||Issue No. 216||16 April 2004|
Joining the Dots
Interview: Terror Australis
Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Industrial: The Hell of Troy
Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
History: Vicious Old Lady
International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Review: War Unfogged
The Locker Room
Tom’s A Furphy
Rolling in Clover
More War And Peace
Weekend Warrior Outed
Defence officials this week released an "internal" and previously secret report from Colonel Richard Tracey that purported to shoot down findings of a military inquiry into complaints lodged by intelligence officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Lance Colllins.
The internal inquiry, conducted by Vietnam veteran and long-serving naval officer Captain Martin Toohey, had vindicated Collins and found that key intelligence agencies delivered biased information which the government wanted to hear.
Those findings, against the background of Iraq and Bali, spelled bad news for a Federal Government already under fire for allegedly intimidating key advisers, including AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty.
But Tracey's report, penned in February, said Toohey had "miscarried" on the grounds of "jurisdictional authority" and a "lack of evidence to substantiate the findings".
Colonel Richard Tracey is, in fact, Dick Tracey, QC, the lawyer who pocketed $861,990, before expenses, for leading Melbourne hearings of the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.
CFMEU national secretary, John Sutton, said Tracey had been "unimpressive" in that capacity.
"He made his political disposition abundantly clear. He is a rusted on supporter of the Howard Government and its political ideology," Sutton said.
Tracey and Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole, a navy commodore in his spare time, were key movers in the failed criminal prosecution of Victorian CFMEU secretary, Martin Kingham.
Having recommended charges under the Royal Commissions Act, Tracey then appeared in the Melbourne Magistrate's Court as a prosecution witness against Kingham.
One charge was withdrawn and, after hearing from Tracey, Magistrate John Hardy dismissed the remaining contempt count.
Hardy's finding contained implicit criticisms of both the part-time colonel and occasional commodore.
In pressing the action, the Magistrate said Cole and Tracey had relied on "the tenor of the evidence rather than the actual evidence".
The Defence Department leaked Tracey's critique, this week, after a string of Lieutenant-Colonel Collins' criticisms of intelligence performances were made public.
It did not, however, release another internal review of the Toohey Inquiry, understood to have been conducted by Colonel Roger Brown and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, "believed to be broadly supportive" of Toohey's findings.
A Defence Department media officer told Workers Online, last Thursday, she was "unaware" of a second review of the Toohey Inquiry.
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