tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 8, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
security, economic, social reconstruction, all those things, housing is absolutely central and they were all brought together and held together within a single network of relationships and authority. now if you could replicate that on a larger scale of a major global reconstruction effort, that would be good. suffice to say i'm glad it's not me that has to do it. >> do you have specific reflections on department of international development and how it fits into this, and recommendations you tended to recommend different things you had to do with other departments specifically? >> i think i really have to preface any answer on the generality of that question the fact of the personalities at the time? >> yes. >> and indeed the history of the department for international develop. the resources available surrounding all of that, but the truth of the matter is there was between all the departments and the ministry of defense from the department of national
development a wide gap and bridges were not constructed across that gap with only effectiveness, at least until right at the end, never throughout our long engagement in iraq to any great effect. that's as much as i can say about it i think. >> the national security council's strategies, the regional country and thematic strategies which guide the program on the cssf that's replaced the conflict pool, these are not published. do you think it would make sense to publish them in order to improve accountability? >> i can see there was a great deal of international politics and perhaps even diplomacy lurking behind that, but speaking purely from myself as a citizen, i think it's extraordinary that we don't have that kind of information publicly available. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, sir john.
given what you've been saying today, and in the report, do you think all of that is a consequence of a sofa style of government? >> i understand your question and i think it is the sofa government concept and practice is part of the background but it's also of course a reflection of the then prime minister's only personal preferences, and i think there has to be room within any system of central government for a degree of flexibility about how you go about the process of business of government. you can't confine it to a rigid set of committees and minutes and processes and meetings. on the other hand, i'm totally convinced that without a coherent process, however it's conducted in whatever sort of room, you cannot discharge the responsibility which under our constitution is a collective responsibility on the calendar effectively. >> so the system has to flex?
>> yes. >> in order to take into account perhaps a personal style and characteristic of the program. is it also a function of the consolidation of executive power, growing consolidation into a single figure, the prime minister, almost the 21st century equivalent of louis xiv, "i am the state." >> i observed what can be described in that way. i think it reached a high point in mr. blair's prime ministership and i've got a memory from taking evidence from his foreign secretary, from mr. straw, and we asked how was it that the cabinet, members of the cabinet other than robin cook, to a lesser extent claire short did not have more challenge and insist on information. they were promised it sometimes but promises were not delivered
and the answer came back was quite simple. it was that tony blair had, as leader of the opposition, rescued his party from a very dire political predicament, and he had done it again afterwards as prime minister. and i had the sense from mr. straw's reaction that he had achieved a personal and political dominance which was itself overriding the if you like the doctrine of collective cabinet response. >> patronage held back proper discussion? >> patronage perhaps but also just sheer psychological dominance. he'd been right. was he not right this time? that was the sense i took from mr. straw's evidence. >> and that's very helpful. in your view, then, the cabinet system throughout all of this, was it disregarded? was it just bypassed? what had happened?
and presumably, you said this in the report, had there been effective, more challenge, more scrutiny, perhaps some of the weaknesses in the evidence would have been teased out a lot more? >> things were decided without reference to cabinet, for example, the acceptance of responsibility for four provinces in the southeast of iraq. if anything, it was a cabinet scale cabinet size decision, that surely was it. it never went near cabinet and more generally, cabinet was promised it would have a hand in the decision on major deployments to and in iraq and that never took place. we did an analysis of all the cabinet papers and minutes and meetings throughout the realm of a period and we published a great deal of this material. quite frequently, the cabinet itself was simply being given information updates, not always
of completely and/or detailed updated kind. there was very little substantive cabinet discussion leading to collective decision, and that seems to me to be the lack that is characterized certainly throughout the period 2002-2006 or '07. >> i understand your earlier point, sir john, about has to take into account the psychology and the style of the elected leaders of the day. >> yes. >> in that regard, has to flex, but to what extent does the civil service have to be a custodian of proper effective cabinet responsibility? lord turnbull told you nothing was wrong with this. there was no problem with that sofa style of government. he disregards that phrase. to what extent should the cabinet secretary say this is wrong, prime minister, you need to be doing something here? >> the role of the cabinet secretary, and i was in contact with all the surviving ones,
retired, as well as serving, is to some degree determined by his perhaps one day her relationship with the prime minister of the day, but there is also and it's clearly accepted by all of them a clear responsibility for the cabinet as a collective and its members as individual responsible departmental ministers. i think if i have a purpose today, it's to encourage all my successors, colleagues at the top end of whitehall to take their courage in both hands and insist on their right to be heard, and to report what their advice is, even if that advice is not taken, and it's entirely for ministers to decide, but it is for senior officials and that would include military as well in this, to state very clear their best advice to their masters. and i think the recording of that advice and the recording of
any discussion about it is absolutely central, because that guaranties, if you like, a degree of willingness to challenge, a duty to challenge, which in a sofa, den setting simply isn't there. >> thank you. >> it say responsibility, isn't it, as the cabinet secretary, to make sure the cabinet ministers have that opportunity, and that is set down in the cabinet manual, isn't it? >> yes. >> and are you saying that in this case, that wasn't observed? >> you can't, as it were, override a prime minister's instructions to a cabinet secretary or indeed a lack of instructions to a cabinet secretary. >> should he have taken a direction? >> i'm sorry? >> should the cabinet secretary have taken a direction in that case? >> it would be open to a cabinet secretary in dire straits to do just that. famous historical example from the war where the prime minister had instructed the cabinet secretary, norman brook, to destroy all the records of the
secret dealings with the french and israeli, and as a dutiful and loyal servant of the elected government norman brook did, and wrote on the file "i have been so instructed and have so acted" and that is open to historical inquiry. >> very interesting but i just want to take us back to this case. >> yes. >> did the, should the cabinet secretary have made this demand or only carried on under instruction of the prime minister under direction? >> well, i'm not sure what the exact case is, but i can recall from the evidence we took that on one occasion, the secretariat, overseas defense secretariat produced a set of proposals for collective cabinet arrangements at both ministerial and official deals to deal with the forthcoming iraq issue. this was put in draft to number ten, before the cabinet secretary even had sight of it, the prime minister said i will have the official committee that
you say you want, but i'm not having a ministerial committee or not yet, and it then goes back and the draft, without the ministerial committee proposal, is put to the cabinet secretary to put to the prime minister for formal endorsement. now, that is screwing up the proper arrangement in rather a big way, in my opinion. >> should the cabinet secretary have demanded an instruction, the direction, before agreeing to that? >> well, i don't know that he even knew because he was shown a draft that had been discussed -- >> i'm going to bring the questioning to -- but that strikes me like a high degree of dysfunctionality right at the heart. >> i agree with in that
particular instance. >> shocking. >> in that particular instance. if you'll allow me, chairman, the consequences of it were that the whole official structure underneath that lacked ministerial direction and was therefore not able to come to grips with some of the big issues which it ought to have been able to do. >> do you find that shocking? >> yes. >> so what safeguards exist to ensure that proper conduct of the machinery of form of cabinet government? >> there is first of all the ministerial code but that is of course the product of the prime minister of the day. >> who adjudicates the code? >> enforces and adjudicates the code. it's not nonetheless without subject and effect. there is the cabinet manual, about officials and their conduct and behavior but it cannot as it were override
ministers. so what there is not, and i do have a little sympathy but not total, with better government initiative proposal, there is not either a statutory or convention-based enforcement system to ensure compliance with proper standards and accepted rules of how government should be conducted. >> so let's look at a specific instance. we were discussing a few moments ago what might have been in the prime minister's mind at the time the decision to go to war was finally made. >> yes. >> but eight months before, you uncovered the letter to the president of the united states, which contained the words "we will be with you whatever." >> yes. >> this is eight months prior to this decision. >> yes. >> who knew about this letter? in terms of other members of the cabinet? >> at the time of its being
issued, only those in number ten who saw it. >> what advice did the cabinet secretary give the prime minister or what advice did the prime minister receive before this letter was dispatched? >> i don't believe the cabinet secretary was aware of its existence at the time. >> okay, other than the cabinet secretary, did anybody else, i seem to remember that somebody else advised the prime minister -- >> jonathan powell, chief of staff in number ten the most senior under that official arrangement and sir david manning, both tried to persuade the prime minister not to use those words. >> yep. >> but he did. >> and so i come back to the question, what safeguards exist to ensure the proper conduct of machinery of government? >> i think you're pointing to a gap, a deficiency. >> and the better government initiative actually said in its concluding paragraph that parliament needs to be satisfied that the serious weaknesses the report identified in all aspects
of decision-making have been tackled, and it went on to say civil servants should be held to account for failings in the machinery of government, and in relation to upholding appropriate decision-making needs to be clarified and mechanisms put in place for discharging their accountability. do you agree with that? >> as a proposal, and i haven't had the chance to think about it in any depth, i should perhaps declare that i was for a time part of the better government initiative but left it years and years ago, so i was not part of this particular analysis. i think this is not in any sense a trivialized answer, but i think it is for parliament and parliamentarians, and among parliamentarians i include
cabinet ministers, to enforce their own accepted set of conventions and rules, and it is as if they failed to do so, that the rules can be breached or ignored as in the case i just cited, they were. it's true that mr. straw became aware of that letter after it had been issued, but not in a position to say you shouldn't say this or you shouldn't write it. >> how is parliament to know? >> indeed. >> unless there is some procedure for a civil servant to notify parliament in some formal way, which protects that public official from political bullying frankly. >> this is a special, a very important case of whistleblowing, and if i can go off on a very short tangent, and i was for a time the so-called staff counselor, in effect, the ethics adviser to the intelligence community, and the
only way to satisfy someone who is in conscience, deeply dissatisfied with the institution and its workings that he or she is part of, is to talk it through with the leaders of that institution. it is about leadership. now, i think that leadership lies both in ministers and the authority that they have. also in senior public servants of all kinds. but whether that is enough to get enough root and strength to a convention that is then observed by all, i can't say, but i hope things would move in that direction. >> letters of direction and financial matters are used very sparingly, and they're regarded as by secretaries very much the nuclear option in their relationship with their ministers. does it have a chilling effect
on the operation of government? does it have a destructive effect between ministers and civil servants? >> if i'm allowed to respond from personal experience, and without detail of names or cases, it was something that i had to draw to my secretary of state's attention on occasion, and what the consequences would be of his decision and it was his to take went in a particular way, and i found agreeably it never went in that direction. there are, of course, famous and other historical examples like the meriden motorcycle cooperative, the blessed memory, where it does lead to a complete rupture of relationships, but it has to be on a scale to justify that action or the threat of that action. >> given that we're dealing with a cabinet secretary or a very senior official at the heart of government, i imagine they would
treat these were there such a mechanism in for procedural slights of hand, this would also be used very sparingly. i've heard nothing from you that really convinces me that my committee shouldn't recommend this. >> well, i'm not trying to make an argument you shouldn't. i'm just saying that i haven't had a chance to think it through. i've had such experiences i've had was that a statutory arrangement in the field of value from finance did work, but it actually had to come not so much as statutory form of regulation as a deeply conventioned -- >> and just one further question if i may, chairman. on the question of the lack of the atmosphere of challenge, this is, again, something the committee i've chaired has gone into quite a lot in terms of the strategic thinking capacity at the heart of government or the lack of it.
>> yes. >> while jic does have considerable capacity for analysis and assessment, what evidence did you see in downing street that there was capacity for analysis and assessment of strategic options, strategic choices in foreign policy and the deployment of military force that would similarly provide the atmosphere of challenge, albeit it didn't work very well in the jic in this instance. >> yes. turning to number ten first, if i may, i mean, we've seen at different times different kinds of capability being set up within number ten, policy units, sometimes more, sometimes less, in scale or capability. what there's not been is a sort of constitutional reworking of the support available to a prime minister to reflect --
>> but now we have a national security council. >> yes. >> shouldn't it have its own independent analysis and assessment so that the various departmental papers and positions being presented to the nsc are properly assessed and integrated into a proposal rather than it just being a glorified cabinet committee? >> yes, i suppose i have a difficulty. the national security council is concerned with what its title suggests, national security. if i may say so, and i really mean with respect, i think the question you pose is a much wider significance. it goes right across the business of government, where the ability and the capability to do strategic analysis of options and risks before big policy decisions are settled isn't there. and i don't know of it actually happening on a big scale -- real cooperation between responsible departments at every level,
ministerial and official could bring it about in the absence of that formal capability. now i do agree that the national security council offers a solution in that field how it will work i don't know. i'm not privy to it. >> i think the term "national security" is an americanized term of art for everything that happens. that's the way i hear that term. so why isn't the national security council, the umbrella under which that capability should be put? >> this is a machinery of government question. >> it is. >> indeed. and as a young man i did a lot of work on machinery of government which left me thinking structures and institutions are very well and you can get them badly wrong but they are not by any means enough. it's the people and the way they work that matters and if they
work well enough, you may not need to muck about with the structures too much because that's disruptive, quite often. now i've seen a little but only at a distance of the working in iraq case of the united states national security council and that is a much more organized powerful forum than certainly our cabinet system in modern times has been able to replicate. now it is a presidential system not a prime ministerial one so it's ultimately different but nonetheless i think there could be lessons to be taken from there. >> thank you very much, sir john. >> sir john, given the scale of the failures that you've set out with mechanisms of government itself with somebody as psychologically dominant, as you've termed it, do you think there are mechanisms outside government, perhaps with parliament or select committees that should be playing a greater role and could you set out how you would envisage that happening? >> there is i think -- i'm aware
of work that your channel has published on this theme not least. i think there is a lot of room for parliament and its different ways whether on the floor of the chambers or in select committees meetings and other respect to exert more influence on government and the hone government more effectively to account we've seen in my working lifetime remarkable progress that i think the process is far from complete and to say in the iraq case had not there not been a pledge by then labor government to have an inquiry into iraq, and supposing at the time we ceased our engagement in 2009 there was to be no independent inquiry it would have been, i think, very much a matter of parliament to decide where we're going to have one and do it ourselves. now, whether a select committee inquiry would have the scope and
time and range i don't know. i think the real problem would be access to highly sensitive information on a large scale. i think that's a serious question that would have to be answered and that's a negotiation between government and parliament. >> sensitive information that may not be possible to be shared, everyone would understand that. but for example on the subject of the legal advice, do you think that there's a case for parliament being given clear open access to the legal advice? >> we wrestled, if i may say so, quite long and quite hard with the legal aspects of iraq. you will, i'm sure, be familiar with the conclusion we were forced to come to that because we were not a judge inquiry let alone a court of law internationally recognized we
couldn't give a determinative conclusion. what we did do is analyze in depth and in detail how that advice evolved. that's a quite polite way of putting it. another word would be changed and was eventually taken into account and operated and communicated to parliament. we thought all of that was open to very serious critical question. and to take your particular point, if i may, i think it's clear that the convention that attorney general's advice to government is kept confidential must be right because any entity, including a central government, must be able to have access to its legal advice on a confidential footing. that's the lawyer/client relationship. unless the lawyer, in this case the attorney general exceptionally, decides, well, it's okay.
