Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Unrelenting dishonest propaganda leading us to war against China


Not sleepwalking but marching with eyes wide open to war. Independent Australia, By William Briggs | 13 April 2021  
While the USA moves towards war, anti-China rhetoric grows on a daily basis and the idea of war is being sold as the “right” thing, writes Dr William Briggs.

A LIE told often enough can become accepted, but it can never be the truth. China has been declared a threat to all that we hold dear, but it is just not so. China, for all its faults, is not a threat and nor is it practising genocide!

The Uyghur genocide claim gets bigger as each day dawns. Peter Hartcher, in The Age on the 10 April, writes of this genocide and of ‘the evil genius of the system of genocide with Chinese characteristics.’ The “genius” according to Hartcher is that the Chinese are allowing the Uyghurs to live. What a clever and cunning genocide that is!

The plight of the Uyghurs is but the latest lurid episode in a sustained and enormously successful push to demonise China in the eyes of the world. The motivations behind this are simple enough. China’s economic star is rising and America’s best days are behind it.

The world is certainly on the edge of a precipice. There is a broad acceptance, despite an embarrassing lack of evidence, that China is an enemy and, as an enemy, a threat. Nobody is ever eager for war, but people have often enough been persuaded that war is an acceptable option. This is particularly so when an existential threat exists, or in this case, is manufactured. The potential for war, justifications for it and warnings of how it might almost “accidentally” become a reality have come to dominate thought……..

If the USA goes to war with China, it will not be by chance. It has been meticulously planned, costed, budgeted for and the weapons, including “low-yield” nuclear weapons, have been manufactured and deployed by the USA. The world should be aghast at such blatant preparations, but it is not. Those who would take us to war need first to convince us that we have no option, that we are protecting freedom, that we are standing for justice and that a threat exists that the enemy is engaging in genocide.

In the space of just a decade, the people have come to accept this. China has gone from economic saviour of the world to arch enemy. Governments begin the process but could not be expected to convince the people alone. Television and print media: editorials, opinion pieces from leading journalists and international editors, columnists and experts, have all played a decisive role.

A recent poll by the Lowy Institute showed that in 2018, 52 per cent of Australians believed that China would act responsibly in the world. Two very short years later and that figure had dropped to just 23 per cent! The polls are then used by the same anti-China crusaders to prove that a problem exists. They are happy to ignore the effect that a daily barrage of anti-China campaigning can do and how it can shift people’s views…….

The most recent reporting of the treatment of the Uyghurs is that the Chinese are engaged in a campaign of genocide. Genocide was practised in Nazi Germany, in Kampuchea, in Rwanda, in Armenia, in Australia, but to suggest that the Chinese behaviour towards the Uyghurs, while quite possibly repressive, even reprehensible, is genocidal is ludicrous.

There has been discrimination and persecution. Life, for the Uyghurs, has never been easy. However, the West paid little or no attention to these people until about the time that the USA began to talk of “containing” China. It was, for the USA, a fortuitous discovery.

The Chinese, at the end of the 20th Century, waged a campaign against Islamist separatist groups that had become active within the Uyghur population. Violence met violence and conditions worsened for the Uyghurs. None of this concerned Washington. What happened to make things change so dramatically? The Chinese, in all likelihood, did step up repressions but the USA have manipulated events to suit a specific propaganda purpose.

Uyghur stories become more and more horrifying. The Western media was once content to rail against the existence of “re-education” camps. Then it was reports of campaigns of mass rape and then mass sterilisation programs. This morphed into claims of social genocide. Reports of forced labour emerged and evolved into stories of slave labour. The term “social” genocide came into use but has now been shortened to genocide.

This ramping up of rhetoric has one real purpose. China must, at every turn, be shown to be a malignant force. The editorialists, international editors, columnists and journalists have become a willing and shameless weapon in this campaign. If it all ends in war it will not be a chance thing. The world will not be “sleepwalking”. 

Nobody wants war but we are being prepared for it. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/not-sleepwalking-but-marching-with-eyes-wide-open-to-war,14982#.YHZ_2MRzAdY.twitter

April 15, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Two years since Julian Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy

the Biden administration has continued Trump’s pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder—in 2010, Biden had labelled him a “high-tech terrorist”. 

