"neither the United Kingdom nor the United States had the intelligence that proved conclusively that Iraq had those weapons. The Prime Minister was disingenuous about that. The United Kingdom intelligence community told him on 23 August 2002 that, “we ... know little about Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons work since late 1988”. The Prime Minister did not tell us that. Indeed, he told Parliament only just over a month later that the picture painted by our intelligence services was “extensive, detailed and authoritative”. Those words could simply not have been justified by the material that the intelligence community provided to him." Lord Butler of Brockwell 22 Feb 2007 : Column 1231 Lords Hansard
"I am aware, of course, that people will have to take elements of this on the good faith of our intelligence services, but this is what they are telling me, the British Prime Minister, and my senior colleagues. The intelligence picture that they paint is one accumulated over the last four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative. It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population, and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability." Hansard House Of Commons Debates 24th September 2002 Col 3 Tony Blair
"In order that the committee is as objective and non-partisan as possible, the membership of the committee will consist entirely of non-partisan public figures acknowledged to be experts and leaders in their fields. There will be no representatives of political parties from either side of this House. I can announce that the committee of inquiry will be chaired by Sir John Chilcot and it will include Baroness Usha Prashar, Sir Roderick Lyne, Sir Lawrence Freedman and Sir Martin Gilbert. All are, or will become, Privy Counsellors. The committee will start work as soon as possible after the end of July. Given the complexity of the issues it will address, I am advised that it will take a year" Hansard House Of Commons Debates 15 June 2009 Col 24 PM Gordon Brown
"The President. I'm not trying to characterize threats. The threat is a vicious aggression against Kuwait, and that speaks for itself. And anything collaterally is just simply more indication that these are outlaws, international outlaws and renegades" 1990 Aug 5 Su
"What I want to do today is draw the House’s attention to an allegation by Ron Suskind, a United States investigative author, in his book “The Way of the World”. Mr. Suskind’s information is based on conversations that he had with none other than Sir Richard Dearlove, head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, and his deputy Nigel Inkster. From those conversations, Mr. Suskind learned that one of the United Kingdom’s top agents, Michael Shipster, actually met—in Amman in 2003, just before the war—Tahir Jalil Habbush, who was Saddam Hussein’s head of intelligence. Apparently, Mr. Habbush was a well-established source of intelligence. I should be interested to know what has happened to him, because he is not one of the members of Saddam Hussein’s former regime who have been apprehended or brought to justice in any way. In fact, it has been suggested that he has been protected by western intelligence sources.
Mr. Habbush told Michael Shipster that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, and that far from seeking to conceal the presence of such weapons, he actually wanted to conceal their absence because he was more concerned about a possible invasion from Iran than about an invasion from the United States. The sources of that information—Richard Dearlove and Nigel Inkster—have queried the exact recollection of those conversations, but they have not denied the substance of the allegation that one of our top agents obtained information that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. It would appear that that intelligence was ignored, and we also know from other sources—such as Brian Jones, the former branch head in the Defence Intelligence Staff, and more recently, as mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice), Carne Ross, who was First Secretary at the United Nations for the Foreign Office until 2004—that there are lots of facts in the run-up to the Iraq war that have yet to come to light" Hansard House Of Commons Debates 25 march 2009 Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak) Col 361
"Once my report had been circulated to members of the Security Council, I received a telephone call from U.S. Ambassador Peter Burleigh inviting me for a private conversation at the U.S. mission. As he had less than five weeks before, Burleigh informed me that on instructions from Washington it would be ‘prudent to take measures to ensure the safety and security of UNSCOM staff presently in Iraq.’ The United States had begun measures to reduce its staff levels in embassies throughout the region, and British authorities were doing the same. Repeating a familiar script, I told him that I would act on this advice and remove my staff from Iraq." Saddam defiant : the threat of weapons of mass destruction and the crisis of global security by Richard Butler (UNSCOM) Page 224
