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06 July 2016

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doug

Babak,

"vast neo-conservative conspiracy?" Hardly. There was nothing conspiratorial, ie: secret, about it. I have been a reader of Commentary since about 1980. Excellent magazine with many brilliant writers over the years. It is generally considered the premier magazine of neo-conservatism to the point of describing itself as the "neo-conservative flagship." It was also a house publication of the AJC spinning itself to an independent mag in the early 2000's. A point of note. Jews, are, for the most part, not conservative. Neo or otherwise. But they are, generally, more interested in the welfare of Israel then gentiles and things had been going to hell in the ME.

Of great concern to them circa 2002, was the Palestinian intifada which was in full swing with suicide bombers widely active throughout Israel. The deaths, on a per capita basis, totaled far in excess of the ones suffered by the USA from the 9/11 UBL attacks. And no, I don't for a second believe the assorted 9/11 CTs.

Saddam was hated for providing support and rewards for these suicide bombers.

It was quite fascinating to watch Powell's televised address to AIPAC in March 2003. I particularly recall the line about Saddam being the greatest supporter and provider of World Wide Terrorism. This has a very different meaning to the AIPAC crowd v other Americans not quite as in touch with global events. To those others it helped sync in the notion that Saddam must be removed by force because he was an imminent threat to the heartland. This was, like all good political speeches, effective at conveying different messages to different groups with non-overlapping interests. As for influence, AIPAC has few if any peers and is strongly supported on both sides of the isle.

So there was a widespread desire, after initial defanging Afghanistan, to do something to stabilize the ME. This was seen as in Israel's interest of course, but also seen as in America's and the rest of the World. Saddam's Iraq was seen as a ME state reasonably close to the Western ideal. They had significant minority religious populations. Hell, they sold alcohol. The theory was that we would be more or less welcomed and that it would become an attractive symbol for other states in the region to follow. Whether by force or not. It's not coincidental that Syria and Iran have long borders in common.

It just didn't work out the way it was intended.

oofda

The Telegraph today carried an article on Chilcot by Tim Collins, a senior British Army Battle Group commander who served in Iraq during the invasion. He has some strong words for the Blair and Bush administrations. He wrote that the calamities that fell in the wake of Saddam's ouster were understood or feared before the invasion. He is particularly critical of Bremmer's disbanding of the Iraqi Army which was completely in opposition to what the message was being relayed by British commander. The result of this "strategic blunder saw the growth, arguably, of the most effective insurgency in history since the American Revolutionary War."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/06/we-knew-the-occupation-of-iraq-would-be-a-disaster----and-did-no/

Babak Makkinejad

But in Spain? Or in Georgia? or in Denmark? or in Poland? or in Italy?

I cannot agree to the influence of English-speaking Zionist Jews across so many countries.

How about these countries' leaders really hating Islam and wishing to join some Muslim bashing - without stitching crosses to their chests?

Babak Makkinejad

Well, there is remedy: it is called "The Spirit of 76".

Jack

David

I want to juxtapose what you wrote with what Blair said today.

"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."

Blair says "there were no lies, Parliament and Cabinet were not misled, there was no secret commitment to war, intelligence was not falsified and the decision was made in good faith".

Those of us who read Col. Lang's Drinking the Kool-aid, and have read about Doug Feith and his stovepipe, about the Rendon Group, and heard Condi Rice exclaim about mushroom clouds, the Niger yellowcake and Plame affair, Judy Miller's aluminum tube fantasies in the Pravda on the Hudson would like a thorough inquiry into the conspiracy and the decision making to invade Iraq.

I for one would like those responsible held to account. A war crimes tribunal is appropriate. But...I'm not holding my breath. The Borg protects their own. I read today that Dubya does not plan to read the Chilcott report. Isn't it ironic that Blair and Bush and all the others are reduced to saying the world remains better without Saddam while everyone can see just the opposite? And today how the Borg media was going apoplectic as Trump said that Saddam killed terrorists!

And furthermore that the neocon Kagan who is nominally GOP, endorsing the Borg Queen. Yes. The cabal of the warmongers. Corrupt to the core.

BraveNewWorld

There is lots that is shocking in Chilcot's report even for those of us who have been following things closely since before the war began. But what stands out for me is the belief that the UK and US were the righteous hand of god put on this earth to destroy the entire Middle East.

"Far from showing doubt about his interventionism, however, Blair complained to Bush that his belief the struggle for control of Iraq “will determine the spirit of the future world” was “all getting lost just in Iraq and WMD”. He said Iraq was “a test case for how determined we were to confront the threat. My worry now is that the world thinks: well, Iraq was a tough deal, so they won’t try that again.”

