Saturday, July 17, 2004
- Prior to the war, Britain claimed that Iraq had ongoing chemical and bio weapons programs. This intelligence formed the basis for a sensational charge that Iraq could deploy such weapons within 45 minutes.
- According to the Butler Report, MI6 withdrew its claims about active chem/bio programs in July 2003 after interviews in Iraq with the supposed sources of the intel showed they were unreliable.
- The Hutton inquiry, which began in August 2003, was not told that this intelligence had been withdrawn. This is despite the fact that Hutton was investigating charges directly related to chem/bio weapons and the 45-minute allegation.
- Hutton isn't the only one who was kept in the dark. Apparently, neither the Prime Minister nor the Intelligence and Security Committee were told until yesterday that this intelligence had been withdrawn.
Now, last week John Edwards said the following, concerning Tony Blair:
So a key piece of evidence was withdrawn a year ago, and Tony Blair says he didn't know about it until last week? Either he's lying or else his control of his own intelligence services is monumentally sloppy. I wonder which?
"Tony Blair didn’t run from the report, he didn’t try to not acknowledge it. Instead, what Tony Blair said was, 'I take full responsibility for the mistakes....'Well, fine, but I don't see how saying you take responsibility is the same as taking responsibility. I think the only way to truly take responsibility over a fiasco this large and tragic is to resign. So I disagree with John Edwards (and Dick Durbin, who said basically the same thing)
"What we need in the White House is somebody who has the strength and courage and leadership to take full responsibility and be accountable – not only for what’s good but for what’s bad. That’s what John Kerry will be."