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Tony Blair is TOAST--His Office SUBSTANTIALLY ALTERED Iraq Dossier

Tony Blair's office authorized a "substantial rewrite" of the government's controversial dossier on Iraq, according to a parliamentary inquiry into the apparent suicide of weapons expert David Kelly.
PROOF that the Blair administration exaggerated the case for war on Iraq.
PROOF that the Blair administration exaggerated the case for war on Iraq.
Mon Aug 18, 5:22 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office authorized a "substantial rewrite" of the government's controversial dossier on Iraq, according an inquiry into the apparent suicide of weapons expert David Kelly.

Kelly's death is the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, amid allegations -- reportedly based on the weapons scientist's evidence -- that the Blair administration exaggerated the case for war on Iraq.

An email from Blair's director of communications Alastair Campbell to chief-of-staff Jonathan Powell, dated September 5, disclosed that the dossier was being substantially rewritten ahead of its publication on September 24.

Campbell, 46, is the man accused by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan of personally beefing up Downing Street's controversial dossier on Iraq, aimed at justifying the case for military action ahead of the March war.

Gilligan alleged in a British newspaper article on June 1 that Campbell, who is set to testify before the probe Tuesday, was responsible for inserting a sensational claim into the dossier, a week before its publication, that stated Iraq could deploy chemical or biological weapons in just 45 minutes.

Documents released to the inquiry Monday showed that the dossier should be altered "as per TB's discussion" -- an apparent reference to Tony Blair.

It said: "Re dossier, substantial rewrite with JS and Julian M in charge, which JS will take to US next Friday, and be in shape Monday thereafter. "Structure as per TB's discussion. Agreement that there has to be real intelligence material in their presentation."

JS apparently referred to John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, while Julian Miller was the Cabinet Office's chief-of-the-assessment-staff. The US stood for the United States.

Meanwhile a separate email from Powell, also presented to the inquiry Monday, outlined his misgivings over the dossier on the potential threat of Iraqi weapons.

The government row with the BBC over whether or not the government "sexed up" the dossier and Kelly's subsequent and mysterious death have left Blair, who is dwindling badly in opinion polls, facing his gravest crisis since coming to power in 1997.

Kelly apparently committed suicide in July days after being grilled by two parliamentary committees and after he was named by the defence ministry as the likely source of Gilligan's reports.

"The dossier is good and convincing for those who are prepared to be convinced," Powell said in an email addressed to Scarlett.

"The document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam," said the email -- dated September 17 last year -- exactly a week before the dossier was published.

"It shows he (Saddam) has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours let alone the West," Powell said in the email.

Now in its second week, the inquiry into Kelly's death has turned to focus on the role of Blair's office, with the careers of several officials including Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon hanging in the balance.

The government has faced criticism for identifying Kelly, a top expert on biological weapons, with concern that failing to protect the scientist from the ensuing media and political storm may have contributed to his death.

It remains to be seen who will take the political flak for the crisis, but many commentators have named Hoon as the likely government scapegoat.

The inquiry heard last week that Hoon himself had overruled the advice of his top civil servant and decided to burden Kelly with the added pressure of testifying publicly in front of a parliamentary committee.

Blair was also implicated when it emerged that he had personally ordered Kelly's defence ministry bosses to grill him for a second time over his contacts with Gilligan.

Hoon and Blair, both currently on holiday, are expected to be summoned to appear at some point before the inquiry, due to last several more weeks

homepage: homepage: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030818/wl_afp/britain_iraq_inquiry_sched_2ndlead_030818212226
address: address: Agence France Presse

War Crimes Tribunals: Bring 'Em On! 18.Aug.2003 18:39

Impeachment is for Liars

USC Title 18, Section 2331, (Patriot Act, a new category) - "domestic terrorism" - has been created and means activities that:

"involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."

