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CHAPTER 6

The issues which arise

  160.   In my opinion my terms of reference require me to consider a number of issues which arise from the evidence which I have summarised in the preceding paragraphs of this report. They are issues which counsel addressed in their examination and cross-examination of witnesses and in their statements at the conclusion of the evidence. The issues may be grouped under five main headings:

I Issues relating to the preparation of the dossier of 24 September 2002.

II Issues relating to Dr Kelly's meeting with Mr Gilligan in the Charing Cross Hotel on 22 May 2003.

III Issues relating to the BBC arising from Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on the BBC Today programme on 29 May 2003.

IV Issues relating to the decisions and actions taken by the Government after Dr Kelly informed his line manager in the MoD that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan on the 22 May 2003.

V Issues relating to the factors which may have led Dr Kelly to take his own life.

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Issues relating to the preparation of the dossier of 24 September 2002

  161.  These issues are the following:

(a) How was the dossier of 24 September 2002 prepared and who was responsible for drafting it?

(b) What part (if any) did the Prime Minister or Mr Alastair Campbell or other officials in 10 Downing Street play in the preparation of the dossier?

(c) Were the Prime Minister or Mr Alastair Campbell or other officials in 10 Downing Street responsible for intelligence being set out in the dossier which they knew or suspected was incorrect or misleading?

(d) Was it improper for Mr Scarlett, the Chairman of the JIC, and the other members of the JIC to take into account suggestions as to the wording of the dossier from 10 Downing Street?

(e) Were Mr Scarlett and the other members of the JIC influenced by pressure from 10 Downing Street to make statements in the dossier that were stronger than were warranted by the intelligence available to them?

  162.  These issues arise for consideration because in his broadcasts on the Today programme on 29 May 2003 Mr Gilligan reported that according to his source "the government erm, probably knew that the forty five minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in ….. Downing Street … ordered a week before publication, ordered [the dossier] to be sexed up, to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be err, to be discovered" and that at the behest of 10 Downing Street the dossier "was transformed in the week before it was published, to make it sexier …. and the reason [the 45 minutes claim] hadn't been in the original draft was that it was, it was only erm, it only came from one source and most of the other claims were from two, and the intelligence agencies say they don't really believe it was necessarily true because they thought the person making the claim had actually made a mistake, it got, had got mixed up". In addition in his article in the Mail on Sunday on 1 June 2003 Mr Gilligan wrote that his source told him "[the dossier] was transformed a week before publication, to make it sexier", and when he asked how this transformation happened his source answered with a single word "Campbell".

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The drafting of the dossier

  163.  In order to consider the drafting of the dossier it is necessary to go back to February 2002. In February 2002 the Overseas and Defence Secretariat in the Cabinet Office commissioned a paper on the weapons of mass destruction capabilities of four countries of concern, including Iraq. This paper was for possible use in the public domain. The paper on the four countries of concern was prepared by the assessment staff in the Cabinet Office which prepares intelligence assessments for the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).

  164.  The JIC, which meets once a week in the Cabinet Office, is responsible for the presentation of assessed intelligence to the Prime Minister and the Government. Since September 2001 the Chairman of the JIC has been Mr John Scarlett and the other members of that Committee are the heads of the three intelligence agencies, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Security Service and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), together with the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence (DCDI), and senior officials from the major policy departments of the Government, the FCO, the MoD, the Home Office, the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry. Sir David Omand is also a member of the JIC. The JIC is therefore composed of very senior and experienced persons in the field of intelligence and is the most senior body in the country concerned with the assessment and presentation of intelligence to the Government.

  165.  In mid March 2002 it was decided by the Prime Minister's Office and by the FCO not to continue work on the paper relating to the WMD capabilities of four countries. At that time increasing attention was being given to Iraq and its WMD capabilities and the assessment staff were therefore asked to continue with the drafting of a paper relating to Iraq alone. The paper relating to Iraq alone was completed by assessment staff and confirmed by the JIC, and was then passed to the Prime Minister's Office on 21 March 2002.

  166.   In late March 2002 it was decided by the Prime Minister's Office that the time was not right to proceed with publication of the Iraq paper, but it was kept in being for possible use in the future and during the spring and summer of 2002 the draft paper was regularly updated by the assessment staff.

  167.  In April 2002 the Counter-Proliferation Department (CPD) at the FCO was asked by the Cabinet Office to prepare a short paper for possible eventual publication on the history of UNSCOM inspections in Iraq. The Head of CPD prepared an initial text which he showed to Mr Patrick Lamb, the Deputy Head of CPD, and Dr Kelly for comment. It was agreed that it would be useful if the paper could include a case-study, within the historical element, focussed on the Iraqi biological weapons programme. Dr Kelly wrote the first draft of four paragraphs relating to Inspection of Iraq's biological weapons programme which appeared on page 38 of the published dossier as follows:

Inspection of Iraq's biological weapons programme

In the course of the first biological weapons inspection in August 1991, Iraq claimed that it had merely conducted a military biological research programme. At the site visited, al-Salman, Iraq had removed equipment, documents and even entire buildings. Later in the year, during a visit to the al-Hakam site, Iraq declared to UNSCOM inspectors that the facility was used as a factory to produce proteins derived from yeast to feed animals. Inspectors subsequently discovered that the plant was a central site for the production of anthrax spores and botulinum toxin for weapons. The factory had also been sanitised by Iraqi officials to deceive inspectors. Iraq continued to develop the al-Hakam site into the 1990s, misleading UNSCOM about its true purpose.

Another key site, the Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Institute at al-Dawrah which produced botulinum toxin and probably anthrax was not divulged as part of the programme. Five years later, after intense pressure, Iraq acknowledged that tens of tonnes of bacteriological warfare agent had been produced there and at al-Hakam.

As documents recovered in August 1995 were assessed, it became apparent that the full disclosure required by the UN was far from complete. Successive inspection teams went to Iraq to try to gain greater understanding of the programme and to obtain credible supporting evidence. In July 1996 Iraq refused to discuss its past programme and doctrine forcing the team to withdraw in protest. Monitoring teams were at the same time finding undisclosed equipment and materials associated with the past programme. In response, Iraq grudgingly provided successive disclosures of its programme which were judged by UNSCOM and specially convened international panels to be technically inadequate.

In late 1995 Iraq acknowledged weapons testing the biological agent ricin, but did not provide production information. Two years later, in early 1997, UNSCOM discovered evidence that Iraq had produced ricin.

At the end of April 2002 Mr Lamb took over primary responsibility for the further elaboration of the historical UNSCOM element and he attended regular meetings of officials in the Cabinet Office in order to review and amend the text as necessary. Dr Kelly did not attend any of these meetings but Mr Lamb regularly reported any developments to him and routinely sought his advice on any proposed changes in the text.

  168.  During May 2002 Mr Lamb was requested by the Cabinet Office to add further material to the UNSCOM text covering three main areas: a reference to the military significance of Iraq's "Presidential Palaces", inclusion of background material on "Operation Desert Fox", and the provision of examples of the extent of Iraqi deception and obstruction to the work of the UNSCOM inspectors. In drafting this material and before submitting it to the Cabinet Office Mr Lamb discussed the draft with Dr Kelly and sought his views.

  169.  Dr Kelly saw the evolving draft of the briefing papers being put together by the Cabinet Office during May and June 2002 entitled "Iraqi WMD Programmes", "the history of UN weapons inspections in Iraq" and "the Iraqi regime: Crimes and Human Rights Abuses".

  170.  By 20 June 2002 a dossier had been prepared entitled BRITISH GOVERNMENT BRIEFING PAPERS ON IRAQ. Its contents were:

Executive Summary

Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Programmes

History of UN Weapons Inspections in Iraq

Iraqi Regime: Crimes of Human Rights Abuses

The dossier contained no reference to Iraq's ability to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to use them (which I shall hereafter term "the 45 minutes claim"). This dossier dated 20 June 2002 is set out in appendix 7.

  171.  On 3 September 2002 the Prime Minister announced that the Government would publish a paper on Iraq's WMD capability in the next few weeks. On 4 September the Overseas and Defence Secretariat of the Cabinet Office arranged for the three papers on Iraq's WMD capabilities, on the history of UN weapons inspections in Iraq and on abuse of human rights by the Iraqi regime to be recirculated to senior officials at 10 Downing Street, the FCO and the MoD to remind them of the current state of knowledge on those issues. The assessment staff also put in hand the updating of their existing draft on Iraqi WMD.

  172.  On 5 September 2002 a meeting was held in the Cabinet Office to consider the preparation of the paper announced by the Prime Minister. The meeting was chaired by Mr Alastair Campbell and was attended by Sir David Manning, Mr John Scarlett, Mr Julian Miller and other officials from the Cabinet Office, the FCO and the MoD. A further meeting chaired by Mr Campbell was held in his office in 10 Downing Street on 9 September. In his evidence Mr Scarlett described the purpose of the meeting on 5 September as follows:

[26 August, page 39, line 23]

The meeting was to discuss the overall presentation of the Government assessment which the Prime Minister had referred to. So it was intended to discuss how this would be done, what the overall format - the best structure for the assessment should be, and how responsibilities for preparing it, drafting it, taking it forward, should be allocated."

He described the purpose of the second meeting on 9 September as follows:

[26 August, page 53, line 22]

It was a continuation of a discussion we had had on 5th September. It had had the same agenda, but in this case to finalise the arrangements for the format, the structure, and sort of taking forward the presentation of the Government's assessment. I would like to say here, that both this meeting, on 9th September, and the meeting on 5th September, were chaired by Alastair Campbell because they were unique - they were wholly and only concerned with those issues. There was no discussion of intelligence issues, intelligence matters, intelligence at all, at that meeting or at those meetings so it was wholly appropriate, in my view, that they should be chaired by Alastair Campbell. It was not, in any sense of the term at all, an intelligence - neither of them were intelligence meetings.

  173.  After the meeting of 9 September Mr Campbell sent a memorandum to Mr Scarlett, which was circulated to Sir David Manning, Mr Jonathan Powell and a number of other officials. Relevant passages in the memorandum are as follows:

At our discussion this morning, we agreed it would be helpful if I set out for colleagues the process by which the Iraq dossier will be produced.

The first point is that this must be, and be seen to be, the work of you and your team, and that its credibility depends fundamentally upon that.

  • why the issue arose in the first place
  • why the inspection process was necessary
  • the history of concealment and deception
  • the story of inspectors, leading to their departure
  • the story of weapons unaccounted for, and what they could do
  • a section on ballistic missile technology
  • CW/BW
  • nuclear
  • the sanctions regime, and how the policy of containment has worked only up to a point
  • illicit money
  • the repressive nature of the regime
  • why the history of the man and the regime (Iraq/Iran; chemical weapons on his own people; Kuwait; human rights) makes us worried he cannot be allowed further to develop these weapons.

Much of this is obviously historical, but the history is a vital part of the overall story. This is something the IISS Report deals with very well.

The media/political judgment will inevitably focus on "what's new?" and I was pleased to hear from you and your SIS colleagues that, contrary to media reports today, the intelligence community are taking such a helpful approach to this in going through all the material they have. It goes without saying that there should be nothing published that you and they are not 100% happy with.

..........

We agreed that by the end of today, you should have most of the draft material together, with the Agencies providing the sections relevant to the middle part of our structure, and the FCO providing the more historical material.

You will want to go through this material before submitting a consolidated draft to No.10 and others. You will also take this to the US on your visit at the end of the week.

In the meantime, I will chair a team that will go through the document from a presentational point of view, and make recommendations to you. This team, I suggest, will include John Williams (FCO) Paul Hamill (CIC) and Phil Bassett and David Bradshaw from here. Writing by committee does not work but we will make recommendations and suggestions, and you can decide what you want to incorporate. Once they are incorporated, we need to take a judgment as to whether a single person should be appointed to write the final version.

The full terms of the memorandum are set out in appendix 8 to the report.

  174.  With reference to this memorandum Mr Scarlett gave the following evidence:

[26 August, page 55, line 7]

Q. That left you dealing with the intelligence, is that right?

A. It left me in charge of the drafting of those parts of the dossier that were related to intelligence in any way at all or were intelligence based. I and my team were responsible for that, of course answering to the JIC.

Q. Mr Campbell I think used the expression, or it may have been in the documents one has read, of "ownership", the document being owned by you. What did you understand that to mean?

A. Ownership, that I was absolutely to be in charge.

LORD HUTTON: Well, you said Mr Scarlett that you were to be in charge of the document in any way relating to intelligence.

A. Hmm.

LORD HUTTON: But presumably someone must have had overall charge and responsibility. I mean, someone must have been concerned with the final product. Was that to be you or someone else or was it the position that there were a number of people who were concerned with the final shape of the dossier as it would be made available to the public?

A. Well, my Lord, why I made the slight qualification that I did is for that reason, that it was almost completely clear by this stage, by the time this note went out, that I was that person.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. But there was still some slight ambiguity about who would be responsible for the parts of the dossier which were not going to be intelligence based. This relates to human rights and weapons inspections, in particular, where the FCO had been seen to be the lead department. In fact in this text here I think it says at the end: "Writing by Committee does not work but we will make recommendations and suggestions, and you can decide what you want to incorporate. Once they are incorporated, we need to take a judgment as to whether a single person should be appointed to write the final version." There was still a slight ambiguity there as to who would write the final version. The reason why I had had discussion with Alastair Campbell at the beginning of the meeting on my own was to say to him that it was very important that only one person and one unit had ownership and command and control of this exercise, that that should be me, that I wanted it stated clearly in writing; and I wanted that to be the outcome of our meeting, which, with the slight qualification at the end there, it was.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

MR DINGEMANS: The slight qualification, what, being at the bottom of page 3 of that?

A. I say qualification, it is a slight ambiguity.

Q. That he was dealing with documents from a presentational point of view as it were?

A. No -

LORD HUTTON: How does the paragraph begin?

A. The page on my screen, it begins, the paragraph: "In the meantime, I will chair a team …", that is fine. That was going to look at the presentational point of view, fine. That was going to make recommendations to me, fine. There is a reference as to a further judgment to be made "as to whether a single person should be appointed to write the final version."

LORD HUTTON: I see.

MR DINGEMANS: In fact no other person was appointed, is that right?

A. I made sure that was me.

LORD HUTTON: Was there a later decision to that effect or was it simply understood, or in the way that matters worked out it was you, was that the position?

A. No - well, my Lord, I do not want to make too much of this point because there was really not too much discussion about it. It is just that there was an ambiguity in the way that note was written. In practice, and I am sure it was Alastair Campbell's understanding at the time that I went away as the person in charge of the whole exercise.

  175.  When he gave evidence on 23 September Mr Scarlett was asked by counsel for the Government about a passage in the record of a meeting in his office on 18 September attended by Mr Tom Kelly, Ms Clare Sumner, Mr Danny Pruce, Mr Julian Miller and Mr Scarlett himself together with a number of officials from the FCO and the MoD headed:

IRAQ DOSSIER: PUBLIC HANDLING AND BRIEFING

The record set out the main points agreed at the meeting, the first of which was:

Ownership of the dossier

  • Ownership lay with No.10.

