Australia Pays Washington Swamp Monsters For War Advice

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readApr 27, 2023

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Australia has been paying insiders of the US war machine for consultation on how to run the nation’s military, a massive conflict of interest given that Washington has been grooming Australia for a role in its war agendas against China.

In an article titled “Retired US admirals charging Australian taxpayers thousands of dollars per day as defence consultants,” the ABC reports that according to documents which were provided by the Pentagon to congress last month, “dozens of retired US military figures have been granted approval to work for Australia since 2012.”

For those who don’t speak imperialist, “retired US military figure” generally means “Someone who used to be paid by the US government to advance the interests of the US empire, and is now paid by corporations and/or foreign governments to advance the interests of the US empire.” These corrupt warmongers rotate in and out of the revolving door of the DC swamp, from government to war industry jobs to punditry gigs to influential think tanks and then back again into government, advancing the interests of the US empire the entire time and growing wealthy in the process.

This dynamic allows a permanent constellation of reliable empire managers to continually exert influence around the world in support of the US empire, regardless of who gets voted into or out of office in the performative display of electoral politics. It’s a big part of why US foreign policy remains the same regardless of who’s officially running the elected government in Washington, and it’s a big part of why the media and arms industry which support the US war machine keep playing the same tune as well.

Among the American swamp monsters Australia paid for consulting work is the Obama administration’s spy chief James Clapper, who has an established track record of lying and manipulating to advance the interests of the US empire:

  • In 2013 Clapper committed perjury by telling the Senate under oath that the NSA does not knowingly collect data on millions of Americans, only to have that lie exposed by the Edward Snowden leaks a few months later.
  • In 2016 Clapper played a foundational role in fomenting public hysteria about Russia with the flimsy ODNI report on alleged Russian election interference, which remains riddled with massive plot holes. He would later go on to repeatedly voice the opinion that Russians are “almost genetically driven” toward nefarious and subversive behavior.
  • In 2020 Clapper signed the infamous and now fully discredited letter from former intelligence insiders saying the Hunter Biden laptop story was likely a Russian disinfo op, falsely telling CNN that the story was “textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft at work” and that the emails on the laptop had “no metadata” on them.

Also among the American military consultants paid by Australia is a man we just discussed the other day, William Hilarides, who will be telling Australia how to reconfigure its navy because apparently no Australians are available for that job. We now know that according to the released Pentagon documents Canberra has already paid Hilarides almost $2.5 million since 2016 for his consulting work.

This information was originally reported by The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock and Nate Jones, who last year also broke the remarkable story that a former US navy admiral named Stephen Johnson had actually served as Australia’s deputy navy secretary, a position which needless to say is not normally open to foreigners.

This is just one of the many, many ways that Australia is being interwoven into the US war machine, from our 2023 Defence Strategic Review which further enshrines our position as a US military asset, to our Secretary of Defence Richard Marles saying that the Australian Defence Force is moving “beyond interoperability to interchangeability” with the US military and being suspiciously secretive about who his golfing buddies were in his last trip to the US, to Australian officials angrily dismissing attempts to find out if the US has been bringing nuclear weapons into Australia, to the Australian media pounding Australian consciousness with anti-China hysteria to such an extent that we’re now seeing hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Australians.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to witness the information environment of Washington’s next military proxy from the inside — what it would be like to be a Ukrainian with an ear to the ground during the lead-up to the 2014 coup or whatever. Well, now I know. Now all Australians with an ear to the ground know.

I’ve been generally dismissive of Australian affairs throughout most of my commentary career despite living here, since my focus is on resisting the disasters that humanity as a whole is headed toward, and Australia has always seemed like a fairly irrelevant player on the world stage because of its impotent subservience to Washington. But it’s becoming clearer and clearer that it is exactly because of Australia’s blind subservience to Washington that Australia is worth paying attention to, since that relationship may well end up giving our nation a front-row seat to World War Three.

Australians are going to have to wake up to what’s being done to us and the abominable agendas our nation is being exploited to advance. 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.


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