Bush, Blair, Cheney, and Rumsfeld KNOWINGLY lied about Iraq's WMD to intimidate and coerce the public and congress to get his oil war in Iraq. They are, by definition of Asscroft's own Patriot Act, all terrorists.

Liars, the world awaits your impeachments and free trips to Guantanamo.

And no, you should not stand alone as the fall guys for the elite's globalization plans: your oil-soaked crime gang and terrorist partners in Israel should also be imprisoned. Over 200 dead U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghanis await justice for your crimes.


Strange wind blowing... 18.Aug.2003 18:41

Department. of Homeland Obscurity

Terror alert level raised to crimson: Bush and Blair need a distraction ASAP!

Liberal Pigs!! 19.Aug.2003 07:23

Warren V. Palin warrenvpalin@earthlink.net

You leftist assholes have no clue. There is no "proof" here. Just a bunch of inuendo and guessing. Pretty much sums up your whole movement.

503-742-0953
19575 River Road, Gladstone, OR 97027-2229

Just a bunch of inuendo and guessing 19.Aug.2003 08:17

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The e-mails, the rewritten dossier and how No 10 made its case for war 19.Aug.2003 08:34

Kim Sengupta and Nigel Morris

The e-mails, the rewritten dossier and how No 10 made its case for war

By Kim Sengupta and Nigel Morris
19 August 2003

The extent to which Downing Street sought to convince a doubting British public of the need to go to war in Iraq was exposed before the Hutton inquiry yesterday.

Hitherto unpublished official papers disclosed at the inquiry showed grave doubts at the highest level of government about its own case for supporting the invasion of Iraq.

Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's chief of staff, admitted a week before the publication of the Iraq weapons dossier that it did "nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam", the inquiry was told yesterday.

The Prime Minister had already authorised a "substantial rewrite" of the document, before the complaint by Mr Powell.

The latest in a series of highly damaging revelations came as the inquiry focused on the role of Downing Street, not only in the circumstances of David Kelly's death but in the wider issues surrounding the countdown to war.

With the credibility of Mr Blair's government increasingly at stake, Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's director of communications and strategy, will take the witness stand today to answer questions on his role.

Mr Campbell has vehemently denied the allegation that he "sexed up" last September's dossier, while the Prime Minister has declared that this was the most serious charge that could be levelled against a government.

Yesterday the inquiry was shown an e-mail from Mr Campbell to Jonathan Powell, dated 5 September, 19 days before the dossier was published, disclosing that the document was being substantially rewritten.

It said: "Re dossier, substantial rewrite with JS and Julian M in charge, which JS will take to US next Friday, and be in shape Monday thereafter. Structure as per TB's discussion. Agreement that there has to be real intelligence material in their presentation." JS apparently referred to John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, while Julian Miller was the chief of the assessment staff at the Cabinet Office.

But despite the "substantial rewrite" 12 days earlier, with the date of publication approaching, Mr Powell reflected the alarm within No 10 that the intelligence services had failed to produce the smoking gun that would swing public opinion behind war.

The e-mail to Mr Scarlett, in charge of compiling the dossier, stated: "The dossier is good and convincing for those who are prepared to be convinced. The document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam ... We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that he is an imminent threat. In other words it shows he has the means, but it does not demonstrate that he has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the West."

The e-mail also sought further information on the Iraqi regime's alleged links with al-Qa'ida. Efforts had been made to blank out a section that said: "The document says nothing about these, and TB will need ..."

The inquiry had been told that a draft dossier produced on 5 September did not contain the now notorious claim that Iraq would be able to launch a chemical and biological attack within 45 minutes. However, in the final version published on 24 September, Tony Blair declared in the foreword that Saddam Hussein would be "ready" to carry out the 45-minute threat.

Yesterday there was further discomfort for Downing Street with the disclosure of tension and acrimony over its festering feud with the BBC over the reporter Andrew Gilligan's claim that the Government had inserted the "45-minute" threat into the dossier despite scepticism from the intelligence services.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman Tom Kelly had written in an e-mail to Mr Powell: "This is now a game of chicken with the Beeb. The only way they will shift is if they see the screw tightening."

