Okay Actually he looks like this

As it's now March 2014 and Sir John Chilcot has finally said that he Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, cant reach a compromise over what should and shouldn't been included in the final report...... and sent a lot of letters out to say that the letters he was going to send out telling everyone he was going to send them Salmon letters ...will not be sent for a while...

...only to then decide they've reached some sort of compromise... this page is dedicated to a continuation of our back of a fag packet analysis of the Iraq Inquiry.  Somewhere below the long rant at the top and a review of George W Bush's autobiography is an analysis of Major General Tim Tyler's private evidence session.  This largely concerns his time as Deputy Commander Iraq Survey Group, 2004 looking for WMD with Mr Duelfer who said stuff like er ... where are the WMDs exactly ...?

Our initial interpretation of the transcripts (entirely filmed in Xtranormal) can be found
here which is more than you can say for Xtranormal (see here).   Fortunately all the old Pear Shaped Iraq Inquiry Animations still exist on Youtube - and we have now gone through the painstaking tast of re-editing the Youtube videos into the old html.  Although for some reason people only ever watched the videos on Xtranormal...

Pretty much things have been quite quiet on the Inquiry front of late.  There were some questions in the Lords.  Tony Blair and Hutton were mentioned at the News of the World trial.  And Quilliam/the Humanitarian Intervention Morons

... have been keeping a low profile since Tommy Robinson was unfortunately imprisoned for mortgage insurance fraud as his past catches up with him ... which may be the real reason he left the EDL in the first place.  I notice I am banned from the hicentre on Wordpress now which has the advantage less people can see it I suppose ... actually I've just realised the old site has shut down and the new one is here ...but anyway......or it may be because I called TB a rude word in response to an article in the Guardian about what a wonderful man he was to offer to give the Labour party lots of money.  I must admit I am very bad and have not mellowed with age but perhaps I am tiring of armchair activism and need to go out or ...then again... Anyway it's not going very well for Mr Tommy Robinson / Mr Stephen Yaxley-Lennon ...  Funny how all these people have aliases.  I should have had one instead of sticking with a name shared by everyone from major baseball players to the last man hanged in Scotland.  I used to like the old NofI system of just having a letter but anyway "our Tommy" ...

...has been attacked in prison.  Deploring violence as we do at the Pear we were deeply saddened to learn that Tommy has been beaten up in prison suffering black eyes, bloody nose and a sore neck.  We feel it is important to win the intellectual argument with the intellectual disabled without resorting to violence wherever possible.  Honestly we really do try not to laugh when Clifford le May appears in the paper with a bloody nose.  We are not the UAF.  We're sticking with Searchlight - the armchair anti-racists.

Roderic Clifford le May Spode

We are nice people, with nice manners, but got no money at all ...  that said maybe we are ourselves cowards who take pops at Intersectional Feminism precisely because it's easier and more fun than winding up the BNP.  It really doesn't matter anyway we will be accused of bias anyway by the far right whether we engage with them or the minorities to whatever level or not but..... that said.....  I have always felt that one should avoid too much direct intellectual dialog with the BNP/EDL in case they attempt to piggyback and claim that one is some way their friend.

But then I thought that perhaps I should give them a break and visit their websites.  While learning a few things that I never new before such as that "Leon Trotsky coined the term racism"...

Nick Griffin [BNP leader]: No it’s because people like the BBC have demonised the word racist and have set about demonising us.

Gavin Esler: Demonised the word racist? There is somehow a good side to racism is there?

Nick Griffin: Ah, it’s a canned term. There’s no good side to racism. If you mean hating people, you’re doing it now. You’re not letting me explain for a start. Racism was a concept invented by Leon Trotsky, a Communist mass-murderer to demonise his opponents and stop people talking about certain issues.

I was considering commenting on their website when I pressed on the Comments Policy button.  So amusing did I find the Comments policy of the party which advocates complete freedom of speech that I thought it was worth reproducing.

The Nick Griffin's Numpty Party believes in freedom of speech. We are here to campaign for the restoration of freedom of speech. But we are not here to provide a forum for comments which could harm the party or cause problems for our activists.

The party's primary objective is to get elected and as such, this website is the mouth piece of the party. All comments are moderated before publication.

We have our own brand, our own image. If your post is not in keeping with our objectives or could damage our image, then your comment will be moderated or rejected.

No one likes their time and efforts wasted, so here are some guidelines to raise the chances of your comment being published:

1)  Please keep your comments informative and constructive. This isn't the comments section of some newspaper site where people vent their anger and salve their consciences before going back to sleep.

   We all know the negative problems – we’re here to provide the positive answers and to inspire others to help us build the power-winning machine we need to put our good ideas into practice.

2) Comments should be on topic with the news story. No need to apologise for your comment being off topic, it still won't be published.

3) Short, sharp angry and hateful posts pose a legal danger to us, achieve nothing and will be binned. If you want to be critical of some crooked politician, greedy corporation or criminal members of some ethnic/religious group, then post up a well-reasoned critique that helps others understand the problem, together with what you think the answer is.

4) Crudity and ‘hate’. Foul language is not acceptable. We want responsible parents to know that they can let politically interested youngsters study our site without encountering profanity or irresponsibility.

   Comments that could be accused of inciting hatred against other groups are not permitted. Yes, you can make your point and state facts without inciting hatred, it's easy. If you want to get angry at someone, then blame the politicians who created the mess and the media who cover it up, not immigrants. But, more than anger, our readers need to see that more and more good and sensible people are committed to doing something about it.

5) Sweeping generalisations. Blaming the whole of an ethnic or religious group for the sins of some of their members is unfair and counter-productive. Even if such comment is arguably justified, it can harm our cause, so feel free to go and make it somewhere else!

   If they were allowed on our site, such comments would alarm the public and be used by the media to attack us. They would pose a legal risk to our team and our Internet presence. Because the BNP is a broad church, blanket condemnations could be divisive. Finally, condemning everyone in a certain group is a sure-fire way of driving the moderate or uncommitted ones into the arms of the most extreme ones. For all these reasons, such posts are not permitted.

5) Legal / Court cases / Sub judice. If we believe your comment could hamper due process of a court case, it will not be published. Remember the key principle of English law – a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. This applies even to alleged paedophiles, Muslim groomers, corrupt politicians, etc. Comments that ignore this legal point will not be permitted, not least because we don’t want to give such creatures the chance to argue that they can’t get a fair trial.

6) Please invest time into making sure that your comment has been at least spell-checked and that the grammar is OK. We all make mistakes from time to time, but our comments section needs to meet a certain standard and our volunteer moderators may not have the time to tidy up carelessly worded comments.

7) External website links:

a) The party isn't responsible for the content on other sites.

b) Please don't link to political sites that won't allow promotion of the BNP.

c) You can link to mainstream media and responsible alternative sites as long as the link backs up the point you are making. We expect to see at least a note before the links explaining how the link relates to the subject under discussion.

8) Our moderators are human - and volunteers. Sometimes we might let through a remark that we normally wouldn't, then again, sometimes we might not let through a comment that we normally would – it depends which moderator you get and what mood they're in! If occasionally our volunteer mods get it wrong, please accept our apologies and simply try another subject another day. We don't have the time or the resources to argue with you one way or the other.

9) Personal details - Do not post up the home address or work address of an individual.

10) Sometimes standards can slide on a comments thread and we reserve the right to go in and have a good clean up.

11) Your comment has to look reasonable on its own, because when the moderators reads your comment, they may not have the time to read the article or comment that your posting relates to. The moderator simply sees a stream of comments made by many people that could relate to any one of a number of articles on the website. Normally, the moderator would be using a PC, but sometimes, it could be a small device, even a mobile phone.

WARNING: Great Britain is now a virtual police state! This affects YOU!

Politically incorrect ´thought crimes´ are pursued and punished. Mike Coleman, a family man of impeccable character and a long record of public service recently received an 18 month jail term for using the word ´darkie´ and saying that Stoke council had a policy of replacing the local population with immigrants.

So as well as understanding why we have to be so careful to protect our own site, you need to realise that, IF you use derogatory or even widely accepted slang words for members of any ethnic minority, even on essentially private social networking sites, you WILL be arrested. IF you use such words on Facebook or similar:

You WILL have your home raided and turned over by police thugs.

You WILL have your computer and mobile phone seized and held for months. If you do ever get them back, the computer will never work properly afterwards and the phone will probably be bugged, so you WILL have to shell out hundreds of pounds of your own money for new ones.

You WILL be splashed all over the local papers and you and your family WILL be persecuted by employers.

You WILL be a potential target for far-left and immigrant thugs.

You WILL face court action, with a very real chance of massive fines or even imprisonment.

It doesn´t matter that everyone in your area might use a word like ´darkie´ without meaning any harm by it - if you use it, you WILL bring a world of trouble on your head. It doesn´t matter that ´they´ call themselves the same names - if you use those words, you WILL be persecuted in all the ways outlined here.

Please don´t blame us for pointing out these hard home truths about PC Britain. Better to follow our advice, stay out of trouble, and get involved in our political fight to restore and protect freedom of speech.

Concerned that I might damage their corporate brand and image I decided to say nothing.  That said we applaud the many man hours that the BNP expend to make sure that there is absolutely nothing offensive or hateful on their website.  I cannot think why other newspaper comment sites do not engage in this high level of comment box micro-management but I think they are ...erm... failures...  Although I've noticed since I started writing rude things about Intersectionality, Water Cannon and Owen Jones I seem to have been banned from the independent ...which is very nice.  Meanwhile Mr Peter Staveley of Croydon UKIP...assures me (after I noted that rather a lot of his party's supporters were fans Enoch Powell) that UKIP alone has a policy of excluding anyone with provable links to the EDL or the BNP.  Something other parties neglected to do.  If only all parties had a policy of excommunicating all far right they would all be full of sensible people like Greg Cook...

...who has just blocked me on twitter with all the solemnity of the Excommunication scene from the film Becket with Richard Burton for daring to joke in reponse to his many PIE digs at Harriet Harmen that @GregPIECook wasn't the best twitter handle and was he picketing himself?   I cant think why the Labour party dont have such a policy.  Dont they want members like Joshnua Bonehill of the Daily Bale who make fantastic porkies about Mr Farage and invent stories about the UAF buring flags in Croydon in incidents that never happened...?

Anyway the reason I got talking to Mr Staverley who I usually avoid is that I was accused of some form of censorship for calling Mr E Powell a four letter word on twitter.  This was in response to the multiple retweeting of a statement he made years ago about the cruel censorship his supporters (not including Mr Cook who I'm sure is very politically moderate) ...Of course his hero worshipers may have had a point but having been told by people who've never read anything I've said and never seen me that we wouldn't "have a go at the Muslims" I quite had the hump given the pages and pages and page on this site about Iraq and Barbados...

The quote of Powell's that a good 16 people were busy retweeting is of course "Have you ever wondered, perhaps, why opinions which the majority of people quite naturally hold are, if anyone dares express them publicly, denounced as 'controversial, 'extremist', 'explosive', 'disgraceful', and overwhelmed with a violence and venom quite unknown to debate on mere political issues? It is because the whole power of the aggressor depends upon preventing people from seeing what is happening and from saying what they see."

To which I responeded then that if it would help I would say what I saw...the friends of UKIP (and/or the EDL and/or the BNP which are not interhangable I just cant be bothered to separate them all out by going through every single twitter thread) gave me a long lecture in how Enoch wasn't a racist really only standing up for the views of his constituents. 

