Tuesday 30th of May 2017

Halliburton Down Under, Above and Beyond

(for an easier-to-read version of this blog, click here:

I am writing this blog because South Australia needs help. We are an extremely strategically located city, for years headquarters of Murdoch, Halliburton and BAE, and are being systematically brainwashed into becoming defence industry drones without ever being given the choice of taking this path.

For over a year now I've been fairly certain that Adelaide has been the centre of much more international activity than we're being told about. Halliburton's ghostly co-ordination of it's Asia-Pacific activities, not to mention its global infrastructure activities, from this location seems to be at the head of this octopus, if not initiating the thought then at least co-ordinating the tentacles.

Consider these Halliburton C.V.entries The KBR director who through the friendly takeover of his company globalised his efforts into the conglomerate,Malcolm Kinnaird, is named South Australian of the Year, then proceeds to draft a report on what should happen next, and then joins the Defence Procurement Board to make sure all is happennining to schedule. The KBR director who built three Murdoch printing plants, then orchestrated the railway bidding and construction, Mr Franco Moretti,joins the board of an oil company, after which KBR get the oil survey jobs for eastern Victoria.

A well known Australian playwright in his speech at his daughter's wedding said "you might as well take her hand ... you've had the rest!". The Gippsland Basin can be considered as the hand - oil and gas pipelines are magically arriving from Papua New Guinea (no mention of how to get the resources out of Irian Jaya yet) and the Western Victorian Otway Basin, co-ordinated by KBR while they plan the future gas supply of New Zealand in its Project Aria. And let's not even talk about Timor....

In the meantime the company, already the state's major planning consultant, drafts the Environmental Impact Assesment for the Naval Precinct, entirely impartially no doubt. Given their involvement in U.K. naval activities this is more than interesting, more on that later.

In his 1947 "Prelude to Space" Arthur C. Clarke wrote of Great Britain's control of interplantetary activities due to its control of that fantastic launching pad, the Australian outback. Today British Aerospace Engineering is the major player, while Halliburton provides support- railways, resources for the uranium mines, fuel supplies for related industries, defence of the location. Watch the unvieling of the naval contracts if you don't believe me.

In the meantime our one primary newspaper, Murdoch's Advertiser, continually writes "local boy makes good" stories of suburban companies winning defence contracts. BAE is always written of in this manner, on the day of writing so was SAAB. I've had a lucky run of defence propoganda repudiations in the 'Tiser letters pages, even managed to get Halliburton GHQ in, but have yet to find a way of reporting the global nature of BAE. I've even managed one this week on long-term armoured vehicle refurbishment, but I"m not even going to try and suggest that SAAB is not a "locally-based" (standard Murdoch translation for "local international corporation office") company. Such a suggestion would be highly unlikely to be published. There was a little paragraph in our Independant Weekly saying that Hal's Asia-Pacific and Global Infrastructure Headquarters were here ... until last year. That and my letter were the only local printing of Hal operating internationally from this city.

They didn't have much to say when we were standing out the front with placards and an SBS reporter. All that Sophie Mcneill got from them was that they had a good reputation in Australia. However she found quite a lot more for her SBS Dateline piece (watch it!). Last Friday's paper had six pages of propoganda devoted to encouraging us to support the naval contract bid. The front page photo was of local journos dressed as commandos "taking the fight" to Victoria.

If anyone thinks that information that doesn't aid the military plans is going to make print in the city of Adelaide, they should think again.

The Sydney Morning Herald ran a feature on South Australian Hal activities in March. The follow-on reporting by Adelaide media? None. South Australian number plates bearing the logo "The Defence State" are becoming quite common these days. You can see what this State is up against.

If anyone who has information or ideas could leave them here we may provide an important resource, or at the very least a historical trail as to where things began to go seriously wrong. I will leave information here as I find it. Links will be added as fast as I can

In parting for now,did I mention that the Bush family's pet company, Carlyle, are currently testing their new drones in the outback before they float this particular research and devolopment group (once part of the British Army) on the London Stock Exchange? They've just announce a scientific alliance with BAE, by the way (see paragrah 20 here )

In some aspects Sydney and Canberra are not necessarilly the centre of all things. Mind you, with communcations these days anything can be controlled from anywhere. I'll sign off with this thought- there is one important facility not available to the companies of Houston and Austin; a military port. A spare spaceport such as Woomeraprobably won't go astray, either

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19/5/2005

Here's a lively account of the recent Halliburton AGM protest in Houston, at which numerous arrests occurred. The source is an anonymous witer on Collective Bellaciao

At the Four Seasons this morning, before 8 am, barricades were erected, over 30 Houston horse police, undercover cops and heavy foot police presence (photos) was amassed. By 8:30, the march had reached the hotel, with about 140 - 300 protesters with lots of puppets, and signs such as "stop cronyism." Dick Cheney flashed people video, photo, activists held signs, played a samba and did a funky dance. A break-away march was met by Houston Police, who attempted to corral them, with one arrest occurring. By 9 am, there were 12 activists inside the hotel. Four were escorted out by hotel security and Houston police, while the rest were detained. Outside, things began heating up with pushing, cops on horses and arrests (photos: 1, 2, 3, 4). Some concerns have been raised about cruelty to the horses. The horses trampled several people (videos: 1, 2).

Police used pain compliance on occupation inside hotel. Media were not allowed inside the shareholders meeting and protest. Police Officer # 4961, S. M. Forrester, admitted to a female activist that he had lost control of himself. Andrea Buffa and Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, got inside meeting and directly questioned war-profiteer / Halliburton CEO David Lesar. Prathap Chatterjee of Corp-Watch had a private five minute meeting with him which ended in vague assurances.

Arrested: Herb Rothschild, David Graeve, Katie Heim, Ellie Shenker, Maureen Haver, Diane Wilson, Jonathan Kresha and Kendle Greenlee were arrested inside (photos, videos: 1, 2, 3). David Solnit, an anonymous male, James Foley, Baku, David Martinez, Andy Peterson, Rolando Maya, Chris McMullen were arrested outside. Baku and David Martinez, both out of town indymedia videographers, were arrested while shooting video. David was dragged by his neck by a cop while trying to go to the sidewalk as instructed (video, photos: 1, 2). There have been many class B misdemeanors, but it is possible some will be charged with assault

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I''m trying to collect information on a Homeland Securtiy Consultant named Scott Bates who was in Adelaide a year ago. Since his involvement in the political reconstruction of Kosovo, From what I can see his main work has been strengthening securtiy for ports. I had a minor encounter with him last year. The part of the conversation missing from the following transcript is where Mr Bates told me to remember that Adelaide has been regarded as strategically important since before the Cuban Missile Crisis:

Mr Bates admits here that last tiime he was in Adelaide he was advising S.A. Premier Mike Rann on election campaign tactic. Which makes me wonder what he was doing at the annual Oakbank races with the Premier and Senators Hill, Minchin and Downer (Federal Ministers for Finance, Defence and Foreign Affairs respectively. I'd make a bet that it wasn't just to watch the horsies go round and round....

Scott Bates, Senior Policy Adviser to the US House of Representatives
Homeland Security Committee (891ABC 10.36-10.54) Bates' career/Iraq 

(Abraham: ... flicking through 'The 'Tiser' ... and there is an
article and a photo of Premier Mike Rann with Sasha, his partner, and this
man who's in the studio with us now, Scott Bates ... the Premier had
mentioned Scott Bates was staying with him... ) Great to be with you here
today ... I really appreciate being on what is perhaps one of the top three
morning shows in Adelaide and I'm very excited about that. (Abraham: Now the
Premier's told you to say that.) Indeed. (Bevan: Very funny.) (Abraham: Name
the other two. No ... we'll talk to you about homeland security and what
this job means but you are an interesting person. You are young ... at 26
you were the youngest Secretary of State in Virginia ... ever in America ...
) ... most of what I got to do was appoint people to boards and commissions
... that was one of the more interesting jobs I had ... (Abraham: Now I
imagine you met Mike Rann through Craig James who's a ... we would call him
a spin doctor, but a political consultant ... campaign guru.) ... I had
worked with Craig back in 1990 at a firm in Washington ... we had about a
third of the US Senate as our clients that we helped with their
communications efforts ... maybe in 1997 Craig said how about coming out and
seeing a mate of mine, Mike Rann, and I'd heard about him ... we just hit it
off right away and stayed in touch with him ... (Caller Richard: ... in your
opinion as far as terrorism targets, do you think would a city that's
advertising itself as a defence capital, a city that's got major global
infrastructure headquarters moving in here, do you think that at the moment
we might be becoming a larger potential terrorist target? ... ) ... I've met
with Susan Carman [phonetic] who's your Director of Security and Emergency
Preparedness here in South Australia ... at the beginning of the
conversation I thought ... I'll have all these things to share with her and
maybe ... teach South Australians. By the end of it ... we talked in some
detail, you are years, literally years ahead in planning ... on protection
of critical infrastructure and emergency preparedness than state governments
surely in the United States and even our Federal Government ... when it
comes to being a target I think what we have to think about is that who
would have ever imagined that four aeroplanes would be smashed into
buildings? Who would have ever imagined that 10 aeroplanes would have been
attempted to be hijacked in the Philippines? ... I don't want to say that
everywhere is a target because that's just kind of alarmist but I think it
make sense to take proper precaution, to make sure you minimise risk ... yes
these are trying times ... but really the world is a heck of a lot safer
than it was say 40 years ago ... (Abraham: Did you help ... on Mike Rann's
election campaign in 2002?) Well I guess if you could consider help being
... going out to dinner and chewing the fat and having a glass of wine, I
think that's help. (Abraham: ... I think you're mentioned in dispatches in
Bob Ellis's book.) Well as you know, Mr Ellis is a noted writer of
Australian fiction. He ... I think he referred to me as one of the most
interesting people he'd ever met and a 21st century hero. I pull that book
out at every kind of party I have and do dramatic readings from it ...
Adelaide is a very special place ... I first came here in 2000 and then back
in 2001 ... when Mike was running for office ... first and foremost I've
learned something about Australia that I hold dear is this concept of being
a mate ... being a good friend and ... that transcends politics ... I'd say
Mike is a great mate and that's why I came out. And that's why I'm here
today. I've got two weeks of vacation and I came out for one week here.
(Abraham: Scott Bates, thank you ... )

 

The main reason for looking is that the Australian Government has just announced its intentions to Federalise control of major ports. The reason given has been to reduce bottlenecks in trade, but it's a timely coincidence given that the winner of the Destroyer contracts will be most likely announced next week.

Making the announcements in reverse order would have given too many people "the wrong idea"
.

My guess is that Adelaide will be chosen is that with it's smaller population to Melbourne, less lives would be lost in a maritime "terrorist attack"

 

It's a pretty safe bet given that three of the four submissions involve major work being carried out in Port Adeliade, that this city will be signifigantly involved in the project.. As far as the systems integration work goes, BAE is probably the only company able for the the job, and as they are "Adelaide based" it would be perfect for the work to be given to "local business"

Mr Bates' involvement indicates very close ties indeed between Adelaide and the U.S. on maritime security matters. No doubt his opinion will affect the outcome

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Would the United States ever consider faking attacks on itself in order to arouse the support of its citizens? They already did... forty years ago!

Operation Northwood was a planned faked attack on U.S. soil by Cuba, and included the proposal to blame streetside sniiper shootings on "Cuban terrorists".

Substantiation for some dangerous hypotheticals arises in this scenario relating to the possible uses for the date 6/6/6

It's time for a walk in the sunshine.....

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31/5/05

ADELAIDE WINS WARSHIP CONTRACT

In what he described as a "monumental day in the State's history" , South Australian Premier Mike Rann has just announced that Adelaide's Australian Submarine Coporation has won the contract to build the three "Son of Star Wars" Air warfare destroyers.

Premier Rann said that when the news reached his office "we all shook hands and said 'mission accomplished'."

Mr Rann added that the contract had been signifigant in enticing "a whole lot" of defence-related companies to Adelaide's northern suburbs.

Companies involved in the contract include BAE, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon and Halliburton/KBR.

Mr Rann also said that on the strength of the win South Australia would be bidding for the Australian arm of the Global Hawk project. The Unmanned Air Vehicle's first trans-Atlantic flight was from Edwards Air Base in the U.S. to the Edinburgh Air Base in Adelaide.

Defence Minister and Senator for South Australia Robert Hill qualified the announcement by adding that much of the construction work would be carried out in shipyards across Australia.

Mr Hill said that "...up to 70% of the module construction will be subcontracted to other shipyards around Australia, creating around 1000 additional jobs throughout the country."

"It's a very large project, very technically challenging."

South Australian Opposition Leader Mr Rob Kerrin said that the deal would "cement South Australia's defence industry for decades to come", while Australian Workers Union representative Wayne Hanson. said "We've won a generation of work for South Australian workers and their families."
.
Senator Hill said that the Federal Government would provide $455 million to fund the second phase project activites such as design work, infrastructure and facilities construction until mid-2007. Local ship construction recruitment is expected to occur at that time.,

He said it would further reduce the risks of the project in accord with recommendations of the Defence Procurement (Kinnaird) Review

Sources: ABC-891 Adelaide, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review, Reuters

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15/6/05

 

HALLIBURTON TAKES OVER

 

In a response to an earlier blog TG Kerr made the suggestion that companies such as Halliburton may be creating work for themselves by creating projects and then submitting them for Public Private Partnerships with the Federal Government.

A good example would be KBR's development of the mouth of the Murray River. Plans to create a Twin Lake artifIcial evaporation containment system from S.A.'s Lake Alexandrina which Cheney's Men admit won't keep the Murray mouth open) include construction of a 100 kilometre barrage. The concept is being recommended to councils near the lake by S.A. Premier Mike Rann. The company has proposed it as a PPP... how many other projects are being tendened for by mulitnational companies' under the cloak of "Australian subsidiaries"?

Thanks, John Howard, for such a quick response. Today's announcement of the Roadmap to Water shows the Federal Government's intention to privatise Australia's waterways. Howard is acting on thinktank The Barton Group's advice. The Barton Group tendered for private consultants to facilitate the Roadmap (point #7 here). I wonder who they might be ? Three guesses...

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Second thought for the day: are Adelaide's unnecessary and too expensive new warships being "purpose built" for involvement in a pre-emptive nuclear strike on North Korea? Given Richard Perle's plans, it's a high possiblity. A Catch-22 arises, especially fpr a believer of Alexander Downer's fears of potential North Korean missile range that if the Koreans get a long enough shot fired off before we finish the ships, the docks of Adelaide will be much higher on an enemy target priority list than they would have been without the presence of "Son Of Star Wars" naval construction

__________________________________________

In the same town, the presence of Halliburton employees in local council offices has been creating conflicts of interest in State planning meetings- scroll down to page 11 where Halliburton is highlighted. Such conflicts are enevitable when you look at lists like this. If you've read the highlighted parts of these two links, you'll see the same name appearing for Halliburton in both local planning and nuclear waste management..."curiouser and curiouser', said Aice "

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Cheney's 2003 Christmas card quoted Benjamin Franklin at the U.S Constitutional Convention

"And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

I don't think Mr Franklin would have approved. If you can believe Gore Vidal (and I do) the convenors of U.S. Democracy were working to minimise the impact of those such as Cheney when they drafted their Constitution.. According to Vidal, the possibility of a Cheney was the main reason why Bem and friends didn't want to have an army

You know from my first blog that Cheney set up his Australian activities before he moved back into the White House. Reading Cheney's Christmas message from an Adelaide point of view doesn't exactly inspire sentiments of "Peace on earth, and goodwill to all men"

Australia and U.S. As One- letter reprint from Adelaide Advertiser

 

21/6/05

Assembled by S.A. Minister For Infrastructure, Patrick Conlon, the five member group to plot the state's infrastructure future include former KBR International Vice President for Infrastructure and head of Asia-Pacific Operations, Andrew Fletcher, as its head and the owner of a KBR acquired company, Malcolm Kinnaird, as a participant.

You can sense a possible conflict of interest here... in the same manner that U.S. Vice President Cheny needs to distance himself from his former employer, Kinnaird and Fletcher will need to publically ensure that they are fulfilling their obligations to the state and not the corporation.

At the same time, Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced the tripling of the number of troops based in Port Augusta, in a defence expansion that will allow for "full battle group" exercises and the operational shakedown of "new" M-1 Abrahams tanks.

proposed new transport hub , and the building of 3,000 new homes, near the R.A.A.F Edinburgh base and the Mawson Lakes development, would be carried out by property development group Delfin. The last time Delfin was prominent on this side of town was in a partnership scheme chaired by the man who was CEO of Kinhill when it was acquired by Halliburton/ KBR, Mr David Klingberg, who is now the Chancellor of the University of South Australia.

Minister Hill has also just announced that he will soon be announcing "which company will work with the rest of the air warfare destroyer team to develope the evolved design of the ship" I'm assuming he means the designers but not too sure. .

 

This would all be less disconcerting if not for the very close relationship between the Pentagon and KBR. Even the U.S. Congress is having trouble gettiing the facts

In all of this railway-related activity, I hope people remember that the line is not a public amenity for another 48 years... in the meantime the freight charges will be paid to.... do I really have to say it ?

This is just the beginning.... to be continued

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It's the middle of July. I've just found this profile of Andrew Fletcher from when he was Halliburton/KBR Vice President for infrastructure. At this time he was hopeful that the corp would be building a new defence HQ in Canberra, adding to the list of the company's contracts in our nation's capital.

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Saturday July 23

A new Adelaide-based army battallion would utilise the railway for transport of equipment and vehicles, according to today's Advertiser, On reading this my mind went back to this article for some reason. Remember the bet I made a couple of blogs back? Still haven't changed my mind..

The same day's editorial says that defence construction should not be part of a war participation debate Mr Murdoch is always right.

Speaking of construction, KBR are about to increase their eagerness for Austalian Government awarded foreign aid contracts. Are you the person for the job? There's a week left to apply.

28/8/05

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HALLIBURTON'S ADELAIDE

-Reprinted from Margo Kingston's Webdiary, this piece serves well as an overview of the last few months of blogging

While Australians have sat in their trees like manna-gum-'stoned' koalas, the economic landscape has changed around them dramatically. The new King and Queen of the Southern Defence Colony, affectionately known as Condy and Rummy, will be crowned by Alexander Downer in Adelaide this November, with most of us none the wiser.

As I watched South Australia's Premier Mr Rann tell us that now that a U.S. company had won the design contract for Adelaide's contribution to the US Missile Shield it should set up an office here, I thought "...so that when they've finished ours we can start the work for Taiwan."

I now consider Halliburton to be more middle-men, than boogie-men. True, they've organised protection for Woomera and Pine Gaptransport of fuel and water resources and reservoirs for southern expansion, northern supply and extraplanetary migration, but you won't see their logo on everything not so much as part of what appears at times to be an almost-sinister concealment of their activities, but because they're contractors and subcontractors for other people and projects, like the water meter reading, the council park, mowing, the Warship and Joint Strike Fighter programs.

They've kept their names out of the local media much more successfully than they did in the U.S. and U.K (a pity about the Rolling Stones), but when, in that country and ours, you begin to see the likes of the favourite company of the Bushes and Bin Ladens, Carlyle, begin to show its head at the top of the pecking order, you see twopaths leading to the same destination. That's when you begin to wonder how many years of preparation have taken place.

It's difficult when you live here to consider how much of a nexus to southern hemispheric activities our insignificant little city has become, and was possibly planned to be since the end of the Second World War. In 1947, in his novel following his theories of geosynchronous orbit and satellite-based communications, Arthur C. Clark presumed that Britain would be the supreme extraplanetary power because of her control of Woomera. According to U.S. Homeland Security Consultant Scott Bates, Adelaide was mooted as the centre of humanity's nuclear-winter survival outpost at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Back then it wasn't known that the State contained forty per cent of the world's uranium. In front bars around town anyone you have a beer with about what's happening will ask "What's so special about Adelaide?" Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice, White House Secretaries of Defence and State, seem to have a fair idea. In spite of the "humble" reasoning of the aspirant figurehead of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Rumsfeld and "Condy" (Downer's term of endearment, not mine) haven't come to a pow-wow in Adelaide just because the man lives here. They've come to 'inspect the troops'.

From here, troops will resttrain and refurbish while their weapons and supplies run across the continent. From here, liquid natural gas supplies will run north to Asia and south to New Zealand creating a possible reverse supply line when mining begins in Antarctica. Another use of the same pipes would mean that water can be coordinated and distributed to what is left of the globe, with a continually drained and refilled Great Artesian Basin acting as the supply depot... Also useful for 'water downloading' if an extraterrestrial water source is found. While we're waiting, don't forget that the icecaps contain 90 % of the world's fresh water.

From here, Jindaee's radar detection of possible enemies is already carried out. No doubt in the future satellites will feed in global strategic information, if they're not already. The arrival of a National Tsunami Centre suggests that sub-sea activities are also fairly well 'scoped'.

From here, given modern real-time communications, the world could be run quite effectively, at a pinch, with the commanders never being in danger of running out of anything. At the end of the day, with an inexhaustible supply of energy and fresh water, the US Dynasty would be able to outlast any enemy.

To the north of Adelaide, plastic and paper are being imported to landfills and recycled into composites to make lightweight armour for land and air and space vehicles.

In the meantime we can be happy little koalas munching on Manna from America to keep us obliviously content.

 

 

URGENT ADDITION Thursday August 11: Our only newspaper, Rupert Murdoch's Advertiser, has today devoted a page on downplaying a terrorist attack on Adelaide.

A good politician exposes a story by denying it. Extrapolating this concept to possible "psy op" techniques, I'm very concerned for this city.

This blog and it's continuance have received an aggregate of 9,000 hits in three months. I'm glad you are watching Adelaide, in case of what might happen next.

 

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September 11 2005

Scary times, in which a man is arrested in for the crime of protesting against Halliburton. I wasn't aware that legislation had been already been proclaimed
.

Six Federal police and immigration officials were needed to arrest Houston histrpry teacher Scott Parkin at a Melbourne cafe. Park was on his way to prevent a workshop about the U.S. peace movement and companies involved in the Iraq war

Australian Greens leader Senator Bob Brown has claimed that orders for Parkins arrest and presumably imminent deportation orignated from the U.S. Government. "The Howard Government will do anything the U.S. Government asks....because he's a thorn in the side of of Dick Cheney, Halliburton, and profit making deals that apply in Iraq"


 


PARKIN'S REVENGE- REVEALING THE CONCEALED

(Reprinted from Webdiary)

It now seems that a man is to be deported from Australia for inciting resentment of US corporate giant Halliburton's activities in Iraq.

Scott Parkin's aim is to put economic, social and political pressure on Halliburton so that they withdraw from Iraq. His holiday in this country lead to participation in recent street protests in Sydney. There he reiterated his complaint from Australian soil, that Halliburton and subsidiary KBR are the Poster children of war profiteering.

On Saturday Parkin was leaving a coffee shop, on his way to help present a workshop on nonviolent protest when he was apprehended by four Federal police, assisted by an unmentioned number of immigration officers. BBC News links his arrest to the Sydney Halliburton protest.

Parkin, according to Crikey's Guy Rundle is "not just any old anti-Halliburton activist – he knows more about the company than pretty much anyone around, and he's been a key organiser of campaigns against their AGMs and HQ in Houston."

What message is sent to Australian activists by Parkin's incarceration? As someone who has sensed unethicality in the company's activities both abroad and within Australia I feel vindicated in my beliefs. To remove a person who might promote information implies a desire of the democratic actor, in this case Australia's Federal Government, to obscure and conceal what this man could portray and reveal, and what he could make us think.

I am beginning to suspect that there is a large financial loophole being hidden within the activities of the Howard Government, but unfortunately the key, if flimsy, evidence that I had no longer exists. It was a job ad in the online version of The Economist, in which Halliburton KBR touted for a foreign aid specialist to handle its projects. This ad proclaimed that KBR's clients included the World Bank, USAid and Ausaid. The successessful applicant would be 'preferrably' based at KBR's offices Greenhill Road, Parkside, South Australia. If anyone can help me recover a version of this ad it would be most appreciated.

This ad was 'printed' in the week that the Australian Prime Minister made a surprise visit to Iraq to announce his country's role as aid distributor.

Many of us are nervous tonight, after having been told by our leaders that they don't like what we're doing. Some of us feel a sense of relief at the ramifications of a problem being finally revealed.

 

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


""Well the government owe Australians if not Mr Parkin an immediate
explanation," Mr Brown said, "You can't help but be worried that anti-terror laws are being abused to arrest a peace activist who has been highlighting the extraordinary profit making of Haliburton, which is making a huge amount of money out of the invasion of Iraq."

Parkin's Australian travel visa has been cancelled on the grounds that he is a threat to national security.

Could Parkin's arrest be associated with the release of a purported Al Qaeda statement that Los Angeles and Melbourne are the next targets for terrorism?

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September 14 2005

Quite a card-hand of news will greet Australia in the morning

 

Deputy PM tales Al Qaeda Photo-Op Where's Costello?

Ruddock's trying to say he's got no idea. Mark Vale, on the other hand, is saying that the tape is more reason to get ready for attack,

"There is no doubt that we will continue to fight the scourge of
terrorism no matter what form it takes across the world."
 he said.

In the meantime propoganda terrorist Parkin intends to mount an appeal, which might possibly not be heard in the interests of national security.

Is protesting against Halliburton now considered "not in the national interest?"

at 12 September, 2005 - 11:02pm FBI says Australian "Al Qaeda Threat" due to Iraq War

AN apparent Al-Qaeda tape threatening a
terrorist strike on Melbourne should not surprise anyone, due to
Australia's support for the US war on terror, according to an FBI
official.

"The bottom line is whether it's this tape or any other tape, we know
there's people out there who wish to strike at the US and our allies,
and that includes Australia," the spokesman said. "It's not something
that would surprise anyone – we know there's a threat out there and we
know it's real
." (Brisbane Courier Mail, 13/11/05

Maybe Prime Minister Howard can change their mind.

at 13 September, 2005 - 1:50am Western Australia Jumps The Gun

New counterterrorism legislation allowing area cordons searches and property removal will be introduced into Western Austalian Parliament today.

However W.A . Premier Geoff Gallup draws the line at detaining suspects without charge

" We've yet to agree to taking on board the power to detain people" he said.

(source: Anti-terror laws "nation's toughest", Adelaide Advertiser 14/9/05

at 14 September, 2005 - 12:59am South Australia to prevent distribution of "provocative material

The Advertiser was saving its own state's proposed new terror laws for the "on-line front page"

The South Australian laws will include administering restraining orders to prevent the distribution of provocative material.

Source: "Strong arm of the law" Adelaide Advertiser

If a trend of Labor states pre-empting Liberal control by assuming new powers continues, it would be hoped that such political muscle flexing is being applied pro bono (which people assume means "for free" but is actually "for good") in both of its senses of contemporary interpretation.

at 14 September, 2005 - 1:53am

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Our Prime Minister will be making an announcement to the United Nations today:

 

The Australian Prime Minister Mr Howard will unveil plans to increase aid to $4 billion a year by 2012 from the current level of $2.7 billion.


The increase will take Australia close to the 0.7 per cent of GDP set at the Millennium Summit five years ago.

Source: Melbourne Herald Sun

The main Australian aid provider would possibly be the company in the
process of settling a new foreign aid administrator into its Adelaide
office.

Aid contracts have been given to Halliburton KBR in Adelaide over the last three years under the pretext that they were being given to a local company. But the way, the minister's contact in that media release is now a senior journalist for the Adelaide Advertiser. He is also a former conservative member of Parliament, and led the newspaper's campaign to invoke support for the Adelaide Warship Contract

Question Of The Day. Given that the impending visit of U.S. Cabinet membesr Rumsfeld and Rice to Adelaide in October will be an obvious "terror target", what laws will South Australians be subjected to within weeks?By Richard Tonkin at Sep 14 2005 - 3:00am |

 

"I've just read that Halliburton Gives Kickbacks To The Australian Government So They Can Trade There"-Scott Parkin


Sorry about the title lenghth, but this needs to be google-screamed

You can hear the iParkin's Houston Community Radio interview here (MP3 download) I'll transcribe tomorrow. Sorry, but I need to sleep.

Labor counterterrorism spokesman Arch Bevis said in a media release today "The detention of any citizen for an extended period of time must be based only on sound intelligence of a credible threat and be authorised by a judge, not a bureaucrat or politician."

Why weren't The Federal Opposition making more noise about Parkin's detention?

By Richard Tonkin at Sep 20 2005

Australian Greens and Democrats Call Parkin Senate inquiry, Scott Parkin;s Media Release

How to disassociate Parkin from Halliburton? Don't mention the comany's name any more.

As this story continues to play throught the media, where once you'd see at least one mention, if not several, of the company Parkin had been protesting in Australia against. instead we see, at the end of two weeks of print and airplay, the man but not the cause.

It will be interesting, in the new Howard Government, to see if Bob Brown's motion for a Senate inquiry over the Parkin incident results in any action.

Who will be the sympathetic Liberal who votes with Brown for an
investigation? On the other hand, will Howard use this as an
opportunity to exert control over over his own 'mavericks'?

ASIO historian David McKnight says that if the leak is true it indicates a reversion in ASIO strategy to its tactics in the '70s.

I hope that Brown gets his inquiry. We all knew that a full Liberal
majority was going to create ethical issues. Here's the litmus test on
how they will be dealt with.

 

In the meantime, have a look at what Mr Parkin has to say. This release has been circulated through the nonviolence network, and surfaced on one of Webdiary's Parkin threads:

MEDIA RELEASE
22 September 2005

Parkin refutes ASIO smear

Houston, Texas: Scott Parkin today spoke from Texas to clear his
name and refute the media claims of an alleged ASIO leak that he was
planning to teach violence in his peace workshop in Melbourne.

Mr Parkin said, "These are false, unfounded and personally Damaging allegations.

"ASIO put me in solitary detention for 5 days and not once made
these allegations to me nor have they provided these stories to my
lawyer, Julian Burnside, QC.

"If I am such a threat why have the FBI not even phoned me since my
return from Australia, to follow up ASIO's silly allegations?

"If ASIO wants the public to trust this process is fair they should
have made these allegations in the proper way and not via some
exclusive supposed leak.

"The Government has a public responsiblity to provide facts and not make smears.

"Osama bin Laden is free, meanwhile Australia‘s peak intelligence agency is running around fretting about peace protestors.

"As I always say and sincerely believe, it is unprincipled to do anything violent at any time, including in a protest situation.

"During my time in Australia I spoke publicly against techniques to
de-arrest a person who has been lawfully detained by the Police because
it is against my principles.

"ASIO should know this if they are doing their job properly.

"Horses suffer from being used as riot control machines and I completely oppose anything that abuses them.

"The media and public are welcome to come to non violent protest
training by me or my colleages, but we can assume ASIO were there
anyway and know these claims are unbelievable," said Mr Parkin.

 

The Australian Democrats are also demanding action over spy agency leak to a Murdoch journalist.

The party's Attorney General's spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja said that "The whole process appears fundamentally flawed" and asked "Surely any such leak to the media is in itself an issue to national security?"

 

Given that the journalist who was supposedly given information by ASIO is regarded by many as the most right-wing Murdoch journalist in Australia, questions are being asked about the leak's authenticity.

Federal Parliament resumes in a week. Life in the Senate will not be dull.

By Richard Tonkin at Sep 24 2005

 

Halliburton Stuffs Up

When you read this L.A. Times story, think about possible ramifications in an area near you::

[Excerpt]

By T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer

QARMAT ALI, Iraq — The failure to rebuild key components of Iraq's petroleum industry has impeded oil production and may have permanently damaged the largest of the country's vast oil fields, American and Iraqi experts say.

The deficiencies have deprived Iraq of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue needed for national rebuilding efforts and kept millions of barrels of oil off the world market at a time of growing demand.

  

Engineering mistakes, poor leadership and shifting
priorities have delayed or led to the cancellation of several projects critical to restoring Iraq's oil industry, according to interviews with more than two dozen current and former U.S. and Iraqi officials and industry experts.

The troubles have been compounded in some cases by security issues, poor maintenance and disputes between the U.S. and its main contractor, Houston-based KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., according to the interviews and documents.

Despite the United States' spending more than $1.3 billion, oil production remains below the estimated pre-war level of 2.5 million barrels per day and well below a December
2004 goal of up to 3 million barrels per day.

Interviews and documents from whistle-blowers show problems with at least three projects deemed crucial to Iraq's oil production:

• Qarmat Ali water treatment plant. This massive pumping complex is needed to inject water into Iraq's southern oil fields to aid in oil extraction. Under a no-bid contract, KBR was instructed to repair the complex at a cost of up to $225 million, but not the leaky pipelines carrying water to the fields. As a result, the water cannot be delivered reliably, raising concerns that some of Iraq's oil may not be recoverable.

• Al Fathah pipelines. As part of the same no-bid contract, the U.S. gave KBR a job worth up to $70 million to rebuild a pipeline network in northern Iraq despite concerns that the project was unsound. In the end, KBR built fewer than half the pipelines, and the project was given to another contractor. The delay has aggravated oil transport problems, which have forced Iraq to inject millions of barrels of oil back into
the ground, a harmful practice for the oil fields and the environment.
A government audit is being conducted based on a complaint by a whistle-blower.

• Southern oil well repairs. A $37-million project to boost production at dozens of Iraqi oil wells was canceled after KBR refused to proceed without a U.S. guarantee to protect it from possible lawsuits.

It is striking that although thereconstruction of the northern oil infrastructure has been hampered by security issues, the southern oil fields — which account for most production — have been attacked only a few times since the conflict in Iraq began but still face serious problems.

After the 2003 invasion, U.S. officials and KBR moved swiftly, resuming oil production only a month after the war began and slowly increasing output. But after matching the prewar peak of 2.5 million barrels a day in
September 2004, production declined to about 2.2 million barrels daily
last month.

If the U.S. had successfully completed the planned
repairs, Iraq could be producing up to 500,000 additional barrels a
day, according to some estimates.

The difference would add up to more than $8 billion a year — money that the Iraqi government could use for new schools and hospitals, to supplant U.S. reconstruction spending and improve the Iraqi security forces that Washington hopes will replace American troops.

U.S. reconstruction officialsacknowledged the delays but said the efforts had turned a corner and that despite the contract disputes, they were satisfied with KBR's performance. The company avoided a possible cancellation of its contract this year after addressing problems associated with cost estimates. The U.S. also has brought in an Australian-American firm to finish several projects started by KBR that had been delayed (Full version here)

If the hearsay about the railway is "on track" we may see local versions of stories like these.

By Richard Tonkin at Sep 27 200

 

P.M. Funds National Terror Initiatives

Prime Minister John Howard today announced funding for a new counterterrorsm package.

The funding will support measures agreed upon between the Federal Government and the nations' State Premiers.

Following today's meeting of the Council of Australian Governments’ meeting (COAG) to discuss national counter-terrorism arrangements Mr Howard announced $40 million in additional funding for a range of measures "to deliver increased safety and security to all Australians."

These measures are in addition to the Government’s recent commitment of $200 million to further tighten security at Australia’s major airports

Initiatives announced yesterdayinclude:

  • $17.3 million over five years to establish an Australian Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Data Centre located within the Australian Federal Police (AFP);
  • $2.4 million over five years to support the establishment of a Chemical Warfare Agents Laboratory Network, which will provide a network of laboratories across Australia for the analysis of chemical agents;
  • $9.2 million over four years for the enhancement of Australia’s national counter-terrorism exercise regime - the enhanced programme will provide a greater focus on exercising Australia’s ability to manage mass casualty incidents, particularly in places such as major city precincts and transport hubs;
  • $1.3 million over four years to support the development of a national strategy to explain to the public, through a set of clear, concise messages, the arrangements set out in the National Counter-Terrorism Plan and improved, centralised communication with the media during a crisis;
  • $5.9 million in 2005-06 to support the development of a national action plan to build on the principles agreed at my recent meeting with Islamic community leaders and to undertake a range of related work including Muslim community liaison, community partnership projects, a national youth summit and leadership and media training;
  • $1 million over three years for Commonwealth aspects of the implementation of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee’s review of urban mass passenger surface transport security arrangements; and
  • $700,000 to assist Commonwealth participation in the National Counter-Terrorism Committee review of closed circuit television capability and development of a national code of practice.
  • Further, the COAG has agreed to establish a unified policing model at each of the 11 counter-terrorism first response (CTFR) airports including: an Airport Police Commander, a dedicated Joint Intelligence Group, a CTFR capability and a permanent community policing presence, and at each of the major international airports (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide), a Joint Airport Investigation Team.

The Australian Government has agreed to fully fund under the unified model a full-time community policing presence of AFP officers wearing AFP uniforms and under AFP command at all major Australian airports, with officers seconded or recruited from State and Territory police forces. The funding details for this initiative will be settled and announced shortly.

The COAG communiqué can be found at: www.coag.gov

Australian Lawyers Alliance president Richard Faulks told ABC News that the laws are totalitarian and un-Australian.

"Depending on what the final version is, I think it is a retrograde step, and one that we didn't need," Mr Faulks said.

"Australians value their freedom and even though everyone is concerned about terrorism and rightly so, there are steps that can be taken that are still consistent with proper safeguards which are part of our everyday life."

The union for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has told the ABC that it does not have enough officers to take on the new airport security functions approved today.

