Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Arbibeque time

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.

See Also:

  • Update: I just noticed the fun over at Catallaxy Files "Rudd Deposed – CIA Plot&quot: (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"?


8 Responses to “Arbibeque time”

  1. hawthorne00 said

    Arbib is a Senator. There are no byelections in the Senate.

  2. Dave Bath said

    hawthorne00: Doh cubed! You are right. I’ll let my mistake stay for all to see.

    Still… The scalp of a minister and powerful caucus member would normally have the libs salivating. Will they pull their punches?

  3. Ann O'Dyne said

    saluting your integrity sir (re the tiny error – the report I read called Arbib an MP)
    Your other points valid despite error. I’m just thinking Arbib is not the only one.

  4. Dave Bath said

    Ann@3: Conversations with folk from other embassies may or may not be fine – many pollies do it properly, some improperly.

    Some would divulge improper information without realizing it.

    But I cannot think too many would want to be a "protected source".

    A parliamentarian wanting to be a protected source for a foreign power demonstrates the person knew what they were doing was wrong.

    Arbib’s political career must be hung, drawn, quartered, and his political head put on a spike. Those cheering will be Arbib’s honest enemies, and his dishonest allies in the ALP who don’t want to be tarred with the same brush.

    Any in the ALP who defend Arbib’s actions, or Arbib’s position in the party, are labelling themselves as slimy toe-rags in my book, never to be forgiven.

    Of course, lots of slimy toe-rags in the right will kick Arbib merely to preserve their own greasy hides – that’s the nature of the toe-rag.

    If Gillard doesn’t come down hard on Arbib pronto, with extreme prejudice, she’s too dumb to be PM, or too beholden to the toe-rag ridden right wing of the ALP and thus a slimy toe-rag herself.

  5. Ann O'Dyne said

    well you can throw another wimp on that barbie.
    excellent and succinct paras
    here from Michelle Grattan.

  6. Dave Bath said

    Anne – interesting

    Why didn’t Gillard just ask wikileaks?

    After all, it seems wikileaks invited the US gov to help redact (or negotiate what bits put operations and lives at risk) and the US gov refused.

    So wikileaks would probably have given them to Oz, even without redaction options.

  7. Ann O'Dyne said

    ‘wikileaks invited the US gov to help redact ‘ and was refused, and well before the December fuss, JA offered to go to Sweden re those girls and was told not to bother.
    I expect there will be many books published in the future on the way information/truth can be subverted to achieve a false world-community impression.
    The numb-brains calling for JA to hang have not read a single one of the official reports leading to the present screw-up (no pun).
    Gay Bradley Manning was demoted because he took part in DADT reform, and out of retaliatory spite he released information. He’s only 23. This fact is totally lost in the feminism rants and funds slurs news. I despair.

  8. Dave Bath said

    AO’D: Interesting info you gave about Manning.

    The guilt or innocence of Assange is a different matter from the debates about the utility of wikileaks, however much politicians desire to conflate them.

    The are admitted differences to the procedure specified by Sweden for interviewing alleged victims (eg, recording the meeting from the start), but Assange’s personality may make him insensitive to personal signals, and thus may have committed a crime. I don’t know.

    A clear binding statement that Sweden would NOT accede to US rerquests for extradition on political activity would remove any doubts about the good intent of Sweden’s politicians in 2 seconds flat, as well as somehwat protecting him from extradiction from the UK to the US.

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