Anorak News | Oppressed Gang

Oppressed Gang

by | 19th, August 2003

‘ALASTAIR Campbell appear before the Hutton Inquiry today and it is clear the papers can’t wait to see their tormentor-in-chief on the rack himself.

‘I did it all for Tony – and I’d do it again if he asked’

Like the downtrodden people of Iraq, political hacks have long waited for the day when their Saddam Hussein would be called to account.

Only then will they dare put finger to keyboard freely without fear of an angry tirade from the Government’s ferocious spinmeister.

But even before Campbell takes the stand, the papers are united in their view that yesterday was a bad day for the Prime Minister and No.10.

An e-mail sent by Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell to John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, complains that the original draft of the dossier did not talk up the threat from Saddam.

‘The document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam,” he says.

‘In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the West.’

It is now debatable whether Saddam had the means, but that is a moot point.

The Independent certainly sees this as evidence that No.10 ordered the document to be redrafted to justify war with Iraq, a claim that Campbell is expected to deny today.

And even the pro-war Times struggles to put a positive spin on the evidence, although it does suggest that the e-mails have only embarrassed ministers rather than undermined them.

“What cannot be extrapolated from the Powell e-mail,” it says, “is that Downing Street had inserted or would insert a blatant falsehood into the document as Andrew Gilligan alleged in his Today broadcast.”

The Guardian merely draws Campbell’s attention to an opinion poll that shows voters losing what little trust they had in politicians.

However, with Labour still enjoying a five-point lead in the country, today is unlikely to be the moment when the press can help pull down the statue of their very own Saddam.’

Posted: 19th, August 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink