My Reply To The Smear-Monger Andrew West Of The Sun-Herald: Press Council Complaint. Other Documents. To Fight My Exposure Of The Truth About Australian Neo-Nazis, Andrew West Turns Me Into A Neo-Nazi!


Jim Saleam




Several documents will appear here in due course. The Press Council complaint is first. It will engender further material. We shall also publish material related to the public criticism of Mr. West. Return at your convenience.

Complaint To The Australian Press Council Against The Sun-Herald Newspaper

May 29 2004

This complaint is made against an article entitled "White Separatist's Return", Sun-Herald, February 29 2004. The writer was Andrew West. A copy of the piece is provided (Folio A)

The grounds of the complaint are described as constituting various breaches against the principles of the Australian Press Council (hereafter: the Council). There are two preliminary grounds and then eleven other grounds which arise from the body of the article itself.

The Council should know that I forwarded a letter to the Legal Unit of the Sun-Herald regarding possible defamation. I received a reply from the Legal Unit. Both letters are provided. (Folio B) I say that I have met my obligation to seek a retraction or reply. The newspaper has declined my entreaty to retract any part of the article.

 

Preamble

By way of preamble to this complaint, it is necessary that the Council understands that I verily reason that Andrew West consciously and maliciously set out to misrepresent me and my opinions. I believe he conversed with others (outside of the newspaper) who set his agenda.

I believe three essential things of Mr. West's article, whether or not these things can be formally, if ever, proved.

  1. Mr. West wrote the article to assist the Labor Party in Marrickville. The ALP was under real challenge in that council area from independents and Greens. There was some minor concern any votes I might receive could also further damage Labor. I was smeared to hopefully ensure this did not eventuate.
  2. Mr. West wrote the article because of an awareness that I was being quoted in the mainstream media (see article, as provided, published in The Australian Folio C) as an authority on the matter of neo-nazism. I was to be trenchantly discredited in other ways such that I achieve no credibility as a commentator, particularly if I was quoted about its’ political-police provocateur quality. I believe this agenda arose from Mr. West’s dealings with Jeremy Jones, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
  3. Mr. West wrote the article in order to give the newspaper an excuse to publish with it a photograph of me which - on the surface - seems to strongly suggest or even 'prove' that I was at some point a neo-nazi and thence that I might still (sic) be a neo-nazi. The allegation of neo-nazism would, as he reasonably anticipated, have had the potential result of damaging my current political activities, the then-campaign in Marrickville and be vexing for me personally. Mr. West would understand from his ideological perspective that marginalising me was desirable and the neo-nazi allegation would possibly go to achieve this.

This logic was suggested to me by the entire circumstances around the research for and the composition of the article, and his interview and subsequent conversation with me as I shall describe shortly. That I could form this reasonable opinion should be a matter of concern. Outside of the Press Council process, I intend to comment upon Mr. West as a liar and smear-monger of the first order. I intend to bring a further complaint to the Media Entertainment And Arts Alliance about his 'ethical standards' (sic) and otherwise comment directly in the public arena about him. He may ultimately conclude that there was little value in smearing me.

I further state to the Council that I have had in the past highly acrimonious relations with a number of journalists. I accept for the purpose of the argument that I have held, and continue to hold, strong views on particular political questions and could never have expected these journalists to be in sympathy with me. However, it has been my experience that rather than report the facts and offer an opinion I was wrong, misguided, or on any other number of reasonable grounds reprehensible, some set out to distort, falsify and stigmatise me and my opinions and even more dangerously - some have criminally libelled me and covered for the illegal actions of political police agencies. Some of these persons have been openly named by me in publicly available documents. A couple of these journalists may eventually find themselves as compellable witnesses before the Supreme Court on a Crimes Act inquiry matter. I obviously place Mr. West within this general category.

These journalists have found themselves pursued by me by way of necessary retributive action. Given that the various media outlets published or reported their falsehoods and chose not to correct them, it became clear to me that the relationship between the capitalist media and the liberal-internationalist journalist was symbiotic. Each covers for the other and that has been my experience.

Nonetheless, except where the direct evidence supports any particular 'charge', my beliefs about Mr. West and his purposes are not evidence, nor is the Council asked (if ever it could) to rule upon suspicions. Nonetheless, as the "Statement Of Principles" foreshadows there may be cases outside of the standard principles which may be breached in an article and the Council is entitled to look at an article as concerning the public interest. A definition of the public interest is provided and in this complaint the inferences as may be drawn against Mr. West raise this matter squarely. Is it in the public interest to smear?

The generalised psychological-picture-propaganda (ie. the article as a disingenuous totality) which Mr. West sought to insinuate into the mind of the average reader is an issue covered by this notion of public interest. This case is one where the Council should search for truth from both sides. As best it can, the Council can decide the truth lay outside of the confines of Mr. West’s propaganda and that therefore his article breached any standard of ethics or conduct, ie. the standards of liberty do not grant a license to scribblers to misrepresent a person.

