UK's Blair gets second grilling on Iraq war





LONDON -- A full year before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair told his chief of staff the West should be "gung-ho" on toppling Saddam Hussein, a panel looking into the conflict disclosed Friday.

Blair returned to testify for a second time before a five-member panel scrutinizing Britain's role in the unpopular war - having been recalled after witnesses raised doubts about sections of his testimony at an initial appearance a year ago.

As Blair was questioned, the panel released a series of letters and documents detailing the intense discussions inside the British government over how to respond to the perceived threat posed by Saddam.

In a letter to his chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, on March 17, 2002, Blair said "the case should be obvious" for removing the Iraqi leader from power....


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