Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Senior Australian intelligence officer quits over Iraq

A senior Australian intelligence officer has quit in protest over Australia's support for a possible war against Iraq.

Andrew Wilkie, a senior analyst at the Office of National Assessments (ONA), says the Australian Government's policy on Iraq is "dumb" and "not worth the risk".

The Australian Foreign Minister Alexander "Babyface" Downer immediately sought to hose the whole thing down by stating "In Mr Wilkie's case he is, I'm not sure how senior to be honest, I'm not sure he's terribly senior in the media, he will be increasingly senior over the next few days as is the way, but in any case I may have met him - I don't remember meeting him but I could be wrong there."

For your information Minister Goebbels Mr. Wilkie was senior enough to be one of the analysts who would be on the team assessing the situation were (when!) Australia joins the other two renegade nations in their war on Iraq.

We await leaked information about Mr. Wilkie being a sado-masochistic child molester, wombat buggerer and school lunch money thief.

And in further Not the Nine O'Clock News ...

US court decision over Hicks 'astounding': Aust lawyer

"The lawyer representing alleged Australian Taliban fighter David Hicks says an appeal will be lodged with the United States Supreme Court in another bid to have him released from military custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

It follows the overnight decision by three judges that the court had no jurisdiction over the case for Mr Hicks or the other Australian in custody, Mamdouh Habib.

The judges ruled the military base was not part of US territory and therefore the court could not provide foreigners outside the US with any legal redress."

Hicks may be a vicious evil Taliban operative, though more likely a lost, lonely and deluded soul seeking the one and only true Cat Stevens, but he is an Australian citizen. An Australian held virtually incommunicado for months and months ... ironically in Cuba which is ruled by Saddam Castro, America's previous "Most Evil Dictator of the Millenium". "Mr. Hicks, you have the right to remain silent, unseen and unrepresented for the term of your unnatural life." The communication that is graciously granted by his hosts is via the Red Cross (which takes 3 months) and must only contain family matters, anything to do with legal matters is verboten.

Maybe I'm seeing this through the wrong and Pollyanna end of the telescope but it seems to me the U.S. has taken unto itself the unilateral right to lock up a non American citizen in a foreign country that the U.S. abhors and effectively throw away the key. The same freedom loving U.S. that is currently strong arming the U.N. to back the sacking of a regime because, amongst other things, it ignores human and civil rights.

Airlines stand to post record losses. Airline fuel prices have doubled.

Military budgets around the world have expanded at the expense of expendable items like education, environment, social security and health care.

Petrol/gas prices are through the roof.

Share prices around the globe are plummeting.

Communities around the world are variously alert, alarmed or paranoid.

Communities that lived side by side in harmony, or at least forebearance, view each other with suspicion.

Civil liberties are curtailed for the greater good.

The leaders of Britain, Australia and America are widely reviled by their fellow countrymen and party members.

Countries that were allies are ready to garrotte each other at the drop of a chapeau.

Forget a war to defeat terrorism. Without guiding another plane into a skyscraper, without blowing up another nightclub, without slipping one drop of ricin into a thickshake, the terrorists have already won. The more the three stooges ratchet up the fear, the hysteria and the bellicosity, the more trophies the terrorists can place on the mantlepiece to mark their victory.

Sorry about all this woolly thinking. It's warm here in Sydney and the humidity is stifling, obviously my mind has been severely addled.