Posts Tagged ‘Chilcot’

Will anyone bring the War Criminal Tony Blair to justice?

July 6, 2016

Will anyone bring the War Criminal Tony Blair to justice?

By Dark Politricks

www.darkpolitricks.com

Now the Chilcot report is out, does this mean that the Tory Government have the balls to go and arrest Tony Blair for pushing the illegal Iraq war?

Here was someone who knew that the evidence was false yet still promised George W Bush to be with him whatever, despite the UN and his own legal advisers, saying that the war was illegal.

Just like the many EU referendums before BREXIT, it was “no that’s the wrong answer, go and find the right one”, until a dodgy legal basis was provided to give Blair cover for his actions by Lord Goldsmith. I wonder how and why he got given his title….

I doubt any Tories will do anything to put their establishment buddy Blair’s head in the block as it would mean putting their own heads in as well. Many of them eagerly went along with the falsehood that many in the world knew was a blatant lie.

It does however make sense why the Blairite push for power against their Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was planned just before this week’s revelations. They were hoping to take the sting out of the massive news story it will surely become, their own names off the front pages, and provide a different headline for the newspapers. However we must ensure that #Chilcot stays in the news and social media despite other political manoeuvrings.

If we have to wait for the Blairites to return to the Labour fold and for Corbyn to get elected before seeing Blair in the Hague then we could be waiting a long time. However hopefully a massive class action case by the families of dead UK soldiers, and maybe millions of Iraqi’s hurt by the war, could be formed to take him to civil court instead.

Hopefully they could win and sting Blair with a massive monetary punishment as OJ Simpson was, to take away all the millions he has made since leading the country into Iraq by selling speeches, and pretending to be a “Peace Envoy”. All whilst making money for himself in the Middle East advising dictators and lobbying the UN to vote against Palestinian statehood in 2011 – on the payroll of the Israelis no doubt.

The Palestinians had this to say about Tony Blair:

There is no one within the Palestinian leadership that supports or likes or trusts Tony Blair, particularly because of the very damaging role he played during our UN bid.

He is considered persona non grata in Palestine. Although we can’t prevent him from coming here, we can hopefully minimise the role he can play because he is not a mediator, he is totally biased on one side.

So what were the main findings of the Chilcot report which we have had to wait 7 years for?

  • There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein; The strategy of containment could have been adapted and continued for some time; The majority of the Security Council supported continuing UN inspections and monitoring.
  • The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.
  • On 28 July 2002, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair assured US President George W Bush he would be with him “whatever”. But in the letter, he pointed out that a US coalition for military action would need: Progress on the Middle East peace process; UN authority; and a shift in public opinion in the UK, Europe, and among Arab leaders.
  • Judgements about the severity of threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – known as WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
  • Intelligence had “not established beyond doubt” that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.
  • Policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence assessments. It was not challenged, and should have been.
  • The circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were “far from satisfactory”.
  • The invasion began on 20 March 2003 but not until 13 March did then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith advise there was on balance a secure legal basis for military action. Apart from No 10’s response to his letter on 14 March, no formal record was made of that decision and the precise grounds on which it was made remain unclear.
  • The UK’s actions undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council: The UN’s Charter puts responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security in the Security Council. The UK government was claiming to act on behalf of the international community “to uphold the authority of the Security Council”. But it knew it did not have a majority supporting its actions.
  • In Cabinet, there was little questioning of Lord Goldsmith about his advice and no substantive discussion of the legal issues recorded
  • Between 2003 and 2009, UK forces in Iraq faced gaps in some key capability areas – including armoured vehicles, reconnaissance and intelligence assets and helicopter support.
  • Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were “wholly inadequate”.
  • The government failed to achieve the stated objectives it had set itself in Iraq. More than 200 British citizens died as a result of the conflict. Iraqi people suffered greatly. By July 2009, at least 150,000 Iraqis had died, probably many more. More than one million were displaced.
  • The report sets out lessons to be learned: It found Mr Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq; and the UK’s relationship with the US does not require unconditional support.

So will anyone apart from Jeremy Corbyn whose whole party seems to have deserted him despite having overwhelming support from the Labour membership and Trade Unions do anything about the lies of Tony Blair that led us to war and the creation of ISIS which haunts us all now?

