Thursday, 14 January 2010

Shameless, Swaggering and STILL Lying: Alastair Campbell 'stands by every word' of 45-minute Dodgy Dossier that Took us to War with Iraq

Alastair Campbell was accused last night of peddling a shameless litany of lies at the Iraq Inquiry.

In a provocative six-hour display, the spin doctor denied doing anything to 'beef up' the case for going to war.

And he dismissed the overwhelming evidence of government papers and his own diaries that he pressured spy chiefs to harden Tony Blair's 'dodgy' dossier on Iraqi weapons.

He put Sir John Scarlett - the former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee - in the dock over the dossier, saying he 'held the pen'.

Yet Mr Campbell's own diaries show that he 'bombarded' Sir John with at least 15 suggestions on how to improve the dossier, which led to assessments of Saddam's nuclear weapons programme becoming more alarmist.

Yet he insisted yesterday that 'not a single one' of his team 'sought to question, override, rewrite, let alone the ghastly "sex up" phrase, intelligence assessments in any way, at any time, on any level.'

Later in the article Campbell's testimony is broken down. Consider this significant point about the 45 minute threat that never existed, and was put into the Dossier:

CLAIM: The claim WMD could be fired at Cyprus in 45 minutes was 'not that big a point'. Insists spin which made it on to the front of two papers wasn't 'pushed there by us'.

REALITY: The 45 minute claim was in Mr Blair's foreword and raised by him in the Commons. It was one of the few new 'facts' in the dossier. Campbell says he did not ask the media to correct 45 minutes story, something he was normally quick to do if he objected.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, January 14th, 2010.]

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