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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.
Does the failure to find WMDs in Iraq lessen the case for toppling Saddam Hussein?
Tony Blair
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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