Blair stands '100%' by weapons claims

Blair is standing 100% behind weapons claims, and says Claire Short is talking pantz

I notice there is increasing reference or shifting of responsibility towards the Boys and Girls in Lego Towers. I think very shortly , we will get the Prime Minister's spokespeople , saying "The Prime Minister can only make decisions on the information that JIC gave him"


Liar liar pants on fire.  Looked like it today on the news as well, sweating like a sweaty thing.
very shortly , we will get the Prime Minister's spokespeople , saying "The Prime Minister can only make decisions on the information that JIC gave him"

Judging by yesterdays' reports (Newsnight et al) and Blair's comments this process is well advanced.  The dissenters (Short, Cook) are becoming braver and their followers likewise.  Someone has to take a fall, and you can bet it won't be Saint Tony.  So, probably by this weekend, it will be pravda.
Crystal balls?  Or just suitably cynical?
Whichever, Patricia Hewitt has just said that 'all of the information regarding WMD came from the SIS'.
And so it begins...
Someone on the Newnight camera team knew a bit about psychiatry. See the camera zoom in on his hands? Shaking and all over the place. The stary rapid eye movement didn't help much either.

Now he says that "All the evidence is being gathered, and will be presented properly" errrrr isn't that what happened last time? The evidence this time, is based on the debriefings of Iraqis allegedly involved in the WMD programme. Well, if I was an Iraqi, who thought if I didn't sing like a canary, I was off to Camp Gitmo, I'd be giving it large portions of Hans Christian Andersen and no mistake.

Finally, someone said in the last couple of days, that the material they were getting from Iraq, pre-invasion on the WMD's , may not have been "Entirely accurate" No sh*t Sherlock, you think? I can just see Iraqi counter-intelligence, all gathered over a Bud in the hard rock cafe Baghdad of a friday night, deciding what bollies they were going to feed the CIA.

"Here Abdul, what are we going to tell the Americans this week? We better come up with something, otherwise no more free Bollinger, Budweiser, Infidel Big Macs and Days of our lives video tapes"

"Imshallah Mohammed, mate, you've got a point, hmmmm suppose we said, that all these seed germination wagons were actually mobile laboratories?"

"oooooooo Abdul, you are a card, what a hoot. But what can we tell the British? They aren't so stupid you know, and I like my Pink shirts, and Saville Row suits"

"Who they hate most? I know, that piggy eyed Jockistan politician, let's make something up about him too"

"Ya Wallah Abdul, truly you are the geezer"

"That's General Geezer to you Mohammed, get this lot written up, and let's have another bottle on the CIA's tab -  Cheers"

The biggest mistake that seems to have been made so far, is under-estimating just how good Saddams team were, at counter intelligence and deception Ops. I believe the other mistake, may well have been putting so much trust in the intelligence reports of certain Middle Eastern "Allies"
Thanks for the newsflash DM, but it does upset another pet prediction of mine, that Hewitt would be the next governmet minister to resign, citing "My department is being shafted on Iraqi contracts, contrary to what I was told by Blair and my USSD colleagues"

Does beg the question why the Trade minister is making this statement, as opposed to a minister who actually has something to do with the situation?
(With apologies to Jethro)

Flash Traffic - And I am gobsmacked

US Senate opens Iraq weapons probe

The US Congress has ordered an investigation into possible abuse of intelligence information about alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The inquiries, launched by both Republican and Democratic politicians, will include public hearings that will be televised live.

The CIA is reported to be prepared to co-operate fully

I hope the Legoites take heart from that, and launch their own counter-ops
Or maybe they have found something, and are simply waiting for the right time to tell us?


Standby over the next few days for more Bluuuurrr boat rocking!

Hopefully campbell (govt spin voodoo doc) will be the first to go!

even the aussies are saying that the info they get from us cannot support what has been published! ;D
I have just read that news story 5 times, over and over again

No, Old Ma PTP didn't raise any stupid sons, and I think anyone can see what's happening here.The respect I had for Dr. Reid has just evaporated.

