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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Blair sweating in his shoes
    #1818839 - 08/16/03 02:40 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

45-minute claim on Iraq was hearsay

Vikram Dodd, Nicholas Watt and Richard Norton Taylor
Saturday August 16, 2003
The Guardian

Tony Blair's headline-grabbing claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order to do so was based on hearsay information, the Guardian has learned.

The revelation that the controversial claim is even weaker than ministers and officials have been saying will embarrass No 10, already reeling after the first week of the Hutton inquiry into the death of weapons expert David Kelly.

It came as the Hutton inquiry announced that Alastair Campbell, Downing Street's communications chief, will testify on Tuesday. Underlining the danger of the inquiry for the government, Lord Hutton has called virtually every member of the prime minister's inner circle.

The government has been under fire for including the allegation in a September 2002 dossier used to justify the war against Iraq.

The revelation that the 45 minute claim is second hand is contained in an internal Foreign Office document released by the Hutton inquiry. It had been thought the basis for the claim came from an Iraqi officer high in Saddam Hussein's command structure. In fact it came through an informant, who passed it on to MI6.

The document says the 45 minute claim "came from a reliable and established source, quoting a well-placed senior officer" - described by intelligence sources as a senior Iraqi officer still in Iraq.

The government has never admitted the key information was based on hearsay. On June 4, Tony Blair told the House of Commons: "It was alleged that the source for the 45 minute claim was an Iraqi defector of dubious reliability. He was not an Iraqi defector and he was an established and reliable source."

Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, said of the claim on May 29: "That was said on the basis of security service information - a single source, it wasn't corroborated."

The irony is that the government launched a furious attack on the BBC for broadcasting allegations that the dossier was "sexed up" based on a single, anonymous, uncorroborated source. That source was Dr Kelly.

Mr Campbell told the foreign affairs select committee: "I find it incredible ... that people can report based on one single anonymous uncorroborated source."

In fact, the foundation for the government's claim was even shakier, according to the document: a single anonymous uncorroborated source quoting another single anonymous uncorroborated source.

The Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, Menzies Campbell, said the revelation damaged the government's credibility.

He added: "This is classic hearsay. It provides an even thinner justification to go to war. If this is true, neither the prime minister nor the government have been entirely forthcoming."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The joint intelligence committee made a judgment on the basis of knowing everything about the nature of the source and the context."

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1020033,00.html


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineFileSoup
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Registered: 08/09/03
Posts: 142
Last seen: 13 years, 3 months
Re: Blair sweating in his shoes [Re: Xlea321]
    #1820449 - 08/16/03 06:24 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I still wonder why the US acknowledges the information as false. But the British still stand by it. Somebody has to be wrong..


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InvisibleEdame
gone

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
Re: Blair sweating in his shoes [Re: FileSoup]
    #1820509 - 08/16/03 06:44 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Blair pretty much staked his career on this war, if he changes his rhetoric then the papers will have a field day.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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OfflineFileSoup
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Registered: 08/09/03
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Re: Blair sweating in his shoes [Re: Edame]
    #1820516 - 08/16/03 06:45 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Yes, it would be very bad for him to change his mind now.


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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 2,268
Last seen: 5 years, 8 months
Re: Blair sweating in his shoes [Re: FileSoup]
    #1821193 - 08/16/03 11:10 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

British intelligence has some sort ofproof that they are unable to share with the US, as it violates a confidentiality agreement with the provider of said intel, most probably France.



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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Blair sweating in his shoes [Re: Edame]
    #1821724 - 08/17/03 03:04 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

The alledged "proof" clearly isn't worth the paper it's written on. Blair is obviously aware that to release it would expose it as such and him as an out and out liar. It makes more sense to make some excuse like "We know but can't tell you".


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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