Drawn curtains for some, fiction for others.

Whatever its limitations the UK is at least having an official inquiry into the Iraq war. The US is not but are implored to "look forward". Glenn Greenwald on the issue.

British political news has been consumed for the last several weeks by a formal inquiry into the illegality and deceit behind Tony Blair's decision to join the U.S. in invading Iraq. Today, Blair himself is publicly testifying before the investigative commission and is being grilled about numerous false claims he made in the run-up to the war, not only about Iraqi weapons programs (his taxi-cab-derived "45-minutes-to-launch!!" warning) and Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda, but also about secret commitments he made to join the U.S. at a time when he and Bush were still pretending that they were undecided and awaiting the outcome of the U.N. negotiations and the inspection process.

A major focus of the investigation is the illegality of the war. Some of the most embarrassing details that have emerged concern the conclusions by the British Government's own legal advisers that the invasion of Iraq would be illegal without U.N. approval. The top British legal officer had concluded that the war would be illegal, only to change his mind under substantial pressure shortly before the invasion. Several weeks ago, a formal investigation in the Netherlands -- whose government had supported the invasion -- produced the first official adjudication of the legality of the war, and found it illegal, with "no basis in international law.

Lots of links in the article to follow.

Tony Blair has appeared at the inquiry. A response from Craig Murray.

Blair just said "You would be hard pressed to find anyone who in September 2002 doubted that Saddam had WMD".

It wouldn't have been that hard. If he had asked members of the Near East and North Africa Department of the FCO, the Middle East experts in the FCO's Research Analysts, or in the Defence Intelligence Service, he would have found absolutely no shortage of people who doubted it, whatever position No 10 was forcing on their institutions.

One of the many failures of this Inquiry has been a failure to ask individual witnesses before it whether they personally had believed in the existence of any significant Iraqi WMD programme. I know for certain that would have drawn some extremely enlightening answers from among the FCO and probably MOD participants

Blair seems to have preferred the opinions of taxi drivers.

Jack Straw warned Blair:

A “SECRET and personal” letter from Jack Straw, the then foreign secretary, to Tony Blair reveals damning doubts at the heart of government about Blair’s plans for Iraq a year before war started.

The letter, a copy of which is published for the first time today, warned the prime minister that the case for military action in Iraq was of dubious legality and would be no guarantee of a better future for Iraq even if Saddam Hussein were removed.

It was sent 10 days before Blair met George Bush, then the US president, in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002. The document clearly implies that Blair was already planning for military action even though he continued to insist to the British public for almost another year that no decision had been made

Lord Goldsmith has given evidence on why he changed his mind about the legality of the war:

The inquiry heard that Lord Goldsmith sent a draft of his legal advice on the war to Mr Blair on 14 January 2003. It revealed that he still believed that military action would be illegal without further UN authorisation, despite the agreement of resolution 1441, which put further pressure on Saddam Hussein. "The Prime Minister accepted that it was for me to reach a judgment and that he had to accept it," he said.

However, the five-page draft caused consternation inside No 10 and was immediately sent to Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary at the time, and Sir Jeremy Greenstock, then Britain's ambassador to the UN, who began to convince the peer to change his mind. Sir Jeremy told Lord Goldsmith that the signing of resolution 1441 meant that no further UN clearance was needed. Lord Goldsmith was also lobbied by Mr Straw, who wrote him a long memo on 6 February in which he told the Attorney General that he had failed to understand "both the negotiating history and the wording" of resolution 1441.

However, Lord Goldsmith said that the "most powerful" influence on his thinking was a secret meeting in Washington on 10 February with senior US government lawyers and George Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. During the briefing, he was persuaded that French negotiators, the main opponents of the invasion, had admitted privately that military action could go ahead without further UN intervention. He also said that US negotiators had been ordered to ensure that a second UN resolution would not be necessary before invading Iraq.

