terrorist attack in Australia. They have done this by failing to fight terrorism effectively, preferring instead to go after Saddam Hussein, alienating much of the Islamic world in the process. It is they, and not Keelty who have assisted Al Qaeda’s propaganda machine. (I have scanned the preceding as carefully as possible for any source of ambiguity that might leave me open to (Tim) Blairing. I can’t find it, but no doubt Blair will).