21st Century Wire says…
Of course a ‘technicality’ would be found to give that slippery eel Tony Blair some light relief and to keep coveted information safe under the ‘Official Secrets Act’. We wouldn’t want that two week scouring of the Chilcot Inquiry papers by the British Security Services to indicate that indeed Chilcot himself could have ‘mistakenly’ left out certain information of the report, would we.
Jeremy Wright QC, who is the Tory MP for Kenilworth and Southam has formally ‘asked’ to join future hearings and for the attempt to prosecute Blair and his top aides to be rejected. That’s interesting because whilst Wright is a criminal law specialist and remains a member of the No.5 Chambers in Birmingham, he’s listed as officially ‘non practising’ since 2013. Even though Wright is currently UK Attorney General, what or who gives him the right to lean on this case for judicial review and deem it ‘hopeless’.
What is Jeremy Wright’s motivational interest in defending Blair. Cui bono.
More on this report from The Guardian…
The planned intervention by the attorney general comes after a judge ruled the former Labour prime minister had immunity from the attempt to bring a criminal charge against him and that pursuing a prosecution could “involve details being disclosed under the Official Secrets Act”.
The private prosecution relates to the 2003 Iraq war and seeks the trial in a British court of then prime minister Tony Blair, the foreign secretary Jack Straw, and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general at the time.
It seeks their conviction for the crime of “aggression” and is based on the damning findings of last year’s Chilcot report into the British decision to join the invasion of Iraq, under the false pretext that the Saddam Hussein regime had weapons of mass destruction.
Legal documents seen by the Guardian show the attorney general, Jeremy Wright QC, who is the Tory MP for Kenilworth and Southam, has formally asked to join future hearings and for the attempt to prosecute Blair and his top aides to be rejected.
In November 2016, a court ruled the prosecution could not go ahead. But lawyers behind the private prosecution are seeking a fresh hearing to challenge that refusal and access to legal aid funding. The attorney general’s intervention is supported by the three Labour former senior ministers.
The attorney general claims the case is hopeless, in part because the crime of aggression does not exist in English law, even though it does exist in international law. But that argument appears to be undermined in a document written by Goldsmith himself.
In his 2003 memo on the legality of the Iraq war, Goldsmith, then attorney general, appeared to concede the key point of those now seeking his prosecution. “Aggression is a crime under customary international law which automatically forms part of domestic law,” he wrote.
After the Chilcot report publication, some families of British service personnel who died in the war called for Blair to face criminal charges.
The latest attempt at a private prosecution comes in the name of Gen Abdul-Wahid Shannan ar-Ribat, former chief of staff of the Iraqi army and now living in exile, according to legal papers.
An application was made to Westminster magistrates court late last year for a summons to be issued against Blair but it was refused. The district judge, Michael Snow,said: “Implied immunity as former head of state and government ministers, therefore offence not made out … Allegations involve potential details being disclosed under the Official Secrets Act for which attorney general and director of public prosecutions consent are required.”
In their pleadings, the lawyers say: “If ever there was a case which required the actions of public officials to account for their alleged criminality, we cannot conceive of any better one than this. There is no doubt that there is significant public interest in these present proceedings and there should have been the concomitant application of the law to all decisions relating to it by the district judge. It would appear that there was not.”
They claim the judge was wrong to say because Blair was prime minister he and the former senior ministers cannot face prosecution: “It should be noted that, in any event, Tony Blair et al do not enjoy immunity from prosecution in the UK whether ‘implied’ or not…”
READ MORE UK NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire UK Files
Dick Cheney’s savage revisionist history: inside his disturbing campaign to twist the facts of Iraq
Dick Cheney is no stranger to defending the indefensible. But lately he’s been even more aggressive than usual
Every so often, former Vice President Dick Cheney seems to jump out of his caliginous hole to make rounds through the media, and defend the indefensible. He seems to believe that if you spew the same lies over and over again, eventually, people will start to believe that it’s true (which is unfortunately accurate for some people). Cheney, who, move over Idris Elba, has the perfect appearance and disposition for the next James Bond villain, is currently promoting his new book, “Exceptional.” And unlike former President Bush, who has become an apolitical painter since leaving office seven years ago, Cheney has doubled down on evil and has been a cheerleader for war with Iran, which, ironically, probably helped President Obama receive the necessary votes (few Democrats have the gall to agree with Cheney on war).
During his book promotion this week, he adamantly defended the war in Iraq, claiming that it was not only warranted, but a complete victory until Obama messed it all up. On Wednesday, Juan Williams of Fox News asked him, “Well, if people say, ‘Dick Cheney was wrong about Iraq, why should they listen to you on Iran?’”
Like a perfect sociopath, without an iota of self-doubt, Cheney replied, “Because I was right about Iraq. Our objective was to take down Saddam Hussein. We did it. The world’s a much better place without him.”
