14 May 2003

Prime Minister's statement to parliament
In addition to meeting these obligations, the coalition is working hard to rid Iraq of all weapons of mass destruction. The hunt for these weapons will not be easy. We know that in order to protect them from inspectors, the Iraqi regime broke them up and hid them in their disaggregated condition in different parts of the country.

We are starting to uncover the evidence. We have found what appear to be mobile biological weapons production facilities, just like those described by Secretary of State Powell to the Security Council in February.

It is going to take considerable time and resources to complete the investigation and destruction of the regime's weapons of mass destruction. But at least we will no longer obstructed by a hostile regime.

This is just factually wrong. The alleged mobile labs remain in question although alternative explanations have been offered. In his early February address to the Security Council Powell claimed many other things - aluminium tubes, the African uranium procurement, the poison and explosive training center camp - that we now know do not exist. Two mobile labs, now disavowed, do not match what Howard claimed to parliament in his war address on 18 March. In Powell's address, btw, he also complimented the UK on their 'fine paper' which we now know to have been plagiarised.

It's bit sad that the massive programd escribed by Powell is now reduced to 2 mobile labs whose purpose is not beyond doubt. At least the prime minister has abandoned the silly signposts metaphor.

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