MR SUMPTION: Could we have CAB/27/2, please? This is the first of three documents that was disclosed at the end of August, after you gave your evidence first time round. It is a note of a meeting in your office on 18th September. What was the meeting about; can you tell us?

A. This was a meeting held under my Chairmanship to discuss and agree, looking ahead by this stage to the production process, at the issues relating to the actual production of the document, the briefing which would need to happen alongside it, issues such as press lines and dissemination. So it was a series of practical issues, quite separate from the drafting of the text itself.

Q. Is that answer affected by the text which is redacted?

A. What is redacted are either sort of individual names, as you can see at the top there, which would add nothing to the understanding of the document; and there is also separate redaction in addition to names which relates to briefing arrangements for foreign governments and sensitive recipients.

Q. If you look on the first page, you will see: "Ownership of the dossier. "Ownership lay with No.10." Why did that appear there?

A. Right. We had one previous meeting on this subject, on 16th September, and that was also talking about production arrangements; and at that stage there had not been any discussion of: well, which Government Department was going to be taking the lead on presenting this document on behalf of the Government? So this point was raised straight away at the 18th September meeting; and it was immediately agreed that this was a document which was going to be presented - or since this was a document that was going to be presented by the Prime Minister to Parliament on behalf of the Government, its ownership, in that sense, looking ahead to that moment, lay with No.10 and the JIC itself does not produce documents for public dissemination and there had never been any intention that it would do so. So it is ownership in that sense and it is a forward looking statement.

  176.  Drafts of assessments on Iraqi WMD Programmes were prepared dated 5 and 9 September 2002. Drafts of the complete dossier were prepared dated:

10/11 September

16 September

19 September

20 September

These four drafts are set out in appendices 9, 10, 11 and 12.

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The intelligence in relation to the 45 minutes claim

  177.  Before describing the drafting of the dossier from 5 September 2002 onwards it is relevant to refer to the intelligence received by the SIS in relation to the 45 minutes claim. The intelligence was received by the SIS on 29 August 2002. In his evidence Sir Richard Dearlove, the Chief of the SIS, who was also a member of the JIC, described the intelligence as follows:

[15 September, page 84, line 25]

Q. Can I ask you about the intelligence leading up to the 45 minutes claim. When did you first become aware of this?

A. Can I just say, you use the word "claim"; I think I would prefer to refer to it as a piece of well sourced intelligence.

Q. Right. When did you first become aware of this well sourced piece of intelligence?

A. It first came to my attention when it was reported towards the end of August. I think the precise date is 29th August.

Q. And what was the process which this intelligence underwent after it was reported?

A. Well, the normal SIS procedure would be to put this into what we call a CX report and send it out to customers who would be on the distribution, normal distribution for this type of intelligence.

Q. In the Foreign Affairs Committee report at FAC/3/26 we can see, at paragraph 62, that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had told the Committee that the intelligence on which the claim was based came from "an established, reliable and long-standing line of reporting". Can you comment on that?

A. Well, I can except I would not normally comment in public on the status of an SIS source; but a certain amount of this is already in the public domain.

Q. I am only seeking comments that are already in the public domain.

A. Yes, it did come from an established and reliable source equating a senior Iraqi military officer who was certainly in a position to know this information.

  178.  This intelligence was sent to the assessment staff of the JIC on 30 August 2002. The JIC meets on a Wednesday and the assessment staff prepared an assessment on Iraqi WMD Programmes for the meeting of the JIC on Wednesday 4 September 2002. The assessment staff had not had time to include in that assessment the intelligence on the 45 minutes claim sent to it by the SIS before the meeting on 4 September. After that meeting the assessment was then reworked to take account of this fresh intelligence and the new assessment dated 5 September was circulated to JIC members with a request for comments by 9 September. This draft contained the following passage in relation to the 45 minutes claim:

Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons, including its CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that from forward-deployed storage sites, chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 45 minutes.

  179.  An e-mail dated 6 September was sent by the biological weapons branch in the DIS to the assessment staff making comments on the JIC draft assessment dated 5 September. This e-mail was as follows:

a good paper. Some minor comments from the BW side.

Para 2 4th sentence - not sure we can be as categorical as "never", SIS may have something which means we need to fudge this slightly but they weill (sic) talk to you.

Para 3 final bullet last line. The intelligence refers to a maximum time of 45 minutes, the average was 20 minutes. This could have important implications in the event of a conflict.

Para 8 - First sentence - There is specific intelligence that Iraq plans to use CBW, it is just that there is no specific intelligence of their plans as to how/when/with what they would do so. As stated in para 4 there is intention to use during this phase.

Para 8 6th line - delete biological. It is difficult to see how persistent biological could shape the battle field.

Para 8 line 10 replace chemical munitions with CB munitions (which is what the intelligence states).

Para 10, we would like a more specific reference to possibility of sabotage/terror on lines of supply/homeland.

  180.  All but one of these suggestions were accepted and reflected in a fresh assessment issued on 9 September. The assessment of 9 September contained the following passage in relation to the 45 minutes claim:

Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons, including its CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 20-45 minutes.

  181.  Sir Richard Dearlove described the process by which the 45 minutes claim became included in the JIC assessments and in the dossiers as follows:

[15 September, page 88, line 18]

Q. We can see that at CAB/17/3.

A. Yes. Yes. And, in fact, what we are looking at there is a change in the drafting, which I think was recommended by my staff to ensure that the inclusion of intelligence on 45 minutes reflected more accurately the wording of the original CX report - CX is the phrase we use to refer to the intelligence reports produced by SIS.

..........

[15 September, page 90, line 2]

Q. Did you see the dossier drafted on 10th or 11th September?

A. Yes, I certainly would have done, in preparation for the JIC meeting that took place on 11th September. I mean, it is normal practice for me to be closely briefed by my staff before attending the full JIC meeting; and, in fact, the process of putting together the dossier was covered very closely on a day-to-day basis by the team that I had working on it. Although it is some time ago and I do not have a precise recollection of every exchange, I was kept closely involved.

Q. Was there any discussion of the draft dossier on 11th September?

A. At the JIC meeting?

Q. Yes, sorry, at the JIC meeting.

A. Yes. There certainly was.

Q. What was the nature of that discussion?

A. As far as I recall, it was how to incorporate into the dossier the previous JIC judgments on Iraqi WMD and the addition to that picture of any new intelligence that might be available.

Q. Was there any unhappiness expressed at the JIC meeting in relation to the dossier and the drafting process?

A. No, I do not think there was. I mean, there was obvious concern on my part, as the chief of the service, that the fact of moving in the direction of publication should take full account of our concerns on issues of operational security.

Q. And at that stage had anyone mentioned any comments on the 45 minute section of the dossier which had been included for the draft of the 11th September JIC meeting?

A. No, they certainly had not. I think it is worth me adding that when we circulate a report there is a procedure by which any reader can comment on the report or question its contents; and that is a mechanism that is frequently used. The circulation of the report that included the piece about 45 minutes did not evoke any comment from customers at all.

..........

[15 September, page 92, line 18]

Can I take you to DOS/2/58, which was the dossier part or the main part of the dossier dated 16th September 2002. We can see that in the top right-handed corner. We get the 45 minute source at DOS/2/72 at the bottom: "The Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so."

A. Yes.

Q. Did you pick up any differences or inconsistencies between the foreword and the executive summary, on one side, and the main text of the dossier on the other?

A. My understanding is that these were discussed in the drafting committee and in fact I was briefed for the JIC meeting on 17th September. My reaction was that all of these statements are in fact, despite the differences of nuances, they are consistent with the original intelligence report.

Q. The meeting on 17th September, was that a full JIC meeting?

A. Yes, it was a full JIC meeting.

Q. Are you sure about the date? We have had one on 4th September, one on the 11th. I think we heard from another witness -

A. Yes, I am sorry, it is the 18th. It is the 18th. My apologies.

Q. Was this considered on the 18th September in committee?

A. Yes, it was, at the end of the meeting, as far as I recall.

Q. We have seen a number of memoranda that were produced on 17th September, one from Mr Campbell, which was CAB/11/66, and he introduces it by saying: "Please find below a number of drafting points. As I was writing this, the Prime Minister had a read of the draft … and he too made a number of points." Then some specific general comments are made. More detailed comments are made later on in the memorandum. We know that there was a reply to that memorandum by Mr Scarlett on 18th September. That is CAB/11/70. We can see the first page of that there. Did you see Mr Campbell's memorandum?

A. I did not see that memorandum; but in fact I was aware, from my senior officer who was working on the drafting, that there had been, for example, a debate over the amount of time it might take the Iraqis to develop a nuclear weapon; and I know that there was, let us say, a rigorous response to questions in terms of sticking with the original intelligence in recording those issues in the dossier.

Q. We are not interested in any disputes beyond the 45 minutes source because that was what Dr Kelly appears to have commented on. Were you aware of any commentary in relation to the 45 minute point, at this stage?

A. When you say any commentary, any commentary exactly -

Q. Any commentary from Defence Intelligence Staff, for example?

A. No, I was not.

Q. Was that raised at all at the JIC meeting on 18th September?

A. Not that I can recall. It was not raised.

Q. After the meeting on 18th September, was there another JIC meeting at which the dossier was considered before publication?

A. No. The last formal meeting of the JIC at which it was considered was the 18th.

Q. Do you know whether or not it was considered by your service after 18th September?

A. Yes. After the JIC meeting I met the senior officer involved in the drafting committee and expressed to him satisfaction from the SIS point of view at the state of the draft at that stage. He then had authority delegated from me to agree the dossier but subject to the fact that there were no further what I would describe as substantive changes in the text.

Q. From what you had seen of the draft which you considered on 18th September and the draft as published, did you consider that there had been any substantive changes in the text?

A. No, I do not think after that there were substantive changes that changed it significantly.

Q. We know that the wording in the dossier, the inconsistency or apparent inconsistency between the executive summary and the foreword having been pointed out, we know that the wording of the dossier was strengthened to mirror that within the foreword and the executive summary. Did you know of that at the time?

A. I was aware what the final version was going to be, yes.

Q. And how were you made aware of the final version?

A. Well, by talking to my - I had copies of it, plus the amount of contact I had with those SIS staff working on the dossier.

..........

[15 September, page 98, line 7]

LORD HUTTON: Sir Richard, could we just go back a little, please, to the final draft? You said that you delegated to one of your officers the signing off of the draft provided there were no substantive changes in it. Did you in fact see a copy of the final draft? Was it circulated to you or was it the earlier draft of 18th September which you saw?

A. I would have seen a final draft, my Lord.

  182.  Mr Scarlett gave a similar description of the process whereby the 45 minutes claim became included in the drafts of the assessments and the dossiers:

[26 August, page 46, line 9]

At this time, in the first week of September, the JIC was considering a classified assessment, which was completely separate as an exercise from a public assessment, of chemical and biological weaponry and possible scenarios for use, including in the event of a conflict in Iraq, or by the Iraqi regime. That assessment - or that subject had been commissioned by the JIC itself in late August. The normal JIC process had applied. There had been a meeting of the interdepartmental Current Intelligence Group headed, as normal, by a deputy head of assessment staff on 28th August, to consider a first draft of that classified assessment. That first draft had then been considered in a full meeting of the JIC on 4th September, which was Wednesday, as normal. The JIC had discussed that draft, had noted that important new intelligence was coming in, which was relevant to this subject, and had asked assessment staff, again as is quite normal, to go away, to reconsider their existing draft, in particular to reconsider the important new intelligence from various sources and to prepare a new draft.

Assessment staff had taken that task away. On 5th September they had produced a revised draft which they had sent, as is normal, to the participating working level members, who would be represented in the Current Intelligence Group and which would include Defence Intelligence Staff, DIS. This e-mail is the response from DIS to the main drafter of the paper. This is part of the classified process.

Q. Can I take you to CAB/17/3 which I think are redacted extracts from JIC papers. We can see the 5th September JIC draft which provided, at page 4, paragraph 3, final bullet: "Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons, including CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that from forward deployed storage sites, chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 45 minutes." Was that the first time that intelligence had featured in the JIC assessments?

A. Yes, that intelligence was based on a report which was issued on 30th August.

Mr Scarlett described the drafts of 5 September and 9 September as assessments. On 10/11 September a draft dossier was circulated to interested groups.

  183.  In his evidence Sir Richard Dearlove commented on the reliability of intelligence coming from a single source. In the course of his examination by counsel to the Inquiry he was referred to an internal DIS memorandum dated 20 September 2002 commenting in relation to the 45 minutes claim:

[15 September, page 97, line 12]

This is reported as fact whereas the intelligence comes from a single source. In my view the intelligence warrants no stronger a statement than '... Intelligence suggests that military planning allows ….. '

In relation to this point Sir Richard stated:

[15 September, page 97, line 19]

I have to say I am rather bemused by the sentence "this is reported as fact whereas the intelligence comes from a single source". It rather implies that a single source cannot report a fact. I mean, if I can add to that.

Q. Yes, of course.

A. CX reports as produced by my service are essentially single source; and much high quality intelligence which is factual or proved to be factual is single source material. So I do not really understand that comment.

Q. Were you aware of any unhappiness with the 45 minutes point within your service?

A. No, I certainly was not.

  184.  In his evidence Mr Scarlett commented on the intelligence in relation to the 45 minutes claim being single sourced as follows:

[26 August, page 48, line 9]

Q. Was this intelligence single-sourced?

A. This was a report from a single source. It was an established and reliable line of reporting; and it was quoting a senior Iraqi military officer in a position to know this information.

Q. And were people unhappy about the use of single-sourced as opposed to double-sourced material?

A. Not at all, because the use of those terms in this context represents a misunderstanding of the assessment process. The assessment process takes into account a large number of considerations when it is considering intelligence against the background of other information which is available and what has already been assessed, and also, of course, the reliability and record of the particular line of reporting in question. In this particular case, it was judged straight away that the intelligence was consistent with established JIC judgments on the command, control and logistical arrangements and capabilities of the Iraqi armed forces and their experience and capabilities in the area of use of CP ammunitions. It brought an additional detail because for the first time in our reporting it gave a particular time, gave some precision.

  185.  The actual drafting of the dossier was carried out by a small number of members of the assessment staff who were answerable to Mr Julian Miller, the chief of the assessment staff, who in turn was answerable to Mr Scarlett, who in turn obtained the approval of the JIC to the issuing of the dossier. Mr Scarlett described the process of drafting the dossier as follows:

[26 August, page 72, line 2]

LORD HUTTON: Was the position, then, that a number of members of your assessment staff were engaged in the drafting? It came to you and ultimately you took responsibility for the final draft?

A. Yes.

LORD HUTTON: But do I understand that a number of hands might have been involved in the preparation of the draft by the assessment staff?

A. The work in assessment staff was being carried out by a small unit, mainly of two people, who were answering to one of the deputy heads of the unit.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. In fact, I can correct that, at that particular moment the deputy head was absent; and then answering to the chief of assessment staff who was in charge of the drafting group.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. So this detail was in the hands, in terms of the central drafting process, of assessment staff under the leadership of Julian Miller.

