Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The trials, the testimonies

Yesterday the Iraq Inquiry heard from Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service (1998 - 2002) Richard Wilson and Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service (2002 -2005) Andrew Turnbull. They contradicted War Criminal Tony Blair's testimony last Friday. Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian) reports:

Two former cabinet secretaries – the country's most senior civil servants – mounted a devastating critique of the way Blair handled the run-up to war. The cabinet were trapped in a position where they had to agree to attack Iraq or bring down the prime minister, the inquiry heard.

Today's witnesses disputed Blair's claim to the inquiry last Friday that cabinet ministers might not have seen official papers but would have known about plans from the media. "None of those key [Whitehall] papers were presented to the cabinet so I do not accept the former prime minister's claim they knew the score ... That isn't borne out by what actually happened," said Lord Turnbull, then cabinet secretary.

Alex Barker (Financial Times of London) observes
Turnbull testified that the Cabinet was denied "key documents" and the cabinet did not realize "the likelihood of military action against Iraq" in 2002. AFP reports that Lauren Booth, Blair's sister-in-law, has weighed in that Tony Blair is a War Criminal:

Asked whether Blair should be arrested and sent to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for war crimes, Booth replied: "Absolutely. He misled the British people and took Britain to war on a lie."
The conflict in Iraq was "an offence", she told reporters after a speech at a Malaysian university, saying it was organised well in advance between Blair and the United States leadership.
Booth has been a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, and a supporter of the Palestinian cause, and in 2008 travelled with other activists to Gaza by ship to protest against Israel's blockade of the territory.

In Phoenix, the trial into the killing of Noor Almaleki continues. The Iraqi woman's father, Faleh Almaleki, ran her down in his car -- he admits to that but says he wasn't trying to kill her. Edecio Martinez (CBS News) reports that the defense is arguing he wasn't trying to run over his daughter, he was attempting to pull up to Amal Khalaf and spit on her but lost control of the vehicle. Amahl Khalaf was hit by the car. She is the mother of the man Noor was seeing. Noor had refused an arranged marriage when she was 17 and moved out at 19. While living with Amal's family, she began receiving threats from her father. Michael Sheridan (New York Daily News) observes, "The case shines a light on an ancient practice that has spread around the world in recent years. It targets women for committing what a male decides is an immoral act, or acting in an immoral manner. Although largely praticed in Muslim countries, cases have been reported in Europe and South America, as well as the United States.

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