As Attorney-General Nicola Roxon prepares to head to the United States to further integrate Australia's role in the War on Terror into the American security apparatus, the powerful Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has knocked back her terms of reference for an inquiry into the further widening of intelligence-gathering laws, including the controversial data retention proposal.

The rejection is bad timing for Roxon, who wrote today in The Australian about her pending trip to the US for further meetings with US Department of Homeland Security head Janet "you cannot live free if you live in fear" Napolitano, who was recently in Australia.