The long-awaited release of an early draft of the British government's Iraq dossier has produced a smoking gun
By Chris Ames
"Make no mistake, the John Williams draft of the Iraq dossier, finally released yesterday, is a smoking gun. The document proves that Williams (a spin doctor friend of Alastair Campbell) who gave his own view of the affair in an article for Cif on Monday, was in the thick of drafting the document that took Britain to war. He wrote what became the dossier's executive summary. When the dossier was published, false claims from Williams were presented as "judgements" of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). It does not get any more serious than that.
The first thing the Williams draft does is to show that the government lied to the Hutton and Butler inquiries and to parliament when it claimed that the Williams draft did not influence subsequent versions and was put aside when JIC chairman John Scarlett made a "fresh start" the next day.
Here's what the Williams draft said in its bullet-point summary.....
What is gratifying is that it is now widely acknowledged that the Williams draft was the first draft of the dossier. Anyone who can still remember the Gilligan/Kelly row will know that from the outset the government staked its case on Scarlett's draft being both the first draft and produced without spin doctor interference.
Had the Williams draft been published five years ago, we would have known they were all lying then."
Both the John Williams draft of the Iraq dossier and his article for Cif on Monday, were posted here yesterday.