Despite the massacres, huge car bombs killing hundreds almost on a daily basis during the Iraq civil war, journalists getting their heads cut off by ISIS and al-Qaeda and the strengthening of Iran, Tony Blair still thinks he made the right decision. He said this in the report:

Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein; I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country

So no remorse then for the many people killed and injured from 2003 to this very day, all coming from his decision to back George W Bush who had some narcissistic desire to achieve what his father didn’t in the earlier Gulf War, remove Saddam from power. This was despite any links to 9.11 or any evidence that he posed a threat to the region.

Saddam and RumsfeldThis was a dictator that was supported by the USA during the 80’s in it’s war with Iran, and many in George W Bushes cabinet were players from that era such as Donald Rumsfeld who is seen here having a good time with his favoured dictator of the region.

I have no doubt that the USA believed Saddam still had weapons of mass destruction because they used to sell him so many of them, including the nerve gas which he used against Iranian soldiers and Iraqi rebels. No complaint was made about it at the time of the event but when it came to the standard demonisation of the enemy before a war all this was put into the heads of the public to paint a horrible picture of their ex friend and enabled dictator.

Despite warnings by the CIA that Iraq was using chemical weapons almost daily Donald Rumsfeld who was at the time a successful executive in the pharmaceutical industry, continued to make it possible for Saddam to buy supplies from American firms.

This included biological weapons and viruses such as anthrax and bubonic plague. Also during the time the US was selling Iraq chemical and biological weapons the UK under Maggie Thatcher was selling up to 78 different types of military equipment including Land Rovers, tank recovery vehicles, terrain-following radar and spare tank parts according to released government reports.

Apparently this pleased Maggie very much. She said she was “very pleased” with the “Contracts worth over £150m [that] have been concluded [with Iraq] in the last six months including one for £34m (for armoured recovery vehicles through Jordan),” which was written by a junior minister, Thomas Trenchard, in 1981. This letter also stated that meetings with Saddam Hussein “represent a significant step forward in establishing a working relationship with Iraq which should produce both political and major commercial benefits”.

So not only did the UK and USA help stock up Saddam Hussein with all the WMD they then accused him of having, a very hypocritical move but to be expected by the two major powers in the axis of continual war, but we actually helped him use those weapons on Iranians.

Iran was finally brought to the negotiating table by providing Iraq the location of Iranian troops, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defences once they had learned that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage in the 8 year long war.

They were fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin and mustard gas prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence.

These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favour and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.

So not only were we totally hypocritical when dealing with Saddam helping him use WMD that we sold him in the first place, but we started a war of aggression against his country that was not thought out, had no plans for after the invasion, spilled over into sectarian violence and civil war and the formation of terrorist groups where there were none before.

So how many dead people does Blair and Bush have on their hands from their decision to go to war “on faulty intelligence” or as normal people say “illegally”?

How many dead and injured victims have their been over the last 12+ years and the years prior…

-The US/ UN sanctions on Iraq of the 1990s, which interdicted chlorine for much of that decade and so made water purification impossible were responsible for over half a million deaths, mainly children.
-The Illegal war which Blair promised Bush to support even though Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it is thought to have killed at least half a million people.
-The depleted uranium weapons used in Fallujah that are still causing babies to be born without legs and arms and horrible birth defects.
-The long civil war came after the fall of Saddam between the Sunnis, Shia’s and Kurds.
-The forming of al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2004 when no al-Qaeda terrorists had existed before.
The forming of ISIS which is now fighting Iraqi, Kurdish, Syrian and Russian soldiers and inspiring terrorist attacks in the west. All whilst we do very little to stop them (and even support them) whilst allowing our ally Turkey to bomb the Kurds instead.
-And that’s not even counting all the dead US/UK soldiers.
-And those who came home with missing limbs from IEDS and PTSD now living in poverty on the streets or in jail.

I wonder what the total death count is, or will ever be……

I also wonder if the world has the strength to punish a war criminal that wasn’t on the losing side for once?

By Dark Politricks

View the original article on the main site www.darkpolitricks.com.

 

© 2016 By Dark Politricks

Ministers WERE told invading Iraq was illegal, Foreign Office law chief tells Chilcot inquiry

January 26, 2010

UK Daily Mail
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The invasion of Iraq had no ‘legal basis in international’ law, a senior government lawyer said today.

Sir Michael Wood, who was the senior legal adviser at the Foreign Office, told the Iraq Inquiry he disagreed with the advice of the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith that military intervention was lawful.

‘I considered that the use of force against Iraq in March 2003 was contrary to international law,’ he said in a written statement.

‘In my opinion, that use of force had not been authorised by the (United Nations) Security Council, and had no other basis in international law.’

Full article here

Jack Straw's Biggest Lie

January 24, 2010

Craig Murray
January 22, 2010

I was a British Ambassador at the time of the events covered by the Iraq Inquiry. I know many of the witnesses and a great deal of the background. I can therefore see right through the smooth presentation. Jack Straw was the smoothest of all – but he told lie after lie.

Straw’s biggest and most important lie goes right to the heart of the question of whether the war was legal. Did UN Security Council Resolution 1441 provide a legal basis for the invasion, or would a second resolution specifically authorising military action have been required? The UK certainly put a massive amount of diplomatic effort into obtaining a second resolution.

Here is Straw’s argument that the invasion was legal without a second resolution:

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: Then you make a point very strongly in your statement and this has been confirmed by Sir Jeremy Greenstock that you did not believe that military action thereafter, in the event of noncompliance, would depend on a second resolution. It would be desirable but it wasn’t dependent on that. We are not, today, going into the legal arguments on that. Sir Jeremy’s basic contention was that he had got the Americans and British into a comparable position as before Desert Fox in December 1998. So I think that’s quite important, that your understanding, at least of the position, was that it wasn’t absolutely essential to have a second resolution.

RT HON JACK STRAW: I was not in any doubt about that and neither was Jeremy Greenstock, and for very good reasons, which is that there had been talk by the French and Germans of a draft which would have required a second resolution, but they never tabled it. We tabled a draft, which, as I set out in this memorandum, and which Sir Jeremy Greenstock confirms in his memorandum, was aimed to be selfcontained, in the sense that, if very important conditions were met through failures by the Saddam regime, that of itself would provide sufficient authority for military action, and no doubt the next time we will get into the wording of the resolution, which, as I say in this memorandum, I can virtually recite in my sleep, but there are reasons why in OP12 we use the language that we do, and serious consequences are mentioned in OP13 and so on. For sure, we wanted a second resolution after that and well, again, I set out

SIR LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: We will come on to that in a moment.

http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/43198/100121pm-straw.pdf

As Ambassador in an Islamic country, I was copied all or nearly all of the telegrams of instruction on the diplomatic efforts to secure a second resolution. I can tell you these facts as an eye-witness.

Straw argues that the proof that no second resolution was needed is that

I was not in any doubt about that and neither was Jeremy Greenstock, and for very good reasons, which is that there had been talk by the French and Germans of a draft which would have required a second resolution, but they never tabled it.

But they did not table it because we gave assurances to the French and Germans (and Russians and Chinese) that our draft of UNSCR 1441 did not authorise military action. The instructions were to inform those governments that UNSCR 1441 contained “no automatic trigger” which would lead to military action. I remember the phrase precisely “no automatic trigger”. Rod Lyne on the committee must remember it too, because he was one of the people, as Ambassador in Moscow, instructed to give that message.

It is the most perverse of lies by Straw to argue that the fact that the Germans and French did not table their draft proved that 1441 authorised war, when we had told them not to table their draft because 1441 did not authorise war.

I read with enormous care and in real time every single word of the scores of telegrams on the effort to secure the second resolution. Not one word gave any hint at all that a second resolution might not be necessary to authorise war. There was absolutely no mention in telegrams to Embassies of the notion that UNSCR 1441 was a sufficient basis for war, and no second resolution needed, until many weeks after 1441 was passed, just before the invasion.

STOP PRESS ADDITION

In response to New Labour hacks questioning my word, I can offer you irrefutable evidence to back up my own evidence that all the FCO material at the time of the adoption of UNSCR 1441 and for weeks afterwards right up until March, took the view that UNSCR 1441 did not provide legal grounds for the invasion.

It is the resignation letter of Deputy FCO Legal Adviser Elizabeth Wilmshurst in which she stated:

“I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR 678. I do not need to set out my reasoning; you are aware of it.

