- by Hannah Middleton and Denis Doherty
- The Guardian
- Issue #2051
Photo: matthrkac.com.au – flickr.com (CC BY 2.0).
In recent years, former US Navy officials have played critical but secretive roles as paid advisers to Australian governments. Since 2015, six retired US admirals have worked for the Australian government and a former US Secretary of the Navy has been a paid adviser to three Australian prime ministers. Australia has also hired three former civilian US Navy leaders and three US shipbuilding executives.
Australian governments have kept details of this secret but the Pentagon recently revealed that “dozens of retired US military figures have been granted approval to work for Australia since 2012.”
These overpaid mercenaries promote the interests of the US empire and grow rich in the process.
Since 2015, these US officers have received contracts worth around $7500 per person, per day, about $15 million combined.
“We were paying a lot of money and it wasn’t obvious to me that we were getting value for money,” Rex Patrick, former independent Federal Senator and retired submariner, commented.
The Washington Post last year revealed that a former US Navy admiral named Stephen Johnson had actually served as Australia’s Deputy Navy Secretary.
Among the US military consultants is William Hilarides. Canberra has already paid Hilarides almost $2.5 million since 2016 for his consulting work.
James Clapper, former US Director of National Intelligence, has also worked for the Australian government. Clapper has a track record of lying in US interests. In 2013 he lied to the US Senate, stating that the NSA does not collect data on millions of Americans. His lie was exposed by the Edward Snowden leaks a few months later.
A Washington Post investigation found that some of the retired admirals have worked for the Australian government while simultaneously consulting for US shipbuilders and the US Navy, including on classified programs.
One of the six retired US admirals had to resign as a part-time submarine consultant to the Australian government because of a potential conflict of interest over his full-time job as board chairman of a US company that builds nuclear-powered subs.
Caitlin Johnson writes: “Australians are going to have to wake up to what’s being done to us … We’re being groomed for a military confrontation of unimaginable horror, one which absolutely does not need to take place, all in the name of something as trivial as securing US planetary hegemony. We’ve got to start saying no to this, and we’ve got to start right now.”