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The Americans investigate the CIA on Iraq.

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Australian Labor Party National ALP

Kevin Rudd - The Americans Investigate The CIA On Iraq

Tuesday, 03 June 2003

The Americans Investigate the CIA on Iraq

But Mr Downer says no investigation needed because his personal opinion is Australia's intelligence performance was rather good

Alexander Downer is digging himself into a very deep hole by refusing to conduct an independent investigation of Australia's intelligence performance on Iraqi WMD.

Around the world, people are asking questions of their own intelligence agencies as to whether:

● The intelligence assessment of the Iraqi WMD threat was overstated; and

● Whether formal intelligence assessments were accurately communicated to the


Here in Australia, Defence Minister Hill has already cast doubt on whether there may have been flaws in Australia's pre-war intelligence assessments on Iraq.

But in splendid isolation, Foreign Minister Downer continues to insist there hasn't been a problem.

Mr Downer said last night it would be "foolish" for Australia to independently investigate the accuracy of intelligence assessments on Iraq because the Americans had already decided to investigate the CIA.

Unfortunately in the same interview, Mr Downer confirmed that Australia did not just rely on US-sourced intelligence on Iraq, it also relied on Australia's own intelligence, information and assessments on Iraqi WMD as well.

But when asked in Parliament today whether he would agree to an independent investigation into Australia's own-sourced intelligence on Iraq, Mr Downer declined and said there was no problem. Everything was just hunky dory.

This sounds very reminiscent of Mr Downer's decision not to independently investigate Australia's dissemination of travel advisories prior to the Bali bombing. Eight months

after Bali, Mr Downer continues to refuse to countenance such an investigation despite the fact that the British have done so.

Once again, it appears the Howard Government is starting to drip feed half-truths to the Australian people. They did this with Children Overboard. They appear now to be doing the same on Iraq. The common casualty of both is the truth.

Mr Downer must bite the bullet now. The Australian community is now demanding an independent inquiry into Australia's intelligence before the war on Iraqi WMD - and the accuracy in which that information was communicated to the Australian people.

The Opposition, the Parliament and the people of Australia placed their trust in the Howard Government on the accuracy of information they provided on Iraqi WMD prior to the war. Labor has always accepted the Government's intelligence briefings at face value. We need now to confirm whether that trust was in any way displaced.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.