It may be that in the age of the Internet, Mr. West could have familiarised himself in fulsome detail about me and reached accurate conclusions on matters of fact. That he made so many errors, suggests to me the article was prepared in haste and without due attention to detail. It is therefore my belief that Mr. West did not care. He pursued his agenda to its conclusion.

 

The Background:

 

The Council should know that in the March 27 City and Shire Council elections poll in New South Wales that I was a candidate for South Ward in Marrickville City Council.

The nature of this campaign and its purposes can be readily gleaned from a survey of the relevant sub-site on the Internet at:

http://ausfirst.alphalink.com.au/councilspoll/index.html

On Thursday, 26 February, an office number for the council elections' campaign was rung. I was one of two persons present and I answered the phone. The other person allowed me to continue as Mr. West wished to speak to me.

The caller introduced himself as Andrew West of The Sun-Herald. At no time did Mr. West tell me that he was closely involved with the Gough Whitlam Institute, nor did he mention to me that he had (in conjunction with Daily Telegraph journalist, Rachel Morris) written a biography of Mr. Robert Carr, Premier of New South Wales, a work which established him as a supporter of social-democratic ideology. It may be thought that Mr. West was under no obligation to tell me who he was. It may be thought he was only to identify himself as a journalist with a newspaper. Of course, had I been aware then who he was, it is probable that I would not have consented to interview. At the very least, I would have defined the parameters of the interview, a matter I tried to do the following day (as below), albeit without still being aware of the political identity of Mr. West.

The reasons for my concerns would be based upon my then-current experience of the Labor Party in the Marrickville area. There had already been some grassroots indications the ALP was smearing me to as many persons as it could. The idea of being interviewed by a strong supporter of that party would have been of little benefit to me. There is the matter of Mr. West's objectivity. It may be fairly understood by the Council that I have a generalised political-moral dislike of a certain section of the journalist profession and a concern as to their inability to deal with some categories of politics in an objective manner. I should not be the victim of a game of musical-journalist where I have to guess who the person may be who attempts an interview or alternatively waste the time of an honest journalist whilst I perform detective-work to ascertain his pedigree. I say that Mr. West failed the honesty test in the first instance.

He caused the newspaper to breach Principle 5 (not disclosing any interest that might be construed as influencing presentation of news and opinion).

Mr. West said that he had become aware of my candidature. He said something about "interest" in that it seemed I had abandoned "the extra-parliamentary method" for a "more mainstream and electoral approach". He said that he had "seen your leaflet" and had examined the above Web Site. These two facts are relevant to any assessment of Mr. West's subsequent presentation of my political opinions. There was certainly nothing on the Web Site or in the leaflet which supported the smear directed at me.

I say that it is incumbent upon the Council to determine:

  1. How was Mr. West alerted to my candidature? Who gave him the leaflet? Who told him of the Web Site?
  2. How did it come about that Mr. West decided to author an article on my candidature? Did he discuss this with the Editor of the Sun-Herald? Did he produce his final copy for review or was it run without further assessment?

Once the Council determines the genesis of the article, it becomes possible to understand the dynamics involved. Without these facts being available the set grounds of the complaint do not carry their full force.

 

The Interview And The Second Conversation

The Interview seems to have been irregular in character. In 2002, I brought another complaint to the Council. The Council said that at all points of time in the interview which led to that complaint, I knew I was speaking to a journalist and therefore I was 'on the record'. Of course, but it must depend on what the stated purpose of the interview was. The newspaper cannot commission one of its journalists to question a subject about a matter (and do so in no little detail) in order to establish an interview occurred – and then to publish about something else seemingly incidental to the discussion and not answered in detail or appropriately. My dealings with Mr. West illustrated this dishonest technique in operation. This would amount to interview-by-ambush.

Mr. West did ask particular questions. The tone seemed formal and structured. They were relevant questions to any election campaign and to my candidature and I answered him at length. I shall detail these shortly. Then there was banter, informal questioning. I understand this may be to set some background and so forth. Usually, it might be considered unexceptional. However, it was in this case misleading, because by and large, it was these matters which I never answered fully or properly - which became the basis of the article. Interview by ambush?

After the Interview, I formed a certain negative impression of Mr. West based on this irregular questioning. I discussed this with two colleagues. Hence I decided to call him the following day. I decided to tape-record the discussion as legal protection. A copy of this tape will become available to the Council after The Sun-Herald replies here. I do not intend to allow the newspaper to have the full advantage of the tape at this time. I would not have called Mr. West again, let alone recorded him, if I did not have strong concerns about the interview. I shall discuss this tape below.

It seems interrogation by police is regulated, interview by journalists (which can do immense harm) is not the subject of full review. It is time it was.

