On 24 September 2002 the British Labour government issued a dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. This included the statement that Saddam Hussein's military planning allowed for some of those weapons to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them. On 29 May 2003, a BBC reporter announced that he had been told by "one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the September dossier that the government probably knew the 45-minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in" and that "Downing Street a week before publication ordered it to be sexed-up to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be discovered". On 17 July 2003 a British expert in chemical and biological warfare, who was employed by the government to advise it on weapons in such warfare, left his Oxfordshire home and did not return. His body was found the following day. Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed Lord Hutton to conduct an inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly, which occurred two days after he appeared before a foreign affairs select committee.
By the end of the first week of the inquiry, it was already becoming clear that Lord Hutton's findings and conclusions might well be of wide-ranging significance. This book provides an abridged edition of Lord Hutton's final report.