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http://argument.independent.co.uk/letters/story.jsp?story=541073

Sir: It is sad that such a distinguished public servant as Lord Butler should do so much harm to our public life.

His report lays bare the origins of the worst intelligence published in modern times, but ensures that no one will have to take responsibility. It sends the worst possible message not only to intelligence officers but to public servants generally: you can expect no reward for independence and integrity, only for serving this government's agenda.

RICHARD HELLER
London SE1

Sir: According to the damning report presented by Lord Butler it would appear that there was wholesale incompetence surrounding the justification for invading Iraq and the compilation of the supporting dossier.

Surely collective mistakes are just as serious as individual mistakes and it is irrelevant that they were not deliberate. Not enough care was taken on the foundations of what is any Government's most important decision, that to take our country to war.

The only individual who can be identified as at fault for such serious errors is the Prime Minister, and therefore, as much as I admire him, Tony Blair should resign. I also hope this report results in dramatic changes to our political and intelligence processes.

LAURENCE WILLIAMS
Sleaford, Lincolnshire

Sir: On Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, the Prime Minister justified the war in Iraq on the basis that removing Saddam Hussein has made the world a safer place. Just the day before, however, the Chancellor doubled the budget for counter-terrorism to around 2bn because of an increased risk of terrorist attack. Something doesn't add up.

RICHARD CADMAN
London SW15

Sir: All this Butler nitpicking is making us forget that some of us thought - and still think- that Hans Blix should have finished his job and Iraq would be a better place if Saddam had been removed by UN-led forces.

GLORIA MORENO-CASTILLO
New Malden, Surrey

Sir: Who will now defend Andrew Gilligan and his boss Greg Dyke?

GRAHAM CLIFF
Timperley, Cheshire

Sir: It would appear that History has come for the Prime Minister somewhat sooner than he may have anticipated.

GEOFF WOOLF
London E14

Sir: It would seem that the Butler saw everything but said nothing.

ROBERT SAUNDERS
Balcombe, West Sussex