PRE-EMPTIVE WAR A "BETRAYAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAY"
HOWARD BROKE "MORAL CONTRACT" WITH AUSTRALIA'S SOLDIERS
The truth-telling from Australia's betrayed, furious defence forces now begins.
One of Australia's most respected SAS officers has revealed that teams searching for Saddam's WMDs' regarded their mission as a "standing joke", knowing full well that there was unlikely to be any stockpiles of consequence to be found, and that in the months before the war, the proof of WMDs was virtually non-existent.
There are literally hundreds of Australian defence force personnel who want to tell the truth about what they know of the lies and deceptions spun out by the Howard government to con the Australian public, politicians and defence force leaders into backing the illegal 'War On Iraq'.
You can expect many more Australian defence personnel to know come forward and tell the truth of what they know, and how betrayed many of our soldiers feel about the war.
From the Australian :
The former SAS officer who devised and executed the Iraq war plan for Australia's special forces says that the nation's involvement has been a strategic and moral blunder.Australia's soldiers have a job to defend the people of Australia, the Australian way of life and Australia's honour and respect on the world stage. It is not their job to cover-up or to keep silent about the ways the Howard government decieved the Australian people, and their fellow soldiers into becoming involved in this war.
Peter Tinley, who was decorated for his military service in Afghanistan and Iraq, has broken ranks to condemn the Howard Government over its handling of the war and has called for an immediate withdrawal of Australian troops.
"It was a cynical use of the Australian Defence Force by the Government," the ex-SAS operations officer told The Weekend Australian yesterday.
"This war duped the Australian Defence Force and the Australian people in terms of thinking it was in some way legitimate."
As the lead tactical planner for Australia's special forces in the US in late 2002, Mr Tinley was in a unique position to observe intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and the coalition's military preparations in the lead-up to the war.
In Iraq in 2003, Mr Tinley served as deputy commander for the 550-strong joint special forces task group that took control of western Iraq.
Part of his command was 1 SAS Squadron, which was awarded a US Meritorious Unit citation for its "sustained gallantry", contributing to a comprehensive success for coalition forces in Iraq.
During war planning with US and British special forces at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 2002, Mr Tinley says he never saw any hard intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.
"When I pressed them (US intelligence) for more specific imagery or information regarding locations or likely locations of WMD they confessed, off the record, that there had not been any tangible sighting of any WMD or WMD enabling equipment for some years," he said.
"It was all shadows and inferenced conversations between Iraqis. There was an overwhelming desire for all of the planning staff to simply believe that the Iraqis had learned how to conceal their WMD assets away from the US (surveillance) assets."
Coalition special forces troops were charged with hunting down Scud missiles and Saddam's suspected WMD arsenals, operating from just west of Baghdad all the way through to the Jordanian border, and between the Syrian and Saudi frontiers.
After the initial invasion, the search for WMD became something of a "standing joke" with neither coalition troops nor the Iraq Survey Group turning up anything of consequence.
"The notion that pre-emption is a legitimate strategy in the face of such unconvincing intelligence is a betrayal of the Australian way," he said.
He said the Government had broken a moral contract with its defence force in sending it to an "immoral war".
The Government's stance on Iraq and later on issues such as the Tampa had gradually allowed fear to become a motivating factor in the electorate, he said.
Mr Tinley said the Howard Government had failed to be honest with Australians about Iraq and "you can't separate the sentiment of the defence force from that of the people".
It is now their duty to come forward and tell the truth. They will lose no honour, nor respect, from the Australian people for doing what they know they must.
Go To The 'Fourth World War' Blog For A RoundUp Of The Latest 'War On Iraq' News
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