British intelligence: We were overruled

Feb. 4, 2004 at 9:02 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A former British intelligence expert said Tuesday the government overruled his findings on Iraq's pre-war weapons.

Dr. Brian Jones, the former leading weapons expert in the Ministry of Defense, told The Independent Prime Minister Tony Blair's government's dossier -- a key plank in convincing the public of the case for war -- was "misleading" on Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological capability.

Jones, who was head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Defense Intelligence Staff until he retired last year, said the experts failed in their efforts to have their views reflected.

"In my view, the expert intelligence analysts of the DIS were overruled in the preparation of the dossier in September 2002, resulting in a presentation that was misleading about Iraq's capabilities," Jones said.

Tuesday, Blair announced a new inquiry to investigate "intelligence-gathering, evaluation and use" in Britain before the conflict in Iraq. Jones will be a key witness.

He told the newspaper he was "extremely doubtful" anyone with chemical and biological weapons expertise had seen the raw intelligence reports, and that they would prove how right he and his colleagues were to be concerned about the claims.

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