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The Iraq War Inquiry

Letter from Major General Michael Laurie CBE - 27 January 2010

Dear Sir John I am writing to comment on the position taken by Alistair Campbell during his evidence to you on the 12th of January when he stated that the purpose of the Dossier was not to make a case for war; I and those involved in its production saw it exactly as that, and that was the direction we were given

In 2002 and 2003 I was the Director General Intelligence Collection in the Defence Intelligence Staff, in the rank of Major General. I reported to the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Air Marshall Sir Joe French. My responsibility was to command all defence intelligence collection operations, delivering raw or analysed intelligence to the Defence Intelligence Assessment Staff, who also worked for CDI.

[Redacted para]

I was one removed from the discussions in the Cabinet Office and the JIC though I attended the latter occasionally, but not during the period in question as CDI was always present. Obviously he would come back from such meetings with feedback and fresh requirements.

Alistair Campbell said to the Inquiry that the purpose of the Dossier was not “to make a case for war”. I had no doubt at that time this was exactly its purpose and these very words were used. The previous paper, drafted in February and March, known to us then also as the Dossier, was rejected because it did not make a strong enough case. From then until September we were under pressure to find intelligence that could reinforce the case.


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