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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq War Inquiry’

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor | Independent | Monday, 4 January 2010

An internet-based “people power” campaign is asking its 60,000 members to draw up the “tough questions” that Tony Blair must be asked when he is questioned by the Iraq inquiry this year.

38 Degrees, a group set up last year in memory of the Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, wants to ensure that Mr Blair is not let off the hook or allowed to answer the most sensitive questions in private.

Although Sir John Chilcot, the former Whitehall mandarin chairing the inquiry, has insisted that Mr Blair will be questioned mainly in public, critics of the 2003 invasion fear the former prime minister may cite national security in an attempt to ensure some of the hearing is behind closed doors.

An initial survey by 38 Degrees found strong demands among its members for Mr Blair to answer these questions:

  • Why did you insist that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction were the reason to attack Iraq?
  • Did the Bush administration threaten, tacitly or otherwise, to withdraw American investment from the UK if it did not support the invasion?
  • Why was there no strategy to rebuild Iraq following Saddam’s overthrow?
  • What was the total value to the UK and its businesses of contracts arising directly from the Iraq invasion?
  • Why does the UK Government support the creation of new governments which oppress women more than their predecessors did?

(more…)

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The Chilcot Inquiry into the war will interrogate the former Prime Minister over the devastating ‘smoking gun’ memo, which warned him the war was illegal. The MoS can disclose that Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote to Mr Blair in July 2002 telling him that deposing Saddam Hussein was a breach of international law.

By Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday Political Editor
Last updated at 1:48 AM on 29th November 2009

Resolve: Blair and Bush in April 2002, when they secretly agreed on 'regime change' in Iraq

An explosive secret letter that exposes how Tony Blair lied over the legality of the Iraq War can be revealed.

The Chilcot Inquiry into the war will interrogate the former Prime Minister over the devastating ‘smoking gun’ memo, which warned him in the starkest terms the war was illegal.

The Mail on Sunday can disclose that Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote the letter to Mr Blair in July 2002 – a full eight months before the war – telling him that deposing Saddam Hussein was a blatant breach of international law.

It was intended to make Mr Blair call off the invasion, but he ignored it. Instead, a panicking Mr Blair issued instructions to gag Lord Goldsmith, banned him from attending Cabinet meetings and ordered a cover-up to stop the public finding out.

He even concealed the bombshell information from his own Cabinet, fearing it would spark an anti-war revolt. The only people he told were a handful of cronies who were sworn to secrecy.

Lord Goldsmith was so furious at his treatment he threatened to resign – and lost three stone as Mr Blair and his cronies bullied him into backing down.

Sources close to the peer say he was ‘more or less pinned to the wall’ in a Downing Street showdown with two of Mr Blair’s most loyal aides, Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan.

The revelations follow a series of testimonies by key figures at the Chilcot Inquiry who have questioned Mr Blair’s judgment and honesty, and the legality of the war.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that the inquiry has been given Lord Goldsmith’s explosive letter, and that Mr Blair and the peer are likely to be interrogated about it when they give evidence in the New Year.

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by William Bowles
Global Research, November 27, 2009

“We spent a long time at dinner on IRAQ. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we need pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option.” – David Manning (Blair’s policy advisor).[1]

I read with amazement the ‘revelations’ concerning war criminal Tony Blair’s visit to Camp Crawford in March 2002 where Bush/Blair decided that ‘regime change’ was the order of the day. But there’s nothing new about these ‘revelations’, indeed I and many others reported this meeting literally years ago.

“The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for 10 March [2003]. This was when the bombing would begin.” — George Bush

For example, see the following reports:

1. ‘British Foreign Secretary Straw Says Case For Iraq Is Weak’, Alleged Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office 25, March 2002

2. ‘The Iraq Factor: Secret Memo to Tony Blair. Condi committed to regime change in early 2002’

3. ‘Iraq Options Paper’: Full text, Raw Story, dated March 8, 2002.

4. ‘British Advisers Foresaw Variety of Risks, Problems’ By Glenn Frankel

5. ‘LMSM, the Lying Mainstream Media’ By Robert Parry, June 17, 2005

These are just a few of the stories on Bush/Blair’s ‘regime change’ meeting at Camp Crawford in early 2002. So how come the mainstream media are reporting it as ‘news’? In fact all the ‘revelations’ emerging from the Iraq War ‘Inquiry’ are not news, independent media has been carrying investigations since at least 2002.

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There were protests outside the inquiry yesterday featuring a 'Tony Blair' and fake blood

By Peter Biles
BBC world affairs correspondent

The sceptics might say the Iraq inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, is another pointless investigation, a colossal waste of time, and likely to be a whitewash.

But in the first week, some fascinating evidence has already emerged from these public hearings into the background to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It is perhaps too early to say if it will be a definitive account of the war. But for those predicting some sort of cover-up, the initial signs suggest otherwise.

Given the controversy over the Iraq war in 2003, and the confusion at the time, it is good to be able to join up a few dots in what is still an otherwise incomplete picture.

Relatives of Britons killed in Iraq have long made it known they are seeking “truth and honesty”.

Six years on, some are still filled with the pain of loss and the anger fuelled by what they regard as “an illegal war”.

[Read more...]

Q&A: Iraq inquiry
A guide to the long awaited probe into events before and after the 2003 invasion

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