"According to Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to Washington, who was at the dinner, Blair told Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror's initial goal - dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Bush, claims Meyer, replied by saying: 'I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.'" Bush and Blair made secret pact for Iraq war Decision came nine days after 9/11 Ex-ambassador reveals discussion David Rose Sun 4 Apr 2004
"The Prime Minister: We believe that the sanctions regime has effectively contained Saddam Hussein in the last 10 years. During this time he has not attacked his neighbours, nor used chemical weapons against his own people." House Of Commons 1 November 2000 Written Answer Col 511 W Tony Blair
"On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It.would be a tough sell for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to. But if it wanted to act with partners there had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam…
Wolfowitz said that he fully agreed. He took a slightly different position from others in the Administration, who were focussed on Saddam's capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction. The WMD danger was of course crucial to the public case against Saddam, particularly the potential linkage to terrorism. But Wolfowitz thought it indispensable to spell out in detail Saddam's barbarism. This was well documented from what he had done during the occupation of Kuwait, the incursion into Kurdish territory, the assault on the Marsh Arabs and to his own people. A lot of work had been done on this towards the end of
the first Bush administration. Wolfowitz thought that this would go a long way
to destroying any notion of moral equivalence between Iraq and Israel." Christopher Meyer to David Manning, “Iraq and Afghanistan: Conversation with Wolfowitz,” memo, March 18, 2001 Document 6
"I read the available UK and US intelligence on Iraq every working day for the four and a half years of my posting. This daily briefing would often comprise a thick folder of material, both humint and sigint. I also talked often and at length about Iraq’s WMD to the international experts who comprised the inspectors of UNSCOM/UNMOVIC, whose views I would report to London. In addition, I was on many occasions asked to offer views in contribution to Cabinet Office assessments, including the famous WMD dossier (whose preparation began some time before my departure in June 2002)." Carne Ross: Testimony to the Chilcot Inquiry, 12 July 2010 Iraq Inquiry Page 13
"When I was briefed in London at the end of 1997 in preparation for my posting, I was told that we did not believe that Iraq had any significant WMD. The key argument therefore to maintain sanctions was that Iraq had failed to provide convincing evidence of destruction of its past stocks. Iraq’s ability to launch a WMD or any form of attack was very limited. There were approx 12 or so unaccounted-for Scud missiles; Iraq’s airforce was depleted to the point of total ineffectiveness; its army was but a pale shadow of its earlier might; there was no evidence of any connection between Iraq and any terrorist organisation that might have planned an attack using Iraqi WMD (I do not recall any occasion when the question of a terrorist connection was even raised in UK/US discussions or UK internal debates). There was moreover no intelligence or assessment during my time in the job that Iraq had any intention to launch an attack against its neighbours or the UK or US" Carne Ross: Testimony to the Chilcot Inquiry, 12 July 2010 Iraq Inquiry Page 14
"I mean, there is a reason why weapons inspectors went in there, and that is because we know he has been developing these weapons. We know that those weapons constitute a threat." For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary April 6, 2002 President Bush, Prime Minister Blair Hold Press Conference Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair in Joint Press Availability Crawford High School
"Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked. He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also." Middle East Volume 383: debated on Wednesday 10 April 2002 PM Tony Blair
“By linking these countries together in his ‘axis of evil’ speech, President Bush
implied an identity between them not only in terms of their threat, but also in terms of
the action necessary to deal with the threat. A lot of work will now need to be done to delink the three, and to show why military action against Iraq is so much more justified than against Iran and North Korea" Minute Straw to Prime Minister, 25 March 2002, ‘Crawford/Iraq’ Page 2
"On the WMD Programmes of Concern paper, the Foreign Secretary commented:
"Good, but should not Iraq be first and also have more text? The paper has to show why there is an exceptional threat from Iraq. It does not quite do this yet."" FOI305712 WMD PROGRAMMES OF CONCERN Excerpt of minute from Simon McDonald to Peter Ricketts, copied to PS, PS/PUS, Stephen Wright, Michael Wood, Graham Fry, Alan Goulty,
