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National Press Club -

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A final check of the midday

summertime market nous. A

strong day for the miners as

the All Ords almost 40 points

higher. The Nikkei and the Dow

is also up. The dollar is at US

$0.7793. And that's the news

for now on this Valentine's

Day. Our next full bulletin on

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ANNOUNCER: Today at the

National Press Club, the United

States ambassador to Australia Robert McCallum Junior. After

18 months without an ambassador

in Canberra the US Government

appointed Mr McCallum in June

last year and he's been in the

post since August T lawyer who

rose to number 3 in the US

Justice Department, he makes

his first appearance at the

Press Club at a time when

Australian, US politics are

front-page news. Robert

McCallum with today's National

Press Club address. (Bell

tolls) Ladies and gentlemen,

welcome to the National Press

Club and today's National

Australia Bank address. It's a

great pleasure to welcome the American ambassador Robert

McCallum and his wife. As we've

just heard, Ambassador McCallum

was the third rank ing officer

in the justice of department

before this appointment and 28

years in private-sector legal

practice. He's also been - he

was attending Yale at the same

time as George W. Bush Junior

and was a Rhodes Scholar with a

degree from Oxford as well and

at both Oxford and Yale he was

a keen sportsman although he

insists he's retired to

spectator status. This

appearance today has been some

time in the making, but it

could hardly be more topical, I

suppose, this week. Our relationship with the United

States have been on the

forefront of news for the last

several days and it's very

appropriate time to welcome

Ambassador Robert McCallum. APPLAUSE

Thank you, Ken. I'd like to

acknowledge obvious ly Ken rand

le for the warm hos pit the

they. Members of the board and

the State, I will call it,

distinguished guests and

Australians around the country.

It's my real pleasure to be

here today and I very much

appreciate the opportunity to

continue to broaden my it

action with members of the

Australian media and to

communicate direct ly to Australians across the

Commonwealth. As the British

writer Anthony Samson once

said, "In America, journalist

is apt to be regarded as an

extension of history and in

Britain as an extension of a conversation. As a new arrival

to Australia it was suggest ed

to me to consider journalism in

Australia as an extension of

Aussie Rules football.

(Laughter). It is a contact

sport without pads. There's no

off-side rule. You are likely

to be poked in the nose during

the course of a match and a

good story or a good scoop like

a great mark is highly prized.

With that in mind, I'd like to

set the right tone for this

discussion before we have the

opening bounce, if you will,

and put the ball in play by

wishing all of the journalists

here happy Valentine's Day.

(Laughter). It is not my

intention, though, to spread

love among the journalists and

the media here. My real

intention is to remind all of

those blokes like me who had

forgotten Valentine's Day. It

is independent too late to

pretend that you remembered.

Rush out and buy a present.

Never let it be said that the

United States ambassador was

not doing all that he could to

protest mow domestic tranquilty in the Commonwealth of

Australia. Also I want to

remind all of you that I'm

doing my utmost to support

commercial and business

activities in Australia, so

floorists, candy merchants and

jewellers - be aware. That

decent, but forget ful bloke

who heeds this reminder, should

remember one thing out of all

of my comments - you owe me. In

fact, who knows, as they say in

America - he might just get

lucky later today. And if so,

you owe me big time! Now, the

President told me that when I

came to Australia I needed to

do my utmost to support

relations within the

Commonwealth, but I'm not sure

this is exactly what he had in

mind. In all seriousness,

though, I want to say that I do

have great respect for the

media, even though I may not

all like what is said or

written about me or my country.

I'm impressed in Australia by

the variety of the analysis and

opinions expressed in the media

on significant issues of the

day. It seems like nobody

agrees with anybody else. The

media clearly intends to be

independent, provocative,

controversial, which resulted

in a robust and spirited public

debate on the issues of the day

and that's a good and healthy

thing in a democracy. It's a

concept that Americans embrace.

The style may be different

here, but the function and

substance is the same. I've

heard it said that journalists

are more attentive to the

minute hand of history than

they are to the hour hand, that

journalists must be responsive

to those daily deadlines,

rather than to some brooder annual calendar and this is

understandable to me. Given the

focus on immediate events of

the day, even immediate events

of the hour, because it is not

limited to journalists. In

fact, it's a focus that we all

share in this technological age

of instain use communications

around the globe. We, as

societies, in your nation and

mine, demand immediate

information and the

availability of such

information no doubt influences

the opinions of our citizens

and the actions of our

governments in both our nations

in many different beneficial

ways. In the free market place

of ideas, which is democracy,

accurate and timely information

is critical to be accountable

and responsible for the

decisions made. However, I

confess to you that I worry

about an excessive emphasis on

the events of the day, that

they may sometimes may obscure

a longer term per inspective, a

broader per inspect. I worry that journalists, government

officials and citizens in

general, in our two democratic

societies are sometimes at risk

of not seeing the forests for

the trees. Some might even say

not seeing the forests because

of our focus on individual

leaves in particular trees.

What I'd like to do today is to

add to the public debate within

Australia on some important

issuesle affecting the national

interests of our two countries

by suggesting a long-term analysis and views of policy

and goals. These issues arise

in the context of extremely

positive changes generated by

economic globalisation. And

that has occurred over the past

decade or so. We are presented

with great opportunities, but

those opportunities are

threatened by the contrasting, disruptive impact of

international terrorism and

trans national crime. We exist

in an international environment

that has great potential for

peace, increased stability,

increased prosperity because of

globalisation, but it's also

one that is fraught with the

risk of domestic turmoil,

economic dislocation, random,

ruthless, in discriminate

violence against innocents that

is the ultimate hallmark of

terrorism. Our globally interconnected economic,

political, financial and energy

systems have brought increased

prosperity to many and can do

so for many more in the future.

But that interdependence also

guarantees that no country is

immune from the consequences of

terrorism because terrorist

attacks can have significant im

pact far beyond the gee graphic location directly affected. On

the other hand, the development

of responsive governmental

institutions in a free market

economy can provide the hope

and opportunity which can

effectively eliminate one

source of the dissatisfaction

man splitted by proponents of

extremism and thus provide an

antedote to the poisonous

ideology of terrorism. Let me

start from a historical

perspective since history

affects the way both our

nations view the world and

informs our decision-making

process. Our two countries

share an abiding faith in the

democratic process, including

importantly an independent

press and media. And in the

free enterprise system and that

combination allows citizens to

require government institutions

to be accountable and

responsive to the needs of

people and allows individuals

to seize control of their own

destiny, to develop tear

talents and abilities to the

fullest and to seek a better

life for themselves and for

their children. Looking back

over our common histories with

long-term perspective, that

faith in democracy and free

enterprise is validated. With

the 65th anniversary of the

bombing of Darwin next week I'm

reminded that Australia and the United States made great

sacrifices in World War II to

defeat facism and after winning

the war, made additional

sacrifices to win the peace

through aid to Japan and

Germany which supported that

aid supported new democratic

governments and free enterprise

economies. The United States,

Australia and other democracies

spearheaded the post-war

creation of new international

organisations - the World Bank,

the IMF, the Gat, now the WTO, critical organisations that

became the intellectual and

institutional architecture for

a more open international

market-based system which has

lifted hundreds of millions of

people out of poverty around

the world and served as the

foundation for the global

economy that benefits us all in

reality today. I'm also

reminded that our two nations

faced dark days in the 1950s,

as we dealt with the invasion

of South Korea by Communist

forces. Both our nations

experienced domestic

controversy about sending

troops into the Korean

peninsula. However, democracy

in a free enterprise system was

preserved in South Korea. That

considerable sacrifice by both

our nations and the result 50

years later is a strong and

prosperous ally and friend

whose Foreign Minister has been

selected to become the next Secretary-General of the United

States. When one compares the

prosperity and the freedom

enjoyed in South Korea against

the deprivation and hardship experienced by those to the

north, one can easily

understand our shared faith in

democratic institutions and fro

enterprise. I submit to you

that it is in the national

interests of both Australia and

the United States to promote

the creation of stable,

democratic governments that

generate greater prosperity for

their own citizens through the

development of more efficient

and open markets. Let me

describe to you just a few ways

in which the United States and

Australia are working together

to accomplish that. In the

bilateral context, the US and

Australia are vigorously

implementing the free trade

agreement. The free trade

agreement presents tremendous

potential for both the United

States and Australia, in terms

of increased trade, better and

less expensive goods and

services for both of our

nations consumer s'. It also

affords the potential for

increased economic activity in

the entire region and there are

direct and in direct beneficial

consequences of that for other

nations in East Asia and the

Spa receivic Islands region. In

the multi-lat tral context, the US and Australia work together

in the OPEC and WTO seeking

outcomes that further a common

goal of making the

international market place a

more open, level playing field

for commercial activity. APEC

is the critical form for

regional economic cooperation

as APEC's 21 members span four

continents and represent 60% of

the global GDP and roughly 50%

of world trade. President Bush

and secretary Condolezza Rice

have made clear in the recent

leaders' summit in Hanoi that

APEC remains the pre-eminent

channel for US economic

engagement in this region. In

every meeting, in every public

event, they stress that the US

vision for APEC transcends customary cooperation and

locking to the emergence of a

true Asia-Pacific economic

community spanning the public

sphere, the private sectors, ak

dome ya and the civil society.

