Monday, July 31, 2006

Mrs Olivia Bosch

Hearing Transcripts

1 Thursday, 4th September 2003
2 (10.30 am)


23 Q. Did you at all discuss issues relating to the media after May 2003, when the story blew up again?

A. Yes, because the media, again, and politicians were wanting to assess where the weapons were; and we were both talking about it and we were always talking about that there was to be an emphasis on the programmes, that the press and everyone was somewhat too focused on the weapon as a smoking gun because that really was not the issue, it was the programmes. Because programmes imply intent to have a capability. And that was quite important and had not really seemed to be brought out in any of the coverage. And it was -- we would talk about what trends the journalists were pursuing and what some of the themes were. And there were, I guess, about three occasions when he was concerned about press reporting of him.

Q. That is to say the press reports which seemed to rely on him or named him?

A. Well, one in particular that named him. He mentioned that he did speak to journalists -- let me, if I may, look to my notes on something now.

Q. Perhaps I can just call up BBC/4/165. You will see an article appearing on the screen in front of you.

A. Okay.

Q. It is an article in the Sunday Times on 13th April.

A. I had not actually seen that article but what he did mention, and it was about that time that David -- he told me he was surprised to find that a journalist he had known quite well had quoted his name in an article. He did not tell me who that journalist was, although I know from the Inquiry who it is.

LORD HUTTON: Yes. Yes. What was the name he mentioned?

A. He did not mention -- at that time he did not mention to me the name of the journalist.

LORD HUTTON: I see, yes.

A. He would be very discreet often in that manner.

MR KNOX: It may be this. This is an article written on 13th April 2003 by Mr Rufford.

A. Right.

Q. You will see, in the fourth paragraph down, there is a reference to: "Dr David Kelly, the UN's former chief weapons inspector, said al-Saadi 'knew where all the bodies were buried', adding: 'He advised Saddam on what he could get away with'."


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mai Pederson

Dr Kelly 'did not kill himself'

London Daily Mail

An American confidante of David Kelly has cast doubt on whether his death was suicide.

Days before Lord Hutton's report into his death is published, Mai Pederson claimed the Government scientist received death threats because of his work in Iraq.

She said she was surprised that he had apparently taken 20 painkillers before slashing his wrist in remote woodland - because he had an aversion to swallowing tablets.

Mrs Pederson, a United States Air Force translator who worked alongside Dr Kelly in Iraq, refused to give evidence to Lord Hutton's inquiry.

But in a statement to police she said Dr Kelly had told her he would "never" commit suicide and that he feared he would be found "dead in the woods".

She rebutted speculation that she had been romantically involved with the 59-year-old married father of three, insisting their relationship was more like "brother and sister".

Mrs Pederson told The Mail on Sunday: "I told the police that the fact that he was found dead in the woods was not surprising.

"The fact that they said he committed suicide was."

Mrs Pederson, who lives in Alabama, is a member of the Baha'i faith which Dr Kelly joined some years ago.

She said Dr Kelly told her how his mother had committed suicide and confided: "Good God no, I couldn't imagine ever doing that? I would never do it."

She added: "His job was dangerous. He knew it could cost him his life."

Originally at:

Now cached at:

N.B Various MP name sp. variations by Google:

Mia Pedersen = 1,530
Mai Pederson = 675
Mai Pedersen = 499
Mia Pederson = 23

Saturday, July 29, 2006

ACC Michael Page of TVP.



Q. Can you give his Lordship, and everyone else, some idea of how many people you have interviewed in the course of your inquiries?

A. Yes, certainly. We have made contact with somewhere in the region of 500 individuals during the course of our inquiry.

Q. How many statements have you taken?

A. We have taken 300 statements and we have seized in excess of 700 documents in addition to the computer files I referred to when I gave evidence last time.


MR DINGEMANS: In the course of those inquiries and interviews I think you have interviewed a number of people that Dr Kelly spoke to at some length, is that right?

A. Yes, we have obviously established all known contacts that Dr Kelly had in the last few days of his life; and we have explored all those contacts. We assessed the nature of the relationship between the contact and Dr Kelly. Some were very fairly easily dealt with because they were obviously casual contacts or business contacts and we were able to deal with those by way of questioning. Some we assessed the relationship with Dr Kelly to be more of a friendship, and therefore my main concern there was whether Dr Kelly may have confided in those individuals and therefore with a certain number of individuals we actually interviewed them and took statements from them.

Q. And took statements. One of the persons that you interviewed and took statements from in fact was able to give evidence and that was Olivia Bosch and we have heard from her.

A. That is correct, my Lord.

Q. Have there been other people you have contacted and taken statements from?

A. In order, my Lord, there were twelve individuals including Olivia Bosch from whom we took statements.

Q. Was one of those persons Mia Pedersen?

A. Yes, we interviewed Mia Pedersen. She declined to give a statement as such but I have a record of the interviews that took place.

Q. Were you able to obtain any relevant evidence from her?

A. The conversation with Mia Pedersen added nothing that was of relevance to my inquiry at all.

Q. There was also some called Gabriella Kraz-Wadsak, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Who is she?

A. Gabriella Kraz-Wadsak [sic - complete sp. variation from below] is an officer in the German army. She worked alongside Dr Kelly in Iraq for a number of years and had been in contact with Dr Kelly in the days before his death as indeed she had been for some years before that.

Q. Was she able to give any relevant evidence?

A. Nothing that furthered my inquiries at all.

Q. There was a document TVP/2/20 headed "Gabriella's concerns". Was she able to explain what this meant to you?

A. Yes, indeed my Lord. Apparently the document refers to a conversation or conversations that she had with Dr Kelly between June 14th and the 17th, and apparently refers to Dr Kelly's assessment of the efficacy of the inspection programme in Iraq. Hence, I think there is a heading there which says "Confidence of legitimacy and deterrence effect"; and apparently around the issues that Dr Kelly has recorded there and recorded numbers along each side of, they were discussing those issues and assessing impact of the programme.


Friday, July 28, 2006

"Gabriele's concerns"

Kelly's friend and the note Hutton has not revealed

German colonel shared scientist's views on WMDs - but we cannot see her crucial evidence, report Martin Bright and Gaby Hinsliff

Sunday September 14, 2003
The Observer

A handwritten note referring to a senior German military officer found in a briefcase belonging to Dr David Kelly could provide vital clues to the suicide of the British arms expert.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack, a close friend and colleague of Kelly who worked with him on numerous inspection missions in Iraq, was known to have been devastated by the death of the British weapons expert. The officer, who trained with the German Army Medical Service, was passionate about the threat from Iraq's biological weapons. She has since returned to work for the German army and has refused to give any interviews about Kelly.


Last night pressure was building on the Hutton inquiry to release a two-page handwritten note found by police in Kelly's briefcase referring to 'Gabriele's concerns'. It is believed to summarise Kraatz-Wadsack's knowledge about the Iraqi weapons programme and may also have outlined her worries about returning to Iraq. Kelly was known to have been trying to recruit an inspection team to return to Iraq under the auspices of the US-controlled Iraq Survey Group shortly before his death.

Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Webb of Thames Valley Police confirmed to the inquiry that the document 'appeared to relate to Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction'. Yet the document has been held back by the inquiry team for 'personal' reasons.


Update: A further search at the Hutton Inquiry website reveals that the second page (only) of 'Gabriel's concerns' appears as Exhibit GHW/1/3 at:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

From Hutton...

What evidence is not being made available?

The following is not being made available:

a. There are about three pages of evidence being withheld on National Security grounds.

b. Some evidence will be redacted before publication to remove certain sensitive information on personal privacy grounds e.g. home addresses and telephone numbers.

c. Some evidence will not be published at all on personal privacy grounds, for example personal witness statements, chronologies and other notes.

d. We are not disclosing the content of personal witness statements, notes and chronologies as these are simply advance notice to the Inquiry of what an individual witness intends to say. All relevant evidence from these documents will be or will have been disclosed during examination and thus in the public domain through the transcripts of evidence given.

e. No one was asked for a witness statement and they are not a requirement of the Inquiry process. What witnesses were asked to do was provide a note of any points or issues they wanted to come out during their examination. The Inquiry did tell witnesses that these notes would be received under a duty of confidentiality and would not be disclosed with all the other evidence by the Inquiry team. Provision of these notes is a matter for individuals. It is for individual witnesses to confirm whether or not they have provided them and to release the contents should they wish to.”

