Given advance notice that the street bully is about to beat up your neighbour, three courses of action are open to you. The first is to try to dissuade the bully from his violent intent. The second is to warn your neighbour so that he can make preparations to defend himself or flee. The third is to do nothing, sit back and watch the attack. Last week, Captain Andrew Plunkett claimed the Australian Government failed to act on intelligence that could have prevented the massacre of 47 civilians at a police station in Maliana in September 1999. If his claims are true, it will be the second time in 24 years that Canberra chose option three in its dealings with the people of East Timor.