This story of a DFAT employee sacked for the “unethical” action of responding to an email from a Labor party staff member, and reinstated yesterday by the IRC seemed to be just another example of the politicisation and rule by fear that characterises the public service under the current government*. But digging into the story a bit further, my wife found an amazing tangled web, in which the government’s star witness was entangled in drug dealing, money laundering and blackmail. This naturally qualified him to be part of the team that successfully oversaw the actions of AWB in Baghdad, and, in 2002, to have his security classification restored
The original reason that the DFAT employee, Trent Smith, was targeted was that he was under suspicion for leaking minutes of meeting in early 2003, in which Alexander Downer stated what we all now know to be true, that, despite its protestations the Australian government was committed to war with Iraq**.
* Of course, this process started before the current government
** Subject of course, to the need to keep Saddam sweet as long as possible so he would keep buying our wheat.