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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  February 2, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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not refreshed my memory about the content of those papers and wasn't aware i was going to be asked about them, but i have a recollection of them. my view was that both were contributions to an important, if a very private, discussion which was taking place at the time about we did about iraq, it just as important, what advice we gave the americans and i had been having some parallel discussions with colin powell about this as well as i recall. ..
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but with respect, in his private office, a secondary state they would've read these papers. i would have scribbled on them late at night. these are very perceptive and that would have been transferred from an official note from a private secretary. that does not mean i endorse the policy within those papers. >> i was curious to get back to the second paper pricing regime change can't be an object is. of the prime minister. >> i was not only my view, but it couldn't be. >> you said that he would out in
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your own device. so your voice has gone to the prime minister, saying can't be regime change. and many see it paperthin yesterday exploring it. >> without seeing the documents and i'm perfectly happy since you a supplementary note, we were going to have a textual of what they put on them. if you've ever seen how you've heard evidence from me on the issue of regime change. i don't think what point to a single occasion where it departed from the very clear view. >> that's precisely what the question arises. >> perhaps i can ask you. >> if you have expressed publicly his but if expressed privately that regime change was not a good idea for us to pursue.
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as an objective and in any event, it was publicly illegal and you will be aware from documents that have been declassified and quite a number which has been not on more than one occasion. >> perhaps i can ask you about some other papers of that period, which i hope you will have a chance to refresh your memory of and which were discussed in the recent evidence given by mr. blair on may 21 of january. and these are the record of the conversation with president bush on the third of december 2001. the paper which he sent to president bush, which was dated the fourth of december and was entitled the second phase of the war against terrorism. and then, the record of the talks, which sir david manning
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and sir richard gere was held with their opposite numbers on the sixth of december 2001, when they delivered the paper of the fourth of december. the talks were held and there were these three records of exchanges between number 10 on the white house between the prime minister in the president and made faces. these records are classified in the book we discussed with mr. blair on the 21st of january. have you had a chance to refresh your memory? >> i've read obviously the transcript of mr. blair's evidence. >> to want me to recall a paragraph in this document? >> no, we hope to get a chance to reread the documents before coming here today. >> i've spent a very large part of the last six weeks free reading all sorts of papers.
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i'll do my best to answer your questions. if i can't have an instant recall of her particular documents, i will send you a supplementary note on this. >> thank you. do you know if you saw the note that the prime minister sent to president bush by hand is sir david manning before it was sent? >> i can't be certain whether it did. i think i did, but i am not certain at this stage. sometimes within a dashed the prime minister's note at the row, the personal ones he wrote to the president, a key should only i advance. so far as i know, i always saw them after they had gone and he would normally talk to me about david. the issue in hand and they were very personal notes which he wrote himself into an offense
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took his his own advice on. >> at these exchanges be described as the prime minister seeking to dissuade the americans from setting iraq as a target for face to action at this time? >> well, how i perceive it, with the prime minister was doing, he said publicly he felt profoundly privately and so did we and his grace to stand shoulder to shoulder with americans after this deed, of 9/11. and he bluntly also wanted other things that have a close relationship with president bush, including those from the middle east peace process. we ran in the event part of the coalition in afghanistan, so working very closely with them, and the largest contributor to that after the americans. and what i perceive the prime
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minister is seeking to do was to get on the side with president bush on the issue is at work on some demanded to be done about iraq, but what needed to be done had to be very carefully thought through. and just deciding saddam hussein needed to be taken out and taken out rather quickly, was not a sensible option for the united states and also not a possible option for the united kingdom. >> in on the side of president bush, but not presumably get ahead of president bush on this issue or encourage president bush to push it ahead out high-speed. >> certainly not as far as i can perceive. >> certainly not, because as you said earlier, the priorities at that time were dealing with afghanistan and dealing with its
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very dangerous situation in the indian sub continent. iraq was not today's problem. from your recollection of these papers was the endpoint, the strategic objective that mr. blair set out in his mouth, which was about iraq, was that the removal of wmd or was the removal of the regime? do you recall that no? >> sorry? do you recall the note? >> not directly, but look, the prime minister note was no evidence to you and he was always clear that the removal of the regime is highly desirable. there's no question about that. but he also accepted that this is not a legitimate lawful objective for the british
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government. nor was it a practical one either. but his evidence was given a think on the 21st of january and you will recall it. if i may say so, what needs to be seen is that this was part of what mr. blair said to president bush through the medium of that note in many conversations was part of a continuing process which had the good effects of persuading the americans in the late summer of 2002 to go down the u.n. route, which could easily -- that was my hope and everybody else has come easily have resulted in a full compliance by saddam hussein with these u.n. obligations at
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which point our involvement in the any military involvement would've been impossible. >> i like to come unto the u.n. route in a minute. what mr. blair said to us on the 21st of january was that this thing was going down a track to regime change. do you recollect these exchanges and this note and what he said to the president on the third of december is arguing for a strategy of regime change, arguing for building of a strategy, working towards regime change in iraq? >> i didn't see the british prime minister on his fourth regime change. that was not. >> the way to write a note about it? >> he give you evidence. you have to ask him that
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question. but what i've tried to do is to describe the context if i thought it and which he was talking to president bush. and as i've said, if there had been some means by which saddam could have been replaced by a democratic card without military action, so much the better. and if you see now what is happening elsewhere in the middle east, one of the things that all of us are looking at are the ways in which a popular uprising could be encouraged. why not? and the difficulty there with that many of the people in iraq felt they'd been encouraging to popular uprising post the gulf war and then they been left high and dry in many of them had been murdered and consequences. but i say all of this should give you it would've been great to see the back of saddam hussein in his vicious
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unpleasant regime if he was related to that. how did you achieve that and could we have a regime change? >> and you don't recall it the agreement in these exchanges set up a joint group tween us in the u.s. administration to take the issue of iraq forward? >> i think there was. i say i can't directly recall. >> so in a situation in which in the letter sent by your private secretary, as we've noted, you've advised the grant for stage two military action against iraq. he advised the containment should be ratcheted up in the military intervention for regime change would be the legal. so affect lee, had to replace them followed in exchanges with the white house? >> well, this was part of a
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process of discussion in the end, my face wasn't to be followed. >> well, it's part of a process i had confidence in the prime minister. i knew how he was comporting himself at the president. and income in these two people with -- representing very different parties and political traditions. the president bush had been suspicious of prime minister blair for his very close relationship with president clinton and our natural allies he was a democrat. so sir, i had confidence in what he was doing. he was doing it in his own way, which is what i ministers do. there wasn't a decision point on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth of 2001 berlin for regime change in for an extended
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position of containment. there is a discussion. i mean, this is part of a lengthy process. and you've seen something in all the records of the writ amendments, which i sent to the dirt. two things of which i am pleased. one was that we were committed to the prime minister was able to use his considerable skills to get the americans to go down that route, which essentially the same hot containment. second was that the prime minister agreed that the decision on any military action should that be nice if they been made by the british house of commons, which was very significant and they welcomed moved. >> soaring to a discussion at this very early stage two and half months after 9/11 about iraq. he said part of it for discussion but not a decision.
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speaking of a slightly leaky. calmly said to us last year to regime change is the purpose of foreign policy was off the agenda infers the united kingdom is concerned it would not have gotten my support. but my question is, was regime change off the agenda -- of the uk's agenda in these exchanges with the white house in early december of 2001, four months before the period in which he said it was off the agenda? >> yeah, i wasn't present at the discussions. it was david manning. richard dearlove -- >> juicing the record? >> i set out the position of the british government. i've set up my position. what is also the cases that when prime minister blair made his
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speech on the occasion of that visit, he was very careful himself, not to say regime change was an object to. i was struck when i was looking at a summary of the press, of the american press for prime minister blair's visit, that they too were very clear distinction between what president bush was talking about, which was regime change and prime minister blair saying that his object to was compliance with security council resolution removal and disarmament of iraq. and i'm very happy to push that summary to the secretary. because what the prime minister was making clear that crawford did not go unnoticed, especially in the american press. >> what mr. blair said to us about crawford on the 21st of january was the issue is very
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simple. he, meaning saddam come either had a change of heart or regime change was on the agenda. i'm puzzled as to whether he said of his own agenda. you see off the agenda. >> i think we may be in different terms about the same thing. >> we were using coercive diplomacy. it was diplomacy that is a threat the possible use of force. and the object it was a disarmament of saddam hussein and the iraqi regime. the first method was diplomacy. if that method failed, but with military action, consequence of military action was found to be regime change. that's how it works. the point we're trying to get across to saddam and his allies was that he had every opportunity to comply with united nations obligations, without his regime having to be changed. i may buy ideas, but he thought
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that was a very high incentive to come into early compliance. >> i mean, your objective as you told us last year, your final sentence to a slasher was the first of the action was not regime change. i hoped we would've resulted peacefully and we would just have to manage saddam after that, but he would have been disabled. mr. blair said there were two views. there were those that thought iraq would be managed and he disagreed with that and he was discreet to view that iraq was in a situation which could be managed. we had to confront it. so, he is saying change of heart or regime change. and he wasn't expecting this change of heart as these made clear. and we have to confront it. your objective is getting to a situation where we didn't have to confront the military
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regimes. weren't you in the prime minister actually aiming for different strategic object gives throughout this process? >> look, we are different people. >> he said that. >> and far be it a secret that i came at this issue from a different perspective. however, i ended up at the same point that the prime minister. but they make that clear that the decision ip in the cabinet and the house of commons made to take military action to miss the british cabinet that time with people who fought for themselves. and that's what i thought to do. and i thought to offer the prime minister i do. i guess it's true as a different of a difference between the prime minister, he was further out on the issue of what was
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most desirable with me. however, we were posed to the summer of 2002. and then when president bush made the important statement he did to the general assembly on the 12th of september. and then again in 1441. we were down the track of the strategy, which i say listen containment. and at that point, it was up to saddam hussein as to whether he wanted that strategy to proceed or whether he wanted his regime to be removed. i have thought he was slightly naïve in thinking he is choosing easier options. he chose a much more difficult and ultimately fatal option for him and his regime. and had that been the case, sir
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rod, the consequence for the united kingdom was there as a possibility of taking military options. it's also matter of speculation to think that if there had been full compliance with the requirements of 1441 and performance of the security council, it would've been extremely extremely difficult for the united states and the president to go to war because it would have been on the basis. it's hard to judge that, but i don't have the military action would've taken place. the overall complements consequences where i wanted to be. but given that your object is all along was to see the disarmament of saddam by peaceful means as possible and that you felt that afghanistan
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and india-pakistan with a high priorities in december 2001. when he saw the records of these exchanges with the white house at this stage, did she not think it necessary to take some action that the prime minister what the risks of the strategy heading towards regime change unlikely military action. >> and the opening months of 2002 and going right forward to july. but you've got to take account of what else is going on at the time. just in terms of the practicalities of the, there was a real world going on. there is afghanistan going on and plenty else going on.
