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not, however, they had been the beneficiaries of an intelligence operation perpetrated against the Australian government. Dirty Deeds Down Under It was not just politicians and oil company executives who were incensed by Gough Whitlam’s progressive policies. Whitlam and his government also incurred the wrath of both the American and Australian intelligence services. In his memoirs, Honorable Men, former CIA director William Colby lists “a left-wing and possibly antagonistic government in Australia” as among the major “crises” of his term as America’s top intelligence officer right alongside the Soviet threat to intervene in the 1973 Israeli-Egyptian war. Of particular concern to Colby and others of his ilk was Whitlam’s threatened exposure of CIA “assets” in Australia. The agency’s most treasured Australian asset was a huge, heavily fortified military installation known as Pine Gap. Situated in the red moonscape desert of the Australian Outback, flanked by American Cruise missiles, Pine Gap is a super-secret satellite tracking station considered the most strategically valuable base outside of North America. It is from Pine Gap, for example, that the United States monitors Soviet spy satellites and intercepted enemy communiqus during the Vietnam war. It is also the point from which the CIA eavesdropped on loan negotiations between Rex Connor and Tirath Khemlani. Pine Gap was ostensibly built as a space research station during the 1960s as part of a treaty between the American and Australian governments. Under terms of the pact, the United States agreed to provide the Australian Defense Department with information gathered through the facility. In reality, the most sensitive operations at Pine Gap are tightly controlled by the CIA which, naturally, shares the collected intelligence with the Australian Security Intelligence Orgawere the Australian government. From the day it was built, no prime minister, not Whitlam nor any of his predecessors, were ever told exactly what went on at Pine Gap. It was ultimately the loans scandal that gave Whitlam his first glimpse into the activities at Pine Gap. At the height of the crisis, Whitlam heard rumors that the facility was a clandestine American intelligence operation and that CIA personnel stationed there were providing campaign funds to the opposition conservative parties. Whitlam also discovered that former Pine Gap chief Richard Stallings was a CIA officer operating under cover of the Defense Department. Stallings had even rented a house from then Deputy Prime Minister J. Douglas Anthony, a leading member of the opposition. During a campaign speech in November 1975, Whitlam publicly accused the opposition of being “subsidized by CIA money.” He also identified Anthony as the man having the primary “association with CIA money.” Although Whitlam did not name Stallings as the conduit for these funds, The Australian Financial Review the next day reported that Stallings had lived in Anthony’s house and that both Pine Gap and Stallings were CIA. These revelations were greeted with considerable alarm at the White House. The agreement with the Australians governing Pine Gap was up for renewal on December 9, 1975 just weeks away. Moreover, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee investigating covert operations between 1962 and 1972, had issued subpoenas demanding that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger release intelligence reports on Soviet _ Pine Gap was, of course, central to monitoring Soviet missile tests. Any hint of a scandal could jeopardize the entire Pine Gap agreement. Whitlam, however, kept up his attack, announcing that he knew of at least two specific instances in which the CIA had funded the opposition. The CIA issued a perfunctory denial, insisting it had no in GAIL WOODS Former CIA Director William Colby volvement in Australian politics. The State Department followed suit, categorically denying that Richard Stallings was with the CIA. In the Australian House of Representatives, opposition leaders demanded that Whitlam substantiate his charges. Whitlam agreed, saying he would produce his evidence in a live radio broadcast scheduled for November 11. That was the CIA’s cue to act. On November 8, the CIA’s chief of clandestine operations for the Far East, Theodore Shackley, who would later resurface as a key figure in the Iran-contra scandal, issued an ultimatum to the director general of the ASIO. In a remarkable cable that was eventually leaked to the Australian press, Shackley first admitted that Richard Stallings was, in fact, “a retired CIA employee.” He then went on to complain of other CIA personnel being exposed by Whitlam and in the press. “Is there a change in the prime minister’s attitude in Australian policy in this field?” Shackley asked. Finally, Shackley played his trump card. Invoking the thirdperson voice typical of CIA communications, Shackley wrote: “CIA feel everything possible has been done on a diplomatic basis, and now on an intelligence liaison link they feel that if this problem cannot be solved they do not see how our mutually beneficial relationships are going to continue.” This was the ultimate sanction: Shackley was threatening to cut off relations with a sister intelligence agency. Shackley’s cable arrived on the desk of Defense Secretary Sir Arthur Tange on Monday, November 10. Tange, whose responsibilities included oversight of Australia’s intelligence services, phoned Whitlam’s aides, warning that the prime minister’s insistence on exposing Stallings and his CIA colleagues the following day posed “the gravest risk to the nation’s security there has ever been,” according to Mother Jones. “What Tange did not tell the prime minister was that his department’s intelligence unit had been host that weekend to a visit by none other than Governor General Kerr,” Mother Jones reported. “Although neither Tange nor Kerr has ever acknowledged the meeting, Kerr was briefed at an installation ten miles outside of Melbourne about American fears that Pine Gap was about to be exposed and that Whitlam might refuse to sign the renewal agreement for the base.” It THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13