It used to be difficult to shut Tony Blair up, especially on the subject of Iraq. Remember his epic war speech to Parliament, when the phrase ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was repeated more than 15 times? Now he only speaks for $400,000 a pop to neocons or lectures the Pope on theology. He might yet have to do some serious unpaid explaining, maybe even from the dock, but the question is, how, when and where? Thus provides the answers.
In the past week the clueless yet relentlessly authoritarian UK government scaled new heights of ineptitude and plumbed new depths of contempt for public sensibilities. Announcing the long-awaited Iraq War enquiry on a timetable that would ensure its publication only after the next election is one thing. Appointing five government/Whitehall stooges to hold said enquiry, at least two of whom were responsible for the policy and strategy which led to Britain’s involvement in the war in the first place is another. Claiming on national radio, as did Blairite Foreign Secretary, ‘banana boy’ Miliband, that ‘every secret service in the world’ thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and that ‘if you’re looking for a conspiracy, you won’t find one’ gives a further clue to the ‘outcome’ of the enquiry. Announcing that this epic search for truth would be held in secret on the twisted logic that this would ensure that those questioned would feel more inclined to tell the truth on the precondition that nobody would be held accountable sums up the depths of degradation into which the current government has sunk our ‘democratic’ system. Had enough yet? Well think again, there’s more.
The familiar excuse that the enquiry needed to be held in camera ‘in the interests of national security’ was a spin too far for the men in black glasses and the men in nylon khaki. It is an open secret that the spooks felt hard done by at being blamed for the amateurish and deeply mendacious ‘dodgy dossier,’ lifted from a PhD student’s C grade essay and allegedly sexed up by Alastair Campbell, which Blair brandished as his ultimate casus belli. (Had they been involved, the document would at least have been spellchecked).
Though Austin Powers (aka John Scarlett) was the source of the Yellow Cake Nigerian uranium nonsense which Bush used as part of his ultimate casus belli, this appears to have been a combination of wishful thinking and routine incompetence, rather than politically-motivated mischief. ‘In the interests of national security,’ we might never know whether the sources and judgment of the UK security services were corrupted (think Mossad) and its advice overridden (think Blair/Campbell) in the haste to rush to war and support the carpet bombing of tens of thousands of civilians and cause an insurgency which took the death toll to more than 100,000, not to mention the turkey shoot of over 22,000 Iraqi soldiers in the first glorious ‘victory week’ of an engagement which has lasted far longer than WW2 and Vietnam.
The British army, justifiably angry at having held their tongues after holding Basra for five years with cheap equipment, clown cars, mail order uniforms and armour that wouldn’t pass muster at a girl guide’s paintball party, then ridiculed by the US for leaving the place in a mess – ie. with lots of Iraqis left alive – also declared themselves off side. With (Sir) John Chilcot, a dab hand with the Persil, cf the Butler Report, at the helm, Professor (Sir) Lawrence Freedman (co-author of Blair’s 1999 Chicago ‘Humanitarian Intervention‘ speech and alleged architect of the government strategy on engagement in Iraq) riding shotgun and three other sockpuppets to make up the numbers, there was little chance of a fair hearing. Faced by a mutiny led by General (Sir) Richard Dannatt and dark, professionally deceitful Oxbridge twats turning against their lords and masters, the government executed a partial U-Turn (which could yet become a full one).
How, or why, did they ever think they could get away with another cover-up? God told them to do it. In today’s Observer, it is alleged – and predictably denied by this Pinocchio government – that Brown was asked by Tony Blair (through Mandelson, one presumes) to hold the enquiry in secret, for fear that he (Blair) would be tried in the court of public opinion. Well, yes he would, should and well might be, except that a more appropriate and less biased place might be the International Criminal Court at the Hague, where the tribunal would not be stacked with Blairite cronies.
Meanwhile, Thus has thought long and hard as to how to drag the truth of the situation out of Blair and his fellow alleged war criminals. Since it was also revealed this week, in the first of a series of leaks designed to soften the impact if and when they are later confirmed, that while Blair had not authorised the use of torture by UK forces or agencies, he had not stood in the way of other countries who chose to use it, we have our answer! Hold the enquiry in Morocco. Transport can be arranged. After a professional application of waterboarding, a spot of Binham Mohamed on the Old Man, electric shock therapy and constant repetitive exposure to loud music – may we suggest ‘Things Can only Get Better? (Thus passim) – we won’t need any high fallutin’ experts to tell us who did what and when. After all, as any Blairite will tell you, torture works. It formed the basis of much of the intelligence gathering behind the War on Terror, after all.