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Aussie anti-war hero to tour NZ

18 August 2005

Aussie anti-war hero to tour NZ

Andrew Wilkie, the Australian intelligence analyst who blew the whistle on the John Howard Government's dishonest justification of the Iraq War, will undertake a speaking tour of New Zealand next week.

The Green Party is bringing Mr Wilkie to New Zealand to explain why this country shouldn't become Bush and Howard's ally in the War on Terror.

"With Don Brash's prevaricating over our nuclear-free stance and whether National would have joined the War in Iraq, foreign affairs has become an important campaign issue," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"Mr Wilkie is a respected intelligence expert and author of Axis of Deceit, who will provide compelling reasons why Kiwis should be very nervous about political parties like National who are advocating that New Zealand cuddle up to George Bush and John Howard."

Mr Wilkie was a senior intelligence analyst in Australia's Office of National Assessments in 2002 and early 2003, dealing with the intelligence being gathered on Iraq, and providing reports to the government. He resigned from the ONA in March 2003 and went public with his concerns that John Howard's government was manipulating and distorting the intelligence for political reasons.

He stands by the assertions he made at the time - that Iraq did not pose a serious enough threat to justify a war, that too many things could go wrong, and that it was bad policy to resort to force so long as alternative options remained.

Mr Wilkie will hold a press conference upon arrival in Auckland next Wednesday. Details of venue and time will be announced at a later date.

The details of Mr Wilkie's public meetings are as follows:

AUCKLAND

When: 8pm, Wednesday 24 August

Where: Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn

WELLINGTON

When: 7.30pm, Friday 26 August

Where: St John's Hall, cnr Dixon and Willis Sts

CHRISTCHURCH

When: 7.30pm, Monday 29 August

Oxford Terrace Baptist Church Lounge, cnr Oxford Tce and Madras Sts

ENDS

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