(25 June 2012, LPAC)The Sunday June 24 London Independent launched a potentially extremely damaging expose against Tony Blair that shows that Blair personally blocked Britain’s Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith from briefing the critical March 2003 Cabinet meeting, which decided to invade Iraq, that there was a case against military intervention of Iraq; the fear was that the cabinet would not approve the invasion, which invasion Blair and the oligarchy were seeking.
Over the years, Blair has upheld a deliberate deception that he did not hold back or falsify any information that led to Britain’s adoption of a vote to go to war against Iraq. In January 2011, Blair appeared before the Iraq Inquiry Commission, known as the Chilcot Commission after its chairman Sir John Chilcot, and lied to the Commission by not reporting his own role in blocking Lord Goldsmith from addressing the crucial March 2003 cabinet meeting. This behavior now leaves Blair open to further investigation, and possible significant steps could be taken against him.
Indeed, leaders of all three of Britain’s major parties have, within the last 48 hours, called for Blair to be hauled again before the Chilcot Commission to re-testify.
This arises at the same time there is building momentum to impeach Barack Obama.
The Independent ran its story under the headline, “Blair Blocked Cabinet from Hearing Legal Advice on Iraq,” accompanied by the subhead, “MPs demand recall of Chilcot Inquiry to question former PM [Tony Blair] over revelation in Campbell diaries.”
The relevant background to the story is this.
Alastair Campbell—the Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, and one of the authors of the September 2002 “sexed-up” dossier that Saddam Hussein could launch Weapons of Mass Destruction within 48 hours—released late this week the fourth volume of his diaries- memoirs, “The Burden of Power: Countdown to Iraq.” In this newly published installment, Campbell reports directly how Blair blocked Goldsmith from speaking to the Cabinet.
Lord Goldsmith presented a longer legal opinion to Blair on March 7, 2003, in which he said he believed there was a “reasonable case” in favor of military action, but “there was also a case to be made the other way.” According to Campbell’s diaries, Lord Goldsmith warned Blair he did not want the Prime Minister to “present it too posivitely” in favor of military action, because “there was a case to be made the other way.” Campbell wrote in his diaries, “TB also made it clear he did not particularly want Goldsmith to launch a detailed discussion at Cabinet, though it would have to happen at some time, and ministers would want to cross-examine. With the mood as it was, and with [Foreign Minister] Robin [Cook] and [Secretary of State for International Development] Clare [Short] operating as they were, he knew if there was any nuance at all, they would be straight out saying the advice was that it was not legal, the AG was casting doubt on the legal basis for war. Peter Goldsmith was clear that though a lot depended on what happened, he was casting doubt in some circumstances and if Cabinet had to approve the policy of going to war, he had to be able to put the reality to them” (emphasis added). Robin Cook and Clare Short could use Goldsmith’s “against” portion of his position, to block voting for the war.
Instead, prior to this crucial Cabinet meeting, Blair, his assistant Sally Morgan, and Blair’s closest aides met with Lord Goldsmith during a March 11 meeting, and told Goldsmith that Blair would address the Cabinet meeting, and say that there was a reasonable case for military action based on Goldsmith’s advice. In effect, this was like an ultimatum.
(It should be noted that Goldsmith had warned Blair on Jan. 30, 2003, that Blair must seek UN Security Council approval, otherwise a war against Iraq might be unlawful.)
In reaction to Blair’s dirty operations, there has been an explosion of calls for him to have to testify again. The former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell said: “According to the diaries, Tony Blair was determined that the decision should not rest with the Cabinet and overruled his Attorney General. Sofa government prevailed at the expense of constitutional requirements. The diaries prove that once a decision to go to war against Iraq had been taken, intelligence and legal advice was manipulated to support that decision.”
Menzies Campbell added: “There seems to be a substantial difference between the contents of the diaries and the evidence given to the Chilcot inquiry, and the inquiry would be well advised to reconvene itself.”
On June 23, Peter Kilfoyle, a minister in the Blair government, also called for the Chilcot inquiry to be recalled. “There is a straightforward contradiction between the two positions and it needs to be corroborated.”
The Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said: “New facts have come to light and this makes me question whether we know enough about the then Prime Minister’s attitude that justified the war.”
The knives are out. If this path is pursued, a sharp fall of Tony Blair could follow.