Colin Powell has admitted that some doubts were expressed within the US intelligence community about the WMD capability of Iraq, but that these doubts were not communicated to the political decision-makers. It’s exactly the same case as was made by the UK government.
The anti-war brigade won’t accept this because they claim to have known all along that Iraqi WMD didn’t exist, so surely the US & UK governments must also have known.
Perhaps it’s worth recapping a couple of the relevant details:
Dr David Kelly, the leading UK WMD investigator whose suicide was the subject of the Hutton Inquiry, believed that Iraq had WMD. His main issue on “sexing up” the UK government dossier was with the claim that WMDs could be deployed within 75 minutes and also the failure to correct media interpretation that Iraq had a medium-range delivery capability i.e. could hit British bases in Cyprus.
Dr Hans Blix, chief UN weapons inspector, never publicly expressed a view that WMD did not exist prior to his mission being terminated. I’m not aware of any claim that he expressed such a view privately either. Yet in the wake of the US-led invasion and the failure to find WMD he becomes blessed with 20:20 hindsight (blixight?) where he knew all along that they wouldn't find any WMD. He does a tour of world media promoting his book on the topic. Isn't it a pity he didn’t think to tell the world of his doubts in advance of the invasion, he might have saved a lot of lives, but probably sold a lot less books. Frankly, it looks like opportunistic bull to me.
Then you’ve got Clare Short, Tony Benn, Michael D. Higgins and all the Irish anti-war groups telling us they also knew all along that no WMD existed. Richard Boyd Barrett claims that the 150,000 (!) peace marchers in Dublin also knew.
Conclusion: The anti-war lobby can lie and spin with the best of them.
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