“We have to be absolutely unapologetic,” he urged Bush.

On the Arab world, he said hardline countries who don’t “fall into line” should be offered “a very hard-headed partnership or put them on the ‘axis of evil list’”. He also told Bush that more effort needed to go into the war in Afghanistan, saying: “It is our one act of regime change so far, so it had better be a good advertisement.”

But he then set out a recipe for providing evidence against Iraq. “If we recapitulate all the WMD evidence; add his attempt to secure nuclear capability; and, as seems possible, add an al-Qaida link, it will be hugely persuasive over here. Plus, of course, the abhorrent nature of the regime.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/06/with-you-whatever-tony-blair-letters-george-w-bush-chilcot

Put it together with the 7 countries Wesley Clark said he was told the US was going to invade and it is just sickening how cheap life is to western governments. But it brings up the question are we going to dodge the rest of the bullets or are there another 5 countries that the west is going to destroy to save?

michael brenner

I am surprised by the intensity of the reaction to the Chilcot Report. Nearly everything in it has been known to the attentive observer for many years. From what I can tell from summary accounts, the only thing new are the texts of the master/servant messages between Bush and Blair. Certainly not the mood and content. Whatever intangibles emerge from this meticulous if lawyerly account, they pretty much conform to what was reported by Peter Stoddard in his first-hand narrative of life at No. 10 on the eve of the in invasion. (Thirty Days (London: HarperCollins, 2004) 2004 = 12 B.C. Before Chilcot. The balance of attention paid public relations, in contrast to policy substance, was such that Stothard remarks, “Today the War Cabinet is like a media studies seminar in a metropolitan high school.”

In truth, we have a major collective memory problem. We - as scholars, journalists, commentators, and citizens - find it impossible (inconvenient?) to retain memories even of relatively recent events of cardinal consequence. I guess that's what we might call "primitive existentialism". Live in the moment AND forget everything in the past. Then, pay the price.

turcopolier

mbrenner
as I have said before, making it official makes a big difference. pl

doug

According to Wikipedia, the 2003 invasion force was largely American with 150,000. The UK did more than their share with 46,000. A couple other countries contributed token forces with two providing them for the initial invasion force:

Invasion forces:

Australia 2,000
Poland 200

There were numerous additions to the MNF forces, largely in a peace-keeping role, post invasion. Even Iceland contributed 2 troops.

Post invasion Forces of the ones you mentioned that weren't in the invasion (at peak)

Italy 3,200
Georgia 2,000
Spain 1,300
Denmark 545

None of these contributed troops proportionally anywhere near that of the US or UK.

The plain fact is that the Iraq invasion was driven by the United States. And we like our wars to have coalitions. Makes it seem more acceptable.

jld

Yeah!
All those countries are "out to get you" (muslims), that is soooo unfair because Islam is wishing well to every non muslim populations, right?

LondonBob

From the commentary of the Report I don't see that Blair's claim is supported by Chilcot. Of course it was known at the time what was going on.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/jul/23/iraq.comment

Really I would have liked a detailed look into the how, why and who pushed the war in Iraq, accepting as I do Victor Ostrovsky's purported account in By Way of Deception of how the first Gulf War was engineered. The Blair creature is fascinating in of itself, the fantastic sums of money that financed him, the laudatory media coverage, but we have only really ever got dribs and drabs.

Of course it would be nice to think that lessons have been learned but we have since 'done' Libya, Syria and the Ukraine with the same pattern of false claims, uncritical reporting and pathetic political oversight. At the least the general public are now much more sceptical and the internet offers a level of critical comment.

A side note of how little has changed is the fact neocon poster boy Michael Gove (http://europe.newsweek.com/why-michael-gove-wants-be-prime-minister-476349 ) and the less fanatical Liam Fox (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049642/Was-Mossad-using-Fox-Werritty-useful-idiots-Ex-Ambassador-reveals-links-advisers-set-alarm-bells-ringing.html ) are/were considered serious contenders for being our next Prime Minister. Although Gove seems to alarm some members of the establishment (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3675197/Tory-big-beast-Ken-Clarke-brands-Michael-Gove-wild-Theresa-bloody-difficult-claims-Andrea-Leadsom-isn-t-really-Eurosceptic-extraordinary-open-mic-gaffe.html ).

