Aide to ex-British PM denies `sexing up` Iraq dossier

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 23:30

London: Tony Blair`s former chief spin
doctor Alastair Campbell fiercely denied on Tuesday "sexing up" a
dossier which claimed Iraq could launch chemical or biological
weapons within 45 minutes ahead of the 2003 war.

In a defiant appearance before a public inquiry on the
conflict, Campbell admitted that while the highly
controversial document could have been clearer, he still
defended "every single word" of it.
Campbell, one of the former prime minister`s closest
allies, also insisted Blair was determined to deal with Saddam
Hussein`s regime peacefully right up to a crucial vote on the
Iraq war in the House of Commons on March 18, 2003.

He said that he had never tried to "beef up" any of the
judgements made by the September 2002 dossier`s author, John
Scarlett, the then chairman of a key intelligence committee
which advised Blair`s government.

Campbell also denied being involved in a "sexing up

"At no point did anybody from the prime minister down say
to anybody within the intelligence services: `You have got to
tailor it to fit this judgement or that judgement,`" Campbell
"The whole way through, it could not have been made
clearer to everybody that nothing would override the
intelligence judgements and that John Scarlett was the person
who, if you like, had the single pen."


First Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 23:30

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