“There is one kind of history – the history in newspapers etc. which are all lies. There is another kind of history which is far more scandalous and it’s the one that tells you how it really happened.” – Unknown Subtle.
Almost all Australians have heard of ‘The Dismissal’ when the Governor-General of Australia Sir John Kerr terminated the Prime Minister of Australia Gough Whitlam’s reign and dissolved both houses of parliament. Kerr then handed the power over Australia to the opposition Liberal Party, making Malcolm Fraser caretaker Prime Minister. Australians have not ever questioned why; they’ve just accepted the mainstream Media’s vague commentaries. A Coup is something that happens in unstable third world countries, not a comfortable land like the Commonwealth of Australia.
The ‘Baby Boomer’ generation of Australia was busy working hard, trying to pay their new mortgages in the face of ever increasing interest rates, raising their families and relying on the six o’clock news to keep them informed. The talking heads rattled on with talk of the senate’s ‘block of supply’ while the Murdoch media spewed out front page stories about Rex Connor’s involvement in ‘the loans affair’ and Jim Cairns’ personal life. In reality, the truth is far more complicated and disturbing.
To truly understand these events, at its core, I have to demonstrate that Australia is not the free and independent nation its citizens believe it to be and quite a bit of background is required.
Australia has much vulnerability; however, here is what I believe to be its biggest. Australia has a small population considering the huge land mass that it is. Its population is spread out but centralised mainly along the southern and eastern coastlines. Its geographic location in relation to far more dominate financial and populous nations like China and Indonesia is something that our nation needs to be aware of. In World War two, the Japanese made it to Darwin and that is one of the reasons that we have allowed the United States to set up so many military bases on Australian land. In addition to this, we are bonded to Great Britain, both through the Commonwealth and on a deeper level, her Reserve Bank is owned by the same group of people who own the United States Federal Reserve and The Bank of England.
The following critique will provide background for the events leading up to the dismissal of the Whitlam government. I will also trace the history of select interest groups who had/have an interest in the affairs of the Australian government. Furthermore, it will look at the fallout providing probably more questions than answers.
At the end of World War Two, the fear of communism ran rampant across the western capitalist world fuelled by what is today referred to as ‘McCarthyism’. It was on this basis Prime Minster of Australia, Ben Chifley, in 1949, established the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). ASIO was basically a spy network established by the government to monitor the Australian people and spy on ‘people of interest’. ASIO was the Australian organisational equivalent to the British MI5 or the United States FBI. Very quickly Australian governments lost control over ASIO. Over the next two decades, ASIO was to spy on and keep detailed dossiers on over 100,000 Australian citizens.
This was only officially confirmed in the 1990’s when ASIO released a significant amount of files, recordings, and films of Australians dating back to the Menzies era. All the spy files kept by ASIO were negative and in some case, they went as far blacklisting individuals, and therefore these people were unable to obtain work, particularly civil service employment. ASIO at this time was not held to account in any public manner. It was a secret and silent cabal which operated unbeknownst to most Australians.
Three years later Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies established The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) Australia’s international spy network. The organisation operated in extreme secrecy. Very quickly the organisation agreed to information sharing with The United States (CIA) and British (MI6). By this stage the United States government, under the weak presidency of Truman, had already lost control of the Central Intelligence Agency. Under ‘Operation Paperclip’ the CIA was able to set up a huge intelligence network through the entire world immediately follow the Second World War. Over the next 20 years, the CIA started to interfere with global politics worldwide.
In South East Asia the CIA’s involvement prolonged the Vietnam War. Through its airline ‘Air America’ it started to import millions of dollars’ worth of heroin and marijuana from the ‘Golden Triangle’, smuggling it back into the States in the coffins of dead American soldiers. The money obtained from the sale of the illegal drugs trade served as a means of funding other covert operations. The Golden Triangle is the border of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma), it is called the Golden Triangle because as the opium trade covers three countries, the opium can’t be paid for by currencies, therefore, all financial transactions are made with gold.
Cambodia’s stable leadership had steadfastly refused to take sides in the Vietnam conflict; unfortunately, this didn’t protect them from Kissinger, Nixon and the CIA. In 1969 The US through Air America started carpet bombing Cambodia under the pretext that the North Vietnamese soldiers were using the country as a staging base for its attacks on the South. The bombing of Cambodia lasted for four years, without official recognition of the US Congress.
The humanitarian cost on Cambodia; a nation who was not involved in any direct war was devastating. The Prince of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk went into exile while the USA dropped more the two and half million bombs on the country. Upwards of 500,000 people were killed with millions more displaced. In the midst of this chaos the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot rose up and took control of the country which led to one of the worst acts of genocide in modern history. All of this in a country that the US weren’t even at war with.
In 1970, Chile democratically elected Salvador Allende as President. One of Allende’s election promises was to nationalise Chiles copper mines. The nationalising of Chiles resources was a threat to United States industrial interests in Chile. US company IT&T controlled the Chilean telephone network and had a lot to lose under the Allende government. IT&T voices its concern to the US government, Henry Kissinger in particular. Kissinger and Nixon then authorised the CIA, with a budget of $8-10 million to infiltrate and destabilise the Chilean government thereby protecting its interest in Chile via the funding of a military coup.
In 1970 Chilean military commander Rene Schneider was assassinated. In his place, Allende appointed the CIA-backed General Augusto Pinochet. In 1973 Pinochet lead the coup which overthrew the government and led to the death of Allende. Pinochet then backed by the CIA (As supported by declassified CIA documents), took control of the country and brutally tortured and murdered any opposition to his leadership.
