Further supplementary memorandum from
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
LETTER FROM THE FOREIGN SECRETARY TO THE
CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE, 2 JULY 2003
The evidence submitted by the Government to
your Committee including that provided in confidence has set out
the position on the central allegation that intelligence was improperly
inserted into the assessment on Iraqi WMD published on 24 September
2002. The allegation has clearly been shown to be untrue. It is
important that we have been able to establish this since it was
potentially so damaging not only to the Government but to the
reputation of the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Intelligence
Agencies who were, in effect, being accused of succumbing to political
In case there is any continuing misunderstanding
about the inclusion of intelligence material in the briefing paper,
"Iraq, its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation"
(February 2003), I am taking the opportunity of this letter to
supplement written and oral evidence already given on this point.
The Chairman of the JIC and `C' have confirmed
that the intelligence material described in Alastair Campbell's
memorandum of 27 June was provided by the SIS. It came from a
range of sources. Much of the intelligence was recent. It was
regarded by the Service as reliable and significant. Its release
to the CIC for public use was authorised by `C', which was fully
in accordance with longstanding instructions for the use of intelligence.
The JIC Chairman was aware that the information had been released
with `C''s authority and regarded this as consistent with established
procedures. On this point the correct arrangements were followed.
The references to the intelligence material in the final document
The problems arose in the drafting of Section
2 of the paper as Alastair Campbell has acknowledged and new procedures
to deal with these problems have been put in place.
You may like to know that the contents of this
letter have been agreed by `C' and the Chairman of the JIC.
Secretary of State
Foreign and Commonwealth Office