In March 2004, Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty came under fire from Government ministers for daring to claim Australia’s role in Iraq would increase the terrorist threat to Australia.
At the time, Keelty was muzzled in no uncertain terms by the PM’s Office. His comments were effectively disowned by the Foreign Minister, the Attorney General and the Chief of Australia’s Defence Forces.
Soon the Director-General of ASIO, Dennis Richardson felt the political pressure and announced that Spain’s support for the Iraq war wasn’t related to bombings in Madrid. The soon-to-be-elected Spanish government did not agree, and almost immediately withdrew all its troops from Iraq.
Now a newly released US national intelligence estimates report confirms Mr Keelty’s assessment. American intelligence officials have effectively confirmed Keelty’s warnings, and our politicians continue to expose us to increased risks of terrorist attack.
The government’s response has been to rabbit on about values and non-integrated Muslims allegedly posing a security threat. Yet now, with AWB documents showing executives and managers joking about Saddam’s genocide against Kurds (and ministers who knew or should have known this to be the case), Australia will definitely be within the radar of Kurdish and other groups.
Keelty was right all along. But don’t expect Howard and Downer to admit it.
Words © 2006 Irfan Yusuf