They were Young Liberals on a covert mission, codenamed Black Ops. The dress code was black, the meeting time was 10pm, and it was BYO ladder. Their mission: to tear down ''illegally'' posted campaign posters on telegraph poles, allegedly including their own.
Inspired by the buff Brad Pitt in cult movie Fight Club, a former adviser to minister Chris Hartcher fired off an email on August 11, 2011, to whip the party's youngest members into action.
Aaron Henry, the author of the missive, assured the Independent Commission Against Corruption that they were not waging a covert war on their political opponents and were even removing their own posters.
''Come on Mr Henry! Are you telling us that ''Black Ops'' was Young Liberals sneaking out at night, removing your own signs?'' said Geoffrey Watson, SC, counsel assisting the commission.
''It's a light hearted thing in order to help keep Young Liberals engaged and meeting us to go out and do work at 10pm at night,'' said Mr Henry.
An incredulous Mr Watson said that it was more likely the group was ''slashing'' the posters of their political rivals, but Mr Henry insisted this was a very small part of the crack team's work.
The Young Liberals members appeared to have a preoccupation with dark arts. The inquiry has previously heard that fellow Chris Hartcher staffer and Young Lib Tim Koelma also had a ''Black Ops''.
Mr Koelma's ingenious scheme was to destroy the career of Sydney Water chief Dr Kerry Schott, who was proving to be a serious roadblock for Liberal donor Nick Di Girolamo getting a billion-dollar deal with the state government.
''Yay black ops!'' Mr Koelma wrote in an email to his brother Eric, attaching an ''anonymous'' and false complaint to the ICAC about Dr Schott.
Mr Henry, inspired by his 28th viewing of the cult movie Fight Club, sent an email to other young Liberals including Mr Koelma, setting out his version of ''black ops.''
He even signed off as ''Tyler Durden''.
Commissioner Megan Latham's interest was piqued as to the identity of Mr Durden. The commissioner was disappointed to learn he wasn't an ''important personage'' but Mr Pitt's character in the film.
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