This is the moment when Jonathan Powell admitted that Downing St was set on war irrespective of whether Saddam had WMD or not. This admission contradicted all the carefully constructed lies of key war criminals David Manning, Alistair Campbell and Jonathan Powell himself.
The implications of this passage could not be more stark. The aim was war. Whether or not Iraq had WMD was irrelevant. There was no interest in knowing the truth about WMD. Indeed to know the truth would be negative.
A ten year old could understand the crucial importance of what Powell said here. But the hand picked committee of pro-war cronies failed completely to pick up on it.
SIR RODERIC LYNE: I mean, Sir David Manning and
8 Sir Jeremy Greenstock both said, but differently, that
9 they would have liked to have had more time, but you
10 don’t agree with that?
11 MR JONATHAN POWELL: No, we asked for more time repeatedly
12 from January onwards of the President, and we got more
13 time in each case. Eventually, by the time we got to
14 midMarch, he wasn’t going to give us more time and the
15 French veto knocked any chance
16 SIR RODERIC LYNE: He wasn’t going to give us more time. If
17 we had had more time, if the inspectors had had longer,
18 there had been longer to build up the picture and you
19 had continued these extraordinary diplomatic efforts
20 that you described, would there not have been a chance,
21 at that stage, of actually gathering the international
22 support that we had not managed to gather by then?
23 MR JONATHAN POWELL: No. I mean, if you think about it,
24 Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. We were
25 wrong. The intelligence was wrong. So, no matter how
1 long you had carried the inspections on, they weren’t
2 going to find anything, and, from what we know of
3 Saddam, it is extremely unlikely that he would have
4 cooperated. So we would have been in exactly the same
5 situation for months and months and months. There would
6 have been no discovery of weapons of mass destruction,
7 but 8
SIR RODERIC LYNE: But one way or the other they might have
9 built up a more convincing picture, if they had had more
11 MR JONATHAN POWELL: A convincing picture of what?
12 SIR RODERIC LYNE: Well, a picture to convince the people
13 who weren’t not convinced by our arguments in March.
14 MR JONATHAN POWELL: But if there weren’t weapons of mass
15 destruction, we wouldn’t have been able you are
16 asking me in retrospect, “Would we have had more time?”
17 The answer is more time would have achieved nothing.
18 SIR RODERIC LYNE: Thank you very much.