Australia: Mining Magnate's Bizarre Claim of CIA Coal Conspiracy

In a “bizarre” outburst mining magnate Clive Palmer joined the ranks of the CIA conspiracy theorists this week during the Queensland State election campaign. Australian bloggers have revelled in his accusations that the CIA funds Green candidates and organisations such as Greenpeace.

Club Troppo’s Don Arthur summarised:

On Tuesday mining magnate Clive Palmer fronted the media and announced that the US Central Intelligence Agency is using the Rockefeller Foundation to fund a campaign to undermine Australia’s coal industry.

His apparent confusion between the Foundation and the Rockerfeller Family Fund brought out a mixture of irony and sarcasm from JD Lang of Independent Australia in ‘Clive Palmer is rich so we should hear him out‘:

It is tempting to dismiss these allegations as the fantastical ravings of an obviously unsound mind; the preposterous and risibly demented squawks of a man possessed by a feverishly overactive imagination, complete lack of general knowledge, and a pitifully underdeveloped cerebral cortex.

…You don’t get to be so very, very, very, VERY rich by living in a complete fantasy world of spooks and conspiracies and reds under the bed all looking to take away your vast, vast, fortune (my precious), do you? Of course not.

In ‘Clive Palmer’s truth is really out there‘, Tory Shepherd seems dogged by conspiracists:

Clive Palmer’s conspiracy is amusing, but not harmless. Every time someone with influence squanders reason, a little truth puppy dies.

Palmer has his supporters. Barnaby is Right doesn’t trust the media to get the story correct:

I am certainly not jerking the knee in a self-glorifying display of imagined-witty insults, spewed bile, and general ad hominem abuse.

Like many journalists.

I am curious to follow up, to decide for myself whether there is any substance to Mr Palmer’s claims.

Especially since my own research over many years suggests there may be more than a little ring of truth in what he has said.

At Pure Poison Dave Gaukroger is also concerned about media, but this time it is lack of coverage by Murdoch platforms:

When a prominent, influential donor and supporter of one of our major political parties announces that the intelligence agency of a foreign power is orchestrating a campaign against Australian interests you think that’d be pretty big news. Apparently not if that person is Clive Palmer.

Colin of whatintheworld is worried about another world order, adding the United Nations to the CIA covert campaign:

It has started with the Carbon Tax and will continue until every resource property and industry is completely under the rules and regulations of the UN all in the name of sustainability.

Watching the Deniers must have been following Colin as he sees parallels with Palmer’s climate scepticism:

Conspiracy thinking and the fear of the “other” runs deep within the denial movement.

In the deniers world bankers, scientists, the UN, Freemasons, Greens and socialists are plotting to take over the globe and reduce our living standards on par with the stone age.

Cartoon from New Matilda: courtesy Fiona Katauskas

Cartoon from New Matilda: courtesy Fiona Katauskas

Palmer’s claims have raised a number of other conspiracies related to political power. He has a high profile in conservative politics as an active participant in and major financial donor to the Liberal and National Parties. He has been active in his opposition to the Gillard government’s Mining Profits tax. He also plans a High Court challenge to its Carbon price legislation.

His alleged misuse of and influence on the political process has given rise to an ugly war of words with Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister. At the academic blog The Conversation, Jean-Paul Gagnon is clearly concerned that money speaks too loudly:

There is great anxiety among scholars over the influence of money, vested interests, and corporate lobbies in most modern governments.

… Swan’s position is more in line with the broad international and deep humanistic ethos of democracy. Palmer has no legitimacy and his comments have served to further erode the power of money, crass materialism and useless greed.

In addition, past accusations of CIA meddling in Oz politics have resurfaced such as Don Arthur’s reference to a right wing cultural journal:

While there’s no evidence that Australian green groups are being funded by the CIA there is one Australian organisation known to have received CIA funding — Quadrant magazine.

Twittter tag #clivepalmer has also added to the conspiracy theories with many wacky contributions.

Finally online advocacy organisation GetUp! has released a video parody of a CIA response:

As they say: One person's conspiracy is another person's reality.


  • Anonymous

    I thought this was actually quite hilarious. What I want to know is on what grounds does Clive Palmer have for claiming the CIA is interfering? Of all the sources I have looked at, none mention why he thinks that the US is funding the Green movement. As the CIA responded: “Simply put, these allegations are false”. I’m clearly not the only one who finds this funny, as the people in parliament also began to joke about it. Attorney General Roxon started comparing Clive to a character in the show Get Smart. It was quite interesting to read, to know that even when America isn’t interfering in affairs, they are still blamed.

  • Ed T

    Basically, from what I take from this post and other sources, is that Clive Palmer is blaming the CIA for funding green parties against his business. Palmer even said himself “[The Green Party] is funded by the CIA”. He also goes on to say how there are many secret budgets going from the US Government to the CIA, and he believes these are ultimately funding the green parties. “First up, Greenpeace does not accept funding from the CIA, nor from any other secret service for that matter” Says John Hepburn, a senior Greenpeace campaigner. Hepburn continues by stating that Greenpeace is funded by tens of thousands of individuals across Australia.

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