Mr Blair's spokesman, who referred to Dr Kelly, described by international experts as one of Britain's foremost authorities on biological weapons, as a "Walter Mitty"-type fantasist, will give his evidence tomorrow.

The inquiry was told that a letter sent to Gavyn Davies, the chairman of the BBC's board of governors, from the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, was a virtual copy of the wording used in a memorandum by Mr Campbell.

Contradicting Downing Street claims that the Kelly affair was left as an internal matter for the Ministry of Defence, it was disclosed yesterday that Mr Blair himself chaired crisis meetings in No 10 on successive days after it was revealed that the scientist could be the source of Mr Gilligan's "sexing-up" claims on Radio 4's Today programme. Documents produced at the hearing revealed that Downing Street played a central role in drafting a press statement by the MoD announcing that an unnamed official had admitted meeting Mr Gilligan in a hotel in central London.

As a further indication of Mr Blair's difficulties in rebuilding public confidence, a poll by ICM published in today's Guardian revealed that only six per cent of people believe that the Government is more trustworthy than the BBC. Half of those polled also believed the Government had deliberately embellished the dossier to strengthen its case for the war.

5 SEPT E-MAIL

This memo to Jonathan Powell from Alastair Campbell makes clear that the very first draft of the Iraq dossier was not strong enough. The phrase "substantial rewrite" shows that Mr Campbell had agreed that John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, and Julian Miller, head of the JIC assessment staff, should come up with a new version. The e-mail also suggests No 10 wanted "real intelligence". This would explain why the 45-minute claim was seized on so eagerly.

17 SEPT E-MAIL

Mr Powell's description of the dossier as "convincing for those who are prepared to be convinced" is extraordinary, and betrays the level of doubt within the Government. He states that the Government should make clear it has no evidence that Iraq is an "imminent threat".

THE DOSSIER

Published on 24 September, Mr Blair's own phrase, "current and serious threat", led MPs and the public to believe that Saddam should be dealt with urgently. But this contradicts Mr Powell's e-mail advice of only a week earlier. Presenting the 45-minute claim in his foreword as a fact suggests the dossier was hardened up, despite the qualms of some defence intelligence staff officers.


so what you're saying, Warren... 19.Aug.2003 09:10

myclam myclamwebdev@hotmail.com

...is that evidence and testimony in a parliamentary inquiry is "Just a bunch of inuendo and guessing?" Pretty much sums up imperialist disinformation.

No 10 knew: Iraq no threat 19.Aug.2003 09:21

Richard Norton-Taylor and Nicholas Watt

No 10 knew: Iraq no threat

Richard Norton-Taylor and Nicholas Watt
Tuesday August 19, 2003
The Guardian

One of the prime minister's closest advisers issued a private warning that it would be wrong for Tony Blair to claim Iraq's banned weapons programme showed Saddam Hussein presented an "imminent threat" to the west or even his Arab neighbours.

In a message that goes to the heart of the government's case for war, the Downing Street chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, raised serious doubts about the nature of September's Downing Street dossier on Iraq's banned weapons.

"We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that he is an imminent threat," Mr Powell wrote on September 17, a week before the document was finally published.

His remarks urging caution contrasted with the chilling language used by Mr Blair in a passionate speech in the Commons as he launched the dossier a week later.

He described Iraq's prog-ramme for weapons of mass destruction as "active, detailed, and growing ... It is up and running now".

Mr Powell's private concerns came in the form of an email which was copied to Alastair Campbell, Downing Street's director of communications, and Sir David Manning, Mr Blair's foreign policy adviser.

The fact the three closest men to the prime minister knew of this information strongly suggests Mr Blair would have been aware.

Downing Street also faced severe embarrassment yesterday when the Hutton inquiry was told the prime minister's official spokesman in an email had described the government's battles with the BBC as a "game of chicken".