My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office before and after the adoption of UN security council resolution 1441 and with what the attorney general gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.) “

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4377605.stm

All FCO instructions in the period to which I refer would have had to be in line with the view expressed by FCO legal advisers at that time. That view was precisely as I have stated it above.

This part of Straw’s evidence is therefore a huge lie.

There were numerous other minor lies from Straw. It is completely untrue that we had persuaded the three African security council members to support a second resolution authorising war. Baroness’ Amos mission to Francophone states we had ignored for years was a miserable failure. That was clear from reporting telegrams from posts.

It’s a small point, but Straw’s lie that upset me most personally was:

I don’t in the least mind people disagreeing with me, indeed I encourage it, but I do ask them to be loyal, because, otherwise, you can’t operate any kind of governmental system.

I disagreed with Straw, over the issue of the use of torture to gain intelligence in the “War on Terror”. I was very loyal. I kep my disagreement entirely internal and argued it in top secret telegrams and internal policy meetings. As a result of my disagreeing, Straw attempted to have me framed on false charges, destroying my health in the process and leaking false accusations to the tabloids to ruin my reputation too. When my name was finally cleared, they had to give me six year’s salary to settle.

I defy anyone to read Murder in Samarkand and say Straw is not a liar.

View the original article at Craig Murray’s Blog

Iraq war was illegal, top lawyer will tell Chilcot inquiry

January 24, 2010

Mark Townsend, Toby Helm and Rajeev Syal
London Observer
Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Tony Blair’s decision to take Britain to war in Iraq was illegal, the Foreign Office’s former chief legal adviser will tell the Chilcot inquiry this week.

The Observer has been told that Sir Michael Wood, who was the FO’s most senior lawyer, is ready to reveal that, in the run-up to war, he was of the opinion that the conflict would have been unlawful without a second UN resolution. This will provide an explosive backdrop to the former prime minister’s appearance before the inquiry on Friday.

The evidence from Wood, who will appear before the committee on Tuesday, will provide the firmest proof to date of the bitter wranglings that divided the government in the countdown to war.

His testimony will come the day before the appearance of Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, who is said to have dropped his legal objections days before the invasion, following intense pressure from Blair and his closest advisers, and the US authorities.

View the original article at London Observer

Blair Iraq inquiry appearance ‘waste of time’

January 24, 2010

ITN
Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Tony Blair’s appearance at the Iraq Inquiry will be a “waste of time”, families of soldiers killed during the war have said.

Relatives expressed disappointment at the multi-million pound hearing for failing to get tough enough with witnesses.

The wife of Sergeant Steve Roberts, who was accidentally shot dead when UK troops opened fire during a disturbance soon after the conflict began in March 2003, said the former Prime Minister would probably “sail through unscathed”.

Samantha Roberts, who attacked the Government after it emerged Sergeant Roberts, of Shipley, West Yorkshire, was not provided with enhanced body armour, said of the Mr Blair’s appearance: “It really does not make any difference to me now. What can Blair say that can possibly bring Steve back?

View the original article at ITN

Brown to give evidence to Chilcot Inquiry before Election

January 21, 2010

Gordon Brown will give evidence to an official Iraq war inquiry before the next election, according to Sky sources.

The Prime Minister was originally scheduled to appear later in the year, after the poll.

He has insisted the timing was up to committee chairman, Sir John Chilcot.

Mr Brown will now speak before the election, Sky News understands.

After increasing pressure from political opponents, Mr Brown wrote to Sir John earlier this week to make it clear he would be “happy” to attend at any time.

“I am clear that it is a matter for you how you conduct the Inquiry and that it is, and must remain, entirely independent of Government,” the Prime Minister wrote.

“In undertaking this you have rightly chosen the order you wish to receive evidence.”

“For my part, I want to make it absolutely clear I am prepared to give evidence whenever you see fit. I remain happy to take your advice on this matter,” he added.

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg are among those who have called for the Prime Minister to give evidence earlier.

They believe the public should hear Mr Brown’s evidence before they vote, because as Chancellor, he was responsible for funding the Ministry of Defence.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg suggested it was a “matter for the Prime Minister’s conscience” if he left it until after the poll.
The date of the General Election has not been announced but it must be held before the second week of June, five years after the last vote was held.

