Examination of Witness (Questions 1080-1099)|
25 JUNE 2003
Q1080 Mr Maples: I cannot find it
Mr Campbell: He is an administrative
support assistant in my office.
Q1081 Mr Maples: You describe him
as a "member of the support team in my department".
Who does he work for?
Mr Campbell: He works obviously
for me but the person he works for is Peter Hyman.
Q1082 Mr Maples: Did Peter Hyman
have input into this document?
Mr Campbell: Absolutely not.
Q1083 Mr Maples: Nothing at all?
Mr Campbell: Nothing at all.
Q1084 Mr Maples: But he is a politically
appointed specialist adviser in No 10?
Mr Campbell: Who? John Pratt?
Q1085 Mr Maples: No. Peter Hyman.
Mr Campbell: Peter Hyman is. He
had nothing to do with this whatever.
Q1086 Mr Maples: Somebody who works
for him does, but he had nothing to do with it?
Mr Campbell: Can I explain what
John Pratt's role in this ridiculous story was? John Prattand
I think when people hear this they will be stunned that this is
how stories get into newspapersthis story appeared in The
Guardian as I explained in my note and it said these four
people worked on this report. I can explain to you what the people
in my office did, and I think somebody has got hold of the record
of this thing and it appears apparently in today's Independent
newspaper. It was e-mailed from the CIC to one of my staff in
No 10 because I wanted to take the latest draft on the plane to
America. The person to whom it was sent sits next to John Pratt.
She said, "John, have you got a spare disc that I can copy
this on to?" John Pratt gave her a disc. It was copied on
to the disc. The disc was then handed to my personal assistant.
My personal assistant took it on the plane. I made some changes
in manuscript, she typed them in. On bringing it back to No 10,
she gave it to the website editor. On those prosaic realities
is built the most absurd mountain of conspiracy and nonsense.
Q1087 Mr Maples: Well, you have gone
some way to correcting that in your memo to us and I accept that,
but when we find that somebody is a relatively junior official
and all he did was lend somebody else a disc but he works for
a politically appointed special adviser who works for youthere
are more politically appointed specialist advisers in Downing
Street under this administration than there have ever been in
the past and their fingerprints are awfully close to all these
documents, and I am just suggesting here is another link.
Mr Campbell: I am a special adviser
and I have taken responsibility for the second paper. In relation
to this, there would be no reason by the way, had I felt it appropriate
for Peter Hyman to be involved in this, that he should not have
been, but the fact is he was not and I do thinkyou were
saying this was not a time for political discussion but I do think
there is a political point.
Q1088 Mr Maples: Let me ask something
in relation to the Foreign Secretary. In his note to us the Foreign
Secretary said in relation to this document, "No FCO ministers
or FCO specialist advisers were consulted in the document. No
10 officials including special advisers asked for some changes"
Mr Campbell: That is me.
Q1089 Mr Maples: That is only you?
Mr Campbell: That is me. I am
a special adviser.
Q1090 Mr Maples: It says "including
special advisers", in the plural. Is that just a grammatical
Mr Campbell: All I know is that
the special adviser who was involved in this is the special adviser
who was the chair of the Iraq Communications Group and that is
me. Peter Hyman had nothing to do with it whatever.
Q1091 Mr Maples: Could we move on
to the dossier of the weapons of mass destruction because I want
to put to you that we were told by two of our witnesses, Dame
Pauline Neville-Jones who is a former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence
Committee and a former Australian intelligent agent, that this
document did not read like a Joint Intelligence Committee assessment.
The language was not like a Joint Intelligence Committee assessment,
and there may be perfectly acceptable explanations for that but
the Joint Intelligence Committee assessments tended to be full
of qualifications and ambiguities, and "maybe this"
and "perhaps that" and equivalents, whereas the document,
at least in its executive summary, is much more certain. I do
not know if you are aware of the document that was published in
1998 before Desert Fox, and again this is published over the name
of Derek Fatchett, the minister at the Foreign Office at the time
and is an intelligent assessment, and I want to quote to you two
short lines from it: "The Iraqi chemical industry could produce
mustard gas almost immediately and limited amounts of nerve gas
almost certainly retains some BW production equipment, stocks
of agents and weapons". But in the summary to this document,
admittedly four years later, we have, "Iraq has continued
to produce chemical and biological agents. Some of these weapons
are deployable within 45 minutes". The language is much more
definite. What Dame Pauline Neville-Jones said to us is to have
been able to go from one to the other there would have to be some
new piece of intelligence which really substantiated in a much
harder form the second statement, because it is not fundamentally
different but certainly different in quality to the first, and
I wonder if you saw such intelligence which justified the making
of a much stronger claim?
Mr Campbell: I am not intimately
acquainted with the Derek Fatchett paper but if you go back to
the whole background to the WMD dossier of September 2002 I think
the Prime Minister said publicly that one of the reasons why he
wanted to do this was because there was continuing new intelligence
that he was seeing that made him feel there was a growing threat
from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme. Now, again,
it is not for me to talk about the intelligence or the assessments
that are made by the Joint Intelligence Committee but I can only
assume that, if there was a change in position, it was as a result
of new intelligence which, as the Prime Minister said, was crossing
his desk the whole time.
Q1092 Mr Maples: But would you agree
the language is different, it is more definite in this dossier?