Spokesman Jim Torr said that more than 600 employees have been redeployed to counter-terrorism functions since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"The AFP has to grow proportionately to the scope of the increase of its role," he said.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann told the Financial Review he was confident the leaders would convince Mr Howard to include a sunset clause as part of the package. "I think that a sunset clause after 10 years would be a smart thing."

He said that terrorism was just another word for mass murder, and the new laws should reflect the seriousness of the crime.

 

By Richard Tonkin at Sep 28 2005

 

SA Recruiting In Mumbai For Defence and Research Workers

The S.A. Government is attempting to recruit workers to the State from the commercial centre of India.

Addressing a seminar on ''Living, Working and Studying in South Australia'' in Mumbai this week, S.A. Trade and Industry Minister Paul Holloway said bio-science, automotive, manufacturing, medical research and hospitality were sectors where his country could employ people from the developing countries.

Mr Holloway said that South Australia offers varied job opportunities for overseas workers across a range of key industries including defence, healthcare and engineering.

''If you have skills in these areas, South Australia invites you to be a part of our cutting-edge defence industry,'' he enthused.

The Trade Minister referred to S.A. as the high technology centre of Australia's defence industry, leading the country in shipbuilding, submarine support, aerospace and defence research and development.

In a statement released last March, S.A. Premier Mike Rann said his Government had set a target to boost the number of people employed in the State’s defence industry from 16 000 to 28 000.

Mr Rann said that" Positioning ourselves to win more contracts will help us to achieve so many of South Australia’s Strategic Plan targets on job creation, economic growth, investment, interstate migration, exports, strategic infrastructure and establishing co-operative research centres and centres of excellence."

He said that “To win more defence contracts, we have to demonstrate that South Australia has the skills, the infrastructure, and the full-throttle backing of the SA Government."

Mr Holloway and the South Australian delegation will also travel to Bangalore and Chennai, with the aim of the mission to promote the South Australian education, wine, water, toolmaking and information technology sectors, as well as promoting SA as a migration destination.

Premier Rann will lead a trade delegation to India next month.

The head of the state's peak information and commutications technology lobby group told The Australian the government of "not looking in its own backyard" for skills.

ICT Council for SA chairman David Raffen, told the newspaper that the Premier was "wasting taxpayer's money" and should be paying more attention to the state's existing capabilities.

The Council has previously expressed concern at a suggestion by Administrative and Information Services Minister, Jay Weatherill, that industry development will not be a dominant factor in the Government's future ICT services procurement.

By Richard Tonkin at Sep 28 2005

 

AUSTRALIAN MILITARY COMMUNICATION GLOBALISED

Defence Minister Hill today announced that global defence giant General Dynamics will co-ordinate creation of the Australian Defence Force's new communications system.

General Dynamics claims it " has leading market positions in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. It is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, and employs approximately 70,800 people worldwide

The company is to be assisted by the Adelaide-based international defence corporation Tenix (whose consultants have included former Defence Minister Peter Reith) with ADI, Tenix founders Transfield share ADI in a consortium half-owned by European communications group Thales. The two goups have previously proposed merging aspects of their businesses. Thales acts as recruitment centre for ADI.

It's possible to guess who will look after the subcontracting work, but that would be pure speculation


Here's Minister Hill's medoa release:

Preferred Tenderer FOR BATTLESPACE COMMUNICATIONS PROJECT

 

General Dynamics, in partnership with ADI and Tenix, has been selected as the Phase One Preferred Tenderer for the design, development and implementation of Defence’s future digital communications system, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.

Senator Hill said the Battlespace Communications Systems will increase the efficiency and capacity of the Army and land-based Air Force elements to rapidly share information on the battlefield.

Phase One is approved for $97 million, and will focus on the development of the overall systems design and architecture for future procurements of communications equipment for the Land Force. This will provide enhanced Voice and Data communications capabilities and enhanced technology upgrades to equip a digitised Joint Task Force.

"This project is a key component in the delivery of network centric warfare to the land environment," Senator Hill said.

"This project will deliver state of the art digital voice and data communication, including video and multimedia, as well as an upgrade plan to ensure that the ADF’s equipment remains at the forefront of technology.

"Equipment will span the majority of field deployable units in both the Army and Air Force and is likely to range from small hand held radios to larger vehicle mounted communications equipment."

Estimated at up to $800 Million, the project has been broken up into three phases that are currently programmed over the next 10 years. Under this project, equipment will be introduced into service from 2007/2008.

"The preferred Prime Systems Integrator, General Dynamics, has significant experience in the design and development of complex communications systems through previous work on similar projects with the Canadian and British Armies," Senator Hill said.

"General Dynamics’ involvement in this project will enable the ADF to leverage this experience to strengthen Australia’s systems integration and communications expertise and further develop this critical capability."

General Dynamics has established a new company, General Dynamics Systems Australia (GDSA), as part of this project and will progressively transfer management and engineering work from General Dynamics Canada to GDSA. This will generate new jobs and further enhance the specialised skills needed in Australia’s Electronic Systems sector.

As the Prime Systems Integrator, General Dynamics will embed employees from ADI and Tenix into their team to work on the project and support system definition and design, speciality engineering, life cycle cost modelling, and the interface of the new architecture with existing systems.

"ADI and Tenix involvement will increase in later stages of the project to include delivery of training and logistics support," Senator Hill said.

"This will result in opportunities for Australian industry including, small-to-medium enterprises, to participate in vehicle installations, supply of equipment and through life support activities."

ENDS


Other Australian defence companies with signifigant global activity include BAE Australia, Boeing Australia and KBR Australia.

I seem to be looking for the end of the current globalisation of the resource "monetisation" process we appear to be undergoing. If you include military capablility as part of a country's natural resources, you begin to find a monopolisation of national assets in every country.

The question is what happens when everything's 'bought up?' Is it like the end of the Parker Bros board game, where everyone trades to amalgamete their assets in the most effective form? Look at the defence share trading earlier in the year - in the space of weeks BAE sold its shares in SAAB to buy United Defense from Carlyle who , as mentioned above, areabout to 'monetise' their investment in the UK. Defence via revenue generated in a stock exchange float. This is what I see as the future of Australian military assets - to be bought and sold to the highest bidder.

Corporate takeovers and share trading have the potential to become the new method of warfare, with national boundaries being of little signifigance. Corporation A, with higher miliatary assets and greater cash flow, defeats Corporation B by financial assimilation without (unlike now) a shot being fired.

If evoking the side-effects of warfare without bloodshed is the result, then how can we not commend this global edition of Monopoly?

Whatever happens, the selling of our military communications networks to overseas interests is the strongest indication yet that we're a piece on the board. However, I don't think we're truly a player in the game. It's time to find out who's moving the pieces.

This continues as part of a piece at Margo Kingston's Webdiary

By Richard Tonkin at Sep 30 2005

 

Precedence In New Australian Terror Laws

First written as comment to a piece on Margo Kingston's Webdiary, in which Kerri Browne has placed the Australian Parliamentary Library's compendium of information regarding the proposed Australian terror legislatiion. Click here.

 

When the Commonwealth Heads Of Government meeting was held in Melbourne (late 70's, I think) an Irish friend of our family operated a milk bar somewhere in Victoria, three hundred or so miles from the Big Smoke.

This man's father had affiliations with the Australian branch of Sinn Fein.

The Federal Police came down from Melbourne to conduct a weapons
search, just in case his milk bar was a weapons cache for an armed
action in Melbourne.

I raise this situation as it was not that long ago. There were, and
are, many Australians and Irish who didn't sympathise with the British.
In modern parlance supporters of Irish rebellion would be considered as
criminals, and the literature that was circulated interpretable as
inciting acts of terrorism.

What happens when somebody empowered by the impending Australian
legislation decides that those who supported Irish efforts to reclaim
Ulster may be supporting the terrorists attacking Britain? You can be
sure that the possibily of IRA backers aiding and abetting Jihadists
has been discussed once or twice in Downing Street.

On Easter Sunday last year I had the pleasure of sharing a Guinness
with SA's Atternoy General, Mr Atkinson, at Adelaide's Irish Club. The
occasion was Australian Aid For Ireland's annual commemoration of the
uprising against the British in Easter of 1916. Mick sat in room full
of predominantly middle-aged to elderly Irish, listening attentively to
this annual litany of celebrating a cultural revolution.

Crossing a fine line of definition, Attorney General Mick would be
considered a terrorist sympathiser. I hope his involvement in creating
the legislation ensures that he is not part of a future witch-hunt.

When Mr Howard says that Australia's terrorism laws are a result of the London bombings, he is using as a template a society which has had similar laws to those he would implement for the last thirty years.

See if you find any of this language familiar:
[excerpt]

Conclusion

2.7 In the language of the then Home Secretary introducing the PTA legislation in 1974, the Government believes that there exists now a clear and present terrorist threat to the UK from a number of fronts and that a terrorist threat is likely to continue to exist for the foreseeable future even when a lasting peace in Northern Ireland is achieved.

2.8 Having come to this conclusion, the Government believes that new counter-terrorist legislation is needed to take account of the changes in the nature of terrorism and the methods deployed. It also believes that this new legislation should be permanent - as is the case with the vast majority of criminal law. The annual renewal of current temporary
anti-terrorist legislation, whilst useful in underlining the
exceptional nature of the powers and the connection between their use and the prevailing terrorist threat, and providing an opportunity for annual scrutiny of the use of the powers, does not reflect the current reality that such powers are likely to be needed for the foreseeable future.

This consultation paper on Legislation Against Terrorism was
prepared for the U.K. parliament in 1998, and shows great similarity to
what the Australian Government proposes, arguably to a level of
near-plagiarism.

The one crucial difference has been discussed before. The U.K. has
been an occupying force in many countries for many hundreds of years.

Shouldn't we be "writing our own book" in this situation, instead of
(as it would seem) utilising the timing of events to initiate a
pre-prepared plan?

By Richard Tonkin at Oct 19 2005

 

Bomb Insurance.


It happened so fast that many didn't see it arrive. As the bannor of Halliburton was raised over Australia's Parliament House, the few protesters who dared to attend were taken away for questioning.

Awaiting the arrival of the bulletproof Cadillac carrying President Cheney stood a proud Prime Minister, eager as usual to open the door, while a grinning Cabinet formed a line of honor to mark the auspiciousness of the occasion.

"Thanks, John," said the President, with a courteous nod and an ill-concealed wink. "i'll take it from here."

As they stood at the hour-long ceremony marking the takeover by Corporate Military Personel of Australian Defence activites, the small gallery of approved journalists waited for the response to the President's command that all non-shareholders of Halliburton resign from Cabinet
immediately. None of the Ministers were moving, although it was well-known that at least two rebels hadn't "exercised their stock options."

Those of the media who were reciting Cheney's script, transmitted to their earpieces from an implanted microphone, pondered the fact that the joke that you could tell a politician wasn't lying when his lips weren't moving was no longer true- Cheney's use of the throat-mike was as skillful as any ventriloquist's. Years of practice with the former President had served well.

Locked safely in their litigation-proof TPAs (terrorist-proof apartments) the people-meters on widescreen TVs recorded that the public observed the event with mild apathy, keen for normal programming to resume, eventually switching channels in their never-ending quest to decide which corporation's food to eat that night.

By Richard Tonkin at Oct 24 2005

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 16, 2005

RUMSFELD CREATES ADELAIDE 'HIGH TERROR' CHANCE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA REFUSED PARLIAMENT HOUSE PROTEST

A planned Adelaide protest against U.S. Secretary of Defence has been cancelled by South Australian Authorities, and that those gathering at Parliament House without permission wil be "moved on" by police.

Protest spokesman Mr Mike Khizan said in a media release tonight that " “Donald Rumsfeld, a man whom many millions of people around the world see as an international war criminal is coming to Adelaide, and in the name of ‘protecting’ him, free speech is being denied and the right to dissent attacked.�?

Mr. Khizam argued that “it would be a betrayal of our responsibility to defend civil liberties to simply swallow this decision. If Parliament steps are barricaded off, we will rally as close to the site as possible, on the King William Street end of the barricades.�?

The media release by Rice Rumsfeld Reception Committee also emphasised the fact that many people had already been notified of the Thurday 4.30 pm protest. It also claimed that Adelaide talkback radio participants have been warned on at least two occassions that if they say anything that may incite protest they will be taken of air

.Police have declared a "high" terror likelihood, following media reports that protesters are co nverging on the South Australian capital from all over the country.

The Adelaide trip was announced several months ago by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, and was planned to coincide with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condileeza Rice. Downer subsequently revealed that Dr Rice had cancelled her trip because "Leftists" were planning to protest.

According to the Adelaide Advertiser, police are preparing for the possibility of up to 10,000 protesters, and have stated that they will have little tolerance for unwanted activity. A police spokesman said today that Adelaide residents should not go near the blockaded area unless they had specific reason to do so.

Mr Rumseld and the U.S. Deputy Secratary of State are meeting with Mr Downer and Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill fo an annual bi-national meeting of minsters known as Ausmin.

Mr Downer has previously stated that Adelaide was chosen as the location of the meeting "because I live there," and that he thought it would be nice to show off his home city.

Mr Rumsfeld is expected to dine on Thursday at the Stonyfell Winery Resaurant, situated next to a quarry at the face of the Adelaide Hills. Prostesters plan to gather at the location, about 14 minutes from city centre, and to be located along the roadside.

Adelaide has strong commercial and defence ties with the U..S. It is the primary location for construction of Australia's contribution to the U.S. Missile Shield, and is the closest major city to an extimated 40% of the world's known uranium reserves. The city is the global headquarters for the Infrastructure Division of K.B.R, the subidary of Halliburton heavily involved supporting U.S. soldiers in Iraq and in the reconstruction of that countries oilfields, as well holding a contract for global support of U.S. military activities.

South Australia is expected, according to its Premier, to host Australian participation in the Global Hawk project, in which Unmanned Air Vehicles for survellance and combat vehicles are being created.

There is also speculation that the region will be a prime player in the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter Project

 

A Day In The (Adelaide) Life Of Don Rumsfeld

Interesting day at the Rumsfeld rally (nothing huge, around 600 I'd guess) particularly to watch the level of covert security.

Came into town by train at 4 o'clock... a couple of police on the platform, fifty people with backpacks heading in different directions.

Up to the main street. Immediately to the right is the Halliburton- constructed barrier blockading the Hyatt from the world, a few constabulary behind it- nothing major.

Strolling up past the Casino, you see a few more parked at the outdoor cafe, a couple across the street, three or four at the front of Parliament House.

Then the proudest moment of my life- helping duct-tape the NO WAR banner between the pillars of Parliament House, from where it was banned a day before!

(Note- duct-tape doesn't work very well on stone)

Standing around in the crowd, listening to a conversation a couple down ("barmaid's ears" it used to be called) in which this bloke in slacks and white shirt is saying " XXX is up there... where's everybody else?" a phrase repeated later when there was obviously still not more than one of the constabulary on the steps, and a couple hundred of (seated) protesters.

At the mike, the S.A. Democrats Upper House Leader, Sandra Kanck MLC is telling us how, upon walking near the Hyatt to inspect the blockade, she was asked for her name, address and date of birth. Earlier in the day, a man was asked to remove his shoes and socks for a police inspection while his bag, containing a change of clothes, was also searched.

Awaiting the 6.15. In the meantime it seemed a good idea to return to the point of arrival. Another man in white shirt and slacks is talking to officers and men in orange Transadelaide jackets. As they disperse I'm watching the boys in blue behind the blockade practicing removing one section to let the motorcad in and out when I notice the bloke watching me. Again in a Transadelaide "waistcoat" he's perched at the boundary between the train station and the Hyatt, and he's describing me into his phone "He's just standing there watching...dark shoulder length hair, a bit of a beard... Stu's probably got a picture of him" and I'm thinking it's time to leave. (A big "hello" to "Stu" and by the way, who do you work for

Back down on the platform I'm looking for more corporate logos on the orange train jackets. So many of them only read "security contractor". I found this interesting in its anonymity.

Apparently, during the rally (which the Advertiser says had five hundred protesters compared to Channel Nine's one thousand.) a single protester was removed and arrested on a charge of disorderly behaviour after confronting a lone U.S. protester.

Mr Rumsfeld, I know the numbers weren't huge, but as the pictures of our protest were broadcast around the country, many, many people were, you can be sure, quietly cheering us on. They, like the protesters today, do not like what you represent, and hope you take it with you when you leave.

I've been looking along the tracks at the Hyatt and wondering which room you're in. This is probably as close as I'll ever get to you, unless I catch a bus to town to stand in the street and bathe in your aura.

I wonder if the Hyatt tonight is going to be like the end of each episode of "The Waltons" You remember..."Goodnight John-Boy, goodnight Mom, goodnight Bobby-JO" etc etc.

As the lights go out I wish you could hear my voice in your head saying "Good night Donald- now piss off back to Washington, and take colonels Hill and Downer with you. YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE !

Orstrayyan Defence Minister Hill has said tonight that the Australian and US views on Iraq were "identical"

Q.E.D.

Do you sleep at the foot of the bed, Robert, or on a rug on the floor?

 

PS Amid all that secrecy and securtiy, some idiot gave out Rumsfeld's itinerary to his fellow Adelaide denizens! Here's how it appeared on Michael Moore's website.

 

Adelaide Defence and Research Communications Commence Globalisation

Adelaide, the Australian home of Star Wars, Halliburton, Global Hawk and the Joint Strike Fighter Project, has begun building a global-standard data transfer system that will allow local activities to be co-ordinated internationally
.

Today's Adelaide Advertiser announces the commencement and construction of a major fibreoptic network, connencting defence, science and educational facilities at speeds enabling synchronisation with global projects.

[excerpt]

SABRENet will cut the time to transfer a terabyte of data to just 17 minutes, compared with about three months using business broadband.

A terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

Until now such large datasets, saved to portable hard disks, have been transported by plane or taxi between research institutions here and overseas.

The new network will enable supercomputer real-time simulations, multi-screen, high-definition video conferencing, redundant storage and disaster recovery of massive amounts of data, and will allow South Australian researchers to participate in bandwidth-enabled experiments around the globe.

The project is the result of almost three years of collaboration between the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, the State Government and the Defence, Science and Technology Organisation.

 

It is not known whether the U.S. Surveillance base at Pine Gap will be connected to the network.

By Richard Tonkin at Nov 22 2005 - 1:09am

 

Adelaide- US Radar BaseThe Federal Minister of Defence, Robert Hill announced yesterday that trials that would enable Adelaide to play a key role in the U.S. MIssile Shield were successfu

Mr Hill said that the trials "might" allow Adelaide to participate.

The news follows announcements earlier this year that Adelaide to become the location of the construction of three warships equipped to participate in the "Star Wars" shield.

The trials focused on detection of missiles at early stages of flight, and showed the Adelaide-based JORN (Jindalee Over-horizon Radar Network) would aid early interception of incoming missiles

By Richard Tonkinat Dec 6 2005 - 12:40am

Scott Parkin Deportation Justified- Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

Halibucks are fake money (in the style of Halliburton) used by U..S. protesters to demonstrate the idea of dodgy transactions in street theatre. If the idea wasn't conceived by Scott Parkin,the concept originates from his training program..

At a recent anti-Cheney protest in Houston , a protester was ushered behind police lines by alleged Secret Service personel to be asked questions about her use of the Halibucks.

Meanwhile, back at the Southern Ranch, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Ian Carnell,in his review of the role of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in the Parkin deportation, found it had acted within
the law.

ASIO's assessment of Parkin,Mr Carnell claims, was based on "credible and reliable information"

There are two versions of the Parkin Report, one remaining classified.

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown finds it amazing that Parkin cannot be told of the reason for his deportation. "
"The report justifies ASIO's action in instigating the deportation of Mr Parkin but says it can't say why," he told the Senate yesterday afternoon.

At the time of Parkin's arrest and deportation, an ASIO representative "leaked" information to The Australian's Greg Sheridan that Parkin was planning to teach Australian protetsters how to roll marbles under the hooves of police horse. This activity, which Parkin claims is against his methodology, has been a known practice since the protests against Australian participation in the Vietnam War.

Parkin now has to pay approximately A$13,000 in transport and accommodation costs before he will be allowed to re-enter the country.

I've just thought of a solution to the whole problem- let Parkin pay the bill in Halli-bucks! Wouldn't everyone be happy?

It's my belief that Parkin's deportation was to avoid the possibility of a major protest being organised as US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld visited the Global Halli-headquarters of Infrastructure, Adelaide.

 

By Richard Tonkin at Dec 7 2005 - 1:0





This Is Style Of Protest Parkin's Deportation Was Intended To Suppress In Australia

Pre-planned, brilliant "photo-op" creation. I reckon that ASIO didn't think the Australian protest movement would be able to think like Diane Wilson unless we went to a Scott Parkin class.

From Houston Indymedia :

Katie Heim reports from inside the Westin Oaks Hotel: This evening, as Republicans gathered in the Galleria to raise money for the GOP Diane WIlson, cofounder of Code Pink and author of An Unreasonable Woman infiltrated their ranks. Photos of the banner and arrest. Wilson, who has done work around issues such as the Bhopal distaster and against the Iraq war, got on Delay's RSVP list by donating $50 to
his campaign.

After speeches by the chairman of the Republican Party and a rousing rendition of "God Bless the USA" Tom Delay himself took the stage. Delay referenced the protesters outside, citing the Socialists and the Progressive Workers parties. Then Cheney himself took the stage. WIlson was about 15 to 20 feet away from the VP when she opened up her black velvet wrap to reveal a banner which read "Corporate Greed Kills-From Bhopal to Bagdad". Conservative moralists nearby grabbed WIlson as she chanted "Corporate Greed Kills, and Iraq kills too!"

One GOP member called Wilson a bitch and a whore. Police dragged Wilson out and she's still detained as of this report.

 

Imagine if something like this had happened in front of Rumsfeld in Adelaide? Maybe such photo-tactical thinking is required for protests against our Prime Minister?

 

Clipsal, Halliburton, Old Uncle John Olsen and all.

Costello:"If you have any inquiries into the proceedings of the tax office I
suggest you refer them to the tax office or to the taxation
commissioner."

Searle: " He wouldn't be able to tell you much at all because he would be subject to the secrecy provisions of the taxation act."

A retired senior tax officer says that the matter should have been
referred to the DPP but that he can say no more as, although retired,
he's still subject to the secrecy provisions of the income tax act. This
is much of a tune as Chris Searle can whistleblow, and it's a strong
and stirring lament.

There was no lamenting on the night of John Howard's re-election at
Gerard's private function room in Bowden, as his guests, members of the
SA Liberal Party, cheered the results, and their signifigance. As a
party insider said at the time, "Every party has eliminated it's Left."

Two weeks ago, former Premier Dean Brown announced he would not
contest the seat of Finnis at the next election. The "capital" of
Finnis is the tourist town of Victor Harbour, and the region has been
booming with development ahead of a speculated new four-lane
highway to the area. Immediately after the announcement, Brown retired.
The rumour for twelve months back was that responsibility for the
road's construction is in the hands of Halliburton.

Former Premier John Olsen had a couple of quiet paragraphs in the Advertiser today, announcing his continual journey promoting South Australia in the US. He's just been appointed Consul-General to New York. Olsen, Premier when Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney visited Australia in '97, was responsible for selling SA's water to supply to SA powerbroker Malcolm Kinnaird, creator of the company that becameHalliburton/KBR Australia, and acting as its consultant when his bid, placed several hours afterclosing time, was accepted amid accusations of government andindustrial expionage. The 'Tiser today notes Olsen's significantcontribution to promoting South Australia to the US. If you're lookingfor Judas, he's out in the olive garden, puckering up.

Have you read Alan Ramsay's SMH piece yet? There's a paragraph here that's ringing my bells:
[excerpt]

"A leaked [internal party] memo from Senator Minchin [to
South Australian party officials] states: 'In my eight years as state director [until elected a senator in 1993] I never knew the existence of, let alone met, Mr Bill Henderson, whom we now know apparently obtained the Moriki and Catch Tim donations for the party. Mr Henderson was named as the conduit for both donations." Yes, but the conduit from
whom?

The question Ramsay raises here is a biggie. Gerard, concentratingon financing the expansion of his empire, was probably beginning toshow the finiancial stretch-marks that lead to his "globalisation". Wasit Gerard's money that flowed through Catch Tim and other fronts, orwas he only pretending?

At any rate, with Kinnaird working the corporate end, and RobertGerard manipulating the Liberal Party, South Australia never stood a chance. Cheney and Rumsfeld's wishes were fulfilled.

The ironic thing about the raising of the supicious nature of
relationships between Gerard and Costello is that what the exercise has ultimately achieved is for John Howard to get into temporal firing-range of the next election. Why has this maintaining the PM's international position, over the past recent months, "suddenly" become a necessity?

The phrase, "Think Global, Act Local," has taken on a whole new meaning in the New American Century


First Published on the last night of Margo Kingston's Webdiary. For those who don't know, Margo is also convenor of Your Democracy

By Richard Tonkin at Dec 7 2005 - 8:49pm

 

Intercepted Project for a New American Century Memo The personal blog entry was updated.


Memo to the Downer-Under department.

A big Christmas Howdy to all of Alex's boy's! Our little buddies have been working their butts getting the Apocalypse Headquarters ready. Little John, with some gentle persuasion, has decided to stay with the team... thanks, Agent Gerard! You've saved us a bundle yet again!

Don't forget the date of our next party, on June 6th next year. The Sexy Six will provide the music, George will be serving the pretzels, and Osama as always will be running the chook-raffle

Halliburton Mal has always delivered our every need, and he's lived up to his reputation. The catering he\s provided for the bash is more than anyone could ask for. Another fat Christmas bonus of Defence Research stocks are coming to stuff your stocking, Pally, hand delivered by Director Dick! Secretary Don says we won't run out of anything, and that the playground's second to none. He was particularly impressed with the Liquor Cabinet you supplied after tasting your samples.

The Most-Improved Employee Award this year goes to Gunner Bob. Alill that media training is finally paying off, and he's almost as good at Alex at lying convincingly. Next time we have a PNAC Poker-Face Play-Off the judges will have a difficult time of it.

Johnny O is proving to be a pleasure to have around New York.. a man who knows how to give service, that one! Both John and the Reefer-Man asked us to pass on Festive greetings and by the way, yes it was worth it. John wants to know if you've found anything in Central Australia that he maybe missed that needs selling, but the Reefer-man thinks he's had all the bases covered.

To close this memo a warning.. there might be a virus in the system..

Last night I had the strangest dream, 
I never dreamed before. 
I dreamed the world had all agreed 
To put an end to war. 
I dreamed I saw a mighty room, 
The room was filled with men. 
And the papers they were signing said 
They'd never fight again.

And when the papers were all signed, 
And a million copies made 
They all joined hands and bowed their heads,
And grateful prayers were made. 
And the people in the streets below, 
They all danced round and round. 
And guns and swords and uniforms 
Were scattered on the ground.

Last night I had the strangest dream, 
I never dreamed before. 
I dreamed the world had all agreed 
To put an end to war. 
I dreamed I saw a mighty room, 
The room was filled with men. 
And the papers they were signing said 
They'd never fight again

And when I woke twas but a dream

and peace a dirty word

Itried to tell them of my dream

but not a word they heard

And then I got me fighting mad

and knew just what to do.

I'd fight nonviolently for peace

until my dream came true.
.

If anyone can find the author of this virus, Ed McKurdy, can they have him jailed as a seditionist or deported or something

at Dec 12 2005

 

DEPORTED HALLIBURTON ACTIVIST CHALLLENGES AUSTRALIAN INTELLIGENCE

(Proudly reprinted from Halliburton Watch and Houston Indymedia )

Houston-based activist Scott Parkin, deported from Australia after protesting the activities of global energy and war-industry giant Halliburton, has mounted a legal challenge against his treatment by ASIO, the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation.

On September 10 this year security and immigration officials detained Parkin at a Melbourne coffee shop. Parkin was scheduled to co-present a workshop on non-violent protest techniques that afternoon.

Parkin had previously assisted co-ordinating a street-theatre protest at Hallibuton/KBR's Sydney offices, coinciding with an international business conference at the Sydney Opera House.

Parkin had declined a request to appear at an ASIO interview.

According to The Australian, security officers were concerned that Parkin would teach Australian Halliburton protesters how to roll marbles under the hooves of police horses.. presumably the marbles that ASIO lost years ago.

Parkin is seeking to overturn the adverse security finding that caused his deportation.

Halliburton's Australian arm is involved in foreign aid activities in Iraq, and enjoys numerous no-bid defence contracts. It is chief owner of the Adelaide to Darwin Railway, and calculates the probabity of missile-strike breaches of Australian nuclear facilitiies. The possibile sites for the new Australian nuclear dump are all situated along the railway.. 

Here's the ABC News version

at Dec 132005

SON OF STAR WARS II: NEOCONS DOWN UNDER

"It’s not Star Wars. It’s basically the capability to defeat ballistic
missiles whilst they are in the air after launch, during cruise or as
they reenter the atmosphere and that defensive capability has developed
enormously in the last few years. A year or so ago it was thought to be
decades away. Now the United States will in fact deploy the first part
of its defence shield next year. So it’s a rapidly advancing technology."

"The need in a very unpredictable world is to beable to defend ourselves, whether it’s troops on the ground or whether it’s strategic assets and what we have is the opportunity to get into this massive project at an early stage, to be able to invest in it, to learn what capabilities might be suitable for us in the future and basically to have that option, the option to be able to develop that form of defence in the future."

"We think that in the science and technology area we will make a contribution from the start. The Americans have been out here looking at our capabilities. They have been most impressed with JORN, for example, and new forms of radar and sensors that are being developed here north of Adelaide. And they willhave the opportunity to promote and invest in their science through this project. This is a massive project, a huge public expenditure by the United States and it gives us the opportunity to get into the project and to play our part and to get a benefit in terms of a more secure Australia."

"We will choose the projects within the massive program that we want to invest in and obviously we will do that to the background of our successes to date, in terms of radars and sensors and the like. And we will get benefit back from that investment in terms of better capability for Australia."

"We have said the Air Warfare System will basically be a US design but the US designers are interested in Australian companies contributing complementary parts of the system. That again will be an opportunity that our companies have never had before at that level of sophistication."

Robert Hill December 5 2003

Now let's take the Tardis to December 6 2005

[extract from the Adelaide Advertiser]

Outlining other strengths of the SA defence industry, Senator Hill said the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) - consisting of two over-the-horizon radars - might be used as part of Australia's contribution to the U.S.'s so-called Star Wars missile shield.

The two over-the-horizon radars are jointly operated from the JORN Coordination Centre at RAAF Base Edinburgh by the No. 1 RadarSurveillance Unit.

Trials of the JORN last year for missile defence proved it was successful in detecting a target.

This involved detecting ballistic missiles during the "early boost phase", allowing earlier interception.

Two days later Minister Hill revealed, while announcing the placement of
the AEGIS order, that unless Australia had taken this action
Lockheed-Martin would have need to shut down its AEGIS production line, telling The Advertiser that

"Placing the order . . . allows the U.S. to continue manufacturing without halting its production line, bringing about greater efficiency and achieving considerable savings," he said. "The purchase will also maximise opportunity for Australian industry to provide sub-systems
such as communications, electronic warfare, sonar, electro-optical sensors and other equipment."

It's good to know that, even though we don't have a final design for the ships yet, we know what we'll shoot from them.

Last Thursday the Pentagon extolled the success of it's Southern Hemispheric Missile Shield trial.

[extract from The Advertiser]

      

The latest test in the Pacific was designed chiefly to evaluate the
performance of the interceptor missile's rocket motor system and Raytheon Co-built "exoatmospheric kill vehicle", the bit designed to smash into the target warhead and pulverise it in space, MDA said.

It also successfully tested, among other things, silo support equipment, the agency said.

Last February, a ground support arm in the silo malfunctioned because of hinge corrosion caused by what MDA later said had been "salt air fog" that entered the underground silo.

Boeing said in a statement that the interceptor will be flown against a live target in subsequent tests.

The flight test yesterday validated the system's ability to track, acquire and provide the interceptor with the data for a "hit-to-kill" intercept, Chicago-based Boeing said.

All told, the United States is spending roughly $US9 billion ($11.95 billion) a year to develop a layered missile shield, including components based at sea and in space. The shield is designed to knock out the type of ocean-leaping missile that could be tipped with a nuclear, chemical or germ warhead.

In the dramatic public competition for the winning of the AWD contract...
two state governments toe-to-toe in the media, complete with
Adelaide-base journo-terrorists invading Melbourne to present the case
for South Australia. The Advertiser journalists were lead in the charge
by Craig Bildstien, former Liberal Member for Mildura and ex
press-secretary for Chris Gallus, the Parliamentary Secretary for
Foreign Affairs.

I had the privelege of hearing South Australian Premier Mike Rann announcing the AWD cpmtract being awarded to Adelaide, telling everyone how when his office received the news "We
all shook hands and said "mission accomplished' ". The implication to
the South Australian public was that it was the State's Labour
Government that had won the deal. Hill didn't have much to say at the
time.

Nowadays the relationship is a little more tense. When Senator Hill announced on Thursday that Adelaide was to receive a new
1,200 battallion. Deputy Premier Foley was caught unawares, telling
Adelaide ABC's Matthew Abraham and David Bevin that the announcement, though known to be due sometime in the future (nice to know somebody in the Premier's Department has discoverd the internet) was not expected at that time.

As South Australia gears up for an election next March, the job creations Rann's Defence State are going to be loudly
proclaimed as a vote-getter. The question is exactly how much of the
acquisition of defence contracts is directly attributable to the
Federal Liberal Government, the State Labor Government, and the State's former Liberal Government.

It obvious looking at Hill's statements, at a time when Rann had only been in office for six months,
that planning for our involvement in the AEGIS program had been
developing for much longer than that. In fact, it's been years since
the US government requested three ships to participate in the missile
shield program.

Six months ago I wrote an open letter to Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, saying that,

I share your sense of having participated in a foregone conclusion. Victoria tried hard to win the warships, but as long as the plans created by the Bush Administration and relayed by multinational defence and energy corporations to and through the Australian Federal Government continue on a predetermined implementation schedule, the whims of any State's comparitively tiny political muscle will only beconsidered in the form of providing crumbs and scraps left over fromthe main meal.

Nothing that's happened since then has changed my mind. The one thing I was missing is that if i'm right,
a key issue in the next South Australian election consists of an
untrustworthy amount of grandstanding by an actor with a very small
part.

As long as the election result doesn't affect US Foreign
Policy, the Bush Regime wouldn't care who won. However, it's mystifying
that the SA Liberal party, surely able to see what's going on, aren't
opposing Rann's publicity campaign By Richard Tonkin at 12/17/200"Armygeddon" Australian Defence Recruitment Campaign

I worry for the minds who created this concept, and hope it's not a Freudian slip. To get the kids in, or at least the ones who aren't too fat or stoned, The ADF has prouldy launched ARMYGEDDON, a "street machine" that that does for Land Rover what Herbie the Love Bug did for Volksies.

"It's unique capabilities will attract the attention of those who really know about Street Machines," the blurb proclaims. Aha... Senator Hill's found a job for "joyriders". !

 

"I believe this project will raise the profile of some of the technical trades available as
well as promoting the Army as a varied and interesting career to a key target
market - young people,"

said the Chief of Army, Major General Leahy.

The young people that the Army really seem to be after are the ones at Adelaide University, who have just joined the US MIssile Shield program. DSTO and the University of Adelaide signed an agreement last week to
establish the centre within the University's School of Electrical and
Electronic Engineering.

DO the Adelaide Uni kids know that their intellectual property will eventually be sold ('monetised' or whatever) by the very same company that runs the Adelaide University car park. Tenix aren't just keeping your Holdens dry folks., they're marketing your mindpower .

But what the hell, you might get to work on a really cool car.

at 12/18/2005Democracy and Gas - Lock, Stock and Hallibarrel

I'm beginning to understand the race to tie up Australia and the Oceania regions Liquefied Natural Gas sources. From the looks of this article on Energy Review Net, Unless you own the initial resource you'll have nothing to work with. You also have a considerable quantity of political clout, as Russia is currently demonstrating to Europe.

The question this piece leaves me with is: how much of a percentage of control is retained by the suppliers of the technologies used to access the LNG reserves? The answer to this question will be of importance in our near future, and I believe the answer will have Halliburton written all over it. Can anyone advise me where to begin looking?

Here's part of the ERN article


THE world, according to a recent study, has the capacity to 're-gassify' 27.3 billion cubic feet of gas a day – but only has the infrastructure to produce 20.3bcf of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a day. The resulting 7bcf daily gap is a market anomaly that will be converted into profit by someone and has the potential to change expected market behaviour.

The study by North American energy specialist Tristone Capital, and reported by Natural Gas Intelligence, found that the gap between the production of LNG and the re-gasification capacity would not narrow in the immediate future. In fact, by 2010 there will be an 18.2bcf shortfall in the supply of LNG to re-gas projects.

It is the widening gap which explains the boom in LNG production projects around the world, especially in Australia where there is the added appeal of political and economic stability.

More particularly, the gap explains why Woodside Petroleum shares are booming, and likely to continue booming for as long as LNG demand outstrips supply, and re-gasification plants are scouring the world for LNG cargoes.