The CIA can also lay claim to the Iranian coup d'état on 19th August 1953 which overthrew of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh when he attempted to nationalise the countries oil. Iran was then run by the US backed, Shah of Iran Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi until the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Furthermore, The CIA was active in drug smuggling out of a number of Latin American countries, the installation puppet governments, and constant destabilising actions, within these countries. These operations were backed by the US the Military industrial complex and US Corporations commercial interests. (As supported by declassified CIA documents, ex-CIA agents, and CIA leaks).
Closer to home, the CIA had spent a decade fighting in Indonesia before they assisted in the installation of dictator President Suharto, a favourable condition for US traders accesses to Indonesia’s lucrative mining operations.
While the mission of the CIA was supposed to be that of an intelligence network it had quickly morphed into a tool for American Corporatocracy worldwide. While ASIS was sharing information with CIA, the CIA viewed ASIS as satellite intelligence network for itself. It was not as forthcoming in information sharing.
In 1972 Gough Whitlam’s Labour party won the federal election, this was Australia’s first Labour government in 23 years and Australian society was about to change drastically. The Whitlam government reforms included; Wage rises, Pensions and Superannuation, Free health care, Equal pay for women, Free Tuition, Aboriginal land rights and other programs, as well as replacing the old national anthem; ‘God Save the Queen’, with the new ‘Advance Australia fair’.
Henry Kissinger the US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, and President Richard Nixon mistrusted of the Whitlam government so much that they cut them out of the intelligence loop in breach of the UKUSA Security agreement. They referred to (ALP) Australian Labour Party as a socialist government and were eager to oust it from power.
Much to the anger of the United States, and the private British banking system, the Whitlam government withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam; Voiced support of Palestinian land rights and the proposed the setting up an Indian Ocean peace zone.
Gough Whitlam publicly condemned the Nixon administration for the bombing of Hanoi. Trade Minister Dr. Jim Cairns allegedly called for Australian people to protest through boycotting US goods. Whitlam sent a formal letter of objection, hand delivery to the White House by an Australian diplomat. There are conflicting reports over how informal communications between the Whitlam-Nixon governments regarding the ‘Christmas Bombing’ played out. Kissinger was reportedly infuriated. Ultimately the US Ambassador to Australia Walter Rice was recalled.
As a countermeasure to the Whitlam’s government opposing of the US, The US sent Marshall Green, to Australia as ambassador (1972-75). Green was a CIA agent known as the " "coup master" and had been involved in three coups, including the 1965 Indonesian operation, which killed over a million people, while bringing Suharto to power. Green’s involvement was established to deal with “the Whitlam Problem”.
While all these actions were going on, there were just as many changes behind the scenes both nationally and internationally;
Locally, it has been alleged that the day after Whitlam took government he ordered ASIO boss Director-General of Security Peter Barbour not to vet any of his cabinet and staff. Along with soon to be Attorney General Lionel Murphy, Whitlam informed Barbour that ASIO was going be held to a parliamentary managed level of accountability.
Despite this, the ASIO hunt for Communist in Australia continued to focus of the Australian Trade Unions. ASIO agreed with the CIA view that Gough Whitlam and his Labor government was a communist / socialist threat.
For years the Australian Communist parties had tried to align themselves with Australian trade unions. The Labour Party had long been aligned with the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions). When questioned by the press about the conduct of the ACTU, Gough Whitlam declared total faith in the ACTU’s leader Bob Hawke. ASIO, on the other hand, were deeply entrenched in spying on members of the ALP and the ACTU. This involved videotaping and phone tapping of students, and party and union members. This conduct was initiated by the heads of ASIO and was not authorised by any government department.
According to Joan Coxsedge, (an Australian activist, former politician and leftist journalist); in 1973, Whitlam went to Bill Robertson, the director-general of ASIS and demanded to know the names of operatives and what operations they were undertaking. Unbelievably, he found out Australia operatives were in Chile, working under the CIA’s direction, to destabilise the government of Salvador Allende. Whitman ordered that they immediately cease these actions. ASIS disregarded the order from Whitlam and at least two Australia ASIS operatives were in Chile during the September Coup that resulted in Allende’s death and Pinochet seizing control of the country.
The standoff between Gough Whitlam ASIO & ASIS was brought to a head when Attorney General Lionel Murphy, with Federal Police, raided the ASIO offices in Melbourne. Murphy seized files with a search warrant on the grounds of national security. The government believed ASIO was withholding serious information from the government. As a result of this raid, in August 1974, Whitlam set up the ‘Hope Royal Commission’ to investigate the country's intelligence agencies. (The first report of the finding were not released until 1976. Between 1976 and 1977 eight multi-volume reports of the RCIS were released to the Governor-General, however, only very limited information was made public. Thirty years later a review was undertaken to determine what further pages of the reports could be released to the public. In 2008 much of the remaining records were released via the Australian Governments National Archives. Some information was still considered too sensitive to be released.)
Enter The Nugan Hand Bank:
In 1973 The Nugan Hand Bank was established in Australia by Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer with a questionable history, and Michael Hand, a former CIA contract operative. The bank's directors were all CIA (current and ex) and US military personnel. Four of them list their postal address as care of Air America. The bank's executives included former Rear Admiral Earl Yates as bank president and ex-CIA head William Colby as legal counsel. The bank offered tax breaks and high interests as a means of encouraging high-flying investors. Furthermore, it made assurances of anonymity via numbered accounts, tax-free accounts, and specialist investment assistance. The bank was backed by nothing and had no reserves.
