Printing a Flag – Surveillance of the Lindt Café

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by Dee McLachlan

While I was directing a movie in rural NSW, Mary Maxwell was attending some of the Sydney siege Inquest hearings, and covered the Martin Place event in a 35 part series of Gumshoe articles.

Recently I was inspired to write “Welcome to a Front Row Seat at the Sydney Siege Theatre” about the failure of the police negotiators. They failed to speak with the hostage taker, Man Haron Monis, in SIXTEEN hours.

I pointed out that the first rule in a hostage crisis is to try talk to the hostage taker. The ABC reported on 15 December 2015, that:

“Commissioner Scipione confirmed police were negotiating with the gunman and were focused on resolving the stand-off as safely as possible.”

We now know that this was a blatant LIE by the commissioner. It surfaced onto the ABC “in real time.” It is just not possible that incompetence led to this. Negotiators have spoken with many hostage takers before. So what was going on?

Today I raise a different matter.

In one of Mary Maxwell’s articles she pointed out that audio surveillance of the cafe had begun around 7.30pm that evening after a bug was planted. Or so the Inquest was told.

But wait, think about it. If they could listen in, they would hear what Monis was saying, and what each hostage was saying. There should have been no mystery about the goings-on.

Here is what the dailytelegraph reported:

“As well as three snipers with views into the cafe, an audio surveillance device had been secretly fitted the night before so police could hear what was going on inside the cafe.”

Recall that the siege began around 9.45am on December 15, 2014 and ended when the police stormed in at 16 and a half hours later at 2.15am on December 16th. Thus in the above quote the phrase “the night before” means that the police were able to install it by evening of the 15th.

There is no secret, then, that the police could overhear Monis and the others.

But yesterday I happened to watch a snippet of a documentary that Channel Nine did  on the siege, and heard a snippet of the surveillance audio!

The audio begins at 6:10 in the video below.

Jarrod Morton-Hoffman and Monis are talking about “printing a flag.” Monis even seems to laugh – you can hear him.

HOSTAGE: “If you let the pregnant lady go, I’ll print you a flag”

MONIS: “Ha ha. If you don’t…”

HOSTAGE: “I’ll print you a hundred. I’ll paint anything.”

MONIS: “The point is that they will bring the one flag here.”

What time was did that conversation take place? I don’t know. According to the mention of 7.30 above, we should believe it happened rather late in the siege.

But it occurred to me: Would they be talking about the flag issue nine hours or so after the world was told that the gunman was demanding a flag.  Hadn’t he given up on this tack by now?

More likely I think, this conversation was audio-recorded earlier in the day, when Monis was asking for a flag, and was optimistically waiting for one.

My questions for Commissioner Scipione:

  • When was the audio bug planted?
  • Where was it planted?
  • And may Gumshoe be given the audio tape? (You obviously released this piece to Channel 9)

If you don’t answer these questions Commissioner, maybe Jarrod will tell us what time he had this conversation.

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Comments

  1. Egon Spengler says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but shouldn’t we be asking what the police were doing planting listening devices in the cafe the night before the siege? That’s foreknowledge.

    • Hi Egon, I put it in quotes. And the article seemed to refer to the night before being the night of the crisis, as they were referring to a time when the crisis ended. But strange to say that.

    • Egon Spengler says:

      Thanks Dee. So the claim is that the listening device was planted while the siege was in progress. I suppose Monis let the police in for a while so they could plant their bug then went back to his siege after that. It just doesn’t make sense. We are also told two of the hostages were armed with knives. Where did they get these knives? How many Australians carry knives while out for a coffee? This story is just stupid.

  2. speculator247 says:

    In response to the video — ridiculous! I suppose someone actually believes this silly story, but once you see through these things and get a feel for the phony stuff (Boston!) nothing is ever the same again.

  3. I can see that things are defo getting out of hand at the bottom of this thread (Ned/Dee/Mary), so I am not going to go there….

    But to reply to Don’s Dec 30th 10.42am comment:
    Dear Don, there can be no question now that the police (I mean upper levels thereof) were in cahoots with … um… well let’s just say “in cahoots”.

    So, do we have a judiciary in this country? Can a court step in? It can rule if there are criminal charges. God know we have laws against performing terrorism. That includes Cahoots Terrorism; after all, any crime can be charged also against one who was an accessory before or after the crime.

    But “can a court step in” re the siege? Normally, no. Courts are not investigators. Yet a coroners court is precisely that – it is an investigator. Oddly, it is forbidden to perform some other familiar judicial functions such as determining who is to blame.

    It is now up to the coroner, Magistrate Michael Barnes, to do the right thing. So far he and his staff made an obvious effort not to pursue the question “Who was in charge”

    Frankly, that should tell us all we need to know.

    Apparently they feel they are “forbidden” to go there. That would be the same as Tasmania – everyone feels they “mustn’t even mention” the obvious re Martin Bryant.

    Possible reasons to obey this proscription?