The Tristone study, encouraging as it is for LNG producers, also contains a warning which could mean trouble for the global LNG industry unless great care is taken. To understand why there could be problems ahead you need to appreciate that market anomalies generally represent
a profit for someone and a loss for someone else.

The profit side of the anomaly is easy to spot. A shortage of LNG means high demand, and high prices. But, those conditions will also, almost certainly, mean that long-term contracts, of the sort which effectively
lock a producer and a consumer into a closed-loop relationship, will remain the mainstay of the LNG industry.

For producers this represents a licence to print money because they have a guaranteed market, and a guaranteed price.

But for the development of a free market in LNG, similar to that which exists for oil, the shortfall in supply could be the kiss of death – as it could be for a number of re-gasification plants being built (or planned) around the world on the assumption that LNG will become freely traded.

Among the conclusions of Tristone's analysis is that LNG will remain a "seller's market" for the rest of the decade, and that of the 50 proposed re-gasification projects in North America not all will be successful.

Put another way, there is the potential for the surplus of
re-gasification projects to produce a number of expensive failures because these projects have a very high fixed cost structure, and need to operate at a high level of efficiency to make a profit.

Any LNG re-gasification project being built without a long-term supply agreement in place faces a sticky future – as does the belief that LNG is on the road to rival oil as a freely traded commodity.

Tristone, which operates in Canada, the US and Britain, also found that several big LNG projects were carrying large amounts of "geopolitical risk". These are projects located in countries such as Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The rising risk profile means that rapid LNG export growth is not assured, simply because the owners of the capital required to build the projects might balk at the risk of putting money into dodgy places.

"Geopolitical Risk" shouldn't be much of an issue to investors in Australian LNG, you'd reckon. It's far from the same case in Europe, which gets around a quarter of its gas supplies from Russia, via pipelines through the Ukraine. So when the neighbours get grumpy...

On Sunday Russia cut off most of its supplies to the Ukraine, after its neighbour refused to pay for an increase to $230 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, from $50 per 1,000 meters. Ukraine has said it is willing to pay more, but wants the price increase to be made gradually.

Ukraine said the Russian move is a political one to punish the country for adopting a more Western friendly stance since the election of Viktor Yushchenko as president.

The U.S. government said it "regretted" the decision by Russia.

"Such an abrupt step creates insecurity in the energy sector in the region and raises serious questions about the use of energy to exert political pressure. As we have told both Russia and Ukraine, we support a move toward market pricing for energy but believe that such a change
should be introduced over time rather than suddenly and unilaterally," the State Department said in a statement on Sunday.

The Centre for Research on Globalisation's William Engdahl seems to think that control of the Ukraine s as important to US influence on Russia as it is to European Energy supply:

It’s mainly about who influences the largest neighbor of Russia, Washington or Moscow. A dangerous power play by Washington is involved, to put it mildly.

A look at the geo-strategic background makes things clearer. Ukraine is historically tied to
Russia, geographically and culturally. It is Slavic, and home of the first Russian state, Kiev Rus. Its 52 million people are the second largest
population in eastern Europe, and it is regarded as the strategic buffer between Russia and a string of new US NATO bases from Poland to Bulgaria to Kosovo,
all of which have carefully been built up since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most important, Ukraine is the transit land for most major Russian Siberian gas pipelines to Germany and the rest of Europe.

Yushchenko favors EU membership and NATO membership for Ukraine. Not surprising, he is backed, and strongly, by Washington. Zbigniew Brzezinski has been directly involved on behalf of the Bush Administration in grooming Yushchenko for his new role.

As far back as November 2001 Yushchenko was reportedly wined and dined in Washington by the Bush Administration, paid for by the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Martin Foulner in the Glasgow Herald of November 26 reported the details of the meeting. The NED, it’s worth noting, was set up during the Reagan Administration by the US Congress, to ‘privatize’ certain CIA operations, and allow Washington to claim clean hands in various foreign meddling. Ukraine is part of a wider US pattern of active ‘regime change’ in eastern Europe and Central Asia.

At the end of 2003, Papua New Guinea's Oil Search announced an alliance with Halliburton. They also announced the construction of a pipeline from PNG to South Australia, to provide fuel for the massively expanding Olympic Dam Mine, (containing a major chunk of the world's future uranium supply) for which Halliburton had conducted the Environmental Impact Statement, while it was laying stormwater pipes for Mawson Lakes, the forthcoming Heart of the Defence State,

If, at some time in the future, Australia decides to use its uranium and gas reserves as a method of flexing a political "muscle", in a similar manner to Moscow, the message might be transmitted by "nerves" controlled by another "brain".

It\s a small world after all....

By Richard Tonkin at 2 Jan 2006 Adelaide Defence Contractors In US "Small Business" Scam ProbeSeveral Adelaide-based US Defence Corporations are disguising themselves as small businesses to "loophole" US Legislation, according to a US Survey.

In the chase for Australian Defence contracts, some of the same companies have subsidiariaries mirroring the questionable US practices.

Defense Industry Daily reported yesterday that that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered the U.S. Small Business Administration (USSBA) to release to the American Small Business League (ASBL) a draft report on the awarding of government contracts.

[extract]

The SBA report describes how large companies are improperly winning contracts in the Federal government's $60-plus billion small business contracting program.

The Small Business Act of 1953 directs that at least 23% of federal government prime contracts go to small business, but a host of abuses and loopholes have allowed large companies to pick up contracts in this category.

The SBA released an edited version of the report on December 28, 2004, acknowledging that small business contracts had gone to such "small businesses" as Raytheon Co., BAE Systems, Northrop Grumann Corp., Carlyle Group, Electronic Data Systems Corp., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Buhrmann NV.

Raytheon, BAE, Northrop Grunman and Carlyle are involved in South Australian based Missile Shield and Unmanned Air Vehicle Projects. Both BAE and EDS have major headquarters in Adelaide.


The situation is mirrored in Australia. Here Australian (often wholly U.S. owned) subsidiaries masquerade as Australian contributors to the Joint Strike Fighter program.

In 2002 Letters of Intent regarding the JSF program were sent to such small Australian companies as Boeing Australia, Halliburton ACT, CSC Nowra, DSTO Melbourne, Raytheon Australia Adelaide and Sydney,Tenix Adelaide and Melbourne, and Thales Sydney and Brisbane.

Trade Minister Ian MacFarlane said at the time that

"These Australian companies are now on a prestigious short-list. This project has been thrown open on an international scale, suppliers are being sourced on a best-value basis, it’s a level global playing field on which Australian companies are swinging for home runs,"

"The letters signal the proponents’ confidence in Australian companies to successfully nail down significant contracts. They’ve been invited to bid for work worth up to US $400 million following two scoping studies by Lockheed Martin. This is an auspicious first step."

 

Raytheon is also serving as the system-to-system integrator in the Missile Shield warship construction soon to commence in Adelaide, while Thales has recently earned a guernsey in assisting General Dynamics in the Battlespace Communications revamp.

Practices under question in the US include acquisition of small firms to use as applicants, misrepresentation of employee figures, and large companies passing of subsidiaries or divisions as an small business.


If such a situation is regarded as criminal activity in the US (in 1953 punishable by fines up to US$500,000, or up to 10 years imprisonment, or both) surely the ethicality of the "Australian" contract situation needs to be immediately examined.

Then it will be a good time to look at "Australian small businesses" such as Halliburton participatiing in Australian international aid activities.. but that's another story.

Or is it?

By Richard Tonkinat 4 Jan 2006

 

Target Adelaide. It's official! In any future war, Adelaide is a prime missile target!

When you make a conjecture you're a conspiracy theorist... until the information comes out!

Four months ago I wrote a piece for Webdiary called Halliburtton's Adelaide, referring to the JORN missile systems possible uses. Today I read in The Age of how integral JORN is to the Missile Shield.

[extract]

 

AUSTRALIA'S secret Jindalee radar network, capable of "seeing"
over the horizon, is a key link in a new anti-ballistic missile
shield that will protect much of the globe.

The missile defence system, designed to protect America and its
allies from missiles launched by "rogue states", will integrate
defensive missile systems on land and at sea with spy satellites
and the navy's new generation air warfare destroyers. The warships
are still to be built and are scheduled to be operating by 2013 to
2015.

US scientists who have examined the Australian-invented Jindalee system, which operates across Australia's northern frontier, were impressed by its range and capability and confirmed that it could detect a missile launch far away in Asia.

Officials from US aircraft and weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin told The Age the Australian system, officially known as Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), would be a highly effective part of the global missile defence shield being developed by the US.

It significantly increased the time available for a defence
system to intercept missiles.

They would not give details of the radar's range but said
Jindalee, with its giant aerials across the Top End, would be part
of an electronic network, including spy satellites and the
yet-to-be built air warfare destroyers, able to pick up the launch of a missile and, by tracking it, work out its target. The ship or
a land-based anti-missile system would then shoot the missile down.

On the face of it, the missile shield system is designed to
protect the US and its allies from missiles fired by "rogue states"such as North Korea.

But its opponents say the system will trigger an arms race by
encouraging countries such as China and Russia to build enough
missiles to be sure of penetrating any defence system.

Do you think that an enemy is going to aim at the radar dishes, or the control headquarters? As I've said before, if an enemy force decided to take drastic measures, three unfinished Missile Shield warships in Adelaide's harbour would be a perfectcandidate for an attack. The Catch-22 we're in is that while JORN will see the missiles coming, we don't have anything to stop them with until the ships are built.!

In the meantime, the city's connections to the activities of a militaristic superpower continue to be constructed, their signifigance locally unreported. It's beginning to get annoying.

By Richard Tonkin at 7 Jan 2006

 

Halliburton- Australian tax breaks for bribes ?

In Australia, foreign bribes are tax-deductable

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) has found Australia should increase fines for companies that
bribe foreign officials

It's also concerned that lining the pockets of foreign officials to "grease the wheels of progress" will get you a discount at the Australian Taxation Office. The ATO calls the bribes "facilitation payments"

The Australian-based company that the world knows best for bribery is Halliburton. A subsidiary company, wholly owned by its U.S. parent, Halliburton organises construction projects worldwide from its offices in Adelaide, South Australia. With many projects in many countries, many wheels could need greasing.

In August last year the Nigerian Government voted unanimiously to summon Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar to explain KBR's role in paying bribes to secure a major oil contracts. Investigation is continuing in three countries.

Nearer to home, KBR has a strong presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. It also carries out faid contracts for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As a example, when KBR in Adelaide organises reconstruction work in Iraq, how much does it allocate in its budget to keep local officials happy? Extrapolate the question over half a dozen countries and it becomes a hairy one.


Bribes appear to be unnecessary in Australia, where local officials are afraid to reject KBR tenders on political grounds because of possible legal ramifications. This is probably not the case in Iraq. In budgeting the cost of infrastructure reconstruction projects, how much KBR Adelaide allow to keep Iraqi local government officials happy? Perhaps the payments come from the Cayman Islands office, but where do the cheques get written? I'm guessing Greenhill Road, Parkside, South Australia.

It may be, as Attorney General Phillip Ruddock stated yesterday, that "It's one in which we treat any offences seriously, we investigate them." However, given that the Australian Government has not implemented an inquiry into possible Australian involvement in KBR's Nigerian bribery, and if such is the case for such a publicly prominent situation, the magnitude of activity by an Australian-based company would need to be stupendous before the Australian Government would contemplate the possibility of raising an eyebrow, and is likely to be giving perpetrators a discount for conducting their activities from Australa.

at 18 Jan 2006 - 12:52am

 

Stranger In A Strange (Halliburton) Land

Having had local councils on my mind since learning how the Byron BayCouncil gave Halliburton a contract because they were afraid of a lawsuit, I"ve had a coincidental week.

I was just smiling over my front gate to a council inspector while explaining my unregistered dog. As I don't drive, I have no licence. In order to prove who I was I had to find three pieces of identification. This was in order to receive a fine.

You can appreciate my level of annoyance, having flown to Qeensland using an album cover and a 1971 (age six) passport, played at Edinburgh Air Force Base using a
multi-coloured Land Rover and a pub social club card and getting to Port Lincoln using letters sent to me from the State Attorney General, the former Arts Minister and a Liberal MLC. These actions, admittedly, indicate a possible phobia.

I ascribe to the late science fiction writer (and inventor of the water-bed) Robert Heinlein's theory that when a culture demands you continually prove who you are, it's time to move somewhere else.

The trouble is, where to go?
I've just spent a few days down at Narrung, on the side of Lake Alexandrina, near the Murray's Mouth. No telly, no net, no shops, no dogcatchers...just one of the world's most beautiful shorelines. Every few hours the soundscape is reluctantly disturbed by a mechanical engine, but that's okay because it reminds you that the noise that you spend your city-life blotting out is alien to the nature you're now inhabiting.

Down at the barrages which separate the Murray from the sea, the gates are open so that you can admire the Haliburton solar panel and pumping equipment. Even KBR seem to have become lackadaisical down here.

A stranger in a strange land, I attempted to grok the technology (or if you prefer Arthur C. Clarke, I was the caveman before the monolith) and failed.

Aside: We have one important piece of technology at the shack at Narrung. Dad uses the ride-on mower to mow the verges in the town. The KBR contractors, with no work to do, drive on.

Returning home, crossing the (bloody bumpy) lake, I looked out on the water where Cheney's Men plan to build a hundred-kay diameter freshwater reclamation system, complete with housing estate and marina.

In the same manner an engine noise conflicts here, the mental picture of such an unatural construct in the middle of such a naturally pristine environment seemed wrong. In the truest meaning of the word, it's "unearthly".

Back on the shores of reality, we drove back to the city on what is going to become a four-lane highway. Guess who the designers might be?

Nope, this isn't the Heinlein-esque bolt-hole that it should be- at least, it won't be in ten years time.

I doubt there are many left. If one exists, you can expect to see a corporate logo there sometime in the near future

at 18 Jan 2006 - 2:10pm

 

Defence Minister to Resign, Finance and Defence to Amalgamate

In today's Advertiser, Phillip Coorey tips Finance Minister Nick Minchin will take up the Defence portfolio, although Mr Minchin wishes to retain Finance.

Mr HIll has been offerred the position of Australian Ambassador to the United Nations. If he takes the position the current Senator For South Australia will become housemate to former SA Premier John Olsen, who presided over Halliburton's takeover of the South Australian Water Supply.

The two portfolios seem so inter-related these days that it would save much beaureaucratic shuffling if the two ministres were merged.

[extract from Thursday's Advertiser]


DEFENCE Minister Robert Hill is expected to announce his resignation from politics within days, possibly tomorrow.

The Advertiser understands the South Australian Liberal senator has
decided to close the door on a distinguished parliamentary career and
move to New York as Australia's Ambassador to the United Nations.

His resignation, just six months short of his 25th anniversary in the Senate, will end months of speculation about his future.

It also will clear the way for Prime Minister John Howard's Cabinet reshuffle.

 

at 19 Jan 2006 - 1:00am |

Ausaid "Unaware" Of Need To Report Bribery Allegations

Australia's provider of international aid funding, AusAid, has no protocol regarding the reporting of allegations of foreign bribery!

AusAid is a major provider of Halliburton's international aid contracts from the Australian Government. In Australia the corporation has been masquerading as a "South Australian Based Company"

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) has just announced that small bribes to foreign officials to encourage more beaureaucratic haste, known as "facilitation payments" are illegal under most Australian State laws

[Extract from today's Australian]

The report highlights significant lapses by federal government departments in relation to reporting foreign bribery allegations, to the point that AusAID - which awards a significant number of overseas contracts - did not know that it should report overseas bribery allegations to the Australian Federal Police.

AusAID's fraud control policy did not mention bribery of foreign officials, and senior officials did not know if an allegation of bribing foreign officials in relation to an Official Development Assistance contract would be investigated, let alone reported.

 

What this means is that bribes Halliburton makes in Iraq from its Adelaide office would be completely "un-noticed."

Earlier Australian Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock yesterday downplayed the OECD's findings, saying that the number of Australian companies engaging in "facilitation payments" was minimal. However, the Australian Chamber of Commerce has told OECD investigators that "Australian SMEs (small and medium enterprises) would rarely propose bribes in the context of doing business internationally; however, they would respond to solicitations for
facilitation payments,"

Also this weekThe Australian Prime, Foreign and Trade Ministers have t been implicated in revelations of Australian companies paying bribes to the Saddam Regime

Australia's Defence Minister (who, along with the Foreign Minister is a Senator for South Australia) is expected to resign within several days to take up the post of Australian Ambassador to the United Nations. Fellow Senator for South Australia, Finance Minister Nick Minchin, is strongly tipped to assume control of the Defence Ministry while retaining his current portfolio.

The Foreign Minister is expected to exchange portfolios with the Treasurer in a forthcoming Federal Cabinet "reshuffle".

Halliburton.... Giving Troops The ^^^^

US television and newspapers today are dumping the story into Middle America of how, at one particular army base, Halliburton have been dumping sewerage into a river and then using it to serve U.S. troops.

While on-the-ground KBR employees emailed thunderous complaints, from deep in the bowels of Halliburton Headquarters the stamdard response was trotted out- Halliburton stood firmly behind the statement that there was no problem.
.
While bottled water is used for drinking, the contaminated water, reportedly twice as dirty as the river Euphrates, is used for everything else, including making coffee.

Notification of the problem, including the resultant stomach cramps and diahorrea, began in March 2005

In South Australia, Halliburton and its partners are responsible for Adelaide's water supply, including the Bolivar sewerage plant. Last week the company was awarded the contract to operate Byron Bay's sewerage system

Details here

at 23 Jan 2006 - 10:50am

 

Council Took Halliburton Tender To Avoid Lawsuit.

If an Australian local council has "emotional problems" using Halliburton, it must accept them anyway. That's the message being sent to the world this week by the Shire Council of Byron Bay, on the Northern coast of New South Wales.

The town, once the haven of surfers and hippies, now the "holiday home" of international stars such as Paul Hogan and Hugh Jackman, is now home to KBR employees as they upgrade the local sewerage plant.

Councillor Tom Tabart made the situation plain when he recently told the Northern Star newspaper that "Refusal on a political basis would have surely resulted in legal action against us,"

He went on to say that "The sad truth is that these corporations now control the world’s political systems and until we can get governments off their corrupt teat we are going to be forced to deal with them."

at 24 Jan 2006 - 12:03am

 

Halliburton Australia-Moment Of Truth Has Arrived

"Contractors with conflicts of interest would be prohibited from conducting oversight or writing contract requirements they could bid on, as Halliburton did for its $7 billion no-bid Iraqi oil contract awarded in 2003."

Australian aside:..... and the warship environmental measures, and the nuclear dump safety consultancies, and South Australia's Major Works Development

Adding to the statement in the introductory paragraph, US Democrats believe what is needed is “closing the revolving door between federal contract officials and private contractors.”

Australia, according to former Defence Minister Hill in 2004, is protected from contract troubles from such as Halliburton. Hill told SBS Dateline's Sophie McNeill that the "safeguard is the culture of the Australian beaureaucracy." Ha Ha, Mr Hill... pull the other one!

If it's believed that such measures are necessary in the United States, then the possibility of necessity to examine Halliburton's Australian operations, especially its gaining of local defence contracts on a no-bid business, should be considered by all Australian Governments.

The thing is that Halliburton's Australian defence involvement, up to the level of appointing the company's local leader Malcom Kinnaird to solve the DoD's problems, is no longer Senator Hill's problem... he's just resigned the defence portfolio. The Howard Government, as demonstrated by the change of minsterial portfolios after the "Children Overboard" fraud, is becoming adept at avoiding the code of conduct set down by the Westminster System, which Australia's parliament is supposedly based on.

However it is a major responsibility of South Australian Premier Mike Rann, who last year appointed HalliburtonKBR's former Global Vice President for Infrastructure to head SA's Major Works Development Board, on which he also gave a seat to Mr Kinnaird. The possibility of KBR being able to exactly meet the project requirements set by Fletcher and Kinnaird is, even in hypothetical form, too nepotistic to be allowe to exist. Mr Rann should stand down Fletcher and Kinnaird from public postings immediately, or before the State election in March, or explain why he has given South Australia to Halliburton and let voters decide. If it is found that Mr Rann was aware of Halliburton's international levels of conduct at the time he made these appointments, he should be considered morally unfit to be Premier of South Australia.

Similarly, if Prime Minister Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, now with full knowledge of the ethical breaches that the company has perpetrated internationally, continue to grant the company international aid contracts on behalf of Australia, then these two should also be asked to depart from public life.

The granting of the construction ownership of the railway across Australia to Halliburton by Prime Minister Howard, Finance Minister Minchin, SA Premier Rann and Northern Territory Premier Clare Martin also needs to be re-examined.

Now that Newsweek has revealed that Australia deported Parkin using information that the US Military never should have had (should be up in the morning somewhereall assumptions of credibility are on stand-by

at 24 Jan 2006 - 4:55am

US Government Spied On Scott Parkin- NewsweekIf this is the information that ASIO used to deport Parkin, some questions will need to be asked.

Firstly, was ASIO acting based on a current profile of Parkin, or outdated infomation it had previously received from TALON

Secondly, is the Australian Cabinet, from Prime Minister Howard downward, guilty of acting on inappropriate information simply because it existed ?

Thirdly: Have ASIO's activities in Australia mirrored the intensity of Paul
Wolfowitz' US program? If so, how many how many profiles of Australian
anti-war activists and writers now exist in ASIO's files.

Fourthly: Are Australian anti-Halliburton activists considered as being of a level of security risk that the US Army no longer considers Parkin to
be?

[ Newsweek, cover-date 30/1/2006 ]

The demonstration seemed harmless enough. Late on a June afternoon in 2004, a motley group of about 10 peace activists showed up outside the
Houston headquarters of Halliburton, the giant military contractor once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

They were there to protest the
corporation's supposed "war profiteering." The demonstrators wore papier-mache masks and handed out free peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to Halliburton employees as they left work.

The idea, according to organizer Scott Parkin, was to call attention to
allegations that the company was overcharging on a food contract for troops in Iraq. "It was tongue-in-street political theater," Parkin says.

But that's not how the Pentagon saw it. ToU.S. Army analysts at the top-secret Counterintelligence Field Activity
(CIFA), the peanut-butter protest was regarded as a potential threat to national security. Created three years ago by the Defense Department,CIFA's role is "force protection"—tracking threats and terrorist plots against military installations and personnel inside the United States.
In May 2003, Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy Defense secretary, authorized a fact-gathering operation code-named TALON—short for Threat and Local Observation Notice—that would collect "raw information" about
"suspicious incidents." The data would be fed to CIFA to help the Pentagon's "terrorism threat warning process," according to an internal Pentagon memo.

A Defense document shows that Army analysts wrote a report on the Halliburton protest and stored it in CIFA's database. It's not clear why the Pentagon considered the protest worthy of attention—although organizer Parkin had previously been arrested while demonstrating at ExxonMobil headquarters (the charges were dropped).

But there are now questions about whether CIFA exceeded its authority and conducted unauthorized spying on innocent people and organizations.

A Pentagon memo obtained by NEWSWEEK shows that the deputy Defense secretary now
acknowledges that some TALON reports may have contained information on U.S. citizens and groups that never should have been retained. The number of reports with names of U.S. persons could be in the thousands,
says a senior Pentagon official who asked not be named because of the sensitivity of the subject.

I have no doubt that ASIO, along with Prime Minister Howard and his
Cabinet were acting on an outdated script. With this hindsight, the
ASIO "leak" to The Australian's Greg Sheridan appears farcical.

To answer a part of my questions.. it's a fair assumption that in the
hysteria immediately followng the September 11 2001, the White House
and the Pentagon implement a level of surveillance thathas not been
rescinded or reduced by the Australian Government and it's authorities.

On behalf of the civil liberties of the Australian public, an inquiriy
needs to be launched on the level of accuracy and immediacy of
information be ing used by Australia in deciding its actions in the war
on terror!


at 24 Jan 2006 - 6:42am

SA Defence Land Acquisition approved- Hill Halliburtonises South AustraliaAs he steps down as Defence Minister, Robert Hill is completing the militarisation of South Australia

MR Hill says that said he had written to the
leaseholders and local indigenous groups indicating his approval of the
acquisition of land near the Cultana training area, near Port Augusta.

The training centre, currently used by Army units for manoeuvre and
weapons training, will triple in size, making it one of Australia's
largest military training areas.

"This project will see an expanded range ready for use by 2009 and will increase the Army's presence in regional South Australia, providing significant economic benefits, particularly for Port Augusta andWhyalla," .

"An expanded all-weather training range at Cultana will provide theAustralian Defence Force with a training area that can be used during the northern Australian wet season and support future joint training needs."

US and Australian troops wil utilise the Adelaide-Darwin Railway, which is 40% owned by Halliburton KBR for the next 50 years

"The planned expansion will increase the scope of combined arms training for large mechanised formations, will allow for larger joint live firing exercises, provide a larger area to manoeuvre the new Abrams tanks as well as the new generation of Army assets such as the new Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and Australian Light Armoured vehicles."

Mr Hill's quotes courtesy of news.com.au

 

at 24 Jan 2006 - 1:14pm

 

 

The Halliburton Peanut Butter Files

Afterthis week's revelations that the Pentagon, on behalf of Halliburton, has been spying on a US protest organiser "in the national interest" I would like to know, as an Australian Halliburton "activist", how much the Australian Government has been spying on me.

I would also like to know how our Government can continue to rely upon, in matters of national security and international invasion, an intelligence system that can make such a stupid mistake.

Every "conspiracy theorist" looks in shadows for faces but perhaps some have greater cause for concern than others. Looking at what's happenned to Parkin I reckon that I qualify for an extra dose of paranoia.

Scott Parkin has assisted orchestrating, from public ground, events that draw media attention to the ethically questionable and financially corrupt activities of a company installed in its "pole position" by the Vice President of the United States.

The U.S. Army kept files on the fact that he handed out peanut butter sandwiches in front of a Halliburton office. The Australian Government arrested and deported Parkin because the US Army had files on him. Does this mean that Parkin was kicked out of Australia for serving sandwiches in Texas? Sadly the answer is most likely "yes". Our Prime Minister says he won't be allowed to return.

Parkin' legal efforts to retrieve information pertaining to his deportation resume in a fortnight. Will the Australian Government continue to protect the internationally sensitive information, or confess that they accepted the word of the US Army without opening the manilla folder for a read? Will our spy network confess that it "leaked" false information to journalist to protect the "Peanut Butter Files"

Aside a couple of thing not in Newsweek

Newsweek did not comment on Parkin's deportation, or make
any assumption that the Australian Government used the fact that the USArmy had a file on him as the reason for deporting him. They don't say

that the Howard cabinet was so eager to please the Bush White House by
kicking out a Halliburton protester
 that they might have, being aware that such a file existed, not bothered to check what was in it.

Newsweek doesn't say that if ASIO had tried to protect non-existant information by leaking a lie then they would be perceived as extremely incompetent by the international intelligence community.

Newsweek also doesn't say that if Kim Beazley was briefed that the US Army had a file on Parkin as a possible terrorist, but didn't ask about the currency and accuracy of the information, he would also appear to be a twit.

 

On the same Houston Indymedia that the US Army were monitoring appears the name of a certain Australian from time to time.. he's even currently linked their from the front page of international watchdog Halliburton Watch's website. He has been shown on Australian national television putting up placards on KBR land (while standing on the public footpath) and his blogs and emails have been read by state and national politicians of many political persuasions. His postings have been creating ripples of concern in Australia for two years now, and he shows no signs of stopping.

Who is recording my activities? When I walk with my daughter to school is there a car in the street recording the event? Are phone calls to my friends and family monitored. When those military base files were found in a bin very close to my house, was this to serve as possible grounds for my arrest? Do my emails go through a computer in Canberra? These questions may have been laughable a week ago, but look what they've done to Scott !

If ASIO have been protecting those files then they've surely got a good one on me. After, during the Rumsfeld protests, helping hang the No War banner on the pillars of Adelaide's Parliament House I'll have one in America too. However, I can't be arrested and deported.

If somebody wanted to bring me in for questioning it probably wouldn't be hard to find a reason. When my family, friends and supporters ask the Government why, will the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minster say that the fact that the Americans have a file on me was sufficient grounds to put me into a Detention Centre?

In using the files that Newsweek has uncovered, the integrity and reliability of Australia's intelligence system, and our politicians' unswerving response to its information, have been shattered. If ASIO can be so wrong about something so simple, how can they be trusted in evaluating more complex matters. such as the status quo if international terrorism in Australia? On the merits of their conduct in the Parkin Incident, it can be perceived that ASIO are a conduit for the US Government to manipulate the Australian political system, dispensing disinformation that Howard and his Henchmen can use without need to question.

The Australian Government can, in any situation, no longer claim innocence in their activities by claiming belief that their information was irrefutable. In the hindsight of this comparitively minor event, basing any judgement or activity on faith in ASIO could only be classified as negligence, and guilt of creating any death and/or destruction brought about in this way can now be laid at the doorstep of Parliament House in Canberra.

Earlier statements that Australia entered into the invasion of Iraq based on assessments of our own espionage must also now be reconsidered.

If an agency that considers a man with some sandwiches an international terrorist threat has lead us into war, and brought about the creating of anti-terrorist hysteria on the basis of its information, we should withdraw from that war until we are once again certain we can rely on our knowledge

In the meantime..to any of you ASIO twits who might be in my neighbourhood, be warned.... I am known to be prone to violins (and accordions) my attack cat is guarding the door, and my dog doesn't care who feeds her.

I'm happy to give you an extra piece of infomation that you might not have... I'm particularly fond of peanut butter. You won't know this unless you have a camera in my kitchen.

After the revelations this week regarding how you and your US counterparts have been violating Parkins' civil liberties, I wouldn't be the least bit suprised.

at 29 Jan 2006 - 3:20pmHalliburton Takes Port AdelaideThe former global leader of Halliburton's infrastructure activities is now in control of shipbuilding in South Australia.

An expanded maritime site announce today is now owned by a corporation controlled by ex-Halliburton/KBR chief Andrew Fletcher, who had been recruited last November to "oversee" the warship project. Fletcher, while still in his Halliburton job, held a seat on the South Australian Economic Development Board

State Premier Mike Rann says that the newly announced shipbuilding facility, which includes the Star Wars Ship construction, will make Adelaide a "global hub".

A 2004 edition of Engineers Australia Magazine explains Fletcher's role two years ago:

Senior vice-president of US company KBR, with responsibilities for global infrastructure and the Asia Pacific region A civil engineer from Adelaide University, Andrew Fletcher was catapulted into his international position when KBR, the engineering and construction arm of US giant Halliburton, took over Australia’s
Kinhill Engineers in 1997.

The company now has about 3000 staff in
Australia. One of Fletcher’s main tasks when he took over his current position was to “forge a solid global team” from the regional groups in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific including Australia.

The news of the expanded naval site has been released one day before its launching at an international expo in Sydney.

Our State premier has explained that "This new hub, into which the State Government is investing $140 million in infrastructure, will be capable of building other ships at the same time the air warfare destroyers are being built,"

He added that "There is now $55 billion worth of federal defence contracts up for grabs over the next 10 to 15 years."

State Treasurer Kevin Foley elaborated that the site would be suitable for companies involved in"in civil or military shipbuilding, ship repair and maintenance, metal fabrication and module construction, paint and blast, warehousing and component
manufacturers and suppliers".

Under its new name of Techport Australia, the maritime construction precinct will be marketed today at the Pacific Maritime and Naval Expo in Sydney.

Techport Australia is owned by the Port Adelaide Maritime Corporation, which the Adelaide Advertiser says is "under the control of" the ex-Halliburton Chief. Fletcher told the newspaper that one of his aims was to "deliver a sustainable long-term defence industry base here at Osborne".

 

Fletcher's previous company was previously spearheaded by the former US Defense Secretary and current US Vice President, Dick Cheney. The company constructed and has part-ownership of the Adelaide to Darwin Railway. It also a major naval shipbuilder in the UK, and a part-owner of that country's Road Management Group

KBR has recently completed construction of the Port River Expressway that links the port to the Northern Suburbs. Roadwork construction improving links from the port to the Southern Suburbs will commence next year.

Until last year Adelaide was the official global headquarters of Halliburton/ KBR's infrastructure division.

By Richard Tonkin at 30 Jan 2006 - 1:10amHalliburton Australia Imports Slave Labor, Refers Inquires To HoustonHalliburton Australia. has a major part of South Australi business activities It's Adelaide office was fomerly the company's global headquarters for infrastruture.

Under the trading name of KBR it is employed by the State government and local councils. It has been involved in construction of the Port River Expressway and has proposed a development project for Lake Alexandrina.

Halliburton is also employed by the Department Of Foreign Affairs and Trade to carry out international aid contracts on Australia's behalf, and has many defence industry contracts.

In South Australia's outback, Halliburton has been flouting Australia's Industrial Relations laws by employing foreigners at wage levels inappropriate to Australian ethics.

By referring the Advertiser's questions to it's head office in Houston it has revealed where its South Australian activities are truly conducted from.

On evidence of such a flagrant violation of Australian trust, the ethics involved in all the company's interaction with all levels of government in South Australia must now be called into question. If companies such as Halliburton want to play in Australia, they must learn to play by Aussie rules.

Given the Australian Government's avoidance and denial of knowledge of Australian bribes paid to the Saddam government of Iraq, it is highly unlikely there will be an Australian probe into Halliburton's questionable activities.

As Halliburton Australia is a wholly owned US subsidiary its activities in Australia could be subjected to a probe by the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. US PLEASE ACT NOW !

at 13 Feb 2006 - 1:56am Immigration Minister supports Halliburton "Australian Slave Trade" Denial

Senator Vanstone will need to look after Halliburton. They're the quickest way to generate a globally-competitive population increase.

I'm extrapolating from the story in tomorrow's Australian:

[extract]

IMMIGRATION Minister Amanda Vanstone has rejected claims construction company Halliburton Australia exploited Indonesian workers hired to work in the South Australian desert.

The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper reported that the company, a subsidiary of US giant Halliburton, had paid the Indonesians as little as $40 a day.

The newspaper said Australian co-workers had claimed the Indonesians, who were digging ditches in the outback, were made to work 80 days straight and were given poor accommodation.

The Muslim men were also served meals laced with pork, it was claimed.

In a statement today Senator Vanstone said four Indonesian workers employed at the Cooper Basin gas operation were receiving appropriate payment for their work.

"I have been advised by my department, which has checked with the sponsor - Halliburton Australia - that the men were in fact being paid an appropriate salary," Senator Vanstone said.

"Reports that the overseas workers were only being paid $40 and $80 per day are grossly inaccurate.

"I'm told these figures are in fact day bonuses, which were being paid in addition to the men’s' salaries."

Is Vanstone authenticating the accuracy of her information, or will she leave it alone so that she has a loophole at the inquiry? Or did she just follow the official response from Halliburton Houston?

It looks to me as if somebody in DIMIA read the Halliburton statement and passed it on to Amanda as "Policy".

at 13 Feb 2006 - 10:47pm

 

Prime Minister Should Intervene On Halliburton Visas- Unions

Reprint of Australian Council of Trade Unions Media Release, February 14

The ACTU calls on the Prime Minister to
intervene in Australia's immigration program to guarantee that
temporary work visas are not being abused amid reports that employers
are rorting the system by importing low-paid foreign workers to fill
job vacancies that should be filled by Australians.

 

 

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today:

"There is mounting evidence that the Federal Government's migrant
worker system is out of control - leading to both the abuse of foreign
workers and Australians being denied job opportunities.

There are stories of workers from Indonesia and the
Philippines being underpaid, overworked and abused while working in
Australia under these temporary work visas.

Immigration Minister Vanstone admitted yesterday that
her Department is currently investigating allegations that US Vice
President Dick Chaney's former company Halliburton imported Indonesian
workers to dig ditches for its gas extraction operations in the South
Australian desert.

Newspaper reports state the Indonesians worked 12 hour shifts for 80
days without a break and were paid little more than they would earn in
Indonesia while being housed in poor conditions at a Halliburton work
camp in the Cooper Basin late last year. (Adelaide Advertiser
13-14/2/2006)

The case of the Indonesian workers in the SA outback follows other
recent examples of abuses of the Government's migration program.

Last week it was reported in the Federal Parliament that
foreign workers were being treated like slaves in well-known Canberra
restaurants. The workers were recruited from the Philippines and 'sold'
to their employers for $6000 to $8000, it was alleged.

One of the workers said she was underpaid, worked
'dangerously excessive workloads' and her employer refused to give her
medical treatment when she suffered third-degree burns to her arm.
(Canberra Times 9/2/2006)

Also in South Australia, there is the case of 34
Croatian and Slovenian workers who have been issued with temporary
labour visas to build a paint shop at Holden's plant at Elizabeth. In a
local area that has unemployment of up to 19% in places, how could it
be that Holden needed to import these 35 workers?

These migrant worker abuses highlight the ugly side of the Howard
Government's deregulated job market. The Prime Minister needs to
intervene immediately to first make sure that employers look to fill
these jobs with Australians. He then needs to make sure any foreign
worker is paid decent wages and conditions.

What job security will anyone have under the Government's new IR
laws if people have to compete against cheap imported labour working in unacceptable conditions?" said Ms Burrow.

