Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

Vaile to take lie detector test on AWB: a citizen's triumph!

First published 2 November, 2007 

Hi. As you know, as well as helping Kerrie Tucker try to end Howard's Senate control on election day, I've also been helping another Green friend, Webdiarist Susie Russell, in her ginger campaign against Deputy PM Mark Vaile in his safe seat of Lyne. (Our official T-Shirt is GIVE A SHIT, VOTE GREEN.) Susie emailed me amazing news today which I thought you might like to hear. Yes folks, Vaile has agreed, under questioning from a talk back listener and citizen extraordinaire, to take a lie detector test on AWB!

Now that Vaile's agreed, how about asking Howard and Downer the same question when you hear them on radio where you live.

Here's the press release from Lyne's Labor candidate James Langley:


Australian Wheat Board Shock: Vaile Agrees to Lie Detector Test

The campaign in Lyne took an unusual twist at 2.45pm on Thursday afternoon. Taree Radio station 2RE held a live to air debate between the Deputy Prime Minister and his challenger, ALP candidate James Langley.  Mr Vaile failed to show.

However Mr Vaile did phone through to allow the debate to continue. One unexpected showing though was a constituent Peter Warner, farmer from Nabiac.

At the end of the debate 2RE allowed Mr Warner a chance to address the Deputy Prime minister.

Mr Warner first asked the leader of the Nationals if he agreed that treason is the worst crime a citizen can commit against their country. Mr Vaile agreed.

Mr Warner then informed the Prime Minister that he had a cheque for $5000 that he would give to the charity Legacy if Mr Vaile would submit to a lie detector test to answer questions regarding the Australian Wheat Board scandal.  

Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile then agreed to take a lie detector test to answer questions about the AWB scandal. Mr Vaile was the Trade Minister at the time of the ‘wheat for weapons’ corruption scandal. In his evidence to the Cole inquiry which looked into the scandal, Mr Vaile replied that he could not recall 17 times. The Cole Inquiry was muzzled by the Howard government, not being able to look into the conduct of Ministers overseeing the AWB

Mr Langley said “ These amazing events overshadowed my win in the debate, but it is probably going to be far more interesting to watch this unfold. I congratulate Mr Warner on his commitment to the pursuit of truth and  justice.”


For Webdiary's extensive coverage of the AWB scandal, see here.


And there's more. It's a terrible thing, being in a safe National Party seat. Vaile supported diverting the seat's Manning River over the range to Tamworth, so the NSW Nats could have a shot at winning back that seat, now with an independent. (Smart folks, Tamworthians). And now he won't rule out a nuclear reactor where his constituents live:

Federal National Party leader Mark Vaile says he would want to see the location and technology before deciding whether to support any future proposal for a nuclear power plant in his electorate.

The Coalition has promised to conduct binding plebiscites in any community where a nuclear facility is proposed.

But a National Party candidate in New South Wales and a sitting Liberal MP have already voiced their opposition to a nuclear plant in their electorates.

Mr Vaile is today in his own seat of Lyne on the NSW north coast and says he has had no clear indication from his voters about how they would feel.

"My gut feeling is that I suspect that the competition would be too great both in terms of support and in terms of the economic viability from other areas to see something seriously considered along the coast here," he said.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Vaile's latest crud - Barnaby Joyce for National Party leader!

Vaile takes aim at business donors:

THE government had wanted business to spend a lot more cash promoting its industrial relations reforms during the election campaign, Mark Vaile said today.

Flog the single desk but not Flugge & Co?

Rudd's silence on the matter so far is deafening, especially in the light of disgraced AWB CEO Trevor Flugge's threat to tip the bucket on much of the Howard cabinet if they ever put him on trial.

Rudd should make a promise on this, because he has certainly promised to punish the AWB shareholders for the sins of Flugge (and person or persons unnamed) by getting rid of the single wheat sales desk administered by the AWB.

Otherwise, it will become the first big stink of his government.

No charges re AWB report - what a surprise!

