'Blunder' blamed for warning confusion
The US Department of Homeland Security is now planning to issue a revised alert to the airline industry.
The original warning listed Australia as a possible target for an Al Qaeda mission.
The Howard Government has been pressuring US officials to revise that alert.
They have now agreed to do that. Instead of naming Australia as a target, it will highlight the country as a possible "point of origin" for terrorists planning to hijack flights to attack the US or Britain.
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation chief Dennis Richardson believes an honest, bureaucratic mistake by the US was the problem.
"This is not an issue between intelligence agencies, it's simply an issue in terms of someone's misreading of the facts that they had before them," he said.
"Mistakes do happen and when mistakes happen you don't call into question the whole structure of a relationship. That would be seeing it totally out of perspective."
Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams blames the Americans for all the confusion.
"I think there isn't any justification for anybody being confused about the Australian Government's position. We have been completely consistent all along."
Mr Williams denies there has been a breakdown in communications between the two countries.
Well that's all very par for the course. The A'merkins have a tenuous grasp on the engalish language at best. They have an even more tenuous grasp on reality in the current geo-political, socio-economic, comedic, pastoral, historical, tragical climate. If you have Henny Penny Rumsfeld running around finding Al Qaeda agents under every bed, things are likely to get a chicken little out of hand.
From my recent Qantas experience, any potential terrorist worth his salt would probably get sick of waiting for a plane to become available and hijack a taxi out of frustration. Again from my experience, most Oz cabbies get lost within a block of picking up a fare so the chances of the hijacker ending up in either U.S. or U.K. is all very cloud cuckoo.
"Porky's 40" The Bush Administration's Top 40 Lies About War and Terrorism.