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The concerns of Dr Brian Jones, the head of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons section in the Scientific and Technical Directorate of the Defence Intelligence Analysis Staff

  186.  In his evidence Mr Anthony Cragg explained that his principal task as Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence was to manage the work of the Defence Intelligence Analysis Staff (DIAS) which was responsible for producing military intelligence assessments for the Chiefs of Staff and was also responsible for contributing to the central intelligence analysis arrangements under the JIC. There were three directorates in DIAS, one dealing with regional affairs which was a geographically based organisation, one was a generically based organisation looking at issues such as weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, proliferation, export control and the grey arms market on similar matters and the third directorate was the Scientific and Technical Directorate of DIAS, DIAS being part of the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). Dr Brian Jones in September 2002 supervised the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons section in the Scientific and Technical Directorate and he reported to the Director of that Directorate who in turn reported to Mr Cragg.

  187.  From early 1989 Dr Jones' section often received advice from Dr Kelly. In his evidence Dr Jones described Dr Kelly's relationship with his section as follows:

[3 September, page 61, line 8]

A. At some early stage we arranged that David could come regularly into the secure area which the DIS occupies, and I encouraged him to do so, and he had a pass that meant he did not have to be accompanied when he came in, so he could walk in, and I encouraged him to do that, to talk to my staff and talk to me.

Q. What was the purpose of encouraging him to do that?

A. Primarily it would be - I mean, this sort of approach we used because the staff within the intelligence community is obviously very limited, we cannot know all that we need to know, so we need professional advisers from outside. So that sort of relationship was encouraged. We would consult with him. He would come in and chat to us about things he had spotted. It was the normal exchange, when those sort of relationships are developed.

Q. What was he consulted on? What areas was he consulted on?

A. Well, obviously Iraq was a - was something - we were always interested to hear what David said about Iraq. He was a considerable expert on Iraq, from his visits there. We also needed his advice, from time to time, on detailed microbiological matters, technical - scientific, technical matters that came up in information we were looking at when perhaps we could not understand it fully and we needed to ask him, you know, if he could interpret, if he could tell us what he thought was going on.

  188.  In the summer of 2002 Dr Jones went on holiday on 30 August and returned to work on 18 September. Dr Jones described the situation when he returned to work as follows:

[3 September, page 68, line 18]

Q. Before you went on holiday, was the dossier on your workload?

A. Not on mine personally; and I was not aware that anyone in the branch was working hard on it.

Q. When you came back, was it still the same situation?

A. No, the situation had changed a great deal and on my return to work one of the first things that my staff had told me was that the dossier had suddenly become very active and that they had been very busy working on the dossier, looking at several drafts and responding to drafts in very, very short timescales and it really had dominated their workload while I had been away.

  189.  In his evidence Dr Jones described how on 18 September he saw Dr Kelly in the office of one of his staff in the DIS looking at the latest draft of the dossier:

[3 September, page 72, line 6]

Do you know whether Dr Kelly had seen the earlier drafts of the dossier? You go on holiday on 30th August, nothing mentioned about the dossier. We have then seen various drafts starting with 4th September and running through. Do you know whether he had seen all those drafts?

A. I cannot say whether he had seen all of them. The impression I gained on my return, although such was the nature of the relationship it was not something I felt I had to ask about, was that he had looked at other drafts than the one - I mean he was actually - I discovered on 18th September, when I met him then, that he was actually looking at the latest draft at that time.

Q. He was looking at the latest draft, what, sitting in someone's office and looking at the latest draft?

A. Yes.

Q. I think you told us he had been asked because of his chemical and biological warfare expertise. Was he looking at those aspects of it?

A. I think he had a general interest. He had, I understand, provided information. I mean, he had a particular expertise about one section of that dossier and had made a contribution to it; and that really related to the work he had done from the early 1990s up to 1998 when the UNSCOM inspectors left Iraq.

Q. Did you discuss with Dr Kelly his view of the dossier as so far drafted?

A. At that point, I did. I asked him what he thought: what do you think of the dossier, David? You know.

Q. And what did he say?

A. He said he thought it was good.

Q. And were there others in your group who had differing views?

A. There were, yes.

Q. And what did you do, having heard of these different expressions of support for the dossier?

A. Well, maybe I can just explain that some of my staff had said that they were unhappy with all the detail that was in the dossier. My expert analyst on CW expressed particular concern. I had, I think, at the time I spoke to David, begun to look at his problems, to look at the bits of the dossier that he had problems with.

Q. And what was your CW expert's particular concern?

A. Well, at its simplest he was concerned that some of the statements that were in the dossier did not accurately represent his assessment of the intelligence available to him.

  190.  In relation to the 45 minutes claim Dr Jones described the concerns as follows:

[3 September, page 85, line 19]

A. I think there were - the problems we had fell into three categories. I mean, firstly we had problems about the source. Indeed, as you have heard, the primary source was described as reliable and - who had reported regularly in the past, I think.

Q. So why did you have any concerns?

A. Well, our concern was that what we were hearing was second-hand information.

Q. Right.

A. He was not the originator of the information we heard; and I cannot recall knowing then as much as I know now about that secondary source. I mean, maybe we did.

Q. Was Dr Kelly aware of these concerns at the time?

A. He was certainly aware at that time or shortly afterwards that there were concerns over the 45 minute claim.

Q. Shared by persons such as yourself?

A. Yes, I mean - yes, I think from contact with myself and people in my branch. I do not think that at that stage he would have seen the original reporting.

Q. Right.

A. My recollection is that it was something that we could not automatically show to him; and I cannot recall that permission was asked for that material to be shown to him. So he did not - he was not aware, I think, from reading the material. But he would have been aware of - at some stage, whether before or after the dossier, that there was a problem with the sourcing, I think, just from chatting to us.

LORD HUTTON: Yes. Dr Jones, the Inquiry has been shown this intelligence report that a person in Iraq had been told by another person in Iraq that these weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes. Had you, at any time, prior to 24th September, actually seen that report, seen its wording or seen a summary of it?

A. Yes, I had seen that report.

LORD HUTTON: You had seen that report. And also presumably other members of your staff had seen that report?

A. Yes. In fact they drew it to my attention on my return, as part of their briefing me on the problems they were having with the dossier, with the drafts of the dossier. I think it had actually arrived whilst I was on leave, you know.

..........

[3 September, page 90, line 1]

A. The second category was the content of the information. I have already touched on that slightly but maybe I can expand a little. And this was that the information did not differentiate between whether these were chemical weapons or whether they were biological weapons; and that is an important matter.

Q. Why is that?

A. Really because if one is thinking in terms of biological warfare agents that fall into this category of being reasonably described as weapons of mass destruction, then they would have to be live biological warfare agents.

Q. Is it easy to keep biological -

A. The important point is that from the time of delivery to the time that they have an effect there is an appreciable delay. So the circumstances in which 45 minutes to deliver them would be fairly special circumstances where that 45 minutes mattered. So that was an issue, an issue that concerned us. And there was also - that sort of pushed us to thinking perhaps we were talking about chemical weapons here. It is easy to put them together in a collective term, chemical and biological weapons is something that rolls off the tongue. But there was an element of doubt coming into our analysis on that. We would have looked, normally, for further definitions to feel really comfortable with a report of this sort as to which particular agents were involved, because as I have said, different agents behave in different ways. And the way in which they behave will relate to whether it is important that you can launch these things within 45 minutes.

..........

[3 September, page 92, line 7]

A. The third area was we felt that we did in fact lack the collateral intelligence that allowed us to add confidence, if you like, to this single source. I mean, that is part of the analysis process. One casts around to see whether information from other sources or of other types actually fits that information; and there were some reports on plans and logistics and you could say that the military experience might be there that matched such capabilities. But the sort of thing we would normally look for is - I have mentioned before - these things come together. The evidence of agent production and the absence of CW agent production was - evidence of that worried us. We had not seen the weapons being produced. We had no evidence of any recent testing or field trials and things like that. So that all cast some doubts in our mind on that particular piece of intelligence. There is an important point to make, I think - I mean it might be your next question.

Q. Well, you tell me.

A. The important point is that we at no stage argued that this intelligence should not be included in the dossier.

Q. Right.

A. We thought it was important intelligence. I personally thought that the word used in the main body of the text, that the intelligence indicated this was a little bit strong but I felt I could live with that, but I thought that the other references to this intelligence in the dossier -

Q. Which were?

A. They were references, I think, in a conclusion in the executive summary.

Q. In the executive summary - there was no conclusion. There was at one stage, but …

A. And indeed in the foreword. I thought they were too strong.

Q. If one looks on the page, there is Saddam and the importance of CBW. Was there anything that you knew of concerning that matter?

A. Yes, I think we felt that it was reasonable to say that the intelligence indicated that this was the case; and I think I felt it was a reasonable conclusion to draw; but we did not think - we did not think the intelligence showed it absolutely beyond any shadow of doubt.

Q. And there is a difference, I take it, from your answer between "indicates" and "shows"?

A. Yes.

  191.  On 17 September a member of Dr Jones' staff sent a memorandum to the assessment staff of the JIC making a number of comments on the dossier. The memorandum is headed:

IRAQI WMD DOSSIER - COMMENTS ON REVISED DRAFT (15 SEPT 2002)

[The reference to "REVISED DRAFT (15 SEPT 2002)" appears to refer to the draft dossier which was then in circulation and which on the next day was dated 16th September.]

The memorandum makes the following comment in relation to the Executive Summary, para 3 - 2nd bullet point:

The judgment "has military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, some of which could be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them." Is also rather strong since it is based on a single source. "Could say intelligence suggests ….

  192.  It appears that this concern about the 45 minutes claim was already known to the assessment staff of the JIC on 16 September and on that day was considered by them in the Cabinet Office and subsequently at a DIS meeting called by Mr Cragg, the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence on 17 September which was attended, among others, by two of the directors of DIS, the Director of Global Issues and the Director of Science and Technology, who was Dr Jones' line manager. Mr Cragg's evidence in relation to Dr Jones' concerns was as follows:

[15 September, page 26, line 20]

Q. On the same day you have the Defence Intelligence Staff putting in its response saying: we are not so happy with the executive summary, we do not mind the dossier. And you have Mr Campbell putting in: we are quite happy with the summary, not so happy with the dossier.

A. Yes.

Q. If you then go on to page 70 you can see the response, which is dated 18th September 2002. This is from Mr Scarlett. If you go over to 71 at 10 you we can see: "The language you queried on the old page 17 has been tightened", which picks up the point in the dossier.

A. Hmm.

Q. It seems, therefore, that Mr Scarlett was taking on-board the comment from Mr Campbell but not necessarily taking on-board the comment from the Defence Intelligence Staff.

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know whether or not that caused any unhappiness amongst the Defence Intelligence Staff?

A. I think that the Defence Intelligence Staff, as you say, were concerned about the executive summary and its discontinuity with the main text. I put this down to the fact that the executive summary pulled together or reflected not merely recent intelligence which was being - which was contained in the main text, but also the general context of the new intelligence which had been received, such as knowledge, which we had had for many years, of the capabilities of the Iraqis in their use of chemical weapons and also our knowledge that they had commander control arrangements for the use of these weapons in place. These other issues informed the judgment in the executive summary to which the Defence Intelligence Staff were objecting slightly or wanting to modify the wording.

Q. On 18th September, after 16th September, the next dossier which is produced appears to be dated 19th September in the morning.

A. Correct.

Q. No-one has had a chance to note that at the 18th September JIC meeting.

A. Hmm.

Q. With that to refresh your memory, was there any discussion on 18th September about the inconsistency or apparent inconsistency between the executive summary and the wording of the dossier?

A. At the JIC meeting?

Q. Yes.

A. Not to my recollection. If I can just track back a little.

Q. Yes, of course.

A. I apologise. The assessment staff reviewed the text of 16th September at a meeting which they chaired, at which the DIS were present. The points raised about the concerns on the executive summary, about the 45 minutes, were raised at that meeting and the argumentation I have just deployed to you was used to explain why the executive summary said what it did. This was reported back to me at a meeting which I held, I think, on the afternoon of 17th September.

Q. So when was the date of this meeting, then?

A. Which meeting? I am sorry.

Q. When this inconsistency was being reviewed, as it were.

A. At a Cabinet Office assessment staff meeting on 17th September.

Q. On the 17th?

A. Correct.

LORD HUTTON: Then, in the light of what you were told at that meeting, you decided to call a meeting yourself, is that correct, Mr Cragg?

A. No, my Lord, I was interested in the comments which had been made by the staff on the draft dossier and I wanted to have a session with those who had attended the Cabinet Office meeting to talk through that. That was one purpose of the meeting. A second purpose was that we were expecting, and I think by then -

LORD HUTTON: Sorry, you arranged that meeting, did you?

A. I did. It was an internal DIS meeting attended by the two directors most concerned, plus those who had attended the meeting in the Cabinet Office.

LORD HUTTON: Who were those two directors?

A. The Director of Global Issues and the Director of Science and Technology, my Lord.

LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you.

A. The second purpose of the meeting was to review the way ahead, in the sense that we were expecting there to be a statement in Parliament the following week and we needed to make sure that we were prepared to provide back up for the issuing of that statement. So that, in a sense, was the main purpose of that, the meeting on 17th.

Q. MR DINGEMANS: What did those who had attended the Cabinet Office assessment tell you about the discussion of the inconsistency that we can see between the documents on 16th September?

A. They said firstly, on the actual detailed intelligence, recent intelligence underpinning the main text and partly the executive summary, that the Secret Intelligence Service, SIS, were satisfied that the source was established and reliable and they were - they supported the reporting, which had itself already been included in a JIC assessment on 9th September.

Q. I do not want to ask you about the wording of the recent intelligence.

A. No.

Q. Or indeed where it had come from.

A. Right.

Q. But is this right: the recent intelligence did not deal with the 45 minute issue?

A. It did.

Q. It did?

A. Yes. If I could just track back again. My staff also reported to me there had been a discussion, as I say, of the general context in which the new intelligence had appeared which convinced them that it was quite reasonable to take the line they did in the executive summary concerning the likelihood or the capability of the Iraqis to deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of a decision to do so.

LORD HUTTON: Mr Cragg, did part of this discussion relate to the point that I think Dr Jones had been concerned that the intelligence about the 45 minutes claim was single sourced, but then, as I follow the evidence, the SIS, at the meeting that you conducted or at the meeting in which you took part, said that they were satisfied about the reliability of that source? Was that what occurred? Have I understood it correctly?

A. SIS were present at the Cabinet Office meeting, my Lord. At that point - I was not there myself, but I understand from my staff that there was a discussion on the validity of the source, which would almost certainly have included whether it was single source.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. And the answer, I think, on the single source issue is that, as I believe Mr Scarlett said in his first appearance, my Lord, that single source clearly has to be looked at with some care; but this was a known sourced, established and reliable with a good reporting record. And the statements he was making, the intelligence he was providing was well in context of known Iraqi approaches.

LORD HUTTON: Yes. I see. Yes.

A. So in that sense - I think Mr Scarlett said it fairly clearly - there were no qualms about including this reporting.

LORD HUTTON: I see. Yes. Thank you.

MR DINGEMANS: What was your understanding about ownership of the dossier -

LORD HUTTON: Just before you ask that, may I ask you: at the conclusion of the meeting which you attended, and you had knowledge that Dr Jones and his staff were concerned about the wording relating to the 45 minutes claim, what was your conclusion about the validity of their concerns?