The email revealed how senior Downing Street officials - and on occasion Mr Blair himself - became intimately involved in the events which led to the death of the government scientist David Kelly.

Within minutes of taking the stand, Mr Powell was asked about his email to John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee, in which he said he believed the arms dossier "does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam" and added: "In other words, it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the west."

The Hutton inquiry heard last week that the final version contained claims that a senior defence intelligence official agreed were "noticeably" hardened up.

They included a claim in the dossier's foreword, signed by Mr Blair, that Iraqi chemical and biological weapons would be "ready" within 45 minutes of an order to deploy them. Mr Blair also described Iraq as posing a "serious and current threat".

Documents disclosed by the inquiry yesterday reveal the close interest Mr Blair and Mr Campbell showed in the dossier as it was being prepared.

On September 5, Mr Campbell's office emailed Mr Powell: "Re dossier, substantial rewrite. Structure as per TB [Tony Blair] discussion." The email refers to the need for "real intelligence material". Mr Powell responds by asking, "will 'TB' have something he can read" on the plane on his way to meet George Bush.

The Hutton inquiry yesterday revealed that top officials in the Ministry of Defence and Downing Street - and Mr Blair himself - made it clear they wanted Dr Kelly to give evidence both in private to the parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) and in public to the Commons foreign affairs committee (FAC) despite the intense personal pressure he was under.

The government was worried about what Dr Kelly would tell MPs. In an email to one of the prime minister's private secretaries, Mr Powell wrote: "We tried the prime minister out on Kelly before FAC and ISC next Tuesday. He thought he probably had to do both but need to be properly prepared beforehand."

Three days earlier, on July 7, Mr Blair asked his closest advisers what they "knew of Dr Kelly's views on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, what would he say if he appeared before the ISC or the FAC".

Sir Kevin Tebbit, the top civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, warned that Dr Kelly might say some "uncomfortable" things.

The inquiry heard that the Downing Street press office was kept closely in touch with the MoD's strategy which led to Dr Kelly's name being made public. On the day he was named, July 10, one of those officials, Tom Kelly, wrote his devastating email to Mr Powell.

"This is now a game of chicken with the Beeb - the only way they will shift is they see the screw tightening," he wrote.

He was referring to plans to make the scientist appear before the committees in the hope of forcing the BBC to confirm that Dr Kelly was its source.

Sir David, now the British ambassador to the United States, acknowledged that feelings had been running high in Downing Street.

"There were certainly moments of personal anger. I think it was the case that it was seen as a pretty direct attack on the integrity of the prime minister and officials at No 10," he told the inquiry.


"Terror" Attack Right On Cue 19.Aug.2003 10:37

Easy Call

Just in time to take the cameras off phony Tony.

Truck bomb rocks U.N. headquarters in Baghdad
17 killed; U.N. chief's representative injured
 http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/08/19/sprj.irq.main/index.html


Blowing the Titties Off the World 19.Aug.2003 11:07

Active Low Enable

Yes, the global elitists will blow up the whole world to keep the spot light off of themselves. But, then we won't need to worry about right wing, armchair, chickenhawk hypocrites. They'll be all blown up by their own kind. Eh, warren?

War 19.Aug.2003 12:48

activist community

Bush lied. Blair lied. They told us lies so they could have their oil war and to expand their empire so that more and more people could continue to serve the corporates who sit in their ivory towers as the rest of us die in poverty. Trillions upon trillions of us have taken to the streets and have made it known that we won't take it anymore, and still they will not listen. We loot, we burn, we destroy property and still they do not listen. We write, we chant, we play songs of peace, and still they do not listen. How many more marches must we have until justice and peace come to pass? It is time for action! The time is NOW!! Let's sit around and talk about it.

Warren V. PLaIn"clothes" 19.Aug.2003 22:23

Mole

Is Mr. Palin projecting something in his association of people with a certain kind of animal?

;^)