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soon after this exchange in the records came back of what was discussed. that then became the preoccupation that it was overwhelming for three or four months. the issue then as i've explained was warming up in parallel. we had the axis of evil as the ministers of conversation when i got back from washington after that in expressing my reservations about the approach president bush is taken. which crawford were at any prime minister can be criticized for in that speech he made was intact says.
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it was getting president bush to go down the u.n. route. whatever query in december 2001, he and i were on the same page. and in the early months of 2002. and he went to persuading the americans with great skill and determination and succeeded. and i think he needs to be given credit for it. >> in 2000 to come you certainly didn't seem to be on the same page as the americans. >> i mean, i was never on the same page as vice president cheney. both be clear about this. we have a kind of accommodation. >> you said the minutes which has been declassified in the eighth of july expressing particular concern that the americans were at the uk's
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conditions in the side of the middle east peace process at the u.n. from the legal basis, we can tell it in analysis, note that apparently given the day after scenarios, all rather important points. but you are concerned about the route to prime minister was deploying. you are concerned about the route the americans were deploying. >> look, there was a process of debate going on and i was seeking to persuade the prime minister of my view, not least through the prison meant -- my criticism of the americans. anyway, there was a consequence at that time which i regarded the satisfied three -- the prime minister was on board for the u.n. resolution.
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he encouraged me to go and see the secretary. >> would discuss that last year. >> he was not reluctant about the u.n. he was very keen on it. >> i want to come back to bed at two seconds. one more point before we leave the subject. in this diary at the 10th of may 2006, chris mullen recalled saying that your use of the word nuts in relation to a possible invasion of iran had been deliberate. and he was saying the one thing i learned in iraq was once the process start eroding, it is very difficult to stop. at what stage? >> no, it's not imply that because i think the action we
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took was justified and the circumstances were different. but the research and dead if you embark on the process of diplomacy, which we did come in the may work, you're left having to resort to manipulation. and i've want to remain clear that in dealing with iran, a process of strong diplomacy, backed by a increase of sanctions is an essential one. i happen to believe the process is coercive to diplomacy with military action is not sensible. and i was extremely anxious to put my own lines in the sand on that. and in any event, this was a nuclear strike on iran remains
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nuts. i thought about the use of that term very carefully on the way to the studio because i just thought i need to make it clear that i disagreed with it. >> right. you talked about cost containment. in may of 2002, we finally succeeded in getting -- and we let this process is smart sanctions resolution. it is one in which mr. beyers argued had no chance of working because the provisions originally anticipated for tighter monetary of iraq's borders have been dropped before the resolution was adopted. if the resolution wasn't going to work because it didn't have the monitoring, why did we go ahead with? why didn't we just pull it?
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>> you know, not trying to become second. it is something i've thought about a lot. first of all, in may of 2002, we didn't know what else is going to have been. the future was full of to be trite, full of uncertainties. i think if we had not gone for the past security council resolution we could, inadequate as it was, then the message that would've been sent out to sydney and as we basically abandoned containment itself. bear in mind there was a lot of evidence, which is still available about the decay of the sanctions regime, the way it underlined in all sorts of
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respects and so on. one of these -- obviously we didn't know what was going to happen next in respect of iraq and much depended on trying to get an international consensus. in the end we did for 1441. the two abandoned going for that resolution, we frankly would've been crazy because it would've set a message to the other p5 partners we never bothered about iraq. we were trying to get a really strong sanction regime, but we tried very hard in the previous year, but frankly got no traction. even after 9/11 we have to go in november 2001. but it said something to the frame for the international communities to come together to make out what we did we of course on how to develop that. >> if we make clear to the
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communities, the other members of the security council the alternative to the strong sanctions regime that they were resisting was going to be less likely to be military action, wouldn't that is given a summary of which? >> if i may say, assuming we had complete foresight -- >> we're planning military action by may. the mac with respect, that's very different. from being in a position where that could be deployed in knowing what the circumstances were. as of may 2002, we did not persuade the americans to go down the u.n. route. it would not condone the u.n. route, there is no prospect in my judgment on the british government being involved in any kind of military action and making the threat that we couldn't follow through. >> couldn't we said the only way
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to stop the americans going down the military refused to have early effect of sanctions? we had evidence from comrades who is an official in our nation at the u.n. coordinated, determined and sustained action to prevent illegal exports and target saddam's illegal revenues would've consumed tiny proportion of the effort and resources of the war and fewer allies that could have provided real alternatives. isn't a valid? >> amine, trying to contain the leakage from sanctions was very, very hard indeed. in fact, i didn't agree with mr. ross on that. i mean, it was that easy, we would have done it. the problem was that up until 9/11 -- >> it would've been easier than going to work. >> while of course. >> what we got to them to them so far as i understand what you're saying is the point i.t. is seeking by the agency of
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fortune 41. and it would've been very easy for saddam to have complied with 1441. and then if he complied and verde has said he is complying, we would've then been down a path, which is laid out also in the may resolution of the gradual lifting of sanctions, that he would've state imposed. yes, he would've been exposed to his neighbors or someone who didn't any longer have camelot will biological weapons. but he would've been there. and sanctions would've been lifted lifted rather quickly. so i don't think there's any consistency actually between what he is saying as far as i understand what he seen them what what we actually did. >> okay, i'll come back to 1441 later on. he said earlier you hadn't had a chance earlier to refresh your
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memory in december and might wish to write to us about it when you've had a chance to do so. and you know, i leave that out with you. >> thank you. you think would like to turn out to some of the cabinet discussions. >> sir martin, we'll come back to later on. the actual operation of cabinet member to focus specifically on the meeting that took place in march 2002. luke wilson in a seven and two is described as seventh of march cabinet as a uniquely full discussion showing real anxiety about american policy in the need to keep the issue in the united nations. he also told us that it was requested by david lang kits and robin cook. is that juror selection? >> i think so.
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>> he also said that the prime minister concluded by saying that quote management has been going crazy and i think they quoted the press not long after the cabinet meeting. i do think he felt the need to say that? >> i think because there was a high suspicion by members of the cabinet about the intention of the president bush administration. i mean, it seemed quite early days in the bush administration in the context that we had a right wing republican administration in the state. a new labor, but a left wing labor party here in the natural allies in the u.s. about the democrat are not the republicans and there also have been soft and cuddly republican
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administrations, but this is not one of them. there is great anxiety about the intentions of the bush administration. i mean, bear in mind really from the time of the access of evil address in late january, british newspapers were full of debate, discussions, warnings about iraq. there is a context of this is slow. and every member of the comments was being constantly pressed, not only by colleagues in the house of commons, but by their constituents parties and public about what was going on all the time. that was the background. >> the united states hasn't gone
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crazy. >> i think being cited by members of the cabinet was the prime minister -- he was slightly less left wing than most members of the cabinet shall we say. had he decided himself to take a different view from the prevailing sentiment in the cabinet, who let the discussion in the cabinet that day? >> i can't directly recall. we may need to look at the minute. what normally happens in discussions on iraq was that the prime minister -- either he would introduce a subject or i would or vice versa. i suspect on allocations he probably began on the night and there would be windups.
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>> do you remember what line you are tawindups. >> do you remember what line you are taking? >> i can't quote, that's why i'm asking you. >> i know what i was thinking of the time, but i would've been fairly certain that respect in the context of cabinets. i mean, i wouldn't have thought about all the things. not least because i was concerned about the matter of the king underscored wilson pointed out sadly, a good part of the discussion at sadly, a good part of the discussion at sadly, a good part of the discussion at was the next day and never part of my style to say things, which could have been seen as this ablation to colleagues that got leaked. >> i mean, what sort of thing is
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rethinking the minutes would metellus? >> really i party set out in extensive in which an oral evidence to the inquiry, which was that we needed to enhance what we took in respect of iraq, that military action in each be very much a last resort. i certainly never dismissed the idea of coercive diplomacy. not for a second. and what we above all needed to do was get the united states down the u.n. route and we were seeking to do that. >> robin cook's recollection of my cabinet meeting described for the first time i can recall in five years, tony was out on a limb. in the balance of discussion but strongly in the reverse direction to his intentions. is that your recollection?
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>> i think the point was made not by man or whatever it was, really reflect to that. and it may have been that debate firmed up in his mind the need to convince the united states to go down the u.n. route. and i think how much is getting the right, but i can remember the exact dates and proximity to crawford. >> this was two or three weeks before crawford. >> there was a lot of speculation in the newspapers about what he would like to say. >> you speculate totally on the prime minister's mind. to think his approach to cabinet in the future as you realize we need to manage these debates? >> i don't think that it feared i think the fact that the
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leaking did and i was very depressing. and any prime minister faced with leaks like that is bound to take appropriate alternative action. that was the difficulty. i mean, as you said, there have been a lot in the press at that time and the members of the cabinet were picking up anxieties that they had heard around. this seems to have been at the time developing strategy and on the presentational hacks of policy. how important do you see that not for the government as a whole, but in your own personal role? >> well, i mean, developing a media strategy with the capital and, s., i didn't pay a great
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deal of attention to it. i mean, my approach to the media on the whole was to work out what argument i was trying to convey and then to make it. i was tempted to believe if you've got the argument, then people tend to follow you. and if you haven't, no amount of the media strategy is going to fill in that substantial vacuum. i don't recall at that time having the discussion with depo about the media strategy and they were aware that john williams, the press secretary apparently administered me in the summer and how discussion and early september 2002 when the whole debate was becoming more structured. but what i was seeking to do at
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that time was to manage both inside the parliamentary in parliament, which is one of the reasons we produce the brief to the parliamentary party. >> like to continue on to that. >> you mentioned it'd circulated to your cabinet colleagues, this paper by michael williams had produced on the parliamentary labour party. at the time as you know, options paper was being prepared. you and your officials knew of the work of the options paper, which was the government document. why circulate the parliamentary labour party rather than a piece of work by the foreign office or by the office click
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>> there weren't alternatives. and the metaphor for the prime minister and that is being the case kind of forever. not for the agenda of the comet and controlled by the prime minister. one of the things i've been trying to get across to inquiry is that the debates about iraq were very evident. and members of the cabinet were also members of parliament and i had to handle their parliamentary colleagues and having to respond to a very great turn of the constituent and inerrant constituency parties as well. so i felt that it would be good for them to have a brief which they could use publicly. they could send it on to
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constituents of labour party members who are concerned about it. that is serving a very different function from an options paper. >> this was not particularly to inform the cabinet discussion, but as a tool -- >> i hope to did at the cabinet discussion. as i said, i thought it put the background of the problems together rather well, with useful briefing i thought. >> without my paper there wouldn't have been anything else. i mean, there's a feature of a lot of these cabinet discussions would that be true of most issues of foreign policy at this time? >> it was a feature of the way the prime minister and cabinet,
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that most decisions were made on the basis of oral briefings, having been sort of precooked through the process of cabinet committees and a lot of government business. as richard -- i'm sorry, lord wilson pointed out in his seven and, the structure was extensive and on the whole were. so that's where you've got to become a pre-decision. cabinets under mr. blair, less so under court in brown was used more for a briefing of cabinet colleagues and discussion of that kind, rather than for acute decisions. i mean, it depended on the issue. >> i think we'll talk about some of those issues that are on.
