AFP officers have raided the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters over reporting from 2017 looking into the clandestine operations of Australian special forces in Afghanistan. ABC news presenter Joe O’Brien was live on air as the the AFP entered the building. ‘There’s a raid happening right here at the ABC … just 100 metres or so that way,’ he said to camera while pointing over his shoulder. The ABC warrant names the broadcaster’s national reporting team reporters Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, as well as ABC news boss Gaven Morris. The raid on the national broadcaster comes less than 24 hours after the AFP served News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst a warrant to search her Canberra home, phone and computer, 14 months after she published a story over a top-secret proposal to expand the nation’s domestic surveillance agency’s capabilities
Has anyone in the NZ Government decried the astonishing abuse of power the Australian Government have committed against journalism in the last 24 hours?
Of course not.
Because this extraordinary suffocation of journalism is directly connected to the incredible work the ABC did exposing Australian war crimes in Afghanistan and the NZ Government sure as Christ won’t be criticising this abuse of power by the Australian Government when we are currently holding a white wash inquiry into our own war crimes in Afghanistan.
Jacinda will criticise Australia for its treatment of NZers and will embarrass them rightfully for their appalling refugee policy but won’t criticise their attack on the Fourth Estate in case it reminds people we have our own war crimes to answer for.
The NZ Government must make a stand for the importance of journalism in holding Governments to account even if it highlights our own war crimes.
While we are at it, offer Julian Assange immunity here in NZ.