08 December 2009 4:55 PM

Saddam, cabbies and WMD (an update)

I posted first thing today on Adam Holloway's extraordinary claims* about an Iraqi taxi driver being the source for British intel on Saddam.

I pointed out that Adam seemed unclear about exactly what the cabbie had overheard. The MP told me that it was more about long-range missiles that could target Cyprus. He wasn't sure that the cabbie had heard anything about the separate 45-minutes minutes claim.

Yet in the Holloway report published today, he states clearly that "it had originated from an emigre taxi driver on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, who h ad remembered an overheard conversation in the back of his cab a full two years earlier".

Strange? Gary Gibbon also spotted the confusion on his blog.

But here's another mystery and one that's kinda ironic given that this is all about manipulation of dossiers and so on.

I printed off Mr Holloway's report this morning but it has since been amended online. A key passage has been added.

This morning it stated "One agent did come up with something - the 45 minutes, allegedly discussed in a high level political meeting".

This afternoon, it was changed to: "One agent did come up with something - the 45 minutes or something about missiles, allegedly discussed in a high level political meeting".

FOOTNOTE* It gets weirder. The FT's Alex Barker prompted the thought that the cabbie in question may even have been "Curveball", the flaky fantasist who also duped the US on WMD.


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Val Daniels

Are you really surprised. Isn't this yet another example of a Conservative failing to ensure his brain is engaged before operating his mouth. These corrections and corrections of corrections only serve to remind us what a slippery lot the Conservatives are; rule 1, when caught out in your fantasy, backtrack and keep on backtracking. People will eventually realise it is a typical Conservative non-story. I think your comment about Mr Holloway seeking a post in a future Conservative government was probably spot on, though after this fiasco, he may just have blown it.

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