The blame is  heading south . It's passing through the City of "Government responsibility" past the town of "Heads of intelligence" partly because I suspect, that they've already intimated to the Government, "Fcuk with us, and we''ll see how far you get" and is now entering the outskirts of the picturesque hamlet of "You expect us to believe that"?

This , like so many of the governments more elementary try-ons, is to "gauge public reaction" to the Fairy Story we are working on.

It really is deliciously ironic. The Government deny they spun the SIS documents, saying they are above that sort of thing, then this morning, put out a story that is spinning like a dervish, and blatantly so.

The Leader of the Commons, Dr John Reid, said journalists were fed false information which accused Tony Blair of exaggerating the size of Saddam Hussein's arsenal.

I know one of these journalists, and you'd have to get out of bed, a damn sight earlier to get him to believe this bollox.

Dr Reid said "a rogue element" or "indeed elements" told journalists Downing Street had doctored the reports to strengthen the case for war against Iraq. ** He even suggested the claims could have come from a "man in the pub".

You're having a  laugh and a half Dr. Reid   :mad:

Now this is the killer passage...

The tragedy about this is I have the greatest respect for our intelligence services. I know from working with them... that they are courageous, honest, professional, loyal people.

"And it is quite frankly a disgrace that the leadership of these intelligence and security services, from the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, through all of the leaders who sit on that committee, should have had their integrity impugned in the last week by one or two unnamed individuals."

In other words, the heads of Intelligence have already said "As you are no doubt aware, we have a warehouse full of dusty old files, that would make interesting reading of a Sunday morning" hence the rapid selection of reverse gear from Hewitts statement yesterday. This statement from Dr. reid, is an attempt to mollify the legoites, and I would hope, they've seen right through it.

Now we are onto "One or two individuals" or, in other words, some poor lowly clerical officer, is about to get dicked, or at least, that is what will be attempted

Yes this is straw clutching (Read blind panic) , and I think the reason is, some MP's have decided to go right flanking and get the Foreign Affairs select commitee involved, exactly the last thing Bluppet and Campbell wanted. Blair retains a modicum of control over the Intelligence select commitee , but not over the FASC as I understand it. Now how is it going to look, if one group says "Move along, nothing to see here" and the other says "We got you bang to rights Mr. Blair, it's the Blue brick for you, and no mistake". This really is a an attempt to protect Campbell and his department, and shift the blame onto someone a lot further down the food chain.

If you want the Target Indication as to which story the government are more keen on having in the limelight right now, then watch the frantic smoke laying, via their favorite media organs this week


Well, quelle surprise.
The today programme transcript in full,,1-702793,00.html

Nice and hostile over from John Humphrys, and hard work from Andy G

Reports that Downing Street exaggerated intelligence reports in a dossier used to justify war with Iraq today produced an extraordinary exchange on the radio programme which first made the claims.

John Reid, Leader of the House of Commons, was appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme after claiming in The Times this morning that rogue elements in the security services were attempting to undermine the Government.

Dr Reid repeatedly questioned the claims made by Today reporter Andrew Gilligan, who last week reported that security sources had accused Number 10 of exaggerating their information in the dossier. The report drew a Government admission that the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction ready to fire in 45 minutes was based on a single uncorroborated report.

Dr Reid was accused by John Humphrys, Today's presenter, of putting up a smokescreen with his allegations. Their exchanges follow:

John Humphrys: These rogue elements within the intelligence services. Who are they?

John Reid: Well, first of all can I just correct, because it is absolutely essential here as you keep saying that we have not only honesty but accuracy, let me just correct some of the things in your introduction.

First of all, the implication that I referred at any stage, or we did, to spies, we didn't, or an MI6 plot, we didn't.

JH: Neither did I, incidentally.

JR: Well, they were included in the allegations that were apparently made this morning. Thirdly, you said last week you had made allegations based on intelligence sources, plural. You didn't. You based it on an intelligence source.

