The statement below was released by Socialist Alliance election candidate Margarita Windisch on July 5. Windisch is contesting the Victorian seat of Wills in the upcoming federal election.
The Obama administration is now in overdrive trying to hunt down and extradite whistleblower Edward Snowden for revealing the extraordinary extent to which the United States’ PRISM spy program has carried out surveillance of citizens.
In collaboration with giant internet corporations, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, the US secret police monitor and record the communications of the entire world.
Every human who uses a phone or the internet is under constant surveillance. Snowden also revealed the extent of illegal US espionage against foreign states, friends as well as foes.
“Five Eyes” espionage arrangement
Some governments have condemned the US criminality against their citizens and state institutions, but not Australia.
Under an arrangement between the espionage establishments of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — known as “Five Eyes”— all the data that the US gets from monitoring communications in Australia and by Australians may be routinely shared with ASIO and other Australian secret police.
In other words the US is enabling the Australian state to listen to our phone calls and read our emails.
Downing Morales’ plane – act of air piracy
Snowden has now joined Bradley Manning and Julian Assange on the US government’s “most dangerous enemies” list. The US is demanding that governments it has illegally spied on help capture Snowden, in the name of international law.
In a pitiful display that combined deference to the US superpower with colonialist arrogance, European governments grounded mid-flight the plane of left-wing Bolivian President Evo Morales, believing he might be hiding Snowden.
The Socialist Alliance calls for the immediate end to secret intelligence arrangements with foreign powers, the immediate end to illegal monitoring of communications in Australia by Australian and foreign entities, the destruction of all illegally obtained data on individuals held by state or corporate entities, foreign or domestic, and the opening of all government, state and corporate entities to public scrutiny.
Manning’s “crimes” and the real criminals
US army private Bradley Manning, held for the past three years in prison under cruel treatment, is being prosecuted for providing WikiLeaks with material he had access to as an analyst with the US army in Iraq, relating to US military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic activity throughout the world.
The publication of this material by WikiLeaks exposed serious crimes by the US and its allies, including Australia. The Socialist Alliance has called for Manning’s immediate release and compensation.
Hands off WikiLeaks – Free Assange
A factor in the ill-treatment of Manning has been his captors’ wish for him to incriminate others involved in WikiLeaks, including founding editor Assange, who is taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London from US attempts to extradite him and prosecute him for espionage.
The Socialist Alliance supports WikiLeaks and its role in exposing crimes against humanity by powerful governments and corporations and condemns the Australian government for its abandonment of Assange, an Australian citizen.
End the wars
The material published on WikiLeaks has not only revealed the extent of war crimes in the West’s “war on terror” but the level of manipulation of information and public opinion in creating pretexts for wars that in reality serve corporate interests.
The Socialist Alliance calls for the immediate withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan, the end to Australia’s military presence in Iraq, Australian disengagement from aggressive military alliances with the US and other powers and an end to Australian military engagements in the Asia-Pacific region.
< strong>Civil liberties
The Socialist Alliance supports the immediate repeal of anti-democratic laws introduced in Australia under the pretext of the “war on terror” and the immediate release of those charged or awaiting trial under these laws.
These include laws allowing for secret or partially secret trial, the use of unsubstantiated assertions by ASIO as evidence, restrictions on the right of accused people to talk about their cases and the criminalisation of opinions.
The Socialist Alliance also condemns the intimidation by ASIO and other Australian security agencies of activists engaged in legal political activity such as campaigning in solidarity with Palestine, Tamil Eelam and Kurdistan. The Socialist Alliance condemns the detention without trial of refugees on the basis of unsubstantiated claims by ASIO that they represent a threat to national security.