Friday, 29 January 2010

Tony Blair at the Chilcot Inquiry

Paul Waugh lists 20 questions that he believes Tony Blair should be asked today. Take a look at all 20, but here's the ones that I think are key:

"4 You had a Downing Street meeting on 23 July 2002 with MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove present. A now-infamous leaked memo recorded that Dearlove reported on his recent trip to Washington. It claimed that "military action was now seen as inevitable" but "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy". It added that there was "littled discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." Is any of this accurate?

5. The Attorney General was also at this meeting. The day after he wrote you a letter repeating the advice he had given verbally, that you would need a new UN resolution to authorise military action. He says that this letter was seen by Number 10 as not "terribly welcome". Did you tell any of your aides that this was your view?

7. You claimed in your foreword to the infamous September 2002 dossier that "assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons". Wasn’t it totally misleading to use the phrase ‘beyond doubt’?

8. You told the House of Commons later that month that Saddam's WMD programme was "active, detailed and growing". Isn't it the case that not a single piece of intelligence suggested it was "growing"?

10. Sir David Omand and Jack Straw both now admit that it was a mistake to have included the ‘45 minutes’ claim in the dossier. Do you agree with them or have any regrets about the way MI6 felt uneasy about revealing its sources?

12. Even after the UN adopted 1441, Lord Goldsmith wrote to you on January 14, 2003, to say that there was still no "reasonable case" for war without a further resolution. His advice was not requested by you. Did you have a deliberate policy of not asking for his legal opinion until the very last minute, precisely because you knew that would box you in?

15.The Cabinet met on March 17, 2003. The Attorney presented his new opinion that war was legal without a second resolution. He was ready to read it out and then say a few words, but someone told him 'don't worry, we can read it ourselves'. Who was that person?

20. Have you ever, for even a second, doubted that you made the right decision in going to war in Iraq?"

Today should be interesting and don't forget that you can vote whether you thing Tony Blair is lying "live" by voting here.

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