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Blair: Media misrepresented Iraq intelligence, not us
22 Jul 2004The Prime Minister today denied that he had misrepresented the intelligence given to him in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Speaking at his monthly press conference, he told journalists that it was "not the case that Butler found that we misrepresented the intelligence to the people". "In fact," he argued, "the opposite is the case: the public and the media – and the BBC in particular – misrepresented the intelligence to us."
As the packed press conference settled back into their chairs with a collective raised quizzical eyebrow, Mr Blair continued: "You know, from what some newspapers were saying, it would have been impossible for us not to conclude that Saddam had WMD and that he was an imminent threat. Faced with a barrage of articles saying that Britain was 45 minutes from attack and editorials saying we weren't doing enough about it, there was no other judgement we could make."
"I mean after all," he added, staring at the bemused journalists, "if we and the public can't trust what you guys have to say, whom can we trust?"
The pack of journalists surged forward to question the Prime Minister but he waved them away. Warming to his theme, he laid down a challenge: "List the judgements the Joint Intelligence Committee made and the judgements we made side by side and let the public draw their own conclusions."
Mr Blair's suggestion was immediately dismissed by the hacks on the grounds that it would send their readers to sleep, but DeadBrain has no such qualms:
"Seeing that, I don't think any reasonable person could say that we misrepresented anything," he added.
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