WILKIE, Andrew. Australian Lt Col resigned from ONA intelligence on 11 March 2003 protesting no hard evidence for Iraqi WMD; calls for Oz PM John Howard to answer for Iraq invasion

Andrew Wilkie (born 8 November 1961, Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian politician and independent Federal member for Denison, Hobart, Tasmania. He was formerly an army L:ieutenant Colonel and then intelligence analyst. Just before the US, UK and Australian invasion of Iraq in March in 2003 Wilkie resigned from his position in the Office of National Assessments (ONA), an Australian intelligence agency, over concerns that intelligence indicating no hard evidence for Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction was being misrepresented for political purposes by the Coalition Howard Government in making the case for invasion of Iraq (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wilkie ).

Report in the Canberra Times (11 August 2011): “Tasmanian federal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is calling for former prime minister John Howard to explain before an official inquiry why Australia went to war in Iraq. The call comes as the last Australian soldiers to be stationed in the strife-torn nation have been withdrawn from duty. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the last 17 ADF members had been withdrawn on August 6. The group had been left to defend the Australian embassy after the bulk of our soldiers were pulled out in 2008 and 2009. That job is now handled by private contractors.” [1].

Andrew Wilkie calling for former Australian PM John Howard to answer for the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq (2011): “The vision on television of Tony Blair being grilled [by the UK Chilcott Inquiry] was a very powerful image. The British inquiry shows it is not too late… [re previous inquiries] They were [just] an attempt to shift the blame on to the intelligence agencies… Howard said people had moved on. That’s not true; every day I come into contact with people who want questions about our involvement in the war answered.” [1].

[1]. Andrew Wilkie quoted in David Ellery, “Wilkie calls Howard to answer on Iraq”, Canberra Times, 11 August 2011: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/wilkie-calls-howard-to-answer-on-iraq/2255174.aspx .