Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s political leaders have a disgraceful history of climate inaction. Time to March For Science

March for science? After decades of climate attacks, it’s high time, https://theconversation.com/march-for-science-after-decades-of-climate-attacks-its-high-time-76041 The Conversation, Marc HudsonPhD Candidate, Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester, April 20, 2017. This Saturday, the March for Science will be held in cities around the world – coincidentally enough, ten years to the day since John Howard urged Australians to pray for rain.

While such marches are not the answer to everything, their very existence tells us that science is under attack, not merely from defunding of research bodies, but also via attacks on the inconvenient truths of climate science.

While scientists weep over the Great Barrier Reef, some politicians respond by laughing and joking. Continue reading

April 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, history | Leave a comment

A toxic legacy : British nuclear weapons testing in Australia

Australia’s hospitality, largesse and loyalty to Britain were not without their costs. Moreover, the sacrifices made by Australians on behalf of the ‘motherland’ were not equally borne. Whilst low population density and remoteness from major population centres were among the criteria for the selection of the testing sites, the Emu and Maralinga sites in particular were not uninhabited. Indeed, they had been familiar to generations of Aboriginal Australians for thousands of years and had a great spiritual significance for the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people.

A variety of factors underlay the harm to public health, Aboriginal culture and the natural environment which the British tests entailed. Perhaps most significant was the secrecy surrounding the testing program.

During the entire course of the testing program, public debate on the costs and risks borne by the Australian public was discouraged through official secrecy, censorship, misinformation, and attempts to denigrate critics

Wayward governance : illegality and its control in the public sector / P N Grabosky
Canberra : Australian Institute of Criminology, 1989 “…….
In 1950, Labor Prime Minister Clement Atlee sent a top secret personal message to Australian Prime Minister Menzies asking if the Australian government might agree to the testing of a British nuclear weapon at the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia. Menzies agreed in principle, immediately; there is no record of his having consulted any of his Cabinet colleagues on the matter.

The Monte Bello site was deemed suitable by British authorities, and in a message to Menzies dated 26 March 1951 Atlee sought formal agreement to conduct the test. Atlee’s letter did not discuss the nature of the proposed test in minute detail. He did, however, see fit to mention the risk of radiation hazards:

6. There is one further aspect which I should mention. The effect of exploding an atomic weapon in the Monte Bello Islands will be to contaminate with radio activity the north-east group and this contamination may spread to others of the islands. The area is not likely to be entirely free from contamination for about three years and we would hope for continuing Australian help in investigating the decay of contamination. During this time the area will be unsafe for human occupation or even for visits by e.g. pearl fishermen who, we understand, at present go there from time to time and suitable measures will need to be taken to keep them away. We should not like the Australian Government to take a decision on the matter without having this aspect of it in their minds (quoted in Australia 1985, p. 13).

Menzies was only too pleased to assist the ‘motherland’, but deferred a response until after the 195 1 federal elections. With the return of his government, preparations for the test, code-named ‘Hurricane’, proceeded. Yet it was not until 19 February 1952 that the Australian public was informed that atomic weapons were to be tested on Australian soil. On 3 October 1952 the British successfully detonated a nuclear device of about 25 kilotons in the Monte Bello Islands. Continue reading

April 10, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

CIA feared that Australian govt would close Pine Gap

text-historyCIA documents reveal Pine Gap fears http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/cia-documents-reveal-pine-gap-fears/news-pine-gap-1story/78dd781a58fe89fd6b7d455a662c8596 22 Jan 17 TENSION over world wheat prices led to fears by the US Government that Australia could shut the secret spy facility at Pine Gap.

A memo prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of East Asian Analysis shows the Americans were nervous Australia could lash out and use US-Australian joint facilities as a “bargaining chip” during the wheat prices stand-off in 1986.

It is among more than 900,000 documents, some of which were previously top secret, released by the CIA this week.

The briefing document says then-prime minister Bob Hawke was under political pressure from “militant farmers” to stand up for their interests as the US prepared to extend its “export enhancement program” to include the Soviet Union and China, which was expected to drive down wheat prices worldwide.

According to the memorandum, the Americans did not take the threats to close joint facilities seriously “but if the Senate proposal becomes law, tensions will be high and thoughts of making such threats will remain just below the surface”. “Our worst case scenario, on the other hand, would have the Australians refusing to negotiate a new ten-year agreement for the Joint Defense Space Research Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory (thus the facility would be subject to closure after October 1987 with a year’s notice),” the document read.