The following 30 witness statements were supplied to the Inquiry by Thames Valley Police. These witnesses did not appear before Lord Hutton, therefore their statements were not heard in public and do not appear in the public domain.

1 Sian Hills - TVP/1/0024 - 0025
2 Karen Murch - TVP/1/0032
3 Alan Clark - TVP/1/0046 - 0047
4 Simon Bustary - TVP/1/0051 - 0052
5 Paul Michael Coleman - TVP/1/0053
6 Sian Kelly 28/07/03 - TVP/2/0078 - 0083
7 Quentin Redley Silas 20/07/03 - TVP/2/0094 - 0096
8 Alan Clark 21/07/03 - TVP/3/0010 - 0011
9 Diane Joan Shaw 24/07/03 - TVP/3/0013 - 0015
10 John Frederick Peter Dineen 26/07/03 - TVP/3/0016 - 0017
11 Andrew Veitch 12/08/03 - TVP/4/0002 - 0005
12 Roger William Cook - TVP/5/0001 - 0004
13 Hamish Forbes Mylechraine Killip - TVP/5/0008 - 0011
14 John Edward Dabbs - TVP/7/0004 - 0007
15 Pamela Anne Dabbs - TVP/7/0008 - 0011
16 Jeffrey Esmond Isaac - TVP/7/0012
17 Hamish Forbes Mylechraine Killip - TVP/7/0013 - 0016
18 Victoria Claire Roddam - TVP/7/0017 – 0019
19 David T McGee - TVP/7/0023 - 0025
20 Paul Woods - TVP/7/0042 - 0043
21 Roger David Kingdon - TVP/7/0044 - 0045
22 Jane Corbin - TVP/8/0001- 0005
23 John Phillip Sharpley 01.08.03 - TVP/10/0004 - 0006
24 Hugh Davies Griffith 05.08.03 - TVP/10/0012 - 0014
25 Mark Jason Schollar 05.08.03 - TVP/10/0015 - 0017
26 Jane Corbin 30.07.03 - TVP/10/0045 - 0046
27 Katie Langford 08.08.03 - TVP/10/0047
28 Christine Elizabeth Bone 13.08.03 - TVP/10/0056 - 0058
29 Alexander Roger MacDonald 31.07.03 - TVP/10/0084 - 0086
30 Jonathan Dicks 24.07.03 - TVP/10/0087

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Other withheld TVP evidence

Other items of interest submitted to the Hutton Inquiry by Thames Valley Police:

Exhibit GHW/1/3 - handwritten list entitled "Gabriele's concerns" - not for release - personal information TVP/2/0019 – 0020

Note of phone call Judy Miller/Kelly family 20/07/03 - not for release - personal information TVP/3/0239

Thames Valley Police Hutton Inquiry 'Statements', printed 25th August 2003 - not for release - Police operational information TVP/10/0001

TVP Tactical Support Major Incident Policy Book: Operation 'Mason' Between 1430 17.07.03 and 0930 18.07.03, DCI Alan Young - not for release - Police operational information TVP/10/0099 - 0105

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hutton Inquiry witness statements

Evidence submitted to the Inquiry by Thames Valley Police, all annotated: not for release - personal witness statement.

Witness statement: Phyllis R Absalom - TVP/1/0022 - 0023

Witness statement: Sian Hills - TVP/1/0024 - 0025

Witness statement: Geoffrey Hugh Webb - TVP/1/0026 - 0029

Witness statement: Graham Peter Coe - TVP/1/0030 – 0031

Witness statement: Karen Murch - TVP/1/0032

Witness statement: Alexander Richard Allan - TVP/1/0033 – 003

Witness statement: David Malcolm Warner - TVP/1/0039

Witness statement: David Ian Bartlett - TVP/1/0040 – 0041

Witness statement: Vanessa Elizabeth Hunt - TVP/1/0042 - 0045

Witness statement: Alan Clark - TVP/1/0046 - 0047

Witness statement: Jonathan Martin Sawyer - TVP/1/0048

Witness statement: Anthony Charles Sinclair Butler - TVP/1/0049

Witness statement: Jonathan Martyn Sawyer - TVP/1/0050

Witness statement: Simon Bustary - TVP/1/0051 - 0052

Witness statement: Paul Michael Coleman - TVP/1/0053

Witness statement: Louise Holmes - TVP/1/0054 - 0058

Witness statement: Dr NCA Hunt - TVP/1/0059 – 0073

Statement of Rachel Kelly 31/07/03 - TVP/2/0065 – 0077

Statement of Sian Kelly 28/07/03 - TVP/2/0078 - 0083

Statement of David John Wilkins 26/0703 - TVP/2/0084 - 0089

Statement of Dean Andrew Franklin 19/07/03 - TVP/2/0090 - 0091

Statement of Paul Phillip Sands Chapman 18/07/03 - TVP/2/0092 - 0093

Statement of Quentin Redley Silas 20/07/03 - TVP/2/0094 - 0096

Witness statement: Geoffrey Hugh Webb 21/07/03 - TVP/3/0006 - 0009

Witness statement: Alan Clark 21/07/03 - TVP/3/0010 - 0011

Witness statement: Jonathan Martyn Sawyer 19/07/03 - TVP/3/0012

Witness statement: Diane Joan Shaw 24/07/03 - TVP/3/0013 - 0015

Witness statement: John Frederick Peter Dineen 26/07/03 - TVP/3/0016 - 0017

Witness Statement to Thames Valley Police - Andrew Veitch 12/08/03 - TVP/4/0002 - 0005

Witness Statement of Roger William Cook - TVP/5/0001 – 0004

Witness Statement of Roderic Gareth Allum Godfrey - TVP/5/0005 - 0007

Witness Statement of Hamish Forbes Mylechraine Killip - TVP/5/0008 - 0011

Witness statement of Janice Kelly, 09/08/2003 - TVP/6/0001 - 0015

Witness statement of John Edward Dabbs - TVP/7/0004 - 0007

Witness statement of Pamela Anne Dabbs - TVP/7/0008 - 0011

Witness statement of Jeffrey Esmond Isaac - TVP/7/0012

Witness statement of Hamish Forbes Mylechraine Killip - TVP/7/0013 - 0016

Witness statement of Victoria Claire Roddam - TVP/7/0017 – 0019

Witness statement of Leigh Mary Potter - TVP/7/0020 - 0022

Witness statement of David T McGee - TVP/7/0023 – 0025

Witness statement of Janice Kelly - TVP/7/0026 - 0041

Witness statement of Paul Woods - TVP/7/0042 - 0043

Witness statement of Roger David Kingdon - TVP/7/0044 - 0045

Witness statement of John Clark - TVP/7/0046 - 0048

Witness statement of Janice Kelly - TVP/7/0049

Witness statement of Janice Kelly - TVP/7/0415

Witness statement of John Clark - TVP/7/0416 – 0417

Witness Statement Jane Corbin - TVP/8/0001 - 0005

Witness statement Olivia Bosch 10/08/03 - TVP/9/0001 - 0007

Witness Statement: John Phillip Sharpley 01.08.03 - TVP/10/0004 - 0006

Witness Statement: Kevin Tebbit 06.08.03 - TVP/10/0007 - 0011

Witness Statement: Hugh Davies Griffith 05.08.03 - TVP/10/0012 - 0014

Witness Statement: Mark Jason Schollar 05.08.03 - TVP/10/0015 - 0017

Witness Statement: Olivia Bosch 10.08.03 - TVP/10/0018 - 0024

Witness Statement: Katherine Elizabeth Wilson 08.08.03 - TVP/10/0025 - 0029

Witness Statement: Martin Lloyd Howard 08.08.03 - TVP/10/0030 - 0036

Witness Statement: Pamela May Teare 08.08.03 - TVP/10/0037 – 0040

Witness Statement: John Clark 14.08.03 - TVP/10/0041 - 0044

Witness Statement: Jane Corbin 30.07.03 - TVP/10/0045 - 0046

Witness Statement: Katie Langford 08.08.03 - TVP/10/0047

Witness Statement: Patrick Lamb 15.08.03 - TVP/10/0048 - 0055

Witness Statement: Christine Elizabeth Bone 13.08.03 - TVP/10/0056 - 0058

Witness Statement: Sarah Pape 14.08.03 - TVP/10/0059 - 0064

Witness Statement: Janice Kelly 13.08.03 - TVP/10/0065

Witness Statement: David Broucher 21.08.03 - TVP/10/0066 - 0067

Witness Statement: Roger John Avery 05.08.03 - TVP/10/0068 - 0071

Witness Statement: Bryan Harry Wells 31.07.03 - TVP/10/0072 – 0077

Witness Statement: James Harrison 21.07.03 - TVP/10/0078 - 0083

Witness Statement: Alexander Roger MacDonald 31.07.03 - TVP/10/0084 - 0086

Witness Statement: Jonathan Dicks 24.07.03 - TVP/10/0087

Supplemental witness statement Leigh Potter - TVP/13/0001

Monday, July 24, 2006

Recent Parliamentary Written Answers

Written Answers to Questions
Monday 14 June 2006

14 Jun 2006 : Column 1267W

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the categories of information available to Lord Hutton for his inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly in respect of which some or all information has been (a) withheld from the public and (b) destroyed. [74481]

