WaPo: CIA’s 1975 coup against Australia’s Whitlam was just a “government shutdown”

"Getting your history from the American daily press"


By Kevin Barrett, VT Editor

The last time America faced a government shutdown (2013) William Blum, “the thinking man’s Chomsky,” pointed out that the CIA-influenced Washington Post used the occasion to lie about the 1975 CIA coup against Australia, saying the coup was just a “government shutdown”:

Getting your history from the American daily press

By William Blum (Dec. 2013)

During the US federal government shutdown in October over a budgetary dispute, Washington Post columnist Max Fisher wondered if there had ever been anything like this in another country. He decided that “there actually is one foreign precedent: Australia did this once. In 1975, the Australian government shut down because the legislature had failed to fund it, deadlocked by a budgetary squabble. It looked a lot like the U.S. shutdown of today, or the 17 previous U.S. shutdowns.”

Except for what Fisher fails to tell us: that it strongly appears that the CIA used the occasion to force a regime change in Australia, whereby the Governor General, John Kerr – a man who had been intimately involved with CIA fronts for a number of years – discharged Edward Gough Whitlam, the democratically-elected prime minister whose various policies had been a thorn in the side of the United States, and the CIA in particular.

I must again cite my own writing, for the story of the CIA coup in Australia – as far as I know – is not described in any kind of detail anywhere other than in my book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II (2004).


It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In today’s Washington Post, Rick Noack once again uses a US government shutdown as an excuse to lie about the CIA coup that overthrew Gough Whitlam, the Labor PM of Australia who was trying to shut down the CIA base at Alice Springs.

For a concise summary, check out the Wikispooks entry on the “Canberra Coup.” 

It’s worth noting that CIA contractor Christopher Boyce, hero of The Falcon and the Snowman, was so angry at the documents he saw detailing the CIA coup against Australia, our supposed ally, that he started shipping classified documents to the Russians…and later enjoyed a career as prison escape artist and bank robber.

William Blum, who passed away December 9, was one of the all-time greatest critics of the American Empire.

Listen to my radio interview with William Blum


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  1. Many believe that Whitlam was overthrown because he was asking too many questions about what the US was really upto at it’s secret Pine Gap facility in the Australian outback.

    • There are so many tales of what may be going on at Pine Gap, I even heard one about the US using genetic engineering to create ‘gray aliens’ there, I think that was a Ben Fulford yarn.

      Who knows, they could be upto all sorts of things, personally, I think the US wanted to stop the swing to the left that was underway in Aussie politics.

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