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July 9 2004

* A failure of intelligence *

In his Iraq dossier, the Prime Minister said he believed the
intelligence showed "beyond doubt" that Saddam Hussein was producing
chemical and biological weapons.

The intelligence was mostly wrong. So should the buck be passed to the
intelligence services?

On the eve of Lord Butler's report into the failure of the intelligence
system on Iraq, Panorama's John Ware has reconstructed how Tony Blair
made the case for war to the British people and to Parliament.

While the Joint Intelligence Committee advised Mr Blair that Saddam may
have retained some old WMD from the original Gulf War, he was claiming
publicly that Saddam had "stockpiles of major amounts of chemical and
biological weapons."

When the JIC reported that intelligence was "limited" and based mainly
on "assessment", Mr Blair said the matter was "beyond doubt."

Last Autumn Mr Blair also told the Hutton inquiry that he'd published
the dossier "because there was a tremendous amount of information and
evidence coming across my desk as to the weapons of mass destruction and
the programmes associated with it that Saddam had."

Yet, the Ministry of Defence's chief WMD intelligence analyst at the
time tells Panorama that the Prime Minister's comments "confused
me.....Certainly no-one on my staff had any visibility of large
quantities of intelligence of that sort."

In his first television interview Dr Brian Jones, explains that
misjudgements were made on the basis of sparse intelligence by senior
people, rather than the intelligence community as a whole, and that the
Joint Intelligence Committee should accept responsibility.

In "A Failure of Intelligence", the same Panorama team that reported on
Lord Hutton's Inquiry now sets out what the intelligence services and Mr
Blair knew, when they each knew it - and some of what he left out.

Tune in on Sunday to find out more.