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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Blair knew Iraq threat was limited
    #1980494 - 10/05/03 03:05 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

The prime minister knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction ready for use within 45 minutes, former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has claimed.

He said that before the war started Mr Blair privately admitted that Saddam Hussein had no weapons posing a "real and present danger".

Mr Cook - who resigned as Leader of the Commons in protest at the conflict - makes his claims in a book based on his diaries, being serialised in the Sunday Times

Downing Street has dismissed the allegations as "absurd".

Cabinet 'mutiny'

Mr Cook said it became clear that the prime minister did not consider Iraq's weapons an imminent threat when they spoke two weeks before war started.

He added that Mr Blair had appeared prepared to go to war regardless of any progress made by UN weapons inspectors.

Mr Cook's new book is based on diaries kept during the tense period in the run-up to the conflict.
Robin Cook resigned in protest at the prospect of war

In extracts published on Sunday, Mr Cook also says the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, John Scarlett, "assented" when he suggested Iraq had no WMD which could target large cities.

And he claims that a "large number of ministers" spoke up in cabinet against British involvement in the US-led military action.

It was the nearest thing to a "mutiny" he had seen since Mr Blair took office, said Mr Cook, who quit his cabinet post in March in protest at the prospect of military intervention.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The idea that the prime minister ever said that Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction is absurd.

"His views have been consistent throughout, both publicly and privately, as his Cabinet colleagues know.

"Robin Cook's views are well known and have been expressed many times before."

'Troubled' by response

In further extracts from the book, Point of Departure, Mr Cook says he spoke to Mr Scarlett on February 20, a month before hostilities began.

After receiving a detailed briefing on the latest intelligence on Saddam's weapons capabilities, he concluded that the Iraqi dictator "probably does not have weapons of mass destruction in the sense of weapons that could be use against large-scale civilian targets".

In a meeting on March 5, he told Mr Blair he believed Iraq's WMD capability was limited to battlefield chemical munitions which could be used against British troops, but could not otherwise threaten British interests.

When he asked whether Mr Blair was not troubled by the prospect of the weapons being used against British troops, he said he received the reply: "Yes, but all the effort he has had to put into concealment makes it difficult for him to assemble them quickly for use."

Mr Cook said he was "deeply troubled" by the prime minister's response.

"Tony made no attempt to pretend that what Hans Blix might report would make any difference to the countdown to invasion," he said.


Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 2,276
Re: Blair knew Iraq threat was limited [Re: Xlea321]
    #1980513 - 10/05/03 03:11 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Anything that takes longer than 45 minutes is obviously benign.

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Registered: 02/26/01
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Re: Blair knew Iraq threat was limited [Re: wingnutx]
    #1980520 - 10/05/03 03:16 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

How much longer than 45 minutes are we talking tho? 12 years?

Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Rogue State
Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 1,047
Loc: Wales (yes it is a countr...
Last seen: 9 years, 9 months
Re: Blair knew Iraq threat was limited [Re: Xlea321]
    #1980980 - 10/05/03 12:02 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Strange how the garden gnome only brings this information to light months after the conflict began...

Perhaps next week he'll find conclusive proof Saddam destroyed all of his "WMD"'s in his beside table.....

Then if he's lucky he can find a job  :lol:

The punishment which the wise suffer, who refuse to take part in government, is to live under the government of worse men.

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Registered: 10/15/02
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Re: Blair knew Iraq threat was limited [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #1981243 - 10/05/03 02:29 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Keep making crap jokes if it takes your mind off the fact you are being shafted.

Always Smi2le

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