JH: The quote came from a source. The allegations were based on four different sources.

JR: No, they weren't last week, until this morning when Andrew Gilligan conveniently found three other unnamed sources.

JH: Well, for the first time this morning a senior minister made allegations about rogue elements within the intelligence services, which is why we are pursuing the story.

JR: John, you were wrong in saying last week you made allegations based on sources. Will you please accept that?

JH: No. I won't. I have just talked to...

JR: Last week you made allegations based on a source.

JH: You heard what Andrew Gilligan said a moment ago and I am having to rely on Andrew Gilligan just as you are having to rely on your own information and Andrew Gilligan has been consistently right over his reporting of Iraq.

Let me answer the question since you have asked it, if I may, and that is that the quote, the specific quote that he used, came from a single source. He has talked to four different sources connected with or actually within the intelligence agencies.

JR: Let me read to you from a transcript of last Thursday. 'But what I have been told is that the Government knew that claim was questionable even before the war' - this is the eight o'clock transcript - 'even before they wrote it in the dossier. I have spoken to a British official who was involved in the preparation of the dossier'.

Up until this morning, last week's allegations were based on one quote. Now, it is only one source. Secondly, there were two more serious allegations which actually Andrew Gilligan misrepresented this morning again.

The first is he said the other dossier had been presented by the Government - this is the so-called 'dodgy one' - as being from intelligence sources. That is untrue, completely untrue. The front page of that said that the information had been collated from a range of sources including intelligence sources.

JH: Was it not presented to the nation as the Prime Minister's view of what was going on?

JR: John, I am talking about the dossier which was called the dodgy dossier ... Andrew Gilligan said not more than five minutes ago that was presented as - his actual words were - the dossier had claimed to be from intelligence sources.

JH: You are not putting up a bit of smoke here, are you, Dr Reid? I'd love you to answer the question I asked you.

JR: Sure. I just want accuracy and truth.

JH: Well, that is what I am trying to get from you as well.
JR: Right, well, let me give you the final untruth this morning. The final untruth this morning from your reporter was that his central claim was that we had sort of over-emphasised the information put into the dossier last week. That was not his central claim. At 6.07am last week when this story started, Andrew Gilligan said this: 'The Government probably knew that the 45-minute figure was wrong even before it put it in.'

The central original allegation was that we deceived intentionally the people of this country and the second allegation...

JH: That is your interpretation, that is your interpretation.

JR: Well, listen, your listeners can listen to the quote again: 'The Government probably knew that the 45-minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in.'

If any of your listeners can interpret that as anything other than an allegation of dishonesty, of putting in information we knew to be wrong, that it would confound me if they can decide that. The second thing...

JH: Sorry, but if you are making a serious accusation like that - and I do want to repeat the question that I asked you...

JR: Check the transcript.

JH: I am not disputing your transcript, Dr Reid. Of course I am not, that would be foolish of me because I am sure you have that right. What I am disputing is your interpretation of it.

He used the word 'probably'. Since then we have had absolutely not a single shred of evidence to prove that that 45 -minute claim was right.

JR: John...

JH: Now if you can provide that for me on this programme now, I have no doubt that Andrew Gilligan would be very happy to come on the programme and say 'Well, that is terribly interesting. Let's have another look at it'.

JR: John, that is a lovely sleight of hand.

JH: Well that's what you have been doing for the last eight minutes, if I may say so. BOO-YAKASHA JH  ;D

JR: Well, you can say anything you like. It doesn't make it correct. It is a sleight of hand because this is the question at issue. Not whether we are capable of making judgments that are right or wrong. Of course anyone, indeed even journalists John, are capable of making judgments that are wrong.

We were not accused of that. We were not accused of something maybe right or maybe wrong. We were accused of dishonesty, John.

We were accused of forcing the security services to produce information in a public document in an attempt to dupe the people of this country by putting in false information.