Ms Harman: None of the evidence submitted to Lord Hutton for his Inquiry has been destroyed.

The website for the Inquiry contains a list of all evidence submitted to the Inquiry. Where that evidence has been withheld from the public a reason has been given. Most of the evidence is, however, available to the public through the website.

The original documents supplied to the Inquiry are held at the National Archives.

10 July 2006 : Column 1615W

Written Answers to Questions
Monday 10 July 2006

[Continued from Column 1614W]


Dr. David Kelly

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to her answer of 14 June 2006, Official Report, column 1267W, on Dr. David Kelly, on what date she expects the original documents supplied to the Hutton Inquiry, currently held at the National Archives, to be made available for public inspection. [81166]

Ms Harman: The Inquiry papers are at the National Archives for cataloguing in accordance with archival standards. No date has been set for completion of this work.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 18 Oct 2004 (pt 11)

From Hansard:

18 Oct 2004 : Column 469W



Lynne Jones:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the oral statement on Iraq of 12 October 2004, Official Report, columns 151–55, on what date the intelligence relating to the claim that chemical and biological weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes was officially withdrawn. [191667]

Mr. Straw: I was informed that the lines of intelligence reporting to which I referred to in my Statement to the House of 12 October 2004, Official Report, column 152, had been formally withdrawn on 7 October.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The subsequent withdrawal of the 45 minute claim

From Hansard:

12 Oct 2004 : Column 151


12.31 pm

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Jack Straw):
With permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement on Iraq.


12 Oct 2004 : Column 152 (End)

The House will recall that the Butler committee concluded, among many other things, that the validity of the line of reporting that included the 45-minute intelligence had come into question. It further concluded that reporting received from a liaison service on Iraqi production of biological agent was "seriously flawed". The House will now wish to be aware that the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service has written to my right hon. Friend the Member for Dewsbury (Ann Taylor), the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, formally withdrawing those two lines of reporting.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lord Butler 402-405


402. Of the two dominant sources, the first reported accurately and authoritatively on some key issues. On production and stocks of chemical and biological weapons and agents, he could only report what he learned from others in his circle of high-level contacts in Baghdad.

403. The second dominant source remains the subject of continuing SIS validation. In 2002, SIS considered him to be an established and reliable source. His intelligence on other subjects had previously been corroborated. We therefore understand why SIS decided that it should issue a number of reports from him quoting a new sub-source on Iraqi chemical and biological programmes and intentions. Even then, they properly included a caution about the sub-source’s links to opposition groups and the possibility that his reports would be affected by that. We have been told that post-war validation by SIS has raised serious doubts about the reliability of reporting from this new sub-source. We conclude that this stream of reporting that underpinned JIC assessments on Iraqi production and possession of chemical and biological weapons must be open to serious doubt.

404. In addition to these two dominant sources, SIS’s post-war validation has led them to conclude that two further main sources should continue to be regarded as reliable. We have, however, noted that reports from those sources tended to present a less worrying view of Iraqi chemical and biological weapons capability than that from the sources whose reporting is now subject to doubt.

405. Finally, in mid-September 2002 SIS issued a report, described as being from ‘a new source on trial’, on Iraqi production of chemical and biological agent. Although this report was received too late for inclusion in the JIC assessment of 9 September, it did provide significant assurance to those drafting the Government’s dossier that active, current production of chemical and biological agent was taking place. A second report from the new source, about the production of a particular chemical agent, was received later in September 2002. In July 2003, however, SIS withdrew the two reports because the sourcing chain had by then been discredited. SIS also interviewed the alleged sub-source for the intelligence after the war, who denied ever having provided the information in the reports. We note, therefore, that the two reports from this source, including one which was important in the closing stages of production of the Government’s September dossier, must now be treated as unsafe.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

PMOS - 16 July 2004

Press Briefing: 11am Friday 16 July 2004

Briefing from the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman on: Honours, Iraq/Butler Report, Five Year Plans and Reshuffle.

Iraq/Butler Report

Asked for a reaction to the by-election result in Leicester South in which it seemed that the public had delivered a protest vote against the Government because of the war on Iraq, the PMOS said that as a Civil Servant, he was unable to comment directly on party political issues. That said, as the Prime Minister had made clear once again in his Statement this week, he recognised that people on both sides of the argument held strong views about the war. In his own opinion, the policy of containment had not been working and, post-September 11, it had become clear that the calculus of the threat had changed. He accepted that other people took a different view. However, people needed to start recognising that we had now had four inquiries which had found that the accusation that the Government had acted in bad faith did not stand up. Put to him that the voters still appeared to want to punish the Government for the war, even after four inquiries, the PMOS said the Prime Minister hoped that people's views would change as they saw progress being made in Iraq in terms of the interim Government taking charge, the continuing move towards democracy and the Iraqi-isation of the security effort. In the Iraqi Government's view, those who were carrying out acts of violence were clearly doing so against the wishes of the Iraqi people. They were determined that progress would continue. No one could deny that Iraq was better off now that it had been under Saddam.

Asked why Lord Hutton had not been informed that some intelligence relating to claims about Iraq's chemical and biological weapons (CBW) capability had been withdrawn in July 2003, a month before John Scarlett had given evidence to him, the PMOS said it would seem that the media had got themselves in a bit of a muddle over this story and it was therefore important to set the record straight. It was necessary for people to recognise that we were not talking about the 45-minute claim, but one element of the picture on CBW. Secondly, people should remember what the Hutton Report had been about - the controversy surrounding the 45-minute claim and Dr David Kelly's death. The questions which had been asked of John Scarlett and the other security service witnesses had been asked within that context. Indeed Lord Hutton, himself had made it clear in Paragraph 9 of his Report that he did not see his remit as being to look at the wider intelligence picture. That had been Lord Butler's task. Having looked at all the evidence - including the reasons why and when this particular piece of intelligence had been withdrawn, he had concluded that everyone in government had acted in good faith; that, as John Scarlett told the Hutton Inquiry, the dossier had reflected the available intelligence at the time; that there was no deliberate attempt to distort the evidence as Paragraph 333 stated "the dossier reflected fairly the judgements of past JIC assessments"; and, specifically, that John Scarlett should take up his post as head of SIS. Lord Butler had endorsed Lord Hutton's Report. The piece of intelligence in question had only been one part of the picture on CBW production. The process of SIS validation had still been ongoing at the time of the Hutton Inquiry - and indeed was still ongoing. That process meant that, when John Scarlett had appeared before the Inquiry, this matter was still being investigated as a sensitive, operational matter. So even if he had been asked about this particular piece of intelligence - which he hadn't been - it would have been completely wrong and improper for him to have mentioned it in public. Therefore, Lord Hutton had not been misled, as was being implied by some parts of the media today. He had seen everything that was relevant to his inquiry and whatever intelligence he wanted to see. Lord Butler, having seen everything and having considered the wider intelligent picture, had concluded that everyone had acted in good faith; that John Scarlett was the right person to head the SIS; and that the Government's dossier had accurately reflected the state of knowledge at the time.

