Iraq: the 45-minute warning and the dossier in three inquiries

The academic and historian Professor Geoffrey Warner has kindly authorised me to publish on this website a short but meticulously researched paper comparing the evidence given to three official inquiries — Butler, Hutton and now Chilcot — about the famous (or infamous) warning in one of the two Iraq dossiers that Saddam Hussein could have WMD ready for launch within 45 minutes of giving the order. The comparison identifies some notable and suggestive inconsistencies from which Professor Warner draws an equally interesting and irresistible conclusion.

Professor Warner’s paper, “Alastair Campbell, Jonathan Powell and the 45-Minute Warning”, is at

It’s a useful advance brief for those planning to watch and listen to Tony Blair’s evidence to the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry on Friday, 29 January 2010.  (For the same purposes please also have a look at before Friday.)  Today’s evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry by Sir Michael Wood, Elizabeth Wilmshurst and David Brummell has been very gripping, and some of the documents that were dramatically declassified during the morning session are fascinating.  All these are available on the Iraq Inquiry website, itself a model of how to make available to all of us with internet access a huge mass of vital information, much of it only recently declassified.

I will be glad to pass on to Professor Warner any comments on his paper that may be posted here, all of them welcome.