In 1974 the bank became a financial go-between for the US sales of armoury to Angola. Many CIA and US military individuals including Bernie Houghton, Edwin Wilson, Ted Shackley, Thomas G. Clines were involved in the bank.
Nugan Hand obtained a banking license in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands in 1976.
With its head office in Sydney, it set up branches in Chiang Mai, Manila, Hawaii, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cayman Islands and Washington D.C.
In offering a secret numbered account, ensuring anonymity for its investors, the bank was soon flooded with deposits. It opened the door for money laundering. It is alleged that local drug dealers started depositing funds in the bank. The huge marijuana traders from the Griffith (Robert Trimbole and family) area of Australia was said to have used the bank to launder its profits. The Griffith drug cartel was part of the huge Mr. Asia drug syndicate.
For the next seven years, the CIA used the bank as a means of hiding and laundering their funds from illegal operations such as arms trades and drug dealing.
Nugan Hand established strategic banks around the world. On the recommendation of Murray Stewart Riley, an ex-NSW police officer who was eventually convicted of importing heroin into Australia, Frank Nugan set up and branch in Chiang Mai. Their Chiang Mai office was primarily involved in the money obtained by the CIA through the trade of huge amounts of marijuana and heroin. The marijuana and heroin were coming out of the ‘Golden Triangle’ on the borders of Thailand, Burma, and Laos.
The CIA had been smuggling drugs out of the Golden Triangle throughout the Vietnam War, sometimes in the coffins of dead US soldiers. It has been estimated that this endeavour earned them $59 million dollars.
Gough Whitlam spent quite a bit of time traveling throughout Europe and South East Asia in his bid to open Australia up to trade and political alliances. Not an unreasonable approach from an open a reformist government.
Friends or Foes:
The CIA’s (America and Britain’s) interest in Australia cannot be understated. Whitlam’s sweeping reforms left the major foreign interests deeply concerned that Australia was looking to relinquish its ties to the Commonwealth and establish an independent nation; the Republic of Australia and closing the foreign espionage bases on its territory. This was never stated publicly; however, Whitlam government was well aware of some of the other local and national events involving CIA influence. The Whitlam government had good reason to be suspicious of the close affiliation between the CIA, ASIS, and ASIO.
Gough Whitlam had spoken publically and repeatedly and was quoted in some Australian newspapers about his dislike of the number American military bases in Australia. At the top of his list was the large a very secretive Pine Gap installation situated just north of Alice Springs. Whitlam had gone as far as stating he wanted to close the Pine Gap installation down.
Buried deep in the middle of Rupert Murdoch and other print media were regular stories about Whitlam’s concern about American spy interests in Australia: “US bases ticklish issue for Labor” “Whitlam undertakes to axe two key US defence bases” “PM rejects Anthony’s denial on CIA” “Anthony CIA Connection” Whitlam’s CIA charges ASIS head resigns” “Whitlam to confront critics on US Bases”
In 1966 the Australian government gave the go ahead to the USA to build the Pine Gap installation. The base was built in 18 months and was functional by 1968. A ‘no fly zone’ of 2.5 miles was established around the secretive base. The base was supposed to be a joint venture between the US and Australian governments. The location of Pine gap was the key to its secrecy. Building it outside of Alice Springs meant that it was impossible for mass protests due to its isolated location. A strength that the instalment maintains today.
Richard Stallings, head of Pine Gap (1966-68) (CIA) and Victor Marchetti, Chief Executive Assistant (CIA) drafted the Co-operative treaty for the Joint Defence Space Research Facility between the United States and the Australian Commonwealth governments at Pine Gap. Officially the agreement called for full sharing of intelligence gleaned from satellite intercepts of Eurasian satellite communications. Basically, all information gathered from the base would be shared equally with both governments.
The American arm of the facility was partly run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The station is a key contributor to the global surveillance network ECHELON a code name operated on behalf of the five signatory nations to the UKUSA Security Agreement—Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Referred to by a number of abbreviations, including Five Eyes.
After Whitlam’s election in 1972, US policy at Pine Gap (CIA) changed as well as spying on Eurasia, they began spying on Australia. This involved covert interference with the Australian government and The Australian Trade Unions. The US also ceased sharing the information obtained by the satellite intercepts with the Australian Government. This information was verified in the 1985 Hollywood movie ‘The Falcon and the Snowman’.
In short: The movie follows the story of Christopher Boyce and his childhood friend Daulton Lee.
In real life, In 1974 Boyce’s father, an aerospace security manager and FBI agent helped Boyce get a job at TRW, a Southern California aerospace firm in Redondo Beach, California. Boyce’s job was as cipher his role was to take the information obtained from Pine Gap and reroute it to the appropriate CIA and other government organisations. Not long after starting work in in TRW's "Black Vault" high-security division Boyce started to receive transcripts from Pine Gap discussing the proposed overthrow of the Australian government. Therefore not only was information being withheld from Australia but they were also actively working towards a coup in Australia.
Boyce being outraged by what he saw as the betrayal of the US alliance with it allied nation Australia, wanted to destabilise the CIA actions. To do this he enlisted the help of his childhood friend and minor drug dealer Daulton Lee. Boyce started to sell selective Spy intercepts regarding Australia and “The Whitlam Problem” to Russia, via Daulton Lee. Boyce and Lee were caught, convicted of espionage and jailed. Boyce spent the first ten years of his prison sentence in solitary confinement.