They also proposed that APEC

should be in the forefront of

regional economic and look at

serious consideration of a free

trade agreement, free trade

area of the Asia-Pacific as a

long-term goal. Importantly the

leaders formally endorsed that

proposal. Australia has already

kicked off it year of leading

APEC with a highly successful

series of senior official

meetings in Canberra last month

and in the coming year the

United States will work under

Australia's leadership with

other APEC members to develop

concrete initiatives to advance

these goals. On the WTO Doha

development round, the APEC

leaders also issued a strong,

stand-alone statement urging

APEC members and others to

renew negotiations. One of the

strongest passages in a pointed

one-page document was this, "We

are ready to break the current

deadlock. Each of us is

committed to moving beyond our

current position in key areas

of the round. Make no mistake

about it, the Doha development

agenda remains the US number

one trade priority and the

United States trade

representative Susan Swhwab and

Warren Truss have been working

to keep the WTO talks alive.

They held talks in Washington

and the United States still

holds out hope that their

efforts and the efforts of

others will result in an

ambitious outcome of increased

market access and reductions

and subsidies. Like Australia,

the United States recognises

its responsibility to assist

emerging democracies in developing countries. The

United States has been, and

remains, the largest single

country donor of foreign aid.

Our official development

assistance nearly tripled from

$10 million in 2000 to $27.5

billion in 2005 m of that, 10%

or $2.7 billion went to combat

HIV AIDS pandemics which are

decimate ing populations in

Africa, the Asia-Pacific region

and the Caribbean. Around the

world, the United States

provides food, medical care,

education and disaster relief

to millions of people. Our

development assistance program

is an essential element of our

policy to support and promote

effective government and free

enterprise. Economic develop

ment, responsible government,

domestic stability and

individual liberty are

interelated. More over, we

coordinate these efforts with

Australia and like-mined

countries to ensure that our

mutual goals are achieved in an

effective manner. A perfect

example of this was President

Bush's rapid decision following consultations with Australia to

commit a billion US dollars for

re construction and development

following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, supplementing

Australia's leadership

contribution of $1 billion

Australian. Terrorism, though,

presents a grave threat to the

positive development potential

afforded by these activity and

the global economy. It presents

significant, on going national

security risks, not only to Australia and the United

States, but also to emerging

amongcies and developing

countries - democracies and

developing countries. It is

well defined and well-known to

all of your journalists. Iraq

is the central front of the

global war on terror and the

challenges and difficulties

encountered in Iraq have

provoked heated political

debates on the policy both in

the US and here in Australia. A

vigorous debate on this

administration's policies is to

be expected because the issues

are critical to both nations.

There is no easy, immediate

solution to complex problems

presented in Iraq. Complex

problems presented in the war

on terror. All of the proposals

address ing these issues present significant challenges

and the consequences of all of

them must be consider ed over

the extended time horizon that

I mentioned at the jut set of

my speech. All have potential adverse consequences because

the future is never clear. We

don't have the opportunity, as

we do with Germany, Japan and

Korea to look back 50 years.

However, there appears to be

three factors on which there is

a general consensus about Iraq.

First, the vast majority of the

Iraqi people desire peace,

security, individual rights and

liberties and an opportunity to

determine their own destiny. We

all remember the millions of

Iraqis who gave witness to

these aspirations by voting in

repeat ed elections over the

past several years despite the

very real threat of terrorist

violence. Risking their lives,

both at the polls and possibly

later in retribution for having

voted at all. Iraqis turned out

in astound ing numbers. Will is

- there is no mandatory voting,

so familiar in Australia, in

Iraq. Yet, the Iraqis proudly

displayed their blue thumbs and

fingers showing their

courageous exercise of the

right to vote in the selection

of leaders for their new

government. Second, it is an

undeniable fact that the dually

elected government of Iraq has

largely been unable to achieve

its goals of domestic stability

and tranquilty, although the

Government sf trying to deliver

peace and freedom to it

citizens, terrorists, inspired

and assisted by the forces of

al-Qaeda, are trying to destroy

the elected government of Iraq

and through the fermenting and

man politician of sectarian

conflict, to destroy the

willingness of Iraqis to work

together in a democratic

system. Third, even those who

propose a withdrawal of US

troops concede that if the

United States and other coalition partners were to

leave Iraq before the Iraqi

Government is capable of

defending its people and

providing for its own domestic

security, the consequences to

the Iraqi people would be dire.

The current sectarian violence

would likely turn into a

bloodbath with increase ed

retaliatory carnage and loss of

life on all sides. Additional

adverse consequences outside

Iraq, including the

Asia-Pacific island region

would also have to be

considered. Given those facts,

the US and our coalition

partners remain committed to

helping Iraq realise the goal

of freedom, peace and

prosperity for its citizens.

President Bush's new surge

strategy has three elements to

it and General Peter Pace, the

chairman of the United States

Joint Chiefs of Staff was here

if Canberra this week to

discuss the strategy with Air

Chief Marshal Angus Houston

with Minister Nelson and with

Prime Minister Howard. First, a

them forry troop increase will

assist the Iraqi Government in

stabilising the situation in

Baghdad which is the locus of

the most violence. The

reduction in the sectarian

violence between Sunni and

Shi'ites will require disarming

violence extremists in both

communities and establishing a

presence to secure those

neighbourhoods. Second, the

Iraqi Government has committed

to assume greater

responsibility for its own security and government

services and has agreed to

performance certain defined

bench marks within a given

timeframe. The Iraqi Government

is on schedule to meet those

bench marks. Third, the Iraqi

government has committed to

spend $10 billion in economic

investment programs to

revitalise the Iraqi ecomony.

These programs will provide

jobs and rebuild needed

infrastructure. All three

elements are necessary for the

long-term stability of the

Iraqi nation. There is no

cookie cut er format for

democratic government. The

development of democratic

institutions is a dynamic and

continuing process and it

depends upon the creation of

confidence within the society

in individual rights, the rule

of law, the integrity of

government officials, the

freedom of speech, the

independence of the media and

domestic stability and

security. Democracy cannot be

impose ed. Citizens of

conviction must choose it. The

global war on terror is not

limited to Iraq. Having denied

terrorists a safe haven in

Afghanistan, the US is determined to prevent al-Qaeda

and associated forces from

re-establishing safe havens

elsewhere. As part of that

effort the United States has

detain ed I'm rouse captured

al-Qaeda fighters at Guantanamo

Bay. The destination and

detention of those illegal

enemy combatants has provoked

great controversy and debate in the United States and in

Australia. In Australia, the

debate has focused on the case

of David Hicks who has been

designated as an enemy

combatant and detained at

Guantanamo Bay for five years,

awaiting trial before a

Military Commission for alleged

war crimes. There are numerous

issues that have been raised in

the media with regard to Mr

Hicks and given time

constraints I would like to

address in my remarks the issue

which appears from the media

coverage to be the one of

greatest interest to

Australians. However, I look

forward to discussing all other

issues that you might have on

your mind during the question

period following these remarks

and I will stay thereafter as

well if we run out of time

there. I've also brought with

me copies of an opinion piece

which I submitted to both the

Age and the Australian last

year on detainy issues. I

detail analysis of issues

concerning the US treatment of

detainees and those present can

take a hard copy with them when

they leave the premises. I

believe that the Age has also

posted it on their website so

those who are not present here

in Canberra who may be

listening to my remarks, can

access it if they are

interested in doing so. The

issue which appears to me to be

of the greatest interest to

Australians is why has a trial

on these alleged war crimes

been delayed for so long?

Australians are understandably

angry at the delay. Australians

believe as mens believe, that

an accused should have a fair

go through a trial under the

rule of law. And the Australian

Government is also angry at the

delay. The Attorney-General,

the Foreign Minister and the

Prime Minister have all been in

regular contact over the past

several years with officials at

the United States Department of

Justice at the Department of

State and at the White House

expressing in no uncertain

terms Australia's demand that

Mr Hicks be brought to trial as

exped dish shusly as possible.

The United States understands

and shares this dismay at the

lengthy delay, but the US has

not sought the delay. The

reason force the delay is the

opportunity afforded detainees

under the United States rule of

law to challenge before an

independent civilian federal

judiciary the very process of

their ajudication. Various

enemy combatants have exercised

that important right as the

a-Pell lat courts considered

these issues, the trials were

stayed pending outcome of the

appeal. The US Congress

responded to the court decision

by enacting new legislation to

address the legal deficiencies

found by the Supreme Court. The

resolution of novel and

important issues before US

appellate courts and through

congressional action admittedly

takes time, but it is time well

invested for the rule of law in

clarifying a specific body of

law in controversial areas,

such as war crimes. We should

all remember that the United

States provided at government

expense for the counsel for the

detainees and private counsel

can and did participate in the

challenge process and appeals.