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now also as lord williams has -- williams or wilson? >> williams. >> yes, they all become words eventually. and as was noted in his statements, there was for some reason you say is very assiduous. the text hadn't been cleared with the non-proliferation department. and there's quite an important discrepancy between sort of the standard intelligence line if it were and what was said. this revolves around the question of the five years in which iraq could get nuclear weapons in the parliamentary labour party statements paper it was stated that if it just happened, whereas rather critically in policy terms that could only happen if sanctions
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had been lifted. were you aware at the time of that discrepancy? >> no. i wasn't aware at all. >> there was also an article that you wrote for the time on the fifth of march, a couple of days before in which you said quote there is increased efforts for nuclear related materials and technology of the nuclear research and development work at the can again. with an article like that, would that have been cleared to the foreign office process? >> yes. and the article almost certainly would've been drafted by the foreign secretary speechwriter.
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i can't be absolutely certain, but it would've been drafted almost certainly by the speechwriter and then cleared with officials and sir lawrence, i was never in the habit of putting my name to articles of any kind as a senior minister unless they're checked i had no interest in saint kings and accurate or tendentious. the intelligence assessment, which is given the medium of the shortage newspaper article, the qualifications and the caveat can get lost. the gic assessment on the iraqi wmd, which was produced on the fifth of march said on the nuclear program, we do not know if our scared development work has yet recommence.
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so it's partly -- there's just a problem here about things move from the world of intelligence assessments to the world of public presentation, you can lose some of the qualifications. >> yes, i expect that. the other side however is the overall context in which we were debating iraq, which was the record of saddam hussein who is the man who had organized these very extensive chemical and biological weapons programs and nuclear weapons programs and had ensured the use of chemical weapons and for example, as we know, had concealed the biological weapons program and only came out i had the chance within and he concealed it as part of the inspector.
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a man opposition they try to bring out in the first written statement that i gave to the inquiry was one of the profound could turn but also getting across to what his record was. >> i'm just interested in the focus on the nuclear side because if you let that the assessment of the vindicated, there's a lot of constants at the time about chemical biological weapons in the serbian reconstituted. it's easy to see why ministers would've push that forward. but there's much more caution on the nuclear side.
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yet it's also quite a bit different. i figure to the weapons of mass distraction between a nuclear program in the chemical biological weapons program. so really, is there a need in public presentation to constantly warn people about the nuclear side as well click because that is what really makes the difference in terms of being a broader threat to the international community. >> well, provided what was accurate was there was the need. and i think what cannot the results of the iraq survey, that it wasn't unreasonable to predict that saddam had left to himself would've been developing all of these programs without any question. quite clear about that.
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>> you discussed the cabinet options paper of the eternal foreign office meeting to the 18th of march and concluded that she should write to the prime minister on the 25th of march 2 declassified in our website. we also understand that this meeting -- also at this meaning we understand the crunch are you pay for discovered iran, north korea, as well as iraq. should not just focus wholly on iraq? can you remember why you took that decision? >> yes, i can. and i just thought they were different than ird expressed to sir roderic by concern about the inaccuracy as well as the wisdom of lumping iraq, iran and north
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korea together in a single pot and labeling them the axis of evil. and i thought if we were to publish a four country analysis, how we would be seeing is just adding another country to the axis of evil. instead of having one hand running, we'd have four heads running and he would become unmanageable and then we be asked for we've got to attack libya or north korea? i just didn't think he was going to add anything to a strategy for dealing with those problems. >> there is another argument. there is another argument which is the material on iraq would look thin by comparison on some
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of the other countries. >> yes, i understand that. i wouldn't use the word sin. it certainly didn't necessarily look stronger than the other countries. if you take north korea that has to be dealt with as was often at lord, the intelligent which above all of that developed to be not as accurate, underestimating the scale of bolivians nuclear weapons program. we were in the event able to deal with that study. by the proxy of the war in iraq, but i didn't know that at the time. but i was in any event clear that whatever is the kind of relative position of iraq, but
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distinguished iraq from these other countries was iraq's record that you had these accounts, at least nine or 10 chapter seven resolutions to do things, which they probably failed to do. >> at the time, the foreign office seems to be taking the lead on issues of publication of the dossier hasn't been planned over april. was your expectation to this. was that the foreign office would leave the department when it comes to these big issues of public presentation? >> as a general rule, the foreign office would be the publisher of documents. as you're aware, the third of
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dossier idea, now famous or notorious dossier took office in 19 in the summit in august and september 2002. andy was in response to very great pressures. by then the prime minister had decided that he had to get right on top of the issue would be the person who has that word front of the document and i didn't object to that. >> and john williams statement, he told us that you and michael j. were opposites when it came to the drafting of the september
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dossier, that this should be a foreign office responsibility. so why was that? >> well, i prefer to do it in-house. i thought we'd have better control of the final product might have been a bit better, but there we are. >> anyway, there were however some practical problems about the timing, which was that the key preparation. of the dossier coincided with the united nations general assembly and not just die, but john williams came to new york. that said, you know, it would've been better had it been handled by the foreign office. >> john williams appears to imply at least that this was symptomatic of possibly a general loss of control of the foreign office of the development policy of this time.
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>> you know, i read that. and i didn't feel there was a lot of control. what i felt was that as a matter of british governance, that as a prospect of military action by british forces became more likely to be put on the table, there is bound to be a shift in focus from one side of downing street to another, from the foreign office to number 10 because the prime minister to determine a recommendation to cabinet about whether military action should be taken and not directly for the foreign effect. the thought always the pin. for the foreign secretaries in a very different position from the
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head of the domestic department. i mean, the same secretary and basically they have to get on with it. .. but when do you feel there was a risk in all of that leaving aside your own personal position, the key people in the
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foreign office were not being kept as well informed. >> there was a risk of that, yes i accepted that. >> your inquiry about the reference worked. i think whether it were her to be a parallel situation, similar situation there is an important lesson about how you essentially pull together both sides of the street and the related issue of what you do with the war figure and that is quite an important issue in my whole view in terms of how you run government. so the advantages as having people call in the downing street side of the door. but there are also down sides as well and something we want to look at. >> can i just ask you one more question finally on this period?
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>> in september while you were on leave the number ten commission, in 2002, while you were on leave the commission from your department before the prime minister's press conference which is the first or second and the timber -- september, the start of september was commissioned, the briefing your office produced has been declassified and was in the increase web site. in again in the earlier paper there are some areas where the briefing appear to be more definitive than the intelligence of the time suggested rather start to the answering questions posed by iraq to leave to iraq have wmd beginning with the words yes. did you review this at all? >> i don't think so is the
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answer. there is a huge traffic recent documents but it goes to our officials. i don't think it was polluted by special love visor's or people in the number ten. it came from 24 karat gold foreign office officials. the problem is, again, this question of acknowledging qualifications and uncertainties and caveat. if the briefings appeared such as this turning back to the pressures on the public presentation for contribute to the iraq in wmd beyond a doubt what i think the problem was that of redefault and was beyond a doubt and this is not just a few of the british government, it was a few of the international community. 1441 would have never been agreed with that opening
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paragraph. about like iraq posed a threat to international peace and security on account of its weapons of mass destruction unless i did not been the prevailing wisdom of the prevailing judgment across the world with respect to sir laurence we were in good company we couldn't have known then what we know now, and from my point of view and examining the record of seven saddam hussein and his activities after the gulf war, and inth fact he had effectively cleared out of the inspectors in fleet 98, leaving that 200 page final report in and adding all the circumstances
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together like to assume no doubt he had these programs and i never would have pursued the strategy which i did, but of course looking at it today it may look slightly odd, but from where we were at the time and where everybody else was, that's the crucial thing, when it came to the debate with of the security council partners in september and october, november of 2002 is indeed the beginning of 20003 no one was saying he hadn't gotten this stuff having dealt with. speed i don't want to dwell on this because we talked about it before. just to pose one question to you which is going back into the intelligence assessments. the issue this time is on the presentation and how the big issue at the dossier is how you bring assessments made by the
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jic and publish them. is there another question that could have been posed to the jic given that we were not pushing very hard to get the issue into the united nations and inspectors might come back which would be are you absolutely sure of this case? who did not have been sensible for the intelligence agencies to just go over what they knew and ask the question if the inspectors to get back what is it that may be there, hawken vince darbee of this? >> well, i mean, one of i assure the lessons for what you are going to see in your inquiry that if i were sitting on your side of the table i would be drawling that yes that is sensible is the benefit of hindsight, of course. what i am trying to do is tell you how it felt at that time
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which was that that further look wouldn't have been necessary if it had been necessary it wouldn't have been used in a different a result because a lot of times the inspectors had said anything about this offered a native -- authority it was a 98 cullom 99 and what they said was alarming. sorry to repeat this point but people think that we made up the idea that there was a wmd in iraq and that it was all sort of a confection to justify the military action and this wasn't around the world. but just looking at the , 1441, sorry, free, recognizing the threat iraq long compliance and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to the national peace and secure that's not saying we think this might pose a threat, but it does pose
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it. >> the issue isn't whether or not it was made up, it just goes back to the issue that we will certainly be coming back to which is challenging and testing some assumptions. >> could also just add this? rino -- i have fought about this a great deal, and you could meet the obligations, i don't, but we were subject to groupthink. but bearing in mind that these discussions inside the government were taking place in a framework of a huge debate that was securing worldwide as well and others were coming with their own assessments of whether iraq posed a threat or not. now, for a simple, i think of the month of september, 2002, two weeks before the dozier, the british government was published, the iiss published its own assessment, which far
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from saying we don't think that there is a problem, actually went rather further than the british government's own assessment. so you had these other independent benchmarks which were not raising the questions which may be now with the benefit of million years of hindsight should have been raised. everybody was in the same place. >> okay. i think we are going to -- >> yes, we will take a short break and then come back to 1441 after the brank. >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> well, let's resume on to the 1441. i would like to pick up the point you're making earlier about the importance of the u.n. loud and less persuading the american for helping to persuade the americans to follow its.
