Australian Citizens Party Citizens Taking Responsibility



ASPI exposed! Shut down this think tank of lies and war

- Citizens Party Media Release

In Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, the heroic general by that name is incited into a murderous rage by a web of malicious lies spun by his trusted adviser Iago. Because Othello does not recognise Iago’s lies, he ends up falsely believing his beloved wife Desdemona was having an affair and kills her, thus destroying his life and everything he loves. Evil liars manipulating the powerful into destructive conflicts is nothing new, but tragedies like Othello were written as cautionary tales for people to learn from. Australia should learn that lesson in relation to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

ASPI is the principal source of the deliberate disinformation campaign that has achieved a breathtakingly sudden breakdown in diplomatic relations, mostly since 2017, between China and Australia, our “Five Eyes” partners the USA, UK and Canada (except NZ), and some European nations, which is pushing the world to the brink of war. (Thankfully, the majority of the world’s nations have seen through ASPI’s lies, and maintained good diplomatic relations with China regardless.) ASPI is an Australian Defence Department think tank, majority funded by the Australian government, but it is also heavily funded by foreign governments and the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers, who have raked in massive profits from the extra sales they have made out of the dangerous war tensions they have paid ASPI to fuel. Among its foreign government funders, the biggest is the US State Department, but it also receives funding from the British, Dutch, and Japanese governments, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which is right now provoking conflict with Russia.

Outgoing ASPI Director Peter Jennings, who has overseen ASPI’s aggressive conflict-stoking role, was an adviser to Prime Minister John Howard, whom Jennings advised to commit Australia to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That advice alone should have seen Jennings banished from public influence forever; instead he was given a role which he has used to stoke what would be the biggest war of all. Twice in 2020 Jennings predicted war with China “within months”.

Uyghur lies

Now ASPI’s lies have been thoroughly exposed in a brilliant report by an Australian lawyer, Jacqueline (Jaq) James, which is a legal analysis of a 2020 ASPI report, “Uyghurs for sale”. ASPI’s report fuelled the last two years of hysterical claims that the Uyghur Muslims of China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region were being subjected to “forced labour” in China, which led to political pressure on companies all over the world to drop Chinese companies with Uyghur employees from their supply chains. Many large Western companies did, not because they found forced labour, but because of the political pressure they came under; as a result, many Uyghur workers lost their jobs.

Jaq James’s report, “The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Uyghurs For Sale report: Scholarly Analysis or Strategic Disinformation?”, dissects all of ASPI’s specific allegations to assess its standards of evidence from a legal standpoint, i.e. would these claims stack up in a court of law? They don’t–none of them. In fact, in a second edition of her report in response to an ASPI employee’s accusation that she “simply dismissed” their findings, Ms James shows that ASPI falsely misrepresented its evidence in such a blatant way it can only be considered deliberate. She concludes: “ASPI lobbed eighteen specific accusations relating to forced labour at China, and, as this paper shows, not one of them survives close scrutiny. It is submitted that this is because the ASPI report was not a work of scholarly analysis, but rather a piece of strategic disinformation to exact harm.”

Jaq James’s report is not the first to debunk ASPI’s malicious lies about China. The Citizens Party has debunked them repeatedly, and over the past few years many people and institutions around the world have come to recognise that ASPI is nothing more than a propaganda outlet for the pro-war elements in the Five Eyes countries, who, as the 2003 Iraq invasion demonstrated, use deliberate lies that vilify the target countries to pave the way to war. However, her report is one of the most thorough and conclusive examinations of ASPI’s claims, and she has shown that this think tank is totally lacking in credibility, is completely untrustworthy, and reflects very badly on Australia.

For the sake of world peace, this think tank of lies must be shut down!

Click here to support Jaq James, who is independent and self-funded, to continue her analysis work.

Click here to read “An obliteration of ASPI’s ‘Uyghurs For Sale’ report: take two”, which highlights some of the most important details from the second edition of the Jaq James report.

Click here to read the full, second edition of “The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Uyghurs For Sale report: Scholarly Analysis or Strategic Disinformation?