Jack Robertson wrote in the update to my book that there was no way the so-called taskforce examining the Cole Commission's recommendations would report by the election. He was right. Alex Mitchell in today's Crikey email (subscription recommended):

No charges laid yet over AWB. How convenient!

Alex Mitchell writes:

This Saturday, federal election day, marks the first anniversary of the completion of Commissioner Terence Cole QC's report into the AWB kickbacks scandal which saw $300 million in bribes passed to Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime.

Cole's five-volume report recommended criminal charges be laid against 12 people, including 11 former AWB managers. But nothing has happened. No charges have been laid. Ever quick to prosecute swarthy natives of the Moslem faith, the Federal Attorney-General's Department has taken no steps to implement the Cole recommendations.

And time is running out. According to one legal source, there is a five-year statute of limitations on some of the offences: if charges are not laid before the end of this year, the alleged offenders could escape prosecution altogether. One explanation for the tardy behaviour of the Howard Government to push AWB prosecutions is this: all of the accused have retained high-powered legal teams who are armed with documents and testimony proving beyond any doubt that AWB's illegal wheat sales to Baghdad were sanctioned by Cabinet ministers.

One of the prime participants in the bribes scandal, Dr Ashton Calvert AC, secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the critical years between 1998 and 2004, died last week. Calvert, who became a Rio Tinto director after leaving government service, was never called before the Cole Inquiry in what was a scandalous lapse of judgment but his colleagues say that his meticulous overview of the bribes-to-Saddam affair are held in the vaults of the department.

If Labor wins on Saturday, perhaps the incoming foreign minister can locate the Calvert dossier, publish it and commence the prosecution of the AWB personnel. Cole exonerated Prime Minister John Howard, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Transport Minister Mark Vaile but history may not be so generous.

No charges? So much for the rats...

What a pity, Margo. I was looking forward to some obscure AWB employee, up to his neck in near-treason and bribery charges, and looking at a long stretch with real crims in very small rooms, to rat directly on someone in current government (the usual suspects apply). The Libs are probably wondering if they can "pull the wool" again, as the hapless public have forgotten this issue entirely, and have moved on to Nicole's birthing issues with Tom...

The Libs are probably thinking, WTF, the US stole the wheat contracts anyway, and all they really wanted us to do was produce a whitewash that would generally slime through Congress as a "responsible outcome". Seeing as how they @#$%ed us over on the wheat deal, and there's nothing to be gained, let's just hose this away, and see if the public forgets it. Typical Howard BS...

A Serious Complaint From A Taxpayer!

Listen, the Coalition is spending millions of dollars on advertising, some of it mine! I insist upon getting value for money. There are two things that should be clear in the mind of every voter in this country by now (or else):

1. The Coalition is without fault. None! John Howard rivals Jesus Christ for living a perfect life, one entirely without blemish. St Peter will be made the Saint of  Humility upon his demise. The AWB issue was a plot hatched by wicked wheat farmers with terrorist connections. Or Union officials!

2. The Labor Party is guilty of every fault known to mankind. Not just guilty but damnably guilty.  Even Malcolm B Duncan in his finest hour couldn't spring them! Rudd is the anti-christ and Gillard is the Medusa, a bloody left-wing Medusa at that!

Now I've cleared that up, on Saturday, you know what to do! Or else!

P.S. You've heard about rendition, haven't you? Nasty. 

FINALLY a (tiny) mainstream media run

See the entry in the SMH's The stump. This could have been a defining story for Vaile's campaign if the media had done its job and tried to hold Vaile to his promise. Thank you, Mark Metherell, for at least getting it out there... 


At the press club, Mark Metherell of the Sydney Morning Herald just asked Vaile when he would keep his promise to take a lie detector test before the election on his evidence at the Cole Commission inquiry into kickbacks to Saddam.

Nope. The AWB treason scandal "is now a matter of history as far as Australians are concerned". To the citizen farmer who got Vaile's promise - come and see him after the election.

treat Vaile , his mouth is flyblown

What a fool.

This could be every journo's first question to him, on principle. Why not sit the test, right now, minister? This should be his electorate's issue. A deceiving lying politician involved in money to Saddam, 300 million.

