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06 July 2016

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Cee

All,

I'm still waiting to find out who killed David Kelly?

Tony should meet the same fate as this man

Former vice president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the International Criminal Court on Tuesday.

Mr. Bemba, who led the Mouvement de Libération du Congo, a rebel-group-turned political party, also led a 2002-03 campaign of rape and murder in the Central African Republic during the country’s civil war, the court said.

On March 21, he was found guilty of three war crimes – murder, rape, and pillaging – and two crimes against humanity (murder and rape), according to an International Criminal Court (ICC) press release. Bemba will serve all sentences concurrently, minus the eight years he has already spent in jail since his arrest in 2008.

A Pols

"I will take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse," and that "I will at the same time say why, nonetheless, I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world."

Translation:
"I will take responsibility....Not"

"A lathe of wood, painted to resemble Iron"...
I think Bismark said that.

James Loughton

"I will at the same time say why, nonetheless, I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world."

The world waits with bated breath.

Willy B

Chilcot specifically said that he didn't look into the death of
David Kelly because he didn't have the "coronial" authority that
matter up. In other words, you'll be waiting for awhile longer.

Fred

Yesterday the Borg Queen was been exonerated so it must be time for: Regime change! Moscow version:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-georgia-usa-kerry-idUSKCN0ZM0RG

"Russia's occupation and militarization of parts of Georgia's territory are unacceptable,"

Now for Ukraine: “Kerry visits Ukraine next, on Thursday, before heading to Warsaw to join U.S. President Barack Obama for the NATO summit."

Since Brexit hasn't yet taken the almost non-existent military power of Great Britain out of the EU we better us it before they (the voters) decide they don't want to get railroaded into another neocon war.

Alexandria

The Chilcott Report also adversely impacts the judgment of those U.S. Senators sitting at the time who voted to give GWB the discretionary authority to go to war in Iraq.

turcopolier

Alexandria

That would include Hillary Clinton. pl

David Habakkuk

Willy B,

Thanks for that.

In many ways, Chilcot’s report is clearly useful. And I have not had time for anything more than a cursory glance at it. However, I think there are good reasons to believe that although revealing about some matters, on others it is continuing a cover-up.

Looking at a BBC summary of the report’s account of the intelligence failures leading to the invasion of Iraq, it did not seem to me at all clear that it could be taken at face value.

(See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36713003 .)

We were asked to believe that, in September 2002, in complete good faith, the then MI6 head, Sir Richard Dearlove, was confident that MI6 had acquired a new source in Iraq which had the promise of providing the ‘key to unlock’ the country’s chemical and biological weapons programme.

Despite this – supposedly genuine – confidence in the integrity of the source, however, Dearlove did not discuss what the source was producing with the scientists in the Defence Intelligence Staff: the only people who could have evaluated it properly. (Some of these, incidentally, are pretty good.)

Among the possible explanations for Dearlove's very odd claim, one is obvious: that MI6 already knew the ‘evidence’ was bogus, and did not want the fact exposed.

Apparently, by 18 February 2003, not only had the source failed to deliver, but MI6 analysts had concluded that he had been lying. But they did not tell Blair this at that time, reports from the discredited source were reissued that April, and the then chairman of the JIC, John – now Sir John – Scarlett, was also not told that the source was lying: although he was himself an MI6 operative by background.

Frankly, if you believe all this, I have a recently discovered bridge over the Thames at Hammersmith, just down the river from us, which I am quite prepared to sell you at a bargain price.

It seems to me overwhelmingly likely that a number of people have been lying to Chilcot and his associates, and they have not seen fit to ask them any serious questions.

Another key issue relates to the claim about Saddam having sought uranium from Niger.

I have put ‘Niger’ into the search engine on the Inquiry website, and come up with a handful of references in the report, which really take us no further on the critical question of where the bogus information originated and why it was accepted.

(The relevant page is at http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/the-report/ .)

In fact, the very suspicious role of MI6 in the dissemination of the forged documents originating from Italy which started this ‘canard’ rolling, was discussed in a post by Patrick Bahzad on SST, entitled ‘Loops of Lies: The story behind the fake “yellow cake” deliveries to Iraq’, in May last year.

(See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/05/loops-of-lies-.html .)

A couple of patent instances of disinformation from British intelligence sources may be worth adding into the ‘mix’.

One is an attempt, uncritically recycled in the 'Financial Times' to sustain the claim, accepted by Sir Richard Butler and his colleagues in an earlier report, that there was serious intelligence, independent of the forged documents originating in Italy, supporting the Niger uranium claims.

