8 August 2004

Labor hails former public servants' attack on Howard

The Federal Opposition Leader has accused the Prime Minister of barely being able to 'lie straight in bed', after reported criticism of John Howard by more than 40 Australian military chiefs, departmental heads and diplomats.

The high profile group is expected to release a statement claiming voters were misled over the reasons for going to war in Iraq, and calling for Australia to stop 'rubber stamping' United States policies.

The signatories include former chiefs of the Australian Defence Force, six former department heads and prominent figures in the intelligence and diplomatic communities.

They want 'truth in government' from whichever party wins the election.

Serving officers share concerns: ex-ADF head
A number of serving defence force officers shared the concerns of a group of 43 former defence chiefs and diplomats who wanted a return to truth in government, retired defence chief General Peter Gration said today.

Mr Gration, who headed the Australian Defence Force from 1987 to 1993, said he and the other signatories believed Australia joined the invasion of Iraq on the basis of false assumptions and deception of the Australian people.

'I can tell you that number of serving offices do share these concerns and serving diplomats too, I guess. But quite properly in their present positions, they can't speak out,' he told reporters today.

'Demonstrably, over the last year or two, truth in government has been less than it should be.

Earleir this week the Man of Steel produced 'legal advice' that the Labor amendment on patents could not be drafted. Now he's ready to agree to the undraftable amendment. Perhaps it was noncore legal advice.

The prime minister has rejected the statement 'on its merits' without reading it. That is par for the course for a guy about to pass an amendment he said on Thursday his departmental advisers told him was undraftable.

Evidently it's a tough thing when you got excoriated for noncoring.

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