Two years since Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy, World Socialist Website, Thomas Scripps, 9 April 2021   Two years ago on Sunday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was seized from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He has been incarcerated ever since, fighting extradition to the United States where he faces life imprisonment in barbaric conditions for exposing war crimes, coup plots, mass state surveillance, torture and corruption.

On April 11, 2019, Assange’s political asylum status was revoked by the Ecuadorian government and British police entered the embassy building, dragging him away. The recently published diaries of former Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan confirm the involvement of the highest levels of the state in this lawless operation.

Duncan explains how he watched the police raid on a live feed from the “Operations Room at the top of the Foreign Office.” Codenamed “Pelican”, Duncan recalled how one of its officials looked on, “wearing a pelican-motif tie.” Duncan’s diary entry concludes, “So, job done at last—and we take a commemorative photo of Team Pelican. It had taken many months of patient diplomatic negotiation, and in the end it went off without a hitch. I do millions of interviews, trying to keep the smirk off my face.”

The sadism of the British state’s snatch-and-grab operation was matched only by the degraded efforts of the pseudo-left to vilify Assange and blacken his reputation in support of a manufactured sexual assault investigation launched by Sweden in 2010. Rightly fearing that his extradition to Sweden would be a stepping-stone to US extradition, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. While he was there, his former “media partners”, most prominently the Guardian, and an international roll call of pseudo-left groups, launched a despicable years’ long slander campaign to smear him as a sexual predator………………

The Trump administration, it was later revealed, was working with the CIA to spy on Assange, including his privileged communications with lawyers and doctors, and to steal his personal documents. CIA operatives discussed plans for Assange’s kidnap or assassination, until Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno agreed to turn him over to the UK police.

Once in the hands of the British state, Assange was subjected to two years of pseudo-legal persecution, culminating in a degrading show trial. Hauled in front of Westminster Magistrates Court just hours after he was seized from the embassy, Assange was found guilty of violating bail. District judge Michael Snow declared, “His assertion that he has not had a fair hearing is laughable. And his behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.”………..

Assange’s time in Belmarsh was characterised by the repeated and flagrant denial of his legal rights, aimed at crushing him and which left him suicidal. He was repeatedly denied proper access to his lawyers and to materials necessary to prepare his defence. When Assange reached the end of his sentence, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ordered that he continue to be held in Belmarsh on remand. During the initial week of Assange’s extradition hearing, held in February 2020 at Woolwich Crown Court, he was held in a glass box, with Baraitser preventing him from speaking or communicating effectively with his lawyers. He was stripped twice and handcuffed 11 times on the first day.

In the run-up to the main hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in September 2020, Assange was repeatedly denied bail, even as COVID-19, to which he is especially vulnerable on account of a respiratory condition, ripped through Belmarsh prison.

The US government used this time to develop its monstrous assault on democratic rights. The initial indictment of the WikiLeaks founder, unsealed on the day of his seizure from the embassy, charged him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, with a maximum sentence of five years. On May 23, 2019, the US unveiled 17 new charges under the 1918 Espionage Act with a combined potential sentence of 170 years. These charges have chilling implications for freedom of the press, criminalising basic journalistic practices and holding them tantamount to treason or espionage.

Another superseding indictment was issued on June 24, 2020, after one phase of Assange’s hearing had been completed and a matter of weeks before the defence was due to submit its skeleton argument for the second. Besides being a gross abuse of due process, the new indictment, based largely on testimony from FBI informants with histories of fraud and entrapment, expanded the framework of the charges to an even wider range of journalistic activity.

The immense significance of WikiLeaks’ and Assange’s journalism, and the criminality of their persecution, was underscored at his hearing in September. Dozens of witnesses spoke to WikiLeaks’ pioneering source protection and the global impact of releases like the Collateral Murder video, revealing the massacre of Iraqi civilians, journalists and first responders by a US Apache helicopter gunship. The US case was exposed as a groundless, vindictive witch-hunt designed to destroy Assange and set a dictatorial precedent for what will happen to any journalists who dare expose imperialist crimes.

With a ruling in favour of extradition considered all but assured, Baraitser delivered a surprise decision against on January 4 of this year. But her politically calculated ruling blocked the extradition request solely on the grounds that it would be oppressive by reason of Assange’s compromised mental health and his risk of suicide if he were imprisoned in the US. She accepted every other element of the prosecution’s case, including its denial of free speech and freedom of the press, and its justification of the abuse of Assange’s democratic rights.