(See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f5670ed2-c8a1-11d8-830a-00000e2511c8.html?ft_site=falcon&desktop=true .)

Another is a draft article by the journalist and BBC presenter Tom Mangold, in which I regret to say the late Dr David Kelly appears to have been fully complicit, which was intended to suggest that there was serious evidence for the claim that Saddam had WMD he could launch at 45-minutes notice.

(See http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20041101120000/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/evidence-lists/evidence-tmg.htm">http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/evidence-lists/evidence-tmg.htm">http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20041101120000/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/evidence-lists/evidence-tmg.htm .)

Having somewhat ‘toned down’ the claim, Mangold went on to suggest that:

‘At first the spooks were uneasy about allowing this fact to be publicised. Its true there was only one source, but he happened to be an Iraqi Army officer of Brigadier rank – an MI6 agent in place, a hen’s tooth in the body of coalition human intelligence gathering from Iraq . (This source bravely stayed throughout the war, and has since been re-located by the British).’

It seems to me that the most likely interpretation of Chilcot has at least four elements:

1. the state of public feeling in this country is such that there were limits to how far a ‘whitewash’ could be attempted, particularly given what had clearly emerged from evidence presented in its hearings;

2. throughout the bureaucracy, there was a widespread sense that Blair’s driving a horse-and-cart through normal procedures of governance had been disastrous, and a repeat needed to be stopped;

3. it suited Dearlove and others to ‘plead guilty’ to the lesser charge of gross incompetence, rather than risking the more serious one – of having been consciously involved in a transnational conspiracy to lie us into war.

4. as Chilcot has the ‘upper servant’ mentality of much of the contemporary British bureaucracy, the last thing he is going to do is open up questions to do with corrupt conspiracies between elements in British and American intelligence.

In this connection, meanwhile, it is also worth looking at a post by the former British diplomat Craig Murray, dealing with the backgrounds of Chilcot and his colleagues.

While I would not simply accept everything that Murray says, he is in my view a patently honest man, and in relation to the one figure about whom he talks with whom I had dealings, Sir Lawrence Freedman, his account seems to me absolutely to the point.

(See https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/07/the-truth-about-chilcot/ .)

The lines of Inquiry which Chilcot did not pursue lead in various directions – prominent among them into the United States.

It would be a calamity if his obfuscations helped to prevent further investigation of them.

SmoothieX12

Regime change! Moscow version

In what sense it is Moscow "version"?

Fred

SmoothieX12,

The "version" is a desire or perhaps more accurately a pathology for changing the government of the Russian Federation, not necessarily the ability to do so. Perhaps I should have stuck with my first thought, "regime change: on to Moscow" rather than the verbiage I used above.

jeremy C

Indeed, this has been on my mind since the day it happened. Outrageously suspicious. Blair should be investigated for this and his war crime of invading Iraq.

SmoothieX12

Got it, thank you for explanation.

Willy B

Chris Ames, the author of the Iraqi Inquiry Digest, concludes that Chilcot pulled his punches. "On each test of whether Blair acted in good faith, the report simply ducks the question," Ames writes. "It simply refuses to question whether Blair really believed that the intelligence established beyond doubt that Iraq had WMD," Ames goes on. "Most bizarrely, it refuses to make any finding on the period between 7 March 2003 and the start of the war, thereby avoiding addressing whether Blair’s blame the French strategy, on which Commons support for war was based, was a lie."

http://www.iraqinquirydigest.org/?p=15309

Jack

David

Unfortunately this is as far as the Borg is willing to go. The incompetence defense is what is classically used. Exactly as we saw yesterday in Comey's recommendation. They can't go in the direction of intentional fixing of "facts" after the policy decision. The propagandizing the public into a war on false pretenses with disastrous consequences. That's a bridge too far. Truth is not the exercise. It is about finding the best bureaucratic fudge.


There is however a risk they run because their rationale for power is their competence and experience. That's always their argument. The safe hands on the nuclear button. Then there is the dissonance with their "carelessness" and poor judgment. Tony will likely skate in any legal sense just as Hillary did. But people can only be deceived so long. And the longer it takes for the reset, as the Borg keep pulling out the stops to hang on, the less chance it happens peacefully and more likely with guillotines.

SmoothieX12

There is however a risk they run because their rationale for power is their competence and experience. That's always their argument. The safe hands on the nuclear button.

