Australian Government Embarrassed by Release of Thousands of Sensitive Documents

01 February, 2018, 00:27 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • It wasn’t him

31 de enero de 2018, 10:41Camberra, Jan 31 (Prensa Latina) The government of Australia ordered today to investigate how almost 200 secret and classified documents revealed by the ABC local chain went to a second-hand furniture store here.

The ABC said on Wednesday the cabinets had been sold at a second-hand shop which stocked ex-government furniture and were cheap because they were locked and came without keys.

Dubbing the documents the Cabinet Files, the network calls it "one of the biggest breaches of cabinet security in Australian history", adding that "the story of their release is as gripping as it is alarming and revealing". The 195 documents included plans to protect the United Arab Emirates from Iranian hostilities, national security briefs, Afghan war updates, intelligence on Australia's neighbours, profiles of terrorism suspects and issues around Australian defence force operations in Afghanistan. It also did not reveal the nature, nor the content of the missing NSC documents.

Crucially, they expose repeated security breaches of Australia's most sensitive and classified documents and a seemingly casual attitude of some of those charged with keeping the documents safe.

One discovery, for example, was that "former Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government had considered denying welfare to people under 30", the BBC reported.

Numerous documents detail the behind-the-scenes minutia of various administrations.

The documents cover Australia's intelligence priorities and counterterrorism planning.

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"The royal commission into the home insulation programme had unprecedented access to cabinet material and made no adverse finding against Mr Rudd", he said in a statement.

"Nearly 200 top-secret code word protected and sensitive documents were left in the office of senior minister Penny Wong when Labor lost the 2013 election", the ABC says.

Rory Medcalf, head of the Australian National University's National Security College, described the discarded documents as "very weird and embarrassing" from a national security and political perspective.

The allegations were later disproven amid huge public controversy, and Dr Haneef was awarded compensation by the Australian government.

The broadcaster said the files could easily have fallen into the wrong hands as the sale was not limited to Australians and the documents could have been passed on to a foreign agent or government.

A Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet spokesperson said the secretary had initiated an "urgent" investigation into the disposal of the filing cabinets.

According to the ABC reporters Ashlynne McGhee and Michael McKinnon the filing cabinets had "sat unopened for some months until the locks were attacked with a drill".

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