Linda Pearson

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd fulfilled his campaign pledge to withdraw Australian “combat” forces from Southern Iraq on June 2008. Rudd used the occasion to condemn former Prime Minister John Howard for joining the war, but US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show the Rudd government wanted to keep more Australian forces in Iraq than it had withdrawn.

Ten years ago, then Australian Prime Minister John Howard sent 2000 Australian soldiers to join the US-led invasion of Iraq. Like US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Howard lied about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to justify an illegal war of aggression.

The Labor Party hoped to gain political advantage by opposing the unpopular war, but did so only on a technicality: the lack of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) authorisation for the invasion.

The Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC) interviewed former Australian attorney-general, Kep Enderby QC, about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Enderby first contacted SAWC to offer his support for our campaign last year. In July, he wrote a statement read out at a rally for Assange and WikiLeaks in Sydney.

Enderby became involved in civil liberties and human rights activism while working as a lawyer in London in the 1950s. He championed the cause of African-American singer and radical, Paul Robeson, who was being denied his passport by the US government. 

Former chair of the US National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar, received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence in January for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

The NIE report found that all 16 US intelligence agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”, and has since been credited with stopping a US-Israeli war against Iran.

Former chairperson of the US National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar, received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on January 23 for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

The NIE report’s finding that Iran had no active nuclear weapons program gave lie to years of US-Israeli anti-Iran rhetoric, and has been credited with preventing a pre-emptive war against Iran.

Former US National Intelligence Council chairperson Thomas Fingar received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on January 23 for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.

The NIE finding’s that all 16 US intelligence agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program” removed the immediate threat of a US-Israeli military attack on Iran.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich, and writer and activist Eva Cox took part in the ABC’s Q&A on February 25. More than 15 minutes of the program was spent discussing WikiLeaks journalist Julian Assange.

On Monday 7 January, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia has been chosen to head the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions committees on Iran, and on the Taliban al-Qaeda. The committees are tasked with monitoring the implementation of UNSC sanctions and recommending further measures.

A major theme of this year’s US presidential election campaign was the threat to world peace allegedly posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney competed to take the hardest line.

Obama boasted of organising the “strongest coalition and the strongest sanctions against Iran in history” and promised to “take all options necessary” to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

In the past 11 years of the so-called war on terror, Australian troops have been sent to two US-led wars. The West has killed more than a million Iraqis and tens of thousands of Afghans, and displaced millions more. Our government backed the NATO intervention in Libya and is currently supporting everything short of military intervention in Syria.

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