Disputed fears over Saddam's arsenal led to a UN inspection in 2002
They were more alarmed by developments in Libya, Iran and North Korea, the Iraq inquiry has been told by the Foreign Office's then head of counter-proliferation.
Tim Dowse, who was in the job from 2001 to 2003, said: "It wasn't top of the list.
"In terms of my concerns on coming into the job in 2001, I would say we put Libya and Iran ahead of Iraq."
Mr Dowse also said that, while Saddam Hussein had supported Palestinian terrorist groups, the assessment was that the Iraqi regime's contacts with groups linked to al Qaida were "quite sporadic".
The above is from Miranda Richardson's "Iraq's WMDs Did Not Concern Officials In 2001" (Sky News) and she's reporting on today's hearing. The Iraq Inquiry continues in London with the second day of public testimony. As noted in yesterday's snapshot, today they hear about WMD, tommorow's witnesses offer testimony about the Transatlantic Relationship and Friday the hear testimony on Developments in the United Nations. Today's witnesses are Tim Dowse and William Ehrman. England's Channel 4 is offering a live blog of the hearing by Iraq Blogger:
Chilcot: did nothing being found after war cause concern? Dowse: Yes we were certainly concerned. Ehrman: Surprpised AND concerned. 4 minutes ago from web
Andrew Sparrow (Guardian) is not live blogging the hearing currently. (He's live blogging Gordon Brown.) Gordon Rayner (Telegraph of London) reports:
Strict sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein made it virtually impossible for him to re-start his nuclear programme, the inquiry heard, and even if sanctions were lifted it was likely to take five years before Iraq could build a nuclear weapon.
[. . .]
Mr Blair told parliament that Iraq was a major threat to security in the Middle East, but Sir William Ehrman, director of international security at the Foreign Office from 2000 to 2002, said: "In terms of nuclear and missiles, I think Iran, North Korea and Libya were probably of greater concern than Iraq."
Tim Dowse, head of counter-proliferation at the Foreign Office from 2001 to 2003, said: "It wasn't top of the list. In 2001 and early 2002 I was probably devoting more of my time to Iran, Libya and (the rogue nuclear scientist) A Q Khan than I was to Iraq.
Some visitors are e-mailing to get some nonsense highlighted from a blog. We're not interested in that ___ or the ___ that runs it. And the post he's written? No, the inquiry has not, has NOT, heard that George W. Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq before he was installed into the White House. NOT heard that. The transcripts of the hearing are being posted online and so is video.
They have heard that Condi Rice appeared to want it based on an article she'd written. But the people testifying don't even really know Condi Rice well enough to say what she thought or wanted and have to rely on articles she wrote. They don't know Bush at all.
For example, here's how the New York Times' John F. Burns (at Australia's The Age) reports on the thing that so confuses the blogger:
Sir Peter Ricketts, a former chairman of Britain's powerful Joint Intelligence Committee, said officials in London knew even before Mr Bush came to office in 2001 that there were ''voices'' in Washington calling for Saddam to be removed from power. But, he said, it was Britain's policy, then and later, to contain the Iraqi leader, not topple him.
And, for the record, I thought it was pretty well established that prior to being gifted with the White House by the Supreme Court, Bully Boy Bush lived in Texas. I thought everyone grasped that. So "voices" in DC before 2001 wouldn't refer to him. Clear enough for most of us but not for the crazies.
Why would some dumb ass write a blog post stating Bush wanted war with Iraq one year before he entered the White House?
Because the dumb ass isn't a Democrat. He's a Republican, a Lincoln Log, a self-loathing gay man who spread for the Republicans for decades so he also apparently has master-slave, dom-sub issues to work on. Suddenly, he no longer felt welcome in his party this decade (maybe a nasty break up with a closeted member of Congress?) and decided, "I'll show them! They can't push me around!" So he now calls himself a Democrat. And like most recent converts, works overtime to prove his 'cred' but only demonstrates he has no respect for the facts. And that he'll lie at the drop of a hat.
He's not helping anyone.
He's among the whiners holding money back from the Democratic Party because he's just discovered Barack is not gay friendly. Of course, in real time when Barack demonstrated homophobia in 2007 and 2008 repeatedly, the Republican was covering for him and lashing out against Hillary Clinton in one false attack after another, the kind of bulls**t attack on the Clintons that only Republicans can do. (Which is why so many pieces of s**t on the left like crazy Barbra Erhenreich -- whose daughter wants to license reporters -- what a trashy family -- had to resort to Republican talking points to do her attacks on Hillary.)
I don't know what was going on when the idiot wrote his blog post. Maybe he was using what we'll politely call a "marital aid" and was preoccupied. But we don't highlight his garbage and we don't steer traffic to him. He is not a Democrat and he makes that clear every day, in every way. If half of his hatred towards women was aimed at men of any race other than White, the Bloggers Boize who carry his water would be outraged. But he's allowed to attack women because, online, women don't matter to our 'Democratic' bloggers.
CNN notes a Karbala bombing which claimed 4 lives and left at least twenty-five wounded. Meanwhile Michael Christie and Mark Trevelyan (Reuters) report an assault in Tarmiya in which 6 family members were murdered by males "wearing [Iraqi] army uniforms . . . The women had their throats cut while the men were shot in the head". Waleed Ibrahim (Reuters) has an important breaking article re: the Iraqi vote. I'll link to it but I'm hearing conflicting reports on the phone this morning from friends in the State Dept so we'll just provide the link for now.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the telegraph of london
john f. burns