06/07/2016 Newsnight


06/07/2016

Evan Davis with detailed analysis of the Chilcot Report.


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There was no secret commitment to war. Intelligence was not full set

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fight and the decision was made in good faith. -- intelligence was not

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falsified. There were no lies. Parliament and Cabinet were not

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misled. We were discussing this literally,

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26 times I think we discussed it in Cabinet and a lot of these were

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detailed discussions. Look me in the eye and tell me you did not mislead

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the nation. I can look not just the families of this country but the

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nation in the eye and say, I did not mislead this country, I made the

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decision in good faith. There is one terrorist in this world that the

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world needs to be aware of. His name is Tony Blair. The world's worst

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terrorist. APPLAUSE

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I accept full responsibility for these points of criticism even where

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I do not fully agree with them. Well, we've had a sense

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in the last two weeks of an old political establishment

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taking a beating, but today it suffered another really hefty blow,

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with the Chilcott Inquiry's excoriating findings on the build up

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to the Iraq war and the conduct It is no surprise that it makes

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sober reading: the war led to the deaths of over 200

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British citizens and over But the catalogue of mistakes,

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the mismanagement, the misjudgements,

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Sir John Chilcot's summary puts the system of British

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government to shame, however generously you interpret

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the intentions of leading players. We have concluded that the UK chose

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to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament

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had been exhausted. Military action at that time

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was not a last resort. We have also concluded that:

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The judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's

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weapons of mass destruction - WMD - were presented with a certainty

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that was not justified. Despite explicit warnings,

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the consequences of the invasion The planning and preparations

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for Iraq after Saddam Hussein of the Chilcot report as a study

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in confirmation bias. We all have it, the tendency

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to see only the evidence The best you can say of Tony Blair,

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is he was suffering from a particularly severe case

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of that affliction. He is not called a liar, but he set

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out the intelligence on WMD, with more certainty

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than the Intelligence merited. He used the phrase "established

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beyond doubt", which was his belief, it was not what the

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intelligence showed. And Mr Blair omitted

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to give the full picture. In the House of Commons on 18 March

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2003, Mr Blair stated that he judged the possibility of terrorist groups

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in possession of WMD was "a real and present danger to Britain

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and its national security" - and that the threat

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from Saddam Hussein's arsenal could not be contained and posed

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a clear danger to British citizens. Mr Blair had been warned, however,

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that military action would increase the threat from Al Qaeda to the UK

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and to UK interests. Tony Blair himself gave

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an emotional response His defence was that he acted

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in good faith, that the intelligence services clearly did believe

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there were WMD, that he was worried about the threat that terrorists

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might get weapons from Saddam, and that even if we hadn't gone

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into Iraq, tragic consequences Above all the politics back in March

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2003 was about making difficult decisions. We had come to the point

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of binary decision, right to remove Saddam or not, with America or not?

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The report itself says this was a stark choice. And it was. Now the

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inquiry claims that military action was not a last resort although it

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says it might have been necessary later. With respect, I did not have

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the option of that delay. I had to decide.

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Tony Blair is not the whole story,

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perhaps not even the main story, there is so much

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And a lot of reaction too, today - the families of the soldiers

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But let's follow up on some of these themes starting with

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Here's our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban.

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EXPLOSIONS It was a war of choice. Something

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Britain did not have to do but with which Tony Blair, a few of his

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allies and the service chiefs felt they had to get involved with. The

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meeting, one year before the invasion, at President Bush's ranch

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in Texas would prove pivotal. When Mr Blair met President Rush at

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Crawford, Texas, in April 2002, the formal policy was still to contain

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them using -- President Bush. But by then there had been a profound

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change in the UK's thinking. The government was stating that Iraq was

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a threat that had to be dealt with. It had to disarm or be disarmed.

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Three months later Tony Blair wrote this to President Bush.

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Britain joined the US in trying to bring the matter to a head via the

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United Nations by sending weapons inspectors into Iraq. But when that

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did not produce the evidence, they started to plan for war. In the

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absence of a majority in support of military action we considered that

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the UK was in fact undermining the security council's authority. As the

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forces got ready to in fate Iraq the Cabinet was kept on the sidelines.

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Four months before it up and the Cabinet Secretary told the inquiry

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preparations were becoming public with no discussion in Cabinet. The

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reservists had been given notice, purchases were being made, and

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assets, troops, had been moved, and ships had been dispatched on

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manoeuvres, or on exercises. The next day, that is reported to

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Cabinet. OK? So you can see that the extent to which they are brought

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into the story lacks a long way behind the degree of firstly,

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thinking, and by this time, preparation. If there is a key

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takeaway from this it is the degree to which Tony Blair kept vital

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decision-making to himself and one or two close allies. Sir John

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Chilcot flags up 11 occasions when he said Tony Blair should have had

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close consultations with Cabinet colleagues and officials and allowed

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them to have their say but did not do so. As drafts of the government

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's WMD assessments evolved towards the dossier of September 2002, many

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of those steeped in the intelligence started to be alarmed. The claims of

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the threat were massaged in London, I do not know by whom but I can

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guess that they were massaged in London to present a more certain

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picture than that we believed. And those of us or worked on it

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including weapons inspectors like David Kelly in the defence

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intelligence staff were surprised by this process. As to the extent to

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which the intelligence services for the doomed to group- think, today's

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report reveals this. Worth, Chilcot discovered that and

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MI6 Iraqis by whose reports were breathlessly circulated by the

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service, was found and reliable even before the war started and MI6 did

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not tell anyone -- worse. One of the conclusions that Lord Butler came to

:10:13.:10:17.

was that those who were doing the assessment of what all this means,

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trying to get an explanation of what is going on in a country like Iraq,

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need to know more about the raw material that they building the

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assessment on. That did not happen in particular case. -- in that

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particular case. As for the legal basis for war,

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honed down and changed a few days before fighting broke out, Chilcot

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says this. We have however concluded that the circumstances in which it

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was decided that there was a legal base for UK military action were far

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from satisfactory. Tony Blair and his chief of staff, as late as 12

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days before operations started, asked that the Attorney General's

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legal advice should be tightly held and not shared with ministerial

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colleagues without No 10's permission. And when push came to

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shove, the Attorney General simply said that the key decision, whether

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Iraq was in material breach of United Nations resolutions, was Tony

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Blair's call. Once that determination was made the way was

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clear for operations to begin. Mark bourbon that, more from him later.