It said wheat farmers were the most vocal primary producers “and protest most often in Canberra”.

“Hawke undoubtably believes he cannot afford to ignore wheat farmers’ pleas to use his claimed ‘special relationship’ with the US administration to win them relief,” the memorandum read.

With an election looming, domestic pressure was on the prime minister to prove he could exert influence with the Americans. “In our judgment, the current US Senate proposal, if it becomes law, would confirm Australian farmers’ suspicions that Hawke is powerless to win relief from the US government and that Australia’s faithfulness to its responsibilities in the ANZUS alliance is meaningless to the US administration,” the document said.

January 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, Northern Territory, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s responsibility to face up to its radioactive wastes produced at Lucas Heights

text-from-the-archivesStoring the reprocessed nuclear fuel that is to come back from France at Lucas Heights seems the best of a poor set of alternatives.

We are stuck with highly radioactive material for which we are responsible. Like all countries with nuclear reactors, we should not have produced it in the first place until safe storage technology existed.

Radioactive game of passing the parcel http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/politics/radioactive-game-of-passing-the-parcel-20120523-1z582.html#ixzz1vp20gX9X Richard Broinowski May 24, 2012 Reports indicate France is soon to return reprocessed nuclear waste generated at Lucas Heights to Australia. The federal nuclear agency says the waste is ”intermediate level”, small in volume, and to be stored temporarily at Lucas Heights.

These assurances are misleading in all three respects: the volume of the waste, its toxicity, and its future disposal.
Australia’s first research reactor, the high flux Australian reactor, went critical in January 1958. It was fuelled by highly enriched bomb-grade American uranium. Although small compared with power
reactors, it discharged 37 spent fuel rods a year, each containing the same weapons-grade uranium, plutonium and fission products as its big brothers.

By 2002, it had produced 1665 such rods. Some were sent to Britain and the US for reprocessing. But by 2003, four metric tonnes remained in temporary storage at Lucas Heights

When political pressure forced Britain to cease reprocessing in Scotland, Australia’s nuclear agency arranged with the French company COGEMA to reprocess the rods. Australia is legally bound to take the
lot back – plus, one assumes, the separated plutonium and uranium-235. The problem is there is no agreed permanent place in Australia to put it.

In 2007 the old reactor was decommissioned and replaced by one designed by the Argentine company INVAP. Before construction began, the government stipulated a high-level waste site was to be identified
and a feasibility study completed. No site was found and the stipulation was modified to a strategy for disposal.

The situation becomes more complicated. Argentina initially agreed to take back the spent fuel rods from the reactor for reprocessing, returning the waste to Australia and keeping the weapons-grade uranium-235 and plutonium-239 under full-scope international safeguards. But its officials asserted such reprocessing was in violation of Argentina’s constitution. Australian officials appear not to be worried because they say the reactor has a storage pool with capacity for nine years’ worth of spent fuel rods. A solution, they imply, will turn up.

But like the rapidly filling storage ponds at all civil reactors around the world, this is a short-term solution. The problem of ultimate disposal of irradiated fuel continues unresolved. Australia does not even have a designated repository for low-level nuclear waste such as contaminated clothing and discarded radio pharmaceutical equipment from hospitals.

In 2002, three possible low-level sites were identified in South Australia. But the sites were judged too risky because an errant missile could land on the dump, scattering radioactive debris in all
directions. The state’s then premier, Mike Rann, strenuously opposed it. South Australia, he declared, would not become Australia’s ”nuclear waste state”.

Nor, according to their premiers, would any other Australian state. Australians seem complacent about exporting uranium but become unsettled about storing its end products here, even waste generated by
our reactors.

By February 2010, the only site still under consideration as a nuclear waste dump was Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory, where the federal government can overrule the Legislative Assembly in Darwin.

But deciding on Muckaty was controversial. First, although a small group of traditional owners of the land supported the decision, a greater number opposed it. They launched a case in the Federal Court opposing it.

Second, the site is meant to take low- and intermediate-level waste. But intermediate waste is a narrow definition based on calorific output. If heat is dissipated, runs the argument, high-level waste
becomes intermediate. But whatever its temperature, the waste still contains all the fission byproducts and actinides of high-level waste.

Storing the reprocessed nuclear fuel that is to come back from France at Lucas Heights seems the best of a poor set of alternatives. There are at least suitable storage facilities and chemists and physicists
who know how to handle the material.

