Posts Tagged ‘Ibrahim al-Marashi#8217;


My PhD was lifted to justify the Iraq war. Was I right? And who apologised?

(As published in the Times of London)

Ibrahim al-Marashi

Watching Alastair Campbell testify before the Chilcot inquiry yesterday reminded me of my unexpected role in the attempt to manipulate British public opinion before the Iraq war. In September 2002 I published an article for The Middle East Review of International Affairs, based on my PhD.

Five months later whole sections of it were copied from the internet by an official in Tony Blair's Government into a dossier that the British and US governments used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Since then I have been repeatedly asked two questions: was the plagiarised information right or wrong? And did Tony Blair apologise? The answer to the first question is that my article was probably the most comprehensive overview of Iraq's security services available, and it was accurate. But that is not what people are asking.

They think that I advocated war against Iraq or discussed weapons of mass destruction. Some blame me for the claim that Iraq could deploy chemical weapons in 45 minutes. A Turkish journalist even accused me of being responsible for the death of Dr David Kelly, the scientist who questioned the 45-minute claim.

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