A. I felt, my Lord, bearing in mind the views expressed by SIS and supported by the assessment staff, that their concerns had been dealt with satisfactorily. That was my judgment.

LORD HUTTON: Yes. I see. Yes. Yes.

MR DINGEMANS: And your view was then made known to the two directors who had attended?

A. We discussed this round my table, so they knew.

Q. The Director for Science and Technology was the line manager for Dr Jones, is that right?

A. He was, correct.

  193.  Therefore Mr Cragg's evidence was that Dr Jones' concerns were considered by the assessment staff and by SIS and also at a meeting which he called attended by Dr Jones' line manager in the DIS, the Director of Science and Technology, and that the view was taken that it was proper to approve the wording in respect of which Dr Jones had raised reservations. Dr Jones continued to have reservations and in a minute to Mr Cragg and others dated 19 September 2002 he stated:

IRAQ DOSSIER

Reference: Iraq Dossier Draft issued on 19 Sept 02

1. [***] has been involved in the generation of the Iraq dossier which, in the last two weeks has involved a number of iterations which have incorporated new intelligence. It is my understanding that some of the intelligence has not been made available to my branch. Because of this they have had to express their reservations on several aspects of the dossier. Most of these have been resolved. However, a number remain in the document at reference and it is important that I note for you at this stage the remaining areas where we are unable to confirm the statements made on the basis of the information available to my branch.

2. Although we have no problem with a judgment based on intelligence that Saddam attaches great importance to possessing WMD we have not seen the intelligence that "shows" this to be the case. Nor have we seen intelligence that "shows" he does not regard them only as a weapon of last resort, although our judgment is that it would be sensible to assume he might use them in a number of other scenarios. The intelligence we have seen indicates rather than "shows" that Iraq has been planning to conceal its WMD capabilities, and it would be a (sic) reasonable to assume that he would do this.

3. We have a number of questions in our minds relating to the intelligence on the military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, particularly about the times mentioned and the failure to differentiate between the two types of weapon.

4. We have not seen intelligence which we believe "shows" that Iraq has continued to produce CW agent in 1998 - 2002, although our judgment is that it has probably done so. Whilst we are even more convinced that Iraq has continued to produce BW agent (on the basis of mobile production intelligence) we would not go so far as to say we "know" this to be the case.

5. Finally, I note we are pleased that the claim that Iraq used aflatoxin against the Shia uprising in 1991 has been excluded from the dossier but we are concerned that the claim in relation to mustard remains as we consider the evidence to be weak.

  194.  In his evidence Mr Cragg referred to Dr Jones' minute of 19 September 2002 as follows:

[15 September, page 38, line 4]

Q. Is this strong language for intelligence personnel?

A. Yes. I was quite surprised to receive the minute, because we had gone - we had tried to explain what the situation was, certainly on the production issue and, as far as I can tell also perhaps, although I am not certain, on the 45 minutes.

Q. And having received a document that surprised you, what did you do as a result of that?

A. Well, it arrived late on 19th September. I cannot be sure, but it would have been my normal practice to try to discuss it with him, but I did not. I think, and I cannot be sure about this, because by then he had left the office and I was faced with the document itself.

Q. Were you given another version after 19th September?

A. Of the dossier?

Q. Yes.

A. There was another version on the 20th, but I was on leave on the 20th September. What I was referring to was I found myself with Dr Jones' minute, which I had to decide what to do with.

Q. So, for the reasons you have given, you do not do anything about it on the 19th?

A. Oh I did.

Q. Sorry?

A. In the sense that I reflected on Dr Jones' concerns and decided that on the issues he raised I was satisfied with the actual text of the dossier, which I had in front of me. I can expand further if you wish.

Q. Yes, please do.

A. Dr Jones, quite rightly - I have no problems with him raising issues, indeed I have always encouraged debate in the DIS on these issues. On the question that - I took the view that on the question of the 45 minutes and of the chemical weapons production, this had already been considered at length with the Cabinet Office in their meeting of 17th September and that I was satisfied with the decisions reached and consequently with the wording of the dossier at that point. On the other issues raised, which I think relate to the importance attached to the possession of chemical weapons, the absence of proof that they are seen as a - they are not seen, excuse me, as a weapon of last resort. And the absence of proof, definitive proof, that efforts are being made to conceal them. I took the view that on each of those there had been much intelligence over the years, not merely in the past few weeks but over a long period, which sustained the view taken in the dossier.

LORD HUTTON: Did you consider, Mr Cragg, whether you should report Dr Jones' concerns to the Chief of Defence Intelligence or to the JIC? In a sense, I think you have perhaps given an explanation already, but I would just like you to respond to that particular question, if you would please.

A. Well, certainly my Lord, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, who was not in the office on the Thursday, was in the office on the Friday and himself took a view on Dr Jones' concerns. No doubt you will hear from him on that point.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. On the question of approaching the Chairman of the JIC, I took the view that since all of the issues had either been discussed with the Cabinet Office or were well within the general thrust of known intelligence that it was not necessary to raise the issue with Mr Scarlett. If I had done, I am as sure as I can be that he would have asked: what is the view of yourself and the Chief of Defence Intelligence on this issue?

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The approval of the dossier by the JIC

  195.  In September 2002 Air Marshal Sir Joseph French was Chief of Defence Intelligence and was a member of the JIC. He stated in his evidence that he was content that the 45 minutes claim should be included in the dossier and he was content that the dossier should be issued. Air Marshal French stated:

[15 September, page 64, line 7]

Q. After the meeting of 11th September, did you attend any other JIC meetings before the dossier was published?

A. No, I was not in [the] office on the 18th and was represented by Mr Cragg, who is a member of the JIC himself.

Q. And we have heard from Mr Cragg.

A. Yes, you have. Yes.

Q. On 11th September you say you had a meeting beforehand to discuss any issues that had been raised. On 10th to 11th September there is the first draft of the dossier, which is produced after the 45 minutes claim has been finally assessed by the JIC. Was the 45 minutes claim raised at that stage?

A. Not in the JIC on the 11th, no.

Q. Was it raised in the meeting with you beforehand?

A. I am not aware at this stage. Obviously the assessment went through. It could well have been brought to my attention, but I would have not been surprised nor do I go against the mention of 45 minutes.

Q. If it had been mentioned to you, would you have raised it at the Joint Intelligence Committee?

A. No, because from a military perspective the 45 minutes is something that I would fully understand that in certain circumstances forces could be well able of actually starting to deliver systems within that timeframe.

..........

[15 September, page 71, line 18]

Q. Having seen Dr Jones' memorandum, what did you do as a result of that?

A. We were on the 20th, which was the final draft day.

Q. Yes.

A. And that ultimately I had to make the decision whether or not the DIS was content for the document to go to print; and I was content for it to go to print.

Q. Were you sent a copy of the dossier that was produced on 20th September?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. Did the JIC meet in committee to approve that dossier on the 20th?

A. No, in that we have gone through several iterations and, as is normal Government practice, something that had been in the drafting that long quite often we would have out of committee clearance and sometimes that clearance would be on silence procedures, i.e. if you have not reported by the due date time then it would be recognised that you were content for the document to go forward.

Q. So a copy was distributed and it was up to you to make any objections known?

A. Yes.

  196.  In September 2002 Mr Anthony Cragg was the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence and a member of the JIC. In his evidence he also stated that he was content that the 45 minutes claim should be included in the dossier and that he was content that the dossier should be issued. He stated:

[15 September, page 49, line 11]

the dossier reflected the JIC assessments on the recent intelligence; and the JIC assessments were an accurate reflection, put into context, of the intelligence itself. So it was a flow of perfectly reputable intelligence conveyed by the assessment staff and ourselves into the JIC assessment and thence into the dossier.

..........

[15 September, page 52, line 24]

I was, myself, perfectly satisfied with the way in which the drafting of the document, the dossier, was taking place under the management of the assessment staff, supervised by John Scarlett. I am quite sure, from having read the dossier many times, it does not go beyond the remit, as it were, of available intelligence.

..........

[15 September, page 56, line 6]

In my view, from my perspective, the dossier was prepared and produced by a rigorous process of drafting. I myself saw what you might call the rolling draft as being the principal means by which the JIC membership, the individuals, contributed to and exercised influence over the process. It is certainly the case that as drafting proceeded, some points were accepted and some were not. That is the nature of drafting of course. But I am quite sure, in my own mind, that the reasons for accepting or rejecting were rational and good reasons, it was not done in an arbitrary way.

..........

[15 September, page 56, line 19]

I and my senior managers were satisfied with the outcome. I have no reason to believe that Air Marshal French himself was not personally satisfied with the outcome. If I had not been satisfied, I would have said so.

  197.  At the conclusion of his evidence Sir Richard Dearlove stated:

[15 September, page 107, line 18]

I think the only one point I would like to make in relation to our earlier discussion, I reported to my directors I think on 19th September that we had had full visibility of the process of preparing the dossier and that the whole process had gone extremely well.

Q. And did you do anything after the publication of the dossier to record that?

A. Yes, I did. At the JIC meeting, I think on 25th September -

Q. Yes, we have heard there is one on the 18th, so it must be the 25th.

A. - I proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman on behalf of the JIC members for the way in which he and the assessment staff had conducted a difficult exercise and the integrity with which it had been done, and it was done spontaneously of course.

Q. Was the vote of thanks passed?

A. Yes, it was.

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The differing wording of the 45 minutes claim in the draft dossiers

  198.  The draft dossier of 20 June 2002 and the assessment for the JIC meeting on 4 September 2002 contained no reference to the 45 minutes claim. This was because the intelligence which was the basis for the 45 minutes claim was not received by the SIS until 29 August 2002 and the assessment staff did not have time to include it in the assessment for the meeting of 4 September 2002.

The draft assessment dated 5 September 2002

  199.  It contained a reference to the 45 minutes claim:

Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons, including its CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that from forward-deployed storage sites, chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 45 minutes.

The assessment dated 9 September 2002

  200.  It contained a reference to the 45 minutes claim:

Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons, including its CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 20-45 minutes.

The draft dossier dated 10/11 September 2002

  201.  The Executive Summary stated:

6. Recent intelligence adds to this picture. It indicates that Iraq:

..........

  • envisages the use of weapons of mass destruction in its current military planning, and could deploy such weapons within 45 minutes of the order being given for their use;

Section 6 headed:

"IRAQI CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR AND BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAMMES: THE CURRENT POSITION" stated:

"13. Special Security Organisation (SSO) and Special Republican Guard (SRG) units would be involved in the movement of any chemical and biological weapons to military units. The Iraqi military holds artillery and missile systems at Corps level throughout the Armed Forces and conducts regular training with them. The Directorate of Rocket Forces has operational control of strategic missile systems and some Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems. Within the last month intelligence has suggested that the Iraqi military would be able to use their chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so.

The draft dossier dated 16 September 2002

  202.  The Executive Summary stated:

[intelligence] allows us to judge that Iraq

  • has military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, some of which could be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them. Saddam and his son Qusay have the political authority to authorise the use of these weapons;

  203.  Chapter 3 headed:

THE CURRENT POSITION: 1998-2002 stated:

1. This chapter sets out what we now know of Saddam's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, drawing on all the available evidence. While it takes account of the results from UN inspections and other publicly available information, it also draws heavily on intelligence about Iraqi efforts to develop their programmes and capabilities since 1998. The main conclusions are that:

..........

  • Iraq's military forces maintain the capability to use chemical and biological weapons, with command, control and logistical arrangements in place. The Iraqi military may be able to deploy these weapons within forty five minutes of a decision to do so;

..........

Recent Intelligence

5. Subsequently, intelligence has become available from reliable sources which complements and adds to previous intelligence and confirms the JIC assessment that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons. The intelligence also shows that the Iraqi leadership has been discussing a number of issues related to these weapons. This intelligence covers:

..........

  • Saddam's willingness to use chemical and biological weapons: intelligence indicates that Saddam is prepared to use chemical and biological weapons if he believes his regime is under threat. We also know from intelligence that as part of Iraq's military planning, Saddam is willing to use chemical and biological weapons against any internal uprising by the Shia population. The Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within forty five minutes of an order to do so.

The draft dossier dated 19 September 2002

  204.  The Executive Summary stated:

4. …As well as the public evidence, however, significant additional information is available to the government from secret intelligence sources, described in more detail in this paper. This intelligence cannot tell us about everything. But it provides a fuller picture of Iraqi plans and capabilities. It shows that Saddam Hussein attaches great importance to possessing weapons of mass destruction which he regards as the basis for Iraq's regional power. It shows that he does not regard them only as weapons of last resort. He is ready to use them, including against his own population, and is determined to retain them, in breach of United Nations Resolutions. Intelligence also shows that Iraq is preparing plans to conceal evidence of these weapons from renewed inspections, including by dispersing incriminating documents. And it confirms that despite sanctions and the policy of containment, Saddam has continued to make progress with his illicit weapons programmes.

5. As a result of this intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

..........

  • military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, some of which are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them. The authority to use chemical and biological weapons ultimately resides with Saddam, but he may have delegated this authority to his son Qusai;

  205.  Chapter 3 headed: "THE CURRENT POSITION: 1998-2002" stated:

1. This chapter sets out what we know of Saddam's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, drawing on all the available evidence. While it takes account of the results from UN inspections and other publicly available information, it also draws heavily on the latest intelligence about Iraqi efforts to develop their programmes and capabilities since 1998. The main conclusions are that:

..........

  • Iraq's military forces are able to use chemical and biological weapons, with command, control and logistical arrangements in place. The Iraqi military are able to deploy these weapons within forty five minutes of a decision to do so.

..........

Recent intelligence

5. Subsequently, intelligence has become available from reliable sources which complements and adds to previous intelligence and confirms the JIC assessment that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons. The intelligence also shows that the Iraqi leadership has been discussing a number of issues related to these weapons. This intelligence covers:

..........

  • Saddam's willingness to use chemical and biological weapons: intelligence indicates that Saddam is prepared to use chemical and biological weapons if he believes his regime is under threat. We also know from intelligence that as part of Iraq's military planning, Saddam is willing to use chemical and biological weapons against an internal uprising by the Shia population. Intelligence indicates that the Iraqi military are able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within forty five minutes of an order to do so.

The draft dossier dated 20 September 2002

  206.  This dossier contained a foreword by the Prime Minister which included the statement:

In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that despite sanctions, despite the damage done to his capability in the past, despite the UNSCRs [Security Council Resolutions] expressly outlawing it, and despite his denials, Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world.

Gathering intelligence inside Iraq is not easy. Saddam's is one of the most secretive and dictatorial regimes in the world. So I believe people will understand why the Agencies cannot be specific about the sources, which have formed the judgments in this document, and why we cannot publish everything we know. We cannot, of course, publish the detailed raw intelligence. I and other Ministers have been briefed in detail on the intelligence and are satisfied as to its authority. I also want to pay tribute to our Intelligence and Security Services for the often extraordinary work that they do.

What I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and that he has been able to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme. I also believe that, as stated in the document, Saddam will now do his utmost to try to conceal his weapons from UN inspectors.