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going down the u.n. routt is one thing that the question that really a rise is the end is where is that intended to lead? in july of 2002, a paper was produced which was entitled iraq conditions for military action but was a cabinet office paper, a version of which has appeared in the public domain. the paper asked ministers to agree that the u.k. engage the u.s. on, a quote from the public domain and -- no, i don't -- i could come off from the public domain, now in the public domain -- i have to get these things right colin quote a realistic political strategy which includes identifying the the successions of saddam hussein and creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of u.n. weapons
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inspectors to iraq. on the 14th of september, use in the prime minister a paper in title iraq pursuing the ulin route, and tero in summary we should deliver a more intrusive inspection regime. so what was the purpose that we were aiming for in what became resolution 1441? was it to ensure the return of the weapons inspectors to iraq or was it to quote in the cabinet office paper create the conditions necessary to justify government military action. >> the purpose of 1441 was as it is stated to secure compliance by saddam hussein with the obligations imposed on him by the security council. i mean, the resolution means what it says, sir roderick, it's clear. and as i have said probably to
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the point of tedium, had saddam hussein comply with the resolution, he would have stayed in the post. in the the very minimum it would have been impossible for any british government to have taken part in any military action, but i don't believe military action would have taken place because the cause would have gone. >> the purpose was to secure compliance and avoid military action. it wasn't to be an ultimatum, as it were, that would then facilitate military action. >> it was of the there was an excuse of military action. certainly not. in my first statement to the inquiry in january of last year, i quoted kofi annan say in the words to the effect -- and i can find the except quotation if you
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want -- sometimes diplomacy has to be backed by the threat and if necessary, useful for speed is a well-known quotation a and it is true. you are familiar with this as an experienced diplomat yourself. it was coming to use the jargon, based on the idea of course of diplomacy, but its purpose, as i say, was to secure compliance, essentially the disarmament of iraq, and that is what we set about achieving. >> i mean, you sit in your second written statement to the inquiry last year that you could see no prospect of cabinet or parliamentary approval for military action in the absence of the u.k. being successful wimpling down the u.n. routt, which makes it sound as if getting approval from a little reaction by going down the u.n. route was what we were trying to do. your office wrote in august of 2002 to sir david manning saying
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we have now done a further work on the possibility of a security council ultimatum in iraq. mr. blair said it was in his evidence the other day that instead of action immediately, the ultimatum first, by which he was referring to the period before the americans had agreed to the u.n. route for. then he said the ultimatum with the given sanction. so your offices talking of an ultimatum. mr. blair, interpreting and to us last week, was talking of this as ultimatum with the u.n. sanction. so is this not actually seen as a step in the direction of military action, that being the object if that the united states and the united kingdom had been going through the u.n. route in
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the autumn of 2002? >> well, no, with respect. i think it is to turn on a parity of 1441 and to turn its head what i had said. this resolution contains, if you like, an ultimatum. i mean, it talks about the final letter to the. it then op13 talks about the serious consequences, which has stephen patteson explains everyone knows means military action of the was in noncompliance. so it contained its own ultimatum, but the point about the ultimatum, sir roderick, is the offer the object of the ultimatum ": alternatives.
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there are two doors, and one is in the case of saddam hussein marked "survival of your government and a few but with disarmament,," the other alternative meant military action against it and the consequences which followed. the history of diplomacy is replete with exceed those of the final opportunities or ultimatum of one kind or another. i don't see any of objection of that and indeed the whole purpose of the policy is it possible to avoid war and that is what i was seeking to do and what the resolution sought to do. >> we will come back a bit later on to the question of whether the timetable for the military action was constructed and handled in such a way and handled in such a way as to encourage him to go through the door to compliance with the other door. you talked earlier about your position, your teams on this and
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you set out very clearly last year the course of diplomacy and in the hope that he would indeed comply. we discussed earlier where mr. blair was coming from. wasn't it the case any way as a witness from sis put it to lessen his evidence that it was clear that nothing short of decisive action in iraq was one to satisfy the americans? so in signing up to the u.n. route kuhl was about what was in their mind? and was about why they were determined that it was going to do nothing to fetter their ability to take military action or require a second resolution? >> i don't think you can generalize about the americans, not even about the american administration. indeed, to make a profound error if you do that. i think that there was, to coin a phrase, a gleam in the eye of some members of the
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administration about military action, but my experience -- >> including the president? >> no, i was about to see that. no. my experience with president bush was that she in the end when faced with the decision was much more thoughtful than he is often credited for, and not -- and he was subject, of course, to very strong and conflicting pressures but there are also external realities facing even a u.s. president. whatever the wishes of richard perle or john bolten, these neocon a outriders of the administration to kind of change the whole world, there were realities and the reality was that of saddam hussein had complied with the 1441, the inspectors would have said that. it would have been public.
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the security council could of conceivably have had the debates it had in the early part of 2003. because we would have been celebrating a compliance. there would have been the inspectors all over iraq. as i say, but it is worth repeating, there would have been no responsibility of the u.k. being involved in military action at all and i don't believe that even if president bush had been ill-advised enough to want to go to the war he would have done so. what would be the cause of the war in those circumstances? when he himself had said, yes, they didn't like the regime and in the legal theory the regime change was their objective, but he made this case for the regime change on the base of the threat posed by saddam hussein. if the inspectors were then saying by the route which he, himself, president bush, had himself led the endorsed, that the threat head-on, what does he
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then say? you know, he has to make the case of congress and to his own troops. >> there were many who were arguing, and it has been argued to us by some witnesses, that the threat would never have gone as long as saddam was there but let's park that. ty presses. there are doing the threat never would have gone as long as saddam hussein was there. but let's -- we discuss the legal the aspect of the 144130 extensively last year and i don't want to go off of that again, but i do simply to ask you about certain points that have come out and evidence either the classified material or from which mrs. since we last
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met you. sir michael www.-- in a letter copied to the office a minute to edward it would have been warned that the resolution been in the draft wouldn't give authorization based on the authority to use force in resolution 678. then on the 18th of october the lord goldsmith telephone you to make exactly the same point. this wouldn't authorize the force. on foot after the first of october, the lawyers also reiterated the advice of the draft then the contemplation did not authorize the use of force to repel the sixth of november michael wrote to your office, that's just two days before the adoption of 1441, to state that it did not itself authorize the use of force or revive the
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authorization to use force in the resolution 678. now, given that as we had started the negotiations come in and we have heard this, too, from witnesses, it was a central objective of the british government of the resolution should provide the authorization to use force in resolution 678 without the need for a further security council resolution. what impact did this advice that we had not achieved that objective have one policy for concluding the negotiations and where did it leave us at the end of the negotiations? >> michael is a distinguished lawyer, but he wasn't going to be the person making the decision. in any event as i understand it, he was not involved in the process and wasn't aware foley of the negotiation history.
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it also is the case with the foreign office lawyer was involved, tom ian macleod took a different view about the effects of 1441, and as i now know -- i didn't know this when i was here before -- that ian macleod was the only foreign office lawyer that took a different view from the elizabeth wilmhurst and michael wood and he authorized me to give you his name and private from the foreign office lawyer has told me he certainly to the same view as ian macleod and his view was that a significant number of foreign office lawyers also took the same view and i am not for a moment suggesting that the elizabeth wilmhurst claimed
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foreign office lawyers were the same as needed in the other good faith. but my information is different hers, and i believed this, that we were in a tent on negotiating a self-contained resolution. and as peter goldsmith said in his own evidence, expletive i think it was last year in explaining why he had come to a decision that in the circumstances 1441 did authorize the use of force colin one of the reasons he said was that of fish he knew that the only red light of the americans is it should be a self-contained resolutions and they would never agree to a resolution that was a self-contained. i also just say that everybody else we were negotiating with took the same view as jeremy
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greene stock pointed out if we had been ready to accept the resolution that required another resolution we would have gotten it within a week. we wouldn't have to argue the conjunctions and the semicolons, but in my view knowing the history what he said was absolutely clear it did revise that recalling its resolution. >> you were being given contrary advice by senior legal authority in the government, more goldsmith, the senior legal authority in the foreign office, sir michael wood. you said you subsequently heard that there were for an office lawyers and iian macleod to -- these were not the people of devising you. iian macleod listened advising you that the time. >> at indy 500 ebit we were seeking to get the best resolution that we could, and in my view we did, and as i say, it
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is -- yes, i knew what michael wood's to view was and i said that against the final decision the attorney general kalin when faced with a real situation was was to see the milledge reaction was lawful. it doesn't matter if anybody said it wasn't lawful but he wasn't going to be the arbiter. our view was shared by others and significantly, our view that this was a self-contained resolution, which inappropriate circumstances had authority for the military action it was shared by the french. now the great industry out there which suggests just ignores the fact that not only do we think this coming to the americans but the french fought to this, too can you have on the record what the ambassador told the council of the foreign relations in late march, 2003. >> we have been there several times -- savitt but it is a non-trivial point, sir roderick. they knew that they put forward
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all sorts of alternatives in the draft to water it down a of the require ressa and resolution. and they also knew that we filled it unacceptable which is how we got to the conjunction of op4 ten connolly 11, 12 and 13. that was the central architecture of it. >> i am trying to understand the situation of the tide in the light of a device that you are being given. in my right in thinking that when 1441 was adopted to told the cabinet a second resolution what did have the necessary? >> i.t. gib did, yes. >> but for goldsmith telephoned you of the 18th of october to see that unless the circumstances changed we would need a second resolution to authorize the use of force. how was it without the views having been reconciled you were just able to ignore florida goldsmith's edify seat to get different line of the cabinet? >> i didn't ignore the lord will smith's advice. if you recall from the records
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actually from the foreign office's record what his record, of that conversation. it was also, he accepted that external use we couldn't possibly start talking about the possibility of requiring a second resolution because it would have rendered the whole strategy worthless. peter goldsmith understood that. i can't remember whether he was or was bought at the cabinet. i don't remember him raising an objection to the way in which i was putting the point or subsequently. i might also say at that time my feeling was one of the immense relief we had gotten 1441. i might be accused of naivete although it is not quite often an accusation made against me but i believe that we, because of the force of four to 41, the international consensus behind this, we were able to resolve this peacefully, so the issue of a second resolution or not wouldn't arise. that is my hope and my belief. >> thank you. >> let's turn now to the military timetable and inspections.
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lawrence will start. >> i will start of the question of the military timetable. lord term all told us that the cabinet was repeatedly promised a discussion about the military options but this never happened why do you think that was? >> i think it was two things: one, it was the prime minister's style to use cabinet for breeding purposes more than for decisions. that had -- i know some say it didn't happen, but my reading is that happened to a significant extent to begin with a and margaret thatcher's cabinet. the second and related point was this concern about the leaks, that if you are looking at military planning, you have to keep the matter is pretty tight. >> understood. do you think that cabinet ministers were aware that for much of 2002, indeed some way
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into 2003, one of the options that was seriously considered was supporting the united states it came to the military action but without using land forces or a major land component? >> they would have had to be deaf, dumb and blind not to be aware of this. i mean, if i may say so, i filled stephen wall's evidence of this, it was incredulous. this was the issue. i mean, there were 100 people whose land in the early motion in march, 2002, we're reading about the prospect of the military action. if i may just think this point, over the summer of 2002 there was a buildup of concern about iraq. were we going to back the americans?
