An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Wednesday, January 28, 2004  

Wow! Hutton....

must love Blair. While one might accept that they can get away with saying that they didn't know that the 45 minute claim was incorrect, I ask this: why were they the only ones who actually thought it was true? Blix and the other inspectors said that all they could say was that a tiny percentage of the WMD were unaccounted for. They repeatedly stressed that that was not saying that they existed; merely that they could not definitively say they had been destroyed.
It was absolutely clear from Susan Watts's tape of Kelly that he did credit Campbell with putting on pressure to come up with more 'evidence' for the dossier. That's sexing up in my world. To me it is absolutely clear that no.10 cast around looking desperately for any evidence which would back-up their previously devised policy of regime-change. Gilligan screwed it up in his terminology and the governors screwed it up by not making a qualified withdrawal earlier but this much is true:

- Campbell did make changes to the dossier which emphasised the threat
- the 45 minute claim was incorrect
- Kelly (based on the Watts tapes) was briefing journalists of this

If Gilligan had said that that no.10 had inserted the claim even tho' intelligence officers had warned that it was unreliable then everything would be ok. Instead Gilligan said that they had inserted knowing it was probably wrong. He also credited his source with using the term 'sexed up'. That's the screw up and on these specific issues Hutton is correct.

However, it still doesn't excuse the following:

- they should have accepted Blix's view of the above instead of one dodgy intelligence report of their own
- they went to war on a false premise
- the post de facto justification of war on humanitarian grounds is not acceptable since that is not the case they made to the world.

They cannot claim that they were duped by bad intelligence when Blix, France and Germany said there wasn't sufficient evidence. They went looking for anything which would back up their case and wrote a dossier which would include this so-called evidence in an attempt to persuade the British public. Hopefully the BBC will conduct some kind of fight back on the substantive issue and not allow their management f***up to destroy their confidence in pursuing this issue.
Given that Blair is never likely to admit his fault, the question now is: what weasly words will he employ years from now to explain the mystery of the WMD. Will he die claiming that they are there, somewhere underneath that desert?

posted by Sarah | 23:26 0 comments
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