The picture presented by JIC papers in recent months has become more not less worrying. It is clear that, despite sanctions, the policy of containment has not worked sufficiently well to prevent Saddam from developing these weapons.

I am in no doubt that the threat is serious, and current; that he has made progress on WMD, and that he has to be stopped.

Saddam has used chemical weapons, not only against an enemy state, but against his own people. Intelligence reports make clear that he sees the building up of his WMD capability, and the belief overseas that he would use these weapons, as vital to his strategic interests, and in particular his goal of regional domination. And the document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them.

The Executive Summary stated:

4. As well as the public evidence, however, significant additional information is available to the Government from secret intelligence sources, described in more detail in this paper. This intelligence cannot tell us about everything. However, it provides a fuller picture of Iraqi plans and capabilities. It shows that Saddam Hussein attaches great importance to possessing weapons of mass destruction which he regards as the basis for Iraq's regional power. It shows that he does not regard them only as weapons of last resort. He is ready to use them, including against his own population, and is determined to retain them, in breach of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR).

5. Intelligence also shows that Iraq is preparing plans to conceal evidence of these weapons, including incriminating documents, from renewed inspections. And it confirms that despite sanctions and the policy of containment, Saddam has continued to make progress with his illicit weapons programmes.

6. As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

..........

  • military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, including against its own Shia population. Some of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them.

  207.  Chapter 3 headed "THE CURRENT POSITION: 1998-2002" stated:

1. This chapter sets out what we know of Saddam's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, drawing on all the available evidence. While it takes account of the results from UN inspections and other publicly available information, it also draws heavily on the latest intelligence about Iraqi efforts to develop their programmes and capabilities since 1998. The main conclusions are that:

..........

  • Iraq's military forces are able to use chemical and biological weapons, with command, control and logistical arrangements in place. The Iraqi military are able to deploy these weapons within 45 minutes of a decision to do so.

Recent intelligence

5. Subsequently, intelligence has become available from reliable sources which complements and adds to previous intelligence and confirms the JIC assessment that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons. The intelligence also shows that the Iraqi leadership has been discussing a number of issues related to these weapons. This intelligence covers:

..........

  • Saddam's willingness to use chemical and biological weapons: intelligence indicates that as part of Iraq's military planning, Saddam is willing to use chemical and biological weapons, including against its own Shia population. Intelligence indicates that the Iraqi military are able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so.

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The dossier published by the Government on 24 September 2002

  208.  The relevant parts of the dossier which included a foreword by the Prime Minister are set out in paragraph 22.

  209.  The first draft of the foreword by the Prime Minister had been worded as follows:

The document published today is the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which is made up of the heads of the UK's three Intelligence and Security Agencies, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, and senior officials from those government departments. The JIC provides regular assessments to me on a wide range of foreign policy and international security issues.

Its work, like the material it analyses, is largely secret. It is unprecedented for them to publish this kind of document, but in light of the debate about Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), I wanted to share with the British public the reasons why I believe this issue to be a current and serious threat to the UK's national interests.

In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that despite sanctions, despite the damage done to his capability in the past, and despite the UNSCR's expressly outlawing it, Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world.

Gathering intelligence inside Iraq is not easy. Saddam's is one of the most secretive and dictatorial regimes in the world. So I believe people will understand if the agencies cannot be specific about the sources, human and technical, which have formed the judgements in this document. I and other ministers have been briefed in detail on the sources, and are satisfied as to their authority, and the authority of the information they have disclosed.

What I believe they established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme.

This picture is every month has become more not less worrying. Faced with the picture put before me on seeing a succession of JIC papers on the subject, as Prime Minister I have a choice: do I ignore this evidence; or do I act to address the threat?

I am in no doubt that the threat is serious, and current; that he has made progress on WMD and that he has to be stopped.

Alone among leaders, Saddam has used chemical weapons. Intelligence reports make clear that he sees the possession of WMD as vital to his strategic internal of regional domination. And the document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them.

In today's integrated world, a major regional conflict does not stay confined to the region in question. Faced with someone who has shown himself capable of using WMD, I believe the international community has to stand up for itself and ensure its authority is upheld.

The threat posed to international peace and security, when WMD are in the hands of a dangerous and unstable regime like Iraq's is real. Unless we face up to the threat, we place at risk the lives and property of our own people.

The case I make is not that Saddam could launch a nuclear attack on London or another part of the UK (He could not). The case I make is that the UN resolution demanding that he stops his WMD programme are being flouted; that since the inspectors left four years ago, he has continued with this programme; and the inspectors must be allowed back in to do their job properly.

The sentence in this first draft "The case I make is not that Saddam could launch a nuclear attack on London or another part of the UK (he could not)." was not included in the dossier published on 24 September.

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The allegation that the dossier was sexed-up

  210.  In his broadcasts on the Today programme on 29 May 2003 one of the allegations made by his source which Mr Gilligan reported was that the dossier had been "sexed-up" on the orders of 10 Downing Street. In his broadcast at 6.07am Mr Gilligan said:

… Downing Street, our source says, ordered a week before publication, ordered it to be sexed-up, to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be er, to be discovered.

In his broadcast at 7.32am Mr Gilligan said:

… I have spoken to a British official who was involved in the preparation of the dossier, and … He said 'it was transformed in the week before it was published, to make it sexier.'

  211.  It is clear from the evidence which I have heard and from the documents which have been put in evidence that 10 Downing Street took a very close interest in the drafting of the dossier and was concerned that the intelligence set out in it should be presented in a way which made as strong a case against Saddam Hussein as the intelligence properly permitted. On 11 September 2002 a member of the JIC assessment staff sent the following e-mail to the intelligence agencies:

Dear all

We have now received comments back from No 10 on the first draft of the dossier. Unsurprisingly they have further questions and areas they would like expanded.

The main comments are:

1. They liked the use of a specific personality, Haidar Taha, in the paras on CW. Can we add any more personalities, related to BW, nuclear, BM, who are doing jobs now that are suspicious (sic) because of their previous role. (Can we say anything about Dr Rihab Taha for instance?)

2. Is there any intelligence that Iraq has actively sought to employ foreign experts, in particular in the nuclear field?

3. They want more details on the items procured for their nuclear programme - how many did they buy, what does this equate to in terms of significance to a nuclear weapons programme?

4. Can we say how many chemical and biological weapons Iraq currently has by type! If we can't give weapons numbers can we give any idea on the quantity of agent available!

I appreciate everyone, us included, has been around at least some of these buoys before, particularly item 4. But No 10 through the Chairman want the document to be as strong as possible within the bounds of available intelligence. This is therefore a last (!) call for any items of intelligence that agencies think can and should be included.

Responses needed by 1200 tomorrow.

Thanks

PS

[***] we have already discussed the continuing need to say something about Iraq's capability to make INDs (as per March JIC paper).

  212.  On 17 September Mr Campbell sent the following minute to Mr Scarlett:

Please find below a number of drafting points. As I was writing this, the Prime Minister had a read of the draft you gave me this morning, and he too made a number of points. He has also read my draft foreword, which I enclose (he will want another look at it before finally signing it off but I'd appreciate your views at this stage).

He said he thought you'd done a very good job and it was convincing (though I pointed out that he is not exactly a "don't know" on the issue).

He feels that Chapter 3 should be re-ordered, to build towards the conclusions through detail ie. start with paragraph 8 (chemical agent) through to paragraph 16, then do paragraphs 2-7, then paragraph 1. If you agree, it would need a little re-writing.

He, like me, was worried about the way you have expressed the nuclear issue particularly in paragraph 18. Can we not go back, on timings, to "radiological device" in months; nuclear bomb in 1-2 years with help; 5 years with no sanctions.

He wondered if there were any more pictures that could be used.

He thought we should make more of the "no civil nuclear" point, and list dual use products.

He felt we don't do enough on human rights, and Saddam's disregard for human life is an important point. He felt there should be more made of the points in the box on page 45.

My detailed comments on the draft, which is much stronger.

1. In light of the last 24 hours, I think we should make more of the point about current concealment plans. Also in the executive summary, it would be stronger if we said that despite sanctions and the policy of containment, he has made real progress, even if this echoes the Prime Minister.

2. In the summary you are clear that Saddam's sons have authority to authorise CW/BW use. In the text (Page 23) it is weaker "may have".

3. Can we say he has secured uranium from Africa.

4. Could we use the 60,000 figure in the executive summary, re aluminium.

5. Also in executive summary, can we be clear about the distances by which he is seeking to extend missile range.

6. "Vivid and horrifying", re human rights, doesn't fit with the dry text around it.

7. Re illicit earnings, how much of the 3 billion is illegally gained.

8. On page 15 can we list quantities of eg. Shells, sprays etc.

9. On page 16, bottom line, "might" reads very weakly.

10. On page 17, 2 lines from the bottom, "may" is weaker than in the summary.

11. On page 19, top line, again "could" is weak "capable of being used" is better.

12. Re FMD vaccine plant. It doesn't need the last sentence re "probable" renovation.

13. On page 24, 3rd line, you say 1991 when I think you mean 1998.

14. The nuclear timelines issue is difficult. I felt it worked better in the last draft. Julian showed me: namely "radiological devices" in months: nuclear bomb 1-2 years with help; 5 years with no sanctions.

15. It would be stronger if you could be more explicit about when a JIC assessment has gone to the PM, and the basis upon which it has been published.

16. I've seen Ed Owen's comments, and don't agree that there are too many bullet points in the executive summary.

In addition officials in 10 Downing Street and officials in the FCO sent a number of e-mails to their colleagues about drafting points in the dossier. These e-mails are set out in appendix 13.

  213.  On 18 September Mr Scarlett sent Mr Campbell the following minute:

IRAQ: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

1. Thank you for your minute of 17 September.

2. The Prime Minister suggested that Chapter 3 should be re-ordered. We have looked at this, but found that the restructured text has less impact than the original. Nonetheless, I attach for you only a version amended along the lines proposed.

3. On the nuclear timings, I explained yesterday the decision to drop earlier references to an improvised nuclear device, on which there is no intelligence. I have retained paragraph 18, which factually summarised the JIC position. But I have amended the latest sections (now paragraph 24) to bring out more clearly the current judgements. I hope you will find this makes the position clearer.

4. We are continuing to look for more pictures, but as yet have nothing that adds usefully to the text.

5. On the civil nuclear point, we have brought out the position on the Iraqi programme article clearly in a box. Dual use products are also now listed separately in bullet point form. The impact here is much improved. Finally, the Prime Minister had asked for more on human rights. We have added to the text in part 3, and also given this a little more prominence in executive summary.

6. Turning to your details points, we have been able to amend the text in most cases as you proposed. Taking your points in sequence:

1. we have strengthened language on current concerns and plans, including in the executive summary. The summary also bring out the point on sanctions and containment, as you proposed.

2. on the position of Saddam's sons, the intelligence supports only 'may have'.

3. on the uranium from Africa, the agreed interpretation of the intelligence, brokered with some difficulty with the originators and owners of the reporting allows us only to say that he has 'sought' uranium from Africa.

4. we have introduced the reference to 60,00 aluminium tubes into the executive summary.

5. also in the executive summary, we now refer to the 200km range of the smaller missiles.

6. "vivid and horrifying" has been dropped.

7. I can confirm that all of the £3 billion is illegally gained; the text now makes this clear.

8. we do not have intelligence which allows us to list quantities on the old page 15 for the various delivery means.

9. we cannot improve on the use of 'might' on the old page 16.

10. the language you queried on the old page 17 has been tightened.

11. your proposal to replace could by capable of being used has been incorporated.

12. we have deleted the sentence referring to the probable renovation of the FMD plant.

13. the date has been corrected.

14. see my previous comments.

15. we have discussed separately the references to JIC assessments.

7. Additionally, we have looked at the executive summary in the light of Ed Owens comments. While we have not reduced the number of bullet points, we have taken some of his other drafting and structural arrangements.

  214.  Mr Scarlett was questioned about his response to Mr Campbell's point 10 in the latter's minute of 17 September and this questioning related to changes in the wording of the draft dossiers, the changes being these: in the draft dated 16 September the executive summary stated that recent intelligence indicates that Iraq "could deploy [WMD] within 45 minutes of the order being given for their use", whereas the main text of the draft stated that the Iraqi military "may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within forty five minutes of an order to do so." However in the drafts of 19 and 20 September and in the dossier published on 24 September the executive summary stated that some chemical and biological weapons "are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them" and the main text stated that the Iraqi military "are able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so". In his evidence Mr Scarlett said:

[23 September, page 98, line 11]

Q. Point 10 is about the 45 minutes point.

A. Yes.

Q. What do you say about that?

A. Right. Well, that is a reference to the fact that in the text as drafted on 16th September there was a clear inconsistency between the way in which the 45 minutes point was expressed in the executive summary, where for the first time in the drafting it was being expressed as a judgment, not as a reference to recent intelligence; the way it was expressed in the conclusions, the main conclusions in that part of the dossier dealing with chemical and biological weaponry, and also in the body of the text for that part, and then in the main conclusions, a box, which at that stage was in the draft at the end; and in the executive summary at the beginning and in the conclusion at the end it was stated that the chemical and biological weapons could be ready for use within 45 minutes; and in the body - in that main conclusions part in the body of the text and also in the text it was "may". This was clearly an inconsistency which was unbalanced and needed to be addressed.

As it happened, completely separate from this point, the DIS had raised the question in advance of the drafting meeting which was taking place under Julian Miller's Chairmanship at 0900 hours on 17th September, had raised the wording in the 16th September draft of the executive judgment, and had said that they thought it was rather strong. They did not think that the point should not be in the dossier, they thought that the judgment was rather strong. So that was the subject of discussion at the 17th September meeting before this memo was received.

Q. Yes.

A. It was decided that, after the end of the discussion that the assessment staff would go away and look at the 9th September classified assessment and also at the intelligence and bring the wording of the text, the two middle sort of points, into line with what the assessment and the intelligence said. The assessment staff also pointed out that the executive summary was worded in the form of a judgment, which was a different point, and the DIS proposal had been it should be qualified "intelligence suggests that". The assessment staff view was you could not do that with a judgment, a judgment is either a judgment or it is not there at all. It is not possible to qualify it with "intelligence indicates" or "intelligence suggests" or whatever. So that was their - that was how they left it. Subsequently -

Q. Just pausing there, were those decisions you have just described made before or after those involved learned of this comment?

A. Yes, that discussion took place before this comment was received; and that work was undertaken before this comment was received. As I now know, and we did not at the time, the meeting was discussed within the DIS at a meeting chaired by Tony Cragg in the afternoon of the 17th September when it was decided not to pursue the point raised by the DIS any further. So the action that was taken by assessment staff, consistent with what they had said at the morning meeting, was to amend the draft, and when the new draft was circulated it had been amended to take account of the action that they had taken. This had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. When I replied on this point on the 18th, I said that I think the wording had been tightened. What that meant, quite clearly, was that the wording had been brought into line so the inconsistency had been removed, and it had been brought into line with the underlying intelligence.

Q. It has been suggested, on behalf of the BBC, that if there is an inconsistency you should tone down the executive summary rather than tone up the text.

A. But as of course I have explained, the executive summary for the dossier, in paragraph 6, which is the relevant part, took the form of a judgement. It was not a summary of the main points in the text, it was a judgment.

When cross-examined by Mr Caldecott QC for the BBC Mr Scarlett said:

[23 September, page 126, line 15]

Q. Now the only assessment element of the 45 minute claim in the 9th September final assessment is in the main text, is it not?

A. Yes.

Q. And it says that it is merely an indication.

A. Yes.

Q. If that was the agreement, how is it reflected by strengthening the word "may" to the word "are"?

A. Because the intelligence contained no indication of "may", no indication of uncertainty. It was a statement in the intelligence report that they had this capability. But the JIC assessment of the 9th September put in terms of intelligence indicates that they have that capability, and that was therefore reflected in exactly those terms in the main body of the redrafted text, which is what the assessment staff said they would do.

Q. But that, with respect, is to - I do not know what the wording of the raw intelligence is but of course I take it from you.

A. Yes.

Q. But -

A. Thank you.

Q. - that is slightly to look, is it not, at the wording of the raw intelligence without taking into account the assessment element and the choice of the word "indicates"? We have had a lot of evidence about the importance of precision and the significance of words like "indicates".

A. Indeed.

Q. If you do go back you do not just look at the raw intelligence, you look at how it was assessed; and it was assessed as "indicates", not "shows". Why does it therefore get put up to "are" if you are implementing this agreement?

A. The 9th September assessment that intelligence indicates that chemical and biological munitions could be with military units and ready for firing within 20 to 45 minutes - that was the wording, the sense of which was accurately reflected in the redrafting on the 17th September of the dossier. That is the point I am making. They went back to the intelligence, the original intelligence, which contained no caveat of uncertainty. They went back to the way in which it was phrased in the 9th September assessment and they redrafted their main body of the dossier to come into line with that, which it had not been before, including the words "intelligence indicates that".

Q. You say there was no element of uncertainty in this intelligence?

A. Report, yes.

Q. Report. Well, can I just put to you some possible elements of uncertainty which might have influenced the assessors to say "indicates" and not "shows"? Firstly, you did not know what munitions the Iraqi officer was specifically referring to, did you?

A. No, that is right.

Q. You did not know from where or to where the munitions might be moved within 45 minutes?

A. That is right.

Q. Indeed, it was thought at one point that it must mean that these munitions were at forward depots but it was thought that was too uncertain so it was removed?

A. No, that was removed because it was not stated as such in the intelligence report; but that was the assessment at the time of what it did refer to, and indeed remains the assessment of what it did refer to, that these were munitions at forward deployed points.

Q. You see, "forward deployed points" is removed. If they are not at forward deployed points, one asks oneself: where are they?

A. At forward deployed points, that is where we assessed them to be.

Q. Why remove "forward deployed points" in that sense?

A. We were being accurate and precise and not putting into the 9th September assessment wording which was not actually in the assessment. We could have left it in, it was a fine point but it was decided not to put it in, so it was not.

Q. Do you accept that assessors could have regard to the fact, for example, that they did not know from where to where exactly what was covered by this period of 45 minutes? They did not know the specific weapons referred to. It was relayed to them through an intermediary - I appreciate a reliable one, but nonetheless it is a second-hand. All these were matters properly to take into account in deciding whether it indicated or showed a particular state of affairs.

A. You are talking as if the assessors sit there and operate in a vacuum. They do not. They are assessing individual intelligence reports against the background of their knowledge. This was a point of precision which was being given, a timing which was being given for the first time with precision, to an assessment which already existed about the capability of the Iraqi armed forces in this area. That is what assessment is about. There is too much emphasis on sources, single reporting. Assessment is a much more complicated thing than that and it takes many aspects into account, as has been explained many times to this Inquiry.

Q. Mr Scarlett I am entirely with you about that and I readily accept that the assessment staff doing their exercise on 9th September took into account all these matters, but the fact is that their conclusion was "indicates".

A. The sentence in the assessment was referring to the intelligence report as such. It was not looking at it in the wider context. The JIC had instructed the drafters to incorporate and take account and assess recent intelligence which was coming in, the 45 minutes report clearly fell into that category and under that rubric the assessment staff drafted, on 16th September, for the first time, a judgment, drafted a judgment, which was then discussed at the 17th September meeting, which was then circulated to JIC members, was accepted by JIC members, explicitly in the case of DIS and SIS, and therefore had the full authority of a JIC assessment.

Q. But, you see, if the word "indicates" in the 9th September assessment is a mere word of a narrative and not a word of judgment, why, on 17th September, is it agreed that you will have regard to what the assessment said on this subject?

A. We did, and that was what was taken into account in the main body of the text; but what was in the executive - what was in the judgment was a different point. As I have said, the judgment is a judgment taking into account the factors I have already indicated to you. It is not a summary of the main points in the text. The word "indicates" relates to the specific intelligence report. The judgment does not just confine itself to one intelligence report.

Q. Much as I would like to spend the afternoon continuing on this, I think I had better move on.

  215.  On 19 September the draft of the dossier of that date was circulated to Mr Jonathan Powell, Sir David Manning, Sir David Omand and the members of the JIC by Mr Scarlett asking for any essential further comments from members of the JIC by 3pm. The memorandum from Mr Scarlett was as follows:

IRAQI WMD: PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF INTELLIGENCE MATERIAL

1. I attach the draft dossier on Iraq. It reflects a number of comments from you and others received over the last day or so, and takes account of the most recent intelligence.

2. I should draw your attention to some changes to the Executive Summary, reflecting comments from the Foreign Office; to a simplified account of Saddam's nuclear programme; and to a restructuring of the final section on Saddam's Iraq to bring out human rights issue more clearly. In particular you should note that we have toned down the reference to aluminium tubes in paragraph 22 on page 28, and removed it from the Executive Summary. This reflects some very recent exchanges on intelligence channels. Finally, I have recast the conclusion to remove the chart, which a number of readers considered to lack impact.

3. Copies go to JIC members on a personal basis, reflecting the continuing sensitivity of the document and the imperative need to avoid leaks. If they have any essential further comments on this draft, I will need to receive them by 15:00 today, 19 September.

At 3.45pm Mr Jonathan Powell sent the following e-mail to Mr Campbell and to Mr Scarlett:

Found my copy. I think it is good.

I agree with Alastair you should drop the conclusion.

Alastair - what will be the headline in the Standard on day of publication?

What do we want it to be?

I think the statement on p19 that "Saddam is prepared to use chemical and biological weapons if he believes his regime is under threat" is a bit of a problem. It backs up the Don McIntyre argument that there is no CBW threat and we will only create one if we attack him. I think you should redraft the para. My memory of the intelligence is that he has set up plans to use CBW on western forces and that these weapons are integrated into his military planning.

It needs checking for typos, eg Iraqi in middle of page 27.

The relevant passage in the dossier dated 19 September was as follows:

Saddam's willingness to use chemical and biological weapons: intelligence indicates that Saddam is prepared to use chemical and biological weapons if he believes his regime is under threat. We also know from intelligence that as part of Iraq's military planning, Saddam is willing to use chemical and biological weapons against an internal uprising by the Shia population. Intelligence indicates that the Iraqi military are able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within forty five minutes of an order to do so.

Having considered Mr Powell's e-mail Mr Scarlett changed the passage in the draft dated 20 September to read:

Saddam's willingness to use chemical and biological weapons: intelligence indicates that as part of Iraq's military planning, Saddam is willing to use chemical and biological weapons, including against an internal uprising by the Shia population. Intelligence indicates that the Iraqi military are able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within forty five minutes of an order to do so.

Mr Caldecott suggested to Mr Scarlett in cross-examination that this change was made as a result of intervention by 10 Downing Street, and Mr Scarlett replied that he and his assessment staff were prompted to look again at this passage by Mr Powell's e-mail and the change was made as a result of the exercise of his professional judgment and that of his colleagues in the assessment staff. The relevant passage in the cross-examination is as follows:

[23 September, page 156, line 20]

Q. I want to ask you about a change we have not yet looked at in evidence. Could we, please, look at CAB/11/103? This is a suggestion that comes in from Downing Street -

A. Yes.

Q. - after your deadline of 3 o'clock. It is timed at 3.45 from Mr Powell, the Downing Street Chief of Staff.

A. Yes.

Q. Sent only to you and Mr Campbell and copied to Sir David Manning.

A. Yes.

Q. "Found my copy. I think it is good. "I agree with Alastair you should drop the conclusion." That we know is done.

A. Yes.

Q. "Alastair - what will be the headline in the Standard on day of publication? "What do we want it to be?" I will not ask you about that.

A. No.

Q. "I think the statement on page 19 that 'Saddam is prepared to use chemical and biological weapons if he believes his regime is under threat' is a bit of a problem. It backs up the Don McIntyre argument that there is no CBW threat and we will only create one if we attack him." Now, Don McIntyre is a chief political columnist at the Independent.

A. Yes.

Q. "I think you should redraft the para. My memory of the intelligence is that he has set up plans to use CBW on Western forces and that these weapons are integrated into his military planning." Right?

A. Yes.

Q. The suggestion there, is it not, is that the dossier should be redrafted to remove an express suggestion that Saddam Hussein is a defensive threat?

A. Hmm.

Q. And leave an implication that, in fact, he is an offensive threat; is that right?

A. No. It is not right. It is not to leave the implication that he is an offensive threat, it is to take away the explicit, as it were, limitation that it is a defensive - not a defensive threat, but it is a defensive sort of point.

Q. Do you accept you can transform a dossier by omission, Mr Scarlett?

A. Well, omission is -

Q. Taking out what was in it before?

A. Of course, that is - it is important what you take out as well as what you put in.

Q. You see, such a change would make a great effect, would it not, on the threat in fact presented by Saddam Hussein in the eyes of the public?

A. Shall I say what I did about this?

Q. Yes, please do.

A. Yes. This e-mail did prompt me and the assessment staff to look again at that particular passage. Now, we were acting under the instructions from the JIC to keep what we were writing in line with standing JIC assessments and also with recent intelligence. As I recall this particular paragraph - obviously this particular paragraph was under the heading of what recent intelligence was showing. Now, there had been an intelligence report which made that point, I mean a recent intelligence report which is why it was phrased like this.

When we looked at it again, we also realised two things: first of all, that there was no standing JIC assessment which made it clear whether we were defining Saddam's threat, if you like, as defensive or CW posture as defensive or offensive. More to the point, there was recent reporting, in addition, which was not reflected here, but which was quite clear reporting, which placed his attachment to CBW and the importance that he placed on it very much in the context of his perception of his regional position, his plans to acquire and maintain regional influence and, as one report, and maybe more, put it: dominate his neighbours. In other words, the recent intelligence was more complex than that phrase implied. Bearing those points in mind, we concluded that this was not right, the way this was phrased; and therefore we took that out. That is what I did.

Q. This formula had appeared in the draft of the 11th September, circulated to JIC members and approved. It had appeared in the draft of the 16th September, circulated to JIC members and approved. It appeared in the draft of the 19th September, circulated to JIC members and approved. Why the change? Only the reason you have given.

A. Well that is an important reason and I was acting under JIC instructions, and within our authority and delegated authority, as I have explained, in basing what we did on the recent intelligence.

Q. Can we, please, look at BBC/30/8 as to what the intelligence did say on this subject, so far as we can work it out? This is an extract, again, of the ISC report.

A. Hmm.

Q. BBC/30/8, please. Scroll down a little bit, please, to 119. "The assessments staff produced an intelligence update on 27 November 2002."

Q … That is obviously after publication.

A. Yes.

Q. "It reiterated an earlier JIC assessment that if Saddam were to be faced with the likelihood of military defeat and removal from power, he would be unlikely to be deterred from using chemical and biological weapons by any diplomatic or military means."

A. Yes.

Q. Now that is consistent, is it not, with the original wording?

A. What that says - it says what he would do if he was - and he would use these weapons if he were faced with these circumstances. It does not say, at all, that those are the only circumstances in which he would use those weapons and the reporting definitely did not say that.

Q. Can we look at what I assume is, in fact, the later intelligence update on 27th November at paragraph 120? I accept this is post publication.

A. Hmm.

Q. "It was assessed that Saddam was prepared to order missile strikes against Israel, with chemical or biological warheads, in order to widen the war should hostilities begin. Saddam had also identified [other countries] as targets. The update also contained recent intelligence that Saddam would use chemical or biological weapons if allied forces approached Baghdad, if Basra, Kirkuk and Mosul fell to allied control, or if Iraqi military units rebelled." All of those states of affairs are triggered by a defensive position of extreme danger for Saddam Hussain, are they not?

A. Yes, because that assessment in that update is relating to that specific set of circumstances, the likelihood of an invasion of Iraq. It is the same point as I have just made.

Q. Can we just finish this by looking at the changes that were made in the dossier as a result of this intervention from Downing Street at BBC/29/19?

A. Sorry, can I just interrupt to say, before I forget, that it was not as a result of the interventions from Downing Street, it was as a result of the exercise of my professional judgment and that of my colleagues in assessment staff for the reasons I have just given.

Q. It would not have occurred without Mr Powell's memorandum, would it?

A. I said we were prompted to look again at this by the memorandum. I was exercising my judgment as I was authorised to do entirely in line with the existing intelligence - the recent intelligence which indeed had come in and which was not taken into account properly by that phrase.

Q. I think it is right we should look at the change to complete this. Bottom of BBC/29/19.

A. Yes.

Q. The strike through is what was deleted and the underling what was put in. We see the most important words deleted are "if he believes his regime is under threat". Again one sees "including against his own people" replaces the fact that it would only happen if there was an internal uprising by the Shia population.

A. It does not say it would only happen, it says against an internal uprising. Again the same point, there was intelligence which said that, but there was also intelligence which said that he was prepared to use CBW against the Shia in circumstances other than the internal uprising, which was why that change was made. It is the same point.

  216.  However, although it is clear that 10 Downing Street took a close interest in the drafting of the dossier and made a number of suggestions on the drafting which Mr Scarlett accepted, I am also satisfied that 10 Downing Street recognised that the wording of the dossier had to conform with the intelligence as assessed by the JIC and that the wording had to be approved by the JIC. In his minute to Mr Scarlett dated 9 September 2002 which has been set out at greater length in paragraph 173 Mr Campbell stated:

the media/political judgment will inevitably focus on

"what's new?" and I was pleased to hear from you and your SIS colleagues that, contrary to media reports today, the intelligence community are taking such a helpful approach to this in going through all the material they have. It goes without saying that there should be nothing published that you and they are not 100% happy with.

  217.  I am further satisfied that Mr Scarlett did not accept drafting suggestions emanating from 10 Downing Street unless they were in keeping with the intelligence available to the JIC and he rejected any suggestions which he considered were not supported by such intelligence. This is demonstrated by his minute to Mr Campbell dated 18 September 2002 in reply to Mr Campbell's minute of 17 September. It is clear from Mr Scarlett's minute that whilst he accepted some of Mr Campbell's suggestions he rejected others where the intelligence did not support a strengthening of the language: see paragraph 6 subparagraphs 2, 8 and 9 (set out in paragraph 213 of this report). I am also satisfied that the dossier was published with the full approval of the JIC as was stated in evidence by Mr Scarlett, Sir Richard Dearlove (the Chief of SIS), Sir David Omand, Air Marshall Sir Joseph French (the Chief of Defence Intelligence) and Mr Anthony Cragg (the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence).