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Sir David Omand served as security and intelligence coordinator

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in the Cabinet Office from 2002 until 2005.

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That meant he was a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee

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I asked what went wrong with UK intelligence concerning Iraq.

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It went wrong both at the level of intelligence collection and in terms

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of the assessment. But given the intelligence that was in front of

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the joint intelligence committee, I think the conclusion that we all

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reached, that Saddam had retained material unlawfully, and that he was

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anxious to keep this capability, was a perfectly reasonable judgment on

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the basis of the information. Chilcot does save the intelligence

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services should have pointed out to the Prime Minister that the evidence

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does not suggest it was beyond doubt that there were these weapons -- he

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does say this. It was in the foreword to the document, not in the

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document itself but we all know... As I said in my evidence, with

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hindsight we would have spotted this difficulty and we would have done

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something about it. But we didn't. We didn't really put together what

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the implication of that kind of language in the mouth of the

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premised and other senior politicians would be. -- the Prime

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Minister and other senior politicians. There is a big lesson

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there for the future. Bluntly, the intelligence services, MI6 in

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particular, filed under enormous pressure to deliver to their client,

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the Prime Minister. The example of the rogue agent, who early in

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December 2002, getting very excited about evidence coming from one

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particular agent and by November they realised that he was picking

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stuff up out of movies. But was not good practice. Another example was

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the curve ball, the Iraqi engineer, the defector, who was interrogated

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by the German intelligence services. And they produced lots of reports,

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all extremely plausible but we were never allowed to speak... That's the

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kind of material. You guys see the government, the Prime Minister, as

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the client, not the public. There was a lot of political pressure and

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the Chilcot Report is very good at explaining that. But it did not

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distort the intelligence. The intelligence was not spun. And again

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Chilcot comes to the same conclusion as Robin Butler. It is not about

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making up intelligence. Not about trying to please political masters

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by inventing stuff. But the trade craft was not as good and part of

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the explanation for that is the pressure everyone was under.

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What should the public think? They pay for this intelligence service,

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it is not Tony Blair's David Cameron's. How good is the

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intelligence service? A lot of people think the brand was

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tarnished. The brand is tarnished, no doubt. I think what the public

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should remember is that in the last 18 months, seven attempts to attack

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the United Kingdom by terrorists were stopped by those same

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intelligence agencies. That is a pretty successful record. Thank you

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very much. I'm joined from Barcelona

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by Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's communications chief

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at the time of the Iraq War, and in the studio by Clare Short,

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the former International Development And Sir Jeremy Greenstock,

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who was Britain's ambassador to the United Nations

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at the time. Alistair Campbell, if I may start

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with you, we have what looks like the definitive account of everything

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now. I wonder whether you accept the conclusion that intelligence

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evidence for WMD was not beyond doubt. Well, I actually agree with

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virtually everything that was said there, but ended it is only fair to

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accept that a Prime Minister does rely on the intelligence services

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and it is not fair to say that none of that was challenged or tested. I

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think the other thing I would say in Tony Blair's defence about the

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intelligence is that he was seeing this, and developing in his own

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mind, a judgment that Saddam Hussein was becoming more of a threat, not

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less. It is true that a lot of that was based on the intelligence but I

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think David was being fair are there in saying that yes, the intelligence

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agencies were under pressure, but not under pressure to come up with

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evidence that did not exist. It is fair for me to say, talking to a

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programme on the BBC, that the accusations went to her than that.

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They were that we falsified intelligence, and I am glad that

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that has been laid to rest. Well, do you accept Chilcot, not David Omand,

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finding that the evidence for WMD was not beyond doubt? I ask because

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the words, not beyond doubt, was used as the foreword in the

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document. Do you accept that? I accept that the intelligence

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agencies did not offer the foreword to the dossier. Tony Blair did with

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help from the officials. The intelligence agencies did see it. I

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also think we're going over every word, and I do understand that this

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is a big report, on an extra narrowly serious issue. But at the

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time, let me remind you, the general media reaction, between you and your

:17:54.:18:00.

colleagues at the time, was that there was not that much new in it.

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Tony Blair was entitled to make judgments and he did make judgments

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and ultimately this is what leadership at the top level is

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about. He had to make judgments, and many people disagreed with that

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judgment. Ultimately only he could be in that position. Chilcot think

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the judgment was incorrect and the public mistook his belief that it

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was beyond doubt with the intelligence services. But you have

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now conceded, I think, that that was his judgment and that you can accept

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Chilcot believing the judgment was wrong. Can I ask a second one? But

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also, I think it is important to say that the document itself was the

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work of the intelligence agencies. It was not the work of Downing

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Street, it was not the work of people like me or Tony Blair. It was

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Tony Blair's attempt to share with the public why he was more

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concerned, because of the intelligence he was seeing. The

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forward we are talking about, and I accept that the intelligence

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community was responsible for the body of the report. But the second

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thing, Mr Blair had been warned that military action would increase the

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threat from Al-Qaeda to the UK and UK interests. That was not reported

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to the public. You have today said that there was no lying or deceit,

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do you at least accepted that there was a selective presentation of the

:19:32.:19:34.

evidence, because Mr Blair did not tell us that by the way everything

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he has been told, there is actually more danger from military action

:19:41.:19:47.

than from terrorists? I think there was a live debate about that at the

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time. There were people making that point in Parliament. I know of -- I

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know that there were people of that opinion. But we did not know the

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intelligence services was saying that was a view they shared. I mean,

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we are all able to make that judgment ourselves, but we did not

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know that the official advice was that. OK, but the dossier that Tony

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Blair presented to Parliament was about our assessment of Saddam's

:20:17.:20:25.

weapons on mass destruction programme. But that debate was

:20:26.:20:28.

lively and there were people advising Tony Blair that might well

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happen. Equally, as he has said today, I think one of the threats he

:20:34.:20:37.

was most concerned about is actually the indiscriminate threat of,

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regardless of whether the decay was involved, that countries would come

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under attack by this virulent form of global terrorism which is real

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and does exist. Let me put these points to Clare Short. You were in

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the Cabinet. I want to know whether you felt deceived or whether you

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ought to have known you were being deceived, because at that time you

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went along with that. I went along with the view that we should get the

:21:03.:21:09.

inspectors back in and that we should examine, and get rid of WMD,

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which we believed was there, although not an imminent threat.

