Thursday 20th of February 2020

Richard Tonkin's blog

Defence Minister in AWB Double-Snare

 Former Defence Minister Robert Hill now joins PM Howard and Ministers Downer and Vaiille in being implicated in the AWB cover-up.

Only a few sleeps away from the delivery of the AWB Report we learn that 70 employees of the the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade knew about the bribes to Saddam as far back as 2001

A cable from Australia's mission to the United Nationse refferring to "kickbacks"  was sent to DFAT, the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Defence Department, and marked for the information of the Prime Minister, the Trade Minister, Austrade, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister.

Downer's Dog Days

Poor Alexander Downer!  His leash has been cut, he's about to receive the political equivalent of a snip from the vet, and everyone's trying to put him down.

It's  bad enough that through the demise of the Bush Administration's power supply he's  just been demoted from alsatian to poodle, but now that the the Democrats are about to control the US' own Australian Wheat Bribe investigations, he's just lost the "flea collar" of ministerial non-accountablility that he buried in Commissioner Terence Cole's terms of reference.  No matter what Cole says when he hands down his findings in the next few weeks, Downer is about to be judged by the US Congress.  Where Cole can't find Downer guilty of participating in one of the more heinous war crimes of the Iraq invasion.   Democrat congressmen can, and probably will, banish him from the international political arena  as punishment for his crimes.

Umbrellas Up! PM Howard On Adelaide Radio Today

The Prime Minister was busy on Adelaide this morning puttting up an umbrella to shield his electoral hopes from the downfall of the Republicans.

Speaking on ABC-891 today MrHoward explained that Republicans, given their financially conservative nature, stayed at home in protest of the Bush Administration's fiscal deficit, and that this was a big difference between the two countries.

"What has happened at the ballot box in America has not changed the situation on the ground in Iraq" Mr Howard said

Detaching himself from Bush's recent comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, the Prime Minister explained that Irraq couldn't be compared to Vietnam as "The judgement in history in relation to Vietnam is that it was a civil war."

Beware Terrorists Like Scott Parkin, plus A Letter From Scott

Somebody named FOSP added this to my Houston Indymedia version of the Parkin story.

 

Yep, if people start getting organised in their protests, the Bush Regime in both countries might indeed have something to fear.

I've just received this from Friends Of Scott Parkin:

Dear Friends-- Very exciting news!  Yesterday, Justice Ross Sundberg granted my lawyers access to the contents of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization's security assessment  which resulted in me being removed from Melbourne in September last year.  Furthermore, it grants access to the security assessments of my 2 co-plaintiffs, Iraqi asylum seekers Mohammad Sagar and Muhammad Faisal, who have been in an Australian detention centre for the past 5 years.

Australian Federal Court Backs Halliburton Protester Scott Parkin

The Australian  Federal Court has announcedoday that deported activist Scott Parkin does have a right to know why ASIO deported him.  The court has granted Parkin access to the ASIO documentation used in his negative security classification.


On the day before Septemberr 11 last year Parkin was arrested and placed in solitary confinement amidst claims he was a violent activist.  He was portrayed in Australian September 11 media as a threat to Australian security.  Newsweek  reported in January that the Pentagon had kept a file on Parkin handing out sandwiches as a protest for Halliburton's food charges in Iraq.  It is likely Australian intelligence agency ASIO declared that Parkin was a potentially violent activist on the  strength of this file's existence, though it's unknown if ASIO were allowed to read it.

Why The Kovco Inquiry Findings Were Delayed

I've got a theory as to why the inquiry findings into the death of Private Jake Kovco are not being released till next year.   In both Australia and the US sentiment against the war in Iraq has never been higher, and the control of US Congress may be decided on this issue, as it might in Australia next year.

The circumstances surrounding Kovco's death are being considered unfortunate by some and negligent by others.   Testimonies have referred to the inappropriate cleaning up of evidence and confusion in details of evidence by comrades in close proximity.  Then there's the accidental switching of bodies that led to the remains of a deceased Bosnian contractor being flown to Australia instead of the fallen soldier.

Halliburton Iraq Overcharges Hidden In Australia?

As Halliburton-KBR is accused of massive construction overcharges in Iraq I wonder how much the Adelaide office has been involved.  For around five years this building was the Halliburton/KBR's Global Headquarters for Infrastructure (sorry, I'm not a good signwriter).  As this was in the period before and after the Coalition's occupation of Iraq, you'd have to assume that a lot of the contentious paperwork would have passed through this building on its way from Iraq to Houston.

KBR_global_hq.jpg Photo: Adelaide Indymedia

Halliburton Iraq Overcharges Hidden In Australia?

As Halliburton-KBR is accused of massive construction overcharges in Iraq I wonder how much the Adelaide office has been involved.  For around five years this building was the Halliburton/KBR's Global Headquarters for Infrastructure (sorry, I'm not a good signwriter).  As this was in the period before and after the Coalition's occupation of Iraq, you'd have to assume that a lot of the contentious paperwork would have passed through this building on its way from Iraq to Houston.

