Voer voor de Commissie-Davids die het onderzoek naar de Irak-besluitvorming doet: premier Blair was door de inlichtingendiensten gewaarschuwd dat Saddam Hussein geen directe dreiging vormde.
Premier Balkenende heeft zich in grote mate laten leiden door de adviezen van Blair.
Secret Whitehall emails released yesterday provide damning new evidence that the notorious dossier making the case for invading Iraq was "sexed up".
They disclose that the intelligence services were sceptical over the "iffy drafting" of government claims that Saddam Hussein could mount a missile strike on his neighbours within 45 minutes of ordering an attack.
Officials privately mocked assertions that the Iraqi president was covertly trying to develop a nuclear capability and wisecracked that perhaps he had recruited "Dr Frankenstein" to his supposed crack team of nuclear scientists.
The release of a series of confidential memos and emails, following a protracted Freedom of Information battle, reignited the controversy over accusations that Tony Blair’s government "spun" Britain into war.
Last night both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats renewed their demands for a full public inquiry into the decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The 45-minute claim presented to MPs in a notorious dossier on 24 September 2002, six months before military action began was central to the Blair government’s justification for war.
But a memo sent 13 days earlier by Desmond Bowen, head of the Cabinet Office defence secretariat, to John Scarlett, who was head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, suggested he had grave reservations over the threat. His comments were copied to Mr Blair’s press secretary Alastair Campbell and to his chief-of-staff Jonathan Powell.
Mr Bowen wrote: "The question we have to have in the back of our mind is: ‘Why now?’ I think we have moved away from promoting the ideas that we are in imminent danger of attack and … intend to act in pre-emptive self-defence."
He argued instead that the Government should stress Saddam’s disregard for international law and his continuing drive to obtain weapons of mass destruction…