Excellent observation and the one which calls for (I am on it for the last couple of years openly) speaking in broadsides, accusations in ad hominem be damned. We are observing a complete degeneration of Western political (power) "elites" into a collection of vile amateurs who only know how to get elected by means of perpetual self-aggrandizing--that is the extent of their skills. The pool is exhausted--no statesman can emerge from it anymore.

David Habakkuk

Jack,

Yes.

This is getting interesting. Representatives of the relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq gave a press conference immediately following Chilcot’s statement.

Roger Bacon and Reg Keys, who have been two of the driving forces, and their lawyer, Matthew Jury, made it clear they would be closely studying the report, to see whether legal action against some of those responsible is feasible.

If it is concluded that it is worth trying, it is not clear that finance will be a problem. There are many people in this country who would happily contribute, if they saw any realistic chance of seeing Tony Blair sent down.

In one sense, the report is very useful, in that it disposes of the need to establish certain key matters of fact.

My concern however is that precisely because of this, it will distract attention from the actual truth.

Often, ‘cock-up’ and ‘conspiracy’ interpretations are presented as alternatives. And what Chilcot is trying to do is to suggest that, essentially, the Iraq War was a massive ‘cock-up’.

So it was. But it was also a ‘conspiracy’. As also have been subsequent events, in particular in Syria, but also in Ukraine and elsewhere.
And I am very afraid that in obfuscating this, he and his associates will be all too successful.

This is doubly dangerous, because it is precisely the combination of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘cock-up’ which makes ‘neocons’ like Dearlove and Blair so acutely dangerous.

But, as you point out, there are also a danger to themselves.

There are complex links here to the arguments over ‘Brexit’.

Leaving aside the merits and demerits of the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ arguments, what was absolutely clear was that the ‘establishment’ in Britain had almost no understanding of the depth of the angers their behaviour had provoked.

This was the first time I had watched either Bacon or Keys. Both came across to me as very measured and reasonable people. But there are a lot of people who are a great deal less measured, and reasonable.

David Habakkuk

Jack,

I left off the link to the relatives' press conference. It is at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36722172

doug

All,

Having closely followed this from 2002, I doubt the Iraq war would have been initiated without the strong support of the neoconservatives. It was viewed as initiating a ME transformation. They succeeded but are generally unwilling to own their "success."

Babak Makkinejad

I think it is commendable that in the United Kingdom, an inquest has been convened and its results - however partial and less than complete - published for the benefit of the electorate.

Poland, Australia, Spain, Denmark, and Italy also invaded Iraq and I am yet to see something analogous to come from those countries.

They were all mad, without a doubt, invading the seat of historical Omavid and Abbasid Caliphates; but such has been their hubris.

Babak Makkinejad

The man whose judgment should also be considered was Bill Clinton and his Dual Containment policy of both Iran and Iraq - at the time that Iran wanted to improve her relationship with US.

Bill Clinton's legacy in the Persian Gulf and in Northeast Asia, in my opinion, has been a disaster for the United States.

Babak Makkinejad

Blair claims to have tried to persuade US from invading Iran and Syria at the same time as Iraq.

I suppose he was suggesting keeping Iran and Syria for the future; like my math. teacher used to say: "First let us raise this first baby..."

Babak Makkinejad

Keep in mind please that United Kingdom, Poland, Australia, Spain, Denmark, and Italy joined US willingly and enthusiastically for the invasion of Iraq.

US did not need those countries, they wanted in - loving it to be following US into battle.

That is the reason that I discount a vast "neo-conservative conspiracy" spanning as many countries.

SmoothieX12

This is from 1998 from Project For New American Century. Iraq was marked for annihilation since early 1990s.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5527.htm

Final transformation of US Foreign Policy towards neo-conservatism and "humanitarian" interventionism has started on Bill Clinton's watch. All that against the background of US exceptionalism which was always present in American thinking. Neocons largely actualized this vision to a disastrous effect for all, US included, parties involved. Neocons will NOT own anything for a number of reasons. In some sense, present state of US foreign policy was inevitable.

Fred

Babak,

Yes, the "domino" theory of the borg wars.

walrus

@Babak, Australia didn't want to go to war - it's Government did. Australia is one of the "Five Eyes" and has no independent foreign policy. It does what its Governemnt, of either political persuasion, thinks America would like it to do.

we have just had a Federal election here - I haven''t followed it at all. The Australian political and economic environment for the next Ten y ears is determined by Washington, hence my interest in the Presidential race.

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