Thursday, June 19, 2003

Inadequate Australian inquiry into Intelligence failure over Iraq's alleged WMDS
'Asked how much ability the committee had to look into intelligence on Iraq, Mr Jull replied "very little", adding that "anything ASIO knew [about Iraq] would be ancillary". Despite calls for a Senate inquiry into the issue, which can call on all the intelligence agencies and public witnesses such as the former ONA analyst Andrew Wilkie, Labor opted for an alternative despite disquiet among some party members. The Greens and Democrats wanted to set up two inquiries, including a Senate one, but were stymied by Government and Labor opposition. The United States and Britain have set up inquiries into alleged intelligence failures on Iraq.'

Why is Labor reluctant to move on the issue of an inquiry? The Howard government is vulnerable on this isues, just as Blair and Bush are. The Australian public are also vulnerable if the government's policy is based on lies and increases not decreases the risk of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - an argument for which a good case could be mounted. Any opposition worthy of the name... My guess is Labor lacks the guts to articulate and defend a national security policy different to Howard - real weakness combined with the fact they are simply spooked by him. Congratulations to the Greens and the Democrats for standing up for Australia's genuine security interests and for fighting for the credibility of government and its intelligence agencies.

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