Thursday, November 26, 2009

THE IRAQ INQUIRY: BRITISH HEADLINES

THE INDEPENDENT:

Officials knew WMD evidence was tainted

Intelligence against Iraq used by Blair on eve of invasion had only arrived days before, civil servant tells inquiry

By Michael Savage, Political Correspondent

Intelligence revealing that Saddam Hussein's WMD had been dismantled was received by the Government just days before Tony Blair sent troops into the country, senior officials have admitted.
Ministers were also given repeated warnings that intelligence gathered on Iraq's weapons programmes was unreliable. However, Mr Blair told the Commons that Saddam Hussein did have chemical and biological weapons as he prepared the way for the invasion in March 2003. ... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/officials-knew-wmd-evidence-was-tainted-1827616.html

THE DAILY MAIL:

What an insult to the dead: Brown accused of new Iraq cover-up as he 'blocks' release of incriminating evidence

By TIM SHIPMAN

Last updated at 12:21 AM on 26th November 2009


Gordon Brown was accused of engineering a new Iraq cover-up yesterday by handing Whitehall departments the right to block the release of secret documents about the war.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg ambushed the Prime Minister in the Commons, angrily accusing him of trying to 'suffocate' the Chilcot Inquiry.
Relatives of the 179 servicemen who died in Iraq are desperate for the inquiry to finally uncover the truth and apportion blame.....http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1230993/Brown-accused-suffocating-Iraq-inquiry-blocking-incriminating-evidence.html


THE DAILY EXPRESS:

FORMER PM TONY BLAIR ‘TOLD BEFORE WAR THAT IRAQ HAD NO NUCLEAR ARMS’


Former PM Tony Blair ‘told before war that Iraq had no nuclear arms’
Thursday November 26,2009

By Cyril Dixon

BRITAIN invaded Iraq just 10 days after ministers were told that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), an inquiry heard yesterday.

Foreign Office staff warned that the Iraqi dictator’s nuclear programme had been dismantled and there was no evidence he had chemical or biological weapons.
But despite the briefings, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered the troops to join the American-led offensive six years ago.
Sir William Ehrman, Foreign Office director of international security at the time, said ministers were repeatedly warned intelligence on Iraq’s weapons was “patchy”.
He gave Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the conflict a list of briefings.
In April 2000, the picture was described as “limited to chemical weapons”, in May 2001 the knowledge of WMDs and missiles was “patchy” and in March 2002 the intelligence was “sporadic and patchy”. In August 2002 a briefing noted that “we know very little” about Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons since late 1998, and in September 2002 the intelligence “remained limited”.
Sir William said: “We did, I think on March 10, get a report that chemical weapons might have remained disassembled and Saddam hadn’t yet ordered their assembly.
“There was also a suggestion that Iraq might lack warheads capable of effective dispersal of agents.”...http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/142508/Former-PM-Tony-Blair-told-before-war-that-Iraq-had-no-nuclear-arms-
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