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Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds

by C/O Diogenes Monday, Jun. 16, 2003 at 7:42 PM

Steeeeeerike 17! The Bush Junta and Phony Tony Struck out a long time ago. But it helps when the American Press will not report stories like this.



Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds

Peter Beaumont, Antony Barnett and Gaby Hinsliff

Sunday June 15, 2003

The Observer

An official British investigation into two trailers found in northern Iraq has concluded they are not mobile germ warfare labs, as was claimed by Tony Blair and President George Bush, but were for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, as the Iraqis have continued to insist.

The conclusion by biological weapons experts working for the British Government is an embarrassment for the Prime Minister, who has claimed that the discovery of the labs proved that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction and justified the case for going to war against Saddam Hussein.

Instead, a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq, told The Observer last week: 'They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were - facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.'

The conclusion of the investigation ordered by the British Government - and revealed by The Observer last week - is hugely embarrassing for Blair, who had used the discovery of the alleged mobile labs as part of his efforts to silence criticism over the failure of Britain and the US to find any weapons of mass destruction since the invasion of Iraq.

The row is expected to be re-ignited this week with Robin Cook and Clare Short, the two Cabinet Ministers who resigned over the war, both due to give evidence to a House of Commons inquiry into whether intelligence was manipulated in the run-up to the war. It will be the first time that both have been grilled by their peers on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee over what the Cabinet was told in the run-up to the war.

MPs will be keen to explore Cook's explanation when he resigned that, while he believed Iraq did have some WMD capability, he did not believe it was weaponised.

The Prime Minister and his director of strategy and communications, Alastair Campbell, are expected to decline invitations to appear. While MPs could attempt to force them, this is now thought unlikely to happen.

The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, is expected to give evidence the week after.

The revelation that the mobile labs were to produce hydrogen for artillery balloons will also cause discomfort for the British authorities because the Iraqi army's original system was sold to it by the British company, Marconi Command & Control.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 18 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
I would like to see... Sheepdog Monday, Jun. 16, 2003 at 8:02 PM
Idiots KOBE SBM Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 4:32 AM
You vill do whut der Fuhrer Diogenes Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 4:59 AM
du Diogenes is an idiot Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 8:47 AM
Hmm What the Fuck? Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 8:51 AM
Bush should be carted off to a prison camp. Angry American Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 9:00 AM
The Article was a clear phony Diogenes is a wanker Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 11:08 AM
KOBE SBM prepares for date. Jager Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 11:45 AM
Jager is a real man who likes bo...s Not even close to the truth Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 12:08 PM
It could be true Truthdetector Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 12:35 PM
No way Getting real Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 12:46 PM
I believe it Sheepdog Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 1:31 PM
Dogged but pointless Getting real Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 1:35 PM
exactly Sheepdog Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 1:48 PM
Possible, but not likely Truthdetector Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 2:53 PM
So tell me Sheepdog Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 3:37 PM
I'll tell you Truthdetector Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 4:19 PM
KOBE KOBE SBM Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 10:17 AM

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