Monday, February 18, 2008

FCO releases draft dossier

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has complied with a ruling from the Information Tribunal to release a draft version of the Iraq dossier written by John Williams, the FCO's former director of communications. The document has been published on the FCO's disclosure log and a written ministerial statement is due to be made to Parliament on Monday.

According to the Observer:
"The draft is understood not to contain the infamous claim that Saddam Hussein could launch a strike with 'weapons of mass destruction' within 45 minutes, a claim that was central to the final 'dodgy dossier'.

Yesterday Williams attacked the decision to withhold the document for so long. 'If the government withholds a piece of paper, it immediately makes it significant; it almost doesn't matter what it says,' he argued. 'That's what I said at the time: why are we withholding it?'"
The disclosure is a significant victory for Chris Ames, who first requested its release in 2005.

See also -

John Williams: Dodgy judgements, Comment is Free, The Guardian

Secret draft of Iraq dossier to be revealed, The Observer

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