which, of course, we now know in the iraq case was accepted. but it is, i'm sure, for the prime minister or the departmental minister can with certain to be responsible for parliament for explaining what the legal position is and parliament will know that the government will have taken legal advice for the government's law offices. it's not the same as publishing the attorney general's advice in depth and detail. but if i could just add a point, i think that from our inquiry and our consideration of this set of issues the cabinet should have had formal written advice from the attorney general and the opportunity to consider it around a table and not simply to say well, do you say it's okay, yeah, it's okay, and move on. that didn't seem to be an acceptable way of deciding whether or not there was a sufficient legal base for us to participate in the invasion of a sovereign country. >> thank you. you said earlier today the real test will be the takeup of the lessons learned. >> yes. >> i think we would all agree
with that. can you identify to this committee where you are concerned that those lesson aren't being learned. what more should be being done to look at the lessons from your inquiry. >> i know evidence has been taken from the cabinet secretary by mr. jenkin's committee and i'm clear myself, in particular departments -- the ministry of defense not least -- formal lessons learned and less sons to be taken from the iraq inquiry report are under way. also that the cabinet secretary has instituted a cross government, a cross whitehall which will pick up departmental lessons and what to do about them. what i've neither the means nor the time nor the involvement to assess is how quickly this will happen, how effective this
process will turn out to be, but i can say and i really do mean this, even as a former mandarin official, i think it is for parliament to insist on keeping scrutiny of this and making sure the process is broad to satisfactory outcomes. i don't think it will all happen at once, by the way, but i think it's a matter for parliament to keep its close scrutiny eye on. >> my question to you was, i guess, we're asking your guidance on behalf of parliament to which areas you think need to be pursued, which areas, where are there gaps in the follow-up to your report? >> i suppose i was answering from memories of the departmental structure within government. i think it's, in a way, our intelligence community, though it's grown substantially, is still very small.
we have the intelligence and security committee which, though sometimes described as a parliamentary committee is actually a prime minister's committee. although we're parliamentarians. so there is an instrument there and it does publish its reports and it does have access. otherwise i really stop at the point where the individual departmental select committees can inquire, scrutinize, require accounts to be given but whether there was an instrument, piece of machinery to bring the whole lot together, the total government response, wholistic, to borrow that awful word, the wholistic response, i don't know. i'm not sure there is such an instrument. >> thank you.
and during the conduct of the campaign do you feel there is a great role by parliament in holding government to account for their conduct and beyond? >> i do think this is a very interesting, potentially very productive line of questioning because i think the role of parliament both on the floor of the house and in select committees and elsewhere perhaps changes in the case of a major military or occupation-based venture overseas, changes with time. i think to seek to get involved in the day to day operations, military or otherwise would really be impossible anyway indeed. i think parliament should be entitled to regular accounts of significant developments for good or for ill that may take place in a military campaign and still more in a prolonged occupation reconstruction set of events.
after the whole thing is over then i think it -- it's an open question as to how best an assessment can be made. but the ultimate judgment, i suppose -- well, the ultimate judgment lies with the electorate, i suppose, but otherwise than that it lies with parliament. if parliament is not satisfied to the point that the government cannot command a majority in any such assessment then it's over to the people again. and that's not very -- that's not flip, but it's too convenient. in real life a lot of this will be going on all the time and there needs to be, as it were, a constant presence of accountability and scrutiny
going on. >> you touched on the role that patronage plays on inhibiting the ability or willingness of people to speak truth to power but that doesn't sometimes apply to select committees chairs. do you think this is something select committees should be playing a greater role in? >> i think you've taken me quite far outside my iraqi inquiry report experience with that. >> thank you. >> i'm going to adjourn the session at this point because i'm almost certain there's about to be a division and we'll resume at quarter past four assuming there is any one division, half past four if there isn't. >> i think mr. dunn's only just started speaking. >> i think he's about to finish, actually. so we'll adjourn at this point.
wish. or simply an opinion. we were not in position to want to offer that opinion. the point for us was to draw a lesson the way in which legal advice on such critical issue is developed and endorsed and understood, frankly. in our view, that did not happen in this case. >> i'm going to try to use the chairman's example. would you understand a reasonable person could come to a conclusion listening to what you said today that in fact it was an illegal war.
>> that reasonable person would have to be brave as well as reasonable to reach that conclusion. the follow-through is so what? there's never been any assembly of the united nations that could come to a decisive conclusion. there is no other jurisdiction which i'm aware could be brought into play. it's an opinion. it's an opinion. and i almost say some what? what happened happened. the legal advice for the basis of it was highly unsatisfactory. that's not the same saying it was illegal and therefore something should follow. >> do you feel, sir john, tony blair or anyone else who gave evidence or had access to your original report delayed or
diluted or took away from your original report? >> i think you're asking me about the nature and effect of the nationalization process. for my part, i'm clear that it was essential for us to give witnesses as to where we were directly critical of them. and also because not less important where evidence they had not seen before might imply criticism of them they should have a chance to see it and the fact that, despite our holding 130 evidence sessions with 150 odd witnesses, the huge corpus of evidence is there in the documentary archive, vastly greater and, of course, most of that was not available at the time or seen necessarily and read by all the witnesses. so we had to show the relevant passages in draft under strict conditions of confidentiality. also, in terms of getting the best quality of report the maxwell process, far from
holding up the show, actually improved the eventual outcome. for example, we were -- our attention was brought to documents which hadn't been either disclosed or discovered in the course of our other evidence which was relevant and then again where you get two individuals' perspectives on the same point and they are not the same perspective it's very helpful to know that and to be able to either come to a conclusion about it or, as we did in one case, simply point to the fact there is a clash of evidence which couldn't be resolved. >> and all of that lies behind
the maxwell process. what i think is not as widely understood as i would perhaps wish, though this may sound a bit defensive, is that the maxwell process, a, was essential but, b, did not hold up the rest of the work because while we had draft text out for comment from criticized witnesses, we were doing all sorts of other work to finalize the report. what we couldn't do, though, and this is the risk of being overlong, what we couldn't do is to start maxwellization until he had got from government agreement of our being able to publish a lot of very sensitive material which directly bore on the text, the draft text that they would see. if we had either had to show them draft text without citing very sensitive documents, which then we later did cite in public, that would have been unfair. so we had to, as it were, hold the start of the maxwell process until we had cleared the ground for not only access but publication of sensitive material like the blair/bush
exchanges and so on. and there it is. i think myself that it did in the end prove a constructive dimension to the inquiry's work. i think that on the whole witnesses who were shown text under the maxwell procedure did comply certainly with confidentiality for the most part and with a reasonable timetable. one of two cases there was a request for a bit more time and i think looking at the scale of what we had to show them, that was never unreasonable as things turned out. >> sir john, just one last question. how many witnesses were subject to the maxwell process? >> i've been very reluctant to give a number for fear, as it were, of breaching the confidentiality arrangement because you could by elimination
and reduction get all too close to who was and who wasn't. all i can say is no one who did not give evidence as a witness was involved in the maxwell process. the number of those who were involved was not the total of those who gave us oral evidence. i'm sorry not to help you more but i can't. >> you are helping us a good deal and i think you're taking one step further, perhaps because these are your personal views. the conclusions of the report to a point that the public are going to feel much more satisfied and we're grateful, we certainly accumulating a heap of evidence that will keep people busy for perhaps a generation and certainly academics in employ. i just want to come back to one point that you made in response
to sara wollaston. i think you said what happened didn't begin to be an acceptable way to examine the legal advice. i think that was your phrase or words to that effect and that the examination and consideration of it at cabinet level was perfunctory. although you didn't use that word, i think it was in your report. could i ask you a question about this? the attorney general, of course, was ultimately responsible for advice. he's a legal advisor to the government and to parliament in certain ways and he also has a very important role in the crown prosecution service. among other roles. so he has a triplication of jobs which many argue creates a conflict of interest. >> yes. >> and some argue was in
evidence in this case. after all, parliament didn't feel it got much independent advice on all this and you're just telling us that the government only very selectively got the advice. you've told us things went wrong. what's your recommendation for how to put this right? >> i think part of the answer lies in cabinet minister's own sense of duty to test the strength of a legal case where a legal basis is crucial to a big policy, indeed, in this case military and security decision. that's part of an answer. another is i think it's a legitimate inquiry to any attorney general asked to advice on something outside his own legal specialism and experience as to what, as it were, expert a assistance he might want or take. not necessarily naming lawyers, though in the present case we know one very distinguished
name. more than that i think you pose the question should the three separate roles of the attorney general be separated and not held by one person? my only relevant experience lies not in this jurisdiction but in the republic of ireland where a good number of years ago a serving attorney general very much under the same scheme as our own found himself, i believe, either sharing or renting a flat to someone who is facing a murder charge. that was not a particularly easy situation in terms of the prosecution responsibilities. i don't myself -- >> with phrases like that and language like "brave" i think it was a moment ago, we're reminded of sir humphrey. >> oh, good.
>> do carry on. i was courageous and i was a bit concerned at one point also with -- i have to declare interest. i thought you were going to declare interest saying i'm part of members of the secretary's trade union. i've interrupted. what's the answer to the question on the attorney general's role? >> well, i have no direct experience or the iraq inquiry but from the sort of general broad machinery of background it's okay to duplicate roles provided by they're not capable of conflicting each other and where you see a demonstration of a possible conflict then you must separate or separate the whole of the two roles. >> and now apply that clear doctrine that you would separate them to this, what conclusions
do you come to? >> i don't see a conflict in the iraq case with between what the attorney general had to advice on and his other responsibilities. i think the real question is the process by which he was enabled to reach his eventual advice and the treatment of that advice, the users, the clients, the cabinet. >> what do you mean by "enabled"? >> i'll let him chip in because he's been itching to come in. ask your question, bernard. >> sir john, what do you mean by enabled. in what respect was the attorney general enabled to come from an opinion? because he did change his view. >> i think the question goes further back in time as to whether he was sufficiently involved at the outset in the early part of 2002 in the governing policy towards iraq because he was clear until february, 2003, that an
authorizing resolution from the united nations explicitly authorizing military intervention would be required. but he was not closely or directly involved for example in the drafting of security council resolution 1441 and pivotal that is did it by itself without any second resolution give sufficient authority? he was not involved much in that. he saw some of the papers but not the whole stream and so wasn't in a position to say other than that that up until february, i think it was he didn't believe it gave suv authority on its own. now he wasn't enabled by being close enough to the policy process, i think to reach a firm conclusion, a final conclusion sufficiently early. you may say and it's a good argument that as the diplomatic and military strands developed and to some degree were
intertwined the point when a final firm conclusion on the legality of involvement could be reached was quite late. it was in the spring of 2003. he would have been spared the awkwardness of changing his view around 180 degrees. if he had more involvement more closely much earlier. >> so you find nothing suspicious about the change? >> not fishy, no. >> he had one other question. >> just the length of time. >> unless it was some important qualification. >> well, it was only to pick up on you yourself chairman saw as perfunctory. an absolute key to the attorney's final advice was that the prime minister should certify that saddam hussein continued in breach of security council resolution. the prime minister turned that around in 24 hours without
asking what the basis was. what the attorney did not ask him is on what legal basis is it open to a prime minister representing one member of the security council to reach that conclusion and operate on the basis of it when the majority of the security council took the opposite view. >> your answer is? >> that question was not put. >> but your answer would be no basis at all. >> i can't answer it as a legal question politically in terms of international politics because if the majority of a security council -- leave aside problems with vetoes from permanent members -- are against something, how can you as an individual certify that nonetheless the security council has by its prior resolutions authorsed, in this case, a
military invasion? >> well, that's the legal question not a procedural institutional question. >> did the prime minister do the wrong thing to turn this around in 24 hours? >> he was asked a question and answered it but whether he answered it satisfactorily or a satisfactory basis is what we criticized. >> you're saying he did not do that in the right way? he did in the the wrong way. >> we say he should have sought carefully thought through and argued and fact-based advice and had that discussed collectively and agreed before being able to sign, if you like, a certificate that in his view saddam was in breach of security council resolutions. you had another question. you must be brief though. >> we know the time it took was larger than originally hoped and it caused a great deal of distress to servicemen and their families. could you just say as well while you had a long task whether
capacity issues outside your control in the government also held up the inquiry? >> i do feel concern and a continue sense of concern and sympathy think with the families and we were in running touch with them if you can put it that way. in the outcome they say that they are more than satisfied despite the length of time, and i try to avoid the word delay because that implies a delay. has there been more to the injury and would it have shortened to time span -- i don't think that it's a matter of saving years or anything near
it. and the second part of your point was the government. i think that those resources in terms of finding archive materials have a strain on different departments. those that are digitized theirs were in a better place. >> very helpful. i want to ask you or not insisting on it or were they on b instructed? do you feel that they wanted to see it but were obstructed?
>> no, i don't think negligent. i'm trying to think of the daily life of the cabinet minister in the modern age, there's so much washing over you. if you're not directly engaged in the iraq thing, if you're not the defense secretary or foreign secretary or international development secretary, you know, you're not being negligent. >> surely this is the most extraordinary decision that they will have made that year. >> yes, it is, yes. >> or in that whole period. >> to actually feel that that's somebody else's responsibility if you're a cabinet member responsible collectively for the decision making, you know and you will not actually going to take the trouble to look at advice that could have been available to you, isn't that staggering dereliction of your responsibility? >> i'm trying to avoid having -- i'm trying to find words of my own other than staggering dereliction and negligent, but it was not the way that cabinet members should have -- not the approach they should have taken to the seriousness of the legal
question about the invasion of iraq. >> thank you. >> would you accept in the face of an overnighty p.m.? >> i think the origin of the word pucive animus has something to do with fleas. >> there's no good changing the subject like that. [ laughter ] >> well, can i -- >> i think you'll find that's the word used by nigel lawson to describe his attempt to mobilize opposition to the poll tax in the mid-1980s from cabinet colleagues. >> yes. i think i cited mr. straw's answer to a question we put to him in oral testimony and it was about the dominance and authority mr. blair acquired by his political success in '97 and again in '91. that didn't necessarily mean they were pucive animus but they had a face in his not being right and it was not for them to say no, tony, you're wrong and
only robin cooke and a bit of claire short did. >> how do you expose on the criticism that's been leveled against your report that this is a report, to mention again, of which sir humphrey would be very pleased because the senior politicians have been put under the spotlight, there's criticism of tony blair, criticism of military chiefs and not criticism of the civil service. >> well, all i can say is if one goes through the 12 volumes with care and in detail you'll find a large number of references which are far from complimentary to -- >> [ inaudible question ] >> well, in the distillation process or the double distillation process, the deficiencies are well exposed in the way machinery were established or not established
and far the cabinet secretary of the time, cabinet secretaries of the time and senior officials as well as military leaders must take some responsibility, we point that out. i don't myself think that excoriating a particular individual name for something which was essentially a matter of pure judgment but senior officials do have responsibility to their staff. and you mentioned the fact that the military -- there was no set of rules of engagement when we
launched in march, 2003 so soldiers did not know, who can i shoot? who can i not shoot? in what situation? >> that was a deficiency not of the politicians but of their seniors. and when officials propose pieces of machinery to enable a -- the runup to a war to be well conducted, their advice is turn down, that is not their fault but it may be their leaders should have insisted more strongly and that didn't happen and we say that. >> so from the point of view of officials, because there are plenty of politicians and military people you name and you said that if we go through with the volumes they report but who are the senior officials that you believe deserve some criticism for the central role they paid in this fiasco.
