Monday, November 27, 2006

This just in

The headlines are coming acrosst the wire on the release of the Cole enquiry report into the AWB oil for wheat deal.

The headlines suggest that Howard, Downer and Vaile saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil so far as the evidentiary trail led.

UPDATE: Cole clears PM in bribes probe
Mark Davis
November 27, 2006 - 4:26PM

"There is no evidence that any of the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade or the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry were ever informed about, or otherwise acquired knowledge of, the relevant activities of AWB,'' the report said.

The 1951-page report by Commissioner Terence Cole, tabled in federal parliament this afternoon, named 11 senior AWB executives whose conduct may have involved being accessories to criminal behaviour or breaching the Corporations Act.

Commissioner Cole sheeted the blame for AWB's series of illicit payments to the company's internal corporate culture.

"The question posed within AWB was: 'What must be done to maintain sales to Iraq'.

"The answer given was: 'Do whatever is necessary to retain the trade'.

"No one asked, 'What is the right thing to do?'"

"Necessarily one asks, 'Why?' The answer is a closed culture of superiority and impregnability, of dominance and self-importance," the report said.


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