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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2010

Spinning the war

THE TEDIUM of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war was briefly interrupted when Tony Blair's former spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, was summoned to testify.

Like a scene from the political satire The Thick of It, Campbell gave a robust defence of the 'dodgy dossier' which underpinned the Blair government's decision to go to war. He denied fabricating evidence about Iraqi WMDs saying: "I defend every single word of the dossier; I defend every single part of the process." And, as a fallback to this risible attempt to justify this work of fiction, Campbell put Sir John Scarlett - the former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee - in the dock over the dossier, saying he "held the pen".

Unfortunately, Campbell's own diaries show that he "bombarded" Scarlett with at least 15 suggestions on how to 'improve' the dossier, which led to assessments of Saddam's nuclear weapons programme becoming more alarmist.

Reg Keys, a founder member of Military Families Against the War whose soldier son Tom was killed in Iraq, said: "I believe he [Campbell] is a liar. He's lying to save his skin. He knows that the truth was massaged."

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