Thursday, 20 January 2011
Blair Should Rot
At last, the damning evidence that should bury Blair for his lies over Iraq
The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War has dragged on for 14 months, and is far from over. Dozens of witnesses have been questioned, and millions of words of evidence amassed.
Even the most diligent onlooker may be forgiven for losing the plot. That may explain why a piece of sensational information released by the inquiry on Monday has not yet caused the political earthquake it should have.
Many newspapers have so far either ignored or underplayed it, and the BBC has hitherto showed limited interest. And yet the new documents appear to establish more clearly than ever before that Tony Blair misled Parliament and the public about the legality of the war.
Some of the former Prime Minister’s political opponents and a few newspapers have previously accused him of lying, but the ‘smoking gun’ was never quite produced. This time it has been. His accuser is the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, a member of the Labour government before, during and after the invasion of Iraq.
In secret evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry, declassified on Monday, Lord Goldsmith stated that Mr Blair based his case for invasion on grounds that ‘did not have any application in international law’. Coming from the man who was the Government’s senior law officer, this is an extremely serious charge.
Lord Goldsmith told the inquiry that he felt ‘uncomfortable’ about the way Mr Blair ignored his official legal advice when making his case to Parliament. Asked whether ‘the Prime Minister’s words were compatible with the advice you had given him’, he replied: ‘No.’
A specific incident to which the former Attorney General referred was Mr Blair’s statement to the Commons on January 15, 2003, when he asserted that ‘there are circumstances in which a UN resolution is not necessary, because it is necessary to be able to say, in circumstances where an unreasonable veto was put down, that we would still act’.
In other words, in his view Britain could legally ignore a veto in the UN Security Council by France or Russia, both of which were opposed to an invasion, and declare war on Iraq. Yet Lord Goldsmith had advised the Prime Minister the previous day that Britain did not have the legal right to invade Iraq.
Mr Blair repeated the fiction on BBC2’s Newsnight on February 6, 2003 that Britain could disregard a UN veto. As when addressing MPs, he was suppressing the advice of the Government’s senior law officer. He also ignored similar legal advice from Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the Deputy Legal Adviser at the Foreign Office, who resigned on the eve of war.
Indeed, it is clear from Lord Goldsmith’s testimony that the Attorney General was ‘no longer actively consulted’ for several months after warning Mr Blair in person on October 22, 2002, that an Anglo-American invasion of Iraq would be a breach of international law. He was frozen out.
For reasons that have never been properly explained, Lord Goldsmith changed his mind, and on March 17, 2003, days before the invasion of Iraq, he miraculously declared that it was legal after all.
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And You Tell Me There's No Suppressed Technology?
It's another of those 'conspiracy theories' that good citizens don't notice. Imagine the standard of living if all the secret technology was released to the public...we'd be "free and independent" as JFK said! No more poverty anywhere! Can you imagine being sick enough to withhold such technology from society just to maintain your position of control? (Bearing in mind that we don't know just how much technological capability is being withheld, because, duh, it's secret.) What did Nikola Tesla really develop?
Individual Liberty? But that's "selfish"!
No, we need to look after each other voluntarily without having a government do all that at gunpoint. Sounds absurd at first but soon you realise that the reason it sounds so is because of the very unfree nature of our current existence. Envision greater possibilities! Ok, some kind of massive wake-up would be needed before this kind of free, responsible, uncontrollable society could emerge. And that's what we are seeing day by day in the world - a massive waking up of the previously enslaved masses (including myself I must add!)