Jobs for Australian workers are threatened whenever employers fail
to properly test the local labour market and instead look to exploit
foreign workers. I thought we were facing a shortage of skilled workers
- not a shortage of ditch diggers and other unskilled workers," said Ms
Burrow.

at 16 Feb 2006

 

"International Aspects" Of Australian Bribery Inquiries

As discussed earliear, US Wheat Associates were pondering the
use of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to examine the AWB in both
the America and Australia, as the group had companies in both
countries. This has left me with a mapof money flow whose geography
has long since vanished under arrows.

I'll take my favourtie company as an easy example.Until 2003 headquarters of divisions were scattered across the globe naval in the UK, infrastructure in Australia etc. These divisions were registered companies of the nations in which they resided. In late2004 the business was reorganiesed.

Let's say that the infrastructure division was drawing up plans
for rebuildiong oil wells, roadmaking etc. As the company knew that it
had the work before the invasion, wouldn't it be clever enough to start
work early. Ar keast have equipment ready and waiting where it was
needed?

Through its subsidiaries Ingersoll Rand and Dresser Pump, it appears that Saddam Hussein and Dick Cheney used the Oil-for-Food program to trade oilfield equipment. Under the RIO (Restore Iraqi Oil) contract issued by the Pentagon, Halliburton already had the reconstruction go-aheead before Australian SAS troops were violiationg George Bush's deadline. To paraphraseDonald Rumsfeld, these are "known knowns".

My question is this-
how much responsibility Halliburton Australia must assume for
"facilitation" paid by the company in Iraq to implement blueprints
created in Adelaide?

I wonder if this might be on of Commissioner Cole's 'internation aspects" ?

One more question- could parts of facilitation payments have been given
back by Saddam to their organisers as bonuses? What happenned to the
2004 claims by Iraq Governing Councillior Jalal Talabini at aUN news conference news conference that "We have a list of cash paid to journalists, personalities, groups and parties," ?

Ooops, another- has the same company now audfiing the AWB had any luck yet with the CPA? Accountancy firm KPMG was complaining two
years ago that the Bush Administration was hindering its investigation
of the implementation of OIl-For-Food money? After the courtroom
confession of the CPA infrastructure co-ordinator of receiving cash and sex in a specially prepared villa, there's yet another Pandora's Box to be opened.


When this is all over, we should be ensuring that contracts received by
the same multinationals involved in Iraq recinstruction to carry out
work in Australia are all "above board"

at 16 Feb 2006 - 2:26pm

 

Treasurer bends for Multinationals' Employees

The Australian push for imported corporated labour is picking up speed.

Released on the Treasurer's website yesterday

The Treasurer today announced improvements to the taxation arrangements for
temporary residents which will give Australia one of the most competitive expatriate
taxation regimes in the world.

A foreign source income tax exemption for temporary residents was introduced
into Parliament twice in 2002, but failed to pass the Senate because of Labor
Party opposition. The Government announced it would re-introduce the measure
in the 2005-06 Budget.

The Taxation Laws Amendment (2006 Measure No. 1) Bill 2006 (the Bill)
introduced today implements that announcement but goes further than the previously
blocked legislation which was to apply a tax exemption to a temporary resident
for a period of 4 years, only if the temporary resident had not been an Australian
resident within the previous 10 years.

The Government will now remove these time limits as they provide unnecessary
disincentives and distortions for individuals wishing to remain working in Australia.
The measure will now apply to holders of a temporary visa (excepting those who
are directly or indirectly treated as residents for social security purposes).

Holders of a temporary visa will not be taxed on foreign source income. They
will continue to be taxed on all Australian source income and salary and wages
generally, including income from employee shares or rights.

Further, capital gains taxation of temporary residents will be aligned with non-residents. The combination of these changes will also ensure that the capital
gains tax rules for departing residents do not apply to temporary residents.

The changes will significantly reduce administrative and compliance costs.
It will also further reduce the cost to Australian businesses of employing expatriates.

The Government is committed to assisting businesses to access the skilled labour
needed to compete internationally. These significant improvements have been
welcomed in consultation with business and taxpayer representatives.

at 17 Feb 2006 - 12:30am

 

Everyone In Cabinet Knew Saddam Was Grabbin' It !
.

When you finish reading this you'll wonder what other lies we're being told.

Was Terence Cole's request for those with information to step forward a plea or a threat of revelation? Caroline Overington's detailing of those who received the ominous cable suggest the latter premise is worth considering.

[extract]

The scam was outlined in a diplomatic cable
dated April 10, 2001 from Bronte Moules, an official at Australia's permanent mission to the UN in New York.

It was widely distributed through the top echelons of government, including the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, Trade Minister Mark Vaile and then-minister for agriculture Warren Truss.

The warning was also circulated to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its offshoot Austrade, the Attorney-General's
Department, the Defence Department, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Senior DFAT officials on the cable's distribution list include secretary Ashton Calvert and deputy secretaries Pamela Fayle, John Dauth, David Spencer and Alan
Thomas.

Ms Moules's cable clearly outlined Iraq's plan to extract US dollars from AWB by demanding a levy of 50c a tonne on wheat, before it would be unloaded.

She said the issue was linked to wider concerns about corruption in the oil-for-food program and said there was "anecdotal and in some cases hard evidence of Iraqi purchasers and agents
demanding fees from suppliers, in contravention of the sanctions regime".

While the cable did not say AWB had agreed to pay bribes, it is at odds with the Howard Government's claim that it never investigated
claims that AWB was funnelling money to Saddam Hussein's regime because it believed the allegations were simply rumours made up by rival wheat-selling nations.

Ms Moules's cable shows that Saddam's efforts to steal money from the oil-for-food program were well-known in Canberra, as was the
fact that AWB had been asked to participate in the scam.

 

 

Our Prime Minister and his cabinet have been
revealed as deceitful and untrustworthy. If they won't go voluntarily then perhaps we should be considering the legal means available to remove them from power.

 

at 22 Feb 2006 - 2:55am

Ethics of Ministerial Investment

Should senior members of any Government focused on privatisation be allowed to make signifigant fincancial gains from their involvement?

It turns out that a company Downer holds shares in made a killing on the AWB's launch. Argo investments bought the shares on their first day out (in 2001) and then sold them for a profit ten days later.

Downer says that trying to pin him this way is drawing a long bow. Maybe he's right, but there are a few particularly pointy arrows aimed at him.

What if Downer's activities, and those of the other three current and former Federal Ministers with cash in the company, create an environment of profitability for Argo to exploit. Did Argo also make a killing on the recent Qinetiq float in the UK, thus allowing the ministers to profit on the technologies propogated by the War On Terror.? Or what about a company that reaps rewards from providing support facilities for troop, such as the highly profitable Halliburton?

Could any such "ministerial financial planning " be considered as the ultimate in insider trading? Downer says he never had shares in AWB, only in the company that invested in them. However, if he was involved, in any way, in the transformation of the Australian Wheat Board into the privatised AWB, he has clearly been involved in a process from which he has benefited financially IIf detachment in investment by using a third party can be considered as exonoration, then he and his colleagues can do as they please with total confidence in the impossibility of retribution.

Face it folks, these people can, and will, do whatever they feel like, and 
at12 Mar 2006 - 12:06pm |

 

Halliburton Overcharging for Katrina Cleanup- Pentagon Inspector-General WASHINGTON, March 11 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Halliburton's KBR subsidiary may have over-billed the Navy for labor costs during clean-up work in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, the Pentagon's inspector general reported
March 3rd. The report said KBR's subcontractors had been billing for labor at rates "significantly higher" than the prevailing market rate.

Hurricane Ivan came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16, 2004 as a Category 3 storm.

"The rates paid to some KBR subcontractors for labor were significantly higher than the prevailing Bureau of Labor Statistics rates for the area impacted by the hurricane (Pensacola, Florida)," the report said,
adding that "additional review" is needed to make a final conclusion. The inspector general is conducting a follow-on audit.

The report contained language seen in previous military audits of Halliburton's contracts, including criticism of the company's notoriously-flawed cost documentation system that conceals overcharges. It states: "The underlying documentation for the invoice that KBR submitted in January 2005 for the Hurricane Ivan recovery effort causes
us concern about the ability of the Navy to obtain a fair and
reasonable price for the labor and material needed to accomplish the
tasks associated with natural disaster recovery efforts."

(A HalliburtonWatch report earlier this year showed that KBR submits labor invoices to the military in Iraq with exorbitantly higher costs added ontop of the wage costs, but it's unclear how and where these extra costs are incurred. See "Halliburton bills U.S. taxpayers $50 for $5 labor in Iraq," Feb. 6, 2006.)

The possible over-billing in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan occurred under Halliburton's Emergency Construction Capabilities III contract or CONCAP III) with the Navy, worth up to $500 million over five years.

The inspector general's report chided the Navy for failing to consider Halliburton's past delinquent performance before awarding the CONCAP contract to KBR, including bribery and overcharges under its $13 billion Iraq logistics contract (or LOGCAP).

Although a company's past performance on government contracts is supposed to be considered before handing out new contracts, both the Army and the Navy failed to do so with regards to KBR, the report concluded. So, KBR's delinquent and illegal practices in Iraq were not
entered into a military database that tracks contractor performance. The database is used by contracting officials to determine whether new contracts should be awarded.

Of the 36 task orders completed on the LOGCAP contract in Iraq, only one, worth $1 million, had made it into the database. The $209 million task order that included kickbacks worth $6 million paid to KBR employees was not entered into the database, and therefore was not
considered by the Navy in its source selection. The Army has since entered the missing information, according to the inspector general's report.

For further information on the military's preferential treatment of Halliburton, visit this link.

CONCAP was first awarded to KBR in 2001, four months after former CEO Dick Cheney became vice president. The contract allows the Navy to direct KBR to provide emergency construction services at any time and
under short notice. Under CONCAP, KBR is rebuilding areas afflicted by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. The prison facilities at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba that hold suspected al-Qaeda terrorists were built by KBR via
CONCAP.

The Navy has paid KBR $295 million for reconstruction work since July 2004 under CONCAP, including more than $160 million for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and mortuary services, $35 million for an additional prison and psychiatric facility at Guantanamo Bay and over
$47 million for Hurricane Ivan cleanup. See the CONCAP task orders awarded to KBR since 2004 at this link.

The inspector general's audit was requested by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

More Information:

DOD-IG's report

DOD-IG's summary of the report

Office of the Deputy Inspector General for Auditing

at 13 Mar 2006 - 3:22amThe Highwayman Went Riding

 

 


Fresh from the elections, Premier Rann is now chastising the RAA (our equivalent of NRMA and RACV) of acting like a political party during the election, and questioning the government's relationship with the peak body, in spite of their denials of heavy-handedness. Rann may well have saved the state from a major Halliburton gambit.

Given the intrinsic nature of roadway infrastructure to urban planning and
thence property development, in some cases the speed of the arrival
involves a helluva lot of money. A good example is to the south of our
town, where the previously tourist based coastline has been subjected
to a whirlwind of purchase and redevelopment ahead of one of the
state's worst-kept secrets, the proposed four-lane road (tollway?)
being re-championed by the RAA and Liberals a couple of weeks back, and planned by "guess which
company". Certainly parts of the road, on which I travel regularly, are
a death-trap, and a road built in the 50's isn't equipped to handle the
transport loads it now carries. However, the cynic in me can't help
wondering if these issues might be of secondary importance to the
profitability levels of new housing being created for the "population
influx" that the new "dormitory distance" to Adelaide that the new road
would create.

The combination of this and another new road , from Victor Harbour, past the area that I described (which has since sadly been slated for housing development, 12 townhouses on the wetland) in this Webiary piece, would create an industry-suitable transport corridor from Adelaide's southern suburbs to the regional city of Murray Bridge, and from there northwards to the expanded uranium mines (have a skim on Google Earth) and eastward to Melbourne and Sydney.

There's potentially billions of dollars riding on the laying of a couple ofstrips of asphalt, that industry might have paid for through tolls. Does Rann's announcement signal a delay in all this activity, or that other means of funding, such as directly taxing the commercial
profit-makers, will now be used instead of charging the “average” motorist?

Plan the thing, tender for the building contract, collect the "rent" for the next fifty years or so. How can you go wrong? When the local business community puts its money into electing a leader who plans to stop you.

Halliburton's tollway activities in other parts of the world won't be replicated here.

Newly elected Premier Rann, whose government has been endorsed by the South
Australian business community, is returning to power bearing in his
hand a signed decree of the banning of tollways!drew my eye very quickly, My nightmares of South Australia going down the path of Ireland appear to have been averted. Consider these words;

...in June, 2004 the KBR consortium, DirectRoute, was
awarded the contract to design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) the
N8 Rathcormac-Fermoy bypass by the National Roads Authority in Ireland.
The project is part of the NRA's public private partnership (PPP) roads
programme in Ireland. KBR is the engineering, construction and services subsidiary of Halliburton (HAL: NYSE).

The DirectRoute consortium consists of KBR Ltd, Strabag AG, John
Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd, Lagan Holdings Ltd, Roadbridge Ltd. and
the First Irish Infrastructure Fund (a joint AIB/European Investment Bank fund established for the purpose of investing in PPP projects and private sector infrastructure developments in Ireland and across Europe).

KBR is currently construction supervisor for the design and
construction of the £350m Dublin Port Tunnel” The recent Comptroller
and Auditor General report looking into the roads programme, originally
estimated at €7 billion, now expects it to cost €16.4 billion, and rising. It noted that the 2000 estimated cost of the Dublin Port Tunnel ose from €220m to €580m in 2002.

Poor old Halliburton- they'll have to be content with running the naval shipyard and the railway.

Incidentally one of the members of the above-mentioned European Investment Bank's Financial Policies and Operations Committee at the time was (still is?) former Australian Defence Minister Peter Reith. Is he gaining information to defend Australia? I doubt it.

 

at 21 Mar 2006 - 9:42pm

 

Halliburton South Australia- The South Coast Scenario

What follows, when you follow it to the other end, makes you wonder how much infrastructure work is being "disguised" throught the SA Tourism Budget, and how much of the money will end up in the hands of Halliburton/KBR. I'm also pondering what funds the current Treasurer, who was happy to stand on the Assembly floor and accuse the previous Minister For Transport of using road money "to buy stained glass windows" (I was there on the day) might be diverting across Cabinet portfolios to achieve desired objectives.

[extract]

Keep an eye on SA Tourism tender chances

With the South Australian elections over, one of the keen points of interest for Australia’s construction industry will be how SA joins other State Governments in maintaining and hopefully lifting the level of investment in State infrastructure. In the post-Olympic construction lull, and with inner city residential activity levelling off, 2002 should be a good year for State Governments to get value for money in providing a wide variety of needed and useful facilities.

In the SA tenders area, interested parties should be finding it easier to get comprehensive information, following an announcement back on May 15, 2001. The then Premier unveiled a policy development:

“A New Dimension in Contracting with the South Australian Government”.

Under this all major Government contracts, including industry incentives, asset sales and consultancies, would be earmarked for public release. On the reasonable assumption the incoming Administration will maintain this commitment to clear and open government, South Australia should be just that bit more attractive for those interested in tenders and government contracts.

Work on the Alice Springs to Darwin [Halliburton built and owned] railway link will be providing a lot of construction employment for some time, in SA and the NT.

Elsewhere in South Australia, tourism has so far been the best harbinger of possible future tenders.

These words were written after the second-last election

Those of you who've read my "Stranger" piece know that, in 2002 the CEO of the Goolwa-based local council was visiting the KBR's Infrastructure Division Global Headquarters to look at the plans from the local wharf (item 21 here. You'll also know that KBR have proposed as a PPP a freshwater reclaimation system in the adjoining lake, which runs near the town of Mount Barker, for which KBR laid out the housing expansion.

Now I learn that much of the money for the Goolwa wharf redevelopment is coming not via roadworks but through tourism. Further down the Tendersearch page you find the words "In December, 2001 the outgoing [Liberal] Government foreshadowed work on a number of tourist facilities to cater for an influx of visitors for South Australia’s 2002 Year of the Outback." closely followed by "Altogether, South Australia would benefit from over $6.7 million in new Outback infrastructure over the next few years."

I knew of course of the planned upgrade of the Adelaide-Victor Harbour (which is a stone's throw from Goolwa) road and had been told who its designers where, but was unaware until now of the turn-off that would transform this road into the Southern Suburbs eastern roadlink that I was looking for earlier. 25kms before you get to Victor Harbour, you can turn eastwards at the Nangkita turn-off. From there you could scoot, if you had a good road, eastwards to Murray Bridge, and from there North to Roxby, North-East to Sydney or East to Melbourne.

Let's return to the wharf of the Murray's Mouth, whose redevelopment was planned by Halliburton/KBR.

[another Tendersearch extract]

The historic Goolwa Wharf precinct, at the mouth of the Murray River, has been earmarked for redevelopment, to help maintain the tourist appeal of the Fleurieu peninsula, to the south of Adelaide. The old wool and wheat paddle steamers which once plied the Murray River, pre-railways, started up river from Goolwa. Now it is a focal point for tourist vessels.

The project, with $1.2 million from the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Major Infrastructure Fund plus another $1.5 million from the local Alexandrina Council, would be implemented over a nine month construction period.

The rejuvenation effort includes extending the wharf and jetty, new and resurfaced road, car parking, pipes and drains, landscaping including street furniture, lighting, signage and public art and four new sites for commercial tourism enterprises.

Did I mention that the plans for the mid-lake water reclamation facility includes marinas and houses?

Back over at at Narrung, on the Lake's other side, the locals tell me that there's a twelve-domicile townhouse development scheduled to go up next to the wetlands... I don't have any paperwork yet but given that its a resting-place for migratory birds, it won't be the brightest place to be if Bird Flu breaks out.

Back over on the Goolwa side, there's something fishy five miles down the road from Goolwa at Port Elliot (where my parents run a pub) involving a council-owned abandoned drive-in that has become, with all the Halliburton-guided development, potentially very lucrative real estate (item 30 here.)

As I've said before, development around this area has been "going gangbusters" in what appears in hindsight to have been utilisation of the knowledge (which many knew) of the Victor Harbor road development that our peak automotive body RAA were championing. A drive-in lot can hold a lot of townhouses. What was the conflict of interest here?

I spoke before the election with the local Labor candidate, Mary-Lou Corcoran (daughter of a previous Labor Premier Des, the still-undecided seat last filled by Liberal ex-Premier Dean Brown.) Ironically she's facing the Liberal mayor of Kangaroo Island, once abandonded as SA's capital due to lack of water supply, now irrigated by Halliburton (Page 28) She was very suprised to read the KBR Goolwa connections I posted on the "Stranger" thread (partially to make them available to her) but I bet her boss Mr Rann wasn't... he's been personally fielding enquiries from the council regarding the lake redevelopment(Items 15.1 and 15.2 ), so I doubt he'd be unaware that Halliburton were sketching the jetty that would launch residents and tourists out to it. It would also be difficult for Rann to be unaware that the money wasn't coming through Transport or Infrastructure but through Tourism.

If you look at this map (on which Goolwa is at the lower left and realise that the southern suburbs of Adelaide are around 50km northwest of that point, you'll get the picture.

Another picture to think about is that if the author of the Tendersearch piece is correct then these plans are making a successful transition from government to government, no matter which political party is in charge at the time.

Thick as thieves, the lot of em, and it's fairly obvious who's driving the bus down the road to prosperity.

at 23 Mar 2006 - 10:15amThinking Like Americans

One of my least favourite ex-premiers, having privatised our water
and electricity and brought the globals into Adelaide, is now telling
us that we need to change our ways. He says that Americans live to work while Australians work to live and has addressed Adelaide business (who put all their support behind Olsen's former opposition) with such choice phrases as

 

"In the U.S. you get a pat on the back ... in Australia someone says who did you rip-off to make that money?"

"If you drive a Mercedes in the USA you're a success - in Australia you're a wanker.

"In the USA if you are successful, you flaunt it, in Australia we are a little more self-effacing."

 

 

Olsen seem to thinks that our attitudes need changing..

Mr Olsen, in his capacity of infastructure minister, allowed a post-deadline tender for the water supply to be won by a Halliburton-led consortium, is Mr Downer's newest appointee as Consul-General to New York ,
where he'll reside in the same building as former Senator for SA and Defence Minister (now our UN ambassador) Robert Hill, who has also made signifigant contribution to SA life. It's a hard life as Liberal resigning under Howard. Admittedly Olsen resigned after being accused
of lying to an inquiry over his misappropriation of public funds to look after Motorola. Whether he would have done so if the inquiry's
results weren't handed down on the eve of a federal election (a concept that will become a political factor when Cole discusses Downer in his findings) is debatable.

Olsen's immediate (Lib) successor, and representative for the seat surrounding Victor Harbor (discussed in this post) Dean Brown has just resigned (before the election)from political life,and now Rob Kerin is on the ex-list, though still representing his constituency, for now. No crystal balls are required to forecast a rosy private business future for these two, if like Olsen, they learn
to "think like Americans".... if they haven't already.

 

at 27 Mar 2006

 

Halliburton invites South Australia to partiipate in aid programs

The Department of Trade and Economic Development held a forum in Adelaide recentlyy to inform more than 70 SA businesses about multimillion-dollar opportunities in the Official Development Assistance market.

 

Department chief executive Raymond Garrand
said the global official development market was valued at $108 billion
last financial year "and still growing".

"Australia allocated $2.3 billion annually to the official
development market through AusAid, and is ranked 15th amongst the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in that market," he said.

Adelaide companies including Austraining International, Sagric
International and Halliburton/KBR spoke to businesses attending the forum about their activities overseas and potential opportunities for subcontractor companies.

In September last year, while PM Howard told Iraq about how much increased aid Australia would supply, KBR were advertising internationally for a foreign aid director. At the same time Mr Howard was co-chairing a meeting withPresident Bush and the Prime Minister of India to set up a UN World Democracy Fund. Howard said at a September interview that I think the focus on the expansion of democracy and providing a
democratic underpinning to policy is very welcome indeed and to many of us it seems long overdue.

How much of the aid money going to Adelaide industry will be spent according to a nation's compliance with Bush's form of Democracy .

What was the trade-off to get India to engage as a co-chair of George's plain- sale to India of South Australia's uranium, an international migration program to alleviate India's overcrowding and solve SA's population shortage? Perhaps both.

Premier Rann reiterated today that he wouldn't allow uranium sales to India unless it signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. How will Dubya force Rann's compliance.?

 

at 28 Mar 2006 - 4:29pm |Corporate Based Killers-Why The Adelaide Professor Died In Iraq

Foreign Affairs, after gagging his family via "security issues", said that incident highlighted the extreme dangers Australians faced in Baghdad.

The fact that an Australian-based mercenary company gunned down an 72 year old Iraqi academic as he drove home from a shopping outing, for fear he might be a suicide bomber, doesn't seem to be a factor in the minds of DFAT's spin-doctors.

For three months of the year Professor Kays Juma lived in the Adelaide suburb of Flagstaff HIll, a couple of miles from a university that had never heard of him. The bulk of his life was spent teaching animal husbandry at the University of Baghdad.

Maybe if the mercenaries who ended his life didn't belong to a company that had lost lives in a car bomb explosion two years back, when they were protecting water and electricity engineers, this tragedy might not have occurred.. All these armed men saw, as they guarded a convoy of contractors, was an old Iraqi getting too close for comfort.

Acting on the policy of "better safe than sorry" they shot him.

The mercenary managers, Unity Resource Management, have as a director the Sydney Olympic's chief of athlete security. He was also head of the SAS' Counter-Terrorism Unit until 1997. Unity Resource (whose motto is "In Strength Lies Unity" appear on the U.S Embassy in Bagdad's website under "Citizen Services" They joined the Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce last year, and this year are a major sponsor (second on the list only to AEGIS)) at the Iraq Security, Technology and Communications Summit being held in the UAE. No doubt part of their sponsorship will be guarding the Ministers, Deputies and Secretary Generals of the Departments of Interior, Communications, Science and Defence.

This company seems to have strong views on the ethics of the participation of Australian Government representatives. Consider this article review by one of their senior employees:

The argument and thoughts put forward in the abstract are not only interesting however prudent to the evolving question as to whether the Australian Government agencies and defence force need to utilise the
established model that exists in the US and UK with companies such as Dynocorp, Blackwater and the UK firm Control Risks Group.

There are however a number of essential core issues that need to be
estabished and the major concern is the national interest. i.e. the companies involved in Aus gov work would need to be transparent with the other contracted work so that security and conflicts of interest on
a global scale are not raised. I look forward to further reading the remainder of the article.

Regards Shane Irving Unity Resources Group Aus, Asia, Middle East, Latin America

 

How a company with such ideals and aspirations managed to gun down Kays Juma is an important consideration. That a "legitimate" soldier in a declared war might perpetrate such an action in defence of his life might, however abhorrent the notion, be halfway understandable. That a gun-toting warrior bearing the insignia not of a nation but of a corporation can kill an old man because it's his job to do so is can only be labelled as the epitome of everything that is wrong with Western society.

How many innocent Iraqis, unreported through lack of connection to other countries, have died at the hands of corporate employees from "democratic" nations? Do the compilers of the Rand Corporation's Terrorism Database, who provided the Incident Report for the Unity deaths, keep statistics on civilians blown away by mercenaries?

Is this the active Democracy that Western society is so proud of? We should hang our heads in shame

at 30 Mar 2006 - 4:15am

 

Welcome South Australia, the Halliburton-Driven Engine Of The World

Reading the Chinese Premier's toast to Australain PM Howard today, I felt someone walk over my grave. The knowledge that Halliburton's railway line is suddenly going to worth a large fortune as the overland transport system for China-bound uranium didn't come as a suprise- there's enough pieces of the jigsaw puzzle in place now to see good glimpses of the picture.

An omen of hope came through today, a new suburb for Adelaide was announced, and for a change Halliburton hasn't got the infrastructure job- in fact nobody has. The local council in which this State Government driven southward expansion of Adelaide will be located expressed suprise that the land was declared available to the public before the infrastrujcture was plotted.

Does this mean that in new planning deals Halliburton won't be getting the jobs, or was this just a warning shot by a Government that is comparatively free from corporate influence for another eight years? Perhaps our public representatives are sick of a chess game in which the corporate pawns are reaching the other side of the board (South Australia) and becoming queen's bishops and castles in ttheir power-levels of ablity to coerce the reshaping of the States' destiny to their own desires.. With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, I hope so.

Howvever, in this world of media-timed announcements, perhaps the State Government doesn\t want the name of the infrastucture designers in the press just right now, thereby avoiding a too-obvious puzzle-piece being lplaced. A US Corporation laying down the drone-caverns for the defence and mining requirements would not look good in print next to the announcement of China becoming and Australian uranium buyer, and our Labor Party's sweeping aside the Three Mine Policy as an obsolete myth.

As I write this I begin to wonder if the nature of the Bush Howard and Rann visits to India were, in the hindisght of our preparedness to sell radioactivitey to another particularly large population, a chess-move that would mean that the only way for India to participate in half of the world's future energy supply would be to send its population to the energy source, and thus supply the increased population supply necessary to get the supply-chain to peak operational capacity.

As discussed earlier, it's not as if KBR aren't heavily involved in Adelaide's southern and south-eastern expansion already. However in the current media climate where the company's rip-offs in Iraq are gracing the pages of the national print media (except in Murdoch's Adelaide) and the company begins to make itself available to profit-taking by investment groups

 

to be continued

at 3 Apr 2006 - 9:08pm

 

Halliburton's Port Adelaide Role- Refuelling The Apocanauts

It's 2016, a decade after the 6/6/06 commencement of The Armageddon Conflict. Australia is at war. Naval vessels, able to stay at sea and away from the Antichrist's terrorists under technological stealth cloaks are occassionally forced, while trudging between the various global "fronts" to sail into ports for replenishments, refurbishment of armamentaria and some time off for the sailors. The boys and girls of Halliburton have every need in readiness to get the job done before there's time to become a missile target.:

As the ships approach the Port of Adelaide, the support system swings into action as Halliburton's program co-ordinates local activity into providing the ship with the quickest return to sea that is humanly possible to provide. Old tanks are sent to the factory while refurbished vehicles, comlplete with fresh crew desert-ready fguarding the uranium mines, the Adelaide-Darwin railway and the Papua-Adelaide gas pipes are loaded on board, and local water, stored in the specially built sub-city aquifers (piped from the extraterrestrially-refilled Artesian Basin) and produce are speedily transferred to naval supplies Refurbished missiles and the extra-effective depleted uranium ammuntion are restocked, and when the sailors have replenished themselves in the local bars and brothels another nautical Death Star is back on the high seas, ready to fight for God.

Unlikely, scenario? Have a read of these paragraphs from a Time article in March: This is the current operational approach of the US Navy to Middle Eastern port visits.

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After the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, the Navy undertook awide-scale review of contracting procedures, including those involvingship husbanding. As a result of that review, the Navy took severalsteps to increase the security of ships in foreign ports, butmaintained its system of contracting.

Husbanding agents arrange everything from fuel to spare parts to fresh vegetables for vessels at ports of call. More critically, they often provide security, like erecting concrete barriers and what the military calls “force protection.” Husbanding agents often learn weeks in advance of a ship’s schedule so as to be prepared when the vessel
arrives, information that the Navy keeps closely guarded since it couldbe invaluable in the hands of terrorists. The suicide bombing of the Cole, for instance, occurred less than three hours after the ship had completed mooring in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. “It would have been
much more difficult for the bombers to execute the attack without some previous knowledge of the ship's schedule...".

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It doesn't seem so unlikely any more, does it? Especially when you've got a company that's turned South Australia into a One-Stop Apocalypse Shop waiting on standby.

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Have you given any thought to the application of the newly-tested scramjet technology to transport troops from Woomera to any place in the world within a couple of hours? I have.

 

Ministers Under Oath- Downer and Vaille Testify

For the first time an Australian minister of the Bush Administration will face a true battle- telling the public what he wants to without being forced to resign.

Trade Minister Mark Vaille will appear befor the Australian Wheat Board Inquiry on Monday, and Foreign Minister Downer on Tuesday. They will be speaking on the issue in environment in which our society considers lack of honesty to be the greatest taboo- A sworn oath.

ABC reports that the inquiry wishes to question Mr Downer on dipolotic cables sent by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Office of the Prime Minister of Australia. The cables raised the department's concern over involvement in the Austalian Wheat Board's bribes to Saddam Hussein.

The Cole Commission last week ordered the ministers to provide statements in response to certain questions, that were duly submitted to the inquiry last Wednseday. Earliear today Senioor Counsel to the Commission, Mr John Agius QC said that there were "one or two matters I would like to take them up on." The flippancy here is ominious... bet your last dollar that Mr Agius will querying lies that cannot be repeated under oath.

Mr Downer faces an "ethical" dilemma. He can change his story to match the fects that have appeared since the beginning of the inquiry, or he can continue to lie. If he confesses under oath he might be able to save fragments of his political and/or diplomatic career.

Given that if the Bush Administration had its way Downer would now be fronting the International Atomic Energy Agency, saving a career of such demonstrable (if yet unrealised) potential As Bush's prime agent in provoking Korear and acting as financial intermediary between the US and China while the ideaological battle for Taiwan continues. Mr Downer might be considering confession. If you believe this I've got a bridge to sell you.

If it turns out, as today's Washington Post suggests, that Bush personally advocated the leaking of intelligence information in order tro support his political agenda in Iraq, his Little Aussie Lackey will be operating under a similar code of ethics.

This brings us to Downer's second option. If Downer continues to conceal his personal knowledge of how, under a UN program administered by his department, Australian money was placed in an environment where it might be buying ammunition to shoot Coalition soldiers with, providing Palistinian suicide bombers with financial independace by posthumously supporting their families, or even funding the creation of Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Why include WMDs ? Surely Downer didn't know the truth about that one too?

Mr Downer, in continuing his current public stance, would also need to continue lying about the siphoning of US Aid Funds from beneath the roof of the US Deficit and refuelling the Iraq aid system through Australian-based US corporations.

at 3 Apr 2006 - 10:56pm |

South Australia- State Of Re-Colonization

Any regular reader of this blog will know that a population expansion of South Australia is a regularly recurring theme. While the military expansion of the State is extolled by our government as a creator of jobs, it appears that we're looking elsewhere to find them. Meanwhile new suburbs are created and plans are laid to house personnel required for the defence and mining booms.

An article in today's Advertiser suggests that we're going to be battling to scrape together the required numbers to fill the defence jobs.

[extract]

The State Government has set a target of up to 12,000 new workers to join SA's burgeoning defence sector by 2015.

Of this number, up to 3000 positions will be blue-collar workers or tradespeople needed when production starts on the largest contract -
the $6 billion air warfare destroyer (AWD) project - from 2009.

The State Government Defence Strategy is aiming for SA's defence industry to grow to 28,000 workers by 2015, with revenues
doubling to $2 billion a year. As well as the much-publicised AWD contract, SA's 120 large and small defence companies are preparing to
take large slices of work associated with a $3 billion army vehicle replacement contract and an estimated $750 million-$1 billion maritime
surveillance program for the air force.

It becomes more obvious now why Attorney General Phillip Ruddock is introducing work-visa changes, and Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone is being so protective of Halliburton's reputation in Parliament. It also accounts for our state Premier's counter-melody to the Howard and Bush visits to India in his drive to recruit trained electronic technicians from Mumbai.

South Australia will need many thousands more people to fulfill the requirements placed upon it by the US, and the only place that these can come from is abroad

 

at 7 Apr 2006 - 5:52pm

 

Is The Australian Ambassadorship A Tobacco Kickback?. As Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage sticks up for the Howard Government again, I start to wonder about him. Armitage, who has ties to the company that provided the commercial torturers working in Abu Graibh (including the one from Adelaide) has attempted to draw a curtain over the Howard Government's negligences revealed in the AWB Inquiry. Armitage says that nobody in the USA gives a damn about Australian Government corruption. 

Wow, they are just like us Aussies after all

Armitage told reporters yesterday ""I might know something about it [the AWB Inquiry]because I am interested in Australia, but as a general matter this is not something that has caught the imagination of three other Americans in the whole city."

I wonder if one of Downer's investment companies has shares in Armitage's CACI ? Given that Alex made a couple of fast dollars from the AWB float, a dividend from provision of torturers wouldn't suprise me in the least. Downer, as he's explained about his investment in Argo, uses other companies to do his dirty work so that he doesn't need to know where the money's coming from. Are there any clever financial trackers out there who can trace where Downer is making his money? Carlye, Halliburton?

Armitage has also been commenting on the inappropriate amount of time that's been taken to find a new US Ambassador to Australia, following the departure of Tom Schaffer 15 months ago.
Perhaps there was nobody until now that needed rewarding for good service. Department Of Justice Deputy Attorney General Robert MacCallum is now seen as a friend of the tobacco industry, having last year changed the US investigations into tobacco malpractice in a way that reduced possible fines by thirty billion dollars. He's now undergoing security clearances to qualify for the Aussie posting.

Was the possibility of the Australian ambassadorship used to influence the tobacco probe? Only time will tell. You can bet you life that Richard Armitage won't. at 22 Apr 2006 - 10:09pm |

 

 

You Can't Have A War Without A Hero

As the Australian Prime Minister's opinion polls sag from the mud of a bribery scandal, a flag-draped Australian hero is brought home to be honoured on our annual day of war remembrance.....

It was bad luck that I was re-watching "Wag The Dog" while reading about the death of the Aussie sniper... maybe otherwise I wouldn't have been feeling so cynical. For those who don't know the movie, it's about the media staging of a war to save the US President's election campaign. Anyway, I was listening to Dustin Hoffman uttering the words in the title as my eyes fell on this Melbourne Herald-Sun paragraph:

He died in a US Army combat surgical hospital where he was surrounded by his mates, who draped his body in an Australian flag and with a paratrooper's beret on his chest as they said The Lord's Prayer.

 

The same scriptwriter who brought you The Doug Wood story is at it again. Last time he was spinning the story of a war profiteer into US media footage to vindicate President Bush. This time he's hailing someone as a hero for having the job of shooting Iraqis to protect Australian bigwigs in Baghdad, writing media releases for Murdoch newsprint.

The level of pageantry already spinning into the media to emphasis the accidental nature of Private Kovco's death belies a fear within the Australian government.... a similar fear to that of the Bush Administration when they forbade pictures of flag-draped coffins of dead US soldiers returning from Iraq. 

The psychological force being applied to prove the point suggests how afraid the Australian Government is of dead Aussie soldiers. Somewhere in a spin-surgery there's an opinion poll that says that Australians would want to withdraw from the War if our countrymen die fighting for Bush. Otherwise, why bother with all this effort?

If I wasn't suspicious enough already, the conclusion of the Herald-Sun story with a mention of ABC cameraman Paul Moran brought a flash of deja vu. Moran, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq three years ago, was hailed in his hometown newspaper as local-boy-made-goood CIA operative. According to former AP correspondent Christopher Allbritton "Moran only filed to two stories for the ABC, both on the naval blockade of Iraq. The rest of the time he was allegedly attempting to generate an uprising against Saddam Hussein. From what I've seen (this blog is not to be missed) I believe that one of Moran's last jobs was to promote the existence of WMD's in Iraq, providing through his camera the "evidence" that Bush needed to invade. As one of only two journalists in the world to interview the Iraqi dissident who claimed involvment in Saddam's construction of WMD-creation bunkers, Moran showed the "picture" that "justified" the invasion.

Turning back to the weekend's sad news of an Aussie weapons expert accidentally killing himself, why are my instincts screaming cover-up? Right now I'd like to see a report of the Iraqi people who Private Kovco, in his capacity as Guardian Angel Of Baghdad, took careful aim at and ended their lives.

This story may not be that of an accidental death of a saint. To some it may already appear to be one of a hired murderer encountering karma. To others it may be reminiscent of Wag The Dog. However the story has all the hallmarks of a propaganda invention, and therefore needs to be looked at with suspicious eyes.

at 24 Apr 2006 - 2:28am

Australia Goes Nuclear

In today's Australian,

PROMINENT scientist Tim Flannery has called for an end to the uranium debate, saying all alternative energy sources to fossil fuels must be considered in the fight against climate change.

The author of The Weather Makers and director of the South Australian Museum said yesterday he had softened his view on nuclear power.

Dr Flannery said the nation could not afford to get "bogged down in a debate about the three mines policy" or nuclear power and instead should develop a cohesive response to global warming. "People say we can't have uranium mining because there's a danger of proliferation and that's true," Dr Flannery said. "But we have to weigh all of this stuff and deal with this in the context of threat to climate change and that's why people are getting away with rubbish about wind and uranium.

"Having travelled around the world looking at energy options, I am more favourably disposed towards nuclear power than I was previously, particularly when you look at the scale of the problem in China and the use of coal."

Dr Flannery's comments come a day after the chief executive of the nation's second-largest environment group, WWF Australia, accepted the Government's planned expansion of uranium mining and exports to China.

In the Adelaide Advertiser our Federal Treasurer told us how great a nuclear industry would be for South Australa:

Mr Costello said rising fossil fuel prices could make nuclear power an attractive option and that uranium mining was an issue of particular significance for SA.

"South Australia has the largest uranium mine in Australia," he said.

"And just as the mining boom in gas and coal and iron ore has been lifting states like Queensland and Western Australia, the development of the Roxby Downs mine and the exploitation of that resource could lift South Australia."

Mr Costello said one of the key reasons he approved the sale of the Roxby Downs mine to BHP was to allow for its further development.

"I believe BHP could bring a lot of new investment to build capacity," he said.

Mr Costello believed global demand for uranium was likely to increase as oil and coal prices continue to climb and countries look to less environmentally damaging energy sources.

"The price of oil is so high that people are now looking to alternative energy sources and the nuclear option will come right back on the table," he said.

And he predicted environmental concerns associated with nuclear energy would be addressed.

He said there was no logic in Australia mining uranium for export when it could also be used here.

at 5 May 2006

 

Australain Entertainment Venues Now Terror Targets, Say Attorney General And Intelligence Chief

I'm feeling vindicated in getting the "heebie jeebies" in the casino the other night now that I know that ASIOs worried about terrorist attacks on Australian restaurants.

Why would I think that a casino atop a railway, adjacent to a Parliament House, might not be a great place to hang around? Let's look at what our attorney general and our chief of Intelligencehad to say today:

[from The Age]

ASIO has warned that terrorists could carry out attacks on hotels and restaurants in Australia.

The agency's director-general, Paul O'Sullivan, said the latest Bali bombing was an example of such targeting, and while security agencies and police may have disrupted some attacks, there was no evidence that the threat was abating.

"Explosives-based attacks against crowded venues have been conducted overseas, including against food service venues such as restaurants and hotels," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"Such tactics could be applied to food service venues in Australia to significant effect," he told a conference yesterday on the safety of the national food chain. Terrorists could also use the contamination of food supplies as a weapon.

[From ABC]

He says such attacks would be simple to conduct yet cause considerable community anxiety.

Mr O'Sullivan has called on the food sector to take precautions and work with governments to develop risk management plans.

"Taking sensible precautions against such possibilities involves Government and business working together to factor all hazards into the development of policy and risk management plans, particularly in connection with protecting Australia's critical infrastructure," he said.

"It is through this partnership that policy and practice remain properly aligned, relevant and effective."He says that recent arrests in connection with suspected terrorist activity should not lead the Australian public to believe that the terrorism threat is abating.

"The challenge for governments, agencies, businesses and communities is to ensure our understanding of the threat remains realistic and appropriate and that we shape our response to the threat in ways that are in proportion to the actual risks," he said.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock concedes the sector is vulnerable but says Australia's threat level remains at medium.

"That means we have no specific intelligence of specific threats that are planned," Mr Ruddock said.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Attorney General has produced a plan for the venue and food terrorist problem, but won't release it. Wise, really, given how the public might react to plans on how to deal with considerable numbers of deaths of Australians on our own soil.

at 5 May 2006 - 2:25am

Did You Meet Scott Parkin While He Was In Australia? You Can Help HimParkin , to refresh your memory, was the Halliburton protester deported because ASIO knew that the Pentagon had a file on him. Embarrasingly for ASIO the file was of Parkin handing out peanut butter sandwiches as a means of protest.

Parkin's Australian legal team and his support group want to hear from those who met the man while he was here. Your written testimony that Parkin acted non-violently during his sojourn here wiould help to prove his innocence.

Parkin was detained at a Melbourne coffee shop while on his way to help present a workshop on passive non-violent resistance techniques. The Federal Police and Immigration officers placed him in solitary confinement, then flew him to Los Angeles in the company of two Australian Immigration officers.

Hire of the prison cell, his airfare and that of the two immigration officers were placed on a bill that Parkin must pay before he could be allowed to re-enter Australia.

A Melbourne court case is underway to prove that Parkin was not a "threat to national security" If you spent any time with the man, take the time to fill out a statutory declaration form and send it (by Monday May 14) to

Friends of Scott Parkin, PO Box 2152, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Stat Dec forms can be downloaded from http://www.ag.gov.au/statdec

 

 

-Source: Sydney Indymedia

at 7 May 2006 - 12:39am

 

 

Pine Gap Guides Missiles To OsamaAustralia's Pine Gap base was used to send 32 cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden.

The missiles failed to kill the Al Qaeda leader as he had left the target site approximately twenty minutes earlier.

International affairs commentator and policy advisor Mr Keith Suiter said on Adelaide radio this morning that the US surveillance installation at PIne Gap assisted in monitoring Bin Laden's satellite phone call to his mother and pinpointing his location for the missile attack.

Speaking on ABC 891 Mr Suiter said that one of the problems with the plan was that many of the missiles destroyed each other while attempting to strike the same target.

A podcast of the interview will be available from the ABC Adelaide website.

 

at 9 May 2006 - 11:27am

 

 

Pine Gap New Pearl Harbour?

What if Al Qaeda deemed Pine Gap a threat to their operations and send a team through
the fence?

Here's a little from a piece posted on Webdiary by Brian Law last Decemberr:

[extract]

Again we climbed through and realised all the power of the greatest
empire in history could not stop two untrained, unfunded, unarmed
Christian pacifists from entering one of their most important and
secure bases - even after we had told them we were coming.

I looked around at the huge white domes and radar dishes around us.
It was obviously not possible to climb onto one of the white domes as I
had sometimes fantasized. Adele headed for a tower next to a building
and climbed on to the roof. I followed.

Once on the roof we placed photos, leaflets, and other information
on the roof and gave thanks to God. Shortly after we watched as a
security guard on a bicycle road around. We still had not been seen.
But the guard then rode around to the back of the building and must
have noticed the banner on the fence. Meanwhile Adele and I took photos
of one another with a huge white dome behind us. The security guard
came back in sight and quickly climbed a tower holding a radar dish
directly in front of us. Amazingly (although by this time nothing would
surprise us), he must have looked around for a minute before seeing us.
I waved, and he scrambled back down.

Within a minute there were a number of Federal security guards and police assembled below us.

Maybe there was scanning equipment in place that would've detected
more threatening articles than crucifixes and pamphlets, maybe not. 
Maybe Bryan and crew proved how easily an Australian/American
modern-day version of Pearl Harbour could come to pass? Would the US place more troops in Australia to protect its Sentinel In The War On Terror (or somesuch phrase) ? Would it perhaps feel obliged to use the US/Australian Joint Facilites to demonstrate it's new planned "Lily Pad" capability- the ability to mobilise its troops to hotspots?

The above paragraph is my own pure conjecture, as is the one below.

What if Downer's stories of Australia being within Korean missile range
actually turned out to be true? If so then the Axis of Evil's foremost
concern might be knocking out the JORN detection system. This might be
achievable by knocking out dishes, but much more effective would be
disabling its headquarters in Adelaide.

Worse, what if the above two ideas were carried out in concert? A combined missile/terrorist strategy would no doubt shock the world.

It doesn't matter whether or not I believe either possibility or their combination likely. I conjecture that as a set
of calculations were carried out on the proposed national nuclear dump pertaining to possible environmental damage due to a nuclear
containment breach from a missile attack(the figures were worked out for ARPANSA by Halliburton), then such hypotheses as I have raised above will have been well and truly considered by both US and Australian military, and contingency plans laid.

Its becoming like a game of potentially bloody global chess as we attempt to anticipate our leaders' next moves.

at 10 May 2006 - 10:54pm

 

Australia To Become International Nuclear Waste Dump...Now For India

One of the main reasons for the Halliburton-built Adelaide to Darwin Railway now becomes apparent. If the Australian Government's mooted plans come to fruition, trains of imported nuclear waste trundling to repositories in the Australian outback will soon become a reality.

Halliburton have had a dual role in Australia, creating the tracks and providing environmental impact date for nuclear waste facilities.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is expected this week to discuss "uranium leasing" with US President Bush. Under the plan, Australia's 40% of global uranium supplies would not be sold, but "hired out" to users, the waste returning to the Australian point of origin.

I believe that the plan will be used as a loophole for the problem of selling Aussie uranium to India. As that country is not a signatory to the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty, India cannot acquire Australian nuclear fuel for fear that it it might be used in atomic weaponry against Pakistan. However if India doesn't actually own the stuff, and the militariliy-useful waste is taken out of their hands, a fuel trade will no doubt be possible.

Any announcement will follow the visits to India of both President Bush and PM Howard, and discussions of the Indian dilemma between US Secretary of State Condileeza Rice and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer.

Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaille said today that Australia had not yet been asked to utilise the uranium leasing concept. My bet is that Howard will receive a request from Bush later in the week.

A good puppeteer can do anythng with the right strings in his hands.

Morning After Postscript:: The Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne has suggested today that the Government should tell the truth.

[from The Age]

Greens senator Christine Milne said turning Australia into a dumping ground for spent nuclear fuel from India was unacceptable.

"If there is no safe disposal, there is no justification for mining in the first place," Senator Milne said in a statement.

She challenged the government to name where in Australia it intended to store any spent nuclear fuel from India, China, or elsewhere.

"(Mr) Howard and (Mr) Vaile should stop talking in code and admit that the motivation behind discussions with the US on the lease proposal is pure and simply to circumvent the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which prevents the export of uranium and nuclear technology to India,"
Senator Milne said.

"As such Australians should reject it."

Senator Milne went on to say that the Greens had campaigned for a "cradle-to-grave" Australian responsibility for its uranium, adding that "That is why, when there is no safe disposal for nuclear waste, it
is irresponsible to generate the product in the first place,"

"The world is already beset by terrorism. Nuclear waste on the high seas is a frightening prospect."

Senator Milne also said that Australia should respect the existing policy of a nuclear free Pacific adopted by countries within the region.

 

at 14 May 2006 - 9:14pmNo Fitting Epitath- The Kovco Leaks

I've gotten into lots of trouble over the Kovco scandal. Days before his body went missing I wrote that I beleived a cover-up was occurring. Everything I wrote after that landed me in more trouble. In spite of this I need to write down what follows:

Right now I cant' believe that not one but two officials, including the person who compiled the "accidentally leaked" the report weren't, at the very least, carrying out their actions with subconsiously compelled deliberateness.

Here's the timeline: Kovco is killied by a bullet. The body is moved before an MP investigation at the order of the commander in chief of Australian armed forces in Iraq. Kovco's body goes missing, the wrong coffin sent to Ausralia. The official version of his death is changed, and though we're told that he didn't die cleaning his gun, no other explanation is offered. Then the bullet (or maybe just its casing) goes missing and isn't provded with Kovco's remains to be examined by the NSW coroner.

Now we learn that a laptop containing the ADF's draft report into the farce has been left unattended at Sydney airport , and a CD that was left at Melbourne airport that eventually found its way to journalist Derryn Hinch.

When an extended member of the Kovco family (Shelley Kovco"s brother-in-law said tonight how you would not believe the situation if you saw it in episode of Fawlty Towers, I felt the edge of bitterness in his voice. It's been bungle after bungle after bungle.

It's not a fitting epitath to somebody who has faithfully served his country.

The fact that the ADF were so quick to apologise today totally changes my mind about many things. It now appears that everything that has transpired since the discovery of Kovco's death has been a total comedy of errors.

The ADF's speed in disclosing such self-damaging information is to be commended. However the loss of esteem within the Australian public that the latest revelations will create might be the final catalyst for our society beginning to question why our soldiers are engaged in the debacle of the invasion of Iraq

-at 18 May 2006 - 2:22am Sixteen Arrested AT U.S. Halliburton Protest

Today's Houston Chronicle says it all:

Sixteen people protesting Halliburton Co.'s environmental record and its role as a military contractor were arrested on trespassing charges Wednesday when they surged toward a building where company shareholders were meeting.

Another man was arrested on a charge of destroying public property for tearing up a plastic fence holding back protesters.

A masked man beat on a large empty jug and protesters chanted, "The whole world is watching," and "Shame on you," while police made the arrests. A designated area had been set up for the protest, and police had told protesters not to leave that area.

Those arrested were frisked, handcuffed and taken to the Stephens County Jail.

The Houston-based company said it decided to meet in the southern Oklahoma city where it was founded to highlight company operations that remain here.

Critics accused it of seeking a friendly and remote location in an attempt to duck protests. The company is the leading employer in Duncan, which is about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City.

One of those arrested was wearing a Dick Cheney mask. The vice president formerly headed Halliburton, which has drawn criticism for its big government contracts, some awarded without competitive bidding. Its KBR unit provides support services for troops stationed in the Middle East.

About 100 people protested outside a meeting attended by about 200 shareholders.

Shareholders of the world's largest provider of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries looked back on a year of record earnings. Halliburton, founded in 1919, earned $2.4 billion in 2005.

They approved a company request to increase its authorized share count to 2 billion from 1 billion. Dave Lesar, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, said a stock split was planned sometime in the next two months.

Shareholders rejected a request by a group of Texas and Kansas shareholders for adoption of a policy based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Halliburton directors, noting that the company does business in more than 100 countries and refrains from doing business where prohibited by the U.S. government, did not support the proposal.

Lesar said after the meeting that the protest did not bother him.

"I cannot change the fact that my predecessor is the vice president of the United States," he said.

Protesters carried signs such as "Bush Lied," and "Record Corrupt Blood Soaked Profits." Oklahoma Veterans for Peace lined up 37 pairs of combat boots to represent Oklahoma soldiers killed in Iraq.

Jan Gaddis of Duncan held up an "I Support Halliburton" sign.

"It is not some monolithic organization that is devoid of humanity," she said. "They are a very responsible corporate citizen and their employees are involved in the local community and churches."

Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann has said potential protests played no role in deciding where to hold this year's meeting. She said the company has done a good job of supporting American troops overseas.

"Halliburton supports the rights of demonstrators, even when they have the facts wrong," she said.

Halliburton shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange late Wednesday morning at $74, down $1.01. The stock has traded from $39.65 to $83.97 over the last year.

___

Associated Press writer Sean Murphy in Duncan contributed to this report.

 

at 18 May 2006 - 3:48am

 

Halliburton's Detention Centres Only Blueprints, Says CEO

Halliburton's US contract to build detention centres was part of a plan that may never be completed, it was revealed today.

The suprising admission came from the successor to US Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton President and CEO Mr David Lesar.

During a question and answer session at the company's AGM a stockholder asked for details of the US$385 million contract. The deal, said Mr Lesar, was part of a contigency plan.

"There are no plans at this point to actually physically build anything. We don't know when or if or where this contract will be activated," he said.

Other details of the Homeland Security contingency plan are yet to be revealed.

Source-Houston Chronicle


at 18 May 2006 - 9:18pm

 

Kovco- Wrong Body Was Halliburton Employee

The body sent to Australia in the place of a fallen soldier was that of a Halliburton contractor from Bosnia. The Kellogg, Brown and Root employee was finally buried last Friday, a month after he died.

Halliburton have indicated that they will pay compensation to the family of Juso Sunanovic, who the company claims died of a brain hemorrage while playing table tennis in Iraq.

The revelation is the latest in a situation filled with procedural errors. Pte Jake Kovco's body was moved from the scene of death before MP inspection on orders from the commander of Australian armed forces in Iraq despite an MP command that the location remain undisturbed for investigation purposes. After being ceremonially escorted to a waiting plaine, his body was accidentally substituted with that of the Halliburton employee.

A report of the incident was accidentally left by an Australian Brigadier at Melbourne airport, from where it felll into the hands of a local journalist.

A relative of the fallen Australian soldier, who works in the funeral industry, took care of the contractor's body until he was returned to his homeland.

Kovco's mother-in-law and father-in-law and Sunanovic's daughter have shared condolences this week on a Melbourne community radio station. Melbournes Radio for the Print Handicapped arranged for the three to talk.

We have thought of you a lot over the time and we know you're feeling the same way we are," David Small told Jasmina Sunanovic.

"And I think your Dad would just want you to get on with it. You know, do what you have to do and the same with your mother.

"Shelley (Pte Kovco's widow) will be all right and her two kids will be all right, but we just hope it doesn't happen to anyone again."

at 19 May 2006 - 6:46pm |

 

Adelaide Submarine Constructors Recruited From Classrooms

On May 13th 2005 I introduced my first Your Democracy Blog with these words: I am writing this blog because South Australia needs help. We are an extremely strategically located city, for years headquarters of Murdoch, Halliburton and BAE, and are being systematically brainwashed into becoming defence industry drones without ever being given the choice of taking this path.

Now I learn that the submarine project, constructed at a facility controlled by Halliburton's former Global Vice President for Infrastructure, is to begin a campaign to entice our kids into becoming defence construction workers

{from the Adelaide Advertiser]

"One of the things we see is a need to attract people to the industry," Mr Gallacher said. "It's not just going out and offering people a job. We think, in schools, that teachers, students and even the parents need to understand it's an attractive career."

A national skills shortage meant the shipbuilders would be battling mining and resources firms for workers.

"There's definitely a shortage of skills across the country. It will have an impact on us," Mr Gallacher said.

"That's why we're keen to go out and recruit and train and upskill people."

Mr Gallacher said some overseas recruitment would be conducted to replace staff diverted from ASC's submarine arm to the shipbuilding project.

ASC, formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation, beat Victorian-based shipbuilder Tenix for the contract to build three hi-tech air warfare destroyers for the navy, the first to be delivered in 2013.

The State Government is injecting more than $140 million into a shipbuilding precinct, near ASC's Outer Harbor headquarters, which include a maritime skills training centre.

Premier Mike Rann announced plans for the centre in February last year.

The construction of this new infrastructure is expected to create contracting jobs. Mr Gallacher said ASC was meshing with State Government efforts to boost South Australia's population, including the Adelaide - Make The Move campaign targeting interstate migration.

 

at 19 May 2006 - 8:22pm

 

Australia-India Uranium Trade Tied To Nuclear Reactor Construction ContractsI've highlighted the last sentence of this extract because it seems of particular signifigance to activity in Australia.

[from the Financial Express, poste 20/5/05]

MAY 19: Seeking to meet its rising energy demands, India may pay suppliers, including General Electric (GE) Co, Rs 1.8 trillion ($40 billion) to build nuclear reactors over the next 14 years, a government official said.

France’s Areva SA, Electricite de France and US-based Westinghouse Electric Co are among the possible providers of 25 to 28 reactors by 2020, chairman Nuclear Power Corporation of India, SK Jain said.

US President George Bush is seeking an end to the three-decade-old international ban on nuclear technology sales to India, prompted by its atomic bomb test in 1974.

India and China are leading a worldwide revival in atomic energy after oil and coal prices rose to record levels. Russia and Japan are among the nations that may lift sanctions on India and enter the contest for contracts to install 40,000 megawatts (mw) of capacity. This would be enough to supply electricity to four cities the size of New York.

‘‘We are very confident the deal and all agreements will go through,’’ Mr Jain said in an interview in Mumbai on Tuesday. ‘‘As an outcome of that, India will have access to the global nuclear technology market.’’

President Bush has asked the US Congress to end nuclear sanctions against India. US and other members of the so-called nuclear suppliers group, including France, Russia, Japan and Australia, are debating whether to lift their ban on exports of equipment and materials for atomic use to India.

India is turning to overseas nuclear-reactor builders after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh doubled the nation’s 2020 capacity target from an initial 20,000 mw. India’s homegrown atomic power programme won’t cope with the stepped-up construction plan, Mr Jain said.He addedthe programme was also limited because of a uranium shortage caused by the international embargo on sales of the reactor fuel. Once sanctions end, supplies of enriched uranium will be included in contracts to install reactors.

While at this stage having no evidence to authenticate the last claim, let's assume for now, even though this might not be the case, that international reactor constructors are including whole-of-life (that's 20,000-plus in uranium years) supervision and/or ownership of fission-fuel used on Indian soil.

If such were the case, placing of the waste in a repository would be on the agenda, which would be more difficult for a company that didn't already have a pre-arranged site when it made a tender to the Indian Government.

No matter which company wins I bet Halliburton will make a fortune in environmental impact assessments.

Who were the "officials' that Downer was relying on for his information last week? They need to be identified sooner rather than later at 20 May 2006 - 11:11pm

 

Cosgrove To Lead Charge For South Australian Defence Contracts

[ABC]

The former head of the Australian military, General Peter Cosgrove, will lead South Australia's bidding for multi-million dollar defence contracts.

Premier Mike Rann has announced General Cosgrove as the new chairman of the state's Defence Advisory Board.

General Cosgrove helped restore order in East Timor in 1999 and named Australian of the Year in 2001.

He will remain based in Sydney but will visit South Australia regularly.

Speaking this morning from England, Mr Rann says General Cosgrove is an ideal choice for the role.

"We want to grow our defence jobs in South Australia from about 16,000 jobs up to 28,000 jobs within 10 years," he said.

"I can't think of anyone better than General Cosgrove to lead the push for South Australia."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This announcement from the Premier is not available from his website. The site has been closed for reconstruction since the election.

at 21 May 2006 - 10:29pm

 

South Aust Premier In London To Sell Uranium?

South Australian Premier Mike Rann isn't known as "Media Mike" for nothing. This is why it's suprising that Rann has made a trip to England with no public fanfare. His website isn't even operative to convey his media releases!

Mr Rann usally makes great media mileage from his visits, proposing M-1 tank reconstruction facilities, visiting warship contract contenders, generally publicising his intentions from the perceived locales of "the horse's mouth" This is why it's surprising that the best our Premier has had to offer is that our defence contract bids are to be managed by a man who doesn't live in South Australia. Rann's climate change consulant, by the way, is also about to become a Sydney resident.

The editorial in today's Australian may be right in saying that Rann's just flogging our wine and tourism. But this doesn't explain the lack of publicity of the trip from a man who would open a chook raffle if it provided a photo-op.

Viewed in context with the international whirlwind of publicity surrounding international uranium sales, and in the light of UK PM Tony Blair's recently announced plans to revitalise the UK's nuclear power industry, an "unannounced" visit by the head dignitary of a uranium-rich locale could be perceived as a "shock-tactic" in nuclear salesmanship.

Think about it.. Blair says that the UK needs more uranium, and in a heartbeat Premier Rann is on his doorstep.

No doubt Mr Rann's job will be done before whatever announcement Australian PM Howard makes from Ireland.

at 22 May 2006 - 1:55am

 

Commander Cosgrove's New Battle Game- Board And Playing Pieces

This is all that is really relevant about Adelaide now. All the rest is superficial:

 

(map and links below from defence-sa.com


Follow the links for news stories and articles to
find out more about the recent successes of South Australia's
defence industry.

23 July 2005
Battalion base plan
starts to take shape

An 80-hectare army base with nearby housing for 1000
people would be built in Adelaide's northern suburbs
under the State Government's plan to lure a battalion
from interstate....
[>]

31 May 2005
ASC CHOSEN TO BUILD AIR WARFARE DESTROYERS

The Federal Government has chosen ASC Shipbuilder Pty
Ltd as the preferred shipbuilder for Navy's Air Warfare
Destroyers (AWDs) - one of Australia's largest and most
complex Defence projects worth up to $6 billion.

18 October 2004
Dubai coastline to be
surveyed using laser technology

Tenix
LADS Corporation, the South Australian-based airborne
laser survey company, is bringing its world-leading
technology to the Gulf under a contract for the Dubai

Municipality....
[>]

31 August 2004

NEW HELICOPTERS FOR ARMY

The Australian Army
will be equipped with 12 new troop lift helicopters under a $1 billion
project approved by the Howard Government, Prime Minister John Howard
and Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today ....
[>]

6th July, 2004
National Air Support to operate Super Puma on behalf of
RAMSI in Soloman Islands

National Air Support, the current provider of fixed wing
civil maritime surveillance for the Australian
Government’s Coast watch border protection program
....
[>]

14th May, 2004
Rann sets sail with big guns blazing

South Australia's multimillion-dollar defence industry
has put it on the frontline as the defence capital of
the nation .... [>]

6th May, 2004
A "big bang" in the name of safety

National Air Support, the current provider of fixed wing
civil maritime surveillance for the Australian
Government’s
Coast-watch border protection program
.... [>]

4th May, 2004
New leading edge ASLAVs boost Army capability

A squadron of 25 new state-of-the-art Australian Light
Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) will be formally delivered
....
[>]

23rd March, 2004
DSTO and Adelaide Uni "sign up" for future research

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
and the University of Adelaide have extended their
research collaboration with 
.... [>]

10th March, 2004
$10.2 Million boost for Adelaide company

Adelaide-based company NTP Forklifts Australia has won a
major $10.2 million contract to supply the Australian
Army with .... [>]

26th February, 2004
Defence invests in pilot safety

The Australian Defence Force will invest $129 million
over the next 10 years on its search and rescue
capability to protect RAAF pilots
.... [>]

3rd January, 2004
State of Defence in out sights

South Australia's multimillion-dollar defence industry
has put it on the frontline as the defence capital of
the nation .... [>]

at 22 May 2006 - 7:37pm

 

Reactor For South Australian Spaceport

Who's involved in an unexpected consortium proposal for a nuclear reactor at Woomera?

Australian foundation member of the International Nuclear Energy Acaa demy Professor Leslie Kememy has spearheaded a push for a reactor near South Australia's Spaceport, and a feasibility study for a three billion dollar reactor was being conducted.

Leslie, who told Adelaide's Advertiser that he had been hired by a consortium as a technical consultant, but declined to give their name

By any chance could this be relevant to using nuclear propulsion in extraterristrial excursions?

Acting Premier Foley rejected the proposal last night, but as the decision will no doubt be made at Federal level, he's piddling into the wind.

 

at 26 May 2006 - 1:47am

 

Adelaide Universities Become Military Schools

Three major defence companies yesterday signed deals with local universities to create "tailor made" defence degrees, and enable more work on defence technology to be carried out on South Australian campuses.

BAE, Tenix and ASC signed the joint agreement with Flinders University and the Universities of South Australia and Adelaide. The Universities will provide courses dedicated to the companies' contract requirements

The announcement closely follows British university Cranfield's decision to create a defence campus in Adelaide. Cranfield recently won a billion -pound contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to implement defence-based training programs.

at 2 Jun 2006 - 2:03am |

 

No Australian Nuclear Reactors- Downer

In a coastal town at the shores of Foreign Minister Downer's Mayo electorate, the nuclear debate is rippling through the community.

Downer's fellow S.A. Senator Anne McEwen has cheekily suggested that the tourism city of Victor Harbor, known to many as "God's Waiting Room" would be an ideal site because of the abundance of water.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has responded rather cattily to the suggestion, describing McEwen as a senator that nobody has heard of.

"There is no plan to build a nuclear power station anywhere in the whole of Australia, least of all in Victor Harbor." Mr Downer told the Victor Harbor Times.

Mr Downer was US President Bush's candidate to become director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

at 2 Jun 2006 - 5:37pm

 

A (Halliburton) SOS From Melbourne

The author of this missive is a kindred spirit:

Fear US Down Under 
I am sitting at my computer in Melbourne, Australia, and I just read this archived article a friend forwarded to me about Casey Sheehan. It's oddly moving. The author is to be commended. (See “Casey Sheehan,” by Neil Freese, August 26, 2005.)

I went along to meet Cindy Sheehan here in Melbourne. I have three kids the same ages as her remaining ones.

I’m gripped with despair about the frightening place those racketeers are making this planet (Dick Cheney, Halliburton). Australia’s prime minister John Howard has his own son being groomed by the Cheney entourage. Halliburton is at work here, and the media is massaging us into acquiescence to selling the USA even more uranium.

Thus, I expect Howard will reap unspoken benefits when he leaves office, seeing he has signed away Australia’s future by purchasing your Star Wars technology, and henceforth put us in the position of human shields if and when China decides that we are a proxy state of the USA.

How have small individuals become so vulnerable to the depredations of the state and the corporations, while increasingly, these suits can organize the game and set the rules any way they like? When they’ve finished with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Europe — who will be next? How greedy can they be?

All that most of us want is a stable life, a loving family, and a humble regular job. What’s radical about that? Do these guys think that this is too much to ask for?

Maggie Morgan
Melbourne, Australia

at 13 Jun 2006 - 2:27am

 

Drawing The Line- Halliburton's Profit On Australia's Future

This map from the South Australian Defence site holds a thousand word painting picture- a line through the middle of Australia, owned by Halliburton, along which every freight container leaving Darwin needs to pass.

South Australia - the
Transport Hub of Australia


Adelaide Darwin Rail-Link map

"Completion of the line increases accessibility to the
Cultana Training Area and positions it as a major asset both
for South Australia and the Australian Army." proclaims the website. It doesn't say that every tank and every boxcar of uranium waste will
line the pockets of the company once run by the U.S. Vice President.

 

Halliburton is a major shareholder in theconsortiun that will own and operate the railway for another 48 years. The Alice Springs-Darwin rail link was bult by a joint venture
between Halliburton KBR, Barclay Mowlem, John Holland and Macmahon. The 1420 kilometre line took 31 months to complete from the start of the earthworks.

Ironically the Royal Bank of Scotland, to whom Cheney gave the job of assembling project investors didn't mention tanks, missiles or radioactive things that go bump in the night.

[extract]

FreightLink, the operating arm of the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium (APTC) comprising Halliburton/ Kellog Brown & Root, Australian Railroad Group (the 50/50 joint venture between Genesee & Wyoming and Wesfarmers), Barclay Mowlem, the John Holland Group, Macmahon Holdings and S.A.N.T. Holding, will then link by ship from Darwin to the export markets of Asia.

Darwin has invested a great deal in expansion of its port, and the project fully expects that Darwin's proximity to Asian markets, combined with an efficient, fast, rail connection and integrated logistics system, will enable APTC to reap the benefits of the expected increase in export freight volumes through Darwin.

The railway is expected to offer significant time saving over the sea freight alternative around Australia from the southern ports.

I'm beginning to wonder how many such projects across the world have been instituted in such a manner. The current White House Administratration, with a few "gold mines" such as this up its sleeve, will not need to worry to much about superannuation.

Former Defence Minister Hill's organisation of the expansion of the Coultana training base into a Middle-East training camp will earn Halliburton a few dollars, as will Prime Minister Howard and Nuclear Minister Downer's inevitable proclaimation of Australia's development of a uranium enrichment industry. Add to this the extra American troops that, the way things are going, Australia is going to need and it's been a fairly profitable exercise for all concerned, wouldn't you say?

You can tell that my mind's going in circles at the moment A cassette tape of the names Dick Cheney, John Howard, Alexander Downer, Malcom Kinnaird, John Olsen, Robert Hill and Robert Gerard is playing endlessly in my head.

Knowing that the railway project began to take shape the year after Howard became PM, when Cheny, in his capacity of Halliburton CEO came out to Australia to assimilate Malcolm Kinnaird's company, makes me wonder about the rewards that Australia's leader will receive upon retirement.

Like Bush and Cheney, I'm sure he'll never have a cash-flow problem.

at 14 Jun 2006 - 10:51pm

 

Cheney Rules !

Do you think that Dick Cheney's words in the US today are going to be echoed in Canberra in next year?

[from SBS)

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has said that a landmark nuclear deal with India will win support of the US Congress despite strong opposition by critics.

Mr Cheney said in Washington that the deal was "one of the most important strategic foreign policy initiatives of President Bush's second term". 

Reuters has reported that legislation prepared for action next week by a key House of Representatives committee would require India to strongly support US efforts to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions and would bar lawmakers from amending the formal peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement still under negotiation by Washington and New Delhi. 

The draft bill, which was obtained by Reuters, is "much closer to the Bush administration's initial cut than things that were being talked about" earlier by some lawmakers, said a congressional analyst who closely followed the drafting process.

As time passes my admiration for Cheney continues to increase. The man seems to always achieve what he wants, and if the railway he built across Australia is part of his plans then he has been working on his objectives for a decade, and is likely to be currently initiating events a decade hence. I doubt this would be beyond his abilities.

In other words, if Cheney will ensure that the U.S. Government accedes to the Bush administration plans, then he will also ensure that the Australian Parliament is a wholehearted participant. In other words we're going to do exactly as we're told.

It's a bit sad really, when you consider that our gigantic energy reserve makes Australia a potentially very powerful nuclear voice. As a major provider of what is currently destined to become the western world's replacement for oil, Australia should have the ability to strongly influence the destination of its nuclear property. Instead we're being treated, and perceived by the world, as nuclear naifs in need of parenting by Vice-President Cheney. There's true Regime Change for you.


In the future the current Howard nuclear debate may or may not be regarded as a psy-op and a sham, depending on the whims of the censors... and maybe President Downer.

-at 24 Jun 2006 - 9:22pm

 

Australian Aid Agency Lax On Corruption: Audit ReportThe Australian Government's Aid Agency Ausaid, a major Australian employer of Halliburton/KBR, has been warned to tighten its anti-corruption practices in a report released today (Wednesday)

The report follows admission by Ausaid representatives earlier this year that the organision had no internal protocols for reporting detected corruption in aid deals.

The report, released by the National Audit Office, states that funds earmarked to provided relief to Indonesia following the Decenber 2004 tsunami were used to pay Ausaid officers and to cover administration costs. It includes the statement that "a key risk for activities is that of fraud and corruption" and claims that numerous contracts were not signed until after the provision of services had commenced.

It also said that the organisation was subjected to 43 suspected cases of fraud, worth $917,000 between 2002-03 and 2004-05, although some of this money had been recovered.

Ausaid utililises KBR for much of its reconstruction and governance work in Indonesia, Vietnam and Iraq. When Australian P.M. John Howard announced last year that Australia's was about to dramatically increase its aid output to Iraq, KBR advertised internationally for an international aid director to be based at its Adelaide headquarters.

Ausaid is under the ministerial control of the Adelaide-resident Bush Administration's proposed candidate for Director of the International Atomic Energy Association, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

The Australain Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is currently a major focus of an inquiry into corrupt wheat deals in Iraq.

 

at 28 Jun 2006 - 1:59am

 

Should Halliburton Take Responsibily For Australian Soldier Mix-Up ?It has been reported that the body of Australian soldier Jake Kovco returned to Australia accompanied by the identification of a Halliburton contractor. The body of Juso Sunanovic,the deceased worker from Bosnia was in a bag bearing the correctname and passport number, and had been delivered to the Kuwait morgue by a Halliburton/KBR employee.

 

svKOVCO_wideweb__470x325,0.jpg

A simple scrap of paper with Private Jake Kovco's
name scrawled in Arabic marks the door where his coffin was stored at
the Kuwait hospital's mortuary.

Photo: Jeroen Kramer (from Kuwait blog Hilalya)

After a formal identification in Australia, the Bosnian's body was returned to Kuwait to be identified by Halliburton/KBR and the Bosnian ambassador. HERE

While KBR has smoothed matters over with the Bosnian's family, it seems to me that the "other body" aspect is not being regarded as it should. That a company working in a war-zone cannot competently bring home it's own dead must surely be of concern for the wives of Texan truckers.

Ironically the body of Sunanovic was cared for in Australia by a relative of the fallen Australian soldier who worked in the funeral trade.

The Australian Defence inquiry into Kovco's death has placed responsibility for the body mis-identification on the fellow soldier who accompanied him. It doesn't mention that Halliburton has obviously made the same mistake

While the Australian is reporting that the Inquiry is over ( and that the Kovco family are unhappy with the lack of information, a defence media release has announced that the Board Of Inquiry into Kovco's death and repatriation will reconvene at Sydney s Victoria Barracks on Monday July 17 at 9am. A live video feed will be available to journalists, though no recording devices will be permitted. Whitewash will be provided freely.

