Alien Side Boob

John Birmingham

First, kill all the lawyers...

Fri 29th Jun 2018

Christian Porter was the star of the very first edition of Alien Side Boob. Then Social Services Minister, Porter was the performative arseclown tasked with making a giant puckered anus face at anybody who dared question the government’s beat down and pavement rape of tens of thousands of innocent muggles identified as easy marks by the broken algorithms of Centrelink’s robodebt program. Arguably the sleaziest debacle of an administration that specialises in them, Porter’s robodebt swindle continues to impress as a world class phishing scam. Where other governments, perhaps constrained by a vague, free-floating nausea that would once have been known as ‘shame’, might have quietly wrapped up the program and given back all the money they stole, the Turnbull government doubled down hard. These fucking guys expanded the program which, in a delicious irony, still costs more to run than it earns by making up debts from people who can’t afford to challenge them in court.

Christian Porter meanwhile has done so very well for himself. Having built and run a state-sponsored embezzlement scheme of dubious legality, he was elevated to the role of Attorney General where, this week, he showed us he has given up nothing when it comes to the naked abuse of power.

Porter, as chief law officer of the Commonwealth, stepped up as point-man for the government’s prosecution of a former ASIS officer who revealed the Howard Government’s illegal, and frankly fucking heinous black ops against the newly liberated East Timorese.

That what-the-fuck moment you’re having is probably because you find it hard to believe that a wealthy liberal democracy would unleash one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of statecraft, it’s secret intelligence service, against a small, powerless and frankly fucking busted arse third world country that desperately needed a break.

But, yeah, we totes did that.

It’s now a matter of public record that shortly after Australian military forces led the UN into East Timor to free the former colony from decades of brutal Indonesian rule, the then Foreign Minister Alexander Downer directed the Australian Secret Intelligence Service to commence operations against the fledgling East Timorese government. Why would anyone do that? 

Well duh. To secure a sweeter deal for Australian-based oil companies in the carve up of the Timor Gap oil and gas fields, of course. You idiot.

Long story short, special operators from ASIS planted surveillance equipment in the East Timorese Cabinet offices to give Canberra’s negotiating teams even more leverage over the outcome, which was already tilted in favour of the much larger, richer and more powerful party. 

The only reason that became a matter of public record, however, is that the agent in charge of the surveillance operation was so disgusted with it that he complained, via official channels, about the abuse of resources and power. The agent was not a whistleblower. He didn’t leak to the media. Instead he took his complaint about the Timor operation to the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Bernard Collaery, a lawyer and former Attorney-General of the ACT was appointed to act for the agent with the approval of the Inspector-General. Both men were due to travel to the Hague and give evidence in a case East Timor had lodged against Australia when their homes and offices were raided under anti-terrorist legislation.

That was five years ago.

Both the agent and Collaery his lawyer have now been charged under that legislation. Prosecuting the agent for protesting to his own chain of command about an illegal (and plain old butt nasty) operation, is a fuck-you money shot of such Machiavellian douche-worthiness that King Joffrey himself could savour the flavour while stroking his power-stiffy. But to charge the agent’s lawyer for representing him while he dutifully followed procedure to redress an egregious wrong-doing?

You’d have to stray deep into the skeeviest corners of the worst sub/reddit ever to find that brand of creep sauce. Or you could just send Christian Porter out for some.

Alexander Downer meanwhile, the man who sent the spies into Dili? He’s no longer Foreign Minister. But he did score a sweet gig as an advisor to Woodside Petroleum, one of the developers of the Greater Sunrise field in the Timor Sea.