Today, Boyce laments his ‘one man’ war as ‘knee jerk’ reactionary behaviour based upon juvenile outrage at the USA military industrial complex conduct.
Boyce lives in a quiet town in the US these days and doesn’t like to speak about the events of the 1970’s, however, in 2009, he granted an interview with Australian SBS documentary crew. The documents Boyce saw and passed on have not been fully released to the public. Boyce expressed complacency toward the people of Australia. Based upon the lack of interest Australians had shown over their own government’s treatment he said “I view Australia as a satellite state (Of the United States) just like Alaska”.
Boyce was adamant that CIA operatives had infiltrated the ACTU (Australian Council of trade Unions), the heartland of the ALP (Australian Labour Party). Boyce said during the interview, that he heard, during his trial, the ACTU’s then President Bob Hawke had denied that the ACTU had been infiltrated by CIA dissidents to corrupt the Australian union system. Boyce stated that he believed Hawke was corrupt and a liar. He expressed bemusement that Bob Hawke later became the Australian Prime Minister.
This story on its own could be dismissed as conjecture and hearsay, however, when taken in context with other current events it gains greater credibility.
While mainstream Australia remained largely unaware of the serious nature of the espionage being carried out at Pine Gap, and the peril its government was in, by pursuing the matter, which was provoking even more serious interest within the CIA and US Military complex:
James Jesus Angleton, The Head of Counterintelligence for the CIA said: “…and we saw this Whitlam government come into power moving in, barging in. We were deeply concerned.”
“You don’t see the jewels of counter intelligence being placed in jeopardy by a party that was seeking a new way for Australia”.
“…It’s a tender plant that needs nourishment. Some of the major secrets that deal with the world I was once in were given to the Australians services (ASIS and ASIO)”.
On 21st October 1975 Gough Whitlam sacked Head of ASIS Bill Robertson, In September of the same year, Whitlam had sacked ASIO head, Peter Barbour.
There was an allegation that then leader of the Country Party; future Deputy Prime Minister Doug Anthony had close ties to the CIA. Whitlam even stated publically In Alice Springs on November 2nd, 1975 that “…I’ve had no affiliations with CIA money in Australia as Doug Anthony has…”
An October issue of The Australian Financial review cover story banner read “Security Blow-Up” beneath the banner headline the paper contained two stories both at the top and bisected by a partition. The parallel headlines read “Whitlam’s CIA charge; ASIS head resigns” the other “Anthony’s CIA connection”. Allegations went as far as saying CIA agents were living in Doug Anthony’s house.
Whitlam responded to the pressure by addressing the nation via a speech at a press conference on 14 October 1975, where he stated: “I made it clear that the Government will not yield to pressure. We will not yield to blackmail. We will not be panicked. We will not turn over the government of this country to vested interests, pressure groups and newspaper proprietors whose tactics would destroy the standards and traditions of parliamentary government”.
A telex communication recovered from ASIO read:
Top Secret – Urgent message: -
From: Ted Shackley – CIA East Asia Division
To: Director General ASIO
“On November 2 (1975) the Prime Minister of Australia made a statement at Alice Springs, that the CIA had been funding Anthony’s National Party in Australia…
…On November 6 (1975), the Prime Minister publicly repeated the allegation that he knew of two instances in which CIA money had been used to influence domestic Australian politics.”
CIA cannot see how this dialogue with continued reference to CIA can do other than blow the lid off those installations in Australia where the persons concerned have been working... particularly the installation at Alice Springs...The Director General (ASIO) should be assured that the CIA does not lightly adopt this attitude”.
“Your urgent advice would be appreciated… Reply should be made to the CIA… The US ambassador (Green) is fully informed on this message”
Theodore ‘Ted’ Shackley, then- chief of CIA east Asia division was a hard-core long term CIA agent, He was Involved in the ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion and was responsible for a number of covert operations in Vietnam.
Add this to the following tape recording and dare I say it, it appears there was a conspiracy at hand.
A Tape recording of Victor Marchetti, Chief Executive Assistant, to the CIA revealed the following quote: “The Cia don’t (sic) do these for their health. Just to play games, there was a goal there and the goal I think was to get rid of Whitlam. That was the whole purpose I think was to bring in someone that they were closer with and feel would be more reliable and see things more their way. In a sense, it’s a Chile but in a much more muted and sophisticated and subtle form”.
With the renewal of the Pine Gap treaty lease due in December 1975, the situation was about to reach its climax.
CIA director William Colby called upon his counterpart at MI6 Sir Maurice Oldfield. He stressed the importance of the Pine Gap installations strategic significance in the field of counterintelligence, something that Oldfield and MI6 were also acutely aware of. Colby pointed out that as Australia was part of the British domain then it was his job to keep the Australian government in line.
What the Australian public generally was hearing via their media:
The Loans Affair: The Whitlam government had big dreams for Australia, which included the construction of a natural gas pipeline from central Australia all the way to the ports of Fremantle. For this and other projects, the ALP’s Minister for Minerals and Energy Rex Connor looked for a loan of $4 billion dollars. It was Connor and the Government’s intention for Australia to own 100% of the new constructions, borrowing from the usual lending partners, Europeans and US would have resulted in having to share ownership of the new construction with the lenders. It was a simple, but dangerous idea.
Rex Connor met with the shady individual, Pakistani broker Tirath Khemlani, Khemlani who claimed he was a loans broker for a number of wealthy Arab investors happy to loan the money to Australian at an attractive interest rate. Khemlani promised everything however he delivered nothing but excuses. Under mounting pressure, with the issue dragging on and amounting to nothing, on 20th May 1975 Whitlam ordered Connor to cease his contact with Khemlani.
