Archive for the ‘civil liberties’ Category

With the pretence of “medical treatment” USA experimented on a small Australian boy, with plutonium injections

August 14, 2017

Paul Langley,  https://www.facebook.com/paul.langley.9822/posts/10213752429593121CAL-2, 14 Aug 17, 5 yr-old Simon Shaw and his mum. Simon was flown from Australia to the US on the pretext of medical treatment for his bone cancer. Instead, he was secretly injected with plutonium to see what would happen. His urine was measured, and he was flown back to Australia.

Though his bodily fluids remained radioactive, Australian medical staff were not informed. No benefit was imparted to Simon by this alleged “medical treatment” and he died of his disease after suffering a trip across the world and back at the behest of the USA despite his painful condition. The USA merely wanted a plutonium test subject. They called him CAL-2. And did their deed under the cover of phony medicine.

“Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515-2107, Edward J. Markey, 7th District, Massachusetts Committees, [word deleted] and Commerce, Chairman Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Natural Resources, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe] MEMORANDUM To: Congressman Edward J. Markey From: Staff Subject: The Plutonium Papers Date: 4/20/94

Staff Memo on Plutonium Papers

The medical file for Cal-2 also contains correspondence seeking follow-up from Argonne National Laboratory in the 1980s. Cal-2 was an Australian boy, not quite five years old, who was flown to the U.S. in 1946 for treatment of bone cancer. During his hospitalization in San Francisco, he was chosen as a subject for plutonium injection. He returned to Australia, where he died less than one year later.

Document 700474 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to an official at the Institute of Public Health in Sydney, Australia, in an attempt to reach the family of Cal-2. This letter reports that the child was “injected with a long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclide.” Document 700471 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to New South Wales, Australia (names and town deleted), inquiring about recollections of the boy’s hospitalization in 1946. The letter notes that, “those events have become rather important in some official circles here,” but provides few details to the family.

A hand-written note on the letter reports no response through October 8, 1987. Considering the history on the lack of informed consent with these experiments, it is surprising that the letters to Australia failed to mention the word “plutonium.”

The Australian news media has since identified Cal-2 as Simeon Shaw, the son of a wool buyer in New South Wales, and information on the injection created an international incident. The information in the medical file does indicate that at a time when Secretary Herrington told you that no follow-up would be conducted on living subjects, the Department of Energy was desperately interested in conducting follow-up on a deceased Australian patient.

In an effort to determine the full extent of follow-up by the Department after 1986, your staff has requested, through the Department’s office of congressional affairs, the opportunity to speak with Dr. Stebbings, Dr. Robertson, and any other officials who may have been involved in the follow-up. So far, that request has been unsuccessful. It remains an open question as to what was the full extent of follow-up performed in the 1980s, and whether the efforts then would facilitate any further follow-up on subjects now. It seems appropriate for the Interagency Working Group to address these questions as its efforts continue.”

Source: National Security Archives, George Washington Universityhttp://www.gwu.edu/…/…/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt

See also ACHRE Final Report.

NO MORE DUAL USE ABUSE OF AUSTRALIANS MR PRESIDENT. STOP FUNDING SYKES AND FLINDERS UNIVERSITY IN THE DOE QUEST FOR CHEAP CLEANUP OF URANIUM CONTAMINATED SITES.

Mr. President, you are wrong if you think you can do the same again re hormesis funding in Australia as the USA did with CAL-2. We have not forgotten and do not trust you or your paid agents in Australian universities such as Flinders.

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New laws to crack down on protestors, in Western Australia

March 7, 2015

civil-liberty-2smProtesters face new laws Daniel EmersonMarch 6, 2015, The Barnett Government has declared war on radical protesters with new laws criminalising thumb-locks, barrel locks or any other way of physically preventing or threatening lawful activity.The laws – introduced to the Legislative Council last week without fanfare – reverse the onus of proof, carry maximum penalties of two years jail or a $24,000 fine and ensure cost recovery for any police response.

Stung in recent years by campaigns against shark culling, gas processing at James Price Point and, more recently, logging of Mowen Forest in the South West, the Government says it needs enhanced laws to combat evolving tactics of protesters. The Opposition has warned the wording of the Bill prohibiting the “physical prevention of a lawful activity” is so broad it could capture a range of activities, including sit-in protests at electorate offices or marches that impede traffic.

The laws make intentionally or physically preventing a lawful activity an offence punishable by 12 months jail or a $12,000 fine. Police suspicion is enough to determine the intention was there, which the accused person must disprove in court.

The penalties double when the conduct risks physical harm to anyone, including the accused. It will also be an offence to manufacture or possess any “thing” suspected to be used for physically preventing lawful action……..

Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said Labor was yet to adopt a party position but he was concerned at the Bill’s onus of proof reversal and ramifications for legitimate protest. Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said the Bill was “jaw-dropping in its overreach”. A spokesman said Nationals MPs had no concerns with the Bill so far……
WA Forest Alliance convenor Jess Beckerling said the laws were excessive but would not stop people from defending the environment. https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/26532092/protesters-face-new-laws/

The secretive Trade In Services Agreement – sneaks in censorship, takes away privacy

December 31, 2014
That the Trade In Services Agreement, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement(CETA), have to be negotiated in total secrecy, with only corporate lobbyists having access to texts or meaningful input, speaks for itself.
The Trade In Services Agreement Goodbye Privacy, Hello Censorship CounterPunch
by PETE DOLACK, 30 Dec 14  Internet privacy and net neutrality would become things of the past if the secret Trade In Services Agreement comes to fruition. And on this one, the secrecy exceeds even that shrouding the two better-known corporate giveaways, the Trans-Pacific and Transatlantic partnerships.

Yet another tentacle in the octopus of multi-national corporations’ attempt to achieve dictatorial control, the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) is intended to eliminate government regulations in the “professional services” such as accounting and engineering but goes well beyond that, proposing sweeping de-regulation of the Internet and the financial industry.

Another snippet of TISA’s text has been leaked, this time by the freedom-of-information organization Associated Whistleblowing Press. Without this leak, and an earlier leak published by WikiLeaks in June 2014, we would know absolutely nothing about TISA and its various annexes. No matter what a negotiating government might claim about it, should one actually deign to discuss it, TISA is not about your right to hire your accountant of choice. Here is Article X.4 on “movement of information”:

“No Party may prevent a service supplier of another Party from transferring, accessing, processing or storing information, including personal information, within or outside the Party’s territory, where such activity is carried out in connection with the conduct of the service supplier’s business.”

What that proposal means is that any regulation safeguarding online privacy would be deemed illegal. (“Party” in the quoted text refers to national governments.) European rules on privacy, much stronger than those found in the United States, for example, would be eliminated. Further, any rule that in any way mandates local content (Article X.2) or provides any advantage to a local technology (Article X.3) would also be illegal. Thus the domination of U.S.-based Internet companies, such as Google or Facebook, would be locked in, along with their vacuuming of your personal data. A French anti-dumping law intended to help bookstores withstand predatory practices by Amazon.com is the type of law likely to come under attack…………

The analysis by Professor Kelsey and Dr. Kilic discerns three broad goals of TISA on the part of the U.S. government, which is pushing hardest for it, as it does with other “free trade” agreements:

*To advance the commercial interests of its services industry that supplies services across the border. There would be particular gains to the information telecommunications and technology sector, but would protect U.S. competitive advantage and monopoly rights over intellectual property and technology.

*To serve “a range of ‘national security’ and commercial purposes” by consolidating data repositories to the benefit of the U.S. government, transnational companies and third-party commercial interests.

*To prevent or restrict government regulation that impedes the activities and profits of the major global services industries, and guarantees unrestricted cross-border movement of data.

letter sent to TISA negotiators by 342 civil society groups based in Europe and elsewhere in 2013 asking that the negotiations be immediately halted, states:

“The proposed TISA is an assault on the public interest as it fails to ensure that foreign investments in service sectors actually promote public goals and sustainable economies. We are particularly wary of further undermining of essential services such as health care and insurance, water and energy provision, postal distribution, education, public transportation, sanitation, and others if they are handed over to private and foreign corporations motivated only by profits and available only to those who can pay market rates.”

