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Previous | Next :: Smoking Gun Prime Minister Tony Blair with President Bush : White House Rose Garden : DC | January 30, 2010, 8:43 pm

Smoking Gun Prime Minister Tony Blair with President Bush : White House Rose Garden : DC
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I am in London this weekend....... Slightly crazy...... fly in and shoot Friday and Saturday hangout on Sunday then fly back to the US on Monday as I have shoots back in Florida on Tuesday, Wednesday blah blah.......

Here the big news is Tony Blair. He was up before Britain's Inquiry into the Iraq war........ he was unrepentant....... stuck to his guns :

On whether he regrets Britain's part in the war: "Responsibility — but not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein."

"I think that he was a monster, I believe he threatened not just the regime but the world ... Even if you look back now it was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office, and I do genuinely believe that the world is safer as a result."

"If I am asked whether I believe we are safer, more secure, that Iraq is better, that our own security is better, with Saddam and his two sons out of office and out of power, I believe indeed we are."

On possible consequences of not toppling Saddam: "Supposing we had backed off this military action ... what we now know, is that he retained absolutely the intent and the intellectual know-how to restart a nuclear and a chemical weapons program. "Had we taken that decision to leave him there ... he would have had the intent, he would have had the financial means, and we would have lost our nerve."

On whether he deceived Britain over the grounds for going to war: "This isn't about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It's a decision."

On intelligence about Saddam having WMD: "When you are the prime minister and the Joint Intelligence Committee is giving you this information, you have got to rely on the people doing it, with the experience and with the commitment and integrity as they do ... Of course now, with the benefit of hindsight, we look back on the situation differently." "What I said in the foreword (of the 2002 dossier) was that I believed it was beyond doubt. I did believe it and I did believe that it was beyond doubt.\"

On the now notorious claim that Iraq had WMD which could be launched in 45 minutes — it is clear now that the weapons referred to battlefield weapons, not long-range missiles: "I didn\'t focus on it a great deal at the time\" (what kind of weapons the 45 minutes deployment referred to) "It would have been better to have corrected it in the light of the significance it later took on."

On the death toll resulting from the war: "The coalition forces weren\'t the ones doing the killing. The ones doing the killing were the terrorists, the sectarians."

Above : Here is Tony Blair back in the day when he was still Prime Minister. Pictured here speaking to the press at the White House in the Rose Garden with President Bush..........

Cheers Jez XXXXXX

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