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Publication - Professor Eric Herring

    Report X Marks the Spot

    The British Government's Deceptive Dossier on Iraq and WMD

    Citation

    Herring, E & Robinson, P, 2014, ‘Report X Marks the Spot: The British Government's Deceptive Dossier on Iraq and WMD’. Political Science Quarterly, vol 129., pp. 551-583

    Abstract

    This article analyzes the British government’s controversial September 2002 Dossier on alleged Iraqi WMD and addresses the question of whether the dossier was part of an organized campaign of political persuasion and the extent to which deception was involved. It is argued that the available evidence is consistent with the dossier being part of an “organized political persuasion” campaign, coordinated with the United States, and aimed at mobilizing both domestic and international audiences. It shows that the dossier was fundamentally misleading about the intelligence and that deliberate deception through omission and distortion was involved. These findings deal a significant blow to the “intelligence failure” thesis and raise serious questions regarding the use of intelligence in the run up to the Iraq War, as well as the deleterious consequences of organized political persuasion for democratic accountability.

    Full details in the University publications repository