Until Connor’s attempt to borrow from the Middle East, Australia had always borrowed money from via the Government Treasury usually from United States banks. Whitlam was threatened by the US; they told him they would not lend Australia any money unless they agreed to not borrow money from any other source.
At some point this chaotic episode involving Rex Connor, Jim Cairns & Khemlani was leaked to the media. The Murdoch Press was relentless in the pursuit of Labour party gossip. This put more pressure on the Whitlam government.
Dirty tricks become rife in the espionage and media game. Former CIA agent Edwin Wilson as part of the secret ‘Task Force 157’ whose job it was to manage numerous CIA properties, including Pine Gap, engaged the services of contract agent Joseph Flynn. Together Wilson and Flynn forged and ‘leaked’ documents which surfaced in 1975, that alleged ALP ministers had received kickbacks from the ‘loans affair’. In 1981 Flynn told the National Times he was the responsible for forged documents, which included telexes. Flynn claim his services were paid for by Michael Hand, co-founder of the Nugan Hand Bank.
It is quite possible that many of the documents that resulted in Rex Connor and Jim Cairns being dismissed came from this source. A proper investigation of the ‘leaked’ files was not possible for the government at the time due to the speed at which ensuing events happened.
As a result of the leak which involved Tirath Khemlani providing copies of telex communication between himself and Connors and Jim Cairns, Gough Whitlam was forced to sack both members of the party. The loss of these two ministers seriously weakened the government’s credibility. (It was later revealed that Khemlani was employed by Dalamal and Sons, a London-based commodity-trading firm, unfortunately, I couldn’t find any more relevant information on him).
So the Whitlam Government found itself in a financially vulnerable position. With no money from overseas, they were was desperate to push the appropriation bills through the Senate to gain funding from the Treasury.
Newly elected Opposition leader Malcolm Fraser was originally undecided about whether to block supply or not. At some point, he decided he would.
The ‘official’ story goes like this: The Liberal Party blocked the Treasury appropriation bills in the senate, with the intention of forcing an early election. Gough Whitlam having already been forced into one early election refused to call another one. Whitlam believed that if he held out long enough a senator would cross the floor and end the stalemate (On the ABC’s four Corner ‘20 years anniversary of the dismissal’ report senator Neville Bonner said he was ready to cross the floor and pass the bill “that afternoon” [meaning prior to his learning of the dismissal]), however that was not to be. (1979 Bonner was named Australian of the year by the very government he help put in place by not crossing the floor).
I have simplified this scenario and not gone into the high court changes to the laws of the senate and new appointments due to vacancies left in the senate because in the big picture they not really relevant.
According to Journalist and author Steve Gerlach, Whitlam had reached a point where he was going to expose to parliament, the names of CIA operative active within Australia. He was going to give that speech on the afternoon of the 11th November 1975.
Kerr called Whitlam to come and see him at Government house on the 11th of November 1975 and without warning sacked Whitlam and his government. Kerr had already met privately with Malcolm Fraser and told him that he was to form an interim government and Fraser agreed to pass the Bill.
Whitlam had been blindsided. He was later to confess, had he known Fraser had just been in to see Kerr; he would have left without meeting with Kerr.
For reasons that to this day remain unclear Malcolm Fraser and Sir John Kerr had been meeting semi-regularly and in secret since January 1975.
According to award-winning British journalist John Pilger, a man known for reporting where other Media fear to tread; MI6 and the CIA had a secret weapon. In 1950 during the height of the communist fears in the US, the CIA established the Congress for Cultural Freedom organisation, an anti-communist institution. Sir John Kerr was a member of the Australian branch, The (AACF) Australian Association for Cultural Freedom. Prior to this Kerr was said to be part of intelligence organisations as far back as 1946. Which intelligence agency is unclear?
The Governor General of Australia Kerr was said to have taken his role as the Queens representative in Australia very seriously. Kerr was appointed to the position by Whitlam. Governor General was largely seen as a ‘figurehead’ position although the holder of the office did theoretically have the power to dismiss the government.
One of the Nugan Hands banks first actions, after its establishment in 1973, was to set up an unlimited ‘slush fund’ for the Liberal Party of Australian. This money played a big part in the election of Malcolm Fraser’s government in 1976. None of this came to light until 1980 when the bank became insolvent and collapsed.
Two months before the Bank collapsed Frank Nugan was found dead in his Mercedes-Benz, just outside of Sydney with a bullet in the head and the CIA Director William Colby’s business card in his pocket.
“We were to become the paymasters for the CIA around the world, in other words, we were putting ourselves in a position to disperse funds, for the CIA to however they directed” – Former Nugan Hand Bank Executive – Neil Evans – Testifying under immunity from prosecution at The Stewart Royal Commission into the Banks failure.
Evans claimed that the CIA sent him to the city of Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand, the centre of the drug trade. It was from there he claimed that the CIA made millions of dollars to finance various secret illegal covert projects.
The money would come into the bank from the CIA, or people dealing with the CIA. Through the anonymity of the numbered banking account the money would then be rerouted to various offshore account, mainly America, said Evans.
Michael Hand, ex-Green Beret (CIA), the other owner of the bank, appeared before the Royal Commission and simply stated he didn’t know what happened to the money. Following his appearance at the Royal Commission Hand went straight to the Airport where he boarded a plane for Americas under a false passport and was never heard from again.
