Caitlin Johnstone: Australia Agrees To Build US Missiles; US Dismisses Australian Concerns About Assange

Australia is not a real country – it’s a U.S. military base with marsupials, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

Blinken meets with Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong in Melbourne Australia, on Feb. 11, 2022. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

By Caitlin Johnstone

Two different news stories about U.S.-Australian relations have broken at around the same time, and together they sum up the story of U.S.-Australian relations as a whole.

In one we learn that Australia has agreed to manufacture missiles for the United States, and in the other we learn that Washington has told Australia to go suck eggs about its concerns regarding the U.S. persecution of Australian journalist Julian Assange.

The relationship between Australia and the United States is all the more clearly illustrated by the way they are being reported by Australia’s embarrassingly sycophantic mainstream press.

In a Sydney Morning Herald article published Friday titled “‘Hugely significant’: Australia to manufacture and export missiles to U.S.,” the U.S.-educated war propagandist Matthew Knott exuberantly reports on the latest development on Australia’s total absorption into the American war machine.

“Australia is set to begin manufacturing its own missiles within two years under an ambitious plan that will allow the country to supply guided weapons to the United States and possibly export them to other nations,” Knott reports,” adding that the “joint missile manufacturing effort is being driven by the war in Ukraine, which has highlighted a troubling lack of ammunition stocks in Western nations including the U.S..”

Knott—perhaps best-known for being publicly told to “hang your head in shame” and “drum yourself out of Australian journalism” by former prime minister Paul Keating over his virulent war propaganda on China — gushes enthusiastically about the wonderful opportunities this southward expansion of the military-industrial complex will offer Australians.

“As well as creating local jobs, a domestic missile manufacturing industry will make Australia less reliant on imports and provide a trusted additional source of munitions for the U.S.,” Knott writes ecstatically in what has somehow been presented by The Sydney Morning Herald as a hard news story and not an opinion piece.

An article published the next day, also in The Sydney Morning Herald and also by Matthew Knott, is titled “Assange ‘endangered lives’: Top official urges Australia to understand U.S. concerns”.

It’s not unusual to see this type of propagandistic headline designed to convey a specific message above Knott’s reporting on this subject; in 2019 he authored a piece which was given the bogus title “‘A monster not a journalist’: Mueller report shows Assange lied about Russian hacking”.

“The United States’ top foreign policy official has urged Australians to understand American concerns about Julian Assange’s publishing of leaked classified information, saying the WikiLeaks founder is alleged to have endangered lives and put U.S. national security at risk,” Knott writes.

“In the sharpest and most detailed remarks from a Biden administration official about the matter, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Assange had been involved in one of the largest breaches of classified information in American history and had been charged with serious criminal conduct in the U.S..”

Blinken’s remarks came during a press conference for the Australia–U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) forum on Saturday, in response to a question asked by Knott himself.

Here are Blinken’s comments in full:

“Look, as a general matter policy, we don’t really comment on extradition matters, extradition proceedings. And so, I really would refer you to our Department of Justice for any questions about the status of the criminal case, whether it’s with regard to Mr Assange or the other person in question.

And I really do understand and can certainly confirm what Penny said about the fact that this matter was raised with us as it has been in the past. And I understand the sensitivities, I understand the concerns and views of Australians.

I think it’s very important that our friends here understand our concerns about this matter. And what our Department of Justice has already said repeatedly, publicly, is this, Mr Assange was charged with very serious criminal conduct in the United States in connection with his alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of our country.

The actions that he is alleged to have committed risked very serious harm to our national security, to the benefit of our adversaries and put named human sources at grave risk, grave risk of physical harm, grave risk of detention. So, I say that only because, just as we understand sensitivities here, it’s important that our friends understand sensitivities in the United States.”

The reason Blinken keeps repeating the word “risk” here is because the Pentagon already publicly acknowledged in 2013 that nobody was actually harmed by the 2010 Manning leaks that Assange is being charged with publishing, so all U.S. officials can do is make the unfalsifiable assertion that they could have potentially been harmed had things happened completely differently in some hypothetical alternate timeline.

In reality, Assange is being persecuted by the United States for no other reason than the crime of good journalism. His reporting exposed U.S. war crimes, and the U.S. wishes to set a legal precedent that allows for anyone who reveals such criminality to be imprisoned in the United States — not just the whistleblowers who bring forth that information, but publishers who circulate it.

This is why even mainstream press outlets and human rights organizations unequivocally oppose his extradition; because it would be a devastating blow to worldwide press freedoms on what is arguably the single most important issue that journalists can possibly report on.

So here is Australia signing up to become the Pentagon’s weapons supplier to the south — on top of already functioning as a total U.S. military/intelligence asset, which is preparing to back Washington in a war with China and on top of being so fully prostrated before the empire that we’re not even allowed to know if American nuclear weapons are in our own country — being publicly hand-waved away by Washington’s top diplomat for expressing concern about a historic legal case in which an Australian citizen is being persecuted by the world’s most powerful government for being a good journalist.