:21:17.:21:24.

Chilcot says the certainty was exaggerated. That is very settled. I

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supported the strategy to get inspectors back in, to try to

:21:34.:21:38.

disarm, to get sanctions. What happened, and what's Chilcot has

:21:39.:21:41.

said, is that the imminent threat was exaggerated, and the rush to war

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was not necessary, Hans Blix was not allowed to complete his job, and we

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could have taken longer to prepare afterwards. All of these things,

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Chilcot has spelt it out. Did you ask to see the legal advice at any

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point? Yes. I asked repeatedly about it because there was a rumour around

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Whitehall that the Attorney General had said there was no legal

:22:09.:22:10.

authority and the military had said they would not go in that case. So

:22:11.:22:15.

you were willing to basically back a war, unclear about the legal advice?

:22:16.:22:22.

That is not the case. Because I believed that we were going to go

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for the second resolution. And I believed that what we were seeing in

:22:26.:22:30.

the media was that there would be doubts about the authority without a

:22:31.:22:35.

second resolution. And then at the last minute, stunningly, the

:22:36.:22:38.

Attorney General says there is absolutely no doubt, there is

:22:39.:22:43.

unequivocal authority for war without a second resolution. That

:22:44.:22:49.

was surprising. He said it in a cabinet meeting. No, he read out

:22:50.:22:55.

something that was then tabled as a Parliamentary answer. The Cabinet

:22:56.:22:57.

was supposed to see the legal advice and that was not done. Did you have

:22:58.:23:03.

reservations at that point? I had enormous reservations right through

:23:04.:23:06.

but I believed in what was meant to be the strategy, which was to get

:23:07.:23:10.

the inspectors back in, to let them complete their inspection, and as

:23:11.:23:14.

Chilcot said, they were not allowed to complete it and was no imminent

:23:15.:23:18.

threat. And Blix could have completed his job, he was starting

:23:19.:23:23.

to report doubts about whether were any WMD. Ballistic missiles were

:23:24.:23:28.

destroyed through his process, and suddenly they started to smear Hans

:23:29.:23:31.

Blix because they were determined to go to war on the American timetable.

:23:32.:23:36.

Were you aware that this government was dysfunctional? Yes, but there

:23:37.:23:43.

was not a cabinet government at that time. You were there too long, in

:23:44.:23:50.

hindsight? I'm not saying that. I am saying that I had booked my place to

:23:51.:23:54.

make my resignation speech the same day as Robin. But then on the

:23:55.:23:57.

reconstruction, there was the promise that we would get a UN

:23:58.:24:04.

resolution which would have given it more legitimacy and not have been an

:24:05.:24:08.

occupation. I stayed for that but that did not happen. So many aspects

:24:09.:24:14.

of this to talk about. Look, the finding is that actually the UK

:24:15.:24:18.

undermined the security council's authority while taking the guise of

:24:19.:24:22.

being supportive of the UN protocols. As the UN ambassador,

:24:23.:24:29.

were you aware of that being the case? It was not the case. I think

:24:30.:24:31.

Chilcot is being too categorical. Where is the US in that statement?

:24:32.:24:37.

We're working very closely with the US and Spain and Bulgaria. It was

:24:38.:24:41.

not just the UK on its own. Secondly, you can say that the

:24:42.:24:46.

authority of the Security Council is undermined whenever the permanent

:24:47.:24:50.

five vie with each other. It is an intergovernmental process. The

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security council cannot act if the members do not agree. It does a huge

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amount of good when it agrees but it falls apart when they do not.

:24:58.:25:00.

Thirdly, what was Saddam Hussein doing that undermined the authority

:25:01.:25:08.

of the Security Council, for the 12 years up till 2003? The security

:25:09.:25:11.

council was doing nothing about that. That judgment has to be

:25:12.:25:15.

qualified by the other things. But Jeremy, Chilcot says we could have

:25:16.:25:20.

taken over, there was no need to rush to war. And that is an

:25:21.:25:24.

important point, because everything could have been properly done. It

:25:25.:25:27.

was the inspectors who were undermined. I helped to bring the

:25:28.:25:31.

authority of the Security Council back into play in the resolution in

:25:32.:25:38.

May. Did you feel the government's attempts to involve the UN were

:25:39.:25:44.

sincere? Once we got to January 2000 and three. Clearly they were sincere

:25:45.:25:47.

in the earlier part, trying to persuade the Americans to use the UN

:25:48.:25:51.

as a vehicle. But once it was clearly... It was saying to the

:25:52.:25:55.

Americans, we can only come to you if we go through the UN but we now

:25:56.:25:59.

know that Blair had said, I will be with you whatever. There is more to

:26:00.:26:04.

it than that. The Prime Minister was genuine about it, although the

:26:05.:26:07.

Americans were not. He thought there was a chance that Saddam could be

:26:08.:26:12.

made to back down before we had to use military force. For a while,

:26:13.:26:16.

George Bush agreed with them but other people behind Bush did not

:26:17.:26:22.

agree. It was a genuine attempt by the Prime Minister to see whether

:26:23.:26:26.

the Security Council could put such pressure on Saddam Hussein that

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military force was not necessary. And we failed in that, obviously,

:26:30.:26:33.

but he did try. You did not because there were in fact no WMD so in

:26:34.:26:39.

fact, you succeeded. Can I come in here? Just a couple of things that

:26:40.:26:46.

clear has said, I think it is very unfair to say about Peter Goldsmith,

:26:47.:26:50.

the Attorney General, that he was lent on and came up with this

:26:51.:26:54.

opinion. The reason he presented was because he went to Washington and he

:26:55.:26:59.

had it explained to him the negotiating process. I am sure that

:27:00.:27:03.

Jeremy was involved in the process, where the French had wanted to

:27:04.:27:09.

insert an obligation to go back to the second resolution and have

:27:10.:27:14.

specific go ahead and military action, should that be resisted. So

:27:15.:27:29.

the logic of 1441 is clear. The Kaz allusion the Kaz allusion -- and I

:27:30.:27:35.

also think that Clare is wrong to say that Tony Blair had somehow

:27:36.:27:38.

decided what he was going to do. Read that mammal, the one that says,

:27:39.:27:44.

