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The proof of Blair’s lies


September 2002

“We cannot, of course, publish the detailed raw intelligence.  I and other ministers have been briefed in detail on the intelligence and are satisfied as to its authority.”

Tony Blair, Foreword to the Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction dossier,


23 September 2003

“There was no discussion with the Prime Minister that I can recall about the 45 minutes point in connection with battlefield or strategic systems.  Indeed I do not remember a discussion with the Prime Minister about the 45 minutes point at all.”

John Scarlett in evidence to the Hutton inquiry


4 February 2004

Richard Ottaway (Croydon, South) (Con): The Prime Minister says that all the intelligence about the 45 minutes was made available.  As he will be well aware, it has subsequently emerged that this related to battlefield weapons or small-calibre weaponry.  In the eyes of many, if that information had been available, those weapons might not have been described as weapons of mass destruction threatening the region and the stability of the world.  When did the Prime Minister know that information? In particular, did he know it when the House divided on 18 March?

The Prime Minister: No.  I have already indicated exactly when this came to my attention.  It was not before the debate on 18 March last year.


Both of the Prime Minister’s above statements cannot be true. 


he was ‘briefed in detail’ on the intelligence for the September dossier, in which case, he must have included the claim regarding the 45-minutes knowing that it only related to ‘battlefield munitions’ and not long-range weapons of mass destruction;


he was only told the true nature of the 45-minute claim after the 18 March 2003, in which case he clearly was not briefed on the ‘detail’ for the September dossier.  John Scarlett’s statement clearly supports this version. 

We therefore have to conclude that Blair lied in the foreword to the sexed-up September dossier when he said he had been ‘briefed in detail’ on the intelligence, in order to scare people into supporting an unjustifiable and illegal war.