William Ehrman and Head:MED, dated 11 March 2002, titled Iraq Page 43
"Scope of the paper: The Foreign Secretary felt that an earlier draft did not demonstrate why Iraq posed a greater threat than other countries of concern. The new draft highlights some unique features (violation of SCRs; use of CW agents against own people). You may still wish to consider whether more impact could be achieved if the paper only covered Iraq. This would have the benefit of obscuring the fact that in terms of WMD, Iraq is not that exceptional." FOI305712 WMD PROGRAMMES OF CONCERN Excerpt of minute from John Scarlett to David Manning, copied to Sir Richard Wilson, ‗C‘, [redacted], Stephen Lander, Peter Ricketts, Mike O‘Shea, Simon Webb, joe French, Tom McKane, Julian Miller and Jane Hamilton Eddy, dated 15 March 2002, titled ‗WMD PROGRAMMES OF
CONCERN – PUBLIC VERSION‘ Page 50
"Thereafter, if it appears that we do have to change our public line, I wonder if we
might finesse the presentational difficulty by changing the terms? Instead of talking about tonnes of precursor chemicals (which don‘t mean much to the man in the street anyway), could we focus on munitions and refer to ―precursor chemicals sufficient to produce x thousand Scud warheads/aerial bombs/122mm rockets filled with mustard gas/the deadly nerve agents tabun/sarin/VX‖ ? Presumably we know from UNSCOM what types of munitions the Iraqis had prepared or were working on at the time of the Gulf War.
I realise that this would not in the end hoodwink a real expert, who would be able
to reverse the calculation and work out that our assessment of precursor quantities had fallen. But the task would not be straightforward, and would beimpossible for a layman. And the result would, I think, have more impact on the target audience for unclassified paper" FOI305712 WMD PROGRAMMES OF CONCERN Letter from Tim Dowse, FCO NPD, to Julian Miller, CO, copied to Peter Ricketts, Stephen Wright, William Ehrman, William Patey, MED, John Williams, News Dept, John Walker, ACDRU, Paul Schulte, DPACS, MOD,
and [redacted], DI GI, DIS, dated 25 March 2002, titled ‗IRAQ: MATERIAL
FOR PUBLIC RELEASE‘ Page 73
“What I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his effortsto develop nuclear weapons, and that he has been able to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme" IRAQ’S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION THE ASSESSMENT OF THE BRITISH
GOVERNMENT The September Dossier Page 3
"DR BLIX:.. I said that Iraq cooperates on the whole well on procedure, in particular on access. On no particular occasion were we denied access." Hans Blix Testimony To Iraq Inquiry July 27th 2010 transcript Page 47
"Iraq is destroying its al-Samoud 2 missiles, which exceed a UN-imposed range limit. So far, it has crushed about 28 of the weapons. And it has begun excavating a site where it insists it destroyed bombs containing anthrax in the early 1990s. It has allowed more of its scientists to be interviewed. And it has given Mr Blix some documentation.
"Noting that Iraq was now showing a "great deal more" co-operation, including allowing seven new interviews, Mr Blix pointed in particular to the crushing of the missiles. That, he said, was "the most spectacular and the most important and tangible" evidence of real disarmament." Divided Security Council awaits Blix's assessment David Usborne The Independent Friday 07 March 2003
"I made it, for example, in the meeting in July and in my advice in July, that regime change was not a basis for legal -- for lawful use of force. It could be that another lawful basis for force might lead to regime change. Indeed, it might be the only way to achieve it, but wanting regime change was not of itself a lawful basis for the use of force" Date: Wednesday, 27 January 2010 Subject/Role: Attorney General, June 2001 – June 2007 Witnesses: Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith QC Testimony to Chilcot Inquiry Page 26
"I don't think. So I couldn't have given definitive legal advice at that stage, because the whole point was he had had the advice in July about what needed to happen. The self-defence didn't work, the humanitarian crisis didn't work. Put in those terms, there wasn't a basis for military action. If there was going to be a basis for military action, it had to be as a result of the new United Nations Security Council Resolution. That needed to say there was material breach. That advice had been given." Date: Wednesday, 27 January 2010 Subject/Role: Attorney General, June 2001 – June 2007 Witnesses: Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith QC Testimony to Chilcot Inquiry Page 29-30
"A2 WHAT PRESIDENT CHIRAC ACTUALLY SAID
9. The Government motion passed by the House of Commons on 18 March 2003 contained a reference to the behaviour of France:
"That this House . . . regrets that despite sustained diplomatic effort by Her Majesty's Government it has not proved possible to secure a second Resolution in the UN because one Permanent Member of the Security Council made plain in public its intention to use its veto whatever the circumstances."