But what Australia needs urgently is a solution. We are stuck with highly radioactive material for which we are responsible. Like all countries with nuclear reactors, we should not have produced it in the first place until safe storage technology existed.

December 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Secret history of Maralinga nuclear bomb tests

text-from-the-archivesThe half-life of plutonium is 24,000 years. At this rate of decay, the Maralinga secret-agent-Austlands would be contaminated for the next half-million years.…..A variety of factors underlay the harm to public health, Aboriginal culture and the natural environment which the British tests entailed. Perhaps most significant was the secrecy surrounding the testing program….There seems little doubt that the secrecy in which the entire testing program was cloaked served British rather than Australian interests…..Information passed to Australian officials was kept to the minimum necessary to facilitate their assistance in the conduct of the testing program. The use of plutonium in the minor trials was not disclosed……

A toxic legacy : British nuclear weapons testing in Australia, Australian Institute of Criminology. “…… Three days after the conclusion of the Totem trials, the Australian government was formally advised of British desires to establish a permanent testing site in Australia. In August 1954, the Australian Cabinet agreed to the establishment of a permanent testing ground at a site that became named Maralinga, Continue reading

December 23, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies, uranium | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In 1985 Australians’ opposition to nuclear weapons and uranium mining was widespread

Opposition to nuclear weapons and uranium mining was widespread

That February Hawke’s public announcement that US aircraft monitoring the tests would be allowed to land in Australia created a storm of protest, which he later relayed to the US at meetings in Washington.

The US decided to press on without the use of Australian support facilities.

text-from-the-archivesArchives reveal depth of opposition to nuclear tests
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10856999
By Greg Ansley
 Jan 2, 2013 Nuclear weapons and the United States alliance were causing Australia more than its share of grief in 1985, Cabinet documents by the National Archives of Australia reveal.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s Labor Government was trapped by the commitment of its Liberal predecessor to America’s controversial programme to develop the new MX intercontinental ballistic missile, whose planned deployment threatened to heighten nuclear tensions with the former Soviet Union.

The MX programme originally included 200 of what became the most powerful missile in America’s nuclear arsenal, each armed with 10 warheads and transported on a circular rail track between 4600 silos to confuse Soviet war planners. It was later pruned to just 50missiles, which were withdrawn from service by 2005.

In 1981, Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal Government secretly agreed to support the programme with the splashdown of two missiles about 200km off eastern Tasmania. Continue reading

December 23, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Evidence that Maralinga soldiers were radiation guinea pigs

The press release was drafted ahead of Operation Buffalo at Maralinga, during which secret-agent-Austtroops were ordered to crawl through areas hit by fallout. It was not meant to be made public

text-from-the-archivesTop secret document reveals British troops were knowingly revealed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests – mirror.co.uk, by Susie Boniface, 2 Jan 2011, British troops WERE knowingly exposed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests, a top-secret document has finally proved.

For five decades, successive governments have denied any harm was caused to the 22,000 servicemen ordered to witness nuclear bomb tests in the Fifties and Sixties – saying the explosions were to test the weapons, not their effects on humans, and the men were at a safe distance.

But a draft Press release written before tests in Australia in 1956, now uncovered in the National Archives, reads: “The possible effects of the ingestion of radioactive fallout (by men and animals) will be among the subjects studied.”

It has the words “by men and animals” crossed out in pencil, and the version that was actually released mentions only sheep and small animals.

The document blows apart official claims that the tests were not harmful to the troops who witnessed test blasts in Australia, the US and the South Pacific.

It also backs the test veterans’ claims that they were used as “guinea pigs” by the MoD in its race to build an atomic bomb.

Since the tests they say they have suffered high rates of cancers and other illnesses. More than 1,000 vets and widows have won the right to sue the MoD.

The top-secret Press release was unearthed by veteran David Wilson, 74, from Shropshire, who served as an RAF clerk at Christmas Island in the South Pacific during two bomb blasts.

Mr Wilson, who is one of the vets suing over illnesses he has suffered, said: “We were ordered there purely and simply to witness those tests, as guinea pigs.”

The press release was drafted ahead of Operation Buffalo at Maralinga, during which troops were ordered to crawl through areas hit by fallout. It was not meant to be made public until..

