It is ten years since the suspicious death of the British weapons expert Dr David Kelly who disagreed with the claims of the dossier used by Tony Blair to justify committing the UK to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. His death has never been satisfactorily explained. The journalist Andrew Gilligan, who was a central figure in the furore over the Blair dossier’s claim that Saddam Hussein could have nuclear weapons in the air within 45 minutes has looked back at the years since Kelly’s death in a recent article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10192271/The-betrayal-of-Dr-David-Kelly-10-years-on.html
I wrote the diary below day by day during the Hutton Inquiry. Particularly noteworthy are these general matters:
1. The frequent contradiction of evidence.
2. The eagerness of Kelly’s wife and daughter to support the suicide theory.
3. The thinness of the suicide theory.
4 No public enquiry has every fingered a serving PM as being seriously at fault. That alone told you the Hutton inquiry would be a charade. Hutton’s willingness to sell-the-pass on honest enquiry was confirmed when he failed to recall Blair for re-examination in the second half of the hearing. The failure to publish the further submissions confirms Hutton’s tacit complicity in protecting Blair.
Robert Henderson 2 August 2013
The Hutton Inquiry
Preliminary statement 1 8 2003
Lord Hutton opened the inquiry today, 1 August. He made a statement detailing how he would proceed generally, the sequence of events leading up to the inquiry and the detailed agenda of witness hearing.
The main points are:
1. He and he alone will determine the way the inquiry is conducted, citing Lord Scarman’s words in the 1974 Red lion disturbances inquiry.
2. He will hold public hearings except where national security prevents it.
3. A transcript of the public hearings will be available to the public.
4. Lord Hutton delayed a decision on the issue of televising the proceedings until the inquiry reconvenes on 11 August.
5. Lord Hutton will allow cross-examination where he deems it necessary.
6. Those called before the committee will be allowed to use legal representation.
7. Lord Hutton will call, amongst others, Blair, Straw, Campbell, Hoon, MoD civil servants, BBC members including Gavin Davies and Dr Kelly’s widow to give evidence.
8. Lord Hutton has the post-mortem report compiled by a Dr Hunt. This suggests death was due to bleeding. However, it also revealed that Kelly had serious coronary disease and this may have contributed to the speed of his death. Intriguingly, Kelly had four electrode pads such as are used for ECGs on his chest (I have ECGs performed regularly. Occasionally the technician will forget to remove an odd pad but it is pretty rare. Moreover, if they do forget it is very obvious that they have done so – RH ).
9. Dr Kelly’s wrist was described as having several cuts and the watch had been taken after bleeding had begun. Dr Hunt, rather oddly, took this as an indication that it was suicide.
10. Lord Hutton will call both medical evidence on Dr Kelly’s physical state and psychiatric advice as to what his state of mind might have been.
11. Lord Hutton will seek details of what religious tenets the Baha’i faith might have which could have affected Dr Kelly’s attitude to death.
12. Lord Hutton will consider submissions from anyone who thinks they have useful information to give. (This is my note taken directly from his broadcast address. RH)
-Note: I rang them today and attendance for the public is first come first served on the day. I know court 73. It is not large. There will be places reserved fro the media, so public seats will be very limited.
No schedule of hearing dates is yet available. RH
For public attendance enquiries, please contact the Hutton Inquiry team on 0207 855 5295 .
For Press attendance enquiries, please contact Mike Burrell on 0207 210 8692.
Unless otherwise noted all hearings will take place in Courtroom 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
At the opening of the Kelly Inquiry, Lord Hutton stated that the four ECG electrode pads found on Kelly’s chest had been placed there by the ambulance staff who had attended the discovery of his body. They supposedly put them on the chest to allow them to test for any heart action.
So, we are asked to believe that it takes three weeks for this explanation to come to light – surely the ambulance staff would have come forward rapidly? Moreover, would paramedics check for heart activity in this manner? Is it normal practice? Opinion in the main British ngs seems to be that it is within the competence of paramedics but not routine practice. RH
Whose in for a grilling this week from the Hutton Inquiry ?
The inquiry does not sit on Fridays. Day 5 will be next Monday. During WC 18 Aug Alastair Campbell and Tom Kelly (No 10 spokesman who called David Kelly a Walter Mitty) will appear. RH
THE INQUISITORIAL PHASE
The Hutton Inquiry day 1 – 11 8 2003
At the opening of the Kelly Inquiry, Lord Hutton stated that the four ECG electrode pads found on Kelly’s chest had been placed there by the ambulance staff who had attended the discovery of his body. They supposedly put them on the chest to allow them to test for any heart action.
So, we are asked to believe that it takes three weeks for this explanation to come to light – surely the ambulance staff would have come forward rapidly? Moreover, would paramedics check for heart activity in this manner? Is it normal practice? Opinion in the main British ngs seems to be that it is within the competence of paramedics but not routine practice.
Two other important points.
(1) It was confirmed that Kelly was a high level state employee who was THE British expert in his field, who had top level security clearance and who worked with the security services of various countries. Ergo, he had every reason both to know what the WMD evidence was and to have knowledge of intelligence service dissatisfaction with the dossier.
(2) he was a disappointed man who may well have felt moved to tell the truth to Andrew Gilligan out of pique at what he saw was a lack of official recognition. RH
The Hutton Inquiry day 2 – 12 9 2003
The BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan, stood by his story that Kelly had raised the subject of the dubious nature of some of the intelligence and the name of Campbell but admitted some of his language in one Today interview was unfortunate – he suggested that the government knew the 45-minute warning was wrong when it was merely dubious because it came from a single source.
The Newsnight reporter, Susan Watts, also gave evidence which supported Gilligan’s story in its main details, the 45-minute source, Campbell’s involvement etc.
Watts’ tape of her meeting with Kelly is to be broadcast to the Inquiry today. RH
The Hutton Inquiry day 3 – 13 9 2003
The main entertainment of the day was the Newsnight presenter Susan Watt’s tape of a meeting she had had with Kelly. Unfortunately the tape was of poor quality and even with technical enhancement was unclear in parts.
An interesting development was conflict between Watts and her employers (the BBC). The BBC had a transcript of the tape made which Watts was not satisfied with and she made her own which differed places where she used “her recollection of the meeting” to “clarify” indistinct passages.
Watts claimed that BBC management had tried to pressurise her into massaging her story to agree with Andrew Gilligan’s and she had refused to do so. (Interestingly, Watts has her own legal representation at the hearing, reputedly paid for by the BBC).
Despite Watts claims about BBC management’s attempts to tailor her story, the odd thing was that the tape essentially told the same story as Gilligan had told – Kelly is to heard saying that the British intelligence bods are unhappy with the treatment of their material and that No 10 is the point at which it was mistreated – with the exception of claiming directly that Campbell had doctored the story.
Even here the difference is less than decisive. On the tape Kelly is to heard saying that the NO 10 press office was responsible for altering the dossier. When Watts asks him if Campbell was involved, Kelly says he cannot say that but adds that the No 10 press office is “Synonymous with Campbell” because he runs it.
Bizarrely, Watts interprets this as a clear statement that Campbell had not part in altering the balance and tone of the dossier with regard to the 45-minute warning. To most people, including me, it looks like a routine oblique finger-pointing at Campbell by Kelly “I can’t name him but nudge, nudge, wink, wink…”
Very odd behaviour by Watts, suggesting she had been got at by either the security services or NuLabcur.
The question also has to be asked, if the BBC did try to get her to massage her story, why on earth did they bother? Her story and Gilligan’s did not contradict one another in any fundamental way and her tape supported Gilligan’s on all the major points of his original story. RH
The Hutton Inquiry day 4 – 14 9 2003
The main interest on day 4 was the involvement of the Government, MoD and by implication, the intelligence services, in exposing Kelly to public scrutiny.
The permanent under secretary at the MoD, Sir Kevin Tebbit, advised that Kelly appear only before the Commons Security and Intelligence committee – which meets in private – and not before the Foreign Affairs Committee which holds public hearings. He was overruled by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Minister.
Kelly was called to two internal MoD disciplinary meetings. At the first he was “read the riot act” . The second took place after Blair wanted a further examination of the discrepancies between Gilligan and Kelly’s account of what was said. Mr Velveteen’s wishes were committed to paper in a letter from Sir David Omand, the Cabinet
Office co-ordinator of intelligence. At the disciplinary second interview, Kelly was interviewed by the MoD head of personnel, Richard Hatfield.
The head of the Joint Intelligence Committee , John Scarlett, wanted Kelly subjected to a “security-style” interview to “clarify” inconsistencies in Kelly’s remarks. This never took place. Kelly was told at his first disciplinary interview that if further details came out which contradicted his original story, he could face further disciplinary action. However, on 14 July, three days before Kelly’s death, a friend of Kelly’s a foreign office employee, Patrick Lamb, phoned Kelly to assure him that his pension was safe and added “David, the worst is over. You have nothing to fear.
Kelly was receiving phone calls and emails from the MoD hierarchy right up to his death, including one from his line manager Brian Wells, after Kelly had gone for his final walk. RH
Other Kelly news in the week:
The Kelly Inquest was resumed yesterday, 14 August, by the Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, to hear medical evidence not available at the previous hearing.
An amended cause of death was submitted. This stated that Kelly’s death was from a “massive haemorrhage” from the left wrist, compounded by furred arteries, which Kelly probably did not know about. An overdose, but not a fatal one, of co-proxamol was found in his body.
One can understand that tests for drugs would take time, but why would death through massive haemorrhaging not have been immediately obvious from the post mortem?
Also, how likely is massive haemorrhaging likely to take place from a cut to a single wrist? RH
Monday, 18 August
Pam Teare Ministry of Defence Press Office
Jonathan Powell Prime Minister’s Office
David Manning Prime Minister’s Office
Tuesday, 19 August
Alastair Campbell Prime Minister’s Office
David Manning Prime Minister’s Office
Wednesday, 20 August
Sir Kevin Tebbit Ministry of Defence
Godric Smith Prime Minister’s Press Office
Tom Kelly Prime Minister’s Press Office
Thursday, 21 August
Donald Anderson MP Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Nick Rufford Sunday Times, journalist
James Blitz Financial Times, journalist
Richard Norton-Taylor Guardian, journalist
Tom Baldwin The Times, journalist
Lee Hughes Hutton Inquiry Secretariat
The Hutton Inquiry Day 5 – 18 8 2003
— Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff appeared, Sir David Manning, Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor and Pam Teare, MoD director of news, appeared. Main points:
1. Powell admitted no consideration was given to the effect on Kelly on being forced into the public fold – failure of an employer’s duty of care.
2. An email sent by Powell before the Sept 2002 dossier was published and referring to an earlier draft, ran: “The document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.
In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours, let alone the West.” Clear evidence that the original draft was altered to demonstrate a political point rather than an interpretation of the raw intelligence.
3. On Sept 5 2002 Alastair Campbell chaired a meeting of the Iraq Communications Group. Afterwards Powell emailed Campbell asking what was going on. Campbell replied: “Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS [John Scarlett, chairman of JIC] and Julian M [Miller , head of Cabinet Office Assessment staff] in charge…Structure as per TB’s[Tony Blair’s] discussion.”
4. On July 7 2003 Balir called a meeting of Sir David Manning, Sir Kevin Tebbit (MoD permanent Secretary), John Scarlett (chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee), Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary), Alistair Campbell, Jonathan Powell and others to discuss the matter.
5.Blair was concerned about Kelly might say before the committee, ie that he would say something at odds with the official Government line on the dossier – Powell: “The Prime Minister asked what do we know of Dr Kelly’s views on weapons of mass destruction?” Kelly was probably only allowed to go to the FAC after Balir had been reassured that Kelly was a supporter of the invasion.
6. An email from Tom Kelly, the No 10 press spokesman, was introduced to the evidence. It read ” It is now a game of chicken with the BBC. The only way they will shift is if they see the screw tightening.”
7. Kelly reviewed the final draft of the Sept 2002 dossier with defence intelligence staff.
8. Powell admitted that Kelly’s identification to the media was done to disprove the BBC story. At the time Blair and co. were unaware of Kelly’s deep involvement in the intelligence side of the dossier.
Because of this No 10 believed exposing Kelly would discredit Gilligan as Kelly could not possibly have known what the dossier contained or the disputes which had arisen between the intelligence people and No 10. If true, it reveals an incredible ineptitude by Blair and co. in not establishing Kelly’s true status and knowledge before throwing him to the media.
From: Jonathan Powell
Sent: 17 September 2002 19.41
To: Scarlett John – SEC – A
Cc: Alastair Campbell; David Manning
The dossier is good and convincing for those who are prepared to be convinced. I have only three points, none of which affect the way the document is drafted and presented. First the document does nothing to demonstrate a threat, let alone an imminent threat to Saddam.
In other words it shows he has the means but it does not demonstrate he has the motive to attack his neighbours let alone the west. We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that he is an imminent threat. The case we are making is that he has continued to develop WMD since 1998, and is in breach of the UN resolutions. The international community has to enforce those resolutions if the UN is to be taken seriously. Second we will be asked about the connections with Al Que’ada. (The next section is blanked out but seems to start with) The dossier says nothing about those and TB will need…? ( it continues) Third, if I was Saddam I would take a party of western journalists to Ibn Sina factory or one of the others pictured in the document to demonstrate there is nothing there. How do we close off that avenue to him in advance.
From: Jonathan Powell
Sent: 5 September 2002 14.41
To: Alastair Campbell
what is the timing on preparation of it and publication? Will TB have something he can read on the plane to the US? —original message— From: Sandra Powell On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell
Sent: 5 September 2002 14.38
To: Alastair Campbell
Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS and Julian M in charge, which JS will take to US next Friday, and be in shape Monday thereafter.
Structure as per TB’s discussion. Agreement that there has to be real intelligence material in their presentation as such.
From: Jonathan Powell
Sent: 5 September 2002 13.50
To: Alastair Campbell
( A blank section, then)
What did you decide on dossiers?
The Hutton Inquiry day 19 8 2003
The Inquiry devoted most the day to questioning Alastair Campbell. Campbell’s performance can be summed up as er, didn’t see that… er can’t remember… er… if I’d known them what I know now… er… 1. References to dossiers in emails to Campbell, from Campbell, between other No 10 staff, before a meeting on 5 Sept 2002 between Campbell and various MoD and FO officials were, Campbell said, not references to drafts of the dossier but, wait for it, “documents”.
2. At the meeting of 5 Sept 2002, Campbell claims that it was decided to create a new dossier. Challenged by Lord Hutton – “It looks like a fairly detailed draft dossier [Mr Campbell]” – about his email to Jonathan Powell of 5 Sept that ran “Re dossier, substantial rewrite, with JS [John Scarlett, chairman of JIC] and Julian M [Miler, head of Cabinet Office Assessment staff] in charge…Structure as per TB’s [Tony Blair’s] discussion…” Campbell replied “I don’t recall this document forming a substantial part of our discussions [on writing a new dossier]. In other words, a an earlier draft dossier did exist and Campbell must have had sight of it.
3. Various emails relating to the early drafts of the dossier were introduced into the evidence, for example, an email from David Pruce, an FO press officer working in no 10, called for the dossier to be “personalised” and concentrate on Saddam Hussein. In another mail to Philip Bassett, a special adviser in Downing Street, Pruce wrote ” I think we are in a lot of trouble as this stands.” Campbell claimed that he had either not seen the emails or they were disregarded because the people sending them were acting above their station.
4. A week before publication, Campbell asked the Joint Intelligence Committee for 15 changes to the re-written dossier. The JIC accepted some and refused others. The question has to be asked, if intelligence is to be trusted, why should politicians and their creatures have any influence into its presentation?
5. Campbell admitted that it was in his interest for Kelly to have been identified.
6. Campbell said that with out old friend hindsight things could have been handled better in presenting Kelly to the media.
7. Campbell claimed that Blair had told him to “stand back” from the question of what to do about Kelly after Kelly had admitted that he might be Gilligan’s source.
8. An email from the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan to a Lib Dem member of the Foreign Office select committee, David Chidgey, MP for Eastleigh, has come to light. This suggested that Chidgey ask Kelly certain questions when he appeared before the committee, including Kelly’s assessment of the threat from Iraq saying with Gilligan saying that : “If [Kelly is] allowed to answer frankly it will be devastating.” RH
The Hutton Inquiry Day 7 20 8 2003
No 10 mediafolk Tom Kelly and Godric Smith official (title: The Prime Ministers Official Spokesman) and Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, provided the main entertainment of the day.
1. Kelly was the No 10 creature who called David Kelly a “Walter Mitty fantasist”. Asked why he had described him so, Kelly said: “it was a mistake to be sucked into that conversation in that climate.” Not ashamed or morally wrong, but simply an error of tactics. Kelly claimed he had been speaking off the record.
2. Asked if he was trying to plant an impression in journalists minds, Kelly said:” I wanted journalists to be aware of possible questions and issues from the government’s perspective.”
Godric Smith (Smith has already announced that he would be leaving No 10’s employment before the Kelly story broke).
1. Smith related how he had overheard a conversation between Alastair Campbell and the defence secretary Geoff Hoon (on speaker phone) in which Campbell suggested that “the news that an individual had come forward who could be the possible source be given that evening to one paper”. This rather destroys Campbell’s claim in evidence yesterday that he had kept well away from the Kelly affair on Blair’s orders.
2. Asked why drafts of the Sept 2002 dossier had landed on the desks of relatively junior press officers when it was supposedly “owned” by the intelligence services, Smith said “It is not unknown fro drafts of documents to be circulated”. Compare this with Campbell’s assertion that the oversight of the dossier was kept within senior advisors and civil servants.
Sir Kevin Tebbit
1. Tebbit confirmed that Geoff Hoon had overridden his wish to keep away from the Foreign Affairs select committee. On being asked how he felt about it, Sir Kevin replied: ” I acquiesced. It’s perfectly reasonable for ministers to decide who appears before committees, not for officials. That was the secretary of state’s prerogative and I accepted that.”
2. Tebbit advised ministers that Kelly should not be treated as a “windfall bonus”.
3. Lord Hutton asked why, after the Foreign Affairs committee had exonerated Campbell of the charge of deliberately putting in false
evidence and the BBC had accepted that Campbell had not done so, that it was necessary to expose Kelly to public view. Sir Kevin replied: “The pressure and strain issue was not one we were aware of in the sense you are implying,” A clear failure of an employer’s duty of care.
4. Sir Kevin said that he had had no input into the dossier whatsoever, an amazing thing if true as he is in charge of the MoD. Taking his statement as true, it means the dossier responsibility was kept strictly within No 10 and the intelligence agencies.
Documents released by the Inquiry yesterday showed that Campbell had urged a change to the text of the “45-minute warning”, changing a “may” to an “are” in the original se text. The change was ostensibly to ensure that the summary and the main text agreed in sentiment. Compare this with his claim to the Inquiry that he had no influence “whatsoever” in the wording of the claim of 45 minutes deployment.
The Foreign Affairs committee have also complained that Campbell only mention 11 of his 15 suggested changes to the dossier when he appeared before them. RH
The Hutton Inquiry days 8 – 22 August 2003
The main players were Donald Anderson, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) and a surprise witness, David Broucher, a British FO diplomat who is Britain’s permanent representative to the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva, an ambassador rank posting.
1. Anderson said that his instincts were against calling Kelly at all because he did not want to get involved in the dispute between the Government and the BBC. He agreed that Kelly should appear after Blair and Campbell made it clear they were determined he should appear.
2. Anderson revealed that the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon had imposed conditions on the questions David Kelly could be asked if he appeared before the FAC. These included the issue of Iraq’s WMDs. Anderson said that he agreed to the request because he thought it reasonable and also feared Kelly would not be allowed to appear at all if he refused Hoon’s request.
3. Anderson claimed that the briefing of an FAC member (David Chidgey) by Gilligan was “unusual and unprecedented” (Chortle). 4. Anderson said that he though the interviewing of Kelly by the committee had been fair overall.
1. Broucher met David Kelly in February 2003 before the decision to go to war had been officially made. 2. Broucher said that at that meeting Kelly , far from being 100% behind the war as previously claimed, was seriously disturbed by the prospect of war.
3. Broucher said Kelly had been telling Iraqi contacts working for Saddam Hussein that if they persuaded Hussein to cooperate with the weapons inspectors then no invasion would take place. By February Kelly doubted this and feared he would had put his contacts at risk if and when an invasion occurred because Hussein would see them as traitors.
4. Just before the end of their meeting Broucher asked Kelly what he thought would happen if an invasion took place. Kelly replied ” I will probably be found dead in the woods”. Broucher said he took it as a throwaway remark and thought little of it, thinking if it meant anything Kelly feared reprisals by Iraqis against him. Broucher did not mention it to anyone else at the time, and only revealed it to the Inquiry recently – see email at the bottom of the post.
Assuming Broucher is telling the truth, and there is no obvious reason why he should not be, what are we to make of Kelly’s statement? It could be indicative of either a deep feeling of pending moral betrayal by Kelly of his Iraqi contacts, he could, as Broucher surmised, be afraid of reprisals in the event of an invasion or it could simply be a flip remark without Kelly meaning anything serious by it.
If Kelly was in a suicidal mood or feared for his life from Iraqi before he became embroiled in the Gilligan affair, he both resisted the urge to kill himself and had the reassurance of not having been attacked for months after the invasion. The suicide and fear would surely have been diminishing if they existed at all. So, why would he kill himself in July after he had ostensibly got through the worst of whatever would happen to him? The answer may lie in the “dark actors”
Kelly referred to shortly before his death. Could he have been threatened by someone representing the British state or a foreign power?
The second page of Gilligan’s email to LibDem MP David Chidgey was released. It showed Gilligan trying to steer Chidgey away from Kelly as his source.
David Broucher’s memo to FCO
Text of ‘death in woods’ e-mail
This is the text of an e-mail sent by senior diplomat David Broucher to Patrick Lamb, deputy head of counter-proliferation at the Foreign Office on 5 August, 2003, marked confidential and personal.
Is the FCO preparing evidence for the Hutton Inquiry? If so, I may have something relevant to contribute that I have been straining to recover from a very deep memory hole.
In a conversation in Geneva which took place in late February, he explained to me that he thought that the weapons inspectors could have a good idea what the Iraqis had built and destroyed because they were inveterate keepers of written records, something they had, he thought, learnt from us. There was a paper file on everything down to the smallest item.
He said that his Iraqi contacts had pointed out to him that revealing too much about their state of readiness might well heighten the risk that they would be attacked. To gain their trust he had been obliged to assure them that if they complied with the weapons inspectors’ demands they would not be.
The implication was that if an invasion went ahead that would make him a liar and he would have betrayed his contacts, some of whom might be killed as a direct result of his actions. I asked what would happen then and he replied in a throwaway line he would probably be found dead in the woods.
I did not think much of this at the time, taking it to be a hint that the Iraqis might try and take revenge against him, something that did not seem at all fanciful then. I now see that he may have been thinking on rather different lines.
This aspect has not come out at all in the press, though for all I know it may be common knowledge amongst his colleagues, in which case my contribution would add nothing. But if it is a new thought, perhaps it should be fed in.
The Hutton Inquiry day 9 – 25 August 2003
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chairman, John Scarlett, provided the main event of the day. Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay, a Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) member, and Sir David Omand of the cabinet office also appeared.
Note: Scarlett’s evidence should be read in the knowledge that Alastair Campbell described him to the inquiry as “a mate”. It should also be remembered that Scarlett is a senior civil servant. Such people do not rise to their positions unless they are thought to be compliant personalities as far as politicians are concerned. The Yes Minster portrayal of politicians being terrified of civil servants is the exact reverse of the truth. (I write as an ex-head office civil servant in one of the largest departments). Newspaper reports also describe Scarlett as being very close to Blair and being a “moderniser” within MI6 when he worked there. (Moderniser = Blairite)
Scarlett’s approach to the Inquiry is essentially keep repeating the mantra “I was placed under no pressure by No 10” whilst conveniently forgetting evidence to contrary.
1. Scarlett denied feeling any pressure from No 10 to alter the wording of the Sept 2002 dossier.
2. The Inquiry’s chief counsel, James Dingemans QC, referred to an email sent by an (unnamed) member of Scarlett’s staff which ran: “Unsurprisingly, they [No10] have further questions and answers they want expanded… No 10 wants the document to be as strong as possible…” Scarlett denied that this was pressure on intelligence services to come up with something good.
3. Scarlett claimed he found it “quite useful to have presentational advice” from various Whitehall press officers such as John Williams, head of the FCO press office.
4. Alastair Campbell has told the inquiry that with regard to the 45 minute WMD claim, he had “No input, output or influence at any stage of the process” . Scarlett contradicted this by admitting that a memo from Campbell on 17 Sept 2003 – seven days before the dossier was published – amounted to requests for changes such as changing the use may in the sentence “the Iraqi military may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons with 45 minutes”. Scarlett replied the next day to Campbell saying the language had been “tightened”. Scarlett denied that such changes were more than presentational and fell into the realm of intelligence assessment.
5. Scarlett received several more emails from Campbell with further suggestions. 6. The 45 minute claim first appeared in an intelligence assessment from MI6 on 30 August and appeared first in dossier in the draft of 5 Sept 2003, ie before Alastair Campbell denies seeing any form of the dossier.
7. In the published dossier the 45-minute claim was unqualified stating that the Iraqi military “are able to deploy chemical and biological weapons with 45 minutes of an order to do so.”
8. Scarlett denied that there had been any dissent within “the intelligence community” over the dossier despite the claim by a former JIC head, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, that the dossier had caused “turbulence” within intelligence circles.
9. During his questioning, reference was made to a Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) meeting to discuss the strong terms in which an early draft was couched. David Kelly attended that meeting which supports his claim to have inside and detailed knowledge of the dossier development and the opinion of intelligence officers of the dossier and the way it was being changed. Kelly;s involvement at such a high level conflicts with Scarlett’s claim that Kelly could not have given the information Gilligan claims he gave.
1. Mackinlay was the MP who described Kelly as “chaff” at his FAC appearance.
2. MacKinlay defended his aggressive FAC questioning because Kelly was prevaricating.
3. MacKinlay described Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon’s restriction on what could be asked of Kelly by the FAC as ” monumental cheek”.
4. He criticised Gilligan’s contact with a FAC member to influence him in his questioning of Kelly.
Sir David Omand
1. Omand revealed that Geoff Hoon had originally wanted Kelly to appear before the Commons security and intelligence committee in public session, a procedure absolutely out of the ordinary for this committee which almost invariably sits in camera.
2. Omand admitted that the MoD owed Kelly a duty of care as their employee.
What has the Inquiry shown so far?
1. The complete absence of cabinet involvement in either the dossier
the Kelly affair before his death.
2. Blair’s utter reliance on an unelected circle of favourites.
3. No obvious trigger for Kelly to kill himself has emerged.
The Hutton Inquiry day 10 – 27 8 2003
The Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon provided the main entertainment of the day. Having arrived to a crowd of demonstrators outside the Royal Courts of Justice singing “You ain’t nothing but a Hoondog, lyin’ all the time”, Hoon proceeded to unwittingly engage in the most excoriating exercise in self humiliation as he comprehensively denied having any meaningful function within either the Government or the ministry of which he is supposed to be in charge. His performance can be summed up as “I am a British cabinet minister… I know nothing”.
Others to appear were a friend and work colleague, Wing-Commander John Clark and a Labour MP, Ann Taylor, who is a member of the Commons Intelligence and Security committee to which David Kelly gave evidence in camera.
1. Hoon said that he had first learned of Kelly’s name on 4 July from Sir Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD.
2. Hoon claimed that he had not wanted to name Kelly before it was certain that he was the BBC source and that was not certain until after Kelly’s death.
3. Hoon said that the only person outside government to whom he had revealed the name was the chairman of the BBC, Gavyn Davies, and that revelation was
4. Hoon denied he was involved in a proposal by Alastair Campbell to leak Kelly’s name to the media. Godric Smith gave evidence that he had overheard a conversation on speakerphone between Campbell and Hoon in which Campbell suggested leaking to a paper.
5. Hoon denied he had been involved in the MoD decision to interview Kelly after he had admitted talking to Gilligan.
6. Hoon claimed that the decision to issue a public statement revealing that an unnamed civil servant had been identified as the BBC source was made in Downing St and the Cabinet Office.
7. Hoon denied that as far as he was concerned, “there was some sort of conspiracy, some sort of plan, some sort of plan to covertly make his [Kelly’s] name known [to the media]”.
8. Hoon claimed that he had not seen the instructions issued to MoD press officers instructing them to confirm a name if it was put to them by the media, although under questioning he admitted knowing of its existence; “I was obviously aware of the advice that I had received that if the right name was given to the MoD press office they should confirm it”.
9. Hoon admitted he had overridden the advice of the MoD permanent secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, that Kelly should not give evidence in public before the Foreign Affairs Committee, but, bizarrely, tried to evade responsibility by saying that his private secretary. Peter Watkins, had written the letter overruling Tebbit, not Hoon himself.
1. Clark shared an office with Kelly at the MoD. He is an expert in counter proliferation and arms control. He described Kelly as being THE EXPERT when it came to understanding Iraq’s WMD status.
2. Clark said that Kelly had not, as Downing Street and the MoD claimed, resigned to his name being made public.
3. Clark said that Kelly was much disturbed by having to appear before TV cameras.
4. Clark said that the Kelly’s were greatly unsettled by the media attention which forced them to flee to Cornwall.
5. Clark said that even after Kelly’s appearances before the Commons committees, he [Clark] and other MoD officials were forced to harry
Kelly with further questions sent to them by the Foreign Affairs Committee.
6. Clark said that Kelly was utterly thrown by the FAC question about the Newsnight journalist, Susan Watts, because he had not expected her name to come up.
1. Taylor said that in evidence given in camera to the Intelligence and Security Select Committee, “He [Kelly] did describe the dossier as accurate – as a fair reflection of the intelligence available at the time.” RH
The Hutton Inquiry day 11 – 28 8 2003
The appearance of Tony Blair and Gavyn Davies (BBC Chairman)
Balir arrived with his usual small army of bodyguards in a bullet-proof car (very wise) and passed a group of demonstrators with a tasteful array of Blair masks with Pinocchio noses and BLIAR placards.
His evidence is best summed up as “I take full responsibility for everything but none of it was my fault. ”
1. Blair gave evidence for two and a half hours. His answers showed he had been intimately involved in the strategy to deal with the Kelly affair after Kelly admitted he had spoken to Andrew Gilligan – Blair convened at least 3 meetings in four days of senior defence and intelligence staff to deal with the matter. Compare this with http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=438133
“Just over five weeks ago, on learning of Dr Kelly’s apparent suicide during an official flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, the Prime Minister had “categorically” and “emphatically” denied he had played a part in revealing the scientist’s name…
“But the Prime Minister, under questioning, conceded that no one was even present from the MoD at a crucial meeting on 8 July, chaired by him, in which the decision was taken to issue a statement about a civil servant coming forward as Mr Gilligan’s contact. He also acknowledged there was no such thing as “normal MoD procedure” in this unusual situation.”
2. Bizarrely, Blair claimed that the MoD had been left in charge of dealing with Kelly while admitting that he had been intimately involved.
3. Blair claimed that Kelly’s name would have come out regardless. This is nonsense. Had Kelly kept quiet, Gilligan would have done and nothing could have been established. Had the MoD and No 10 kept quiet after Kelly came forward (I have my doubts whether he did this – I suspect he was already under surveillance and suspicion by Special Branch), Gilligan would have kept quiet and no one outside Government would have known Kelly was involved.
4. Blair said the Sept 2002 dossier was produced after he had spoken with Bush about Iraq and they had decided “something must be done”.
5. Blair had the same memory lapses as Campbell, Hoon et al. He had no recollection of seeing any draft dossier before 10 Sept. He had no recollection of John Scarlett (JIC chairman) wanting Kelly to be subjected to a “security interview”. He had no knowledge of any scheme to leak Kelly’s name to the media. In fact he could remember precious little of anything which happened.
6. Blair denied categorically that he or anyone else in NO10 had inserted the “45 minutes” notice of biological and chemical attack into the Sept 2002 dossier.
7. Blair said that if the charge of tampering with intelligence, in particular the 45-minute charge, to justify action against Iraq had been true he would have had to resign because it was “an attack that went to the heart of the office of prime minister, but also …to the credibility of the country.” (Note to Mr Velveteen: you must resign immediately because this has been objectively established).
8. Blair claimed the dossier did not make the case for war but merely laid out the then position regarding Iraq’s WMDs.
9. On four occasions Blair he said he took “full responsibility” without saying what it was exactly he took full responsibility for, but claimed that all the decisions he was responsible for were the right decisions: “I take full responsibility for the decisions…I stand by them; I believe they were the right decisions.” (I suggest readers have a quick lie down after reading that).
10. Blair admitted he was the first person to tell someone in Government that a source had come forward when he spoke to Gavyn Davies. Blair said that he felt that the only way to resolve the dispute with the BBC was for the BBC to issue “a clear and unequivocal# statement that the original story was wrong.
11. Blair was disconcerted by an email sent by Godric Smith, his official spokesmen, to his private secretary, Clare Sumner on 9 July, the day after the MoD had announced it had identified the possible source of Gilligan’s story. . Miss Sumner claimed that she had not opened the email until w/c 18 Aug. The purpose of the email appeared to be to instruct Labour members of the FAC to insist David Kelly appeared. The text of the email runs:
“In the light of the new evidence from the MoD last night and the BBC’s own statement in response we believe we need to see AG [Andrew Gilligan], RS [Richard Sambrook, the BBC news chief] and source.
“If the individual who has come forward is the same source as the BBC source then we know he is not a senior intelligence source, which we believe could be material to our inquiry.
“”AG said in answer to John Maples [a tory on the committee] that he had only discussed the WMD dossier with one source before the story was broadcast. We now know from the MoD statement that, if this individual is not the source, that statement cannot be correct. This too could be material to our inquiry.”
There was no indication on the email to whom it had been sent apart from Miss Sumner, but the wording is clearly intended to give the FAC reasons to call Kelly. Blair denied any knowledge of the email.
1. Davies apologised for the conduct of Andrew Gilligan in suggesting questions to a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The matter is to be referred to the BBC board of governors.
2. Davies said it was wrong for a journalist to reveal a source of another journalist’s work as Gilligan appeared to have done by revealing Kelly’s link with Susan Watts, the BBC Newsnight presenter, in his email to a Lib Dem research assistant who passed the information to Lib Dem MP, David Chidgey. Davies offered a partial excuse for Gilligan’s behaviour by saying that Gilligan was under great pressure and thought the FAC was trying to discredit him as a journalist.
3. Davies blamed Alastair Campbell for keeping the story running and expanding it with his belligerent appearance before the FAC.
4. Describing his phone call with Blair on 7 July, Davies said that Blair wanted to come to an agreement with the BBC to lower the temperature. This did not happen because the BBC stood by Gilligan.
5. Davies said it was reasonable for the BBC to report a source who was trusted on the basis that it was simply their opinion and not that of the BBC.
6. Davies accepted that Gilligan had made a mistake in his first broadcast of 29 May when he claimed that the Government had inserted the 45-minute claim into the dossier. Asked by Lord Hutton why the BBC had not offered a qualified withdrawal, Davies replied that it was up to people to make their assessment of what was said.
7. Davies said that Gilligan reporting style was one written in primary colours not in shades of grey.
8. Davies did make a reasonably convincing display of regret at Kelly’s death, unlike anyone on the NuLabcur side to date. RH
The Hutton Inquiry – Day 12 – 1 9 2003
The day was taken up by David Kelly’s widow, Janice, 58, daughter Rachel and sister, Mrs Sarah Pope. Mrs Kelly and Rachel gave their evidence via audiolink.
I. Mrs Kelly said that it was part of her husband’s job to talk to the media.
2. Mrs Kelly noticed a change in her husband’s behaviour towards the end June – the same time when he began to suspect people thought he was Gilligan’s source. (It is worth noting that Kelly’s subsequent claim that Gilligan’s report bore little relationship to what he had told him sits ill with the suspicion that he was being fingered as the source. After all, if he had merely given Gilligan innocuous technical information, why would Kelly have been suspected or thought himself to be suspected?). Eventually, Kelly told his wife one evening that he was going for a walk to “think something through”. Soon after he made his admission to the MoD.
3. Mrs Kelly contradicted the claim put out by both No 10, Blair and the MOD, that Kelly expected to identified. According to Mrs Kelly the first he suspected it was when he heard on the TV news of 8 July that the MoD had admitted that someone had come forward as Gilligan’s source. Kelly told his wife at that point that he was the person who had come forward.
Mrs Kelly asked whether his job or pension were threatened. Kelly said they could be if things got worse. Note: Kelly was told before he died that his pension was safe.
4. On 9 July, a Sunday Times journalist Nick Rufford visited their home. He spent four or five minutes with Kelly before Kelly said “Please leave now”. Kelly then told his wife that Rufford had told him his name was about to be made public and the media would be on the way en masse. Kelly then said Rupert Murdoch had offered hotel accommodation for the Kellys away from the then media if Kelly would write an article for them. Rufford subsequently wrote up his brief meeting with Kelly as a full blown interview. Kelly commented: “Thanks Nick, the MoD will think I have been talking to the papers after I expressly said I wouldn’t.”
5. Mrs Kelly said that the first Kelly had known of his name being made public was when Rufford told him. The first he knew of the MoD press statement was after the event.
6. The MoD then rang and told them to leave in five minutes. They left within ten minutes and went to a hotel in Weston-Super-Mare. At no time did the MoD provide them with any active support.
7. Mrs Kelly said that her husband had felt “let down”: “He told me several times that he felt totally let down and betrayed … by the way the MoD had let his name be known.” Note: we know from previous evidence that the MoD wanted to keep Kelly’s name out the media but were overridden by No Blair.
8. Mrs Kelly described how, after Kelly’s name came out, he appeared more and more unhappy and “diminished”. He was not only angry about his “outing” by the MoD but regarded his description as a middle ranking civil servant as demeaning.
9. Mrs Kelly said that on the day of his death, 17 July, David Kelly worked in study until the early afternoon. Mrs Kelly said he was subdued and looked “wretched”…I just thought he had a broken heart , he had shrunken into himself. He couldn’t put two sentences together”.
Note: I wonder if I am alone in finding the evidence of Mrs Kelly and her daughter a little Mills and Boonish?
10. The police informed her of Kelly’s death on the 18 July and showed her a photocopy of a knife which she identified as an old Boy Scouts knife he had had since childhood.
1. Rachel said that her father was “really very, very deeply traumatised by the fact that [it] would be televised. It was playing onhis mind.” When he arrived at her house the day before he appeared the Commons committee she could “see in his face [that] there was a lot of distress and anxiety… he seemed childlike and I was conscious that our roles had reversed, he needed me to look after him.”
2. Rachel said that when she saw her father on 15 July soon after he had given his evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs (FAC) Committee he was angry at his treatment describing one of the MPs – probably Andrew MacKinlay who accused him of being a “fall guy” and “chaff” – as “an utter bastard” for the manner in which he had asked his questions. All he would say generally about the experience was that it was “very hard” and blame himself for memory failures.
3. Rachel said that her father expressed incredulity at Gilligan’s report being based on what he had told him. Here we know, from the tape made by the Newsnight reporter, Susan Watts, that Kelly lied, just as he lied to the FAC. Doubtless he was trying to create a protective fictional shell to protect himself, both emotionally and to sustain the story he had told since his admission to his MoD line manager onwards.
3. Rachel described how her father had been rather thrown by the change in his schedule in the Commons. He was scheduled to appear before the Intelligence and Security committee (ISC) in camera before the FAC public hearing and had hoped to use the ISC appearance as a dry run for the FAC. In the event the ISC meeting was put back until the following day and Kelly had to go before the cameras with the FAC without any “practise”.
1. Mrs Pope said that David Kelly had, a ten years or so after the event, given her some sketchy details of his debriefing of a biological weapons expert, a task Mrs Pope suggested which would only have been given to someone who was absolutely trusted.
2. Mrs Pope pointed to a possible discrepancy between the British Diplomat, David Broucher’s recollection of his meeting with David Kelly at which he said Kelly had claimed that if the Iraq invasion went ahead he would be found dead in the woods. Broucher put this in February 2000. Mrs Pope said that David Kelly’s diary put it a year earlier.
1. The painkillers found by Kelly were Mrs Kelly’s which she used for her arthritis.
2. Judging by a photograph published in the Daily Telegraph on 2 Sept, the Kellys own a substantial detached house. The house is in an expensive area. It must be worth 500,000 plus. Hence, the Kellys were not without assets.
The Hutton Inquiry – Day 13 – 2 9 2003
A medley of witnesses, the main among them being Prof Keith Hawton, Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University, Ruth Absolom, a neighbour who met him on his final walk, Louise Holmes, a volunteer dog handler in the local search and rescue team who found Kelly’s body, Det Sgt Geoffrey Webb of Thames Valley Police and Barney Leith, the secretary of the emanational Assembly of the Baha’i faith (in Britain).
Prof Keith Hawton
Note: The kindest and most accurate description of psychiatry is that it is institutionalised quackery. As the psychologist Hans Eysenck never ceased to enjoy pointing out, psychiatric treatment has no better record in curing those with psychiatric problems than the simple passing of time, ie, the evidence is that psychiatrists have no effect and their claims of cures and alleviations are simply attributable to the natural process of circumstances changing over time.
1. Hawton claimed that Kelly’s death was almost certainly suicide: “I am well-nigh certain.”
2. Hawton believed the trigger for suicide was Kelly’s sense of being publicly disgraced, his fear of losing his job (he was very near civil service retirement age) and the continuing pressure he was being placed under by the MoD to answer questions, including questions by MPs. On the day he vanished, he received an email from the MoD asking for further information to answer a question from the Tory Shadow Defence spokesman, Bernard Jenkin, about his links with the media. Ask by counsel to the inquiry, James Dingemans, to describe the factors leading to his death, Hawton said: “The major factor was the severe loss of self-esteem resulting from his feeling that people had lost trust in him and from his dismay at being exposed to the media.”
3. Hawton said that Kelly had swallowed approximately 30 co-proxamol painkilling tablets.
Note: These are meant to his wife’s. How many tablets did she normally have, how many were left in the bottle found by him and how many would the bottle hold?
4. Hawton said a majority of suicides did not leave a suicide note.
5. Hawton claimed that a lay person would not have been able to anticipate Kelly’s suicide from his behaviour.
6. Faced with evidence such as Kelly’s arrangement with his daughter to meet her on the 18 July and an emails sent at 11.18 am on the day of his disappearance which expressed optimism for the future, Hawton said this pointed to Kelly’s decision to kill himself came late in the day: “It is my opinion that it is likely that he formed the intention either during the morning, or during the early part of the afternoon before that walk.” Dontcha just love the way psychiatrists fit the facts to
1. Absolom is the last person known to have seen Kelly alive.
2. Absolom described Kelly as “his normal self”.
3. “See you again, then Ruth”. The last words of Kelly as he bade Absolom goodbye.
1. Holmes said that her dog discovered Kelly shortly after 8am on the day after his disappearance. Note: This means the paradmedics must have seen Kelly’s body some time later. It is odds on that Kelly would have killed himself before dark the previous day. If so, he would have been dead for 12 hours or more by the time the paramedics saw him.
Rigor mortis would have begun to set in. Why did the paramedics not see that he was obviously dead and put the ECG pads on him, if indeed they did?
2. Holmes approached the body until she “stood within a few feet of the body… He was at the base of a tree with almost his head on his shoulders, just slumped back against the tree. His legs were straight in front of his, his right arm was to the side of him, his left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a funny position.”
Note: why the “funny” position?
3. Holmes said that she was convinced the body was Kelly’s and that he was dead.
Note: compare this with the paramedics behaviour.
4. Holmes checked for signs of life, found none and the went back to raise the alarm. She estimates her time at the scene of death to have been “probably a couple of minutes”.
5. A subsequent police search of the scene revealed a flat cap, glasses, a wristwatch, a scout knife and a bottle of painkillers. The police said there was no sign of a struggle.
Det Sgt Geoffrey Webb
1. Webb interviewed the Kelly family before the body was found.: “The Kelly family were very upbeat at that time. They were hopeful that no harm had come to Kelly and genuinely believed that perhaps he had become ill somewhere.”
Note: compare this with the evidence yesterday
of Mrs Kelly and Rachel Kelly that David Kelly had been most disturbed in the days leading up to his death.
2. Webb told the Inquiry that a photograph dated to 1993 of Dr Kelly outside the parliament building in Moscow standing with someone who looked very like Andrew Gilligan was removed from Kelly’s study.
Note: if it is Gilligan, it would mean both Kelly and Gilligan were lying about how long they have known one another. The BBC issued a statement on Gilligan’s behalf (2 Sept) saying that Gilligan had never been in Moscow. No denial from Gilligan himself.
1. Leith said that there was nothing in the Baha’i faith to encourage suicide.
1. Kelly was authorised to speak to the media but in theory only with official permission.
2. Kelly began “using his discretion” to speak without prior permission, with the unofficial agreement of his bosses. According to a letter from one of Kelly’s line bosses, Patrick Lamb, this worked well until the past year, with Dr Kelly telling the Foreign Office (FO) press office about his contacts after the event. By the beginning of 2003 Kelly began talking to journalists without telling the FO. The MoD also complained that they were not in the picture.
3. Kelly was only supposed to give technical information or objective details about individuals engaged in the WMD world, ie, what their job was. Section 6 of the MoD personnel manual, under the heading “Principles governing disclosure of information” the manual states “You must not comment on, or make disclosure of: classified or ‘in confidence’ information; relations between civil servants and ministers, and advice given to ministers, politically controversial issues…information that would conflict with MoD inter-state or bring the Civil Service into disrepute…anything that the MoD would regard as objectionable about individuals or organisation.” As the Newsnight reporter, Susan Watt’s tape showed, Kelly had gone way beyond this.
4. It follows from 3. that Kelly clearly lied to his superiors in the MoD, the two Commons Committees he gave evidence to and his family. It also explains why he was so disturbed the Foreign Affairs Committee member, Andrew MacKinlay, pressing him on his other contacts with the media.
5. Kelly denial of meeting another journalist, Gavin Hewitt, also comes into the category of a lie.
6. Kelly was receiving no medication from his GP, who had very little contact with him in the past few years. No history of depression.
7. An unopened letter from the MoD’s head of Personnel, Richard Hatfield containing an official reprimand was found in Kelly’s home. It was sent some days before Kelly’s death. The police opened the letter.
The Hutton Inquiry – Day 14 – 3 9 2003
The Inquiry heard evidence from Brian Jones, the recently retired assistant director (nuclear, chemical biological) in the Defence Analysis staff and a Mr A (The names A, James A). a chemical weapons analyst who was to chemical weapons what Kelly was to biological weapons.
1. Jones said that David Kelly provided expert advice to his staff. He, Jones, had a friendly relationship with Kelly.
2. Jones said that the term WMD had become a “convenient catch-all” and that it was difficult describe most chemical and biological weapons were dubiously described as such.
3. Jones described disquiet within his staff and other people involved in intelligence gathering at the way the information supplied to No
10 had been used. He described the use of the material as “over-egging”, ie the material was not invented but overemphasised. As a regular visitor to the department, Kelly was aware of the disquiet.
4. Jones said that reservations amongst his staff were not heeded by the JIC and left out of the dossier. Jones said of Mr A (see below) that “He was very concerned that some of the statements in the dossier did not accurately represent his assessment of the intelligence available to him.”
5. Jones was so concerned at this failure to accept expert opinion that he wrote a formal memo to the MoD’s Defence Intelligence Service putting his disquiet on the record.
6. Jones contradicted Alastair Campbell’s claim that he had only suggested presentational changes to the dossier. He said some of the changes suggested by Campbell to John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), such as the successful request to strengthen the word “may” in the 45-minute claim, were normally discussed between intelligence staff: “These are the kind of things which we spend hours debating. They are very important in this business. The use of a might or a may does convey some uncertainty in the information you are trying to present.”
7. Jones said that when he went on holiday in 2002 work on the dossier lacked urgency. When he returned from holiday on 30/8/02 he found the mood had changed and it was all hands to the dossier wheel. “”One of the first things that my staff told me was that the dossier had suddenly become very active and that they had been very busy working on it, looking at several drafts and responding to drafts in a very short timescale. It really had dominated their workload.”
8. Jones said that Kelly was one of the first people he saw when he returned from holiday. He asked Kelly his opinion of the dossier. Kelly said he “thought it was good”.
9. Asked by James Dingemans, chief counsel to the inquiry, whether the extra workload had causes complaint amongst his staff, Jones said: “There was certainly higher pressure than we normally relate to any particular single piece of work. My staff were being pressed to get their comments back to the assessment staff very quickly indeed.”
10. Jones said neither he nor his director had seen the new intelligence which supposedly backed up the claim that Iraq was producing chemical and biological weapons.
11. Jones said the 45-minute claim would have been acceptable to him with the qualification “intelligence indicates”.
The executive summary to the dossier said that the weapons “are deployable”. Jones thought that was “too strong.”
12. Jones said he was aware that people within No 10’s communications department were making suggestions about the dossier. Under questioning by Mr Dingemans, admitted that pressure had been brought to bear by No 10.
13. Jones said that to the best of his knowledge the final draft of the dossier had not been discussed by the JIC.
1. Mr A said he was a friend of Kelly.
2. When he read the draft dossier for the first time Mr A concluded: “There were errors of detail and errors of emphasis in my view.”
3. Mr A was most disturbed by the inclusion of a chemical plant at Al Qa’Qa which he did not view as a WMD threat. Mr A was so disturbed by this inclusion that he emailed Kelley on Sept, the day after the publication of the dossier saying”: You will recall [blank – who he?] admitting they were grasping at straws. Another example supporting our view that you and I should have been more involved in this than the spin merchants of this administration. Let’s hope it [the dossier] turns into tomorrow’s chip wrappers.”
The evidence of Jones and Mr A are utterly at odds with the No 10 version of disquiet over the use of intelligence. Blair and Straw before the Foreign Affairs committee (FAC) have denied categorically that they were aware of any dissent from within the intelligence services, while Alastair Campbell told the FAC that “I remember being called out of a breakfast with the Prime Minister and Polish prime minister because I had to speak to John Scarlett just to absolutely double/triple check there was nothing in this idea the intelligence agencies were somehow unhappy with the way we behaved during the thing. John said, ‘Absolutely. It is complete and utter nonsense and you can say that with my authority.'”
Scarlett told the Inquiry a week later: “I was not aware of any unhappiness within the intelligence community about the contents of the dossier and the judgments we were making in it.”
However, such denials are a little difficult to square with John Reid, the then leader of the Commons, saying earlier this year that “there have been uncorroborated briefings by a potentially rogue element – or indeed rogue elements – in the intelligence services… “I find it difficult to grasp why this should be believed against the word of theBritish Prime Minister and the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee”.
The Hutton Inquiry – Day 15 – 4 9 2003
A short day – Lord Hutton ended the proceedings around 1pm. The Inquiry is now adjourned until 15 Sept. The main players in the abbreviated day were Richard Taylor, a special adviser to the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, and The journalist Tom Mangold and a UN arms inspector Olivia Bosch.
1. Taylor said that Kelly was never told his name would be made public in the way it was made public. Note: This raises questions about the truth of Hoon’s claim that he had never seen the document instructing MoD press officers how to react to media questions.
2. Taylor revealed that Geoff Hoon, chaired a meeting on 9 July at which the decision to confirm Kelly’s name to journalists was made. Hoon failed to mention this meeting in his evidence. Others at the meeting were Pam Teare, MoD director of news, and Peter Watkins, Hoon’s permanent secretary.
3. Taylor said that the decision to put Kelly’s name in a letter to the BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies, was made at the same meeting. This contradicts Hoon’s claim that it was Jonathan Powell, chief of staff at No 10, who had made the decision.
4. Taylor confirmed the name of Kelly to a journalist from the Financial Times later in the day (9 July).
5. Taylor agreed with James Dingemans, chief counsel to the inquiry, that he had never previously confirmed a civil servants name to the media in such a manner.
1. Mangold used Kelly extensively in preparing his book Plague Wars. He knew Kelly well. He described Kelly as a “Decent honourable and well informed man”.
2. Mangold related a conversation he had with Kelly about the 45-minute claim: We gossiped about the 45-minute claim because I thought it seemed risible to me.” Kelly agreed that it was risible and “He [Kelly] did not think that the weapons could be deployed or activated within 45 minutes.”
3. Mangold said that identifying Kelly as Gilligan’s source was not that hard for those interested in the subject because “It is such a small world, the biological weapons world, and there aren’t many UK inspectors …I only know four or five. Of those, only he [Kelly] spoke to the press.”
4. Mangold emailed Kelly before his name was public knowledge suggesting he might be Gilligan’s source, suggesting it might be “Someone i know and admire.” Kelly replied: “Tom. Thanks. Not a good time to be in communication.”
1. Bosch is a former Unscom inspector who got to know Kelly well during that work. She currently works for the Royal Institute of international Affairs and has dealings with the MoD.
2. Bosch related a conversation she had had with Kelly about his meeting with Gilligan on 22 May 2003: “He [Kelly] said he was taken aback by the way Andrew Gilligan tried to elicit information from him. I said:’Yes, but that is what journalists do.’ But he said that he had never experienced it in the way that Gilligan had tried to do so by a name game.”
3. That “name game”, Kelly said, consisted of Gilligan putting names for him to confirm or deny. The first name was that of Gilligan. Kelly claimed that he merely said “Maybe”.
Note: this directly contradicts Gilligan’s account which has Kelly mentioning Campbell’s name off his own bat. As Kelly has been shown to be a liar before the Foreign Affairs Committee, and we have the evidence of the Newsnight journalist Susan Watt’s tape in which Kelly mentions Campbell, the odds are he lied to Bosch and was simply trying to create a psychologically comfortable version of what happened.
4. Bosch claimed to have had daily conversations with Kelly in the days leading up to his death, during which up to his death.
Note: a possible relationship between the two? He mentioned that his pension and job might be affected.
We know that Kelly had been told his pension was safe before he died and that he was only months away from the normal civil service retirement age of 60.
5. Bosch said that Kelly had told her that the question of his naming had been raised at in meetings with MoD and that he had been asked to comment on the press statement before its release.
Note: this contradicts Janice Kelly’s evidence that Kelly had told her he had assurances that his name would not be made public and that he knew nothing about the press release until a few minutes before it was released. The possibilities that Kelly was either a pathological liar or more probably a man driven to systematic lying by pressure, have to be considered.
Lord Hutton’s closing statement
1. Hutton will now spend the next week digesting the evidence to date and deciding which witnesses should be recalled and whether new witnesses should be called.
2. Whether witnesses are recalled or not will not be evidence of itself of whether Hutton intends to criticise them in his report.
3. Hutton has written privately to those witnesses whom at this stage he intends to criticise. If they accept his criticism they will not be ecalled unless there is a specific reason for doing so, eg to clarify a point of fact. Witnesses who wish to dispute criticism will be given the chance to do so by being recalled.
4. Hutton stressed that he might well change his view of a particular witness between now and the end of the enquiry depending on what fresh evidence was given.
1. Documents released yesterday included minutes of a Cabinet Office meeting on 18 Sept 2002. The first item in the minutes is under the heading “Ownership of the dossier”. It states “Ownership lay with No 10”. This contradicts the Joint Intelligence Committee chairman John Scarlett’s claim that ownership of the dossier lay with him until the approved final text was handed over by him on 20 Sept 2002.
2. The minutes were not supplied to the Inquiry when the Government submitted its original papers. A covering note by the Government’s solicitors stated that it was not included because it was not considered “relevant”.
Summary of the four weeks
The first phase of the inquiry is now complete. What are we to make of it?
1. It is important to realise the limitations placed on the Inquiry. Hutton does not have the power to compel witnesses to appear or documents to be disclosed. The documents released by No 10, the MoD et al are only what they are prepared to release. Think how different it would be if this was a police investigation with the power to enter premises and seize whatever documents and computer equipment they alighted upon.
2. The other serious restrictions are the fact that witnesses are not compelled to give witness statements or give their oral evidence under oath. This greatly increases the ability of witnesses to lie and evade because the witness knows that they cannot be charged with perjury. Nor can they be held in contempt.
3. The absence of the oath also has had an important side effect. The inquiry has taken over the function of the coroner and will perform the inquest on Kelly. This means that unlike a normal inquest the evidence relating to his death will not be taken under oath.
4. Hutton’s hands may have been tied in the matter of oaths, calling witnesses and seeking documents, but I also think he has handicapped the inquiry by deciding that the first stage would be inquisitorial, ie, witnesses would be allowed to tell their story with a minimum of questioning.
5. It is all very well to get people to commit themselves first before trying to pick holes in their story, that is standard interrogation technique. But it is necessary to pick holes as soon as possible after the telling of the story to prevent the person under interrogation being given time to think about what they have said and to fabricate a defence of any weak points. Hutton has allowed the witnesses ample time to do just that. The question is why did Hutton decide on this way of conducting the inquiry?
6. The other administratively weak point so far has been the failure to call people from No 10 who were involved with the dossier but are further down the pecking order than the likes of Campbell and Godric Smith. Subordinates will often panic in such circumstances and spill the beans.
7. Finally, apart from John Scarlett, there was a curious lack of intelligence witnesses. In particular why was the head of MI6 who gave evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on the day of Kelly’s disappearance (17 July), not called?
When the inquiry resumes, cross-examination will be allowed. Counsel not only for the inquiry but for the government, the BBC and Mrs Kelly (and possibly others) will be allowed to into the proceedings. RH
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5
Day 16 – 15 9 2003
Phase 2 of the inquiry will allow cross-examination by counsel for the government, BBC, MoD, Mrs Kelly and others, eg representing the various witnesses. Apart from James Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC will appear for the Kelly family, Andrew Caldecott QC for the BBC, Heather Rogers, QC, for Andrew Gilligan and Jonathan Sumption QC for the government. All will be paid for, one way or the other, by the taxpayer – Mrs Kelly’s legal expenses are being covered by the taxpayer, while the BBC is using licence payers’ money to pay their own and Gilligan’s legal expenses. God alone knows what the cost will be.
Before witnesses were called counsel for the inquiry, James Dingemans, outlined the manner in which matters would be handled. From this statement it is clear that the cross-examination will be tightly controlled and that the inquiry will attempt work to a strict timetable, although the timetable could be breached if Hutton thinks it necessary. The suspicion must be that any really awkward questions for the government will suddenly be discovered to be “not relevant” to the inquiry and cross examination on them forbidden.
The weakness of the general structure of the inquiry – information gathering first, followed by a long gap before cross-examination is obvious, giving as it does plenty of time to prepare defences to weaknesses or contradictions in a story.
The people to be recalled will include Alastair Campbell, Geoff Hoon and John Scarlett (chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee) but not Blair. It is possible but improbable that he could be yet called if further information is unearthed in this stage of the inquiry suggest he should be recalled, eg if evidence is brought forward which contradicts what Blair has said or points to his direct involvement in something relevant and damaging.
The fact that Blair has not be recalled to be cross-examined despite the ample evidence that he had a central role in deciding what to do about Kelly and the BBC is a strong
pointer to the way Hutton will approach the writing of his report – unless some really dramatic and unambiguous evidence is unearthed fingering Blair, I predict it will criticise the likes of Hoon, Campbell and the BBC, but say nothing about Blair.
The main entertainment of the day was provided by the head of MI6, Sir Richard Bingham Dearlove, and the Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke. Supporting roles came from Tony Cragg, former deputy chief of defence intelligence, and Sir Joe French, the chief of defence intelligence.
Sir Richard Dearlove
1. “C” as Dearlove is known (I will leave readers to imagine what the “C” stands for), gave evidence as a disembodied voice over an audiolink.
2. Dearlove was not cross-examined – he could in theory be recalled for it. This points to one of the great weaknesses of inquiry, its disjointed nature. Dearlove should have been called in the first stage of the inquiry and then, if he was to be recalled, cross-examined yesterday before the recalled witnesses reappear. That would have given the inquiry the fullest information to tax the likes of Campbell with when they are cross-examined.
3. The appearance by Dearlove is (I think) the first occasion where such a senior intelligence officer has given evidence in public. His appearance, together with the considerable amount of MI6 data made public gives the lie to the claim beloved of all British governments that security data must be kept secret. In fact, the vast majority of it, and especially the analysis, could be made public with no damage to agents and sources.
4. Dearlove criticised Kelly for having unauthorised contact with the media declaring himself horrified to discover what Kelly had done, describing it as a severe disciplinary breach.
5. Dearlove defended the “45-minute” single source claim, saying it was from a strong source and that much of intelligence was “single-sourced”. The original source was claimed to be a senior Iraqi officer (a brigadier) whose statement was reported by another Iraqi source.
6. Dearlove denied having any knowledge of dissatisfaction about the dossier within the intelligence services.
7. Dearlove accepts, with the benefit of our old elite friend “hindsight” , that the “45-minute” claim might have been both misinterpreted by some as referring to long range weapons and have been given too much prominence in the dossier.
Tony Craig and Sir Joe French
1. Craig and French admitted they ignored the concerns of two members of their staff. They also disclosed under questioning that the concerns went beyond those two, Dr Brian Jones and MR A, a memo of 16 Sept 2002 objecting to the passage on Iraq’s chemical and biological capacity at that time as “too strong”.
2. Cragg said that he had not passed on his staffs’ doubts because he thought they had been resolved at a meeting between Defence Intelligence Service staff, Cabinet Office officials and MI6. Consequently, the doubts were never passed to John Scarlett and the JIC.
3. French supported Cragg and attempted to play down the significance of the staff who had objected, a rather difficult thing to do considering the positions they held and the work they did.
1. Dyke adopted the “I am in charge of the BBC; I know nothing” as a general tactic.
2. Dyke admitted he had not heard Gilligan’s broadcast or read a transcript of the broadcast until weeks after it was broadcast – he read a transcript on 5 July 2003.
3. Dyke said that he had been on holiday at the time of the Gilligan broadcast and he was not really aware of any great difficulty until after Gilligan and Campbell had appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee.
4. Asked by James Dingemans how many times a BBC journalist had given evidence to a Commons select committee in recent years, Dyke said “I do not know”.
5. Dyke said he believed Alastair Campbell’s general attack on BBC news reporting was pre-planned and that he heightened the tension by writing to Richard Sambrook, head of BBC News.
6. Dyke said, with our old elite friend hindsight in close company, that he should have ordered a full investigation of the matter before responding to Campbell.
1. A document released by the inquiry headed “Note for the record”, stated that the writer of the note, the BBC chairman Gavyn Davies, had been told by an unnamed MP that Alastair Campbell had hardened up the dossier. The MP claimed an MI6 official had told him this.
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 week 5
Day 17 – 16 9 2003
A rather quiet day with Martin Howard, the deputy chief of defence intelligence at the MoD, Kate Wilson, MoD chief press officer, Nicholas Hunt, pathologist and Det Con Graham Coe, the first policeman on the scene.
1. Howard prevented the views and doubts of Dr Jones (A Defence Intelligence Analyst staff scientist) and those of Mr A (a chemical weapons specialist) from being presented to the Intelligence and Security Commons Select Committee (ISC). Asked by Caldecott why this had been done Howard replied: “My feeling was that this dealt with internal correspondence in the DIS [Defence Intelligence Service] which happened last September… it would not be appropriate to reveal what was internal correspondence to the ISC.”
Note: feeble in the extreme. The whole point of the ISC meeting in public is that it can hear anything.
2. Eventually, after Kelly death, Howard did supply the information to the ISC. Asked why, he admitted it was simply due to the establishment of the Hutton Inquiry.
4. Questioned by Gompertz about the procedure for confirming Kelly’s name to the media, Howard said that he thought Kelly’s name would have come out regardless of the MoD procedure, which he justified on the grounds that it allowed the MoD to be avoid telling a direct lie. He also pointed out that the failure of Kelly’s name to come into the public realm would have led to others being suspected by the media.
Gompertz suggested that the MoD was “playing Russian roulette on Kelly”. Howard unsurprisingly did not agree.
1. Wilson denied Andrew Gilligan’s claim that he had warned the MoD of the story before it was broadcast.
2. Wilson denied that clues to Kelly’s identity had been given to the media by the MOD.
3. Wilson denied of how the Q and A MoD material was altered.
1. Hunt described five cuts to the left wrist, with one, presumably the last, cutting the main artery. Other cuts were tentative according to Hunt. In Hunt’s opinion the nature and development of the cuts was consistent with a normal suicide’s pattern.
2. Hunt said that the overdose of painkillers hastened the death, as did the hardening of the arteries.
3. There were no signs of a struggle on the body.
4. Hunt described the removal of the watch and spectacles as also typical of suicide.
Note: The only problem with this argument is that the first cut or cuts to Kelly’s wrist were made while, apparently , the watch was still on – blood was found on the strap.
5. Hunt said that the type of private spot in which Kelly was found was “often favoured by people intending self-harm”.
1. Coe found Kelly’s body lying on his back by a large tree: “I saw blood around his left wrist. I saw a knife like a pruning knife and a watch.”
Note: how difficult would it be to cut the artery with such a knife?
2. Coe said that no other part of the body was bloodstained. The body was fully clothed, wearing a Barbour jacket, trousers and cap. A small water bottle was nearby.
1. Friction between the BBC Governors and BBC management is reported. In particular a Governor Dame Pauline Neville Jones apparently believes the BBC management “betrayed” the Governors . Dame Pauline has denied that she has said this.
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5
Day 18 – 17 9 2003
The day was dominated by Andrew Gilligan, Richard Sambrook (head of BBC News) and Richard Hatfield, director of personnel at the MoD.
1. Before his cross examination, Gilligan made a number of admissions which removed much of the potential venom from his cross examination.
2. Gilligan admitted making a mistake in his initial broadcast (at 6.07am) when he claimed that the government had probably known the 45-minute claim was false. However, by 7.32am the wording had been changed from “wrong” to questionable”.
Note: this is an unnecessary admission because it is a reasonable conclusion from both the political circumstances surrounding the dossier and what we now know from the disclosures to the inquiry, that Campbell and Blair had every reason to doubt the intelligence.
3. Gilligan apologised for his description of Kelly as a “intelligence service source:”It was not intentional, a kind of slip of the tongue. It is something that does happen in live broadcasts. It is an occupational hazard.”
Note: This is a reasonable apology – Kelly should have described as long the lines of “a source familiar with the preparation of the dossier and the intelligence community”.
4. Gilligan apologised for sending an email to a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee:”It was quite wrong to send it. I can only apologise. I did not know for sure that David Kelly was Susan Watt’s source. I was under enormous pressure at the time, I was simply not thinking straight so I really want to apologise for this.”
5. Questioned by Mrs Kelly counsel, Jeremy Gompertz, Gilligan denied that he had suggested the name of Campbell (or any other name) to Kelly and insisted Kelly had come up with the name off his own bat. Gilligan pointed out that he had mentioned Kelly’s name to Susan Watts, the Newsnight journalist, as well.
6. Gilligan directly contradicted Kate Wilson, MoD chief press officer, who had claimed that Gilligan had given neither her or anyone else in the MoD advance notice of the story. Gilligan said that he had told the MoD the night before the story went out to enable them to brief Adam Ingram, Armed Forces minister.
1. Sambrook said that Gilligan was a reporter who painted in primary colours rather than more subtle shades. Good at finding stories, weaker on presenting them.
2. Sambrook criticised Gilligan for not giving Downing Street an opportunity to respond to allegations.
3. Sambrook said that the story should have been checked by lawyers before it was broadcast but was not checked.
4. Sambrook denied he had given clues to Kelly’s identity during a lunch at the offices of the Times newspaper.
5. Sambrook said that he had not know about Gilligan’s email to the FAC committee member until it was revealed to the inquiry. He described it as improper.
6. Richard Hatfield
1. Hatfield directly contradicted Mrs Kelly’s evidence that the MoD had shown every consideration towards Kelly and protected him as well as any employer could be expected to defend an employee. “The MoD gave outstanding support to Dr Kelly”.
2. Hatfield said that Kelly had no power to veto the release of his name to the media and had “not specifically discussed” with Kelly the plans for naming him.
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 5
Day 19 – 18 9 2003
Richard Hatfield (MoD head of personnel) and Andrew Gilligan continued their evidence. Pam Teare (MoD chief press officer) and William Wilding (computer expert) were the main items on the menu.
1. Hatfield claimed that Kelly had only himself to blame for becoming exposed to public scrutiny , because he was guilty of a very serious disciplinary breach.
2. Hatfield criticised Kelly for failing to prepare his wife for the media interest which he, Hatfield believed, must have known would happen if his name became public.
3. Hatfield admitted that Kelly had not been told that he had been identified to the media for two and a half hours after it had happened.
4. Hatfield claimed that Kelly had been warned 24 hours in advance of the press statement that it was to be made.
5. Hatfield admitted that no counselling had been arranged for Kelly.
6. Hatfield said that had he known that it would come to an inquiry such as this one, he would have asked Kelly if he was happy to have his name given out.
7. Hatfield said with hindsight he would have instigated disciplinary proceedings against Kelly.
1. There were three versions of the Q and A drawn up by Teare for MoD press officers if they were challenged on the question of Kelly’s (then unknown to the media) identity. The first refused to identify him, the second allowed him to be named only after he had been contacted by the MoD, the third allowed his name to be disclosed without contact.
Teare said the various drafts were simply a “work in progress.”
2. Teare gave more details of a meeting she had with Geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary. She said that contrary to his denials, Hoon might have seen a copy of the Q and A briefing.
3. Teare denied having discussed with Alastair Campbell the naming strategy. Confronted with Campbell’s diary entries which said they had discussed it, she accepted that she had.
1. Wilding appeared on behalf of Gilligan. He had examined Gilligan’s personal organiser in which he had made notes of his meeting with Kelly on the 22.
2. Wilding found two versions of the notes, one dated 21 and one date 22 May. Wilding said that judging by other files he had examined the date setting on the organiser was out by a day .
3. Of the two versions of Kelly’s file with his notes, the earlier did not contain the name Campbell, the later version did.
1. Gilligan explained the two versions of the notes as being made at the same time and the second version being what Kelly had agreed to Gilligan using for his report. He denied he had created the second file on the following day of his meeting with Kelly. Note: Even if the organisers date setting was a day out of kilter the only way that Gilligan could have created the two files on the same day with different dates is if the organisers date change from the 21 to the 22 came during his meeting with Kelly. Rather improbable.
2. Gilligan remained adamant that Kelly had been the one to mention the name Campbell first during his conversation with Kelly.
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6
Day 20 – 23 9 2003
The defence secretary Geoff Hoon and Alastair Campbell were back for cross-examination.
1. Hoon admitted approving the strategy to confirm Kelly’s identity to the media and accepted that the strategy helped the media to identify Kelly. He was not drawn on why he had changed his evidence from his previous appearance.
Note: that tells you what a farce this “inquiry” is.
2. Hoon’s change of evidence came after the publication of extracts from Alastair Campbell’s diary which contradicted his earlier evidence.
3. Hoon’s admission of responsibility for the strategy is the first admission of responsibility for it.
4. Hoon said that he had overruled the Mod permanent secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, when it came to naming Kelly, but justified this on the grounds that civil servants merely advised.
5. Hoon denied knowledge of the clues given to the media by Tom Kelly, the PM’s spokesman, to direct them to Kelly.
6. Despite the admissions, Hoon claimed that everything had been done “to ensure that Dr Kelly was properly supported.”
7. Hoon claimed that steps had been taken to keep Kelly’s name from the public and said that he had only revealed Kelly’s name to the BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies, in a private letter.
8. Hoon denied that there was any Government policy to “out” Kelly.
9. Hoon admitted allowing the country to falsely believe that it was at risk from long-range weapons of mass destruction, a misapprehension circulated by the media. Asked why he had not corrected this misapprehension, he replied:”I have spent many years trying to persuade newspapers and journalists to correct their stories – – it is an extraordinarily time-consuming and frustrating process.”
Note: an absurd excuse in this reason as most of the media would have been only too anxious to point out weaknesses in the case to go to war.
1. Extracts from Campbell’s personal diary contradicted his and others previous evidence. They show that Campbell wanted Kelly’s name out in the public sphere (“The biggest thing needed…was to get the source out), that Kelly was to be used as a weapon in No 10’s fight with the BBC and that, contrary to Blair’s claim, Kelly was coached by senior MoD officials before he went before the ISC and FAC Commons committees.
2. Campbell’s diary made clear the hysterical state he was in during the affair. He wrote of establishing Kelly as the source to “f**k Gilligan up”. He also wrote of wanting a clear victory not a messy draw.
3. Campbell’s diary reported Sir Kevin Tebbit (Mod permanent secretary) as saying that Kelly was “a bit of a show off”.
4. Hilariously, Campbell’s lawyer tried to massage these highly damaging passages away by claiming that “The diary records Mr Campbell’s immediate reactions, which are not necessarily the same as the views he will take after a little time has passed fro reflection.” This is nonsense when it comes to the recording of facts rather than opinion. The sooner the writing after the event, the more accurate. Courts recognise this, treating contemporaneous notes and notes made shortly after an event by the likes of the police and the Revenue as of prime importance as records of fact.
5. Campbell was questioned again about his influence over the dossier. Before the FAC Campbell claimed he suggested 10 changes, but in written evidence to the inquiry he admitted to 16. Campbell told the inquiry that he had not mentioned the other six to the FAC because they merely “ironed out an inconsistency”.
6. Campbell insisted that his suggestions were merely presentational and that John Scarlett (chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee) was in control of the dossier.
7. Campbell denied that the 45-minute claim was an influential part of the dossier during the preparation of the dossier.
8. Campbell said that Blair would have resigned if it was shown that the dossier had been “sexed up”.
9. Campbell’s diary entries showed Blair to be arguing against extending the battle with the BBC and urging that the MoD deal with Kelly. Note: when were the diaries written?
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6
Day 21 – 23 9 2003
Tom Kelly (Blair’s official spokesman), Godric Smith (No 10 press officer) and John Scarlett (chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee – JIC) were recalled for cross-examination.
Tom Kelly (TK)
1. TK was questioned further on his description of Kelly as a “Walter Mitty” character at a private briefing with journalists. TK claimed he could not recall the conversation related by Paul Waugh of the Independent and claimed Waugh had “misunderstood him” both in terms of whether the briefing was off the record and what he intended when he described Kelly as a Walter Mitty. TK claimed any reference to Kelly as “Walter Mitty” was merely raising a possibility, ie was Kelly exaggerating.
2. TK apologised again for using the term “Walter Mitty”.
3. An email from Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff) suggested that Kelly was a “rogue element”. Questioned by the Kelly counsel, Jeremy Gompertz, as to whether Kelly was regarded as a rogue element by No 10, TK replied: “categorically not.”
1. Questioned on the Alastair Campbell diary extracts showing that Campbell wanted to use Kelly to damage Gilligan Smith said: “I think there is a qualitative difference between a desire for something to happen and actually taking concrete steps to make it happen.”
1. Scarlett admitted that he had changed a passage in the dossier at the suggestion of Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff). A memo from Powell – sent 45 minutes after the deadline for comments on the final draft – pointed out that the dossier as it stood implied that the threat from Iraqi WMDs would arise only if an attack on Iraq was carried out. Scarlett removed this reference claiming the change” was as a result of the exercise of my professional judgement, not the intervention of Downing Street” and that he had changed the dossier after going “back to the intelligence assessments” and finding that the original comment was not justified. (Ho,ho).
2. Scarlett was also questioned further on the changes requested by Alastair Campbell, particularly the change of “may be deployed” to are deployable” in the claim that Iraqi MDs could be deployed within 45-minutes. Scarlett denied the changes were anything other than intelligence driven: “In one way or another, all these points had a presentational angle to them, the question of clarity of language and the way things were expressed. At no point did I feel that there was a an attempt to question the editorial judgement or the intelligence judgement.”
3. Scarlett admitted that no final meeting of the JIC took place before the dossier was finally agreed. Scarlett said that such a meeting was not necessary because any member of the committee could have raised objections to the final draft and none did.
4. Contradicting his evidence in the first phase of the inquiry, Scarlett admitted he knew of concerns within the intelligence community about the dossier but said that he believed they were dealt with before publication of the dossier.
5. Questioned on the BBC’s counsel, Andrew Caldecott, about why battlefield weapons had been allowed to be described as WMDs, Scarlett said that they were WMDs. He was unable to explain meaningfully how these battlefield weapons could have threatened British bases in Cyprus or why the media misrepresentation of the weapons had not been corrected by the government.
1. When is Jonathan Powell to be re-questioned? He keeps popping up as the main mover after Campbell in this matter.
2. Kelly’s dental records disappeared from his dentist’s shortly after his death. The records turned up in the cabinettwo days later. The police said they could find no signs of a
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6
Day 22 – 24 9 2003
Gavyn Davies (BBC chairman) and Bryan Wells (Kelly’s line manager at the MoD), Nick Rufford (reporter on The Sunday Times), Keith Hawton (professor of psychiatry at Oxford) and Patrick Lamb (Kelly’s contact at the foreign office) were recalled.
1. Davies admitted that the Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, had tried to stop the BBC governors publicly criticising editorial managers for their handling of the Andrew Gilligan story.
2. Davies based his defence of the Board of Governors robust stand against the government because “We were faced with such an unprecedented attack on our integrity. I think it was perfectly reasonable for me to take the view that the public would look to the governors to stand up for the independence of the BBC.”
3. Pressed on why the Governors did not directly investigate what Gilligan had been told by his “source”, Davies said that the governors had been reassured by the BBC’s director of news, Richard Sambrook, that the source was credible and that Gilligan stood by his story. Davies made the point that the governors were not there to duplicate the work of the management and to have interfered directly over Gilligan would hav duplicated the work.
4. Davies said that several Governors wished to stop BBC journalists writing for the newspapers.
5. Davies claimed the Governors were all tough minded and independent figures who would not be bullied by the Government.
Note; The Board of Governors is the routine run of the great and the good.
1. Wells retracted evidence he had given when he appeared in the first phase of the inquiry. Wells said it was not true, as he had claimed, that Kelly had been warned at an early stage that his name might be made public. This possibility was not raised until Kelly’s second MoD interview on 7 July 2003 and even then, according to Wells, his naming was not treated as inevitable.
2. Wells informed Kelly that his name was to made public in a 46 second telephone conversation between Wells and Kelly – the call was made while Wells was travelling on a train. Wells claimed that Kelly took the news without expressing concern. This contradicts Mrs Kelly’s evidence of Kelly’s response to the news.
3. Questioned by counsel for the inquiry, James Dingemans, Wells said that Kelly was not involved in discussions about how his name might emerge. This contradicted the head of personnel at the MoD, Richard Hatfield’s evidence.
1. Asked about the offer of Murdoch newspapers to pay for the Kelly’s to go to a hotel, Rufford said: “It was a light-hearted context – when we met for a drink or a meal, Dr Kelly would always want to ensure that I did not pay personally and would say ‘Is this on Mr Murdoch?'”.
1. Asked for further comments on Kelly’s possible motive for suicide, Hawton said “I think one major factor was the immense loss of self esteem that he had from feeling people had lost trust in him and from his dismay – maybe that is an understatement – of being exposed to the media.”
Note: A weak piece of armchair psychology to say the least. In fact, the inquiry has signally failed to show any plausible cause for him to commit suicide when it is born in mind that he knew that his pension was safe, his daughter was about to be married, he was getting a good deal of private support from friends and colleagues and had a crippled wife to look after.
1. Kelly had wanted Lamb to accompany him to the FAC hearing but he had had to refuse because Kelly was under MoD control.
1. Kelly’s 1985 vetting report contained a note that Kelly’s mother probably committed suicide in the 1960s.
The Hutton Inquiry phase 2 – week 6
Day 23 – 25 9 2003
Officially the final day of the inquiry, although Sit Kevin Tebbit, permanent secretary at the MoD, is slated to give further evidence after the inquiry has formally closed. 22 days of evidence and 70 witnesses.
The day was taken up by the various QCs, all paid for by the taxpayer in one way or another. They were: James Dingemans QC, counsel for the inquiry, Jeremy Gompertz QC will appear for the Kelly family, Andrew Caldecott QC for the BBC, Heather Rogers, QC, for Andrew Gilligan and Jonathan Sumption QC for the government.
1. Dingemans said that Kelly had stepped into a maelstrom when he admitted his contact with Andrew Gilligan to his MoD superiors.
2. Dingemans said the inquiry must address the question of whether Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell had crossed the line of presentation to “making a case”.
1. Gompertz said that Kelly had been used as a political pawn by the Government:”This was a cynical abuse of power which deserves the strongest possible condemnation.”
2. Gompertz accused the Government of failing to support Kelly and his managers at the MoD of displaying “a total lack of care”.
3. Gompertz accused the Government of misdescribing Kelly “to suit the needs of the hour, as a middle ranking official…”
4. Gompertz contrasted the Government’s We have made no mistakes or blunders approach with that of the BBC which had admitted mistakes.
5. Gompertz described the claim of Richard Hatfield (MoD head of personnel) that Kelly had received “Outstanding support” as “risible” if the events were not so serious.
6. Gompertz rejected strongly the idea that Kelly was the agent of his own misfortunes.
7. Gompertz claimed that Kelly had not committed a disciplinary offence. Note: this is simple nonsense. He had undoubtedly breached the MoD confidentiality code and arguably had committed a criminal offence under the Official Secrets Act.
8. Gompertz characterised the denials of Government use of Kelly to discredit Gilligan, including Blair, Campbell and Geoff Hoon, as “hypocrisy”@ “It was out of the question that
the Prime Minister should have no say in a document for which he had to be personally responsible to Parliament.”
9. Gompertz referred to an email received only yesterday and hence too late to be used in cross-examination. The email was dated 9 July and was sent by Hoon’s private secretary, Peter Watkins, to Mrs Wilson in the MoD press office. Part of it read: ” Jonathan Powell has separately suggested to the S of S [secretary of state, Mr Hoon] that we should simply name our man [Kelly], but left the decision to Mr Hoon who has not yet reached a final view.” This document showed again Hoon’s lack of candour to the enquiry. Note: Powell cropping up yet again.
1. Caldecott said that the BBC admitted mistakes had been made in the reporting but stood by the essential truth of the report.
2. Caldecott said that the public had the right to know about Kelly’s concern about the dossier. Caldecott said the BBC
defended its right to broadcast Kelly’s concerns absolutely,
3. Caldecott pointed out that concerns about the dossier had been justified by the evidence given to the inquiry.
4. Caldecott stressed that only the MI6 head, Richard Dearlove, had expressed concern about the way the public were mislead over the nature of the 45-minute claim, ie that it referred to battlefield weapons: “The reaction of Mr Hoon and Mr Scarlett borders on cynical indifference. The Government’s failure to correct is wholly indefensible.”
1. Rogers said that Campbell and Geoff Hoon behaved like “playground bullies” in their pursuit of Andrew Gilligan.
2. Rogers said the extracts from Campbell’s diaries showed a desire to “get even” with Gilligan.
3. Rogers pointed out that Gilligan had admitted errors in his initial reporting, but the story was true in its main substance, ie that serious unrest amongst intelligence bods existed: Andrew Gilligan will ask this inquiry to consider that he was right to talk to Dr Kelly, he was right to ask about the dossier, right to regard what Dr Kelly said was worth reporting and right to report it.”
4. Rogers said the concentration on Gilligan’s initial reporting was distracting form the main issue, the nature of the dossier.
1. Sumption said that Kelly had no right to anonymity because he was a civil servant. This is pedantically true, but it is a convention that civil servants are not put in the public fold except in exceptional circumstances such as permanent secretaries reporting to Commons committees. I think it would be impossible to find a precedent for Kelly’s treatment. Normally politicians are only too glad to “protect” their civil servants because they are afraid of what the civil servants may reveal about politicians’ bad behaviour.
2. Sumption claimed that Kelly had known since 4 July that his name would probably be made public.
Note: This clashes with evidence given by Brian Wells, Kelly’s MoD line manager, yesterday, that the matter was not discussed with Kelly until his second interview of 7 July.
3. Sumption claimed that Blair, Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell had every reason to comment on the dossier for reasons of “basic constitutional principle.”
Note: Oh yeah?
4. Sumption defended Alastair Campbell’s memo suggesting 16 changes to the dossier as points amounting to “proof reading”.
5. Sumption dismissed the dissent of the likes of Brian Jones, a senior analyst, and Kelly as unimportant because they did not have access to the underlying intelligence material.
Note: As Jones and Kelly were the technical experts, one might think they had a better understanding of the weapons than any ordinary intelligence officer.
1. No calling of the women who converted Kelly to the Baha’i faith.
2. No recalling of Jonathan Powell.
3. No recalling of Blair.