JH: Now you are using language that we did not use at any time - unless you have transcripts of that as well.

JR: Well, I have just used it.
JH: Forced you? Forced the security services to provide information to dupe the people of this country?

I don't remember me saying that. I don't remember Andrew Gilligan saying that.

JR: Do you not? Well, I have got Andrew Gilligan's quotations here from last week. Do you want me to go through them?

JH: Well, you have already done that.

JR: That is because I believe in arguing on the basis of the facts.

JH: Well, I'd love you to answer a couple of questions that I have got lined up for you this morning, if that is possible. Can I do that?

JR: Of course you can.

JH: Let me ask you the first one then again and that is who do you think are these rogue elements within the intelligence services who are using this row over weapons of mass destruction to undermine the Government? Who are they?

JR: Well, first of all they are anonymous, their position is not known, they have uncorroborated evidence. Up until this morning they were small in number. One of them was certainly the person who had been briefing Andrew Gilligan. It now appears he has three others that have appeared that he didn't tell us about in the past week. So there is four.

And the tragic thing about this is that I have the greatest respect for our intelligence services. I know from working with them in Northern Ireland and Defence, as well as during Iraq, that they are courageous, honest, professional, loyal people, the vast majority from top to bottom.

And it is quite frankly a disgrace that the leadership of those intelligence security services - from the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee through all of the leaders who sit in that committee - should have had their integrity impugned over the last week by one or two unnamed individuals who claim to be associated. Even this morning...

JH: You want to return to Andrew Gilligan. I'd very much like to ask you about the things you yourself have been saying, if I may. That is one of the reasons you are on this morning, I think.

You are yourself saying there are rogue elements - plural not singular - within the intelligence services. Another Government minister, unnamed, we think we probably know who it is, or a Government senior figure, says the Government has been the victim of skulduggery.

JR: I didn't say that.

JH: Do you know who did?

JR: No, I didn't...

JH: I didn't say you did. Let's not deny things that I haven't suggested...

JR: What I have said...

JH: A bit of skulduggery and people are out to settle scores. Is that right?

JR: What I have said, and it is a quote in The Times, is that there are, I said, a rogue element because I thought there was one that was briefing Andrew Gilligan or indeed I said indeed elements because there may be the same source, there may be the same person, who is briefing the Independent on Sunday and various others, I don't know.

But they are very much in the minority. And what annoys me, John, is not that they are attacking me for my judgment or the Prime Minister, of course they are entitled to do that, well, the public are. They are supposed to be loyal and professional, admittedly. But it doesn't hurt so much. What does annoy me is that the fact that the

integrity of the Joint Intelligence Committee is being impugned.

JH: Let's stay, let's stay, let's stay, may I stay ... because you want to move on again now and I am trying to hold you to this if I may, just to be a bit clear about this, because it seems to a lot of people that if there are these rogue elements within the intelligence services who clearly are doing quite a lot of damage to the Government if they are to look at the coverage of the newspapers and on the BBC and other news services over the past few weeks, clearly doing a lot of damage.

This is a very serious matter. What are you going to do about it?

JR: Obviously, the first thing we have to do about it is try and convince people like yourself and the public that we are not guilty of the allegations. That they are unfounded, that they are uncorroborated and that they should be very wary of anything that comes not only from individual, isolated sources but which stands in complete contrast to what is being said by the whole of the rest of the intelligence services up to and including the leadership.

JH: Do you want to find them?

JR: Sorry?

JH: Do you want to find them? Is there going to be an inquiry?

JR: Well, I mean, leaks happen in all departments. Now...

JH: It's a leak now?

JR: Sorry?

JH: It is a leak now?
JR: No.

JH: It's a very different sort of notion if these are leaks. That's a very different notion because leaks are usually truthful, aren't they?

JR: Not in my experience, no they are not. Are they in yours?

JH: Well, yes, to be perfectly honest. If you use the word leak and it comes out of a department, then they tend in the end to be reinforced, don't they?