Of course Enoch was very interested in and concerned about his constituent's views.  This is why he suddenly left Wolverhampton South West in 1974 to go to South Down in Northern Ireland and become an Ulster Unionist because there was more pointless inflammatory marching going on there.  He wasn't just a single issue campaigner who went wherever he thought he had the best chance of electoral success via the most disenfranchised population like George Galloway.   He was not a hate tourist but a man of principle and we stand up for the right of everyone to walk through a Muslim area in a mankini.  This is nothing like going to a mainly Catholic area of Northern Ireland and walking down the street dressed entirely in orange.  As a white man I would be more than happy to have anybody walking down my road in a mankini at any time of the day or night and I wouldn't call them any rude words or think that any of them were four letter words.  Remember Enoch was making important points purely about immigration levels and freedom of speech - he wasn't just having a massive hissy fit because he realised the Race Relations Act might stop people being slightly nasty... Having said it is quiet @BlairSupporter seems to have come out of twitter hiding again ... only to get very cross at the number of Islamic fundamentalists threatening to kill Mr Blair.  He's even more upset about the upcoming George Galloway documentary "The Killing of Tony Blair" which he claims is an incitement to murder.  Every now and again this leads to a conversation with blocker-in-chief George Galloway's latest excommunicated minion who dared to ask a question.  However, having 150,000 slavish followers who dont ask questions can lead to its own different problems...

Meanwhile in the real world... I was wandering through Poundland the other day with Ava Alexis when
next to the plethora of last years serial killer biopics of Myra Hindley, Harold Shipman and Andy Parsons ...

...I happened upon a copy of George W Bush's autobiography "Decision Points".  As the one person who we haven't really heard from down our wanderings through Chilcot memory cul-de-sac is the President himself I thought it might be fun to actually read this tome.   It is written in a prose style that is much more structured than Mr Bush's usual speaking voice and gives us a useful insight into Britain's path to war from the view of the most powerful man on earth... and/or his ghostwriters if he has any.

I mean I wouldn't pay full price for this volume but since it was 1p more than Chris Philp's book I thought I would give it a peruse.  Tony Blair first appears on page 141 where there is a heartfelt section about the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and various potentates shedding tears etc...

We do assume that Mr Bush does have a heart.  Even if he was somewhat lacking in the brains department.  Bush recalls how he went into the Oval Office on September 12 at 7am and returned calls from the many world leaders who had offered their sympathy.  Tony Blair said he was “in a state of shock” and that he would stand with America “one hundred percent” in fighting terror.  “As the years passed and the wartime decisions grew tougher, some of our allies wavered. Tony Blair never did”.

NATO for the first time in its 52 year history voted to invoke Article 5 of the charter: An attack on one is an attack on all.  “The coalition of the willing in the war against terror was forming and – for the time being – everyone wanted to join”.  If you didn't get the subtext of that it's "here's a list of people who said they'd help me... can you pick out the ones who didn't".  So I have.

Jean Chretien of Canada said simply “We’re there”.  A promise that was upheld by “Canadian citizens who welcomed thousands of stranded Americans after their flights were diverted”.  950 personnel are still in Afghanistan.
Jean Chretien however was against invading Iraq.

Silvio Berlusconi: Cried like a baby and could not stop
until someone asked him to go to war with Iraq

Silvio Berlusconi of Italy said he had “cried like a little boy and could not stop” and pledged his cooperation.  4215 Italian personnel are still in Afghanistan according to wikipedia so this statistic is probably out of date.  Some troops were sent to Iraq post invasion.  Silvio Berlusconi is still in prison for tax fraud.  Berlusconi managed the neat feat of being for the invasion of Iraq but not sending any troops till after the invasion ...thus not technically breeching international law unless you count inchoate offences.  Italy withdrew its troops from Iraq in 2005 following the death of secret service agent Nicola Calipari... although according to Berlusconi this wasn't the reason...?

Jiang Zemin of China, Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and Jaques Chirac of France promised to help in any way they could.  Although in Jiang Zemin’s case this didn’t extend to sending any troops of Afghanistan or Iraq ...although I doubt the Americans invited them as they’re not part of NATO and in Chirac’s case it didn’t extend to sending any troops to Iraq. 

Chirac did send troops to Afghanistan.

Gerhard Schroeder of Germany sent 5,350 soldiers and policemen to Afghanistan but flat out refused to have anything to do with the Iraq War in the most uneqivocal terms.

Mr Blair pops up a bit more fleshed out about page 192.   Mr Bush had invited him as a special guest to join him for speech he was making on Capitol Hall.  Tony reiterated that Great Britain would "be at our side.  America's closest ally in the wars of the last century would be with us in the first war on the new century".  Lucky us.  As the moment to deliver the speech approached Tony said "You don't seem the least bit nervous, George.  Dont you need some time to be alone?"  George relates that he hadn't even thought of having any alone time before his gig, but now Tony had suggested this radical idea he'd decided that no he didn't need it.  He knew what he was going to say and he had Tony his mate there.  He said

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans:  In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American people.  We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground -- passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer.

And would you please help me to welcome his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight. We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion. We've seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers -- in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own. My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union -- and it is strong.

You can read the whole transcript here if you have a spare decade.... Mr Blair pops up again about page 230 where Mr Bush recalls his visit (with Cherie) to Camp David in Feburary 2001:  "I wasn't sure what to expect from Tony.  I knew he was a left-of-center Labour Party prime minister (lower case) and a close friend of Bill Clinton's.  I quickly found he was candid friendly, and engaging. 

There was no stuffiness about Tony and Cherie.  After dinner, we decided to watch a movie.  When they agreed on Meet the Parents, a comedy starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Laura and I knew the Bushes and Blairs would get along
".  So while we may not learn from this book much about the implict promise Sir Christopher Meyer claimed Blair made at this meeting to go to war in Iraq later we have learned that to relax the man who's father is a retired Director of Central Intelligence likes to watch films about a domineering retired CIA counterintelligence officer.  The long  Catoctin Mountain Park evenings must just fly by...

In the Summer of the same year Mr Blair invited Mr Bush to Chequers which he describes slightly unflatteringly as "a large, creaky house filled with rustic, comfortable furniture and portraits of former prime ministers (lower case)". I do apologise if I'm giving away the plot of this book.  Despite Cherie hectoring Mr Bush on the subject of his love of the death penalty Mr Blair went on to be Mr Bush's "best friend" on the world stage and Mr Blair went to the US more than 30 times during Mr Bush's Presidency. 

In November 2003 Mr Bush went to the Blair's home near Trimdon Colliary where he had a cup of tea and they went to the Dunn Cow Inn where he had fish and chips and a nonalcoholic Bitburger larger.  One does wonder what the point of being the most powerful man on earth is if you cant drink on the job or why anyone would pay full price for this piece of information when it's available on the BBC website in far more detail.  A £1m security operation had been mounted around the Sedgefield constituency, with hundreds of police on duty for the visit.  The Bushes and the Blairs all chose the same meal from the pub's menu, starting with cream of potato and leek soup, followed by fish and chips with mushy peas and then lemon creme brulee for pudding.  It seems George. W. Bush says he quit drinking after alcohol began to zap his energy hence our new marketing slogan:

Dont Start War Drink Beer

Intelligent readers may have noticed that in a page we've just skipped two years including the most interesting bits of that period but plodding on ... Bush who looked as though he had a bullet proof vest under his suit because everyone wanted to put a cap in his arse from what I remember of the TV footage says that everyone was very welcoming except a man with a placard warning of "Mad Cowboy Disease".  There's some stuff about Blair's "quick wit" and a joke about them both using the same toothpaste.  On page 232 Mr Bush recalls how during the final week of his Presidency he was proud to make Mr Blair one of the few foreign leaders to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  "Above all, Tony Blair had courage ... Like me, Tony considered Saddam a threat the world could not tolerate after 9/11".  Just a shame that's not what he told US.


On page 238 we suddenly jump back in time to September 7, 2002 where everyone is sat "in the same room trying to find a way to remove the threat in Iraq without war".  Tony Blair came to dinner that night at Camp David.  "He was pleased when I told him I was planning to ask the UN for a resolution.  "Many opponents wish we would just be unilateral - then they could complain," he said. "But you are calling their Bluff".  We both understood what the decision meant.  Once we laid out our position at the UN, we had to be willing to follow through with the consequences.  If diplomacy failed, there would be only one option left.  "I dont want to go to war," I told Tony, "but I will do it".  Tony agreed [Tony agreed to go to war or Tony agreed Mr Bush would go to war?].  After the meeting I told Alastair Campbell, one of Tony's top aides, "Your man has got cojones [Mexican/puerto rican/cuban/south american for testicles for those of you who haven't studied the correct module of CRT because it's banned in Arizona]." I'm not sure how that translated to the refined ears of 10 Downing Street.  But to anyone from Texas, it's meaning was clear".  It's rather sweet to think of anyone thinking of Alistair Campbell as in any way "refined" but then again Mr Bush does seem to speak a fair volume of cojones himself.

Page 244 recalls Hans Blix 27 of January report “had discovered warheads that Saddam had failed to declare or destroy, indications of the highly toxic VX nerve agent, and precursor chemicals for mustard gas”. 

This we have already covered in the JIC goes Pear Shaped in Iraq but the detail is redacted from the transcript:

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: I think UNMOVIC did find some evidence on VX activity. Were these sources related to the evidence that UNMOVIC --

JULIAN MILLER: I'm afraid I don't know.

SIR JOHN SCARLETT: No, they found traces of VX in warheads, as I recall, but I can't, I'm afraid, immediately date that. It would be late 1990s, I think.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: So if we just move forward with chemical to March 2002 to September, there's more information coming through during the course of 2002.

JULIAN MILLER: There was a certain amount underlying the March paper, not very much new intelligence underlying the March paper, but one of the reports on ballistic missiles had carried at least the implication that the person reporting believed that there was filling of missile warheads with chemical agents.  [REDACTED] ...Again, it wasn't particularly influential on the assessments, but it carried an implication that there was knowledge of these programmes proceeding. But for the March report, there wasn't a great deal of new concrete intelligence to build on the picture from the previous year.

Your guess is as good as mine as to what that actually means there ... note that Bush says "indications" not "traces".  What is an "indication" of VX?  Bush moans that Iraq had violated Resolution 1441 by blocking U-2 flights [Iraq agreed to allow these on 10 Feb 2003] and hiding 3000 documents in the home of an Iraqi nuclear official.  Blix describes the finding of these documents thus "
Intelligence information has been useful for UNMOVIC. In one case, it led us to a private home where documents mainly relating to laser enrichment of uranium were found. In other cases, intelligence has led to sites where no proscribed items were found. Even in such cases, however, inspection of these sites were useful in proving the absence of such items and in some cases the presence of other items - conventional munitions. It showed that conventional arms are being moved around the country and that movements are not necessarily related to weapons of mass destruction."

Bush quotes Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA stating that the burden of proof to prove that it is entirely innocent is Iraq’s.  “The ball is entirely in Iraq’s court… Iraq now has to prove that it is innocent… They need to go out of their way to prove through whatever possible means that they have no weapons of mass destruction”.   Which raises the philosophical question : How do you prove something does not exist? 

You can read Blix's full statement to the UN here.  Probably the most apposite quote that can be extracted is "How much, if any, is left of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and related proscribed items and programmes? So far, UNMOVIC has not found any such weapons, only a small number of empty chemical munitions, which should have been declared and destroyed. Another matter - and one of great significance - is that many proscribed weapons and items are not accounted for. To take an example, a document, which Iraq provided, suggested to us that some 1,000 tonnes of chemical agent were "unaccounted for". One must not jump to the conclusion that they exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded. If they exist, they should be presented for destruction. If they do not exist, credible evidence to that effect should be presented.".