Asked if Downing Street believed that an opportunity should have been found between the time of the Hutton Report and now to inform people that the particular piece of intelligence on CBW had been withdrawn, the PMOS pointed out again that the process of validation had still been ongoing at the time of the Hutton Inquiry - and indeed was still ongoing today. Consequently, it would have been completely improper for John Scarlett to have mentioned it when he had given evidence to Lord Hutton. Moreover, it was important for people to recognise that this was just one element of the picture on CBW, not the only one. Put to him that Sir Richard Dearlove had told Lord Hutton that the information contained in the dossier was sound, the PMOS repeated that the piece of intelligence in question was just one element of the picture on CBW. It wasn't the only one. He pointed out that Lord Butler had seen the all the evidence and had also concluded that "the dossier reflected fairly the judgements of past JIC assessments" (paragraph 333). Put to him that the SIS's decision not to inform Lord Hutton that the intelligence had been withdrawn meant that Sir Richard Dearlove's evidence had been wrong, the PMOS said that Lord Hutton had been investigating the controversy surrounding the 45-minute claim, not the wider intelligence picture. That had been Lord Butler's task. The evidence that had been given to the Hutton Inquiry was the evidence that had been available at the time. Asked who had decided not to inform Lord Hutton, the PMOS said that the implication of the line of questioning suggested that this was a matter which had been relevant to Lord Hutton's Inquiry. It had not been. Asked who had decided it had not been relevant, the PMOS repeated that since the matter was still being investigated at the time as sensitive, operational matter, it would have been completely wrong to have mentioned it at that stage.

Asked why there had been no attempt to set the record straight in the light of Lord Butler's conclusion that the particular piece of intelligence had had a major effect on the certainty of statements in the dossier that Iraq possessed and was producing CBW, the PMOS repeated that the process of validation was still ongoing. It wasn't our policy to inform the public every time a piece of intelligence came in or was withdrawn. The key point was that the intelligence in question was just one element of the picture on CBW. It wasn't the only one. Asked to clarify what was being validated and for how long the process would continue, the PMOS acknowledged that one piece of intelligence had been withdrawn because there were question marks over it. However, the point he was making was that the process had to consider the complete CBW picture, not just one element of it. Put to him that it might have been just one element, but it was important nonetheless because the Prime Minister's conviction about Iraq's CBW capability, as stated in his foreword to the dossier, was based on this discredited source, the PMOS repeated that Lord Hutton's remit had not focussed on the wider intelligence picture. That had been Lord Butler's job. As such, he had also been the best person to assess the importance of the intelligence that had been provided. Having considered all the material available, he had come to the conclusion that people had acted in good faith. He had also underlined his view regarding the suitability of John Scarlett to take up his post as the next head of the SIS. That was where the Government was content for the matter to rest.

Asked when the Prime Minister had discovered that the intelligence in question had been withdrawn, the PMOS said that he had not known at the time he had given evidence to Lord Hutton because the process of validation had been ongoing. Asked when he had found out, the PMOS said that it was as a result of the Butler Inquiry. Put to him that that was a little hard to believe, the PMOS underlined that the intelligence was just one element of the CBW picture, not the only one. In addition, the validation process was still ongoing. The position was not going to change, no matter how many times journalists asked the same question.

Asked if he would agree, even though Lord Butler had refused to name names, that people could work out who had been responsible for 'hardening up' the dossier in the light of conversations between John Scarlett and Alastair Campbell, as highlighted in the Hutton Report, while the dossier was still in its production stages, the PMOS said that both Lord Hutton and Lord Butler had come to the conclusions that they had, as had the ISC and FAC. All had agreed that no one in Government had acted in bad faith. 'No one' meant 'no one', not 'no one except......'. No one had acted in bad faith, full stop. None of the reports had implied that any particular person was to blame. Put to him again that, taking the Hutton and Butler Reports in tandem, it was clear that Alastair Campbell and John Scarlett had been responsible for hardening up the dossier, the PMOS said that neither Lord Butler nor Lord Hutton had come to that conclusion. It would therefore seem that the journalist's argument was not with him, but with them.

Asked for a reaction to reports that Sir Richard Dearlove had recommended that John Scarlett should not be his successor, the PMOS said that as he had pointed out on numerous occasions recently, an independent selection panel, chaired by Sir David Omand, had recommended Mr Scarlett's appointment. Most unusually, moreover, the Butler Committee had gone out of its way to explain why they believed that John Scarlett was the right person for the job. Lord Butler himself had endorsed that view in his press conference on Wednesday. Put to him that it was most unusual that Sir Richard Dearlove's deputy had not got the job, the PMOS repeated that an independent selection panel had recommended the appointment of Mr Scarlett. He had no intention of trying to second-guess the thinking behind their decision.

Asked for a reaction to reports suggesting that John Scarlett's replacement at the JIC was someone who did not coincide with the recommendations of the Butler Inquiry, the PMOS said that an appointment had not yet been announced. In addition, the process was being carried out by the Cabinet Office. Consequently, it would be inappropriate for him to comment on it. Pressed as to whether an appointment had already been made, the PMOS said that the Cabinet Office would make the announcement when they were ready to do so.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Kelly Investigation Group

This blog notes that the Kelly Investigation Group (KIG) have re-opened their investigation into some of the anomalies surrounding the death of Dr Kelly with the establishment of two new blog sites.

These can be found at:

and at:

Their previous work can be found archived at:

Two years

No 10 admits Hutton cover-up

By Colin Brown, Kim Sengupta and Andrew Grice

17 July 2004

Downing Street admitted yesterday that MI6 embarked on an unprecedented cover-up after it withdrew intelligence supporting the Government's dossier on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction because it was unreliable.

In an astonishing admission after the disclosure of the cover-up in yesterday's Independent, Tony Blair's official spokesman said MI6 decided not to tell the Hutton inquiry - set up to investigate the death of the government scientist David Kelly - that crucial intelligence on Saddam's chemical and biological weapons was unsound. The security services, he said, felt it was "too sensitive'' to be made public. The head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, also decided not to tell Mr Blair. The Prime Minister's spokesman said Mr Blair only became aware of the withdrawal of the intelligence as a result of the inquiry by Lord Butler of Brockwell, which was delivered three days ago.

Senior sources close to last year's Hutton inquiry said they were unaware that crucial intelligence had been withdrawn, and had this been known, a number of government witnesses would have faced questions about the matter. The sources insisted that the fact that intelligence had been withdrawn by MI6 was not revealed to Lord Hutton either orally or in written evidence.

After the death of Dr Kelly, Mr Blair asked Lord Hutton to conduct an inquiry. Mr Blair's official spokesman said on 21 July last year: "The important point is that we have said that he will have whatever papers and people he needs."

The inquiry began on 11 August. Giving evidence, the Prime Minister, Sir Richard Dearlove and John Scarlett, the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, all failed to mention the withdrawal of intelligence. All three insisted that intelligence from agents in Iraq was believed to be reliable.

Downing Street insisted yesterday that the first time Mr Blair knew about the discredited intelligence was in the Butler report. And the reason Mr Scarlett had not mentioned it, when giving evidence two months after MI6 had withdrawn the intelligence, was that "the validation process was still ongoing".

Senior MPs said Downing Street's comments had all the hallmarks of a damage limitation exercise. Had Mr Blair known, he would face fresh allegations of misleading Parliament on Tuesday when he opens a debate on the Butler report.

Downing Street gave three reasons for not telling the Hutton inquiry: it was not relevant to the investigation into Dr Kelly's death; it was only one element in the chemical and biological weapons "picture"; and, because validation of the intelligence and its source was continuing, it was too sensitive to make public. "Lord Hutton was not misled. He saw everything that was relevant to his picture," said Mr Blair's spokesman.

Two parliamentary committees were also kept in the dark and last night there was a backlash as MPs claimed they had been misled. The Prime Minister's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) will meet next week to decide whether to hold a fresh inquiry into the disclosures in the Butler report.

A senior member of the ISC said: "We were not told about this. We were shown some of the evidence. I think it is a real issue of concern that the SIS [Intelligence and Security Committee] have done this without telling us." Lord King, a former chairman of the ISC, said: "It was for Lord Hutton to decide whether it was not relevant. "
The intelligence services also failed to tell the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which investigated the death of Dr Kelly, that it had "withdrawn'' the crucial intelligence.