This left the gate wide open to a US appeal. The US Department of Justice quickly responded, “While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised. In particular, the court rejected all of Mr. Assange’s arguments regarding political motivation, political offense, fair trial, and freedom of speech. We will continue to seek Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States.”………

the Biden administration has continued Trump’s pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder—in 2010, Biden had labelled him a “high-tech terrorist”. As the World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) have warned, Assange’s persecution is integral to the war drive of US imperialism, escalated by Trump and now intensified by his successor.

Biden has engaged in an aggressive anti-China campaign and is whipping up anti-Chinese xenophobia at home, promoting conspiracy theories on the origin of COVID-19. The US and its allies stand on a cliff edge with Russia over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, with NATO’s endless anti-Russia provocations and proxy incursions threatening to spill into war.

Military conflicts of such catastrophic scope can only be pursued abroad by destroying democratic rights at home. WikiLeaks’ releases of the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs were a spark to mass anti-war sentiment all over the world. The ruling class in the imperialist countries around the world are determined to prevent their war plans and crimes being reported and have sought to crack down on left-wing, socialist and anti-war opposition. The Assange case is emblematic of this turn to dictatorship.

In the two years since Assange’s arrest, two sharply opposed political perspectives have defined themselves in the fight for his freedom. The official campaign, run by Don’t Extradite Assange (DEA), has based itself on rotten appeals to the state and its representatives. The DEA’s first champion was former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Throughout the 2019 general election, as leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn maintained a politically criminal silence on Assange, blocking the development of a mass movement against British and US imperialism to secure his freedom. When Corbyn did finally speak, it was to appeal to Boris Johnson and the British justice system that had trampled Assange’s democratic rights………..

The pandemic has proved beyond all doubt that there is no constituency in the ruling class for even the most basic democratic rights, including the right to protest and assembly and the right to life. It has responded to the virus with a policy of social murder and by advancing its preparations for state repression and war on a vast scale……….

On the second anniversary of the WikiLeaks founder’s seizure, we reaffirm our demand for Assange’s immediate, unconditional freedom and our commitment to a programme of class struggle to achieve it. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/04/10/assa-j01.html?pk_campaign=assange-newsletter&pk_kwd=wsws

April 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s part in continuing nuclear havoc in Pacific islands – legacy of atomic bomb tests

75 years after nuclear testing in the Pacific began, the fallout continues to wreak havoc    https://theconversation.com/75-years-after-nuclear-testing-in-the-pacific-began-the-fallout-continues-to-wreak-havoc-158208?fbclid=IwAR3q9QJvy507ds2kD0ibOvkD6ZzxFqgGjfHsGrwqJUVMNpujOu8sAeLVPtY
April 6, 2021 
 Patricia A. O’Brien Patricia A. O’Brien is a Friend of The Conversation.Historian, Visiting Fellow in the School of History, Australian National University and Adjunct Professor in the Asian Studies Program, Georgetown University,    This year marks 75 years since the United States launched its immense atomic testing program in the Pacific. The historical fallout from tests carried out over 12 years in the Marshall Islands, then a UN Trust Territory governed by the US, have framed seven decades of US relations with the Pacific nation.Due to the dramatic effects of climate change, the legacies of this history are shaping the present in myriad ways.

This history has Australian dimensions too, though decades of diplomatic distance between Australia and the Marshall Islands have hidden an entangled atomic past.

In 1946, the Marshall Islands seemed very close for many Australians. They feared the imminent launch of the US’s atomic testing program on Bikini Atoll might split the earth in two, catastrophically change the earth’s climate, or produce earthquakes and deadly tidal waves.

A map accompanying one report noted Sydney was only 3,100 miles from ground zero. Residents as far away as Perth were warned if their houses shook on July 1, “it may be the atom bomb test”.

Australia was “included in the tests” as a site for recording blast effects and monitoring for atom bombs detonated anywhere in the world by hostile nations. This Australian site served to keep enemies in check and achieve one of the Pacific testing program’s objectives: to deter future war. The other justification was the advancement of science.