10. In proposing the motion, the Prime Minister identified the Permanent Member as France, which he said had undermined support for a second resolution:
"Last Monday [l0 March], we were getting very close with it [the second resolution]. We very nearly had the majority agreement. If I might, I should particularly like to thank the President of Chile for the constructive way in which he approached this issue. "Yes, there were debates about the length of the ultimatum, but the basic construct was gathering support. Then, on Monday night, France said that it would veto a second resolution, whatever the circumstances."
11. In fact, France said no such thing. On the contrary, in the interview that Monday night, President Chirac made it very clear that there were circumstances in which France would not veto a resolution for war. Early in the interview, he identified two different scenarios, one when the UN inspectors report progress and the other when the inspectors say their task is impossible—in which case, in his words, "regrettably, the war would become inevitable".
That portion reads:
"The inspectors have to tell us: "we can continue and, at the end of a period which we think should be of a few months"—I'm saying a few months because that's what they have said—"we shall have completed our work and Iraq will be disarmed". Or they will come and tell the Security Council: "we are sorry but Iraq isn't cooperating, the progress isn't sufficient, we aren't in a position to achieve our goal, we won't be able to guarantee Iraq's disarmament". In that case it will be for the Security Council and it alone to decide the right thing to do. But in that case, of course, regrettably, the war would become inevitable. It isn't today." (see http://special.diplomatie.gouv.fr/articlegb9l.html)
12. From that, it is plain as a pikestaff that there were circumstances in which France would not have vetoed military action, namely, if the UN inspectors reported that they couldn't do their job.
13. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Prime Minister misinformed the House of Commons on 18 March about the position of France." The Foreign Affairs Select Committee published the report of its inquiry into The Decision to go to War in Iraq on 7 July 2003
"Clare Short (Birmingham, Ladywood): In trying to heal the divisions in the world that have appeared with regard to the difference of view about how to handle the crisis in Iraq, did the Prime Minister apologise to President Chirac for misleading all of us about the position of France on the second resolution? I think that he told the House, and many of us, that France had said that it would veto any second resolution. It is now absolutely clear that President Chirac said on 10 March that the inspectors needed longer, but if they failed to disarm Iraq, the Security Council would have to mandate military action. Does that not mean that he misled us and should apologise to us as well?
The Prime Minister: I am sorry, but again, we have a complete disagreement on this issue. First, the remarks that President Chirac made are now on the record and are history, and were about France saying no whatever the circumstances.
"SIR RODERIC LYNE: Was there a conscious decision for reasons of domestic political presentation to pin the blame on the French when, in fact, the situation was that we had failed to get the Chileans and the Mexicans across and had no prospect at this stage actually of getting our resolution?" Hansard House Of Commons Debates 4 June 2003 Claire Short Col 166-7
MR RYCROFT: Yes.
SIR RODERIC LYNE: Okay. Thank you.
MR RYCROFT: I think that's exactly right." Friday, 10th September 2010 MATTHEW RYCROFT Iraq Inquiry Chilcot Testimony Page 71-72
"SIR MARTIN GILBERT: You told the BBC that you'd been in the corridor in Number 10 when Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell, and I quote: "... decided effectively to play the anti-French card on the day after President Chirac's television interview." Did you interpret Chirac's words as ruling out the possibility of future French support for Iraq?