I will be with you whenever. It goes on to say, pressuring George Bush to

:27:45.:27:50.

go down the UN route, and that had considerable success of the time. At

:27:51.:27:53.

the end, we did not meet our objectives. It is right that the

:27:54.:27:57.

Americans did not deliver as much as we thought they would, but to land

:27:58.:28:04.

this on Tony Blair's doorstep... I think it was the right thing to do,

:28:05.:28:09.

to go with America, come what may, and I think that is what Tony Blair

:28:10.:28:16.

thought. But I think we should have taken longer, and tried to pursue

:28:17.:28:20.

the Hans Blix process and it was a big disaster.

:28:21.:28:21.

Well, let's turn to the war and the occupation.

:28:22.:28:23.

Now, over the years, we've had a sense as a nation

:28:24.:28:26.

of things we do well and things we don't.

:28:27.:28:28.

And we have tended to believe that when it comes to the military,

:28:29.:28:31.

But today, the standing of our military takes an official knock.

:28:32.:28:35.

Sir John is clear that service personnel showed great courage

:28:36.:28:37.

and deserve respect, but the military in a broader sense

:28:38.:28:40.

did not understand its limitations, was ill-equipped, and the MoD

:28:41.:28:43.

And, the planning for the post invasion phase was every bit

:28:44.:28:47.

Did Britain even have to send a large army to Iraq? Today's report

:28:48.:29:09.

argues that the size of it was largely discretionary.

:29:10.:29:31.

Immediately the military found itself struggling to control

:29:32.:29:37.

large-scale looting and disorder. Mr Blair told the enquiry that the

:29:38.:29:40.

difficulties encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have

:29:41.:29:48.

been known in advance. We do not agree that hindsight is required.

:29:49.:29:57.

Before the war, Whitehall had made live assumptions about the UN or US

:29:58.:30:00.

taking charge of stability and reconstruction. But instead the task

:30:01.:30:07.

fell to Britain, which was ill-prepared for it.

:30:08.:30:22.

Throughout 2004-2005 militias increased their hold on Basra and

:30:23.:30:30.

those sent to keep a lid on and increasingly unstable city knew they

:30:31.:30:34.

did not have the resources to do it. We had treble British Italians to

:30:35.:30:37.

keep order in Basra until we could generate Iraqi and capability. --

:30:38.:30:48.

two British Italians. I think in my time there were 13. How it was

:30:49.:30:51.

thought we could look after Basra with that amount of resource I am

:30:52.:30:59.

not sure. Got an audience! As the militia started using mob violence

:31:00.:31:03.

against the British and infiltrated the police the Army's dilemma became

:31:04.:31:08.

clear, the more it handed over to the Iraqis, the stronger the militia

:31:09.:31:16.

grip on the city became. Could we speak to this shift commander,

:31:17.:31:19.

please? GUNFIRE

:31:20.:31:26.

. By the time the British launched operation Sinbad, trying to regain

:31:27.:31:32.

control of Basra in 2006 they were too weak to prevail over the

:31:33.:31:37.

militias. The operation ended with Buster in the hands of the militant

:31:38.:31:42.

militia and death squads with the Iraqi security forces not able to

:31:43.:31:47.

impose that alone and maintain the rule of law. With operations picking

:31:48.:31:52.

up in Afghanistan, another thing the generals had pushed for, the

:31:53.:31:56.

remaining British force in Basra and dub striking a deal with the militia

:31:57.:32:00.

and retreating to the airport, awaiting withdrawal and attracting

:32:01.:32:05.

the scorn of the Americans. It was in mediating that the UK reached a

:32:06.:32:09.

position in which an agreement with a militia group -- humiliating, a

:32:10.:32:15.

group that had been targeting UK forces actively was considered the

:32:16.:32:21.

best option. Mindful perhaps of sacrifices made in Iraq Sir John

:32:22.:32:26.

chose not to call it all a failure but almost everyone involved would

:32:27.:32:32.

not claim that all those years in Basra was significant with precious

:32:33.:32:38.

little cost and precious -- significant cost and precious little

:32:39.:32:39.

to I'm joined now by General Sir

:32:40.:32:41.

Mike Jackson, the head of the British Army

:32:42.:32:43.

during the Iraq War, and by Sharon Turton,

:32:44.:32:47.

whose husband Kris was killed Sharon, how did your husband die? He

:32:48.:32:58.

was patrolling the province on the Iran- Iraq border, there was a

:32:59.:33:08.

convoy from the battle group, the lead vehicle went to the back

:33:09.:33:12.

because the detectors failed on the vehicle so that made my husband's

:33:13.:33:16.

vehicle the lead vehicle. There was a daisy chain of eye you de-s. I

:33:17.:33:23.

believe the first two exploded, and killed my husband instantly. And

:33:24.:33:31.

killed a corporal. The gunner of the vehicle, only 18, was quite badly

:33:32.:33:36.

injured, and the commander of the vehicle behind, James Jenkins, was

:33:37.:33:42.

badly injured as well. Was equipment and issue because Chilcot does find

:33:43.:33:46.

that we were in prepared and ill-equipped for the conflict. I

:33:47.:33:50.

don't think the armoured vehicles supplied to the forces at the time

:33:51.:33:54.

equipped with adequate armour. There were other vehicles out there with

:33:55.:33:59.

better armour than British military vehicles. Was that correct, general?

:34:00.:34:06.

We had what we had on a fairly short notice deployment. It is worth

:34:07.:34:10.

remembering that for domestic political reasons, in the UK, will

:34:11.:34:14.

not given the green light until Christmas or even perhaps New Year

:34:15.:34:21.

2002. But our involvement in the war was discretionary. The Americans

:34:22.:34:27.

would have done it without us. What was your advice? Were you telling

:34:28.:34:31.

the politicians, we are not ready, let the Americans take this one

:34:32.:34:38.

because we are not ready? This "Not ready", I'm going to push back a

:34:39.:34:43.

bit. We got the green light at Christmas- New Year 2002. The

:34:44.:34:47.

Americans would not delay beyond late March so we had this narrow

:34:48.:34:54.

window. If the exam question was, can you get the allocated forces in

:34:55.:34:58.

that time, the answer was a broad yes because that is what happened.

:34:59.:35:07.

