June 25, 2003


Andrew Wilkie has lately been hailed as a voice of reason against Australia’s rampaging warlust. Andrew Bolt investigates:

Andrew Wilkie sells himself as the spy who couldn't be fooled over Iraq. He's the one spook who didn't buy what he calls the Howard Government's "fairytale" and "exaggerations" about the threat of Saddam Hussein.

But when I go through the only secret report that Wilkie ever wrote about Iraq as an Office of National Assessments analyst, I wonder just who fell for a "fairytale".

When I note the risks Wilkie then warned of - horrific chemical attacks by Saddam, "mass panic" as refugees fled his biological weapons - I ask who indeed "exaggerated".

Indeed? Indeed.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 25, 2003 04:00 AM

Happily, Wilkie made a complete dick of himself at the inquiry. The entire transcript is available at the address below if anyone is interested.


Posted by: pezza at June 25, 2003 at 11:27 AM

He was a slightly weird, arrogant fuck when he was a Captain Instructor at Duntroon. Looks like he hasn't changed much.

As Cadets we didn't mind a little arrogance here and there, especially from the Tankies, because they were superior to everybody, and from the Aviators, because its genetic with them, but coming from a green slime - no way.

Posted by: Razor at June 25, 2003 at 12:42 PM

I've just started reading the transcript, man it's funny. You can almost feel the sarcasm of Sir John Stanley when he responds to Wilkie trying to side step a question "Could I ask you to go back to my question, if you would be kind. This is a very important document for the Committee. You made this accusation of exaggeration and this is the base written document of the British Government" Hah! BTW the address is http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmfaff/uc813-vi/uc81302.htm

Posted by: Glenn at June 25, 2003 at 12:58 PM

If anyone knows, I'd be interested as to where I can access the 'secret report' Andrew Bolt is referring to. I've become so used to bloggers that I get pissed off with the lack of linking in neandermedia.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at June 25, 2003 at 02:16 PM

Wilkie also errs in his assertion that for the regime to re-establish WMD programme from scratch, on the assumption production WMDS had been finished,would have been a `huge undertaking'.

Chemical and biological weapons are cheap to produce. The more expensive bit is only the delivery mechanism al la rocketry, which the regime was developing until it was over-run by the three anglos.

How cheap? one recalls the footage of retreived video in Afghanistan of AlQeda experiments with chemical compounds.
What we are talking about , after all, is just a size of science apparatus slightly larger than those used in high schools.The two lab trucks found in Iraq says it all.

Production of biological agents is eqally in-expensive.Since the process is the cultivation of such as anthrax cultures.

But, on delivery mechanisms, excepting military usage, expensive mechanisms are not required which made the prospect of chemical and biolgical agents provided by Saddam to terrorists appalling.
Laslty, while concentrating on biological-chemical wmds, the media has passed over in silence the confirmation, by discovery, of the underground nuclear facility, built by the French.
In other words, the regime did have a nuclear weapons production factory.

Supply of fissionable material is clearly not a problem.As has been demonstrated, if there is a supplier of material, it is relatively easy to smuggle such material accross borders: hence the concern over security of storage sites in the Russias.

As Bolt siad , in his ONA report Wilkie proceeded on the assumption Saddam did have WMDS, and that Wilkies field was estimates of implications humanitarian concerns, many related tot he prospect of Saddam using WMDs.

Bolt is proper when he said , `...with hindsight...'For pre-planning , to range through possiblities including the worst that might eventuate is not unreasonable, if confined to just that: a scenario ranged with others.

Posted by: d at June 25, 2003 at 03:15 PM

Bolt really nails it here:

"Wilkie, honestly using his judgment, got all that wrong. Yet he wanted us to trust his judgment on something he was not expert in -- Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. And to trust him above all his colleagues."

Posted by: Dan at June 25, 2003 at 03:26 PM

Is Wilkie even worth a comment?

Posted by: Norman at June 25, 2003 at 11:46 PM

You're right , Norman. It is worth musing , however, Wilkie has managed in short span to turn himself into a walking joke.He needed someone to advise him to keep his trap closed and his curious opinions concealed deep within his grey noodles there forever to sleep.

Posted by: d at June 27, 2003 at 11:23 AM