>> well, i can only refer you to the runup before the security occupation and the role we held in the southeast both nominally for the whole of iraq until 2009. there are many actors, many of them are named but where we want to find a sufficient sort of failure of duty or of judgment then we do point it out and you'll find it there. >> but without wishing to pick on an individual, which i'm not obviously now about to do, is it fair to say look at some of people like david manning and say he is one of the closest advisors on foreign policy matters to the prime minister throughout this period of time, what responsibility should someone like that play for the advice the prime minister receives and therefore the shaping of the prime minister's views.
>> well, i mentioned already in this session that both he and indeed jonathan powell who was his superior in the hierarchy did seem to persuade tony blair not to put those fateful words, whatever. they did their duty in that respect. >> but they didn't take anything else out. >> but that is not their fault. it was the prime minister's decision constitutionally it was his authority, not theirs and if you give your advice and it's rejected and you have a choice of two things, you accept it or you resign. >> with respect, it seems a thin defense for jonathan powell and david manning that in that one incident that required the extraction of a few words from one of the most pivotal documents, nothing else. and i think the reason i'm asking about them in particular
is that if a prime minister seeks to run a certain style of government, they require the help and support of other people to do it. people that determine what briefing papers they will see, what meetings they will attend, the advisors they see and those two gentlemen would probably have been central to the operation. >> that's perfectly true and on the butler committee we reflected on and found deficiency in the arrangement whereby the prime minister's foreign policy advisor in number 10 also held the role of head of overseas and defense secretary in the cabinet office with a wider set of responsibilities and inevitably -- and we said it again if our own report, that shifted the balance of the occupant of that dual role too far towards number 10 responsibility to the prime minister and too far away from the collective responsibility to and of the cabinet. now can you or should you criticize the individual for not saying i won't accept both roles?
that's going a bit far but the exercise of both roles is a very difficult business and we think it shouldn't be replicated? >> but there is implicit criticism in your report that cabinet ministers are not pushing or being more challenging. >> well, all i can say is that i didn't feel because none of these with anyone but part of my own generation we took all the evidence we could. we published it. for you and others to endorse it or find fault or deficiencies. we all agreed this was a unanimous report in all respects which, by the way, is worth drawing to attention because in the thing of that scale and covering that degree of controversy it could well have led to minority views or even on particular points were not.
>> one final question for you, mr. chairman. you accused tony blair of being unreasonable in his assessment of the evidence and decisions he made in response to the chairman's questions at the beginning of the session. do you think there are other unreasonable people on downing street who drew similar conclusions and who advised and encouraged the prime minister of the course of action he was taking? >> well in british system i don't think i can point to a particular individual who i could fairly demonstrate. given unreasonable advice or taken unreasonable position in supporting the iraq misadventure it's hard to answer because there was so much multiple dialogue going on all the time. so much unrecorded and you can't
be sure from the surviving documentary archive, vast though it is, who said what to who on what occasion and with what effect. all we can do is read what we've read, published what we published, which is all of it that's relevant and draw what conclusions the five and sadly the four of us could get to. >> if you can't, who else could. you claim one is unreasonable but you don't say anyone else was unreasonable? >> in deference to the chairman, it was his word and not mine of choice but i accepted the line of questioning, obviously. do i place others in the same position? i think that the foreign secretary faced an extraordinarily difficult task, the formal objective of british policy was to disarm saddam, the instrument chosen by as a matter of policy was containment but then turned into coercive
diplomacy. diversive diplomacy can end up in two places and you're subject to a military expedition which we knew our coalition partner was going to do anyway and that was a tough situation to be in but it was a matter of choosing to be in it. >> thank you. >> sir john, we've talked about the weapons of mass destruction. i remember at the time a dossier or a document put out by the government which was made horeb douse reading about the way saddam hussein treated his own citizens. by way of background just a few weeks before i'd been to are you
how much did you consider that regime, that respect was worthy of some kind of action from the international community? >> well, the underlying justification for any action on those grounds, humanitarian grounds, which was defies international law. kosovo is a very interesting case. it was visited a few time by the prime ministers and others but didn't arise because the imagination security council was in a gridlock. there was a russian veto and also a collective thought that something had to be done to deal with the disaster that was taking place in kosovo. and there was no objection to it. when it comes to the iraq case, you have the invasion and the majority of the members of the
security counsel both elected and un elected oppose taking action n the face of that, no one was making a humanitarian based argument. normally standing we can't justify an underground, we better save the iraqi people from this dictator. that was never a proposition that was running. >> united nations were in parliament. and you remember reading the paper put out and thinking i wish i could share with this with all my constituents. they would then understand why voting the way i'm voting. >> yes. but it was -- i just wish i
could have shared it with everybody that would then react. what i'm asking you is how much did you consider that when you looked -- how much did you consider when you were looking into the whole justification of some action at least being taken? >> well, some action short of the ministry invasion and occupation. and, yes, that was the policy of the government at the time and of most, not all, other responsible governments. but action short of the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country, there is humanitarian grounds. it -- i can understand entirely
as we sit in various points. i mean the introduction to my statement on launching the report, the nature of saddam's tyranny was barbaric and beyond any kind of defense. but that did not amount either in international law or international policy making to a sufficient grounds for invasion for sovereign country. >> you did consider it? >> yeah. we've been looking at this since 1945. >> the prime minister has the he could ontive and can go to war without consulting parliament. >> yes. >> if tony blair had done that, would we be sitting here today? would you be asked to look into it in such great detail? >> i think there have been no consultation from parliament. none of us would be sitting in the same seats today. and that's not a flippant response. it would change everything. but, of course -- >> why do you say that? >> because mr. mayor, as prime minister did consult and if he hadn't, hopefully he would have known he wouldn't be putting out -- >> it having been standard procedure. i don't think people would said he should have gone to war. it would not have been done to that extent before. >> i am under the impression that the convention, short of an xenl or immediate crisis parliament would be consulted
before military action is actually taken. that convention is surely now dominant. >> okay. >> just final note. you mentioned that politics have been damaged by this whole affair. >> yes. >> how has it been damaged by your own -- by your finding? to be fair to politicians, we have certain ways to look at. this we have seven days or. so you spent a lot of money. you have the benefit of hindsight.
we didn't have that benefit at all. it could cost $192 million pounds and people questioning what this achieved. >> it's a question that's come up a few times in the internal conversation onz the iraq inquiry. and i think by the time we finished and we're in a position to publish, we're confident that the scope and range of the lessons which we wanted attention drawn to justified the effort that had gone into it. i don't see myself and comparisons get one very far. they all tend to be very specific. it is notable that a single inquiry has been taken as long as ours and they usually cost more. but that's behind us. if you have an inquire inquiry, the key thing is it should carry confidence among those to whose it's eventually used. >> if you had drawn the
headlines then, one headline, what is the single most important lesson, suggestion, finding that you reached? >> yeah. >> what is it? what is that one sort of telling factor? >> if you wouldn't mind i say when i hear that question as frequently, it's like today program. my instanktive answer is there is not one single thing but a whole host of things. i'll say the same thing here. we're asked to look at effectively nine years of central government effort across military, diplomatic and political things. and you can't pick out of that just one lesson. of which all others sit. the issue is very hard and i will say it was a failure to exert an exercise sufficient collective responsibility for awe very big decision. and then to scrutinize the conduct and implementation. >> thank you very much. >> one quick question. the turkish parliament this week before said no. >> yeah. >> which then led the entire operation had to go from the
south. this parliament when given a vote within 24 hours which is an exsoldier is an absurd position to be in. they're not occupied by british troops. former colleagues of mine in the final battle preparation and parliament is thinking this is going to make a decision. it is prak tuckly absurd for us to be in involved in that at that moment in military terms. it seemed ridiculous for parliament to be consulted on this. >> i agree with you
wholeheartedly. >> thank you very much, it's been a long session. and i'm going to have to truncate what i was going to ask you. i declare an interest in the outset from one who was an mp in 2003 who voted in favor of removing saddam saddam hussein but now believes it was entirely the wrong decision. what do you blame tony blair in the way in which he took the country to war and for what do you absolve him? >> i absolve him from a personal and demonstrative decision to deceive parliament or the public. to state falsehoods, knowing them to be false. that i think he should be absolved from. however, he also exercised his very considerable powers of advocacy and persuasion rather than laying the real issues and the information to back the analysis of them fairly and squarely by the public or public. it shared crucial judge ment as has been said this afternoon. one of the most important since
1945. >> who would you think should have stood up to him in respect of those aspects for which you find him blameworthy? >> blameless or blameworthy? >> blameworthy. who should have stood up to him so that he didn't do what he did that you now believe is wrong? >> i suppose my short answer is that cabinet ministers and i'm not naming individual ones were given promises by him in cabinet that they would have the opportunity to consider and reflect and therefore decide on a number of big decisions in the course of the iraq case. he didn't give them that opportunity and they did not insist on it being given to them. and that i think is a failure. >> thank you.
