January 27, 2004
Whatever the outcome of the Hutton inquiry and the vote on top-up fees, the central charge this paper has consistently made against Tony Blair is that he took this country to war in Iraq on a false pretext. Raymond Whitaker and Glen Rangwala list 50 statements on which history will judge him and his US partners.
1. Tonight, British servicemen and women are engaged from air, land and sea. Their mission: to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
2. I have always said to people throughout that ... our aim has been the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
3. But for this military action, Saddam Hussein and his sons would still be in absolute control ... free to continue the repression and butchery of their people which ... we now know was on such a savage scale that victims number hundreds of thousands.
4. You know how passionately I believed in this cause and in the wisdom of the conflict as the only way to establish long-time peace and stability.
5. As for the existence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, there can be no doubt ... that those weapons existed. It is the job of the Iraq Survey Group to find out what has happened, which it will do.
6. For reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction...
7. We know that he has stockpiles of major amounts of chemical and biological weapons.
8. Iraq poses a threat to the world because of its manufacture and development of weapons of mass destruction.
9. It [the dossier] concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes ... and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability.
10. I have absolutely no doubt whatever that he was trying to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction programmes. ... [Saddam Hussein] has always been intending to develop these weapons.
11. Saddam was a danger and the world is better off because we got rid of him.
12. Already the Kay report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related programme activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations.
13. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminium tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
14. The British government has learnt that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
15. We believe he [Saddam] has reconstituted nuclear weapons.
16. Q: Reconstituted nuclear weapons. You misspoke.
17. The dossier shows that Iraq continues to produce chemical agent for chemical weapons; has rebuilt previously destroyed production plants across Iraq; has bought dual-use chemical facilities; has retained the key personnel formerly engaged in the chemical weapons programme; and has a serious ongoing research programme into weapons production.
18. What we are talking about is chemical weapons, biological weapons, viruses, bacilli and anthrax - 10,000 litres of anthrax - that he [Saddam] has.
19. Saddam has ... the wherewithal to develop smallpox.
20. Those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them.
21. The Iraq Survey Group has already found massive evidence of a huge system of clandestine laboratories, workings by scientists, plans to develop long-range ballistic missiles.
22. Is it not reasonable that Saddam provides evidence of destruction of the biological and chemical agents and weapons the UN proved he had in 1999?
23. The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 litres of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure."
24. By 1998, UN experts agreed that the Iraqis had perfected drying techniques for their biological weapons programmes.
25. If Saddam Hussein does ... readmit the weapons inspectors and allow them to do their job... then the case for military action recedes to the point almost of invisibility and that is obvious.
26. Journeys are monitored by security officers stationed on the route if they have prior intelligence. Any changes of destination are notified ahead by telephone or radio so that arrival is anticipated. The welcoming party is a give away.
27. I have every confidence - and I have expressed that confidence - in the weapons inspectors ... As long as this regime is in place, and as long as it is refusing to co-operate, the inspection process becomes well-nigh impossible.
28. The reason why the inspectors couldn't do their job ... was that Saddam wouldn't co-operate.
29. Never once did I come to this House and say that I believed that we should not give the weapons inspectors more time because I did not think that they were going to get any more co-operation than they had had in the past.
30. There is no evidence linking Iraq to the events of 11th September; there is no evidence either so far that links Iraq to the anthrax attacks in the United States."
31. Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or individual terrorist ...
32. There are things that haven't been explained ... like the meeting of Mohammed Atta [leader of 9/11 hijackers] with Iraqi officials in Prague.
33. Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that ... The meeting is one of the motives of an American attack on Iraq.
34. Iraq has trained al-Qa'ida members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases
35. There is some intelligence evidence about linkages between members of al-Qa'ida and people in Iraq.
36. In the event of Saddam refusing to co-operate or being in breach, there will be a further UN discussion.
37. Resolution 1441 gives the legal basis for this [war].
38. France said it would veto a second resolution whatever the circumstances.
39. The oil revenues... should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN.
40. The United Kingdom should seek a new Security Council Resolution that would affirm... the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
41. Over some period of months, the Iraqis will have their government selected by Iraqi people.
42. This is about building a new civil society in Iraq after 35 years when we know women were suppressed, and ensuring women have a voice in Iraq.
43. Iraq's ... got tunnels, caves, all kinds of complexes. We'll find them.
44. There will certainly not be the quantity and proximity [of WMD] that we thought of before. [Saddam might even have launched] a massive disinformation campaign to make the world think he was violating international norms, and he may not have been.
45. It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them [WMD] prior to a conflict.
46. It is not the most urgent priority now for us since Saddam has gone ...
47. In a land mass twice the size of the UK it may well not be surprising you don't find where this stuff is hidden.
48. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
49. I should have said, 'I believe we're in that area. Our intelligence tells us they're in that area,' and that was our best judgement.
50. Q: But it is absolutely clear now that the 45 minute thing and so on, that the weapons of mass destruction idea and you've moved on to talking about programmes now rather than weapons of mass destruction. But that was wrong wasn't it?
More Information on Justifications for War: WMDs and Other Issues
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