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Here's a cut/paste (yeah, i know) but
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Australian Broadcasting Corporation
TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
Pressure mounts over intelligence 'manipulation'
TONY JONES: The Federal Government is tonight facing new accusations that the nation's intelligence is being manipulated for political purposes.
As we've said, a secret report leaked to the Bulletin has found the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) distorts intelligence to suit Government
policy, effectively telling the Government what it wants to hear.
From Canberra, Dana Robertson reports.
DANA ROBERTSON: The political debate is still raging over the future of Australia's forces in Iraq and whether they were sent there based on flawed
But now the doubts about the accuracy of Australia's intelligence have gone beyond the Iraq conflict.
The Army's top intelligence analyst has written to the Prime Minister, urging him to: "appoint an impartial, open and wide-ranging royal commission
Lieutenant Colonel Lance Collins was appointed by General Peter Cosgrove as his senior intelligence officer in East Timor.
In his letter to John Howard he details a long list of intelligence failures in the recent past.
Including on: "Iraq's WMD, the Willie Brigitte case, the Bali bombing, the independence of East Timor, the fall of the Suharto regime, and the
Sandline affair in PNG".
He says: "it is clear that the Australian intelligence community is unable to identify reality in a timely manner, or convey its significance to the
Government. No end to this state of affairs appears in sight."
JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: I don't believe a royal commission is necessary but, as I say, I'll give the Colonel a detailed, courteous and
He's served his country well and I respect that and I'll treat the letter with the respect it deserves given who wrote to me.
DANA ROBERTSON: The letter is the latest development in a four-year long campaign by Lance Collins to clear his name after being accused of leaking
A final report into those accusations is equally damning of the independence of intelligence being delivered to the Government.
It found that there's a pro-Jakarta lobby within the Defence Intelligence Organisation which: "distorts intelligence estimates to the extent those
estimates are heavily-driven by government policy. In other words, DIO reports what the Government wants to hear".
It also recommended a Parliamentary inquiry: "primarily into the fact that the product is driven by the policy of the government of the day".
JOHN HOWARD: I continue to have full confidence in our intelligence agencies.
They do a very good job for Australia.
DANA ROBERTSON: Asked about the reliability of Australia's intelligence earlier today, the Opposition Leader advocated learning from past
MARK LATHAM, OPPOSITION LEADER: The fact that weapons of mass destruction have not been found obviously points to some problems in pre-war
intelligence and Government decision-making.
So they're obvious problems we need to learn from them.
DANA ROBERTSON: The Government has already stared-down the adverse findings of a Parliamentary committee into pre-Iraq war intelligence.
But the latest revelations will undoubtedly reignite the debate about political manipulation in the nation's spy agencies.
And that is the last thing the Government wants as it talks up its national security credentials in an election year.
Dana Robertson, Lateline.
[Edited on 13-4-2004 by sanctum]