Iraq war was 'illegal'

Gordon Brown

London: Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made what he hopes the world will take as a shock disclosure - the war against Iraq was illegal.

Others will consider his confession, made in his memoirs, My Life, Our Times, due out on Tuesday, as crocodile tears.

Back in March 2003 as Tony Blair decided to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with President George W. Bush in taking military action against Saddam Hussein, Brown, then chancellor of the exchequer, gave his full support to his Prime Minister.

The reason was Saddam possessed WMDS (weapons of mass destruction), now proved to be a lie. An estimated two million people marched in London urging the UK government not to go to war but were ignored.

Had Brown not backed Blair, it is conceivable he would have taken the Labour party with him. He did not.

He now says the Americans had serious doubts about Saddam's WMDs but chose not to share their intelligence and in fact misled Britain.

In the equivalent of "I was only following orders", Brown now writes: "When I consider the rush to war in March, 2003 - especially in light of what we now know about the absence of weapons of mass destruction - I ask myself over and over whether I could have made more of a difference before that fateful decision was taken.

"We now know from classified American documents, that in the first days of September 2002 a report prepared by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff's director for intelligence landed on the desk of the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. "Commissioned by Rumsfeld to identify gaps in the US intelligence picture, it is now clear how forcibly it challenged the official view."


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