Scandal in Britain Over 'Dossier'Feb. 7, 2003 (EIRNS)—A British dossier on Iraq, released on Feb. 4 and lavishly praised in his UN speech by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell the next day, is significantly based on material produced 12 years ago by a graduate student, BBC reported today.
Cited by Powell
In his speech, Powell declared, "I would call my colleagues' attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes, in exquisite detail, Iraqi deception activities."
The problem is, according to British TV Channel 4, that most of the data was plagiarized, coming from two academics and a graduate student, and certain wording was changed by the British government, to make a stronger case against Iraq. BBC reported: "The Channel 4 report said that even typographical and grammatical errors from the student's work were included in the U.K. government dossier. It also noted that the student acknowledged that the information was 12 years old in his report, but the government doesn't make the same acknowledgment."
Conservative Party Shadow Defence Secretary Bernard Jenkin said, "The government's reaction to the Channel 4 News report utterly fails to explain, deny, or excuse the allegations made in it. This document has been cited by the Prime Minister and Colin Powell, as the basis for possible war. Who is responsible for such an incredible failure of judgment?"
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Menzies Campbell added: "This is the intelligence equivalent of being caught stealing the spoons. The dossier may not amount to much, but this is a considerable embarrassment for a government trying still to make a case for war."