The story was reported by American TV news network CBS Los Angeles, tying in Nugan Hand, CIA, drug running and the fall of the Whitlam government. One-off reports, sometimes years after the alleged events were not uncommon, no follow through media investigation were taken up.
One Commission witness, a former Nugan Hand director, stated that Hand warned Bank executives “If we didn’t do what we were told, and things weren’t handled properly, our wives would be cut into pieces and put in boxes and sent back to us.”
In all investors in the bank, across the globe, lost $50 Million dollars. Ultimately the bank had been one big Ponzi scheme.
The Stewart and Woodward Royal Commissions look into Nugan Hand Bank and drug trafficking both in and outside of Australia. The Commissions ran from 1977 – 1983 and found that Nugan Hand had been involved in activities of money-laundering, arms shipments; drug dealing, theft, and tax avoidance. It went on to hold the dead Frank Nugan and the missing Michael Hand responsible. No one connected with Nugan Hand has ever been convicted of a crime. Admiral Yates and his fellow senior officer who were involved with Nugan Hand have not responded to Australian requests to testify about the bank.In short, both Royal Commissions were whitewashed and ultimately did nothing but waste tax payers money.
The Media’s role in these events cannot be understated. What most people tend to forget is that most media outlets are privately owned institutions. The perspective taken by a specific journalistic piece takes in colloquially known as ‘spin’. Certainly, media management was a key to Gough Whitlam’s 1972 “It’s Time” campaign and subsequent election. Unfortunately for Whitlam, his sweeping reforms must have upset some very important media owners and the tide turned against him.
Newspapers primarily sell based on their front page stories, and in the 1970’s print media was a far more relevant information source than it is today. There were little to no Front page stories about CIA, ASIS and ASIO involvement in the Whitlam government. On the other hand, there were continuous front page stories about Rex Connor’s loans affair, Dr. Jim Cairns relationship with Junie Morosi, and the opposition’s block of supply. There was also a lot of focus on the number of overseas trips Gough Whitlam was taking. The media would not relent on these issues and that was the key. When media outlet follows through on a story day after day, week after week, there is inevitably a result.
Pine Gap’s location and activities were and are, so sensitive that when and where Skylab was going to fall back to earth it was kept secret by NASA. NASA knew that the debris of Skylab was going to fall somewhere in outback Australia. Zbigniew Brzezinski as Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor advised NASA to continue to deny knowledge of where Skylab was going crash. He was concerned that if the world’s media were to descend on Australia it may draw unwanted attention to the Pine Gap installation. The endeavour didn’t work, and America reporter Ren Breck of News Centre 4 reported on the installation.
Officially in Australia to report on Skylab, Breck questioned, NASA and CIA agent Robert Grey at a press conference in Perth about the Pine Gap installation. Grey’s immediate response was “I’m not prepared to talk about that.”
Breck then took his news crew to Alice Springs where he met with local parliamentary member Neville Perkins. Perkins conceded that he had “no idea” what was going on at the installation. Perkins went on to explain that he had attempted to visit the site a number of times however he was denied entry every time. Breck’s news crew filmed one of these attempts by Perkins.
In 1983 Network Ten Australia aired the Kennedy Miller Productions, Terry Hayes written Mini-series ‘The Dismissal’. The Kennedy Miller Productions and Hayes have both since achieved international success. The six-hour drama focused on ‘The Loans Affair’, Dr. Jim Cairns’ personal life, and the block of supply. Sir John Kerr was represented as a sympatric and tortured soul who appeared to have no choice but to take the action he did. The series was hailed as a television dramatic success. It was also broadcast in England. The most interesting thing about the series was not what was in the story but what was left out.
Throughout the three, two-hour episodes, there was no reference to Pine Gap, Nugan Hand, South East Asia, drug Trafficking, The Hope Royal Commission, Bob Hawke and the ACTU or, ASIS. There was one ‘in passing’ line from the actor playing Gough Whitlam about the CIA and ASIO, however, it was not part of any storyline.
Why the writer and producers didn’t see fit to include any of these issues is curious. The series was made in 1982-83; by then seven years of new information had come to light. A story about Australians two major security organisations operating under the instruction of a foreign security organisation, while leaving the Australian government out of the loop, would have been a fascinating take on events.
Neil Evans had already given Australian television interviews regarding his involvement in Nugan Hand and its illegal operations. Evans was reportedly paid handsomely by Channel 9, who also sold the interview to USA network CBS. CBS America had already reported on the Nugan Hand link to the dismissal. The Royal Commission into drug trafficking within and outside of Australia had already established that there was a structured trade network including CIA involvement. Whitlam had already sacked Robertson and Peter Barbour, implying that there was a secret war behind the scenes of government. Newspaper articles about the ALP’s concerns about Pine Gap had regularly appeared in local print media. All this additional information was available yet not included anywhere with the drama series.
It appears that forces were clearly against Whitlam’s government. The CIA and American Military seldom leave once they have set up a base on foreign soil. Had Pine Gap be located in Glen Waverley or Darlinghurst then maybe it would have caught the attention of the Australian people. Located in an isolated Central Australian town helped maintain the installations anonymity.
The Fraser government went on to win government in 1976 and its continued re-election of government ran through to 1983 when Bon Hawke’s ALP party was elected. When the Fraser Government took over in 1976 there was no follow-through on Doug Anthony’s involvement with the CIA. Whitlam stood down as leader of the ALP after losing the election and consequently, there were no more questions in parliament about the action of the CIA and Pine Gap. Throughout both subsequent governments’ terms, there was little or no reference to the Pine Gap installation, CIA, ASIS or ASIO. It would appear both parties had learned their place in the Commonwealth and UKASU Treaty.