Unfkn believable.

Mulse him.


Downer Dodges AWB Aplogy

In debate with SA infrastructure minister Pat Conlon  (Minister for Hallibuton, I call him)  Downer was asked:

[AdelaideNow extract

"Will you apologise because you told people we had to go Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction, (or for ignoring) 34 warnings of AWB paying Saddam Hussein?"

Mr Downer said the key issue for Australians was financial management – and returned to his familiar theme of trade union domination of the Labor Party.

The video of the debate (held in the AdelaideNow studio!) should be up later this arvo.

Thery're going to get away with it.

I've been watching Downer's website and he's been pretty quiet in his media transcripts, speeches, etc.  Bugger-all of what he's said in the press is making it to his website.  What's he playing at?

Vaille's lie belies the treatment AWB is being given.  It's a part of the past that the Liberals want us to forget.  Probably because it still, even now, has the potential to sink them politically.  It doesn't look like Rudd's going to touch this stuff either.

I reckon Vaille's remembered some memos that he's read.

Trust me I'm a politician

One of the central arguments of the Labor Party and the Australian Council of Trade Unions during the election campaign has been that the Coalition would make IR tougher if it wins.

They have referred to a speech by Senator Minchin last year when he said he hoped the Government would not "wimp out" on making more changes.

But Senator Minchin has told Channel Ten there will not be any more and he argues Labor's plan to wind back the laws would be economically damaging.

"We will not be making any further changes," he said.

Federal Finance Minister Nick Minchin has told a closed meeting that the Coalition wants to push ahead with more changes to industrial relations (IR).

He also said most Australians "violently disagree" with the recent IR changes and there was a real prospect that the High Court could overturn the Work Choices laws.

In a recording obtained by AM, Senator Minchin told members of the HR Nicholls Society that "we do need to seek a mandate from the Australian people at the next election for another wave of industrial relations reform".

The Finance Minister said he could not understand why his colleagues - Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock - were so relaxed about the High Court challenge by Labor states.

He warned the Government had appointed conservative judges to the High Court during the past 10 years and they could well be conservative about using the corporations power of the Constitution to override the states.

Caught out Mr Minchin, you can't have it both ways.

Good enough for dole recipients..

See Voice analysis to cut off British welfare cheats.

Still no word on whether Vaile will keep his promise.

This was a scoop

Crikey has today picked up Webdiary's scoop - pity the feeble journos on Meet the Press didn't bother a google. But the radio station won't conduct the test, for a suitably non-journalistic reason (the Nats tend to 'own' the commercial media slant in the country and country ABC ain't game to rock the boat too much):

18. Will Mark Vaile take a lie detector test over AWB?

Jane Nethercote writes:

Last Thursday, Taree radio station 2RE got more than it bargained for when it hosted a debate between Nationals leader Mark Vaile and the ALP candidate who's going up against him in the seat of Lyne, James Langley.

After the debate was over, the host allowed a listener's question.

Peter Warner, a farmer from Nabiac, fired up on the "Australian Wheat Board fiasco". He told Vaile: "Before I make my vote, can I get a rock solid guarantee from you that what you said to the Cole Inquiry was above board and correct." Vaile replied: "Everything I said was absolutely true."

Warner then proposed a challenge: if Vaile was prepared to take a lie detector test over the issue, he would be prepared to donate $5,000 to Legacy. Vaile skirted around the issue, labeling it "a futile sort of an exercise ... we have been through a Royal Commission."

However when pressed to give a "yes or no" answer as to whether he'd do it, Vaile replied: "I'm quite happy to do that, yes". To which Warner piped up, "I'll organise it".

In a press release, Langley said: "These amazing events overshadowed my win in the debate, but it is probably going to be far more interesting to watch this unfold.”

Crikey understands that the lie detector test will not be going ahead -- at least not on 2RE. It was deemed to be more one man's quest than a matter of more general public interest.

We tried to track down Warner to see if he will be pursuing the issue with Mr Vaile but were unable to get hold of him. In the public interest, Crikey is prepared to host the polygraph. Paging Peter Warner...

