In A Secret Australia, eighteen prominent Australians discuss what Australia has learnt about itself from the WikiLeaks revelations – revelations about a secret Australia of hidden rules and loyalty to hidden agendas. However Australians may perceive their nation’s place in the world – as battling sports stars, dependable ally or good international citizen – WikiLeaks has shown us a startlingly different story.
This is an Australia that officials do not want us to see, where the Australian Defence Force’s ‘information operations’ are deployed to maintain public support for our foreign war contributions, where media-wide super injunctions are issued by the government to keep politicians’ and major corporations’ corruption scandals secret, where the US Embassy prepares profiles of Australian politicians to fine-tune its lobbying and ensure support for the ‘right’ policies.
The revelations flowing from the releases of millions of secret and confidential official documents by WikiLeaks have helped Australians to better understand why the world is not at peace, why corruption continues to flourish, and why democracy is faltering. This greatest ever leaking of hidden government documents in world history yields knowledge that is essential if Australia, and the rest of the world, is to grapple with the consequences of covert, unaccountable and unfettered power.
The contributors include author Scott Ludlam, former defence secretary Paul Barratt, lawyers Julian Burnside and Jennifer Robinson, academics Richard Tanter, Benedetta Brevini, John Keane, Suelette Dreyfus, Gerard Goggin and Clinton Fernandes, as well as writers and journalists Andrew Fowler, Quentin Dempster, Antony Loewenstein, Guy Rundle, George Gittoes, and Helen Razer, and psychologist Lissa Johnsson.
Felicity Ruby is a PhD candidate at Sydney University undertaking research on surveillance and democracy. She was previously advisor to Scott Ludlam for his first six years in the Australian Senate, headed the UN Office for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and was a policy adviser at the UN Development Fund for Women and at Greenpeace International.
Peter Cronau is an investigative journalist and a producer for ABC TV’s Four Corners. He has won numerous journalism awards, including the Gold Walkley for a joint report on the political violence in East Timor in 2006. He has also reported for ABC Radio’s Background Briefing, most recently with the groundbreaking report ‘Pine Gap’s role in US warfighting’. His forthcoming book is titled The Base: Australia’s secret role in America’s global wars.