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  • Today's video is about the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

  • Australian intelligence? Well, they sure have done a good job at keeping that a secret.

  • Joking, the Aussies are great people, especially for a bunch of ex-cons.

  • The Australian Secret Intelligence Service, or ASIS, is Australia's foreign intelligence agencylike MI6 or the CIA.

  • Ironically, those two organizations are famous, they're basically pop culture phenomenons.

  • Not so for ASIS, which has historically had a reputation for being a sort of Mickey Mouse agency, most notable for allegedly being grossly mismanaged and publicly blowing their cover in bungled operations.

  • This video will focus on one such operation when secret counter-terrorism training was performed in a public setting, the agents causing damage to property, becoming antagonistic towards distressed civilians, and eventually getting arrested by their own police. Bravo.

  • The Australian Secret Intelligence Service was formed in 1952.

  • Modelled after Britain's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, its very existence remained secret for decades, even to members of the government.

  • Even after its existence was made public in the 70's, very little was known about the agency, and the press was prohibited from reporting on ASIS's "current or projected foreign intelligence activity".

  • This brings us to 1983. ASIS had begun training a covert team in hostage rescue.

  • Their goal would be to protect Australian citizens taken hostage by terrorists abroad.

  • As part of this training, a mock scenario would be conducted on November 30th, 1983 on the 10th floor of the Sheraton Hotel in Melbourne.

  • Of course, this being a secret agency, the hotel was not informed that this would be occurring.

  • The operation involved four ASIS officers, six trainees and two commandos from the Army Reserve.

  • The scenario was to be a mock hostage rescue, where the terrorists had taken the hostage captive in a hotel room.

  • The trainees were to rescue the hostage using deception and subterfuge.

  • However, the trainees were given a large degree of freedom in how they approached the situation, and at some point during the operation, they chose violence.

  • At around 9pm, hotel guests were alarmed to find a number of armed men in balaclavas and theatrical masks breaking down doors with sledgehammers.

  • And honestly, what the fuck were they thinking?

  • I mean, even if no one had been alerted to the disturbance they were causing, did they really think this secret operation would be best served by causing criminal damage to the hotel?

  • I mean, they work for an intelligence agency, maybe they should have used their fucking intelligence to ascertain that no matter what happened, they weren't leaving the hotel without some serious questions being raised about what had happened here.

  • The guests reported what they believed to be an armed robbery to the desk.

  • This prompted the hotel manager to go up and have a look for himself.

  • Because the first thing I'd want to do after learning of a potential armed robbery is immediately involve myself.

  • Exiting the elevator on the 10th floor, the manager was confronted by one of the agents who grabbed him and dragged him back into the elevator, sending it back down to the ground floor.

  • Back on the ground, the manager called the police to alert them to the masked and armed men causing havoc in the hotel.

  • While he waited for police to arrive, the elevator dinged again, someone was coming down.

  • Staff gathered around nervously waiting to see what was on the other side of the elevator doors.

  • When the doors slid open, five masked men carrying submachine guns barged through, waving their guns at staff and guests before escaping through the back.

  • The ASIS agents had getaway cars waiting for them and off they went.

  • One of the cars, however, was caught in the city by police.

  • Amazingly, the authorities had also not been informed of the operations, and when the men in the car refused to co-operate or identify themselves, they were arrested.

  • Extensive damage had been done to the hotel, and police sources said it appeared large quantities of alcohol had been consumed in the room booked by the agents.

  • When it was revealed the arrested men were government agents partaking in covert operations, there was outrage.

  • Of course, a lot of people were amused too, the event was kind of a fucking joke.

  • For a lot of people, the incident was actually the first time they'd ever even heard of ASIS.

  • The whole thing was a massive embarrassment for the Australian government.

  • None of whom, including the minister for foreign affairs, who the ASIS director general is directly responsible to, claimed to know the operation was even taking place.

  • That of course raised a lot of questions over how ASIS was managed, questions that would persist for years.

  • There have been claims the agency is out of control.

  • The agency refused to cooperate with the police investigation,

  • and although a judge found that individuals involved in the operation could potentially be prosecuted by the state for assault, firearms and motor vehicle offences, there was insufficient evidence to pin any charges on any specific agents.

  • The hotel took legal action against the state for the incident, and in an out-of-court settlement, the hotel and staff were paid around 300,000 dollarydos.

  • As a result of the incident, the government disarmed ASIS and forbid them from undertaking any more covert paramilitary operations.

  • But this was reversed in 2004, so they're assumedly back at it, if they ever actually stopped to begin with.

  • Thankfully, the story does have a happy ending though, as we all know, Australia isn't real.

  • Suddenly, all hell breaks loose.

  • In 1983, ASIS had its cover spectacular blown during a training exercise.

  • Machine gun toting ASIS trainees smashed into a hotel room without permission in a mock hostage rescue, then fled in getaway cars.

  • There was five guys with the biggest guns I've ever seen in my life.

  • Submachine guns?

  • Worse. If I found out that was submachine guns, I wouldn't know one gun from the other.

  • As a result, ASIS had its covert operation function abolished.

  • The service continued to come under scrutiny.

  • It was criticized for its work in PNG in the late 80s, and by the early 90s, there were claims that its offices were out of control.

Today's video is about the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

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Hostage Rescue Training Fails Spectacularly | Tales From the Bottle

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/01/08
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