josh rosner

Posts Tagged ‘Haneef’


In Australian Politics on January 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

The background story concerning Dr Mohamed Haneef’s arrest and detainment in 2007 by the Australian Federal Police is now well known, and I won’t repeat it here. You can find a timeline of the case here if you’re not familiar with it.

Last month ABC’s ‘Unleashed’ published my article about Dr Haneef’s compensation negotiatons with the Gillard government in which I recount my own personal experiences working for Mick Keelty, as his communications adviser and speechwriter, from 2007 – 2009. I relate the frustrations of working for Keelty to Haneef’s frustrations with the AFP, and call for Keelty to apologise to Dr Haneef.

I have many more stories to tell about the AFP and Mick Keelty. Time will tell whether I publish anything further about that period in my life. Needless to say, working for someone like Mick Keelty was occasionally rewarding but mostly incredibly frustrating. More importantly, I believe Dr Haneef was treated appallingly by the AFP and the Howard government. Such was the fear Keelty instilled in the corridors of AFP Headquarters in Canberra that it took only the bravest of the brave to verbalise such a sentiment. Initially, I was a coward. In time, I could no longer remain silent. Despite my disillusionment with the AFP and Mick Keelty personally, I remained in my position, rather than taking the easier option of leaving, because I truly believed the only way to influence change was to remain and quietly and diligently work for that change. It proved to be a monumental waste of time. Keelty refused, point blank, to take my advise (and, I should note, the advise of many others at the AFP far more senior than me) and as a consequence the media (in particular, The Australian) irrevocably turned on him, ultimately leading to his premature retirement.

Needless to say, the AFP – as is it’s want – tried to bully the ABC into pulling the story. The acting head of AFP Media sent the following email to Jonathan Green, editor of ABC’s The Drum website.

From: McAdie, Rhiannon []
Sent: Thursday, 23 December 2010 11:01 AM
To: Jonathan Green
Subject: Dr Haneef deserves an apology [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Importance: High


Thanks for your time this morning.  As advised the AFP have some concerns in relation to the story currently appearing on  your website Dr Haneef deserves an apology . As discussed, the concerns are not around the AFP being criticised in relation to the Haneef matter, but there are concerns around the author of the story and some of the content.

Some of the information disclosed in the story is alleged to be from the time Mr Rosners was employed with the AFP.  As discussed, all employees both current and former are not allowed to disclose information obtained in the course of duty under Section 60A of the AFP Act.  Therefore there is a potential breach by Mr Rosner.  In addition, it is possible that the ABC may be open to civil legal action in relation to this matter.

As discussed, the AFP recommend ABC remove this story until the matter has been looked into.

Please let me know of your intended action in relation to this.  If we can have a chat before midday that would be good.

Kind regards


I won’t address any of the issues raised in the email. They are laughable. Thankfully, the story was published. To date, I have heard nothing further about the matter from the ABC or the AFP. To be fair, having worked closely with the AFP’s media team, I can understand why they tried to bully the ABC into pulling the article. It is their brief, after all, to ensure positive coverage of the AFP in the media. An impossible task, given their propensity to emulate, as former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie put it, Keystone Cops. Perhaps things have changed in the two years since I left the employ of the AFP, but in those days they were rarely proactive in media management (not their fault, but rather Mick Keelty’s), navigating the 24-hour media cycle almost entirely reactively.

You can read my ABC ‘Unleashed’ article – published 23 December 2010 – here.