Author Archives: Brian Toohey

Brian Toohey

About Brian Toohey

Brian Toohey is author of Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State.

Australia’s national security laws leave us on a similar path to Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s new national security laws are attracting well-deserved condemnation. It’s a pity that there hasn’t been greater recognition that Australia’s own national security laws share some common features with those in Hong Kong.

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Folly of following the Five Eyes Anglo-Saxon relic

The main countries comprising this electronic espionage group have made an abysmal hash of responding to the economic and health impacts of Covid-19. Yet the Australian government has chosen them to develop a “strategic” economic response to the Covid 19 … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy | 3 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. Reports of China spies and takeover plots are fanciful (SMH 5.12.2019)

Wildly exaggerated intelligence warnings about communist influence are not new in Australia. A US naval intelligence officer who was posted as an attache to the American embassy in the late 1940s, Stephen Jurika, reported back to Washington that communism was … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 6 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. The man who thought he owned a Prime Minister

‘This is the gravest risk to the nation’s security there has ever been.’Sir Arthur Tange, 6 November 19751.   Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, the son of a former solicitor-general, was initially attracted to the notion that Arthur Tange was a dedicated … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY Chained to the chariot wheels of the Pentagon

The British monarchy has no say in Australian government decisions. It’s a different story with the head of the American Republic. A US president presides over a military-industrial-intelligence complex with a huge say in whether Australian governments go to war, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. Is Pine Gap for Arms Control or the US fighting machine?

Labor governments surrendered Australian sovereignty in other ways by agreeing in 2008 to renew the lease on North West Cape without any conditions on how US nuclear attack submarines could use the base[i].  This could include undermining China’s ability to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. Teresa May’s rush to judgment on nerve agents

The British Prime Minister Teresa May failed to produce any evidence that the Russian state used a nerve agent called Novichok before she announced measures to punish the Kremlin.  At least Tony Blair famously produced a “dodgy dossier” claiming Saddam … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 5 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. ABC kowtow to government and ASIO on cabinet papers was gutless.

The ABC’s treatment of what it calls one of the “biggest national security breaches in Australian history” is a disgrace. It put the identity of its source at risk, but reported very little from the documents, preferring to talk at … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. So just who is a Chinese agent?

Chinese attempts to influence Australian policy haven’t stopped Malcolm Turnbull’s government making increasingly tough criticisms of the nation’s largest trading partner. Despite China’s waning policy influence, the government is introducing onorous espionage and foreign interference legislation to counter the problem. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. The US doesn’t need Asia

The US doesn’t need to be the dominant power in Asia to maintain its own national security. No amount of wishful thinking can negate this key insight from Hugh White, a leading professor of strategic studies, about the government’s latest … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Uncategorized, World Affairs | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. Could our new subs sink our new frigates?

Could Australia’s big new $70 billion submarines sink its big new $35 billion frigates? Could the frigates sink the subs? The questions are worth answering before we spend these huge sums on potentially vulnerable frigates and subs. The subs cost, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. PM walks with energy dinosaurs

The person known as Malcolm Turnbull who took over as Prime Minister is gone. That’s the one who declared immediately after getting the job that Australians have a wonderfully exciting future provided they recognise “change is our friend, if we … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

BRIAN TOOHEY. Building submarines in SA simply sinks Australian dollars

Despite claims to the contrary by the defence industry minister Christopher Pyne, this sector is not driving growth in the economy or jobs. A defence economics specialist Mark Thompson has debunked these claims in a careful analysis just released by … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy | 1 Comment

BRIAN TOOHEY. Prevention better than cure when it comes to terror

We shouldn’t  trash our own values to  support harsh anti-terrorism policies that don’t guarantee more security. There is a wealth of evidence about what does and what does not help to protect us from terrorism, and we’re doing too much … Continue reading

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BRIAN TOOHEY. How to repair neo-liberalism

The policy debate needs fresh ideas to fill the gap left by the lack of popular and political support for the neo-liberal economic agenda. Paul Keating, who championed that agenda, recently said neo-liberal economics “has run into a dead end … Continue reading

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BRIAN TOOHEY. New Series. We can say ‘no’ to the Americans.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing Australia’s commercial interests and avoiding pointless military gestures demanded by the US. 

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BRIAN TOOHEY. The quality of intelligence advice.

  A  former top US intelligence official David  Gompert has issued a sober warning to those who  want to lock Australia into any future war with China. Speaking  on Monday, Gompert  said a war between the US and China could … Continue reading

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Brian Toohey. The $50 b. submarine purchase.

Jon Stanford’s three-part series on the Turnbull government’s determination to spend $50 billion on big new submarines is a welcome contribution to understanding what’s at stake at a time of cuts elsewhere. The decision risks repeating the Hawke government’s disastrous … Continue reading

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