The dossier notes that all this work violates UN resolutions as well as other treaties, and serves Saddam's proven passion, going back more than 20 years, to acquire a big collection of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
The 55-page document is the product of close collaboration between British and U.S. intelligence, and of tussles between politicians and spies about how much secret data to release. It's true that the dossier contains no "killer fact" capable of converting doubters to the cause of imminent war. But that isn't Blair's purpose. He is trying to build a cumulative case that Saddam is both intent on acquiring more WMDs, and is therefore too dangerous to be left unchecked by the international community, given his long record of brutality towards his own people, aggression towards his neighbors and contempt for Security Council resolutions. Without any single killer fact, the sheer weight of evidence presented in which Blair said his British intelligence had high confidence does make a powerful case.
It has to. British opinion remains skittish about actually going to war with Saddam, in large part because people here think George W. Bush, who some call the "President of Texas," will go off on his own regardless of international opinion including Blair's. With this document, as with his other recent public statements, Blair is laboring to shift the onus from Bush to Saddam: how can anyone justify his record of contempt for international law? And if you can't justify it, can you just sit by and let it continue? Because hostilities aren't imminent, he isn't expected to have major trouble with restive Labor backbenchers in a vote tonight. But at the annual Labor Party conference next week, and throughout the fall, Blair plans a major campaign to convince doubters that a nuclear-armed Saddam would threaten British not only American interests, and may, in the end, warrant going to war.