IRAQ AFTERMATH: Angry Blair Says: `We Are Too Busy to Find Weapons of Mass Destruction'
McSmith, Andy, The Independent (London, England)
TONY BLAIR rounded angrily on his tormentors yesterday, telling them that the British authorities in Iraq had more urgent priorities than finding weapons of mass destruction.
Mr Blair also dismissed as "completely absurd" claims that politicians had added their spin to intelligence reports on the weapons.
Until yesterday, the Prime Minister seemed unaware of the political storm that had blown up around the missing weapons. He was delighted by the reception he received during a brief, tightly managed visit to south Iraq and appeared to think that the smiling faces of liberated Iraqis were the final answer to his critics.
But in Warsaw yesterday morning he was visibly annoyed that questions on the missing weapons had not gone away and that there were allegations British politicians had added their spin to intelligence reports to justify a war.
The Prime Minister said: "I have just caught up overnight with some of the allegations that have been made. Let me just say this: the evidence that we have of weapons of mass destruction was evidence drawn up and accepted by the joint intelligence community. That evidence of weapons of mass destruction is evidence the truth of which I have absolutely no doubt at all.
"The idea that we authorised or made the intelligence agencies invent some piece of evidence is completely absurd. What is happening here is that people who have opposed this action throughout are trying to find fresh reasons why it was not the right thing to do."
The Prime Minister claimed that the previous day's visit to Iraq, when he had seen "the freedom and the liberation that they have", demonstrated that removing the Baath regime was "emphatically the right thing to do". As proof that the regime had been harbouring weapons of mass destruction, he cited the 12-year history of United Nations resolutions instructing Iraq to disarm.
He added: "There is no doubt about the chemical programme, the biological programme and indeed the nuclear weapons programme. All that is well documented by the United Nations. …
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Publication information: Article title: IRAQ AFTERMATH: Angry Blair Says: `We Are Too Busy to Find Weapons of Mass Destruction'. Contributors: McSmith, Andy - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 31, 2003. Page number: 8. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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