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Wikileaks: Someone made it up - the Fonterra claim is wrong

Hon Jim Anderton

Member of Parliament for Wigram

Someone made it up - the Fonterra claim is wrong

22 December 2010
Media Statement

“Claims in a Wikileaks cable of a ‘milk for blood’ deal are totally false. There was never any discussion of Fonterra when the former government decided to send humanitarian assistance to Iraq, Wigram MP Jim Anderton says.

Jim Anderton was on the Cabinet security committee for nine years and dealt with every request for assistance that came up. He also worked closely with Fonterra throughout the time of the Iraq invasion, first as minister of economic development and then minister of agriculture.

“If Fonterra had been part of the decision-making it is unthinkable I wouldn’t have heard about it. It never happened.

“The request to send humanitarian assistance to Iraq came from the UN Security Council, not from the US. It was nothing to do with the American invasion, which New Zealand strongly opposed. Unlike the invasion, the humanitarian operation was entirely UN-sanctioned and entirely humanitarian. There was never any quid pro quo.”

Jim Anderton believes a junior defence official has made up the information given to the US Embassy.

“There is a lot in those cables that is wrong. It shows the quality of intelligence is unreliable - a point I always knew, because I often got better information by reading the Guardian than from formal intelligence sources.

“The claim in the Wikileaks cable could only have come from someone who had no idea what happened. It won’t be corroborated because it is untrue. It is therefore disappointing that conspiracy theorists have implied there must be something to the claim on a ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ basis,” Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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