A unique and extraordinary film has this week been released, free of charge, on the internet, via simultaneous upload to networks in territories as diverse as Russia, India, the United States, Japan, China, Vietnam, France, South Africa, and Germany. It is a film, however, which will certainly have long term implications for the state of Australia.
'Expendable', produced under conditions of strict secrecy in the US, demonstrates a lengthy series of corrupt and criminal acts by Australian politicians, sanctioned collectively by an Australian government. These involve not only activities at ministerial level, but central roles for Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, and a number of prominent corporations.
Demonstrate is the operative word, because these are not allegations. Every abuse covered in the film is supported by documentary proof, usually in the form of cables and correspondence between government ministers. These were pre-published on the Expendable website, for public scrutiny.
Further, collectively, the movie and supporting dossiers are currently being collated for submission to the United Nations, and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The 'Expendable' film documents the case of Schapelle Corby, a young Australian woman, who was sentenced to 20 years in an Indonesian prison in 2005, when 4.2kg of marijuana was found in her bag as she collected it on arrival in Bali.
The movie tracks the Australian government's response, which included the wilful withholding of vital primary evidence. This included the information that 5kg had been added to the weight of her bags after check-in, and that the offending bag was the only one not screened at Sydney airport, which she passed through on route.
The need to hide the systemic scale of post 9-11 corruption at Australian airports, including within the AFP, and the strategic policy of the appeasement of Indonesia, frame these, and a whole series of other acts of hostility against her.
The steps taken to cover this policy, post her trial, are equally appalling. The film shows, supported by indisputable government records, how public opinion was managed, how Schapelle Corby was deprived of funds for an extraordinary appeal, how the AFP's role was hidden, how known abuses of her human rights were ignored, and how a range of other hostile activities were initiated.
From the blurb issued with the film itself: "It presents, and demonstrates, the crushing, pre-meditated, and often brutal acts which a western government is prepared to inflict upon a helpless citizen, in pursuit of political expediency."
THE AUSTRALIAN MEDIA
The lack of plurality of ownership of the Australian media is a point made early in the film segment covering the state owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The implications of this resonate to this day.
In Australia, dead men cannot sue, a device which, since the death of Schapelle Corby's father, has been ruthlessly exploited by unethical publishers, to spin and re-spin wholly disproved smears. The 'Expendable' producers present several concise 'insider' interviews, which dramatically expose the shady world which operates under the banner of journalism.
Presenting such objectionable material is by no means limited to the ABC, with the press organs of Fairfax Media, for example, also being prominent.
It is within this climate that, since the Expendable Project began publishing government cables in September 2011, not a single column inch of coverage has been forthcoming in the Australian mainstream media. Incredibly, authentic correspondence, proving gross misconduct and a series of corrupt acts by an Australian government, has been blanked completely, whilst fabricated paid-for smears against a dead man have continued unabated.
News of the release of the film itself is likely to meet a similar fate, as is the involvement of the ICC, the UN, and other international agencies.
Schapelle Corby herself, enduring her eighth year in an Indonesian prison cell, is now mentally ill. At the end of last year, she attempted suicide, via a huge overdose of the drugs she is prescribed for her psychosis.
Even this, however, has proved to be insufficient for her government to negotiate her release, or for the Indonesians to demonstrate even a hint of mercy or compassion. It appears that, as the film states, "she is dying a slow torturous death, in squalor, devoid of human rights, and abandoned by her government"
EXPENDABLE THE MOVIE
This film is a wake up call for any traveller, any individual who places trust in political leaders or governments, and any humanitarian who believes that human decency will always prevail.
It creates a new perspective of the nation state of Australia, and presents a stark warning of the dangers of an overly cosy press caucus.
It is a film you will not forget.
Dr Margaret Parke
Of The Expendable Project