England’s Manchester Guardian newspaper reveals it was able to examine the secret first draft document which formed the basis of Tony Blair’s statement to the world justifying the need to support President Bush and invade Iraq. “The document reveals how the Foreign office successfulyfought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained in the first draft of the controversial and now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN’s authority on weapons of mass destruction.” The British government feared revealing concerns about Israel flouting the UN would seriously damage its relations with Israel.
Over the past several years there have been several incidents in which the Israel government expressed its concerns about attitudes in the Foreign Office which it believed revealed an anti-Israel attitude. This is the reason reference to Israel flouting the UN on weapons’ issues was removed from the document that was made public this week. The original document indicated one of the authors made a connection to Israel flouting UN directives in a manner that was similar to what Iraq was being charged with doing in 2003.
If the goal of revealing the document was to clearly indicate to the British people what their government was thinking about in 2003, the entire document should have been made public.