The decision to withdraw the intelligence was taken in July, last year, the same month that Mr Blair was forced to call the Hutton inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly, who was named as the source for reports that the dossier had been "sexed up'' by Downing Street.

Exactly a year ago, Dr Kelly went for his fateful walk in the woods. Mr Blair is finding it impossible to draw a line under the events that his death set in train.

(Reproduced in full here because this article is not available at the original source.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Three years

Dr David Kelly, CMG, bio-scientist and senior
United Nations weapons inspector

May 17, 1944 – July 18, 2003

In Memory

Monday, July 17, 2006

Alastair Campbell and the INC

From the transcript of Alastair Campbell’s (rather sudden – he stormed into the studio and demanded to be interviewed) appearance on Channel 4 News on June 27 2003:

Alastair Campbell: Excuse me we were talking about the weapons of mass destruction dossier.

This is the problem. The people who have been opposed to this conflict from the word go are now seeking to change the ground and to say the Prime Minister led the country into conflict on a false basis and you are deliberating conflating the issues.

Jon Snow: The issue in play here today is absolutely that this war was fought on the basis of intelligence information. That intelligence information firstly; the charge that in the first document in September there were serious errors of fact.

Alastair Campbell: Sorry the first document in September? There were serious errors of fact? And what were they Jon?

Jon Snow: The Niger allegation in which the Minister who was supposed to have signed the nuclear purchasing order had himself resigned many years before.

Alastair Campbell: You know do you Jon that that was the basis on which British intelligence put that in the dossier?

You know that, do you? Because if you think that, you are wrong. There were no errors of fact in the WMD dossier in September 2002.

Jon Snow: The Niger source has nothing to do with us?

Alastair Campbell: It was another country's intelligence, and the British intelligence put what they put in that dossier on the basis of British intelligence. Get your facts right before you make serious allegations against a government...

From the September dossier itself:

The Attack on Halabja

On Friday 17th March 1988 the village of Halabja was bombarded by Iraqi warplanes. The raid was over in minutes. Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against his own people. A Kurd described the effects of a chemical attack on another village:...

(Document reference: From "Crimes Against Humanity" Iraqi National Congress.)

Further References:

Human Rights Watch/Middle East – 'Iraq's Crime of Genocide — The Anfal Campaign against the Kurds.' (ISBN: 0-300-06427-6)

The 16 March chemical attack on Halabja...

HRW: The raids continued unabated for several hours. "It was not just one raid, so you could stop and breathe before another raid started. It was just continuous planes, coming and coming. Six planes would finish and another six would come." 27 (27. HRW/ME interview, Halabja, 17 May 1992.)

Dilip Hiro – 'The Longest War — The Iran Iraq Military Conflict.' (ISBN: 0-586-09038-X)

On 16 March the Iraqi air force attacked the town with bombs of cyanide or nerve gas, and killed at least 4000 people, mainly civilians.

The (INC supplied) date for the Halabja attack shown in the September dossier is completely wrong, despite TB and AC standing by every word of the dossier. In 1988 March 16 was a Wednesday, March 17 a Thursday, March 18 a Friday etc.
and at:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Geoff Hoon to Lord Hutton

Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence:

"I knew from the outset, for example, that Dr Kelly had some distinctive views about whether Saddam Hussein's regime was still manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. He judged there was only a 35 per cent likelihood that was the case. That was a distinctive view that had been recognised by a colleague, which prompted him to come forward in the first place. Yes, I was aware that his views were not entirely consistent with those that, for example, had appeared in the dossier that had been published in September."

Geoff Hoon, Defence Minister, HM Government, to Lord Hutton on Monday September 22 2003.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Times July 21 2003

The Times July 21 2003

David Kelly

Scrupulous United Nations weapons inspector who alerted the world to Iraq’s biological weapons programme

It is the cruellest irony that the first human casualty of the altercation between the press office at Number 10 Downing Street and the BBC should be the man closest to the facts on Iraq’s biological warfare capability. It is now clear that David Kelly, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Defence Director of Counter Proliferation and Arms Control, took his own life in woodland not far from his Oxfordshire home. This followed an appearance before the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee three days earlier, when at least one member chose to try to humiliate him.

Kelly led the first team of United Nations biological weapons investigators to Iraq in 1991, following the end of the first Gulf War and Saddam Hussein’s acceptance under the terms of the ceasefire that he must relinquish all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of production.

David Kelly brought a formidable expertise to his work in Iraq. From 1991 to 1994 he conducted the inspections which formed part of the trilateral American, British and Russian Agreement into the Russian biological warfare facilities. Here he impressed his fellow inspectors not only by his knowledge and persistence, but by his willingness to share his expertise with others. There was nothing of the scientific prima donna about Kelly; quite the reverse, he was modestly instructive and regarded his expertise as a resource for all to use…

Friday, July 14, 2006

Richard Spertzel, Rod Barton and Hamish Killip.

Richard Spertzel

Richard Spertzel was head of UNSCOM's Biological Weapons Inspection Section from 1994 to 1999. He was interviewed by The Observer for the Sunday January 25 2004 edition:

"We decided that in all inspections related to investigation of Iraq's prohibited programme, a core group of four individuals would always participate - Rod Barton of Australia, Hamish Killip of the UK, David (Kelly) and me."

Rod Barton

Rod Barton gave evidence to the Australian Parliament Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee in Canberra on March 29 2005, with reference to 'Duties of Australian personnel in Iraq':

Mr Barton — The mobile laboratories were something that we, the ISG, investigated very thoroughly throughout 2003. By the end of that year and certainly by early 2004, we had come to fairly firm conclusions on exactly what those trailers were. We call them trailers. There were two of them that we had in our camp, actually — at Camp Slayer. The evidence of all of the experts who went through those trailers was that those trailers were nothing to do with biology. In actual fact, they were hydrogen generators. That was an issue that I was told by a senior CIA official we could not discuss. In fact, that senior person — and I am not talking about Charles Duelfer; I am talking about his senior staff member — said that it did not matter what they were or what they were for, he did not want to know and we could not write about that. It was too politically difficult, he told me. I said: 'How can we refer to these in the report? We need to make a reference. We have done all of this work and we have quite a thorough document on these trailers — as to what they are and what their purpose is.' He said, 'I don't care — that can't go in the report.' I spoke to Charles Duelfer afterwards and he said, 'I'm not interested in that.' Therefore, in the report we put out in March, there was no reference to our findings about those trailers. I actually put it to Charles: 'There are still members in your government — not in mine anymore, but in yours — who are referring to those trailers as biological trailers. We know they are not and we are not telling them.' He said, 'I'm not interested in that. We're not putting that in the report.' And it did not go in.

Rod Barton to Joby Warrick of the Washington Post prior to Wednesday April 12 2006:

"It would be easier to start all over with just a bucket,"
- Rod Barton

Hamish Killip

Hamish Killip speaking to Bob Drogin and John Goetz of the Los Angeles Times prior to Sunday November 20 2005: (Unavailable at LAT, cached at

"The equipment was singularly inappropriate for biological weapons."

"We were in hysterics over this. You'd have better luck putting a couple of dustbins on the back of the truck and brewing it in there. The trucks were built to generate hydrogen, not germs."

– Hamish Killip

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dr David Kelly

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Prime Minister

From Hansard:


The Prime Minister was asked—

25 Jun 2003 : Column 1045 - End

Q4. [121375] Gregory Barker (Bexhill and Battle): Yesterday the Foreign Secretary described the dodgy dossier as "a complete Horlicks", so is it time to say "night, night" to Alastair Campbell?

25 Jun 2003 : Column 1046

The Prime Minister: As I said earlier, that part of the dossier was entirely accurate and the mistake of not attributing it was accepted at the time. I would simply point out to the hon. Gentleman that, in respect of that dossier and the first dossier, not a single fact in them is actually disputed.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A reply to Emptywheel

Hi Emptywheel, thanks for visiting!

(And you'll be welcome back anytime too!!)

I think I'm going to take your points one at time, but being as we've got ourselves one heck of a set of talking points here, things can get ever-so-complex over even the smallest of details ever-so-quickly. Because of this, I'm not going to do every detail (research as well as writing) to the Nth degree right now, but I hope to communicate the salient bits from your post. (I think there's probably a lot of detail we can come back to later on, if we then so please.)

On the MBLs, your first point, this is a straight-in case-in-point for what I've just stated above (the same also thing goes for talk about Scott Ritter and Ahmed Chalibi).

To go back to the beginning, we have to discover whether Iraq actually had a programme to construct such an entity, or indeed even a set of them. Certainly it would appear that they had an interest in producing biological DETECTION laboratories, as do many other nations around this planet. There is a photo of one such vehicle at the end of the 28 May 2003 American White Paper on the 'labs', clearly this is not a trailer, but this important other third find in Iraq had been little mentioned. There may have been some confluence of information about Iraqi laboratories in general over the years here, with the Hawks emphasising the possible production aspect.

About Scott, I think he had major influence on the way the critical thinking about the inspections took place. Having read his book, Iraq Confidential, he comes across as trying to explore any possibility that Iraq might have used as a pretext to hide weapons. The onus was thus placed on Iraq to explain and disprove any possibility that came into Scott's head. Whether he had any evidence for some of his suspicions is another question, which we may (I hope) get back to.

I haven't myself seen much about MBLs in the UNSCOM/UNMOVIC reports I have read, but I don't claim to have read them all. Certainly before the August 1995 Haidar Chicken Farm finds, which were really documents handed over on-a-plate by Iraq, UNSCOM could not even prove the full extent of the Iraq bio-weapon programme. Being as they were hiding the existence of an earlier fixed production set-up fairly well, did they really need to create a fairly risky mobile capability? Was this just a pipe-dream? Even if it was, whose was it anyway?

On your second point, the quote DOES appear in her June 7 article in the version to be found on the Judith Miller.Org website. Whether it appears on the NYT version I have no idea, being as I haven't registered there. If there are differences, I can't account for that.

About the 'scientist' claim, again this is a fairly small discrepancy in the bigger-picture-of-things, perhaps it was just an inadvertant case of mistakenly filling-in-the-gaps, rather than overtly relaying misinformation?

There is similarity here with the case of Dr Kelly, when Andrew Gilligan first referred to him by saying on BBC radio on 29 May 2003:

"...and what we've been told by one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier was that, actually the government probably erm, knew that that forty five minute figure was wrong, even before it decided to put it in. What this person says, is that a week before the publication date of the dossier, it was actually rather erm, a bland production. It didn't, the, the draft prepared for Mr Blair by the Intelligence Agencies actually didn't say very much more than was public
knowledge already and erm, Downing Street, our source says, ordered a week before publication, ordered it to be sexed up, to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be er, to be discovered."

Nearly all of that was correct. Andrew Gilligan (and the BBC) got very heavily panned for saying all of that, just because Gilligan was simply wrong because Dr Kelly was not actually 'in charge'. A slip of the tongue or keyboard perhaps, understandable with a deadline to meet and no time to confirm or deny and then correct, but if he'd just used the word 'involved' instead he would have been completely correct.

Where you say:

Was she unaware that she was being directed to defectors who had been discredited by CIA? Why did she ignore the evidence given by people like David Albright on aluminum tubes, even when they called HER to inform her of the fact? Why did she know that the WMD search was going to switch to HumInt several weeks before her unit did? Was it a coincidence that she met with Chalabi before the war started, then effectively overrode the military command to make sure her unit remained with Chalabi when it became clear there were no WMD? When people like Bolton would call her to publish something so they could pre-empt other policy makers, was she aware of how she was being used? Is she simply stupid, or was she reporting sincerely when she reported the ridiculous logic chain of the first inspectors looking at the MBL?

These are the explicit points which I/we have no complete understanding about at this time, and that therefore need clarification. I will have to research further before I can comment on each of these aspects.

But I can't imagine any argument that either doesn't hold that she's stupid and was being used, or that she was complicit. There are just too many times when it was clear that she willingly let herself be a mouthpiece for one faction. And she either did it out of ignorance, or willfulness.

I really do think there might be a slightly more understandable unexplored middle-ground here. Given who she was and her unique position, complete with her access to very close to the highest-of-high in American life, I do tend to think that she may well have been unwittingly sucked into a whirlpool of political necessity regarding the removal of Saddam and the justification of false claims of Iraq's possession of mythical weapons.

Do you think there is some room here for something in-between succor and sucker, or even a slightly more subtle combination of the two?


Dr David Kelly to Susan Watts - 30 May 2003

"I mean I reviewed the whole thing [dossier], I was involved with the whole process.... it was very difficult to get comments in because people at the top of the ladder didn't want to hear some of the things."

(From the full transcript of her tape-recorded interview with Dr Kelly on 30/05/03)

Monday, July 10, 2006

E-mail correspondence - David Kelly and Judith Miller

From: David Kelly (redacted)
Sent: 17 July 2003 11:18
To: (redacted)
Subject: you


I will wait until the end of the week before judging - many dark actors playing games.

Thanks for your support    I appreciate your friendship at this time.



-----0riginal Message-----

From : (redacted)
Sent : 16 July 2003 00:30
To : (redacted)
Subject : you


I heard from another member of your fan club that things went well for you today    Hope it's true    J

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Calling Amir Al Saadi

Has anyone seen or heard any word on General Amir Al Saadi? He was Saddam's top WMD expert, number 32 on the playing-cards, he gave himself up after the last war and surrendered to US/Iraqi custody but he hasn't been heard of since. The female scientists Dr Riab Taha and Dr Huda Ammash have both been released, but there is no word anywhere about General Al Saadi.

Has anyone seen/heard anything? Is he still being held? If so, why so?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Simon on Emptywheel on Judy. (Still in draft)

(Well, it's been more than three days already. Here's where I'm at.)
(It's a couple of days after that now, just about done but I might add a bit more. Will note it here if I do.)

One of the biggest problems with having a discussion on a blog with people who have themselves spent a lot of time blogging about a specific topic is that you have to go back and review all that they have already said in order not to appear too stupid. In this particular case, Emptywheel has written far more than just quite extensively about Judith Miller. Indeed she goes so far as to apologise for her Judy obsession. It took me several hours to read much that was pertinent, and when I copied her relevant posts across into Word in order to take the time to review them collectively, I ended up with a fully absorbing 137 pages to (hopefully) respectfully critique, this pretty well discounted anything written by Emptywheel exclusively in relation with Judy and the Libby/Plame affair.

So where to start? We had first crossed paths in Luke's 'Rod Barton, Joseph Cirincione' thread, and this content was then moved by our host on up to the 'Judy Judy Miller and David Kelly' post.

Emptywheel had initially commented about the Judy/David Kelly connection after I had said in the earlier thread:

"Emptywheel etc has plenty on the false US claims (yellowcake, aluminium tubes etc) but over here we don't even know what they wanted to, dare I say it, lie about."

She had replied in part:

"And that her (JM) lies are the British lies (well, they were shared lies, but the Brits have the legal exposure here that BushCo doesn't)."

Here, of course, are the cruces of these matters, the lies that took us to war, and then on to Judy's part in them.

The following is my take on what happened, intersperced with Emptywheel's last post to me:


A couple of points. First, Judy was no longer embedded by the time she received the White Paper. She was back in the States, just a few days removed from getting kicked out of Iraq when she tried to reembed to find out more about the trailers.

On this first point I would be interested to know whether she specifically went back to the US to personally receive the first media briefing on the White Paper. As Emptywheel herself stated elsewhere: "It's not entirely clear why Judy comes home when she does." By Judy's account she didn't actually see the paper, but instead spoke to a number of 'officials'. At that point it had already gone to the White House, and they (obviously) wanted the media to rapidly report it as it supported their case for war against Saddam. Judy was, as far as I can see, the best and most experienced on-the-ground WMD reporter from the administration's point of view. The bigger question here is how involved was Judy in the manifestation in the lies of the war? Was she complicit in the production of the lies, or was she just cast into a role where she inadvertently became a mouthpiece for those who were initially pressing for a war, and then later desperately seeking to prove international justifications for that war? Either way, her embedding status was still in force well past her reporting of the White Paper. Even when she published her so-called 'mea culpa' on June 7, she (or William Broad, her co-writer) still referred to this arrangement, stating: "Her agreement with the Pentagon, for an "embedded" assignment, allowed the military to review her copy to prevent breaches of troop protection and security. No changes were made in the review."

Also, the chronology of the White Paper is significant:

Well, the White Paper was more important than its chronology. It was an early report, and by Dr David Kelly's account a fairly hurried one, one which attempted to demonstrate that what were in reality hydrogen machines were actually most likely mobile biological laboratories. It is quite possible that these machines were something that was completely new to the weapons inspections bodies, being that Iraq had never been under any obligation to previously declare them. No-one seemingly had previous experience of them. As MBLs, they would have carried the case for war, but they had aroused the suspicions of the British from their own examinations of them after they had been transported back to Baghdad International Airport, the home of the base of the weapons search, Camp Slayer.

May 21: Judy publishes details of White Paper that had not yet been published, just as debunking team is about to leave
May 25: Debunking team assmbles in Kuwait
May 27: Debunking team issues their report debunking the claims about the trailers
May 28: CIA publishes White Paper
May 29: Bush publicly uses the trailers as proof of finding WMD

Emptywheel's chronology here does got go back far enough to complete the story.

In her May 10 article Judy clearly states that the labs were first examined by Chemical Biological Intelligence Support Team-Charlie - with the help of British experts. She says some experts were still uncertain but that "they" (presumably T-C but this can be read both ways) were "persuaded" that they were WMD production labs. She also says that a second Pentagon-sent team was arriving that day to survey the 'labs' and to gather additional information.

At this point in time Dr Kelly was not in Iraq, so he could not have been personally involved with the examination. But there was a small British contingent in Iraq at that time. It is possible that this was a NBC detection team, still in Iraq following the invasion, or they might have been sent there to examine any new finds. The Washington Post's Barton Gellman had mentioned them on May 11, stating that there was confusion over their whereabouts whilst in transit from Iraq’s Talil Air Base.

In all there were (according to Judy) at least three groups of experts that examined the supposed trailers, firstly a four-day examination by T-C (with British help), then the Pentagon assembled May 10 team as mentioned above, and after that the May 25 more senior 9-member CIA/DIA "Jefferson Project" team which was primarily American but which also include one Briton (additional reference: Joby Warrick - Washington Post), who then debunked the hydrogen machines for what they were within around 4 hours of seeing them.

Dr David Kelly had already had telephone conversations about these 'labs' with Susan Watts, the BBC's Newsnight Science Editor, going back before Judy's May 10 article, back to May 7. At this point he had stated that the was 90% certain that they were MBLs. She had three conversations with him in May 2003, on May 7, 12 and 30. By May 12 he had changed his expectations to SW, stating that his reading of the matter was now down to a 45% confidence level. For a scientist to ascribe things in such terms (incidentally, he also did whilst in conversation with Andrew Gilligan), this meant that he was far less than convinced that they were what they were portrayed to be.

On May 12 he was currently in London, having recently returned from New York, and he was to return there in the following few days. He was analying information as it was coming back from Iraq, and he must have gathered his doubts from the British team who first examined the 'labs' with 75TFX Team-Charlie.

From Judy's June 7 article:

American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence are disputing claims that the mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making deadly germs. In interviews over the last week, they said the mobile units were more likely intended for other purposes and charged that the evaluation process had been damaged by a rush to judgment.


Now, intelligence analysts stationed in the Middle East, as well as in the United States and Britain, are disclosing serious doubts about the administration's conclusions in what appears to be a bitter debate within the intelligence


One skeptic questioned the practicality of some of the conjectural steps the Iraqis are envisioned as having taken to adapt the trailers to the job of making deadly germs.

"It's not built and designed as a standard fermenter," he said of the central tank. "Certainly, if you modify it enough you could use it. But that's true of any tin can."

Compare this mention of the fermentor with David Kelly's comment to Susan Watts on May 12 (from the evidence submitted to the Hutton Inquiry SWJ/1/0042):

DK…we've seen on the mobile labs the POLITICS of that is so STRONG that it deflects all practical objectivity. (Note by simon - SW's emphasis)

SW Has your assessment of whether that, of how important that is changed - I think was 90 and went down to 45%?

DK In terms of its likelihood of being a fermentor?. . it's still down in 40s

SW Really? It's still that low?

DK oh yes

SW Is that still because you don't have the right information

DK Well I have more than I did before, but I still don't have the right information so until this team reports back and I'm unsighted as to whether they've actually finished their job because I've been in NY. as you know there's team in at the moment - until they come back and actually give their data I think it's actually quite difficult to make that determination but whatever it is it's certainly a very unusual fermentor


DK am I around next week? I'm going back to the states

Given these concerns expressed by David Kelly, it is entirely possible that he relayed the same infomation at some later date to Judith Miller, which she then used in her June 7 piece, especially being as we know they had significant contact. If this was the case then by this time she may have become completely sceptical about the Iraqi WMD claims, something she may have previously believed in. This in turn may have led to the "many dark actors playing games" e-mail comment by him sent to her (by many sources) just a few hours before his death.

On EW's other points:

The orchestration of the White Paper allowed the Administration to make claims that had been debunked.

Yes it did. Herein lies the rub. I think they knew that their WMD evidence was coming apart at the seams. They wanted the exaggerations to stick, and wanted the White Paper out there to back-up their ficticious claims in the wider minds of the general public. They did not want to delay, and to allow the growing dissent space to grow, and then to fester into open dispute in and within the MSM, and likewise within the intelligence community.

EW: Also, there was significant coverage as Kay's interim report came out about why they hadn't leaked it--people in INR and some in DIA said specifically that they weren't releasing early copies of the document because of the way the White Paper had been publicized back in May. Here's one take on it (in a Judy/Jehl NYT article, but it appears in others):

The details of Mr. Kay's findings have been closely held within the administration as part of a strategy that officials said was intended both to prevent unauthorized leaks and to minimize internal disputes about any emerging findings. Issues related to the Iraqi weapons program have been contentious inside the administration as well as outside, with the State Department's intelligence branch and some officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency taking issue with a report made public in May by the C.I.A. that said mysterious trailers discovered in Iraq were used to manufacture biological weapons.

I personally think there is much more to this than first meets the eye. The were two interim reports, firstly David Kay's (which still has not seen the light of day), and then one prepared for/by Charles Duelfer, assisted by Rod Barton. It is in this second one that John Scarlett is alleged to have pressed for the nine 'nuggets' to be included (or re-included?). The real question, being as the statement of David Kay was (with hindsight) so poor, is whether the 'nuggets' (or something close to them) were in fact initially included into his own interim report. If this is the case, it explains why this report has never been leaked or made public. The story that it couldn’t be made public (because of what happened 'before') would be cover for the fact that the report contained details and supposed 'facts' that would quite plainly divide and cause major conflict within the intelligence community and beyond even if released today.

EW: WRT Judy "working" for the Brits--that's perhaps too strong. I brought up Kelly mostly because of Judy's odd reference to one of Kelly's fans discussing his testimony. It's an odd reference regardless of what one thinks of Kelly's death.

I think it is probably too strong also to say even that she was working for the US authorities. My take is that she just got caught up in the WMD merry-go-round due to her unique position and previous reporting record. The 75th XTF were woefully inequipped, both in expertise and in experience of Iraq's WMD programmes. Judy had picked up on this quite early on, and had added her own ideas into the mix in order to, as she saw it, assist them with their mission.

On Dr Kelly and Judy's reference, his fans were those he spoke to and advised and told the truth to. They were supporting him through his ordeal because they knew the truth too. It is possible that Judith Miller was referring to Susan Watts in this exchange.

EW: But mostly, I don't think one can distinguish between the US and the British weapons teams. Professionals from both countries (and Australia) were obviously both working the same issues. And going back to UNSCOM, there was a tolerance at least on the Brits' part to allow the US to play their misinformation games. I suspect that tolerance would be much greater, given that the Brits are the one with the legal problem.

Herein lies one of the biggest issues of all. From Scott Ritter's account it can be seen that there was a concerted US effort to remove Saddam by all possible means. UNSCOM had allowed itself to be completely undermined by a CIA presence that had condoned and then engaged in a completely illegal spying programme. Saddam was fully aware of this, and this had led him to believe that co-operation with weapons inspections was usless in any case because he was never going to be given a clean bill of health, no matter what he disclosed. There were many highly professional WMD experts out there who were not working with a hidden agenda. But they were not allowed, for political reasons, to carry the day and to declare Iraq as no longer a threat to the wider world.

