Thursday 20th of February 2020

Richard Tonkin's blog

Magical Pills, Mysterious Deals, Mobsters And Our Money

Craig Rowley and I wrote this piece for Webdiary last week- that was before the Halliburton connection was announced. Get this under your belt and I'll be back with the rest soon:

Gerard Ryle, an award winning investigative journo currently working for the SMH, has been breaking a most intriguing story about the rise of a man with a magic mystery pill, how he and his little fuel booster firm, Firepower, shoots for the stars and the way Austrade doles out our money to the pill man's secretive firm.

Maximising Your Firepower

A convoluted trail is emerging that involves allegations of Russian-based international money laundering, direct government dealings with the administrators of Saddam's Australian wheat bribes, and a government representative taking up a position in a cloudy corner of the corporate world.

The Australian Trade Commission has published claims made by Firepower, a Perth based company that its technology provides reductions of environmentally harmful emissions of thirty to sixty percent,, Firepower claim they've been checked by "several world leading independent testing institutes" but don"t say who they are. Austrade refer to testing carried out in Russia... though the sources of the testing are not mentioned on the company's website.

Is It Over Yet?

So, four years after the non-Islamic part of the world violated a nation's sovereign rights by beginning the process of invading, seizing its ruler and at the very least assisting in the creation of the outcome of his execution, is the War On Terror over?

Every Western civilation is five times as scared as it was before of bombs detonating in its city streets. Is the War On Terror over?

3,000 US soldiers are dead, and a couple of hundred thousand Iraqis, who-knows-how-many have been injured. London has been bombed. Al Qaeda has threatened Australia. You can't walk two blocks in Adelaide without your face being filmed twenty five times.

Crystal Ball-Gazing on New Year's Day

Remember the day the War On Iraq supposedly ended? We saw the statue of Saddam topple and then our screens went blank. Now, as the screen in Saddam's mind is about to be broken by a hail of US sponsored bullets, let's wonder what the New Year's Day news bulletins will show.

George Bush: "This New Year's Day heralds a new century of peace. The dictator who supported Al Qaeda's war on terror is no more, and those who would continue to perpetrate terrorist acts on America and American interests should heed the lesson we're giving here.

The lesson is that if you run a country and we don't like how you're doing it, we're going to take over your land and reorganise it so that we can make a lot of money from your resources. Then we're going to kill you.

Halliburton/KBR and Rolls Royce-Australian Navy Partnership

Shining brilliantly in Rolls-Royce's online media room is the two-week-old press kit for a great story that didn't even make it to Google News, let alone into Australian print. It's how Cheney's Men and Rolls Royce have signed a A$50 million deal with the Australian Navy to service and maintain the amphibious ships HMAS Success, Tobruk, Manoora and Kanimbla (links courtesy of RR)

A Dick-Lex Wonder

From the home city of The Foreign Minister of Australia the Vice President of America has been coordinating his aid business into Iraq. This makes it surprising that Downer and Cheney will not be discussing the aid scandal of AWB.

It\s understandable however, that Cheney, hiding for years from his dual positions by claiming that his Halliburton fees were "deferred payments," would not be seen dead talking to somebody up to their neck in tarnish about mis-spending public money about paying bribes to Saddam. Given all the trouble that Halliburton/KBR have been getting into for overspending from the public purse (most recently including spending $600 a day per security guard at Mid East offices) Downer probably feels the same way.

Scott Parkin: ASIO's Inquiry Into ASIO (Nov 2005)

"While the precepts of natural justice would point to providing Mr Parkin with the details of the security assessment and allowing him to respond and suggest ways in which the evidence and considerations might be tested, security considerations of the kind described above would appear to reasonably preclude this. Even to attempt to allude in general terms to the elements of the security assessment would be problematic in this way.

I appreciate that Mr Parkin and others with doubts about his treatment will most likely find this vexing, but it is inevitable given the nature of the matter being examined."

Written Under A full Moon.

Why are Britain and Australia both planning their own missile shields when they have the nuclear Hadrian's Wall being built by the Americans? I believe the apparent diplomatic message being sent to the Bush Administration, that the senior members of the Coalition Of The Willing are providing themselves with opportunities to disengage if necessary belies the enactment of another scene in the profit-making script.

