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Case Closed: Dr. Kelly Supported Iraqi War
Guardian Unlimited via ^ | 9/02/03 | Kamal Ahmed

Posted on 09/02/2003 1:22:51 AM PDT by kattracks

A remarkable article by Dr David Kelly, published for the first time today, reveals the government scientist's true views ahead of the war on Iraq and his expert assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

In a development which could have a major influence on the Hutton inquiry, Kelly said that, although the threat was 'modest', he believed military action was the only way to 'conclusively disarm' the country.

He also argued that there was evidence Saddam still had chemical and biological weapons and regime change, the policy of the United States, was the only way to stop the Iraqi dictator.

The article was written for a major report on Iraq being compiled a few weeks before the war. Kelly had agreed to write it anonymously, but the piece was never published.

It will be sent to the Hutton inquiry this weekend and provides one of the few direct pieces of evidence of Kelly's views since the row between the Government and the BBC broke out at the end of May.

Kelly apparently committed suicide last month after he was 'outed' as the source for claims by Radio 4's Today programme that the Government had 'sexed up' intelligence against the Iraqi dictator to make a stronger case for war.

He insisted to the Ministry of Defence that he was not the source of claims that Number 10 deliberately inserted intelligence into the dossier, even though it knew it was 'probably wrong' and against the wishes of the intelligence community.

The Observer obtained the article from the editor of the report, the journalist and Middle East expert Julie Flint, who writes in today's paper about the man she came to know as a friend.

Its publication comes the day before the appearance of Kelly's wife, Janice, before the inquiry. She is likely to testify by video link to avoid the media scrum created by other witnesses' arrival at the Royal Courts of Justice. Her evidence to the inquiry, set up to find out the cause of her husband's death, has the potential to undermine fatally the evidence of both the BBC and the Government.

Last week Tony Blair admitted he was 'fully responsible' for moves to name Kelly, believing it was inevitable the weapons expert would eventually be unmasked.

Kelly's article reveals a hawkish stance on Iraq which will come as some comfort to Number 10. 'Iraq has spent the past 30 years building up an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction [WMD],' he wrote. 'Although the current threat presented by Iraq militarily is modest, both in terms of conventional and unconventional weapons, it has never given up its intent to develop and stockpile such weapons for both military and terrorist use.'

Kelly argues that any co-operation with UN weapons inspectors was superficial and that rockets specifically for chemical and biological use had been found.

'Amer al-Saadi - formerly responsible for conserving Iraq's WMD, now its principal spokesman on its weapons - continues to mislead the international community,' Kelly said before the war. 'It is difficult to imagine co-operation being properly established unless credible Iraqi officials are put into place by a changed Saddam.

'Yet some argue that inspections are working and more time is required; that increasing the numbers of inspectors would enhance their effectiveness. Others argue that the process is inherently flawed and disarmament by regime change is the only realistic way forward.' Kelly said the UN had been trying to disarm Iraq since 1991, but had had no success in what he described as an 'abject failure of diplomacy'. He argued that diplomatic splits had only served to exacerbate the problem.

'The threat of credible military force has forced Saddam Hussein to admit, but not co-operate with, the UN inspectorate,' he wrote. 'So-called concessions - U2 overflights, the right to interview - were all routine between 1991 and 1998. After 12 unsuccessful years of UN supervision of disarmament, military force regrettably appears to be the only way of finally and conclusively disarming Iraq.'

'War may now be inevitable,' he wrote. 'The proportionality and intensity of the conflict will depend on whether regime change or disarmament is the true objective. The US, and whoever willingly assists it, should ensure that the force, strength and strategy used is appropriate to the modest threat that Iraq now poses.'

'The long-term threat, however, remains Iraq's development to military maturity of weapons of mass destruction - something that only regime change will avert.'

Flint says Kelly was incredibly discreet, casting doubt on whether he would have told Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter who initially claimed that Downing Street had tried to manipulate intelligence, anything of significance.

'Getting secrets from David was like getting blood from a stone,' she said. 'But his knowledge was encyclopaedic. In the quicksand of reporting on Iraq, he was a completely safe house.'

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: davidkelly

1 posted on 09/02/2003 1:22:51 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: backhoe
This Kelly mess is something else.
2 posted on 09/02/2003 2:07:36 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (Don't confuse liberals with the facts.)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
"This Kelly mess is something else."
It sure is. It's a classic case of the media inventing a story that's not true in order to harm a political party. That's not untypical for the media, but it sure is hard to discern from the typical reporting you see on this item.
3 posted on 09/02/2003 6:16:18 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage
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To: kattracks
Time for the Blair gov't to bring this to the fore because the BBC clearly wants to spin it as Blair's fault, that Kelly didn't think Iraq was a threat.
4 posted on 09/02/2003 6:50:04 AM PDT by bushfamfan
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