Iraq War Inquiry Resumed: Day 5 and part of 6

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Spin Doctor or His Master’s Voice, how many times have you heard those used as to former office holders who hit the airways after their no longer in government here, a couple of names quickly pop up, one being a recently former Vice president who seemed to have led the charge into invading an innocent country, one Dick Cheney. Another has strong ties apparently to the previous, his daughter Liz Cheney, who frankly, unless Daddy is spilling top secret information so she doesn’t spin to much out of his reality, doesn’t have the expertise nor experience to be speaking up on much of anything, nor might I add the knowledge needed.

But back to the two phrases. Seems the Brit press don’t have any problem calling a spade a spade especially on “Spin Doctor”, there’s a number of reports on the Campbell testimony quickly coming out as this session of the Inquiry is still going on, that have readily posted that up before tearing into his testimony. By the way, he’s pretty good, especially for keeping on the talking points from back then with little deviation, pure politic, Blair should be a hoot.

Iraq equipment shortages ‘beggared belief’ – ex-Basra commander

11 Jan 2010 Major General Sir Richard Shirreff tells Chilcot inquiry of failures to deliver badly needed supplies to UK troops in the south

More than three years after the invasion of Iraq, the Ministry of Defence was still “incapable” of delivering equipment badly needed by UK troops there, a former commander in Basra told the Chilcot inquiry today.

The failure to provide troops with the resources they needed – specifically, unmanned drones – “beggars belief”, said Major General Sir Richard Shirreff, commander of British forces in southern Iraq in late 2006.

He was giving evidence as the Iraq inquiry disclosed that Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon will be the first members of Tony Blair’s cabinet to give evidence…..>>>>>

11 Jan 2010 Iraq Equipment Shortages and Security in Basra from Sky News

Tony Blair’s Communications Chief Testifies

Alastair Campbell is downplaying his role before the Iraq Inquiry. He says he was present at many key meetings, but did not shape policy…..>>>>>

Alastair Campbell explains how very important and humble he is

So why was Mr Campbell, a communications man, at such a meeting?

Snip

Yup, that’s Alastair Campbell. So useful, so vital that both the Prime Minister and the head of the Secret Intelligence Service simply had to have him in the room when they were discussing the most sensitive issues of state…..>>>>>

Britain would ‘definitely’ back US, Tony Blair told George W Bush

12 Jan 2010 Tony Blair told George W Bush in 2002 that Britain would “definitely” be part of any military action against Saddam Hussein, Alastair Campbell has told the Iraq Inquiry.

Mr Campbell, who was Mr Blair’s communications director from 1994 until 2004, said that in 2002, the then prime minister wrote to the then US president assuring him that if the US were to launch an attack on Iraq, Britain would participate.

The assurance was given in private letters to Mr Bush in 2002, the inquiry heard.

Asked to describe Mr Blair’s message, Mr Campbell said: “We share the analysis. We share the concern. We are absolutely with you in making sure that Saddam Hussein faces up to his obligations, and that Iraq is disarmed. If that can’t be done diplomatically, and it has to done militarily, we would definitely be there. That is the tenor of his communications with the president.” ….>>>>>

War was a last resort for Blair: aide

12 Jan 2010 Former British prime minister Tony Blair only agreed to the 2003 military invasion of Iraq as a last resort, his ex-spin doctor has told an inquiry into the war.

Making a much-anticipated appearance before the inquiry in central London on Tuesday, Alastair Campbell repeatedly insisted Blair tried his utmost to find a diplomatic solution to persuading Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to adhere to United Nations sanctions amid fears he had weapons of mass destruction…..>>>>>

Campbell: I Did Not ‘Sex Up’ Iraq War Dossier

12 Jan 2010 Tony Blair’s former spin doctor has denied he sexed up a crucial dossier ahead of the war in Iraq.

He was asked if he wrote a controversial foreward for the document which suggested evidence into Saddam Hussein’s weapons were “beyond doubt”.

Mr Campbell said he did write it – after receiving a “verbal draft” from the then-Prime Minister. “Ultimately he would have signed off the final draft,” he said.

He said he did not accept the accusation intelligence chiefs felt under pressure to beef up the claims made in the September 2002 dossier.

The former director of communications said Sir John Scarlett, who chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee, invited him to give “presentational advice” on the rest of the document…..>>>>>

This is a report that came out over the weekend about the “sexing up” of the Pre Iraq Invasion Dossier:

Alastair Campbell had Iraq dossier changed to fit US claims

New evidence reveals the extent to which those drafting the Iraqi arms dossier colluded with the US on Alastair Campbell’s instructions. Photograph: Graham Turner

‘WMD in a year’ allegation halved original timescale after compilers told to compare contents with Bush speech

Fresh evidence has emerged that Tony Blair’s discredited Iraqi arms dossier was “sexed up” on the instructions of Alastair Campbell, his communications chief, to fit with claims from the US administration that were known to be false.