But if you don't know who these people are, this is my point, really...

JR: John...

JH: No, it's an important point I'm making...

JR: If you study the history of leaks from the intelligence agencies over the past 60 years, you will probably find that your contention that they are accurate is way wide of the mark.

JH: That would be fine, perhaps, if it was the odd disaffected intelligence officer, some junior figure somewhere or other who was dripping a bit of poison into somebody's ears...

JR: They are anonymous. It could be a man in the pub.

JH: I rather think that people like Andrew Gilligan can distinguish between an intelligence officer and a man in the pub but there we are... Oooch that hurt  ;D

JR: He did not actually say he was an intelligence officer. He said he was an official connected with the process of compiling the dossier. I mean, he could have been a printer.

JH: Look, look, this is the point isn't it? ... There are very senior people in the intelligence services who have talked to journalists off the record certainly and for entirely obvious reasons.

JR: I have not seen a shred of evidence...

JH: Can I just finish the point I was trying to make?

JR: Yes, but on that premise I do not accept it because there is not a shred of evidence…

JH: You have not heard what I have to say...

JR: You have already said there are very senior people in the intelligence services speaking to journalists in this fashion. I am contesting that. Let me see the evidence.

JH: Well, let me tell you I myself have spoken to, ah, one or two senior people in the intelligence services who have said things that suggest that the Government has exaggerated, did exaggerate, the threat from Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction.

This is not something that has been got up by a few disaffected spooks for you seem yourself unable to explain.

JR: Well, this is a new revelation to me, John. I don't know who you have spoken to.

All I can tell you is I have regularly spoken not only to the most senior – in plural - but the most senior at regular intervals in our intelligence services up to and including yesterday. And I can tell you they absolutely refute what is being said because not only is it an attack on the Prime Minister and politicians, it is an attack on the integrity of they themselves.

JH: Are you going to have an inquiry? Final thought.

JR: Well, the way we do things in this country is through select committees.

And I no more dictate what the select committees will choose to investigate than the Prime Minister dictates what the intelligence services will choose to discover, analyse and produce as information.

JH: John Reid, many thanks.

JR: Thank you, John.
Now, I wonder what lowly Int. Officer they can get to carry the can? Because let's face it, he won't just be carrying the can, for misleading the Prime Minister, but also, for commiting the Prime Minister to a course of war, and all the attendant horrors and ramifications that go with it. In other words, this individual, would have to sholder the responsibility , for the whole shooting match.... I can't see it personally.

Now, anyone want to take a guess on the next best move ?

I guess, something like

"We had a lot of information to collate. Even though the SIS provided a concise report, there were other information packages from other intelligence services that had to be integrated in, and, with the pressure we were under, both at home and the UN, as well as the pressing need to deal with Saddam , based on best available information, we produced an intelligence overview. In this high pressure environment, it is not unlikely that potentially, mistakes were made. The Prime Minister, briefed parliament with as much information as he could, and members, were advised to base their decisions, on what was, at that time, the best available information to hand. Intelligence gathering is a fluid business, and the intelligence picture, can change from hour to hour. We acted on the best information and analysis available at that time, from a variety of sources. It may be revealed, on further investigation, that some of these sources were fallible, but, you must look at that, against the background of events unfolding at that time"

Or words to that effect.....,5936,6549007%5E401,00.html

[Iraq officer 'source' of weapon claim

A SENIOR officer within Saddam Hussein's army was the source for a British intelligence claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a British newspaper reported today.

Prime Minister Tony Blair is under fire from parliamentarians because of the failure to find Iraq's alleged chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, which were his main justification for war.

The controversy has focused in particular on claims that Blair's office redrafted an intelligence dossier to emphasise a single-source report that Saddam could fire chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes.

The Financial Times, basing its report on unnamed "senior" civil servants, said that information came from a "senior Iraqi officer on active service within the country's military".

The paper said British officials in two central government departments described the Iraqi source as having a record for providing reliable data over years.

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