London, 17 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A former British minister today accused the British government of selectively using intelligence information in order to justify the war in Iraq. Robin Cook made the accusation at the start of a parliamentary inquiry into Britain's use of intelligence on Iraq. A one-time foreign secretary, Cook resigned his latest post of head of the House of Commons in March to protest the government's participation in the Iraq war.
Cook said he believes information about Iraq's weapons programs was used selectively to support a pro-war policy that had already been decided. "I think it would probably be fair to say that there was a selection of evidence to support the conclusion rather than a conclusion that arose from a full consideration of the evidence," he said.
Both the U.S. and British governments are facing accusations that intelligence information regarding threats posed by Iraq was exaggerated to justify taking military action.
A top U.S. senator, Carl Levin, yesterday said the Central Intelligence Agency failed to provide full information on suspected Iraqi weapons sites to UN weapons inspectors. Levin called on the agency to make a full public account of the information given to UN weapons inspectors.