Sources for Australian Foreign Affairs correspondence on Timor-Leste and the Witness K scandal

I have a correspondence piece published in the 10th edition of Australian Foreign Affairs, responding to Kim McGrath’s excellent essay “Drawing the line: Witness K and the ethics of spying”.

If you have subscribed to the digital version of Australian Foreign Affairs, you can read McGrath’s original essay here. You can read my response here, John Hewson’s response here, Jenny McAllister’s response here and McGrath’s response to our responses here.  Or you can purchase a physical copy of the journal, which is well worth doing.

This post provides the sources behind several points raised in my response, as I couldn’t put hyperlinks in the piece itself:

  • For Coral Bell’s warning in October 2004 that Australia’s approach to the Timor Gap negotiations was “contrary to the national interest”, see here (pages 3 and 4).
  • For the argument that Australia’s excessive maritime claims in the Timor Gap undermined Australia’s critiques of China’s excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea, see Rebecca Strating’s work here.
  • For Peter Edwards’ call to upgrade the next Independent Intelligence Review to a Royal Commission, see here.
  • For the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security’s denial that Witness K raised an operation in Timor with the office, see here and here.
  • For former ASIO, DFAT and Defence head Dennis Richardson disputing that any such operation would have diverted ASIS resources from counter-terrorism, see here.
  • For the long history of unjust Australian policy towards Timor-Leste, there are countless sources. Start here and here.
  • For former New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Anthony Whealy speaking out about the Witness K scandal, see here.
  • For Anthony Whealy being an authoritative voice on both national security and justice, see the 2012 COAG Review of Counter-Terrorism Legislation (which he chaired) here and his reflections on overseeing terrorism trials and the use of National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 here.
  • For former Independent National Security Monitor (INSLM) Bret Walker speaking out about the Witness K scandal, see here.
  • For Bret Walker being an authoritative voice on both national security and justice, see his INSLM annual reports here, here, here and here. His first report remains one of the most detailed and thoughtful reflections on Australian counter-terrorism laws I have ever read, even though it is nearly ten years old.
  • For former Labor MP John Faulkner’s 2014 paper Surveillance, intelligence and accountability: an Australian story, see here.
  • For former INSLM James Renwick’s announced review into the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 (which was halted when Renwick’s term ended in June), see here. The new INSLM has now resumed this review. The review is focused on the Witness J affair, not the Witness K affair, but it will look into the how the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act was used.
  • For some detailed discussions of Australian intelligence oversight arrangements, and comparisons with some other democracies, see here and here.
  • Finally, you can read an extract of Kim McGrath’s original essay here, but I recommend subscribing to the journal and reading it all.