Top secret document reveals British troops were knowingly revealed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests – mirror.co.uk

December 21, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

America’s secret military facility at Pine Gap makes Australia a nuclear target

VIDEOS  http://reanimatedresidue.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/pine-gap-waihopai-the-southern-echelon/ here comprise  a three part interview with Donna Mulhearn, from Christians Against War, formerly a media adviser with the NSW Government. The text-from-the-archivesinterview details the role of Pine Gap as a secret US spy base. Donna discusses action (2007) she and other activists from Christians Against War attempted to carry out a citizen’s inspection of the secret US Pine Gap base, and the subsequent arrest and charging of these activists. She also exposes the utilisation of Pine Gap in triangulation of missle targets during the Afghan and Iraq wars.

PINE GAP & WAIHOPAI – THE SOUTHERN ECHELON  by reanimatedresidue  April 8, 2012  Pine Gap is a satellite tracking station located near Alice Springs in Central Australia. It hosts the largest CIA facility outside America. In the late 1960s, the then prime minister, Harold Holt, entered into an agreement with the Americans that led to the establishment of Pine Gap. Holt disappeared in December 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned. Pine Gap is officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap since 1988, previously it was known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility. Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear history – scandals and successes

text-from-the-archivesAustralia has a secret and scandalous nuclear history. But at the same time, Australia has a fine history of successes by the nuclear free movement. Aboriginals have been at the forefront, but not alone, as Australia also has a proud record of environmental and anti nuclear activism.

Australia history

From the archives. Each week, this site will be reposting items from the past. Lest we forget:

U.S. military bases made Australia a nuclear target

Australia feared nuclear attack over US ties: archives ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Emma Rodgers 1 Jan 2011, Malcolm Fraser’s cabinet was warned in 1980 that boosting its military ties with the US could put Australia at risk of a nuclear attack and expose it to involvement it in American operations contrary to its national interest, secret cabinet documents show. Continue reading

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, history | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear industry – a history of crude racism against Aborigines

text-from-the-archiveshandsoffDumping on Traditional Owners: the ugly face of Australian racism The Drum, 29 March 12   The nuclear industry has been responsible for some of the crudest racism in Australia’s history.

This racism dates from the British nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s but it can still be seen today.

The British government conducted 12 nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s, most of them at Maralinga in South Australia. Permission was not sought from affected Aboriginal groups such as the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Tjarutja and Kokatha. Thousands of people were adversely affected and the impact on Aboriginal people was particularly profound.

Many Aboriginal people suffered from radiological poisoning. There are tragic accounts of families sleeping in the bomb craters. So-called ‘Native Patrol Officers’ patrolled thousands of square kilometres to try to ensure that Aboriginal people were removed before nuclear tests took place. Signs were erected in some places – written in English, which few in the affected Indigenous communities could understand. The 1985    Royal Commission    found that regard for Aboriginal safety was characterised by “ignorance, incompetence and cynicism”. Many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their homelands and taken to places such as the Yalata mission in South Australia, which was effectively a prison camp.

In the late-1990s, the Australian government carried out a   clean-up  of the Maralinga nuclear test site. It was done on the cheap and many tonnes of debris contaminated with kilograms of plutonium remain buried in shallow, unlined pits in totally unsuitable geology. As nuclear engineer and whistleblower Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’ on ABC radio in August 2002:

“What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”

Despite the residual contamination, the Federal Government has off-loaded responsibility for the land onto the Maralinga Tjarutja Traditional Owners. The Government portrays this land transfer as an act of reconciliation, but the real agenda was spelt out in a 1996 government document which states that the clean-up was “aimed at reducing Commonwealth liability arising from residual contamination.”….. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3919296.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Maralinga nuclear compensation cases blocked by Bob Hawke when PM

text-from-the-archivesHawke government schemed to stymie Maralinga nuclear test compensation, cabinet documents reveal  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/hawke-government-schemed-to-stymie-maralinga-nuclear-test-compensation-cabinet-documents-reveal/story-fni6uo1m-1227171284110  PETER JEAN POLITICAL REPORTER THE ADVERTISER JAN 1, 2015  THE statute of limitations was invoked by the Hawke Government to prevent hundreds of compensation actions being pursued in court by veterans of British nuclear tests in Australia.