Cheney ignores that small bit about weapons of mass destruction, which, as in modern Iran, was the real instigator of the invasion of Iraq. He now concludes that the elimination of the evil tyrant Saddam Hussein and the freeing of the Iraqi people was the real goal. Of course, he didn’t much care about stopping the tyrannical Hussein in 1994, when he said that invading Iraq would obviously result in a quagmire:
Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it — eastern Iraq — the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.
Volatile indeed. Today, we can see that Cheney’s 1994 assumption was accurate, but when asked on Wednesday whether the Middle East, more unstable than ever, is safer without Saddam in power, he replied that it was. It’s as if he is trying to convince himself what he knows in his new transplanted heart to be untrue.
So what really made Cheney change his mind about invading Iraq? Surely it was not 9/11, which Hussein had nothing to do with, or because he suddenly realized how evil the dictator was (America has nothing against dictators, as long as they’re good for business). It is also quite clear today that Cheney and the Bush administration largely manufactured the WMD intelligence. A former CIA intelligence briefer under the Bush administration, Michael Morell, has basically admitted that the administration “gave a false presentation of what [he] said to them” to encourage invasion. It has even been revealed that two “highly-placed human sources at the very top of Saddam’s regime” said that the dictator did not have active WMDs, and both were conveniently ignored by the warmongering administration.
Maybe, just maybe, it was that $34 million exit package that Cheney got when he left his CEO position at Halliburton to become an honorable public servant. Halliburton received around $40 billion in government contracts in the decade after 2003, many of those without bidding. Three years after the Iraqi invasion, its stock had risen by about 300 percent.
There was an estimated 31-60 billion dollars worth of contractor fraud and waste in Iraq war, and a large part of that came from Halliburton, now known as KBR. As Adam Weinstein reported for Mother Jones, KBR cost “at least $193 million in pay for unnecessary personnel, and maybe as much as $300 million,” which includes $100 million of government-furnished property that cannot be accounted for. KBR has also been blamed for the electrocution and death of 12 soldiers, because of poor wiring jobs at army bases.
In a country where leaders were held accountable, Cheney would currently be in a prison cell. Luckily for the former vice-president, we live in a country where the corrupt revolving door is everywhere and political bribery is the name of the game. Iraq was really a perfect capitalist war, and Cheney was doing what any good capitalist would. This is what many call crony-capitalism — when private industry infiltrates the government (or donates millions to political campaigns) and then uses it to their advantage — but really, it’s just plain old capitalism, and private industry has always been in cahoots with the state to some degree (today more than ever). The Bush administration invaded Iraq with the intent of privatization and ended up making millions for private industry. It’s just like when Wall Street executives from Goldman Sachs or Citibank become financial regulators, bail out big banks and then return to their banks after concluding their honorable duty. If gaining control of the government helps the profit motive, you can be sure private industry will attempt to do it.
Cheney, of course, will continue to defend every single move that the Bush administration made, just as he defended the torture of innocents last year, when he said on Meet the Press: “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective. And our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and it is to avoid another attack against the United States.”
One must be rather sadistic and sick in the head to take such a view on torturing innocents, a view that would have absolutely horrified America’s founding fathers, such as Benjamin Franklin, who famously said “it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.” At this point, it is clear that Cheney will never face any kind of prosecution, and will continue to make his media rounds, defending the indefensible; but let us hope that Cheney’s new heart soon rejects his malevolent self, for the sake of all those who died needlessly.
Former Israeli officials in the U.S. government pushed war against Iraq – Dahlia Wasfi
This interview discusses the neoconservatives in the Bush administration who beat the drums for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The video was originally posted on Youtube by the interviewee, peace activist Dr. Dahlia Wasfi. Snowshoefilms conducted the interview and videography. The introduction was read by Joshua Casteel, a young peace activist who passed away in 2012. http://joshuacasteel.com/
Wasfi was a speaker at the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) ‘Winter Soldier’ eyewitness testimony, March 2008, in Maryland. Wasfi is the daughter of a Jewish mother and an Iraqi father.
As a child in New York City, and for five years in Basrah, Iraq, U.S.-born Dahlia Wasfi looks at the world from a unique perspective. Her Mother and father met at medical school in Washington D.C. Wasfi’s father was from Basrah. After getting his medical degree, the young Wasfi family returned to Basrah for five years, meeting the terms of her father’s scholarship, before finally returning to the U.S. to live.
In part-one of her Winter Soldier testimony, Dahlia Wasfi tells of her encounter with the example of Rachel Corrie (crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in 2001) that brought her out of despondency over the violence against Iraq that had begun many years before and that had continued under both Republic and Democratic presidencies; Rachel’s example inspired Dahlia to become politically active.
For more information on the role of Israel partisans in pushing the U.S. to attack Iraq, see The Transparent Cabal, by Dr. Stephen Sniegosky; The Road to Iraq, by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, published by the University of Edinburgh University Press (https://www.amazon.com/Road-Iraq-Maki… the Israel Lobby, by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt; and the articles and analyses at http://ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/ne…