Monday, June 25, 2012

Tony Blair learns to live like Kissinger

If It Stared In Her Face

War Hawk Tony Blair still doesn't get just how difficult it will be for him to escape his past -- possibly due to so many media whores like Amy Goodman making nice with him and his family.  (Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "If It Stared In Her Face" and Amy's interest in truth telling on Tony Blair does appear to be limited as a result of access to wife Cherie Booth and sister-in-law Lauren Booth.) But not everyone's corrupted by the access gravy train.   Ian Dunt ( reports:

  Tony Blair failed to hide his frustration today after his comeback to the British political scene was again met by questions over the Iraq war.
The former prime minster cut an irritated figure on the Andrew Marr programme when he was stopped from discussing the eurocrisis and asked whether he had preventing Cabinet from hearing the attorney general's legal evidence against the Iraq war.

Though it's being largely ignored in the US press, the story has dominated the British press since Saturday night.  James Cusick (Independent) notes:

In the latest volume of his diaries, Alastair Campbell claims Lord Goldsmith, then Attorney General, was prevented in 2002 from telling the Cabinet about his "doubts" on the legal basis for war.
But in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr, Mr Blair denied he had intervened to stop Lord Goldsmith giving the Cabinet the "reality" of the legal position Britain faced if it went to war against Saddam Hussein's regime without the backing of the United Nations.

As we've noted before, don't trust Campbell.  He's a known liar.   Daniel Martin (Daily Mail) reports that Campbell's already rushed to deny that what he wrote means what it says: "Mr Campbell said on his blog yesterday that the entry had been misinterpreted, and that Lord Goldsmith had addressed Cabinet after the meeting referred to in the diary. He had argued in Cabinet that there was a legal case for war and was cross-questioned by ministers."  You have to wonder how much Hutchinson regrets publishing an author who repeatedly insists that what he wrote isn't what he meant?  And at what point do the few people who've bought copies of Campbell's bad book start demanding a refund as a result of Campbell's repeated denials that what's on the page of his 'diary' isn't actually true?

Rory MacKinnon (Morning Star) notes the estimated death toll of 1.5 million Iraqis killed in the illegal war and that antiwar activists are saying Blair and Campbell must be recalled for new questioning before the Iraq Inquiry.  Stop the War coalition's Lindsey German is quoted stating, "I think there is yet another piece of evidence that Blair set out to mislead not just the British public but his own Cabinet."  Journalist Chris Ames (Iraq Inquiry Digest) notes differences in accounts and concludes, "If the Inquiry does not address this, it will have no credibility at all."

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Yes, Us Worry" went up last night.  On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include Occupy Chicago, Julian Assange, Eric Poulos joins the hosts to explore what's taking place in Greece and 
Bill Talen joins the hosts to discuss the Spectra Pipeline Protest July 1st.

June 15th, we noted The BRussells Tribunal alert: "Ayse Bertaky, one of the founders of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), has been held in prison in Istanbul since October 2011.  Her trial with others begins on July 2nd, 2012.  She was apprehended in a wide sweep of arrests (up to 8,000 people), in an attempt to silence protest and criminalize activism under the guise of fighting terrorism.  J.B Gerald has an open letter to PEN Canada on the issue:

From: J.B.Gerald
Dear President and Executive Director of P.E.N. Canada
Please understand that I've worked with various P.E.N. centres for over thirty years and currently can't pay dues to
P.E.N.Canada since it refused to take up the case of a native writer / editor as I urged, when she was beaten by border
guards at a Canadian crossing. To refresh the case: the outspoken Mohawk News editor / writer, Kahentinetha Horn
was forcibly detained at a Canadian border crossing, June 14, 2008. News sourced record of her ordeal is available
at, June 16, 17, 22, 29, July 29, 2008 (“suppressed news”
[access:< >]). A victim of police assault she was charged with assault and
in January 21, 2011 pleaded guilty to obstruction in order to be released with no record. I remain a member of P.E.N.
through American Center, and within principles we share and ongoing respect for our aspirations, call your attention to
the case of another woman writer threatened by the State, at somewhat greater distance.
Ayse Berktay is known as a translator, feminist, and a founding member of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI). Her
translations into Turkish include the Quaker Anna Sewall's Black Beauty, ”the autobiography (sic.) of a horse,” for children.
She was detained by police Oct. 3, 2011, and arrested among 144 other Kurdish intellectuals shortly before the arrests of
Professor (Ms.) Büsra Ersanli and the publisher Ragip Zarakolu. In March 2012 Ersanli and Zarakolu were charged with
crimes carrying over 22.5 and 15 year sentences. While Sidney P.E.N. Centre, P.E.N.'s French Canada Centre and IFEX,
have noted their cases, Berktay's remains less accessible. She's an honorary member of Turkish P.E.N.. The Bertrand
Russell Peace Foundation and London's Writers in Prison Committee note her imprisonment. As I understand it, what the
"war on terror" has meant for leading Kurdish intellectuals in Turkey is arrest and prison. A pretext of anti-terrorism is used
for stifling dissent and destroying an intellectual tradition. Berktay is a member of the legal "Peace and Democracy" (BDP)
Party and is held under anti-terrorist legislation at the Bakirköy Women’s Prison in Istanbul. Nightslantern mentions her,
Nov. 25, 2011 [access: < >] and June 19, 2012
[access:< >]. Her trial begins July 2, 2012 and her group is welcoming international
attention. Kurdish writers, editors, publishers, scholars, translators, imprisoned for their freedom of expression, Deniz Zarakolu,
Aziz Tunc, A. Dursun Yildiz, Suzan Zengin, Zeynep Kuray, etc. among many others would benefit from P.E.N. asserting once
again its founding principles, particularly when entire ethnic, racial, religious groups are threatened. Please note the letter
below and consider lending your backing.
John Bart Gerald

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