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were we going to back them without any united nations security council resolutions? because that was not resolved until president bush made his statement in the general assembly on the 12th of september. the consequence of that was that the prime minister decided to recall parliament. this has been the air rushed out of this as if the decision to go to war was made by a couple of people in a sealed room. it wasn't. the parliament was recalled. it was a parliament that the dossier was presented and the debate was about the possibility of military action. >> my question was what the possibility of the latter reaction, it was the type of military action that we might take. >> i don't think that any member of the cabinet wasn't aware for a second that there was a possibility of the united kingdom being involved in very significant military action.
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>> were they aware that there was a possibility of being involved in military action, supporting the united states, but not putting a major land component into the field? >> i think they were aware of that, too. sorry. this is -- you would have to ask them if you wanted to get a precise assessment of their opinions. i know you have already had evidence from margaret beckett and john reed, who said they were fully aware of what was the -- what was going on. and i might also say that subsequent to sir stevan will's the evidence i have had four members of the cabinet, colleagues at the time, coming up to me to express astonishment that he thought that they were unaware of the alternatives and were not briefed, an absolute astonishment. so they were briefed on the military options as well? >> yes. i think again he would have to ask them if the prime minister, because obviously i was
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completely in the loop on all this, but those who wanted -- my understanding is, and this is second hand -- those who wanted briefings on the intelligence received it. >> you got briefings on the military? >> i received that anyway. i was in it is very different -- i was aware of this. i was in a very different position from most members of the cabinet. >> mr. blair told us in a statement last month it was clear from the continuing discussion with the u.s. in late 2002/to those in three that march was the likely date for the military action. was also clear to you at that time? >> yes. what date was he talking about then? >> well, late 2003, -- fleet to listen to come early 2003. >> my recollection is that initially there was talk of military action, the decided the
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to be in january, and then it moved to february, i and then it moved to march. i mean, that's what happened, and we were trying to push it to the right. some of the that set a timetable within which the diplomacy -- >> but there was a time table. >> and we have also discussed with mr. blair and jonathan powell pressure from the u.k. in early march about, as you put it, moving it to the right and some time was given. it was a week rather than more than a week that was being requested. do you recall words you part of that push? did you talk about this with colin powell? >> i talked about it too colin how will as i recall. and i happened to have a complete trust in him and his judgment. i was relying on the law only his diplomatic experience but also his position as a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
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my recollection is -- he said to be the could delete it, but you couldn't believe the start of any military action for too long. you either have to log on or to stand them down. there were anxieties, as ig were aware, sir lawrence, about the fact that the weather was going to turn into would get extremely hot and so on. >> did you receive inebriating yourself on how long the u.k. forces fault that they could last without having to -- me tannin combat readiness? >> i don't think i have a formal writing in briefings. i think i would talk sometimes to the senior military people in the margins of the meetings about that. what was very clear was that they were concerned about the moral of the troops and not just leaving them in limbo. >> were you aware, i think, on
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the 15th of january briefing that the prime minister got from our chiefs of staff that certainly it was suggested that it would be possible to maintain our forces after the middle of march could several months after? >> i think i was aware of that. you know, it certainly would have been possible. there is no doubt about that. it was a sort of combination of factors. >> lord boyce, former chief of defense staff, confirmed to us last week that the u.k. had become such a significant component of the front line forces, 30% of the main battle
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tanks, that the americans would have had significant difficulties, certainly delay in their ability to start military operations if we had pulled out. but obviously raises the question of the degree of leverage we had. again, were you aware of the growing dependence of the americans on the u.k. front line forces? >> yes, i was. of course, that followed in part from the decisions of the government of turkey not to allow any troop movements through turkey. so that closed of that route which would have made a very different strategy. i was aware of that and and also goes to my point that if there had been compliance of 1441 not only what we have not taken part of the military action but the americans determined to have authority to take military action would delay their action
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but would you discuss the extent to which this could be used as leverage over the americans in terms of trying to get a delay to get more time -- >> the prime minister did get if delay and the americans to accept the need for us to move a second resolution, which, as i did you are aware, they fought both was unnecessary and to a degree politically undesirable. there was some in patients from the american system. the prime minister pay and president bush down on that second resolution and then also got additional delay and then you know what happened. then we got the benchmarks and the final ultimatum. >> one of the issues -- obviously we have raised this a number of times -- is this question of whether the inspection process was stopped before you could really be sure
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it wasn't going anywhere. now the advice you had from officials in the summer of 2002, was at would take around six months to a stop was themselves and get the inspections regime to a good place. so the point the inspectors return to the end of november, to those in to, what was your inspection about how long they would need to establish themselves and begin work? >> i don't have a particular period of months in place. i certainly felt that will be for four months were up from the passing of 1441 the we would be able to make a judgment about whether iraq was complying with its term which was the test on the iraq, we got 1441 of the
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eighth of november the decision to take military action was made on the 18th. beginning after four and a half months. and it is very significant. and if you look at the last meeting of the security council to took place on the seventh of march but nobody, not a single delegate suggested that iraq was complying. the argument was in the context they were not completed they were required to comply. the was the difficulty. the other problem here is that what sir jeremy greene stock described as the straw paradox which is this, but -- secure initially called the straw paradox. >> [inaudible] [laughter] speed anyway, it is a pretty
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straightforward point and latest had to it, which is that we wanted to resolve it peacefully. the only way we could resolve the matter peacefully was through compliance. the leeway to get compliance was through the threat of military action, i mean the real threat. and indeed that paradox was actually i think may be inadvertently brought up by the president chirac in that interview he gave on the tenth of march, 2003, where he says before he says we are going to veto -- he says there has been some evidence in compliance, but he thinks it is almost certainly because of the troops sitting outside of saddam hussein's door. that for sure was true. >> you told us last year began to feel more optimistic about the prospect of iraq collaborating with unmovic
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inspectors and early 2003. famous odds of 60/40 about avoiding the war. you gave reasons for that in your most recent statement. what mr. blair has told us in his statement and when he saw him a week or so ago is he concluded quite early on in december of 2002, following the iraqi declaration, the there was no prospect of some of hussein comply with the 1441. he almost made up his mind of the basis of the jic assessments of finding their analysis of the iraqi declaration. were you aware that was his view at the time? tenet i was more skeptical than i was, yes. and not surprisingly one can be more optimistic than other. i was aware that that was his view, but the 60/40 was supposed
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to be a private conversation on a paper. but i can still remember how i was feeling in the early days of 2003. it was on the instinct. it turned out to be inaccurate, but i felt, taking everything together and not withstanding the fact that the declaration which the iraqi is put in a ninth of december had been inadequate, that as they got the message that if they didn't comply there would be military action. and, you know, for other reasons one could be reasonably optimistic that there was going to be compliance. one of the difficulties faced in the united nations was that the successive reports of the hans blix, accepting that he never said that iraq was in full compliance and accepting that there were many questions still left over the plight of been addressed if there were benchmarks' resolutions. but he was reporting the
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increased and significance iraqi cooperation. so that by the seventh of march, you had movement with the inspectors be able to go where they wanted. you had movement on interviews and the area of surveillance. one of the difficulties that you faced is the strong paradoxes were working too well and there was no particular reason to give up on the process according to the members of the security council what that point. >> with respect it had been working very well. of speaking up what i said to the security council on the seventh of march, because there was some improvement. i am not sure -- i can't be certain. i don't recall hans blix seeing improvement had been
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significant. what is it -- this is the seventh of march, 2003: mr. .. reported it's not possible to prevent the unrestricted recorded interviews. there have now been 12 private interviews between unmovic and the iaea against the regular and special commission list 3500 people previously associated with the bids of mass destruction and all of those 12th or threatened and intimidated by the regime before had a of a told the exchanges were going to be recorded, so the interviews were not being recorded by tape recorders. they were told that they were going to be recorded in any even to buy the recording calls its most likely to be the most incriminating evidence removed by the security services and
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there was a lot of evidence from the iraqi survey group which corroborates what i was saying. so i am afraid i was rather less than sanguine about the progress was being made and spelled out why. >> but dr. blix and his statement that you obviously disagree, dr. blix in his statement said that had these interviews he considers them it has repeated in the evidence to was that he thought that these were not so hindered and that he was even optimistic of getting people, if necessary, out of iraq if there had been more time. i will go over exactly where things were at the moment, but what i am interested in is whether or not this was a different position than you expected to be in with dr. hans blix than with the process began in december/january, where the assumption they have been more
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that you're looking to dr. blix to say definitively whether or not there had been an iraqi cooperation. >> that is a matter of some hope and expectation. certainly my hope is it the beginning of the year that dr. blix and el baradei were sitting there were no in compliance and we have not completed our tosk but that was not 4041 required for compliance but that they are in compliance and this is what we need to do to carry on the process. they never, ever said that and even on iraq's this redds rule the city -- the security table. the was the fundamental problem. the requirement of 1441 was not that they should be cooperating a bit with the inspectors.
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it didn't see that and it wasn't. it was that there was full and immediate and complete cooperation and there was lawful, immediate and complete operation. there wasn't the day after four to 41 more importantly there was of four and half months later. and they had been told. if they knew what was going on. why saddam took the gamble he did remains a serious unanswered question to me, but he chose to take a gamble and he lost. if i may say so, there are people who say he was edging towards this. the requirements of four to 41 were not requirements which would have humiliated him. yes, losing the gulf war was a humiliation, but, you know, that was a quite a long time before that. they were designed to be a requirement on him that he could
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meet, and the other members of the security council who were more friendly towards iraq would not have agreed to those requirements of less -- of less that were the case. >> i don't want to prolong this but the point about the benchmark resolution that did happen was actually a way of trying to resolve some of those issues. >> it was. those benchmarks came from dr. blix himself. >> after had been more time and a way of resolving it. can i just go back in terms of the cabinet was told about the likely sequence of events at the start of 2001? >> 2001? vbied i'm sorry, 2003. the start of 2003. about how these events were likely to unfold in terms of the likelihood of the finding of the smoking gun and it's been called the wmd of the likelihood blix
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would report on compliance. seabeck well, you see that quite a very regular reports to the cabinet and i wasn't there every thursday. i was quite often somewhere else, but when i was there i gave reports. i think if i wasn't there, the prime minister would report, mr. hoon, the defense of secretary about where we had to go. i don't believe that members of the cabinet felt that they were under informed on the issue. >> fatta there were extensive military preparations taking place. i mean, this was in the public domain. you can't mobilize 46,000 people. without this being public. it just was. >> absolutely, but the issue was whether there was an expectation that military action, if it
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came, would or would not follow a report by unmovic of la compliance. >> this goes to the issue of the relationship between op4 11 and 12. resolution 1441. is it fair to say that not everybody around the table could recite the terms of 1441 in that sleep as could i, so i don't recall it sort of clause i legal text will argument about the interaction between op4 11 and all the cabinet. it would have been slightly of discussion to have taken place. but was their discussion about the circumstances in which we
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might move to military action if there were foreshore and what's involved in this? and did i get reports off the four readings of the security council the one intended? >> just fill the ehud of the parliament on november 25th, to those in to that material which means something significant, some behavioral pattern of behavior that is serious. among some breaches could be action by the government of iraq seriously to obstruct or to impede the inspectors, to intimidate with this or a pattern of behavior we're in the selection appears relatively lighter but the actions as a toll at up to something a deliberate and more significant. something that shows iraq's intention not to comply. as you told us last february, the bar had been set high. now on the 15th of march, 2003, the prime minister confirmed to the attorney general his
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unequivocal view of iraq was a further material breach of its obligations under resolutions four to 41. were you comfortable with the situation that the prime minister confirm the existence of a further material breach at a time when the head of the iaea had reported that there was the nuclear program he found at the head of the unmovic had reported improved cooperation? >> yes i was and if i hadn't been i was interested in the cabinet. just to emphasize the point about the bar in op4, as i think i mentioned on the previous hearings, in one of the drafts, there were two instincts and saw the full set of revisions in the declaration
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failure by any time to comply with to cooperate fully in the implementation of this resolution as it is it i have to
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see the complete foley and the plot to fusion was it to comply it like emphasizing this or to have blix say they were grateful before which is effectively what he's doing in late january, 2003, and now they are a bit better. the obligation on iraq was to comply fully. the obligation on them on the - one not to disregard the whole resolution and they fail to do that to read now you're asking me whether i think that the judgment about whether there was a material breach should have been made by the minister or the attorney-general is a difficult question to answer but it was the attorney who asked the prime minister to make that judgment. >> are you comfortable with the view that the material breach that there was at that time was of such significance it will only be addressed by --
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>> yes, i was, and by the time of the seventh of march security council meeting, my own very strong instinct was that the iraqi sore back in a pattern of behavior they had been before, where they were playing along in the hope of splitting the security council within degrading the consensus that had been in the previous november that they would play along sufficiently at least so we were not involved in the military action, because we were not able to get a parliamentary majority, and maybe that some of the americans with it, but that was the game that they were in. and much of the white vote against hope that they would implement this fully, and i thought they could, and that was, as i say, my hope and believe in the january by large
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i just thought these guys have got a different strategy. it is not compliance. it is stringing the inspectors along, splitting the international community and then hoping they can get into a comfort zone where ultimately they could have the sanctions lifted. that required you begin to take a different view from the inspectors and other members of the security council. >> well, with great respect, it didn't. yes, there was a division of the question of military action. that was a palpable. but the inspectors never said iraq was complying it. they didn't. as i have said before, if you go through whole of the record of that march 7th, 2003 security council meeting, whatever side people were on, nobody, not one delegate, said iraq is complying it. that was the test. it was not "have they offered a
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few more people for interview in very questionable circumstances circumstances"? the test was worth a complaint. it .. said there were compliant that within the end of it from our point of view. i mean, the end of it in the sense that that would have been the end of any prospect to move the action and know what would have been more pleased than the to the estimate there's other questions we can put on that but i think we better move forward. and it we've got just a few points of the second resolution and i will ask sir martin gilbert to pick them up. >> in our request to you for a statement before this hearing, we asked about your involvement in the formal decision of the u.k. government to pursue a second resolution. if you told us "i was heavily involved in the decisions in respect of the second resolution." and he pointed out towards the
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documentary record available to us as a committee. however, we have examined a massive documentation and questioned in the people and we have been unable to find out by the how or wind the decision was made on the resolution. can you explain who was involved in the decision, what the process of the decision was and when it was made? >> i'm sure -- sorry. just on the sort of procedural point, they're must be -- at least i hope they are -- telegrams from london to new york ukmis about a second resolution. anyway, i would be astonished if there were not. i will try to pursue the for the inquiry. the discussion about the second resolution as i recall, got going in the middle of february. i mean, it had always been a possibility, a lawyer can't give
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you the exact date, but i have long been clear if we were going to be facing the prospect of military action a second resolution, while not a necessity in legal terms, was highly desirable in terms of managing the international community and the british pilot, but also in raising the prospect of a peaceful solution in the issue. ..
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>> it was making that effort. making that effort was desirable for both reasons i've spelled out. it was per -- persuading the americans it was a good idea. i discussed it with mr. powell and president bush. >> was that quite difficult? >> i think so because i think you're aware the american view was that the war was contained which we accepted, and they were a bit complexed about why we thought it was desirable from
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the point of view of the politics. anyway, they were persuaded that it was. >> and that persuasion was down at the level of the prime minister and president as well? >> partly by me, but colin powell was easier to persuade than president bush. >> i just spoke with the department of foreign office two days ago. he said, "i'm not sure the american administration was ever formally committed to a second resolution. i think they were willing to let us have a go at trying to get it. they certainly didn't see a legal necessity for it, and i think they obviously feared it could only result in more complication of the u.n. security counsel." >> that was because of the downsize that it might expose divisions rather than resolve them.
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excuse me. i feel with the benefit of hindsight things it was worth attempting the second resolution, and we were basically close in my judgment to get the magic nine dates, but it didn't happen. it was a concern. that said, the secretary powell were very interested in building support for the second resolution, and there are records you would have seen where you report that. >> thank you. >> i think, robert, over to you now. >> just one very short question, a quick question on the statement.
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we had a long discussion of this last year that we don't need to repeat, but since then there's been pieces of evidence. you may or may not wish to comment on them. i'd like to just cite three of them. there were others in this sense. one is that greenstalke confirming what he said in a telegram when asked when was -- whether it was the agreed line to cast a heavy line on the french and rather he was acting on instructions to do this, said he was acting on instructions. secondly, math true ryancroft when asked if there was political presentation to pin the problem on the french when the fact was we failed to get the chillians and mexicans
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across on getting the resolution. he replied, "yes." thirdly, sir steven wall, said one can tiptoe around this, but jack straw didn't know what he was doing. by the time he told the cabinet later in the week about the outrageous behavior, he would have known precisely what was said. you have to remember at this point the government was fighting for its life. is there any comment that you want to make on any of those three statements? >> yes, there is. thank you. thank you for the opportunity. i don't agree with their analysis of how we came to a judgment that intervention had
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underminded our efforts to get line votes and no vetoes. first of all, on the view about jeremy saying he acted on instructions. well, when i saw that, and thank you for giving me notice of this, i had the record check. no one could fine any tell -- find any telegram or instructions to new york talking about this. >> on the phone -- >> well, yes, i was talking to germmy all -- jeremy all the time on the telephone. there was no one instruction. >> he said on the phone this is what we need to do? >> let's deal with that because -- i certainly was talking to him often all the time about this, and -- as far as i was concerned the
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consequence of president sherak's intervention spoke for itself. we didn't need to say we can make -- he was absolutely categorically saying that we would vote no. that's what he said, and it didn't need instructions to say that, and indeed that did undermind the efforts we were making. that is true. i'm just surprised that he and matthew should come to that view. when you are in the loop in any haven't, and i don't recall having sfertions with him, certainly not this because it's not what i was thinking from what understood, but when i saw
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this, i was steaming about the approach that the french were taking because they signed up to 40-41, and from late january, they had been in my judgment increasingly unhelpful about getting a peaceful resolution to this. i kept saying if you can't find it, and if you want to avoid military actions which is otherwise likely to take place, the best thing to do is come on side with us and agree to a second resolution that does contain an ultimatum. anyway, they were not willing to do that, and i've read through a whole lot of transcripts. i watched the interview in
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french. my french isn't great, but it's good enough, and i didn't hear anybody in watching the totality of that interview come to any other conclusion other than that he was blueprintly, i mean, -- bluntly, i mean, throwing a bomb into the bomb seeking to destruct the negotiations. he knew what he was doing. he did say i'm not a pass vies. that's true. he didn't rule out a second resolution on something. that's also true. he would have been happy to find a second resolution that would have led to a third. or that's correct, and he used the french, but this was not the president popping out of the back door to bump into a journalist and saying something unscripted and then find it recorded in a newspaper.