In January 2003 Tony Blair came to Washington for a “strategy session” when “We agreed that Saddam had violated the UN Security Council Resolution 1441 by submitting a false declaration.  We had ample justification to enforce the “serious consequences”".  But Tony still wanted to go back to the UN.  “It’s not that we need it,” Tony said.  “A second resolution gives us military and political protection”.

Dick and Don

Dick, Don and Condi” were opposed to this plan while “Colin” said it wasn’t happening but if Tony wanted it he would try.  And so we end up back al Colin Powell’s powerpoint.  Colin spent four days and nights (one would have thought it would have been more sensible to spend 8 days and no nights – where’s the rush?) at the CIS “personally reviewing the intelligence to ensure he was comfortable with every word of his speech”.  On February 5 2003 he took the mike at the Security Council.  This did not go well and indeed we now know that some of it was cojones.

We are both moral men,”
was the most diplomatic way Jaques Chirac could put it to Mr Bush,
but in this case we see Morality differently.” 

Mr Chirac's unique sense of morality of course eventually led on the 15 December 2011 to
a two-year suspended prison sentence for diverting public funds and abusing public confidence but that's an unrelated matter...

Mr Bush replied politely but thought to himself

If a dictator who tortures and gasses his people is not immoral, then who is?”. 

Still Schroeder, Putin and Chirac all said “Non”.  Some of them on television.  Jose Maria Aznar of Spain said "Si" and lobbied with them for a resolution. 

Jose Maria Aznar was not seeking re-election in 2004 so didn't have much personally to lose by going to war in 2003.  A partial transcript of his conversation with Mr Bush in Crawford, Texas on 22nd of Feburary 2003 was leaked to El País, a Madrid daily newspaper, published on September 26, 2007.  A short summary is available here.  It's most remarkable claim is that Saddam could have been bought off for a price of $1bn.  As Bush himself remarks a bloodless outcome would be the best as it would "save $50bn".  Then again maybe we know the price of Saddam but the value of nothing.  Spain's major cities were the scene of the largest street demonstrations ever seen in the country.  Aznar's party lost the 2004 election.

Tony said that if they lined up enough supporters France and Russia might abstain.  “If not, we would pull down the resolution and it would be clear they had blocked the final diplomatic effort”.  Tony was “facing intense internal pressure on the issue of Iraq, and it was important for him to show that he had exhausted every possible alternative to military force.  Factions of the Labour Party had revolted against him.  By early March it wasn’t clear if his government could survive”.

Mr Bush called Mr Blair and told him he’d rather have him drop out of the coalition and keep his government than try to stay in and lose it. ““I said I’m with you,” Tony answered.  I pressed my point again.  “I understand that, and that’s good of you to say,” he replied. “I absolutely believe in this.  I will take it up to the very last.””

On page 404 Mr Bush tells us how he told the Palestinians they needed a new leadership “My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security.  There is simply no way to achieve that peace until all parties fight terror….” 24 June 2002.  “You’ve really kicked up quite a storm, George,” said Tony with a smile in the gym. 

Others were less accepting.  Jaques Chirac, Eurpoean President Ronano Prodi and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien clearly disapproved.  By rejecting Arafat, the heralded Nobel Peace Prize winner, I had upended their worldview.  I told them I was convinced Arafat would never prove a reliable partner for peace.”  Sometimes reading this book I think it’s real purpose is not to tell us anything about George but that it is a sort of statement that "see I did it anyway" or even ... a list of very old scores to be settled.  Kind of as if it had been written by the Melkur.

On page 409 we learn that “The day he left Downing Street Tony Blair accepted a post as special envoy  to help the Palestinians build the institutions of a democratic state.  It wasn’t glamourous work, but it was necessary.  “If I win the Nobel Peace Prize,” Tony joked, “you will know I have failed”".  Oooh… callback.

And there’s something about Blair and sanctions against Iran on page 417…

Anyway here's the usual resume of what we've covered so far in previous articles:

Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 1 Covers public evidence from Christopher Meyer, Jeremy Greenstock, Tim Dowse, Edward Chaplin, Sir David Manning, Sir William Patey, Vice Admiral Charles Style, General Sir John Reith, Alistair Campbell, Lieutenant General Sir Richard Shirreff and Geoff Hoon
Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 2 Covers public evidence from Jonathan Powell, Lord Goldsmith, Margaret Beckett, John Hutton, Sir Kevin Tebbit, General the Lord Walker of Aldringham, Clare Short, Ann Clwyd, Gordon Brown and endless analysis of what Jaques Chirac meant without asking him.
Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 3 Covers public evidence from Douglas Alexander, David Miliband, Cathy Adams,  Sir John Holmes, Sir Jonathan Cunliffe, Mark Etherington CBE and Lord Boateng.
Pear Shaped Iraq_Enquiry_Enquiry Page 4 Covers public evidence from Carne Ross, Lt Gen Sir James Dutton KCB CBE, Stephen White, Baroness Elizabeth Manningham-Buller, Sir Peter Spencer KCB, Lord Prescott, Tony Blair (again) and Jack Straw.  It also covers some ludicrous conspiracy theories.
Most of the first 4 pages are brief commentary with the transcripts re-edited in Xtranormal format (the videos are on Youtube).  For the next article we tried a different approach with a mixture of commentary, transcripts and Xtranormal animation...
MI6 goes Pear Shaped Iraq Covers SIS private evidence from MI6 officers SIS1, SIS2, SIS3,SIS4, SIS5 and SIS6 and C (Sir Richard Dearlove).  The Iraq Inquiry have so far interviewed (as far as I can figure out) at least 12 members of MI6. SIS1, SIS2, SIS3,SIS4, SIS5 and SIS6 have all had their transcripts published in some form whereas statements have been made that SIS8, SIS9 and SIS11’s transcripts will never be published due to the fact that “The Committee has concluded, in line with its Protocols, that it would not be possible to redact and publish the transcript without rendering it unintelligible”. Which leaves open the question of what’s happened to SIS7, SIS10 and SIS12’s testimony and will we ever see a transcript because the inquiry has not made a statement that we wont…?
Reconstruction goes Pear Shaped in Iraq Covers the reconstruction effort after the invasion and the private evidence of Edward Chaplin CMG OBE, The Hon Dominic Asquith CMG and Christopher Prentice CMG, HM Ambassadors to Iraq (2004 – 2009 collectively) and DFID and FCO functionaries JOHN TUCKNOTT, JONNY BAXTER, RICHARD JONES, ROB TINLINE, KATHLEEN REID, LINDY CAMERON, SIMON COLLIS, JAMES TANSLEY and TIM FOY
Kurdistan Goes Pear Shaped With Emma Sky - Emma Sky was sent to the US controlled region of Kirkuk in Kurdistan by the USA who secured her services from the British Council.  She maintains she was acting as effectively as a private citizen (not an employee of the British Government) at the time which is why she has a page entirely to herself.
The JIC goes Pear Shaped in Iraq - Sir John Scarlett and Julian Miller (heads of the JIC during the run up to the invasion) and Sir William Erhman and Tim Dowse (heads of of the JIC after the invasion of Iraq in 2003) discuss the actual evidence or lack of it for the claims within the two dossiers and illuminate us as the JIC intelligence QC processes in what is widely regarded as one of the most boring pages on the internet.
Defence Intelligence goes Pear Shaped - Martin Howard the head of the DIS is interviewed by the inquiry both in public and in private. This page is extremely tedious.
GCHQ goes Pear Shaped - Sir David Pepper tells us what went on at GCHQ after the war and no one tells us what went on at GCHQ in the run-up to the war
Major General Michael Laurie goes Pear Shaped - More fun from the DIS

By the way if you cant see the inline videos properly you're probably using the 64 bit version of Windows Explorer 9.  Use a 32 bit version - you can download off the Microsoft website ...although it might just work now.  Or just use a browser that isn't entirely composed of old ActiveX controls and actually uses the HTML standards because its not built by egomaniacs.  You can also view all the animations on this Youtube page if that's easier.  As stated in the previous article this page is nonsense.  If you want a sensible analysis instead try the Iraq Inquiry Digest

That said there are NO inline animations in this page because I couldn't be bothered to struggle with GoAnimate.  We've gone for inapporopriate images instead.  I may insert some animations at a later date.  If I can be arsed..

Anyway this page is supposed to be about Major General Tim Tyler ... possibly the last person we shall be writing about as this is the only piece of the Private Evidence we hadn't done yet.  Major General Tim Tyler's evidence largely concerns his time as Deputy Commander Iraq Survey Group, 2004 looking for WMD with Mr Duelfer.  They seek WMD here, they seek WMD there.  Mr Duelfer seeks WMD everywhere.  Is it in heaven or is he in hell?  Those demned elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction.  As usual...

In the top part of this article of course I've used a completely different colour convention just to confuse you...

But anyway... Thursday, 3 June 2010

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER's transcript begins incorrectly by attributing the introductory prologue of the chairman to the Major.  I presume?  So we have corrected this.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER THE PROLOGUE: Welcome, General Tyler. We are welcoming this afternoon Major General Tim Tyler.  The session is being held in private because we recognise much of the evidence in the areas we want to cover will be sensitive within the categories set out in the Inquiry's "Protocol on Sensitive Information", for example on the grounds of international relations or defence capability. In particular we want to use this session to explore issues covered by classified documents.

We will apply the Protocol between the Inquiry and HMG regarding documents and other written and electronic information in considering whether and how evidence given in relation to classified documents and/or sensitive matters more widely can be drawn on and explained in public either in the Inquiry report or, where appropriate, at an earlier stage.  If other evidence is given during this hearing which neither relates to classified documents nor engages any of the categories set out in the "Protocol on Sensitive Information", that evidence would be capable of being published, subject to the procedures set out in the Inquiry Secretary's letter to you.

We recognise that every witness gives evidence based on their recollection and we check what we hear against the papers.  I remind every witness on each occasion that they will later be asked to sign a transcript of their evidence to the effect that the evidence given is truthful, fair and accurate. Now, on this occasion, for security reasons, we can't release copies of the transcript outside this building, upstairs. But of course you can have access whenever you want here.  I think, with that, I would like to ask really an opening question. You gave us a written statement, for which many thanks indeed.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I hope it covered the sort of things you were after.

To the DIS goes
                                                  Pear Shaped in Iraq

The ISG is the Iraq Survey Group - already covered in too much detail here.

THE CHAIRMAN: Most helpful, and that then means we've got some understanding already of your ISG role. We are asking questions today only in relation to that, but we would like a little more detail. So could you say a little bit to colour in, or flesh out, your role and function in the ISG? What was it like?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: What was it supposed to be and what was it like? Actually, I think the two are pretty similar. I think it is important to recognise that there were the two definite bits: there was the deputy commander of the Iraq Survey Group and then there was the senior British military representative within the Iraq Survey Group.

THE CHAIRMAN: In the chain of command? In one chain of command?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, we will talk about this, because I had two reporting chains which reflected the difference in the ISG, as I think I set out.  So Keith Dayton, ...

... as the commander actually, described himself as being the taxi driver. It was his job to get the intelligence, because the ISG was an intelligence-led operation. Taskforce 75 -- or 45, or whatever its number was -- was a military operation that went round looking.

The ISG was set up to analyse the -- or to take the intelligence, which is always a slightly unusual word, and then try and relate that to the ground. So it was intelligence-led obviously and Keith described his role to me as being the taxi driver and Kay, and subsequently Duelfer ...

To the JIC goes
                                                  Pear Shaped

...and his cohort, were the people who paid the fare.  So as a deputy commander of the ISG my role was very specifically about making sure that the taxi operated, if that is a reasonable analogy.  As a senior UK rep, I had two lines of reporting, formal ones. One was to DIS in London, to  [REDACTED]  and Rockingham I think it was called.

THE CHAIRMAN: The Rockingham cell.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: The Rockingham cell.

For those of you who feel you might have read this before.... You have Rockingham was the operation to infiltrate UNSCOM.  We've covered this before but here is the graphic again...

THE CHAIRMAN: Sorry,  [REDACTED]   at the time?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well I can't remember what his role was but he was in DIS.

THE CHAIRMAN: Not head of DIS?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: No, no, the head was Ridgeway who we had nothing to do with. Howard was in charge and then Rockingham reported to Howard and

This is Michael Howard head of the DIS


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: So I reported directly back to the Rockingham cell for the intelligence aspects and being a sort of senior UK rep and then to PJHQ on all military aspects.

As the regularly bored will remember from Major General Michael Laurie goes Pear Shaped The Permanent Joint Headquarters

THE CHAIRMAN: Content -- substance of the collection -- and the analysis coming in, or the first analysis; that was going back to DIS via Rockingham --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, anything to do with the intelligence operation went in through DIS.  Now, on the ground, I had informal relations -- well, not informal. I liaised with the Senior British Military Commander, the SBMRI, who was Andrew Figgures...

..., who told me the other day that he had come and talked to you, at that time and [REDACTED] Similarly, I had relations with the UK component of the US corps, which was at that stage the senior command and the senior intelligence officer, partly because he had the responsibility for the -- specialist responsibility for the behaviours of the debriefers, or interrogators, which of course is a specialist area and you have to have the appropriate training, which I didn't do.

Lynndie England a US interrogator demonstrates her appropriate "on the job" training

Since these photographs were taken the ironically named Ms England (who was low enough down the food chain to be allowed responsibility) has been released from her own three year prison sentence to tour the TV studios of the USA plugging Tortured: Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib and the Photographs that Shocked the World her authorised biography.  She regularly bemoans that she is now on anti-depressant medication and that electrocuting the genitals of Iraqi POWs has unfairly disadvantaged her in the job market where she is a sufferer of "discrimination".  We can tell she is now repetant because she told the Guardian "In war, you don't rat on your buddies. There were only seven of us charged, but believe me, there were a lot more behind the pictures. But we didn't rat anybody out."  Everyone's got a positive dimension to their character.  England maybe a convicted torturer, but she's a loyal.  As to her "authorised biography" we could read it but it might involve paying her money for it... however I did read the reviews on Amazon which were all very positive - even if some of that positivity didn't seem to be entirely sincere:

So in theatre there was that complication. Then of course we had the cell down in Basra, so I had relations with the UK divisional commander down in Basra. So that was all not command-related, but the two clear reporting chains were back to Rockingham and to PJHQ.

THE CHAIRMAN: I have been known to use the phrase "knitting": it was quite a complex bit of knitting, but workable?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Funnily enough, there is a picture of the knitting which I found in the papers and I thought, "My goodness, if I had known the extent of the knitting outside of the bit that I had seen, I think it..."

THE CHAIRMAN: Was there an Australian strand, by the way?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: There was an Australian strand. The three nations -- I must remember to answer your last question.  There were three nations involved in this: the US, the UK and Australia.

The Australians had a Lieutenant Colonel who was their senior bod who acted in a similar way to me, but with far less direct contact. His was much more a military -- just a sort of PJHQ chain.  So did the knitting work? From my point of view it was straightforward and therefore it did work [REDACTED]. So it was very straightforward from my point of view.  But when you look at the overall picture of the intelligence picture which had been generated before the operation, you've got to realise that there were many independent, but talking to each other, organisations forming a variety of opinions.


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: You know, hence the role for -- and I'm not familiar with how it worked before, but for Scarlett's committee [I think he means the JIC] to try and bring all that together and certainly so that was evident as to how things had been before the operation [REDACTED] The interesting thing about the ISG, and what was regarded as groundbreaking at the time -- which was partly that no-one had ever tried to look at an intelligence operation and then look at it backwards from what you actually found on the ground -- is that they had put as many agencies as possible into one organisation and sat them on the same floor in a open plan office, therefore bringing those disparate views and approaches just about as close as you could.

So Major General Tim Tyler's explanation for any confusions is that although the Iraq Survey Group's reporting chains may have been pastures this didn't matter too much as they sorted it all out by having an open plan office.
This is actually RedBalloon office photographed by Veronica Therese but I imagine it's sort of like what the ISG may've been like.

As far as I could tell, communication between these organisations was pretty good and you did actually have people from different agencies coming together in the biological warfare cell and different agencies coming together in the procurement cell. So actually the way it was put together actually on the floor looked much better than the knitting diagram does. That was, I think, the trick in bringing the ISG together which was unique. [REDACTED]




MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: [REDACTED]  But at the time, of course, the main effort in Iraq was in dealing with the insurgency? [REDACTED]



[REDACTED] ? I think one last one from me, before getting to the meat of it, was you had a phone call or a conversation with someone to say you are going off to do this thing: pre-briefing, direction, instructions, guidance?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I was just talking to Margaret about that outside.

This is the usually unseen character of the Iraq Inquiry Secretary, Margaret Aldred CB CBE. Apart from some questions about whether she ws too involved in decisions at the time of the war to be an appropriate appointment there was some awkwardness when Carne Ross UK’s Iraq expert  at the UN Security Council between 1998 and 2002, said he was told by the ‘very aggressive’ official that if he discussed Dr Kelly during his testimony, he would be silenced.  Why exactly is Ms Aldred talking to the witnesses off the record before they give evidence?  We couldn't find an official photo of Ms Aldred but I think she is the woman who always sits on the right of Sir John Chilcot.  If not ...who's that then?

Yes, I only went there for a relatively short time which, as history turned out, was probably a good thing because over the gap and then my successor, Graham Morrison, came in.

I couldn't find a picture of Graham Morrison on the internet but we did find this website of photos taken by a Mr Graham Morrison in Iraq in 2004.  Could they be connected?

So I appeared in a gap. I had one of those lovely things, a short gap between jobs anyway, so I had some time and I did get the call. I spent -- and I can't remember how long, I spent a couple of days reading quite a lot of background papers, making sure I had read the famous dodgy dossier back to front so I knew what I was after --

THE CHAIRMAN: And the September dossier, I hope.

Anyone confused as to which dossier is which should refer to the dossiergram.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And the September report. Although I'm not sure how widely circulated that had been, but I did read that and I can't remember when. I spent a day in the Rockingham cell looking at the way we were going and what people understood about the nature of the business there and [REDACTED] , and I spent a day with PJHQ looking at the more military side and also getting into the way in which the wider intelligence picture was being operated, because as I said in my report you couldn't ever distance yourself completely from the wider intelligence operation that was going on in Iraq.

THE CHAIRMAN: Sure. I just wondered who was designing your role, your function?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, it had grown from the start.

THE CHAIRMAN: Out of the original circle?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Out of the original documents? Funnily enough, I don't remember reading it, although I'm sure I did.  But looking at the original Frag O at which it was set up, the model there had stood the test of time -- and I think a point worth making now in the context of this is that the very clear direction that I was given was that this was to be a genuinely open search for the truth; that it was an intelligence-led organisation; that Dr Kay ....

Former UN Cheif Weapons inspector David Kay

...had been appointed to lead it; that he had the executive responsibility for that; that, yes, there would be a UK interest and it was important for me to make sure, without ever upsetting sensitivities, to keep Rockingham and London informed as to where we were going. But there was never any indication that a particular answer was being sought.  Then I think the other point which I do want to say quite early, because I feel very strongly about it and there is a danger I might miss it, is that actually the intelligence analysts who had spent their lives looking at Iraq who, generally speaking, were still convinced that there were WMD to be found, and the one or two -- both UK and US -- people who had been working in the inspection regime over a number of years who, generally speaking, felt they weren't to be found; all worked very closely together and in a entirely objective way. I was very impressed with them. 

So that when a sniff suddenly occurred, you know, we would get something really interesting, the excitement of course came to boiling pitch and that was where you occasionally saw this otherwise good liaison across the floor, so to say -- because this particular agency wanted to be the person who put their hands on it. We used to have one of those once a week and then when you realised that actually it wasn't that, actually everything calmed straight down and people were back to being genuinely analytical and behaving in an entirely honourable way. There were one or two -- and there was one girl in particular who, when she realised that actually it was wrong, it really affected her, but she went all the way to that point and at that point she said,

and she had been there for -- so I was very impressed by the way in which the people behaved in the ISG.

THE CHAIRMAN: Just going back, I mean you got there at the beginning of 2004.


THE CHAIRMAN: By then there was no sense of, as it were, a security mission in the sense of, "These things are still lying around, we've got to keep them safe from terrorist organisations or the former regime"?


THE CHAIRMAN: That had all gone, it was purely a retrospective?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: It was definitely an intelligence-led operation.

THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, okay.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And when I got there, Kay's September report had generated an expectation in capitals and there were quite a number of people who weren't surprised that he went, because they were feeling that way, and there were a significant number who felt that he had got it wrong. So it was very balanced at that time and you see that coming through in Duelfer's status report, because even if he had a preconception he certainly doesn't reflect that in his status report.

THE CHAIRMAN: Which was not an interim report because he didn't want one?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, the first big problem was when Kay went there was a responsibility for somebody to report to Congress in about February and what were we going to do about that?

THE CHAIRMAN: I can't resist a tiny reminiscence...

I like Sir John's reminiscences they usually remind me of
Rowley Birkin QC but this one is just another example of a flasback to ...

The Butler report on the total lack of WMD found after the war is remembered as much for the natty attire of the particpants as it's total lack of political credibility.  From left to right ....

Sir John Chilcot (previous SIS shop steward now heading this Inquiry)

Michael Mates (Conservative MP who sat on the committee despite Michael Howard saying that the Conservative Party would not be officially taking part as the terms of reference of the Inquiry were "unaccetably restrictive"

Ann Taylor, Labour MP who supported the invasion of Iraq and was actually involved in drafting the "dodgy dossier" (please consult the dossiergram if you can't remember which dossier was which), chair of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), and former chief whip of the Labour Party
Field Marshal The Lord Inge former Cheif of Defence Staff

The Lord Butler of Brockwell (ex Cabinet secretary)

THE CHAIRMAN:  ..., but I got there briefly with the Butler Committee in the summer after your time, and just becoming aware of this huge archive of untranslated material, documents from targets, found documents and the rest of it. If you were going to do the job thoroughly to the last inch it was going to take decades really?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, and prioritising was always the challenge.

THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, I think --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And how you prioritised the document -- well, there were ways of prioritising documents you couldn't understand, but they were pretty rough and ready and it was a needle in a small haystack, as opposed to a big one.

THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Martin, over to you.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: In your statement you explain the problem of the shortage of interpreters and the UK sometimes struggled to meet its --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Quota. [Yes, Immigration and Quota systems I'm sure there's a joke there]

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: -- commitment. Can you explain to us what was the UK commitment and by how much and for what duration did it fail to meet its commitment?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I'm sure somewhere in here there is a bit of paper I could find, but we are talking about, I guess, no more than ten and we tended to be struggling to get -- you know, it would be two or three on occasions and that would sometimes be two and sometimes be three and what we sought to do was to try and make sure that we managed the gaps into the right places. I mean there is a list somewhere so I would hate to say -- if you want the number I'm sure I can find it.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: No, we have got the number.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: If you've got the number -- you are probably looking at it and I am not. But in overall terms it was quite a small number that we had and a relatively small variation.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: Who in the UK was responsible for providing them?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, we had the opportunity to get civilian and military ones and I can't remember quite how we did it, but it was part of the manning list. Every week we submitted a return, which I think you have been given copies of, they are called the assess reps and you will see that there was a list on the front of each one of those saying who was due in and who was due out and identifying the problem back to PJHQ, and that was also copied into the Rockingham cell. So that was how it was handled. And that was the same for interpreters, for analysts, for military staff.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: How did the shortage of interpreters impact on the operations?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I don't want to answer that question purely in the UK context, because they were all part of a pool and I think my same general comments apply to the debriefers.


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: It was part of the constraint on undertaking operations of all sorts, be those document translation or trips out, and by and large the military ones went out and the civilian ones stayed in, although that wasn't necessarily the case. Civilians could go out if they agreed to.  But there were lots of other constraints on the operations and the most predominant one was the security situation in the place that we were going and the ability of ourselves to provide appropriate security and, in the case of particularly difficult areas or particularly sensitive operations, to liaise with the security forces in whose area of operation we were moving to make sure that was coordinated.

THE CHAIRMAN: Did you have your own dedicated force protection capability?


THE CHAIRMAN: No, you the ISG, or did you have to borrow it all the time?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: We had a wonderful body of national guardsmen who guarded the perimeter and then we had, within the organisation, these collections of things called "mobile collection teams", which was an odd word, which was a force of -- I'm struggling to remember now, but I think it was sort of 200 or 300, manned mostly by the US, again mostly reservists, and equipped by them. But our commitment was to provide some of the team commanders and, as I said in my report, they tended to be junior officers who were used to what to do round the back streets of Belfast and could therefore get round the back streets of Baghdad in vehicles.

The end of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland freed up a lot of staff

So our commitment to that was relatively small.  But as the overall security situation got worse, it was more difficult to man some of the operations, particularly around Baghdad.  [REDACTED].  So I think the major constraint on us going out and about was the security situation and in any case we had, as I say, this prioritised list of operations which we would keep reviewing. That was done twice a week by the ops cell. There would be a list of tasks that were produced by the analysts and those would go into the ops cell to assess the state of the risk and the other resources that would be available. So it would be wrong to say that interpreters per se was a major difficulty: it was one of those things that had to be managed.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: And was there a certain point at which the security problems overrode the personnel?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: No, not in my time. I wouldn't describe any step functions. Just in the three months that I was there it just got gradually worse, to the extent that I used to have a soft skin vehicle when I went down to Baghdad and I was quite comfortable when I started, and my successor very quickly had an armoured vehicle after I left.

THE CHAIRMAN: On a side note, we have had a lot of evidence much more generally about the duty of care responsibilities and the problems particularly where you've got mixed civilian and military. Did you have that responsibility within ISG for the UK component?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I had responsibility for the UK component.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any problems thereby?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, there were some things which came up and if you wanted to read some of the reports you may have seen, there was the issue of the protection against incoming missiles and small arms, which I had to have a conversation about and actually it was fine.  We did have one quite interesting debate which was that at  some point it looked as if we were having our national guard people withdrawn and we were going to have contractors guarding their perimeter and even contractors coming out with the MCTs [I think this is the US Marines but I long ago had acronym meltdown]...

..., at which point I had to dive for the UK doctrine of law on this and I had to say to the General, "We won't be able to operate like that". Actually, that was dealt with and in fact me saying that was apparently the clincher which meant that the US turned some more national guardsmen out for us. So those sorts of relations between myself and Keith Dayton were very good.  

According to Martin Howard of the DIS the Iraq Survey Group
was going to be a DIA organsiation
headed by Major General Keith Dayton
until David Kay was put in charge of it

In the case of civilians who came out as analysts, it was, I recall, actually in the end a matter of their choice. But we would make sure that they understood what they were doing.

THE CHAIRMAN: I was just going to ask that question: is volunteering enough by a civilian who is under a different regime or set of expectations of duty of care?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I'm sure the rules are much clearer now than they were then, so I can't remember where I turned to for advice on this. But we did have conversations and, as I recall, my thinking was, first of all establish whether the individual is happy to do this operation or not, and that would vary operation to operation, and then secondly step aside and think whether you think the operation is worth doing with a commensurate risk. So in the end it was my responsibility to say whether they should or shouldn't.

THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, okay, thanks.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: But I'm not sure it was ever written down anywhere. I mean, being the deputy adjutant general after that, I think I probably would have written it down.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: Can you give some indication of perhaps the number or percentage of tasks which you didn't feel were carried out because of these issues?

How do you list tasks that haven't been done.  Surely that list is infinite?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: No, because there was this big list of operations and we prioritised them against risk and benefit much more generally. So it would be wrong to assume that there was one thing which we said, "We can't do it because it is too risky": there was always something which was more important than others. 

I'm so glad Major General Tim agrees with me.

Of course if something was inherently -- there isn't an objective level of risk. It's always subjective and you can alter it by the degree of wraparound you put around it. So if you really thought it was very important, it would be very risky at one level of security and less risky at another level of security. That was why I said earlier that there were times when we did it ourselves and there were times when we would have to coordinate an operation so that we were getting additional support, you know, from the organisation in whose area we were operating.  [REDACTED]

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: Can I turn to debriefers and the shortfall in debriefers. What impact did the shortfall have in terms of your ability to get --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Can I just step back from answering the question a little bit and say that one thing that absolutely startled me was both the UK and US lack of capability in this area going into an operation of that sort.  When Saddam was captured, it's my view that no-one had ever thought about quite what was going to happen when they captured him.

There wasn't a debriefing team that had been put in place who had thought about how they were going to do it and there was a bit of a struggle about who was going to do it. So I don't think that the coalition, generally speaking, had thought about this properly before and certainly it didn't have a plan to get on to a smarter footing while we were there.  So the military -- both the US and the UK -- have a structure of people who are trained to question, by and large, prisoners of war and some of them are more qualified than others, ...

...and they were deployed in what I consider to be a task which was well outside the expectation and we are very lucky that we have -- I didn't realise this until I got there -- quite a number of policemen as reservists who are trained questioners. So we relied on them fairly heavily and they were much respected by the US.

Readers of the original Pear Shaped Iraq Inquiry Inquiry may remember Stephen White OBE Director of Law and Order and Senior Police Adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003 to 2004 was very unhappy about what sounds like a near catastrophic lack of back up. A situation that turned into a PR disaster for the government when they allowed him to collaborate in a documentary for the BBC called "Basra Beat".

We seemed to do rather better than they did.  Then I think the next point to make is that one has to get absolutely the right understanding of what these people were doing. The analysts would say, "I'm trying to find out about subject X and I think person Y must know something about it", and they would then identify a line of questioning, would brief the debriefer, who would then discuss with the analyst how you might go and the difficulties and how you keep lines open and the sort of questions you would use to corroborate what other witnesses were saying. So it was quite a long, complicated process to get this right. Then you would go and talk to Tariq Aziz or whoever it was, or Chemical Ali, who by and large didn't want to talk to you.

Ronald Reagan and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz
meet at the White House on November 26, 1984
when the U.S. and Iraq restored diplomatic relations
he was a bit more chatty.

Duelfer makes this point very clearly: Tariq Aziz doesn't want to talk to you and is very good at answering questions in a way which is very difficult to corroborate afterwards and is conceived to be quite unhelpful and you are doing it all through an interpreter, because despite the fact that Tariq Aziz spoke good English, he wasn't going to help us by speaking English. So while this was (a) a surprise to me, and (b) finding them was difficult, I wouldn't want you to draw a conclusion that that was the reason we didn't get anything out of the high value detainees. I mean Duelfer, in the status report -- and no doubt you will have asked him this -- makes this point, that actually getting useful information out of almost anybody in the HVDs was very, very difficult.

THE CHAIRMAN: Strong accent, underlining "useful": I mean they talked and talked and talked.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: For reasons you will understand I was never allowed to witness these, but they were very good at talking, as I understand it. The other interesting thing is that we are talking about a [REDACTED] Staff Sergeant TA talking to one of the world's most competent statesmen who has run rings around the UN Security Council on more than one occasion. So that's why I make the point that if we were ever going to go back into something like this again -- and I jolly well hope we are doing it in Afghanistan -- I think this is a really specialist job, to have the right sort of people who are good at this and speak the language.  Where we found ourselves in the spring of 2004 was that we didn't have those people and there didn't seem to be, on either side of the Atlantic, a recognition that this was an issue.

Of course, at the same time we had Abu Ghraib going on and all sorts of things, so it was quite a difficult time.






MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: [REDACTED]  So the idea that somehow you could get someone who is a good analyst and a good linguist all into one person I think is probably not a realistic thought.

THE CHAIRMAN: And quite arguably it was easier than Afghanistan would be likely to be, in the sense that most of the high value targets would be English speaking, even if they chose not to, but they were English comprehending. Afghanistan is really rather different.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, probably. I think -- well, I'm not an expert on that.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: Can I turn briefly to the UN weapons inspectors. In the DIS paper on the ISG of this May, there is a comment that

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I referred earlier to the two sort of categories of people who sat on the shop floor and they were the analysts, who spent their time looking from outside, and the inspectors who had come from inside. They are two very different sorts of person, for a start. I mean, there is a personality thing here. The person who spent his time in Langley looking at data and analysing things is not generally the sort of person who has volunteered to go and mix it in some inspections in -- so they tended to be rather different personalities. 

All the way through, and continued, you know, Blix was maintaining his position that while they may be there he hadn't seen them but he had had a jolly good look. These people -- and to be honest Duelfer I think must have had to pinch himself really not to start from that position and I thought he was an exceptionally capable and honourable bloke as well, but they definitely were from the sceptic community. They were very lively, bright people who knew their way around Iraq very well.

THE CHAIRMAN: Expert as well.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I always try just to be careful not to say someone is an expert in this, because the whole point about this was there had been lots of experts who had come up with views. They had a very particular experience. There were bits of Iraq they knew very well. There were clearly lots of bits -- and Duelfer in his status reports explains the lengths to which the Iraqi intelligence service had gone -- and they realised that they were being treated like that, but as the picture emerged of it being less and less likely that we were going to find particularly smoking guns, there was a tendency they had perhaps to become a bit more vociferous.

But I did also say to you earlier on, which is a point I wanted to make that, that actually everybody I thought behaved with great integrity when it came to actually getting down to it and saying, "What have we found and what is our interpretation of this and what shall we do next", and so on.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: So there is no way that they impeded things; they just merely had a sort of sceptical downer on things?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And all these people, all these people on both sides, although their personalities were very different, were people who wanted to live with their own consciences and realised that this was a major issue and wanted to make their opinions well heard.

