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Lord Butler to Discuss Iraq and Intelligence in Johnson Lecture

The Right Honourable Lord Frederick Edward Robin Butler of Brockwell, who led a major investigation into the British decision to go to war in Iraq, will give a public lecture, “Iraq and the Lessons for Intelligence,” at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. in Stackhouse Theatre.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Earlier on Tuesday, W&L will award Butler an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the University’s annual Founders’ Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation.

Butler served as private secretary to five British prime ministers, including Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. He had a long career in the British civil service and was Cabinet Secretary to Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. In addition, he was head of the Home Civil Service from 1988 to 1998.

When he retired from government service, he was made a “life peer” of the House of Lords and was also appointed the Master of University College, Oxford. In this latter position, he was host to a long list of Washington and Lee students and faculty who took advantage of an exchange program between the institutions.

In 2004 he led a major investigation of the British decision to go to war in Iraq. The document produced by that investigation, known as the “Butler Report,” concluded that some of the intelligence about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was flawed.

Butler’s lecture is part of the Johnson Lecture Series, which aims to bring the world’s leaders to campus so that our students may learn from their experiences the qualities of honor, leadership and integrity.