It's very interesting, all of this, that the conventional... We got

:35:08.:35:12.

there in time but we did not have adequate equipment for all the

:35:13.:35:17.

troops. Chilcot, you say we got there in time, Chilcot goes through

:35:18.:35:22.

some of the shortages... We've just heard about Sharon 's husband... We

:35:23.:35:28.

had Addicks adequate equipment that the conventional fight against

:35:29.:35:33.

Saddam 's forces. The difficulty came in the aftermath. That is a

:35:34.:35:38.

different story indeed. In the aftermath, you were one of those

:35:39.:35:43.

advocating that we also went into Afghanistan. Ramped up into

:35:44.:35:46.

Afghanistan. Chilcot is clear that we did not have the resources to

:35:47.:35:52.

fight on both fronts. Would your job not have been to say, listen,

:35:53.:35:58.

politicians, you are way over stretching the British forces, we

:35:59.:36:01.

are ill-equipped in Iraq. Would that it was so simple. The commitment to

:36:02.:36:09.

Afghanistan was a result of Nato taking over the command of the whole

:36:10.:36:17.

operation. And, at two 2004, or thereabouts, the military presence

:36:18.:36:24.

in Afghanistan had been, please..., Nato concluded that the military

:36:25.:36:28.

footprint needed to go over the whole country. And there was a

:36:29.:36:33.

timetable to do that. Did you warn the politicians? Did you say, you

:36:34.:36:39.

are overstretching us? Or did you say, we can do it? The assumed

:36:40.:36:47.

departure date from Iraq was 18 months later. So for 18 months, you

:36:48.:36:54.

are quite right in this sense, we had to juggle but it was not a lack

:36:55.:36:59.

of thinking it through, it was events. Sharon, what do you feel as

:37:00.:37:04.

you hear this description of the mistakes, we thought we would be out

:37:05.:37:08.

of Iraq in 18 months, two, we are overstretched and we don't have the

:37:09.:37:11.

equipment and we are not doing it properly? I think they were

:37:12.:37:17.

overstretched. Chilcot thinks they were. At the time I worked in a

:37:18.:37:25.

military training camps so I saw the guys and the girls coming through,

:37:26.:37:31.

day in, day out. Michael Jackson, did they do enough to restrain the

:37:32.:37:38.

politicians for Britain to be a player in these wars? Honestly I do

:37:39.:37:45.

not think I am qualified to answer that. I don't think I know enough. I

:37:46.:37:50.

have a lot of personal opinions but I am not in a position where I have

:37:51.:37:54.

to make these decisions. I'm not defending anybody they are in

:37:55.:37:59.

difficult positions, but obviously, being a widow... You are at the end

:38:00.:38:06.

of it. It is not just me and the other families, it is the guys and

:38:07.:38:09.

girls came back injured, and physically scarred and their

:38:10.:38:14.

experiences, what they saw as well. We will leave it there, thank you

:38:15.:38:16.

both very much. Well, I want to turn

:38:17.:38:19.

now to Paul Bremer, He was appointed as US

:38:20.:38:21.

Presidential Envoy to post-invasion Iraq -

:38:22.:38:24.

a kind of governor general. He ran the Coalition Provisional

:38:25.:38:26.

Authority, and on his watch, A decision not to use the Iraqi

:38:27.:38:28.

army after its defeat, and to engage in de-baathification,

:38:29.:38:34.

purging Iraq of many people who had been running the country

:38:35.:38:37.

and keeping it secure. Thank you for joining us. . The

:38:38.:38:54.

de-baathification process is criticised in the Chilcot Report. Do

:38:55.:38:58.

you accept it was too deep and too ambitious and left the country and

:38:59.:39:04.

governable? No. I agree there was a mistake made in de-baathification.

:39:05.:39:08.

It was not the one that the commission focused on. It's

:39:09.:39:12.

important to remember how it came about. It was part of the prewar

:39:13.:39:16.

planning, the one part that we got right. It was modelled on the

:39:17.:39:27.

de-Nazification programme in Germany in 19 90 -- 1945 that more mild. We

:39:28.:39:36.

are talking about 20,000 people. And all that and said about them was, it

:39:37.:39:41.

could no longer have jobs in the government. -- they could not. They

:39:42.:39:48.

were free to set at a newspaper or a radio station if they wanted to, a

:39:49.:39:52.

business, or become farmers. The mistake I made was turning the

:39:53.:39:57.

implementation of this narrowly drafted decree over to Iraqi

:39:58.:40:01.

politicians, who basically used it as a form of political pressure on

:40:02.:40:08.

their opponents. And I had to eventually... That was the mistake I

:40:09.:40:12.

made, I should have found a better way to do it. What Chilcot says is

:40:13.:40:16.

that the British thought it should be a much more limited

:40:17.:40:22.

de-baathification, 5000, not 20,000. Yet the British had very little say

:40:23.:40:25.

in this provisional authority government. They were just

:40:26.:40:31.

informally nudging you, often ignored, and Chilcot said the

:40:32.:40:34.

British vision was right and your vision was wrong. First of all, it

:40:35.:40:41.

wasn't particularly my vision, it was the vision of the American

:40:42.:40:45.

government, the decree was prepared before I was even back in

:40:46.:40:49.

government, when I was a businessman, it was cleared by the

:40:50.:40:52.

US government. What discussions they were with the British before the war

:40:53.:40:56.

I don't know. I wasn't in government. I was very well served

:40:57.:41:01.

by Abel British civil servants and ambassadors including Jeremy

:41:02.:41:05.

Greenstock, who you just had on the show, who was one of the three

:41:06.:41:10.

British deputies in the CPA when I was there. They had full axis to me

:41:11.:41:14.

at all times. I know the Chilcot commission says there should have

:41:15.:41:17.

been more formal meetings. I wonder what they were thinking, we were in

:41:18.:41:22.

a wars, working 18 hours a day with gunfire coming in, was I supposed to

:41:23.:41:27.

say that we need a table with the green baize cloth and we should all

:41:28.:41:31.

wear suits and said around the table in a formal way? That is not the way

:41:32.:41:37.

things work. Jack Straw, in his response today, the former Foreign

:41:38.:41:41.

Secretary, he gets some criticism, and he describes the decisions made

:41:42.:41:47.

as an extraordinary unilateral edict to disband the army and other

:41:48.:41:51.

forces, consequence Iraq is still living with. He says that edict

:41:52.:41:55.

blindsided key members of the US administration as well as members of

:41:56.:41:59.

the British government, including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. I

:42:00.:42:05.

wonder if Jack Straw is not pointing a lot of the blame for the mess

:42:06.:42:11.

afterwards at the decisions that you took them. Well, that particular

:42:12.:42:14.

decision was approved by the President of the United States, the

:42:15.:42:18.

secretary of defence, the joint chiefs of staff of the United

:42:19.:42:23.

States. It was previously discussed by my national security adviser with

:42:24.:42:27.

The Authority 's in London ten days before it was issued, he received no

:42:28.:42:32.

objections, and John Cirencester the Chilcot commission that he raises no

:42:33.:42:36.

objections when I briefed him, the senior British official, on the

:42:37.:42:40.

ground. So whatever else one can say, as far as I was concerned,

:42:41.:42:44.

where I was, it had been checked with the British government and with

:42:45.:42:48.

the American government. And I believe it was the right decision.

:42:49.:42:55.

Thank you very much. Thank you for talking to us this evening.

:42:56.:42:57.

You don't need to us to tell you today, of the grim aftermath

:42:58.:43:00.

of the war and occupation; but if we are learning lessons

:43:01.:43:03.

from the whole experience, it is worth looking

:43:04.:43:05.

From apparent chaos did come a surge in American troops,

:43:06.:43:08.

But Iraq then sadly descended into sectarian division,

:43:09.:43:11.

becoming one of the hubs of the great transnational battle

:43:12.:43:14.

Gabriel Gatehouse has been looking at what went wrong.

:43:15.:43:20.

The invasion in 2003 was supposed to

:43:21.:43:36.

remove an oppressive dictator and replace him

:43:37.:43:39.

13 years on, Iraq is a country fragmenting.

:43:40.:43:48.

Consumed by violence and run by sectarian militias.

:43:49.:43:51.

This is the story of how that came about.

:43:52.:43:55.

Not Shock And Awe 2003, but July 2016, last weekend,

:43:56.:44:12.

a busy shopping area, 250 people are dead.

:44:13.:44:15.

Chilcot speaks of an intervention that went badly wrong,

:44:16.:44:17.

In Baghdad this evening at the site of

:44:18.:44:20.

the explosion people gave their reaction.

:44:21.:44:57.

When the British Army went into Basra, they were welcomed.

:44:58.:45:06.

In the overwhelmingly Shia south, the removal of Saddam Hussein,

:45:07.:45:10.

who had always favoured the Sunni minority, felt like a liberation.

:45:11.:45:19.

But in the vacuum left behind by de-baathification,

:45:20.:45:23.

the full scale dismantling of the Iraqi state,

:45:24.:45:25.

Shia clerics like Moqtada al-Sadr built large followings

:45:26.:45:26.

Backed by Iran, they began to cause trouble for

:45:27.:45:40.

In September 2005, two men were stopped at a police

:45:41.:45:45.

They were SAS operatives dressed as Iraqi civilians.

:45:46.:45:55.

When they flashed their military IDs there was a confrontation.

:45:56.:45:57.

They opened fire, killing an Iraqi officer.

:45:58.:45:59.

He told Newsnight how he and his comrade were dragged

:46:00.:46:03.

We were taken into an outhouse at the side of the checkpoint,

:46:04.:46:07.

slowly but surely they removed our clothes, body armour, weapons.

:46:08.:46:10.

Mock executions, light beatings, interrogation.

:46:11.:46:23.

And then a chief police officer came in with red lapels,

:46:24.:46:26.

told us it was mistaken identity and they were going to take

:46:27.:46:29.

Loaded us into four or five police 4x4s and on the way back

:46:30.:46:37.

to where the palace was, they took a left instead of a right

:46:38.:46:40.

and went into the police station and took us in there.

:46:41.:46:43.

The police had been infiltrated by the militia.

:46:44.:46:45.

The British military, powerless to get the men released,

:46:46.:46:47.

In the aftermath, angry crowds surrounded a British

:46:48.:46:50.

These images shocked a nation that thought it was winning

:46:51.:46:59.

As Chilcot identified, the militia, not the British Army,

:47:00.:47:03.

had become the dominant force in Basra.

:47:04.:47:07.

This event was a turning point certainly in the public perception

:47:08.:47:10.

It was the point at which many people realised that softly,

:47:11.:47:18.

And in the ensuing battle between the British military

:47:19.:47:23.

and the Iranian-backed Shia militias, it was the militias that

:47:24.:47:25.

Two years later, the Brits cut a deal with the militia

:47:26.:47:34.

From then until their official withdrawal from Iraq

:47:35.:47:49.

the British Army was in effect confined to barracks

:47:50.:47:51.

As Chilcot makes clear, American planning for the postinvasion phase

:47:52.:47:55.

They faced an insurgency in the West, led by a coalition

:47:56.:48:04.

of Al-Qaeda and Sunni tribes that soon spread to other parts of Iraq.

:48:05.:48:14.

In 2006, a massive bombing in Samarra at one of the holiest

:48:15.:48:17.

Shia shrines sparked a sectarian Civil War.

:48:18.:48:23.

By the summer of that year, 100 people were

:48:24.:48:26.

I got back to Iraq at the beginning of 2007, and every morning

:48:27.:48:30.

there would be dead bodies found in the street.

:48:31.:48:33.

And you could tell what sect they were by the way

:48:34.:48:36.

whether they had been drilled through the head

:48:37.:48:42.

There was so many dead bodies on the river,

:48:43.:48:45.

washed up, that people stopped eating fish.

:48:46.:48:47.

They said the fish were starting to taste differently because they

:48:48.:48:50.

The United States deployed an extra 30,000 soldiers.

:48:51.:48:54.

Sunni tribes joined the Americans in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

:48:55.:48:56.

US troop deaths declined, so too did civilian killings.

:48:57.:49:06.

Emma Sky witnessed it firsthand as advisor to General Ray Odiemo,

:49:07.:49:09.

I really felt that the war had been won, and by 2009,

:49:10.:49:16.

the violence in Iraq had dropped dramatically.

:49:17.:49:26.

And everybody in Iraq thought the Civil War was behind them.

:49:27.:49:29.

