Asking the impossible

Australia’s top spy is in the business of wishful thinking:

“New ASIO director-general Paul O’Sullivan has warned his spy network not to allow politics to colour their intelligence-gathering and to avoid overstepping their new counter-terrorism powers.

“As spy agencies around the world reel from accusations of political bias, Mr O’Sullivan has told the intelligence community “judgments need to be unbiased and not influenced by political considerations”.

“‘What the Government needs is balanced assessments that draw on both classified and unclassified information,’ he told 200 new spies from several security agencies in a speech.

“Western intelligence agencies have been heavily criticised in the past three years for being too beholden to their political masters.”

The intelligence services, especially in a post 9/11 world, have become increasingly politicised, to the point where governments only want to hear viewpoints from a certain political perspective. Lance Collins, former senior intelligence officer and now whistleblower, explains:

“The system is very heavily weighted to produce a certain answer that is acceptable to a certain political party and its agenda rather than the nation and its well-being.”