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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
Key extracts: Dossier suggestions
The latest batch of secret memos and e-mails shown to the Hutton inquiry reveals the suggestions made by Downing Street staff in the final days of preparing last September's Iraq dossier.

Among the worries are that part of Tony Blair's foreword to the dossier makes the prime minister sound too much like James Bond, and that there is too much journalistic language.

The documents published on Tuesday also reveal how some intelligence officers did reveal concerns about the dossier process.

The reasons why Mr Blair wants the dossier published are also fleshed out.


Philip Bassett, special adviser to Alastair Campbell, e-mail to press officer Daniel Pruce and Mr Campbell on progress with the dossier, 11 September 2002:

"Very long way to go, I think. Think we're in a lot of trouble with this as it stands."

He has seen an e-mail from Mr Pruce saying the dossier is "getting there, but needs more work".

E-mail from Mr Bassett to Mr Campbell and Mr Pruce later same day:

"Think it needs to be written in officialese, lots of it is too journalistic as it now stands, with some of it (eg the opening chapter as a biog of Saddam!) reading like S(unday) Times at its worst eg para 11 "emeshed" (sic), "web"...

"Needs much more weight, writing detail...Crucially, though, it's intelligence-lite. It feels like this is the least possible intelligence material the intell people are prepared to let go (despite the fact that we say at a couple of points eg para 2 that it's everything the Govt knows on the issue - which it clearly isn't)."

Jonathan Powell, Downing Street chief of staff, to Alastair Campbell and prime minister's foreign policy adviser Sir David Manning about the revised foreword, 17 September 2002:

"I think it is actually worth explicitly stating what TB (Tony Blair) keeps saying. This is the advice to him from the JIC (Joint Intelligence Committee).

"On the basis of this advice what other action could he as PM take...

"We need to back up the assertions. 'We cannot of course publish the detailed raw intelligence on which this report is based without endangering the lives of agents.

"But all of the statements in this report are backed up by detailed intelligence reports, the veracity and the sources of which have been verified by the intelligence agencies. Is there any independent verification we can cite?

"In the penultimate para you need to make it clear Saddam could not attack us at the moment. The thesis is he could be a threat to the UK in the future if we do not check him."

Memo from Alastair Campbell to John Scarlett, chairman of the JIC, with drafting points on dossier, 17 September, 2002:

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

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

"He felt that we don't do enough on human rights, and Saddam's disregard for human life is an important point."

Among Mr Campbell's own points is a request for lists of the numbers of shells and sprays and a suggestion that the phrase "vivid and horrifying" about human rights does not "fit with the dry text around it".

E-mail from Jonathan Powell to Alastair Campbell and John Scarlett, 17 September:

"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 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 (journalist) Don McIntyre argument that there is no CBW (chemical and biological weapons) threat and that 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."

E-mail from Alastair Campbell to John Scarlett, 19 September, about a draft of Tony Blair's foreword:

Re the foreword, I don't like the first sentence which makes him sound a bit James Bond-y.

Letter from unnamed intelligence official to the deputy chief of defence intelligence at the Ministry of Defence, 8 July 2003:

"Your records will show that as... probably the most senior and experience intelligence community official working on WMD, I was so concerned about the manner in which intelligence assessments for which I had some responsibility were being presented in the dossier of 24 September 2002, that I was moved to write formally to your predecessor, Tony Cragg, recording and explaining my reservations."

The official was worried that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had told the Foreign Affairs Committee that he was not aware of any formal complaints from intelligence service members about the dossier.

"There is no reason to suppose he should have become aware of (my complaint). Nonetheless, it is now a matter of record, and I feel very uneasy that my minute could be uncovered at some future date, and that I might be judged culpable for not having drawn attention to it."

MoD note of concerns expressed by Defence Intelligence staff.

This notes worries about the language but said the officials concerned acknowledged they had not seen further, corroborative intelligence.

On the claim that Iraq could launch some weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, it says there were concerns about the certainty over the claim used in the executive summary and foreword.

"This reflected the language in the 9 September JIC (Joint Intelligence Committee) paper. The executive summary expressed the point differently, as a judgement. The personnel concerned did not share this judgement. But it was agreed by the JIC."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's George Eykyn
"There are two principal areas in which Alastair Campbell faces detailed questioning"



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