There is another point too, if you look at what is actually said
in the dossier the Government published in September, it said,
"The JIC concluded that Iraq had sufficient expertise, equipment
and material to produce biological warfare agents within weeks
using its legitimate bio-technology facilities", and that,
"The JIC assessed that Iraq retained some chemical warfare
agents, precursors, production equipment and weapons from before
the Gulf War. These stocks would enable Iraq to produce significant
quantities of mustard gas within weeks and of nerve agents within
months." But in the summary that has become, "Iraq has
continued to produce chemical and biological agents." I suggest
to you that the summary is a much stronger statement than actually
what the main body of the document says. Can I give you another
example before you respond to that. On the 45 minutes piece on
page 19 of the dossier it says, and this it seems to me is a much
lower degree of certainty remark, "Intelligence indicates
. . ."not, "The JIC has concluded"".
. . that the Iraqi military are able to deploy chemical or biological
weapons within 45 minutes." The summary says, "Some
of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes." I am
putting to you that there are three respects in which the summary
is, I would suggest, almost fundamentally different from what
the body of the document suggests.
Mr Campbell: All I can say to
you on that is that the executive summaryand this goes
for the entire documentwas the product of the pen of the
Joint Intelligence Committee chairman. So if these are intelligence
judgments that he is putting into the dossier, that is because
they are the best assessment of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
Again, I do not think it is for me to sit and do textual analysis
on them. That document was the document which was presented to
us. The changes we made in relation to it had nothing to do with
the overriding intelligence assessments. I think the point you
are trying to put to me is that the executive summary was harder
than the body of the text. All I know is that the Joint Intelligence
Committee chairman stands by every word of the document.
Q1093 Mr Maples: That may be, but
it does not necessarily belie the point I am making. The Prime
Minister in his introduction says, "The document published
today is based, in large part, on the work of the Joint Intelligence
Mr Campbell: A lot of it, for
example, is UNSCOM reports. The JIC imprimatur is on this but
it is not as if this issue just sort of started in September 2002.
Q1094 Mr Maples: We know how Government
documents are prepared, somebody prepares a draft, it is circulated,
points go in and I am perfectly prepared to accept what you say
that the first draft came from the JIC and the final product was
signed off by them, but I suggest that when you said, "I
had several discussions with the chairman of the JIC on presentational
issues and made drafting suggestions", you had some responsibility
for the sort of things I was saying.
Mr Campbell: I can say that is
not the case. As I pointed to in earlier exchanges, there were
points that I raised, on some of them the Joint Intelligence Committee
chairman would say, "That is absolutely fine, I have no trouble
with that at all", on others he would say, "We cannot
say that because it would not be our best assessment" or
"In fact I think the way we have done it is better."
It was that kind of discussion. It was, as presented as a first
draft, a very good and thorough piece of work. So I do not accept
the premise, I am afraid.
Q1095 Mr Maples: The problem with
this is that when this document was produced everybody, even your
political opponents like me, believed it because here is the Government
publishing something which is the product of the Joint Intelligence
Committee and we believed it. Then along comes the dodgy dossier
and it turns out to be certainly not what it said but an amateurish,
irresponsible and misleading piece of work, and it was presented
by the Prime Minister to Parliament as the product of the intelligence
services, and we all find out then what it was. Then we start
to think, "Hang on, it casts this in doubt". That, I
suggest, is the problem you have got. That incredibly amateurish,
irresponsible, dodgy dossier is what has created your problem.
I do not think people would give much time to the allegations
that you and the people who work with you improvedto use
a neutral wordthis document if it had not been for the
whole story of the dodgy dossier.
Mr Campbell: People can make whatever
allegations they like, the serious allegation against me is that
I abused intelligence, and that is a pretty serious allegation
which we should take seriously and I hope I have made clear that
with the authority of the intelligence community leadership I
can say that is completely untrue. I made the point earlier that
the second briefing paper got next to no coverage. It has had
hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of words written about
it since that one mistake within the CIC was made. As I said to
you in my memorandum, I simply do not think that should be allowed
to define the totality of a huge amount of communications which
went on between the Prime Minister and the Government, Parliament
and the public. I have given you one example, how many times have
you heard on the television or the radio, "This report which
was authored by four people working in my office". I have
explained to you, that is simply not true. We have said to the
media time and again it is not true, but they still run it.
Q1096 Mr Maples: I am not responsible
Mr Campbell: I know you are not,
but a lot of the questions you are putting to me are based upon
false stories whose authors somehow feel that if they say them
often enough people will believe them.
Q1097 Mr Maples: The basis of the
questions on the dodgy dossier is us discovering the extent to
which you used Mr al-Marashi's paper
Mr Campbell: And I have explained
how that happened.
Q1098 Mr Maples: I know.and
that that work was altered in what is obviously an incredibly
amateurish way in which this
Mr Campbell: No, if I may. It
was not altering Mr al-Marashi's work, because the people who
were suggesting changes had no idea who Mr al-Marashi was. You
can accept that or not. That is where the mistake was made.
Q1099 Mr Maples: Precise sentences
Mr Campbell: How many times do
we have to acknowledge it was a mistake, apologies were given,
new procedures put in place. I can say it hundreds of times if
it helps but that is the fact, there was one mistake in this.
5 Ninth Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee,
Session 2002-03, The Decision to go to War in Iraq, HC
813-II, Ev 61. Back