U.S. Policy / Australia

Freney, Denis. Get Gough! Published by D.Freney (PO Box A716, Sydney South, NSW 2000, Australia), 1985. 78 pages.

The average citizen in Australia is better informed about CIA covert operations than the average American print journalist. Some of this has to do with Australia's own intelligence service, ASIO, which has always been cozy with the Americans (the U.S. has huge satellite listening posts there), and some has to do with the fact that Australia sent 50,000 troops to Vietnam. When Labor's successful candidate for prime minister in 1972, Gough Whitlam, announced that his appointees would be exempt from the usual security checks, ASIO wasn't happy. When he withdrew the troops from Vietnam as promised, Kissinger wasn't happy. And when Australia's new attorney general raided ASIO headquarters looking for certain files, James Angleton wasn't happy.

Things got nasty between Whitlam and the CIA. Ted Shackley and the CIA's Nugan Hand Bank got involved, and organized crime figures and arms dealers began offering shady loans to the Labor government. On November 11, 1975, Whitlam was forced out of office in a "Constitutional coup," despite overwhelming public support. Denis Freney says that "in 1983 I decided to begin work on a book on Nugan Hand, and write a chapter on the links of Nugan Hand, arms dealers, the CIA and organised crime to the destabilisation and destruction of the Whitlam government. The chapter quickly became this book. I found the interconnections snowballed the deeper I investigated."

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