Mannen som var opphavet til påstanden om at Irak kunne avfyre kjemiske våpen innen 45 minutter er identifisert. Han sier han bare refererte hva han hadde hørt. Det er mulig regimet selv overdrev sine muligheter for å styrke den interne moralen.
Saken har naturlig nok aktualitet i forbiindelxe med at Huttion-rapporten legges frem imorgen. Kjernen i Andrew Gilligans «avsløring» var at regjeringen overdrev mot bedre vitende.
The claim that Saddam could deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes was highlighted by Tony Blair’s preface to the dossier issued by the government in September 2002 in the run-up to the war.
It was also at the heart of the row between Downing Street and the BBC after doubt was cast on its accuracy by the government weapons scientist David Kelly
Kilden er en oberstløytnant i hæren som forsynte opposisjonsgruppen Iraqi National Alliance med informasjon, som så ble smuglet ut av Irak og overlevert MI6.
Det interessante er hvordan informasjonen oppsto:
He said one of Saddam’s senior officials told a meeting of air defence commanders «probably sometime in the spring» that an arsenal of unspecified secret weapons would be used for battlefield defence against US invaders.
«They told us that [coalition troops] cannot pass across Iraq because we will use everything from the knife to nuclear weapons to defend ourselves.»
The colonel says his unit later took delivery of an unspecified number of crates which appeared to contain short-range weapons, such as rocket-propelled grenades.
They were supposedly to be fired from civilian jeeps as a last-ditch defence by Saddam loyalists wearing gas masks.
Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, did not deny in evidence to the Hutton inquiry that the intelligence for the 45-minute WMD claim came second-hand from a single source who was a senior Iraqi army officer.