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Anorak | Grasping At Straw

Grasping At Straw

by | 25th, June 2003

‘THE war in Iraq has not only toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime, it is threatening to deliver a damaging blow to what’s left of the credibility of Britain’s domestic government.

Straw dogged

While the Times leads with the grim news that six British Army personnel in Iraq have been killed in guerrilla-style attacks, the Independent watches Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s appearance before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

Much of this latest Iraqi incursion has been about things that have not been found: Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction and a painless way out of the desert.

But Straw is sure that Saddam had cruel intentions ”consistent with his previous behaviour of lying and cheating”.

A condition that makes the fallen despot nothing at all like this Government, which, as the Independent reminds readers by way of some reproduced pages of the dossier ”Iraq – its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation”, is one of rare probity.

For those who cannot remember this work, the paper reminds us of its more popular working title: ”The dodgy dossier.”

Reports pointed out that this dossier contained large chunks of already published academic articles and at least one student thesis.

Yesterday, the Indy learnt that thanks to the wonders of modern technology, manifest in something called a ”revision log”, the identity of those who cribbed and cheated can be known.

The four people whose names have fallen off this wondrously slippery log all worked for a Government unit created by none other than Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s director of spin.

Yesterday this document, which was intended to win popular support for a military offensive in Iraq, was called a mere ”briefing document for journalists” and ”a Horlicks” by Mr Straw.

Today it’s the turn of Alastair Campbell to appear before the Commons committee and tell us what he thinks it is.

Front-runners are a ”chewing gum wrapper”, ”Euan Blair’s homework” and, our favourite, ”a letter of resignation”.



Posted: 25th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink