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"Intelligence advice delivered to your front lawn"

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Robert McClelland MP

Federal Member for Barton Shadow Minister for Homeland Security

23 March 2004

“Intelligence advice delivered to your front lawn”

Labor is extremely concerned by the Attorney General’s admission today that he has made a public statement relating to national security based only on information contained in media reports.

Yesterday Phillip Ruddock announced:

There are suggestions that various terrorist organisations have sent their personnel to Iraq, because, they believe, they can engage in operations there that are more likely to engage the United States. I suspect the fact that they are in Iraq probably diminishes the harm that they can occasion in other parts of the world.

When asked in Parliament today which intelligence agency supplied the Attorney General with that intelligence Mr Ruddock admitted that this analysis was:

Informed by public reporting that I have seen on those matters … and the conclusions I have drawn from those public reports.

Howard Government Ministers have repeatedly stated that their assessments of the threat faced by Australia are based on advice from intelligence agencies.

This admission seriously undermines that claim.

The Howard Government has refused take national security advice from Australia’s most senior police officer. They have now admitted they get it from the newspapers instead.

Further information:

Lachlan Harris 0409 119 893