[JNV Announce] Impeach Blair - Excellent Report
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Fri, 27 Aug 2004 19:33:19 +0100
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You may have seen reports the last few days of a move to try to impeach Tony Blair, on the grounds that he misled Parliament. MPs from the Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrats and the Tories have joined the call.
It won't succeed in damaging Blair's position in Parliament, but the impeachment campaign could be a useful educational tool - if we use it.
An excellent report has been put together by anti-war academics Glen Rangwala (exposer of the 'dodgy dossier') and Dan Plesch, documenting Blair's lies to Parliament.
Highly recommended, the report can be downloaded from
Summary from the introduction to the report below.
A Case to Answer: SUMMARY
The report finds that there is strong evidence that the Prime Minister committed his support to President Bush for an invasion of Iraq in 2002. He did this in the knowledge that the US administration had already decided to oust Saddam Hussein, regardless of any progress on the issue of Iraq's weapons (section 4).
The first chapter of the report examines the statements and actions of the Prime Minister from September 2001 to August 2004 relating to Iraq. In particular, it finds that the Prime Minister:
- exaggerated the condition of Iraq's illicit weapons well beyond the assessments of the intelligence services or the United Nations inspectors. He asserted in early 2002 that Iraq had 'stockpiles of major amounts of chemical and biological weapons', whilst the assessment of the Joint Intelligence Committee at the time was that Iraq 'may have hidden small quantities of agents and weapons' (section 1.1);
- claimed that 'Saddam Hussein poses a severe threat not just to the region, but to the wider world' and had 'enough chemical and biological weapons remaining to devastate the entire Gulf region', whilst the intelligence assessment was that 'Saddam has not succeeded in seriously threatening his neighbours' (section 1.2);
- asserted that the 'UN proved' he had chemical and biological weapons because they were unaccounted for, in contrast to the warning by the executive chairman of UNMOVIC Hans Blix that 'One must not jump to the conclusion that they [weapons that were unaccounted for] exist' (section 1.3);
- claimed that Iraq's 'WMD programme is active, detailed and growing', even though he later admitted to the Butler review team that intelligence showed that 'what had changed was not the pace of Iraq's prohibited weapons programmes, which had not been dramatically stepped up' (section 1.4).
- insisted that the invasion of Iraq was lawful because Iraq had committed a 'material breach' of Security Council Resolution 1441 by not cooperating with inspectors, even though Hans Blix told the Security Council that 'the numerous initiatives, which are now taken by the Iraqi side with a view to resolving some long-standing open disarmament issues, can be seen as 'active', or even 'proactive' ' (section 1.5).
- claimed after the invasion that 'our intelligence' had confirmed that Iraq's 'two mobile biological weapons facilities' were part of a larger set of such facilities, even though intelligence had yet to examine the trailers, and then found them unconnected to biological weapons programmes (section 1.6);
- held back crucial information from intelligence sources that indicated that Iraq had destroyed its weapons stockpile (section 2.1);
- failed to ensure that intelligence sources were adequately checked, even when straightforward measures could have been taken to check those sources (section 2.2);
- claimed that the intelligence available to him was 'extensive, detailed and authoritative', even though he had been briefed by the Chief of MI6 about how key sources should be treated with caution (section 2.3);
- did not reveal the intelligence assessment in his possession that Iraq would be unlikely to use chemical or biological weapons outside its territory unless attacked first, despite the significance of this assessment (section 2.4);
- declared that the Iraqi declaration of December 2002 was 'false', even though he had not asked for that declaration to be analysed fully by the intelligence services (section 2.5);
- warned that 'it is a matter of time unless we act and take a stand before terrorism and weapons of mass destruction come together', even though the intelligence assessment was that the 'greatest terrorist threat to Western interests … would be heightened by military action against Iraq', and the government was later forced to admit that 'the JIC assessed that any collapse of the Iraqi regime would increase the risk of chemical and biological warfare technology or agents finding their way in to the hands of terrorists, and that the Prime Minister was aware of this' (section 2.6);
- claimed in March 2003 that the contents of the September dossier 'still accurately reflect our assessment of the position with regard to Iraq's proscribed weapons programmes', even though those inspectors found a large number of the claims in it to be false (section 3.1);
- affirmed in January 2004 that 'the intelligence we received [prior to the war] is correct', even though the intelligence services had raised doubts about at least four key sources from at least six months earlier (section 3.2); and
- gave his support to the then chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee in interfering with the compilation of a report by the Iraq Survey Group, with the aim of preventing the extent of past mistakes from being made public (section 3.3).
End of Summary
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