Socialist Worker

The week in brief

Issue No. 1867

UNDERNEATH THE mountain of media coverage of the Hutton inquiry there were some fascinating insights last week.

Blair suggested that criticism of Britain's security services was an attack on 'the country'.

This is as if the Spycatcher affair ten years ago hadn't showed MI5 to be a nest of hard right conspirators.

John Scarlett is Britain's spy chief, and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, which drew up the September dossier.

He now says the claim that weapons could be launched in 45 minutes 'related to munitions which we had interpreted to mean battlefield mortar shells or small calibre weaponry, quite different to missiles'.

Ann Taylor is the MP who chairs the parliamentary intelligence and security committee. It usually sits behind closed doors and has access to material not normally made public.

The Hutton inquiry was told last week that she had sent a blunt e-mail to 10 Downing Street after reading the initial dossier: 'Hardest question not answered. Why Saddam Hussein and why now?'

Dimitris Perricos is the man who has taken over as the UN chief weapons inspector from Hans Blix.

Perricos damned Blair's whole case for war last week:

'There is no doubt that the phrase 'within 45 minutes' that was included in the British report did not correspond to reality. The assertion that the Iraqis had a capability to inflict overwhelming destruction within 45 minutes is collapsing.'


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Sat 6 Sep 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1867
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