who else out of this big cast of characters do you particularly single out for blame besides tony blair? >> well, i think it's inescapable that the key ministers along with the prime minister who rarely vote throughout or the foreign secretary and the defense secretary. through a lesser and different extent, the international development secretary. i think the crucial triangle is clearly prime minister defense and all those, the prime minister had a good deal more seniority and experience and influence than did the defense secretary of the day. >> thank you. making good progress. now i believe you stated that
you found no evidence that a secret commitment to war but how can mr. blare's i will be with you whatever message to president bush be interpreted in any other way? >> he himself in evidence interpreted it in the sense of creating a sense in mr. bush's mind that he could trust the british for their support. not necessarily in the military adventure mr. tony blair would say but genuinely. in other words, an exercise in persuasion and relationship management. >> do you accept that explanation by mr. tony blair? >> i think inspectfully, how did mr. bush take it is the hard
question. and he would have taken it, i think, as an unconditional commitment. >> so going back to the initial approach to these matters, you would also think that any reasonable recipient of such a message would have taken it as an unconditional commitment? and therefore, it was really a secret commitment to war? >> and i can accept first part without quibbling. i think another part which hasn't been approached is what would the infect on person policy and decisions have been if there had been either a doubt or dast refusal on the part of the british to support an invasion? would visit delayed them? would it have discouraged them completely or would it have had no infect at all? >> that was going to be my next question. what is your answer to it? >> i think, depending when the conditions had been tabled by the british side to the american president, if hit happened early enough in the course of it 2002, it might well have had the he effect of delaying the invasion. it would have been a much better time then. there was preparation and not least and so on. also, i think it would have changed this pure speculation the internal dynamics within the president's national security
council. you find them backing a state of more sentencing. >> was mr. tony blair's decision based on solidarity more than on strategy? >> if i say so, that is an admirably concise statement which i agree. >> thank you. >> now. is it true to say that saddam hussein behaved as though he still had chemical and biological weapons? and if chemical and biological weapons had been found in any significant quantities, would we be judging mr. tony blair very differently now? >> i find that one very difficult to answer partly because it is hypothetical, of course. and also it is pretty clear from the intelligence assessments that the suspicion as it turned out to be unfounded was that he did have chemical and biological weapons.
but the battlefield use. these weren't strategic weapons. that changes the whole nature of the analysis as to whether or not invasion should take place. now as to saddam, he was -- all the time. for obvious reasons that we know. part of the plan is deception. part of it is to parade to his enemy and the gulf states that he did simply have something or other and they better be careful. >> to defend himself? >> yeah. >> thank you. now, looking at some of the original documentation we produced and disclosed by your inquiry, we go from documents from the joint intelligence committee in january of 2003, iraq emerging view from baghdad and from another document drawn up from -- after discussion at
the gic on the 19th of march, 2003 by the assessment staff entitled saddam, the beginning of the ent. they judged that iraq had a usable strategy. so i think it's probably true to say that this clearly shows that the intelligence services believed that mr. tony blair had reason to believe that such a capability existed. is there any possibility that the joint intelligence committee's assessments were right and is still alleged from time to time his chemical and biological arsenal was moved to somewhere such as syria and if that's not believed to be the case, when and how do you
believe that saddam destroyed his stocks? >> well, on the committee, we discussed quite long and quite hard whether we could say firmly that no weapons of mass destruction were tactical or strategic would be found. we were not able to do it in 2004. i think now with passage of time and events in the region, it would be quite extraordinary and we do the iraq survey and reports. it is extraordinary of something discovered and undiscovered at all and how i do show up at one's house is one thing but a systematic battlefield weapons. >> so do you think he destroyed them or do you think he gave them to somebody else? >> i think that -- i don't believe for a moment that they were passed on to anyone else. it would be a great interest and it will be hard to find someone
to pass them to. >> syria. >> no. i don't think there was that kind of relationship. but what happened to them? i think that's a fair question. and i think the answer is for a long time it was quite easy to get to. i think iraq group does which is that undocumented dispatch of materials and destruction of materials took place on a considerable scale after the first gulf war and before the inspectors got back in. i think as important amount it's important and i think some people were misled in the 2000 to 2003 period. the weapons he did have or was document the as having been destroyed represented a hidden
arsenal. it was nothing of the sort. it was an accounting problem. >> thank you very much. i have three more points. first is when i discussed at the beginning of this session. we seem to be running into a believe that mr. tony blair is lying in his belief of wmd but to convict him of exaggerating the certainty of the basis for that belief, and i just want to check with that then that it's correct to say that that is your conclusion and that as i asked you earlier on, if he had actually been more open and disclosed to parliament the uncertainty of the basis of his belief that argued we could not
take the risk that saddam might still have this arsenal and might the reasons would make them available to a terrorist group which is what mr. tony blair i remember him hearing him say to us described as the nightmare scenario. we would not be judging him so harshly if he did not exaggerate the certainty? >> exaggeration, placing more rate on the intelligence than it could possibly bear is a conclusion that we reached on the butler committee and reached again and even more evidence in the iraqi inquiry. on the other hand, i don't know in putting forward the argument mr. tony blair related it specifically to saddam passing terrorist weapons to terrorist -- passing weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. if the regime collapsed, it ruined and there may be a risk of spillage fushgs like, of any
remaining weapons. that is a different thing. the fusion case as made by mr. blair was made but not about iraq. >> i remember him saying by some memes they would be passed to grupdz that would be the nightmare scenario. but it is likely to collapse if he didn't overthrow him. this is an argument that mr. saddam may pass the twopz such group. that was a very telling argumentment on the floor of the house of commons. >> yes. >> okay. >> was the procurement of protective equipment for the troops in particular against ieds and provide explosive devices delayed as a result of the prime minister wishing to keep private his early decision to go to war? >> i don't believe that they can be put together.
there is a criticism to be made of holding up the -- some of the preparations, particularly with industry, for equipment in the latter part of 2002. in order to preserve the diplomatic strand and not giving the global community the sense that military action is inevitable. i think there was a delay there. that didn't go directly to the ied and froektive patrol vehicle questions. those i think arrived later. and this is a big one, the issue for which many of us, including me, were culpable at that time for voting as we did. it was a naive belief that is the dictatorship would have moved some form of democracy might emerge in iraq. and that above all is the reason and in light of what happened that i and i'm sure many others change their minds in relation to subsequent conflicts. now i would like you to tell us to what extent mr. blair was warned of the danger that is
from democracy emerging seemingly shia religious fronts would follow the removal of the secular dictator? who gave these warnings and how and why were they ignored and in particular, i would just quote back to you a quote from your report in which mr. blair himself said in january 2003 to president bush and the very prime minister wrote, and i quote, "the biggest risk we face is fighting between all the rival groups, religions, tribes, et cetera, in iraq when the military destabilizes the regime. they are perfectly capable on previous points of killing each other in large numbers." now mr. blair knew that and said it to president bush. so why did he ignore that
terrible possibility that he himself apparently recognized? >> you are have to ask him. but what is clear from all the evidence that we collected is that this risk and other associated risks are stability and collapse. we're clearly identified and available to mr. blair. there are all sorts of points. you don't want me to go into that report now. it's in the report. there are other signals, too, from other papers. they're able to report the egyptian president had said iraq was at risk and was populated by people who were extremely fond of killing each other.
and destabilization would bring that about. mr. braer said he would have taken hindsight to understand. it was not available to him. >> if he got the advice and if that he even passed that advice to president bush himself. >> indeed. so this is far worse from the exaggeration of the certainty about the chemical and biological weapons was the fact that in the full knowledge that likelihood would be if you removed the dictatorship of saddam hussein, you would have the 1,000-year-old hatred re-emerging and mass killings by the communities of each other and mr. blair nevertheless went ahead. >> you're pulling on tragic contemporary histories.
what was foreseeable and what did indeed happen and arguably could and should have been avoided. i'd like to make a more general point which is we, the united kingdom, has insell jens and deep knowledge about iraq, the population, the strains and stresses and its history. they are built to bear on the decision making process and the answer is clearly not. it was available and i think that is a tragic -- >> it was ignored. >> well, if you like, it was brought to bear in an infective sense. >> who is responsible for that?
>> i don't think can you put that on a single person. but if you consider, for example, the better phrase that i use with anything out of great respect, but the diplomatic surface, there is with great experience in the arab speaking world there are many of them that level expertise. one of them and they went around to fellow ambassadors and expressing some of these judgements and was told to shut up and keep quiet.
>> okay. so when you say number ten, you mean the prime minister? >> i don't know if i mean the prime minister or not. >> you have asked? >> no. >> why didn't you ask? >> because we know who gave the instruction. it was the chief of staff to the prime minister. we found no evidence of written instruction. but then there were no written instructions for the prime minister except occasionally. >> but today you could ask. >>, no we didn't. >> it seems to me that there was a reconstruction issue aept ish u whast infect would be on an invasion is the most catastrophic aspect. and from judging by your report, i think one needs to have seven different paragraphs. you make clear that no ministers or others incorporate detail analysis of risk and capabilities and so on. but whose responsibility was it
to commission that ultimately? >> it must come back to a center and head of government which is the prime minister. >> ultimately the prime minister. the thing that i think surprised so many people about this report in so many places is that this last sentence has not been made clear. because this looks like a war that was pushed through to a large degree by one man and, therefore, you need where appropriate to take responsibility for the failings that led up to it and the failings you learned from it. so that hasn't been done. so is it tony blair who is responsible for that failing in paragraph 617 which i'm sure you're familiar with. >> yes, of course. let me remind myself. 617. i was going to say that -- all senior officials, commission a
systematic evaluation of the risks and options. >> i'm asking who is really responsible for that? >> i think you would say all of those involved but ultimately this has to be -- >> some of the senior people were told to shut up. >> i'm reporting what is on the record. the nams cairo sensed a telegram and to various colleagues who were relevant.
and was told for reasons of security and sensitivity because he was running and he shouldn't do that again. and that any such messages should go direct from an ambassador concerned in the region to the head of the diplomatic service. that is what happened. but as to the commissioning of a review, you can blame, if you wish, all of those who failed to initiate such a review. but the fact is it should have happened. it didn't happen. the consequences of it nop happening are there for all to see. and if i can have another moment on this, yes. it was one of the worst social security spekts of the whole failed enterprise.
if security could have been and arguably might have been with much greater exertion of effort and better planning and preparation, the security could have put in place either in the southeast in our area let alone more generally across iraq. the whole process of reconstruction and making a new institution rather than they never had them before. they might have had a chance. >> take you over the page. this is tony blair hindsight we see military campaign to defeat saddam and said it would be easy and the after the math is what was hard. at the time we could not know. >> yeah. >> -- know that. and they were military campaign. so your conclusion is precise. the conclusion is reached by mr. blare after the invasion did not require the benefit of hindsight. >> yes. >> i think you're so -- >> thank you. >> again, if you give me a half second. i know your time is tight. i red the report by lord franks
where he says we were careful not to apply hindsight to any judgementes about the intelligence on defense. we on the iraq inquiry mad the same place to ourselves. we were ver determined not to use hindsight to reach judge mentes but to take the contemporary best evidence at the time. >> yes. i got one last question about that paragraph. why are you stated that he did know and needed to know about that aftermath, why do you think the prime minister pushed on? regardless? what did he tell you? >> he insisted that he couldn't have been aware without hindsight of those particular risks. >> so he denied your conclusion? >> he resist ourd conclusion. but i would like to say is that in the context of the exercise of hindsight, we were scrupulous to look at evidence at the time
and to cite it in the full body of the report. i think that you would have to look inside mr. blair's mind and heart to know what he felt, thought at the time. it goes to a quite large question and a possible lesson which we draw attention to. can a british minister with a 24/7 pressures coming in from every side be expected to retain a consciousness of very important but nont less detailed about one thing? and with everything else at the same time. we came quite close to saying that you really should have a departmental minister working with the prime minister with
nothing else to distract other than the surprise of this scale. and nonetheless they were successful. >> what should the foreign secretary be doing? >> the foreign secretary, too, is traveling a great deal and has many other things to do. the minister in the middle east and that worked because they were satisfied. >> do you think that the prime minister is set ago side and was ever working, swhafr working and going along in his mind? do you think that that was reckless to set aside the information that he was provided and showed him that aftermath would be gruesome? >> i think he came on his own admission quite late to realizing the absolute -- the absolutely crucial nature of security and achieving security in iraq after an invasion. he said it. n. one of the notes to mr. bush.
by the way, never received a reply. so we know from telephone records that they did discuss them. mr. bush never put his name to a response. tony blair came to the real zigs that security was the absolute basis for everything else without it. nothing do succeed. and it was not secured. >> okay. my question then was do you think it was reckless to go ahead at that late stage once he
had in front of him the information he needed to know what the aftermath could or would be be like? >> i'm always uneasy about accepting this rhetoric. because would president bush have gone ahead anyway, we've been over that ground a bit this afternoon. we can't control everything. but we can control that. >> indeed. but fit was going to be an american invasion, with or without sufficient global or united nations backing, would visit been reckless to associate the united kingdom with it knowing that there were risks which he pointed out at one point to mr. bush in the belief, i think this is important. somehow or another american resource was have overcome these problems. i do think that a large part of the plan to prepare in london is short of the invasion was based first on the realization of the state department's very considerable planning efforts had been ditched. but nonetheless, when it came to the action, the americans would provide and supply resource
that's would be needed. >> thank you very much for your evidence. >> we're very grateful for the outstanding information that you have provided us. >> mr. chairman, may i ask another question? >> i really think that we have taxed him enough. >> i know. just coming back to 617. it's just a question. i fully accept everything you said about the willingness of the ministers to challenge and having the right things in place. but what machinery could have provided that? it doesn't exist. >> you know, we don't go to war every decade. it doesn't exist. so what procedure or machinery should have been put in place?
at least give them something to bump again? >> a brief reply if you would. >> the secretaries of department and ministry of defense have made urgent requests for such machinery to be put in place. a draft was pro prosed and came out without a crucial element. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i am directing my thanks towards you for coming here with such detailed replies to take a number of questions that we understand to be your conclusions of thisextremely thorough work you have done. on behalf of parliament, we're grateful for you for having done the job. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. tonight on american history tv victory speeches from three past presidential campaigns and 1980 election and ronald reag reagan's victory speech and then
george h.w. bush and then george w. bush and allegory. the presidential leadership and the debate on the official title for george washington and leader of the u.s. all of this tonight on american history tv on c-span3. be on location at the hillary clinton and election night headquarters and watch victory and concession speeches and key house races and starting live at 8:00 p.m. and throughout wednesday. watch live tonight on c-span on-demand at c-span.org or listen to the live coverage on the free c-span radio app.