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

As with Australia, it is something of an oversimplification to say that the United Kingdom went to war in Iraq ‘willingly and enthusiastically’.

What ‘walrus’ has to say about Australian foreign policy also applies to British.

If very serious resistance to our playing ‘lapdog’ to the United States on Iraq had not been anticipated, it would not have been necessary for Dearlove and Scarlett to lie, and lie, and lie: as they clearly did, despite Chilcot’s attempts to obfuscate.

The question of whether they lied to Blair, or colluded with him in lying to Parliament and the public, is one which the report leaves unresolved.

(A parallel question arises in relation to the role of MI6 and the JIC in relation to Cameron in connection with the Ghouta ‘false flag’.)

And it would not have been necessary for Blair to subvert the procedures of constitutional government by, in essence, cutting Cabinet out of things and making up policy on his sofa.

The ‘neoconservative conspiracy’ did not need to span all the countries involved: although, of course, the role of the Murdoch press, which is relevant to Australia as well as the United States and Britain, is significant.

As to its reality – and its relevance to Iran – I can perhaps follow up my reference to the role of Tom Mangold in collaborating with his old contact Dr David Kelly to disseminate disinformation relating to the notorious 45-minute claim.

On the website of the Litvinenko Inquiry you will find a transcript of a BBC Radio 4 programme Mangold presented on 16 December 2006. This was devoted to claims by an erstwhile associate of Litvinenko’s, a former KGB officer called Yuri Shvets, then based at an organisation called the ‘Centre for Counterintelligence and Security’ in Alexandria, Virginia.

His allegations were supported by a collaborator of his, a former FBI operative by the name of Robert ‘Bobby’ Levinson.

(See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf .)

According to this version, Litvinenko was likely to have been deliberately assassinated with polonium at the instigation of a close associate of Putin. Supposedly, in the course of their normal work as ‘due diligence’ researchers – nothing to do with any Western intelligence agency at all, of course – Litvinenko and Shvets had unearthed damning evidence about the links between this associate and organised crime.

No mention was made in this programme about the involvement of Shvets, Litvinenko, and their associates in the group around the fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky in transcribing and disseminating the famous – or notorious – tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, supposedly recorded by Major Melnichenko.

The whole process – which was was funded by Berezovsky – played a major role in the initial ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine, back in 2004-5.

As to Levinson, a piece in the ‘New York Times’ from May this year may be of interest. An extract:

‘In March 2007, Mr. Levinson, then 59, disappeared on Kish Island, in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iran, while trying to recruit a fugitive American-born assassin as a C.I.A. source inside Iran.’

(See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/nyregion/seeking-robert-levinson-cia-consultant-who-vanished.html?_r=0 .)

Of course, after his disappearance any possibility of a CIA link was denied, just as the suggestion that Litvinenko might have worked for MI6 was, repeatedly, dismissed with contempt.

When the British were forced into reopening the inquest into Litvinenko’s death, it was rapidly conceded that he had in fact been an agent, as distinct from operative, of MI6.

Indeed, very much of what had been claimed in the Mangold programme and other MSM coverage was then ditched – a fact which both Sir Robert Owen, who conducted the Inquiry, and also the MSM, have chosen to ignore. (At no point in what I have read of the proceedings were witnesses questioned about obvious contradictions in their claims at different times.)

In relation to Litvinenko’s activities on behalf of MI6, Owen’s report was quite patently a cover-up. Even more so than with Chilcot, however, some of the evidence produced in the course of proceedings is illuminating.

Among other things, some information is provided about the uses to which the then MI6 agent Litvinenko and Shvets were putting the Melnichenko tapes. On the website, one can find extracts from a letter which the former sent in December 2005 to the so-called ‘Mitrokhin Commission’ in Italy, for which their Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant.

(See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ018922wb.pdf .)

In this letter, we discovered some of what the investigations of Litvinenko and Shvets into links between Putin and his associates and organised crime were supposed to establish.

So ‘evidence’ from the Melnichenko tapes was used to support the claim that the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich, while an agent of the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had attempted to obtain a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ for Al Qaeda. At the time it was written, as we know from other sources, Scaramella was about to depart on a trip of the United States.

Some quick Google searches will establish that Mangold had – in addition to being, along with Brian Ross of ABC, a prime disseminator of the ‘anthrax scare’ rubbish which was used to whip up feeling in support of the invasion of Iraq – presented a programme on Mogilevich in which the prime source was Levinson.