The earth did not split in two after the initial test (unless you were Marshallese) so they continued; 66 others followed over the next 12 years. But the insidious and multiple harms to people and place, regularly covered up or denied publicly, became increasingly hard to hide.

Radiation poisoning, birth defects, leukaemia, thyroid and other cancers became prevalent in exposed Marshallese, at least four islands were “partially or completely vapourised”, the exposed Marshallese “became subjects of a medical research program” and atomic refugees. (Bikinians were allowed to return to their atoll for a decade before the US government removed them again when it was realised a careless error falsely claimed radiation levels were safe in 1968.)

In late 1947, the US moved its operations to Eniwetok Atoll, a decision, it was argued, to ensure additional safety. Eniwetok was more isolated and winds were less likely to carry radioactive particles to populated areas.

Australian reports noted this site was only 3,200 miles from Sydney. Troubling reports of radioactive clouds as far away as the French Alps and the known shocking health effects appeared.

Dissenting voices were initially muted due to the steep escalation of the Cold War and Soviet atomic weapon tests beginning in 1949.

Opinion in Australia split along political lines. Conservative Cold War warriors, chief among them Robert Menzies who became prime minister again in 1949, kept Australia in lockstep with the US, and downplayed the ill-effects of testing. Left-wing elements in Australia continued to draw attention to the “horrors” it unleashed.

The atomic question came home in 1952, when the first of 12 British atomic tests began on the Montebello Islands, off Western Australia.   Australia’s involvement in atomic testing expanded again in 1954, when it began supplying South Australian-mined uranium to the US and UK’s joint defence purchasing authority, the Combined Development Agency.

Australia’s economic stake in the atomic age from 1954 collided with the galvanisation of global public opinion against US testing in Eniwetok. The massive “Castle Bravo” hydrogen bomb test in March exposed Marshall Islanders and a Japanese fishing crew on The Lucky Dragon to catastrophic radiation levels “equal to that received by Japanese people less than two miles from ground zero” in the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic blasts. Graphic details of the fishermen’s suffering and deaths and a Marshallese petition to the United Nations followed.

When a UN resolution to halt US testing was voted on in July, Australia voted for its continuation. But the tide of public opinion was turning against testing. The events of 1954 dispelled the notion atomic waste was safe and could be contained. The problem of radioactive fish travelling into Australian waters highlighted these new dangers, which spurred increasing world wide protests until the US finally ceased testing in the Marshalls in 1958.

In the 1970s, US atomic waste was concentrated under the Runit Island dome, part of Enewetak Atoll (about 3,200 miles from Sydney). Recent alarming descriptions of how precarious and dangerous this structure is due to age, sea water inundation and storm damage exacerbated by climate change were contested in a 2020 Trump-era report.

The Biden administration’s current renegotiation of the Compact of Free Association with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and its prioritisation of action on climate change, will put Runit Island high on the agenda. There is an opportunity for historical redress for the US that is even more urgent given the upsurge in discrimination against US-based Pacific Islander communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are peoples displaced by the tests.

Australia is also embarking on a new level of engagement with the Marshall Islands: it is due to open its first embassy in the capital Majuro in 2021.It should be remembered this bilateral relationship has an atomic history too. Australia supported the US testing program, assisted with data collection and voted in the UN for its continuation when Marshallese pleaded for it to be stopped. It is also likely Australian-sourced atomic waste lies within Runit Island, cementing Australia in this history.

April 8, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, history, reference, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal

February 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian government’s brazen duplicity concerning Julian Assange

What Assange and WikiLeaks said about Australia, https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/what-assange-and-wikileaks-said-about-australia-20210129-p56xyo.html

By Jessie Tu  February 4, 2021 He has been called “truth-telling hero”, “evil and perverted traitor”, “heroic, trickster, mythical – reviled”. Robert Manne called him the “most consequential Australian of the present time”. The new US President has called him a “high-tech terrorist”.

The protean narratives of Julian Assange, who will be 50 in July, have been brewing since 2010, when his website published “The Afghan War Diaries”, “Iraq War Logs” and “Collateral Murder”, a video showing the US military killing two Reuters employees in Iraq.

