So, the Oz reports Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accepts Tony Abbott's explanation over spying scandal.
Yep, he accepts it alright. SBY's response is in the form of an invoice, to be paid to the sum of one prime ministerial arse on a platter plus GST.
This "code of conduct" will be worse than Obama's promise to Merkel. It will cover the same ground, but it will be binding. Abbott will have to sign a promise not to spy on any Indonesian targets at all, viz:
Dr Yudhoyono said the Prime Minister had undertaken that Australia would not in future engage in conduct "that will be harmful to the relationship or disturb Indonesia". This appeared to confirm the reported commitment earlier this month by Australian intelligence chiefs to their Indonesian counterpart, Marciano Norman, that Australia was not now and would not engage in electronic surveillance against domestic targets in Indonesia.So it's not just SBY and his wife, Australia won't be able to carry out unilateral surveillance against Jemaah Islamiah or any other terrorist organisations operating on Indonesian soil. Any such work would have to include a tip off to and a nod from Indon authorities, which is unacceptable from a security point of view given how leaky the place is.
This is a national security disaster. Abbott could have headed this off by doing what Obama did, promising not to bug political leaders, and retaining the power to fully defend Australia from terrorists. This outcome is far more damaging than what that minor loss of face would have been.
Abbott has been a bull in a china shop through this whole show. The final result will be an embarrassing abrogation of Australia's national interest. And it was all so easily preventable.
Note: this post is a minor fixup of one I made first over at Catallaxy Files in an open thread discussion.