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Tony Blair yesterday provoked a fresh political row over the role of the intelligence agencies by appointing John Scarlett, the official responsible for the widely disputed Iraqi weapons dossier, as the new head of MI6.Does anybody else find it odd in the UK, it is the Conservatives who are critical of handling of the Iraq war run-up. I think I could count on one hand the number of prominent American conservatives who dared question BushCo's incompetence on the same issues.
His appointment is likely to cause unease in the intelligence community, where officers have recently expressed concern that Mr Scarlett allowed himself to step over the red line dividing their profession from politicians in the run-up to the Iraq war.
The move was immediately denounced by the Conservative leadership as "inappropriate", particularly since Lord Butler's review into the handling of intelligence on Iraq's alleged stock of weapons of mass destruction - none of which has been found - has yet to publish its findings.
“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz
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