Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-12-09
Arbib, presumably unlike McMullen and Danby, wanted his anonymity guarded by the US because he was divulging stuff in an improper way, underhanded enough for punishment.
But the Libs might not want to burn him.
The beauty of these improper chats is that what was said cannot be denied, and the Libs looking for a scalp will be wanting a suitably small level of disclosure to a "friendly" to not only force him from cabinet, but to force him to resign as MP [
and bring on a byelection in a hung parliament - my bad].
If the Libs don’t try and wipe Arbib from cabinet or even parliament with a big ALP scalp and tainting of ALP members as traitors [
possible change of government - my bad] as the prize, then what might be stopping them from the attempt?
- Various Libs will be at risk, having probably divulged even more sensitive information to a foreign power.
- Damage the ALP right as it deserves, and the ALP left might rise and threaten the whole conservative de facto coalition between the majors that has kept big business safe.
- Would the Libs want "The Right" as a phrase associated in the minds of the public with ratting on our country, as un-Australian
- Do the Libs here want to be thankful to Assange, and by implication, underline the legitimacy of the practice of leaking?
If the Libs can make a crime out of brown-nosing the US, at a threshold that sets a precedent, then that would be fantastic.
Delicious. Whoever is in government in a few months federally (Ballieu in Vic, stalling gambling reform, might make Wilkie jump), the progressive forces of the left will get a big win for the longer term, unless the Libs stay in solidarity with their coalition partners in the ALP Right.
- Update: I just noticed the fun over at Catallaxy Files "Rudd Deposed – CIA Plot": (2010-12-09), and while the author, Sinclair Davidson, gets it, that Arbib’s status as, and demand to be, a "protected source", at the same time as being an MP, demonstrates Arbib knew that he was doing something shameful, underhanded, (and possibly even illegal for a minister), many in the comment thread are cheering Arbib on … the same type of usual suspect commentators who are so "patriotic" when it comes to silence on shonky dealings like AWB.
- Update: "Politicians downplay Arbib revelations" (ABC News, 2010-12-09) – yeah the "I talk to diplomats all the time" routine. How many politicians will add "and I ask to be a protected source all the time"?