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Monday, 22 March 2004
Page: 26756

Mr ORGAN (1:59 PM) —I would like to talk briefly about rewriting history. Last week it was revealed that the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, had confirmed that in February and April 2001 Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and was no threat. America's policy of containment and sanctions had effectively disarmed Saddam, and last week Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, confirmed that we went to war on the basis of a lie—there were no WMDs in Iraq. But, no, the government now says that we went to war to get rid of Saddam.

The rewriting of history continued last weekend, with 20 March being touted as the first anniversary of the invasion. But the truth is the war commenced on the evening of 18 March, when Australian SAS troops went into action in western Iraq, almost two days before the US deadline to Saddam to get out of Iraq. These facts make all the more shameful the behaviour by the government—

The SPEAKER —Order! It being 2 p.m., the time for members' statements has concluded.