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Monday, June 20, 2005 

British diplomat confirms that WMD intel was misreported to public

Once the leaks start in a scandal as large as this, they just keep coming. Those who remember Watergate will recall the drip drip drip.

The Guardian newspaper (UK) today named a name. It published a short article describing what the former First Secretary of the British UN delegation, Carne Ross, had to say about the question of whether WMD intel had been manipulated before the war. Carne Ross has been heard from before, in a BBC Panorama program from March 20, 2005. He was quoted twice on the program, which discussed in great detail the manipulation of evidence and public opinion in the year before war broke out (a transcript of the program is available on line here. Here is how today's Guardian describes its interview with Ross:

A key Foreign Office diplomat responsible for liaising with UN inspectors says today that claims the government made about Iraq's weapons programme were "totally implausible".

He tells the Guardian: "I'd read the intelligence on WMD for four and a half years, and there's no way that it could sustain the case that the government was presenting. All of my colleagues knew that, too".

Carne Ross, who was a member of the British mission to the UN in New York during the run-up to the invasion, resigned from the FO last year, after giving evidence to the Butler inquiry.

He thought about publishing his testimony because he felt so angry. But he was warned that if he did he might be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act.


This is potentially quite a big break for the investigation of DSM. It is now possible to identify at least one member of Blair's government who is willing to go on record to say that Blair was mischaracterizing the evidence for political purposes. Others may follow Ross' lead, but even if we don't see further cracks in the British dam, we may start seeing them in the US now. So far, President Bush has simply stone-walled in the face of increasing public pressure to explain how DSM and related documents can possibly be reconciled with his administration's public statements in the run up to the war. There are plenty of people in and out of positions of power in the US who are fed up with the incompetence and brazen dishonesty this administration has shown in creating the Iraq quagmire. If any of them now steps forward with direct insight into the process by which we were dragged into this seemingly unnecessary war, well...stand out of the way as chunks of the wall come crashing down.

The link to the Guardian article is here:http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1510259,00.html

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