The pre-invasion dossier’s worst-case estimate of how long it would take Iraq to acquire a nuclear weapon was shortened in response to a George Bush speech.

As Campbell prepares to appear before the Iraq inquiry on Tuesday, new evidence reveals the extent to which – on his instructions – those drafting the notorious dossier colluded with the US administration to make exaggerated claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction….>>>>>

And a catch while they were on lunch break. Didn’t realize the Dutch were also holding an Inquiry, hadn’t seen any news to that till now, oh my:

Dutch inquiry says Iraq war had no mandate

Jan-Peter Balkenende lent political support to the Iraq war

12 Jan 2010 An inquiry into the Netherlands’ support for the invasion of Iraq says it was not justified by UN resolutions.

The Dutch Committee of Inquiry on Iraq said UN Security Council resolutions did not “constitute a mandate for… intervention in 2003”.

The inquiry was launched after foreign ministry memos were leaked that cast doubt on the legal basis for the war.

The Netherlands gave political support to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but had no military role.

The report demolishes the Dutch case for supporting the invasion, says the BBC’s Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond.

It could also be taken to reinforce the international case against the Iraq war, he says. …>>>>>

I’m gonna have to do some searchin on this Dutch Inquiry. To bad we can’t on an American Inquiry, oh well, Fear of many things keeps the herds surpressed.

Alastair Campbell: His master’s voice

The former spin doctor is sticking to the line that Blair never gave Bush prior assent to regime change. But the panel won’t wear it

Westminster, 1pm

Today may be remembered as the day that the Iraq inquiry got publicly fed up with being strung a line. Alastair Campbell came along with two clear ones. On the reason for British participation in the 2003 invasion, it was always about weapons of mass destruction, not regime change. On the September 2002 dossier, it was all the fault of Andrew Gilligan and other conspiracy theorists.

The inquiry panel members were not having any of it and very publicly agreed to differ. But they still let Campbell off the hook on many points, because they are unable or unwilling to refer to the documents that contradict him….>>>>>

The above came in while they were on break for lunch, and as I’m writing this the afternoon session had just started back up with many questions, and spin back, about the dossier and the WMD’s etc..

Well lookie here, USA Today has grabbed a report from the Brits and kept “spin doctor” in it

Tony Blair’s communications chief defends dossier

Former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell on Tuesday strongly defended his role in preparing a highly controversial 2002 dossier used to justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Under questioning from the Iraq Inquiry, Campbell vehemently denied that he “sexed up” the infamous document to strengthen former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s case for joining the Americans in an invasion designed to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein….>>>>>

Alastair Campbell sets himself up for a fall

This may be a slow-burner, but worth watching nonetheless.

Alastair Campbell has been facing a lot of questions about the infamous WMD dossier at the Iraq Inquiry today. In particular, the inquiry team have zeroed in on Tony Blair’s claim that British intelligence showed “beyond doubt” that Saddam was a grave and growing threat.

{The claim in full is here: “What I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam hascontinued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his effortsto develop nuclear weapons, and that he has been able to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme.”}

Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry chairman and no stranger to Whitehall’s ways, put it to Mr Campbell that the basic intelligence reports would not have been so stark. “Assessed intelligence never establishes anything beyond doubt,” he said….>>>>>

The link in the quotes above is the html version of the file. This is the PDF link from C-Span IRAQ’S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

THE ASSESSMENT OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT


{Google automatically generates html versions of documents as we crawl the web.}

Oh good, little Georges, Condi’s, Cheney and a meeting at Camp Davide were just brought up, now we may get a few little tidbits hopefully adding to the already known or suspected but not on the public record yet.

Whoops, now he brings up Sept 11th!!

Not sure who is coming on dock tomorrow, I believe it’s another Blair insider, but this is starting to get to long so I’m going to close this one out and hopefully add any juice along with the next session.

If any want to watch this live even the BBC is showing it with only a minute delay. The link just below will be showing the archive, it’s live when in session, once they’ve got it ready which doesn’t seem to take long after the sessions are over. Gotta love this technology.

Iraq War Inquiry

Watch the Inquiry Live when in Session

Written Transcripts by Date

Oral: The Video’s by Date

See how the Inquiry is unfolding on the Sky News Timeline

BBC Iraq inquiry – day by day timeline of evidence given

2 comments

    • jimstaro on January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm
      Author

    Dutch Iraq inquiry to publish findings

    This link is to a BBC page with a Video report, can’t catch it and no embed, and according to the journalist if the Dutch leaders gave support to the War it may bring down that government.

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