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Blair admits Iraq intelligence flawed -

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Broadcast: 29/09/2004

Blair admits Iraq intelligence flawed

Reporter: Philip Williams

TONY JONES: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted at the Labour Party conference in
Brighton he was wrong about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

But he's appealed to Britons to support a democratic Iraq.

He repeated that he was not sorry Saddam was removed from power and warned that the ongoing battle
in Iraq was not won the terrorist threat would undermine security and prosperity around the globe.

Philip Williams was in Brighton for the Blair speech.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: It was a welcome as good as a leader under pressure might expect, but many in this
conference hall harboured deep doubts and resentment over Iraq.

Tony Blair had an admission.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The evidence about Saddam having actual biological and chemical
weapons - as opposed to the capability to develop them - has turned out to be wrong.

I acknowledge that.

I accept it.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: But that didn't mean he was sorry about the war - Saddam was gone and that was

And now the fight in Iraq must be won or Britain's security and prosperity could be undermined.

TONY BLAIR: I've come to realise that caring in politics isn't really about caring.

It's about doing what you think is right and sticking to it, so -

I do not minimise whatever differences some of you have with me over Iraq, and the only healing can
come from understanding that the decision, whether agreed with or not, was taken because I believed
genuinely Britain's future security depended on it.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: This anti-war protester was far from convinced because, as Tony Blair concedes, in
the end, Iraq comes down to a question of trust.

TONY BLAIR: Do I know I'm right?

Judgments aren't the same as facts.

Instinct is not science.

I'm like any other human being - as fallible and as capable of being wrong.

I only know what I believe.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Many in the party no longer believe, in him, but an appearance of unity is

The ovation perhaps not fuelled so much by the heart as in the past but by the pragmatic need for
re-election next May.

On Brighton Beach, across the road from the conference hall, all was certainly not forgiven on

MAN: We shouldn't have gone, should we?

He conned us.

He conned the whole country.

Totally conned the whole country.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: And despite efforts to head it off, there'll be a potentially embarrassing debate
and vote on a withdrawal from Iraq at the conference tomorrow.

Tony Blair's greatest asset is the economy - it's continuing to do well.

In the normal run of politics that's usually enough for re-election.

A by-election in what has been a safe Labour seat will be held tomorrow, and that's the first
opportunity to test that theory.

If it's a bad result, the finger will be pointing at just one man.

Philip Williams, Lateline.

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