December marked 10 years since Assange has been “arbitrarily detained” in Britain, according to Felicity Ruby and Peter Cronau in their introduction to A Secret Australia – a collection of 18 essays that survey the impact WikiLeaks has had on Australia’s media landscape and the consequences of our government’s attraction towards America’s intelligence and military empire.

The potpourri of authors and thinkers includes Julian Burnside, Antony Loewenstein, Scott Ludlam and Helen Razer, who critique “the powers opposed to openness and transparency” and examine the evidence, “not the likelihoods, the probabilities, the suspicions, and assumptions” around the “subversive, technology-based publishing house”.

WikiLeaks invented a “pioneering model of journalism” – one that embodied the “contemporary spirit of resistance to imperial power”, says Richard Tanter, from the school of political and social sciences at the University of Melbourne. It brought renewed debates on free speech, digital encryption and questions around the management and protection of whistleblowers who risk their lives to expose covert, deceitful actions by governments.

The documents exposed the “brazen duplicity” of the Australian government towards its citizens and presented “off-stage alliance management conversations”, Tanter writes. They invited the layperson into the green room of the performance that is politics and international diplomacy.
WikiLeaks unmasked reports that showed governments recommending media strategies to deceive the public, demonstrating their unethically utilitarian approach to international diplomacy and governance and “enlightened the public on the dark corners of wars”, writes journalist and author Antony Loewenstein.

Assange is still in a cell at London’s Belmarsh Prison, facing an appeal by the United States in its bid to extradite him to face charges for the 2010 publications. He is continuing to be “denied adequate medical care” and “denied emergency bail in light of the COVID-19″, says Lissa Johnson, a clinical psychologist and writer for New Matilda – one of the few Australian publications that have paid genuine attention to the WikiLeaks saga.

In Australia, there’s been a “striking absence of a solid debate on WikiLeaks in the mainstream public discourse”, according to Benedetta Brevini, a journalist and media activist who insists that our concerning “lack of a thorough and sustained debate” is incomprehensible. Loewenstein calls Australia’s lack of journalistic solidarity with Assange “deeply shameful”. He says we have an “anodyne media environment” – perhaps not unsurprising, considering our highly concentrated media market, one of the most severe in the world.

Most of the essays expostulate on the same things: Assange is a journalist, not a hacker. He’s won a Walkley Award (at least six mentions of this). We have an undeniable legal obligation to him. His persecution is a “gruesome legal experiment in criminalising journalism” – a long and tortured legal process that Ludlam declares “has degenerated into an unworkable shit-show”.

The standout essays come from Guy Rundle and Helen Razer – whose amusing voice cuts through the somewhat parched tenor of cold academic-speak that lightly threads through the other essays. Her addition is a breath of fresh air in the middle of a chain of same-same arguments.

The most useful essay is Rundle’s take on the historical basis for WikiLeaks. He surveys the swirling currents of Australian history that led to its founding, identifying WikiLeaks as a continuation of political activist Albert Langer’s resistance to capital.

“We need a whole new organisation of how recent Australian history is told,” Rundle concludes, seconding Lissa Johnson’s opinion that we demand citizens who “cut across the acquiescence and consent, remove the deadbolt on the torture chamber door, turn down the music and expose what is going on inside”. This collection of polemics, though at times repetitive, takes us closer to a future where these demands no longer seem beyond reality.

A Secret Australia: Revealed by the WikiLeaks Exposes,  Eds., Felicity Ruby & Peter Cronau, Monash University Publishing, $29.95

February 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, media, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Resignation of Dr Adi Paterson from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation- Australian government keeps mum.

Kazzi Jai  What was I thinking? Fight to Stop a Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 22 Jan 21,
Have been waiting AGES for the Answers to Questions from the Senate Budget Estimates October 2020 regarding ANSTO and more importantly questions regarding Adi Paterson’s sudden resignation…..
Well – finally the Answers have been tabled. They are in a rather odd format to access (ie not easily user friendly), but finally the Answers I was specifically after were to Questions 85 to 90 inclusive.
And what do we get? ONE LINE ANSWERS EFFECTIVELY WITH NO CONTENT!
In hindsight, should I have been surprised? No.
Here is the link to the page for those interested anyway…..Toggle the Question number then Select the Question or Multiple Questions on the side of the page close to the bottom….. and then press download to view.

