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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Alamo-Girl; Cindy; blackie; Pro-Bush; onyx; Eala; freedom44; MEG33; ...
US orders RAAF planes to spy on Iran without Australian approval

By Brian Toohey
December 21, 2003
The Sun-Herald

Australian Orion aircraft have followed US military orders to spy on Iran without first getting approval from Defence Minister Robert Hill.

The Government has announced that two specially equipped RAAF Orion P3C planes are flying surveillance missions over Iraq. However, The Sun-Herald has learned that the planes were diverted by US military commanders earlier this year to gather electronic intelligence on Iran.

According to Canberra sources, Senator Hill was angered by the RAAF's agreement to fly the mission against Iran without clearing such a sensitive decision with him first.

The Government has stressed that all Australian military units deployed in Iraq and the war against terrorism must always remain under Australian command.

Senator Hill declined to answer specific questions from The Sun-Herald about the controversial decision, which would normally require prior ministerial approval.

In this case, the deployment of the Orions against Iran went well beyond standard surveillance operations against Iraq or possible terrorist movements in the Persian Gulf.

A senior defence source said "Hill was entitled to be consulted from the start on such a politically delicate decision even if he was expected to eventually agree. I don't know what went wrong."

The Government is keen to maintain a good working relationship with Iran for commercial and immigration reasons.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/20/1071868698245.html
8 posted on 12/20/2003 5:06:42 AM PST by F14 Pilot (A wise man changes his mind, a fool never does.)
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To: F14 Pilot
Check with Howard,he's the one with the gumption.
9 posted on 12/20/2003 5:10:38 AM PST by MEG33 (We Got Him!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
11 posted on 12/20/2003 6:24:28 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
16 posted on 12/20/2003 7:33:49 AM PST by blackie
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