I waited all day for a bit of horse sense to cut through the verbiage. Finally, on BBC’s Newsnight ex-JIC man Sir John Walker – not quite as colourful as the BBC’s Andrew Marr, (who spoke of “mandarins speaking mandarin”), but entertainingly dead on the nail – said that there was NO intelligence failure – THE INTELLIGENCE WAS CORRECT – Dr Brian Jones (see BBC Panorama programme 11 July 2004) knew what it was and tried to tell his seniors. It was right when it started out – it’s just that by the time it reached the Prime Minister it was wrong. All those caveats – the qualifications that made it “right” – had mysteriously vanished. There is no word processing system that erases caveats, and they don’t drop out by themselves – so who took them out?
Butler waffled, it’s a question of “collective” responsibility: no one was completely wrong, they were all just a little bit wrong – and if punishment is required, a little finger-wagging will do. Walker thought it warranted a collective CULL. 61 British families had a member missing thanks to the Iraq war – this was a SERIOUS matter.
It seems pretty obvious to me that the dossier was deliberately tailored, and then doctored by Campbell, Powell, Blair, Hoon & Scarlett to enable us to follow the Great Leader on the other side of the pond into another spate of carnage. If this was a case of mere mistakes and failures, why did they compound them by failing to correct the erroneous impression in the tabloids post-dossier, that missiles could be launched at Cyprus from Iraq within 45 minutes?
…..Clare Short had it right, I believe, when she said that when Blair first met with Bush to discuss Iraq and learned that Bush intended war no matter what, he said the UK would join the US. This was, Short implied, in order to maintain the “special relationship” (i.e., intelligence sharing, banking, wealth etc). Thereafter Blair positively had to doctor the intelligence to arrive at the necessary position he required. The intelligence chief would have gone along to protect his turf – i.e. the Echelon product and other intelligence morsels.
I suppose the moral of the story is don’t ever expect a judge or mandarin (or anybody else for that matter) who is appointed by government to conduct an impartial investigation, to be at all impartial.