David Grossman was terribly excited on Newsnight last night about all the “revelations” from yesterday’s session, but as he listed them each could be ticked off from the Butler report of 2004.
The story that best fitted the anti-war narrative was probably the “Mandarins reveal that 10 days before Iraq invasion PM knew Saddam couldn’t use WMDs”. Or, as the Daily Mail headlined it across a two-page spread: “Blair lied and lied again.” Or, in the real world: “Daily Mail lies and lies again.” (Not that the l-word is desirable.)
None of this is new, and none of it is clear-cut, as the Inquiry witnesses made clear. Some of the intelligence suggested Saddam’s biological and chemical weapons had been dismantled, some suggested that it had not. All of it suggested that Saddam had stocks of illegal weapons material which, if not immediately usable, could be rendered so.