July 14, 2004

How Tony Blair duped the British public

Posted in War on Terror at 8:04 pm by David Gould

Once again, a judge chosen by Tony Blair has avoided criticising the Prime Minister by avoiding the critical issues. This is not surprising. Tony Blair did not want this report. His sole purpose for announcing it was to divert blame away from him and his government.

To pretend that this was any objective or judicial report is a complete deception. If Michael Howard had an ounce of sense, he would announce a completely open enquiry into these enquiries should the Conservative Party win the election.

Butler failed to answer the main question which needed answering – how the 45-minute claim came to be present in the September dossier. Apparently this claim originally:
came from “an established and reliable source … a senior Iraqi military officer”. Yet intelligence officials now admit there was little new in the claim and that it was “not surprising”. They say the 45-minute claim could have been deduced from what was known about Iraqi military capabilities in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.Guardian report during Hutton enquiry

The Labour government knew that without this claim, the Labour party & public could not have been persuaded of the case for war.  Butler said that the claim should never have appeared without caveats, but failed to mention who made that decision.

It’s worth pointing out that John Scarlett (the Head of the JIC when it produced the report) has since been promoted to be the head of MI6. It is obvious that Blair himself knew that this deceptive claim was necessary to make his case for war. Blair himself wrote a foreword in the September dossier which highlighted the claim:
[the dossier] discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them. Butler report.

It is a surprisingly good read, especially for those interested in what the intelligence services knew and believed about WMD around the world.

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