Via Glenn Greenwald:
An Iraqi taxi driver may have been the source of the discredited claim that Saddam Hussein could unleash weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a Tory MP claimed today.
Adam Holloway, a defense specialist, said MI6 obtained information indirectly from a taxi driver who had overheard two Iraqi military commanders talking about Saddam’s weapons.
The 45-minute claim was a key feature of the dossier about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction that was released by Tony Blair in September 2002. Blair published the information to bolster public support for war.
Once the British PM said it, the media was off to the races. Just one example among many:
CNN’s David Ensor, December 7, 2002:
British and U.S. intelligence officials believe Saddam Hussein has continued to produce a variety of chemical and biological agents with at least some of those weapons capable of being deployed in as little as 45 minutes.
The people who mindlessly passed on claims like Tony Blair’s “45-minute” hysteria did it without regard to whether it was true. At best, they didn’t care. They wanted the invasion and were willing to say anything to justify it. The ones who were most unquestioning were “journalists” whose only ostensible function is to question… What’s most remarkable about all of it is that virtually none has even acknowledged wrongdoing and none has suffered any consequences of any kind. This British investigation is underscoring just how extreme all of this was.
Really they will never apologize. But perhaps the media could try and find out what was the real reason we attacked Iraq in 2003. I’m still curious.