Tuesday, September 23, 2003

How the ISC caught Straw and didn't realise

In the Intelligence and Security Committee's otherwise weak and scared report tho other day, there was a minor gem of truth. In the past on this blog, I made the point that the Hutton Inquiry had demonstrated that Jack Straw's excuse to the Foreign Affairs Committee was dishonest. Straw, you might dimly recall, made the lawyerish argument that "deployed" only meant "made available to units" and that the 45 minutes claim was "unremarkable" because "an order to use them would not be given unless they were available". The Hutton papers, however, made it clear that they did indeed mean "fired". And the ISC details state that specifically "some weapons could be fired within 20-45 minutes of an order to do so". So Jack Straw was lying to the FAC. But no-one appears to have noticed. Sadly the performance of both committees suggests that neither group would have been particularly willing to catch a minister fibbing.

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