Government documents from 1988 and 1989 released by the National Archives of Australia reveal that cabinet decided to try and invoke time-limit rules to fight court compensation actions launched after 1988. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Media secrecy allowed Australian territory to become highly radioactively contaminated

text-from-the-archivesDig for secrets: the lesson of Maralinga’s Vixen B The secret-agent-AustConversation, Liz Tynan, 26 July 13  “……lack of knowledge about the British nuclear tests in Australia is not surprising. The tests were not part of the national conversation for many years. Even when older people remember that nuclear tests were held here, no-one knows the story of the most secret tests of all, the ones that left the most contamination: Vixen B.

Maralinga is a particularly striking example of what can happen when media are unable to report government activities comprehensively. The media have a responsibility to deal with complex scientific and technological issues that governments may be trying to hide. While Maralinga was an example of extreme secrecy, the same kind of secrecy could at any time be enacted again. With the Edward Snowden case, we have seen what can happen when journalists become complicit in government secrecy, and we have learned the press must be more rigorous in challenging cover-ups.

At Maralinga, part of our territory became the most highly contaminated land in the world. But the Australian public had no way of granting informed consent because no-one knew it was happening. Remediating the environmental contamination was delayed for decades for the same reason. While arguments might be mounted for the need for total secrecy at the time (although these arguments are debatable in the case of Vixen B), there was no reason to keep the aftermath totally secret as well. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, media, reference, South Australia | 1 Comment

To promote mining (especially uranium) Australian government trashed the reputation of Aboriginal people

Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory

And even in 2009 when the CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, John Lawler, reported that his investigation had shown there were no organised paedophile rings operating in the NT, no formal apology was ever made to the Aboriginal men and their families who were brutally shamed by the false claims.

text-from-the-archivesSixth Anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention – Striking the Wrong Note Lateral Love Australia‘concerned Australians’ Michele Harris, 21 June 13 Aboriginal advocate Olga Havnen, in her Lowitja O’Donoghue oration has asked a critical question. She asks what has been the psychological impact of the Intervention on Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. It is surprising that so little attention has been given to this critical, yet in some ways tenuous, link before now.

Even before the Intervention began in June 2007, government had long planned a new approach to the ‘management’ of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. It was no longer part of government thinking that self-determination and Aboriginal control over land could be allowed to continue. These were the Whitlam notions of 1975 and they were no longer acceptable.

Early inklings of change occurred in 2004 with the management of grants being transferred from communities to Government’s newly established Indigenous Co-ordination Centres. More ominous were the Amendments of 2006 to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the memoranda of agreements that followed. Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory. Continue reading

December 5, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, reference | Leave a comment

From Australian nuclear archives – lest we forget – theme for December 2016

text-from-the-archivesFor December 2016, this website will be republishing significant articles from past issues. Historic articles are interesting in themselves, but more importantly, give insight into current problems in Australia.

australia-history-1

Aboriginal history – and what the global nuclear industry has done to Aboriginal people is the most important issue in Australia.

It is not, however, the only issue.  The effects of the nuclear industry, in particular, of uranium mining, have not only permanently trashed some land, and threatened precious water, but have also impacted on health of white Australians , as well as black.

In Australian politics, there has been a sorry history of kow towing to the British government and nuclear industry, and to the American.

So called “Australian” companies e.g BHP Billiton ( 75% English owned) and Heathgate  (owned by USA weapons maker General Atomics) portray the false idea that nuclear is an Australian industry.

Australia had a proud history of promoting nuclear disarmament – trashed more recently in its readiness to sell uranium to India ( non signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty) and to Ukraine – a corruption basket case).

 

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Christina themes, history | Leave a comment

How USA got rid of Australian Prime Minister Whitlam – it was all about Pine Gap

Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. “Try to screw us or bounce us,”the prime minister warned the US ambassador, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention”.

Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, “This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House. … a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion.”

Pine Gap’s top-secret messages were de-coded by a CIA contractor, TRW. One of the de-coders was Christopher Boyce, a young man troubled by the “deception and betrayal of an ally”. Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated the Australian political and trade union elite and referred to the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, as “our man Kerr”.

pine-gap-1

The forgotten coup – How America and Britain crushed the government of their ‘ally’, Australia https://www.rt.com/op-edge/198420-australia-pm-whitlam-intelligence-usa/
By John Pilger 23 Oct, 2014 Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognized, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow.

But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him. Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”.Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing.

Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor Party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to “buy back the farm”. In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain’s colonization of Australia, and the question of who owned the island-continent’s vast natural wealth.  Continue reading

October 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, politics international | Leave a comment