Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Love Being Wrong

Well, perhaps not always. But when I'm lamenting the sad state of something and then find I was mistaken, that is cause for a smile.

Just yesterday, I was bemoaning the lack of any visible progress in indicting those responsible for the phony war on Iraq. Lo, today we see that there is indeed progress being made, just not on this side of the Atlantic.

David Hughes of the Telegraph reports on some very interesting events in the ongoing UK investigation of British involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It seems to boil down to this. The former head of MI5 (UK counter-intelligence) has just testified that she told Blair in 2003 that Iraq was only a "very limited" threat, and that information on the supposed MWD programs was "fragmentary". Blair then turned around and told Parliament-

…that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population, and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability.

And on the basis of that, the UK decided to participate in the US-sponsored invasion of Iraq in 2003. And his pay-off for this bit of skullduggery came 4 years later. Within hours of being ousted from power in the UK, Blair was named Special Envoy to the Middle East.

It would be nice to see a parallel investigation here in the USA, but Obama seems determined to cover up the numerous sins of his predecessor, no matter how grievous. And, to be honest, when was the last time a government investigation in this country was anything but a shameless whitewash?

Didn't Obama promise us something like "transparency in government"?

OK, you can stop laughing now.

(edit 1030hrs 072010)

I just noticed that Al Jazeera English now has an article posted with more detail than was available from the Telegraph story earlier. It seems Manningham-Buller, who was running MI5 in 2003, also told the inquiry that 16 "substantial" bomb plots against the UK resulted from the invasion of Iraq, 12 of which were stopped. In mid-2005, four suicide bombers detonated explosives on London's public transportation system, killing over 52 commuters and wounding several hundred.

She is
also reported to have testified that the invasion of Iraq gave al Qaeda a substantial boost in popularity, and brought them a whole new generation of recruits.

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