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this was the president with all the people, the president of france in a formal setting, a formal interview deciding that he was going to set out his story. he knew what he was doing, and indeed, he achieved it, and it didn't need me to explain what he was doing. everybody could see what he was doing, and also we could feel it because although we carried on trying for a number of days afterwards, you could feel the support for the position we put together, and i think that steven patterson said to you this kind of thing is of the security counsel. a lot of the nonpermanent members took their lead from the permanent members, and in my judgment, making progress before that. >> we had a great deal of evidence on this including, of course, documentary evidence, and we wanted to make sure that you had an opportunity to comment on some of the evidence
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given to us that differs from your interpretation on this. other than, we will review the evidence in due course. >> thank you. i'll turn it to martin gill bert. there's one or two more questions on the cabinet. >> around 2002, you appear to be the only minister who is kept in form of number ten's exchanges with the white house. do you think in view of the sometimes rather substantive exchanges that a large number of seniors could have been involved? >> they could have been, maybe would rather than should. i think it has to be for the prime minister of the day to decide who would have the most confidential communications with
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another head of state. i mean, these relationships are of critical importance, and the confidentiality of them needs to be preserved as well, so more question really for mr. blare, and it's not an issue of trust. it's an issue of the fact that the more people who are within a loop about information, the more likelihood it is for this to kind of seep out. as i say, these days people look at bush and blare and see them as simese twins. that's not how it felt at the time. >> you stressed in a way two aspects of the cabinet's involvement. one, that they are essentially
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to be briefed and have reports made by you repeatedly, and the other was the problem of leaking. when you answered to sir lawrence earlier, you referred to the importance of mr. blare of cabinet committees that they were preparing the issues and the cabinet would then essentially be briefed. as you know, cabinet committees did not meet to discuss iraq during this whole period. instead as mr. blare told us, -- blair told us, it was a perpetual conversation. did you ever try to persuade mr. blair to take a different approach with regard to substantive discussions? >> i think this is repeated evidence which was given to you last year, but it was well known that my approach to decision making it more formal than mr. blare's, and -- mr. blair's,
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and i was more formal in my running of the departments for which i was responsible and maybe some other ministers than mr. blair, and i certainly had conversations with him about the level of formality or lack of it that applied within his government, and if i had been in his seat, would i have had more formal processes? yes, i would have, but that doesn't reppedder, if i -- render, if i may say so, the process in which we're comfortable for members of the cabinet at the time or the outcome any different, and one thing i'm clear about is that if you have had more formal processes, in my view, that would have been better, but it
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wouldn't have made any difference to the outcome. >> you didn't think that when -- i'll come to in a moment on a question of your disagreement or with mr. blair at the end. you don't think that these tremendously important decisions which are being made and which you say that i think your phrase was the cabinet was full of people who fought for themselves, so shouldn't they have had the opportunity on quite a number of occasions when important decisions were made of thinking for themselves in cabinet and having an actual debate about it and being able to have their input as it were on that level? >> i mean, there were extensive debates in cabinet as you know from all the basis of briefings from mr. blair or myself which i think is 23 meetings of cabinets in that period from the summer
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of 02 to march of 2003. it was the dominant political issues. members of the cabinet were indeed thinking for themselves very extensively. some of the day-to-day, week-by-week deploam simese was not -- diplomacy was not the subjects that would have gone to cabinet. i mean, i -- the cabinet discussed the original approach back in march, and then as mark wilson made clear, this came off the agenda because other things intervened, and there were not that many discussions about iraq until the summer, but they also knew by what we were seeking to do is to get the u.s. down -- the u.n. down the u.s. route. there was the most intense period of discussion, and they were involved in that, and very
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content, and i thought of obviously i'd be getting this question, and i was trying to think about the circumstances at the time. i think it's important to divide the periods into sections. you had a period with the u.k.'s own strategy rather uncertain in the first half of 2002 following the state of the union speech, and also with crawford that settled down a little bit. partly settled by this discussion here in march, and then as it became clear that we were seeking a u.n. route, settled down again, and colleagues thought, well, better luck. that's the route that will be
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used, and it will be a satisfactory result. there was a decision to be made at that stage, and the colleagues were aware during the course of 2002 military preparations were being made. then you had the period of leading up to 4041. you had bush's statement to the general assembly on the 12th of december, you had that very intense period leading up to 4041. great signs were released by cabinet and the british people that we got 4041 and there was a matter being resolved peacefully. there was not a decision to be made by cabinet because they endorsed the process leading up to 4041. we got it. then you had the declaration, and then it was christmas. that period even if there was a formal cabinet discussion, you
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know, what decision points would have been taken that people feel could have been taken if there was formal papers? then, you are familiar with what happened in the runup to the decision on the 17th of march, but there was the third phase. >> i'd like to look back five days before the 17th of march if i could. in your evidence to us, we asked you about the consideration of alternative options on the eve of the conflict. you told us i prepared a paper for mr. blair, i told him about it. if you ask me who was present, i can't exactly answer. mr. blair warns you about the pearls of taking military action in iraq without the military res lyings, and -- resolution, and we heard from a witness who we agreed not to identify says i recall a meeting
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with the prime minister where the argument was made in the circumstances which were then heading into the 12th of march for the u.k. military not being involved, and he told us in his evidence, the argument upon which was made was more in terms if you want to avoid your own resignation, you have a opportunity, and here it is. you have a way out, and why don't you take it. he was offering the prime minister a way out if he wanted it. the foreign secretary would have went across the argument in a clear way. the thing i was absolutely struck by is the prime minister's response, the speed of it, and the absolute insistence of it, and the fact that he had got his argument all modeled and all laid out. you mention this meeting in your recent statement to us where you say i made clear to him that he had options other than invasion,
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and that these were still open to him would he want to take them. what was your position at that meeting? one of advocating to mr. blair that he should not commit british troops to military action? >> i think that i was advocating, not committing british troops to military action. it's probably putting it too strongly. it was because i had never wanted to give the false impression that that's what it came to is over the weekend of the 15th and 16th, and the decision on the 17th that my position is anything other than to endorse the decision we came to which was in favor of military action, and i was aware, certainly, by the 12th of martha that was a clear prospect. i was -- i mean, i don't think
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anyone was keen on military action, and people were going to get killed, so i was anxious that we should explore alternative options. i felt that i owed the prime minister my loyalty and the best advice i could give him, and that was always my approach in dealing with prime ministers, and i, therefore, presented him with a notice that i sent him, and went to see him, and i think that the anonymous witness can give positions. >> what was your view of the alternatives at the time in >> the alternatives were for the u.k. not to take part in the land invasion. that was a straightforward
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alternative which we could have followed. i mean, the interesting thing about that, of course, from an early stage it was the defense staff who argued strongly if we were not going to be in military action, the army had to be there because otherwise it would be unhappy and cross if they were not which is -- i don't trivialize that, but that's how it was. afterwards was the most plausible alternative which would mean standing down our troops which is essentially what the spanish and the italians did. >> thank you. we'll take another short break and come back in 10 minutes. thank you very much.
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>> in a few moments, a senate debate to repeal the health care law, and after that a nasa briefing, and later we'll reair the british inquiry into the iraq war with testimony from jack straw, former defense secretary.
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>> an effort to repeal the new health care law failed in the senate. a procedural vote prevented it from advancing. this hour long debate begins with new york senator, charles schumer. >> thank you, mr. president, and i rise in strong opposition to the amendment offered by the minority leader, senator mcconnell, to repeal the health care reform law, and first i would say to my good friend from nevada. we want to work together to reduce costs, but this bill reduces costs significantly. the cbo said repeal balloons the deficit by more than a trillion dollars in the second decade. that's because the law smokes out a good deal of the waste,
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the inefficiency, the duplication that we all know is part of our system. that's the place where we have to continue to work together. our country delivers the best health care in the world, but it's also the most inefficient. we spend 17% of our gdp on health care. the next highest spending country is only 10%. under the reform law, we will begin the first large step in keeping quality care, but getting the costs under control. now, if my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said, you know, you're right. we have to reduce costs. we have a better way, and they offered a bill on the floor, well, then, maybe we'd take a look at it. they are silent. they are easy to sit there and say repeal. what would you put in its place? the reason this amendment will be so easily defeated today is
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because of budget point of order which says if you're going to raise the deficit $230 billion in the first decade and a $1 trillion in the second, find out where that money is coming from, and the other side is silent, not a peep about where that money would come from, so that makes one feel that this is sort of for show. let's wave the flag for our hard core supporters who definitely want repeal, but there's nothing in its place. the old montra that the other side seem to have is repeal and replace is gone. it's repeal, and we have nothing to replace it with. that does not meet the favor of the american people. in fact, the numbers who are against repeal is growing. only about a fifth of those who say they want to see the law change want full repeal.
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only 0% of the public -- 20% of the public wants full repeal. if those numbers are correct, and i believe they are, that means a majority of republican voters don't want full repeal. the bottom line, mr. president, particularly in this area of health care talking about deficit reduction is a lot easier than doing it. that fact is evidenced by the amendment my friend from kentucky will offer. that's why a budget appropriate order is the response, and that's why this will be defeated. in later days, maybe my colleagues will come up with parts of the bill they want to change. we'll be open to it. senator is offering an amendment to change the 1099 section of the law. she worked with people on both sides of the aisle. i know that senator johanns has been a leader, senator from
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nebraska. we're going to pass that today. the idea that we're unwilling to change any part of this law is belied by what we're doing here on the floor. we want to work together. when we get a repeal amendment, repeal the whole thing, no substitute, no answer to how to deal with the debt, one wonders what this repeal is all about, and furthermore, what is one of the reasons -- why is the american public becoming more favorable to this law as we go through this debate? that's what the polling data has shown. well, i give two reasons. first, many of the horrors that were thrown about as the law was being put together approving not -- proving not to be true. i'll never forget last summer someone came over to me, a
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jenman from long island. he said, i'm a democrat. i voted for you in every election, i'm not voting for you again. i said why? he said, i hate the health care law. i said why? i'll lose my health benefits on labor day. i'm a new york city firefighters. well, anyone who knows even a little bit about the health care bill knows that new york city firefighter will not lose their benefits on labor day or any time else under this provision. this poor man had listened to some talk radio and they convinced him he was going to lose his benefits, but that is all fading. i don't know the gentleman's name, i just met him at a summer street fair, but he found his benefits are just as good today as they were on labor day.
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it's logical to suppose he would have said appeal the law a year ago, but not today. there's another reason, a more important reason this law is gaining support, and we owe thanks to our republican colleagues. they gave us a second chan to make a first impression. most who looked last year said the messaging rightly or wrongly, falsely or truly, was done better by the opponents of the law. now, we are learning so many good things in the bill. i dare say most colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to keep those good things. i'd be certain that the vast majority of americans want to keep those things, and the polling data back that up. when you do repeal, when you just use a hatchet, you lose things that are in effect
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today. i ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who support repeal, do you support increasing prescription drug costs for our nation's seniors? thanks to this law, the so-called donut hole, created in the prescription plan of 2003 under george bush, will be fixed. seniors in this donut hole that says when you income -- when you paid about $2500 for drugs, the government will help you no longer will now get a 50% discount on medications. this first year, that amounts to the average senior saving $550. when you're a senior on a fixed income, $550 is a nice amount of change and will help a whole lot of people. the discount keeps increasing every year until the last crumb of the donut hole is gone. i will admit that's a mixed met fore because a donut hole by
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definition has no crumbs, but good try, staff, excellent work. in any case, sounded good to me too, but in these times, these savings are not exactly chicken feed. they will make a huge difference for seniors. the average senior when the donut hole is fully eliminated will save more than $200,000 a year. how about the provision that helps young people? every one of us knows of instances where young men and women get out of college or get out of high school and go into the job market, and oftentimes the new jobs they are seeking doesn't provide health care. that happens quite often. it's a new low paying job. they are just starting out. i know i've spoken to many young people like this and their parents. there's a lot of anguish.
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does the young person who has a job that gets paid $30,000, pay $1,000 a month on health care for him or herself? they can't afford that. to go without health care? yeah, they're young and healthy, but god forbid they have an accident, go to the hospital, come up with an unusual disease? what will they do? this keeps lots of young people and their parents up at night. this new bill solves that problem because you can stay on your parent's health care, should they have it, until you are 26. by then, you're in the working force longer, and the probability of your employer give you health insurance a greater. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to take that away? if so, what are you going to put in its place? what will you tell the young
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people, 23, 24, 25, and 26 what they're going to do? then, there's another provision that's, i think, really worth keeping. preventative medicine. we all know that one the big problems with our health care system is opposed to some of the others in some of the other western countries is we don't do enough prevention. instead of a disease being nipped in the bud, making the patient healthier and costing the system a whole lot less, it waits, and waits, and waits. those of us who put the health care bill together realize that, and said early detection saves not only lives, but billions of dollars. now, in this health care bill, medicare will provide a free wellness checkup once a year for every senior citizen. if there's a little bit of illness, they can nip it in the bud. we all know the earlier you detect cancer, heart disease,
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diabetes, the less expensive to cure it. this saves billions of dollars. just giving certain tests at the wellness checkups saves the people and saves the medicare system money and it makes a great deal of sense. you can confine breast cancer before it spreads, a blood test finds prostate cancer before it spreads. one of my colleagues -- what are my colleagues on the other side of the aisle going to say to the seniors? are they going to say the medicaid system that's trying to get more effective just forget it? that's what you're doing when
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you vote for repeal. you have nothing in its place. how about the small business tax credit? my dad was a small businessman. he had a little exterminating business. i know how small businessmen struggle. he didn't become happy until he left the business. he's 87, and a happier guy than he was at 60 struggling in that business. one the dilemmas people face is the high cost of health care they have for their employees. they want to provide because they like their employees and want them to be health, and c, because they want to keep the employees from going somewhere else if they are good, but it costs so darn much. here's what's in the bill. if you're a small business that makes less than $1.2 million, and you have fewer than 25 employees, i think it's 5 or fewer -- 25 or fewer employees, you get a
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35% credit, going up to 50% in 2014. huge help to small businesses that are already providing health care for their workers, and a great incentive for small businesses that already do so. hundreds of thousands of small businesses in my state alone will benefit from this. what are the other side saying to the businesses, their workers? go at it alone? because you want to appeal it, but you have nothing, nothing, nothing to replace it. there's one more provision i want to speak of. there are so many good things in the bill no matter how much you don't like some of the bad provisions, and i know that's genuinely held by my colleagues. just to repeal it makes no sense in my judgment.
