The comments, made by Nigel Inkster, who was deputy director of MI6 at the time, make clear there were reservations over the war at a very senior level within the Secret Intelligence Service.
MI6 was blamed for the failure of intelligence that took Britain to war after helping produce a dossier in which Tony Blair claimed that Iraq was ready to use weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.
The dossier, said to have been "sexed up" by Downing Street, also mentioned controversial intelligence that Saddam Hussain was seeking uranium from Niger.
In a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research, Mr Inkster blamed weakness at the Foreign Office for allowing Britain to get dragged into a war over which officials had serious doubts.
"The Foreign Office no longer does foreign policy," Mr Inkster said. "It acts as a platform for a multiplicity of UK departments and the lack of a clearly articulated sense of our strategic location in the world explains how we got dragged into a war with Iraq which was always against our better judgment."
The above is from Duncan Gardham's "Former MI6 chief says Britain was 'dragged' into Iraq war" (Telegraph of London) and Gareth noted it. Though Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister, may not want to stand by it, he promised a full inquiry when British troops "withdraw" from Iraq (approximately 400 will be staying for . . . years? decades? who knows?). There is doubt as to whether or not New Labour will allow a public inquiry. Statements like those by Inkster may force the issue. Sidebar, one of the mistakes of the peace movement in the US has been the refusal to hook up with members of the British Conservative Party on this issue. In England, it was exactly opposite. There Tony Blair's New Labour government, the equivalent of the Democratic Party here, was the one that sold the illegal war. Had the peace movement in the US made a reach across the Atlantic (which went beyond George Galloway -- not intended as an insult to him), it could have been made very clear to Americans that this illegal war wasn't a "conservative" desire. Far too much time has been spent on "neocons"! There are people who don't even know what "neoliberals" are. There are people writing online today at various forums (you know the publications) who can't be honest about it.
An effort to involve British Conservatives in some way in the US would have gone a long way towards getting the message out that it's not about political party. It's about greed, to be sure. It's about empire. But it was never about political party. The refusal to impart that lesson has a lot to do with the reality that losers like Leslie Cagan (a non-Democrat) will whore themselves out to the Democratic Party. There was no reason for that but UPFJ was nothing (as is obvious today) but a 'movement' to elect Democrats. So it was in their interests and the interests of others in the US to pretend that desire for war on Iraq was a "neocon" desire. That never explained why Tony Blair repeatedly lied to the British, why he hopped on board with it. Calling him Bully Boy Bush's "lapdog," while true, doesn't explain why he did it. Or why others in New Labour allowed him to do it.
If any effort had been made in the US to call out New Labour -- which does include the Guardian newspaper -- than we might be closer to ending the illegal war. Instead we got people insisting that what the US needed was the Guardian coming over here and doing their own daily paper. There is nothing independent about the Guardian. It never reported Downing St. Memos. The US already had the New York Times ignoring those memos explaining the 'intelligence' was fixed. Why in the world did we need another bad paper that didn't tell the truth?
[None of this is to say if Al Gore had been sworn in back in January of 2001 the US still would have gone to war on Iraq. We don't know. Some people try to pretend like they know. But the reality is that while he was opposed to it late in the pre-war roll out, he also gave a speech in 2002 that promoted the need for the Iraq War. Prior to the start of the illegal war (by several months), he realized what a mistake it would be. Had he been sworn into the office he won, he might or might not have had that realization. I don't know and no one else does either. And it's really not about Al Gore or any one person. Tony Blair, in England, has plenty of party support. Bully Boy Bush, in the US, had plenty of party support and cross-over support from the 'opposition' party.]
The alleged peace movement wasted so much time LYING to the American people that the Democrats were the ones who would save us and end the Iraq War. Both houses of Congress were turned over to them in the 2006 election as a result of the belief that they would end the Iraq War. They didn't.
And now Barack's not ending it.
A real 'independent' media would have pointed out reality some time ago but we don't have that. Instead we get gas baggery and much worse.
The Nigel Inkster story is covered by The Daily India and by Zee News as well. We'll see who else bothers to cover it.
In Iraq today, 4 people are dead from a bombing outside Baghdad's Oil Ministry and Reuters also notes a police officer shot dead in Mosul and a Mosul roadside bombing left one police officer injured. And they also note 1 "official with the Sunni Arab Islamic Party" was shot (injured, not dead) in Khaldiay and 1 Iraqi soldier was killed, two Iraqi soldiers were injured and an 'insurgent' was injured as well during an armed clash in Ramadi at a military checkpoint. Alsumaria reports that Iraqi journalists in Karbala staged a protest today about the attacks on a free press.
