Iraq Inquiry – The Smoking Gun Moment 156

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

10 time.

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.

156 thoughts on “Iraq Inquiry – The Smoking Gun Moment

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  • technicolour

    Sorry, am housebound with flu at the moment & posting tons: not always this bad. Kingofwelshnoir: do you think they could have underestimated the British public? The wave in response to this from the peace movement, from the heart of the people, was huge.

  • The Cartoonist


    You really should get the German spelling right.

    Apart from that, the comments are really deteriorating again. And it’s certainly not only Larry’s fault; it’s probably the Bilderbergs who are behind this. 🙂

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    I’m torn between you and technicolour – there is of course a secret ‘agenda’ that decides where our Naval ships should be and where our special forces operate, that is clear – that strategy is conveyed to the Chiefs of Staff.

    We know Tony Blair, the former prime minister, misled MPs and the public throughout 2002 when he claimed that Britain’s objective was “disarmament, not regime change” and that there had been no planning for military action. In fact, British military planning for a full invasion and regime change began in February 2002.

    There was also the need to conceal this from Parliament and all but “very small numbers” of officials “constrained” the planning process. The result was a “rushed” operation “lacking in coherence and resources” which caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the post-war period.

    So perhaps the “secret government” is in America as the sole superpower. Bush at some point visited the Queen at least twice, a valuable and meaningful source of great knowledge.

  • glenn

    —start quote

    MR JONATHAN POWELL: No. I mean, if you think about it,

    Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. We were

    wrong. The intelligence was wrong. So, no matter how

    long you had carried the inspections on, they weren’t

    going to find anything, and, from what we know of

    Saddam, it is extremely unlikely that he would have

    cooperated. So we would have been in exactly the same

    situation for months and months and months.

    —end quote

    That is a puzzling staement. In the first half, Powell appears to admit that nothing would be found, but then he goes on to say that SH would not have cooperated. Yet Blix, Ritter and Kay said they had full cooperation, and Blix (the last) demanded another three months to prove the case positively one way or another.

    Then the weapons inspectors were pulled out on the eve of our acts of aggression, because we – the US/UK “coalition of the willing” (willing to commit war crimes) were about to start bombing. And then Dubbya lied and said SH had kicked him out, and the slavish news-hounds faithfully reported this as fact.

    So we wouldn’t have been in the same situation for months and months, far from it – the only passingly genuine case for war would have been made or broken within three months.

    I know this, and I’m nobody important at all. How come the experts at getting at the truth, like Sir Roderic Lyne, didn’t know this?

    Do they believe their job is to call witnesses, ask them to state their side of the story, say “Thank you very much, sir”, and move on to the next? I suppose so. And in summing up, they will thank all the witnesses for their contributions, suggest perhaps lessons should be learned, and that’s the end of the matter.

  • tony_opmoc

    Some people think the entire thing was a British job.

    I know, this at first seems ridiculous, and we come near the bottom of the list of suspects…

    But I have always thought of Israel as just a US airbase, whilst the US have always thought of the UK as their Aircraft Carrier…

    But most people in the UK, including the Armed Forces and Probably The Queen and The Bankers think the Americans are a bunch of irresponsible useless cunts who haven’t a fucking clue how to run an Empire…

    So exactly how do you go about collapsing it?

    I note a Sterling Performance From our Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the UK Bankers about 15 months ago..

    You Probably Have No Idea How Much Wealth Was Transferred From the US to the UK and the rest of the World after Gordon Brown’s action…

    I know everyone hates him, but he is far more intelligent than either Blair – or his airhead clone Cameron.

    Though I won’t be voting Labour


  • Richard Robinson

    “I really disagree with your analysis that somebody can’t be an agent of an Intelligence because what he writes is totally lacking in any Intelligence.”

    If I was an Evil Spy intent on disrupting things here, I wouldn’t employ Larry. There are too many people willing to behave like that for no reward other than some personal satisfaction. He’s a petty bully, looking for people who’ll act like victims, is all. Occam’s razor – I don’t say evil conspiracies don’t or couldn’t exist, just that Larry explains himself fine without them. Don’t make him any bigger than he really is. “Don’t feed the trolls”.

    “The best way to damage a blog would be to lower the level with stupid remarks so intelligent/deep thinking people will be put off.”

    That, I agree with. I _might_ think about paying people to react to him.

    Oops, I think I just blew my cover

    (disappears in a cloud of self-referential smoke).

  • tony_opmoc


    Whilst what you say may or may not be true, I am fairly certain from reading what they have written that neither of them are Sons of Bitches, though they May Well Be Angry.

    You meanwhile call yourself an

    Angry Son Of a Bitch

    Before you say a word.

    People do notice these subtle differences


  • glenn

    Richard: I entirely agree. Types like “wide stance” Larry can be found everywhere, and remind me of yappy little dogs. It finally gets your attention, so you turn around to give the thing a decent boot, and it yelps and runs off. At a safe distance, it turns around to yap some more.

    Were such lightweights interested in attracting any credibility, they would stay on a topic or two, and show what they’re made of. Learning, contributing, providing original thought. But with the likes of “wide stance” Larry, it’s all about yapping, snapping and running. Trying to pretend they’re up with the big boys and girls, but they’ve got nothing. The betters of such people would try to learn and understand what’s being said to them, but when one is so ignorant that they don’t know what they don’t know, there’s little hope. At least back in the day, I did have some insight into what I didn’t know. But the Larry’s don’t.

    Is it not said, “To laugh at those of wisdom is the privilege of fools” ?

    And it’s to get attention, of course. The class clown gets a few laughs and some scorn, but it’s the attention they crave. Can’t contribute anything meaningful? Well, heck, make a fool of yourself – shout, swear, insult people, keep asking stupid questions.

    Grow up, all you “Larry” or “Patrick” / “wide-stance” people of the world – we so badly need wisdom these days instead of yet another class clown.

  • angrysoba

    “I am fairly certain from reading what they [Apostate and Steelback] have written that neither of them are Sons of Bitches, though they May Well Be Angry.”

    They’re both raving anti-semites. Something that may give them a pass in your book but not in mine.

    Oh, and learn to read, will you. I do not call myself a “son of a bitch” and, no Glenn, it won’t even pass for irony. It’s just silly.

    Glenn, your last comment seemed to use a lot of words to infer you are far cleverer and wiser than people who disagree with you but not say much else.

  • glenn

    soba: I imagine you mean “imply” instead of “infer” in your last sentence … but don’t worry, it’s a _very_ common mistake.

  • Richard Robinson

    ‘”wide stance” Larry”. If, again, I was EvilPlot[tm], that’s the sort of thing I might consider paying a bit for (not as a once-off, but maybe in bulk). How does trying to play guilt-by-association with a different individual’s sexual hypocrisy help to move the conversation in any worthwhile direction ?

  • Richard Robinson

    “we so badly need wisdom these days instead of yet another class clown.” But, yes. That, I agree with. We do.

  • angrysoba

    Glenn: “soba: I imagine you mean “imply” instead of “infer” in your last sentence … but don’t worry, it’s a _very_ common mistake.”

    “?”verb (used with object) 1. to derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: They inferred his displeasure from his cool tone of voice.

    2. (of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) to indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to.

    3. to guess; speculate; surmise.

    4. to hint; imply; suggest. ”

    “Usage note:

    Infer has been used to mean “to hint or suggest” since the 16th century by speakers and writers of unquestioned ability and eminence…”

    Glenn, if you’re going to attempt to score cheap points then try to make them on target. Don’t worry, pedantry is a _very_ common tactic for those losing an argument but when it backfires, as it did just then it can make you look even more foolish than you already looked. Especially when it only underlines my point.

  • technicolour

    Ruth: Curtis essentially reveals that governments lie. They say one thing in public & support another in private (cf bombing of Hanoi). I think this is what you mean by a ‘secret government’. From a book review at the time:

    “It’s not just that Web of Deceit confirms the worst about the people who are supposedly our “elected representatives” – the “political elite” as Curtis refers to them. Or the fact that it rather obviates the need for exotic conspiracy theories, when real, cold-blooded horror like this lurks beneath the surface of our system of government, accessible, in records, to anyone, like Curtis, who can be bothered to look.”

    Tony, a soba’s at 1.25 is right, you know.

  • technicolour

    well, apart from being insulting. Gosling was one of the people who originally exposed the Biederbeck Group, I believe, but after that went a bit off the rails, as so often seems to happen.

  • angrysoba

    “Gosling was one of the people who originally exposed the Biederbeck [sic] Group, I believe”

    I don’t think so. They’ve been known about for some time.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I heard the euphemism ‘adding local colour’ used for the lies about Saddam being ’45 minutes’ from firing chemical warheads on the UK and this being ‘a threat to the UK’ (despite our nuclear deterrent). I think it was by Geoff Hoon.

  • angrysoba

    “The Big Issue, in tandem with Gosling, broke the Bilderberg story in 1999.”

    The Bilderberg group existed and known to exist long before that too.

    Chip Berlet, a progressive journalist, has talked about them well before Gosling and thinks the conspiracy theories around it are held by gullible/credulous people (I think these are his words).

    Berlet cites some old right-wing commentators as originators of the theories and has said that the current left-wing conspiracies are rehashing of old John Birch Society paranoia.

    Look, just as an example, here’s the title of a Times article from 1977:

    Caroline Moorehead (18 April 1977). “An exclusive club, perhaps without power, but certainly with influence: The Bilderberg group”. The Times.

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