Monday, 22 July 2013

If only he had known.......

Former foreign Secretary David Miliband, who imminently sets off for his new life in New York as a charity ceo, asserted in an interview in the Observer that  if he had known in 2003 that there were no WMDs in Iraq "there would have  been n no justification for war." ("David Miliband's farewell  blast at failings in Iraq and Afghanistan,"  Observer, 14 July).
Mr Miliband  is as wrong in 2013 as his predecessor Jack Straw ( and former prime minister Tony Blair were earlier: they are all in wilful denial. Tony Blair's government knew Saddam had no WMDs at least six years before he colluded with Bush to illegally invade Iraq.
This information was reported originally in US magazine Newsweek, in its first issue in March 2003, and re-reported by  the Guardian's  diplomatic editor, (“Iraqi defector's testimony confuses case against Iraq ,” 1 March 2003,,but it then disappeared from the pre-invasion public debate.

The evidence comes from General Hussein Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, who defected to Jordan on 7 August 1995, taking with him crates of documents revealing past weapons programmes, and provided these to UNSCOM, the United Nations WMD inspection team. Kamel ill-advisedly late agreed to return to Iraq, where he was assassinated.

Kamel had stated categorically in his 22 August 1995 inteview: "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed" (p. 13). The CIA and MI6 were told the same story, Newsweek reported. All this is available at :

Blair told the now retired Labour MP Llew Smith, for whom I then did research,
"Hussein Kamal was interviewed by UNSCOM and by a number of other agencies. Details concerning the interviews were made available to us on a confidential basis." (Hansard, 26 March 2003 : Column 235W)
Sir John Chilcot should surely obtain the text of the interview from the Special Intelligence Service (M16) at the earliest opportunity, before he completes his report.
And Mr Miliband should take advantage while in New York to  consult the full original  transcript of the interview at the United Nations' voluminous Iraq archive.

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