Australian intelligence agency says it didn't report US doubts on Iraq to government
A key Australian secretive intelligence agency disclosed Thursday that it knew of US doubts over reports Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa to make nuclear weapons but failed to pass the information on to the government.
The admission, made in an unusual public statement by the Office of National Assessments (ONA), provided welcome relief to Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who has been under fire this week for using the faulty uranium report to help justify Australia's participation in the war against Iraq.
However, Howard, for his part, said Thursday that even if he had been made aware that the US did not believe the uranium story, it would not have made any difference to Australian involvement in the war, AFP reported.
"If I had been told in January of this material, it would not have altered in any way our decision to participate in this operation," Howard said.
In its statement, the ONA said it became aware in January that the US State Department had doubts over a British intelligence report that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had sought to buy uranium from Niger. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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