Target Australia

The head of Australia’s spy agency, Paul O’Sullivan, made a rare public appearance in Sydney last night. Both the Age and Sydney Morning Herald report the event, though do so in a rudimentary way. ABC Lateline provides the most comprehensive analysis, and includes questions from the assembled crowd.

O’Sullivan was asked whether Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war had increased the terrorist risk in this country:

I don’t see that it can be very easily argued that the decision of the Australian Government to commit troops to Iraq in any way led to the attacks on Australia or in any way caused the issue of description of Australia as a terrorist target.

His answer is a clear deception. After the 2005 London bombings, Tony Blair claimed the Iraq war had no connection to the motivation of the bombers. An official report contradicted this fantasy.

Western intelligence agencies are increasingly happy to mouth government-spin and platitudes and less likely to provide frank and fearless advice. Stating that Howard’s decision to invade Iraq has increased the terrorist threat is no more than common-sense.