Tony Blair, 2003 News
prime minister of the United Kingdom, risked his political career by offering the Bush administration unwavering support for military action in Iraq. Blair paid dearly when three members of his cabinet resigned in protest. During the summer, critics accused Blair of exaggerating Iraq's weapons capabilities to justify his case for war. Blair stood by his intelligence reports, including one that stated Hussein could launch biological and chemical weapons in 45 minutes. The prime minister faced additional criticism in July, after David Kelly, a former weapons inspector in Iraq, committed suicide shortly after testifying before the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs about whether he told a BBC reporter that the British government had “sexed up” intelligence documents about Iraq's arsenal. In his August testimony in the inquiry into Kelly's death, Blair said he would have resigned if the BBC report had been true.