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Greg Sheridan

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Greg Sheridan is the Foreign Editor for The Australian newspaper, which is published by News Limited (a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation).

Sheridan has a staunch supporter of closer ties between Australia and its Southeast Asian neighbours, particularly Indonesia, defending the Suharto regime over criticisms of its human rights record, and its occupation of East Timor [1]. He was a vocal critic of Prime Minister John Howard's intervention in East Timor in 1999.

Sheridan Echoes Spooks Claims Against Scott Parkin

On 22 September 2005, Sheridan, a champion of the Australian Government's so called "anti-terror laws", co-authored an article with John Kerin, claiming that deported US peace activist Scott Parkin planned to "instruct demonstrators in tactics including disabling police horses and springing arrested protestors from custody".

Under the front-page headline "Deported activist was to teach tactics of violence," they reported claims from anonymous intelligence sources that Parkin's civil disobedience training was "likely to increase violence" at demonstrations. The article continued on page 4 under the headline "Activist's violent tactics."

In a media release issued in response to Sheridan's article, Parkin strongly rebutted claims that he endorsed or encouraged "tactics of violence":

"During my time in Australia I spoke publicly against techniques to de-arrest a person who has been lawfully detained by the Police because it is against my principles [...] Horses suffer from being used as riot control machines and I completely oppose anything that abuses them."

An AAP report, published by various news outlets including the Sydney Morning Herald, Parkin ridiculed claims against him in The Australian. "If I am such a threat, why have the FBI not even phoned me since my return from Australia to follow up [Australian intelligence]'s silly allegations? ... As I always say and sincerely believe, it is unprincipled to do anything violent at any time, including in a protest situation." [2]

Curiously, Sheridan and Kerin's article was not on the papers website nor has it been added to the Nexis database.

It is not the first time Sheridan has breathlessly reported spin from an intelligence source. On July 11, 2003, he wrote that "well-informed sources" told him U.S. troops had discovered what they believed to be "decisive proof of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs."

Inspector-General refers "leak" to AFP

On 26 September, Ian Carnell, the Inspector-General of Intelligence Services, replying to a letter from NSW parliamentarian Ian Cohen, said that he had written to the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police concerning possible criminal misconduct in connection with the alleged leak. [3]

Claims dismissed

On 6 September, 2006 the claims reported by Sheridan and Kerin were dismissed by Mr Carnell in the report of his inquiry into ASIO's conduct during the Scott Parkin affair. According to Carnell, reports of marble-throwing were "not a reliable guide to the ASIO assessment"[4]

Support of Israel

Sheridan was the recipient of the (2007) annual Jerusalem Prize by the State Zionist Council of NSW. Sheridan tried to justify accepting the award by stating that Israel's democracy emerged as the prime reason for his unquestioning support, not because it is perfect, but because being anti-Israel is "fundamentally irrational and evidence of psychological and ideological dysfunction rather than genuine analysis."[5]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. About Us, Australia Indonesia Institute, accessed June 10, 2008.

External links

Articles by Greg Sheridan

  • Greg Sheridan's profile on The Australian website
  • Greg Sheridan, "It's idiotic to mock the laws that could save us", The Australian, September 15, 2005.
  • Greg Sheridan and John Kerin, "[Deported activist was to teach tactics of violence", The Australian, September 22, 2005.

External links