In this morning's New York Times, James Glanz covers accusations by centrists in both parties in the Senate that the Pentagon is being lax or derelict in pursuing overcharging by contractors. No offense to Glanz who covers this beat, but we're ignoring that crap. If it weren't Glanz, we wouldn't link to it. We didn't link to it last week. The LIAR on the Democratic side (whose disgusting name I don't even want to promote here) isn't the least bit opposed to the military contracting to corporations. She's grandstanding in public to get a little easy applause and make herself seem less like a War Hawk. Last week we saw Queen Liar in action and she was slobbering over contractors, cozying up to them (no surprise there, check who donates to her campaigns) and making little jokes in a Senate hearing about how we don't want the military "pealing potatoes" and how much we need contractors. At the same time, she wants to flaunt a different profile to the larger public. We're not interested in her. Her ass needs to be run out of the Senate. If Jane Harman is forced out of Congress, expect people to begin focusing on this loser. Again, we're not interested in for-show actions geared to 'rehabilitate' images. This is Glanz' beat and because he always covers the corruption, he's getting a link. (He covers it very well and should be writing a book on the corruption in the illegal war.) But we'll continue to ignore this story otherwise because I do not knowingly advance the careers of liars by promoting their for-show efforts as the real thing.
Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Useless Blogger" went up last night. Marcia's "Sunday posting" also went up last night.
A community member e-mailed to note he disagrees with Ava and my inclusion of Lila Garrett's Connect The Dots on the list of those not covering Abeer (see "TV: Don't Lie To Me"). He notes Garrett had some strong words against Barack's policies last Monday. Yes, she did. I generally try to catch her show. But the point was she didn't cover Abeer. That's why she's included in the list. And if you pay attention to this morning's show, it's a bit much in the second half hour to have a guest whining that our state (California) is controlled by 'the Clinton Democratic machinery' and spend the first hour raving over Robert Reich who is of course of 'the Clinton Democratic machinery.' Lila's the host, she can offer dueling opinions. But to gush over Reich in the first half-hour (and it was gushing, even Reich sounded nervous) and to treat him as if he's some political hero ('we need you') and then to offer Brad Parker's commentary with no apparent grasp of the contradictions between the two doesn't make for good radio.
Both guests could be on. But Lila Garrett needs to tamp down on her gushing. It was also the problem with the previous Monday show (the one the community member found so effective). Today Reich came on and gave Lila a song and dance about Barry's budget and Lila bought it. She was on sounder ground last week. And that goes to hero worship. When you've got a hero, you apparently don't have strong convictions because all it takes is a few words from them and you're abandoing your previous (and correct) observations to jump on a band wagon.
Lila Garrett is very talented. If she could resolve the conflicts before going on air, her show would be incredible. As it is, Connect The Dots still remains one of the best shows Pacifica has. But while I appreciate the many strong things she does, I'm not going to gush over her the way she does over Robert Reich. I'm an adult and far enough into my life that I don't need to escape into imaginary heroes.
I do take the point that she is worth listening to, as the community member noted in his e-mail. She's more than worth listening to, she does one of the finest programs on Pacifica. And while I will gladly listen to her (and learn from her), I will not worship her. Ava and I listed those being silent on Abeer (and we could have listed many, many more). Lila Garrett is being silent on Abeer (today she continues the silence). She earned her spot on that list. If possible, we'll try to note something from her second half-hour today in Sunday's commentary. (A positive.) But that's "if possible" and, note, Jim's claimed for Third the thing Ava and I were mentioning in El Spirito yesterday. So we'll be covering that there and we will be covering when the 'left' runs racist cartoons -- by choice, not by accident -- and so much more about how there's nothing to celebrate and the left got dishonered by a lot of beggar whores of 'independent' media in the last few weeks. That has nothing to do with Lila Garrett for those who missed El Spirito. It does have to do with a 'left' publication which, among other things, thought it was 'funny' to make Asians look like animals. Lila's program airs on KPFK and click here for the KPFK archives. And remember that for news of the War Crimes which resulted in the killing of Abeer's parents and her sister, the gang-rape of Abeer and her murder, check out Evan Bright's site because he is in the courtroom and reporting on the Steven D. Green trial. And to learn a little about the 18-year-old high school senior covering the trial, you can see "Evan Bright Puts Big Media To Shame."
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the telegraph of london
the daily india
connect the dots with lila garrett
the new york times
the world today just nuts