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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July 2004, 20:08 GMT 21:08 UK
A failure of intelligence
Former Ministry of defence WMD intelligence analyst Dr Brian Jones
Former Ministry of defence WMD intelligence analyst Dr Brian Jones
Panorama: A failure of intelligence was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 11 July 2004 at 22:15 BST

In his Iraq dossier, the Prime Minister said he believed the intelligence showed "beyond doubt" that Saddam Hussein was producing chemical and biological weapons.

The intelligence was mostly wrong. So should the buck be passed to the intelligence services?

On the eve of Lord Butler's report into the failure of the intelligence system on Iraq, Panorama's John Ware has reconstructed how Tony Blair made the case for war to the British people and to Parliament.

While the Joint Intelligence Committee advised Mr Blair that Saddam may have retained some old WMD from the original Gulf War, he was claiming publicly that Saddam had "stockpiles of major amounts of chemical and biological weapons."

When the JIC reported that intelligence was "limited" and based mainly on "assessment", Mr Blair said the matter was "beyond doubt."

Last Autumn Mr Blair also told the Hutton inquiry that he'd published the dossier "because there was a tremendous amount of information and evidence coming across my desk as to the weapons of mass destruction and the programmes associated with it that Saddam had."

Yet, the Ministry of Defence's chief WMD intelligence analyst at the time tells Panorama that the Prime Minister's comments "confused me.....Certainly no-one on my staff had any visibility of large quantities of intelligence of that sort."

In his first television interview Dr Brian Jones, explains that misjudgements were made on the basis of sparse intelligence by senior people, rather than the intelligence community as a whole, and that the Joint Intelligence Committee should accept responsibility.

In "A Failure of Intelligence", the same Panorama team that reported on Lord Hutton's Inquiry now sets out what the intelligence services and Mr Blair knew, when they each knew it - and some of what he left out.

Production team:
Producer: Mike Rudin
Reporter: John Ware
Deputy Editor: Andrew Bell
Editor: Mike Robinson

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