You could not ask for a clearer illustration of the so-called “alliance” between Australia and the United States. It’s easy to see that this is not an equal partnership between two sovereign nations, but a relationship of total domination and subservience.

I was only half-joking when I wrote the other day that our national symbol should be the star-spangled kangaroo.

Australia is not a real country. It’s a U.S. military base with marsupials.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

14 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Australia Agrees To Build US Missiles; US Dismisses Australian Concerns About Assange

  1. CaseyG
    August 1, 2023 at 17:00

    Except for dissing other nations and pretending to care—does Blinken really do anything helpful or important?
    We don’t really seem to need him after all— as all he does is pretend to care. He appears to be a waste of money—–and certainly he’s a waste of time.

  2. firstpersoninfinite
    August 1, 2023 at 09:49

    Is there any doubt that an actual robot could do Blinken’s job as Secretary of State? If I wasn’t already convinced that he is the actual brain child of the Clintons and the Bushes, the neoliberal enfant terrible shimmering into quiescence out of the empty bog of late-stage capitalism, I would believe he is a robot with a special dispensation for self-importance. He’s literally staring at the Australian as if he can’t believe he’s saying the things he’s already told him to say. “A troubling lack of ammunition stocks in western nations, including the U.S. …” is a description of a problem no one should believe in reality.

  3. J Anthony
    August 1, 2023 at 08:35

    The Australian citizenry ought to be outraged and hitting the streets in protest. Are they as mind-f***ed over there as we are over here!?

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    August 1, 2023 at 04:44

    The Asses of Evil – US/UK, just gained a new member: AU

    • Elial
      August 1, 2023 at 17:45

      Asses of Evil – that’s brilliant! I will use it.

  5. Elial
    August 1, 2023 at 02:37

    “Knott—perhaps best-known for being publicly told to “hang your head in shame” and “drum yourself out of Australian journalism” by former prime minister Paul Keating over his virulent war propaganda on China…”

    Beautiful line. Made me chuckle thinking of how Paul Keating mauled him and the rest of the presstitudes lining up to ask him their loaded questions.

  6. rosemerry
    August 1, 2023 at 01:47

    For anyone to encourage the USA to make more weapons, which are of course just for profit of private corporations and NOT for defence, is bad enough. To help the USA attack more countries, to keep on “supporting” poor Ukraine which had only to remain neutral to avoid the “invasion” by Russia after 9 years of legal efforts by Russia to avoid the conflict, to be on the side of confrontation instead of cooperation which Australia is well placed to try, is a sad step in the domination of Australia by any US Administration regardless of moral values.

  7. WillD
    August 1, 2023 at 00:02

    What does that photo tell you? If pictures speak a thousand words, then here are a few of them…..

    I see two vassal state government representatives flanking the Mafia boss in the middle. Which means that the Australian Prime Minister is junior to the US’ Secretary of State. Bloody Blinken is his boss!

    And I see two US flags squeezing the Australian one, telling me that Australia can’t turn in any direction without the US’ agreement!

  8. Bryce
    July 31, 2023 at 22:52

    There is a lot of that sort of thing going around: countries who are little more than American aircraft carriers. Shameful, and I know that they are ashamed..

  9. SH
    July 31, 2023 at 19:27

    That picture at the top is a riot! Curly, Larry and Moe, the 3 Stooges – take your pick as to who is who …
    So who owns, or is funding, this missile factory in Australia – who is paying for it and who gets the money made from it – the devil is always in the details …

    I am sure Americans will be pleased to learn that, like our underwear, we can’t even make our own missiles anymore – and that passes for “National Security”?

  10. Bill Todd
    July 31, 2023 at 17:52

    “Australia is set to begin manufacturing its own missiles within two years under an ambitious plan that will allow the country to supply guided weapons to the United States and possibly export them to other nations”

    Possibly, I suppose, if the market for Western weapons is not adversely affected by their recent price/performance behavior in Ukraine.

    “As well as creating local jobs, a domestic missile manufacturing industry will make Australia less reliant on imports” not that Australia seems to be all that worried about its balance of payments given its wildly extravagant commitment to purchase U. S. nuclear submarines which it may not even control and for which it has no obvious need.

    Just as is the case in most of Europe, the obvious question is how this course of action rather than a course better attuned to getting along with its closer and more significant neighbors meets the interests of the country rather than those of a cadre of special interests bent on personal power and influence. Seems more than a bit out of step with the ideals of democracy which get bruited about with such gay abandon these days.

  11. JonT
    July 31, 2023 at 16:11

    Indeed. It goes on and on and depressingly on.

  12. JonT
    July 31, 2023 at 16:09

    I love that last line…!

  13. Rudy Haugeneder
    July 31, 2023 at 14:30

    And so it continues.

Comments are closed.