OK let's get real about the #PalaceLetters.

Here's a thread that provides critical historical context, which media #auspol commentators today are deliberately ignoring...
President Richard Nixon told Marshall Green - the US Ambassador to Australia who had just orchestrated the 1973 overthrow of Allende in Chile - what he really thought of Whitlam:

"Marshall, I can’t stand that c*nt."
Whitlam rejected South African apartheid and abolished the White Australia policy. He granted independence to Papua New Guinea, improved relations with China & Japan, ended military conscription, and brought the last Australian troops home from Vietnam.
Whitlam also abandoned the doctrine of "forward defence" (which explains why we are still bogged down in US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).

After Nixon’s horrific 1972 "Christmas Bombing" of Vietnam, Whitlam told the USA that both sides needed to cease hostilities and talk.
Nixon & Kissinger were incensed.

In January 1973 Whitlam told US Ambassador Rice that US bases could stay in Australia as long as there were no attempts to "screw us or bounce us". It took him 2 more years to understand what bases like #PineGap were doing.
In October 1973 the USA used WA's North West Cape base to send a nuclear alert to all US forces in the region.

When Whitlam rightly complained that the US had failed to inform Australia about this potentially critical danger, Kissinger & his CIA boss again responded with anger.
In 1973 CIA agent James Angleton conspired with disgruntled #ASIO officers in a failed attempt to overthrow PM Whitlam.

Their plan to trap the PM in an apparent lie about his Attorney General’s raid on ASIO HQ only failed because the ASIO director refused to co-operate.
Those disgruntled ASIO staff then spread a rumour that the ASIO director was having an affair with his secretary (who Whitlam sacked in September 1975).

Meanwhile one of those ASIO staffers was actually having an affair with the wife of the CIA station chief in Canberra.
In 1974 Russia proposed a joint base to photograph space objects. Whitlam said he opposed hosting foreign bases & did not favour the extension of any such deals, which sent alarm bells ringing in Washington. The US #PineGap lease was due to expire a year later, in December 1975.
Nixon planned to close US bases, cut off intelligence & impose trade restrictions until a Coalition government was re-elected. His plan was rejected because there was not enough time to relocate #PineGap (e.g. in Guam). But under US pressure, Whitlam said US bases could stay.
Even so, and despite the fact that there was never any co-operation between Russia and Whitlam’s ministers, by early 1975 the USA was convinced that "maintaining the ALP government was essential to Soviet planning" in the region.
Meanwhile, Whitlam’s Energy Minister was chasing huge loans via a con-man named Khemlani, who many suspect had CIA links.

A Coalition source later said that the CIA had offered Khemlani $400,000 to visit Australia on 14 October 1975 and tell lies about the cancelled loan deal.
Whitlam sacked the head of #ASIS on 21 October 1075 after sacking the head of #ASIO a month earlier. He said the CIA was funding the Coalition's National Country Party.

The CIA agent in charge of #PineGap was living in a Canberra house owned by the leader of the Country Party.
The Country Party demanded Whitlam prove allegations that #PineGap boss Richard Stallings was a CIA agent. Whitlam was due to provide evidence for this in parliament on 11th November 1975, but he was dismissed by GG Sir John Kerr that same morning.

#auspol #PalaceLetters
Prior to his Dismissal, PM Whitlam again warned that he would close #PineGap.

USA were not sure if he was bluffing. The head of the CIA’s East Asia division, Ted Shackley, sent a blunt telex message to ASIO’s director warning that "the CIA feels grave concerns" about Whitlam.
CIA agent Victor Marchetti later said that Shackley (sacked in 1979) might have been less concerned about #PineGap & more worried about his lucrative drug trade: transport planes full of heroin from Indochina were dodging customs by picking up #PineGap data en route to the USA.
In 1977 Whitlam pointed out that Shackley’s message to ASIO had included instructions for the ASIO director not to share his telex with the PM.

This was "a foreign intelligence service telling Australia’s domestic security service to keep information from the AUS government."
Whitlam’s Defence Minister later revealed that Kerr sought & received (on 8 Nov 1975) a high-level briefing on the CIA threat to withdraw US intelligence sharing.

Kerr denied this briefing took place & also denied ever meeting with US intelligence officials (a blatant lie).
Citing declassified US National Security Council documents, James Curren later revealed that the USA had considered "some sort of covert CIA activity in Australian domestic politics" in 1974. This abandoned plan may have been resurrected due to USA’s urgent concerns in late 1975.
What about the notorious CIA-run Nugan Hand Bank? Bernie Houghton flew into Sydney without a valid visa in 1972 and immediately got an ASIO clearance to stay as long as he wanted. He ran a night club in Kings Cross & helped Ted Shackley launder CIA drug money in Indochina.
Fraser’s Liberal Party accepted a $2.6m donation from Nugan Hand bank prior to blocking supply in the Senate. Frank Nugan was found dead on a bush road in 1980.

@AusFedPolice decided not to seek the arrest & extradition of Michael Hand after he was found in the USA in 2015.
Meanwhile Australian officials totally ignored Christopher @CodenameFalcon Boyce’s revelations that the CIA was deceiving our government and interfering with our politics & unions.

Future PM Bob Hawke, an often drunk US govt source, was a senior union leader at the time.
There was one honourable exception: ASIO’s man in Washington, Mike Leslie, was determined to go talk to Boyce, but was repeatedly warned not to do so by the heads of Defence and Foreign Affairs.

He was then ordered to stop seeking a meeting by his ASIO boss in 1977.
Luckily a few Australia journos were also curious. Boyce told Bill Pinwill that CIA staff used to refer to Sir John Kerr, who had worked with CIA staff, as "our man Kerr." Boyce also told @60mins the CIA were angry at Whitlam for repeatedly "publicising" the existence of #PineGap
Most of the info in this thread comes from journalist Brian Toohey, who requested archives about Boyce from the Australian Defence Department, the Foreign Affairs Department, and the PM’s office.

But amazingly there were none to be found!
The 1976 Hope Royal Commission declared that there were no undercover CIA agents in Australia.

US senator Frank Church said Australia was "exempt" from CIA activity, which Toohey calls "demonstrable nonsense".
Toohey's book "SECRET" provides several accounts of ASIO turning a blind eye to undercover CIA agents in Australia, including one well known female CIA agent who had an affair with a senior Whitlam Minister.
When I interviewed Chris Boyce in 2013 he said he was proud that US President Jimmy Carter had sent his Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Australia in order to promise Gough Whitlam that the USA would "never again interfere with the domestic affairs of Australia".
But as the @Snowden revelations demonstrated, the USA was lying again.

Australia's media is still lying by ignoring the USA's crucial role in the #PalaceLetters.

And Julian Assange is still in a UK jail facing 175 years prison in USA for telling us the truth. #auspol
Kerr's coup was many months in the making. In November 1974, US Ambassador Marshall Green reported to Washington that Murdoch privately predicted that “Australian elections are likely to take place in about one year, sparked by refusal of appropriations in the Senate”.
The US Consul-General in Melbourne advised the State Department that Rupert Murdoch had directed his editors to “kill Whitlam” ten months before the Dismissal.

Murdoch’s papers played a key role in spreading lies, particularly in the election that followed the Dismissal.
A 1977 US cable via @Wikileaks showed that Fraser terminated a Sydney Lawyer’s private prosecution of Whitlam for fear of revealing national secrets.

#auspol #PalaceLetters #FreeASSANGE https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977CANBER06245_c.html
But at least Fraser had the decency, years later, to recognise that the USA was the real problem.

Sadly, few in Australian media today - with notable exceptions like Brian Toohey, Julian Assange, @MaryKostakidis & @PeterCronau - are prepared to even criticize our US "friends".
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