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Dodgy Dossier

Dodgy Dossier

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Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation (more commonly known as the Dodgy Dossier, the Iraq Dossier or the February Dossier) was a 2003 briefing document for the Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government. It was issued to journalists on 3 February 2003 by Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell
Alastair John Campbell is a British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known for his work as Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, having first started working for Blair in 1994...

, Blair's Director of Communications and Strategy, and concerned Iraq and weapons of mass destruction
Iraq and weapons of mass destruction
During the regime of Saddam Hussein, the nation of Iraq used, possessed, and made efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction . Hussein was internationally known for his use of chemical weapons in the 1980s against Iranian and Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran–Iraq War...

. Together with the earlier September Dossier
September Dossier
Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, also known as the September Dossier, was a document published by the British government on 24 September 2002 on the same day of a recall of Parliament to discuss the contents of the document...

, these documents were ultimately used by the government to justify its involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

.

The term Dodgy Dossier was first coined by online polemical magazine Spiked
Spiked (magazine)
Spiked is a British Internet magazine focusing on politics, culture and society from a humanist and libertarian viewpoint.- Editors and contributors :...

. The term was later employed by Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News is the news division of British television broadcaster Channel 4. It is produced by ITN, and has been in operation since the broadcaster's launch in 1982.-Channel 4 News:...

when its reporters were made aware of Glen Rangwala
Glen Rangwala
Glen Rangwala is a University Lecturer and fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University in England. Trained in political theory and international law, he completed a doctorate on political and legal rhetoric in the Arab Middle East...

's discovery that much of the work had been plagiarised
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous...

 from various unattributed
Attribution
Attribution may refer to:Something, such as a quality or characteristic, that is related to a particular possessor; an attribute.*Attribution , concept in copyright law requiring an author to be credited...

 sources. The most notable source was an article by Ibrahim al-Marashi
Ibrahim al-Marashi
Dr. Ibrahim al-Marashi is a historian researching the Middle East and political communications. He holds a DPhil in History from Oxford University , where his thesis was on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait...

 entitled Iraq's Security & Intelligence Network: A Guide & Analysis, which was published in the September 2002 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs
Middle East Review of International Affairs
Middle East Review of International Affairs is a quarterly journal on Middle East issues edited by Barry Rubin and published by the Global Research in International Affairs Center of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, which he also owns and directs.The GLORIA Center also publishes...

.

Whole sections of Marashi's writings on "Saddam's Special Security Organisation" were repeated verbatim including typographical error
Typographical error
A typographical error is a mistake made in, originally, the manual type-setting of printed material, or more recently, the typing process. The term includes errors due to mechanical failure or slips of the hand or finger, but usually excludes errors of ignorance, such as spelling errors...

s, while certain amendments were made to strengthen the tone of the alleged findings (e.g. "monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq" became "spying on foreign embassies in Iraq", and "aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes" became "supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes").

In its opening paragraph the briefing document claimed that it drew "upon a number of sources, including intelligence reports". Before the document's release it had been praised by Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 and Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

 as further intelligence and quality research. The day after Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

's exposé, Tony Blair's office issued a statement admitting that a mistake was made in not crediting its sources, but did not concede that the quality of the document's content was affected.

The claims contained in the 'September' and 'Iraq' Dossiers were called into question when weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 were not found in Iraq, and the dossiers were encompassed by House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 Foreign Affairs Select Committee inquiry. The Committee subsequently reported that the sources should have been credited, and that the dossier should have been checked by ministers before being released. The dossier had only been reviewed by a group of civil servants operating under Alastair Campbell. The committee stated that the publication was "almost wholly counter-productive" and in the event only served to undermine the credibility of the government's case.

The controversy over the 'Iraq Dossier' was mentioned frequently in the government's conflict with the BBC over the claim in the 'September Dossier' that Iraq could deploy biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so, and the controversy surrounding the death of Doctor David Kelly. Andrew Gilligan
Andrew Gilligan
Andrew Paul Gilligan is a British journalist best known for a 2003 report on BBC Radio 4's The Today Programme in which he said a British government briefing paper on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction had been 'sexed up', a claim that ultimately led to a public inquiry that criticised Gilligan...

, the BBC journalist who wrote a report which claimed that the September Dossier had been deliberately exaggerated, stated before the Hutton Inquiry
Hutton Inquiry
The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee...

 that recalling the February Dossier had led him to file his report based on his interview with David Kelly without seeking confirmation from other sources.

The dossier became a point of amusement in British politics. In a Prime Minister's Questions conflict with Blair, Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

 (then leader of HM Opposition), informed Blair, "I've got a great big dossier on his past, and I haven't even had to sex it up!".

See also

  • Iraqi aluminum tubes order
  • Bush-Blair memo
    Bush-Blair memo
    The Bush–Blair 2003 Iraq memo or Manning memo was a secret memo of a meeting between American President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair that took place on January 31, 2003 in the White House...

  • Butler Review
    Butler Review
    On February 3, 2004, the British Government announced an inquiry into the intelligence relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction which played a key part in the Government's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. A similar investigation was set up in the USA...

  • Downing Street Memo
    Downing Street memo
    The "Downing Street memo" , sometimes described by critics of the Iraq War as the "smoking gun memo", is the note of a secret 23 July 2002, meeting of senior British Labour government, defence and intelligence figures discussing the build-up to the war, which included direct reference to classified...

  • Hutton Inquiry
    Hutton Inquiry
    The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee...

  • Plame affair
    Plame affair
    The Plame Affair involved the identification of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer. Mrs. Wilson's relationship with the CIA was formerly classified information...

  • September Dossier
    September Dossier
    Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, also known as the September Dossier, was a document published by the British government on 24 September 2002 on the same day of a recall of Parliament to discuss the contents of the document...

  • Yellowcake forgery
    Yellowcake forgery
    The Niger uranium forgeries are forged documents initially revealed by Italian Military intelligence. These documents seem to depict an attempt made by Saddam Hussein in Iraq to purchase yellowcake uranium powder from Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis....

  • Propaganda
    Propaganda
    Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

  • Dr. David Kelly
  • Operation Rockingham
    Operation Rockingham
    Operation Rockingham was the codeword for UK involvement in inspections in Iraq following the war over Kuwait in 1990-91. Early in 1991 the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq was established to oversee the destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction...

  • Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his Testimony for UNSCOM 8-22-1995.
  • Iraq Inquiry

External links


(document was removed from number10.gov.uk website)

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