In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.
― Bertolt Brecht, 1939
Pine Gap was gazetted in 1967 as a restricted area by the then Defence Minister Allen Fairhall and the Australian people were told that it was a space research station. This official cover lasted for the next 25 years. Since the 1990s Pine Gap has been a United States military base that even the Australian parliament does not fully comprehend.
On 26 September 2016 Margie, Andy, Tim, Jim and Franz walked onto Pine Gap to participate in a lament of the wars and deaths it has enabled in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps a US led war in the south China comes next?
They were all charged with entering a prohibited area, contrary to section 9(1) Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 (Cth). Andy filmed the lament and was also charged with use of a camera in a prohibited area, contrary to section 17(1) Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 (Cth. Maximum penalty for each offence is imprisonment for 7 years.
The defendants ran a necessity defence meaning that it was in the public interest for them to draw attention to this secret spy base. It was a shame that the Compass program did not point out that the judge labelled the argument of necessity a losing one and virtually told the jury to convict and ignore all the defences.
I witnessed the judge’s decision in court and found it to be unreasonable. But then the law itself ruled out this defence so it is a political problem. The program was a good one and focused more on the political questions than the moral and religious ones.
Ever since the phoney intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, intelligence often seems to be a mix of propaganda and zealotry. – Brian Toohey
See Peace Pilgrims on ABC’s iView
Listen to Andy (Paradigm Shift 4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon) interviewing Kieran about her book, ‘Peace Crimes’.