We'd be interested to see what it makes of the words "do not recall".

Margo: Emails to the radio station inquiring on progress in setting up the test, perhaps? 

Pollie the Polly

A bloke named Cameron Reilly made the request to Downer last year, including an outline of prroposed questioning.  

A Wediary scoop. Margo?  Here's to more. I still haven't seen an Australian publication besides Webdiary correlate the US and Australian Scott Parkin stories.

Howard and Downer? My Oath No

If Vaille can plead ignorance from not having seen the intelligence reports, it's highly unikely that either John or Alex would pass this test.  Even if they didn't hear it from ASIO, then surely from the US Department of State. who\ve also reportedly known since 98? 

Take this PM transcript from April last year, an interview by Mark Colvin Of Jonathan Holmes


JONATHAN HOLMES: Mark, the DFAT witnesses have been taken through 17 secret documents in the last couple of days, which they've not been allowed to release the contents of.

A distillation of those documents for public consumption has just been issued, and I have to say, at first reading, they're dynamite.

Let me read you, very briefly the first three paragraphs:

DOCUMENT EXCERPT: In 1998, the Australian intelligence community held intelligence indicating that Alia corporation based in Jordan was part owned by the Iraqi Government and that it was involved in circumventing United Nations sanctions.

MARK COLVIN: You say Alia, that's the trucking company which has been at the centre of all of this.

JONATHAN HOLMES: That's the trucking company that AWB paid $220 million US to, in the course of four years.

MARK COLVIN: And according to what we've been told so far, the Government didn't know... has said that it didn’t know until much later that Alia was a front.

JONATHAN HOLMES: No one that's come before the inquiry from the Government side has ever heard of Alia until the Volcker Report, virtually, or certainly until 2005.

We now know that the Australian intelligence community knew that it was a front company for the Iraqis from 1998. And they knew by the first course of 2000, this resume says, that "Alia received fees in Jordan for the discharge of inland transport within Iraq, of goods purchased by Iraq under the oil-for-food program.

"The fees, less a small commission, were paid into account accessible by Iraq in violation of sanctions, the amounts involved were very substantial."

And so on.

There's another 10 paragraphs, but basically what they're saying is, that the intelligence community was aware of these developments full-stop. And the only thing it does not say, is that the intelligence community was aware that the Australian Wheat Board was paying Alia.

MARK COLVIN: Now it says that the intelligence community was aware of them.

What was the circulation of these cables?

JONATHAN HOLMES: These are not cables. This is a distillation by the Commission itself of a whole series of intelligence reports that were submitted to it. It is not referring to any particular cable, it's referring to the knowledge of the intelligence community at any particular point in time.

We need to hear the refusal from their lips.

Will the Deputy PM Please raise his hand?

 On Meet The Press today, the Deputy Prime Minister of the "New Order" regime was beating up truth before he disappears back into the regional areas with his very junior members of the coalition.

 It is interesting that, near the regionals, Howard speaks in front of a different motto to "Go for Growth".  Difficult to read but it is definitely different in context except for the "Vote Liberal".  Interesting.

 Are the Liberals hoping that their poor relations can sneak in a couple of seats?  A vote for Nationals is a vote for Howard, let's not forget that fact.

Mr. Vaile of infamy in the AWB scandal and the betrayal of the Sugar Industry when "negotiating" the American Free Trade Agreement, pops up to show he still exists.

 But nothing has changed.  Power at all costs and hail the dictator.

 I quote just a few sections of Meet the Press:

PAUL BONGIORNO: But even to speculate that a sitting PM is under threat in such good times?

MARK VAILE: Well, I think that, you know, people are looking around. There's softness everywhere and looking at different alternatives and, you know, I have - and I'm not about to start commenting on polls here or there and of course not one in the PM's seat - obviously we're very confident that the PM will hold his seat, and, you know, he takes nothing for granted. He takes every challenge very, very seriously and he takes his seat very seriously .

