Blair denies he misled lawmakers on Iraq WMD programs
British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday denied that he misled lawmakers about intelligence contained in a dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction published earlier in the year.
Opposition Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith had
challenged Blair to apologize to the House of Commons,
following a parliamentary report which concluded that Blair
unintentionally misled lawmakers about the origins of material released in February.
Duncan Smith reacted angrily to Blair's assertion that the intelligence for the dossier was shared with him by the intelligence services. During Prime Minister's Questions, the opposition leader insisted: "I was given no sight of that dossier."
But Blair told MPs that Duncan Smith was briefed by the chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee on September 18 and February 12.
That report, as the government later acknowledged, included material from a student thesis copied from the Internet.
"I do not accept in any shape or form that the information in that second briefing paper was wrong. Those parts based on intelligence were indeed based on intelligence," Blair said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)