Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Less than full cooperation in the U.K. on the part of the Blair government, as reported in yesterday's Guardian:

The government withheld from the Hutton inquiry pages from one draft of its [dodgy] dossier setting out the dangers Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed, it was revealed yesterday....

Yesterday the Hutton inquiry said that the government had not sent it three pages from the executive summary issued in Tony Blair's name of the September 16 version, drawn up eight days before the dossier was made public....

The Hutton inquiry said it was a matter for the Cabinet Office why the pages of the summary were missing.

A spokesman for Lord Hutton's inquiry said: "His lordship is considering the relevance of these pages. Should the inquiry team believe that these pages are relevant, the option remains open to them to make a request for them.

"The inquiry team is concerned at all stages that they receive all documents which are relevant to the inquiry they are conducting."

The spokesman also said that witness statements to the inquiry from Tony Blair, Geoff Hoon and Alastair Campbell, among others, could be kept secret for years.

"The witness statements are not a requirement of the process. The inquiry has received them under a duty of confidentiality. There are no plans to publish them. Individuals are free to permit the publication of their witness statements if they choose."

A large number are still being held back. Only three are for reasons of national security, the rest being witness statements, personal diaries and chronologies of events prepared by individuals, which are being kept back on "personal privacy grounds".

...The Cabinet Office did not respond when asked to comment about the missing dossier pages, nor did Downing Street when asked if it would release the witness statements of Mr Blair, Mr Campbell and other officials.

Apparently it's true that poodles resemble their masters.

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