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Monday, September 01, 2003
Another Hutton nugget?

Among the documents released over the weekend is the draft of an unpublished article by David Kelly's friend, the journalist Tom Mangold. To find this article, click here for the Hutton Report, then on 'Evidence', then on 'Evidence submitted by Tom Mangold'. Its reference is 'TMG/1/0003. The article begins
Thirteen years after Iraq implemented its biggest ever peacetime biological and chemical weapons programme (next to the old Soviet Union) questions are now being asked that suggest that programme ended with the expulsion of the UNSCOM inspectors in 1998 and has remained dormant or dead ever since.
The italics are mine. Tom Mangold's article concludes thus
The irony is it [The Dossier] never needed 'sexing up'.
Elsewhere on the Hutton website (or on 'Josh' dated August 25th), in document (CAB/3/0082-0095) on pp.92-3, 'History of UN Weapons Inspections in Iraq', dated 20 June 2002, submitted by the Cabinet Office you can find the following:
Richard Butler was requested to report to the UN Security Council in December 1998 and made it clear that, following a series of direct confrontations, coupled with the systematic refusal by Iraq to co-operate, UNSCOM was no longer able to perform its disarmament mandate.

As a direct result, on December 13 the weapons inspectors withdrew and Operation Desert Fox was launched by the US and the UK three days later.
My italics again. Perhaps it's as well Mangold's article was never published. But why did he make such an elementary mistake? When anyone, journalist or politician alike, commits such a howler, you have to suspect the rest of their pronouncements. Would you believe anyone insisting, despite evidence to the contrary, that black is white?

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