Carne Ross
Carne Ross, photo: NYTimes

Former UK diplomat to the UN and that-time responsible person for Iraq claims that Blair’s government “massaged” assessment of Saddam’s WMD. Carne Ross said on the Chilcot inquiry that intelligence was intentionally and substantially exaggerated assessment of Saddam Hussein’s weapon of mass destruction culminating highly misleading Statements about the threat that amounted to lies.

Mr. Ross testified on Chilcot inquiry, which was appointed by former PM Gordon Brown to identify lessons that could be learned from Iraqi conflict. Since last July this Inquiry questioned several high ranking British officials including both Labour PM’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Mr. Ross claims that real government assessment was more or less opposite to what was presented to the public. In that moment Downing Street has information’s which shows up sanctions towards Iraqi regime effective in prevention from developing nuclear capabilities.

“This process of exaggeration was gradual and proceeded by accretion and editing from document to document, in a way that allowed those participating to convince themselves that they were not engaged in blatant dishonesty. But this process led to highly misleading statements about the UK assessment of the Iraqi threat that were, in their totality, lies”, said Mr. Ross.

Blair’s team presented Labour MP’s in March 2002 with document that includes claims who are saying that if Iraqi nuclear program remains unchecked there is possibility for development of crude nuclear device in next five years. Mr. Ross said that this statement to PLP was purely hypothetical.

“There was no evidence at either point that Iraq was obtaining necessary material”, said Mr. Ross adding that situation was a same in 1991 and 2002.

He also expresses his disgrace with Britain’s unwillingness to exhaust all peaceful alternatives before going to war.

“There was no deliberate discussion of available alternatives to military action in advance of the 2003 invasion. There is no record of that discussion, no official has referred to it, no minister has talked about it, and that seems to me to be a very egregious absence in this history – that at some point a government before going to war should stop and ask itself, ‘are there available alternatives?”, said Mr. Ross.

Beside this FO asked him to redact information relating to a proposal to seize illegal bank accounts of Saddam Hussein opened in several Jordanian banks.