1 Tuesday, 26th August 2003
2 (10.30 am)
3 MR ANDREW MACKINLAY (called)
4 Examined by MR DINGEMANS
5 LORD HUTTON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Yes,
6 Mr Dingemans.
7 MR DINGEMANS: Could you tell his Lordship your full name.
8 A. Yes, my Lord. I am Andrew Mackinlay. I am the Member
9 of Parliament for Thurrock. I was elected in 1992 so
10 I am in my third term. The first term I was a member of
11 the Transport Select Committee and in the other two
12 Parliaments I have been a member of the Foreign Affairs
13 Select Committee.
14 Q. You are now a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. You were party to the Foreign Affairs Committee to
17 investigate the decision to go to war in Iraq?
18 A. Correct, an enthusiastic advocate that we should do that
19 investigation. Some were not.
20 Q. One of the suggested reasons for that investigation has
21 been said to be the dispute between Mr Gilligan and
22 Mr Campbell. What was your understanding of the
24 A. That is incorrect. I am pleased you asked me. The
25 reason why -- and I have indicated to you I was
1 enthusiastic we should investigate this matter of the
2 Government's justification for going to war -- was
3 against a backdrop of many people, many very good people
4 who either were opposed to war initially or then had
5 doubts afterwards. There was currency in the press and
6 in the political world that the Government had
7 exaggerated the case; and it seemed to me that
8 Parliament had a duty to look, albeit retrospectively,
9 as to whether or not the Government had exaggerated that
11 Also it is against a backdrop that for the first
12 time in our history Parliament actually voted an
13 affirmative resolution to commit our armed forces to
14 a conflict situation -- it has never happened before --
15 and all 650 of us had to wrestle with our consciences on
16 the time we voted in the early spring there. Whatever
17 way we voted, we were deeply, deeply troubled and
18 therefore we were very much committed to this.
19 The historic duty of Parliament, which perhaps we
20 might return to, is one of scrutiny. It seemed to me no
21 greater duty than to scrutinise this issue.
22 The very final point I make on this is in a way
23 after all the Prime Minister is offered no other inquiry
24 in the open on this. There are thousands of people who
25 were killed in that conflict and, most importantly of
1 all, some considerable number of British service
2 personnel have been killed and their loved ones, I would
3 have thought, demanded there should at least be some
4 review as to whether or not the sacrifice of their loved
5 ones had been appropriate in terms of the evidence which
6 the Government presented to Parliament and people. It
7 was what was part of their persuasion.
8 Q. Can I take you to FAC/1/43. This appears to be
9 a Chairman's note. We understand this to be prepared by
10 the Clerk to the Committee. If one looks under 1, this
11 is the 10th July, the decision to go to war in Iraq, to
12 consider developments:
13 "If I understand correctly what this is about, I am
14 quite concerned that the Committee risks (a) getting
15 dragged deep into the Campbell-Gilligan dispute, which
16 it has very wisely avoided so far ..."
17 Can I just stop there and ask you what was your
18 attitude to this point?
19 A. The conflict between Gilligan and Campbell, No. 10 and
20 the BBC is not my business. The important thing was
21 there was somebody out there, amongst others probably,
22 who we know was a senior public servant -- or that is
23 what was reported -- who was repeatedly uttering that
24 the Government had exaggerated the case. Mr Gilligan is
25 the one who is continually reporting that. Clearly it
1 is key to our inquiry to try to seek and to probe what
2 Gilligan's source is and, if we can find a source, on
3 what basis is he saying the Government exaggerated the
4 case for war. That was our interest.
5 I could not give a damn about conflict as such
6 between Gilligan and Campbell. It is the fact that the
7 Gilligan man was reporting that there was somebody
8 senior out there who was saying that the case had been
9 exaggerated. Of course there were others printing it as
10 well. I go back to this question of currency. In my
11 view we would have been failing in our duty if we had
12 not pursued it, but the Gilligan/Campbell thing is
13 because of what Gilligan was saying and the fact that
14 there was somebody out there who I think we needed to
16 Q. Did you perceive you had the cooperation you ought to
17 have done from the Government?
18 A. No, absolutely not.
19 Q. Can I take you to FAC/3/10 and paragraph 6 of the
20 report. This is the report published on 7th July. At
21 paragraph 6 we can see at the top:
22 "We are strongly of the view that we were entitled
23 to a greater degree of cooperation on access to
24 witnesses and to intelligence material."
25 That criticism is balanced lower down the page to
1 make it clear that the Foreign Secretary had seen you in
2 private session?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was that the view of the Committee in relation to
6 A. Well, it would be a consensus. I remember when
7 Lord Hutton has his opening day of the Inquiry, he said
8 words to the effect, "I and I alone will decide these
9 matters". I did mutter, my Lord, "Lucky Lord Hutton",
10 because the fact is in the nature of a committee you
11 have to reach some consensus. In the span I would be
12 the other end. I could live with this:
13 "We are confident our inquiry would have been
14 enhanced if our requests had been met."
15 I think that is an understatement, but I can live
16 with that. Yes.
17 Q. There was a meeting, we have heard from Mr Anderson, on
18 10th July, after your initial report has been published,
19 when it was decided to call back Dr Kelly. Did you
20 support the idea that Dr Kelly should be called to give
22 A. I did, and I guess I was critical to it because there
23 was a division. I think -- I am open to correction on
24 this -- it went 4/3, something like that. And -- yes.
25 Q. We have seen some correspondence, MoD/1/73, whereby
1 Mr Hoon writes -- sorry, there is a letter to Mr Hoon
2 from Mr Anderson asking for answers.
3 A. Hmm.
4 Q. Down the page, asking and saying that the Clerk is
5 writing to Dr Kelly inviting him to appear.
6 The further letter is at 74, that is to Dr Kelly,
7 asking him to turn up, and at page 82, MoD/1/82, we have
8 the reply from Mr Hoon on 11th July, whereby at the
9 bottom he says:
10 "Although the FAC has now completed its own inquiry
11 I can understand why you also wish to see Dr Kelly."
12 He says:
13 "I am prepared to agree to this on the clear
14 understanding that Dr Kelly will be questioned only on
15 those matters which are directly relevant to the
16 evidence that you were given by Andrew Gilligan, and not
17 on the wider issue of Iraqi WMD and the preparation of
18 the dossier. Dr Kelly was not involved in the process
19 of drawing up the intelligence parts of the dossier."
20 Over the page it was noted he would have appeared
21 before the ISC and asks that you restrict his time to
22 45 minutes. Were you aware of those proposed
23 restrictions on Dr Kelly's evidence?
24 A. Yes I was. I did not agree with them. You know how
25 people say: I hear what you say. My reaction to that is
1 let us hear what you say. I consider it a monumental
2 cheek of the Secretary of State to try and tell us what
3 we should and could inquire into and the duration.
4 I was prepared to live with it because I was prepared to
5 do battle, if and when it was necessary. I would have
6 challenged in Committee if we had been constrained or
7 I had been constrained.
8 Q. We know that Mr Gilligan had sent some e-mails to
9 members of the Committee. At BBC/13/17 we can see an
10 e-mail dated 30th June. This is obviously before the
11 inquiry has completed its report.
12 A. Hmm.
13 Q. "John, as promised here is my analysis of the Campbell
14 evidence. I've added some further notes at the bottom.
16 He talks about the dodgy dossier, various questions
17 that have been asked, et cetera. Were you aware of
18 these communications?
19 A. No, I was not until it had come out in this Inquiry some
20 few days ago in relation to Chidgey.
21 Q. What is your attitude to persons who themselves appeared
22 before the Committee making suggestions to members of
23 the Committee?
24 A. I think this highly inappropriate.
25 Q. Why?
1 A. Well, a number of things. One, I think rules of natural
2 justice apply and I also want to tell you what I would
3 have done if I had received it. Also in relation to
4 Chidgey, I notice they went to a political party, which
5 seemed to me to compound the kind of problem that the
6 BBC are in of being partisan -- not party political
7 partisan, but to have sent it to a Liberal researcher
8 compounded something which is unacceptable to me.
9 Also I would consider it an affront that I was going
10 to be fed this by somebody who was so, so central to all
11 the debate and discussion, absolutely outrageous, and --
12 I want to tell you what I would have done if I had
13 received it, because if I had received it, it would have
14 been madness for him to have sent me one. I have not
15 seen this --
16 Q. We have seen a draft he prepared apparently to send to
17 you. Did you get any e-mails?
18 A. Well, not -- I will double-check --
19 Q. Did you get any?
20 A. Not at all. The only thing I could sort of say is I do
21 not think we received this at all. I want to tell you
22 what my reaction would have been and what I would have
23 done with it. When I go home, Lord Hutton, probably it
24 will be on these computers, "Hutton, see this".
25 I delete so much if it is not clearly obvious who the
1 person is who is -- it is out. But I do not remember
2 deleting this and I have checked with my small office
3 and nobody recalls it. But if I had received it,
4 I would not have just mentioned it to the Chairman in
5 passing, I would have told Donald and the Clerk and
6 I would have insisted we debate -- it was brought to the
7 attention of all members of the Committee beforehand.
8 The reason why I think Gilligan would have been mad
9 to send it to me is because that is what I would have
10 done. Then of course it would have opened up a whole
11 new chasm, elephant trunk -- he would have been in
12 a deeper hole. So that is what I would have done
13 because, in a sense, once I had shared it with the
14 Committee, then it would have opened up a whole range of
15 things and clearly it would have been public and widened
16 the whole controversy, but I can tell you that I have
17 never seen this. I have not received one like this. It
18 has not reached me. If I had, I would have been
19 affronted and angry and I would have brought it to the
20 attention of the whole Committee. I would have insisted
21 that Anderson -- I think Anderson would have agreed
22 anyway, but we would have held, as we often do,
23 sometimes, you know, quick sessions. We ask witnesses
24 to wait.
25 LORD HUTTON: You think you did not receive it?
1 A. I am certain Andrew Mackinlay has never received it,
2 my Lord, no.
3 MR DINGEMANS: Can I turn to 15th July? What do you recall
4 of Dr Kelly's appearance at the beginning of the
6 A. Apart from the question he was softly spoken, I thought
7 very controlled, except for -- I mention this in my
8 witness statement -- two people who accompanied him and
9 sat immediately behind him. To me that was quite
10 significant, but I can amplify on that in a moment if
11 you like.
12 Q. You tell us what you want to tell us.
13 A. When he came in, if you remember, I am kind of more or
14 less sitting in the position I am to you, Lord Hutton.
15 The crescent is round there, but I noticed these two
16 people who I would say kind of escorted him in, sat
17 immediately behind him. There is nothing wrong with
18 this. I immediately I think started to imagine he had
19 been sort of like briefed, programmed, prepared, that
20 these were the minders. At the time I did not know who
21 they were. One I think has given evidence to you.
22 LORD HUTTON: One of them was his line manager,
23 Dr Bryan Wells. The other was a colleague in the
24 Ministry of Defence.
25 A. It started -- it had some -- I noticed it.
1 MR DINGEMANS: You did not say anything at the time?
2 A. No. I wish I had actually later on. I wish I had
3 literally said: Dr Kelly, can you tell me who those
4 people are? I did not --
5 Q. What was the temperature that day?
6 A. I kept my jacket on throughout.
7 Q. You kept your jacket on. Did everyone else keep their
8 jackets on? Was it hot?
9 A. No, I thought by the standards of that committee room it
10 was the norm. You did have this wretched fan going
11 which you noticed was switched off at some stage.
12 Q. Can I ask you about some of your questions?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. FAC/4/15, question 105, which is towards the bottom of
15 the page. You are asking him about the journalists.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. "Dr Kelly: I have met very few journalists.
18 "Andrew Mackinlay: I heard 'few', but who are the
19 ones in your mind's eye at this moment? What are their
21 "Dr Kelly: That will be provided to you by the
22 Ministry of Defence."
23 This continues over the page:
24 "Andrew Mackinlay: No, I am asking you now. This
25 is the high court of Parliament and I want you to tell
1 the Committee who you met."
2 I think you wanted to say something in relation to
4 A. Yes. My Lord, if I may.
5 LORD HUTTON: By all means. Do you want to look at your
6 witness statement?
7 A. Yes. Thank you very much. It is against a backdrop --
8 that question is against the earlier questions where
9 I had said: can you tell me the journalist? He said:
10 see the Ministry of Defence. I asked him again. See
11 the Ministry of Defence. I asked him again. If I could
12 get to my house, my house is surrounded by journalists.
13 So I say: could you let us -- by Thursday, by Thursday.
14 He again said: the Ministry of Defence. I thought this
15 a prevarication, unnecessary, inappropriate and in a way
16 was not only unfair and unreasonable, it was a challenge
17 to the whole business of Parliamentary scrutiny. Other
18 people answer questions candidly, they might not find it
19 easy, and it seemed to me this should not be allowed to
20 rest. So I returned to it at this point.
21 You see, my Lord, just supposing in a moment,
22 my Lord, you were to ask me a question and I said: see
23 the chairman of my constituency party. Probably because
24 you are a disciplined man not a muscle in your face
25 would move. Then you asked me again and I said the same
1 thing, my Lord, and again. Then you try and help --
2 LORD HUTTON: You thought Dr Kelly should answer because he
3 was before a Committee of Parliament?
4 A. Absolutely. Absolutely. I suspect what I am leading up
5 to is even with your patience there would become a stage
6 where you would have to say to yourself: what I am doing
7 here? Does Mackinlay understand the gravity of the
8 situation? There are other people who answer my
9 questions. There is a public responsibility. I have to
10 do some way of doing it. Your style would be different
11 to mine, the craft and the words, but you would indicate
12 to me expectation. So I had to do that. I referred to
13 the fact that it was before the high court of
14 Parliament. I have indicated also in my witness
15 statement the sessional orders which make it quite clear
16 that it is a high crime and misdemeanour to prevaricate,
17 to prevent witnesses coming, not to answer questions,
18 et cetera et cetera. Also the Erskine May supporting
20 I then went on in my witness statement:
21 "The power of the House to punish for contempt is
22 well-established and its origin is probably to be found
23 in the medieval concept of the English Parliament as
24 a primary court of justice. The power to fine or to
25 imprison for contempt belongs at common law to all
1 courts of record, although the Commons is no longer
2 regarded as a court of record."
3 I went on:
4 "The power of commitment remains exercised by the
5 House, distinctly accepted by the House of Lords in
6 other case law."
7 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
8 A. But the fact is Government departments and many of our
9 witnesses do not understand that every year -- not
10 medieval -- every year we pass the sessional orders
11 which are unequivocal in indicating it is a contempt not
12 to answer, to prevaricate is a contempt, to try and
13 influence witnesses or to prevent them appearing is
14 a contempt and it is a high crime and misdemeanour and
15 the fact that it is ignored does not make it any less
17 MR DINGEMANS: Can I ask you some questions about your other
18 questioning towards the end of the session? FAC/4/24:
19 "Andrew Mackinlay: Since you wrote to your
20 superiors in the way you have done, have you met
21 Geoff Hoon?
22 "Mr Kelly: No.
23 "Andrew Mackinlay: Any ministers?
24 "Mr Kelly: No.
25 "Mr Pope: Any special advisers?"
1 You pick up the question:
2 "Any special advisers?
3 "Dr Kelly: No.
4 "Andrew Mackinlay: Do you know of any other
5 inquiries which have gone on in the department to seek
6 the source -- to clarify in addition to you or instead
7 of you or apart from you? None whatsoever?
8 Dr Kelly: No."
9 Perhaps you can read out your next question?
10 A. That is question?
11 Q. 167.
12 A. "I reckon you are chaff; you have been thrown up to
13 divert our probing. Have you ever felt like a fall guy?
14 You have been set up, have you not?"
15 Q. Did you consider that to be a fair question?
16 A. Yes, I do think it is; and because it is against
17 a backdrop of where the Government had indicated they
18 think that Dr Kelly is the sole source. He then comes
19 along to us. He has convinced me and everybody else at
20 this stage, because we have made a quantum leap, he has
21 convinced me that he is not the source -- the Gilligan
22 source, very impressively, very impressively indeed.
23 I could take you through that if you like. I hope you
24 will just take from me by this stage I am, along with
25 others, absolutely convinced that he is not the source.
1 I feel very angry for him and for Parliament against the
2 backdrop of what I just said, you know, about misleading
3 Parliament and so on.
4 LORD HUTTON: If you just elaborate a little on what you
5 meant by he was "a fall guy". In what sense was he
6 a fall guy?
7 A. Because at that moment of time -- I now know
8 differently -- at that moment of time, I think the
9 Government -- I use that collective term -- was quite
10 pleased for Dr Kelly to come up, hoping that the thing
11 would sort of be fudged and that the thing would more or
12 less sort of die away. I can see a scenario where that
13 could have happened incidentally.
14 LORD HUTTON: It would be fudged. Did you think that the
15 Government, although it believed that Dr Kelly was the
16 source, that the Government hoped that your Committee
17 might take a different view? Was that what was in your
18 mind? I want to understand exactly what you are
19 thinking about.
20 A. They would have hoped -- first of all there are actual
21 limits. An inquiry cannot go on forever, you have to
22 draw stumps. There was the Parliamentary recess coming
23 up which I am sure had not escaped their mind. Also, if
24 he gave the evidence as he did, and I do not know
25 whether or not it had been rehearsed -- I do not know --
1 if he gave the evidence as he did, the Committee could
2 conclude, could they not, that: well, it looks like he
3 contributed to this, we will never exactly know
4 precisely, and basically we draw stumps; I mean, after
5 all, elsewhere in our report on the Campbell thing we
6 more or less draw stumps, do we not? We are not
7 detectives. I can foresee a situation where they hoped
8 this would have blurred it to such an extent and the
9 controversy would die away.
10 LORD HUTTON: So the Committee would not come to a definite
11 view one way or the other as to whether Dr Kelly was the
13 A. I can almost write the words now of a report which says:
14 it is impossible for us to judge, et cetera et cetera.
15 But I was very angry, as I say, for him and for
17 On the question of -- do you want to ask me about
18 chaff, sir?
19 MR DINGEMANS: Yes.
20 A. I mean, I have had lots of hating e-mails and letters
21 since. A lot of people do not understand the word
23 Q. What did you understand?
24 A. Well, chaff to a weapons expert is what is thrown out by
25 our destroyers and from our fighter aircraft to deflect
1 incoming --
2 Q. Exocet missiles?
3 A. Absolutely. In the context of this it did not seem to
4 be inappropriate. He was a defence expert. I told you
5 I thought he was set up. I told you he was the fall
6 guy. I think that is self-explanatory why I think that
7 is so. That was the reason for that word. No offence
8 was meant. Our Committee -- the paradox, the irony was
9 that my Committee did suffer from chaff because we were
10 successively diverted because we then wrote very
11 indignantly saying: we think he has been badly used.
12 Q. Did you think that was a question that permitted of any
13 ready answer from the witness?
14 A. Well, I do not know about you, sir, but I think it is
15 often -- I think it is fair and reasonable sometimes to
16 put things in quite trenchant terms to see if a person
17 gives a reaction or then comes out with more.
18 LORD HUTTON: Mr Mackinlay, may I ask you, coming back to
19 your thought that Dr Kelly had been set up.
20 A. Yes.
21 LORD HUTTON: There has been evidence from a number of
22 witnesses in the Government that the view which they
23 took was that your Committee had been investigating
24 Mr Gilligan's report, that this civil servant had come
25 forward to say that he might be regarded as the source
1 and that therefore the Government was under a duty to
2 inform your Committee and to let your Committee examine
3 him, if they so wished, and that if they had not done
4 that, they might have been charged with conducting
5 a cover-up. Now what is your view on that?
6 A. Yes, sir. A number of aspects there, sir.
7 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
8 A. May I just complete this one? Again those questions
9 were against a backdrop, if you remember, of me saying:
10 Dr Kelly, has there been any investigation you know of
11 to find out the sources?
12 LORD HUTTON: If you would like to continue adding about
13 your --
14 A. Sorry, counsel, I do apologise.
15 MR DINGEMANS: Do not worry. Answer his Lordship's
17 A. I do not buy this business of him coming forward
18 voluntarily. I think by this time the heat was on.
19 I also --
20 LORD HUTTON: I was asking you more about the Government's
21 view that they were obliged to disclose to your
22 Committee that this civil servant had come forward.
23 A. Lord Hutton, you are absolutely correct, they were
24 obliged to disclose this to the Committee but they did
25 not. They became aware of this I think on 30th June.
1 They in my view deliberately stalled, hoping our report
2 would come out.
3 I saw on your website some note from -- I forget who
4 it was, one of the senior people, saying: I think they
5 were already abroad. We were not already abroad. How
6 he knows our discussions, our travel arrangements,
7 et cetera.
8 The whole thing, in my view, was designed to hope
9 that they could avoid him coming before the Foreign
10 Affairs Select Committee. I noticed that Sir Kevin in
11 his evidence to you argued he should not do so.
12 Sir Kevin, in my view, is wrong on two counts. One,
13 basic British constitution that we are entitled to
14 scrutinise; I have already covered that. The second
15 one, I think he is badly lacking in political antennae,
16 which he is paid to have, because there is no way on
17 God's earth in my view that the press would have
18 allowed, once Dr Kelly became known, for him not to have
19 been scrutinised in public, and I have to be candid with
20 you: I for one would not have acquiesced in that by my
21 silence. I think it is our duty to have Dr Kelly before
22 the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
23 LORD HUTTON: So therefore is your view that once it was
24 known to the Ministry of Defence that he had come
25 forward --
1 A. Yes.
2 LORD HUTTON: -- and might have been the source, they were
3 then under a duty to inform your Committee and also
4 to -- whether one says require or ask him to come
6 A. As I said in my witness statement, my Lord, I think what
7 they should have done immediately --
8 LORD HUTTON: Just on that direct question: is it your view
9 that once Dr Kelly had come forward to the Ministry of
10 Defence, that they were under a duty to inform your
11 Committee and also were under a duty to ask him or to
12 require him to appear before your Committee?
13 A. They are under a duty to inform us immediately and then
14 give us the opportunity of deciding if we wanted to call
15 him, which we would have done. All of this is against
16 a backdrop. I do not believe they were really trying to
17 find the source. That is why I go back to also the
18 questions before. They did not want to discover
19 Dr Kelly. They hoped the thing would burn out, fizzle
20 out, in my view. That is why I asked him if there had
21 been any investigations. There clearly had not been
22 rigorous or vigorous investigations.
23 MR DINGEMANS: Why do you say they would have been under
24 a duty to put Dr Kelly before the Foreign Affairs
1 A. Because Parliament has the duty to scrutinise. I do not
2 accept that the Government can put conditions. I think
3 the Clerk has written to you about saying the Osmotherly
4 rules -- I cannot pronounce it -- are purely Government
5 decisions. They have no countenance in Parliament.
6 Rightly so. As you gather, I am very jealous of that.
7 What might interest you, my Lord, is I have been
8 through this battle before. In the previous Parliament
9 the Government tried to argue the Osmotherly rules to
10 prevent us calling witnesses in relation to the
11 Sierra Leone inquiry. Basically we saw them off. I can
12 give you specific reference of a woman called
13 Ann Grant --
14 LORD HUTTON: I do not think we need go into that detail.
15 A. I can write to you.
16 MR DINGEMANS: Can I ask you that: on the Monday when the
17 report had been prepared, published, what then did the
18 FAC want to see Dr Kelly for? They were not going to,
19 and you have made it clear they were not interested in
20 the dispute between Mr Campbell and Mr Gilligan.
21 A. You are absolutely correct. What we wanted to know --
22 we now have the public servant who is allegedly going
23 round saying that the Government exaggerated the case.
24 Well, that was what our inquiry was about, nothing to do
25 with Gilligan or Campbell. I want to see him because
1 I want to know whether or not he has been saying that
2 and if he is, is there any credence to it.
3 Q. Right. Your Committee took the view that Dr Kelly had
4 been badly treated. I think you have told us about
5 that. Can I take you to MoD/1/89 which is a letter of
6 15th July from Mr Anderson to Mr Straw. The second
8 "The Committee deliberated ... and asked me to write
9 to you, expressing their view that it seems most
10 unlikely that Dr Kelly was Andrew Gilligan's prime
11 source and colleagues have also asked me to pass on
12 their view that Dr Kelly has been poorly treated..."
13 Why did you believe that?
14 A. Because I did not think he was the main source.
15 I approached the hearings in a quasi-judicial way. I do
16 listen to the evidence and try to approach in
17 a quasi-judicial way. At the end of that hearing, I --
18 but there was unanimity actually, it was one of the
19 areas where there was really consensus. We felt he was
20 not Gilligan's principal source. We felt that the
21 Government had known that because, although my
22 colleagues do not use that term, implicitly they thought
23 he was the fall guy, he had been set up. We were angry,
24 my Lord. He gave an extremely powerful, persuasive,
25 convincing performance.
1 Ingrained on my mind is where Mr Pope is asking him,
2 he says: I want to ask you, clearly, do you think you
3 are the principal source? Dr Kelly says: no, I do not
4 think that I am. It was very powerful.
5 Q. After the hearing, you pursued some Parliamentary
7 A. I did, yes.
8 Q. Can I take you to drafts of the answers at TVP/2/15? We
9 can see at the top from the draft the template to be
10 used for reply, so it is in draft format.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. We see your question:
13 "To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which
14 journalists Dr Kelly has met over the past two years,
15 for what purpose and when the meetings took place."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What was your purpose in pursuing those questions?
18 A. Because Dr Kelly, if you remember, said: ask the
19 Ministry of Defence. That is precisely what I did do.
20 I am tenacious, I will not be thrown off on a thing like
21 this. It seemed to me because I had no reply, he
22 volunteered, if you remember, when I was grilling him,
23 he said: Susan Watts and one other. It was like
24 extracting teeth from a whale I thought. I will not be
25 thrown off. So I put down these questions which he told
1 me to do and it pins them down.
2 Q. Then you were in the process of getting replies, as we
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is there anything else relating to the circumstances of
6 Dr Kelly's death that you can assist his Lordship with?
7 A. Yes, there is. If you look at the draft reply on your
8 website on this, in fact -- this was the last day of
9 Dr Kelly, I think, if you remember I think you had
10 evidence of this. He actually does not mention
11 Rutherford, except on one occasion. This is the man who
12 I think you have had evidence for who had contacts over
13 some years, 20 or 30 times, and just before Dr Kelly's
14 name comes out, he, not for the first time, actually
15 visited him at his house. That is not volunteered in
16 the draft answer. I think that is probably is relevant.
17 Basically, the conclusion I have, and I regret to
18 say this, is that Dr Kelly just dug deeper each time he
19 prevaricated with his employers, with the Committee --
20 Committees perhaps, although I am not privy to the other
21 one, and then Mackinlay puts down this Parliamentary
23 There comes a stage where, if he had said: I met
24 Rutherford many times, he came to my house, that would
25 have blown up the fact from what evidence I have been
1 able to ascertain from what you have received that he
2 had misled his employers from those initial interviews,
3 initial but inadequate interviews in my view that he
4 had. I think that is kind of quite critical. The man
5 had volunteered that information, I guess, and it was
6 inadequate. We do not know why the gentleman was trying
7 to get him on a mobile phone. The point is he knew that
8 he was now in quite deep water.
9 Q. Perhaps I ought to re-phrase the question: is there
10 anything that you know from your personal knowledge,
11 rather than your analysis of everything else, that you
12 can assist his Lordship with?
13 A. May I just -- on this particular area?
14 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
15 A. No, I am very grateful. No.
16 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed.
17 A. Is that all?
18 MR DINGEMANS: Is there anything else you want to say?
19 A. There is, my Lord. When Dr Kelly died, I did issue
20 a statement and it was difficult for us all, as you will
21 understand. I said --
22 LORD HUTTON: You just take your time if you want to look at
23 the wording in your statement. Is it towards the end of
24 your statement?
25 A. I know it is ingrained on my mind, my Lord. I sort of
1 said: I deeply regret the death of Dr Kelly. If there
2 is any way that my questions contributed to his distress
3 or stress, I deeply regret that, and I expressed my
4 condolences to his wife and family. After that,
5 my Lord, I have not had any dealings with any
6 journalists. We have turned down hundreds of requests,
7 avoided them and so on.
8 Why I share this with you is important. The
9 repeated showing of that narrow clip has resulted in an
10 awful lot of hate mail and so on. I am not complaining
11 about that. I think also that clip does not educate or
12 inform, it misleads, because it does not give the
13 backdrop of this, but it created a very bad climate and
14 I have had lots of things. I have not been able to hit
15 back or defend myself. Why have I not? Three very
16 important reasons:
17 One, to talk to the press in those circumstances
18 seemed to me highly inappropriate. The Doctor had not
19 had his funeral. Believe it or not, I do respect and
20 have a high regard for the enormous stress for his
21 family at their loss.
22 Secondly, I did listen to the Prime Minister. The
23 Prime Minister basically said: let us all cool down and
24 shut up, or words to that effect.
25 Third, probably the most important thing, was the
1 Hutton Inquiry. So I have gone to enormous lengths to
2 talk to the press.
3 Just to complete the picture, my local newspaper had
4 daubed on its walls, "Kelly's blood on Mackinlay's
5 hands". I have shown the utmost restraint and I want to
6 continue to do so. It is difficult. Even yesterday
7 afternoon the Today Programme phoned up my house wanting
8 me to go on this morning, presumably to save you the
9 trouble of listening to me because you would have heard
10 it on your way in, or, my Lord, they could have put to
11 me this: Mr Mackinlay, do you not think it is bad that
12 you are talking to the press before the Hutton Inquiry?
13 I am not asking for your guidance or protection, but
14 I want to say this: I will do everything I can
15 reasonably to avoid -- I have never spun on this --
16 until you report, but I hope you will also understand
17 I do not have tenure. My whole basis as an MP is based
18 upon reputation and I have not been able to hit back or
19 to respond. But you see I am like a sprung coil this
20 morning, my Lord. I am very, very angry because I think
21 not only Mackinlay is at stake but the future of
22 Parliament because, my Lord, this could go either way.
23 Your report could either very welcomely open up a whole
24 new vista of openness in Government or it could be used
25 as the Hutton rules whereby it buttresses Osmotherly and
1 all this sort of thing in the future. I think we are at
2 a crossroads as regards Parliament. I am desperately
3 anxious that nobody has spoken up for Parliament.
4 The final thing, sir --
5 LORD HUTTON: I think Mr Mackinlay I should just say, as
6 I am sure you appreciate, the Bill of Rights itself
7 provides that the affairs of Parliament should not be
8 commented on other than in Parliament. Therefore you
9 will appreciate it will not be appropriate for me to
10 express views on the affairs of Parliament. That is
11 a matter for Parliament itself.
12 A. In a way that makes it more difficult for me to be
13 restrained, but I will continue to be restrained.
14 Lord Hutton, there is one final point you might want
15 to consider. The Government refused us access to
16 documents and to people who we all now see. The irony
17 was if they had given us the JIC assessments, by way of
18 example, or access to documents, we certainly would have
19 agreed, we would have compromised, we would have seen
20 them in private.
21 The irony is that all these people and documents are
22 given to you and I am very much pleased you have them,
23 but you also can put them on a website. If it was so
24 critical that they should not be out in the public
25 domain. They will not let Parliament have them; now the
1 balloon has gone up, they are available. You are
2 rightly putting them on the website. It just shows how
3 the Government do everything they can -- this Government
4 is not the only one, there have been previous
5 Governments -- to obstruct scrutiny. They do not like
6 scrutiny. They see scrutiny as automatically going to
7 be criticism, whereas it can be investigatory.
8 Thank you, my Lord.
9 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed.
10 MR DINGEMANS: Mr Scarlett, my Lord.
11 MR JOHN MCLEOD SCARLETT (called)
12 Examined by MR DINGEMANS
13 Q. Can you tell his Lordship your full name?
14 A. John McLeod Scarlett, my Lord.
15 Q. What is your occupation?
16 A. I am Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. I am
17 also head of the Intelligence and Securities Secretariat
18 in the Cabinet Office.
19 Q. Can you tell us, in outline, what the Joint Intelligence
20 Committee does?
21 A. Yes. The Joint Intelligence Committee is a real
22 Committee. It meets once a week. It is chaired by
23 myself. It meets in the Cabinet Office. It has sitting
24 on it senior representatives of the policy and
25 intelligence community, foreign, defence and security
1 fields, the heads of the three intelligence agencies,
2 senior officials from major policy departments, Foreign
3 Office, Home Office, Defence Ministry, the Chief of
4 Defence Intelligence, the Deputy Chief of Defence
5 Intelligence, representatives of the DTA and the
7 Q. Who do you report to? Do you have a boss or are you at
8 the top as it were?
9 A. I report to Sir David Omand, the Security and
10 Intelligence Coordinator, but I was JIC Chairman
11 responsible for the presentation of assessed
12 intelligence to the Prime Minister and the Government.
13 I have direct access to the Prime Minister.
14 Q. And can I just ask when you started to be Chairman, when
15 you became Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee?
16 A. Yes, on 3rd September 2001.
17 Q. So in March 2002 you had been in post about five to six
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. We are told that there had been some previous drafts of
21 the dossiers. Can you help us with that at all?
22 A. Yes. The first drafts of what eventually became the
23 dossier and assessment published in September 2002 were
24 put together starting in February 2002. Initially there
25 was a draft which covered four countries --
1 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you, Mr Scarlett, who initiated
2 that draft? Whose decision was it that it should be
4 A. My Lord, that was a task that we were passed by the
5 Overseas and Defence Secretariat in the Cabinet Office
6 on behalf of the Prime Minister's Office.
7 MR DINGEMANS: So that is February 2002. What is the
8 structure of the dossier then? Are you able to say what
9 it broadly was about?
10 A. Yes, it was in effect four chapters, although we did not
11 call them that, I think, which covered and were based on
12 our intelligence assessments for those four countries,
13 which included Iraq. That was one of the four
15 Q. Four separate countries, one of which was Iraq?
16 A. Was Iraq.
17 Q. And was that project pursued?
18 A. No, it was not. In mid-March it was decided by the
19 Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Office not to
20 pursue the paper on four countries; and we were asked to
21 drop that, but to carry on with the draft relating to
23 Q. Who told you physically that?
24 A. I was told that by Alastair Campbell, speaking on behalf
25 of the Prime Minister's Office and quoting
1 a conversation that he had had with the
2 Foreign Secretary.
3 Q. Right. So you have now dropped the other three
4 countries out of it and you are concentrating on Iraq?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And does the process continue?
7 A. It does. Almost immediately we finalise the paper on
8 Iraq, based on our current, then, intelligence
9 assessment and I submitted that on 21st March to the
10 Prime Minister's Office.
11 Q. And was that dossier -- is it right to call that
12 a dossier?
13 A. Well, I never called it a dossier. But it was being
14 called --
15 LORD HUTTON: You called it a paper?
16 A. I called it the assessment, my Lord.
17 LORD HUTTON: Assessment, yes.
18 A. But it was being called a dossier in public at that
20 MR DINGEMANS: If we can call it a dossier. I am sorry for
21 the loose use of language.
22 A. I accept that.
23 Q. Was that dossier published?
24 A. No, it was not.
25 Q. Why was it not published?
1 A. Because it was decided not for the moment to pursue the
2 project for a published intelligence assessment on Iraq.
3 Q. Do you know why that was?
4 A. I do not know exactly why. I would not expect --
5 Q. Did you pick up any indications why that might be the
7 A. My understanding at the time was that the judgment made
8 at the political level, policy level was that the time
9 was not right to put that assessment into the public
10 domain. Secondly, that the document as it stood did not
11 contain as much detail and information to explain the
12 assessment judgments which were in it, which would have
13 been informative for the public.
14 Q. Right. So your understanding was those two reasons. To
15 form an understanding, you need to have evidence to form
16 that understanding. What did you form that
17 understanding from?
18 A. That was based on one, possibly two conversations,
19 I cannot quite remember exactly at that time, with the
20 Prime Minister's Office.
21 Q. And anyone in particular in the Prime Minister's Office?
22 A. Certainly one of them was Sir David Manning.
23 Q. Right. So the March dossier is decided not to be
24 published. Does that mean that the process of keeping
25 the dossier under review stops or not?
1 A. No, it does not. There was a difference between that
2 decision, and I was clear about this, and the decision
3 on the four country paper. The four country idea was
4 dropped. The proposal for a dossier, a public dossier
5 on Iraq was not dropped. It was just not the right
6 moment, so it was kept in being.
7 Q. Were various drafts produced of that dossier?
8 A. It was kept under continuing review through the spring
9 and early summer, with occasional updating. This is the
10 draft which specifically relates to WMD in Iraq.
11 Q. Can I take you to 20th June because that is the date on
12 which we have a dossier. That is CAB/3/82. This is
13 headed "History of UN Weapons Inspections in Iraq". We
14 can see "One Document Version 20 June 2002".
15 That appears to become part 2 of the dossier
16 actually published on 24th September.
17 A. It forms the basis for what was eventually part 2 of the
18 September dossier.
19 Q. We have, over the weekend, been provided with another
20 dossier dated 20th June. Can I take you to CAB/23/15?
21 It does not appear to be coming up. I know someone will
22 be looking at that.
23 If one looks at the contents of the dossier that we
24 have now got, that is also dated 20th June. The
25 contents appear to be an executive summary, Iraqi
1 weapons of mass destruction, history of UN weapons
2 inspections in Iraq and the Iraqi regime, crimes and
3 human rights abuses.
4 The history of UN weapons inspections in Iraq, we
5 have seen something dated 20th June which I imagine was
6 the basis for that part. But the other parts of the
7 20th June version we have not seen before. Can you just
8 help us with how we had got to the stage at 20th June of
9 having almost, in terms of contents, the contents of the
10 dossier as it is published?
11 A. Right. What you have just put up on the screen was one
12 part of the dossier which was in continuous formulation
13 during the spring and the summer. It was the part that
14 related to the history of weapons inspections. But
15 there was separate work going on at the same time, under
16 the aegis of the Overseas and Defence Secretariat but
17 led by the Foreign Office, which related to the human
18 rights record of the Iraqi regime. That is also one of
19 the papers that were passed to you at the weekend. Then
20 there was a third part, which was relating to WMD in
21 Iraq, which was the sort of current draft of the paper
22 which the assessment staff had written in March the same
23 year and which I referred to earlier on.
24 These three papers were brought together by the
25 Overseas and Defence Secretariat and circulated on
1 4th September to senior officials, including the FCO,
2 MoD and to No. 10, specifically Alastair Campbell. That
3 represented in the view of the Overseas and Defence
4 Secretariat the current state of the dossier as of that
6 Q. As at 20th June?
7 A. No, 20th June is a misleading date in real terms.
8 Q. Right.
9 A. I think it is there because it is in the IT somewhere as
10 being, you know, that was the date when it was logged
11 in. But in terms of its current applicability on
12 4th September, that was, in the view of the Overseas and
13 Defence Secretariat, the current draft.
14 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you, Mr Scarlett: we have been
15 furnished with a dossier dated 5th September which is at
16 CAB/3/7. Would that be the assessment you are referring
17 to as being circulated on 4th September?
18 A. My Lord, no, it is not. I am sorry for the confusion.
19 When I realised this confusion existed I asked
20 immediately for the 4th September papers to be sent to
21 you. The 5th September draft, written here, and the
22 "5 September" written at the top there, I should say
23 there that is the handwriting of a member of my staff,
24 that was a draft which on the initiative of assessment
25 staff was being worked on with effect from
1 3rd September. It was at their initiative, their
2 attempt to begin updating the draft on Iraqi WMD, taking
3 into account the statement that the Prime Minister had
4 made that day.
5 LORD HUTTON: I see. Yes.
6 A. It is a separate text from the text which is attached to
7 the minute which was circulated by OD Secretariat on
8 4th September.
9 MR DINGEMANS: Sticking if we may on 20th June, we know
10 because of what becomes part 2 that there is an early
11 version of that part of the document. We know from the
12 document that I cannot pull up on the screen at the
13 moment that there is another draft that appears to
14 collate everything in one format dated 20th June. Is
15 what you are saying that this was at least in the
16 process of being put together from June 2002 and is then
17 circulated on 4th September?
18 A. June has no particular significance apart from that date
19 at the top. But in real terms it has no particular
20 significance. There was a continuous drafting process
21 covering WMD, human rights and the history of weapons
22 inspections which had been going on in effect from March
23 and then April.
24 Q. At some stage in June, it may be an IT reason, it is all
25 together in one dossier, if one can call it that.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that document is then continued to be worked on, is
3 that right, up until 3rd September?
4 A. I think the only part that was worked on was that
5 relating to WMD.
6 Q. Right. Then on 3rd September -- I am now told I can
7 show you the CAB 23s. Can I just show you the
8 20th June. CAB/23/15.
9 A. I cannot read it.
10 Q. That is not CAB/23/15. Yes, it is. I am very sorry.
11 I will come back to that.
12 LORD HUTTON: These things only came over the weekend, did
13 they not, Mr Dingemans?
14 MR DINGEMANS: My Lord even this morning. That still does
15 not excuse it. I am sorry.
16 3rd September, if I can go back to there.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. 3rd September, that is the Prime Minister's
19 announcement, is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 LORD HUTTON: That was a public announcement, was it not?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR DINGEMANS: What did he say? The general gist was
24 a dossier was to be published.
25 A. He said the Government's assessments of Iraq's WMD's
1 capabilities -- I cannot remember the precise words --
2 would be published in the next few weeks.
3 Q. And that is effectively forming the basis of the
4 distribution on 4th September of the dossier?
5 A. The response of OD Secretariat, who were the lead
6 secretariat on this overall project at that moment, was
7 to circulate the dossier in its existing form to the
8 senior officials that I mentioned in advance of
9 a meeting which the head of OD Secretariat knew that
10 Alastair Campbell intended to hold the following day, to
11 discuss the question of presentation of what the
12 Prime Minister had said.
13 Q. We know that on 5th September there was then a meeting
14 at 12 o'clock. Can I take you to CAB/11/16? This is an
15 e-mail dated 5th September from the PA to Tom McKane.
16 Can you help us with who Tom McKane is?
17 A. Well, Tom McKane, he was the person who circulated the
18 note and the draft dossier on 4th September. He was
19 the -- I called him the head, he was the deputy head of
20 Overseas and Defence Secretariat. The head was
21 Sir David Manning.
22 Q. Right. What was the meeting to do?
23 A. The meeting was to discuss the overall presentation of
24 the Government assessment which the Prime Minister had
25 referred to. So it was intended to discuss how this
1 would be done, what the overall format -- the best
2 structure for the assessment should be, and how
3 responsibilities for preparing it, drafting it, taking
4 it forward, should be allocated.
5 Q. Right. Who chaired that meeting?
6 A. Alastair Campbell.
7 Q. We can see the list of attendees there. At that meeting
8 was anything considered? We have seen -- in fact the
9 dossier that is dated 20th June 2002 but I still cannot
10 show you, that was the dossier that people were looking
11 at, is that right?
12 A. That was the dossier which was on the table at that
13 meeting, which is an important clarification which
14 I want to understand. It was not the one which is dated
15 5th September which you have been looking at previously,
16 so --
17 Q. The 5th September dossier we can see at CAB/3/7. This
18 is the Iraqi WMD programmes?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That assessment I think you told us someone was working
21 on independently of the dossier; is that right?
22 A. It was not exactly independent. It was the assessment
23 staff, on their own initiative, were looking at this
24 draft which they had been working on since March. They
25 were anticipating having to update it and review it and
1 they set that work in motion. This draft here,
2 5th September, represents the state of the drafting as
3 of that day. But it was not the draft that was in front
4 of the meeting at 12 o'clock.
5 Q. The draft that was in front of the meeting was the
6 20th June draft effectively?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I am going to try one more time to get it on screen. It
9 appears that part of the confusion is I now have two
10 CAB/23/15s. If I say CAB/23/15 we now get it.
11 A. That looks like it.
12 Q. Can you see at the top 20th June 2003?
13 LORD HUTTON: I beg your pardon, this is CAB/23?
14 MR DINGEMANS: 15. It is the first CAB/23/15, my Lord.
15 This is what was on the table at the meeting on
16 5th June.
17 A. 5th September.
18 Q. Sorry, 5th September. We can see the executive summary:
19 "Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. History of UN
20 weapons inspections. Crimes and human rights abuses."
21 That is what everyone was looking at. What was the
22 shape of the discussion on 5th September? I think we
23 have heard there were no formal notes kept; is that
25 A. Of that particular meeting, no, there were not. It was
1 on the table. I do not recall any study of that text or
2 any detailed discussion of any kind of that text at the
4 Q. Right. So what was the purpose of the discussion, then,
5 on 5th September, if it was not to look at the dossier?
6 A. The purpose of the discussion was to consider how the
7 Prime Minister's statement should be taken forward and
8 what the structure of the dossier should now be; and, at
9 some point in that meeting, probably very early on, I do
10 not recall, it was effectively decided to put this
11 drafting to one side.
12 Q. Right. That draft did not contain anything about
13 45 minutes, is that right?
14 A. It did not.
15 Q. We will come back to the intelligence, if I may, in
16 relation to that.
17 A. Yes, of course.
18 Q. Also on 5th September at CAB/11/13 there is a memo from
19 John Williams. We have heard from him, he is a press
20 officer in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
21 A. Head of news department.
22 Q. "Iraq: Dossier.
23 "I have looked at the capping piece for the Iraq
24 dossier as a newspaper sub would. I offer the following
25 suggestions. I would be happy to discuss why I believe
1 they will make the document easier for Ministers to
2 defend in interviews."
3 You appear to be on the distribution list.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If you look at the bottom right-hand name, what was your
6 view about these contributions from senior press
8 A. Well, John Williams, at this point, was commenting on
9 something which had been drafted by Tom McKane and
10 circulated along with his note of 4th September. So he
11 was not commenting on anything that I or my staff had
13 Q. Right.
14 A. When he refers to a capping piece, that was the
15 expression that Tom McKane himself used to describe his
16 own draft which was intended to be -- I am not sure he
17 called it that at that stage -- a sort of foreword to
18 the overall document. John Williams was coming at it as
19 a news expert to see whether he could amend it.
20 Q. Can I take you to CAB/11/17, which is a memo sent after
21 the meeting or -- if you look at the bottom of the page,
22 this is an e-mail from Jonathan Powell to
23 Alastair Campbell:
24 "What did you decide on dossiers?"
25 Then after the meeting, 14.38, we can see the time
1 at the middle of the page, Sandra Powell appears to come
2 back on behalf of Alastair Campbell:
3 "Re dossier, substantial rewrite with JS and
4 Julian M in charge which JS will take to US next Friday
5 and be in shape Monday thereafter. Structure as per
6 TB's discussion. Agreement that there has to be real
7 intelligence material in their presentation as such."
8 Now, what was going to be substantially rewritten?
9 A. This is a reference to the overall dossier, referring to
10 Iraq and WMD, but also to the other two parts. But it
11 is a particular reference to the section on WMD. It
12 related the agreement that we had reached at that
13 meeting, although the agreement, in some respects, was
14 not completely tied down at that stage.
15 Q. We will come to the 9th September memo.
16 A. That is right. For assessment staff, under
17 Julian Miller's leadership and then my leadership, to
18 review the existing state of the draft and to consider
19 whether, operational security considerations permitting,
20 more detail could be added; whether specific reference
21 could be made to individual items in a text coming from
22 intelligence reporting; and I am almost certain it was
23 sort of agreed at that stage whether reference could be
24 made to previous JIC assessments and the history of the
25 JIC assessment on this subject.
1 LORD HUTTON: Now Julian Miller is the head of your
2 assessment staff?
3 A. Yes, my Lord. He is my main deputy and chief of
4 assessment staff.
5 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
6 MR DINGEMANS: Can I take you on to 6th September, CAB/17/5.
7 Here is an e-mail, and both the sender and the recipient
8 have been blanked out.
9 A. Hmm.
10 Q. What it says is:
11 "Barry, a good paper. Some minor comments from the
12 BW side."
13 What does "BW" mean?
14 A. Biological warfare or biological weapons.
15 Q. Then it makes comments such as:
16 "Not sure we can be quite as categorical as
17 'never' ... intelligence refers to a maximum time of
18 45 minutes. The average was 20 minutes. This could
19 have important implications in the event of a conflict",
20 and various other comments of a similar nature.
21 Can you help us with what this document is?
22 A. This is an e-mail which comes from Defence Intelligence
23 Staff and is sent to a member of assessment staff. It
24 is not about the public paper which we have been
25 discussing. It is an e-mail about a draft which was
1 currently under work on a classified JIC assessment,
2 assessing Iraq's capability for the use of chemical and
3 biological weaponry and their sort of scenarios for use.
4 So this relates to the drafting process which was, at
5 that point, under way for that classified assessment.
6 Q. That was the Joint Intelligence Committee assessments,
7 is that right, for the purposes of the dossier?
8 A. No. It is important to be clear, this was a separate
9 process. At this time, in the first week of September,
10 the JIC was considering a classified assessment, which
11 was completely separate as an exercise from a public
12 assessment, of chemical and biological weaponry and
13 possible scenarios for use, including in the event of
14 a conflict in Iraq, or by the Iraqi regime. That
15 assessment -- or that subject had been commissioned by
16 the JIC itself in late August. The normal JIC process
17 had applied.
18 There had been a meeting of the interdepartmental
19 Current Intelligence Group headed, as normal, by
20 a deputy head of assessment staff on 28th August, to
21 consider a first draft of that classified assessment.
22 That first draft had then been considered in a full
23 meeting of the JIC on 4th September, which was
24 Wednesday, as normal.
25 The JIC had discussed that draft, had noted that
1 important new intelligence was coming in, which was
2 relevant to this subject, and had asked assessment
3 staff, again as is quite normal, to go away, to
4 reconsider their existing draft, in particular to
5 reconsider the important new intelligence from various
6 sources and to prepare a new draft.
7 Assessment staff had taken that task away. On
8 5th September they had produced a revised draft which
9 they had sent, as is normal, to the participating
10 working level members, who would be represented in the
11 Current Intelligence Group and which would include
12 Defence Intelligence Staff, DIS. This e-mail is the
13 response from DIS to the main drafter of the paper.
14 This is part of the classified process.
15 Q. Can I take you to CAB/17/3 which I think are redacted
16 extracts from JIC papers. We can see the 5th September
17 JIC draft which provided, at page 4, paragraph 3, final
19 "Iraq has probably dispersed its special weapons,
20 including CBW weapons. Intelligence also indicates that
21 from forward deployed storage sites, chemical and
22 biological munitions could be with military units and
23 ready for firing within 45 minutes."
24 Was that the first time that intelligence had
25 featured in the JIC assessments?
1 A. Yes, that intelligence was based on a report which was
2 issued on 30th August --
3 LORD HUTTON: May I ask you: issued by whom, as it were?
4 A. By SIS in this case, by the Secret Intelligence Service.
5 LORD HUTTON: I see, yes.
6 MR DINGEMANS: On 30th August. We have heard a lot about
7 whether things are single-sourced or double-sourced.
8 A. Hmm.
9 Q. Was this intelligence single-sourced?
10 A. This was a report from a single source. It was an
11 established and reliable line of reporting; and it was
12 quoting a senior Iraqi military officer in a position to
13 know this information.
14 Q. And were people unhappy about the use of single-sourced
15 as opposed to double-sourced material?
16 A. Not at all, because the use of those terms in this
17 context represents a misunderstanding of the assessment
18 process. The assessment process takes into account
19 a large number of considerations when it is considering
20 intelligence against the background of other information
21 which is available and what has already been assessed,
22 and also, of course, the reliability and record of the
23 particular line of reporting in question.
24 In this particular case, it was judged straight away
25 that the intelligence was consistent with established
1 JIC judgments on the command, control and logistical
2 arrangements and capabilities of the Iraqi armed forces
3 and their experience and capabilities in the area of use
4 of CP ammunitions. It brought an additional detail
5 because for the first time in our reporting it gave
6 a particular time, gave some precision.
7 Q. A timescale?
8 A. So against that background it was incorporated into the
9 draft assessment which was sent out on 5th September.
10 To answer your question, it is correct this was the
11 first time that this was included in a classified JIC or
12 any JIC document, and usually they are classified.
13 Q. Because it had come in on 30th August?
14 A. Exactly.
15 Q. We can see, then, a final assessment on the intelligence
16 issued on 9th September. This assessment is separate
17 from the dossier process, is that right?
18 A. Completely.
19 Q. We can see the terms of it which appear to be broadly
20 consistent with what has been said before, but appear to
21 have picked up the point about the intelligence showing
22 that it was 20 to 45 minutes.
23 A. Exactly.
24 Q. Can I take you to a document, CAB/11/21, which is an
25 e-mail from Daniel Pruce to Mark Matthews. We have
1 heard from others that Daniel Pruce was making
2 contributions above his pay grade. What were your views
3 on these type of contributions?
4 A. Well, I had no view on this e-mail because I did not see
6 Q. You were not copied into any of this material at all?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Can I just ask you this: Mark Matthews is asked:
9 "I promised some quick thoughts on John's draft of
10 9th September."
11 We have seen drafts of the dossier, now seen
12 20th June. 5th September somebody has written in in
13 handwriting. I think you have said that is a member of
14 your staff?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. Then we have seen 10th to 11th September. Where are
17 they getting the dates of the drafts from to write in in
18 the handwriting?
19 A. The handwriting at the top applies to a 5th September
20 one, that simply is internal assessment staff
21 handwriting. It has no more significance than that.
22 Indeed, the 10th and 11th -- yes, the 10th September
23 draft you refer to also has, I think, on the top of it
24 handwriting "10th/11th September". That is handwriting
25 from my staff. It is drafting being done by my staff.
1 Q. Was that done contemporaneously or just to help us?
2 A. I do not know, I am afraid.
3 Q. Because it would be difficult to remember nearly a year
4 after the event when this draft was produced, unless
5 there is something to help date you at the time.
6 A. No, I am confident, and my staff are confident, the one
7 marked 5th September represents the state of work as of
8 that date. The one marked 10th/11th September is the
9 draft which was circulated outside assessment staff on
10 those dates. They are the significant dates.
11 LORD HUTTON: I appreciate you say you have not seen this
12 e-mail, but whom do you think the reference is to
13 "John"; is that you?
14 A. My Lord, I have seen this subsequently of course and
15 I have done some work on it. I am virtually certain
16 this is a reference to work put forward by John Williams
17 from the Foreign Office.
18 LORD HUTTON: I see. Yes. Thank you very much. Yes.
19 MR DINGEMANS: You think that might have been more of his
20 beginnings of a foreword, as it were?
21 A. Well, it is more than that. I am virtually certain this
22 is a reference to John Williams' draft because he did do
23 some additional drafting, not just of the foreword but
24 of the -- or redrafting of the text which had been
25 circulated on 4th September and which was on the table
1 at the meeting of 5th September. So he was really on
2 his own initiative working on that and had circulated it
3 to No. 10 inter alia probably, judging by this, on the
5 Q. On 9th September we have heard from Mr Campbell that
6 there is another meeting.
7 A. Indeed.
8 Q. Can you tell us, so far as you recollect, who was there?
9 Relevantly -- I do not need to know the identities, but
10 you and Mr Campbell. Was it the Joint Intelligence
11 Committee as well?
12 A. Not at all.
13 Q. Who else was there then?
14 A. Can I just be clear on this in case there is any
16 LORD HUTTON: I am sorry, Mr Scarlett. We give a break for
17 the stenographers. I think this might be a convenient
18 time just before we get on to that. I will rise for
19 five minutes.
20 (11.45 am)
21 (Short Break)
22 (11.50 am)
23 MR DINGEMANS: Mr Scarlett, we were turning to the meeting
24 of 9th September. Can I just pull up CAB/6/2 which is
25 a memorandum from Alastair Campbell that was sent after
1 the meeting. I had asked you who was at the meeting;
2 and this memo, in some respects, may assist in that,
3 because it says:
4 "At our discussion this morning, we agreed it would
5 be helpful..."
6 It is from Alastair Campbell to you and various
7 people are copied in. Were all those people at the
9 A. No, they were not.
10 Q. Who was at the meeting?
11 A. I do not have an exact recollection. There was an
12 initial discussion between Alastair Campbell and myself
13 and then a broader meeting which included officers from
14 SIS, and from Overseas and Defence Secretariat.
15 Q. Right.
16 A. And probably others but I am afraid I do not remember.
17 Q. Where did this meeting take place?
18 A. In Alastair Campbell's office.
19 Q. Who chaired the meeting?
20 A. Alastair Campbell.
21 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting?
22 A. It was a continuation of a discussion we had had on
23 5th September. It had had the same agenda, but in this
24 case to finalise the arrangements for the format, the
25 structure, and sort of taking forward the presentation
1 of the Government's assessment. I would like to say
2 here that both this meeting, on 9th September, and the
3 meeting on 5th September, were chaired by
4 Alastair Campbell because they were unique -- they were
5 wholly and only concerned with those issues. There was
6 no discussion of intelligence issues, intelligence
7 matters, intelligence at all, at that meeting or at
8 those meetings so it was wholly appropriate, in my view,
9 that they should be chaired by Alastair Campbell. It
10 was not, in any sense of the term at all, an
11 intelligence -- neither of them were intelligence
13 Q. Right. We can see in the third paragraph, having made
14 the point that "... this must be, and be seen to be, the
15 work of you and your team, and that its credibility
16 depends fundamentally upon that", in the third paragraph
17 it picks up that:
18 "... you are working on a new dossier, according to
19 the structure we agreed at the meeting last week, to
20 meet the new circumstances which have developed over
21 recent weeks and months", and that people should wait to
22 comment on that.
23 The structure is set out towards the bottom of the
25 Continuing over the page, it makes a whole series of
1 points about the presentation and the public line and,
2 if one continues to the bottom of the page, the fact
3 that Mr Campbell was going to chair a team that would go
4 through the document from a presentational point of view
5 and make recommendations to you.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. That left you dealing with the intelligence, is that
9 A. It left me in charge of the drafting of those parts of
10 the dossier that were related to intelligence in any way
11 at all or were intelligence based. I and my team were
12 responsible for that, of course answering to the JIC.
13 Q. Mr Campbell I think used the expression, or it may have
14 been in the documents one has read, of "ownership", the
15 document being owned by you. What did you understand
16 that to mean?
17 A. Ownership, that I was absolutely to be in charge.
18 LORD HUTTON: Well, you said Mr Scarlett that you were to be
19 in charge of the document in any way relating to
21 A. Hmm.
22 LORD HUTTON: But presumably someone must have had overall
23 charge and responsibility. I mean, someone must have
24 been concerned with the final product. Was that to be
25 you or someone else or was it the position that there
1 were a number of people who were concerned with the
2 final shape of the dossier as it would be made available
3 to the public?
4 A. Well, my Lord, why I made the slight qualification that
5 I did is for that reason, that it was almost completely
6 clear by this stage, by the time this note went out,
7 that I was that person.
8 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
9 A. But there was still some slight ambiguity about who
10 would be responsible for the parts of the dossier which
11 were not going to be intelligence based. This relates
12 to human rights and weapons inspections, in particular,
13 where the FCO had been seen to be the lead department.
14 In fact in this text here I think it says at the end:
15 "Writing by Committee does not work but we will make
16 recommendations and suggestions, and you can decide what
17 you want to incorporate. Once they are incorporated, we
18 need to take a judgement as to whether a single person
19 should be appointed to write the final version."
20 There was still a slight ambiguity there as to who
21 would write the final version. The reason why I had had
22 discussion with Alastair Campbell at the beginning of
23 the meeting on my own was to say to him that it was very
24 important that only one person and one unit had
25 ownership and command and control of this exercise, that
1 that should be me, that I wanted it stated clearly in
2 writing; and I wanted that to be the outcome of our
3 meeting, which, with the slight qualification at the end
4 there, it was.
5 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
6 MR DINGEMANS: The slight qualification, what, being at the
7 bottom of page 3 of that?
8 A. I say qualification, it is a slight ambiguity.
9 Q. That he was dealing with documents from a presentational
10 point of view as it were?
11 A. No --
12 LORD HUTTON: How does the paragraph begin?
13 A. The page on my screen, it begins, the paragraph: "In the
14 meantime, I will chair a team ...", that is fine. That
15 was going to look at the presentational point of view,
16 fine. That was going to make recommendations to me,
17 fine. There is a reference as to a further judgment to
18 be made "as to whether a single person should be
19 appointed to write the final version."
20 LORD HUTTON: I see.
21 MR DINGEMANS: In fact no other person was appointed, is
22 that right?
23 A. I made sure that was me.
24 LORD HUTTON: Was there a later decision to that effect or
25 was it simply understood, or in the way that matters
1 worked out it was you, was that the position?
2 A. No -- well, my Lord, I do not want to make too much of
3 this point because there was really not too much
4 discussion about it. It is just that there was an
5 ambiguity in the way that note was written. In
6 practice, and I am sure it was Alastair Campbell's
7 understanding at the time that I went away as the person
8 in charge of the whole exercise.
9 MR DINGEMANS: The dossier of 10th/11th September is
10 produced. We have that at DOS/2/2. We can see in the
11 top right-hand corner "10/11 September 2002", again
12 beginning with the foreword. You, in fact, produce
13 a memo that we have dated 10th September at CAB/23/2.
14 This is one of the new documents. Can you just help us
15 with what this is?
16 A. Right. This is the note I think of the 10th September
18 Q. Yes, it is dated 10th September at the bottom, if we
19 scroll down. We can see that.
20 A. Yes, which I sent to Alastair Campbell and I attached
21 the draft, the first page of which you just had on the
23 Q. You say in paragraph 2 of the memo that it has been:
24 "... significantly recast with considerable help
25 from John Williams and others in the Foreign Office. It
1 still needs further work. I cannot yet confirm that
2 I am content with the overall tone of the paper and the
3 balance between the main text and annexes."
4 Then John Williams, it appears, was off to New York.
5 When you were redrafting the dossier, is it right to
6 say that Mr Williams from the Foreign and Commonwealth
7 Office communications side was assisting you?
8 A. Well, not really. John Williams was working on his
9 redrafting which he had been doing following the
10 4th September. Of course that was helpful of him to do
11 that; but I was concerned that that redrafting which was
12 happening independently from me might cause confusion as
13 to who was actually controlling this. It was one of the
14 points I had in mind when I asked for the 9th September
15 note to be issued.
16 Q. We have seen other memos or e-mails that followed this
17 draft when it was distributed. Can I take you to
18 CAB/11/25? This is an e-mail from Daniel Pruce to
19 Claire Sumner in August 2003, but the original one is
20 from Philip Bassett to Daniel Pruce and
21 Alastair Campbell: "Re Draft Dossier (J Scarlett version
22 of 10th September)". That is your one, as it were?
23 A. Yes, that is my version.
24 Q. "Very long way to go, I think. Think we're in a lot of
25 trouble with this as it stands now."
1 Were these comments ever shared with you?
2 A. Not by e-mail, no.
3 Q. Were they shared with you orally?
4 A. Well, very briefly, only in the sense that I attended
5 a discussion on 11th September at 1800 hours in
6 Alastair Campbell's office to consider the
7 presentational aspects of the draft circulated the
8 previous day, and the main comments made at that meeting
9 I do see reflected now that I see them in some of these
11 Q. So the type of comments that we can see going around by
12 e-mail were presented orally to you by Mr Campbell, is
13 that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In terms of comments about structure and language
16 et cetera et cetera?
17 A. Well, I have no record of that discussion, but my memory
18 is that the advice from the presentational side that
19 I received was that the draft, as it existed, needed to
20 contain less assertion, if possible more detail, and
21 less rhetoric and that was it, really.
22 Q. Were members of the intelligence agencies aware of the
23 input that was coming, albeit orally, to you on the back
24 of these e-mails?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did they have any views about the propriety or otherwise
2 of such comments?
3 A. There were no worries of any kind expressed to me, at
4 any stage, about the propriety of the arrangement.
5 Q. Was there any view that No. 10, if one uses the term
6 generically, was trying to beef up the dossier at all?
7 Were there any views being expressed by the members of
8 the intelligence agencies as far as you were aware?
9 A. None at all.
10 Q. Can I take you to an e-mail which is CAB/23/15. It is
11 the first CAB/23/15. This is an e-mail that, again, we
12 got this morning. A lot is redacted. It is subject "Re
13 Iraqi dossier questions from No. 10."
14 "Dear all."
15 First of all, can you tell me where this e-mail
16 comes from?
17 A. This is an e-mail written by a member of my assessment
18 staff in the middle of the day on 11th September, which
19 is passing out to the agencies and departments who are
20 contributing to the drafting process of the public
21 dossier some comments, mainly questions, that according
22 to this e-mail emanated from No. 10.
23 Q. "We have now received comments back from No. 10 on the
24 first draft of the dossier. Unsurprisingly they have
25 further questions and areas they would like expanded."
1 Those comments had been received by you orally from
2 Mr Campbell, is that right?
3 A. I do not know. I mean, we have located this e-mail in
4 assessment staff and have submitted it because it says
5 what it says. The person drafting it only recalls that
6 I said to him that further comments had been received on
7 these points from No. 10. I --
8 Q. Sorry, you were going to say something.
9 A. I have no recollection of it and I have no record,
10 myself, of receiving them and I do not know who they
11 were received from.
12 Q. But it seems that the main comments that had been passed
13 to you were that they like the use of a specific
14 personality, Miss Taha, in the paragraphs on chemical
16 "2. Is there any intelligence that Iraq has
17 actively sought to employ foreign experts, in particular
18 in the nuclear field?
19 3. They want more details on the items procured for
20 their nuclear programme. How many did they buy? What
21 does this equate to?
22 "Can we say how many chemical and biological weapons
23 Iraq currently has by type! If we can't give weapon
24 numbers can we give any idea on the quantity of agent
25 available!" by which I take it to mean that he thought
1 that was being a bit hopeful.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then he says this:
4 "I appreciate everyone, us included, has been around
5 at least some of these buoys before..." buoys in terms
6 of navigation marks.
7 A. Indeed.
8 Q. "... but particularly item 4. But No. 10, through the
9 Chairman, want the document to be as strong as possible
10 within the bounds of available intelligence. This is
11 therefore a last! call for any items of intelligence
12 that agencies think can and should be included.
13 "Responses needed by 1200 tomorrow."
14 It appears to betray an attitude that pressure is
15 being brought to bear to get anything good by way of
16 intelligence for the dossier. Is that a fair analysis?
17 A. No, it is not a fair analysis. This is simply part of
18 the work in progress. In effect these questions are
19 questions seeking more detail to support statements or
20 areas of discussion which are in the draft. This is
21 entirely consistent with what the original tasking
22 comprised of. It was entirely consistent with what
23 I wanted to do, and the fact that it was wanted for the
24 document to be as strong as possible was also what
25 I wanted -- strong in the sense of it being
1 comprehensive, as detailed as possible as the
2 intelligence allowed and as informative as possible.
3 LORD HUTTON: In your view, Mr Scarlett, would there be
4 anything wrong with No. 10 -- I use that term
5 generically -- informing you or the assessment staff
6 that they wanted as much intelligence in the dossier as
7 was possible, on the basis that anything that could go
8 in would in fact be valid intelligence in the judgment
9 of the intelligence community?
10 A. My Lord, I saw and see nothing wrong in that at all. It
11 was up to our judgment, my judgment and eventually the
12 judgment of the JIC whether it was safe to include
13 intelligence and whether that intelligence was soundly
14 based and consistent with our assessments. That was our
16 LORD HUTTON: Yes, of course. Yes.
17 MR DINGEMANS: Would people at a level below the Joint
18 Intelligence Committee at the time have understood, as
19 it were, there to be at least a desire for more
20 intelligence, genuine intelligence which could be used
21 in the dossier and quite a lot of activity in the last
22 couple of weeks leading up to the publication of the
24 A. Well, the people involved in the drafting process, and
25 the people receiving e-mails of that kind and other
1 messages, because there were telephone calls and
2 informal meetings as well as formal meetings, they would
3 have known at that time that there was quite a lot of
4 work going on, and that the assessment staff, the
5 drafters were attempting to identify intelligence which
6 could safely, in all respects, be used in the draft
7 dossier, in the interests of making it more informative.
8 That was consistent with our overall objective. So they
9 would have felt -- they would have been conscious of
10 that search, as it were, for further releasable
12 Q. Did you know, at the time, of any involvement Dr Kelly
13 may have had in commenting on in particular biological
14 and chemical weapons?
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. We have seen an e-mail, it is CAB/3/21, where he appears
17 to comment, through someone else, about growth media and
18 I know you have seen it subsequently. Did you see that
19 at the time?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. That is because it would have gone through a reporting
22 source before you would be addressed on that, is that
24 A. This is a working level e-mail being taken by the
25 drafters in assessment staff.
1 Q. In the assessment staff?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. This had got up, as it were, to JIC assessment level but
4 would not be sent on to you?
5 A. I would not have expected to see this particular e-mail.
6 Q. We have seen I think at the same time some other
7 comments that were made. I think you have seen those.
8 For example, there is someone who says that he was ADIST
9 at the time who was an expert on Iraqi weapons of mass
10 destruction who reported unhappiness within the DIS.
11 Were you aware of any of these expressions of
13 A. No, I was not.
14 Q. And that is because it is all dealt with within the DIS?
15 A. Those expressions of unhappiness, as I understand them
16 now, relate to specific issues which were under
17 discussion between DIS and the central drafters several
18 days after this. They related to particular points that
19 were in the drafts. They were discussed within the
20 formal drafting group, particularly on 17th September.
21 They were dealt with within that process and they were
22 not brought forward by the DIS senior management to the
23 level of the JIC.
24 Q. On 12th September we know that Mr Miller is going to
25 come and see Mr Smith, Godric Smith, CAB/11/35, to
1 "...show someone the latest thinking on the dossier
2 tomorrow without getting into circulating copies, just
3 so as they are on the right track."
4 What would you say about people at this stage going
5 with drafts of the dossier back to Mr Smith or
6 Mr Campbell in No. 10?
7 A. Well, on this particular instance I was not in London
8 that day. I have spoken to Julian Miller subsequently.
9 He recalls telephoning Godric Smith and it would be
10 normal for him to be talking to Godric at his level. He
11 does not recall meeting him, as it turns out.
12 Q. On 16th September 2002 we get another draft of the
13 dossier. We can see that at DOS/2/58. You can see,
14 again, the handwriting in the top right-hand corner?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. If we turn to DOS/2/72, we have towards the bottom of
17 the page the comment:
18 "Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical or
19 biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do
21 I will not take you through the language between all
22 the dossiers if that is all right, but the language
23 between the dossier of 10th/11th September and
24 16th September seems to have become less strong. Is
25 there anything you can comment on in relation to that?
1 A. That is true, but only partly true. In the
2 16th September text that we have here, I think this
3 point is mentioned four times in the overall text. It
4 is mentioned once in the executive summary as
5 a judgment.
6 LORD HUTTON: May I just ask you, Mr Scarlett: in the copy
7 of the 16th September dossier which we have --
8 A. Yes my Lord.
9 LORD HUTTON: -- the contents page is at DOS/2/59. It sets
10 out the executive summary. Certainly my next page in
11 the dossier is 60 which begins with part 1 and the
12 executive summary does not appear to be there. Would it
13 have been the same as the executive summary in the
14 preceding dossier?
15 A. Well, I thought, my Lord, that you had been and
16 the Inquiry had been supplied with the executive
17 summary. I am sorry.
18 MR DINGEMANS: They have come in this morning as well. I am
19 not sure they have got to his Lordship yet.
20 A. I am sorry about that.
21 LORD HUTTON: Not at all. Am I right then in assuming that
22 the executive summary, or perhaps not, in the dossier of
23 16th September was the same as in the earlier dossier of
24 10th and 11th September?
25 A. You are, my Lord. As it happens, I have it written down
1 in front of me here that the executive summary on
2 16th September on this point said that Iraq has military
3 plans for use of chemical and biological weapons some of
4 which could be ready within 45 minutes of an order to
5 use them. I think that is right.
6 LORD HUTTON: You said there were, what, two other places?
7 A. Then in the text itself it is mentioned twice. On
8 page 15 under the heading of "Main Conclusions".
9 LORD HUTTON: That is in the text of the dossier itself, is
11 A. In the dossier itself.
12 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Give me a moment. "The Iraqi military
13 may be able to deploy these weapons within 45 minutes of
14 a decision to do so". Yes.
15 A. On page 17, my Lord, almost exactly the same. So before
16 it was main conclusions, now it is in the text itself.
17 There I think it says, instead of saying "these
18 weapons", it says "chemical and biological weapons".
19 LORD HUTTON: Mr Dingemans had taken you to the penultimate
20 line in page 17, but is there an earlier reference in
21 that page?
22 A. No, on page 15, sir, now page 17.
23 LORD HUTTON: That is the wording "may be able to deploy".
24 A. On page 15 I think it says "may be able to" as well.
25 MR DINGEMANS: I just took the wording to illustrate what it
1 said in the text. We did not have the foreword.
2 A. But there is also a conclusion which is attached to this
4 Q. Right.
5 A. At the end.
6 LORD HUTTON: That is what page in the dossier itself?
7 A. I am afraid I do not know the page number for that.
8 LORD HUTTON: Well we will try to find it.
9 MR DINGEMANS: I think that is another document that we have
10 just received, as it were.
11 LORD HUTTON: I see. Yes.
12 A. I am sorry, but I can --
13 MR DINGEMANS: We will get all the documents and drafts.
14 A. May I just say that in the conclusion it says "some
15 weapons" -- and it is specified in the way the
16 conclusion is drafted that this is chemical and
17 biological weapons -- "could be deployed within
18 45 minutes of an order". The reason I am going over
19 this is I am saying in this particular draft there are
20 four different references. Two of them use the language
21 which was used in the 10th and 11th, two of them use
22 slightly different language.
23 Q. The conclusion, in the text, we know that is drafted by
24 you effectively, is it not, the dossier?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The conclusion was drafted by you as well, is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But the foreword, that was not you?
5 A. Not the foreword. This is the executive summary,
6 drafted by us.
7 Q. So the executive summary was also by you?
8 A. Yes.
9 LORD HUTTON: Just before we leave this, Mr Scarlett, it is
10 a difference in wording --
11 A. Yes.
12 LORD HUTTON: -- and these dossiers or drafts are obviously
13 very carefully prepared. I mean, a possible view is
14 that whoever drafted this page, 17, deliberately used
15 that language "may be able to deploy". Is it possible
16 that there was some debate as to whether it was too
17 strong to say "could be deployed" and therefore a person
18 drafting this particular page decided to use the words
19 "may be able to deploy"?
20 A. My Lord, I have discussed this draft in detail with the
21 officers who drafted it and who work on my staff. They
22 have no memory of changing the wording. They have no
23 recollection of any particular reason for changing the
24 wording. As far as they can judge, as far as I can
25 judge, there was not intended to be any significance at
1 the time in the change of this wording.
2 LORD HUTTON: Was the position, then, that a number of
3 members of your assessment staff were engaged in the
4 drafting? It came to you and ultimately you took
5 responsibility for the final draft?
6 A. Yes.
7 LORD HUTTON: But do I understand that a number of hands
8 might have been involved in the preparation of the draft
9 by the assessment staff?
10 A. The work in assessment staff was being carried out by
11 a small unit, mainly of two people, who were answering
12 to one of the deputy heads of the unit.
13 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
14 A. In fact, I can correct that, at that particular moment
15 the deputy head was absent; and then answering to the
16 chief of assessment staff who was in charge of the
17 drafting group.
18 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
19 A. So this detail was in the hands, in terms of the central
20 drafting process, of assessment staff under the
21 leadership of Julian Miller.
22 LORD HUTTON: Julian Miller. Yes, I see. Yes. Thank you.
23 MR DINGEMANS: Had the publication date moved on to a faster
24 track than originally intended for the dossier? It is
25 a form of words that was used by the Prime Minister's
1 official spokesman at BBC/4/69, about halfway down the
3 "Asked whether the timing of publication of the
4 dossier, on the very morning that Parliament resumed,
5 was deliberate in order to do everything on one day, or
6 whether it was because the dossier would not be ready
7 before then, the PMOS said that the publication had been
8 moved onto a faster track than originally intended and
9 that had caused some difficulties."
10 Do you know what that is referring to?
11 A. I do not, no.
12 Q. Right. And we know from a memo that Mr Campbell made
13 some comments at CAB/11/66. What do we see here?
14 A. Well, further down the page he refers --
15 Q. It is a memo from Mr Campbell to you, is it?
16 A. Yes, it is, yes.
17 Q. He says "... a number of drafting points."
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. He says that as he was writing it, "... the
20 Prime Minister had a read of the draft you gave me this
21 morning, and he too made a number of points"; that is
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. He expresses his view on how well you have done; and
25 then deals with chapter 3 being reordered, use of
1 pictures, no civil nuclear point, not enough on human
2 rights. Then detailed comments on the draft which is
3 said to be much stronger, at the bottom.
4 If one turns the page, one can see, for example,
5 paragraph 1:
6 "In light of the last 24 hours, I think we should
7 make more of the point about current concealment plans.
8 Also in the executive summary, it would be stronger if
9 we said that despite sanctions and the policy of
10 containment, he has made real progress, even if this
11 echoes the Prime Minister."
12 There are various other specific comments.
13 A. Hmm.
14 Q. In particular, after 6, "vivid and horrifying" is said
15 not to fit with the dry text around --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- which is obviously very much a point on presentation.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And also had the effect of weakening the dossier. Can
20 I take you to points 9 and 10:
21 "9. On page 16, bottom line, 'might' reads very
23 "10. On page 17, 2 lines from the bottom" -- this
24 was the bit of the dossier I had taken you to so one
25 could relate it to the comment -- "'may' is weaker than
1 in the summary."
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So he is picking out there an inconsistency in the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. "'Might' reads very weakly" also appears to be asking
7 for a strengthening of the language; is that fair?
8 A. Well, it is saying -- it is not asking for, it is making
9 that comment. I read that as a comment at the time,
10 and, you know, on the basis of the intelligence could it
11 be strengthened?
12 Q. And we see your response. This is CAB/11/70. If we go
13 to the bottom of 71 we can see the date,
14 18th September 2002.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So you have responded the next day, as it were?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Going up to 9 and 10, you remember I read 9 and 10 as it
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "We cannot improve on the use of 'might' on the old
22 page 16."
23 You say "might" is still appropriate, whether weak
24 or not.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. "The language you queried on the old page 17 has been
2 tightened", as it were?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This tightening of the language, did any of this cause
5 unhappiness as far as you know amongst members of the
6 Intelligence Services?
7 A. Well, what actually happened around this point is that
8 there was a separate process going on considering the
9 confusion, slight muddle, if you like, which existed in
10 the 16th September draft which we were just discussing
11 where there were four references, two using one
12 language, and two using another. This was completely
13 separately from this picked up in the normal drafting
15 On 17th September, there was a meeting of the formal
16 drafting group chaired by the chief of assessment staff,
17 attended by all the main players, including DIS. DIS
18 had submitted six pages, I think, of points which they
19 wanted discussed at that meeting, or they proposed
20 should be discussed at that meeting, and those points
21 included comments and suggestions about the way in which
22 the 45 minutes point should be addressed. That was
23 discussed at the 17th September meeting, separate from
25 Q. The DIS had discussed that?
1 A. The DIS had raised it, but it was discussed anyway at
2 the meeting --
3 Q. At the JIC?
4 A. No, not at the JIC, at the drafting group chaired by
5 Julian Miller which was a specific group established to
6 oversee the drafting of the public dossier.
7 Q. What was the date on which they discussed these
9 A. 17th September.
10 Q. 17th September?
11 A. In the morning.
12 Q. What was the outcome of that discussion?
13 A. The outcome of that discussion was that the assessment
14 staff drafters would go back to the original
15 intelligence and would go back to the classified
16 assessment, which had included this point about
17 45 minutes, which was issued on 9th September, which
18 I have referred to earlier.
19 Q. Which we have seen now?
20 A. Yes. And that they would bring the wording of the
21 overall text in to line with the intelligence and with
22 the existing classified assessment, which is what they
24 LORD HUTTON: Were there some suggestions by DIS, at that
25 meeting, that the wording in the previous dossier had
1 been a little strong on the 45 minute claim?
2 A. My Lord, yes. The proposal from DIS related to the way
3 in which it was worded in the executive summary, as
4 a judgment.
5 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
6 A. They had no objection to this item being included in the
7 text of the dossier and they did not object to it being
8 included in the executive summary, but they queried
9 whether it was right to include it as a judgment and
10 they suggested that it should be qualified in the
11 executive summary with the words, I think it was
12 "intelligence suggests that", rather than it being
13 placed as a judgment. That was what they proposed at
14 the 17th September drafting group meeting.
15 LORD HUTTON: I think Mr Martin Howard said in his evidence
16 that the discussion on this point did relate to the use
17 of language with reference to the words you have just
18 mentioned, that is a debate about whether it was
19 appropriate to say "we judge" as opposed to
20 "intelligence indicates" or "intelligence suggests"; is
21 that your understanding?
22 A. That is correct, yes.
23 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
24 MR DINGEMANS: And we have heard that Dr Kelly, in
25 a conversation with Ms Watts, described this type of
1 process as "wordsmithing". Is that a concept that you
2 are familiar with in the intelligence world?
3 A. Again it is not a word I have used but it is a concept
4 which I am very familiar with and is a good professional
6 Q. Which is if I say "something shows this", that is
7 stronger than "something suggests this"?
8 A. It depends on context, but it might well be, yes.
9 Q. That is the sort of thing that, rightly or wrongly, gets
10 people working at the level of the DIS sometimes
11 agitated to make recommendations about the draft?
12 A. Yes. And I think that is entirely normal.
13 Q. And had you at this stage, we are now on 19th September,
14 picked up any of this, you know, concern about the way
15 in which the 45 minutes was being expressed?
16 A. No, personally I was not aware of any concern about
17 this. I did know, but only sort of very briefly, that
18 there had been discussion of this point, but as I have
19 said, there were many other points under discussion too,
20 at the 17th September meeting; that the drafters had
21 gone away to look at the original texts, and had put
22 forward amended drafting which had then been circulated
23 in the draft of 19th September. I was aware of that.
24 LORD HUTTON: Was this sort of discussion something which
25 was not unusual in intelligence circles if an assessment
1 was being prepared, that different members of the
2 intelligence community would put forward different
3 suggestions as to the precise word perhaps to be used in
4 a sentence?
5 A. It is completely normal, my Lord, and it is important
6 that it should happen, but it is completely normal.
7 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
8 MR DINGEMANS: We know on 19th September you circulate
9 a further draft. Can we look at CAB/23/1.
10 LORD HUTTON: Sorry, can we just go back for a moment to
11 Mr Campbell's memorandum to you at CAB/11/66. If we
12 could look at the second page, 67.
13 Mr Dingemans has referred you to this page in some
14 detail, Mr Scarlett. You will see in paragraph 1 there
15 is the reference or the statement by Mr Campbell:
16 "Also in the executive summary, it would be stronger
17 if we said that despite sanctions ...", et cetera.
18 Then Mr Dingemans also referred you to paragraph 2:
19 "In the text (page 23) it is weaker 'may have'."
20 Then in paragraph 9 the reference is "'might' reads
21 very weakly."
22 Then in 10: "... 'may' is weaker than in the
24 Then in 14:
25 "The nuclear timelines issue is difficult. I felt
1 it worked better in the last draft."
2 Then 15:
3 "It would be stronger if you could be more explicit
4 about when a JIC assessment has gone to..."
5 You said in reply to Mr Dingemans that those were
6 comments rather than suggestions; and just if we could
7 then look at your reply at CAB/11/70, in paragraph 6.1
8 you there say:
9 "We have strengthened language on current concerns
10 and plans..."
11 But in 2 you say:
12 "On the position of Saddam's sons, the intelligence
13 supports only 'may have'."
14 So you are not accepting Mr Campbell's suggestion
16 A. No.
17 LORD HUTTON: On 8, that is at 71, you say:
18 "We do not have intelligence which allows us to list
19 quantities on the old page 15 for the various delivery
21 "9. We cannot improve on the use of 'might' on the
22 old page 16."
23 Now, would it be a fair summary to say that whether
24 one regards Mr Campbell's suggestions as being comments
25 or suggestions, the position was that when you
1 considered those comments or suggestions and they were
2 not supported by the intelligence, you said that in
3 reply to Mr Campbell?
4 A. Yes.
5 LORD HUTTON: And you have already referred to the
6 distinction between presentation and intelligence. Have
7 you any comment in that context on the memorandum from
8 Mr Campbell and the memorandum in reply?
9 A. (Pause). As I understood it at the time, my Lord, he
10 was for the first time in this process, on the basis of
11 the drafts that he had seen, asking questions, and, in
12 some limited respects, making requests, really, for
14 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
15 A. And was asking me whether that would be possible.
16 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
17 A. And it was up to me to decide whether it was possible,
18 whether it was not, whether it was something I would
19 agree to do, would not agree to do, whether it was
20 consistent of course with the underlying intelligence
21 and whether it was consistent with our assessment. So
22 I saw this very much as a list of points from him
23 entirely up to me to respond to or not as I saw fit.
24 I hope that answers the question my Lord.
25 LORD HUTTON: Yes, thank you. Yes, Mr Dingemans.
1 MR DINGEMANS: 19th September. We have a letter from DIS
2 which is CAB/3/79, commenting on the revised draft which
3 they say is 15th September. We are told that is an
4 error and it was in fact the 16th.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. We can see a whole series of detailed comments:
7 "Procured materials for use it its illegal
8 development of long range missiles" and a suggested
9 changed language.
10 These are intelligence personnel, is that right?
11 A. Yes, this was from the Defence Intelligence Staff, it is
12 probably coming through their sort of central reference
13 point for this exercise and it is representing further
14 changes and suggestions.
15 Q. If you go over the page to 80, we are told Dr Kelly was
16 at this meeting.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You can see for example the third paragraph down there
19 is a reference to the number of litres of aflatoxin and
20 the rationale accuracy.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You can see some of them are accuracy, some them deal
23 with intelligence comments. But picking up the comment
24 that his Lordship made, I mean these, on the face of it,
25 to a lay person, seem fairly similar to the type of
1 comments that Mr Campbell was suggesting to you in his
2 memorandum of 17th September. Is that fair or unfair?
3 A. (Pause). Well, these are dealing with a great deal more
4 detail and, of course, they are the comments from
6 Q. I appreciate that, but these are intelligence personnel.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And Mr Campbell is not an expert in intelligence.
9 A. He is not.
10 Q. He is suggesting or appeared to be suggesting some
11 changes. I appreciate you did not accept all the
12 changes, in the same way no doubt you did not accept all
13 these changes. But you are at least accepting comments
14 from persons who are not qualified in intelligence.
15 A. Yes, I was accepting. And I see absolutely nothing
16 difficult in that at all. It was entirely up to me as
17 to how to respond. I was completely in control of this
18 process. I felt it at the time and feel it
20 Q. Now, we know there was discussion about a conclusion.
21 A. Hmm.
22 Q. Did you originally draft a conclusion to the document?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. When it was published was there a conclusion?
25 A. No, there was not.
1 Q. What was the process by which the conclusion came to be
3 A. I had originally drafted a conclusion, I think, although
4 I cannot clarify it precisely from the record, over the
5 weekend of the 14th and the 15th and, as I recall, that
6 was my initiative. It was issued on the 16th as part of
7 that draft, as I have already stated, largely in sort of
8 box form. In the draft of the 19th it had been much
9 reduced to two or three paragraphs. I had never really
10 felt happy with it. I did not think it was quite right,
11 had quite the right tone or, crucially, that it added
12 anything to what was in the rest of the text; and so
13 I had been musing on this particular aspect for some
14 days, I cannot quite remember exactly how many, and
15 I decided to drop it.
16 Q. Right. We can see there is a further draft produced on
17 19th September. I think we have seen that a number of
18 times before. On 20th September you write a memo to
19 Mr Campbell. That is CAB/18/38, a new document. You
20 say here that you are attaching the final draft version
21 of the dossier, taking account of additional comments
22 from you and others received over the last 24 hours.
23 Does that suggest that after the memo of the
24 17th September Mr Campbell had made further comments?
25 A. Yes, there were I think two, possibly three e-mails
1 which came from him subsequent to the 17th September.
2 Q. Right. Some of them you accepted and some of them you
3 rejected again?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the Prime Minister's foreword which we know had been
6 drafted is now incorporated and the conclusion has been
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That is when the conclusion, as it were, goes?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You say you are now content that the text now reflects
12 as fully and accurately as possible the intelligence
13 picture on Saddam's mass destruction weapons?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That remains your conclusion, does it?
16 A. That remains my conclusion as to the intelligence
17 picture on the basis of the intelligence we had at that
19 Q. Then we see that the document is published on
20 24th September.
21 A. Indeed.
22 Q. Can I just ask you about some aspects of the drafting
23 process? The process which led to the publication of
24 the dossier we have been told, on a number of occasions,
25 was unique. This was the first time that intelligence
1 had been published in this way, is that right?
2 A. That is not quite right.
3 Q. Right.
4 A. There was a precedent of which we were conscious,
5 although it is a very limited precedent, in terms of the
6 Government's document on responsibility for the 9.11
7 attacks which was published on 4th October 2001.
8 Q. That was just before or just after you had become
10 A. It was a month after I had become Chairman.
11 Q. So you had been involved with that process?
12 A. I had.
13 Q. Were you happy with this process by which communications
14 personnel were involved in making suggestions about the
15 dossier to you?
16 A. As long as I was in charge I was happy. In fact,
17 I should add I found it quite useful to have
18 presentational advice.
19 Q. There have been reports in the newspapers, and so I will
20 ask you about those, about rows at the time of the
21 publication of the dossier. There is a reference in an
22 article published by Mr Beaumont, we have heard him give
23 evidence --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- which said there were fairly serious rows between
1 Campbell, Omand and Lander. You are no doubt familiar
2 with those type of articles and newspaper comments.
3 Were you aware of any such rows or arguments?
4 A. I am familiar with those type of articles and that one
5 is completely untrue. No foundation whatsoever.
6 Q. Were there any serious rows or disagreements --
7 A. No.
8 Q. -- between -- I had better finish the question first.
9 A. Sorry, my apologies.
10 Q. Between you and Mr Campbell?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Or between others on the JIC and Mr Campbell?
13 A. No.
14 Q. At FAC/3/47 at paragraph 148 Dame Pauline Jones, when
15 she is giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee,
16 reported that there was -- and having been asked similar
17 questions about this, it is paragraph 148, if one
18 scrolls down -- that there was as she put it "turbulence
19 in the machine" about some of these aspects. I am
20 sorry, it may be over the page --
21 A. No, it is here on my screen.
22 Q. Yes:
23 "There was clearly turbulence inside the machine and
24 some people have been talking..."
25 Is she right about that?
1 A. First of all, I do not know who her sources are, she has
2 not stated them. As far as I know, she is completely
3 wrong or she is wrong. What I should add here is that
4 it is a question of what one means by "turbulence" or,
5 although you have not used the word, "unhappiness". It
6 is a very general term, "turbulence inside the machine".
7 I think as it stands it really means nothing. It needs
8 further definition before it is possible to answer
9 whether it or might or might not be well founded.
10 Q. Regardless of who her sources were or not, you were at
11 the time Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you aware of any unhappiness, if we ignore
14 turbulence --
15 A. As Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and as
16 somebody in frequent contact with the senior members of
17 the intelligence community including the most senior, of
18 course, I was not aware of any unhappiness within the
19 intelligence community about the contents of the dossier
20 and the judgments that we were making in it.
21 It was the case and remains the case that all my
22 colleagues on the JIC were completely supportive in
23 giving authority for that assessment to be issued. That
24 is what I mean about definition. That is regarding the
25 contents and the judgment. And I was aware that at
1 a working level, maybe higher, there were worries within
2 the intelligence community about the precedent that
3 would be set by a document of this kind; and the
4 importance of ensuring that in no way did it impinge on
5 operational security and the security of sources.
6 I myself of course shared that concern and paid
7 a great deal of attention to addressing it, to make sure
8 that absolutely vital condition was not breached. That
9 is a separate sort of worry and an entirely reasonable
10 and logical one.
11 Q. Now the Foreign Affairs Committee made a comment in
12 their report of 7th July at FAC/3/34. It is
13 paragraph 100:
14 "We conclude that the language used in the September
15 dossier was in places more assertive than that
16 traditionally used in intelligence documents."
17 First of all, is that sentence justified?
18 A. No, it is not.
19 Q. "We believe that there is much value in retaining the
20 measured and even cautious tones which have been the
21 hallmark of intelligence assessments and we recommend
22 that this approach be retained."
23 Did you agree with their comments in that respect?
24 A. Well, I am bound to agree that it is important to use
25 measured and well founded language in intelligence
1 assessments; but the implication of the recommendation,
2 which is more than implication, which is that that had
3 changed, I do not accept and I do not agree, no.
4 Q. I am proposing to move off the dossier. Is there
5 anything you want to say in relation to the dossier that
6 you have not said in answer to my questions?
7 A. Well, there is one thing, my Lord, that I might say
8 which relates to the purpose of the exercise as far as
9 I was concerned, if I may.
10 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
11 A. As far as I was concerned, this was an objective which
12 was a very worthwhile objective if quite a difficult
13 one; and it was to put into the public domain and to
14 share, as far as could be done safely, the intelligence
15 assessment on this issue which was being provided to the
16 Prime Minister and the Government. It was no more or
17 less than that. And in no sense, in my mind, or in the
18 mind of the JIC, was it a document designed to make
19 a case for anything.
20 LORD HUTTON: Yes.
21 MR DINGEMANS: If I may now move on to the broadcast on
22 29th May.
23 A. Yes.
24 LORD HUTTON: I wonder, Mr Dingemans, if I just might ask
25 Mr Scarlett one point.
1 Mr Scarlett, I think you have already referred to
2 this, but I think it might be helpful if you would just
3 explain in a little more detail the contacts between the
4 various branches of the Intelligence Services, like DIS,
5 and the assessment staff, and there is a body which you
6 refer to in your statement, I think its acronym is
7 something like CIG.
8 A. The Current Intelligence Group, my Lord.
9 LORD HUTTON: How did that operate in relation to the JIC?
10 Is there a continuous process of discussion that goes on
11 or not? Because one could perhaps take two views of how
12 the process works. One is that information comes up to
13 the assessment staff, they assess it, they prepare
14 an assessment for the JIC, it is passed on to the JIC,
15 or another possible view might be that whilst the
16 assessments come up there is continuous contact to and
17 fro. Could you just elaborate on that a little?
18 A. Yes of course, my Lord. Starting at the bottom, the
19 process goes as follows: intelligence is issued by the
20 intelligence collection agency, let us say SIS, let us
21 say GCHQ, and that is issued and they will make clear
22 how they evaluate the report. That will be issued to
23 a number of what we would call customers in policy
24 departments who would have an interest in that
25 particular subject and, depending on the subject, it
1 will be issued to the Ministry of Defence and in many,
2 many cases to Defence Intelligence Staff as they are the
3 intelligence experts in the Ministry of Defence.
4 It will also be issued to the relevant individuals
5 in assessment staff, who are the central assessment
6 people. That is the raw intelligence. And assessment
7 staff have access to all intelligence which comes in
8 from the issuing agencies, and of course depending on
9 the subject.
10 The JIC works on the basis -- the JIC is responsible
11 for the presentation of centralised intelligence
12 assessments to the Government at the most senior level.
13 Of course it is a question of deciding which subjects
14 are going to be assessed. That decision is taken on the
15 basis of a work programme which is kept continually
16 up-to-date, and individual subjects are chosen for
18 Whatever the subject is, it needs to have
19 a sponsoring department, almost always a policy
20 department which wants an assessment on a particular
21 situation to support whatever policy considerations they
22 have in mind. That is agreed at an interdepartmental
23 group chaired by the chief of assessment staff and is
24 put on the work programme; and the assessment staff work
25 according to that work programme although of course it
1 is flexible, if need be.
2 So a particular subject has been chosen for an
3 assessment, the initial draft of that assessment will be
4 prepared by the relevant assessment staff officer and he
5 will draw up that draft either initially just on his
6 own, on the basis of his own expertise, or he may well
7 start consulting his contacts around Whitehall because
8 by and large, although these are exceptionally able and
9 well qualified people, they are not necessarily great
10 experts in all the detail of their particular subject.
11 Their skill is in bringing together in a coordinated way
12 the expertise which exists around the British Government
14 That first draft will then be circulated to
15 interested parties who will have a chance to work on it,
16 think about it, compare it, look at the underlying
17 intelligence. Then a formal meeting of an
18 interdepartmental group is brought together and that is
19 the Current Intelligence Group. That sort of formalises
20 this process.
21 Those groups or the CIG meet under the chairmanship
22 of one of the deputy heads of assessment staff, the
23 particular deputy head who deals with that particular
24 area, and will discuss the draft which is before the
25 group and which they will have considered beforehand,
1 looking at the raw intelligence. All this is very
2 firmly rooted in the raw intelligence but also in other
3 source information, open source information, diplomatic
4 reporting and so on.
5 They will agree a new draft and it will almost
6 always be changed to some degree as a result of the work
7 of the CIG. Then it is recirculated to the relevant
8 departments for further comment and maybe some further
9 changes are made and it is presented to the JIC for
10 formal consideration at a full meeting of the JIC at the
11 most senior level. Also within the assessment staff
12 before each JIC there will be a meeting chaired by
13 myself, or I will look at the drafts and also may
14 propose changes to go into the draft for the JIC to
15 consider. Then there is the final meeting.
16 Again, almost always the JIC will make changes, not
17 absolutely always, but very frequently, to the draft and
18 it is then issued by assessment staff on behalf of the
19 JIC. But it does happen with complicated subjects and
20 fast moving subjects in particular that after a meeting
21 of the JIC there will be a further draft prepared and
22 circulated for consideration out of Committee and then
23 issued with the authority of the JIC depending on what
24 further comments have come in.
25 That is the structure of the normal classified
1 process. It is a very well established, very rigorous
2 and well tried structure. But of course within it, it
3 has an informal side to it; and within those parameters
4 that I have set out, there is a great deal of contact
5 which is taking place all the time between the
6 assessment staff desk officers and their counterparts in
7 other ministries.
8 LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you. Yes, Mr Dingemans.
9 MR DINGEMANS: The 29th May broadcast. Were you made aware
10 of that broadcast? Did you hear it, for example?
11 A. I did not hear it.
12 Q. Were you contacted in relation to it?
13 A. Yes, I was contacted in the office -- for some reason
14 I was there quite early -- by the duty press officer in
15 No. 10.
16 Q. What were you consulted about?
17 A. I was told that there had been a broadcast on the Today
18 Programme. I think I was told that it was by
19 Andrew Gilligan but I cannot be absolutely sure about
20 that. I was told that it made some sort of central
22 Q. Were you told what the allegations were?
23 A. Yes, I was. I was told that there had been a reference
24 to -- it was the public assessment, 24th September, the
25 inclusion in it of the 45 minutes point, that that had
1 been inserted at the behest of No. 10, against the
2 wishes of the intelligence community, even though the
3 Government knew it to be wrong.
4 Q. And was that allegation true?
5 A. It was completely untrue.
6 Q. And how did you feel about it?
7 A. Well, I was a bit surprised to start with; but I knew
8 instantly that it was completely untrue. There was
9 nobody in a better position than I was to know that and
10 I said so.
11 Q. We know that there were reports of the denial.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. We know also that Mr Ingram appeared on the Today
14 Programme in the course of which he said that the
15 45 minute claim had been single sourced. Had you
16 communicated that to Mr Ingram?
17 A. No, I should add that I was also told that the report
18 said it had come in late and it was based on a single
19 source. So I was aware of that. What I denied were the
20 allegations which I have just listed.
21 Q. Right.
22 A. I knew nothing about Mr Ingram's appearance and I was
23 not consulted about it.
24 Q. Was there consideration given to writing a letter from
25 you, putting the record straight?
1 A. Over the weekend, that idea was put to me by
2 Alastair Campbell and I said I would not do that.
3 Q. And is there any reason why you would not write
4 a letter?
5 A. I just did not think it would be appropriate and it
6 would certainly not have been normal for any chairman of
7 the JIC to make that sort of statement in public.
8 Q. Right. So it was really for reasons of precedent and
9 usual practice that no letter was written?
10 A. Well, yes, I mean from what I have just said.
11 Q. 4th June there is a leak inquiry. Can we go to
12 CAB/18/36. These are some documents that I think came
13 with your note. It is to the head of Security Policy
14 Division copied to Sir David Omand. If we scroll down
15 to the bottom of the page we see it is from you on
16 4th June 2003. Going back to it, it says:
17 "I have spoken with David Omand about the two recent
18 reports of concern ... Andrew Gilligan's (inaccurate)
19 report on the Today Programme on 29th May about the
20 45 minute report on CW in Iraq", then references in the
21 Sunday Times to a note.
22 "It is not clear that it would be useful, or wise,
23 to institute a full inquiry into these leaks.
24 Nevertheless, they are both serious. If they continue
25 they will cause significant problems and undermine the
1 atmosphere of trust which underlies our work. David and
2 I would be grateful if you could look into how this
3 matter could be managed short of a full inquiry."
4 That is, as it were, a formal response to the
5 Andrew Gilligan report, is that right?
6 A. Well, not really. What this represents is the result of
7 a conversation between myself and David Omand where
8 we -- looking at -- David Omand of course as the
9 security and intelligence coordinator I am sure would
10 wish to speak to this, but he has the responsibility for
11 the Cabinet Secretary of looking at sort of issues
12 relating to leaks overall Government-wide, although the
13 lead on any leak inquiry will always be taken by the
14 department concerned. In this particular case it was
15 not quite clear what department was concerned. And I,
16 as head of the Intelligence and Security Secretariat, am
17 the senior officer to whom Security Policy Division
18 report and Security Policy Division have overall
19 responsibility for security policy Government-wide
20 including on the conduct of leak inquiries.
21 So it is normal for them in situations like this to
22 discuss with and if necessary advise David Omand on what
23 sort of response might be appropriate to a particular
25 In this particular situation it was not at all
1 clear, at that stage, what had happened, whether it was
2 even feasible to identify or try to -- yes, identify and
3 stop leaks of the kind described. The purpose of this
4 minute was simply to seek advice from Security Policy
5 Division who were the proper people from whom to seek
6 advice as to whether, and if so how, the work might be
7 taken forward.
8 LORD HUTTON: Have we seen in the course of going through
9 the various notes and memoranda between you and
10 Mr Campbell this note that appears to have been referred
11 to in the Sunday Times?
12 A. Yes, my Lord, you have.
13 LORD HUTTON: What note --
14 A. It is the note of 20th September. It is the one on the
15 screen a fairly short time ago which covered the final
16 approved version of the dossier handed to him on
17 20th September.
18 MR DINGEMANS: CAB/18/38. Is this the document to which you
19 were referring?
20 A. I am sure it is. It is.
21 LORD HUTTON: Mr Dingemans, CAB/18?
22 MR DINGEMANS: 38, my Lord. It is another new document.
23 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much.
24 MR DINGEMANS: You get a response on 6th June, CAB/18/40; is
25 that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. We can see what the issue is from the beginning of the
4 "Your note of 4 June asked for early advice on how
5 best to manage the leaks ... in particular the Today
6 Programme ... This note sets out what might be done
7 initially short of establishing a full inquiry."
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. He then carries out an analysis of what might be done
10 short of a formal inquiry. I will not, if that is all
11 right with you, take you through the whole document --
12 A. That is all right with me.
13 Q. -- but I will take you to CAB/18/49 which is Sir David
14 Omand to you effectively summarising that exchange. You
15 have obviously written a minute of 9th June.
16 "I read with interest Head of Security Policy
17 Division's advice. I share your view that we don't at
18 present have a basis on which we could launch a formal
19 leak inquiry."
20 There are ways and means of attempting to pursue the
22 A. Yes.
23 LORD HUTTON: Mr Dingemans, this may be a convenient time.
24 I will rise and sit again at 2 o'clock.
25 (1.05 pm)
1 (The short adjournment)