Blair Tells Iraq Inquiry He'd Do It Again

At the time, existence of WMDs in Iraq was 'beyond doubt'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2010 9:36 AM CST
Protesters demonstrate outside the Iraq War Inquiry as former British Prime Minster Tony Blair is called to give evidence in London today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Tony Blair mounted a spirited defense of Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war today, telling the Chilcot inquiry he would make the same choices now, based on the information he had then. “The crucial thing after Sept. 11 is that the calculus of risk changed,” the former prime minister told the panel, and he deemed the risk of an Iraqi WMD too terrible to ignore. “Could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons program?”

“The decision I took—and frankly would take again—was: if there was any possibility that he could develop weapons of mass destruction, we would stop him,” Blair continued. He also refuted the idea that he had secretly committed the British to the US war effort in 2002, the New York Times reports. “What I said to George Bush was that we are going to be with you” in countering the perceived threat, Blair testified, but there was no agreement on a specific action. He also says that despite later revelations of bad intelligence, at the time the presence of WMDs in Iraq was “beyond doubt.”

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