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QUOTE TWO from Guardian Diary

"A Mr Tony Masterclass in how to avoid being answerable to the Commons. [Source: Hansard]"

June 18 / Labour’s Graham Allen asked [Blair] which officials were responsible for the final text of the two dossiers.
Mr Tony: “I refer my Hon Friend to the answers I gave to Mr Jenkin on 24 February 2003 and 3 March 2003.”

February 24 / Bernard Jenkin asked which minister finally approved the September dossier.
Mr T: “This was a government document cleared in the normal way.”
{An odd, utterly meaningless reply, [comments Mathew Norman], of no use to anyone except a student of disingenuous political dissembling.

March 3 / Bernard Jenkin enquires the procedure for approving the second dossier’s contents and who had final approval.
Mr T: “I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave Mr Smith on 10 February 2003, and to PM’s Questions on 12 February.”

February 12 PMQs / Tory Angela Browning asked who wrote the ‘dodgy dossier’, whether Mr T knew it was dodgy when he placed it in the House library and if he’d like to apologise.
Mr T: “… the part of the document dealing with the intelligence was, indeed, taken from intelligence services information. Secondly, the whole document, as has been accepted by everyone, is accurate.”
[I.P.: this latter part quite beggars belief, but pick up chin from floor and lets proceed.]

Finally, Feb 10 / Labour’s Llew Smith asks after the source for the assertion that premises used by Unmovic and IAEA were bugged by the Iraqis.
Mr T: “It is a government document based, as stated on its front cover, on a number of sources, including intelligence material … Some of that is based on work by Dr Ibrahim al-Marashi which, as my office have already made clear, in retrospect, we should have acknowledged.”

Mathew Norman: “For every question, a meaningless diversionary answer, and no one any the wiser.”

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posted by Ian 7/09/2003 11:30:00 AM

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