Mr Rumsfeld told Australian reporters: 'After the war I heard discussions about ways that information could be better exchanged and in some cases it required some administrative actions, and that, in some instances, those administrative actions have been taken.' However, he added, some legal changes might also be needed to overcome the problem.
But Senator Hill appeared unaware of the intelligence problems that have been of serious concern to US, Australian and British military intelligence officers.
When asked to comment on the problems, he said: 'I'm not sure what you're talking about. I don't know of any dissatisfaction in communication of intelligence between our agencies.'
At this point, Mr Rumsfeld explained to Senator Hill the concerns about the blocking of access to intelligence during the war, especially when the material originated from the allies' own sources.
General Crawford, who is head of the US Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Centre, told his Australian and British counterparts at the conference that there were only two solutions to the problem. The first was for the US 'to change their dog-gone policy'. The second way, he joked, was 'to make the UK, Canada and Australia the 51st, 52nd and 53rd states'.
This is probably (although I am not sure) the same Senator Hill who happily gives the parliament confident assurances about the quality of US intelligence, assurances he is obviously unqualified to give.