SIR MARTIN GILBERT: My last question is also one that is raised in the DIS papers about the short tours and whether you felt they were a problem and whether this was also a problem for others? Compared, say, with the Americans?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I have had lots of conversations about this and there are definitely two sides -- not on this specific point, but in -- there were definitely two sides. I met Americans who had been there for 18 months and never had a day off and they should have been sent home ages before. 
[REDACTED]  So you can be there for too long and equally you can be there for too short a time.  I'm conscious that we were on relatively shorter bursts than our American colleagues. We worked pretty hard to make sure that the effect of that was minimised by scheduling people into the right sort of place and by trying to get the end of it. It was well understood by the Americans that we had a different way of doing it.  In my own case, and it was good fortune, I think, that actually I left the day the -- I arrived when Kay had resigned and I left the day the status report was published. It couldn't have been better. Then my successor went right through the final stages. So, you know, there are times when it would have been worse had I not gone after six months in July. So I think there is an issue, but I wouldn't raise it as something which was of fundamental significance.  Now, if we talk about civilians, of course, and we had lots of civilians -- both MoD, civil servants, [REDACTED] and they were entirely their own men and women, so some of them could stay for as long or as short as they wanted to. But the DIS people tended to be on a six month tour. But so long as you could schedule it, it was potentially a good thing.  Also the experts changed, so there were occasions when we said, "We don't actually need this individual, there is a phase that's gone", and there was a phase when we were doing, say, for example, we were playing around with ground penetrating radar and we got people out for a short period to meet the task. So we were actively managing that, it wasn't a rigid six months.

THE CHAIRMAN: A bit like wrestling with a bedstead, wasn't it, ground penetrating radar?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, actually, technically it looked a bit easier than that. I think the trouble was that theconfidence one had in its product was still pretty low. Although it was very advanced, it still didn't provide high levels of comfort.

THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Lawrence, over to you.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: You've said a number of times you arrived as David Kay resigned and of course David Kay resigned well away from Iraq. Did you meet him at all?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: No. No, he had gone on leave just before Christmas and I arrived just after Christmas.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: But you would have been in a position to see the impact on ISG of his departure?


SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Perhaps you could just spell that out a bit?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I didn't meet him, so this first observation is one which others would have to corroborate. He was not nearly as personally involved in the day-to-day activity as Duelfer had been. He was a bit more of a remote figure, he spent more of his time down based in Baghdad and came up for meetings, whereas Duelfer based himself -- so he wasn't known particularly well. He wasn't the same figure within the ISG which Duelfer turned out to be, I understand. So I think his absence was felt much more -- was definitely felt at the more senior level. 


So there was, without doubt, a pause when we were not being directed as well as we might have been anyway and of course that came after -- there was about a three week -- Kay left some instructions and then went and didn't come back, so the fact that Duelfer arrived after six weeks of my time and actually it was -- so there was a period in which the direction was not as firm as it might have been.  The other issue that we struggled with at the time which took people's mind off things, off the search, was what on earth to do about the report because the DCI was quite keen to report to Congress on time.

THE CHAIRMAN: He had to.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, there was a debate about whether it was Kay's responsibility or his responsibility. So we set about trying to draft an interim report and that, in the absence of the DCI's appointed representative, was almost impossible because the various different heads were not being corralled in the way that they were when Duelfer arrived. That issue, unsurprisingly therefore, took attention away from what potentially we ought to have been doing. Now, whether that was significant or not, I don't think it's -- I would find it difficult to judge.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: I mean you also said there was sympathy for [REDACTED] ?

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: But had come to a non-Bush conclusion?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Had come to a non-Bush conclusion and the problem was that he had come to it without sufficient of the evidence. He had gone so far from the September position which had said, "These are the things and I'm sure we are going to find something", to say, "No, we got it all wrong", ...

... that it was not a position which, to be fair, anyone was satisfied with.  I suppose if you knew a little bit about it, you might think that this was pressures from governments which said, "No we can't accept that", and that would be a false interpretation. I mean nobody in the ISG felt that the job had been done sufficiently and there was a need to carry on, whether they were a sceptic or not. So there was a general -- we had to do more to clarify the position. Even if you were a Kay supporter or a Kay anti, there was no sense that we should pack up and go home at that point.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: You said capitals were quite careful, but did you have a sense on the UK side of concerns about the political impact of Kay's resignation and the message that he had given?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: There were clearly political ramifications and we read about them with some amusement in the media and the speculation that was going on. But they genuinely didn't interfere with what we were trying to do. A decision had been taken early, and I think rightly, that we were never going to let the media into the ISG. It was always going to be handled at a distance. So we weren't beseiged by the press -- because there was a clear policy that we weren't going to talk to them anyway. So I think that helped.  As I say, the clear view in the ISG that the job had not been done, despite what Kay had said, even if you thought he was going to be right in the end, was that there was more to do. So we didn't have any difficulty with the capital's view, which was very clear to us, that they didn't think the job had been done either. So I think we were all genuinely aligned and there wasn't any sense in which we were being asked to do it just to save face. Genuinely people felt that the job had not been done properly.

THE CHAIRMAN: With two, as it were, different levels of perception anyway: in capital's we must have been right all along, there must be something, but at the ISG level, professionally we haven't actually done the task yet. The two were congruent although different?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes. They didn't have any difficulty at that point. The excitement which occurred, of course, which eventually got into the media, goodness knows how, was over the Duelfer status report and the golden bullet conversation. I would love to know who leaked that -- it wasn't me -- but there was at that moment a sense of, "Couldn't you say more in the status report?"

That was the only time when the issue of how, and to what extent are politics going to be involved in this, came to the fore. Again, I think perhaps this is unfashionable and certainly wouldn't be good Mirror headlines, but actually it was handled very honourably. Duelfer had had a briefing at No. 10 when he came out, which he presumably told you about, and what he said to me was that he was concerned about what the Prime Minister was going to say and I can't remember exactly his words but certainly the impression I got from Duelfer was he said that the Prime Minister said, "Go and do what you've got to do and come back with the truth".

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: From what you have said -- I don't want to spend too much time on this -- there was confidence in Duelfer when he came along, or did he take time to -- I mean presumably a lot of people knew him anyway, but did he take time to establish himself? He did have a different approach as well?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes. The moment Kay resigned, the people in the know were saying it had to be Duelfer and it was just a question of time. I think -- well, you will have asked him the question, "Did you take much persuading?" and I think he did take a bit of persuading. But the name was beginning to bubble around early in January that he would be the right person and he went down very well, you know, he was very good at talking to people.  I mean it was quite funny, he did wonder why he should speak to this British brigadier -- "What has he got to do with it?".

THE CHAIRMAN: What, you?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Me. So I discovered that he quite liked the way I made tea, so that was a good entree. Then we did get on pretty well and then I think he found that it was quite useful to have somebody who was slightly outside to bounce ideas off, particularly as I said in my notes about how to handle unwelcome news to the capitals and the importance of consultation. [REDACTED]









THE CHAIRMAN: Roderic, over to you.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: I would just like to sort of get clear on the relationships between the taxi driver and the tea maker in their uniforms, which is how you've described Dayton and yourself, and the fare payer. Who was actually the boss? Who was the person driving this? Was it the fare payer, the passenger in the back?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, and I'm using Dayton's analogy to me.


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, he was very clear that this was -- the president had appointed, had told the DCI, to do this and the DCI had appointed first Kay and then Duelfer to lead the search from an intelligence-led perspective. There was never, in my mind, any doubts that Dayton was happy with that.


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And no doubt in my mind that he behaved in a way which was consistent with that. So when a potential operation came up, you know, he would say, "Right, so"

 -- because he was responsibility for the security of these people, he would say, "Well, what are we going to do, why are we going to do it, what is the benefit?", and in the end -- you know, a bit like the question you asked me about duty of care, you know, he was taking that sort of responsibility and making sure it was properly coordinated. But in the end it was the decision of the special adviser as to how we should go about it and, as I said in my notes, you know, Duelfer took ownership of the reports which he made, absolutely, and Dayton never sought to change -- this was a pretty consultative environment, but in the end it was perfectly clear that it was Duelfer's pen that went on the bottom and he would live by his own judgment. Duelfer made it very clear that he wasn't going to accept -- and one of the reasons that the status report was written the way it was was he simply wasn't prepared to accept any previous assessment, at least until he had got to know the people and how they had come about it and so on. He didn't say, "Never, I've got to start again", but he said, "I'm not prepared to take any judgments that have been made until I understand better what you have been doing and the evidence that went behind it".

SIR RODERIC LYNE: And he was reporting to whom?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: He reported, I think, to the DCI, whose name I've forgotten. The deputy chief.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Was he being steered and instructed by the DCI?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Was he reported to? Yes. Did we have regular television conversations with the DCI? Yes. I can't say that I was in on all of them but there were routine ones which Dayton and I attended with Duelfer and the chief of staff. He would report to the DCI and the DCI would question him. But his direction was very clear to establish the truth and Duelfer made it perfectly clear that he was not going to write a report which reflected anyone's, other than his own, opinion.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Now, having you there as deputy commander, obviously we were taking our share of the responsibility but did it also mean that we had a disproportionate influence in the ISG?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Disproportionate compared with what?

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Well, compared to the scale of our input, the ratio between HMG and the US government?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I suppose it depends how you measure it in terms of outcome. Did we have a seat at the top table to watch what was going on and make sure that our views were sought at the appropriate moment? Yes, we did. You could argue, I think, that that was probably proportionate in terms of the commitment that we had made to the operation in the first place, not necessarily to the resources associated with the ISG.
I don't think anyone suggested for a minute that we were not getting the engagement that we should.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: And you were able to put your oar in? I mean, for example in the VTCs if you wanted to get a point across, they were receptive to it in this fairly harmonious working industry?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, and when Dayton wasn't there I was it and I sat next to Duelfer when we were doing it and I sat in the chair when we were talking to CENTCOM.

I mean, it didn't happen very often, but I was in all of those.  I haven't really answered your question about proportionate influence. There wasn't an outcome that we were trying to achieve other than the truth.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Well, we tried to get it across to them, among other things, that their work was going to have an impact not just in the United States but also in Britain and therefore there was a lot of sensitivity around that. Was that part of your role?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I tell you what really surprised me was the fact the Americans were putting so much effort into it in the first place, because no American soldier who I spoke to thought that WMD were important in the operation OIF at all. They were all about dealing with the impact of 9/11 and the threat that it had posed. [REDACTED]



SIR RODERIC LYNE: Also I mean one aspect of the work of the ISG was on the terrorist link, wasn't it, it wasn't just about WMD?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: It was. In my comments I sought to try and explain that. You couldn't do anything in Iraq without having an eye on the terrorism issue because it affected absolutely everything you did. When you were talking, as we were, and you were out and about talking to lots of people, some of whom had been quite influential and certainly were representative of some of the factions, it would have been foolish to have avoided those sorts of conversations.  There were documents which came our way which hinted at -- and I remember one particular excitement when they thought we've got the smoking gun over AQ in Iraq, which in the end I don't think was, but there was that aspect. So as I said, the CT component was much more, I think, in the end about making sure there was a coherent counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency intelligence picture built up for the whole of Iraq, rather than any particular desire specifically to find out anything about -- although I suppose I don't know what the orders to the other intelligence organisations in the military commands were about trying to establish an AQ link. That was certainly something that particularly interested us, but as almost a by-product of trying to work out what was going on in the insurgency and feed that into the overall picture.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: We have had some evidence, not from ISG but from elsewhere, that within the very close working relationships between British and American official representatives of one kind or another, some uniformed and some not, in Iraq there did arise from time to time problems of information sharing because of American rules about NOFORN and so on. Your expression suggests that you bumped into this, was it a serious issue with you?

