wilkie, we need some pictures

  1. 399 Posts.
    like the children over-board, hehe

    Don't attack me - just explain, pleads Wilkie
    August 23, 2003

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    The government's personal attack on a former intelligence analyst highlighted its inability to justify the Iraq invasion, a conference in Sydney was told today.

    Andrew Wilkie, who resigned from the Office of National Assessments (ONA) in March, yesterday launched another blistering attack on the government's credibility, at a parliamentary inquiry in Canberra.

    Both the Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer have rejected the accusations, with Mr Downer describing Mr Wilkie as hysterical.

    "In response to my attempt to explore ... the gap between what the government said before the war and the reality of after the war, the government's defence was to attack me personally again, to call me a malcontent, to call me hysterical," Mr Wilkie told a conference today.

    "It says a lot about the government that when confronted with the need to explain themselves, they continue to play the man and not the ball.

    "It makes me think that they can't explain ... the fact that we were sold the invasion of a sovereign state without UN backing."



    Mr Wilkie told the inquiry yesterday the federal government "sexed up" intelligence on Iraq to deliberately mislead Australians and build the case for war.

    Mr Howard denied the government had distorted and exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq's WMD and has asked the former analyst to provide evidence of his claims.

    Today Mr Wilkie refused to answer questions about any evidence he might have.

    Instead he said the government should explain the gap between the alleged justification for war and what actually happened.

    "I think it would be far more valuable, far more useful for this country that instead of attacking those who criticise it, the government sought to explain ... why there is such a gap between their justification for the war and what we all now know for sure."

    Howard says Wilkie has offered no proof
    Prime Minister John Howard said today that Mr Wilkie had offered no evidence to support his claims that the government had distorted information about the need for war.

    "Mr Wilkie would have had access to raw intelligence data and ONA assessments," Mr Howard told the South Australian Liberal Party annual meeting in Adelaide today.

    "But I have been informed by the Office of National Assessments, the body from which he resigned, that he did not have access to some very important and very sensitive intelligence material concerning Iraq.

    "He's not produced any evidence to support his allegations that the government fabricated and distorted its Iraqi intelligence material.

    "The truth is the government didn't do that.

    "I didn't do it, the foreign minister didn't do it and the defence minister didn't do it."

    Mr Howard said all government statements about Iraqi intelligence "were consistent with the assessments that we had received from the agencies".

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