Restrictions on the financial industry would be illegal

TISA, as revealed by WikiLeaks in June, also would require signatory governments to allow any corporation that offers a “financial service” — that includes insurance as well as all forms of trading and speculation — to expand operations at will and would prohibit new financial regulations. These offensives are incorporated in TISA’s Financial Services Annex, which would:

*Require countries to change their laws to conform to the annex’s text (Annex Article 3).

*Require countries to “eliminate … or reduce [the] scope” of state enterprises (Article 5).

*Prohibit any “buy local” rules for government agencies (Article 6).

*Prohibit any limitations on foreign financial firms’ activity (articles 7 and 10).

*Prohibit restrictions on the transfer of any data collected, including across borders (articles 8 and 11).

*Prohibit any restrictions on the size or expansion of financial companies and a ban on new regulations (Article 15).

*Require any government that offers financial products through its postal service to lessen the quality of its products so that those are no better than what private corporations offer (Article 22).

The ninth, and most recent, round of TISA negotiations took place on December 1 to 5 in Australia. In a typically bland statement providing no actual information, the Australian government said:

“Good progress was made in advancing the enhanced disciplines (trade rules) for e-commerce and telecommunications, domestic regulation and transparency, financial services, temporary entry of business persons, professional services, maritime and air transport services and delivery services. There was also further discussion of proposals on government procurement, environmental and energy services, and the facilitation of patient mobility. Parties reported on progress in bilateral market access discussions held since the September Round and committed to advance these further in 2015.”………..

Tightening secrecy of “free trade” agreements

The next round of TISA negotiations are scheduled for Geneva February 9 to 13, 2015………

That the Trade In Services Agreement, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement(CETA), have to be negotiated in total secrecy, with only corporate lobbyists having access to texts or meaningful input, speaks for itself. The empty shell of formal democracy under capitalism gets ever emptier.

Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder blog. He has been an activist with several groups.http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/30/goodbye-privacy-hello-censorship/

 

Stifling calls for climate change on theG20 agenda – Tony doesn’t want it

November 4, 2014

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmBrisbane G20: Airport vetoes #onmyagenda climate change billboard, Brisbane Times November 3, 2014  brisbanetimes.com.au senior reporter Brisbane Airport Corporation has vetoed a “political” billboard asking for climate change to be added to this month’s G20 conference.

The billboard – backed by nine national and international conservation groups – was planned for Brisbane International Airport.

A second billboard is being unveiled in Peel Street at South Brisbane on Monday.

The groups wanted world leaders and their delegates to see the billboard as they arrived in Brisbane. The #onmyagenda campaign encourages people to tweet G20 leaders asking them to include climate change as a stand-alone item on the G20 agenda.

Climate change issues have been on the agendas at eight previous eight G20 summits.

It is not on the agenda in Brisbane.

G20-censorship

The decision comes as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Sunday released its most recent report on the impact of climate change.

The report found that the world must stop almost all greenhouse gas emissions through a phased elimination of fossil fuels by 2100 if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged companies to disinvest from fossil fuel-based industries.

In broad terms, the UN IPCC report finds there are “multiple pathways” available to keep global warming below two degrees.

All of these pathways require “substantial” cuts to greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades, and “near zero” emissions by the end of the century, the report’s authors concluded.

BAC told Fairfax Media the billboards were rejected last Wednesday because they were  deemed to be “political”.http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-g20/brisbane-g20-airport-vetoes-onmyagenda-climate-change-billboard-20141103-11fzdm.html#ixzz3I9Xt6bP9

Black Hawk helicopters, commandoes, surveillance planes – welcome to Brisbane’s G20

November 4, 2014

Commandos and Black Hawk helicopters stage operations in Brisbane CBD as G20 security ramps up http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-03/g20-security-ramps-up/5861514

By Francis Tapim G20 security preparations are ramping up in Brisbane, as commandos and Black Hawk helicopters flooded the Eagle Street Pier area in a counter-terrorism training operation last night.

Around 50 personnel dressed like commandos, armed with semi automatic rifles and wearing body armour staged the training exercise on Sunday.

Courier Mail photographer Marc Robertson stumbled on the operation, and said there were four helicopters “only a few feet from the buildings”.

