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January 08, 2007

Blair Government Anxious To Demonstrate Itself To Be Even More Loathsome Than Bush Administration

So remember when Tony Blair released the UK dossier on Iraq's terrifying WMD in September, 2002?

And Blair wrote in the forward that Iraq could use its WMD "within 45 minutes of an order to use them"?

And this was repeated in the dossier four times?

And three of England's biggest papers—the Sun, the Evening Standard and the Daily Express—all featured the 45 minute claim on their front page? And that the Sun's headline was "Brits 45 Mins from Doom"?

And how in May, 2003 the BBC's Andrew Gilligan reported the dossier had been "sexed up" with the 45 minute claim? And how this led to a giant government investigation, which claimed Gilligan was wrong to say the Blair & co. "probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong or questionable"? And how Gilligan was fired? And how David Kelly, one of the UK WMD specialists, ended up killing himself under the strain of the investigation?

Uh...never mind:

[UK Foreign Secretary] Margaret Beckett has admitted the Government realised before the Iraq war that its 45-minute claim about Saddam Hussein's weapons may have been wrong.

The Foreign Secretary said the claim had not been repeated in Commons debates before the 2003 invasion of Iraq because it was already deemed “irrelevant” and people were wondering if it was really true...

Today Mrs Beckett said: “That was a statement that was made once and it was thought to be of such little relevance — and perhaps people began quickly to say, I'm not sure about that' — that it was never used once in all the debates in the House of Commons.”

Her words imply Mr Blair and ministers quietly dropped the allegation yet failed to withdraw it or correct the record. After speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today show Mrs Beckett was challenged by presenter John Humphrys on why the claim had not been corrected in public.

She retorted: “Oh, come on — nobody thought it was relevant. Nobody thought it was a big sweeping statement.”


Posted at January 8, 2007 10:53 AM | TrackBack

obviously im nobody. An effective way to deal with dissent in to simply remove their existence, linguistically at first,then...

Posted by: troutsky at January 8, 2007 12:01 PM

In a time when there is so much to be horrified about, I find this strangely disturbing. And symptomatic of the utter lack of regard for human life bt some in the political class. On both sides of the Atlantic, politicians and pundits are blithely distancing themselves from the war-provoking claims that they so purposefully wielded when it met their needs...disgusting, really.

Posted by: Mister Edge at January 8, 2007 03:57 PM

This has been round the Brit Blogs for some time.

There's a very poor standard of interviewing on the BBC.

Humphries: 45 minutes?

Beckett: John, you and I both know that was a statement that was made once...

(Humphries didn't point out that Gilligan only used the phrase "sexed up" once about the dossier but the Govt. went nuts over it.)

Beckett: ....and it was thought to be of such little relevance...

It was of such little relevance that Bush used it in a radio address to the Nation.

"... according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given."

Posted by: sam_m at January 8, 2007 06:21 PM

Anyone who reads papers and watches "news" is a brainwashed moron.

I open up BBC or CNN and see some "Israeli Defense Forces" (Defense... how nice) operation to stop muslim extremists in Gaza... Then I open a website and stream a video of jews bursting out of an APC and gunning down women and children and I think to myself: "Meh... corporate media..." Of course, the next 5 nights National Geographic and Discovery channel are showing "special programs" about nazi germany, holocaust, bin laden and so on... Prolly totally unrelated, eh?

Posted by: at January 11, 2007 07:38 AM

I gave up reading the tabloids in the early nineties and now cannot bare to watch the tv news either. The public ARE being brainwashed. I get all the news I want from the internet now.

Posted by: at January 12, 2007 07:20 AM