  218.  The e-mail from a member of the assessment staff to the Intelligence Agencies dated 11 September 2002 stating that "No. 10 through the Chairman want the document to be as strong as possible within the bounds of available intelligence" was put to the Prime Minister. He stated in evidence to the Inquiry:

[28 August, page 5, line 22]

Q. Were you aware that this process was going on?

A. Yes, of course, and it was important that it made the best case that we could make subject, obviously, to it being owned by the Joint Intelligence Committee and that the items of intelligence should be those that the agencies thought could and should be included. So if you like it was a process in which they were in charge of this, correctly, because it was so important to make sure that no-one could question the intelligence that was in it as coming from the genuine intelligence agencies, but obviously I mean I had to present this to Parliament. I was going to make a statement. Parliament was going to be recalled. We were concerned to make sure that we could produce, within the bounds of what was right and proper, the best case.

LORD HUTTON: So you would agree, Prime Minister, that the wording that "No.10 through the Chairman want the document to be as strong as possible within the bounds of available intelligence" is a fair way of putting your view and the view of your staff in No.10?

A. Provided that is clearly understood as meaning that it is only if the intelligence agencies thought both that the actual intelligence should be included and that there was not improper weight being given to any aspect of that intelligence. In other words, given that the process was that they had to decide what it was we could properly say, then obviously we wanted to - we had to make this case because this was the case that we believed in and this was the evidence that we had, because all of this stuff was obviously stuff that had come across my desk.

  219.  The minute to Mr Campbell from Mr Scarlett dated 18 September was put to the Prime Minister. He stated:

[28 August, page 12, line 5]

Q. Were you aware of these type of responses from Mr Scarlett?

A. No, I was not aware of the absolute detail of it; but on the other hand, I mean, having read it, it seems to me a perfectly right way of proceeding. In other words, there are certain things that we are asking if they can improve on this or improve on that and they say: well, we can or we cannot. I think the important thing I would say is that once the decision had been taken that, as it were, John Scarlett and the JIC should actually own this document, it should be their document, then I think everything that was done was subject to that. Obviously it was vitally important when we got to Parliament and produced this document that I was able to stand up absolutely clearly and say: look, this is the work of the joint intelligence agencies, they stand behind the intelligence that is here.

The minute which Mr Campbell sent to Mr Scarlett on 17 September 2002 was put to Mr Campbell in cross-examination by Mr Caldecott QC for the BBC:

[22 September, page 166, line 17]

Q. What you were concerned to do was to strengthen the language of the dossier, were you not, through these suggestions or at least most of them?

A. I was keen, and this is the job the Prime Minister asked me to do, to make sure that the dossier as presented to Parliament was a strong, clear, consistent document that allowed him effectively to explain to the British public the reality of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's WMD. That is my job in these circumstances; and I think if you are saying "strong" equals "sexed-up", I do not accept that at all. If you are saying "strong" equals a good, solid piece of work that does the job that the Prime Minister wants it to do, then I agree with that.

Q. Would it be sexing up - sorry.

LORD HUTTON: Carry on, Mr Caldecott.

MR CALDECOTT: Would it be sexing up the dossier to change the text, to strengthen the text to match the summary rather than to lower the summary to match the text, Mr Campbell?

A. It would depend on the circumstances that you were putting. None of it would be sexing up unless you were doing something improper in relation to the intelligence judgments. This dossier could only be as strong as a public document as the underlying intelligence assessments allowed it to be.

Q. Why were you commenting on the intelligence judgments at all?

A. I was not. I was commenting upon a draft of a document that the Prime Minister was expected to present to Parliament and the public. And I was doing so in my capacity as the Prime Minister's adviser, and in this instance John Scarlett's adviser because that is what he had asked me to do, on presentational issues.

Q. The response you got from Mr Scarlett on the 45 minutes point is at CAB/11/71; and obviously I accept that this is mainly a point for him, but all he says is: "The language you queried on the old page 17 has been tightened".

A. Hmm, hmm.

Q. Do you see that?

A. I do. I am aware of that.

Q. He had adopted a change which you had initiated, had he not?

A. No. May I say, I do not think there would have been anything improper had he done so because I had pointed out an inconsistency and it was for John Scarlett to resolve that in whatever way he and Julian Miller and Julian Miller's team wanted. But, as I understand it from Mr Scarlett, that is a point Mr Miller had already spotted. I do not accept that in me saying on page 17, two lines from the bottom, "may" is weaker than in the summary" I am doing anything more than pointing out what is an inconsistency, which is one of the points the Prime Minister had asked me to undertake.

Q. I do not understand what it was that Mr Miller had spotted.

A. The inconsistency.

Q. Okay, he spotted an inconsistency between the main text and the summary of the main text?

A. Correct.

Q. The answer is perfectly obvious, you have to downplay the summary so it matches the text, it is very simple, is it not?

A. No, the answer depends -

Q. The summary is too strong.

Q. The answer depends upon the underlying intelligence assessments which Mr Scarlett and Mr Miller have. They are not a matter for me.

Q. But you knew it had been round to JIC members, it had been round the agencies, and we have a draft on 16th September which talks about "may". What business was it of yours to suggest that "may" might be strengthened?

A. I am not suggesting "may" might be strengthened. I am pointing out that in one place it is more definitive than in another. That is an inconsistency. And this is a document which - I mean the JIC, their job, most of the time, is obviously to prepare assessments to be read by small numbers of other experts. This was a document to be read by the public. And that - it was being presented by the Prime Minister. It was going to attract massive attention around the world. I was doing the job on this the Prime Minister asked me to do. And this was a very, very, very small part of it. This was not an important part of those discussions.

Q. You were writing a foreword at this time, were you not, for the -

LORD HUTTON: Mr Caldecott, before we proceed, could we just try to see where we are on this point because I think it is of some importance. As I understand it, you are suggesting to Mr Campbell that if he strengthens the document from the point of view of presentation that is, to use the term that was used in Mr Gilligan's report, "sexing-up" the dossier. Mr Campbell, as I understand his evidence, is saying that if he makes presentational points which, I think he accepts, may strengthen the document, that is permissible provided it does not alter the intelligence. Mr Campbell, I think, is suggesting that on his understanding that is not sexing up the document. First of all, is that the way in which you are putting the point to Mr Campbell?

MR CALDECOTT: My Lord, I fully accept that to a substantial degree this must be a point for Mr Scarlett because after all he is responsible for the ultimate draft.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

MR CALDECOTT: However, there is a point which I have yet to come to, which is why I will be -

LORD HUTTON: I do not want to anticipate, but I think it is an important point and I want just to be clear what the difference between you and Mr Campbell so far is. Mr Campbell, have I correctly summarised the point that you have been making in the point I put to Mr Caldecott?

A. You have.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

MR CALDECOTT: the point I want to develop with you - actually, if the stenographers want a break now, it would be convenient, if they want one.

LORD HUTTON: Yes. I will rise.

  220.  The term "sexed-up" is a slang expression, the meaning of which lacks clarity in the context of a discussion of the dossier. It is capable of two different meanings. It could mean that the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable to make the case against Saddam Hussein stronger, or it could mean that whilst the intelligence contained in the dossier was believed to be reliable, the dossier was drafted in such a way as to make the case against Saddam Hussein as strong as the intelligence contained in it permitted. If the term is used in this latter sense then, because of the drafting suggestions made by 10 Downing Street for the purpose of making a strong case against Saddam Hussein, it could be said that the Government "sexed-up" the dossier. However, having regard to the other allegations contained in Mr Gilligan's broadcasts of 29 May I consider that those who heard the broadcasts would have understood the allegation of "sexing-up" to be used in the first sense which I have described, namely that the Government ordered that the dossier be embellished with false or unreliable items of intelligence. Thus Mr Gilligan reported that the source said that:

… the government probably erm, knew that the forty-five minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in,

that

… the dossier, as it was finally published, made the Intelligence Services unhappy, erm, because, to quote erm the source he said, there was basically, that there was, there was, there was unhappiness because it didn't reflect the considered view they were putting forward, that's a quote from our source and essentially, erm, the forty-five minute point er, was, was probably the most important thing that was added,

that

… the intelligence agencies say they don't really believe it was necessarily true because they thought the person making the claim had actually made a mistake, it got, had got mixed up,

and that

… the information which I am told was dubious did come from the agencies, but they were unhappy about it, because they didn't … think it should have been in there. They thought it was, it was not corroborated sufficiently, and they actually thought it was wrong, they thought the informant concerned erm, had got it wrong, they thought he had misunderstood what was happening.

Therefore, in the context of Mr Gilligan's broadcasts, I consider that the allegation that the Government ordered the dossier to be "sexed-up" was unfounded.

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The meaning of the term "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

  221.  Mr Gilligan's broadcasts on 29 May related to the claim in the dossier that chemical and biological weapons were deployable within 45 minutes and did not refer to the distinction between battlefield weapons, such as artillery and rockets, and strategic weapons, such as long range missiles. A consideration of this distinction does not fall within my terms of reference, but the distinction was noted and commented on by the ISC in paragraphs 111 and 112 of its report presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister in September 2003:

111. Saddam was not considered a current or imminent threat to mainland UK, nor did the dossier say so. As we said in our analysis of the JIC Assessments, the most likely chemical and biological munitions to be used against Western forces were battlefield weapons (artillery and rockets), rather than strategic weapons. This should have been highlighted in the dossier.

112. The dossier was for public consumption and not for experienced readers of intelligence material. The 45 minutes claim, included four times, was always likely to attract attention because it was arresting detail that the public had not seen before. As the 45 minutes claim was new to its readers, the context of the intelligence and any assessment needed to be explained. The fact that it was assessed to refer to battlefield chemical and biological munitions and their movement on the battlefield, not to any other form of chemical or biological attack, should have been highlighted in the dossier. The omission of the context and assessment allowed speculation as to its exact meaning. This was unhelpful to an understanding of this issue.

In the course of the Inquiry some evidence was given in relation to the distinction between battlefield weapons and strategic weapons and I set this evidence out.

  222.  In his evidence on 26 August Mr Scarlett said:

[26 August, page 144, line 16]

A …. Andrew Gilligan, when quoting his source, said that the source believed that the report was relating to warheads for missiles.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. Which, in fact, it was not; it related to munitions, which we had interpreted to mean battlefield mortar shells or small calibre weaponry, quite different from missiles.

LORD HUTTON: Yes.

A. So it is possible that Dr Kelly, who, as I still understand it, never did see or probably did not see the original report, was in a state of genuine confusion about what the report actually said.

  223.  In his evidence on 3 September Dr Jones said:

[3 September, page 63, line 10]

Q. Were there any reorganisations, at any time, in your role?

A. Yes, there were. In about 1996 there was a fairly major reorganisation; and that involved drawing together the analysis, activities on chemical warfare, on biological warfare and on nuclear aspects into one branch.

Q. Who was heading that branch?

A. I took charge of that branch when it was formed.

Q. If you have chemical, biological and nuclear, are those the weapons of mass destruction?

A. That is a term that is often applied to them, yes. I have some problems with the term myself.

Q. I am sorry, I was going to ask you what the term actually meant, what you understood the term meant.

A. "Weapons of mass destruction"?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, it is used to - if it is used too loosely it is used to represent all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Q. You say "used too loosely", which rather suggests you think it ought to be used in a more restrictive way?

A. That is a personal opinion, yes.

Q. What is your personal opinion about weapons of mass destruction?

A. My personal opinion is that almost all - almost all - nuclear weapons truly fit this concept of being a weapon of mass destruction, that some biological weapons are perhaps reasonably described in that way because they could be used to produce very large numbers of casualties on the same sort of scale perhaps even as nuclear weapons, but there are many biological weapons that struggle to fit into that. Some are incapacitants for example rather than lethal.

Q. What is an incapacitant?

A. An incapacitant is something in a weapon sense designed to make someone unable to conduct their duties rather than to actually kill them.

Q. Making them sick or giving them diarrhoea et cetera?

A. Exactly so.

Q. Those are biological weapons you think do not fit into that character. What about the chemical weapons?

A. I think chemical weapons almost struggle to fit into that category. There are certain agents and certain scenarios where I would think that chemical weapons truly are describable as weapons of mass destruction. Sorry, could I take a sip of water?

Q. Yes of course.

A. We are getting into considerable detail here. I think the sort of scenarios where I think that chemical weapons might be described as a weapon of mass destruction are where they might be used in enclosed spaces. An example might be the somewhat unsuccessful attempt to use them in that way by Aum Shinri-kyo on the Tokyo underground in the mid 1990s, where if large amounts of the nerve agent they tried to use had entered the atmosphere then many more people would have died. But it is rather more difficult to think of them in those terms really on the battlefield perhaps where to produce large numbers of casualties you need very large amounts of material.

Q. Obviously if you are an infantry solider in the front line and subject to a nerve agent artillery attack you have to put on your gas mask, if you get it on in time. Is that sort of artillery shell delivery of chemical weapons something you would term a weapon of mass destruction?

A. No, I think personally I would struggle to make that particular scenario really fit into an equivalence of them facing a nuclear blast.

LORD HUTTON: Do I gather, Dr Jones, that there is perhaps some debate in intelligence circles then about the precise meaning of "weapons of mass destruction"? You are expressing your own view. Do I take it that there are others that might take a different view?

A. There may be. I mean, I think "weapons of mass destruction" has become a convenient catch-all which, in my opinion, can at times confuse discussion of the subject.

LORD HUTTON: Yes, I see. Thank you, yes.

MR DINGEMANS: You say there may be. Are you aware of anyone who does have a different view?

A. That is difficult. I do not think I was ever in a situation where it was discussed in quite those terms. I think it was quite a frequent comment from myself and my staff about particular issues, that it is perhaps not right to use that general term to describe something that is more specific.

Q. Mr Scarlett, I think, told us that Dr Kelly may have been confused about the difference between missile delivery of chemical weapons and artillery delivery. Do you think there is a difference between the two, in terms of weapons of mass destruction?

A. Yes. I think I would struggle to describe either as a true weapon of mass destruction.

  224.  In his evidence on 15 September Sir Richard Dearlove said:

[15 September, page 100, line 17]

Q. Can I ask you about some criticisms that have been made of the 45 minutes source and take you to FAC/3/28? This is paragraph 69 of a report from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

A. Hmm.

Q. And at the bottom of the page, paragraph 69, they say this, having reported what the Foreign Secretary says: "This answer begs the question why the 45 minutes claim was highlighted by the Prime Minister when he presented the dossier to the House, and why it was given such prominence in the dossier itself, being mentioned no fewer than four times, including in the Prime Minister's foreword and in the executive summary? We have not seen a satisfactory answer to that question. We have been told that the entire document, including the executive summary, was prepared by the Chairman of the JIC, except for the foreword, which he approved. We note with disappointment that we were unable to find out why Mr Scarlett chose to give the 45 minutes claim such prominence, as we have been prevented from questioning him." Did you consider that the 45 minutes - and they say "claim" - was given undue prominence?