Will we see an inquiry into Halluburton's involvement? Not bloody likely.

at 9 Jul 2006 - 1:37am

 

Halliburton Sacked By U.S. Army

Happy happy day.... I've been skipping around the kitchen since I
heard this on the radio. Halliburton's army supply deal has been
cancelled, and the global supply job will be retendered later this year.

There's a catch however. This means that instead of one global corporation
following yank troops around the world, now there will be four or five.

[Reuters extract}

Army officials said they will not renew the contract
awarded in 2001 to Halliburton subsidiary KBR to provide water,
dining and laundry services and transport fuel and other items,
including mail, to U.S. troops.

Instead, they described a plan to divide the work among
three companies, with a fourth supporting the work. "It will be
rebid," said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon,
adding KBR is free to take part in the new competition.

Texas-based Halliburton, formerly run by Vice President
Dick Cheney, has drawn scrutiny from auditors, congressional
Democrats and the Justice Department for the quality and
pricing of its work in Iraq.

KBR has gotten orders worth $17.1 billion since the start
of the contract, including about $15.4 billion in Iraq,
according to Army figures.

"The termination of Halliburton's contract is long overdue.
Taxpayers can breathe easier knowing that the days of $45 cases
of soda and $100 bags of laundry are coming to a close," said
Rep. Henry Waxman, top Democrat on the House of Representatives
Government Reform Committee.

 

But the good news is that even the U.S. troops have decided
to never be manipulated again (at least on such a major level) by a
blatant commercial profiter..... oh who am I kidding- I just want to
wear rose coloured glasses again for this one day!

At the very least the leverage the contract provided for manipulating the Australian government will be gone...

In that spirit, I'd love to see Brendan Nelson do the same thing here...

at 13 Jul 2006 - 3:27pm

Pentagon Announces New Adelaide Missile Shield ContractAdelaide is now a port of the U.S.A. The Pentagon has announced that it will make the three warships being built in Adelaide compatible with the U.S. Navy.

In a mandatory notice to Congress, the Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency said Australia was seeking to buy up to three MK 41 Vertical Launch System "ship sets" and modify up to three MK 7 Aegis weapons systems.

Lockheed Martin, who were last year awarded the system integration contracts for the three Air Warfare Destroyers being constructed in South Australia, will sell Australia up to a billion dollars worth of technology.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency advised Congress that the sale would also augment the Royal Australian Navy's ability to participate in coalition operations, match logistics support with the US Navy and enhance the lethality of Australia's Air Warfare Destroyer.


at 15 Jul 2006 - 7:50pm

 

Letter from Scott Parkin

Friends and Supporters, Thanks for your support over the past months. It has been almost a year since I was detained and forcibily removed from your country without explanation.

Since my return, I have moved to San Francisco, California and continued working for environmental and social justice. If anything, my experiances in Australia have firmed up my commitment to make a better world. As part of that commitment, I have campaigned to clear my name and protect others from similar treatment.

My Australian supporters, Friends of Scott Parkin, and I have done this through a variety of political, legal, media and cultural channels. Check here for details-- http://scottparkin.org/index.htm Most importantly, I launched a court challenge to quash the security assessment that led to my detention and removal from Australia.

Plus, now the court action includes Muhammad Faisal and Mohammad Sagar, 2 Iraqis that have been detained on Nauru for the past 5 years. Both have had secret security assessments made of them, are unable to leave as no country will take them and remain in detention limbo. On July 19th, we had our first day in court. Details here--http://scottparkin.org/release13-12-05.htm Recent Sydney Morning Herald column by Adele Horin on our case (link)

While my top notch attorneys have a legal strategy to challenge Australian government's secret assessment of me. And Friends of Scott Parkin has begun a political campaign to apply pressure on the Australian government to further challenge the Australian government's behaviour.

We need your help!! We need funds to keep the legal challenge and political campaign going. Please donate to support the campaign by visiting http://scottparkin.org/give.htm Thanks again for your messages of support over the past couple of months they still mean a lot to me. Another world is possible! Peace, Scott Parkin

at 24 Jul 2006 - 1:19am |

 

Kovco, Halliburton- where does it end?

I started writing about Kovco days before his body was misplaced, and before Defence Minister Nelson changed stories. Looking at the blatant levels of military propaganda in the reports at the time, I felt that a cover-up was underway. I still do.

Why all the trouble and effort by the Army and Government? If the bloke was, as the "official" version is beginning to "reveal" clowning around miming a Cranberries song (most likely Zombie) then why did the military spinners rush out the Australian flag and Lord's Prayer stories? In a situation considered important enough to have radio bulletins and TV pictures of the body leaving Bagdad, how could anyone possibly create a situation in which the body goes missing?

We now know the room wasn't forensically inspected by MP's for five days after the death, during which time the room was scrubbed and other soldiers' personal effects removed, apparently at the request of the Commander of Australian forces in Iraq. We know the body was washed. And then hey presto the disappearing act.

The soldier who accompanied Kovco's body claims that the Australian embassy official was carrying a copy of Kovco's passport details. The Bosnian had a beard. I can understand an upset soldier making a mistake in poor light, but not our Aussie diplomat.

I now begin to wonder if the rattled soldier's state of mind wasn't preyed upon. I shudder at the thought that Soldier 2 was coerced into the misidentification. However, it's still a possibility that needs consideration.

What is still amazing to me that nobody has asked Halliburton for comment about how they lost their contractor. All the yellow ribbons in the world are meaningless if you're hiding the fact that you lost a worker's body. Maybe such mishaps are so commonplace that they don't make it to the Halliburton website. However, if I was the wife of a Texan trucker working in Iraq. I wouldn't be too happy reading about this situation.

All possibilities as to what has occurred need to be examined. I reiterate that I still believe a cover-up is being enacted, and I have a horrible feeling that it is happening on Halliburton's behalf.


at 3 Aug 2006 - 3:31pm

 

 

Halliburton, Mexico and Australia... Does This Ring Any Bells?

MEXICO CITY (August 4th) -- Jacinto Guzman, an 80 year-old retired oilworker from Veracruz state, plants himself in front of the headquarters of the Halliburton Corporation on the skyscraper-lined Paseo de Reforma here and recalls the great strikes of the 1930s that culminated in the expropriation and nationalization of Mexico's petroleum reserves.

Dressed in a wrinkled suit and a hard hat, the old worker laments the creeping privatization of PEMEX, the national oil corporation, by non-Mexican subcontractors like Halliburton, which is installing natural gas infrastructure in Chiapas. But he is less agitated about the penetration of the transnationals in the Mexican oil industry, or even Halliburton's craven role in the obscene Bush-Cheney Iraq war, than he is about the fraud-marred July 2nd presidential election here.

The sign he holds reads "No A Pinche Fraude" (No to Fucking Fraud!), referring to Halliburton's membership in a business confederation that financed a vicious TV ad campaign against leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who insists that he won the July 2nd election from right-winger Felipe Calderon, to whom the nation's tarnished electoral authority, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) awarded a razor-thin and much questioned "victory."

Mr. Guzman's appearance at Halliburton on a Friday at the end of last month was one of myriad acts of civil resistance invoked by Lopez Obrador at a July 16th Mexico City assembly that drew more than a million participants. The campaign is designed to pressure a seven-judge panel (the "TRIFE"), which must determine a winner by the first week in September, into opening up the ballot boxes and counting out the votes contained therein -- "voto por voto."

-from the .San Francisco Bay Guardian read more here.

at 3 Aug 2006 - 11:59pm

 

 

KBR's international overcharges... what about South Australia?

South Australia is currently stuck with years of advanced planning by KBR, and we're going to pay dearly in tax dollars for the privilege.

I wouldn't like to be a South Australian politician looking at the international Hallburton news at the moment.. I'd be wondering how to afford to get my roads built and my warships made

We're hearing locally of cost blow-outs in our road plans. Costs for scheduled tunnels to make a fast road from the southern suburbs to Port Adelaide have exceeded all expectations before the first hole is dug, and now the proposed new Northern Expressway (six lane accessibility to the mines) is also in financial crisis, with calls being made this week for a Federal bail-out.

Our minster for transport and infrastructure says he's investigating how the costs have gotten so high. Here's a clue. He uses a major company to draft his plans.

Stuart Brown, the U.S. special inspector-general for Iraq has filed a report on how KBR spent US$76 million on completing only a quarter of a job.

America's Defence Contract Audit Agency has reported a billion dollars worh of "questionable and unsupportable costs" in the company's defence dealings.

KBR tried to spin off from Halliburton this year and float independantly on the stock exchange. Nobody was interested in touching them. The plan to float was cancelled.

Last month Halliburton reported a 51 per cent increase in second-quarter profits to $US591m

Getting the picture?

 

at 8 Aug 2006 - 3:29pm UK Govt Probes Halliburton Bribery

LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The UK has launched a probe into a Britain-based unit of U.S. oil services company Halliburton Co. in relation to the suspected payment of bribes to Nigerian officials, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday.

The probe by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) adds to investigations already under way in the United States, France and Nigeria into whether a consortium in which the unit, KBR, had a 25 percent stake made payments to secure construction work.

The SFO declined to confirm it was investigating KBR but said in an email: "The SFO is investigating allegations of illegal payments made to secure contracts in Nigeria. Searches were carried out in conjunction with City of London Police on 20 July 2006. The investigation continues."

 

Halliburton did not confirm the latest UK raids but said, in reference to the Nigerian consortium issue generally, that it was cooperating with various investigative agencies and was committed to getting a resolution to the issues.

"As this is an ongoing situation, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time," company spokeswoman Melissa Norcross said in an email.

Halliburton said in a regulatory filing in March it had reason to believe that payments may have been made to Nigerian officials in relation to work on a liquefied natural gas terminal in Nigeria.

Halliburton said potential consequences of a criminal indictment arising out of these matters could include it being barred from U.S. government contracts.


at 9 Aug 2006 - 9:43pm

Happy Fifth Birthday 9/11

Last year all we were given for September 11 was an Al Qaeda tape and the arrest of a terror threat named Scott Parkin. This year I reckon we're in for a suprise party.

A month away, and the celebrations have started already. People are being made to carry their personal effects onto planes in sealed plastic bags. What I wan't to know is if this liquid explosive idea was known, why weren't we told. OK so it might have alerted the would-be terrorists- but it would also have caused a cancellation of plans and perhaps averted the current state of fear that all of those travellers are enduring. And it might have averted an escalation in hostilities instead of potentially provoking such a possibility.

Not to mention that now that such a deed has been perpetrated the process is attemptable anywhere, anytime. I'll be amazed if discussions aren't being had at this minute regarding the possible closure of US airspace to incoming traffic. Copycat terrorist might be on planes from Vancouver, Mexico City, Jamaica, Adelaide, and a sealing of US borders might be the only form of protection that the Bush Administration could guarantee.

For a while now I've wanted to write on the possibility of a bumper birthday bash, but I couldn't see a likely catalyst. Voila! Fasten your seat belts, kiddies, we're in for a bumpy ride.

I was reading a book on sucessful dictators a while back, can't remember by who, which the author prefaced with the statement that the good ones seized power by cultivating and prolonging a state of emergency. For the commanders of the Coalition Of The Willing, this attack that never happened is pure media gold.

 

at 10 Aug 2006 - 10:02pm

 

The Search for Steve.. and a letter reprint

Does anyone know what happened to Steve? Why didn't he face trial with Lindy England? I read somewhere that he was actually in Adelaide on secondment to the Australian Rail Track Corporation from Halliburton.. better find it, I guess. Anyway when you know that operatives like this have been hiding in woodpiles, it makes you wonder what else is going on little old Adelaide.

Have a look at this extract from Wayne Madsen's piece on Counterpunch (10/504)

A CACI employee identified in the report, Steven Stephanowicz,is referred to as "Stefanowicz" in a number of articleson the prison abuse. Stefanowicz is the spelling used by Joe Ryan, another CACI employee assigned with Stefanowicz to Abu Ghraib. Ryan is a radio personality on KSTP, a conservative radio station in Minneapolis, who maintained a daily log of his activities
in Iraq on the radio's web site before it was taken down. Ryan indicated that Stefanowicz (or Stephanowicz) continued to hold his interrogation job in Iraq even though General Taguba recommended he lose his security clearance and be terminated for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

In an even more bizarre twist, the Philadelphia Daily News identified a former expatriate public relations specialist for the government of South Australia
in Adelaide named Steve Stefanowicz as possibly being the same person identified in the Taguba report. In 2000, Stefanowicz, who grew up in the Philadelphia and Allentown areas, left for Australia. On September 16, 2001, he was quoted by the Sunday Mail of Adelaide on the 911 attacks. He said of the attacks, "It was one of the most incredible and most devastating things I have ever seen. I have been in constant contact wit my family and friends in the US and the mood was very solemn
and quiet. But this is progressing into anger." Stefanowicz
returned to the United States and volunteered for the Navy in a reserve status. His mother told the Allentown Morning Call in April 2002 that Stefanowicz was stationed somewhere in the Middle East but did not know where because of what Stefanowicz said was "security concerns." His mother told the Philadelphia
Daily News
 that her son was in Iraq but she knew nothing
about his current status.

I\d really like to know what else Steve's been up to. I have a horrible feeling that he was placed in Adelaide to provide such commentary as he gave the Sunday Mail, a la the techniques of that other visitor to Adelaide, CIA propaganda subtractor Paul Rendon. I have a hunch that Our Steve is a little higher in the food-chain than his public profile suggests. Time will tell.

 

Oh.. the letter. This one was in last Saturday's Advertiser:...

One month before the fith anniversary of September 11 imminent on Britain and the U.S. is discovererd.

The possible attack, believed to be scheduled for the "near future" , has caused an airport security crackdown acros Britain and the U.S. I wonder how close to an September 11 and attack might have occurred, had terrorist plans not been thwarted.

With exactly one month to go until the anniversary of the attack, you have to wonder what other surprises await and hope that none will be fatal.

If plans could be laid for multiple aircraft explosions, who knows what else could be planned.?

I do not like this new world we live in. I don't know who to blame for these new worries being placed on our society, but would I like to find out. Then I would know who to be angry with

 

at 15 Aug 2006 - 11:53pm

 

Adelaide according to Raytheon

Bear in mind when you read this means that there are Raytheon people wandering around Antartica, and that this means that the reasons that Raytheon have identified Adelaide as a hub are probably similar to those I gave in Halliburton's Adelaide.

Reprinted from Raytheon's website, this speech explains South Australia's new military role in the world better than I can:

 

An address by Mr Ron Fisher, Managing Director Raytheon Australia

To

The Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce

27 September 2005


Deputy premier, the Honourable Kevin Foley, the President of the Australia Israel Chamber Of Commerce, Mr Allan Bolaffi, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I am grateful to the chamber for their generous invitation to address you today and express my pleasure in being here with such a notable group within the Adelaide business community.

In light of this State’s proud victory in the battle to secure the Air Warfare Destroyer I thought it timely to provide you with a defence industry perspective of South Australia. As part of this discussion, I would like to give you a very brief overview of Raytheon Australia and our position in the defence market in order for you to be able to put my remarks in context.

Raytheon Australia 
We are a wholly-owner subsidiary of Raytheon Company, the fourth largest defence company in the United States.

Raytheon has operated in Australia since the 1950’s, but our permanent presence was limited to a country manager and supporting administrative staff.

Following the Federal Government’s 1998 Defence And Industry Strategic Policy Statement that was aimed at growing an indigenous defence industry Raytheon decided to invest in Australia and I was given a charter to establish and grow a local company.

While Raytheon invested financially in Australia the more important investments have been in knowledge, skills, processes, and technology. To assist our development in these areas our parent company has been a valuable resource for us.

All of our employees in Raytheon Austrtalia are Australian, but if we need deeper specialist expertise or assistance in transferring technology to this country we can call upon any number of engineers and other experts to assist. We, in Raytheon Australia, use the term “Reach Back” to describe this key asset that allows us to draw upon Raytheon’s global resources.

Raytheon Australia made its first acquisition, a small military aerospace company, towards the end of 1999. This was followed by the naval business of Boeing, which enabled us with our naval customer to correct the original Collins combat system and has proved to be an excellent example of “Reach Back” to our parent company, which has over 30 years experience working on submarine combat and weapon systems for the USN.

Since then we have grown to be over 1,000 employees with operations in all of the mainland States and Territories with an annual turnover of A$325 million. This is dynamic growth in anyone’s language, but particularly so in the defence market.

The current disposition of the company is a function of strategic acquisitions, a desire to be close to our defence customers, and the availability of highly qualified and experienced engineers and technicians.

With regard to this latter point, we had previously identified Adelaide as a hub for the growth of engineering talent and are working with the University of Adelaide to foster a relationship based on mutually beneficial research and assisting undergraduate engineers to gain practical experience.

We are involved in a number of major programs including:

  • The Air Warfare Destroyers, for which we are the Combat System – Systems Engineer;
  • The replacement combat system on the Collins Class submarines, for which we are the Systems Integration Agent;
  • The simulators for the upgraded F/A-18 Hornets;
  • Avionics support for the RAAF Maritime Patrol Group and the Aircraft Research And Development Unit at RAAF Edinburgh, and the Strike and Reconnaissance Group at RAAF Amberley;
  • In service support for the RAN Submarine Group at HMAS Stirling;
  • The Electronic Warfare Training aircraft operated out of HMAS Albatross in Nowra and
  • The Electronic Warfare Emulator Pod, which is to be fitted to the BAE Hawk aircraft.
We also provide technical support for the Joint Facility at Pine Gap, and the Deep Space Communications Complex outside Canberra.

Finally, we have a Geospatial Imagery business that takes telemetry data directly from a constellation of orbiting satellites through a dish and terminal equipment here in Adelaide to provide imagery and other value added products much faster than through the satellite operators in Europe and the USA. These satellites also have a potential role in wide area surveillance of our maritime approaches.

Nature of Defence Business 
Turning to the nature of defence business in Australia, there are a number of characteristics that are probably unique and that most of you would covet for your own markets.

Firstly, our primary customer publishes a ten-year plan for capital equipment acquisition, or forward business. Although not irreversible the defence capability plan, or DCP as we call it, is proving to be surprisingly stable when compared to the process that preceded it. Because the DCP is “owned” by the Federal Government the rationale for changes is more transparent than when Defence put out its own unclassified version of internal documentation.

In the last ten years spending has varied between zero real growth to an annual increase of three per cent in real terms.

The total defence market now exceeds A$7 billion annually. This is a combination of capital equipment acquisition, minor equipment, and logistics expenditure.

This expenditure is underpinned by broad public support; and although some political differences have arisen over the last decade, Defence still enjoys largely bipartisan political support at a parliamentary level.

However, on the down side, we operate in a single market and one in which demand, at least for major acquisition programs, is uneven. It can be a long time between programs of the size of the AWDs and amphibious ships.

On the other hand, defence spends over A$2.5 billion each year on smaller programs, equipment and consumables that have a predictable pattern. The nature of our marketplace is also changing. The Federal Government has undertaken a number of reforms that have proved to be of considerable benefit to defence industry.

In addition to the DCP, the market has been advantaged by improvements to defence capability planning and equipment acquisition in line with the recommendations of Malcolm Kinnaird.

There has also been a greater focus on the need to improve the quality and quantity of skills available to the defence industry. There is clearly a demand for additional engineers, specialist technicians, key trades people and project managers.

Last year the Government announced its Skilling Australia policy and the defence industry program with the commitment of A$200 million over the next decade to assist defence companies to improve and broaden the skills of their workforces. This is a welcome recognition of this important issue and I commend the Defence Materiel Organisation’s CEO, Dr Stephen Gumley for acting as a vocal champion for this cause. However we also need to ensure that our Universities are aligned/partnered with defence industry and government to make certain we have a coherent program for the development of engineering in Australia.

The government has also embarked upon a series of defence industry strategic sector plans to ensure sustainable support for the ADF. The Electronic and Aerospace Sector Plans have been approved and promulgated, with the Land and Weapons Plans nearing completion.

These plans each take a different approach reflecting the characteristics of their respective sectors. The Electronic Sector Plan is particularly forward looking, as it is not prescriptive of industry, rather it establishes benchmarks and leaves it up to industry to determine how they are to be met. The fifth plan, naval shipbuilding and repair appears to be on hold, as this sector is effectively being restructured through the competitions for the AWD and Amphibious Ships, with the sale of ASC also to come.

South Australia
This is an appropriate point to move on to our perspectives of the role of the defence industry in South Australia.

In my view, just as the Federal Government sees an important role for South Australia as a defence industry hub the State Government has a similar vision.

Indeed, the South Australian Government has been the most proactive State government in attracting companies to relocate and position to win defence business. There is recognition that the defence industry is key sector of the State’s economy and that its growth is of strategic importance. As at the federal level I believe defence industry also enjoys bi-partisan support here in South Australia.

According to the State Government, defence contributes over A$1 billion annually to the Gross State Product, employing around 17,000 people including uniformed personnel. Further it is estimated that while South Australia receives only 6 per cent of Australia’s annual defence spend, in line with its share of the national population, it accounts for approximately 30 per cent of all capital expenditure.

Against this background, the Government here has taken several steps to promote defence industry. Two years ago it established its Defence Industry Advisory Board with an ambitious aim for the state to become the dominant location for Australian defence activity. This has been supported by the Government’s Defence Unit, a Defence Teaming Centre and the common goal over the next decade to double the defence industry’s contribution to Gross State Product and to grow employment levels in the industry to 28,000 people.

Although Raytheon’s initial presence in South Australia was a function of the companies we acquired we have built on those foundations with the backing of the Government and recently centralised our operations at a new location in the technology park at Mawson Lakes.

As I mentioned earlier, we had previously decided to make Adelaide one of our centres for growing our engineering workforce and are now looking at whether there might be other parts of the company’s operations that could benefit from being moved to South Australia.

The State Government has responded well to the issues affecting our business and indeed, shared by others in the industry, namely:

  • The investment climate
  • Cost structures
  • Supporting infrastructure
  • Industrial capability, and
  • Our potential supply chain of local businesses.
For Raytheon Australia this latter point was particularly important because we took a decision early in the company’s development that we would not be highly vertically integrated. Rather we would seek capability partners, preferably among the smaller companies to provide specialist capabilities.

Of course, the availability of skilled people was a vital issue, noting that the nature of our business as a systems integrator means that we are seeking systems engineers rather than tradespeople.

By virtue of the size of the population it is inescapable that this is an issue for Adelaide. However, I am pleased by the Government’s proactive approach by challenging this issue on several fronts.

The Government has sought to establish a defence institute to focus on electronics and systems integration skills and to further these skills with a centre of excellence.

There is also the “Make The Move” campaign aimed at people in the 30-45 age brackets, which is coincident with our own target group, albeit we are looking for people with very defined skills and, preferably, experience.

Another State Government initiative I applaud is the recent agreement for the prestigious US University, Carnegie-Mellon, to establish an arm here, bringing the number of quality universities to four.

I would expect the AWD program to act as an additional lure for people to come to Adelaide; after all there will be few bigger programs to work on over the next ten years.

Together with other high profile programs the Government is hoping to be won by South Australian companies, the AWD will no doubt help stem the tide of inter-state migration that has historically affected this state.


The AWD 
Turning to our role in the AWD program we are naturally excited to have been selected as the Combat System – Systems Engineer for Australia’s new Air Warfare Destroyers.

We are also delighted to be working with our fellow AWD alliance partners – the Commonwealth, ASC and the recently selected platform system designer, Gibbs and Cox on a venture that will not only provide a major leap in the Royal Australian Navy’s air warfare capabilities but will also be one of the most significant shipbuilding projects ever undertaken in this country.

As to our role as part of the alliance, Raytheon Australia is to:

  • Integrate the non-Aegis elements of the combat system and conduct combat system trade studies;
  • Develop the design of the complete AWD combat system in conjunction with the Commonwealth, the US Navy and its combat system engineering agent for the Aegis system, Lockheed Martin;
  • Develop complete ship and integrated logistic support systems with ASC and Gibbs and Cox; and
  • Develop project management and systems engineering structures and deliver mission systems integration.
This is a significant role indeed and one I believe that Raytheon is suitably qualified to execute.

Our involvement in the Collins Class submarines has provided us with the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in mission systems integration to our Australian customer.

It also demonstrated our ability to work with both the Commonwealth and the USN in the integration of US-sourced combat systems into an Australian warship.

This, of course, was supported by the strong pedigree of our American parent and our ability to “Reach Back” and tap into that reservoir of expertise.

Since 1998 Raytheon has been the electronic and weapons systems integrator for the US Navy’s latest and most advanced surface combatant programme, the DD(X). In May of this year we were awarded a follow-on us$3 billion DD(X) ship system integration and detail design contract. Raytheon has also worked as the Whole Ship Systems Integrator for the US Navy’s latest amphibious ships, the LPD – 17 San Antonio Class. We will also be taking on an important role in the next generation of aircraft carriers, the CVN-78, with Raytheon’s selection earlier in the year as the industry lead for warfare systems integration of all onboard weapons systems and electronic operations.

Experience in this area and our ability to reach back to our American parent will be extremely valuable for the AWD program, helping to ensure the necessary transfer of experience and expertise to support the development of an effective solution for the AWD combat system. We see it as part of our role to flow some of this expertise to other smaller Australian companies with whom we will work on this large program.

Conclusion
As you can see, Raytheon Australia is very optimistic about our own future in Australia’s defence industry and the contribution that our industry can make to this State.

Challenges remain but I can see that there are strong efforts at both the State and Federal level to address these concerns, particularly in the skills area.

We also recognise our own responsibility as significant players in the defence marketplace to play our own role to provide for the industry’s growth.

This is our commitment to you today as I hope that Raytheon Australia can secure for itself an important part of South Australia’s future prosperity.

Thank you very much.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I've just found a great pair of June 2004 stories on an electronics industry news page.

One begins "Defence Minister Hill has announced that Australia and the U.S. intend to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in missile defence next month.

The other begins with "South Australian Premier Mike Rann announced details last week. of an aggressive plan to double the size of the defence industry in South Australia, and to increase defence employment from 16,000 to 28,000 workers by 2013. In Washington Mr Rann met with the leaders of Raytheon and other leading US defence contractors"

It's a beautiful piece of syncronisation (page 15 here) between the Governments and defence companies, and mostly we've been none the wiser.

 

EPILOGUE:

 

BELFAST, Northern Ireland --Police on Wednesday arrested nine protesters who broke into the Northern Ireland software center of U.S. defense contractor Raytheon Co. and smashed windows and computers.

The protesters in Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second-largest city, said they blamed Massachusetts-based Raytheon for designing missile-guidance systems and other military software being supplied by the United States to Israel in its current conflict with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Raytheon declined to comment.

 

EPILOGUE II

The Federal Government has just announced that the former Adelaide Submarine Corporation is to be put up for sale.
[extract]

Finance Minister Nick Minchin announced today that following a scoping study into the possible sale of the company, the Government had decided to put it up for a competitive tender sale.

He said the tender would most likely begin in late 2007, with a sale completed by the second half of 2008.

The sale decision had been expected.

Senator Minchin said a tender sale would protect the company's long term interests.

"It is vital that ASC continue to have access to essential technical assistance from international partners and governments," he said.

"A trade sale will allow the Government to ensure that the company's new owners are acceptable to overseas technology suppliers.

P.S.

The S.A. Australian Democrats' Sandra Kanck participated in this discussion on ABC-891 on Tuesday morning, which was the catalyst for the piece.

Sandra Kanck, Democrat (891ABC 8.41-8.48) Call for a guarantee that SA's weapons aren't being used to kill civilians in the Middle East

Matthew Abraham: In South Australia we make ... weaponry and we make gizmos that make sure they hit the targets. We are, the Premier keeps telling us, the Defence State. Sandra Kanck wants to know where those weapons are going and who they're killing. In particular she wants a ... guarantee from the Premier that they are not being used in the bloody attacks, using her words, upon the civilian populations of both Israel and Lebanon. ... Good morning to you Sandra ... Firstly, why do you want a guarantee on this ... if we're the defence State and we make weapons then do we not accept that weapons primary purpose are to kill people?)

Sandra Kanck: Well I'm not sure that South Australians want us to be part of a death industry. There's a bit of a difference between a defence industry and a death industry ... if we have any sort of weaponry; whether it's a cog in a wheel, whether it's part of a missile delivery system that is raining bombs on innocent civilians then South Australia ought not to be part of that.

David Bevan: What inquiries have you made to find out which products go where?

SK: I've had my own researcher working on this ... doing a lot of web searching and so on and I also had the parliamentary library ... we could only reach dead ends. There's always this commercial in confidence stuff ... if we are being involved in an attack industry then they don't want us to know who they're selling stuff to. We do know, however, that we are part of something called the defence teaming centre which the Rann Government has set up, and that has part of it's brief ... "To increase defence technology and related exports by South Australian companies, particularly to Asia and the Gulf cooperation council states in the Middle East".

Bevan: Our phone lines are open. What do you think? Should we just accept that these industries are here ... our governments ... have made an awful lot of effort to try and attract them to South Australia. We have a long history of defence indsutry here in South Australia, should we be worried about where those products go? Are there protocols in place to make sure that only the good guys get them? ... 1300 222 891)

Abraham:... With the uranium mining and the yellow cake exports we go to great pains to make sure that they go to countries where they will be used for commercial use and not for military use ... there are lot of protocols in place. Sandra Kanck what are you able to tell us about the protocols that are in place to ensure...

SK: Well I don't know how you can have weapons that aren't going to be used as weapons. I mean ... are we sort of in fairyland here ... we're happy to take the jobs. We're happy to take the sales tax and the other advantages that flow to the population? ...) ... that's the question I'm asking ... Are we manufacturing weapons to kill people? Is that our role? ... if it is, is it a role that South Australians want to be involved in?

Bevan: But can you draw those distinctions ...? You say there are good weapons and there are bad weapons.

SK: I'm not ... one of the first Senators that the Democrats had, Colin Mason, who used to say that Australia ... at the national level, should be like a hedgehog - as prickly as can be but no real threat to anyone but anyone who tries to touch us is sure going to get ... a bit of a hit from all those spines ...

Abraham: Well that would be if we were defending ourselves but we know we export ... a lot of this technology ...

SK: And Im asking the question - Do South Australians want to be part of war mongering? ...

Caller Ben: ... Having been in the defence force for a while, it puts a lot of money into the State's economy ... selling these weapons of war as such but I'd like to just see we stop doing that and how much effect that actually has on the State's economy ... surely it would be pouring a hell of a lot of money into it?

Bevan: ... It's an enormous part of the economy ... That's a good question though, I wonder what the numbers are?

Caller Don: ... if we were ever involved in a war ... South Australia would be the prime target for bombs and whatever ...

Abraham: ... Sandra Kanck have you formally asked the Premier or are you doing so via the program and your press release?

I'm doing it via the program and the press release but I think it's likely to be a question in parliament when we resume.

Abraham: Okay well he's never averse to listening to the program and responding we can assure you. You're linking this to the international arms trade. What do you mean by that because the term, arms trade, really does carry overtones of deals done in the night, people wearing balaclavas ...

SK: Well again I'm posing a lot of questions. I don't have the answers and that's been my problem. I've had the parliamentary library working on it. We've not been able to come up with anything. I'm looking for some reassurances. I'd love Mike Rann to come onto your program and say, no civilians have been killed in Lebanon or Israel as a consequence of our industry here. If he can't give that guarantee then we really must ask a very very hard question on whether or not we want to be part of an industry that delivers death.

Abraham: ... we'll keep an eye on this one.

at 16 Aug 2006 - 12:29am

 

 

Halliburton Fires Iranian Employees

If this account is true then the manner in which Halliburton's action might be perceived diplomatically by the Iranian government is of concern for us all. If the dismissal of Iranian nationals is interpreted as possible "damage control" in the face of activities that might prove to be bad publicity for the company, then the Iranians might assume an angry bell is tolling.

On the other hand, if the Iranians suspect that the action is an attempted act of reverse psychology then they might be unhappy at the attempted provocation and respond angrily.

Then again, if it's perceived as double-reverse psychology they might just lie low for a while.

Unless, of course, they assume that such inaction might play into the hands of the Americans.

Anyway, here's the source blog.... if anybody who can read Iranian could authenticate the primary source it would be helpful.

From A Daily Briefing On Iran, posted last Tuesday.

Iran Press News: translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi.Regime-run news agency MEHR reported that the that American company Halliburton recently instructed its branch offices both in Iran and other countries that they refrain from renewing their contracts with all their employees of Iranian nationality. The management of this company has stated that they are unable to either employ or extended contracts with Iranian nationals and all those who are those in upper management employment echelons must settle their accounts for termination.

 

I don't like the way that thngs are going at the moment.

at 18 Aug 2006 - 3:23pm

 

NASA restarts Woomera Spaceport for International Space Station

I've just seen the main story in today's Advertiser, of the commercial spaceport trials to be conducted by NASA at Woomera/.

[excerpt]

In a boost to South Australia's credentials as the defence state, U.S.-based Rocketplane Kistler secured a $272 million NASA contract to launch rockets from Woomera, carrying cargo to the station.

[excerpt]

After a trial of five launches, NASA is expected to decide around 2009-10 which company is capable of better servicing the space station. It is possible both could be selected, Rocketplane Kistler said.

If successful, the Woomera site would be used to launch cargo such as fuel and food to the station as often as every two weeks.

As NASA requires the K-1 to have crew transportation capabilities, however, the Woomera site could see the first astronauts leave from Australia.

If you've followed the Halliburton's Adelaide link you'll know the possible uses I'd thought about for Woomera. When that plan for a reactor to be built there
hit the press it looked like nuclear fuelled space transport wasn't too
far off, and now a variant of Arthur C Clarke's noting of the
signifigance of the place ( in 1947) is today's big news. The head
of the company conducting the tests is today telling Adelaide that
""Woomera was chosen because it can be used for polar and equatorial
launches and because of its clean land areas." He should have credited
Arthur for originating the concept from which he's profiting.

A sixty year old prediction has just come partially true, except that
instead of, as Clarke perceived, Great Britain becoming a superpower
because of its control of space travel via ownership of Woomera, it
will now be the U.S., with it newly rebuilt southern colony, that will control the spaceways from the middle of South Australia. 
at 21 Aug 2006 - 11:10am

 

Australian Halliburton Railway To Fast-Track Uranium Exports

When Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar and a "cast of thousands" of Australian dignitaries launched the Adelaide-Darwin in early 2004 everybody was talking about what a boon to Australian exports Mr Cheney's conquest of the Australian desert would be. Of course, nobody was talking about uranium at the time....

Well, the inevitable has happened, and we're going to see boxcars of yellowcake trundling from Adelaide to Darwin within the next few years, Immediately following the announcement of opening of a new Australian uranium mine (at Honeymoon in South Australia's far north east

The Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Minerals Council Kazia Purick yesterday. Mr Purick said that

"This company's product, the uranium oxide, may well have to be put on the train from Adelaide through to Darwin and be exported over our port, because Darwin's habour, Darwin's port is the only port in Australia that can export uranium product, the uranium oxide."

This statement strongly contradicts a report in the Weekend Australian of January 2005.

[extract}

Australia's uranium mines produce a powder called yellowcake - unprocessed uranium oxide - which is then concentrated on-site into an extremely heavy greenish powder for export. It is 1.7 times denser than lead and a 205-litre drum two-thirds full weighs 400kg.

Sales are made under the strict control of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO), within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to ensure the uranium is used only for peaceful purposes, mainly in reactors to produce electricity.

At Olympic Dam the uranium oxide is packed into steel drums and loaded into shipping containers that are then trucked to Port Adelaide to be loaded directly on to ships. Recently, Olympic Dam started a three-month trial transporting uranium to Darwin on the new Adelaide-to-Darwin rail link.

In December Last year the findings of the trial were unknown, with the railway's freight management company still waiting for word from the mines owners. At the time Freightlink CEO John Fullerton said that There aren't large numbers of boxes of uranium that are exported but
it's still an important part of our business - it helps establish the
international trade through the Port of Darwin."

The current shareholders of FreightLink include Kellogg Brown &
Root (36.3%), Barclay Mowlem (13.9%), John Holland (11.4%), National Asset Management (7.3%), Macmahon (7.0%), Colonial First State (6.3%) and six other shareholders including investment funds and the Northern and Central Aboriginal Land Councils

The railway was designed and constructed by a joint
venture between Macmahon Holdings (10%), KBR (50%), Barclay Mowlem (20%) and John Holland (20%).

 

at 1 Sep 2006 - 4:03pm Doctor Who - The 666 Story

The massive, horned Beast
The episodes of Doctor Who that were screened on the weekends
surrounding 6/6/06 concern the freeing of an ancient Beast from beyond the dawn of time.

The story, currently being broadcast in Australia, must have made many more people aware of the possible symbolism of the date than if it had been broadcast at another time. To achieve this would have required a considerable timespan of forward planning, and you have to wonder whether the writers and producers were simply timing for dramatic effenct and publicity or whether they may have been attempting to alert the populace to vigiliance of possible psychological manipulation of events emenating from that point in time.

I have to confess that I watched them fairly soon after they were broadcast. I won't say any more... it'll spoil the ending.

Anyway, while you're enjoying the conclusion to the two-parter on Saturday night, have a think about what I'm saying really.

PS Lovely bit of serendipity that the ABC is concluding the story two days before September 11.

at 5 Sep 2006 - 5:10pm South Australia - Home To 20 % Of The World's Uranium

Figuring that if Australia has 36%, and South Australia has three quarters of that, then our state must surely, apart from any other reason, be one of the most stragegically important places in the world.

