In other words, American money good, Chinese money bad. American spying good, alleged Chinese spying bad.
This is not the first time In-Q-Tel has invested in a security firm; as iTWire has reported many a time, the CIA-backed investment agency has also put money into the company Recorded Future. Wikipedia describes the In-Q-Tel investment in Recorded Future in this way: "The company has close links with In-Q-Tel, CIA’s investment arm, and Google Ventures, who were both early investors."
Overnight, Turnbull attacked Xenophon, who is know for his ability to attract the media, sanctimoniously questioning the South Australian ex-senator for "seeking to influence governments and public opinion and... doing more than just being the lawyer giving advice on technical legal matters?"
Xenophon, and former ace journalist Mark Davis, his partner in the legal entity XenophonDavis, have made no secret about their working for the beleaguered Chinese firm. They have appeared in the weekly forums that Huawei hosts, pointing out the scurrilous rumours that have been used to besmirch the reputation of a firm that is to all appearances the same as one from any of the other 200-odd countries that dot the globe.
The only difference is that Huawei is Chinese. And, of course, it does business in a different way to American firms. Which we should all be thankful for in many ways given the rapacious manner in which many US companies operate.
It is entirely possible that Turnbull has a problem with this. It would not surprise me; as someone who has written reams about the ridiculous manner in which the US has sought to throw mud at the company, I have said the same thing many a time.
Huawei has been accused time and again of selling products full of security holes; if anyone can show me one such hole, I will give the company a roasting as I never have meted out before. And those who read what I write are familiar with the fact that when it comes to shonky practices, I rarely hold back.
If Turnbull has some facts to prove that Xenophon is a Chinese pawn or has political reasons for his work with Huawei, or has joined the Chinese Communist Party, then he should tell the world at large about it. Else, it might be a good idea to shut up.
Xenophon is not the first Australian politician to work for the company; Victoria's John Brumby was on the board until a few months ago. Former foreign minister Alexander Downer also did a stint with Huawei. And many other politicians have taken money from Chinese companies for different kinds of work. I'm reliably told that the money paid by these Chinese companies is the same as that paid by other companies in Australia and elsewhere. It is not counterfeit.
It's instructive that Turnbull's accusations were ventilated by Latika Bourke of the Nine Entertainment group; when the UK did a backflip and announced it was banning Huawei's involvement in its 5G networks, Bourke said it was a stunning development. She was blissfully unaware that both the Telegraph and the Times had been running articles for weeks about just such an outcome. But it did not seem to have crossed her radar – even though she resides in the UK. She seems to some difficulty residing in the here and now.
Now if Turnbull wants to invest in companies along with the CIA, that is his business. Good luck, mazel tov. But the toff from Wentworth should be aware that he is opening himself up to being described as a hypocrite when he criticises others for doing what he claims is something similar.