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Profile: Robin Cook

 
  

Positions that Robin Cook has held:

  • British foreign secretary


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, Late May 2003

   “Chemical and biological weapons have a limited shelf life. All the materials that Saddam had in 1991 (at the end of the gulf war) would have degraded to the point of being useless long before 2003, whether or not he had destroyed them.” [Newsweek, 5/30/03]

Associated Events

Quote, June 2003

   “When they looked at intelligence, they weren't looking at intelligence to try to get a balanced judgment, a guide to policy, out of it, they were looking to intelligence to support a conclusion they had already come to—which is that they were going to go to war.” [New York Times, 6/9/03]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Robin Cook actively participated in the following events:

 
  

July 1998      Complete Iraq timeline

       UNSCOM weapons inspector Richard Butler states, “If Iraqi disarmament were a five-lap race, we would be three quarters of the way around the fifth and final lap.” [Boston Globe, 3/22/99]
People and organizations involved: Robin Cook
          

February 28, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       During a British cabinet meeting, Home Secretary David Blunkett initiates a discussion about Iraq. During the discussion, British Foreign Minister Robin Cook mentions that most of the Arab world considers Ariel Sharon, rather than Saddam Hussein, to be the largest threat to peace in the Middle East. Describing the subsequent reaction to his comments, Cook later writes in his diary: “Somewhat to my surprise this line provides a round of ‘hear, hearing’ from colleagues, which is the nearest I heard to mutiny in the cabinet.” [Sunday Times, 10/5/03; Guardian, 10/6/03; Independent, 10/6/03 Sources: Robin Cook's diary] During the meeting, Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, says “We are in danger of being seen as close to President Bush, but without any influence over President Bush.” [Independent, 10/6/03 Sources: Robin Cook's diary]
People and organizations involved: Patricia Hewitt, David Blunkett, Robin Cook
          

February 20, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       British Foreign Minister Robin Cook is personally given an intelligence briefing by John Scarlett, head of the British joint intelligence committee. Cook later says in his diary that Scarlett's summary was “shorn of the political slant with which No 10 encumbers any intelligence assessment.” After the meeting with Scarlett, Cook concludes that “Saddam probably does not have weapons of mass destruction in the sense of weapons that could be used against large-scale civilian targets.” [Sunday Times, 10/5/03; Guardian, 10/6/03 Sources: Robin Cook's diary]
People and organizations involved: John Scarlett, Robin Cook
          

March 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       According to Robin Cook, Tony Blair says, “Left to himself, Bush would have gone to war in January. No, not January, but back in September.” [Independent, 10/6/03 Sources: Robin Cook's diary]
People and organizations involved: Robin Cook
          

March 5, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Robin Cook meets with Tony Blair and has the “most revealing” discussion about Saddam's alleged weapons arsenal. During the exchange Blair essentially acknowledges that Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction that could be used against his enemies like the US or Britain. [Times, 10/5/03] Cook says to Blair: “It's clear from the private briefing I have had that Saddam has no weapons of mass destruction in a sense of weapons that could strike at strategic cities. But he probably does have several thousand battlefield chemical munitions. Do you never worry that he might use them against British troops?” Blair responds, “Yes, but all the effort he has had to put into concealment makes it difficult for him to assemble them quickly for use.” [Times, 10/5/03 Sources: Robin Cook's diary]
People and organizations involved: John Scarlett, Robin Cook, Tony Blair
          

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