Revealed: The Secret Cabal Which Spun For Blair
Britain ran a covert 'dirty tricks' operation designed specifically to produce misleading intelligence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction to give the UK a justifiable excuse to wage war on Iraq.
Operation Rockingham, established by the Defence Intelligence Staff within the Ministry of Defence in 1991, was set up to 'cherry-pick' intelligence proving an active Iraqi WMD programme and to ignore and quash intelligence which indicated that Saddam's stockpiles had been destroyed or wound down.
The existence of Operation Rockingham has been confirmed by Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector, and a US military intelligence officer. He knew members of the Operation Rockingham team and described the unit as 'dangerous', but insisted they were not 'rogue agents' acting without government backing. 'This policy was coming from the very highest levels,' he added.
'Rockingham was spinning reports and emphasising reports that showed non-compliance (by Iraq with UN inspections) and quashing those which showed compliance. It was cherry-picking intelligence.'
Ritter and other intelligence sources say Operation Rockingham and MI6 were supplying skewed information to the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) which, Tony Blair has told the Commons, was behind the intelligence dossiers that the government published to convince the parliament and the people of the necessity of war against Iraq. Sources in both the British and US intelligence community are now equating the JIC with the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the US Pentagon. The OSP was set up by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to gather intelligence which would prove the case for war. In a staggering attack on the OSP, former CIA officer Larry Johnson told the Sunday Herald the OSP was 'dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace', adding that it 'lied and manipulated intelligence to further its agenda of removing Saddam'.
He added: 'It's a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality. They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary. They should be eliminated.'