"Sir Jeremy on his own had some good points. He moved me in my mind, but he didn't quite get me there," he said. "It was a combination of Jeremy Greenstock, Jack Straw and what happened in Washington." Lord Goldsmith admitted that the US team could not present much evidence that their French counterparts had conceded that military action could go ahead. "I wish they had presented me with more," he said. "At the end of the day, we were dependent on their view." He said it would have been impossible to ask the French directly what they thought the resolution had meant. "You cannot have the British Attorney General being seen to go to the French and ask them 'What do you think?' The message that would have given to Saddam Hussein about the degree of your commitment would have been huge," he said

Influenced by Condi "Mushroom Cloud" Rice???!!! Perhaps he really wanted to believe.

Self delusion was rampant in the corridors of power.


Peering beneath the covers ...

Several detainees die at Gitmo and the official story is that the choked themselves with rags .... sorry, make that they hanged themselves ... or perhaps ...

Scott Horton investigates a very murky situation.

Follow ups from Glenn Greenwald and Chris Floyd.

From GG:

The single biggest lie in War on Terror revisionist history is that our torture was confined only to a handful of "high-value" prisoners. New credible reports of torture continuously emerge. That's because America implemented and maintained a systematic torture regime spread throughout our worldwide, due-process-free detention system. There have been at least 100 deaths of detainees in American custody who died during or as the result of interrogation. Gen. Barry McCaffrey said: "We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A." Gen. Antonio Taguba said after investigating the Abu Ghraib abuses and finding they were part and parcel of official policy sanctioned at the highest levels of the U.S. Government, and not the acts of a few "rogue" agents: "there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Move along folks, nothing to see, look ahead. But at the illusion the powers-that-be create, not the reality.

"They hate us for ..."


facts don't matter! (propaganda; dumbing down - Abbott, Barker)

.. Abbott is not a liar ...

  .. as AusBC's Barker also is not ...

    .. so much, as dumbing-down propagandists, aka charlatans[1]


Preamble: It's a matter of breaching an initial resistance; if a person can be persuaded to believe in something totally lacking any factual basis, that same person can be persuaded to believe *anything*. And so it is, for far too many sheople: exactly when they are at their most vulnerable, i.e. before 'the age of reason,' when they are incapable of analysing, let alone resisting, they get an injection of impossibility direct from their own most immediate mentor(s), i.e. parent(s) or 'primary carer(s);' either of something trivially stupid like Santa, say, or Oh, so cynically sinister, some g*d (and associated physically impossible 'eternal life' fantasy) - but irrespective of what utter *fiction*, after that hideously treacherous corrupting act: facts hardly matter at all.

(Q: Why 'hardly?'

 A: Well, ignoring some (critical!) fact may ruin your day/ ... /life.)

(Q: What sort of 'critical?'

 A: Well, impending run-away climate change, say. Ooops!)

[End preamble.]


Abbott article #1:

I'll turn boats back, says Abbott
Posted December 31, 2009 11:44:00
  «But former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser says it would not be appropriate to turn any boats back.
He says to do so would breach Australia's obligations under the refugee convention.
"I think it's a policy out of the past, appropriate to the 1930s, and the idea of turning boat people back out to sea is also a total denial of obligations under the refugee convention," he said.»

Comment: Convention? What convention? Abbott (recklessly? Or super-cynically deliberately?) - plays the 'race card,' the 'bigot card,' the 'jingoistic Aussie-slob card;' it's both an appeal to and strengthening of ugly, 'base-nature' prejudices. Abbott likely says to himself "Whatever (corruption) it takes!"

Abbott article #2:

Warmest decade proves Abbott 'got it wrong'
Posted January 5, 2010 15:27:00
  «"With these important Bureau of Meteorology figures out, Mr Abbott must face up to the facts," he said.
"[He should] either show us that in fact the experts have got it wrong or admit that he's got it wrong."
Mr Abbott says the weather bureau's new figures will not change his mind about the Government's climate change policy.
He says the Bureau is entitled to say what is happening with the weather, but that does not mean an emissions trading scheme is the best way to combat climate change.»

Comment 1: From a quote by Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE) "One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day;" it's not any single event or even a group, it's the overall-trend: "Dr Jones also says each decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the previous one." Sceptics here, denialists there: "Houston, we have a problem."

Comment 2: This is not to say that Lab has it right; not at all. The only effective action is to (significantly, i.e. greatly) reduce coal mining, oil pumping and gas drilling etc. - measures which neither Lib nor Lab are even contemplating.


