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Blair manipulated intelligence to justify war, says BBC film

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  • Blair manipulated intelligence to justify war, says BBC film

    Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent
    Monday March 21, 2005
    The Guardian

    The BBC last night gave another sign that it is determined to maintain its editorial independence by screening a Panorama programme strongly critical of Tony Blair's manipulation of thin intelligence, on the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
    In the programme, Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, was reported as having told Mr Blair that Washington had fixed policy on a war against Iraq and was going to fit the intelligence around that policy.

    Despite the humiliation of losing its director general, Greg Dyke, over its allegations concerning David Kelly, the government arms control officer, the film contained powerful condemnation of the government.

    It included interviews with former officials who had al ready broken in public with the government's Iraq strategy. It also quoted extensively from leaked documents first revealed by the Daily Telegraph.

    In the most startling revelation, the programme claimed that at a meeting on July 23 2002, Sir Richard said a war was inevitable, adding that the facts and the intelligence were being fixed round the policy set out by George Bush's administration.

    The claim was based on several reliable sources, Panorama said.

    It claimed that Sir Richard briefed Mr Blair that the quality of intelligence sourcing for some claims made in the run-up to the publication of the intelligence dossier was developmental, adding: "The source remains unproven." Nevertheless, Mr Blair told MPs two weeks later: "The intelligence picture they paint is one accumulated over the past four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative."

    The programme also claimed that British intelligence was unable to convince neutral members of the UN security council, such as Mexico, of the dangers of Iraq's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

    The programme quoted Adolfo Zinser, former Mexican ambassador to the UN, referring to a meeting with MI6. Mr Zinser said: "I asked them: 'Do you have full proof of the existence of these weapons at any one of these particular sites that you are referring to? The MI6 officers told me: "No."

    Mr Zinser added: "It was very clear they didn't have proof, they had circumstantial evidence of a funny behaviour, of a suspicious behaviour. But I knew that ... because that was what we were getting from the [UN] inspectors."

    The programme also interviewed Sir Stephen Wall, Mr Blair's former European adviser, who said of the legal case for war: "We stretched the legal argument to breaking point, and the fact that we do not have authority does set a dangerous precedent."

    Sir Stephen also alleged that No 10 wilfully misrepresented remarks by the French president, Jacques Chirac, on the eve of war to suggest that France would never support a second UN resolution necessary to go to war.

  • #2
    perhaps, but that doesn't mean the united states manipulated the cia intelligence, french intelligence, or russian intelligence...we just used blair's intelligence as one of our primary sources since they said they would commit force all along...

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    • #3
      Yeah, Blair was told by a senior adviser that no only was the war unjustified but was also illegal. The advisor was obviously put in his place because not soon after he changed his mind. Even Mexico knew that this shit was fake!!!!
      But if you listen then you know that shit's out of tune
      Cuz the function of our life is just to work and consume

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