Brit Officials Set The Record Straight On Saddam

Eliza Manningham-Buller

People often comment that the British government has one big advantage over the US government in running its operations. They have many more professional government officials rather than political appointees, which offers them a much more stable and consistent public service bureaucracy as administrations change. Certainly it seems to enable their public officials to be much more honest about, oh, say whether Saddam Hussein was a real threat to the West. Here's Eliza Manningham-Buller, a.k.a. "M" of MI5:

The former MI5 director general Eliza Manningham-Buller today delivered a withering assessment of the case for war against Iraq, saying it had significantly increased the terrorist threat to Britian.

Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Manningham-Buller said the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the US-led invasion in 2003 was low.

But the toppling of Saddam allowed Osama bin Laden to gain a stronghold in Iraq and radicalised young Muslims in Britain, she said.

In evidence that undermined the case for war presented by the former prime minister Tony Blair, she was asked whether it was feared Saddam could have linked terrorists to weapons of mass destruction, facilitating their use against the west.

"It certainly wasn't of concern in either the short term or the medium term to me or my colleagues," she replied.

And it shouldn't have been of concern to the United States leadership. Some people think I'm a broken record on this topic. But until the CheneyBush administration officials admit that invading Iraq was a complete boondoggle and the Republican party admits that it was not an adventure for democracy and glory, then I'm going to keep on saying it. The US invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with WMDs, although that was the main drum being banged by CheneyBush officials (and yes, some misguided Democrats) between June 2002 and March 2003.

The BBC has a longer article on this same story.

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