Iraqis had changed their strategic calculus.

:49:30.:49:31.

It wasn't that all the bad guys had been killed,

:49:32.:49:33.

it was that they had decided they could achieve what

:49:34.:49:39.

they wanted through politics, rather than through violence.

:49:40.:49:41.

But in the end it was politics that was to be Iraq's undoing.

:49:42.:49:44.

In March 2010 there were parliamentary elections.

:49:45.:49:45.

The Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and his coalition of Shia parties,

:49:46.:49:51.

won two seats fewer than a secular coalition which had garnered support

:49:52.:49:54.

Neither had enough seats to govern on their own.

:49:55.:50:04.

Iran saw its chance and seized the initiative.

:50:05.:50:06.

Behind the scenes the Americans were trying to negotiate a way out

:50:07.:50:09.

And it was eventually Iran that managed to broker a deal that

:50:10.:50:21.

would seek Nouri al-Maliki, their favourite candidate,

:50:22.:50:23.

In return Nouri al-Maliki would demand a complete

:50:24.:50:26.

So Maliki got his second term thanks to the Iranians.

:50:27.:50:36.

When he was secure in his seat second term the first

:50:37.:50:39.

thing he did was go after the Sunni politicians.

:50:40.:50:41.

He accused them of terrorism and drove them out of

:50:42.:50:43.

He says he had made to the Sunni tribes, the Sunni awakening that had

:50:44.:50:53.

fought against Al-Qaeda in Iraq with the support of US forces, and he

:50:54.:51:00.

arrested Sunni is en masse and in such an environment, Islamic State

:51:01.:51:04.

was able to rise up out of the ashes of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and present

:51:05.:51:13.

itself as the defender of the Sunnis against the Iranians backed regime

:51:14.:51:17.

of Nouri al-Maliki. Today, Islamic State is in retreat, pushed out of

:51:18.:51:22.

cities like Falluja by a coalition of Shia militia, and Sunni fighters

:51:23.:51:26.

who have turned against the jihadists. They are backed by US and

:51:27.:51:32.

British air power but on the ground, it is the divisive Shia militias

:51:33.:51:40.

that holds sway. In the battle scarred towns, Sunni militias are

:51:41.:51:43.

subjected to revenge attacks and as bombings last weekend showed,

:51:44.:51:48.

Islamic State's capacity to kill remains under in. As the Americans

:51:49.:51:52.

withdrew at the last of their trips in 2011, one man told me that Iraq

:51:53.:51:56.

is becoming a place where other countries come to settle their

:51:57.:52:00.

scores. Nearly five years later, that is exactly what has come to

:52:01.:52:03.

pass. Let's finish by stepping into the

:52:04.:52:11.

role of future historians and trying to assess what they will say. About

:52:12.:52:16.

all of this, about Tony Blair and the humanitarian military

:52:17.:52:16.

intervention. Joining me to discuss

:52:17.:52:27.

the legacy of the Iraq war, how it shaped the landscape

:52:28.:52:29.

of our politics and culture, is the novelist and commentator

:52:30.:52:31.

Will Self, from the Financial Times, Roula Khalaf, and the MP

:52:32.:52:34.

Rory Stewart who was senior coalition official in Iraq

:52:35.:52:36.

between 2003 and 4. We have had a parade of people on

:52:37.:52:41.

the programme who were involved at some level in the run-up to the war

:52:42.:52:44.

and the conduct of it. Everyone gives a plausible sounding account

:52:45.:52:47.

of themselves but we know the outcome was disastrous. I'm stuck

:52:48.:52:51.

wondering whether someone ought to pay for the mistakes or whether it

:52:52.:52:54.

is just off the difficult and we do our best and things do not always

:52:55.:53:01.

work out. I think that is too easy. Too easy an answer. This war in

:53:02.:53:06.

particular was a war that was unnecessary and avoidable. That is

:53:07.:53:13.

not to say that Saddam Hussein did not deserve to be removed. But if

:53:14.:53:20.

you are going to invade a country like Iraq, a conjugated country like

:53:21.:53:24.

Iraq, then at the very least you need to have a plan about what you

:53:25.:53:28.

do it after. We have heard this evening about big mistakes that were

:53:29.:53:35.

made, de-Baathification, the dismantlement of the army, but

:53:36.:53:40.

probably given the state of Iraq, you would have needed more than

:53:41.:53:45.

that. Now one mistake is enough to explain it. You would have needed

:53:46.:53:49.

total occupation. I remember covering Iraq before the fall of

:53:50.:53:52.

Saddam and this was a country that had gone through decades of

:53:53.:53:55.

dictatorship and ten years of the most crippling sanctions. Rory, help

:53:56.:54:02.

us out. Should somebody be going to jail for the mistake of the Iraq war

:54:03.:54:07.

or not? I don't think that is the correct response. The correct

:54:08.:54:09.

response is for us as a country to be more serious and more honest

:54:10.:54:14.

about what went wrong. I cannot you, personally being on the ground in

:54:15.:54:20.

Iraq, the complexity that you were facing, Iranian intelligence

:54:21.:54:23.

officers coming across the border, new Shia militias emerging that no

:54:24.:54:30.

one had heard of, there were about 52 new Shia political parties

:54:31.:54:33.

emerging in my province alone and almost nobody, and this was not a

:54:34.:54:36.

question of fact, it is true we did not speak enough Arabic or know the

:54:37.:54:40.

country well enough. We did not have enough troops. But that is only the

:54:41.:54:44.

beginning of the problem. Within a few months it was obvious that we

:54:45.:54:47.

should not have been there at all. We were out of our depth and the

:54:48.:54:51.

same was true for the United States. Even the big stuff that you have

:54:52.:54:56.

been hearing off, the surge of David Petraeus, it did not have a long

:54:57.:55:01.

enough effect. The real conclusion is that we need to be much, much

:55:02.:55:05.

more serious as a country. We need a total reform of the Foreign Office

:55:06.:55:09.

and the military and our political system if we are going to get

:55:10.:55:14.

engaged in these kind of things. Basing it on the opinion of one

:55:15.:55:17.

person is not where you would go. Will self? The trope, punching above

:55:18.:55:23.

our weight, on the international stage, that says it all. You should

:55:24.:55:28.

not punch above your weight because you get knocked out, morally or

:55:29.:55:32.

physically. Iraq was a watershed and glory and I were talking beforehand

:55:33.:55:35.

and he was saying, what does this amount to? Why are we doing this?