In 1985, Channel 9 ‘Sunday’ program dedicated the show to the ten year anniversary of the dismissal. Both Whitlam and Fraser lent their time to the show, Kerr was ‘unavailable’. There was no reference to ASIO, ASIS or the CIA. It was interesting to note that most of Whitlam’s social reforms were largely carried on by the Fraser Government.
The ABC’s four corner show focused A 1995, 20th anniversary of the dismissal. Once again Whitlam, Fraser, and others were interviewed. While most of the stories remained the same, again no mention of CIA etc., there was a lot more debate and contradiction about who knew what and when. Statements from a couple of Chief Justices of the High Court stated that Kerr had been looking to find a way to legally dismiss Whitlam.
The most interesting statement on the show came from John Menadue, General Manager of News Ltd (1967-74) and Ambassador to Japan from 1976 to 1980 whom made the following statement.
“I had lunch with him (Murdoch) and… told me, Rupert Murdoch did, that, in effect, the government would be dismissed, there would be an election for the House of Representatives, and said well don’t worry John, you’ll be appointed as ambassador to Tokyo, which turned out he was right on both counts”.
Murdoch denies the conversation took place.
In 1997, the short-lived Channel Ten series ‘Conspiracy’ hosted by Doc Neeson ran a detailed segment on the dismissal. Despite including incriminating statements, from James Jesus Angleton, Victor Marchetti and Ted Shackley, the information went unnoticed.
The word ‘conspiracy’ has been demonised over the years and generally provokes a cynical response amongst the community at large. In its simplest terms, a conspiracy is when two or more parties withhold information or actions from another relevant party. Given the actions of the CIA & ASIO in relation to Whitlam, this undoubtedly constitutes a conspiracy. Furthermore, the lack of follow through in media reports relating to these events also constitutes a further conspiracy.
It’s interesting that this story aired in 1997 at the beginning of the new Howard Liberal era. From 1983 – 1996 the ALP had every opportunity to explore the outcomes of the Royal commissions yet they chose not to. The Hawke government had from its start sort to distance itself from the previous ALP government.
The media; television, talk back radio and newspapers (and today internet websites) are and always have been brainwashing devices. Reputable reports should provide the information in a balanced format and allow the reader or viewer to interpret a story. Private media ownership allows for an edited version of reporting. Balanced reports have increasingly given way to coercive social commentary; Sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant.
In the media, has much changed in the past forty years?
Relaxation of media ownership laws both locally and internationally has created a situation where fewer people and organisations own mainstream media outlets than ever before. Pine Gaps has barely been mentioned in the Australian media over the past four decades. Referencing for this article has primarily come from independent and foreign media outlets. Any opposition to US military bases is generally suppressed by conventional commercial Australian media.
In political studies in the Australian education system, if The Whitlam government ever discussed, it is focused solely on the ‘loans scandal’ and ‘the dismissal’. Furthermore, the education system is left with the contradiction of referencing; if alleged reputable news sources chose to ignore important news items, then the unconventional and independent knowledge networks have to be embraced.
The world has been at war for fifteen years now, combine that with a brainwashing media immersed in ‘reality television’ which involves regular war video footage, has a distinct ‘Orwellian’ feel to it. Television news starts at 3 pm in the afternoon. Its key demographic is children and teenagers, at home and without parents to discuss the stories with. At the top of each hour, the word ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’ is bombarded at the viewer. Story titles scroll across the bottom of the screen in a similar manner that was outlawed in the 1960’s because of its brainwashing power.
The ‘Deep’ or ‘Dark’ web is free speeches great hope, which is why it is demonised by educational institutes and mainstream media.
In America, media ownership has sunk to six multi-nation organisations owning the mainstream media leadership. In Australia, we have the same situation, which also allows for cross-ownership of media. This allows for not only duel television ownerships but also ownership of global internet services. Australian media owners share internet powerhouse news networks, like ‘Google’ ‘Yahoo’ and ‘MSN’. These are international news networks posting US political opinions under the ‘.au’ banner. Furthermore, it’s these global and social issues that find their way to ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ etc. In most case, the stories are just regurgitations of whatever is the flavour of the day on Television, Radio, the internet etc.
Most international stories of the day stem from the shady organisation called the Associated Press. Who owns the Associated Press is a mystery, however, according to Wikipedia (another giant in internet propaganda):
“As of 2007, news collected by the AP was published and republished by more than 1,700 newspapers, in addition to more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters. The photograph library of the AP consists of over 10 million images. The AP operates 243 news bureaus in 120 countries”.
This is an alarming amount of, unclarified global reporting. Were and are mainstream media journalists investigating stories or are they applying local spin to faceless organisations brainwashing reports. The genuine reporting of people like John Pilger or SBS Dateline tracking down Christopher Boyce is virtually unnoticed when compared to the Associated Press propaganda behemoth.
Over two score, dual generations have been born and come of age since the events of the 11th November 1975, the forces leading to it and those that followed. 40 years on and Pine Gap is still located just north of Alice Springs and continues to operate in relative anonymity. The alliance of both United States and Australian secret intelligence agencies continues. Pine Gaps has enjoyed anonymity over the past forty years. While ASIO, ASIS and the CIA, Haves spasmodically released declassified files over this time, they have been virtually ignored by the mainstream media.
