Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Don’t trust our government to keep us safe from terrorism

Next step you hear something in the media about the Australian government being “tough on terror” (and the media cheer-leaders behind them), remember this:

A Supreme Court judge has attacked the Australian Federal Police for bungling a two-year investigation into three men who sent funds to Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger separatists.

The agents’ action included improperly arresting a suspect and abusing his rights.

The AFP’s mistakes occurred during its 2007 arrest and questioning of Arumugan Rajeevan, who is one of three men who will be sentenced in the Victorian Supreme Court today for providing money to a terrorist organisation.

Federal agents arrested Rajeevan at gunpoint despite having no legal basis to do so. They refused requests from a barrister and lawyer to speak to him during his five-hour voluntary interview, and subjected him to questioning described by Justice Paul Coghlan as ”really well over the top” and ”outrageous”.

The AFP, which was heavily criticised over its handling of another terrorist investigation, into Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef, said it could not comment on the case until the men had been sentenced. However, it is believed the AFP has already made changes to deal with the problems that arose during the Tamil Tigers investigation.

Australian prosecutors last year withdraw all terrorism charges against Rajeevan, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy and Sivarajah Yathavan.

In December, they pleaded guilty to a lesser charge under the charter of the United Nations Act, a federal law that makes it a criminal offence to provide an asset to a terrorist organisation proscribed by either the UN or the Australian government.

In pretrial comments in January last year – which could not be reported at the time – Justice Coghlan said federal agents had ”abused” the rights of Rajeevan.

He said the manner in which Rajeevan was questioned by federal agent Patricia Reynolds was ”beyond any training a proper investigator can have” and a ”fundamental departure from the [proper] principles”.

After hearing a section of the interview, he said: ”The man is being abused … we’ve seen an example of at least half an hour of an interview in which there is an absolute … departure from the principles that would apply [in a normal interview].”

Rajeevan was questioned by Ms Reynolds and another female agent. ”Whether it’s good girl, bad girl, I don’t know, but every time Ms Reynolds comes into it it’s pretty full on,” Justice Coghlan said of the interview. After his criticism, the prosecution decided not to use Mr Rajeevan’s interview as part of its case.

The judge also queried why the AFP did not let barrister Philip Boulton, QC, and lawyer Adam Houda speak to Rajeevan while he was being questioned.

He described as ”frighteningly high handed” Rajeevan’s arrest at gunpoint in 2007 by federal agents and warned police they risked incriminating themselves by testifying about the potentially unlawful arrest.

He said it appeared that federal agents had used their claim that Rajeevan was voluntarily co-operating with them after his improper arrest to afford him ”less rights … than you would have in circumstances that you’re under arrest”.

After federal agents arrested Rajeevan, police realised they didn’t have enough evidence to hold him and told him he would be ”unarrested”.

”The notion that somebody can be arrested unlawfully and then just unarrested at somebody else’s whim is bizarre,” Justice Coghlan said.

The crown has alleged the trio supplied more than $1 million to the Tamil Tigers..

2 comments ↪
  • iResistDe4iAm

    "The notion that somebody can be arrested unlawfully and then just unarrested at somebody else's whim is bizarre,'' Justice Coghlan said

     

    That's a brilliant loophole if only it can be legislated. Rogue governments may be able to torture suspected terrorists and then set them free after declaring them ''unarrested'' and "untortured". But who needs legislation when the U.S. has been doing it for the last decade (it's even better than rendering).

  • Marilyn

    Good for the judge and more failure and brickbats for the media and Ruddock.  Shame on McClelland for letting this farcical nonsense go ahead.

    It is time we had a royal commission into the anti-terror laws because our spies and feds are completely out of control.