Australian Secret Intelligence Service

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Group.png Australian Secret Intelligence Service  
(Intelligence servicePowerbase WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Logo Australian Secret Intelligence Service.png
Formation13 May 1952
HeadquartersCanberra, ACT
InterestsGough Whitlam
The Australian foreign intelligence agency, but has tentacles all over society, especially in the media.

Not to be confused with ASIO, the internal security service.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) is the foreign intelligence agency of the Australian Government. ASIS was formed in 1952, but its existence remained secret for the Labor party opposition until 1972. ASIS is responsible for the collection of foreign intelligence, including both counter-intelligence and liaising with the intelligence agencies of other countries. In these roles, ASIS is comparable to the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and its dominating "partner", the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

ASIS in Chile 1973

An ASIS intelligence station was established in Chile out of the Australian embassy in July 1971 at the request of the CIA and authorised by then Liberal Party Foreign Minister William McMahon. New Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was informed of the operation in February 1973 and signed a document ordering the closure of the operation several weeks later. However, ASIS ignored the order, and did not withdraw its agents until October 1973, one month after the CIA-backed 1973 Chilean coup d'état had brought down the Allende Government. There were also two officers of ASIO based in Santiago, working as migration officers during this period.[1][2]

It is one of the incidents that has been associated with a confrontation between Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Bill Robertson, the Director-General of ASIS, resulting in Robertson's sacking on 21 October 1975, with effect on 7 November, just 4 days before Whitlam's own dismissal in the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. Whitlam accused Robertson of disobeying instructions by delaying the closure of the ASIS station in Chile[3]

People

Directors-General



References