The ‘paranoia’ that Gough Whitlam appeared to be experiencing towards the end of his term as Prime Minister has proved to be valid. That there is secret government acting beyond the scope of everyday Australians is a disturbing reality. Since ‘The Dismissal’ no other Australian Prime Minister has dared to challenge the USA on any issue of security during their leadership.
Over the past ten years, Pine Gap has moved far beyond the scope of its original vague mission. For 30 years Pine Gap allegedly only monitored foreign satellites and nuclear installations.
According to the ABC’s 7:30 report on the 14th December 2014 its mission changed in 2001.As of 2001 information, satellite photos and telephone intercepts have been used directly for US drones strike. The bombings have included sites in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Iraq. The bulk of deaths resulting from the information obtained from Pine Gap has been civilians rather than ‘terrorist’. The situation apparently got a lot worse once Barack Obama took over as president when he ordered an escalation in drones’ strikes.
In 2006 it was alleged, in the Sydney Morning Herald, that Pine Gap provided to Israel intelligence that resulted in air strikes within Lebanon that killed many civilians, while hunting a Hezbollah group.
With respect to ASIS and ASIO Operations, both organisations were given greater power following 911.ASIS operations are cloaked in secrecy, there is no reason to believe they are not still an extension of the CIA. Not having any further parliamentary inquiries into their actions, we can only wait and see whether anything comes out of covert exercises in Iraq, Syria, Indonesia or elsewhere.
In recent years, Clive Palmer, Australian politician, and businessman have been, represented as a ‘trouble-maker’ and a ‘nut’ because he has addressed members of the media about CIA involvement in Australia. Mr. Palmer was outspoken about the Rockefeller foundation (who are tied to the CIA) reports and the Greens Party of Australia. During several press conferences, Palmer has challenged journalist to read the Rockefeller foundation reports and asked questions that don’t comply with the Murdoch media agenda. To date not one member of the mainstream media has dared to examine the origins of the document.
Clive Palmer did backtrack on his allegation of treason against the Green Party however it’s still an interesting possibility. An anonymous CIA statement was released in response to the Palmer statement “…simply put these allegations aren’t true…” Regardless as to how much truth is attached to Palmer’s allegation, he did reference, the CIA’s involvement in Chile and the Whitlam dismissal as precedent. The reference to historic CIA involvement in Australia was ignored by commercial media and ‘laughed’ off by the Australian ABC network.
ASIO, continue to spy on Australians, however, even without the strengthening of security laws, organisations like Centrelink have made their job a lot easier. Although Centrelink in an institution in Australia today, it’s often forgotten that it took the abolishment of Australia Privacy Laws to establish it. ASIO now have the luxury to view any Australians, Centrelink records, Australian Tax Office records, emails, and web searches, and record their phone calls and text messages.
In recent years, opposition to Pine Gap has come from a most unusual position; Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. The same man who took over from Whitlam during the coup has now called for the closure of Pine Gap. In his book ‘Dangerous Allies’ he refers to the Pine Gap installation as ‘un-Australian’, he goes on to explain that he believes the operations at Pine Gap have changed over the years. ‘The project for the new America’ security law changes, implemented straight after 911 granted the United States sovereignty over its military bases worldwide.As a result, Australia officially becomes a silent partner in the Pine Gap installation.
Pine Gap was initially set up primarily as a surveillance network. Fraser’s book also states that drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan are being coordinated out of Pine Gap. This means the installations primary philosophy had changed from surveillance to active warfare. Fraser alleged the War powers act that allowed America to do this does not cover Australia, therefore in the eyes of the world court, Australia could be charged with War Crimes.
Two generations ago Whitlam, Cairns and various members of the ALP have opposed Pine Gap due to potential vulnerability to foreign attack due to the secretive surveillance operations there.
Now, forty years on, if Fraser's allegations are correct, central Australia is the ’crown jewel’ of the United States military operations in the Southern hemisphere. Furthermore, if it is operating drone strikes out of the installation it seriously heightens the vulnerability of Australia to retaliatory actions. Therefore Australia carries all the risks associated with the actions of the United States on what should be Australian sovereign land. Meanwhile, the United States does as it pleases, and the sovereignty of Pine Gap is unofficially disputed land. When viewed in this light ASIS is an impenitent organisation, which, despite their original mission can only operate under the direction of the CIA.
So for the last 40 years very little has changed in Australia politics toward The USA and its secret masters. As in any capitalist system, trade has continued to grow. There has to be a limit. China is held to be a big hope, however they are surrounded by US military bases, but ultimately the world remains slaves to a monitory system. The amount of money being spent on global defences spending is beyond the comprehension of the average Australian. Is the money worth anything is a fair question?
As of June 2015, Russia and China are both expanding their territories. At the same time, the United States USS Antietam warship arrive in Sydney. It is here to engage in ‘war games’ with Australian naval services in northern Australia. According to ABC news Australia “There will be 21 US and Australian ships, 33,000 personnel, 200 aircraft and three submarines taking part in the training exercise”
Ultimately, defences spending, CIA, ASIS, ASIO, US and Australian governments, International drugs and arms trading, Associated Press, and International private banking institutions are interwoven. We are not looking at the 1% of the world’s wealthiest people; we are looking at the 1% of the1% of the 1%’s wealthiest people. Most of these people are so wealthy that money ceases to be relevant, and their power is absolute, their anonymity assured.
Ted Shackley - CIA
Aerial View of Pine Gap
Sir Maurice Oldfield
The Golden Triangle
James Jesus Angleton