G20-security-1`

“I counted about 50 blokes wearing paramilitary uniforms, combat pants, and wearing body armour carrying full automatic weapons,” he said.

“They are not wearing any insignia at all… there was a lot of action in amongst the buildings.

“There were guys with night vision goggles running around the boardwalk, it was obvious that it was a training exercise and it had been left until after midnight before any of this action took place.”

There was no official information about the operation, but Queensland police confirmed they had been assisting with traffic control for a G20 training exercise in the CBD.

Meanwhile, the RAAF said the public would notice increased activity in the skies over south-east Queensland in the lead-up to the summit.

It said fighter jets, Black Hawk helicopters and surveillance planes would increase patrols, and conduct training exercises. Commander of ADF support to the G20 Major General Stuart Smith said the training period would allow the military to sharpen their response skills.

Military style security in Brisbane for the G20

November 4, 2014

G20 security: Soldiers man checkpoints in inner-Brisbane ahead of summit ABC News 4 Nov 14 By John Taylor Soldiers and police have begun stopping and searching vehicles going into G20 restricted zones in inner-Brisbane.

Checkpoints have been set up at Milton and Spring Hill to search for explosives and weapons, manned by military personnel who have served in war zones.

G20-police-violence

Major General Stuart Smith said the soldiers and police would be involved in the searches over the next fortnight, using high-tech latest equipment.

“You’ve got soldiers here that have got experience in Afghanistan doing high-profile search techniques and they’ve done specific rehearsals to build them up in cooperation with the police over the last few months,” he said………

More than 900 soldiers will be helping with security during G20 and have spent months training for every eventuality.

Barricades to go up as ‘countries take over hotels’

Barricades and fencing will begin appearing around Brisbane city from next week, G20 Assistant Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said………

At the weekend, two people were served with notices prohibiting them from the G20……..

On Sunday night dozens of soldiers with machine guns and body armour took part in an exercise in the CBD…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-03/soldiers-to-man-g20-checkpoints-in-brisbane-for-searches/5863054

Uranium industry lackey Campbell Newman erodes community rights

October 3, 2014

To many Traditional Owners, these places are known as sickness country, or poison country, and are often considered sacred. Upsetting the poison and letting out into the landscape would be a disaster, particularly in the life giving and food providing Mitchel River basin.

The Bill, passed in parliament in early September, gives the Coordinator General the power to exclude community objection rights over some of the largest mining projects

Newman,-Campbell-jackbootsMining companies now have more rights than the community in Newman’s Queensland http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/10/01/comment-mining-companies-now-have-more-rights-community-newmans-queensland  1 Oct 14    Queenslanders have more reason than ever to be concerned about uranium mining in the sunshine state. By  Andrew Picone Back in 2012 Queensland Premier Campbell Newman made a series of ‘crystal clear’ commitments to keep the door closed to uranium mining in Queensland. In a letter to former ACF CEO Don Henry, Newman wrote “I take this opportunity to reaffirm my statements, made before the last election, that the State Government has no plans to approve the development of uranium in Queensland”.

It proved to be one of his first broken promises. Just a fortnight later this commitment was dumped, without any independent assessment or community consultation. Uranium mining would not just be permitted in Queensland, the Premier started actively encouraging uranium mining companies to set up shop in the sunshine state.

Fast forward to 2014 and Queenslanders have more reason than ever to be concerned. In an echo of the heavy handed police state politics that so characterized former Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen, the Queensland government’s hand-picked co-ordinator general will now have sole authority over major new mining projects.

Proposed legislative changes introduced in the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014, literally rushed through the Parliament at five minutes to midnight on September 9th 2014, in particular provision 47D entitled ‘restriction in giving of objection notice under the Environmental Protection Act’ – should sound the community alarm.  

All large scale resource developments including the majority of coal, bauxite and uranium mines that are deemed by the government to be ‘State significant projects’ may no longer eligible for objection from anyone including farmers near or under the mining lease, neighbours, local communities or organised groups, or local Councils.

