- US President George W Bush is a stupid and dangerous
man and the Australian government had lost credibility by supporting him,
a former intelligence analyst says.
- Andrew Wilkie resigned from the Office of National Assessments
(ONA) in March and accused the Howard government of exaggerating information
about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
- Mr Wilkie said terrorism had made the US feel vulnerable
and many of its politicians had realised the September 11, 2001 attacks
had forced them to deal with all the things that made them feel vulnerable.
- "It was tapped - not so much by (President) Bush,
because I think he is a stupid and dangerous man - it was tapped by the
highly intelligent and dangerous men who surround him," Mr Wilkie
told the Now We The People conference in Sydney.
- Mr Wilkie was named Australian of the Year by the conference
delegates, including politicians, unionists, religious and community activists
who are trying to build a movement against Prime Minister John Howard and
- He told delegates the "mess" in Iraq had proven
that the US was "powerful enough to win a war, but needs more international
support to win peace".
- "There will be no improvement in Iraq until the
US presence is significantly diminished ... and the life of the average
Iraqi has improved considerably," he said.
- Mr Wilkie also said the next terrorist attack could well
involve Australian interests.
- "The next terrorist attack - and there will be one
and it will be big - could involve Australian interests, it's just a matter
of time," he said.
- "What is important is how the US responds to that
... (because) we have a problem with security (issues) now because the
US is less credible, and because our government is less credible."
- Mr Wilkie told a federal parliament inquiry the government
deliberately skewed the truth and misled the public over Iraq's weapons
capabilities to strengthen the argument in favour of war.
- He said the government fabricated the truth and deliberately
exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq to keep in step with its American
- He also said Mr Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander
Downer were the chief cheerleaders of the invasion campaign.
- Both Mr Howard and Mr Downer have rejected the accusations,
with Mr Downer describing Mr Wilkie as hysterical.
- While Mr Wilkie said he supported Mr Howard's decision
to send Australian troops to the Solomon Islands, he said the timing was
- ©2003 AAP