The British (as a whole) had no vested interest in removing Saddam. It must be remembered that they had a great deal to do with modern Iraq since its inception following the First World War, they had held a mandate there from 1920 through to 1958, when the earlier (albeit British imposed) Iraqi monarchy was overthrown. They understood the way things are there because the situation today is very little different from the way it was back then. They had captured Baghdad from the Turks at the cost of 98,000 casualties in 1917, so they had clearly 'been there' before. Thus they had had the experience of Iraq, and the accompanying necessary understanding from a long time ago, something the US did not have, notwithstanding the 1991 Iraq/Kuwait conflict. (This included the knowledge of the fact that Iraq as it exists could only be run under the authority of someone who ruled with an iron fist. No other process or system was or is capable of surviving peacefully and intact there.)

Finally, Emptywheel, from within her most prodigeous output, says: "I don’t know it the Brits find her any more convincing than we do." I can only speak for my (British) self, but I think that Judy has been tarred and feathered as a scapegoat for far more than is and was justified. Those WMD lies were not her lies, they were the lies of an administration which was completely committed to removing Saddam, along with an avaricious Iraqi opposition movement. She reported in the here-and-now, and bearing in mind that there is always a fog that surrounds war, and that first reports are often wrong, she reported (given the circumstances that surrounded her) reasonably concisely and promptly about what she was given by those who were placed at her disposal.

Yes, a lot of it did turn out to be wrong. But she shouldn't be blamed alone and in isolation for that.


The exchange that started this blog:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Judy Judy Miller and David Kelly.

from the comments here

emptywheel said...

WRT what the Brits wanted to lie about--I keep thinking of Judy's relationship with Kelly, and the provocative chance Judy tried to show in Iraq at the same time Kelly was there in June 2003. And Judy's comment about mutual friends in her last email to Kelly.

I can't help but think that Judy was working with the Brits, too. And that her lies are the British lies (well, they were shared lies, but the Brits have the legal exposure here that BushCo doesn't).

Also, one more Judy detail. Kay's interim report wasn't leaked out precisely because the May White Paper on the "mobile weapons labs" had been leaked out. There was a very fun Jehl-Judy article at the time reporting this that neglected to mention that Judy had been the one who had leaked that White Paper.

The Duelfer Report, IMO, is a fairly curious document. I know it obscured the provenance of the uranium document that Judy "Found" in the Mukhabarat (presenting it as "found" by ISG, which wasn't yet active). But Duelfer only "reports" the more bogus aspects of the Mahdi Obeidi story, not claiming things ISG didn't witness. I think it has a number of these "tells" where we might find a bit of a coverup out of an anxiety to be up and up.

Simon said...


I've got to say from the outset that I don't entirely go along with the idea that Judy was an integral part of a propaganda machine. Regarding the white paper on the labs, she didn't exactly 'leak' it, she reported it after she was apparently briefed about it by her official sources, straight after it was presented to the White House. Being as she was the embedded reporter covering the hunt for WMD this is really not so surprising. I can find nothing to suggest that this document was initially classified in any way, so in reality she only got an early look-see before it was posted on the CIA website. It made very little difference that she had reported it on May 21st and it was not publicly issued until May 28th. I cannot see Emptywheel's point that David Kay's October 2nd 2003 Interim Report was not leaked BECAUSE of this. By the time of the Interim Report (or at least the statement referring) it must have been much more obvious to all concerned that there was going to be precious little to find in Iraq, witnessed by the fact that the statement contained many circumstantial points which were portrayed as some kind evidence when they still had not been fully investigated and properly qualified. Indeed that whole report now holds very little water with the benefit of hindsight (and the complete Duelfer Comprehensive Report).

I do agree that this last report is a little curious insofar as it attempts to ever-so-neatly tie up all the Iraqi WMD loose ends, but it does draw very heavily on UNSCOM and UNMOVIC's reporting, including the quarterly reports established under SC Resolution 1284 (1999). These reports continued throughout the 2003 invasion, past the publication of the Final Report, and on up to the present (the 25th and latest s-2006-342 being issued on 30 May 06). These reports contain annexes detailing different aspects of Iraq's earlier WMD programmes, and are going to be the definitive account(s) of Iraq's malfeasance, even if very few people are aware of them.

On Dr Kelly, I take the view that he was an scrupulously honest man, who killed himself because he was no longer willing to lie for his masters. I can well imagine Judy and other reporters seeking him out to further her/their WMD reporting. Judy was plainly working alongside a number of Brits, but to suggest that she was working FOR the Brits, at least those in the Security Services and the Cabinet Office and higher, who had a vested interest in demonstrating their justification for war, may be stretching the point a little bit too far (IMO).

emptywheel said...


A couple of points. First, Judy was no longer embedded by the time she received the White Paper. She was back in the States, just a few days removed from getting kicked out of Iraq when she tried to reembed to find out more about the trailers.

Also, the chronology of the White Paper is significant:

May 21: Judy publishes details of White Paper that had not yet been published, just as debunking team is about to leave
May 25: Debunking team assmbles in Kuwait
May 27: Debunking team issues their report debunking the claims about the trailers
May 28: CIA publishes White Paper
May 29: Bush publicly uses the trailers as proof of finding WMD

The orchestration of the White Paper allowed the Administration to make claims that had been debunked.

Also, there was significant coverage as Kay's interim report came out about why they hadn't leaked it--people in INR and some in DIA said specifically that they weren't releasing early copies of the document because of the way the White Paper had been publicized back in May. Here's one take on it (in a Judy/Jehl (note by simon - restricted access NY Times) article, but it appears in others):

The details of Mr. Kay's findings have been closely held within the administration as part of a strategy that officials said was intended both to prevent unauthorized leaks and to minimize internal disputes about any emerging findings. Issues related to the Iraqi weapons program have been contentious inside the administration as well as outside, with the State Department's intelligence branch and some officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency taking issue with a report made public in May by the C.I.A. that said mysterious trailers discovered in Iraq were used to manufacture biological weapons.

WRT Judy "working" for the Brits--that's perhaps too strong. I brought up Kelly mostly because of Judy's odd reference to one of Kelly's fans discussing his testimony. It's an odd reference regardless of what one thinks of Kelly's death. But mostly, I don't think one can distinguish between the US and the British weapons teams. Professionals from both countries (and Australia) were obviously both working the same issues. And going back to UNSCOM, there was a tolerance at least on the Brits' part to allow the US to play their misinformation games. I suspect that tolerance would be much greater, given that the Brits are the one with the legal problem.

lukery said...

I think that EW will argue that Judy was embedded with the 75th for a specific purpose, and that whatever she reported therefore needs to be seen through that lens.

Simon said...


I don't disagree with this, but I think the prime reason for her embedding was simply to have someone who was already seen to have a gung-ho pro-Iraq-has-WMD viewpoint on the spot to report on the uncovering of the expected missing weaponry. Her reporting from Iraq is generally fair given what was known at the time, and she did accurately report the dissent within the expert community. I think she was a surprised as anyone else when the gig started falling apart. So she was allowed some access to the defectors - so what - if their stories were false then this was going to become apparent in any case.

How surprised (shocked) she was when DK killed himself is another question - my take would be "very".

lukery said...

i think EW just choked on her breakfast.

Simon said...

With regards to EW's latest post (and I didn't mean for her to choke), it will take me some time to work up a reply being as she draws heavily on her previous work at The Next Hurrah. She raises several significant points about which there still remain large questions. I'll have a go at a reply tomorrow, but if it turns into a epic, it might take as long as three days. Being as this blog moves as fast as it does, maybe I'll forward it up for a new post at the top of the page.

Simon said...

Before I get right into this, my first impression is that EW comes across as being very hard on Judy. I don't quite see it that way but I'm going to have to go through all her stuff to work up a slightly different narrative. Yep, I can see an epic in the making. Will let you know when it's done!!

First Post.

This blog has grown out of a discussion on another blog - Luke Ryland's It comes about out of a discussion about Iraq's supposed Mobile Biological Laboratories that Iraq was claimed to possess in the run-up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, itself to rid that nation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.