“The key questions will be about his role in the war,” according to Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig.

“Alastair Campbell told the inquiry Mr Brown was a member of Tony Blair’s Iraq inner circle, and after Geoff Hoon’s claim that as Chancellor Mr Brown Starved the Ministry of Defence of cash before the war.”

View the original article at Sky News

Jack Straw at Chilcot Inquiry

January 21, 2010

This clip from the Chilcot inquiry shows Jack Straw discussing how the war in Iraq was always about those elusive weapons of mass destruction rather than regime change which he admits was the USA’s main reason for the war.

I cannot wait for Tony Blair’s testimony it will be the hottest gig around and they holding a raffle for the available tickets. I wonder how much they will be going for on ebay?

Alastair Campbell is wrong: yesterday's Blair-Bush revelations were crucial

January 16, 2010

Nicholas Watt
Guardian

Now we know that while Tony Blair may have been genuine in his efforts to pursue a diplomatic route he was so determined to remove Saddam Hussein that he was committed from an early stage to a military route.

So, once again, we are treated to some “unadulterated, bilious shite” on Alastair Campbell’s blog today.

OK, that language is a bit over the top. But those are the exact words Campbell once used in public to dismiss a Guardian piece I had written.

Now Tony Blair‘s former communications director is denouncing the media in general for its coverage of his appearance before the Iraq inquiry yesterday. He has taken exception to the way the press highlighted a series of notes Blair wrote to George Bush in the run-up to the war in 2003.

Campbell did not mention any newspapers by name in his blog. But the headline on the front page in the Times, Blair gave secret promise to Bush over Iraq invasion, was no doubt in his mind when he dismissed journalists for giving the impression that this was a new revelation.

In his blog Campbell writes:

There were several references in my diary too to private notes sent by TB to George Bush, so why on earth the media were presenting this as some great new revelation says more about their addiction to the whooshery of “breaking news” journalism than it does about the diplomatic exchanges at the time.

Campbell then cites two excerpts from his diary to show how he went into great detail about what Blair wrote to Bush.

There is, however, a flaw in Campbell’s argument. There is nothing in the two excerpts in his diary about the central disclosure in his evidence to the inquiry: that Blair had indicated to Bush that he would support military action if the diplomatic route failed.

This is the key passage in Campbell’s evidence to the inquiry yesterday,as reported in the Guardian:

He said the tenor of the letters was: “We share the analysis, we share the concern, we are going to be with you in making sure that Saddam Hussein is faced up to his obligations and that Iraq is disarmed.” Campbell added: “If that cannot be done diplomatically and it is to be done militarily, Britain will be there. That would be the tenor of the communication to the president.”

This is one of the most important revelations from anybody involved in the Iraq war. It confirms one of the central suspicions of critics of the war: that while Blair may have been genuine in his efforts to pursue a diplomatic route he was so determined to remove Saddam that he was committed from an early stage to a military route.

Campbell and Blair’s phalanx of friends have been able to dismiss such claims until now by saying that no decision about military action was taken until the last minute. Campbell yesterday rubbished Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the US, for claiming that Blair committed himself to military action at a famous meeting with Bush at his Texas ranch in April 2002.

That is all true in a legal sense. From what Campbell said yesterday it is now deeply misleading in a political sense.

So what is Campbell up to? His decision to let slip to the inquiry that Blair had indicated support for the military route is part of a clear strategy by Blair and his inner circle to mount an unapologetic defence of the war.

Just a month ago Blair told Fern Britton that he would still have thought it right to remove Saddam even if he had known Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

So why is Campbell so annoyed with the media today? It is very simple. Angered by the way that the Iraq war helped scupper his chances of becoming president of the European council, the Blair circle has decided to use the Iraq inquiry to mount a full-throated defence of the former prime minister’s conduct.

This involves delving into areas, such as the Blair-Bush letters, that have been overlooked until now.

The media is beginning to clock this strategy and probe what the Blair crowd are up to. That is guaranteed to incur the wrath of Campbell, who does not understand that journalism is about asking awkward questions.

That may be a surprising view for a former journalist. But he was – and is – in whatever he does, a propagandist for his beloved Labour party and, yes, for Burnley football club too

View the original article at the Guardian