Gordon Brown: UK was 'misled' over Iraq WMDs

Gordon Brown: UK was 'misled' over Iraq WMDs”

Mr Brown, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, said the U.S. failed to disclose a report showing that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had access to weapons of mass destruction.

In his memoir, My Life, Our Times, to be published this week, Brown said the US government was in a "rush to war" in March 2003 and accused them of not sharing a secret intelligence report about Iraq's weaponry that might have changed British leaders' decision to join the USA -led invasion of Iraq that year.

Mr Brown, who was Chancellor at the time of the 2003 invasion, said the documents showed Britain was not just "misinformed" about Iraq's weapons programmes.

Mr Brown says he had no idea that decision makers in America were already aware that the evidence on the existence of WMDs was weak, even negligible and in key areas non-existent.

"On publishing his excoriating report, Sir John Chilcot concluded that Tony Blair "was not straight" with the nation and, contrary to his denials, had given a pre-determined commitment to President Bush in July 2002 to join USA military action in Iraq - telling him "I will be with you, whatever".

But, Mr Brown says a report commissioned at the time by the then-US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "forcibly challenged" this view.

To back up his claim, Brown points to a 2002 U.S. Defense Department report commissioned by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld leaked past year, reported the Guardian, that made clear "the existence of WMDs was weak, even negligible and in key areas nonexistent".

EXTRACTS FROM former prime minister Gordon Brown's new book, My Life, Our Times, in which he says that the United Kingdom was "misled on the existence of WMDs [Weapons of Mass Destruction]" in Iraq by the USA have led to renewed calls for accountability over the Iraq war.

"Given that Iraq had no usable chemical, biological or nuclear weapons that it could deploy and was not about to attack the coalition, then two tests of a just war were not met: war could not be justified".

As the Chancellor of Exchequer, Brown says his only official role was to find funds for the war.

The US kept quiet about the secret intelligence report, Mr Brown said according to report by the Mirror.

British intelligence from 2002, seen at the time by the then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mr Brown, suggested the country was capable of having such weapons.

He added: 'I was told they knew where the weapons were housed.

"I remember thinking at the time that it was nearly as if they could give me the street name and number where they were located". He has said it was withheld from the British government.

One month after Rumsfeld's confidential paper, President Bush went on record for the first time with the assertion that Iraq "possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons" and was "seeking nuclear weapons".

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