Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Iraq invasion: Campbell's dodgy and distorted dossiers

Letter to The Guardian:

Andy Beckett’s helpful history of the Chilcot Inquiry (“Revelations or Whitewash,” G2, 5 July; https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/04/chilcot-inquiry-iraq-war-whitewash ) conflates two dossiers.

What Beckett describes as the ”dodgy dossier” on Iraq’s WMD was the wrong one. He should have been explained that  the “dodgy dossier was actually called ‘Iraq – Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation’ the one the then prime minister Tony Blair’s propagandist-in-chief (officially his head of government communications and strategy)  Alastair Campbell, compiled mainly from a plagiarized American academic research paper by Professor Ibrahim al-Marashi, of California State University at San Marcos, entitled ‘Iraq's Security and Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis’.

The dossier on Iraq’s alleged WMDs was also heavily edited by Campbell, so much so it should really become notorious as the ‘distorted dossier’

But  the then prime minister Blair praised it to the hilt when unveiling and commending its contents it to the House of Commons on 24 September 2002. (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/sep/24/foreignpolicy.houseofcommons)

As we enter a period of post-Chilcot reflection and analysis, it is as well to get some of the basic facts right!


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