The United States edited out more than 8000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before passing on a sanitised version to the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations security council.
The full extent of Washington's complete control over who sees what in the crucial Iraqi dossier calls into question the allegations made by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that 'omissions' in the document constituted a 'material breach' of the latest UN resolution on Iraq.
Last week, Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan accepted that it was 'unfortunate' that his organisation had allowed the US to take the only complete dossier and edit it. He admitted 'the approach and style were wrong' and Norway, a member of the security council, says it is being treated like a 'second-class country'.
Although Powell called the Iraqi dossier a 'catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions', the non-permanent members of the security council will have no way of testing the US claims for themselves. This will be crucial if the US and the UK go back to the security council seeking explicit authorisation for war on Iraq if breaches of resolution 1441 are confirmed when the weapons inspectors -- this weekend investigating 10 sites in Iraq, including an oil refinery south of Baghdad -- deliver their report to the UN next month.
Pilger - The Secret War on Iraq