Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Richard Tonkin's blog

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 articles on 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Australain 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?

Downer Suffering Stage Fright- Karoake Korea Over.

That's the question that the Canberra Times asked, but you have to wonder which particular stage Alex was running from.  The King of Karaoke has played a different role for Condi in more ways than one.  It  might be that the only way for Downer not to appear like a twit next to Dr Rice was to be invisible.

Take a bow … Alexander Downer has entered the building.

Photo: AP

Dixie Chick John Howard (self-reprint from today's Advertiser opinion page)

When U.S. musicians the Dixie Chicks caused a furore by apologising for coming from the same state as George Bush, the groundswell of public support for them suprised record companies and politicians alike.  To be "Dixie Chicked" became a political euphemism for not underestimating the public's support for an alternative point of view to that proposed by a regime.

Audiences rallied behind the band as a way of protesting their government's military activities, and anti-war activists world wide were given fresh faith in people's desire to live in peace.

Reading today that group is  coming to Adelaide has given me an idea.   Let's apologise to them for electing John Howard to support their warmonger of a leader.   The message would be heard loud and clear.

Sometimes music can unite people in a way that nothing else can... even Country and Western.

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 http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/democracy-damned-by-secret-justice/2006/07/21/1153166583062.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

The six o'clock news is showing cartoons of the Hezbollah missiles flying over the border into Israel, and the planes flying back to retaliate, Israeli troops invading Lebanese villages.  Meanwhile George and Condi are pointing the finger at Syria, even as the US donated smart-bombs are destroying underground bunkers in Lebanon.

Condi says that this is the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" but so close to 6/6/06, from a local point of view, it must look a little like the beginings of Armageddon.  Especially if you live in Har Mageddon 

It must be painful for Dubya, though, to have to work through his summer hols.  The sacrifices one must make to achieve global domination !

Pentagon Announces New Adelaide Missile Shield Contract

 Adelaide 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.

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.

Pine Gap Used In Korean Crisis - Murdoch Ad

Why is Newscorp advertising Pine Gap's role in the Korean missile launches?  A bulletin posted 2 hours ago explains how the CIA base in the middle of Australia was used to organise counter-measures.

Aegis class missile ships, similar to those being built in Adelaide, would have received missile trajectory information important in calculating counter-measures, the report says.

The Murdoch story explains how Pine Gap is one of only two U.S. ground stations used to collect infromation from satellites monitoring the Asia Pacific region.  The other station is located in Alaska.

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.



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)

Corporate Defence/Gov't Nepotism in Adelaide?

To celebrate Peter Cosgrove's first day as South Australia's main defence advisor, our Premier gave another fifteen million dollars to The Star Wars Shipbuilding Project.  The project is under the control of Halliburton's former global vice president for infrastructure, Andrew Fletcher.

 "We're actually gearing up to bid for a series of new projects and obviously what we need to do is to have the infrastructure and facilities in place to handle them." said Premier Mike Rann.  Lucky for him that he's got a man with the best infrastructure plans in the world working for him.... or is it vice versa?

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