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  1. Politics
9 March 2007

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The government's Iraq dossiers - the saga continues

By Chris Ames

The launch of my website last week, was timed to coincide with this article and this leader in the New Statesman.

It seems to have worked so far. The story of how the government concealed the involvement of its spin doctors in the actual writing of the September 2002 dossier is growing, with other blogs giving the website rave reviews and the stories and the mainstream media beginning to pay attention.

At the heart of the story is the secret first draft of the dossier, written by former Foreign Office spin doctor John Williams on 9 September 2002. The story was broken by Martin Bright in November. I’m still waiting for the Information Commissioner’s decision on whether the draft should be released – it could come at any time. Certainly “by the end of the month” I’m told.

Now someone I don’t know has just started a petition on the Number 10 website asking for the draft to be released. I’d recommend anyone who believes in transparent government to sign up to it. I still think it’s inconceivable the Information Commissioner would sanction the continued suppression of the document but I worry that the government may delay for many more months by appealing to the Information Tribunal if it thinks it can get away with it.

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