Well, according to the growing news stories this weekend (beginning in the Guardian and then on into the BBC and others) it appears our esteemed leaders may have been economical with the truth. Of course, when a resource is in short supply it has to be strictly rationed and the truth is no different. It has been suggested that Tony Blair, and George Bush asked their intelligence gathering services to ‘massage’ their reports on weapons of mass destruction (or WMD as all the kids are calling it these days) in Iraq. The intelligence communities made clear that they had no concrete proof of any such weapons. This was something of a shame as this was Bush and Blair’s main excuse for bombing the crap out of Iraq. So Bush had his own agency gather information which was more appropriate to his needs.
These suggestions have not just been invented by liberal or left wing media types. They have come from leaks within both British and American intelligence and from blatant interviews by former intelligence officers, including one who worked for years with President Bush Senior. These are not the first leaks from MI5, MI6 and the CIA which have flatly contradicted what our elected leaders have told us. Blair tells us he knows something we don’t (again – this excuse is wearing very thin) and that he will make this ‘evidence’ available soon to the people of the UK. What are they doing? Why is it taking so long to show us this ‘compelling evidence’? Are they taking longer to fabricate it than they thought? Perhaps they need to find the right post-graduate dissertation to rip off again.
There are two main possibilities which present themselves here. First of all, if there are no WMD found in Iraq but our intelligence did really predict there would be then our intelligence gathering on a major enemy was incredibly poor. Given how important intelligence is in the ‘war against terror’ – and there’s nothing like killing civilians to end terror – this would mean the West has a major weakness in it’s defences? If we can’t get this right how can we expect them to infiltrate and intercept terrorists determined to attack another civilian target in one of our cities? On the other hand, if the reports are true and Bush and Blair had their reports doctored to suit their war agenda then it means our elected leaders lied to our representatives and to the people. It would mean they committed our troops to an illegal war on a trumped up charge. It would mean both leaders should be impeached at once and arrainged on charges of misleading the elected representatives of the people (and possibly face charges of war crimes).
Oh and apologies for the non-working graphics I tried out – haven’t quite got the hang of it yet