Sir Christopher Meyer

Sir Christopher Meyer KCMG was British Ambassador to the United States from 1997 to 2003. He published his account of the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in a book entitled DC Confidential in November 2005.  The book became controversial when the British government declaring it an “unacceptable” breach of trust, although a group of MPs suggested that he “publish and be damned”. In 2002 he wrote a letter to David Manning, Tony Blair’s chief foreign policy adviser,  detailing a discussion with had had with Paul Woul Wolfowitz, the then-US deputy secretary of defense on the subject of regime change in Iraq..

Questions for Sir Christopher Meyer

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

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.)

Regime change in Iraq

What was your understanding of the US intention to overthrow Saddam Hussein?

Did you believe this intention to be irreversible?

How and when did you know that Tony Blair had decided to support regime change in Iraq?

Was it your own idea to talk to Wolfowitz on 17 March (by inviting him to Sunday lunch) or was there advice from Downing Street?

What was the clever plan to convince people there was a legal basis for toppling Saddam?

What was the UK plan to ‘wrongfoot’ Saddam?

You told Wolfowitz that one way of wrong-footing Saddam would be if he (Saddam) refused to readmit UN inspectors when demanded to do so by the UNSC. Was there a plan B if it failed?

Were there other aspects to a plan to wrongfoot Saddam? If so what were they?

According to your understanding of the UK strategy, was the emphasis on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and the involvement of the UN aimed at disarmament or regime change?

When was this plan initiated?

Who initiated this plan?

Knowledge of and claimms about Iraqi WMD

 

Did the “paper that would make the case against Saddam” that he told Wolfowitz was being considered in March 2002 turn out to be the September 2002 dossier “? Does he think it was intended to contribute to the clever plan by making a case for war? Does he think it succeeded?

Were you aware of the existence of a conduit between the Pentagon and No 10 that used unconventional channels? Was your embassy involved in this?

What was your understanding of the WMD capabilities of Iraq in the period prior to the 2003 invasion?

Did you see or were you aware of any evidence which categorically stated that Iraq was in material breach of its disarmament obligations?

1441 and the second resolution

Did you believe that R.1441 authorised military action against Iraq?

Did you believe that the failed second resolution should have authorised military action against Iraq?

What is your understanding of the reasons for the failure of the Security Council to agree upon and pass the second resolution?

Pressure on Hans Blix etc to find Iraq in material breach

Were you aware of any political pressure being applied to senior staff members of UNMOVIC and the IAEA with the objective of finding Iraq in material breach of R.1441?

If so, what was this pressure, and which nations applied this pressure?

Pressure on other UNSC members

Were you aware of political pressure being applied to other members of the UN Security Council in the run-up to the 2003 invasion with the objective of gaining support for military action against Iraq?

If so, what was the nature of this pressure?

Were you aware of the claimed spying activities being undertaken against other members of the Security Council?

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