25 Nov 2009

Iraq inquiry: what did Number 10 know on the eve of war?

The Channel 4 News Iraq Inquiry blogger says there has been a flurry of excitement among journalists as details emerge about intelligence concerning Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons plan, received on the eve of the conflict led by Tony Blair and George W Bush.

There’s been a fevered debate between some journalists here at the QEII and their newsrooms about a revelation made by Sir William.

It concerns intelligence received on the eve of war that Saddam’s chemical weapons might’ve been disassembled, and that he might not have possessed the necessary warheads to launch them.

In some newsrooms that’s evolved into Number 10 ignoring inconvenient intelligence in the dash to war.

Other journalists, however, are cautious; Ehrman stressed that this was contradictory battlefield intelligence which (he claimed), if anything, showed that Saddam had been dishonest and had possessed illegal chemical weapons, even if they weren’t ready for deployment.

The Telegraph’s going strong on it and the BBC have now followed that line.

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