The proper questions asked by Mr. West included:

Mr. West noted that I was a candidate for public office. He asked if I had ever been a candidate before and I answered "yes" and detailed where. He asked if I considered I had moved away from the "extra-parliamentary approach" and I answered in detail about the necessity of a three-tiered approach and defined that idea. He asked if my tactics now were at variance with those of National Action and I said that whereas that organization seemed to have a more "swashbuckling style", the tactics were not absolutely dissimilar as they combined various levels of activity into one. He asked if I had altered any of my opinions on any matter, noting that issues such as asylum-seekers were now "mainstream". I said that the immigration question was a vital one and I recall discussing Arthur Calwell with him but not the precise terms. I believe I also pointed out some inconsistencies in Pauline Hanson’s position because she said she had agreed with Calwell, but obviously didn’t. I said some other party would supplant One Nation. He asked me as to the potential I thought I had in Marrickville and I replied in various ways about a local government political strategy and he said he had read that idea on the Internet site.

I considered these questions as valuable and if they had been the subject of the report, there could be no complaint. I considered Mr. West was interviewing me about a campaign and my ideas as relevant to it; he did not aopear to be questioning about my ‘career’ over time as any substantive issue outside the narrower Marrickville focus. In fact, he said something which led me to believe this was how he would handle the background. This created a false sense of his purpose.

The irregular discussion included:

Mr. West asked me a lot about how it felt to be quoted in The Australian recently as a "respectable commentator" on the neo-nazis and the candidature of a man in Queensland (see clipping in Folio C). I said "it’s a little different to the usual". He asked about my doctorate and I told him where to read it. From memory he said he had seen it, a fact of some weight in determining his treatment of my views.

He referred to National Action having a "reputation", but did not define this. I said something about "opponents" "said things". He then said "like, jackboots". I lightly said "no I’ve never worn jackboots", thinking he meant ‘jackboot politics’ (ie. rough politics). He then said obliquely "but you were once seen with some unusual people long ago?". I then mentioned (as below in greater detail) getting the low-down on the political police connected Nazi party, "if that’s what you mean" (he assented "yes"), "an infiltration of the Cameron Nazis for a period in early 1975" with a "pommy bloke". He did not press, did not interrogate, but let it drop. He then listened to a few sentences of sensational general data on these people without comment and about a book I intended to write (as below) I particularly referred him to "Kangaroo Reich" (as below) on the contemporary neo-nazis., but he did not press that either. I told him the neo-nazis had "recently visited Tempe, putting up posters saying I am a paedophile"; "they’re run out of the office of a Liberal Party official and solicitor in Eastwood". He did not interrogate further. He said about the style of National Action and "that Pitt Street Church matter". I said to him "a lot of lies have entered into the public domain about that" (or similar words), but he did not press, nor did he put to me the matters which subsequently appeared in the article. He asked me "how long were you in jail?" I replied. He asked me if I was still fighting the case. I went into a few details, telling him where to find my Internet book (as below). He asked if I thought I could overturn the conviction and we chatted about the "war on terror" and the "unfavourable security climate" and so forth.

I said to him at a couple of points that I wasn’t sure if this overall story was particularly newsworthy for a major newspaper, but he said "no it shows how people move on" (or words like that). It was his insistence which alerted me to the idea there was something wrong in the interview and that the campaign might not be his concern. I formed a view that Mr. West had wanted to speak with me, to be able to say that he had, but for the purpose of a different type of article.

The problem I have with this type of around-the-bush chat is that it is imprecise and cannot deal with the fundamental issues of historical truth about matters of contention. If I make an allegation which I say is supported by evidence, I note that no journalist wishes to take it on. Why should Mr. West drop his article to investigate a Liberal Party solicitor who orchestrates a Nazi party? My allegation (let alone my comments on the earlier Nazis and Cameron) would suggest that I could hardly be a neo-nazi and should not be represented as one. I have also told these details at different times to Malcolm Brown, Rachel Morris and Alex Mitchell. There was a type of political-autism with Mr. West. It didn’t matter what I said, the article proceeded in a certain way and my comments were ignored. The allegations (which would have soon been established as more than ’allegations’) would demand a re-shaping of the text. But Mr. West had – obviously - no such interest.

The following day I telephoned Mr. West and tape-recorded the conversation.

The taped conversation does not reveal that the purpose of the article was anything other than a serious look at the contrast in political tactics between National Action and my candidature in Marrickville, albeit in a sober and analytical manner. I asked several questions. When the Council finally hears the tape, it will appreciate the dissembling character of Mr. West. That type of article as he described of course, was not what appeared in The Sun-Herald. I believe Mr. West lied in order that I not make formal legal representations to the editor about any matter which could de-rail the publication of the smear.

The Council should ask Mr. West for his version of the second conversation before I produce the tape.

For amusement value only, I eventually guessed the offending ‘Nazi’ photograph would appear with sundry allegations. I was not ‘disappointed".

The Sun-Herald occasioned a generalised breach of Principle 4 (News obtained by dishonest or unfair means ..)

 

The Specific Grounds:

Ground One: The Headline

 

The headline of the article is "White Separatist's Return."

