July 04, 2003

THIS IS A CONTROVERSY?

The alleged sexing-up of documents by Britainís government turns out to be a sexing-down:

Mr Campbell, Mr Blair's director of communications, suggested 11 changes be made to a draft of the Iraq dossier, published in its final form by the British Government on September 22, six months before it launched war on Iraq alongside the United States.

Among changes made were the removal of the words "vivid and horrifying" in the human rights section of the dossier after Mr Campbell deemed them to be unnecessary.

He also questioned why the draft report said Saddam's sons "may have" the authority to launch chemical weapons, instead of "have". But Mr Campbell's request for the removal of the word "may" was turned down by the JIC.

He was also told there was no intelligence to suggest Iraq had secured uranium and that the phrase "sought to secure" would have to remain.

Meanwhile, in a passage dealing with Iraqi dual-use facilities Mr Campbell successfully argued that the phrase "could be used" be replaced with "are capable of being used".

Wow. Scandal city.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 4, 2003 04:47 AM
Comments

But did you see the headline? "Blair's spin-doctor admits tinkering with Iraq dossier"

Implies something different from what actually happened, doesn't it?

What's this web site you linked to, Tim, the Australian version of Al Guardian?

Posted by: Barbara Skolaut at July 4, 2003 at 06:46 AM

Exactly, I read this article yesterday on The Age website and I couldn't believe the headline.

I read and re-read the article to look for any serious or major doctoring of the intelligence reports.

None were to be found...so why the bloody headline !??!?!

Posted by: Jono at July 4, 2003 at 01:21 PM

The implication of the headline is entirely neutral. Our own prejudices colour it in.

Whatever - This'll cheer you up:

Go to the Google home page. Type in Weapons of Mass Destruction, then click the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

Posted by: Nemesis at July 4, 2003 at 01:51 PM

I'm sorry you will have to fill me in. Was this the dossier they used that contained information from a grade 3 school project?

Posted by: craig at July 5, 2003 at 06:55 PM