More ideological polemic, rather than academic-grade discourse, from the University of Melbourne's Professor Richard Tanter

Nonsensical claims that a public-right-to-know applies to every national secret surely prove the opposite. Every democracy necessarily protects itself, and the common good, by delegating key national security decisions to those elected to govern - and the accountable institutions Parliament supervises - rather than every detail of every defence capability or operation somehow having to be detailed to every citizen (and therefore invariably known by every potential enemy eventually) every time.


Letter to The Age 
Monday, 25 April 2016
(bits of it published on Sunday, 01 May 2016)

Richard Tanter (Letters, 24/4),

up to his usual ideological alarmism, decries that some aspects of our national defence infrastructure and operations are necessarily secret for the common good.

Whereas his desire for the public to know every detail would counter-productively

... if the public knew every detail of our defence operations, it would,

endanger our country, risk our diggers,


undermine deterrence of war

, and encourage potential enemies to further undermine a rules-based international system by military aggression.  

Richard also ignores that ...

our national defence is also duly overseen by Parliament generally, ministers in particular and a range of all-party parliamentary oversight committees on our behalf – as it should be in any democracy.

And that thankfully ... 

our defence force not only remains the most institutionally non-partisan part of our constitutional system, but also one run



All leading ...

This all leads

to opinion polling regularly placing the ADF as one of Australia’s most trusted institutions.

Richard’s polemical belief that every citizen should somehow know every national secret, no matter their ideological obsession or lack of commonsense, surely proves the opposite.

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