 

This headline is not apposite to my political views. I never used the term in our discussion. Mr. West did not use the term nor did he put it to me as to whether I knew what it was and concurred with it.

To the best of my knowledge and belief I have never used the term as any description of myself or any organization I have directed or been involved in. I cannot imagine why I would have done so.

I have seen this term employed in certain American political science theory. I may have referred to the term in some academic writing only - and then only in relation to America. It would have been a passing reference.

The term is therefore gratuitous of Mr. West. I cannot say what Mr. West intended it precisely convey as an ideological description. In placing it in the context of the rest of the article, it is more than likely that a reasonable reader would link it to some sort of racist extremism and related to one of the photographs and thus the reader could fairly form a negative impression of me generally and of my views. I cannot see why else it would have been used.

However, if it did not arise in our interview and in the absence of any other quoted authority who sought to hang the label upon me, its use was misleading, not checked against any known facts. Because Mr. West had access to my written documents in such volume as he could form his use of the term was flawed.

The Sun-Herald headline therefore violates Principle 1 (false matter) and Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text, headlines, pictures).

 

Ground Two: The Paramilitary Uniform

The article says:"In the 1980’s and 1990’s Jim Saleam wore a paramilitary uniform…."

 

I must state for the record that at no point in the 1980's or 1990's have I ever worn a paramilitary uniform. I cannot be more direct.

The closest Mr. West came to asking me anything about paramilitary uniforming was the matter (as above) of "like, jackboots" which I laughed off and assumed he meant 'jackboot politics'. Obviously, he didn't mean that.

I will state here in as acid a tone as possible that I will donate a $1000 to the Red Cross if Mr. West will show the Council where I wore a paramilitary uniform in those years - let alone jackboots. Can Mr. West describe this paramilitary uniform? Who told him I did wear such a uniform?

Reasonably, the claim that I wore a paramilitary uniform must have come out of Mr. West's imagination. If The Sun-Herald has a file on me, the archive will not carry any such photographs – for the simple reason that there are none. I will present before the Council clippings files of the National Action organization (whose time-period of existence matches the 1980's and 1990's period under review) where innumerable comments and reports about its' politics appear. There is nothing about paramilitary uniforms. There are many photographs of me but no paramilitary uniforms. I will happily show these files to The Sun-Herald's representative at any time.

A reasonable reader would assume that the claim was true. Paramilitarism implies to the reasonable person any number of things: regularised violence, terrorist preparation, uniformed drilling, weapons training, military command structures. If I wore a paramilitary uniform, it could be reasonably assumed I was trying to assume this mode of operation.

Because I never wore a paramilitary uniform, I must challenge The Sun-Herald to say where I did and to define what it would mean to the ordinary reader.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to check the accuracy…). Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).


Ground Three: The Doctorate Completed In Prison.

The article says:"..and used his time in jail to earn a PhD from Sydney University."

For the record, I was released from prison on May 4 1995 and have not returned there. I produced a letter (copy) from my thesis supervisor that fairly establishes that I was not even enrolled in May 1995. (Folio D). The letter is actually dated May 4 1995. I attended Sydney University from 1995 until December 1999 when my thesis was submitted. With delays, the degree was awarded in March 2001.

I certainly did not give this full version to Mr. West. I did not tell him either that I did my degree in gaol. In fact, he never asked me where I commenced my degree although I did tell him when it was awarded. That should have alerted Mr. West to time factors. If I was awarded the degree in 2001, then I was, by his rule, in prison or only recently out of it. He obviously did not collate the data that I was imprisoned in 1991, ten years before. This might show the Council the dangerous quality of the banter-like conversation which Mr. West would have as part of the Interview. If formal questions are not asked, proper answers are not given. This was one collateral proof of the deceptive technique employed by Mr. West which has led him into factual error.

I accept this matter is a minor mistake in the context of the complaint. However, it is suggestive of the author's attitude to his subject matter. It does not necessarily say anything negative about me. But it is still wrong. It is a statement made blandly which seems to add weight to other bland statements of ‘fact’ as are complained about.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to check the accuracy…). Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Four: The Invasion Of A Church.

 

The article says:"..Jim Saleam …invaded church services to preach his own brand of anti-immigrant, white separatist politics …"

 

I believe this is a twisted reference to an incident when members of Australian National Action entered the Pitt Street Uniting Church one Sunday morning during a service (June 1987) and distributed leaflets and other documents. I also note that members of the Australian National Action also left leaflets in the foyer of the Metropolitan Community Church in Paddington in late 1988.

For the record I was not a part of the ‘invasion’ action of 1987 to which the article is certainly referring. I was not present in the Pitt Street Church. I certainly did not 'preach' or anything else in either church. By using the words "anti-immigrant" and "white separatist" views, Mr. West specified the content of my supposed deed(s) . The immediately prior reference to the paramilitary uniform might suggest I was present there in such a uniform and that I was a "white separatist". There is also no evidence I even ‘organized’ the occurrence.

But I was not there. That is the be all and end all of it.

In all the controversy between myself and members of the Pitt Street church in the period 1987 - 1991, it was never suggested by anyone that I either entered the church or participated in the action. I have innumerable articles in the file on this matter. I invite The Sun-Herald to produce even one contemporary article that says I did 'preach' anything in that church or was ever inside its walls.

Any reasonable reader could assume that I had done something which I had not done. If I had not done something, but it was said that I have, then the article was in error and I must, in some manner, be misrepresented. Mr. West has therefore as a matter of logic linked my preaching of "white separatist" ideology in the church (which did not happen) to his headline. If this is the origin of the headline, it is obviously misleading in fact and misleading as to my opinions (which are tainted by the invasion (sic) of a church).

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to check the accuracy…). Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Five: Racist Graffiti, Death Threats And Attacks

 

The article says: "National Action was responsible for racist graffiti, death threats and attacks on the Pitt Street Uniting Church."

As the "face" of National Action, any reader may assume I was involved in all this or knew of it, or approved it. The statement of opinion by Mr. West that this was so, takes on the appearance of a fact. Death threats are bad enough and "attacks" could mean just about anything from verbal to physical.

I suppose someone in a paramilitary uniform, who makes death threats, might perform "attacks" as well.

The problem that Mr. West has is that the matter of the Pitt Street Church is legend and hardly fact. Is he aware that a corrupt Special Branch officer charged a National Action man with doing property damage to the home of the Pitt Street reverend – only to have the case collapse when a magistrate suggested he forged his notebooks? Or that a man pleaded guilty to the same offence on an utterly different set of ‘facts’ to the load-up of the first man, which seemed to be the same script for my prosecution on the matter I went to prison for? Or that the reverend of the Pitt Street church, in her own handwriting, whilst still accusing National Action in being involved in the campaign against her, also named three other groups as being involved?

Very bluntly, no one was ever prosecuted for the ‘invasion’ (let alone me). No one was ever prosecuted over the graffiti, threats, etc.

Mr. West is dealing here with urban myth and the heroine reverend in possession of her Human Rights Medal obviously awarded to her for standing up to ‘racists’. Unfortunately, Mr. West has not proved our involvement, has not provided any facts of National Action’s real involvement in these offences etc. He has therefore not proved my involvement or responsibility for these things. He has confused an article about me with the alleged doings of unnamed members of the National Action for unproved offences or improprieties.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to check the accuracy…). Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text … not misrepresenting details), Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Six: My Political Violence Conviction

 

The article says in the first paragraph:"and went to jail for a shotgun attack on an African leader." And later: "In 1991, he was sentenced to 3 ˝ years jail for organising an attack on the home of Eddie Funde, the representative of the African National Congress. Dr. Saleam pleaded not guilty to the offence alleging it was a police set-up…"

It is certainly true that I was ‘convicted’ of the offence. It is not unreasonable to say it. It was not unreasonable to say that it was a "set-up", although I used the term "standard Special Branch frame-up". Mr. West says that I counter-accused the police, which is true.

The problem lies in the context of the article and the inferences the reader would inevitably draw. It is well and truly open on the presentation that any reader would take my protestation of innocence as an impossibility. Men in paramilitary uniforms, who invade churches to preach, who death threat, graffiti and attack churches and who may be neo-nazis (as below), are more than likely to be persons who organise shotgun attacks on African leaders. Why not? Clearly they are persons of poor character who are disposed to violence.

Further, the journalistic ploy of saying someone was ‘convicted’ (ie. "sentenced" to "jail") of an offence implies to the common person that the person is ‘guilty’ although that issue remains a libel tort, if with new evidence, the aggrieved person can by use of the civil process - prove the contrary. I doubt the ordinary citizen knows that or fairly comprehends the difference. The problem in this case is that to say I was sent to jail alleging a set-up, leaves the reader with a woeful misrepresentation of the case and of all the new evidence in the case. Mr. West was aware of my views on this because I told him and because I told him where to find my Internet book Pardon Me: The Anatomy Of An Australian Political Trial.

While I accept fully that this broad (indeed massive) set of issues between me and the Special Branch police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation could hardly be dealt with in a short article, the problem would be how to deal with it at all.

Why did Mr. West feel the need to tell the readers I had been imprisoned for this matter if it wasn’t to discredit me? Does he really feel that, in the context of the article, the "set-up" reference balances that ‘fact’? And what does Mr. West now intend to do with his knowledge of my counter-claim against the security apparatus? Obviously, neither he nor his newspaper care about that. Their curiosity has not been sparked to contact me further. Clearly, the ‘result’ of the interview, whatever that was, has been achieved.

Essentially, I am saying that my criminal case was one which involved a compre-hensive allegation of criminal conspiracy now endorsed by an array of material which could hardly be canvassed in a simple article.

Could Mr. West have said: "Saleam was convicted but continues to deny involvement, authoring a long work placed on the Internet which alleges evidence was fabricated by ASIO and the Special Branch"? The reader might look on the Internet and any allegation implicit in the text I was guilty would be overcome. I do not say that Mr. West should have written these particular words, but the article would have been balanced if he had.

A supercilious style cannot address the issue. Mr. West knows what he wanted the reader to infer and I have no doubt that he intended to write in such a way as to dismiss my protestation.

Yet the historical path is different. I have denied guilt from the day I was charged, through the Committal, throughout the intervening period to the trial, throughout imprisonment and the unsuccessful Appeal, after my release from prison and throughout the period whilst I brought material to the Royal Commission Into The New South Wales Police Service to help bring down the commander of Special Branch – the man who ‘framed’ the case.

If the matter cannot be easily represented, it should not be at all. It is unfair to try and a misrepresentation and suppression of the facts to say I was sentenced to jail and talk still of a "set-up".

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to check the accuracy…). Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text … not misrepresenting details), Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Seven: How I Haven’t Changed.

 

The article says: "But Dr. Saleam, 48, hasn’t changed and he admits it".

This reference follows on from being the public face of National Action (as below in the photograph issue) and (as above) in the matters of paramilitary uniforming, church violence and shotguns.

Unfortunately, I was not asked whether I had "changed" from doing those things. I had not ‘admitted’ to anything.

I was asked only whether I had altered my opinions on immigration and "the extra-parliamentary methods". I was not asked whether the latter included politically-motivated violence.

The reader would inevitably conclude that I accepted I had engaged in a number of crimes and regretted nothing nor changed methods.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false), Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text … not misrepresenting details), Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Eight: The 'Nazi' Photograph And Caption.

 

The article carried two photographs of me. The smaller was taken for the purposes of the article. The second carried a caption: "the face of National Action in the 1980's". It seemingly presents me wearing a swastika. It is mentioned in the article I "wore" a swastika and was so "photographed". The reader would conclude this was the photograph and it expressed the incident.

The smaller recent colour photograph was smaller than the other. Obviously, the intention was to draw the reader to the second larger photograph. The first was in colour in order to create contrast with the larger and older photograph. The reader was invited to see one image ‘developing’ into the other. This is image-propaganda.

The caption misled the readers in two direct ways:

  1. The black and white photograph was not taken in the 1980's. In fact, it was taken in February 1975. I can, if called upon by the Council, reasonably establish that point if the Sun-Herald disputes it. I doubt the paper will dispute it. By making the photograph more 'recent', the reader was invited to accept it was an expression of my history and ideas at a time period less far removed from the present (if it was ever an expression of my views at all).
  2. The caption referred to National Action. Here we have a multi-layered deception of the reader. If the reader accepted I was the "face" of National Action, the reader would assume I was clad in a swastika when I was the "face" of that group. That would be false. I never wore a swastika when associated with National Action. It would be assumed by a reasonable reader that National Action was neo-nazi and employed swastikas. That would be false. The symbol of National Action was the Eureka Flag because it was an Australian nationalist organization. Further, given the photograph was taken in 1975, I would be its "face" only in so far as I was the 'same person'; so using a photograph from the earlier period would not be sensible unless ideological continuity was the newspaper's point. That would be false in the sense that there was no ideological continuity between the Nazi party and National Action because they were not part of the same ideological tradition. One was part of an international neo-nazi phenomenon and the other was part of the radical-nationalist tradition and consciously styled itself that way. (Note: I can present the doctoral thesis of Peter Henderson and a book by Assoc. Professor Andrew Moore where the true heritage of National Action is delineated.)

The choice of photograph is the first question here. If Mr. West desired to obtain a photograph of me directing the activities of National Action, there are probably a large number of photographs in existence. Rather, he chose this one which was not an expression of National Action at all. I believe I know why he did choose this photograph. I believe it was at all points deliberate and malicious and The Sun-Herald was remiss for not scrutinising their scribbler.

I say that it is incumbent upon the Council to ask the newspaper:

  1. Does The Sun-Herald maintained a folio of photographs of Saleam?
  2. Why was the 'Nazi' photograph considered the appropriate one for the article?
  3. Who made the decision to use this photograph?
  4. When was it decided to use it and why were the image-contents of it not vigorously put to me in the interview if the intention was to use it?

Is The Sun-Herald entitled to use any photograph of me? In one way, most certainly. In another way, it should only use a photograph which is relevant to the article, which does not deceive the readers into making some conclusion that may be false. There is indeed a veritable 'history' to the photograph which the article did not explain and which I could tell the Council if it wanted to know.

The photograph also alerted the reader to the matter of the paramilitary uniform. Although in fact I was not wearing a uniform when I appeared with the Cameron neo-nazis (white shirt and tie in fact), it might appear that I was. A reasonable reader would assume this was the "paramilitary uniform" worn by the neo-nazi National Action of which I was "the face". The circle is thus complete.

However, at all points, the inference is false, misleading and indicative of suppressed facts and unlisted details. Mr. West never intended I would be able to discuss the photograph or the circumstances of its creation, nor did his questioning indicate that. What I did tell him (as below) he ignored as it obviously did not suit the article’s purpose. He did not tell me he wished to use this photograph nor did he invite me to comment upon it. If he had, the photograph also has a significant individual history and I would have told him.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy), Principle 2 (make amends for publishing harmful information), Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text …pictures .. not misrepresenting details), Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).


Ground Nine: My 'Membership' (sic) Of The Nazi Party

 

The article said: "Dr. Saleam was even photographed wearing a swastika, although he now claims he was trying to infiltrate the Australian Nazi Party."


In the informal part of my interview with Mr. West he said: "but you were once seen with some very unusual people long ago?"

I caught the innuendo and dismissively said: "do you mean the incident when me and another pommy bloke were seen with the Cameron Nazis? We were the people who broke up the Nazi party. They were creatures of the Special Branches."

He said "yes" to the incident description. I said: "I am writing a book on the very subject. I only recently applied for some 50 ASIO files on the National Socialist Party and related people". I also alerted Mr. West to an article referred to below. I said that I had alerted many journalists to the political police quality of the Nazis of long ago and evidence I had acquired recently of a Special Branch payment to Robert Cameron, the putative victim of the Ananda Marga affair of 1978. Mr. West did not question further. I mentioned the quality of the contemporary neo-nazis was similar with an intelligence connection. I gave him an Internet url which sets out much of my recent polemical work on the state-sponsored neo-nazis of the present: www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/kangarooreich/index.html

Ironically, Mr. West's co-author in the Carr biography, Rachel Morris (who I also tape-recorded in relation to this matter) has had conversations with me in 2003 about the current Sydney neo-nazi gang. I discussed these persons at great length with her, a matter about which Ms. Morris says (on tape) she kept notes and recalled the conversation(s).

It is a fact, that I had expressed to Ms. Morris my utter contempt for neo-nazi politics and my deeply held concerns as to the actual political nature of the current neo-nazi group as the product of long research. The material held by Ms. Morris, let alone my public comments, would show my truthful view of neo-nazism.

The article says that I "now" say that I infiltrated the (earlier) group. No, I do not "now" say that. Rather I have said that for some 28 years in one way or another to many different persons. I first said that in print in January 1985 in a pamphlet entitled Never In Nazi Uniform which was a reply to Nazis Out Of Uniform, a propaganda text about National Action written by Denis Freney, the last editor of the Communist Party of Australia's newspaper (Tribune). The last time I mentioned my 'role' with the Nazi party was in a major article "Sydney's Right-Wing Underground 1973 - 1977", published on the Internet in November 2002 at www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/underground.html

Mr. West either did not know that or chose to ignore this detail. By saying "now", he invited the reader to believe it was a story conjured up recently. He further invited the reader by the supercilious style to dismiss my statement. It is further a statement that cannot be readily dealt with in a line and should therefore never have been canvassed. It is clear that any answer would carry no weight and could carry little weight if the reader assessed the photograph which said I was "the face" (albeit of another group) but clearly a person ready to employ swastikas.

A responsible journalist, having just been told information of a newsworthy quality might have opted to re-craft his article entirely. Even if he was intent on discrediting me, he might further have investigated my claims about the Nazi party and any role I could have played (for any reason) against its activities. None of this was done either. What I say was blandly listened to and ignored with the rider I "now" say something of infiltration. Neither Mr. West nor his newspaper have come back to me for further detail on these issues; hence I conclude they had limited purposes on the ‘Nazi’ issue.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 1 (not publish what they knew was false or fail to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy), Principle 2 (make amends for publishing harmful information), Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text.. not misrepresenting details), Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Ten: The Misuse Of Jeremy Jones’s Quote.

 

The article says: "Mr. Jeremy Jones, president of the Executive council of Australian Jewry, encountered Dr. Saleam at Sydney University in the 1970’s. He warned against believing the one time extremist had changed. "There is nothing to suggest the man who would impose on the community an ideology of division – frankly an ideology that is 60 years out of date – is any different", he said..

This material is an integrated and cunning misrepresentation of me, my ideas and is a gratuitous smear.

Who said I was a "one time extremist"? What is an "extremist"? Who said I was one? Mr. Jones? Mr. West? It was never put to me whether I am now, or have been "an extremist". I was given no opportunity to refute the charge or to qualify it.

A reasonable reader would ponder why Mr. Jones was quoted. At no point did Mr. West tell me he had spoken to Jeremy Jones, nor was I therefore given any opportunity to comment upon the comments of Mr. Jones. Because Mr. Jones represents a Jewish organization, the reasonable reader would assume this man was concerned at my activities (after all I have "not changed"). Given the paramilitary uniform, the swastika and the purported Nazi party connection, the reasonable reader would conclude Mr. Jones was concerned with neo-nazism and that therefore I was or am a neo-nazi. The propaganda circle is complete again.

