From Associated Press:
LONDON Mar 12, 2007 (AP)— The British government embellished intelligence used to justify the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector said in an interview broadcast Monday.
Hans Blix, who led the U.N. search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq until June 2003, said a later discredited dossier on Iraq’s weapons programs had deliberately embellished the case for war.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair‘s government published a dossier before the invasion that claimed Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and could deploy some within 45 minutes.
“I do think they exercised spin. They put exclamation marks instead of question marks,” Blix said in an interview with Britain’s Sky News television broadcast Monday.
Blix said, according to excerpts released in advance, that Blair and President Bush had “lost a lot of confidence” once failures in intelligence were exposed.
Britain’s dossier on Iraq’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction was criticized by a 2004 official inquiry into intelligence on Iraq.
Blix said on George W. Bush’s people in the WMD affair: “They were witch hunters”.