PAUL BONGIORNO: Just going to something that was around just before the last election, on the eve of the last election the Australian-United States free trade agreement was signed off and became effective in January 2005. It was hailed at the time as a breakthrough for freer Australian access to the giant American market, but most of the benefits seem to be flowing the other way. The year before the FTA came into effect, our trade deficit with the US was $10.4 billion, the first year it rose to $11.8 billion and it's kept rising. This year it's a whopping $15 billion. Deputy PM, you were a reluctant starter. The critics at the time said that the benefits would flow to America. They've been proved right, haven't they?

MARK VAILE: There's a few things that have happened during that time. Our economy in Australia has continued to strengthen and grow and got stronger. It's now a $1.1 trillion economy. The American economy has become a bit softer. 

MAN ON MYSPACE: Mr Vaile, you recently expressed your doubts about climate change referring to "conflicting scientific evidence." What is this conflicting evidence, and considering that your key constituency is being affected by such a devastating drought, when can they expect you to analyse this information and form a position on the challenge of climate change?

MARK VAILE: What I've been saying for the last week in a number of different interviews talking about climate change and who believes and who doesn't, is that I believe in the scientific facts and that there's an overwhelming majority of scientific point of view that supports the notion of climate change being driven by global warming, greenhouse gas emissions. That's why as a government for a decade we've been doing a fair bit about it, investing a significant amount of money into measures to deal with mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. 

Let's keep our eyes on the ball.

Margo: Hi Ern. The journos' performance was atrocious. The followup to the citizen's question was - but there is still debate, so what's wrong with what you said? How about: "If you have a good record, how come the proportion of our energy consumption supplied by renewables has gone down since you took office in 1996?"







Deputy PM still a denialist

Labor candidate takes Vaile to task on climate change: 

A Labor candidate has taken Federal Nationals' leader Mark Vaile to task over his doubts about climate change.

Earlier this week Mr Vaile said there was conflicting scientific evidence that needed to be analysed, saying things like the drought could just be part of a normal cycle.

Labor candidate in Mr Vaile's seat of Lyne, James Langley, repeatedly pursued the issue in a debate on commercial radio in his home town of Taree.

Mr Vaile later said the overwhelming scientific evidence is that climate change is happening.

beta blockers for lie tests, now who can't go scuba diving?tough

Such tests rely upon sympathetic nervous stimulation increasing heart rate, bp, breathing, and sweating when stressed. Does lying stress any of the Rodent team?

Beta blockers are used to stop the sympathetic reaction to stress. Let us hope he is not an asthmatic. :); then they can kill. Some use them just for exam stress or speech making. Scuba diving can kill asthmatics too.

Look forward to seeing all the ratpack taking such  a test in a court of law during their various trials. The war crimes ones especially. Maybe they could be held in Indonesia? just joking ... , sort of.

Get an independent physician to asses before hand. Wriggly these critters. 


Really - I can't believe it.

Will Mark Vaile's agreement to take a lie detector test be actually carried out?

Why would he agree to have his honesty checked, even by the fallible system of a lie detector?

Being a part of the "New Order" there is always the manipulation of the so-called enquires and referendums which, under the Howard regime, mean nothing.

I have wondered at the absence of the ordinary Nationals in this election campaign and considered the possibility that Howard is exercising his previously stalled dumping of his country cousins.

One has to ask the following questions:

  • Would Vaile do this in a doubtful election?
  • What would he gain by having such a test?
  • As an AWB loser of memory, how could he truthfully answer questions?
  • Is he a "peeved politician"?
  • Does he feel dishonoured by the larger party ignoring his status?
  • Or is this just another diversion with the appearance of "honesty" in the "New Order" camp?

I do not apologise to a person who positively guaranteed the sugar industry that he would not sign a free trade agreement with the US unless his constitutents in that industry were a part of it.

History shows that he either did a Barnaby Joyce and betrayed his loyal constituents or, he backed down to the Howard pressure.

Not a good look.

I would honestly respect the man, even though I am sure he has behaved badly, if he blew the whistle on the lies of the AWB scandal.

I can only believe that he is loyally obeying Howard's orders to create unbelievable diversions to have us take our eyes off the ball.

Outrageous behaviour attracts the attention of the venal media.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago