Key phrase dropped from UK Iraq dossier

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
September 24th, 2003 • 12:58 am

It’s been interesting to follow the developments in the British inquiry into the suicide of Iraq weapons expert David Kelly. The whole issue is about whether Tony Blair’s administration did indeed “sex up” the dossier to make Iraq look more threatening than it actually was.

I think it is pretty safe to say that most ordinary folks think that it is quite obvious that both the UK and the US exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. It was obvious as they were doing it, even before the war started. Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN was largely unconvincing. The use by the UK administration of “intelligence” that turned out to be based on a 10-year-old student report was very embarrassing — and revealing.

So the issue of whether they “sexed up” the dossier is moot. So why are we still debating the issue?

I guess the purpose of this inquiry is to establish the fact that the dossier was sexed up legally. In that respect, the revelation that the chief of staff of Tony Blair suggested that a key phrase be removed from the dossier is pretty damning.

It is starting to look like what everyone knows already — that the US and the UK exaggerated the threat in order to justify military action — will end up being established in court. Will it be enough to initiate “regime change” in the UK? Possibly. Will it have much impact in the US? Highly doubtful. I bet that no one in the American media is currently reporting on the UK inquiry. The US would have to launch its own inquiry — and there are no signs that any current US politicians have the guts to do such a thing, or that they would even have the public support required to do so.

So George Bush will be able to continue to hide behind his lies — but Tony Blair might not survive this. The next few weeks might be interesting.

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