Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Australian Government Senator Mark Arbib US "spy"

Senator Mark Arbib (left)and Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

A powerful Australian Senator, Mark Arbib, has been exposed as a US informant on the inner workings of Australia's government and political power games.

The Labor Government Senator, who was pivitol in the ousting of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd from his own party leadership for Australia's current leader Julia Gillard, has been accused of effectively spying for the US government by supplying intimate details of the Australian government's inner workings.

Australia's Fairfax media newspapers Thrusday morning published US diplomatic cables provided by controversial whistleblower sight Wikileaks, that had the US embassy claiming Senator Arbib had "met with us repeatedly throughout his political rise."

From The Age Newspaper:

"(Senator Arbib) understands the importance of supporting a vibrant relationship with the US while not being too deferential," an embassy profile on Senator Arbib from July 2009 says.

"We have found him personable, confident and articulate.

"He has met with us repeatedly throughout his political rise."

The documents also describe Senator Arbib as "an influential factional operator who has forged strong political connections with Rudd".

"We have been told that Rudd respects Arbib's political expertise, and a contact noted that Arbib is brought into Rudd's inner circle when politically important decisions are made," it said.

"Arbib is said to be loyal to, but frank with, Rudd, and is one of Rudd's closest advisers. Yet, publicly, Arbib has denied being part of Rudd's inner circle."

Mr Rudd's reputation as a micromanager is again confirmed by one cable which said: "Rudd's staff would like to get their boss to spend less time on foreign policy and delegate more, but that they recognise that this is a hopeless task."

The cables also reveal that in October 2009, when Mr Rudd's popularity as prime minister was waning, Senator Arbib told US diplomats that Mr Rudd wanted "to ensure that there are viable alternatives to Gillard within the Labor Party to forestall a challenge".

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