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we heard the horror stories of insurance companies when you go to them after you, your spouse, your kid has an illness. you say, well, thank god i have insurance. the insurance company deliberately or maybe not, but anyway, they say, oh, mr. smith, you didn't check off that box on page 17. you didn't dot that i or cross that "t". you're not covered. we know the intent was to cover them. we all know that the insurance company was happy to take the premiums even without that dotted "i" or crossed "t" when the family was healthy, and now they say, bijan siahatgar. bye-bye. this bill doesn't allow this to happen. the kind of provision i talked
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about are banned. what are we saying not to just families who experienced this, but every family with insurance who worries about this, what are we saying to them? again, you have nothing in its place because you are repealing, not replacing even though people said early on that that's not what they are doing. i say in conclusion or just one more point before i conclude, we are willing to work with you. the amendment on the floor of the senate shows just that. i would have drafted it a different way, and there would be an 11th amendment i prefer, but either way, we're going to address the 1099 issue. many people of -- many people on your side of the aisle and our side of the aisle is a mistake, but we're not digging in saying we have to have the bill passed exactly as
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drafted, but you are doing the inverse saying we have to have no part of this bill because if you want to retain parts it of, trfs -- of it, there was a bill saying keep this in and keep that out. you're not. why? your guess is as good as mine, but it's a lot easier to just tear down than create as we learned when we did the handgun bill, but you really have an obligation. unless you believe there shouldn't be a health care system or we ought to go back to the system without any changes in the law which we had that nobody liked, it's not fair. so, in conclusion, one, this bill reduces the deficit. the repeal increases the deficit, and there's no money there to make up for those funds that the bill would bring in.
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not by cost cutting and by fees. second, there are lots of good things in the bill that probably my colleagues would support, but they just get rid of them with no replacement. nothing. nothing for the seniors. nothing for the 21-26-year-olds. nothing for the people treated poorly by their insurance companies. third, we want to work with you. there are some changes, but we can work together on them in the bill, not just 1099, but further down the road or fixing the high cost, the waste, while still preserving good care for people who get it. that's something that would lend itself particularly in these times of high deficits of bipartisan support and working together, but today, simple
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repeal, again, it may feed some red meat to the minority in the country, a small minority if you believe the polling who say just repeal it, but the responsible job of a legislature whether you agree with the bill or disagree with this bill is not to repeal but to improve. that suspect happening today -- isn't happening today. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> senator from alabama. >> i rise in strong support of senator mcconnell's bill to repeal the health care reform law as now constituted and will support replacing it with reforms that truly provide americans with access to quality, affordable health care, reduce skyrocketing health care
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costs, and put our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. these good goals can be achieved, but this current bill does not do it. i'm pleased to say my colleague accepts an amendment, but the johann amendment was voted on twice last year, and when the democrats had a significant majority in the body, they voted it down after several new members have been added, many elected on the promise to repeal this bill, every one virtually, we now have the agreement to change the 1099 which is about one thousandth of 1% of what's significant about this legislation and indeed, had scott brown been elected a month or so sooner, the bill wouldn't have passed as it did on
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december 24th, the day before christmas. the american people have never supported this bill. polling numbers show they still do not support this bill. the democratic health care legislation was sold as a package that would reduce insurance premiums by $2500 per family. the president -- we were told that repeatedly. it would trim the federal deficit, reduce the deficit, and immediately create 400,000 new jobs. sadly, none of these promises have been met. they were all false, attacked on the floor by people who are sophisticated, and they pointed out how the matters would be achieved, and they have not. they were false then, and they are false now. it will cause health care spending to rise over the next decade. they will see dramatic rise in
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their premiums. that is a fact. the federal deficit will increase by an additional $700 billion. this bill does not reduce the deficit, and the law mandates penalties and tax hikes lead to job losses and layoffs that will damage our economy. the last thing we need to do now is to have employers lay off people because of surging health care costs, as is happening. talk to small businesses in your communities. as our nation's reckless fiscal policy and surging debt brings us ever closer to a tipping point, a debt crisis that could damage our country substantially as it has others around the world respected economists have stressed the need for congress to reduce federal spending and
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contain mounting health care losses, but rather than tackle these problems that threaten the long term stability of our nation, this health care law endangers the society by a monumental new entitlement program. introducing $2.6 trillion in new spending. tell me how ce with -- how we can spend $2.3 trillion and now decrease spending in this country? entitlements today are hammering our budge. they are serging our deficit. entitlements are dangerous things. the last thing we need to do is create a new entitlement that's not going to be contained in its spending. according to the congressional budget office, the new health care law, our own group, the
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cbo, appointed by the democratic majority says if the health care law will cause insurance premiums in the individual market to sore by 10%-13%. for american families translating into a $2100 increase in their cost for purchasing health care cove are raj -- coverage by 2016. that's huge. another $2100? that's a stunning development, and it's exactly opposite of the promises of the bill. cbo scored that. total health care spending in the united states consumed already 17.3% of gdp, and we felt that was too high. it's the largest of any industrialized nation in the world, but under this new law, the national health care spending will approach 20% of gdp by the end of this decade.
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that's a budget committee scoring chaired by the democratic majority in the congress. sadly, many supporters of the health care law continue to perpetuate the myth that repealing this law decreases the deficit. repeal the law, and the deficit will go up. a thorough examination of the law pulls back the curtains to expose a deceptive budget gimmick on how that's stated and revealed at true cost. first, our democratic colleagues double counted $398 billion in medicare costs and taxes, 29 billion in social security taxes, $70 billion in near long term health care premiums to pay for the new health care spending. double counted money. it's the largest false accounting scheme i suppose in the history of the world.
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think i'm exaggerating? december 23, the night before this budget, this health care bill was finally passed, 60-40, 60 democrats, 40 republicans no. i called the cbo selected by democratic colleagues to be the budget director, and this is what he said, "a savings through the ha, the hospital insurance trust fund of medicare on to the health care bill, would be received by the government only once, so they can want be set aside to pay for future medicare spending, and at the same time, pay for the current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs."
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this money was cutting medicare benefits, raising medicare taxes. they did not use the money to strengthen medicare which is heading to insolvency. they took the money and spent it on a new program. actually, they borrowed the money from medicare, and that's how they got it. it wasn't the treasury's money to spend on new programs, and the way they scored it is it double counted the money. that's how it's this money they are counting to say that this bill actually creates a surplus. without this money, there's no surplus. since medicare is going into deficit, they call the bonds from the treasury as they go into deficit. the u.s. treasury pays medicare interest on the money they borrowed from them to start this new program, and soon that money is going to be gone. we're going to have to borrow
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money on the open market to fund this new entitlement, and the new entitlement will cost far more than currently estimated. over the ten year budget window, the cbo says the new law -- the reports point out how the law was doctored to enhance certain revenue taxes and so forth now, but only starting the expenditure programs in 2014. why is that important? well, they looked at a score from cbo of what it costs over 10 years. you got income for 10, and expenditures for six, is looks
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pretty good, that, plus the double counting of the money and several other gimmicks. that's how they say it's creating a surplus. it is not a surplus. as a ranks member on the budget committee, i am stunned by how difficult and challenging our current financial situation is. we've got to do something about it. we need the president to help us and lead. he's not doing so, so it looks like congress may be having to deal with it. former director of the cbo, douglasacheen, an economist who understands budgets, cowrote an article in the "wall street journal" in january that eliminates any confusion about the law's impact. i'm disappoint the that members of the senate are still coming down here to suggest that repeal of this law is going to adversely impact our deficit. i'm stunned that would continue to be said. this is what the highly
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respected individual said in the "wall street journal" in january. it's entitled health care repeal won't add to the deficit. he says this, "repeal is the logical first step towards restoring fiscal sanity, fiscal sanity. how then does the affordable care act magically convert $1 trillion in new spending into painless deficit reduction? it's all about budget gimmicks, deceptive accounting, and implausible assumptions used to create the false impression of fiscal discipline. repeal is not a budget buster. keeping the affordable care act is." former directer of the congressional budget office. there's no question about that.
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i mean, that's a stunning thing. a poll by the kyeser foundation and harvard released last week shows the american people are seeing through the ploys. they heard the talks before. they are not buying it. 60% of the country believes the health care lo will increase the deficit over the next 10 years by only -- and 11% think it will lower the deficit. colleagues, give us a break. american people are not going to buy this argument. i wish it would not be repeated, but the president continues to say it himself. clearly, the american people show they are wiser than their government leaders in many instances. the final point i'd like to make about the health care law is the debilitating impact on jobs, the
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mandates included in the health care law coupled with rising costs of insurance facing families and businesses that are costing us jobs right now. they will do so more in the future. i would just add, mr. president, i had meetings with small business groups in alabama, in jasper, alabama, 10-15 individuals. every one of them told me without question that this health care law would cause them to reduce employment. we do not need to be reducing employment. we need to be increasing employment. this bill is a job killer. it's induce piewtble. -- indisputable. over 6,000 pages of legislation and regulations add to that economic estimates in the case that repealing the law that threatens our economic recovery
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would save 700,000 jobs. it's imperative that congress does repeal this law. yes, we need to start and continue to work on things we agreed on like preexisting illness, interstate competition of health premiums, a lot of things we can agree on to make health care better, but let's not have a massive federal entitlement program funded by dubious gimmicks imposed on the american people against their will damaging to the american economy. we cannot do that, and it will be repealed in my view. mr. president, i know my time is up. i would just conclude by saying we are near election. a lot of people took that issue
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to the american people. the voice was clear. they were not happy with congress who did not listen to them and passed the bill against their wishes, and they expect congress to reconsider it, eliminate it, and start over with a legislation that will work. the message is clear, and that's what we need to do. i urgely colleagues to support senator mcconnell's legislation. i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> senator from vermont. >> mr. president, it is very hard for me to understand how anyone could be voting to repeal the entire health care bill because when you do that, among other things, what you are saying is that we will continue the odious practice of denying health care by insurance companies to people


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