2020-2021 Budget estimates – Parliament of Australia  more https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

                            **************************************************
  1. Some examples of government answers to Senators’questions.

 Sen Kim Carr” (Question No 85) :  “Did Dr Paterson resign or was he asked to resign by the ANSTO board?

ANSWER. “There was no correspondence between the ANSTO Board and the Minister about Dr Paterson’s performance.”

Sen Kim Carr  (Question no. 87)  asked about correspondence between the board and Dr Adi Paterson.
ANSWER: “There is no written correspondence between the Board and Dr Paterson.

January 22, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Kimba’s cosy nuclear corruption

(from left – Mayor Dean Johnson, Maree Barford, Bruce McClear )
Maree Barford is the current Kimba Community Liaison Officer for the dump since 2017. She along with her husband Shaun bought the lease for the Kimba Gateway Hotel in 2014. They had lived previously in Rockhampton Queensland before moving to Kimba, and Maree’s father taught Keith Pitt at school!
Small world!
Anyway – they are receiving $75 000 from the last Community Benefit Fund! ….under “Audio and visual refit of the main function room of the Kimba Gateway Hotel, to modernise and expand conferencing and event capacity for community groups and business.”
They applied for it under “Muffolphin Pty Ltd (as trustee for Barford Family Trust)”
How the F%$# does that work??
Mayor Dean Johnson IS also a personal recipient of money from the last Community Benefits Program! To the tune of $141 000 dollars in fact!! To put a new bakery in the Kimba IGA supermarket which he is owner of!

Kimba’s Maree Barford new nuclear community liaison officer, Eyre Peninsula Tribune, Kathrine Catanzariti.  AUGUST 24 2017 

A Kimba local has been given the job of liaising between the community and government on all things nuclear.

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Taskforce general manager Bruce McCleary announced on Thursday Maree Barford had been employed as community liaison officer – the first job created as a result of the community consulation on a potential National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba.

The announcement was made at the opening of a new project office in Kimba.

Mrs Barford moved to Kimba in December 2014 with her husband Shaun after they bought the lease for the Kimba Gateway Hotel.

She said she applied for the job because it would be great opportunity.

Her role will be to liaise between the community and the government.

“I’ll be engaging with the community and then letting the government know what is happening in the community and their views,” Mrs Barford said.

She will start her role on Monday, working full-time from the project office.

“I think I can be the voice for the community, being the link between the town and the government.” ……

Barford would provide a permanent, local presence to help keep the community informed and involved in all activities, alongside the project team and other experts who would continue to visit Kimba……..

January 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s environmental scientists intimidated, silenced by threats of job loss

 

January 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, culture, Education, employment, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Why did ANSTO shut down National Medical Cyclotron, that made medical isotopes without nuclear waste?

Greg Phillips.  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch, 13 Jan 2021,
Why did the “National Medical Cyclotron” (30MeV) get snuffed out after only 20 years? It was our only way of making Iodine123 here in Australia. Canada has been keeping its giant cyclotron (520MeV) going for over 40 years – and going strong.
Our National Medical Cyclotron was commissioned in 1990 and decommissioned in 2010 (the Opal reactor was officially opened in 2007 – perhaps that’s a clue). During this pandemic we have had to import Iodine123 at great expense from Japan. I get the feeling that ANSTOs management has been more interested in supporting “nuclear reactor partners” (eg. South Africa, China, UK..) than supporting a clean, resilient isotope supply for Australia.
I wonder how many of these new advanced Cyclotrons we could have bought instead of going down the Moly99 waste factory path. This cyclotron can make many medical isotopes, including Iodine123 and Technetium99. Also.. “The TR-24 cyclotron is designed to operate for more than 30 years and can be readily upgraded on-site.”    https://fiveyearplan.triumf.ca/teams-tools/tr24-cyclotron/  . https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

ANSTO gets a blank cheque for its nuclear waste production at Lucas Heights?

