He could make a bold and long-overdue contribution to openness in the public interest by – with the Prime Minister and Attorney-General Robert McClelland – releasing crucial materials on Soviet penetration of our intelligence system during the Cold War.
He should start with the Mitrokhin archive. Voluminous KGB files were smuggled West in 1992 and published in two hefty volumes, totalling 1700 pages, by Allen Lane Penguin in 1999 and 2005. They deal with KGB operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as those behind the Iron Curtain. But there is a notable omission in these books: material dealing with KGB operations in Australia. Such material exists. It was sent by the British intelligence authorities to Canberra in September 1992 but has been suppressed.
That should never have happened and should be remedied. What reason can there be for suppressing the entire file on Australia when so much was published about the rest of the world? Were the materials on Australia so bland and uninformative that they were deemed of no interest and consigned to the wastepaper bin? That would have been an absurd reason for suppressing them, but it plainly was not the case. Something quite substantial and unsettling is in the Australia file. That something must see the light of day." John Monk
The Mitrokhin Archive… The British government allowed some part of this fascinating collection of documents from the KGB's files to be published as "The Sword and the Shield." The question in my mind has always been – why? More importantly, what is in that portion of the Mitrokhin papers that the Brits did not allow to be published? Who are identified therein as "friends" of the USSR? What countries are identified as having traded information to the KGB for favors wanted? The implied threat of disclosure remains potent.
Let's see if the Australians follow through on this. The process would be equally interesting on this side of the Pacific. pl