Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

Secret emails reveal concerns over Iraq war dossier

Published 12/03/2009

Secret emails released today under the Freedom of Information Act cast fresh light on the concerns within the intelligence agencies over the Government's notorious dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The emails show officials complained the dossier suggested Saddam Hussein's biological warfare programme was more advanced than they actually believed was the case.

The officials also complained of "iffy drafting" and mocked the claims made about Iraq's nuclear programme, suggesting it was the work of Dr Frankenstein.

The Cabinet Office, which released the documents following a ruling by the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, would not say which agency the unnamed officials worked for, but confirmed they were in "sensitive posts".

The original FOI request asked for comments made by "the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) or anyone else" on one of the final drafts of the dossier.

The Hutton Inquiry heard evidence of the concerns within the DIS about the dossier and the content of the emails suggests the officials involved may have worked for the agency, which includes many technical experts.

One, dated September 16, states: "I note that the paper suggests that Saddam's biotech efforts have gone much further than we ever feared. Page 4 Bullet 4: '(Iraq) has assembled specialists to work on its nuclear programme' - Dr Frankenstein I presume? Sorry. It's getting late..."

Another email supports a proposed drafting amendment to the report, but adds wearily: "We have suggested moderating the same language in much the same way on drafts from the dim and distant past without success. Feel free to try again!"

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

Comments posted this week will only be visible until Saturday Oct 3 and will not be available to view after that date. This is due to essential upgrade work on our content management system and we apologise for any inconvenience.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph