In the weeks before the invasion of Iraq fierce arguments raged over the
question of Saddam Hussein’s ability to acquire and unleash Weapons of Mass
Destruction and what the West should do to neutralise the threat. We look at the
key players in the march to war.
Thick smoke rises skywards as a
US Apache helicopter hovers over Baghdad's restive Haifa street district.
Tony Blair’s director of communications
Played crucial role in formulating arguments for war against Saddam,
overseeing preparation and release of two documents arguing dictator building up
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and was danger to Britain.
The September Dossier, published September 2002, and February 2003’s Iraq Dossier, nicknamed the Dodgy Dossier,
criticised by opponents of the war as exaggerating or distorting actual findings
of intelligence services, particularly claim that Saddam had WMDs deployable
within 45 minutes.
Campbell admitted to Iraq inquiry part of the September dossier “could have
been clearer”, but denied it misrepresented Iraq’s threat. Resigned as director
of communications August 2003, during Hutton Inquiry into death of Dr David
Kelly, the scientist who believed the Government exaggerated Iraqi threat.
Campbell went on to publish diary of his years inside Number 10 and
established himself as successful public speaker, appearing on several TV shows,
including Question Time, Top Gear, Have I Got News for You and Panorama.
Of invasion, he told Iraq inquiry: “I think that Britain, far from beating
ourselves up about this, should be really proud of the role that we played in
changing Iraq from what it was to what it is now becoming.”
Sir John Scarlett
Chairman of the Cabinet Office Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)
Career spy, recruited to MI6 after leaving Cambridge. Criticised for allowing
Alastair Campbell to influence content of September dossier.
Butler review of 2004 concluded that intelligence used to justify the war was
unreliable and criticised Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), for leaning heavily
on third-hand accounts and Iraqi dissident sources. However, it stated
explicitly Sir John should not be forced to resign.
Sir John denied claims intelligence had been consciously manipulated, but did
state that Mr Blair’s foreword to dossier – which claimed intelligence service
had “established beyond doubt” Saddam had WMDs – was “overtly political” and
“quite separate” to rest of document.
Also admitted claim Saddam could fire chemical weapons in 45 minutes was
“lost in translation”, as it did not make clear it referred to battlefield
munitions not weapons such as missiles.
After war served as head of SIS from 2004 to 2009. In 2011 appointed to board
of Times Newspapers and hired as strategic adviser for Statoil, Norwegian
petroleum giant granted exploration rights in oilfields near Iraqi city of
Basra. Also sits on advisory board of Chertoff Group, risk-management and
security consulting company founded by Michael Chertoff, US Secretary for
Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009.
Became Foreign Secretary just months before September 11 attacks and in
November 2002 helped negotiate UN resolution giving Saddam “final opportunity”
Despite failing to get second resolution explicitly authorising military
action, Mr Straw argued Saddam had failed to comply with initial resolution
ordering him to cooperate with inspectors and provide full disclosure of weapons
Later admitted to the Iraq inquiry that '45-minute’ claim about Saddam
Hussein’s weapons capability “haunted us ever since”.
Retired from front bench politics August 2010. Following year appointed
£30,000 a year consultant to E. D. & F. Man Holdings, a British commodities
company. Also appointed visiting professor to University College London School
of Public Policy
Write in his memoir Last Man Standing, published last year (2012): “I made my
choice to support the war on the best available evidence. I do not back away
from it now. As for the outcome, democracy in Iraq is, I admit, taking a long
time to achieve. But the reality — however inconvenient it may be to those who
opposed the war — is that Iraq is a better place now than it was under Saddam.”
Biological warfare expert and UN weapons inspector
Scientist and expert on biological warfare employed by MoD. Had been a UN
weapons inspector in Iraq and sceptical about British government’s insistence
Saddam Hussein had developed WMD, particularly '45-minute’ claim.
After his name leaked by MoD as source for report by Andrew Gilligan, then a
BBC journalist, about government’s dossier on Saddam’s WMD, Kelly called to
appear before parliamentary foreign affairs committee. Questioned aggressively
by committee about which journalists he had spoken to. Two days later found dead
on Harrowdown Hill, in Oxfordshire.
Hutton Inquiry concluded Kelly had committed suicide. But doubts raised over
true cause of death, with some even claiming he had been murdered. In October
2010, sealed post mortem made public by new government. Report confirmed all
findings of Hutton Report.
Group of doctors which investigating death of Dr Kelly wrote to Chief Coroner
last month (Feb) calling for inquest to be resumed and suicide verdict
His advice to Tony Blair over whether invasion of Iraq would be legal proved
controversial from outset.
His original memo to PM on 30 January 2003, stated that UN Resolution 1441
did not sanction use of force and that further resolution needed. Subsequent
memo, on 7 March 2003, concluded “reasonable case can be made that resolution
1441 is capable in principle of reviving the authorisation [of the use of force]
in Resolution 678 without a further resolution.”
In his final advice, on 17 March 2003 – two days before outbreak of war
(March 19) – stated more clearly that use of force would be legal. This led to
claims he had bowed to political pressure to find legal justification for
Admitted to Iraq inquiry he had changed view on the legality of war, but said
“complete nonsense” to claim he did so because of political pressure.
Stepped down as Attorney General same day Blair left No. 10. Became head of
European litigation at London office of Debevoise & Plimpton on reported
salary of £1m a year. In August 2008 appointed independent non-executive
director of Westfield Group, an Australian property trust.
US Secretary of Defence
Within hours of the September 11 attacks he put US on path to war with
Saddam, instructing officials to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement.
There was none, but following destruction of al Qaeda bases and ousting of
the Taliban in Afghanistan, he conceived lighting invasion of Iraq by smaller
number of troops than envisaged by Pentagon’s planners.
Rapid overthrow of Saddam appeared to justify the plan, but chaos that
followed – with looting and collapse of civilian infrastructure giving way to
bloody sectarian terror – left Rumsfeld open to criticism he had failed to plan
for post-invasion and reconstruction.
Of the chaotic aftermath he said: “Stuff happens ... and it’s untidy and
freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes
and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful
things. And that’s what’s going to happen here.”
Resigned as Defence Secretary in 2006, after Democrats won control of House
and Senate. Published memoirs, Known and Unknown, in 2011, donating proceeds to
veterans groups, and set up foundation, giving grants to individuals from
private sector who wanted to serve in government.
US national security adviser
National security adviser at time of September 11. Denied ignoring CIA
warnings of increased terrorist activity in months before the attacks.
Strong supporter of invasion of Iraq on grounds Saddam had WMDs, but their
absence left her open to charges of distortion and deliberate scaremongering.
Also defended invasion of Iraq despite Saddam having no role in September 11,
stating that “Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a part of the Middle East that was
festering and unstable, [and] was part of the circumstances that created the
problem on September 11.”
Mooted as running mate for John McCain in 2008 presidential election before
Sarah Palin chosen. In March 2009 returned to academia as political science
professor, becoming director of Stanford University’s Global Center for Business
and the Economy. Appeared as herself in 2011 on the sitcom 30 Rock
US Secretary of State
Respected Vietnam veteran, four-star general and first African American to
serve as secretary of state. Criticised for his role in building case for
invasion of Iraq. Initially opposed to forcible overthrow of Saddam, preferring
policy of containment. Eventually agreed to go along with Bush administration’s
determination to oust Saddam.
Told UN Security Council on February 5, 2003, “there can be no doubt that
Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce
more, many more” and “no doubt in my mind” that Saddam working to obtain key
components to produce nuclear weapons.
But Iraq Survey Group concluded the evidence Powell offered to support claim
Iraq had WMDs was inaccurate. Later described UN speech as “blot” on his record.
Moderate Republican. Initially supported John McCain’s run for president but
later endorsed Obama as a “transformational figure”. Expressed support for
legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Executive chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and
Served as director general of International Atomic Agency between 1981 and
1997. Called out of retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead
monitoring team charged with ensuring Saddam did not rearm with WMDs.
But his findings were at odds with pronouncements of Bush and Blair
administrations, who insisted Saddam had WMDs.
Speaking a year after the invasion Mr Blix said: “There were about 700
inspections, and in no case did we find weapons of mass destruction.”
Chairman since 2003 of Stockholm-based Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission
(WMDC), an independent body funded by the Swedish government. Also appointed the
chairman of a panel of advisers who will oversee establishment of UAE’s atomic