Thursday, March 01, 2007 

The Iraq dossier: Well and truly exposed.

Chris Ames has done a wonderful public service in putting together Not only does it demolish Hutton's whitewashing of the government's highly manipulated case for war, it also proves once and for all that we were not just misled, with our politicians guilty of relying on intelligence which turned out to be wrong, but instead lied to by a group of mendacious, shameless and warmongering cunts who are unfit to govern us and whom should resign immediately.

The one real remaining mystery is just where the 45 minute claim came from. As Ames writes, it wasn't in the original draft dossier, the one written by John Scarlett, head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, now head of MI6. Ames believes that it instead emerged in a secret other draft of the dossier, this one drawn up by John Williams, the Foreign Office press secretary. The government however didn't submit this draft to the Hutton inquiry, and it has refused to release it under the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, is now finalising his ruling on whether the draft should be released, following an appeal by Ames.

Best of all is the painstakingly put together table (PDF) which compares each successive draft of the dossier, showing how it was sexed up by the spin doctors, the very claim which Andrew Gilligan made in the now infamous report on the Today programme. As a commenter on BlairWatch notes, there is a huge injustice in all of this. While Dr David Kelly's death cannot be blamed solely on the government, it was the petulant outbursts of Alastair Campbell, demanding an apology and that the BBC identify its source when he knew full well that their lies and editing of the dossier were finally coming to light that meant that the story became the defining moment of New Labour's obsession with news management, and helped a man further along the road to taking his own life.

Nearly four years on from the beginning of the Iraq war, at the lowest possible reasonable estimate 100,000 Iraqis are dead, over 100 British servicemen have lost their lives, and politics has been permanently affected by a prime minister who had already decided to go to war, and who had to manipulate the intelligence to justify it. That he is still somehow in office is both the biggest outrage and biggest indictment of the failure of us (yes, all of us) to rebuild politics from this, its absolute lowest ebb.

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