Gough Whitlam and the CIA

Coorabell, November 2014

Over the four decades since the sacking of Whitlam’s government, most commentators have dismissed the roles played by the intelligence agencies of the US and Australia. The prevailing line has been that spooks and spies were not important, not players at all really.  Now we know better, now that Julian Assange and wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and their many collaborators have pulled the green curtain away from the scheming of spies and administrations of all political stripes.

Now we know that of course the boys in the Anglo intelligence club spied on the Whitlam government, and of course they conspired amongst themselves, and as usual they employed any and all means to stop a foreign government from messing with their sponsors’ money and power.

Gough Whitlam took years to publicly acknowledge that these guys were spying on him and undermining his government. Initially, he was shocked to learn that the US NSA listened to and read the private correspondence of his ministers, and illegally withheld information downloaded at their Pine Gap base located on Australian soil. He was outraged that his tenure was terminated by the queen’s representative, and he leapt into public debate about the constitutionality of that issue. But he never directly addressed the role played in his dismissal by American spies and spymasters, men who truly believed then, as they still do, that they are the best managers the world could and should ever have.

In 1976, after Whitlam was overthrown, I went to New York and Washington in search of some of the weird characters and corporations named in the leaked documents that had undone the Labor government. I found shady operators unwilling to talk, and CIA veterans proud to declare their delight at the demise of Whitlam the “socialist”.

Gough Whitlam died last month, aged 98. The question of who or what brought him down is back on the table for Australians who care.

Here is the story I wrote in 1984 about how I saw the events of 1976 and what I learned subsequently in the USA about America’s involvement. This article was published in Mother Jones, a multiple award-winning investigative magazine based in San Francisco.

You can read the full text HERE