Barker article #1:

Activists fall victim to Gaza blockade
Posted December 31, 2009 12:00:00
  «In the end though, no amount of protests or pressure is likely to bring an end to the Israeli blockade, which bans the movement of people from Gaza and the import of all but the most essential supplies.
The Israeli government imposed the blockade two years ago after Hamas came to power and says it was meant to target the Islamist regime and not Gaza's civilian population.»
[AusBC/Middle East correspondent Anne Barker]

Comment 1: "No amount of protests or pressure" indicates a three-way failure; (1) it illustrates the illegitimate nature of Israel, that they do not honour international law, the same law they claim enabled their founding, (2) it illustrates the utter gutless failure of the UN itself, and (3) indicts the world in general and the Diaspora in particular, for not effectively curbing the murdering-to-thieve Zionists.

Comment 2: Hamas didn't 'come to power' so much as they were elected. This illustrates Z (and US) hypocrisy, they support democracy only when it suits, and they support undemocratic dictator/despots whenever there're $s (or oil) in it.

Comment 3: Note the 'interesting' use of 'regime;' the attack on Gaza killed well over 1000 *totally innocent civilians*; the population at large was the target, all lying Israeli assertions notwithstanding. See below for more on 'regime.'

Barker article #2:

Iran threatens to destroy Israel if attacked (previously cited)
Posted September 29, 2009 08:02:00
  «Israel has repeatedly expressed fear at Iran's nuclear ambitions and refused to rule out a pre-emptive military strike.
But Iran's Defence Minister Ahmed Vahidi has warned of Israel's demise if it does, saying the result would be "the Zionist regime's last breath".»
[AusBC/Middle East correspondent Anne Barker]

Comment 1: IMHO, the title is a total lie 'hinged' on a deliberate misreading of the Vahidi quote. (Criminal) 'regime' is different from (illegitimate) 'country;' it's Barker once again evoking the (deliberately misinterpreted) 'map-wiping' meme.

Comment 2: In any case, "Israel [expressing] fear at Iran's nuclear ambitions," is nothing other than acknowledging the possibility of "live by the sword, die by the sword" - Israel may well anticipate that one day, the only single (immoral & illegal) thing preventing its own demise, namely the thieving, murdering violence that it perpetrates - and keeping in mind that anything that can happen eventually must, that repulsive Israeli-state violence, will, must one day fail - and Israel itself will be totally defeated (sow the whole place with salt?) - AND once more, IF Iran were to get the bomb, THEN it would purely be for self-defence ONLY, i.e. to deter an aggressive (Nuremberg!) US/Z attack; NO rational analysis does or can suggest otherwise.


Fazit: As was pointed out in my 'conceivable' lies, lies don't matter - much (except for us truth & justice seekers). Once a (purportedly) trusted figure or other (erring ideologue) authority asserts a lie wrapped in propagandistic emperor's clothing (i.e. 'deniable' disguise, say), once that lie is repeated until 'accepted' (actually, most resistance is worn-down = exhausted), so a lie can become part the pushed-paradigm. If the lie happens to be later exposed, no wuckin' furries, mateys - perversely, the sheople are then most likely to reject the truth.



[1] charlatan n. person falsely claiming knowledge or skill.  charlatanism n. [Italian, = babbler] [POD]


PS And all the while these people lie, obfuscate and propagandise, the impending run-away climate change gets ever closer, ever less avoidable.

Future Q: What did (or *didn't*) you do, to avoid the disaster?

Personal A: I told no lies.


I heard the news today, Oh boy (terror!)

.. Bush ...

  .. terror ...

    .. Blair

.. terror ...

  .. Howard ...

    .. terror

.. Brown ...

  .. terror ...

    .. Rudd

.. terror ...

  .. Obama ...

    .. terror

.. theft ...

  .. terror ...

    .. murder for oil

.. terror ...

  .. Israel ...

    .. terror

.. Lebanon ...

  .. terror ...

    .. Gaza

.. terror ...

  .. genocide ...

    .. terror

.. Palestine ...

  .. terror ...

    .. murder for land and water


Do not adjust your TV; just 'normal' 4th Reich US/Z criminality...