Green groups funded by the CIA ?
Does anyone believe that ?
Mining magnate Clive Palmer has accused the United States government of funding environmental group Greenpeace via the CIA to undermine Australia's coal mining sector.
Mr Palmer made the extraordinary claim over Greenpeace's plan to use the court system to tie up coal mining applications.
He is angry at Greenpeace's plan to use lawyers to thwart future coal mining projects and claims funding is coming from US environmental charity the Rockefeller Foundation.
He alleges it is funded by the CIA and says it is trying to harm Australia's industry and help American interests.
Mr Palmer referred to a paper produced by environmental group Greenpeace which calls for action to stop the expansion of the Queensland coal industry.
Greenpeace's plans were leaked to the media earlier this month as it organises a campaign to raise $6 million to fund legal battles against controversial coal mining projects across Australia.
"You only have to go back and read the Church Report in the 1970s and to read the reports to the US Congress which sets up the Rockefeller Foundation as a conduit of CIA funding," he said.
"You only have to look at their secret budget which was passed by Congress last year, bigger than our whole national economy, which the CIA's got to ensure that.
"You only have to read the reports to US Congress when the CIA reported to the president that their role was to ensure the US competitive advantage and economic advantages.
"That's how you know it's funded by the CIA."
Mr Palmer says Greenpeace should be under far greater scrutiny.
"If you've got anyone funding directly, political parties funding lawyers to obstruct our laws in this country, it's something you should be ashamed of," he said.
This is a serious matter indeed because it goes to the political independence of all Australians.
He then picked out veteran Greens campaigner Drew Hutton.
"Drew Hutton is a tool of the US government and Rockefeller, and so are the Greens; everything they say. It's as simple as that," Mr Palmer said.
"I think the Greens in this coming state election, all their candidates should resign if they are being funded by an offshore political power," Mr Palmer said.
"It is tantamount to treason. Something needs to be done about it."
Mr Hutton, who was consulted in the document by Greenpeace, says there is no money from the Rockefeller Foundation.
"I have no idea where he got that amount of money from," Mr Hutton said.
"Certainly there's no amount of money that I'm aware of that's come to my organisation, or for that matter any organisation that I'm aware of, by the Rockefeller Foundation or anybody else.
"(This is) the first I've ever been accused of having any links with the CIA, I can assure you."
He says Mr Palmer's claims are bizarre.
"I just think that's a bridge too far," Mr Hutton said.
"I don't even understand the argument, to tell you the truth."
Federal Greens leader Bob Brown says Mr Palmer is a major donor to the Liberal National Party (LNP) and the party should distance itself from him.
"They should disown these comments," Senator Brown said.
In a statement, Greenpeace senior campaigner John Hepburn rejected Mr Palmer's comments as "ludicrous".
He said Greenpeace would not accept money from any government, corporation or secret service.
Mr Palmer is active politically and within the courts system.
One of the Coalition's biggest financial donors and a member of the Liberal National Party, Mr Palmer last week announced his companies were preparing legal action based on advice the Government's carbon tax legislation was unconstitutional.
But he will not be joining into any High Court action to stop the Federal Government's mining tax despite saying it is bad for the economy.
"It probably won't cost me anything because I'm not mining anything that comes under the classification of it," he said.
But Mr Palmer is set to sue international hotel operator Hyatt for $60 million over its management of the Sunshine Coast Hyatt resort, which Mr Palmer owns.
The magnate is alleging the company has been siphoning profits from the resort and sending the money to the US rather than the resort's owners.