The Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown, says today’s report that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq proves the public was misled.
Senator Brown says Australians have been misled by the United States and British leaders and, “most importantly”, by the Prime Minister, John Howard.
He says today’s announcement by the weapons inspectors in post-war Iraq means hundreds of Australian allies and thousands of Iraqis died in a war built on false pretenses.
“There has never been, in my lifetime, a more serious deceit in the Western democracies, including our own, by our leaders than the argument that was put for the invasion of Iraq.”
Senator Brown says the Greens will move a motion in the Senate on Tuesday to censure Mr Howard.
He says, even if the inspectors eventually find something, it will not change the basic facts now.
“Nothing can alter the fact that the weapons of mass destruction “ready to go within 45 minutes”, which threatened the world, are simply not there. We are ready for a long campaign of disinformation, that Saddam Hussein was prepared to do this or somebody else was working up that, but, if you apply that logic, then we should be attacking dozens of other countries which have undemocratic governments and which would like to get their hands on more weapons.”
Mr Howard says he remains committed to his Government’s decision to attack Iraq, despite the report.
The report says there is evidence of “questionable activity”.
Mr Howard says he stands by his decision to go to war because intelligence received before the war showed Iraq was a threat.
“There were clear intelligence assessments, which we did not exaggerate publicly, which justified the decision we took. I can understand people disagreeing with our decision, but it remains a fact that, in March, there were assessments which justified the action we took.”