|Yet another broadcasting low has this week been reached, as Australia’s
Network Ten continued its vitriolic campaign of censorship and propaganda.
Schapelle Corby was released from an Indonesian prison on 10th February 2014. She had suffered almost a decade in overbearing and squalid conditions, for a crime she did not commit.
Whilst there are many innocent people in prisons across the world, Schapelle Corby’s imprisonment was not only unjust, it was both corrupt and political.
Her own government, the Australian government, had known since July 2005 that she was entirely innocent. It had known that the marijuana, which had been found in her bag on arrival in Bali, had been placed by corrupt staff across Australian airports. It had known that airport security was shambolic, and that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were involved in the syndication of drugs.
Rather than manage the implications of this situation, ministers chose to sacrifice an innocent life. They wilfully suppressed the life critical evidence, they blocked essential revenue for Schapelle Corby’s legal appeals, and they led the Australian media into a campaign of abuse, fabrication, and vitriol.
The information, which conclusively proved this, emerged courtesy of an international research team called The Expendable Project. Published on the project website are hundreds of cables, items of correspondence, transcripts, and briefing notes, from the heart of the Australian administration. These openly demonstrate a catalogue of corrupt and criminal activity, perpetrated in support of the above.
None of this has been reported by the Australian media.
The Gagging Of Schapelle Corby
On release from prison on parole, Schapelle Corby presented a significant threat. The public’s thirst for coverage of her story was insatiable. Her words would be heard by almost the entire population.
It was also apparent that, despite unimaginable suffering, her spirit had not been broken. Courageously, she had never made the false confession which had been demanded, and she was well aware of many of the abuses which had been perpetrated from Canberra.
Australian politicians, and the Australian media, instantly began a campaign to silence her, using a series of direct lies and misrepresentation. This included the manufactured fabrication, stemming from a report by Fairfax Media, that she was to be paid $3 million for her first interview.
All Schapelle Corby herself wanted to do was to speak: to tell the truth to the people of Australia.
To intimidate the media and her family, thirty-four armed AFP officers raided a television network. The office of Mercedes Corby’s lawyer was raided by a dozen armed officers, also carrying pepper spray. These threatening and belligerent gangs illegally seized equipment, data, and confidential information. They openly breached lawyer/client confidentiality. A number of government ministers cheered from the sidelines.
As the pressure built, Indonesia acted. Schapelle Corby was told that if she spoke, she would be sent back to prison. Her sister, Mercedes, was also gagged, under the same threat.
The Australian establishment had secured what it needed. Its secrets were safe. The information published by The Expendable Project remained unreported, and censored.
Paid-For Lies & Flagrant Exploitation
Realizing that this had been a close-call, further action was required. From the state’s perspective, Schapelle Corby herself had to be increasingly undermined. The value and credibility of her words had to be reduced.
The route to achieve this was exploitative in the extreme. Direct lies were to be put into the mouth of Schapelle Corby whilst she was gagged, and could not respond. Network Ten, headed by Lachlan Murdoch, paid a reported $30,000 for an interview with a heroin smuggler called Renae Lawrence.
Lawrence was a member of the Bali 9, who had been caught smuggling a large quantity of heroin in 2005. When intercepted, she had 2.69 kg strapped to her legs and chest, concealed underneath her clothing. She was reported as being "not shy of standing over and intimidating prisoners, especially the new arrivals, and demanding money” and a “bully, who would turn on anyone she didn’t like". In 2013 she was re-located to a remote prison, after being accused of plotting to murder two prison guards.
During her time in Kerobokan Prison, she never shared a cell with Schapelle Corby, although Channel Ten described her as a "cellmate", for extra effect.
The script was predictable. Amongst other false allegations, she stated that Schapelle Corby had secretly confessed to her, and that she had faked her mental illness in prison. She provided good value for Channel Ten’s investment.
Whatever Lawrence’s character and malignant intent, she too had been exploited, as part of a much bigger game.
The general media reported her paid-for fabrications as credible, regardless of the lack of any supporting evidence whatsoever, and her obvious situation. Schapelle Corby’s forced silence was not referred to, as headline coverage presented this crass and abusive operation as a “bombshell”.
The state propaganda machine was in full flow. The corruption of the Australian establishment was being forced into the background, as Schapelle Corby herself was again denigrated and maligned across the media spectrum.
All parties involved in this Soviet style manipulation of public opinion were fully aware of The Expendable Project information cache. They knew what it revealed, and they knew its implications. They willingly participated in an exercise of unmitigated propaganda, transparent to the intelligent mind, but consumed by too many Australians as the truth.
Australia had, once again, demonstrated the depths to which a government will sink, to protect its own, at the expense of an innocent citizen.
Schapelle Corby remains gagged: silenced and unable to expose her own innocence, and the guilt of those with power, who stole so much of her life for political and self-interest.