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a conference here on artificial intelligence, privacy and conspiracy. they talk about the restrictions and implications of mass data collection and sharing. welcome everybody. i do it at the die hand and together with david bromley that's the private security at the carnegie endowment and for those of you in person and live stream oen line. the #for the event is carnegie digital and i have the pleasure of welcoming the remarks and look forward to today. thank you very much. [ applause ]
good morning everyone. let me start by congratulationing tim and them for putting together this. i am delighted to launch today's event and whose remarkable leadership of carnegie reminds me how fortunate i am to be apart of the family. it's the endowment over the past few years and as a diplomat for 33 years before that. i have had the privilege of welcoming heads of state, military members and thinkers and doers of all strips but never a robot and let alone several. it's a great pleasure to welcome snake ball, ball and their friends. i look forward to getting a glimpse of our future. robots are not just today but
the first of two events that we're holding for the first time with the university and the group of institution funded more than a sent ago. andrew created them that are critical and historical junk dhur and the order that preva prevailed for the 19th century and were beginning to crack. the war and disorder loomed and the last great surge of the revolution was transforming the global economy. the endowment together with a number of it's sister organizations sought to help establish and reinforce the new system of order that emerged over the two world wars. a system that produced in the second half of the 20th century than andrew could have ever imagined. it's hard to escape the feeling that the world is again at a
moment. the forces are shaking the underpining of the order and returning the great power and the rise of conflict after many years of decline. the growing use of new information and technologies bath as the drivers of the human advancement and the leader of disruption and the country. the shift of o economic from west to east and growing pressures and then the societies and many regions of western lead globalization and the embrace of an angry fortress like nationalism. here we're try to go meet them head on across the programs and the centers. we focus this and the partnership with carnegie and the challenges and the intersection of the emerging technology and innovation affairs. the capacity as all of you know is to advance and challenge
global piece and securities increasingly apparent and in too many areas the scale and scope of the innovations is out pacing the norms intended to maximize its benefits while minimizing its risks. in today's world, no single country will be able to dictate these rules and norms. as a global institution with deep expertise, decades of experience in nuclear policy and significant reach into some of the most technologically capable governments and societies, the carnegie endowment is well positioned to identify and to help bridge these gaps. earlier this year we launched a cyber policy initiative to do just that. working quietly with government officials, experts and businesses in key countries, our team is developing norms and measures to manage the cyber threats of greatest strategic significance. these include threats to the integrity of financial data,
unresolved tensions between governments and private actors regarding how to actively defend against cyber attack, systemic corruption of the information and communication technology supply chain, and attacks on command and control of strategic weapons systems. our partnership with carnegie mellon seeks to deepen the exchange of ideas between our scholars and the global community, the technical experts and practitioners wrestling with the whole range of governance and security issues. today's event will focus on artificial intelligence in the civilian and military domains. we have an exceptional set of panels with diverse and professional perspectives. on december the 2nd we'll reconvene in pittsburgh for an equally exciting conversation on cybersecurity norms. our hopes is this conversation will be the beginning of a collaboration between our two
institutions and with all of you. there is simply too much at stake for all of us to tackle this problem separately. we can and indeed we must tackle it together if we hope to sustain andrew carnegie's legacy. i would like to conclude by thanking the carnegie foundation of new york, and for what they continue to do. let me welcome to the stage, subra suresh, an extraordinary leader and coconspirator in this endeavor. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> thank you, bill. i also want to thank tim and david for all their efforts. welcome to the inaugural carnegie could lo qui em, to
shape norms in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity. first and foremost, i would like to thank ambassador bill burns for hosting this event today. as two organizations that reflect the strong legacy of carnegie. the carnegie endowment have formed a powerful partnership to examine technology and diplomacy across a set of emerging areas critical to our collective future. it's my sincere hope that this event, the follow-up could lo qui um that will take place on december the 2nd, on the basis of an even broader and closer relationship between our two institutions. let me also add my thanks to dr.
greg orian, president of the carnegie foundation of new york, who provided support for both of these events, and in fact based on a conversation that ambassador burns and i had a few months ago, and dr. gregorian was enthusiastic and supportive of this effort. to understand carnegie mellon's university importance to artificial intelligence, machines learning and cybersecurity, we must first recognize cmu as a place where pioneering work in computer science and artificial intelligence took place decades ago. and ever since herbert simon and noelle created the ingredients of artificial intelligence in the 1950s, before the
terminology was even recognized broadly, cmu has remained at the cutting edge of this field. carnegie mellon took a bold step a generation later to create its software engineering institute which has served the nation through the department of defense, and served industry by acquiring, developing, operating, and sustaining innovative software systems that are affordable, enduring and trustworthy. designing safe software systems and attempting to create the learning abilities of the human brain were natural progressions to two of the modern world's most pressing concerns, cybersecurity and privacy. to meet this challenge, carnegie mellon cybersecurity and research is multidisciplinary
and encompassing a broad range of disparate disciplines. it incorporates faculty from across the university with strengths with policy development, management and modeling. our aim is to build a new generation of technologies that deliver quantifiable computer security, and sustainable communications systems. and the policy guidelines to maximize that effectiveness. tmu's premier center on the subject is cy lab, a visionary publ public/private partnership that has become a world leader in technological research, education and security awareness among cyber citizens of all ages. by drawing expertise of more than 100 cmu professors from
various disciplines, cy lab is a world leader in the technical development of artificial intelligence, cyber offense and defense, and is a pipeline for public and private sector leadership in organizations as varied as nsa and google. the work of cy lab professor sevetas, for example, was featured in nova program in "60 minutes" report on machine learning, and many other aspects. in particular, the professor's programming helped match a blurring -- a very blurry surveillance photo with the boston marathon bomber, from a database of 1 million faces. you will have an opportunity to see professor seviats' work
today during the lunchtime demonstrations downstairs. today you will also hear from cy lab's director david brumley, who led a cmu team just a couple of months ago that won this year's super bowl of hacking, the $2 million cyber grant challenge. congratulations, david. [ applause ] just a week later, a week after that, david took a team of cmu students to defcon in las vegas where they won again in another hacking competition. finally, you will hear from andrew moor, the dean of our school of computer science, who was also recently featured in a "60 minutes" report on cyber intelligence. i would also like to acknowledge jim garrett who joins us along
with rick siger, who played an important role in helping put together this event, between carnegie mellon and carnegie endowment. this is ab outgrowth of the partnership between our two organizations. you will learn more p this in the two panel discussions today. we hope that these discussions on the future of consumer privacy, and autonomy in military operations will lay a strong foundation for future colloquy, and inform ongoing thinking and diplomacy in these critical areas. i would like to welcome you to the could lo qui um today. i would also like to thank by thanking again ambassador burns. thank you. [ applause ]
>> so, we will now get started with the first panel discussion. before we start, let me briefly outline the two key ideas that have been driving this event. and when david and i started with the planning for this, the first one was essentially to bring together the technical experts of carnegie mellon university and the policy expert from the carnegie endowment. that is why each panel is setting a stage presentation with one of the technical experts from carnegie mellon university and followed by a panel discussion. the second idea was to bring in people from around the world for the panel discussion. i'm particularly pleased to not only welcome our partners from pittsburgh, but also to welcome for example a panelist from hong kong. join the event on december 2nd, and please drop your business cards outside or send us an e-mail, and i would now like to ru