There are of course numerous

volunteer lawyers from American

Bar groups who also provide

free representation to

detainees. Since John Adams

represented the British

soldiers who fired on colonial

protesters on the Boston Green

before the American revolution,

history has shown that American

lawyers take seriously their

responsibility to be zealous advocates for controversial

clients and I believe that

known in Australia can claim

that Mr Hicks has not been

represented by zealous

advocates. Given the twin

results reached in closely

divided opinions in the United

States Supreme Court and in the

circuit courts of appeal on

terrorist cases, counsel for

detainees have pursued every

possible defence, procedural or

factual that imaginative and

talented lawyers can device.

Certainly they should have done

so because that is their responsibility and obligation

to their client. Issues

relating to the destination

process, treatment and trial of

detainees intersect at the very

cross-roads of individual

rights and national security.

And in America, these issues

have been, are being and will

continue to be addressed by our

independent federal judiciary

as they should be in a free,

democratic society that's

committed to the rule of law.

It is that pedigree of process,

if I can call it that, with

multiple judges passing upon

the complex issues of the day

in our appellate courts in the

United States which result in

the American people accepting

the ultimate decision as the

law of the land and complying

with it. Some assert that the

United States has abandoned the

rule of law in this area, but

rather than abandoning the rule

of law, I submit to you, that

America is embracing the rule

of law in the midst of war as

no nation in history has ever

done. We Americans certainly do

not agree always among

ourselves on what is the

"right" decision, but we

always recognise the legitimacy

of whatever the decision may be

at the end of the process. It's

one of the enduring strengths

of our system of government, of

checks and balances, and it is

one of our enduring strengths

of our people. Even if it

results in significant delay in

the outcome of any particular

case. We are living if

challenging times. Australia

and the United States are

presented with remarkable

opportunities to effect the

entire region in a positive

way, based upon the burgeonening global economy.

It's a potential which could

hardly have been imagined

decades ago. At the same time

both our nations face

continuing serious threats from

international terrorism which

will not disappear without

action on our part. It is,

therefore, distresses me when I

read surveys like the January

BBC kp aim poll indicating a

view that the United States has

a negative impact on world

affairs. I suggest to you that

such a perception reflects a

profound misunderstanding of

United States goals and the

policies that are designed to

reach them. The US is, in fact,

attempting to use its influence

and its resources to promote

global prosperity and stability

and to encourage other

responsible nations to do the

same. No single country has the

capacity to succeed in that

effort on its own. The United

States must work together with

other nations, particularly

with one of it closest allies,

Australia. The relationship

between our nations is strong

er, broader and deeper than

ever. At times we have and we

will in the future have

disagreements and conflicting

opinions, yet our shared

devotion to democratic

principles and ideals unites us

and together we can bring hope

and opportunity not only to

Australians and Americans, but

also to so many others in the

world. For that reason, I'm

honoured and privileged to be

the United States representative here in

Australia. Thanks for allowing

me to share some thoughts with

you and I'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. APPLAUSE

Thank you very much,

ambassador. As you indicated it

is time for questions. The

first is from Cynthia Banham. From the Sydney Morning

Herald. Do you think that the relationship between Australia

and America is so close today

that it is OK for an Australian

leader to make an intervention

into domestic political issues

in the US, namely a

presidential election, or do

you think there are limits on

the interventions that foreign politicians can make on

domestic US issues? Thank you.

You will note that that issue

was conspicuously ab accept in

my remarks. (Laughter). No

doubt. What you are requesting

me to do is what you are

raising as an issue and that is

for me to engage myself in the

domestic political issues that

relate to Australia and the

internal debate within

Australia. So, it would - I

remember coming over here to

Australia and reading about

criticisms of Ambassador shif

er being engaged in what was

conceived to be interference in

the Australian internal

political system. So I will

polite ly, although I'm a

recovering lawyer, I have had

now four months of diplomatic

training and I will politing

decline to make any comment.

Any comment related to that. APPLAUSE

. Well, Mr Ambassador, I don't

know what your diplomatic

training would have taught you

on this particular point, but

just to follow up on my

colleague's question. As

recently as the APEC meet ing

in Hanoi your Secretary of

State Condolezza Rice said that

the Australian Labor Party's

policy in Iraq was

irresponsible. Is that a

position that you would grow

with or would you dissociate

yourself from that and if I may

also ask you a question about

what you have called the ANSUS

Treaty which has been in voked by Australia after the

September 1 # 1 attack, never

been invoked by the US. Can I ask you a question about your

understanding of the operative

clause, clause 4, which says

that the country, the parties

to the treaty would meet the

common danger in accordance

with your constitutional

processes. What would the constitutional processes be for

the US to invoke the an sus treaty, in particular if there

was a conflict between the

executive branch and the

Congress. Two questions, Peter.

