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Friday, December 15, 2006 

British Committee lets cat out of the bag

On November 9, I wrote about the on-going struggle in the British House of Commons to break the stranglehold of the Official Secrets Act: More explosive charges from former British UN diplomat. Many MPs want to get documents out in public regarding the run up to the Iraq War, and Tony Blair's role in manipulating intelligence to make a case for invading Iraq.

Former British diplomat Carne Ross has been complaining for more than a year that the evidence he saw before the war demonstrated that Blair was definitely aware that his claims about Hussein's WMD ran counter to the evidence. Ross said as much long ago to the Butler inquiry, but his testimony was marked 'Secret' and never released to the public.

Well, last month Ross testified before a House of Commons committee, restating for them what he had earlier told Butler.

On Wednesday, he gave testimony to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in which he said he has finally decided to release to the Committee documents he posseses, particulary relating to the testimony that he gave to the Butler Inquiry, which have been kept secret until now. He thinks that it is long past time for them to be made public.

Since then, the Blair government has been trying to prevent the Committee from releasing its copy of Ross' testimony to the Butler inquiry.

Today, the Committee published that testimony, as the Independent reports:

The Government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart by the publication of previously suppressed evidence that Tony Blair lied over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction....

In the testimony revealed today Mr Ross, 40, who helped negotiate several UN security resolutions on Iraq, makes it clear that Mr Blair must have known Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction. He said that during his posting to the UN, "at no time did HMG [Her Majesty's Government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests."...

The Foreign Office had attempted to prevent the evidence being made public, but it has now been published by the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs after MPs sought assurances from the Foreign Office that it would not breach the Official Secrets Act.

It shows Mr Ross told the inquiry, chaired by Lord Butler, "there was no intelligence evidence of significant holdings of CW [chemical warfare], BW [biological warfare] or nuclear material" held by the Iraqi dictator before the invasion. "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 the US," he added.

Mr Ross's evidence directly challenges the assertions by the Prime Minster that the war was legally justified because Saddam possessed WMDs which could be "activated" within 45 minutes and posed a threat to British interests. These claims were also made in two dossiers, subsequently discredited, in spite of the advice by Mr Ross.

Every time new evidence comes forth, it always points in the same direction: Bush and Blair misled the world and misrepresented the evidence in order to justify their determination to invade Iraq.

Crossposted from Inconvenient News

 posted by : smintheus ::  # 12:52 AM  
The direct link to Carne Ross' testimony at the House of Commons website is:

It's worth reading in full.
I can't belive you are all rallying around this worthless document. Do you think “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD” really means anything? Cmon guys. He DID harbor terrorists, he DID have WMDs. If you would look at the facts instead of hearing only what you want to hear. Saddamn had one chance to survive an invasion from the US...get the WMDs out of the country as fast as possible, and we have sattelite photos of Russian Spetznatz troops loading up trucks full of weapons and driving them into Syria. Huh, don't hear that on the evening news do ya?
You don't hear about photos of Russians trucking off Iraqi WMDs because it didn't happen; because there are no such photos (as far as I know); and because Iraq did not have WMDs to truck away. Or did you miss the admission by the administration that Hussein had no WMD?

As for harboring terrorists, which ones were those?
Give me a break. Majority of the terrorists are in Iraq now, because of the US. We've done nothing but give the terrorist more ammunition to recrute more terrorist. We've given them all the propaganda they need. Yeah Hussein was a bad guy, but was that reason enough to invade. The administration (that so many think walk on water) even admitted that there were no WMD's. Wake up people. You believe in this administration, than you believe when they say " Iraq did not have WMD's", and had nothing to do with 9/11. Sad, so many people are so blinded by Bush, that they don't even believe him, when it doesn't fit their views.
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