:55:36.:55:42.

And it is because we are stuck in this embolism of intent are row will

:55:43.:55:48.

to you. We cannot move on from Iraq. We cannot move on because we will

:55:49.:55:51.

not be serious, either about failures or about what it would mean

:55:52.:55:54.

to be the kind of nation that believed it could have done that.

:55:55.:55:58.

There is an interesting line in Chilcot saying that one of the

:55:59.:56:01.

arguments for putting three brigades in, which was overstretching us, was

:56:02.:56:05.

that there would be comment that we were not pulling our weight as we

:56:06.:56:11.

did in Kuwait. And Chilcot also says that, and I am sure Rory will be

:56:12.:56:15.

familiar with this, that people lobbied to go. It was perceived as,

:56:16.:56:23.

we will be home by Christmas. And it is a bit sad, the Chilcot Report

:56:24.:56:28.

coming out at 8000 pages, and even we you who are interested in this

:56:29.:56:31.

will not be able to read the whole report. It been about changing the

:56:32.:56:36.

world and making a difference. And I am afraid it is not, it is not a

:56:37.:56:44.

rigorous or analytical and often. -- analytical enough. What worries me,

:56:45.:56:48.

personally I think it is very good that there has been the Chilcot

:56:49.:56:51.

Inquiry. I think it is extremely forensic and details. Hopefully this

:56:52.:56:57.

will be kosher. But what worries me is that I feel as if the lessons of

:56:58.:57:02.

the Iraq war have been over learned in a certain way. In our attempts

:57:03.:57:10.

today to be so careful and so forensic about all of the

:57:11.:57:14.

information that we have, in our attempt to over assess, what we risk

:57:15.:57:23.

is paralysis. I compare Iraq in 2003 with Syria in the last three years.

:57:24.:57:29.

But truly the true paralysis is in our consideration of this itself. If

:57:30.:57:36.

Chilcot is damning about one specific thing, and I never thought

:57:37.:57:41.

that he would be a reading of times -- war crimes trial, if Chilcot is

:57:42.:57:44.

damaging about one thing it is the idea that they had to do this to

:57:45.:57:48.

maintain the special relationship. Since Iraq, nobody questions the

:57:49.:57:54.

special relationship. And you say that there is paralysis in Syria,

:57:55.:57:56.

but what about Libya? There are other theatres that have gone

:57:57.:58:01.

disastrously wrong. Libya is an interesting case because everyone

:58:02.:58:07.

said, OK, Libya, it has to be very limited intervention because of

:58:08.:58:09.

Iraq. Look at what you ended up with. Syria. We cannot intervene

:58:10.:58:14.

because of Iraq. The shadow of Iraq permeates everything, everything

:58:15.:58:19.

that happens. My gut instinct is that the heart of this is winning

:58:20.:58:23.

back any kind of trust of the British public. I sense that anybody

:58:24.:58:27.

watching this programme will think, here they are 13 years on, and it is

:58:28.:58:31.

all the old conversations. We need to convince people, and may be

:58:32.:58:36.

places like Bosnia and Syria where we did make a difference, and where

:58:37.:58:41.

you can contribute. -- Bosnia and Serbia. If we are to do that again,

:58:42.:58:45.

we need to regain trust and part of doing that is showing that we are

:58:46.:58:48.

actually serious and really having the confidence in the British public

:58:49.:58:51.

to believe that we have people leading us to know what they are

:58:52.:58:55.

doing. What about only player? How will history judge him? I think they

:58:56.:59:02.

will judge him harshly. I think what was clear from his statements today,

:59:03.:59:09.

this is a man, and those who were out there chanting Blair lie on the

:59:10.:59:14.

streets in 2003, not even us could deny that this is a man torn apart

:59:15.:59:18.

by his conscience. You can see it written on his face. Whether his

:59:19.:59:24.

conscience is made up of his own revulsion, the failure of his

:59:25.:59:26.

hubristic ambitions, I am in no position to judge, but it does not

:59:27.:59:34.

look good. In ten seconds, who will they remember a ruck? How will they

:59:35.:59:38.

look back on it? Some people will look back on it as a form of

:59:39.:59:46.

liberation that went terribly wrong. Some people will look on it as the

:59:47.:59:51.

moment when the Sunni of the Middle East became the Sunni franchise --

:59:52.:59:56.

became disenfranchised. Thank you very much indeed.

:59:57.:59:57.

Perhaps the best thing you can say about government in Britain,

:59:58.:59:59.

is that while it makes huge mistakes, it does also

:00:00.:00:02.

have the capacity for extraordinary self examination,

:00:03.:00:03.

of which the Chilcot Report is such a good example.

:00:04.:00:06.

No-one to my knowledge is calling it a whitewash.

:00:07.:00:08.

Over the next few days, there will undoubtedly be far more

:00:09.:00:11.

to come out of it, given the length and weight of its conclusions.

:00:12.:00:14.

Parliament will have two full days of debate next week.

:00:15.:00:16.

We thought we might leave you with the man who resigned

:00:17.:00:21.

from the Blair cabinet in protest at the Iraq War,

:00:22.:00:23.

and who on can safely say would have found

:00:24.:00:25.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly

:00:26.:00:30.

Namely, a credible device capable of being delivered

:00:31.:00:35.

The longer I have served in this place, the greater

:00:36.:00:45.

the respect I have for the good sense and the collective wisdom of

:00:46.:00:54.

On Iraq I believe the prevailing mood of the

:00:55.:01:05.

They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal

:01:06.:01:11.

dictator, but they are not persuaded he is a clear and present danger to

:01:12.:01:14.

They want the inspections to be given a chance.

:01:15.:01:17.

And they suspect that they are being pushed

:01:18.:01:19.

too quickly into conflict by a US administration with an agenda of its

:01:20.:01:22.

Above all, they are uneasy at Britain going out on a limb in a

:01:23.:01:33.

military adventure without a broader international coalition and against

:01:34.:01:35.

the hostility of many of our traditional allies.

:01:36.:01:37.

I intend to join those tomorrow night who vote

:01:38.:01:39.

It is for that reason, and that reason

:01:40.:01:42.

alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the government.

:01:43.:01:47.

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