I don't know whether the

chairman will allow you to two

questions but I will try and

answer them both if I can.

Number one with respect to

secretary Rice's comment. I

have not seen that comment.

What I have seen was Secretary

Rice define ing United States'

policy, policy that the well-known to you. The United

States' policy is that the

Coalition of the willing and

the United States being one of

those should do their utmost to

assist the democratically

elected government of Iraq in positioning itself and bidding

its capacity to provide for its

own domestic tranquilty and

stability. Now, in relation to

that as I have seen the

quotation, she was ask ed how

does the United States then

view the removal of troops from

that and her response was,

"Well, we obviously are

grateful to those members of

the Coalition of the willing

who have troops there." Then I

saw the headline the next day,

"Ambassador blasts Labor

policy." She was not

interfering in domestic publics. She was not commenting

on a policy of any party, as I

understood it, and as I have

seen it, any party that was

engaged in their own political

debate internally. She was

talking about what US policy

is. And I think that that was

entirely appropriate. The news

media tens to put its

interpretation into its own

internal political process and

that was not, as I understand

it, the Secretary of State

making any comment on internal

political debate in any country, including Australia.

The second question is the

ANSUS treaty and the

constitutional analysis that I

as a lawyer from 30 years ought

to be able to give you. The

answer is I don't know. (Laughter)

I've never read the treaty.

I've not done the Constitution

on the analysis and I would

imagine that there would be a

vast difference of opinions

among academics and practising

lawyers and politicians as to

what might be required. So I'm

not able to give you a good

answer on that. Your Excellency

I would like to congratulate

you on suck incident views on

Australian football codes. The

terrible thing is just as I

began to understand it, the

season ended. (Laughter). I

have - I had to then start

learning contribute. Shall we

talk about 50 overs. Indeed. I

was going to bring the debate

probably to more a Hollywood

prospective and just to keep a

keep a simple question. Could

you elucidate to us the role of

a deputy sheriff within the con

text of APEC. I have heard

people in the media trying to

focus on a deputy sheriff

comment and I don't know

exactly where that came from.

The context of it has been

asked to me previous ly is in

the context of Australia taking

the lead and define ing its

national policies in

Asia-Pacific region and the

United States following and

supporting that. So, I don't

use the term and I'm not

familiar with the context in

which it came about, but I

don't think it's an accurate

term in any way, shape or form.

Next question from Lincoln Wright. From News Limited

Sunday publications. Welcome to

the Club and a fine speech. I wanted to ask you today but I don't think you are going to

answer, your membership with

scull and bones with the

President, the class of 1968, I

wanted to ask you is it is the

secret society that runs

America, but I've heard it is

more secret than the

President's daily brief so

let's not go there. I will be

happy to answer that. That's the one question that you get.