So there is a consistent ‘modus operandi’, involving scaremongering playing to people’s fears about WMD, in which time and again the same people turn out to be involved – running right through to ‘false flag’ over Ghouta. Sometimes the purpose has been to create a ‘casus belli’, sometimes to facilitate a ‘colour revolution’, sometimes simply to discredit political leaders and movements.

Far be it from me to suggest that, given his associations, it is at least worth considering the possibility that, in his attempts to recruit an agent in Kish, ‘Bobby’ Levinson might just conceivably have been engaged in another such operation. Far be it from me to suggest that it is possible that Iranian intelligence, quite possibly with the collusion with Russian, laid a trap for him.

Such suggestions, obviously, smack of accusations of a ‘vast neo-conservative conspiracy’: quite clearly a manifestation of my latent anti-Semitism.

Unfortunately, at this point, the fact that both Levinson and Mangold are Jewish cannot be regarded as entirely irrelevant. So also were the two academic members of the Chilcot Committee, Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman. Of course, Seymour Hersh and Glenn Greenwald, are Jewish, as are Stephen F. Cohen, and Eric Kraus, and Vladimir Golstein (three of the best Western commentators on post-Soviet affairs.) So too, on SST, are Professor Brenner, ‘jdledell’, and Larry Kart.

But, as I have noted before, there appears to be a kind of inverse correlation among American, and increasingly British, Jews, between, on the one hand, influence, and the other, genuine intelligence and integrity.

In relation to Chilcot, it is necessary to keep a balance in mind. As an exposé of the sheer corruption and also utter incompetence of contemporary British élites, it may turn out to mark a defining moment. The outburst by Sarah O’Connor, whose brother was killed in Iraq – ‘there is one terrorist in this world that the world needs to be aware of, and his name is Tony Blair – the world’s worst terrorist’ – may well echo down in history.

That said, what has become progressively clearer in recent years is that the ‘covert’ element alike of American and British policy has run right out of control, generating time and again projects for ‘regime change’, which have turned out a disaster not simply for their targets but ourselves.

Many elements have gone into this. But the role of rather stupid Jews, looking for fantasy solutions to the intractable problems which inevitably confront a Jewish settler state in the Middle East, and unable to escape from the traumas created by anti-Semitism in Europe and Russia, is certainly a significant part of the story.

And in relation to opening up this crucial aspect of the history of the past two decades, Chilcot does not illuminate: he obfuscates.

Actually, a great deal of the story is ‘hiding in plain sight’, as the phrase goes. So, for example, a look at the website of the ‘Henry Jackson Society’ will tell you a great deal about ‘neoconservatism’ in Britain. The fact that both Dearlove and two of the current candidates for the Tory leadership, Michael Gove and Stephen Crabb, are among the signatories of its fatuous ‘Statement of Principles’ tells you a good deal of what you need to know about the intellectual collapse of British élites.

(See http://henryjacksonsociety.org/about-the-society/signatories-to-the-statement-of-principles/ .)

However, evidence about the role of ‘covert operations’ in the pursuit of these stupid agendas is only slowly filtering out. From what has emerged, however, it is clear that no serious investigation can be premised upon an assumption that one can assume that what figures like Dearlove and Scarlett say is more likely to be true than false.

And that Chilcot accepted a version from MI6 sources which is patently poppycock is not helpful, in bringing to light the ‘hidden history’ of the invasion of Iraq.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

Any chance of legal action against Blair and some of the others? pl

Willy B

British legal expert seem to think not.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/06/tony-blair-veterans-families-push-trial-iraq-is-it-possible

turcopolier

Willy B

Thanks. pl

rjj

By way of collective memory glitches, there are 15 mentions of Bush as agent (or prime mover); none of Cheney.

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think the driving agent behind Iraq invasion is in question, nor the capabilities of the United States.

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang, Willy B:

On the face of things, the arguments made by Owen Boycott look compelling. However, I would not completely rule out the possibility of some kind of legal action.

At the press conference given by the relatives of the servicemen, the answers given to the question of whether legal proceedings would be attempted were very circumspect.

What their solicitor, Matthew Jury, and Francis Bacon and Reg Keys, who were clearly the leaders, were at great pains to stress was that the report would be gone through with a fine toothcomb, to see whether there were areas where charges could be made to stick.

It is just possible that there may what one might call an ‘Al Capone’ situation. A close scrutiny of the factual evidence and the finer points of the law might turn up unexpected grounds on which those involved can be taken to court.

