Tony, as
one Old Ignatian logic chopper to another, if you’re right on RU486
then you’ve just landed your boss in the sh*t over the AWB.

When
the Senate voted last week to hand over control of regulation of RU486
to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Health Minister expressed
his bitter disappointment – “The senators have effectively voted no
confidence in ministers and Parliament, at least on this issue,” Abbott
told The 7:30 Report
. “And whatever faults we have I think that our decisions are by and
large better decisions because we are subject to the kind of democratic
accountability that officials aren’t… The point is that I am subject to
democratic accountability.”

Really? So what about the views of former senior Middle East ASIS operative Warren Reed, who told the ABC
over the weekend that it’s standard intelligence gathering to keep
track of major Australian firms operating in countries such as Iraq.
“In an area like that, with a commodity like wheat, any other major
commodity, all intelligence services are watching very closely who’s
got what market share and how you protect your country’s market share.
So it would have been a big topic for us.”

Yet the Prime Minister denied this on Sunday.
“I’d been told by ONA that there was no intelligence reporting that AWB
had paid bribes to Saddam Hussein,” he said. “That’s the advice I’d
received.”

It defied belief that the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade knew nothing about a looming trade scandal involving
in one of the most sensitive parts of the world – but the Prime
Minister says he was told nothing. Just the same way he and his
ministers were told nothing about kids overboard or faulty intelligence
on Iraq or…

Abbott says that ministers are accountable and responsible. And that means either one of two things.

Either
we are being lied to – or John Howard and his Ministers have taken us
into a fight against terror and war in Afghanistan and Iraq without
proper information.

Peter Fray

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