PM urged to admit reasons for war unfounded

Mr Wilkie resigned as a senior analyst with the Office of National Assessments in March last year, claiming intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction didn’t justify going to war.

He says the report by former diplomat Philip Flood has now justified his claim.

The report found the nation went to war in IRAQ based on thin, ambiguous and incomplete intelligence, but cleared the Government of pressuring agencies to boost the case for war.

Mr Wilkie says the Prime Minister should apologise for taking Australia to war in Iraq for the wrong reason.

“John Howard just needs to look the Australian people in the eye and admit that he got it wrong because there’s a real failure of leadership by this government, at the moment, on this issue and I think it concerns many Australians.

“You know, my criticims goes to the whole of the Howard government, starting with John Howard and including (Alexander) Downer, (Robert) Hill and the others.”

Mr Wilkie is standing as a Greens candidate against John Howard in the Sydney seat of Bennelong at the federal election.

Meanwhile, the prime minister says no one will be treated as a scapegoat over the Flood report.

Mr Howard says he’s not going to fire anyone because the report has found something went wrong, but he would not say if anyone has been reprimanded.

Mr Howard says a royal commission would be of no use, and he stands by his decision to go to war.

“There were assessments made, with the fullness of time, those assessments have so far not been matched, but they were honest assessments arrived at without political pressure.”

Labor’s foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, says Mr Howard is being hypocritical in continuing to refuse to admit culpability for going to war based on flawed intelligence.

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