For what it is worth, there was an article by General Sir Michael Rose – a former commander of the SAS among other things – in the ‘Mail’ this morning, which opened:

‘The report makes clear there are a number of possible grounds for legal action against Blair by the families of the 179 people killed in the Iraq war. But I believe it is Blair’s flagrant abuse of intelligence that gives them the best option.

‘For it was his unequivocal statement that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that could be launched in 45 minutes which finally persuaded Parliament to support the invasion of Iraq.

‘It was that statement, based on seemingly uncorroborated evidence, that gave rise to the appalling suffering these families have endured.’

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3678097/GENERAL-SIR-MICHAEL-ROSE-families-179-personnel-killed-Iraq-Blair-court.html .)

Of course, Sir Michael is not a lawyer, but from the little I have known about him he has always struck me as a man of competence and integrity. It would somewhat surprise me if he ‘went public’ in this way without having reflected seriously on the issues involved.

And this brings me back to what I think is a central point about Chilcot’s report.

From the summaries I have read, it seems to me overwhelmingly likely that on some of the critical intelligence issues what we are dealing with is a collusive fiction, concocted by key figures in collaboration, designed to suggest that incompetence, rather than deliberate mendacity, was at issue.

If however deliberate mendacity was at issue, then what we are dealing with would have to be collusion to mislead Parliament. It is not clear to me what the legal position would be in relation to such collusion. But it is not a trivial matter.

Precisely the same issue arises in relation to the JIC ‘Assessment’ which Cameron adduced in his unsuccessful attempt to get the support of the Commons for us to join with the United States in bombing Assad, in response to the patent ‘false flag’ at Ghouta.

Here, it is material that the claims made by Seymour Hersh about the key role of the British defence science laboratory at Porton Down in enabling General Dempsey to persuade Obama to pull back from bombing in Syria have hardly been picked up on this side of the Atlantic.

(For Hersh’s account, see the April 2014 piece he produced in the ‘London Review of Books’ under the title ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line; available at http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line .)

Without going into the complexities, what Chilcot has to say brings up the need to see the – successful – attempt to lie us into war against Iraq, and the – unsuccessful – attempt to lie us into war against Syria in conjunction.

It now seems reasonably clear that – probably to protect people at Porton Down – Hersh’s sources obscures the crucial fact that MI6 provided the laboratory with ‘environmental’ samples from at least one of the smaller scale ‘false flag’ incidents which preceded the ‘larger scale’ Ghouta attack.

Indeed, this was explicitly claimed in a report in the ‘Times’ and the ‘Australian’ in March 2013 by Tom Coghlan – the role of the Murdoch papers is again crucial.

(See http://brianhaw.tv/index.php/index/1555-22032013-propaganda-murdoch-claims-mi6-testing-syrian-soil-for-nerve-gas .)

I now think there are very strong grounds to believe that they had such samples from more than one of the relevant incidents – and quite possibly all four – and that they were obtained through a former British Army chemical weapons specialist called Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.

(See http://www.militaryspeakers.co.uk/speakers/hamish-de-bretton-gordon-obe/ .)

So, we have an interesting similarity and dissimilarity.

On the one hand, Chilcot asks us to believe that Dearlove had obtained a source who he thought was providing a ‘smoking gun’ on Iraq’s chemical and biological capabilities, that this was critical in shaping the ‘dodgy dossier’, but that somehow Porton Down – whose scientists, as I understand it, have as much expertise on these weapons as anyone in the world – was not brought in.

I don’t believe this for a moment, and I much doubt that Sir John Chilcot and his colleagues do so either.

In relation to the ‘environmental samples’ supposed to incriminate the Syrian Government of responsibility for Ghouta and the earlier incidents, however, we have every reason to believe that Porton Down was brought in at an early stage.

Why was this? The answer is I think clear. The techniques of mass spectrometry which have made it possible to identify, from ‘environmental’ samples, not only the presence of sarin but critical evidence about its likely origin have actually developed relatively recently.

At the time that samples from the earlier incidents were supplied to Porton Down, de Bretton-Gordon was clearly unaware that they could be used to establish not simply the presence of sarin, but its likely origin.

The circumstantial evidence suggesting that, over Ghouta, British intelligence was consciously involved in disseminating disinformation is strong. The implausibility of the account intended to rebut suggestions that this was the case in relation to Iraq needs to be seen in the light of the subsequent incident – and vice versa.

What should not happen is that relief at the fact that Chilcot did not provide a complete ‘whitewash’ obscures the extent to which he obscured the truth. And if more people pointed to the acute implausibility of critical parts of his account, there might be more prospect of seeing Blair and others meet the fate they so richly deserve – imprisonment, or at least financial ruin.