Greg Phillips,  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 13 Jan 2021, Congratulations Canada! “Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada”. Why rely on a global network of aging, unreliable, toxic spewing nuclear reactors when you can have a local network of clean, reliable cyclotrons? Especially when pandemics hobble global freight networks. From the article: “The process is safe and precise, employing stable targets and producing little to no long-lived radioactive waste. And, with the right target and extraction systems, these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.”
… I should explain further for those who might be unaware… ANSTO has plenty of room its reactor waste (for many decades). It is their plans to try and supply Technetium to the world that will produce large amounts of extra nuclear waste.
Unlike cyclotrons, ANSTO’s method produces lots of waste – it involves irradiating enriched Uranium plates and then dissolving them in a strong caustic solution. Imagine the complexities (and potential risks) of handling radioactive+caustic waste liquids. Australian tax payers are subsidising the production of isotopes for other countries, and also having to fully fund the waste disposal. It is madness that can only happen when government hands blank cheques to an organisation…  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Government’s Kimba nuclear waste dump slush fund – benefit goes straight to Kimba’s mayor

Community grants from the National Radioactive Waste slush fund..

Of particular interest in Kimba is the 2nd largest amount allocated = $141,667 – apparently for the Mayor to get a commercial bakery in his supermarket.

Whilst in the Flinders it appears that no $ allocations were given to any individual/family owned commercial premises.

Kazzi Jai  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia , 8 Jan 20 What the hell is going on when the Mayor of Kimba is a DIRECT RECIPIENT of the Community Benefit Program!
This is a BLATANT MISUSE OF POSITION AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES!! For those who don’t know….Mayor Dean Johnson is owner of Kimba IGA which is to have a new bakery courtesy of the latest round of Community Benefit Program funding!
Pretty sure “community benefit” means “community” and not “individual advantage and advancement”!!   https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

(From: National Radioactive Waste Management Facility New Community Benefit Program 2019-2022    https://www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/national-radioactive-waste-management-facility-community-benefit-programme/grant-recipients-2019-2022  )

January 9, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian govt has quiet nuclear deal with China, but condemns Victoria-China medical research

Double standards on research cooperation with China, Independent Australia 4 January 2021,   The Government is hypocritical in its approval of Australia’s nuclear research body to work with China on the development of nuclear reactors, writes Noel Wauchope.

PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison’s Liberal Coalition Government seems to remain in silent approval of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTOpartnership with a Chinese company to develop Generation IV nuclear technologies such as small nuclear reactors.

But it’s a different story when it comes to the Morrison Government’s concern to put a stop to the Victorian Labor Government’s cooperation with China in developing agricultural, communications and medical research.

We hear very little about the Australian Government’s research connections with China, managed under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which has the aim of ‘supporting strategic science, technology and innovation collaboration of mutual benefit to Australia and China’.

One remarkable collaboration between Australia and China is in the strategic partnership between ANSTO and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) to develop the Thorium Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor (TMSR) and other Generation IV nuclear reactor designs.

In March 2019, Dr Adi Paterson, then CEO of ANSTO, welcomed renewal of this agreement and was reported as stating that it was “consistent with ANSTO and Australia’s interest in and support of Generation IV reactor systems”. This statement was made at a time when Australia’s federal and state laws clearly prohibited the development of nuclear reactors.

The Age quoted anonymous senior Federal Government sources who reveal that the Australian Government may use its powers to tear up a research agreement between the Victorian Government and China’s Jiangsu province. This agreement was signed in 2012 and renewed in 2019……….

The USA partly funds the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which strongly advises against cooperative research with China. And, of course, Victorian Liberal Opposition leader Michael O’Brien was quick to join in the chorus, condemning the Labor Government for having the deal with China.

All this makes it all the more inexplicable as to why the Australian Government should have an agreement with China to develop nuclear reactors. Under federal law, Australia prohibits establishing nuclear installations.  ……..

There has been virtually no media coverage of Dr Adi Paterson’s deal with China, which goes back to 2015. I have previously written about this and the secrecy under which it was conducted.

Indeed, ANSTO’s operations and its funding have been conducted in secrecy, under the comfortable shroud of national security.

Right now, there is a move to corporatise the nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights as a separate entity to ANSTO. At the same time, the Government is in an unseemly rush to set up a nuclear waste dump near Kimba in South Australia. In the midst of all this came the sudden unexplained resignation of the CEO, Dr Adi Paterson.

