Mi6 To Be Called Before Parliament On

MI6 to be Called before Parliament on Weapons Estimates

The London Times reports that “Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, will appear before the Intelligence and Security Committee, headed by Ms Ann Taylor, the former Labour Cabinet minister, to give further evidence on why he believed that the intelligence on Saddam’s weapons was reliable and accurate. It was MI6 that provided the bulk of the intelligence for the Downing Street dossier that underpinned Mr Blair’s decision to go to war.

That is, despite the whitewash carried out by the Hutton Commission, Tony Blair’s government will not entirely avoid an inquiry into where in the world it got the idea that Saddam Hussein was a major threat to the UK and had WMD ready to launch “within 45 minutes.”

Note that parliamentarians of his own party are carrying out the inquiry, which is a good model for Republicans in the US Congress. The intelligence failures with regard to Iraq were a bi-partisan affair (though only the Bush administration magnified them by making war policy based on them), and Republicans who care about the credibility and security of the US should want to know as much as anyone what went wrong and how to fix it.

A reader helpfully comments:

“It’s a committee of Blair placemen meeting in secret and reporting in secret directly to Blair. He then has the power to redact any part of their findings he doesn’t like, ask them to do it again, or chuck it in the bin. Not exactly a democratic model for America to follow (but one they’d probably like to).” Oh, well.

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