By Jon Rappoport
Remember the name “Pine Gap.” It lies at the heart of this story.
I’ve always thought Australians were more blunt and forthright than Americans. I don’t know if that’s true, but the current debate about total surveillance in the Land Down Under is cutting to the bone.
The government wants to tax the Australian people so it can use giant telecoms to collect wall to wall “metadata” on them. (Pay us so we can spy on you.)
The Age newspaper reports on an Australian senate inquiry into the plan:
“ASIO [the national security service of Australia] chief David Irvine told the inquiry last week that increased data retention powers were needed to tackle terrorism and that ‘the public should not be concerned that there’s going to be gross misuse’ of them.
“’For the life of me I cannot understand why it is correct for all your privacy to be invaded for a commercial purpose, and not for me to do so to save your life,” he [Irvine] said.
Blunt. That’s what I’m talking about. Notice Irvine’s use of “me”. He’s personally going to save Australia.
And Irvine assumes no one in Australia cares about corporations profiling them seven ways from Sunday, in order to sell them products, and therefore, why not let the government invade their lives?
American politicians rarely let the cat out of the bag in that way. Primped by PR minions, they circle vaguely around a point, and spout empty generalities until everyone falls asleep.
Not this man Irvine. He lets loose. He may as well have been saying, “You morons have already surrendered yourselves to corporations, so let me come in and finish the job.”
Infowars.com reports on another gem dropped at the senate inquiry: “One so called Liberal senator, Ian MacDonald, agreed, saying that he would ‘rather be alive and lack privacy than dead with my privacy intact’.”
Terrific. Come right out with it. Better a slave than dead. ‘Yes, we’re going take away your privacy and freedom, but you’ll still be breathing.’
In an US senate committee room, you’d hear something like this instead: “We’ve introduced very specific algorithms that ensure privacy protections are handled with sensitive concerns for all citizens, in accordance with our long-standing American traditions…”
Former NSA attorney Stewart Baker, a visiting meddler from the US, testified to the Australian Senate in language he would never use in America. He said the war against terror was being obstructed by ”an unholy alliance of business and privacy activists.”
Obviously, Baker was there to help expand American-Australian sharing of spy-data. NSA sniffs a new data-mining program anywhere in the world, and they want in on it.
But there is more. Much more.
Richard Tanter provides context in his article, “The US Military Presence in Australia.” (The Asia-Pacific Journal, Nov. 11, 2013)
“Australia is now more deeply embedded strategically and militarily in US global military planning, especially in Asia, than ever before…[there is an] integration of Australian military forces organizationally and technologically with US forces, and a rapid and extensive expansion of an American military presence in Australia itself.”
“…[An] Australian government mantra, usually from the Defence Minister, has been that ‘There are no US bases in this country.’… This is…in fact a complete misrepresentation of strategic reality, which is in fact one of fundamental and inherent asymmetrical cooperation between the United States and Australia.”
Tanter goes on to describe, in detail, a number of military bases in Australia which are “joint access” for the US and Australia…