That means companies like the French nuclear corporation Areva who are currently exploring the Carpenteria Basin in Cape York and the Gulf country for uranium deposits may find themselves immune to community objections if they decide to advance their current uranium mining projects from the exploration to the construction stage. For the record, Areva have stated that it believes Australia has the potential to host uranium resources equivalent to a country like Kazakhastan producing about 4000 tonnes of uranium per year.On Cape York Peninsula, Areva have largely flown under the radar, but are believed to have been interested in exploring in the Mitchell and Alice River basins and areas further south and south west. Much of the country subject to recent exploration has been identified in old geological report as having detectible levels of surface radiation.

To many Traditional Owners, these places are known as sickness country, or poison country, and are often considered sacred. Upsetting the poison and letting out into the landscape would be a disaster, particularly in the life giving and food providing Mitchel River basin.

But regardless of whether you live next door, downstream or elsewhere, your rights to contest mining proposals has just been sunk. The Newman Government has just passed the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 and when enacted as law, will take away your rights to contest 90% of mining projects according to the Environment Defenders Office.

If you wanted to object to Waratah Coal’s China First mine in defence of the Bimblebox nature refuge, too bad. If you live in Townsville and don’t like the idea of a uranium mine a couple of hundred kilometres up stream, I’m afraid you’re no longer entitled to object. The same goes if you live in Brisbane and you think the Laura rock art up on Cape York is more important than a coal or diamond mine.

This year we hope to see the Queensland Government finalise negotiations with Traditional Owners to deliver national park status to Shelburne Bay, a jewel in the crown of Cape York Peninsula. Minister Cripp’s would do well to remember that it was the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland that objected to that mine in 1985. But under the proposed laws introduced by the Minister for Mines, the spectacular dunes and habitats of Shelburne Bay would have been lost forever, with no right to contest such proposals available today.The Bill, passed in parliament in early September, gives the Coordinator General the power to exclude community objection rights over some of the largest mining projects. In addition, what the government call ‘low-risk’ mines, or standard applications’ will also be exempt.

As for high-risk mines, community objection rights have been diminished and councils, landholders and others will only narrowly defined grounds for objection – none of which have anything to do with the environment. These amendments to Queensland’s laws are absolutely appalling and a true travesty of democracy. Mining companies, both small and large, can now run roughshod over anyone with no redress.

As the Abbott government talks up a vision to develop Northern Australia with short-sighted and ill-informed plans for mass industrialisation of an already water-starved landscape to turn it into the food bowl of Asia, the community ought to be deeply concerned about the erosion of our democratic rights to stand up and make our objections known.

Andrew Picone is ACF’s Northern Australia Project Officer, he is based in Cairns
 

Climate research – censored by Queensland University?

May 17, 2014
Queensland University tries to block climate research GRAHAM LLOYD THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 17, 2014  THE University of Queensland has threatened legal action to stop the release of data used in a paper that establishes a 97 per cent scientific consensus on ­anthropogenic climate change

The paper, lead authored by John Cook, has been the subject of debate over its methodology since it was published last year…..(subscribers only) ww.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/queensland-university-tries-to-block-climate-research/story-e6frgcjx-1226920713818#

Australia’s democracy on the brink- the Trans Pacific Partnership

January 6, 2014

text-TPP-Avaaz-petitionTrans Pacific Partnership Agreement favours foreign investors over citizens’ rights  Canberra Times, January 4, 2014 Without debate, increased rights for foreign investors will undermine our way of life, writes Thomas A. Faunce. All the indications from the recent Singapore meeting on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) are that Australian society is about to undergo a momentous shift in its governance arrangements. The recent Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) gives a pointer.

It includes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. This provides rights of foreign investors (additional to those of local businesses) to challenge our legislation where it impedes their profits overseas before panels of trade arbitrators. Our government claimed it had ”ensured the inclusion of appropriate carve-outs and safeguards in important areas such as public welfare, health and the environment.”

The Australian government has no mandate to introduce such a significant change in our sovereignty and governance. Though the present author and others raised the issue of such greater rights of foreign investors over local businesses during the preceding electoral campaign it was never the subject of major policy debate or positioning.

The insertion of such foreign investor rights into our governance system is a momentous event in the history of our democracy.According to the central document in our social contract, fundamental alterations in Australia’s governance arrangements require not just legislation but a referendum. Thus, a majority of Australian citizens in a majority of states were needed to support the creation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or the citizenship of Aboriginal Australians.

