PM Answers Questions On Intelligence Failure
Extracts from today’s questions of the day in Parliament, question no. 3, follow….
Hon. Richard Prebble: When assessing whether intelligence is effective with regard to terrorism, is the Prime Minister still convinced that New Zealand is in, to quote her, "the best intelligence club, given the report in today's Washington Post newspaper: "US intelligence officials said they intercepted communications in late September, signalling a strike on a Western tourist site. Bali was mentioned in the US intelligence report, the officials said.", and is the Prime Minister saying to the House that she knew that Bali was a potential target; if so, why were New Zealanders not warned; and, if she did not know, would she reconsider the fact that perhaps we are not in the best intelligence club?
Rt Hon. HELEN CLARK: We are in the best club, but the advice we receive cannot be full if the intelligence has not detected what is happening. I give the House exactly the same advice that John Howard gave Australians yesterday, which is that Australia was given no warning of the Bali bombing, we were given no warning of the Bali bombing. The Prime Minister of Australia said that it had no warning of a specific attack, nor did we.
Hon. Bill English: Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether the bombing in Bali will lead to any changes in the degree of cooperation between Australia and New Zealand over terrorist matters and intelligence flows?
Rt Hon. HELEN CLARK: We have the closest possible relationship with Australia, and that continues to be a very high priority for this Government.