Covert Operations of the US. Are They Legal?

trump Shortly after inauguration, President Trump visits Langley

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

In the March 18 article at Gumshoe, “What Matters More: Impunity Or Immunity?” I mentioned two cases of CIA’s purported right to do something illegal: to import drugs as a way of getting ransom money for hostages (“the Iran/Contra affair”) and engaging in real estate scams to fund black ops.

Now I’d like to look more generally at the legitimacy, or lack of legitimacy, of governmental secret operations. I have never researched ASIO, but in the US a famous inspection of the CIA was carried out by Senator Frank Church, in 1975. This made information accessible, thank God. Covert groups are inherently inaccessible.

Senator Church’s interest was that of a parent. I’m referring to the fact that Congress had given birth to the CIA, by statute. Frank knew his rights and responsibilities as a Daddy, so to speak.

[Read more…]

Gotcha Back, Martin!


by Mary W Maxwell

On March 15, 2017, I was aware that a West Australian had made the trip to Adelaide for my Fringe show “Moot Court for Martin Bryant.”  And three days later a New South Welshman emailed Gumshoe to report that he and his whole family had hopped over to Adelaide.  Wow.

Today I got quite a surprise when a friend of mine who was in the audience told me that, while eavesdropping during the Interval, he learned that at least one woman from Tassie attended.

Nobody came up to greet me after the show, so I was unable to gauge the response!  On the other hand, no one made any trouble during the show, which is supposedly a miracle!

[Read more…]

Humanity In Crisis, Part 6: Weapons of Mass Insanity

Nuclear tests in the 1950s — with soldiers marching into the test zone

by Dee McLachlan

I have always found it astonishing that leaders would build up such an arsenal of weapons — so large — that it could obliterate humanity from the planet.

Two countries — the US and Russia — currently have a total of 900 missiles and 2581 strategic nuclear warheads (that we know of) on launch-ready status. The total explosive power of these weapons is about 1185 Mt (megatons, or 1.185 billion tons of TNT equivalent explosive power). That is a ton of TNT for every family on the planet. [Read more…]

Which Matters More: Impunity Or Immunity?

Certificate of immunity for a diplomat

by Mary W Maxwell

A frequent Commenter to, Speculator 247, has asked Gumshoe to answer the following question:

“Government persons act like they can commit crime with impunity. At the same time, they do, to some extent, try to obscure and keep a great deal of these actions out of the public’s awareness. Also, they’ve led the people to believe that spies/diplomats are allowed by law to do things that most of us would be prosecuted for. So I wondered if that idea was recorded anywhere, and does it extend to others whom we may not recognize as spies/diplomats?”

In the above byline I did not append LLB to my name, as I am not sufficiently confident that I am going to give up-to-date law here. But I can certainly give the spirit of the law, which has not changed.

First, Speculator’s statement that “Government persons act like they can commit crime with impunity” is true.  They DO act like that. But the reason is not that their behavior is legal – surely it is 100% illegal. They get away with it because we don’t crack down on them. [Read more…]

Further to the Elements of English Law, with a Section on the Crime of Treason

Magna Carta of 1215, at Runnymede signed by King John

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

We now continue yesterday’s article, quoting at length from William Geldart’s 1907 work, Elements of English Law. That book is still in print, although Oxford University Press has re-named it Introduction to English Law.

I prefer “elements.” By explaining the elements, Geldhart manages to show why laws in England are what they are. Laws in England? What about Australia? Australia has the same elements of law. English law is enjoyed by Canada, the US, Oz, and other countries.

How lucky we all are to have this great heritage. [Read more…]

What Hath Martin Bryant Wrought?

Martin, Maurice, and Lindy Bryant, circa 1975

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

You just never know where things will lead. A huge miscarriage of justice occurred in the 1996 Port Arthur case, and many Australians do not plan to put up with it.

Let’s say 2,000 are opposed to the continued incarceration of Martin Bryant.  I draw that figure from the fact that 3,200 people have signed Cherri Bonney’s petition at for “an inquest for all our sakes.”