How could any self-professed superpower feel anything but duty-bound to protect such an important asset, especially if it might one day depend on the ore for its survival ? What an Achilles Heel the place could become if it's defence was left to the natives.

So we get B-2s on bombing simulations from Guam, a run of "joint trining exercises" that will turn parts of the State into simulations of the Persan Gulf and Afghanistan, Christ knows what monitoring the desert from just outside our vertical territory limit of 100km.

In the meantime, while Pine Gap listens to Al Qaeda phone calls and pinpoints co-ordinates for massive bomb strikes on Iraqi houses, Jindalee monitors the sky for incoming missiles with which Australia has nothing to retaliate against (until the defence corporations build the AWDs) Surely there's never a US Warship too far away, ready to respond to a JORN warning? If we ever needed one to remain handy, now would be the time.

When I get near these trains of thought (pun intended) my mind keeps going back to the series of books call The Amtrak Wars Wilipedia sets the worldscape well:

[extract]

The nation is despotic regime ran solely by the inbred First Family; few who are not in the First Family live beyond their thirties due to 'high radiation levels' which were actually created by the Family as a means of controlling the Trackers (as citizens of the Amtrak Federation are called). Access to technology and information is carefully controlled by the Family.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Above ground activity, both transport and defence, are conducted by rail. If Patrick Tilley was writing the Amtrak books today, he no doubt would have factored in the Bush Administration,l Halliburton and Australia as a second Amtrak colony, a plan B survival outpost (Asimov proposed such a concept in his classic Foundation series)

[extract]

Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. To shorten the period of barbarism, he decides to create the Foundation, a small secluded haven of technology on the planet Terminus, to preserve knowledge of the physical sciences after the collapse. If done properly, only a thousand years would be required before the next empire is established.

And the knowldege and hub that is being created in Adelaide is twinned where? Why, The Bush Family's home city of Austin, Texas, of course! The only thing the place really needed was a port, and now they've got Adelaide and decent high speed realtime data transfer

Given global corporations' favouring of working from bare earth instead of repairing pre-existing infrastructure, Australia is a much better locale in which to create such an environment, and doing so would create an infastructure for maintaining defence of the huge fuel reserve. An Asimov-style safety net would be considered handy to the Texans, no doubt.

I wonder how an enemy might look at all of this? Would it make one think that, given that further implementation of forward planning would eliminate many chances of such, an attack on Australia might be a "now or never" situation?

Apologies for the rambling.. I'm trying to make sense of things while holding my breath until the September 11 anniversary has come and gone without sounding the Trump that will herald the Neocons' Rapture.

at 6 Sep 2006 - 5:49pm

 

Follow The Yellow Cake Road

"Anybody who understands the changing character of the South Australian economy at this time will understand these transitional arrangements are an intelligent response.’’ Said Prime Minister Howard today.

The Wizards of South Oz have been busy this week, spinning straw into gold, Chinese purchase of our uranium is meant to offset Adelaide manufacturing jobs going to the land of the Great Wall? Not likely.

It was bad enough that the uranium deal, in which an Australian listed company will sell all its ore to Beijing and beyond,was announced before treaties were signed, three-mine policies officially abandoned and in general showing some responsibility and accountablitiy wth our deadly treasures. The timing of the information's release did, however, bump the Electrolux off-shoring to the day's second place story for a while, at least until the press conference. 500 whitegood jobs will be globalised into China, Poland and Mexico. The impact of the event has been softened by a joint Federal/S.A. rescue package

Meanwhile S.A. is hosting the cast and crew of, and basically paying for a huge Bollywood movie to be made,no doubt to entice workers to move here under the working conditions they receive at home. Premier Rann said recently that it was "kind of publicity money can't buy." Doesn't that make you wonder how many tax dollars are funding a sci-fi flick? There was a story out of an energy conference in Adelaide this week saying how many young Indians were attempting to better their lot in life by training for careers in energy and gas. Any guesses where they're going to end up? Probably in the flats across the road from the 5 dollars an hour, unprotected and unsuperannuated call centre workers imported from Mumbai.

Perhaps the Electrolux workers will be able to sign AWAs and work for peanuts alongside the Indians to strengthen the US's South Australian regime change?

As an afterthought, today's Advertiser has run an editorial contemplating life in the city without a Mitsubishi factory, which came to the conclusion that we can bear the brunt and retrain the carmakers into warship builders and uranium miners. Remember a couple of years back when ran suggusted the Mitsubishi plant could become an M1A! Abrahams tank refurbishment factory? An announcement of something of that ilk can't be too far away.

As

the yellowcake trundles up the Halliburton railway and off to China, we're going to see a lot of changes around here. Both State and Federal governments will be busy with "birthing pains" such as this for a while

Mr Howard, while making the comment on the "transitional nature" of South Australia, added that his government was not prepared to pay Electrolux to keep the jobs in the country. To me this implies that he's probably paying a few industries to keep going until the military production lines are up and running. I wonder if the workers at the Clipsal plant around the corner from my house will be assembling circuitry for weapons guidance systems after their current jobs go to Yu No Hoo? Count on it.. Yie, Ar, San, Sz, Wu...

at 14 Sep 2006 - 4:59pm

 

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 they would 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.


If all this wasn't bad enough, many Australian newspapers are running the story today of how former Defence Minister Robert Hill, now Australia's representative to the United Nations, regularly dined with one of the architects of the kickback scam.

Australia's former ambassador to the US, now vice president of a multi-billion dollar US pension fund, stands accused of diverting a US senate inquiry into the bribes scheme on the eve of the last Federal Election.

Australia's foreign minister has been exposed as lying in to the Australian inquiry into the matter, and has moved his senior aides to overseas postings. For example, his chief of staff has just become the Australian consul to Los Angeles.

This story is a long way from over. If this is a bucket of Australian manure,, there's an ocean of it out there in which Halliburton may be swimming n any day now

at 18 Sep 2006 - 4:24pm

 

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.

The videos of Australian soldiers behaving badly have been inextricably linked in the minds of the Australian public with the death of Private Jake Kovco. In the same manner that the "new footage" of Osama "plotting the twin towers" attack, the first of its kind have tied Osama to the current rounds of the "War On Terror", the new tapes from Baghdad, which appeared on the net just as Kovco's detachment returned home, imply by association that Kovco was involved in the politically incorrect horseplay.

On of the earlier stories doing the rounds was that Kovco was miming to the Cranberries song Zombie (you know the one.." in your heeead, in your heeaad..) when the gun went off. Even though the new video proves that similar activities did occur, it does not, according to any reports so far, show Jake Kovco doing any such thing. However, guilt by association has already begun. There are already reports that the inquiry will at least partially blame Kovco for his demise.

I didn't buy the "fooling around:" story the first time around, and I still don't. The new Osama footage was "discovered" just in time to be inserted into the S11 5th anniversary docos on Sunday night, and it appears to me that the "discovery" of the Army tapes may have been carried out with a similar intent in mind.

Whether directly related or not, the swapping of the two bodies is still of great concern. A Halliburton contractor with a moustache, wristband, correct body bag tag (even with the correct passport number) was substituted for a clean shaven man with an orange neck brace and dental equipment around his mouth.. Personally I can't understand that the wives of US truckers working for the company in Iraq aren't up in arms that their loved one's employers have sent the corpse of a co-worker to the wrong country. Probably they don't know about it. At any rate, at least one of the dead Australian soldier's relatives worked in the undertaking profession and was able to care for the body Juso Sunanovich until he was repatriated.

Who knows, given the crazy world of Iraq, the two deaths may be related in other ways. To ensure that Kovco's reputation is finally treated with respect, this avenue of inquiry needs to be pursued as avidly as the others.

If the "Kovco Tapes" turn out to be, like the Defence Minister's statement and the Military Police's "interviews" with the other soldiers, to be prefabricated and at least partially false, I hope Brendan Nelson loses his job.

Back to the Inquiry today, and Shelley Kovco has voiced similar concerns about the mistakes in Kovco's repatration. She say that Defence thought it would "look good" if Kovco came home on Anzac day. I wonder how good it would look if television pictures of Haliburton's body going to the wrong place were broadcast in Texas? It would be almost as bad as what went wrong in the Wag The Dog plot.

 

at 19 Sep 2006 - 1:51pm

 

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 an mullti-nation Coalition o 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.

The central Australian defence training scheme had included converting Adelaide's Mitsubishi car plant into a M1A1 refurbishment facility and a redesigning of the Army's Coultana training grounds into a simulated Middle East in which the vehicles could have a shakedown run, before being back to Adelaide and heading back to the war on Armoured Task Force divsion carriers.

Rumours of the railway's lack of this ability have been in circulation for two years. At least, that's how long ago I heard about the problem

That this plan could be preconceived ten years ahead and then bungled so badly further demonstrates the contempt with which Australian defence is being treated by some US Corporations. As long as they get the contracts they don't appear to give a damn if the results don't do the job required.

at 25 Sep 2006 - 3:11pm

 

 

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.

The fact of the matter is that Mr Downer is the representative of the democracy of Austraila to the rest of the world. If he is incapable of hearing such a strong message then, in my opinion, he should also be considered inappropriate as an ambassador speaking for our ivalues.

If the Australian public believes that we are doing the wrong thing in Iraq then under the ideals of the democracy that we believe we have here, the Australian Government should be listening to the voice of its people and withrawing Australian military forces from Iraqi soil.

Our rights to free speech and participation in government are meanglessif the voice of the public is ignored. I hope that, unlike our message to him, Mr Downer's message to us is heard loud and clear.

He's telling us that the ideals of our political system are being compromised by those who we appointed as its protector.

at 5 Oct 2006 - 10:53pm

 

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'.

Tony Reid from KBR says the plans have now been put on hold for a year, during which time it is hoped a pumping station can be built at the site and pipelines laid.

Mr Reid says the project had been held up at the development approval stage because of a native title issue, which forced the relocation of the pumping station.

He says the company is now looking for another financial backer and hopes to begin planting in mid 2007.

 

I could be wrong, and KBR engineer Tony Reid could be merely coincidentally working on the two projects (the other being the Twin Lakes plan mentioned in earlier posts) simultaneously. However the situation led me to this train of thinking.

What if you had a means to supply water and knew of a lot of arid land? How about if you knew of a few industries that would flourish with the mere addition of an abundant water supply? What profits would you make on investment deals if you monetised the situation before the locals became aware of it? Would you be doing a disservice to your shareholders if you didn't capitalise on the opportunity?

Now subsitute the word "water" for "transport "and apply the questions to the Halliburton-run trans-Australian railway. There's a potential scenario being created in which large portions of Australian soil could, by ways of creating offshore investment opportunites, become totally within the control of the company whose moves were orchestrated by the Vice President of the United States.

Now substitute the words "rocket transport."

Do you, like me, find these South Australian possibilities a bit scary? It could easily happen... if it isn't already.

Then again, my mind might be going nuts.

PS Investors pulling out due to "overseas policy issues" can easily be interpreted as a withdrawal of funds as a protest of Halliburton/KBR's participation in the Occupation of Iraq. Who would have thought that such thoughts occur within the minds of investors? Perhaps investing in a company that profits on death might be beyond the ethics of people placing money in pension funds? You never know your luck...

at 27 Oct 2006 - 3:28pm

 

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

A report released last week by the US Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction. The International Herald Tribune has reported that

The highest proportions of overhead were incurred in oil-facility contracts won by KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root, which has been challenged often in Congress and elsewhere because of its problems with projects in Iraq.

What happened, according to the report was that the US sent KBR and other infrastructure contractors to Iraq before they were able to carry out any work. There the men and machinery sat and waited. "The government blew the whistle for these guys to go to Iraq and the meter ran," said Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the inspector general's office. "The government was billed for sometimes nine months before work began."

The report also states that the actual costs for many projects could be even higher than the estimates, the report says, because the United States has not properly tracked how much such expenses have taken from the $18.4 billion of taxpayer-financed reconstruction approved by Congress two years ago.

The IHT also says that "The report does not explain why KBR's overhead costs on those contracts, for about $296 million, were more than 10 percent higher than any of the other companies audited. "

Perhaps the Inspector-General's office should be asking for paperwork held at the Greenhill Road office to be handed in for auditing? They'll have to be quick though, as President Bush last week abolished this particular mechanism for discovering infrastructure overcharging.

Through the presence of the Infrastructure G-HQ Australia may have a larger role in this tale of international overspending than we care to admit. However, it's possible that in the same way that Halliburton used its Cayman Islands office as a forwarding office to its Houston Headquarters for its work in Iran, paperwork flowing to and from Houston and Iraq only passed through Adelaide as a matter of corporate convenience.

at 31 Oct 2006 - 12:06pm

 

Why The Kovco Inquiry Findings Were DelayedI'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 Halliburton contractor being flown to Australia instead of the fallen soldier.

That the information has been witheld in a case such as this, in which so many people are concerned as to what might have transpired, shows the concern of our military and government that the current political climate is considered inappropriate to divulging "sensitive" data, and also that the release of information regarding events of the war in Iraq in being very carefully controlled by military and government propagandists.

I'd like to bet that the last thing that George Bush would want to see on US TV this week would be Australians unhappy with the Australian warmongers.

at 2 Nov 2006

 

 

Australian Federal Court Backs Halliburton Protester Scott ParkinThe 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.

Parkin told Australian ABC Radio today that he'd be "..thrilled to come back to Australia." and that he feels he has been vindicated.

Spy agency ASIO can still appeal to the High Court, and if this fails Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock can still have the information witheld under grounds of national security.


at 3 Nov 2006 - 12:22pm

 

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 and 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.

If UN ambassador John Dauth had his ear to the ground he would have been aware, at least from US intelligence circles if not from the suddenly deaf ASIO, of the AWB payment system. You can guess that Dauth was concerned about that information going public. He was cetainly concerned enough to let Trevor Flugge have what could only be described as extremely sensitive and privileged information.

What Flugge did with this advance knowledge amazes me. While USAid were preparing a program to resuscitate Iraq's agriculture system. Flugge's approach to the same problem was to stuff the boot of his car with a couple of million dollars in cash to give out where he considered appropriate.

At the same time as Flugge was driving around throwing money out the window, our Foreign Minister was trying to keep the wheat boats sailing. Knowing that the boatload on it's way wouldn't be regarded as Food-for-Oil, Downer tried, to the UN's disgust and disallowance, to have it recategorised as post-war aid.

If Australia's ambassador to the UN knew about Australia's invasion plans then it is highly unlikely that our Foreign Minister and Prime Minister did not. If Messrs Howard and Downer kept this knowledge secret and gave us another story then they should hold themselves accountable for such an enourmous deception.

While we're talking about lies, I'd like to revisit a big one that Downer made last April when an Adelaide based Iraqi Professor Of Agriculture Kays Jumas was gunned down by Australian corporate military personnel. At the time Downer downplayed the death as an example of the low-calibre of CMPs when in fact Jumas was shot by an elite Australian outfit.

If Downer was deceiving again then the wheat inquires have been missing a possibly very important witness. I hope that even if Commissioner Cole has been unable to look at this aspect that the new US inquiry will examine the circumstances.

I'm sick of the lies, sick of all the deaths being treated as debating points, and tired of watching our leaders spout the rhetoric without care. Whatever it takes to end this fiasco, it's time to do it.


at 23rd November 2006 11.00 am

"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.

For those who don't know the story of Breaker Morant, it's of an Australian army captain who was executed for murdering a prisoner of war, according to many because of political expediency in maintaining the co-operation of Germany. And the two inquiry cases both deserve some comparision.

In the Kovco case, Defence Minister Nelson ran to the media to tell them the wound was self-inflicted while MP's drafted "fiil-in-the-gap" statements and coerced witnesses to agree with the Minister's version.

In the AWB case the inquiry heard of repeated advice being given to ministers which they claim to have never received or cannot recall.

While Kovco's mother states that there is greater evidence that another weapon was involved in her son's death and calls for a coronial inquiry, she knows that this would include the failure of MP's to hand over or even tell them of a second gun found in the room at the time.

The AWB execs, not confined by the Cole Commission's terms of reference, will no doubt be keen to have Downer under oath again to restate his claimed innocence.

The Howard Cabinet's scapegoats have been far from silenced.

Dedicated to Captain Harry Harbord "Breaker" Morant of the 2nd South Australian Light Horse Regiment.

 

28 Nov 2006 - 1:50am

 

 

 

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.

What we can be sure of ASIO having, however, was the looming date of September 11 2005 and a notion in their heads that a "security threat" story released on that date would have considerably added dramatic impact in highlighting the need for increasingly alert security agents.

I'm also pretty certain that many in the Australian Cabinet, particularly the Ministers for Immigration and Foreign Affairs, would have been happy to please Dick Cheney. An antagonist of the former Halliburton CEO's business interests would have been too good a target to miss. A story publishable on September 11 of security, immigration and federal agents working together to catch a dangerous activist would, you'd have to think, be too tempting a propaganda exercise not to attempt to enact. Was the apple in Parkin's eye too devilishly delightful for PM Howard's Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve to resist? Here's a good adage that works for me- it's that "if something is too good to be true, then it probably is." It might also work for senior Liberal politicians.

The lawyer representing the Director General of Security told the Federal Court that it's decision to allow Parkin to read documents leading to his adverse classification could cause irreparable.harm unless it was was set aside. Charles Gunst, QC, for ASIO boss Paul O'Sullivan, said it was expected that ASIO ransack its files and open them for scrutiny. He said the resulting identification of documents might cause harm to national security. He also told the court that its earlier decision provided a precedent in which applicants could have access to documents merely by asserting without proof that a wrong decision had been made in their security assessments. It would seem that ASIO are fairly grumpy to be on the receiving end of their own style of tactics, and the possibility of being probed without choice.

In a War On Terror with such a major propaganda front, that the co-operative efforts of US and Australian intelligence communities has lead to such inept mishandling of a single Halliburton protester would make Coalition Of The Willing information gathering once again appear incredibly incompetent. This, have no doubt, would be regarded as a scenario not in the Australian national interest. Increasingly intense legalities serve to demonstrate the perceived severity of the situation.

The fact ASIO have gone to such extraordinary lengths to protect their knowledge of Parkin implies that whatever they're concealing will not be revealed. Should they fail in their appeal they still have a final option. Attorney General Ruddock can exercise his self-ordained powers to silence the matter. It's highly likely that, if a verdict that ASIO deems inappropriate is returned, and given such publicly stressed importance of overturning the court's verdict, Ruddock might be forced to act. The Federal Court will be aware of such a possibility.

Justice Peter Heerey said the matter raised important issues about the court process and national security. In other words, this has now become the litmus-test of the relationship between the Australian legal and intelligence systems.

Given that the Parkin case has taken all of this year to get this far, there's a strong possibility that the verdict on the ASIO appeal will not be handed down till the latter part of next year, when Prime Minister Howard is expected to call an election. This could mean that the Australian Government, already facing a public that is suspicious of co-operation with the Bush Administration over the invasion of Iraq, may face a public voting after having recently seen an action of unprecedented ASIO authoritianism. On the other hand it may finally have just been informed of Government supervised deceit and negligence by the agency that is supposed to be one of our front-line champions in this war.

The ultimate choice will be our Prime Minister's. Whichever way he goes, the Australian judiciary will eagerly await his verdict to determine how much more power he will have over it in the future. If our legal system tells the public to fear its legislators on the eve of an election, Mr Howard himself may finally have something to fear... an electorate voting to protect its civil liberties.

Court quotes sourced from The Age.


at 28 Nov 2006 - 11:39pmWritten 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 sold 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.

Raytheon have the rockets that can do the job. The best thing about their missiles I can see is that they're already integrally compatable with the Aegis system, and so will be launchable at the press of Cheney's finger. I wouldn't be suprised if Hill and Nelson pick up some extremely lucrative board positions as thankyous, in the same manner that Ambassador Thawley did for hushing up the AWB debacle in the US. Stick to the script boy, and you'll do fine.

Tony Blair's announcement today to continue with their Trident missile system has been a goodsend for Cheney's Poms. The KBR controlled Devenport dockyard has just created a worshop for refitting the Tridents. How psychic was that? I'm sure the shareholders of the newly floated KBR will love the dividend, too!

Blair stuck to the script. Cheney did well Everyone wins. Get the message Mr Howard? I'm sure you got it nine years ago when the US VP came to Australia in his capacity as Halliburton CEO.

Perhaps someone in the Liberal party had better knock on wood after Mr Downers assertation on Lateline tonight that attacks on his government were "as rubber bullets to a sherman tank." Don't you mean M1A! Abrams? Anyway I doubt anyone from Raytheon or Halliburton wrote that one.

 

at 5 Dec 2006 - 11:12pmScott 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."

-Ian Carnell, Inspector General Of Intelligence and Security,
November 2005

Mr Carnell took it upon himself to conduct an inquiry into ASIO's handling of Parkin. He is quite clear that his terms of reference don't include the actions of DIMIA and the AFP after they were given the security classification, and says how he's recommended to the AFP that they look at Greg Sheridan's ASIO leak in the Australian (remember, the story of how Parkin was going to teach Aussies how to roll marbles under horses' hooves?) and I wonder whatever happened to that investigation.

Mr Carnell came to the following conclusions:

  • (a) ASIO did not have, at the relevant time, information which would have justified recommending against the grant of a visa and took a close interest in Mr Parkin because of information received about his activities once in Australia.
  • (b) There is no evidence or reason to think that ASIO’s security assessment in respect of Mr Parkin was influenced from elsewhere within the Australian Government or by external bodies.
  • (c) The security assessment was based on credible and reliable information and the legislative requirements were met.
  • (d) ASIO did not act improperly in the course of speaking to Mr Parkin about the possibility of an interview with him.


Mr Carnell seems to think that ASIO's assesment methods might be out of date. He closes his report by suggesting that "While application of this 1990 Determination to Mr Parkin’s case did not raise concerns, it is a useful practice to periodically review key guidance documents and refine them in the light of experience and current circumstances." Back around then cameras were still clicking around the Adelaide Irish Club in case anyone was connected to an Irish terrorist, so you can guess that ASIO methodology from that time may be a little out of sync with the current War On Terror. In no way is being a Halliburton protester the slightest bit similar to being an IRA abettor. It seems to me that ASIO might still be assessing according to outmoded and draconian criteria.

Carnell refers to a classified document titled "“Comments on ASIO security assessment in respect of Mr Scott Parkin” and says that paragraph 18 says why details can't be placed in the public domain. He also clears ASIO of being influenced by Halliburton or its proponents, but doesn't say how he reached this conclusion.He says that "Given the appearance of normalcy and the absence of indications even suggestive of outside influence, as well as the firm sworn evidence, it must be concluded that outside influence was not attempted and did not occur." In otherwords, if he can't see that it happened then it didn't happen.

Whitewash.


at 7 Dec 2006 - 10:24pmA 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.

I can imagine part of the conversation:

Dick: So are you out of trouble yet?
Lex: From the Aussie end there's no worries. How many sugars in your tea? Yep, we screwed 'em with the terms of reference and came up smelling like a rose.
Dick: So nobody's worried about Adelaide then ?
Lex: They haven't got a clue. All Halliburton's international aid work being run right under their noses and nobody has a clue. There have been a couple of leftist conspiracy theorsits making a bit of noise, but in a one-newspaper town, and Murdoch in charge, nobody's got a chance of finding out anything. I've got to say, Dick, that when people find out that Halliburton have been laundering their aid figures through the Australian economy it's going to make the AWB mess look like a fart in a baked-bean factory. 
Dicik: Good-o. Now we've gotta organise your reward for pulling this off. It doesn't look like we can give you the IAEA any more, so I was wondering how you'd feel about being Groundskeeper at Camp David? 
Downer: Thanks, but I've already picked up a nice little earner polishing Condi's piano stool.

 


at 12 Dec - 1:18pmMagical Pills, Mysterious Deals, Mobsters And Our MoneyThe blog entry was updated.

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.

The Austrade connection and the fact they had until today celebrated Firepower as a success story on their website is all the more interesting given the Firepower-AWB inquiry link. And there's more in the story to makes you wonder what Downer’s DFAT really does these days.

There are links to trouble with the Russian Mob and relationships with Grigory Luchansky - the man whom successfully sued The Times of London for calling him "the most dangerous non-convicted person in the world" when making allegations of his involvement in money laundering and trade in nuclear material amongst other crimes.

With all these elements we have to agree with Michael Pascoe writing for Crikey:

"…why does this seem to be such a non story to some media outlets? Here’s a dubious-looking outfit (it’s actually not a company in Australia in the usual meaning of the word) that’s become remarkably high-profile by emerging almost overnight as one of the nation’s biggest sponsors of sport, that’s enlisting various jocks to spruik its unproven products, that’s picked up nearly $400,000 from the tax payer, that claims the support of a state premier and a prime minister – and it’s largely unreported. "

So today we set out the basics of this story for all those Webdiary readers who want to play catch up and try to make some sense out of the machinations of the men with the magic mystery pill.

As far as we can make out the story begins in June 1999, when Perth businessman Tim Johnston, believing he has something to sell that will make him a big star of the business world, sends off the forms to ASIC to register a company – Bigstar Nominees Pty Ltd.

A couple of years and name changes later, Johnston’s companies are trading as TLC Engine Care System Pty Ltd and TPS Group Pty Ltd. Johnston jets off to one of the lands of big opportunity in 2001 and from an Indian industry news outlet we learn that what he had to sell was a magic pill - the PowerMax pill - described as being to your vehicle what Viagra is to mankind:

"PowerMax, the brown pill to enter the pollution control equipment market, enhances the performance of your engine and keeps the fuel going for many an extra mile. And like the blue wonderdrug that revolutionised male healthcare across the world, PowerMax promises a major breakthrough to a cheaper, cleaner transport system and thus a purer world. "

Mysteriously, given the claimed potency of the PowerMax product, Tim Johnston and his team don’t seem to make the most of their "major breakthrough" for the first few years of the naughties. You'd expect they would've, particularly given that PowerMax was, at least according to Tim Johnston and TLC, developed in Australia "with the assistance of the Shell Motoring Company". But you'll find there’s not much news out there about PowerMax bringing about a "purer world" as promised. No news, in fact.

However, fast forward a few years and we find TLC Engine Care System Pty Ltd has had a makeover. Tim Johnston's little Perth-based start-up has metamorphosed into Firepower Oceania Pty Ltd, just one part of the Virgin Islands registered Firepower Group.

The PowerMax pill is now the Firepower pill (though strangely the company in its current manifestation doesn't refer to PowerMax or the assistance from Shell in its development on its information-lite website) and in September 2005, Tim Johnston, as chairman and CEO of Firepower Group, turns up in Pakistan at a meeting with the Minister for Environment, Major (Ret) Tahir Iqbal. That meeting must have gone well. Iqbal announces that Firepower Group intends to invest US$35 million over a period of 5-7 years in a manufacturing and blending facility in Pakistan. Through this facility, a 'Petroleum additive' or 'Fuel Conditioner' which is being "successfully utilised in 53 countries worldwide" would be introduced in Pakistan as well, Iqbal said. [Whoever can find that Firepower funded facility in Pakistan first wins a prize, and while you’re searching for it please see if you can turn up OBL’s hidey hole 'cause that's worth a bit too.]

From the reports of Pakistani investment we learn that for some reason Firepower can sell a heap of its magical product (in 53 countries worldwide) but you can't find that product in most parts of our own. The magic pills are sold domestically in only a few dozen outlets in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, plus a marine supply shop in Hobart. It's peculiar that despite the Firepower logos worn by the Rabbitohs not one shop in NSW stocks their stuff. And Tonga's rugby squad will travel to England and (hopefully) France to compete in this year's Rugby World Cup emblazoned with the Firepower logo, but is there an outlet selling the magic pills in Tonga? Nup.

Actually, you have to wonder how much of Firepower's stuff is sold internationally at all. They proudly claim the handful of little Aussie distribution outlets, but list none in overseas locations. And when their CEO spoke to the media yesterday he said, "What you are failing to understand is that whilst Australia is an important market for us, 99 per cent of our business will be done overseas." Will be done? Does that mean it's more of a statement of intended future business than a description of the business they've been doing?

And if you think that's all a bit strange then consider another Firepower claim, relayed by the Pakistani Environment Minister, that the magic pill has "enormous benefits" including the ability to reduce harmful exhaust emission by up to 70 percent and that the magic pill "has already been extensively tested and is being by used by industry, power, railways, agriculture sector world wide and in the armed forces of Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia". It’s a strange thing because the ADF and our Department of Defence deny ever buying the Firepower pill, but we’ll come back to this a little later.

First let’s look at how fantastic business was for Firepower last year, a very successful year for the firm according to (and thanks to) Austrade. Firepower did a big deal or two in Russia. First it signed a multimillion deal with the Russia's largest coal producer, Kuzbassrazrezugol. Then, as revealed at the Australia Week in Moscow trade show, it signed a joint venture with the aforementioned Grigory Luchansky.

Indeed business with Kuzbassrazrezugol, owned by the mega-rich Iskander Makhmudov and Andrei Bokarev, was so good for Firepower last year that Tim Johnston received death threats. These death threats, suspected of coming from one band of Bratva or other, may or may not have been motivated by anything to do with connections between Makhmudov, Bokarev and Boris Yeltsin’s "Family", but one thing we do know is that they motivated the Australian embassy in Moscow to organise four bodyguards from Russia's special forces unit to accompany Mr Johnston during the trade show.

Personal protection wasn’t the only help provided to Tim Johnston and his successful Firepower firm by Austrade. As reported by Gerard Ryle, one of the deals set up through Austrade was to have a Firepower product – a fuel system cleaning machine - manufactured in Romania under an arrangement with British arms dealer, BAE Systems. With respect to this deal Ryle writes that:

"The Herald understands that BAE Systems assisted in the manufacture of the machines to satisfy what is known as an ‘offset agreement’ with the Romanian Government. Offset agreements are common practice in large international arms deals. They require a supplier to direct some benefits - usually work or technology - back to the purchaser as a condition of the sale. While the Herald does not suggest that the deal involving Firepower's products was anything other than a normal business transaction, allegations concerning some of BAE Systems' dealings in Romania and four other countries are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office in Britain. The company did not respond to a Herald request for comment. "

Given the description of these arrangements as normal business transactions you may wonder how many other ‘offset agreements’ Austrade assists, but that is just one of many things to ponder as the Firepower story unfolds.

Yesterday the man Firepower appointed as its new CEO (a nice coincidence that followed his timely departure from Austrade) could not produce any results proving the ‘enormous benefits’ other than mentioning how much more mileage he makes in his Maserati. As Michael West reports, John Finnin was "unable to furnish any proof of Firepower's technology, any scientific work or even put on show the revolutionary pill itself".

One of the most bizarre aspects of Finnin's response to questions about Firepower's remarkable product was his revealing that it hasn't been patented. Finnin says that the pill contains intellectual property rights "we are simply not willing to divulge." You have to wonder if Firepower is being a bit overcautious about chemical analysis. Finnin says the Firepower product is like Coca-Cola. Maybe it is Coca-Cola?

And Finnin has other, more interesting, questions to face. As Mark Hawthorne reports in The Age today: "No matter which way John Finnin turns, the former Austrade deputy consul-general is in the firing line." You see Finnin is named in a document provided to the Cole inquiry, which revealed that, in his role as Austrade's director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, he met the owners of the ‘Jordanian’ (read Iraqi) trucking company Alia in September 2003.

But putting aside Finnin’s pre-Firepower activities a list of questions about this business compete for focus.

First, what's with this magic product? Why does it seem they sell it everywhere but here? Why is it not patented?

Where does Firepower really get its money from? We know it got nearly $400,000 in “export grants” from us, the taxpayers, but where does it get the millions it can pour into sports team sponsorships here and its various overseas projects like the $35 million Pakistani manufacturing plant? Is it all from the deal with one of Russia's richest?

Where does Firepower’s money go? We know it isn’t going into scientific testing to prove the power of its the magical pill and other products, we know some of it goes back to Austrade in sponsorship, and we know some of it is now being splashed around on sports teams, but what about the rest? Who are the investors?

And the biggest question of all: What does the future hold for Firepower, its magic pills and mysterious deals, and will our money be used again to support it?

 

Next stop, Romania.

 


at 21 Jan 2007 - 4:57amBehind The Firepower Inner Circle.... Dick Cheney?

Crikey's Michael Pascoe has had a look at Firepower's substantiative documentation and found it, shall we say, lacking a little.

Instead of the stack of documents 30 centimetres thick indicated by CEO John Finnin, it was a much thinner file and most of it was irrelevant.

The promised tests by DEKRA and San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute weren’t about fuel efficiency and emissions, just showing Firepower’s additives didn’t change the fuel’s ratings, i.e. fuel with the additive still met engine specifications.

Which left three making fuel efficiency claims. Firepower would only allow the documents to be sighted, not copied or taken away. (Apparently Firepower is concerned that its competitors would copy the documents and change the name to their own – that’s the sort of business this magic fuel pill is.)

Meanwhile, over at the SMH Gerard Ryle has, apart from finding out the same stuff as Crikey, been doing some digging into that George Teleman bloke I mentioned two weeks back. It turns out that Teleman did more than act on Equest's behalf to set up Firepower's Romanian deals. He was, in fact, the 90% owner of Firepower Romania, the other 10% owned from Australia. He was also, Ryle learned from the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, a close relative of a couple of Ceaucescus.

Teleman also was a financial consultant to Regal, the company headed by the German Halliburton (now Firepower) chiefl Regal, Halliburton and Timmin's (the bloke who was putting Australian money into Regal) Canadian company failed to get control of the privatisation of Romanian petroleum.

Given the level of nepotism at play here you have to wonder at how high a level this activity is being co-ordinated. It now appears likely that the Halliburton chief was also acting as a "front". If so Note could be acting for other powers than the Russian mob. So could Tinnis. The fact that after such chessmanship these gentlemen became the head honchos of Firepower suggests to me that there has been a stageplay under way.

The name Dick Cheney springs to mind .

If,as the Russians thought, Regal was funding the sabotage of the the gas pipeline to Romania, now apparently an opening move in a Halliburton-partnered national takeover, then you're probably looking at a blatant example of Cheney manipulating local resources to maximise his profits.

Would such a code of ethics have been applied to Australia? Perhaps somebody should ask Cheney when he comes to Australia in a couple of weeks to discuss Asian security and the War On Terror.
at 31 Jan 2007 - 11:25pm

Lord Halliburton Claims Australia.

Having absorbed the links between Halliburton and the attempted sabotage and takeover of the Romanian petroleum industry, let's celebrate the announcement of the Lord Of Halliburton, Vice President Cheney's visit to Australia with a look back..

The last time the US Vice President came to Australia was as the Leader Of Halliburton. Fresh from a stint as "Secretary of Defense" in which he'd outsourced a lot of military work to the private sector, Cheney was extending his scheming into the rest of the world. In the parlance that considers resources as something not yet turned into cash, there were many opportunities in Australia for "monetisation".

Getting access to defence work was easy, especially after the Australian head of his company was commissioned to reconfigure the local defence procurement system. Malcolm Kinnaird was the head of an Adelaide engineering firm, Kinhill, which Cheney acquired and turned into a wholly US owned subsidiary. The Adelaide office became not only the Asia-Pacific headquarters but also Global Headquarters for Infrastructure. While Kinnaird faded as the public face of the company, the Kinnaird Report was followed by Halliburton gaining no-bid contracts a-plenty. Cheney's Men "won" jobs providing everything from naval internet security to helicopter pilot training. When Australia announced it was building a contriubition to the US Misssile shield, a suddenly-former Halliburton Global Vice President was given control of the dockyard in which the ships are to be constructed. The dockyard is just downstream from the cement factory on whose board Malcom Kinnaird has spend a few years, and is a couple of miles, as the crow flies, from the Yacht Club where Kinnaird has manned the helm as Commodore. It seems that Kinnaird was not the Ship's Captain he pretended to be.

Then again, on his watch the State Premier allowed Halliburton's proposal to run Adelaide's water supply to be tendered hours after the others, then gave them the job. That State Premier is now Australia's consul general to New York. He shares apartments with Australia's ambassador to the UN, former Defence Minister and fellow South Australian Robert Hill. Hill once proclaimed on national television that Australia was safeguarded from companies like Halliburton by "the culture of the Australian beauraucracy".

Halliburton have proposed that a 100 kilometre diameter levee (with townhouses and a marina) be built in the middle of the country's largest expanse of fresh water, South Australia's Lake Alexandrina. The concept has had as its local champion the current SA Premier Mike Rann. Mr Rann has declared the state to be in a water crisis, while the engineer who introduced the lake plan has been building a nut farm on the banks of SA's main water supply, the River Murray. The farm was constructed as an opportunity for overseas investors. Halliburton have also built a desalination plant on Kangaroo Island, on which the State's original capital was abandoned due to lack of adequate water supply.

Officially the current Federal Government have only been supporting a large scale nuclear industry for around a year. When Halliburton built the railway from Adelaide to Darwin nothing was mentioned about carting uranium and nuclear waste. Years later the company would blame losses in incurred on the investment on mining delays and holdups in rebuilding the country's topmost port in Darwin.At the time, however, the bands and flag-waving heralded a new era in Australian tourism and trade. While Halliburton were calculating statistics for nuclear waste dumps they were building tracks for the third of the world's uranium that one South Australian mine holds to be sent to Darwin, and on to the rest of the world, while imported nuclear waste is cargo for the return journey. Halliburton has control of the railway for close to the next fifty years.

