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Ex-Iraq expert: Britain saw no threat before war
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CNN/Associated Press

CNN/Associated Press, December 15, 2006
Posted: December 17th, 2006

Britain's former top Iraq expert at the United Nations said in previously secret testimony that most government officials did not believe Iraq posed a threat in the months leading to the U.S.-led invasion. Carne Ross ... told a House of Commons committee that he and other analysts believed that Iraq had only a "very limited" ability to mount an attack of any kind, including one using weapons of mass destruction. The committee published Ross' testimony after assuring him that parliamentary privilege would protect him from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. "It was the commonly held view among officials that the threat had been contained," Ross said in the written testimony. "Iraq's ability to launch a WMD or any form of attack was very limited. Iraq's air force was depleted to the point of total ineffectiveness; its army was but a pale shadow of its earlier might; there was no evidence of any connection between Iraq and any terrorist organization that might have planned an attack," he wrote. During the months leading up to the war, he said, there was no new evidence that Saddam Hussein posed a threat. "What changed was the government's determination to present available evidence in a different light," he testified. Ross told the committee that he resigned from the government in September 2004 because of his misgivings over the war. John Major, Britain's former prime minister, raised concerns ... that other issues remain to be resolved, including the distribution of oil revenues.

Note: This recently released testimony was given in 2004, but kept secret for reasons of "national security."

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