A. Well, I think given the misinterpretation that was placed on the 45 minutes intelligence, with the benefit of hindsight you can say that is a valid criticism. But I am confident that the intelligence was accurate and that the use made of it was entirely consistent with the original report.

LORD HUTTON: Would you just elaborate what you mean by the misinterpretation placed on the 45 minutes claim, Sir Richard?

A. (Pause). Well, I think the original report referred to chemical and biological munitions and that was taken to refer to battlefield weapons. I think what subsequently happened in the reporting was that it was taken that the 45 minutes applied, let us say, to weapons of a longer range, let us say just battlefield material.

MR DINGEMANS: Can I ask you to comment on paragraphs 108 to 112 of the Intelligence and Security Committee report. We do not have that yet scanned in. I think you have a copy of the conclusions from 108 to 112; is that right?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. At 108 it is made clear that there were a wide range of departments and agencies commenting on the draft and they say that the dossier was not sexed up by Alastair Campbell or anyone else. At 109 it is said that Alastair Campbell did not chair meetings on intelligence matters. At 110 it is said that the use of the phrase "continued to produce chemical and biological weapons" could give the impression that Saddam was actively producing both chemical and biological weapons and makes comments about the JIC knowledge there. At 111 it deals with the question of whether or not Saddam Hussein was considered a current or imminent threat.

With that introduction can I turn to 112 which says: "The dossier was for public consumption and not for experienced readers of intelligence material. The 45 minutes claim, included four times, was always likely to attract attention because it was arresting detail that the public had not seen before." It then goes on to say that it was unhelpful to an understanding of the issue. Do you agree with that comment?

A. Well, not entirely. But I think I would repeat what I said in answer to the last question. Given the misinterpretation of the original piece of intelligence, particularly as it was not qualified in terms of its relationship to battlefield munitions, this now looks a valid criticism; but I think the intelligence was accurate and that it was put to legitimate use in the drafting process.

Q. Can I take you back to the document I think you have at about page 3 of the bundle you have, which is CAB/17/3, extracts from the JIC assessment relating to 45 minutes; then just read to you the extract from the foreword to the dossier. Although I do not ask for this to be called up, it is at DOS/1/59 at the top. It says this: "And the document [i.e. the dossier] discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them." Do you consider that to have been a fair reflection of the JIC assessments of 5th and 9th September?

A. Yes, I think it is.

Q. And in what way would you reconcile the two statements?

A. (Pause). Can you repeat that question?

Q. Certainly. I am sorry you have not got it in front of you. "And the document [the dossier] discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."

A. I do not quite see what you are driving at in asking me this question, but in fact I think one has to see this piece of intelligence against the background of Iraqi armed forces having in the past used chemical munitions, and this, in that context, not being a surprising piece of intelligence.

  225.  In his evidence on 22 September when cross-examined by Mr Caldecott, Mr Hoon said:

[22 September, page 80, line 16]

Q. Did you know that the 45 minute claim in the dossier was taken from a JIC assessment which does not in fact identify any particular weapon?

A. Well, I recall at the time having some discussion in the Ministry of Defence about the kinds of weapons that could be deployable within 45 minutes; and I think the assumption was made that they would be, for example, chemical shells, which were clearly capable of being deployed, as I think Mr Scarlett has indicated to the Inquiry, in a time even less than 45 minutes; I think he suggested 20 minutes.

Q. So you knew, did you, that the munitions referred to were only battlefield munitions?

A. I was certainly aware that that was one suggestion, yes.

Q. Was there any other suggestion that they were not battlefield munitions but strategic munitions?

A. I recall asking what kind of weapons would be deployable within 45 minutes; and the answer is the answer that I have just given to you.

Q. Which was shells, battlefield mortars, tactical weapons of that kind?

A. Yes.

Q. Would your Department be responsible for correcting any false impression given by the press on an issue of this importance?

A. I think on an issue of this importance it would not simply have been the Ministry of Defence that was solely responsible. There would have been an effort across Government.

Q. Are you aware that on 25th September a number of newspapers had banner headlines suggesting that this related to strategic missiles or bombs?

A. I can recall, yes.

Q. Why was no corrective statement issued for the benefit of the public in relation to those media reports?

A. I do not know.

Q. It must have been considered by someone, must it not?

A. I have spent many years trying to persuade newspapers and journalists to correct their stories. I have to say it is an extraordinarily time consuming and generally frustrating process.

Q. I am sorry, are you saying that the press would not report a corrective statement that the dossier was meant to refer, in this context, to battlefield munitions and not to strategic weapons?

A. What I am suggesting is that I was not aware of whether any consideration was given to such a correction. All that I do know from my experience is that, generally speaking, newspapers are resistant to corrections. That judgment may have been made by others as well.

Q. But, Mr Hoon, you must have been horrified that the dossier had been misrepresented in this way; it was a complete distortion of what it actually was intended to convey, was it not?

A. Well, I was not horrified. I recognised that journalists occasionally write things that are more dramatic than the material upon which it is based.

Q. Can we forget journalists for the moment and concentrate on the members of the public who are reading it? Will they not be entitled to be given the true picture of the intelligence, not a vastly inflated one?

A. I think that is a question you would have to put to the journalists and the editors responsible.

Q. But you had the means to correct it, not them. They could not correct it until they were told, could they?

A. Well, as I say, my experience of trying to persuade newspapers to correct false impressions is one that is not full of success.

Q. Do you accept that on this topic at least you had an absolute duty to try to correct it?

A. No, I do not.

Q. Do you accept that you had any duty to correct it?

A. Well, I apologise for repeating the same answer, but you are putting the question in another way. I have tried on many, many occasions to persuade journalists and newspapers to correct stories. They do not like to do so.

Q. Can I suggest to you a reason why this was not done? It would have been politically highly embarrassing because it would have revealed the dossier as published was at least highly capable of being misleading.

A. Well, I do not accept that.

Q. So your suggestion is that this was a disgraceful exaggeration by the press of what was clear in the dossier as a reference to battlefield munitions?

A. I am certainly suggesting that it was an exaggeration, but it is not unusual for newspapers to exaggerate.

Q. Can you tell me, if you happen to have it to hand, where in the dossier it is made clear that the CBW weapons which were the subject of the 45 minute claim were only battlefield munitions?

A. Well, I do not have it to hand; and I do not know whether it was made clear.

  226.  In his evidence on 23 September when examined by counsel for the Government Mr Scarlett said:

[23 September, page 111, line 1]

Q. Dr Jones gave evidence also about another matter, namely the definition of weapons of mass destruction, the definition of weapons of mass destruction.

A. Yes.

Q. And, in particular, he gave evidence about whether they included battlefield munitions. Is there an accepted definition of weapons of mass destruction?

A. Well, the best I can do here is to quote the most recent statement made on behalf of the British Government on this issue which was by the Foreign Office Minister Mr O'Brien in answer to a Parliamentary Question on 28th January this year, in which he said there is no universally accepted definition of the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" but it is generally held to refer to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Q. Does that include battlefield munitions or not?

A. Yes, it does.

  227.  When cross-examined by Mr Caldecott, Mr Scarlett said:

[23 September, page 136, line 24]

Q. I just want to deal with one very short point. I think it was your own conclusion, I do not know whether it is reflected in the full JIC paper, which I have not seen, that the 9th September 45 minute claim related to battlefield munitions?

A. It did, yes.

Q. I think we can see how you might well have reached that conclusion if we look at BBC/30/3, very quickly. This is an extract from the Intelligence and Security Committee Report.

A. Hmm.

Q. It deals with delivery systems.

A. Yes.

Q. The potential systems are set out in 46.

Q. Yes.

Q. A number of serious doubts about almost all of them, except for artillery shells and so on, are expressed in 47. Then in 48. "The JIC assessed that the Iraqis might use chemical and biological weapons against neighbouring states or concentrations of Western forces. We were told that the weapons systems most likely to be used to deliver chemical and biological munitions against Western forces were artillery and rockets."

A. Yes.

Q. "These are battlefield weapons, which can be used tactically to great effect, but they are not strategic weapons." Firstly, was that made clear to the Prime Minister?

A. There was no discussion with the Prime Minister that I can recall about the 45 minutes point in connection with battlefield or strategic systems. Indeed I do not remember a discussion with the Prime Minister about the 45 minutes point at all.

Q. Who, apart from the internal assessment staff, was this message conveyed to?

A. Sorry, what message?

Q. Only battlefield munitions, not strategic weapons.

A. You say "only battlefield munitions". Do you know what a battlefield munition, a battlefield weapon, might actually involve? I can tell you the assessment from the DIS of what the most likely delivery system for chemical and biological, particularly chemical weapons, would be, and this was based on the experience of the Iran/Iraq War. Multiple rocket launchers, in particular the BM21 with a range of 20-kilometres or artillery up to the 155 millimetre artillery, which would have a range of 40 kilometres. In the Iran/Iraq War 20,000 Iranians were killed or wounded through the use of chemical weapons, so the difference between strategic and tactical in those contexts is quite difficult to draw, particularly as Iran's use of chemical weapons in the Iran/Iraq War had a strategic effect of halting a major Iranian advance. I just thought I would say that.

Q. Mr Scarlett, I totally take the point but you are well aware, are you not, of the distinction between range and casualty?

A. Yes.

Q. Yes. Strategic weapons have a far longer range, they could reach British bases in Cyprus, for example, which is what the newspaper said on 25th September.

A. A small number of newspapers said it on 25th September and not thereafter.

Q. A small number of newspapers with a readership of millions.

A. On the 25th September there were a small number of headlines about that; and afterwards virtually no reference to it.

Q. Were you concerned that that should be corrected, Mr Scarlett?

A. No, I was not and I will tell you why not. First of all, as regards my own assessment staff, we were ready to field enquiries from the press offices of No. 10, the MoD, the FCO with anything relating to issues of this kind. We received no enquiries whatsoever about the 45 minute point. The second point was I was of course following the press coverage of the dossier and I was interested to note that immediately after the headline flurry on various points on the 24th and 25th September the press coverage fell quickly into assessing the dossier as a sober and cautious document that most explicitly did not make a case for war, if anything it made a case for the return of the inspectors and it focused in particular, quite rightly in my view, on the importance of what the dossier had to say about the nuclear issue. I was content with the way that coverage came out; and that is - that was my attitude over many months indeed.

Q. Do I understand you to say that you do not correct it because no questions had been asked about it?

A. No, you may understand it but that would be wrong, but I have explained that the reason why that was not an issue in my mind was because of the very sober and sensible way in which media coverage of the dossier fell into place immediately after the 25th September.

Q. Well, what about the 25th September itself? This is the day it is announced in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister, and certainly a number of newspapers, with mass readerships throughout the country, have misunderstood it. Why was it not put right and why were you not concerned to put it right?

A. Because it was a fleeting moment and then the underlying assessment by the media of the dossier was as I have just described, and beyond that, of course, it is not my immediate responsibility to correct headlines and if I did that, I certainly would not have time to do my job.

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Summary of conclusions on the issues relating to the preparation of the dossier of 24 September 2002

  228.  The conclusions which I have come to on these issues are the following:

(1) The dossier was prepared and drafted by a small team of the assessment staff of the JIC. Mr Scarlett, the Chairman of the JIC, had the overall responsibility for the drafting of the dossier. The dossier, which included the 45 minutes claim, was issued by the Government on 24 September 2002 with the full approval of the JIC.

(2) The 45 minutes claim was based on a report which was received by the SIS from a source which that Service regarded as reliable. Therefore, whether or not at some time in the future the report on which the 45 minutes claim was based is shown to be unreliable, the allegation reported by Mr Gilligan on 29 May 2003 that the Government probably knew that the 45 minutes claim was wrong before the Government decided to put it in the dossier was an allegation which was unfounded.

(3) The allegation was also unfounded that the reason why the 45 minutes claim was not in the original draft of the dossier was because it only came from one source and the intelligence agencies did not really believe it was necessarily true. The reason why the 45 minutes claim did not appear in draft assessments or draft dossiers until 5 September 2002 was because the intelligence report on which it was based was not received by the SIS until 29 August 2002 and the JIC assessment staff did not have time to insert it in a draft until the draft of the assessment of 5 September 2002.

(4) The true position in relation to the attitude of "the Intelligence Services" to the 45 minutes claim being inserted in the dossier was that the concerns expressed by Dr Jones were considered by higher echelons in the Intelligence Services and were not acted upon, and the JIC, the most senior body in the Intelligence Services charged with the assessment of intelligence, approved the wording in the dossier. Moreover, the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons section of the Defence Intelligence Staff, headed by Dr Brian Jones, did not argue that the intelligence relating to the 45 minutes claim should not have been included in the dossier but they did suggest that the wording in which the claim was stated in the dossier was too strong and that instead of the dossier stating "we judge" that "Iraq has:- military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, including against its own Shia population. Some of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them", the wording should state "intelligence suggests".

(5) Mr Campbell made it clear to Mr Scarlett on behalf of the Prime Minister that 10 Downing Street wanted the dossier to be worded to make as strong a case as possible in relation to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's WMD, and 10 Downing Street made written suggestions to Mr Scarlett as to changes in the wording of the draft dossier which would strengthen it. But Mr Campbell recognised, and told Mr Scarlett that 10 Downing Street recognised, that nothing should be stated in the dossier with which the intelligence community were not entirely happy.

(6) Mr Scarlett accepted some of the drafting suggestions made to him by 10 Downing Street but he only accepted those suggestions which were consistent with the intelligence known to the JIC and he rejected those suggestions which were not consistent with such intelligence and the dossier issued by the Government was approved by the JIC.

(7) As the dossier was one to be presented to, and read by, Parliament and the public, and was not an intelligence assessment to be considered only by the Government, I do not consider that it was improper for Mr Scarlett and the JIC to take into account suggestions as to drafting made by 10 Downing Street and to adopt those suggestions if they were consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC. However I consider that the possibility cannot be completely ruled out that the desire of the Prime Minister to have a dossier which, whilst consistent with the available intelligence, was as strong as possible in relation to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's WMD, may have subconsciously influenced Mr Scarlett and the other members of the JIC to make the wording of the dossier somewhat stronger than it would have been if it had been contained in a normal JIC assessment. Although this possibility cannot be completely ruled out, I am satisfied that Mr Scarlett, the other members of the JIC, and the members of the assessment staff engaged in the drafting of the dossier were concerned to ensure that the contents of the dossier were consistent with the intelligence available to the JIC.

(8) The term "sexed-up" is a slang expression, the meaning of which lacks clarity in the context of the discussion of the dossier. It is capable of two different meanings. It could mean that the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable to make the case against Saddam Hussein stronger, or it could mean that whilst the intelligence contained in the dossier was believed to be reliable, the dossier was drafted in such a way as to make the case against Saddam Hussein as strong as the intelligence contained in it permitted. If the term is used in this latter sense, then because of the drafting suggestions made by 10 Downing Street for the purpose of making a strong case against Saddam Hussein, it could be said that the Government "sexed-up" the dossier. However in the context of the broadcasts in which the "sexing-up" allegation was reported and having regard to the other allegations reported in those broadcasts I consider that the allegation was unfounded as it would have been understood by those who heard the broadcasts to mean that the dossier had been embellished with intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable, which was not the case.

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