SIR STEPHEN WALL: No, I didn't. I was absolutely clear he had said "ce soir", "this evening". I can't remember the precise nature of the conversation other than the Prime Minister was giving Alastair his marching orders to play the anti-French card with the Sun and others, but I do recall after Alastair had started doing that, so probably about lunchtime on that day, getting a call from Joyce Quinn, now Baroness Quinn, former Europe Minister, who said to me, "Stephen, do the Prime Minister and Alastair know that what they are claiming Chirac said is not what he actually said?" and I said "Joyce, I believe they do know, yes"" Iraq Inquiry Wednesday, 19th January 2011 Page 68-69 https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20171123123237/http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk//media/51760/20110119-wall-final.pdf
"There is no evidence that any bulk Sarin-type agents remain in Iraq - gaps in accounting of these agents are related to Sarin-type agents weaponized in rocket warheads and aerial bombs. Based on the documentation found by UNSCOM during inspections in Iraq, Sarin-type agents produced by Iraq were largely of low quality and as such, degraded shortly after production. Therefore, with respect to the unaccounted for weaponized Sarin-type agents, it is unlikely that they would still be viable today." UNRESOLVED DISARMAMENT ISSUES IRAQ’S PROSCRIBED WEAPONS PROGRAMMES 6 March 2003 Page 73
"SADLER: Can you state here and now -- does Iraq still to this day hold weapons of mass destruction?
KAMEL: No. Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction. I am being completely honest about this." Interview transcript Transcript of part one of Correspondent Brent Sadler's exclusive interview with Hussein Kamel September 21, 1995
"Thus, the authority to use force under resolution 678 has revived and so continues today." In the Matter of the Legality of the Use of Force Against Iraq and the Alleged Existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction UK Parliament
"SIR RODERIC LYNE: to what extent did the conflict in Iraq exacerbate the overall threat that your Service and your fellow services were having to deal with from international terrorism?
BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER: Substantially." BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER Tuesday, 20 July 2010 Iraq testimony (MI5 Head) Page 24-25
"THE CHAIRMAN: You said a little while back, in answer to a question from Sir Roderic Lyne, that in your judgment the effect of the invasion of Iraq was to substantially increase the terrorist threat to the United Kingdom. Two questions really on that. How far is that really the hard-evidence-based judgment and how far is it a broad assessment?...
BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER: I think we can produce evidence because of numerical evidence of the number of plots, the number of leads, the number of people identified, and the correlation of that to Iraq and statements of people as to why they were involved, the discussions between them as to what they were doing. So I think the answer to your first question: yes." BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER Tuesday, 20 July 2010 Iraq testimony (MI5 Head) Page 33-34
"In 2003, having had an upgrade in resources after 9/11, which my predecessor agreed, and another small one in -- another one, not small actually, in 2002, by 2003 I found it necessary to ask the Prime Minister for a doubling of our budget. This is unheard of, it's certainly unheard of today, but he and the Treasury and the Chancellor accepted that because I was able to demonstrate the scale of the problem that we were confronted by." BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER Tuesday, 20 July 2010 Iraq testimony (MI5 Head) Page 27
"SIR RODERIC LYNE: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons in 2004 concluded that war in Iraq had possibly made terrorist attacks against British nationals and British interests more likely in the short-term. Now, how significant in your view a factor was Iraq compared with other situations that were used by extremists, terrorists, to justify their actions?
BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER: I think it is highly significant and the JIC assessments that I have reminded myself of say that. By 2003/2004 we were receiving an increasing number of leads to terrorist activity from within the UK and the -- our involvement in Iraq radicalised, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people, some British citizens -- not a whole generation, a few among a generation -- who were -- saw our involvement in Iraq, on top of our involvement in Afghanistan, as being an attack on Islam." BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER Tuesday, 20 July 2010 Iraq testimony (MI5 Head) Page 18-19
"So although the media has suggested that in July 2005, the attacks on 7/7, that we were surprised these were British citizens, that is not the case because really there had been an increasing number of British-born individuals living and brought up in this country, some of them third generation, who were attracted to the ideology of Osama bin Laden and saw the west's activities in Iraq and Afghanistan as threatening their fellow religionists and the Muslim world." BARONESS MANNINGHAM-BULLER Tuesday, 20 July 2010 Iraq testimony (MI5 Head) Page 19
"Al Qaida and associated groups will continue to represent by far the
greatest terrorist threat to Western interests, and that threat will be heightened
by military action against Iraq" JIC Assessment, 12 March 2003, ‘International Terrorism: War with Iraq - The Report of the Iraq Inquiry - Executive Summary - GOV.UK https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535407/The_Report_of_the_Iraq_Inquiry_-_Executive_Summary.pdf Page 48
"As specialist medical professionals, we do not consider the evidence given at the Hutton inquiry has demonstrated that Dr David Kelly committed suicide.
Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic pathologist at the Hutton inquiry, concluded that Dr Kelly bled to death from a self-inflicted wound to his left wrist. We view this as highly improbable. Arteries in the wrist are of matchstick thickness and severing them does not lead to life-threatening blood loss. Dr Hunt stated that the only artery that had been cut - the ulnar artery - had been completely transected. Complete transection causes the artery to quickly retract and close down, and this promotes clotting of the blood.
The ambulance team reported that the quantity of blood at the scene was minimal and surprisingly small. It is extremely difficult to lose significant amounts of blood at a pressure below 50-60 systolic in a subject who is compensating by vasoconstricting. To have died from haemorrhage, Dr Kelly would have had to lose about five pints of blood - it is unlikely that he would have lost more than a pint.
Alexander Allan, the forensic toxicologist at the inquiry, considered the amount ingested of Co-Proxamol insufficient to have caused death. Allan could not show that Dr Kelly had ingested the 29 tablets said to be missing from the packets found. Only a fifth of one tablet was found in his stomach. Although levels of Co-Proxamol in the blood were higher than therapeutic levels, Allan conceded that the blood level of each of the drug's two components was less than a third of what would normally be found in a fatal overdose." Our doubts about Dr Kelly's suicideMon 26 Jan 2004 The Guardian
"Strenuous efforts were made to ensure that no individual statements were made in the dossier which went beyond the judgements of the JIC. But, in translating material from JIC assessments into the dossier, warnings were lost about the limited intelligence base on which some aspects of these assessments were being made. The Government would have seen these warnings in the original JIC assessments and taken them into account in reading them. But the public, through reading the dossier, would not have known of them. The dossier did contain a chapter on the role of intelligence. But the language in the dossier may have left with readers the impression that there was fuller and firmer intelligence behind the judgements than was the case: our view, having reviewed all of the material, is that judgements in the dossier went to (although not beyond) the outer limits of the intelligence available. The Prime Minister’s description, in his statement to the House of Commons on the day of publication of the dossier, of the picture painted by the intelligence services in the dossier as “extensive, detailed and authoritative” may have reinforced this
impression." Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors Chairman: The Rt Hon The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 Para 464 Page 128
"We conclude, with the benefit of hindsight, that making public that the JIC had authorship of the dossier was a mistaken judgement, though we do not criticise the JIC for taking responsibility for clearance of the intelligence content of the document. However, in the particular circumstances, the publication of such a document in the name and with the authority of the JIC had the result that more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear. The consequence also was to put the JIC and its Chairman into an area of public controversy and arrangements must be made for the future which avoid putting the JIC and its Chairman in a similar position"Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors Chairman: The Rt Hon The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 Para 466 Page 128
"the Government's dossier in September 2002 did not make clear that the intelligence underlying those conclusions was very thin, even though the JIC assessments had been quite clear about that." Iraq Volume 664: debated on Tuesday 7 September 2004 Lord Butler House of lords
"I saw many intelligence assessments when I was at the Foreign Office. Doubt and intelligence assessments go hand in hand; doubt is in the nature of intelligence work. One is trying to guess the secrets that somebody is trying to keep, so it inevitably follows that one is trying to carry out a task even worse than that of the Israelites: to make bricks out of straws in the wind. To be fair to the agencies, they were always absolutely frank about the limitations of their knowledge. That is why I was frankly astonished by the September dossier, which bore no relation in tone to any of the intelligence assessments that I saw. It was one-sided, dogmatic and unqualified. The root problem is that intelligence was used in order to sell policy, so it was required to be much more firm and definite than intelligence can ever be"
"We spent a long time at dinner on IRAQ. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option.
