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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Blair aide's e-mail in full
Jonathan Powell
Powell: No 10 chief-of-staff
A dossier used to justify war against Iraq contained no proof of any threat from Saddam Hussein, according to an e-mail written by one of Tony Blair's top aides.

The message, sent on 17 September a week before the dossier was published by Downing Street's Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell to chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee John Scarlett, is as follows:

The dossier is good and convincing for those who are prepared to be convinced.

I have only three points, none of which affect the way the document is drafted or presented.

First the document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam.

In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours let alone the west.

We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that he is an imminent threat.

The case we are making is that he has continued to develop WMD since 1998, and is in breach of UN resolutions.

The international community has to enforce those resolutions if the UN is to be taken seriously.

Second we will be asked about the connections with Al Quaeda. [The next sentence has been covered over]

Third, if I was Saddam I would take a party of western journalists to the Ibn Sina factory or one of the others pictured in the document to demonstrate there is nothing there.

How do we close off that avenue to him in advance?

The BBC's Louise Bevan
"The spotlight is falling on Tony Blair's inner circle"

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