FOREIGN AFFAIRS – IRAQI DOCUMENTS – 28 April 2003

Dr Julian Lewis: Is it not a fact that, usually when enemy capitals are captured, an intelligence objectives sub-committee will have previously arranged for the incoming forces to secure such obvious intelligence targets as the foreign ministry headquarters and the intelligence organisation headquarters? Why was that not done in this case? Why was it left to the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph and their enterprising journalists to find out what our own intelligence people should have found out?

[Jack Straw: The situation in Baghdad was not one in which every building could be secured. That is the simple truth of the matter. I have already given an answer to the hon. Member for East Surrey (Peter Ainsworth) about the reasons why the museum of Baghdad ended up being looted. Of course, the coalition recognises its responsibilities, among other things, for the collection of intelligence, and is doing so. We must also recognise, however, that in the aftermath of a military defeat of the kind that took place 19 days ago, a degree of disorder and lawlessness was likely, which others exploited.]

[For further developments, click here and here.]