Yet, as a result of the TPPA, this country risks displacing the authority of citizens who live and support families, friends, local communities and ecosystems in this land, in favour of a system privileging artificial people called corporations.

The multinational corporations to which the KAFTA and the TPPA will be ceding rights to challenge our democratic laws are regarded by the law as ”people”. They can sue in courts to protect their rights. But they lack conscience, empathy, the capacity to develop virtues though consistent application of generally applicable principle, that constitute the richness of our character. Corporations can never marry or have children. They seek to fulfil a monomanical basic craving – to maximise shareholder profit.

Perhaps the big issue in our nation should not be gay marriage, but corporate marriage – using the corporations law to link a broader public purpose.

It is ironic and sad that the privileging of corporate elites over the rights and interests of our citizens implicit in such foreign investor rights was rejected by conservative former prime minister John Howard at the time of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement in 2004. It also has been deprecated by Pope Francis as part of his recent apostolic exhortation……

At the same time as foreign investors are gaining these extra rights, our government is preparing to turn more of our social infrastructure over to them. The new era for infrastructure financing involves projects financed by taxpayers and superannuants, that then are sold to private corporations who manage them…..

The deliberate disengagement of Australian citizens from the governance changes being wrought on Australia through the TPPA may mark a turning point in a wider disengagement of citizens from the political process in this country.

♦ Thomas A. Faunce is professor, jointly in the college of law and college of medicine, biology and the environment at the Australian National University. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-favours-foreign-investors-over-citizens-rights-20140103-309nb.html#ixzz2peyYTVFd

Australian government put subservience to Israel and USA above concern for Ben Zygier

February 15, 2013

We failed our duty’ to Prisoner X  http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/we-failed-our-duty-to-prisoner-x-20130214-2eg06.html#ixzz2L0Juuy7X February 15, 2013 David Wroe The Melbourne man dubbed ”Prisoner X” received no consular assistance from Australian officials despite the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade having been told of his detention by Israeli authorities nearly 10 months before he killed himself in jail.

And Australia’s forgiving response to Israel’s failure to formally advise that it had jailed dual-citizen Ben Zygier could imperil other dual citizens arrested in other countries, a top international law expert says.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed on Thursday that ASIO informed the department in February 2010 that Israeli authorities were holding Mr Zygier because of ”serious offences under Israeli national security legislation”. He told a Senate estimates hearing the government had ”relied on” assurances by Israel that Mr Zygier was being well treated, that his family knew of his detention and that he was getting legal representation.

Asked by Greens senator Christine Milne why no embassy official had gone to visit Mr Zygier in jail, department secretary Peter Varghese said communications had been between intelligence agencies, not the respective governments.

Mr Varghese said because Mr Zygier was a dual national, he was ”not under the relevant conventions” and there was ”no obligation on the Israeli government to commit to prison visits”.

But Australian National University international law professor Don Rothwell said Israel had broken the international convention on consular relations – and Mr Varghese’s response could imperil other dual citizens.

”If Mr Varghese is making that concession, it’s a very significant concession with respect to every other country where Australia has dealings with dual nationals at the moment, and, in particular, China,” he said.

Senator Milne asked: ”My question is just why did the Australian government hand over the welfare of one of our citizens to the spooks? Why?”

David Hicks’ former lawyer, Dan Mori, now with the Australian firm Shine Lawyers, said Australia had failed in its basic duty to look out for one of its citizens. ”It boggles my mind that they sit back and not say, ‘He’s one of our citizens and we’re not going to have a consular visit?’ ” he said. ”You would want them to at least put eyes on them. It’s that basic service.”

In several developments on the case, senators grilled the minister and secretary over what the government knew and when.

Senator Carr’s office admitted the Minister’s incorrect statements to the ABC and Fairfax Media that his department knew nothing of the case until after Mr Zygier had died in December 2010 had been based on written advice from DFAT.

The ABC’s Foreign Correspondent sent Senator Carr’s office written questions prior to his interview for the program, which had been forwarded on to the department. Yet the department replied with incorrect answers.