Condi's enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties and political risks…
From what she said, Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions:
- how to persuade international opinion that military action against
Iraq is necessary and justified;
- what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition;
- how to coordinate a US/allied military…
He also wants your support. He is still smarting from the comments by other European leaders on his Iraq policy." David Manning to Tony Blair, “Your Trip to the U.S.,” memo, March 14, 2002
"On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It.would be a tough sell for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to. But if it wanted to act with partners there had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UNSCRs and the critical importance of the MEPP as an integral part of the anti-Saddam strategy. If all this could be accomplished skilfully, we were fairly confident that a number of countries
would come on board…
Wolfowitz said that he fully agreed. He took a slightly different position from others in the Administration, who were focussed on Saddam's capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction. The WMD danger was of course crucial to the public case against Saddam, particularly the potential linkage to terrorism. But Wolfowitz thought it indispensable to spell out in detail Saddam's barbarism. This was well documented from what he had done during the occupation of Kuwait, the incursion into Kurdish territory, the assault on the Marsh Arabs and to his own people. A lot of work had been done on this towards the end of the first Bush administration. Wolfowitz thought that this would go a long way to destroying any notion of moral equivalence between Iraq and Israel." Christopher Meyer to David Manning, “Iraq and Afghanistan: Conversation with Wolfowitz,” memo, March 18, 2001 Document 6
"The central issue was to influence the Americans. Blair had already taken the decision to support regime change, though he was discreet about saying so in public. It would be fruitless to challenge a fixed, five-year-old policy that had bipartisan support in the US. It was hard to see how Saddam could be de-fanged without being removed from power. Blair was also firmly wedded to the propositions that, to have influence in Washington, it was necessary to hug the Americans close" DC confidential : the controversial memoirs of Britain's ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11 and the run-up to the Iraq War by Christopher Meyer Page 241
"We discussed whether the central aim was WMD or regime change… TB felt it was regime change in part because of WMD but more broadly because of the threat to the region and the world" The Alastair Campbell diaries. Volume 4, The burden of power : countdown to Iraq Page 198
"He was a lot steelier than when he went on holiday. Clear that getting Saddam was the right thing to do." The Alastair Campbell diaries. Volume 4, The burden of power : countdown to Iraq Page 288
"It was a pretty good discussion, though focused as much as anything on the idea that we were having to deal with a mad America and TB keeping them on the straight and narrow. JP referred to the idea that TB would have sleepless nights, that we knew it could go to a difficult choice between the US and the UN. TB said he believed it would be folly for Britain to go against the US on a fundamental policy, and he really believed in getting rid of bad people like Saddam" The Alastair Campbell diaries. Volume 4, The burden of power : countdown to Iraq Page 307
"Even so, we are surprised that neither policy-makers nor the intelligence community, as the generally negative results of UNMOVIC inspections became increasingly apparent, conducted a formal re-evaluation of the quality of the intelligence and hence of the assessments made on it." Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors Chairman: The Rt Hon The Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 Para 362 Page 106
"We didn't in the JIC step back in January… 2003, at the time of the first report, the interim report, of the inspectors and say, "Let's look again at all our intelligence and all of our inferences against what has been found on the ground". It wasn't asked for, it wouldn't have been welcome" Sir David Ormand Iraq Inquiry testimony 2010 Page 55-56