NOFORN (meaning "no foreign nationals") is applied to any information that may not be released to any non-U.S. citizen. NOFORN and distribution statements are often used in conjunction with classified information or alone on SBU information. Documents subject to export controls have a specific warning to that effect. Information which is "personally identifiable" is governed by the Privacy Act of 1974 and is also subject to strict controls regardless of its level of classification.  According to wikipedia...

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I think I mentioned it. It was a regular thorn in one's side. [REDACTED]  While I was there we were struggling quite hard and Dayton and others were trying to get it cleared. Then we had a visit from the deputy director of the DIA, who was an American three star admiral, and I confronted him, I said, "What are you doing about the Bush/Blair" -- have you heard people mention the Bush/Blair pact?


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: [REDACTED]  In some cases it worked better and some cells found it more frustrating than others. In the cases where they found it frustrating they would be able, through the systems that I had got, to ask the question back into the UK, because I had a dedicated UK link.  I think it's just worth saying that, despite the Bush/Blair thing, I wasn't allowed -- everything was open except I had a door which only I and my chief of staff had the key to, because we couldn't let the Americans see it. So there was a little bit of "heads you win and tails everybody else loses". So in the case of our people who needed access --

SIR RODERIC LYNE: You kept Scotch whiskey behind the door did you?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I could tell you some stories! To break off a moment, when I arrived there
[REDACTED because something interesting might have been said to relieve the tedium]

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Score one all! 
[I mean what is this a public inquiry or Jackanory ... stupid question]

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I didn't have a problem.  So people could come in to use my system and although we couldn't get online to databases, they could get back to UK data which had come through. So it was an irritant which we had to mitigate and I can't say the extent to which that really constrained activity. Where relations were good, which generally speaking they were between the Brit and the American cells, they found some ways of working around it, but we weren't the only people who suffered from it.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: So it was a bugbear but it was a bugbear which was a familiar one?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And there was nothing to -- it was being handled at the highest possible level.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: No, we've heard this story from others
[REDACTED]   I mean that's on the information side. On the decision-making side, did you find at times that decisions were taken that you should have been consulted on that you weren't, that were taken for granted, or that didn't happen at all?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: No, as I explained, there were only three people who could walk into -- because American generals have rather a different way of doing business than British ones. There were only three people who could walk into the general's office without stopping at his XO or his chief of staff. One was the chief of staff, one was me and one was the special adviser. And I used to, and because I had that access I didn't have to fight for it.  Now we had all these routine planning meetings in which I was always involved -- I mean, I can't guarantee that there were things that were discussed that I might have been involved in that I wasn't, but I was never conscious of a decision having been taken or an approach being followed with which I would be unhappy. 
[REDACTED] very easy to get on with. Having worked in the diplomatic circuit for a bit, he had a very inclusive style with the people who he needed to be inclusive with. I've heard tales -- when I've described this to some of my colleagues who have worked with their American counterparts, they've simply not recognised the characteristics at all. So I think we were very fortunate in Keith's appointment to that because it meant that that worked well.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Can we just do a couple of minutes on the Duelfer report, which you've already referred to, and then I think perhaps we will have earned ourselves a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.

THE CHAIRMAN: Delete chocolate.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Delete chocolate in the case of the chairman.

The inquiry may have cost £7.4million so far but costs have been cut by not buying chocolate biscuits and settling for plain Digestives.  Never let it be said that Sir John is a spendthrift.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Why in the end was it a status report rather than an interim report?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I'm sure you asked Charles the choice of words and I'm not sure that I can answer that very specifically, but he saw the choice of wording. We had had an interim report from Kay and so I sense that Duelfer, and I referred to this earlier, was his own man and would not have wanted to have been confused with Kay. What he wanted to do was to set out what his approach was going to be, but he recognised that people would be interested in what had happened and his report covers both those things, you know: what has happened, how are we going about it and how am I going forward? He chose the word "status" to describe those combinations of points that he wanted to put forward.  My recollection is that he initially said, ...

..., at which point the DCI will have said, "That'll bit tricky, you know, you may be independent, Charles, but Congress is still Congress", and I think he recognised that actually it was quite useful to put his pegs in the ground and this was a way of doing it. You are nodding, maybe that's the sort of impression that he gave you too. I have had these conversations with him but it was six years ago.

THE CHAIRMAN: He precluded himself from offering conclusions.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: He definitely was not going to offer conclusions. But he was very loyal -- from the moment he arrived and he looked around, he immediately, I think, warmed to the people and warmed to the ISG, so he did want to show that the ISG had been working hard on behalf of Congress and the US and the UK. So he wanted to get that theme in and I think that theme comes through the report.  My recollection is that he wrote most of it personally, you know, he sat down with his pen after six weeks and he wanted to present to Congress what he thought, as he would describe it, the status of the ...

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Did you have to make sure, or were you asked to make sure, that his report reflected the British government's concerns?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: He didn't want the report to reflect any government's concerns. He wanted it to reflect his view of the ISG. We did have some conversations about whether it should be shared with capitals in draft and my recollection is that his initial reaction was that it was his report and he was Duelfer and he would write what he wanted, thank you very much indeed, and as it is a status report, what part have they got to play in it? I'm sure others had a bearing on it, but I explained to him why, properly handled, with a set of ground rules, and it can be explained -- you know, I had a few conversations with Nigel Sheinwald and John Scarlett explaining what he was trying to achieve and under those rules if they wanted to comment, then they would be given the opportunity so to do. That was where the golden nugget question came back, because Scarlett in his written comments back said, "What about a few of the golden nuggets?" referring to the Kay earlier report and saying, "Couldn't you say that we've got much further with these ones?" And you will know that Duelfer declined.

I want to be very clear about this: that was conducted in  a very dispassionate, logical way.

You know, London said, "What is he going to do about the report?"

and I explained the type of report he was going to write

and London said, "Well, we'd rather"

 -- and I said, "That's not what Duelfer is going to do and he told you that when he was in London on his way through", and, "Are we going to see it?”,  [Bit of ambiguity here not sure who's speaking from here on]

"Yes, you are going to see it.”

"Can we comment?”

"Yes, we can.”

"Will you reply to our comments?”,

"Yes, we will." 

And once the comments had come in and the replies had gone in, end of conversation. That was it and Duelfer was then allowed to --

SIR RODERIC LYNE: No phone call at that point from Nigel Sheinwald or John Scarlett to you saying, "Can't you make sure that he puts in the nuggets?" I mean they said,


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: We had exactly those types of conversations, you know,
"Why can't he?"
and we relayed these conversations,
but there was never a sense of desperation and pressure being applied, because I think --

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Gentle persuasion rather than arm twisting?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I think it was a classic -- I don't know your background, I'm afraid, but having worked in the Ministry of Defence at a senior level, you know, papers are read and comments are done and they are done in a dispassionate and logical way. Arguments went backwards and forwards and it felt very like that.  While, quite clearly, the people who had been party to the advice offered on both sides of the Atlantic to the decision to go to war felt passionately about it, people behaved in a very, I think, honourable and dispassionate way during these processes.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: And just looking at the nuggets from a different angle, given that by this stage some of the nuggets had turned out not to be made of gold, or were fool's gold, wasn't this an opportunity actually to straighten that out?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: No, not by this stage. They were still possibly and --

THE CHAIRMAN: No conclusion?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: And Duelfer didn't say, no, the nuggets were wrong; equally he didn't say the nuggets were right.

SIR RODERIC LYNE: Shouldn't he have taken the opportunity to have cast some doubt if the previous impression had created a perception one way?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: He was very careful not to -- you know, if he wasn't going to go one way, he certainly wasn't going to go the other way either. He said, "If I'm going to say what the status is, I'm going to say what the status is and it would be improper for me to make ...", well it depends what you mean by positive or negative conclusions, but " ... positive or negative conclusions just one way". He said, "I don't think the work has been done. It would be wrong of me to say one thing or another".  Now if I give you an example of something which I was personally involved very closely in: the old biological trailers, which had been used by Colin Powell on the floor of the UN to say "we've found it". Are you familiar with it?


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: You must be familiar with it, yes. At the time this report was written there was nobody in the ISG who seriously thought there were biotrailers. We could have said, I'm sure I discussed with Charles -- and I'm using surnames to make sure we don't get confused with Duelfer -- you know, "What are you going to say about the trailers?" And I don't think he said anything about the trailers because he could have said, "There is less than 0.1 per cent probability that this was", but he didn't because he wanted to keep his powder dry both ways.

THE CHAIRMAN: And a single conclusive remark about anything would have --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Would have laid him open to criticism: what about, what about, what about? I mean he is a very bright guy who thought this through very carefully.

THE CHAIRMAN: Let's have a cup of tea and come back in about five minutes.

(A short break)

THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I think we might restart. Lawrence over to you.


SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: One of the issues that may have arisen you've already mentioned, which was these trailers and so on. A lot of that was following up CURVE BALL.

The saga of the 45 minutes claim and it's originator "Mr Curveball" (Rhafid Ahmed Alwan al Janabi) is covered in detail in the DIS goes Pear Shaped in Iraq...

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I wondered whether we would talk about CURVE BALL.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Well we are going to now. So the credibility of CURVE BALL reporting was clearly a broader question but particularly [REDACTED]

The witness outlined the evolution of thinking within the ISG about CURVE BALL and the intelligence that had suggested that Iraq had developed mobile facilities for the production of biological agent. He described in some detail the factors that had influenced the development of that thinking, including ISG’s discoveries at sites on the ground in Iraq. The witness also outlined the ISG’s discussion with its main interlocutors, including the intelligence services of the UK, US and Australia.


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: [REDACTED] Having said that, let me just give it a moment's thought to see whether there's anything else that I can remember. Oh, the other one was the wretched mortar tubes, wasn't it, and were they a part of the --

THE CHAIRMAN: Of the centrifuge, exactly.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: The centrifuge, yes. I can recall that we were getting more convinced that they -- well, I think they were interesting because they could have been. I think there was a general conclusion that technically they might have been part of the programme but we were not in a position yet to describe what they were.  Against this, the background of this is that I don't think there was anybody who thought that Saddam wasn't enthusiastic about making progress in all these arenas. So when you got to something like ranges of rockets and the use of UAVs and the use of the tubes, or anything else where there was a dual use, at that stage we were a long way from saying whether he was exploiting their dual capability, dual potential, and that's really I think why Duelfer switched his -- not switched, but introduced this regime intent because he said, ...

... So there was still very definitely a yes and no debate running on the tubes, whereas probably it was more no than yes on the other two examples.

THE CHAIRMAN: The tubes remain something of an enigma, don't they?


This engima is covered in painful detail in the JIC goes Pear Shaped in Iraq

THE CHAIRMAN: In the sense they would have had to be reengineered for either purpose? Either for centrifuge assemblies or --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I've very carefully not read Duelfer's final report before I came here in case I got confused and so I can't remember where it ended up.

THE CHAIRMAN: I think I'm going to invite you to speculate. This was a huge financial transaction, the purchase of these tubes. Whatever they were for somebody made a hell of a lot of money in Iraq. That may have actually been the reason?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: It may well have been.  The other thing I think it's worth saying is that Saddam's regime was not the DPA. [
Defence Procurement Agency [UK]] When it came to buying equipment it was not defence equipment and support. [A further reference to the UK MOD procurement organisation] It wasn't managed in a sort of collective way. I mean there's an argument saying he did rather better than we did in some ways, because the way he ran it -- and I'm not a terrorist expert, but it struck me as being very much like a terrorist cell. The pictures of his Cabinet meetings weren't Cabinet meetings, you know, he quite clearly gave very distinct orders to individuals and expected to get the answer "yes" ....

