Mr Wilkie, who resigned from the Office of National Assessment over it, says the Government and the prime minister, John Howard, deliberately twisted the facts.


He has appeared before a parliamentary inquiry into whether the Government misled parliament over Iraq to go to war.

He says the Government often changed the wording of security reports given to it in good faith by Australia’s intelligence community to make it sound more alarming.

Mr Wilkie says he refuses to apologise for the stand he has taken.

“I do not apologise for my accusation that Howard misled the Australian public over Iraq, both through its own public statements as well through its endorsement of allied statements. The Government lied every time it skewed, misrepresented, used selectively and fabricated the Iraq story.”

Mr Wilkie told the hearing the Australian intelliegence communities had a number of problems when they were trying to gain intelligence about Iraq.

He says the information coming from the United States was often incomplete and without adequate explanatory notes.

Mr Wilkie has desrcibed as unbelievable the Government’s claims that it was never told the information on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was fraudulent.

“It beggars belief that ONA knew the information was discredited but didn’t advise the Prime Minister, that Defence knew but didn’t tell the Defence Minister and that Foreign Affairs knew but didn’t tell the Foreign Minister. The Government was also receiving detailed intelligence assessments on the United States in which it was being made very clear by the Office of National Assessments that the US was intent on invading Iraq for a broad range of reasons, not just WMD and terrorism.”

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