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Archive for July 12th, 2009

Jason Leopold | Global Research | July 11, 2009

iraq-explained

Two years before the invasion of Iraq, oil executives and foreign policy advisers told the Bush administration that the United States would remain “a prisoner of its energy dilemma” as long as Saddam Hussein was in power.

That April 2001 report, “Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century,” was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the request of then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

In retrospect, it appears that the report helped focus administration thinking on why it made geopolitical sense to oust Hussein, whose country sat on the world’s second largest oil reserves.

“Iraq remains a de-stabilizing influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East,” the report said.

“Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the U.S. should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.

“Like it or not, Iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade.”

The advisory committee that helped prepare the report included Luis Giusti, a Shell Corp. non-executive director; John Manzoni, regional president of British Petroleum; and David O’Reilly, chief executive of ChevronTexaco.

James Baker, the namesake for the public policy institute, was a prominent oil industry lawyer who also served as Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush and was counsel to the Bush/Cheney campaign during the Florida recount in 2000.

Ken Lay, then chairman of the energy-trading Enron Corp., also made recommendations that were included in the Baker report.

At the time of the report, Cheney was leading an energy task force made up of powerful industry executives who assisted him in drafting a comprehensive “National Energy Policy” for President George W. Bush.

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Tony Blair sensitive to the accusation that he has ‘blood on his hands’

Glen Owen and Miles Goslett | Centre for Research on Globalization | July 12, 2009

The death of Government scientist David Kelly returned to haunt Labour today as a group of doctors announced that they were mounting a legal challenge to overturn the finding of suicide.

Dr Kelly’s body was found six years ago this week in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the grounds for war in Iraq. Unusually, no coroner’s inquest was held into his death.

The only official verdict has come from the Hutton Inquiry, commissioned by Tony Blair, which concluded that Dr Kelly, 59, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.

Critics regarded the report as a ‘whitewash’, and Mr Blair remains acutely sensitive to the accusation that he has ‘blood on his hands’ over the scientist’s death.
But now a team of 13 specialist doctors has compiled a detailed medical dossier that rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the ulnar artery, which is small and difficult to access, could not have caused death.

It will be used by their lawyers to demand a formal inquest and the release of Dr Kelly’s autopsy report, which has never been published. It will also be sent to Sir John Chilcot’s forthcoming inquiry into the Iraq War.

The 12-page opinion, a copy of which has been seen by The Mail on Sunday, concludes: ‘The bleeding from Dr Kelly’s ulnar artery is highly unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death.

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Norman Baker MP on the death of Dr. David Kelly (1/3)

Click on link below to see parts 2 and 3 of this interview

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