It would be my prediction Mr. Jones was interviewed before I was and Mr. West should be asked by the Council whether this was so. This would also show purpose and the dynamics behind the article. If the Council declines to ask Mr. West this, then I most certainly will. It seems by the words attributed to Mr. Jones that he was concerned I was trying to appear ‘different’ whereas in fact I ‘admit’ (sic) to not changing at all. It seems therefore he was interviewed first.

If Mr. West had told me he had interviewed Mr. Jones and what his comments were, I would probably assumed the worst and declined to be interviewed. This situation would have arisen because of the contentious ‘relationship’ (sic) that exists between us. Essentially, I accuse Mr. Jones of being party to the fraud of contemporary Sydney neo-nazism. I say Mr. Jones knows of the provocateur quality of this neo-nazi group and declines public comment. I say he slyly operates upon the disingenuous basis that any reply to my arguments would be answering my black propaganda. I say he does not answer even to say I am lying. Mr. Jones has more than once in the past lent his support to those who have (I say) misrepresented me. Mr. Jones is reasonably aware of what I say about him since I publish it and say it – freely.

However, at the very least I was dishonestly not told of Mr. Jones’s participation in the article. And while I would hardly believe there is a newspaper in the country which would publish my claims against Mr. Jones, even to then allow his brilliant demolition of my ‘falsehoods’ (sic) about the neo-nazis, I would maintain that I have at least the right to know my accuser and say something in my defence.

This section therefore paints me as an extremist of concern to the Jewish community, as a person who has not changed and who was a neo-nazi. Therefore I am of concern to the Jewish community as a neo-nazi. This is illustrated by Mr. Jones’s statement that my ideas are "60 years" out of date. Since that takes us back to 1944, I am sure he was not referring to Kokoda, John Curtin, Australian pride and nationalism – but to German fascism. The reader would assume that from his words. This is a fundamentally false presentation, a smear. I had no opportunity to answer and it was reasonably the intention that I not get one.

The Sun-Herald was therefore in violation of Principle 5 (not distorting the facts in text.. not misrepresenting details), Principle 8 (no fairness and balance). Principle 8 (no balancing response has been invited).

 

Ground Eleven: The Topography Of Smear And Misrepresentation

 

I have in the past invited the Council to go beyond the formal matters complained of and sum them together and view the issues dynamically. While each ground of complaint stands separately, I now consider them in unison.

This article is a classic Goebbels-like smear of a political opponent. It is designed to create an image and plant it into the mind of the reader no less than say a cigarette company uses television images and music to convince the viewer smoking is positive, sophisticated etc. We would be naïve in the extreme if we cannot adjudge certain journalism in a similar way. The question is: did Mr. West employ this technique?

There are clear signs.

1. It is probable that Mr. West researched and completed his article in haste. This is suggested by the number of factual mistakes. He did not know where I ‘earned’ my PhD, was wrong about paramilitary uniforms and my presence during church invasions. He (seemingly) ascribed the ‘Nazi’ photograph to the 1980’s (although that could have been deliberate falsification). He described me as a "white separatist" a term not put to me in the interview and which I have never used.

2. Mr. West spoke to Mr. Jones and did not tell me. He then used Mr. Jones to corroborate his spin on the thrust of the irregular conversation phase of the ‘interview’.

3. Mr. West obviously planned (at the start?) to use a certain ‘Nazi’ photograph, but not invite me to comment about it. He used chit-chat about the Nazis and not hard and fast interview technique. It is not incumbent on me to guess what a journalist intends and if I must do this then an interview is dishonest and unfair. At no point did he say: "Look Jim, I think your views might be neo-nazi. Weren’t you once a member or supporter of the Australian Nazi party and even attended a Nazi demonstration? If that’s right, where does that stand in your political evolution?" And then: "Okay, you say you weren’t a neo-nazi but where have you said this before? Has your opposition put you to proof and what is the proof?" None of that sort of questioning occurred. Are we to believe Mr. West is incompetent as a researcher or writer? Clearly, his career precludes that.

4. The Nazi photograph was passed off as a possible representation of a National Action function and used me as the ‘face’ of this "extremist" "paramilitary" reality.

5. Mr. West lied about the purposes of the article in the taped conversation (I have so far only stated its contents in generalities) and failed to use the strong and relevant material he had examined me about in the most detailed way.

6. The sub-text of the article is about violence and it links together allegations unproven anywhere against me with one ‘proven’ (sic) matter.

We are left therefore with a fundamental misrepresentation of me. These points, when summed together, are a monumental defamation of my character, opinions and activities.

I know it. Mr. West intended it. The Australian Press Council now has an opportunity to denounce smear and set new standards.

I am desirous of expediting this complaint and am available to assist the Council in any reasonable way.

Jim Saleam.



Inside The Kangaroo Reich