Jack Straw

Jack Straw

Jack Straw

John “Jack” Whitaker Straw is currently the MP for Blackburn and secretary of state for justice. He served as home secretary from 1997 to 2001 and foreign secretary from 2001 to 2006.

In a statement to the House of Commons on 13 December 2002 he stated (with regard to Iraq’s final declaration made on 7 December) that “The central premise of Iraq’s so-called disclosure—that Iraq possesses no weapons of mass destruction—was, and remains, a lie.”

Questions for Jack Straw

Here are some of the questions (under a number of general headings) that we believe the Inquiry should ask Jack Straw.

We would welcome any further suggested questions, particularly if they come with an explanation of why they are relevant. If you would like suggest questions that go some way to refining the ones we already have here or which raise different issues, please use the comment box at the bottom of the page. (Or otherwise feel free to contact us directly if you prefer to remain anonymous.)

Disarmament or regime change?

Did you see the Cabinet Office Iraq options paper in March 2002?

Were you aware that UK officials had told the US administration in March 2002 or early that Tony Blair would fully support its attempt to achieve regime change in Iraq?

Did you see Tony Blair’s letter’s to George Bush on Iraq in 2002, committing Britain to take part in military action? Were any conditions attached to this commitment?

Did you advise Tony Blair in March 2002 that he should present government policy as seeking disarmament rather than regime change?

Did you see the policy of persuading the US to go to the UN as a way of providing a justification for an invasion or of forestalling US intentions?

Foreign Office knowledge of Iraqi WMD

Did the FCO have any independent lines of reporting concerning Iraqi WMD?

If so, what were they?

Did the FCO have any information which confirmed that Iraq maintained WMD stockpiles?

If so, what was this information and when was it obtained?

Did the FCO have any information which suggested that Iraq did not maintain stockpiles of WMD?

If so, what was this information and when was it obtained?

FCO opinion of legality

Following the passage of UNSCR 1441, what was the assessment of the FCO’s legal advisers on the legality of the Iraq invasion?

Were the FCO’s legal advisers in agreement or did they disagree with each other?

Commitment to war

When did the FCO first become aware of any firm commitment to support the then forthcoming Iraq invasion with UK military forces?

What further steps did the FCO then take with regard to this?

When were these steps initiated?

Cabinet meetings

Was there any Cabinet discussion about the start date for any military action against Iraq?

Was the matter of UNMOVIC’s continuing work brought up at Cabinet meetings?

Dissent within the FCO

Was there any dissent within the FCO as a whole about the reasoning behind the planning to overthrow Saddam Hussein?

The September 2002 dossier

Was the FCO aware of any dissent within the intelligence community about the strength of the language used in the September dossier?

Was there any dissent within the FCO about the strength of the language used in the September dossier or about other claims made about Iraq’s WMD?

Preparation for the post-invasion period

What involvement did the FCO have in the overall post-invasion reconstruction plans?

What discussions did the FCO have with US officials regarding post-invasion reconstruction plans?

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