Tony Abbott under fire over gun photo 'censorship'
From: The Australian
October 13, 2010 12:00AM
TONY Abbott's office requested that the Defence Department "vet" video images of the Liberal leader firing a Steyr assault rifle in Afghanistan.
This action ensured broadcasters were denied access to the pictures, The Australian has reported.
The Opposition Leader's office confirmed that the images captured by a Defence video journalist were not released "on our instructions", sparking claims by television broadcasters last night of censorship.
The Defence Department did not indicate the pictures were a concern for operational or security reasons.
During his tour, Mr Abbott fired the Steyr rifle, a machine gun and the 25mm main gun on a light armoured vehicle, but television stations did not have a cameramen travelling with the Liberal leader.
Mr Abbott's communications director, Tony O'Leary, said the decision to request Defence not to release the footage was in line with past practice.
.."We get to vet footage before Defence sends it out; it's not the first time," Mr O'Leary said yesterday.
"Pictures of Tony Abbott firing the Steyr (rifle) were not sent back on our instructions. That is the policy that we have applied."
Mr O'Leary said that when Mr Abbott attended a simulated firing exercise at Lavarack Base in north Queensland in June this year, a similar ban on weapons pictures was applied.
"This sounds like censorship to me," Seven Network political editor Mark Riley said last night.
"We readily accept that some images should not be aired to protect the security of our troops, but protecting a political leader's image is a matter of spin, not national security."
In response to questions about why similar video images were not sent back to Australia at the weekend, a Defence Department spokesman confirmed it was following a request from Mr Abbott's office. "This imagery was not authorised for release by Mr Abbott's office," a Defence spokesman said
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/tony-ab ... z12NEZTlDn
One of the 'Gun Grabbers' seems to like to play 'bang-bangs', but is there an ethical side to this? As a civilian who would not be allowed to possess or use these weapons in Australia the honest thing to do would be to politely decline the offer to have a shot, to accept is hypocracy.
Looks very comfortable with it.
Maybe he's a closet shooter.
The photo's not just a pose, note the ejected cartridge at top of image.