Monday, September 15, 2003

New book rubbishes Blair's war: "And the book claims: 'For all his public assertions that the intelligence was rock-solid, Blair had his doubts throughout.' Kampfner's book details a series of further allegations, including that:

* Blair had secretly agreed to go to war as early as April 2002, when he had a summit with George Bush at the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

* Intelligence reports told the Prime Minister the threat of Saddam producing and using weapons of mass destruction was actually diminishing in the run-up to the conflict.

* The 45-minute claim about Saddam's missiles 'was a red herring designed to scare', and Blair knew it.

* Downing Street was kept in the dark when Bush finally ordered US forces into action. "

"[UK Foreign Secretary] Straw is said to have argued that the United Nations’ refusal to back the invasion would make it damaging for Britain to take part. The Foreign Secretary reportedly urged Blair to tell President George Bush that British troops would help clear up the mess and keep the peace once the war was over, but would play no part in Saddam’s overthrow."

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