Report X Marks the Spot: The British Government's Deceptive Dossier on Iraq and WMD

Eric Herring, Piers Robinson

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This article analyzes the British government’s controversial September 2002 Dossier on alleged Iraqi WMD and addresses the question of whether the dossier was part of an organized campaign of political persuasion and the extent to which deception was involved. It is argued that the available evidence is consistent with the dossier being part of an “organized political persuasion” campaign, coordinated with the United States, and aimed at mobilizing both domestic and international audiences. It shows that the dossier was fundamentally misleading about the intelligence and that deliberate deception through omission and distortion was involved. These findings deal a significant blow to the “intelligence failure” thesis and raise serious questions regarding the use of intelligence in the run up to the Iraq War, as well as the deleterious consequences of organized political persuasion for democratic accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-584
Number of pages32
JournalPolitical Science Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date22 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Iraq
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Deception
  • Propaganda
  • Tony Blair


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