Would you be surprised if the whole missile sales plan was cooked up by a defence corporation's psych department? After watching the way that Raytheon and Halliburton have gorged themselves on Adelaide the leak of a revealing memo wouldn't surprise me in the least. Australian Defence Minister Hill, now Australian Ambassador to the United Nations, was either lying or brainwashed when he told us Son Of Star Wars was all we'd ever need. Now new Defence Minister Nelson say that the system was the reason we needed extra missile launchers. This all screams used car salesmanship.

ASIO To Appeal Scott Parkin Verdict.

It is now possible that the outcome of Scott Parkin's Federal Court case will become a Federal election issue. Spook-squad ASIO have been granted leave to appeal the verdict. Should their appeal fail the Howard Government's only option will be to censor the issue on grounds of national security. Given the timespans involved this decision may be taken just before the next Great Australian Opinion Poll.

It's an amazing amount of fuss over a few peanut butter sandwiches. We know ASIO were aware of a file about them, as its existence was reported in a world-renowned US magazine. We know that ASIO would have, given that Parkin's prior activities were in the US, made its security clearance based on US intelligence. We can make a fair guess from this (as I've said before) that ASIO was at least aware of the Pentagon's Parkin file.

AWB In Question Time

Treasurer Peter Costello confirmed in Parliament today that bribes paid by the Australian Wheat board to Saddam Hussein were not tax deductible.

Mr Costello said that such claims would be in breach of the Income Tax Assessment Act. His statement contradicts that of AW's Chief Finance officer Paul Ingleby, who said in May this year that "all our advice is that these payments are deductible." The Australian Tax Office declined to comment to The Age at that time.

"Like Breaker Morant All Over Again" AWB and Kovco

One of the most telling lines in the AWB story is quoted by The Age today. The unnamed wheat exec goes on to say that if he is charged he will call Minister Downer as a witness, at which point "My QC will rip him to shreds.

On the same day as Commissioner Cole handed down his findings, another muddy inquiry became clearer, as the Australian ran a leak that the verdict into the death of Private Jake Kovco would be that the soldier had killed himself with his own firearm... just like the minister and the MP's said.

AWB- Sham, Scam, Shame.

Australian government officials have bribed and lied and found themselves to be as untainted as newborns.

Our Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Trade Minister are innocent. It wasn't their fault that a government agency was paying bloody money to a dictactor that Australia was about to go to war with. Anyway, if they didn't read all the cables from everybody trying to tell them what was going on, how could they possibly know.

The first Cole Inquiry stories are bouncing around the world pretty quickly... I picked up the AP version from the Houston Chronicle. You'll find that a lot of US Farmers are going to be interested in this result. The US Democrats certainly, are. They weren't running the inquiry when the Australian ambassador asked for it to be ignored in support of Howard's re-election. They are most certainly in charge now.

Bringing In The Sheaves

Talk about whistleblowing!  In order to save his own skin (or parts thereof) the former AWB chairman has exposed our Prime and Foreign Ministers as liars of the worst kind.  This is not a matter of "core or non-core" promises but of a national leader being deceitful regarding his decision to engage his country in a war.

Our leader told us that Australia  had not considered invading Iraq until the UN debates that occurred not long before Coalition forces jumped the border (after the Australian SAS's head start.).  Now we learn that Australia's ambassador to the UN was laying groundwork for the military action a year before the event.

Downer In The Synagogue

This speech was reported by the Australian Jewish News this week.  For some reason it's not on Downer's website.

Well, Rabbis, ladies and gentlemen I just want to say what a great honour it is and an unusual honour for me to come along here this afternoon and spend some time with you and participate in the opening of this synagogue.

I feel it is a great honour for a lot of reasons - some of them are very modern, some of them are not so modern.

Masters Of War- University Of Adelaide Degrees

Tired of KBR getting all the engineering jobs?   Looking for a career in building Weapons Of Mass Destruction?  Adelaide Uni can help.  They're now training engineers for more advanced construction work, at least up to the technology level that Raytheon allows us local savages to access.

It's odd for the university to now announce that it has been been running the specialised maritime engineering  program for a year already,  instead of at the program's initial implementation.  Given that the start of the academic year was just before the South Australian elections I wonder if the story might have been considered politically inappropriate at the time.  To me it seemed that the whole concept of the Defence State, complete with number plates and BAE bus shelter ads, seemed to have been shelved in the last pre-election four weeks.  In such a context I can understand a reticence for publicity.

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