KBR_global_hq.jpg Photo: Adelaide Indymedia

South Australia- Just Add (Halliburton) Water

I was suprised to find out yesterday that the Halliburton engineer for a major (proposed) S.A. water reclamation project had also set up a nut farm in the Murray.  There's already one in Canberra, where KBR paves the paths on which the pollies slither, so why would Cheney's Men be setting up a foreign investment opportunity on the banks of a dying river?

[from ABC Australia]

Engineering and construction firm KBR had planned to start planting this month, until its financial partner pulled out due to 'overseas policy issues'.

Terrorist Confesses After Two Years Torture- Thought Police Wag The Dog

Given that Dhiren Barot's incarceration commenced with 12 days of solitary confinement, it's not surprising that he's told Coalition interrogators exactly what they want to hear.  Barot along with seven others was charged by British police with possessing reconnaissance plans of the Stock Exchange in New York, the International Monetary Fund in Washington, Citigroup in New York, and the Prudential Building in New Jersey, as well as having notebooks with information on explosives, poisons, chemicals and related matters.  

It seems that as the information would be useful to a terrorist planning a terrorist attack, the possession of the knowledge is illegal under U.K. law.   This, folks, is a scary precedent to set in the war on terror.  There's no doubt that unless the Wooden Tops scored a definitive "result" then Barot's imprisonment was going to look terrible on the history books.

From The Diary Of U.S. Vice President Mike Rann, 5th November 2030

The U.S. Missile Shield, now controlled from Adelaide, would have looked from above like a cheap umbrella.  Still, while recycled paper and plastic were being exhumed from the South Australian outback and extruded into space-station "lifeboats" for Western Civilization, as long as it kept the Jihad at bay for a few years, the ageing Aegis system would have served its purpose.  These days people refer to it mostly as the Shield of Christ.  and the devotion with which its components are renewed at Port Adelaide is akin to religious fervour. 

The trick was going to be how to get the population off-planet and keep the allies of Allah out of Antarctica.  Bad enough if they got control of the Australian uranium reserve, but what if they got their hands on the mineral reserves beneath the ocean floor under the South polar icecap?   We'd be broke.  

Downer And Democracy- Advertiser Letter Self-Reprint

Last year the freedom of speech in South Australia was challenged by the forbidding of the public to gather on the steps of  Parliament.  Fortunately the voice of democracy was heard and we were allowed to protest US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld's visit.  One of the proudest moments of my life was helping to fix the rallying banner for peace  to the Paliamentary pillars.  It restored my faith in the voice of the people being allowed to be heard.

Foreign Minister Downer's words yesterday have changed my mind.  Faced with statistics suggesting that four out  of five Australians believed that our atempted mission in Iraq  was a faillure, Mr Downer turned a deaf ear to the point of view.

Halliburton Australian Defence stuff-up- Tanks But No Tanks

After all the trouble we\ve gone to, the whole plan's gone bung.   It turns out, as some folks were warning years ago, that Australia''s new tanks, part of a mullti-nation Coalition of the Willing fleet of M1A1 Abrams, are too heavy to ride the Halliburton railway to Darwin.

Freightlink, the consortium that Cheney set up to run the line for 50 years after KBR built it. has denied, according to today's Australian, that there's a problem, saying that they're working closely with defence on military transport issues.

Questions On The" Kovco Tapes", Sky Television Infiltration Scare

There's a video link from the inquiry room to that which the journalists watch from.  Vision from the Kovco inquiry is supposed to go to no other place even within the amry barracks at which the hearing is being held.  Howvever the Daily Telegraph reported that the inquiry has been halted, all of the journalists evicted from their room and their belongings searched, due to a believed wire-tap by Sky News.   Sky and the Tele have since reported that this was not the case.   The fact, however, that the inquiry believed that an infiltration occurred and acted accordingly belies the level of paranoia at which the inquiry is being conducted.  Perhaps the Austtralian public should consider a similar methodology.

Smelling Like Project Rose- AWB Documents Ordered Handed Over

The old saying is that a person might be  so lucky as to fall into a bucket of manure and come out smelling like roses.  There's a fair chance that whoever named the AWB's reputation recovery plan may have been overly optimistic.

Along with their departments, three Australian ministers, those of Defence, Trade and Foreign Affairs, are now swimming in that proverbial bucket.

Project Rose was conceived when AWB knew that the UN Oil-For-Food Inquiry was going to suggest that the company was bribing Saddam for wheat deals by giving him money to buy weapons with.   It is also likely to be connected with the activities of Australia's ambassador to the U.S. as another part of a continued cover-up program to conceal that AWB, a formerly Government controlled agency, was funding what became an enemy army.

Today the courts have ordered that AWB hand over piles of documents it didn't wish the Australian Inquiry into the matter to possess.  It managed to suppress some, but over half the documents that it wished concealed will now become available for public scrutiny.

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