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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

too good to pass by « Previous | |Next »
February 5, 2004

Bill Leak's got a good one today:
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Bill Leak

Leak's right. The estimated leaders of the Coalition knew. The WMD's were just a way to sell an unpopular war to the public. This justification now looks paper thin. So a new line is needed that is more plausible than "I just misunderstood."

It's inquiries and backtracking all round by the Coalition of the Willing triggered by the recent David Kay testimony to the US Congress. We were wrong says Kay. Iraq's WMD were a mirage. Iraq was not an imminent threat to the US or any other country.

A year ago Colin Powell gave the UN security council a big exposť of Saddam's terrifying arsenal. Now he admits that, had he known that Baghdad had no WMD, he would have had his doubts about going to war. It would have been a changed the "political calculus".

The new line is blame the spooks. Of course, Alexander Downer is slow to learn the new lines. I watched the performance about stockpiles without any mention of imminent threat. Downer looks more and more the clown these days. Maybe that is his role.

And the spooks aren't buying the new political line. They are saying that the intelligence officials were overruled by their political masters.

Lets close with Leunig:
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What is really needed in Australia is an inquiry into the way the government made use of the intelligence that had been gathered and evaluated.That would be a challenge to those who think its right for ministers to dissemble and who regarded it as their duty to cover up the dissembling of the government of the day. An inquiry that would avoid blaming the intelligence services and would scrutinize the political decision-making process that committed Australia to go to war with Iraq.
Update
John Hewson in his column in the Australian Financial Review (a subscription required) is also calling for:


"....a full-blown, independent and probably judicial inquiry into the government's decision-making process---including the role of intelligences--that to our (Australia's) commitment to war."


We need something more than silence about the role of Government ministers and staffer, or the current spin from the national security state that it was all the fault of the US and UK intelligences services. It is the flawed political machinery of the national security state that needs looking into.

At the moment we only see the odd crack in the edifice. The pressure on those cracks is coming from the disclosures overseas: the flow of information from the UK and the US is feeding into the political institutions.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:12 AM | | Comments (1)
Comments

Comments

With the benefit of hindsight, it would seem we in the west had our own Comical Ali(s) during the Iraqi war.

But instead of denial, ours were guilty of far more. Maybe the real Ali took his lead from Bush, Howard and Blair and their political stormtroopers in telling outlandish porkies.