Thursday, March 24, 2005

Freedom of Information request turns up interesting revelations in England re: Iraq

In today's Guardian, don't miss Richard Norton-Taylor's "War resignation letter censored: Suppressed passage suggests that attorney general still believed invasion was illegal less than two weeks before the troops went in."

From the article:

The government yesterday tried to suppress evidence that the attorney general believed war against Iraq was illegal less than two weeks before British troops joined the US-led invasion of the country.
It has removed a key passage in the resignation letter written by Elizabeth Wilmshurst, deputy chief legal adviser at the Foreign Office, on March 18 2003, the eve of the invasion.
The remainder of her letter - in which she described the planned invasion as a "crime of aggression" - was released yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act.
The entire letter would have remained secret had not the Guardian published parts of it last month, the FO said.
The passage suppressed yesterday has now been seen by this newspaper. In it, Ms Wilmshurst shows that the attorney, Lord Goldsmith, changed his view on the war twice before the invasion.
She says that her view that a war would be illegal was the advice which the FO had consistently given before and after the UN security council resolution 1441, agreed in November 2002.
She says that was also Lord Goldsmith's view until March 7, when he sent a 13-page written legal opinion to Tony Blair.