No, no. A card laid is a card

play ed. This is not scull and

bones. The serious question is

Daniel elseberg when he was

working for Robert McNamara in

the late '60s stumbled across a

secret document which

ultimately got him fired for

reading but "I knew the war was

lost in '67, the President was

saying otherwise." I wanted to

ask you is the war lost in

Iraq? Does the leadership in the United States really think

you can win this war or are you

playing a clever political game

until the Bush Administration

finishes, basically? This administration really believes

that it can win the war in

Iraq. It is not one without

challenges. It is not one

without risks. And it is a

strategy that will take

time. Ambassador, Sandra

O'Malley from AWB P. If at any

stage Australia decided to

withdraw its troops from

Iraq. Sorry, I couldn't

hear. If at any stage Australia

decided to withdraw its troops

from Iraq and this withdrawal

occurred prior to any American

pull-out, would the US view

Australia as having let the

side down at all? Well, I'm not

going to get involved in

speculating about this or that

of "what ifs". I don't get paid

for speculate ing. You all get

paid for speculating. So I'll

let you speculate on all of

that. What we in government

have to do is deal with the

reality of things and so until

that sort of event occurs,

no-one is in a position to really say what the consequences would be or what

the perceptions would be. A

question from Mark Reilly. Mark

Reilly, the Seven Network. Mr

Ambassador, I'll have a go. Is al-Qaeda praying for Barack

Obama and the Democrats to win

next year's principle shat

election? (Laughs). I have

absolutely no idea what

al-Qaeda's views on that

subject is and - but, I do

think that as was reflected in

my remarks today, and it is the

view of this Administration,

that a withdrawal of troops

from Iraq prematurely before

they are in a position to

provide for their own domestic

security , would have

remarkably dire consequences

and I have - I said in my

speech I've seen no-one who

disputes that, that there would

be a blood bath far worse than

the civil disturbances and

sectarian violence that exists

now. But I have just this day

read something by

representative Merter in the

United States where he didn't

think that would happen. So I

revise my comments to say there

is a general consensus and I

only know one person in the

whole world who is basically

said it would not be bad, it

would not be as much sectarian

violence if the United States

premature ly withdrew. David

Denim. From Preview Magazine. I

would like to tease out a

little bit more about the

Military Commission. Please. Under which

the Guantanamo detainees are

being processed. Yes. Because

it seems to me, as you said

earlier, that Australia and the

US are very close on many

things, we fought the World War

II, South Korea, Vietnam,

Afghanistan, Iraq. So we are

pretty close ly related to

this. But it seems to me unfair

and un just that US citizens

who might be a member of

al-Qaeda don't have to go

through that commission,

whereas any alien, even if they

are really closely related to

the US, any alien citizen has

to go through a different

process where you can use

coercion, evidence from

coercion, evidence from hearsay

evidence, you can't necessarily

appeal to the cross-examine the

accused. So it seems to me very unfair that you've got a

different process for the same

crime. So I wonder if you could

explain to the audience why

that Military Commission

process was adopted when it

seems to me to be blatantly

unfair and also, finally, if we

are going to win the hearts and

mines of the war on terror, do

you really think it is good to

incarcerate people for five

years with no charge when some

of them all they might have

been is a driver to one of the high-ranking al-Qaeda people?

Two questions. I appreciate

very much your asking that

question. Because, with all due

respect, I think it confuses

the legal systems that are

applicable under established

law. The legal system that you

are familiar with is the

domestic criminal law system.

The domestic criminal law

system generally involves what

we will call recognised crims,

assault, fraud, burglary,

robbery, murder within the gee

graphic - geographic boundaries

of the nation state and under

those circumstances that the

police come out, they put

yellow ribbons around everything, they collect

evidence, they interview

witnesses, they provide

information for the

prosecutors, the prosecutors go

out, it's a process that we are

all familiar with and,

therefore, when we think of

illegal enemy combatants, we

all tend to think of the

domestic criminal law system

that relates to punishment.

Now, there is a spray system

that relates to armeded

conflict and it has been in

existence for decades and it

has to do with the difference

between domestic criminal law

and international armed

conflict. Armed conflict, the

rules of law related to war,

generally occur outside the

geographic boundary, often

times, most often by people who

are not subject to your

jurisdiction, ie, they are not

citizens. It occurs in a

context in which there is the

fog of war, the chaos of war,

people are shooting at each

other. It's not possible to

capture an enemy soldier on the

battlefield, put a yellow tape

around where you captured him

and begin to interview people

that might happen to be passing

by. If you happened to be in a

circumstance in which there

were witnesses to all of this,

they're not subject to the

jurisdiction of your courts and

you are going to have to bring

someone over from Afghanistan

or from Iraq or from some other

foreign jurisdiction to be present, to testify like you

would have to do in the

domestic criminal law system.

The e x tingencies of war are

that you eliminate terror

immediately for the military objectives of your armed

contact. Number 2, you detain

that individual. You detain

them for what purpose? Both

preventing them from returning

to the battle and killing other

people and, number 2, for

intelligence purposes. So, the

United States Supreme Court in

the Hamdi, not the other

decision, in a decision written

by Justice Say dra Day

O'Connor, no retired from the

United States Supreme Court,

held that it was in fact within

the President's power s to

designate enemy combatants

number one, and number two, to

detain them for the entire course and dur ration of the

pos tillties. For instance,

remember back to the World War

II there were irregular

partisans fighting on behalf of

the Japanese who were not Japanese soldiers. They

weren't in union fom and they

were doing damage and killing

Australian troops and if you

captured one of those people,

you didn't then say, "Well,

we're just going to let you

go." You detained them for the

duration of the hostility s.

Remember this, that on

September 11, 2001, 88

Australians died in the attack

in the United States. Imagine

what would have happened or

imagine what the reaction would

have been if 88 Australians had

been killed by al-Qaeda in the

geographic boundaries of the

Commonwealth of Australia? You

would be interested in

detaining those dangerous

people during the entire course

and duration of the

hostilities. The problem that

that raises for many people is

when did the hostilities stop?

Can you detain someone for two

years, but not two years and a

day? Or five years, that's too long, but four years is the

right amount of time tow detain

somebody, then you have to let

them go, whether they are going

to join the conflict, whether

the conflict is going on or

not, you let them go and they

go back and shoot at you and

try and kill you. There are

answers to that. Number one,

when Australians detain the

Japanese irregulars or the

partisans supporting the

Japanese Australia didn't know

how long the war was going to

last. It didn't know whether it

would be five years, 10 years,

15 years. Number two, with

respect to that, there are

theories out there that the

duration of the hostilities can

be declared over by the United

States Congress. Number three,

the United States does not wish

to be the world's jailer. The

President has in fact said,

"We'd like to close Guantanamo

Bay, but the detention of those

ideologically ruthless fanatics

who would kill Australians and

Americans without blinking an

eye, the detention of those

people is really of benefit to

the international community." And the United States is open

and willing for the

international community to take

responsibility for detain ing

those people who may kill, not

in Australia, not in the United

States, but in many other areas

of the globe. Lastly, the

United States has not been

detaining people who were

adjudicated as enemy combatants

any longer than is necessary in

order to assure that they will

not return to armed conflict

against the United States.

There have been more than 350

people released from Guantanamo

Bay and they do it under an

administrative system that is

beyond anything that has ever

been done by any nation before

and is independent required by

any international rule of law

or any treaty. The United

States sets up a combat status review tribunal to determine

whether or not someone is an

enemy combatant and the

detainee can say "I'm not an

enemy combatant" and provide

whatever information nay want.

It is throw people that do that

and they make a determination.

Then, the enemy combatant

decision made by the

three-person panel, sworn to be

objective and independent,

Military Commissioned officers

goes through a reviewing

authority. Then after that, the

individual who is determined to

be an enemy combatant can

contest that in a United States

court of law, a civilian court

of law. If the determination is appropriately made that the

individual is an enemy

combatant, then each year there

is an annual review by an administrative review board,

sort of like a Parole Board, is

this individual still a danger?

What sorts of things do you

think they would consider? They allow the countries to

participate in that and the

countries can get information

from the families. Number two,

it's a situation in which you

would look at things like what

do we know about what this

individual said about their

motives before they ever were

involved in the conflict? Were

they an extremist who was

saying, for instance, they

thought be heading infidels was

a good deal, ought to be done?

Number two, what action did

they take to obtain the sort of

training that would be

necessary in order to put into

action the professed extremist

terrorist ideology that they

had previously been professing?

Did they train in a terrorist

camp, perhaps in Pakistan and then train some more in an

al-Qaeda camp, perhaps in

Afghanistan and then after

that, did they go back for

addition alt training in

sophisticated military matters,

such as improvised explosive

devices, rocket-propelled

grenades, mortars, things of

that nature? Further more, did

they take action after they

received training to enter the

fray? And to kill people? For

instance, if someone was not in

a theatre of war on September

11 and announced that they were pleased with the terrorist

attacks and the killing of

Americans and Australians and

many other nationalities and

then came into a theatre of war

and re-connected with al-Qaeda, which had professed

responsibility for the attack,

that might be an indication

that one should reasonably

consider about the

dangerousness of that

individual and, therefore,

consider whether to detain them

because of the dangerousness.

Finally, one might consider

whether the individual was

cooperative and compliant

during the detention, telling

you I'm an innocent person and

I was just in the wrong place

at the wrong time. Or do they

cooperate in efforts to provide

resistance and to communicate

about various ways to impede

the stability and good order of

the prison facility? All of

those things might be

considered. Now, the United

States, as I said, has released

over 350 of those people, but

you have to understand that

there should be a degree of

scepticism because al-Qaeda in

its manuals talks about using

"the American legal system". I

call it this. I call it "law

fare" as well as warfare, as

part as warfare. So al-Qaeda is

trained or trains its people in

deceit, deception and denial.

That's to obtain the ultimate

ends, ultimate terrorist goal.

So it would not be surprising

that after the 350 people had

been released, over 12 have

been either recaptured or

killed and identified,

returning to the battle field.

Returning and trying to kill

Americans, trying to kill

Australians. So, when one talks

about the criminal justice

domestic system, one is

ignoring the etingencies of

war, one is ignoring decades

old system that recognises

exactly how one goes about

dealing with those issues

which, like I said in my

remarks, is a delicate area of

intersection between national

security and between individual

liberty. The Bush

Administration believes that

it's got it right but we are

certainly pleased to test those

things and the courts of the

United States owe that we are

assured that we've got the

right. Five years

incarceration, I think that I have previously answered that

many terms of the dismay that

the United States has about it

having taken that long. But,

would you then say to me, well

you, can hold him four years

11 months and 30 days, but when

five years occurs, bingo, the

door is open and people leave.

There is no easy answer to

that. And if the international

community is willing to take

that responsibility, then the

United States would glad ly

cooperate and participate in an

international detention regime

that was effective to prevent

terrorists from killing people

around the globe. Closed Captions by CSI.