Thursday, November 26, 2009

Iraq War Inquiry Strikes Final Nail in WMD Coffin

The Chilcot inquiry was told yesterday that Saddam Hussein had "disassembled chemical and biological weapons" before the UK had made the decision to go to war with Iraq. Sir William Ehrman, the Foreign Office's director general for defence and intelligence until 2004, said that "we did...get a report that chemical weapons might have remained disassembled and Saddam hadn't yet ordered their assembly... There was also a suggestion that Iraq might lack warheads capable of effective dispersal of agents."

However, Ehrman insisted that "I don't think it invalidated the point about what weapons he had. It was more about their use. Even if they were disassembled the (chemical or biological) agents still existed."

This stops short of what Iraq war critics might have wanted to hear, but there was never any doubt that the legal case for the war was weak under international law.