Blair accused of exaggerating claims about Iraqi weapons Washington Post, 30/5/2003 by Glenn Frankel "BBC radio fueled

the debate today with a report that British intelligence officials were displeased with a dossier, published by the prime minister's Downing Street office last September, that asserted Hussein had weapons of mass destruction ready for use within 45 minutes. Citing unnamed sources, the BBC said intelligence agencies were skeptical about that claim, which they described as coming from a dubious informant, and said they had opposed inserting it into the dossier. By the BBC's account, the original draft of the report did not include the claim, but the draft was "transformed" on orders from Downing Street. The published version included a preface by Blair that made the claim, one of several that were added against the wishes of intelligence officials, according to the BBC report. After the war : Intelligence New York Times, 30/5/2003 by Sarah Lyall

"The BBC reported on Thursday that an intelligence report asserting that Mr. Hussein had the capacity to deploy chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes, which was made public by Mr. Blair's goverrnment last September, had been "transformed" and made "sexier" on the orders ofNo. 10 Downing Street -- against the judgment of the intelligence services .

Blair `cooked up' intelligence on Iraq The Hindu, 3/6/2003 by Hasan Suroor "Now, it seems, that his famous 45-minute claim was a ruse - a Downing Street invention meant in the language of the tabloids - to "sex up" the intelligence to make it sound more alarming, and provide a justification for invasion.
An authoritative intelligence source has been quoted by the BBC as saying that Mr. Blair's "45-minute" shocker was not in the input provided by intelligence agencies ."

In the months that followed, Blair would repeatedly refer to the 45-minute claim to underpin his argument, sway his own dubious MPs and placate a strongly opposed British public . Koizumi, too, faces the validation challenge Asahi Shimbun (Japan), 12/6/2003, Anon

Blair sweating it out Toronto Star, 15/6/2003 by Lynda Hurst

C,1Pr 3 ~ 1' 8+30

"The dossier also stated Iraq had the means to deploy chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes." But according to the BBC, this part of the report was amended" by the prime minister's office to make it more impressive, and a senior intelligence officer has admitted the fabrication." Blair denies his government cooked Iraq evidence Daily Star (Lebanon), 3 1/5/2003, Staff "Widespread international cynicism about British and US justification for war was stoked this week by a BBC report that an intelligence dossier had been altered on the request of Ivlr Blair's office to make it "sexier" by adding that Saddam Hussein's weapons could be readied for use within 45
minutes."

Blair denies weapons spin

The Australian, 2/6/2003 from Reuters, S Times and correspondents in St Petersburg

"Widespread international cynicism about British and US motives for the war was stoked last week by a BBC report that an intelligence dossier had been altered, at the request of Mr Blair's office, to make it "sexier" by adding that Iraq's weapons could be readied for use within 45 minutes ."
South African Broadcasting Corp Online, 8/6/2003, Anon

`Dodgy dossier' on Iraq returns to haunt Blair

"Cynicism about the justification for war was stoked last month by a BBC report alleging that Blair's office pressured the security services to assert that Iraq could launch a chemical attack within 45 minutes." US targets Saddam's `scumbags' eensland Courier-Mail, 31/5/2003 by Philip Coorey

"The British Government was also on the defensive yesterday after the BBC reported that it had embellished a paper released in September on Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction with the claim that Iraq could deploy chemical and biological weapons in 45 minutes."

Weapons claim `no pretext'

The Advertiser (Australia), 11/6/2003, Anon "The British Government also was on the defensive after the BBC reported it had embellished a paper released in September on Baghdad's weapons of

mass destruction with the claim that Iraq could deploy chemical and biological weapons in 45 minutes ." Comment : Why the truth is so elusive in Iraq Chicago Tribune, 1/6/2003 by Steve Chapman (of the Tribune's editorial board)

"The U.S . government is not the only one capable of embellishing reality. Bush's ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who may prove to be a distant relative of Jayson Blair, put out a report saying that Iraq could use its weapons on 45 minutes' notice . But an anonymous British intelligence official told the BBC that claim was added at the insistence of the prime minister and "wasn't reliable.""

coming unstuck. Back in September last year, Tony Blair produced, most dramatically, a 50-page dossier on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction . This was the cruncher, there could be no further arguing . Only Blair's armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, demolished a key claim - that Iraq's chemical and biological weapons could be deployed in 45 minutes . It was apparently based on very suspect intelligence . And just to compound matters, it seems this little "untruth" was inserted at the insistence of the politicians ."

Leader: Make it up as you go Johannesburg Star, 3/6/2003 "And while that was going on in North America, the dear old Brits were also

US President George W Bush? The nasty suspicion arises that intelligence reports before the conflict might have been hyped up to support a predetermined case for war. Such suspicions have not been reduced by a BBC report which claimed that Mr Blair's office made a report "sexier" by adding that Iraq could deploy weapons at 45 minutes' notice ." Leader : Blair in Iraq

Leader: Time to recall the UN inspectors Nelson Mail (New Zealand), 5/6/2003 "But if the weapons weren't there, where does that now leave Mr Blair and

Arab News website (Saudi), 30/5/2003 "Indeed, Blair's rhetoric may no longer be effective back home, either. Even
as the British leader flew to Iraq, a story broke in London, leaked from a intelligence source, that Downing Street had sent back a British security report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, with instructions that it be "jazzed up" .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful