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Butler report: Summary of conclusions


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Washington and London have both faced investigations into intelligence failures before the war in Iraq.
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Lord Butler

LONDON, England -- The following is a summary of the Butler report's conclusions:

  • In March 2002 the intelligence available was "insufficiently robust" to prove Iraq was in breach of the United Nations' resolutions.
  • Validation of intelligence sources since the war has "thrown doubt" on a high proportion of these sources.
  • Some of the human intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "seriously flawed" and "open to doubt."
  • The Joint Intelligence Committee should not have included the "45-minute" claim in the Iraq dossier without stating what exactly it referred to.
  • The Butler report found no evidence of "deliberate distortion" of the intelligence material or of "culpable negligence."
  • The language of the government's dossier on Iraq's weapons may have left readers with the impression that there was "fuller and firmer" intelligence behind its judgments than was the case.
  • Tony Blair's statement to MPs on the day the dossier was published may have reinforced this impression.
  • The judgments in the dossier went to the "outer limits", although not beyond the intelligence available.
  • Making public that the Joint Intelligence Committee had authorship of the Iraq dossier was a "mistaken judgment."
  • This resulted in more weight being placed on the intelligence than it could bear, the report found.
  • John Scarlett, the head of the JIC in the run up to the Iraq war should not resign, the authors of the report said.
  • The Butler report said it would be a "rash person" who claimed that stocks of biological or chemical weapons would never be found in Iraq.
  • The report found no evidence that the motive of the British Government for initiating military action in Iraq was securing continued access to oil supplies.
  • The report raised concern about the "informality and circumscribed character" of the government's policy-making procedures towards Iraq.

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