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cab_1_0160to0236

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10/31/2011

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PRESS
BRIEFING
:
11AM
TU
ESDAY
3
JUNE
2003
IRAQ/WMD
In
answer
to
questions,
the
Prime
Minister's
Official
Spokesman
(PMOS)
said
that
the
position
regarding
this
matter
remained
entirely
as
set
out
by
the
Prime
Minister
many
times
in
recent
days
.
Everyone
accepted
that
the
issue
of
Iraq
had
aroused
enormous
passions
-
on
both
sides
of
the
argument
.
From
the
outset,
opponents
of
the
conflict
had
made
all
sorts
of
predictions
which
their
endless
repetition
had
not
made
any
the
more
true
.
For
example,
they
had
saidthat
the
Mddle
East
would
go
up
in
flames,
that
the
conflict
would
be
endless,
that
we
would
never
take
Baghdad,
that
we
would
neverachieve
a
post-conflict
UN
Resolution
and
so
on
.
None
of
these
had
come
to
pass
.
Obviously
thecurrent
situation
in
Iraq
was
by
no
means
perfect
.
However,
it
was
clear
that
the
Iraqi
people
were
now
slowly
able
to
leave
behind
their
verydark
past
and
lookforward
to
a
brighter
future
.
In
terms
of
the
Middle
East,
the
PMOS
pointed
out
that
President
Bush
was
currently
visiting
the
region
andwasdue
to
attend
a
very
important
summit
tomorrow
.
Of
course
noone
was
suggesting
thatthis
process
would
not
be
fraught
with
its
own
difficulties
.
Nevertheless,
it
was
important
not
to
under-estimate
what
was
happening
there
.
A
lot
of
people
had
said
that
it
would
never
happen
.
Now
people
were
focussing
theirattention
on
the
issue
of
WMD,
which
of
course
was
perfectlylegitimate
.
It
was
also
perfectly
proper
that
people
were
asking
questions
-
particularly
given
the
centrality
of
the
issue
to
the
whole
Iraq
debate
.
However,
asthe
Prime
Minister
had
said
inhis
pressconference
at
the
G8
Summit
in
Evian
yesterday
in
response
to
some
of
the
more
fevered
allegations,
if
people
had
hard
evidence
to
back
them
up
they
should
present
it
.
Equally,
if
people
were
scattering
around
serious
accusations
about
the
Government
and
its
behaviour,
it
was
important
for
ourresponse
to
be
heard
.
As
the
Prime
Minister
had
saidrepeatedly,
people
needed
to
exercise
a
little
patience
.
We
would
bring
forward
the
evidence
in
due
course
.
Questioned
about
thepossible
role
of
the
Intelligence
and
Security
Committee
(ISC)
in
investigating
the
matter,
the
PMOS
said
that
given
the
ISC's
remit,
he
would
not
be
surprised
if
it
didn't
already
have
this
matter
in
hand
.
Our
statements
on
the
WMD
ssue
had
not
changed
.
Our
response
to
questions
about
the
dossier,
Saddam's
WMD
and
the
process
of
investigation
had
been
consistent
from
the
word
go
.
Asked
if
the
Prime
Minister
would
be
happy
to
allow
the
ISC
access
to
whatever
material
and
personnel
the
Committee
felt
was
necessary
to
conduct
a
proper
inquiry,
the
PMOS
said
that
any
conversations
of
that
sort
would
take
place
in
the
usual
way
.
He
repeated
that,
given
thenature
of
the
Committeeand
its
remit,
he
would
be
surprised
if
theydid
not
already
have
the
matter
in
hand
.
As
he
understood
it,
however,
the
ISC,
unlike
other
Committees,
didnot
providean
ongoing
commentary
on
the
progress
of
its
inquiries
.
Asked
if
the
Prime
Minister
would
be
happy
to
give
the
evidence
which
was
being
C6-3~tlo~6o
 
disputed
to
the
ISC
for
examination,
the
PMOS
said
that
these
were
issues
which
could
be
discussed
between
the
Government
and
the
Committee
.
There
were
standard
procedures
regarding
the
way
in
which
the
two
worked
together
which
would
obviously
be
followed
.
It
was
an
important
Committee
which
we
tookvery
seriously
.
Asked
the
Prime
Minister'sreaction
to
the
calls
for
an
inquiry,
the
PMOS
said
that
we
didnotseethe
need
for
an
independent
inquiry
of
thenature
being
demanded
.
Therewere
threepoints
here
:
the
dossier,
WMD
and
the
process
.
The
dossier
had
been
the
work
of
the
intelligence
services
.
Suggestions
that
pressure
had
been
put
on
them
to
doctor
it
were
entirely
false
.
Surely
people
were
not
suggesting
that
they
would
include
something
with
which
they
were
not
happy
.
As
the
Prime
Minister
had
underlined,
the
security
services
were
the
ones
who
had
taken
the
judgement
about
what
to
include
in
the
dossier
.
The
evidence
had
not
been
invented
by
them
or
by
politicians
.
Regarding
the
issue
of
WMD,
as
the
Prime
Minister
had
said
on
Sunday,
there
was
nodoubt
that
Saddam
hadhad
them
andhadbeen
continuing
to
manufacture
them
.
Ifthat
was
not
the
case,
what
on
earth
had
the
last
umpteen
UN
Resolutions
been
about?
And
why
had
Saddam
not
complied
with
hisobligations?
It
was
clear
that
Saddam
had
known
what
'serious
consequences'
had
meant
in
Resolution1441
.
If
he
didn't
have
them,
he
had
had
ample
opportunity
to
demonstrate
the
fact
.
One
of
the
reasons
why
his
WMD
had
been
considered
aparticularthreat
was
because
of
thepossible
link
betweenthem
and
international
terrorism
.
In
the
Prime
Minister's
view,
it
would
only
have
beena
matteroftimebefore
there
would
have
beena
'marriage'
between
the
two
.
Saddam's
regime
had
thought
nothing
of
casual
mass
murder,
as
evidenced
by
the
mass
graves
whichhad
been
discovered,
and
he
was
alsowilling
to
use
WMD
on
his
own
people
.
The
factthat
such
an
unstable
regime
"
had
access
to
WMD
learly
exacerbated
the
threat
to
the
rest
of
the
world
.
In
terms
of
theprocess,
the
PMOS
said
that
it
would
havebeen
utterly
bizarre
for
us
to
have
announced
that
our
priority
post-conflict
was
to
look
for
WMD
ather
than
focus
our
resources
primarily
on
humanitarian
and
reconstruction
issues
.
Quite
rightly
we
would
havebeen
absolutely
hammered
for
doing
such
a
thing
.
Put
to
him
that
it
was
obviously
important
to
find
the
WMD
s
quickly
as
possible
to
prevent
them
falling
into
the
hands
of
terrorist
groups,
the
PMOS
said
it
was
important
to
remember
that
Saddam
and
the
Ba'ath
Party
were
no
longer
in
power
.
He
pointed
out
that
an
international
survey
team
was
due
tostart
work
this
week
on
the
search
for
WMD
It
might
be
the
case
that
they
would
have
to
investigate
hundreds,
if
notthousands,
of
different
sites,
which
was
precisely
why
people
needed
to
exercise
a
little
patience
and
cool
down
a
bit
.
Put
to
him
that
an
inquiry,
along
the
lines
of
the
Franks
inquiry
after
the
Falklands
war,
might
help
toclearthe
air,
the
PMOS
said
that
simply
because
anonymous
people
were
making
allegations
about
a
dossier
whichwere
then
Cft3~~~o~b1
 
endlessly
repeated
-
and
which
had
been
denied
and
refuted
many,
many
times
in
recent
days
-
did
not
mean
that
their
veracity
wereenhanced
in
any
way
.
Put
to
him
that
such
an
inquiry
would
lay
the
allegations
torest
once
and
for
all,
the
PMOS
repeated
that
we
didnot
see
the
need
for
an
independent
inquiry,
for
all
the
reasons
we
had
been
through
at
length
in
recent
days
.
Asked
if
the
Prime
Minister
continued
to
believe
that
Saddam
hadhad
WMD
ready
to
be
used
at
45
minutes'
notice,
the
PMOS
said
that
the
Prime
Minister
had
addressed
this
question
many
times
over
the
last
few
days
.
What
had
appeared
in
the
dossier
had
been
the
work
of
the
intelligence
services
and
we
continued
to
stand
by
it
.
Asked
if
the
only
political
input
into
thedossier
had
been
the
foreword
and
conclusion,the
PMOS
said
that
thesethings
went
through
a
normal
drafting
process
.
The
content
of
the
dossier
hadbeen
the
work
of
the
intelligence
services
.
Pressed
as
to
whether
the
intelligence
services
had
written
the
dossier,
the
PMOS
underlinedagain
it
had
not
been
doctored
by
politicians
or
anyone
else
.
If
we
were
saying
that
the
dossier
was
the
product
of
intelligence
and
that
the
intelligence
services
stood
by
what
was
in
it,
that
was
not
anunreasonable
position
to
be
in
.
Put
to
him
that
the
suggestion
that
Saddam's
WMD
ould
havebeen
ready
to
use
at
45
minutes'
notice
should
havebeen
omitted,
no
matter
how
good
it
had
sounded,because
it
had
been
based
on
one
unreliable
source,
the
PMOS
saidthat
the
Prime
Minister
had
dealt
with
this
point
many
times
in
recent
days
.
As
he
had
said
repeatedly,
what
had
been
included
in
thedossier
had
been
the
result
ofjudgements
taken
by
the
intelligence
services
themselves
.
Asked
if
Downing
Street
had
written
the
final
draft
of
the
dossier,
the
PMOS
said
that
as
the
Prime
Minister
had
underlined
many
times
in
recentdays,
thedossier
had
been
the
work
of
the
intelligence
services
.
Suggestions
that
any
pressure
had
been
put
onthem
to
change
it
were
entirely
"
false
.
Obviously
there
hadbeena
drafting
process
whichhad
beengone
through,
as
you
would
expect
.
However,
the
material
itself
was
the
work
of
the
intelligence
services
.
Questioned
as
to
who
had
done
the
drafting,
the
PMOS
said
he
had
no
intention
of
getting
into
some
sort
of
giant
process
story
just
because
people
were
not
satisfied
with
the
answers
we
had
given
on
the
substantive
issues
about
the
nature
of
the
report
.
Pressed
further,the
PMOS
said
that
simplybecause
our
response
did
not
fit
the
construct
people
wanted
to
put
on
this
didnot
mean
that
theyshould
pursue
another
'interesting'
non-story
about
some
'secret'
drafting
process
in
Downing
Street
.
Asked
if
the
Prime
Ministerbelieved
that
the
information
given
to
the
Today
Programme,which
itself
had
appeared
to
base
its
story
on
asingle
unnamed
source,
hadbeen
incorrect,
the
PMOS
said
thatas
he
understood
it,
following
the
broadcast
of
the
report,
Downing
Street
had
given
Today
a
statement
whichhad
stated
that
thereport
hadbeen
the
work
of
the
intelligence
services
and
that
suggestions
that
any
pressure
had
been
put
onthem
to
change
it
were
entirely
C_&3~1
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