There was nothing in the Australian press, either as Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar took the inaugural ride north, of the massive oilfield reconstruction contracts he'd won in Iraq. This after all, was a celebration for Australia.

The railway turned out to be a godsend to increases in South Australian defence. Because transverse-Australia military rail transport was now an option, a training base was tripled in size and a new battalion was scheduled to move to the city. Adelaide also became a southern hemispheric command centre for Missile Shied radar monitoring, the necessary internet cable layout being disguised in the press as a boon for education facilities.

In the meantime the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were pretending that Halliburton were a local company. Halliburton were championed by DFAT spin doctors as local boys made good in gaiing aid contracts. The same department dog-wagger was the protagonist for print propaganda supporting local Missile Shield Warship construction... from behind the desk of Rupert Murdoch's very first (and still owned) newspaper.

As the Occupation of Iraq passed it's third ammoversary, Australian Prime Minister Howard made a surprise visit to Iraq to promise a prominent Australian role in aid for Iraq. During the same week Halliburton was advertising for someone to head their international aid efforts... from Adelaide.

In spite of attempted separation of the local view of Halliburton from that of the rest of the world, it will still be Cheney's company getting more non-US-taxable profit from Iraq. How much money has been concealed from the eyes of Congress by this method of international aid fund laundering will not be clear until the Prime Minister announces future Australian aid work in Iraq. Surely Vice President Cheney's visit won't be used for such a spin? It should also be noted that Ausaid, who are Foreign Affairs' aid-administering arm, admitted last year that they have no system in place to report corruption.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, became President George W. Bush's proposed candidate for Director-Generalship of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Information Technology seems to have been easy. The head of the South Australian IT Council once told me that the tendering process for local contracts was weighted so that only companies such as Halliburton could win them. Eventually he won- late last year the State Government announced that the procedures had been changed to give local IT a chance. This could be interpreted as a State Government warning to the company that times were changing.

Conversely the urge of the Federal Government to appease Cheney is so great that when a protest organiser who had caused a lot of anti-Halliburton publicity in the US was discovered on Australian soil he was arrested and kicked out, no explanation being made available. Currently our spy agency is appealing a Federal Court decision that Scott Parkin learn why he was deported. ASIO has only today admitted it was wrong in its classification of one of Parkin's co-plaintiffs

In Canberra, Halliburton are in charge of the roadworks. In Sydney, amongst other things, they carry out naval contracts. In Melbourne they build the infrastructure for the Australian Grand Prix. In Adelaide they do the lot!

They also co-ordinate small business contracting for the Australian end of the Joint Strike Fighter project.

Mr Cheney will also be visiting US troops in Guam, who are currently using Northern Australia for long-range target practice.

All of this activity seems to have been iniated on Cheney's last visit Down Under. It makes you wonder what's going to happen after the next one. He says he's coming to discuss Asian security and the War On Terror. No doubt he will be inspecting the success of his private sector Australian army who, it would seem, are going to be busier than ever over the next few years.


 

 


By Richard Tonkin at 1 Feb 2007 - 1:30amEPILOGUE

To me it was ironic that Paul Starick was filing this story just as I was posting the above blog

--------------------------------------------------------

31/1/07

MORE than $1 billion worth of infrastructure works are in progress in the Port Adelaide region ahead of a defence and housing boom.

Freight links in the city's north-west are being upgraded, with bipartisan support, as the Port is about to be transformed by the $1.5 billion Newport Quays inner harbour redevelopment and the $6 billion air warfare destroyer contract.

Long-awaited $178 million opening road and rail bridges over the Port River are expected to be finished this year.

The road bridge, which connects the $90 million Port River Expressway with Victoria Rd, will achieve the longstanding ambition of diverting trucks from the Port Centre.

Both bridges will open for shipping with the road span expected to be finished by the end of the year and the rail link by the middle of the year.

The rail bridge connects with the Le Fevre Peninsula rail corridor, which is being upgraded to dual track as part of a $24 million program.

This will link with the container terminal and $100 million Outer Harbor grain terminal, operated by ABB Grain, which is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

A dredging of Outer Harbor's channel was finished last year, extending it from 9km to 11.7km and deepening the channel by 2m to 14.2m. The $45 million project was jointly funded by the State Government and Flinders Ports.

A $24 million marina is being built at Largs North, which will house the Port Adelaide Sailing Club - relocated from the inner harbour.

The joint state / federal Northern Expressway, expected to cost $550 million, will link with the Port River Expressway via Port Wakefield Rd.

The air warfare destroyer construction, based at Osborne's ASC, is an important driver of the freight link upgrades. As part of the deal to secure the contract, the State Government will spend $243 million on a defence precinct for subcontractors and others involved in the destroyer construction.

 

KBR's "Twin Lakes" Revived Under Water Federalisation

As the likelihood of a Federalised Murray-Darling river system increases,A previously abandoned water saving plan has been revived.

Rejected by the SA Rann Government for "political reasons" a $5 million feasibility study for a Twin Lakes water system now looks likely to go ahead under Federal Government stewardship.

KBR, written up in today's Advertiser as a "natural resources management group" have been conferring with Federal Water Minister Turnbull about the project.

Initially touted as being capable of creating a water flow that would keep the Murray Mouth open, the plan would separate Lake Alexandrina into an inner satwater lake with a freshwater perimeter. KBR estimates saving 100 gigalitres of water annually due to reduced evaporation in Australia's largest lake.

While presenting the idea to local groups, KBR engineer Tony Read suggested that the project should be a Public Private Parntership.

Inquiries about the project to the local council were initially being fielded personally by Premier Rann.

Another KBR project by the same engineer, a hazelnut farm further up the Murray that would involve the company installing a water pumping station on the Murray, was delayed due to overseas investors withdrawing their funding because of "foreign policy issues".

KBR last week lost nearly $20 million US dollars it had attempted to charge the US Government for payments to armed security guards in Iraq.

The company, formerly controlled by US Vice President Dick Cheney is currently facing US Senate investigatins for alleged "war profiteering" during the US-led occupation of the country.

Mr Cheney will be visiting Australia in two weeks. His last visit was as CEO of KBR's parent company Halliburton

at 10 Feb 2007 - 7:27pmA Letter To Dick Cheney

 

a letter to dick cheney .....

Look, mate, you've done well enough out of Australia already. You've set up business processes where massive amounts of work have been denied to Australian interests in favour of your pet corporation Halliburton/KBR. Admit it- as CEO of a company you got them ready to make profits from a war that you helped orchestrate. Now there's talk you want more Australian troops as well.

Why were you given so much power? The combined influentual powers of high ranking in government and commerce are too dangerous to be allowed in public life. At any rate, none of your staggering level of influence was given to you by the Australian public.

I hope there are thousands of people waiting to greet you in Sydney on Thursday. I hope that everywhere you go American news cameras will see the displeasure of the Australian people at your presence here. When the US public sees that they're not alone in their dislike of you, it's going to hurt your polling. It's not going to do much for Prime Minister Howard either.

Anyway, I digress. In Australia you got a railway, defence contracts, aid contracts, water contracts... and who knows what besides... not a bad hand of cards. Not as much work as in Iraq no doubt, but if finally manage to globalise the war there will probably be plenty of repair work here too.

Personally I think you're despicable, Dick. You're working for your own power, and you don't care if people die for your cause. The fact that our Government is kissing your arse makes me nauseous.

People in Australia are wising up to you, Dick. I suggest that you bugger off as quickly as possible.

Yours Sincerely and With Much Venom.


at 20 Feb 2007 - 7:21pm | 

 

 

Woomera Reactor- Advertiser Letter Self-Reprint 28/2/07

Reading about the proposal for a South Australian-based nuclear reactor reminded me of another story.

Last May, a report stated that a professor had been hired by an unnamed consortium, which had intentions of building a reactor at Woomera.

Of all the places in a state to build a reactor, you would consider Woomera to be the most likely. Not only is it close to fuel supply but also a stone's throw from the launch pad.

Of the few places in the world from which experiments with nuclear powered spacecraft could be conducted, Woomera would no doubt have the best "amenities" for the task, once a reactor to convert uranium ore to "space fuel" arrived.

In both stories, the State Government rejected the possibility of an SA reactor.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has stated that there are no plans to allow such a construction.

However, it now appears that commercial endeavours to creat a nuclear facility have been going on for sometime.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

On the day that this was published, the Advertiser's front page announced that a reactor was planned for Port Augusta, primarily to power the uranium mine.

I'm amused by the fact that the same journal had published Professor Leslie's revelation that he was working on the Woomera gig in May last year was omitted, as was my questioning if the two projects were the one and the same. Space constraints aside,you'd have that thought that an available substantiative reference would have added credibility to the concept.

We need to spend a lot more time on Woomera.. if Arthur C. Clarke could comprehend and publish stories based on its global signifigance as far back as 1947 surely many are busy getting the space push underway. Ostensibly the SA Regime Change has been to secure the uranium, but let's not forget the interplanetary crown jewel just up the road. Clarke assumed, "naturally" for the time, that given Britain's control of Woomera and hence extraterrestrial transport launches that this country would eventually become the world's superpower. Prince Charles as Galactic Overlord.. perish the thought,

Woomera is due to host trials for a NASA space shuttle replacement soon... I wonder if it will run on uranium?


at 1 Mar 2007 - 9:21pm

 

 

Today, Woomera. Tomorrrow...? How do you feel about the idea that the new work at Spaceport Woomera isn't really about the conquest of space, but actually the control of other nations? What if South Australia is set to become a base from which the US could deploy troops to anywhere in the world? It may sound a little like the plot for Capricorn One, but for one man such an idea is far from impossible to achieve. He's tried something similar before and failed. His name is Richard Cheney.

The first time I went to Woomera, on behalf of the South Australian Outback Areas Cultural Development Trust, was to play at a folk concert organised by a US Air Force bloke with a few buttons on his shoulder . Unfortunately what "Thad" had going against him was Darts Night, a regular and sacred local event. As missiles struck the walls of every bar in town, we played jigs and reels to five people in the otherwise empty theatre .The next day I had the opportunity to walk inside a Starlifter before it took off. I don't know if you've seen one of the things but it's a hulking plane that can take off on a very short runway. "Thad," explained how these were what ferried stuff between the Aussie Outback and the US of A. No doubt such planes will be comparitively like a horse and buggy when compared to the next generation of hypersonic planes. New aircraft are anticipated to make the trip from Washington to Australia in two hours !

Returning to the town of space odyssies in 2001, to me it seemed pretty well empty. Even the transportable homes that had housed so many in the area's more active days had long been sold, and the empty lanes on which these used to dwell made you feel that the town's history was completed.

The atomically minded Brits were ghosts, as were the missile launching Yanks and their dart-throwing Australian support personnel. . It looked like a sorry end to a significant history. It was sad to me, especially considering how globally important the place had once been considered.

The science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke, who also worked out the concept of placing satellites in geosynchronous orbit, had figured that Britain would be the greatest superpower of the world because of it's control of the Australian rocket range. Clarke reasoned that whoever controlled the best spaceport in the world would control space, and by default achieve planetary supremacy on Earth.

Now, as the possible replacements for the space shuttle are about to be trialled at Spaceport Woomera, I wonder what's about to happen in our outback, if it's not already. President Bush's announcement of efforts to travel to Mars on January 14 2004 included a mandate that the space shuttles were to be grounded after the assembly of the international space station. . A 2004 US Senate hearing into the matter was told that "After that, NASA must decide whether it will develop a new heavy-lift expendable rocket, convert the Shuttle (which is a heavy-lift vehicle) into a configuration designed to carry only cargo, or use or modify existing expendable launch vehicles, which are not capable of launching the heaviest loads. The vision also calls for NASA to develop a new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to carry humans back to the Moon as early as 2015. 

It all sounds like a noble endeavour. Am I being too cynical in wondering if this new slant on the space program is merely a disguise for testing new military technology?

Australia, according to the Attorney general's Department, deems that to " launch a space object means launch the object into an area beyond the distance of 100 km above mean sea level, or attempt to do so." In creating this demarcation, this country has defined what is air space and what is outer space. Given that outer space isn't owned by any nation, we now have a border that sets our territory apart from thes new "international waters" on which the ships we launch will sail.

Soon a new craft will begin its maiden voyages. One the shuttle's potential replacements, proposed by private corporation Rocketplane Kistler, is due to be tested from Woomera over the next few years. The Kistler K-1 is a two-stage vehicle designed for full reusability. It is 121 feet (36.9 m) in overall length, 22 feet (6.7 m) in diameter and weighs 841,000 pounds (382,300 kg) at liftoff. and is designed to be reused 100 times. Rocketplane-Kistler is a partnership that includes Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grunman, two companies who are already bringing their technologies to South Australia to participate in the warship construction.

Kistler's plan's for Woomera aren't as new as they sound in the NASA announcements. It was noted in the 1998 memorandum on the Australian Space Activities Bill that the company's subsidiary Kistler Woomera Pty Ltd had applied to build a facility. It appears that taking the project to the defence giants has given the scheme the firepower it needed to become attractive to NASA.

It's noted in the document linked above (circulated by the same Senator Nick Minchin who is currently showing of a possible model for the new warships at Port Adelaide) that Kistler at that time were expected to be the first to utilise the legislation. This makes you wonder who had the Prime Minister's ear in order to get the legalities sorted out so quickly. Given the amount of momentum development in South Australia was given by Dick Cheney's visit to Australia in 1997, it would be unsurprising if the aspiring US Vice President had a word in John Howard's ear.

What I'm now beginning to believe is that experiments that Rocketplane -Kistler are carrying out are maybe not just to carry staff and supplies to one space station. I'm thinking more about a US Military ability to put American troops anywhere in the world as soon as Cheney snaps his fingers.

Cheney is a fan of using air-dropped Marines in operations, to the point that he reportedly attempted to bypass the US Military to implement a scheme to invade Baghdad usang airborne Marines. Retired US Army Colonel Lloyd J. Matthews wrote in the March 1996 issue of ARMY Magazine that: "In late October 1990, as Central Command in Saudi Arabia was urgently laying plans for operation Desert Storm to evict the Iraqi Republican Guard from Kuwait, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney in Washington grew restive and hatched plans of his own. Deciding to come up with 'something bolder" in the way of an offensive plan, he had personnel on the Joint Staff formalise his ideas and then actually pitched them to President Bush before they were ever revealed to General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander on the ground responsible for planning and implementing the operation. Cheney's plan: drop the 82nd airborne division on top of misile-command sites near the far-western edge of Iraq, then have the Division link up with elements of the 101st Air Assault Division and 3rd Armored Cavalry Division and then hightail it eastward to threaten Baghdad. As General Schwarzkopf pointed out to JCS Chairman Colin Powell, Cheney's plan was logistically flawed and subsequently derailed"

In the late 1990's Cheney was yet to return to the White House to have another go at seizing Baghdad and providing security of future US oil supply. As he travelled to Australia in '97 as CEO of Halliburton, and while the new Howard Government was working out the legalities so that the Kistler project could proceed, Cheney possessed the ability to provide levels of security for the facility capable of providing success for his previously failed invasion. Cheney acquired the Australian enginerring company Kinhill as a template for Halliburton Australia, and created a prominent international headquarters for in the nearest substantial city to the spaceport, the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Cheney's Crew were given control of Adelaide's water supply. They were responsible for the creation of a railway that linked the country to the world via the Outback, They created development plans for SA suburbs and country towns and the roads that link them. A Halliburton chief, who sat on the State's Economic Development Board, was placed in charge of the smaller contractors for warships that would be compatible with the US Missile Shield, of which an important radar detection system was installed The locale became internationally prominent as a defence hub, envisaged to be a technological twin of the Bush home city of Austin Texas. B-2 bombers from Guam began to overfly the Outback on mission practices, and facilities for training US soldiers and equipment through "Joint training" were enhanced. A desalination plant that be capable, using Halliburton technology, of a gauranteed Woomera water supply has just been announced.

I've just finished reading a piece in Popular Science discussing the use of new jet technology to launch US Marines to anywhere in the world. Using such technology would allow, for example, US soldiers based in Australia to be on the doorsteps of Tehran in just a few hours of travel. While implementation of such activity is still far away, the required technologies are coming along nicely, and much of the relevant experimentation is being carried out Down Under.

Speaking at an Australian conference on hypersonic transport last year Retired Major General Robert Dickman, the US Air Force's Deputy Undersecretary for Military Space, , explained why Woomera is so useful for the US military as a Scramjet test centre. "Of course," he said, "the downside from testing from the Cape [Canaveral] or any other ocean based testing range is that it's very hard to recover things that don't work to determine the problem, or things that do work to see how well they operated and how close they might have been to failure." He added that our "From a United States perspective we'll do much of our work at home, but, as we've learned, Woomera is a great place to test. The costs are low enough that an expermenter or demonstrator can accept that not every flight must be a success- and we can recover the hardware."

Dickman also said on his Australian vist that "Propulsion, of course, brings a whole separate set of unanswered questions. Turbine technology can probably get to Mach 4, Ram/Scramjets to somewhere above Mach 6. Beyond that,the question is where hydrocarbon fuelled scramjets will top out- Mach 8, or maybe Mach 10. What's the limit for Hydrogen fuelled scramjets? Is a combined cycle system the future for space access ? "

Until the scramjet technology becomes feasible the already existing technology will have to suffice. If Cheney had planned to use Kistler-style rockets to carry attacking troops to a hotspot in the '90s, he'll be able to "make do" in this early stage of the New American Century. In the meantime both the old and new technologies have a home in which to hone their rough edges.

This year marks Woomera's 60th birthday. As past t residents, many of them former representatives of the US and UK Governments, return there to reminisce, they could well be gathering at place that will one day be remembered as the womb of an interplanetary human civilisation. The visions of the great cultural inventors Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein have the potential to be enated within the next few years, as the rapid advances in computer, biological and nanotech technology enable us to leap into the universe.

Alternatively, Woomera and South Australia could become globally detested as the place from which one nations military might could inflict hand-to-hand Shock and Awe in any region of the world at a moment's notice.

To use the old cliche that "the choice is ours" would be meaningless. In dedicating technology to war or peace, the choice belongs to Dick Cheney
at 8 Mar 2007 - 1:31pm

 

 

From the Mouths Of The Masters- AWDs 'n' Missile Shields."In December 2003, Australia announced its decision to participate in the U.S. Missile Defense program. Subsequently, the U.S. and Australia signed in July 2004, a Framework Memorandum of Understanding on Missile Defense Cooperation, and a Research & Development MoU was signed in October 2005. Three specific cooperative projects -- involving the Over-the-Horizon Radar, modeling and simulation, and fusion and tracking technologies -- are currently under discussion. On August 16, 2005, Canberra announced it had chosen the U.S. firm Gibbs and Cox as the preferred designer for their navy's air warfare destroyers worth up to $6Billion Australian Dollars. Three vessels are currently funded, with the first scheduled to be operational in 2013. Each will be equipped with AEGIS sensors and will be interoperable with the military forces of the United States and with those of other future coalition partners. Although Australia may not currently see a ballistic missile threat to its territory, its purpose for pursuing bilateral U.S.-Australia Missile Defense cooperation is based on maintaining a close alliance relationship with the United States and providing Australian industry with an opportunity for industrial cooperation and technology transfer."

- Paula A. DeSutter, Assistant Secretary for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
Remarks at the National Defense University Foundation Congressional Breakfast Seminar Series
Washington, DC
April 4, 2006

[As prepared]

Available here
http://www.state.gov/t/vci/rls/rm/64126.htm

 

 

 

 

Aid For Who?

The cost of cancelling Iraq's debts to Australia has been paid from Australia's foreign aid budget, a new report has claimed.

The report also claims that $1 billion of Australia's aid budget is not used to alleviate poverty. It also states that funding of Federal Police salaries in the Solomons and construction of Pacific detention centres was included in our aid budget.

The Aid Watch document claims that 95% of the $A661 million debt was for wheat purchases from Australia. Aid Watch writes that "Australia decision to cancel this debt was part of an agreement made in 2004 by the international group of rich nations called the Paris Club and was based on the premise that it would increase Iraq's economic prospects."

"This paper trail indicates that the sale of Iraqi bound wheat bolstered the coffers of Australia's wheat producers with little long-term developmental benifit to the people of Iraq" the report claims, adding that over half of the cancelled debt was for interest accrued on the principal sum.

And now here's the bit that tweaked my nerve endings. Apparently construction contracts worth less than six million dollars are awarded without tender. Remember last year when KBR advertised for an international aid director to be "preferably based in Adelaide?" KBR Australia satisfies Ausaid's requirements that contracts go to an Australian company, even though it is a wholly US-owned subsidiary. How many of these contracts have been given to the Halliburton subsidiary (as it was) to the exclusion of truly Australian businesses? How much construction work in Iraq is being carried out by KBR Australia, by workers from Texas?

Australia's Infrastructure for Growth program has a budget of $505 million over five years. Pretty close to the value of the cancelled wheat debt, it seems to me. Much of the planning for this program would no doubt have been carried out at Halliburton/KBR's Infrastructure Division Global Headquarters in Adelaide. In 2006 Ausaid awarded KBR fifteen million dollars worth of contracts.

The Aid Watch report cites KBR's involvement in the Australian aid program as an example of "enormous structural flaws" in subjecting aid monies to large private companies," adding that "the potential for conflict of interest is manifest unless the current lack of scrutiny for Australian aid projects is redressed."

Ausaid officials admitted last year that the organisation had no protocols for dealing with allegations of corruption. Are you surprised?

And the detention centres we paid for? Thanks to a new prisoner transfer agreement between Australia and the US, we're going to fill them with the U.S.' unwanted refugees.

The Aid Watch Report is availabe for download here.

MAY 2014: 

Who Paid The Fifty Grand For The US Congressman To Visit Adelaide?

It's amazing how much stuff that's unremarked on in Australia (let alone Adelaide) can be found by googling "defenSe" and not by our own spelling.  I can't find local reporting of a US Congressman serving on the Armed Services Committee visiting Adelaide last February, but the jaunt has raised eyebrows "back home".  It was written up in the Washington Examiner as "the most expensive privately funded trip on record".

On what was (across the dateline) Valentine's Day in the US, Congressman Mike McIntyre and his wife arrived in South Australia for a week-long vist.  The trip was paid for by South Australia's Defence Teaming Centre, an industry organisation that liases with the State Government run defence department DefenceSA.  DefenceSA is run by Mr Andrew Fletcher, who served as Halliburton's Global Vice President for Infrastructure during the early Iraq war years.

US research site Legistorm reports that the couple visited Adelaide between February 15th and 22nd, and that McIntyre "attended defense related briefings, met with officials within the defense industry".  The reported cost of the visit is $49,635 and six cents.

When asked by the US's ABC about the trip, McIntyre explained "This trip was not at taxoayer expensel  The House Ethics Committee specifically approved the purpose of this trip which was to address America's alliances in the Pacific".    

South Australia proudly proclaims itself as "The Defence State', and local submarine and warship construction are led by major international players,Raytheon and BAE, with assistance from facilities built by KBR.  Lockheed-Martin are assisting local defence investors participate in the Joint Strike Fighter Project.

The State also hosts over one third of the world's kknown uranium, and final exploration of the Great Australian Bight's energy reserves is about to begin.  The planned site of an associated oil and gas port plant, slightly downstream from the naval construction facilities is currently the centre of a land purchase scandal, having been sold by the State Government and set aside for such purpose without the normal processes of public tender.

US President Barack Obama, on hearing of McIntyre's announcement in January that he was retiring from politics, said that "Mike McIntyre has been a strong advocate for our men and women in uniform."

The main question I have is as to where the "not-for-profit" Defence Teaming Centre found the fifty thousand to fund the trip?  I can't help wondering that visit to such a supposedly insignifigant place was the US Defense Giants' idea of a thankyou-and-farewell present.  Would you be surprised?

Sources:

http://www.legistorm.com/trip/list/by/approver/id/365/name/Rep_Mike_McIn...

http://www.wwaytv3.com/2014/05/13/rep-mcintyre-takes-50000-trip-to-austr...

http://www.wral.com/congressman-mike-mcintyre-to-retire/13282662/

http://washingtonexaminer.com/private-sponsors-paid-1.51-million-for-con...

 

SA Govt hires Ad-men to turn Adelaide into a US Naval hub.
    You wouldn't say it a "nice" feeling to see proof of what you've suspecting for nine years, but it does bring a sense of vindication.  Since 2005 I've worried that Adelaide was being turned into a U.S. Navy refurbishment facility.  Late last year the South Australian Government hired a Nashville based PR firm in order for such a thing to happen.

Just over a week ago Palmer Gibb published on blogsite The Sunlight Foundation of how Adelaide spent (at the end of 2013) over two hundred thousand dollars on hiring PR firm Fletcher Rowley on its behalf.  The comany's brief is explained its mandatory US filings as a "Foreign Agent":

Specific tasks covered by this agreement will related broadly to the representation of the interests of Defence SA in the United States and specifically to the encouragement of the U.S. Navy to utilize Techport for voyage repairs.

Here's how I wrote of such ideas in 2006.  Ok the timespan was a bit short, but what do I know?

 It's 2016, a decade after the 6/6/06 commencement of The Armageddon Conflict.  Australia is at war.  Naval vessels, able to stay at sea and away from the Antichrist's terrorists  under technological stealth cloaks are occassionally forced, while trudging between the various global "fronts"  to sail into ports for replenishments, refurbishment of armamentaria and some time off for the sailors.   The boys and girls of Halliburton have every need in readiness to get the job done before there's time to become a missile target.:

As the ships approach the Port of Adelaide, the support system swings into action as Halliburton's program co-ordinates local activity into providing the ship with the quickest return to sea that is humanly possible to provide.  Old tanks are sent to the factory while refurbished vehicles, comlplete with fresh crew desert-ready guarding the uranium mines, the Adelaide-Darwin railway and the Papua-Adelaide gas pipes are loaded on board, and local water, stored in the specially built sub-city aquifers (piped from the extraterrestrially-refilled Artesian Basin) [NB we didn't have a desal plant when this was written] and produce are speedily transferred to naval supplies Refurbished missiles and the extra-effective depleted uranium ammuntion are restocked, and when the sailors have replenished themselves in the local bars and brothels another nautical Death Star is back on  the high seas, ready to fight for God.

I'm especially interested to read that one of the Armed Services Committee contacted by the lobbyists, North Carolina Congressman Mike McIntyre was subsequently funded to the tune of $50 thousand, (purportedly the most expensive privately funded US Congressional visit to anywhere so far on record) to bring his wife for a week-long visit in the week around Valentine's Day.  McIntyre had just announced his impending retirement.  Perhaps Mike was thinking of following his military career with a gig working for Lockheed or BAE in Adelaide?

This all comes on top of couple of important local developments.. not that you'll read much about them in the Adelaide press.  One is the declaration in May that the Jindalee Over-horizon Radar network had been successfully upgraded and was finally operational.  Jorn can monitor pretty much anything that's going on in the South China sea, and would be an asset in tracking (for example) Korean missile launches.

It's all well and good to be able to shout out when you see missiles, but not much help if you don't have anything to shoot them down with.  Last week's announcements will fix that.  Given that the AWD warships being built at Port Adelaide were already scheduled to be equipped with Aegis SM-1 missiles it won't be too hard to upgrade to SM-2s.  These "bad boys" have an extra stage capable of "exoatmospheric kill"  so can even knock out rockets above our atmosphere.  But such technology is prized.. you'd only get it for something like a US/Australian Asian Missile Shield program.  Lucky we got one in last week's Treaty, isn't it?

And by the way, doesn't confirmation that they will be given such capabilities make the place where the boats are being built much more of an attractive attack target?  Or what about the "nerve centre" for the radar that would co-ordinate the countermissile launches?  And if you put those two just a few miles apart in the north-west of Adelaide..?

Thanks, guys, I'll sleep sooo much more peacefully tonight knowing I've been pretty much right.  

What the hell has this city gotten itself into?

Meanwhile, the bloke who got us into it, former Halliburton Global Vice President for Infrastructure Andrew Fletcher is calling it a day, a recent announcement stating that when his contract ends in August it won't be renewed.  I'm not surprised that, after being the boss of SA Defence for so long, he's decided to head for greener pastures.

 

The British are coming

Ferchrissakes, the British version started under the name of the "Future Warships Project".  I've summed up how I see the situation in a wee letter published in the Adelaide Advertiser on Friday:

Letter in Adelaide Advertiser 31/10/14

Best subs option

IF the future frigates are to be built in Adelaide, and the ship chosen is the Type 26 Combat Ship, a new era in naval co-operation could begin.

The UK Navy are building 13 of these ships, with BAE doing much of the design work and Raytheon developing the navigation and bridge systems.

BAE purchases the ASC it would make more sense for it to be building the same project here as in other parts of the world.

The true sweetener is that if (like the UK) we intend to keep the Type 26 in service till 2060, future decades might well see other such warships than just the Australian Navy’s chugging up the Port River for refurbishment.

RICHARD TONKIN, Brompton.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/the-advertisers-letters-to-the-editor-friday-october-31-2014/story-fni6unxq-1227107808598

 

The Switching Hour

 

They're going to throw the switch tonight to turn the filters on

Soon certan ways of thinking will be forever gone

"The New Age Of Serenity" they say it's going to be

but this gun against my head says that the bastards won't get me.

 

Waiting for "The Switching Hour" I think where this began

bank acounts and smartphones in the hands of all of Man

While the phone booths fled like Tardises, and coins to cash cards fell

and without your electronics you weren't anyone at all

 

It wasn't long from then until the culturally hip

replaced their phones and tablets with a brain-inserted chip

All the knowdlege in the world downloadable to mind

and mentally facebooking Communion for mankind.

 

A few years down the track, with our newfeeds as our teachers

Society rose to stand behind the one voice of the preachers

"Enough of human misery, wars and famine and such stuff.

Put a filter through our chips to turn those newsfeeds off"

 

I hear that there's a colony, out in the country scrub

where people share their knowledge in the bar of a local pub

And think without direction.. I'd love it there I'd bet,

but the censors scrubbed it from the maps of our inner Internet

 

And now we sing out songs of love while waiting inner peace

Any second now all guilt and worrying will cease

For me it will be different, I'd rather die alone

than spend my life obeying commands as a programmed, mindless drone

 

If my avatar had wings just like the folksong's turtle dove

Back through time I'd fly, to days when people carried  love

to care about the problems, to want to share the pain

It breaks my heart to think that times like that won't come again


Liberty Lived under Government Gun

Larrikin lad from a life on the farm
always in trouble, but never did harm
Made a fine soldier when he answered the call
Ratbags can make the best of them all.
Somewhere in an unmarked grave
Sleep reward for being brave
If he woke, what would he say
about what's going on in Australia today?

Lest We Forget the lives that were lost
that the freedom we live in has come at a cost
that was paid for happiness, friendship and fun,
not freedom lived under a Government Gun.

Popular bloke with a winning smile
who'd always stay and talk a while
but when white feathers spread through town
before his honour was rumoured down
soon to France was on his way
almost made it to Armistice Day
With a bullet through the heart he fell
It pierced his family's soul as well

Lest We Forget the lives that were lost
that the freedom we live in has come at a cost
that was paid for happiness, friendship and fun,
not liberty lived under Government gun.

Now we gather in memory
of lives that were taken for victory
There's fears of battles on home soil
that our gatherings our foes will spoil
A hundred years since Anzac Day
Our leaders think we'll be okay
Peace will be kept by the Terror Squad
and maybe a little help from God

Lest We Forget the lives that were lost
that the freedom we live in has come at a cost
that was paid for happiness, friendship and fun,not liberty lived under Government gun.

By Richard Tonkin at 20 Apr 2015 - 6:21pm

 

20 April 2016

Type 26 Global Combat ShipType 26 Global Combat Ship

 

Seeing as it's turned out, amid yesterday's shipbuilding announcements, that one of the three remaining contenders to construct the Future frigates in Adelaide is the one I wrote about in the Adelaide Advertiser's letters page (on Halloween) 18 months ago, I've thought to republish what was printed then.  Given that it's the one with its photo in this morning's Australian, you could guess it's chances are still high..

IF the future frigates are to be built in Adelaide, and the ship chosen is the Type 26 Combat Ship, a new era in naval co-operation could begin.

The UK Navy are building 13 of these ships, with BAE doing much of the design work and Raytheon developing the navigation and bridge systems.

Both of these defence giants are at Osbourne. If BAE purchases the ASC it would make more sense for it to be building the same project here as in other parts of the world.

The true sweetener is that if (like the UK) we intend to keep the Type 26 in service till 2060, future decades might well see other such warships than just the Australian Navy’s chugging up the Port River for refurbishment.

As mentioned, that was published on Oct 31, 2014.  Let's skip now to a story on Shipping and Marine Events a couple of weeks ago 

The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded BAE Systems a £472 million contract to progress the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme following the UK Government’s commitment in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to buy eight of the advanced anti-submarine warfare ships.

I'm beginning to wonder, now, who's paying for whose boats... at any rate, the result is that between the fleets of both countries there'll be considerable Joint Flotilla whose units could stay in the Southern Ocean for 60 days before returning to Adelaide for a refill of the gas that drives their turbines- at the Osborne Oil and Gas Hub.  

With such a close-proximity fuel supply unavailable to an enemy, the West may have quiet quickly established a strong naval Antarctic Shield against Them.

I'm guessing that the British are planning for their version of the boat to roam far and wide.  A good clue is the motivationally Game Of Thrones sound track to the BAE promotional video

Why do I get the feeling that Antarctica may well be our World's future Westeros?

 


My Blog Index (you may be interested in other entries here)


Article at CorpWatch


Houston, We Still Have A Problem
Andrea Buffa and Pratap Chatterjee
May 16th, 2005

This week, CorpWatch publishes a special alternative annual report on Halliburton. From bribery, fraud, and corruption in Iraq, to the undermining of US government regulations that protect drinking water at home, we take a closer look at this controversial company's track record in 2004.

Richard: Corpwatch will no doubt have timed the release of this info to impact on the Halliburton Stockholders AGM in Houston this Wednesday, as they did last year.

Rigged Contracts

RIchard Tonkin:

A crucial refence in the list of investigations accompanying this article is to the U.S. Department Of Justice's March 2005 announcement of a criminal inquiry into rigging foreign contracts, a practice which this story quotes Halliburton admitting it may have been involved in since the mid 80's.

While the comany pre-empted the announcement with its own media release steering focus to Nigeria, it is hoped that the DoJ's attentions might be turned to Halliburton's Australian activites. Hey, if everything's above board than nobody has anything to hide, right?

I can't see our current leadership calling for such a probe, but if such a company were charged and fined in their homeland for activities in Australia., finger-pointing in Canberra would begin very uickly.

Another hole in the head...

From the ABC

Govt 'open-minded' on uranium waste
The acting Prime Minister, Mark Vaile, will not rule out Australia taking back nuclear waste from uranium it exports.

Prime Minister John Howard is in Washington where energy-related issues are expected to be discussed.

Mr Vaile has told Channel Nine the Government is yet to address what should be done with nuclear waste.

"We need to keep an open mind on all these issues," Mr Vaile said.

"If we expect to extract benefit from selling the product then obviously there is a role in terms of management through life both in terms of how it's used, what security circumstance it's used in other countries and then the question of waste come into being."

Earlier Mr Howard would not speculate if Australia would be asked to take the nuclear waste of other countries which was generated using Australian uranium.

"Look everybody is just running ahead of themselves on this issue," he said.

"There's been some talk about certain proposals I'll be interested to learn a little more about it. I have an interest in it, Australia has an interest it but we're not concern about anything, we haven't been asked to do anything."
---------
Gus can see:
Of course our government is "open minded"... about anything that has been dumped down the toilet by previous government... With a majority in both houses the Howard government can do whatever our globe-trotting grocer is "decided" by Our Moron in chief, the Bonsai of Washington.

Especially in regard to fudge, Kontrol Kards, uranium crap (sorry folks let's not call it "waste" anymore), slavery under another name "foreign workers willing to work for crap", de-structuring of proper working conditions, Medicare tiering, Government assets fire sales or overvalued promises, we have had holes drilled in our head with sweet budgets that do nothing for consolidating the future,,, May be Beazley is right —there is no future for Australia?...

Prairie outpost

From Al Jazeera

Halliburton accused of avoiding public
Monday 15 May 2006, 8:50 Makka Time, 5:50 GMT

Halliburton, the US oil services company which is accused of profiting from US-administered war zones, is under attack from shareholders who say it is trying to hold a secretive annual meeting.

Halliburton, which was once headed by Dick Cheney, the current US vice president, earned a record $2.4 billion last year.

Its annual meeting, previously held in Houston, has regularly drawn protests. This year the meeting will be held in out-of-the-way Duncan, Oklahoma.

Halliburton says it moved its meeting to this company town of 22,500 to honour its southern Oklahoma roots. The company's critics accuse it of running to a prairie outpost to hide.

read more at Al Jazeera

Ahoy John!

Any ideas how I can sort the margins on this page?  It keeps getting read, so I'ld love to tidy it up a bit.

How's tricks?