At the end of his article, General Rose writes:

'There has to be an element of retribution over the way we were taken to war. We need to hold people in public office to account, or our democracy will continue to suffer catastrophic failures such as the invasion of Iraq in the future. The war was unjust and unjustifiable. On January 9, 2006, I publicly called for the impeachment of Blair over Iraq. At that time our MPs did not have the moral courage to act. Today, reflecting the anger of the people of this country who have been so betrayed by him, let us hope they will now do so.'

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you very much.

Willy B

There's a famous quote from the Nuremberg war crimes trials on the crime of waging aggressive war being the worst crime, which I cannot now locate. Perhaps someone else can find it and post it here. It's the worst crime because it's the source from which all of the other crimes flow. The ICC said in a statement reported by the Telegraph a few days ago that. "As already indicated by the Office in 2006, the 'decision by the UK to go to war in Iraq falls outside the Court's jurisdiction.'" For some strange reason, the Nuremberg principles are not part of the ICC charter, perhaps because the ICC was George Soros' baby.

The faking of intelligence, which Cheney certainly on the US side, was a function of the intent, from the outset, to wage unprovoked aggressive war against another sovereign state, the threat from which was grossly exaggerated.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/02/outrage-as-war-crimes-prosecutors-say-tony-blair-will-not-be-inv/]

David Habakkuk

Willy B,

A very important report has just appeared on the BBC.

(See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36738086 .)

One key passage:

‘Of the possible criminal offences Mr Blair could face in this country, the most likely is misconduct in a public office.

‘It is committed when a public official acting in the course of their duties wilfully neglects to perform that duty, or wilfully misconducts themselves to such a degree that their behaviour amounts to an abuse of the public's trust in them.

‘The offence was used frequently in the phone-hacking scandal to prosecute police officers and other public officials who took money from journalists in return for providing stories.

‘The former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord MacDonald QC, believes Tony Blair's conduct in the build-up to the Iraq war could amount to misconduct in public office.

‘Speaking to The Times, he highlighted an example of "particularly egregious misconduct" set out in the Chilcot report.’

Another:

‘There is a potential civil claim for "misfeasance in public office". This is almost the civil equivalent to the crime of misconduct in public office.

‘It is based on proving that the office holder abused their power in a way that injured the claimant. Judged on the lower civil standard of proof, the balance of probabilities, it requires that the office holder owed the claimant a duty of care, breached it and that resulted in harm to the claimant.

‘Often the claim will involve the office holder having acted unlawfully while knowing that what they were doing was unlawful. Mr Blair has always maintained that he acted in good faith. That would be a successful defence to a civil claim for misfeasance.

‘Lawyers for the families of those who lost loved ones in the war and its aftermath are studying the 2.6 million word report to see whether it provides the basis for civil claims against the former prime minister. It will be a long and challenging task.’

You can perhaps see why I think it so important that Chilcot’s unquestioning acceptance of the claims by Dearlove that he was simply an incompetent bungler should be looked at more critically than has, up to now, been the case.

Also: Like Ghouta, this is one of those cases where the transnational nature of ‘information operations’ means that these can evade detection by investigations – both in the MSM and the blogosphere, which are largely ‘national’ in focus.

This is why input from the U.S. into what is going on would be so helpful.

LondonBob

Various people saying Blair may be charged with 'misconduct in public office'.

doug

Nor do I think that neo-conservatives per se provided the tipping point. For most of the 70's and 80's they were relatively marginal. In fact their subsequent growth was a significant brake on the Left which peaked in the early 70's. It was the confluence of the disintegration of the USSR, the rapid success of the first Gulf War, the most destructive intifada in Israel to date, and, of course, 9/11 that aligned the Left (R2P: NYT, New Republic, etc) and drove the USA into this mess without really understanding the aftermath. The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

rjj

‘Lawyers for the families of those who lost loved ones in the war and its aftermath are studying the 2.6 million word report...

should there be no basis for civil claims, who gets billed for this study?

Babak Makkinejad

Again I will point out to you that you have not addressed the causes of the participation of Spain, Georgia, Denmark, Poland and Italy.

Walrus, depending how charitably one interprets his response in regards to Australia's participation in the war against Iraq, is stating that Australia is a dependency of the United States and its people - the plebs - are happy as long as they have the 3-day barbecue and the TV - and cannot be bothered by what the Tribunes of the People do.

I suppose that goes for New Zealand - only even more so.

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