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The Brandis/Monis letters: The shakedown

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(Tweet from Nine News yesterday)

The Monis/Brandis letters have added to Abbott's pratfalls and Turnbull is back roving Canberra's corridors, counting the numbers, writes Bob Ellis.

HARD TO overstate how bad the Monis/Brandis letters are for this government.

They were thought to be doing "national security" well.

They delved Ukrainian meadows, gouged oceans, dragged Arabs out of their suburban beds, sent troops to fight ISIS, planes to bomb them, warned adolescents they would get twice what you get for murder if you joined them.

And it seems, now, they don’t know what they’re doing; and they never did. They didn’t believe in their own Red Alert; and they never did.

They could have stopped Monis, who was begging to be arrested, two months before. They could have sent in Habib to “talk him down” on the day. They need not have shot Katrina Dawson twenty-five times after he was dead.

They have lost all credibility, in the only area where they still had any. Asked if they would do it again, this very idea was called by the shrieking Pyne a “hypothetical question” and ruled by Bronwyn out of order.

It’s a Fawlty Towers error, with bloodspattered consequences, and the Dawson and Johnson families could sue them for it, for culpable neglect. And what could they do if that happened?

Robbo wrote a reference for Monis, and resigned because of it. Brandis told him it might be okay to send messages to the head of DAISH but he couldn’t say for sure. And he should resign too, and apologise to the bereaved.

Or am I wrong about this?

Don’t think so.

And the net effect in my view is that Abbott is back where he was four days after the Prince Philip debacle, and Turnbull, again, is roving the halls and counting numbers.

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