Australian conspiracy theorists are in overdrive per this report in the Sydney Morning Herald:
”I am definitely not a CIA spy.” So said one of the country’s leading CSIRO scientists last night as politics in Canberra took a definite turn to barmy.
Research into legumes might not seem an obvious front to conceal a spy ring, but then again, the spooks are trained to hide in plain sight.
Why else would the Rockefeller Foundation – the American philanthropic fund accused by mining magnate Clive Palmer of plotting with CIA backing to silence Australia’s mining boom – have invested $142,118 in scientist TJ Higgins?
”I obviously didn’t give them enough espionage feedback because they quit the funding,” Dr Higgins said.
His research – ”a cowpea breeding line resistant to pod-borer insects” – was one of several tentacles the Rockefeller Foundation has extended to Australia in recent years.
The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology benefited from $175,000 and a little known outfit hosted by the City of Melbourne – the innocuous sounding International Council For Local Environmental Initiatives – scored $180,000.
The Rockefeller Foundation does indeed have a shady past and collaborated with the CIA in the early days of the Cold War to set up bogus groups to fund covert activities, according to a 2000 book, The Cultural Cold War.
But the modern-day conspiracy drew ridicule from Labor yesterday…
[continues in the Sydney Morning Herald]