Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Iraq Inquiry - Did Alastair Campbell lie when giving evidence to the Iraq Inquiry?

In the last 48 hours or so the evidence that Alastair Campbell gave to the Iraq Inquiry in January 2010 has come under considerable scrutiny since a letter and testimony from Major General Michael Laurie has contradicted what Alastair Campbell said.

Alastair Campbell gave oral testimony to the Iraq Inquiry on 12th January 2010. There are two transcripts of his evidence plus an addendum:

Apparently Major General Laurie was incensed by Alastair Campbell's evidence and moved to send a communication to the Iraq Inquiry.

Major General Laurie's letter of 27th January 2010 is on the Iraq Inquiry site here: Laurie-statement-FINAL.pdf.

The transcript of Laurie's heavily redacted testimony to the Iraq Inquiry is here: transcript.

Some of the mainstream media criticism of Alastair Campbell has been expressed in pretty vitriolic terms. For example, A brazen liar who's been found out at last.

The BBC covered the issue in more insipid terms, Iraq inquiry: Campbell dossier evidence questioned, perhaps wary following the drubbing it took at Campbell's hands courtesy of the charade that was the Hutton Inquiry.

The BBC quotes Campbell as saying this to Chilcot:

In his evidence last year, Mr Campbell said he "defended every single word" of the document and that it did not "in any sense misrepresent the situation" with regard to Iraq at the time.

It did not in any sense misrepresent the situation? Really??


  1. Brian Jones letter in today's Guardian, I think, answers your question.

  2. While we are on the Chilcot Inquiry, it is worth reading this Blog post by Paul Waugh relating to evidence of SIS-4, as highlighted in the Iraq Inquiry Digest

    SIS-4 said his opposite number in the FCO was Director of Middle East. Whom did Dr Kelly accompany to the Dossier release on 25 September 2002 at the FAC? The then subsequent FCO Director of Middle East and North Africa, Edward Chaplin. Who was the FCO head of Middle East in SIS-4's time? Sir William Patey Ambassador to Afghanistan since 2010 and Saudi Arabia 2007-10.

    Current head of FCO ME/NA - Dr Christian Turner, who held "several positions in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office." and who was a key player in the release of Al-Megrahi according to recently release Cabinet papers dated 7 Feb 2011, just prior to the Libyan "uprising".

    As an afterthought, BP has been remarkably silent on its huge Libyan investment in recent months.