...when he said, you know, "How are we doing?"  Now they would have, I'm certain, generated bits of hard evidence so that when he said, "Show me", they were able so to do. [REDACTED]?  That was the nature of the regime that you were dealing with. So there wasn't one Ministry of WMD: there were lots of people who had been asked to do various things, I'm sure, to which they would have wanted to reply the answer "yes". I remain convinced that, you know, once and if sanctions had been dropped and he had managed to resolve the little problem that he had with the UNSCOM and got rid of them that he would have been back there. I mean he had done it before.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Just on that, and that was obviously an important conclusion of Duelfer, the evidence for that mainly came from talking to detainees or was it from documentation?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I can't remember. I mean there were lots of reports going and I can't remember where the particular evidence had come from. I would routinely hear the reports from the cells and they would tell you where it was, where it had come from and why they were reaching that sort of conclusion. But in that particular case, of course, they hadn't reached a conclusion, they would have been, "on the one hand, on the other hand".

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: On finding things out, one of the ways things were found out was going to suspect sites. Was this largely based on the sort of information that UNMOVIC had? Was it being generated by information being found? Because this presumably --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: If we wanted to go to a site we would always try and make sure there were good grounds for it and so normally you would try and find more than one reason for going. So there was previous UN inspections, there were hints in documentary evidence, reports would come in from HUMINT (human intelligence) and the debriefing of the HVDs (High-Value Detainees), ...

This picture is stolen from the Kremlin in retaliation for what's going on in the Ukraine

...and generally speaking we would want to have more than one indicater as to why we would go somewhere. So it was a combination. That was the responsibility of the analysis cell to put all of that together.

THE CHAIRMAN: So you would construct your own, as it were, site visit packages rather than having them delivered ready-made from Rockingham or from anywhere else?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, absolutely and that was part of the operational schedule which was generated internally within the ISG. Yes, if stuff came in from anywhere else it would join the file. So, for example, if there were reports from the SIS that they had heard that somebody said that something was going on there, that would go in to generate a part of the picture and then if there was felt to be sufficient value in using whatever assets we had to go there, then the decision would be made on that basis.

THE CHAIRMAN: That's quite important, actually, isn't it, that there was that degree of autonomy, if you like, of process and judgment within ISG?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Oh absolutely, and that wasn't just a Duelfer-ism, that was present when I got there.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: While you were there was anything found at any sites that was of any major interest?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: We had lots of excitements.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: You were describing the excitements before, but you suggested a degree of anticlimax afterwards.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I have to say, during my time we didn't have any real excitements. There were quite frequent discoveries of stuff that should have been tagged but wasn't. But some of that was -- well, a good number of those -- making the connection between the WMD programme and those was quite difficult because frequently they were dual use and this was a big country which needed fertilisers and the rest of it.

So those were quite frequent.  I suppose the underwater leads were probably the most exciting and took the longest time to exploit but neither of those -- one in some lakes up to the north and then a couple of things in the River Tigris which took a lot of planning they took a long time to get. There was one of them where there was a report of activity in the river by people who shouldn't have been in the river the night before we got there and that was never -- so there was quite a few of those.  Then there was the famous [REDACTED] -- because they were Iran/Iraq mortar bombs but they were conventional but they had been seeping. So we had plenty of those, but there were no -- I mean, because if there had been, we would be having a rather different conversation, I'm sure. It would only have needed one such for us to be having a rather different conversation.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: But before the war the failure of the UNMOVIC inspectors to find very much had slowly drawn out some of the confidence that had been there that there were things to be found. So presumably that process was continuing the more sites were visited and nothing was found, the sense that there probably wasn't anything to be found?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Certainly the way I have described it, even during my time over the CURVE BALL thing there was a movement in one direction. My recollection of what Duelfer said -- although, as I said, I consciously didn't read it again before I came -- was that that was the movement that had continued.  But I don't think -- it would be wrong to say that there was, even amongst the UNMOVIC and UNSCOM people, a view that they had done a completely thorough job, because they realised there were large chunks of Iraq where things could have been going on that they had no idea about.

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened
 are always interesting to me,
because as we know,
there are known knowns;
there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns;
that is to say,
there are things that we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns –
there are things we do not know we don't know"

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: I mean there is an interesting question there. You know, before the war Rumsfeld famously had this observation that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and the problem of proving a negative. Do you think UNMOVIC could, given time, have come to similar conclusions to the sort that ISG came to or would the Iraqi government activity at that time have created a greater level of doubt as to what had been achieved?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I don't think I'm qualified to comment on UNMOVIC's potential capability, but I think I am qualified to say that the extent to which the Iraqi intelligence service and others were able to confuse UNMOVIC, the extent to which they were capable of avoiding sanctions and exploit the Oil for Food programme; I would say that almost whatever you did in terms of an inspection regime with a Saddam-run government was always likely to have been less than fully conclusive.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Thank you.  Finally, you mentioned again earlier the lack of debriefing capabilities. That must have limited the number of people that could be interviewed. Do you think there was a problem of balance in terms of interviewing people and visiting sites?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: The debriefers were associated absolutely with the detainees, not the people you met out on a trip. If you went on a trip it was the interpreter and whoever was the analyst or someone. So there was only so much debriefing you could do with the number of debriefers you had. I think the debriefer issue -- my sort of negative observations about the debriefers wasn't actually about the numbers, it was actually having people with the right skills to do that sort of debriefing in those sorts of circumstances then -- a lesson for the future, you know, the technicals, the qualifications, the skills, the language and the understanding of the environment. Somebody who is a very good questioner of someone who has been having a fight in a pub in Britain on a Friday night doesn't necessarily have the right background, or the best background. So my point about debriefers was more about the competence to debrief those sort of people.  In terms of the resources, there is never enough resources to do everything you want. In the same way that I've described how we prioritised operations looking at the risk and the balance and the benefit, there was a prioritised list of questioning of the HVDs, depending on where the particular line of inquiry in the various different cells was going.  So there isn't a sort of cut off: yes, we had enough, no we didn't. There's never enough to go around and we prioritised. Generally speaking, my recollection is that there was never a sort of major backlog.

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Okay, thanks a lot.

THE CHAIRMAN: We've set ourselves two jobs, really. One is to write the story, and you have given us a lot of help with a particular piece of it. I can't resist the simile: you found yourself with one foot on the riverbank and one foot in the boat between Kay and Duelfer and you managed to stay afloat. But the second thing we have to do is the lessons, and we've got some of those, but one or two specifics. You talked a bit about duty of care, so I think I might leave that unless there's anything outstanding from your recollection of that?

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I don't think there's anything that I would say in terms of purely the military operations armoured protection and so on which you wouldn't have heard from lots of other people.  I think the thing which I would have had rather more to deal with than anybody else was the issue of civilians and the sort of multinational -- you know, under whose rules are we going. It was definitely at that stage writing the rules as we went along.

THE CHAIRMAN: Right. The same point in a way in a different context is getting around the coalition issues about different regimes, protocols and whatever. I took from what you said that co-location was almost as important as anything else: if you can get people from the different agencies, or institutions, or countries sitting together you've got a better chance of making it work than trying to negotiate almost impossibly complex and difficult agreements.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes, and I don't think that's a lesson that you would necessarily only draw from this sort of activity. There comes a point where, however well video conferences and other things work, if you've got people trying to solve a problem you need to put them around the same table.

THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, JTAC in this country is another example of the same thing exactly.


THE CHAIRMAN: I think --

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: I'm not sure -- and don't forget this is what people regard as a unique intelligence operation, because I don't think anyone before has said, "What was it, what was the intelligence picture, now let's see if we can relate it to what's on the ground". Whether my observation about you've got to put people around the table eventually is as true when you are doing the intelligence gathering from afar, I don't think I'm qualified to judge because that's not a side of the intelligence operations with which I'm very familiar.

THE CHAIRMAN: There is a comparison which we do do a certain amount of, I think, in the UK, from what I've understood, which is red teaming in real-time, alongside. But the retrospective analysis is a different thing and this is the leading case, if not the only case.  The last thing from me though is, given your own background, it's how you bring technical expertise skills to bear in an all-source challenging and uncertain intelligence environment. Do you try to widen the perspective of your technical experts or do you try to keep them to their last but then take their product and have it analysed at a different level or in a wider context? Is that answerable? I'm thinking particularly of things like trailers and stuff where you have had highly specialised expert opinion bearing on a very uncertain stream of intelligence reporting.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I was going to have to refer to the trailers because there was a very interesting case in point there.  The guy who actually produced the really hard evidence was [REDACTED]  - I think his name was -- who was not in the DIS. He was 
[REDACTED] a microbiologist who didn't have much to do at the time and he was well-known, very well-qualified, who I think wrote to Kay and said, "I've got nothing to do, I understand about microbiology, I would love to come and look with you", and Kay passed the letter on to DIS and [REDACTED] was deployed as a microbiologist who understood the action of fermentation and all that stuff. The Americans didn't have a similar individual and he became respected by both sides as being somebody who genuinely understood it.  I think the challenges -- and I'm thinking back to my military career and getting involved in the technical intelligence community -- is how do you make sure that you've got people who understand the technology as it's applied particularly in industrial practices as well as understanding the intelligence process? It would seem to me that a blend of people involved in those sort of jobs would be the right thing to do. I suspect DIS think they achieved that, I don't know.


MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, then I think I see where you are going and it makes sense to do that. I think the challenge is always going to be to find the people who really do understand it and come from the technical environment. I suppose one of the things which has always -- well, looking back on it, the way in which we classify things does act as a bar to too much sensible dialogue.

THE CHAIRMAN: Just to share this -- it is not evidence taking at all, but in the Butler Committee, a man sadly now dead, known to Sir Lawrence Peter Freedman, who was GCHQ's historian, gave the example of there can be no expert available. You said there was only one microbiologist and the US didn't have one, but this was the case of the German V weapons where we believed that it was impossible to build a firework that big because we didn't know about turbine boosters for liquid fuel and so nobody knew at all. That's simply still a question about the uncertainties of intelligence-based assessment. There we are. Any final observations from yourself about that experience of yours with the ISG? You've given us a great deal to think about.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: It's just worth saying that when I came back I was pretty sure that we wouldn't find them, but if it appeared in the news tomorrow I wouldn't be surprised, still. With all I've thought about it, I still wouldn't be surprised. There could have been one of Saddam's henchmen who was told to go and do something and he did it and we never found it.

THE CHAIRMAN: Lord Butler, in his report five years ago now, carefully left that door open. I'm not sure whether we shall or not.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Well, I'm very happy to be quoted. I don't know, did you ask Duelfer the same question? I mean he might well have said the same thing!

THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed. Just a reminder on the transcript, we would ask you to review it.

MAJOR GENERAL TIM TYLER: Yes. Thank you very much.

THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, I will close the session.

(The session closed)

Photo Credits
TANDBERG Corporation - photo of a video conference
Pink knitting in front of pink sweatshirt. Photo by Johntex.
Dennis Waterman by Brian Minkoff- London Pixels
Police station of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in Crossmaglen,
County Armagh, Northern Ireland by Sean au Scuab.
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey at the Nabataeo-Roman site of Wadi Ramm, Jordan by
   Most of the others are freebies from the US ArmyCourtesy of
but some have been stolen in the public interest