Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, March 12, 2003
STRANGE SERVICE THIS. According to his own comment reported on Auntie's 7.00 pm TV news service tonight, but not recorded on its Website, former intelligence analyst Andrew Wilkie resigned so close to his appearance on the 7.30 Report last night that he had just come from an ONA briefing on Iraq before going to the studio.

But he was talking to journalist Laurie Oakes of The Bulletin days before that, since the news was in print in the Bulletin as he resigned.

Did his superior officers know of his pending defection? If not, they were deceived. If so, they were negligent.

According to his own account to Oakes, Wilkie was intending to hold his job while running a political campaign against the Government, but chose a more "honorable" course at the last moment.

Of course, Mr Wilkie would never reveal any confidential government information to the public. But by remaining in his job he does lead the slavering media pack to believe that his views are based on full and up-to-the-minute information, and that he is qualified to tell us what ONA's advice to the Government has been.

We haven't seen anything to prove that there is a link between [Iraq and al Quaeda] he tells us, implying he is privy to all, and that he reports the views of ONA.

Stranger and stranger.

Wilkie may be suffering the post-retirement crisis that some military officers go through when they flunk the test for senior promotion. For that he deserves our sympathy. As for the rest, ONA will need to address its employment policies.