    1. Bribery
    2. Stupidity (but you don’t get to be a QC by having a low IQ)
    3. Fear, as in not wanting to have your legs broken
    4. Blackmail, as in they have got something in you, be it a video of you in a compromised position or just knowledge of some past thing they could charge you with, or sue you over.

    5. Fear, as in fear of your neighbor, fear of sticking out, of looking like a goody-goody, of opening cans of worms. Probably that is the strongest influencce of all.

    Don, the very fact that you are drawn to this website means you do not suffer too much from the #5 type of fear. We here like to stick out, to be good-goody, and to open cans of worms.

    I think the nation is in extreme trouble. Can you help?

    • The overarching FEAR is that your loved ones will be shot dead:

      • Randy Weaver’s lot is living proof of what’s likely to happen to a “deserter”. I wouldn’t want a walk a mile in the shoes of Timothy McVeigh, John Kiriakou or Edward Snowden either.

  4. I am still awaiting to hear back from the army media dept as to when they built that mock up. No answer after four requests.

    • Why do we finance a army of military media boffins?
      Ok, just to ignore the public who pays for their upkeep as they may only sprout something that is approved by those who hide behind our financed army media boffins.
      Is there not an officer in the military who does not hide behind expensive media spin doctors?
      If so, put that officer in charge of our troops and stop the BS.
      Btw, how many army media boffins are we financing and how much, from our deficit borrowings is being paid for that lot.
      Pauline and Deryn, time to represent us, that is what you are
      paid for.

  5. We now have a great amount of details of the Lindt Cafe saga, are we now able to summarize what is the salient lesson?

    • Sure. Insist that the Inquest reveal the truth. Then we can take it from there, eh?

      • The inquest is all part of the covert operation, Mary what is your assessment? are your hands tied? you know but you cannot say? none of us can say.

        • There can be no doubt that Dee is right as to the Fake Negotiating stance.

          And if someone will please write to the Inquest and pay the $16 per page for the bit about the Listening Device, and should it turn out that we have all been made fools of, well, that’s my “assessment.’

          I am ready tp publish my Inquest book next week. This last little bit from Dee has put a (minor) spanner in the works. Here is an item from the NSW Coroners Act 2009 Section 60

          Persons granted leave may apply for witness to be examined
          (1) A person granted leave to appear or be represented in coronial proceedings may apply to the coroner to have a particular person examined in the proceedings. Such an application can be made before or during the hearing of the proceedings.
          (2) A coroner who refuses such an application must give the applicant the reasons for refusing the application.
          (3) The coroner is required to deal with such an application as soon as reasonably practicable after it is made and in any case before the proceedings are concluded.

          • Could an application be made to get the Coroner to ask when and how the mock up was made?

          • Before we look at the coroners inquiry, can we look at the three deaths as to some information as to how the deaths could be avoided or at least two deaths avoided, the customers at Lindt Cafe two were the last alive in the police siege being a barrister or a female who was in the legal profession and I believe the manager of the cafe.
            If as we have seen footage of Monis through the glass at Lindt Cafe, it seems as if a high powered rifle could penetrate the glass even though it is reinforced, if the glass was laminated the shattering would be limited if plate glass would be a greater risk of flying glass in terms of fragmentation, but less of a risk than police entering on mass and as happened putting Dawson and Johnson at great risk and if a similar situation arose again should police evaluate whether a change of police response requires adjustment.
            Were police involved with collaborating with media as a PR exercise to create sympathy from the public on security of terrorist activity? is the deaths of these two individuals worth revaluation of police behavior?
            I thought their had been a coroners investigation.

  6. I would be far more interested in hearing from Jarrod. I think he is only 21 years old. Maybe not corrupted yet?

    Dee, I would also like to know: since police say they were able to “fit” the listening device at 7.30pm, why not earlier? This is the Space Age, you know.

    • I reckon you could shoot a listening device onto the window from some distance.

      • Or drill through the ceiling.

      • Well, well, certain people seem to know a lot about these things…
        Dee, I won’t tell a soul that you know how to make a smoke bomb of the Boston marathon variety, and have in fact made one. Strictly in movieland, of course.

        Truly, your secret is safe with me.

        • In the 80s in South Africa I directed an TV action series called “Steelman” in Soweto. We had to blow up a car (on the cheap). So I filled two black plastic bags of petrol + a plank with nails + a burning candle — then we rolled the car off a mine dump. WHOOOSH.

          (we did clean up afterwards)

          • How much do you charge for a riot?
            Just a ballpark figure.

          • Dee, do you do insurance jobs?
            How much for 47 stories?
            Do you charge per floor or just a set fee for the whole job?
            Is their a discount for a few plus, buildings?

          • Mary,
            As for riots, the going rate provided by Sourass in the US has been $15.00 per hour for basic riotors with free travel to the planned riot location. Not sure about sustenance, but they are advised to secure their takeaways before business premises are vandalised and looted.
            Internationaly, in say Europe at present, sea travel across the Mediteranean is also sponsored by Sourass et.al. with a promise that when in Europe, they will be provided with housing, food and a stipend with free sex on demand.
            A promise of all the rioting and vandalising that one could wish for, will soon be at hand.

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