The silence on all this is disturbing. It must be especially so for the small rural community of Kimba and for the Indigenous Title Holders as they wait in limbo for the vexed question of the nuclear waste dump to be solved. For the rest of South Australia, that is a concern, too. Victorians may well wonder why their medical research cooperation with China is seen as so dangerous. Meanwhile, is it okay for Australia’s nuclear research body, ANSTO, to work with China on the development of small nuclear reactors?  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/double-standards-on-research-cooperation-with-china,14664

January 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Assange hearing outcome could set an “alarming precedent” for free speech

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corpse rises in ABC Insiders !

What’s happening with ABC ‘Insiders’?  Independent Australia, By Alan Austin  2 January 2021  The capture of ABC Insiders by Murdoch’s minions was a topic of debate all year, with this April Alan Austin piece attracting in excess of 35,000 unique views.

…………Has the ABC’s Insiders program become a vehicle for the promotion of News Corp? Alan Austin has been watching with interest and alarm.

AN INTRIGUING development in Australia’s media landscape this year is that it appears ABC’s Insiders, a substantial television program paid for by taxpayers, has become a vehicle for the rehabilitation and promotion of Rupert Murdoch’s tawdry media empire.

The first 12 Insiders episodes since Speers’ arrival as host, have featured 36 guest appearances. Of these, 12 have been current News Corp employees and another four, recent departees. So 44 per cent of all guests from one stable.

There is no need for the ABC to reference anything from News Corp — certainly not as the key source of information. Australia has more than 30 important media organisations. It is itself a well-resourced generator of news and news analysis. Murdoch’s minions are entirely dispensable.

News Corp a legitimate news organisation?

News Corp is not a reliable source of information. It has long since abandoned any commitment to media codes of ethics. The Australian Press Council routinely finds News Corp outlets violate media codes of ethics. Fact-checkers in the UK and the USA have found the same.

Murdoch’s Fox News in the USA is the go-to outlet for President Donald Trump whenever he wishes to share his fabrications and falsehoods. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. President told 16,241 clearly identified lies in his first three years in office. Many of these were Fox exclusives.

In Australia, several senior Murdoch employees have been found guilty of serious falsehoods — and were then rewarded by their employer.

In the celebrated racial discrimination case Eatock v Bolt, Murdoch’s Andrew Bolt was found to have concocted at least 19 damaging false assertions against the Indigenous people he was attacking.

In the wrongful dismissal case of former editor Bruce Guthrie, the judge found two senior News Corp executives had been untruthful in their testimony before the court.

In Britain, Murdoch’s publications have lied, cheated, bribed police and engaged in an extensive range of criminal misconduct. A British Parliamentary Inquiry in 2012 found that Rupert Murdoch was ‘not a fit person’ to run a company in Britain.

As a result of police investigations into Britain’s phone-hacking scandal, a large number of News Corp personnel were arrested and convicted of criminal offences.

Political bias and the ABC

News Corp outlets spruik the commercial interests of the owners, which almost inevitably means supporting right-wing political parties. Normally this is not a great problem. Political biases are fine, provided they are balanced by other political biases. The issue with News Corp is much more insidious than just bias, as shown above.

Ruthless and remorseless

Among Australia’s most profound wrongdoings in recent times have been The Australian’s malicious condemnations of men and women who have served the nation well.

Professor Robert Manne of La Trobe University wrote this of the recent campaign against the Australian Human Rights Commission and its former president:

The attack launched by The Australian on Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission has been obsessive, petty, relentless, remorseless and ruthless. In ‘Bad News‘ I documented similar campaigns – against Larissa Behrendt and Julie Posetti. But neither reached either the level of malevolence or the cultural significance of the current anti-Triggs campaign … What is happening to Gillian Triggs – a fine lawyer, a fine Australian, a fine human being – must be resisted with all the moral and rhetorical muscle liberal Australians can muster.

Other prominent people The Australian has sought to tear down with its frenzied campaigns of hate, include Carmen LawrenceJoan KirnerWendy BaconNatasha Stott Despoja, Margaret SimonsChristine NixonRoz Ward, Clover Moore, Margo KingstonAnna Bligh, Kristina KeneallyJulian DisneyEmma HusarYassmin Abdel-MagiedJulia Gillard and Jacinda Ardern. ………  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/4-top-story-of-2020-whats-happening-with-abc-insiders,14657

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

A reminder of the danger of ionising radiation, after theft of a nuclear device

December 22, 2020 Posted by | health, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment