Mr Wilkie, who quit Australia’s Office of National Assessments in protest over it, is speaking before a British parliamentary inquiry into the intelligence.


He says he has no doubt that claims Iraq posed an imminent threat to the West were exaggerated, and he says there are officials in both Britain and Australia who agree.

“The problem was the way that the British and Australian Governments took those reasonably measured assessments and exaggerated them for their own purposes. Words used, such as ‘massive program’ and ‘imminent threat’, I don’t believe they were words ever offered to governments by their intelligence agencies.”

Mr Wilkie says Australian information was directly involved in claims former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building a gas centrifuge to make chemical and biological weapons.

He says the British government’s war dossier was filled with inaccurate information.

He says that includes the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger because the Central Intelligence Agency knew that was false as far back as early 2002.

Mr Wilkie says he believes the leaders of the eventual coalition that went to war in Iraq were deceiving the public intentionally.

“I believe that, in Washington, London and Canberra, the governments exaggerated the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) threat to mask their real reasons for going to war.”

Mr Wilkie says those reasons had more to do with US interests in the region and with US domestic politics.

He says he believes the Australian Government’s main concern was its alliance with the United States.

Mr Wilkie says claims that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction could have been activated within 45 minutes were absurd.

Comments are closed.