I’m guessing, generously, that 1,000 of those people are not Australian (there is no national rule on signing petitions). So I use the 2,000 figure. But we could easily multiply that by 10, as only some folks ever know that a petition exists. [Read more…]

Act I, Scene 1 of the Moot Court Trial. Martin Bryant Introduces Himself to the Fringe Audience.


by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

It’s me. It’s me Martin. You never met me. The only time the public heard my voice was when I was 12 years old. I lit some firecrackers and ended up on television, in my pajamas.  But since April 28, 1996 I’m an Australian icon. Not like Arnott’s biscuit sort of icon, you know, more like the bad kind. Like a monster. The worst possible human being.

Today is December 10, 1996. Last month, November, I was sentenced to a thousand years in prison for killing 35 people. I most certainly did not kill anyone. Actually there is an exception. I may have killed one man by mistake, but it wasn’t at Port Arthur. I’ll tell you about that later. [Read more…]

Not All Art Is for Art’s Sake

by Mary W Maxwell

Wow. Today is show-biz-for-Martin day. The “legal situation” is looking up, here at the Fringe. Maybe should call it The Tasmanian Supreme Fringe.
And guess what, there is a new clip of Cherri Bonney’s song. It will make its debut just before Moot Court opens at 3pm today, the Ides of March. Venue: Burnside Library Hall, 401 Greenhill Rd, Tusmore. Approximate $35 taxi ride from Adelaide Airport — a bargain, all things considered.
A link to the song has already been sent to Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney General of Tassie. She could not fail to be moved. Here, have a go, Dear Reader:

Do Vaccines Cause ill Health?

(L) Richard Moskowitz, MD , and (R) Dr Toni Bark

by Dee McLachlan

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has supported the current national “no jab, no play” policy. He also is pressing for a further move — to stop unvaccinated children from attending childcare centres and preschools across Australia.

Wait. How many vaccinations are enough? Who decides such a thing? It is, after all, a decision, not a “fact.” I trawled for some statistics and came up with a helpful American list at the website:

  • 1950 – 3 childhood vaccines typically given when a child entered school.
  • 1983 – 10 recommended vaccines by the age of 6 years old (24 doses, 7 injections, 4 oral doses for polio).
  • 2010 – the CDC vax schedule totaled 68 doses with more than half given by the time a child was only a year and a half old.
  • 2016 – 74 doses by age 17.

[Read more…]

Refreshments Will Be Served at Wednesday’s Fringe

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

Martin Bryant will turn 50 in two months. I will turn 70 in a couple of weeks. Neither of those things calls for a celebration, though in the old days we might have gone the whole hog.

Bryant’s problem is that he’s never going to get out of there. Every birthday for him is “more of same.” As for moi not being in a celebratory mood, I just don’t see our collective situation improving – quite the opposite. We are on a downhill track.

That said, please come to the Adelaide Fringe on March 15 at 3pm. The venue is the Burnside Library Hall. No tix; it’s free. [Read more…]

An Accomplice Ruins the Whole Story

Seascape cottage

by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

Editor’s note: This was Part 11 of Bryant’s Anniversary Series.

It is wonderful to see that another court case in Tasmania is proceeding apace. That is the new appeal of convicted murderess Sue Neill-Fraser. Gumshoe is not going to put resources into that case, but it has provided me with a clue about Martin Bryant.

Of course there is plenty already to show that Bryant was a patsy and had nothing whatsoever to do with the massacre at the Broad Arrow Café on April 28, 1996. But I have just noticed something about the logic of “accomplices.”

During the siege at Seascape, which involved a hostage-taking, it was acknowledged by police that more than one gunman had appeared at a time. Someone was shooting from the roof of one of the other buildings at Seascape, while Martin was holed up in the cottage. [Read more…]

New Life New Hope

by Cathy Jameson

Editor’s Note: This was first published at

Five of our friends are due in the next few months.  Years ago, I never used to be nervous when people announced that they were having babies. I love new babies!  But now, with how many challenges new parents face — including being bombarded with an unnecessary vaccine minutes after baby arrives, nervous is the best word to use.  Two of our friends are having what I call organic babies though.

What’s an “organic” baby?  It’s a baby whose parents are opting out of some of society’s pre- and post-natal standards. That includes vaccines. [Read more…]

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