State secret

Lord Falconer: Blair government's role in Iraq war "undermined democracy"

The Blair government's role in the war against Iraq " absolutely undermines the basis of our democracy " according to Lord Falconer, one of the ex-prime minister's closest allies during the build up to war in 2003. Speaking before the 10th anniversary of the September dossier, which contained the infamous claim that Saddam Hussein could mobilise long distance weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes and which formed the backbone of the case for invasion, the former lord chancellor said: "I think it [the run-up to war] has had a hugely damaging effect on politics. I supported and continue to support the use of force. "But in terms of people's trust in politicians the impression is that the government misled...

The British dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction ten years on

Ten years ago , September 24, 2002, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair presented to the House of Commons the document " The weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq: Assessment of the British Government ". Contrary to what Mr Blair stated that day on the floor of the House, many documents and facts have shown and continue to show that it was not "beyond doubt" that Iraq possessed WMD. In fact, in those very days, UN inspectors' chief Hans Blix was giving a rather different view on this matter, and already by the third of February 2003 they did not confirm the British and American allegations. To mark this date, Marco Pannella , Marco Perduca and Matteo Angioli wrote...

Radical Party statement in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Council

United Nations Human Rights Council, XXI session (10-28 September 2012) Item 3 – General Debate Thank you Mr. Chairman. The Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty highly values the opportunity to interact with all the UN system of protection of human rights. In particular, we appreciate the appointment of a Special Rapporteur for the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and non-recurrence. We attach great importance to the right to truth as a modern customary human right, stemming from a widespread practice supported by a consistent opinio juris . So far it has been formally applied in at least two courts: in Argentina ( Hairabedian case ) and Brazil ( Lund vs Brazil ). The NRPTT believes that the right to...

MSPs back war crimes move on Blair

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament seeking "a simple amendment making illegal the waging of aggressive war with the intention of regime change so that Tony Blair could be brought to trial in Scotland". It gained early support from SNP backbenchers Annabelle Ewing, Gordon MacDonald, John Finnie, Chic Brodie and Jim Eadie. Ms MacDonald, a former SNP deputy leader, said Scotland has a unique opportunity to incorporate international criminal law into Scots law which is historically distinct. Her husband Jim Sillars , another former SNP deputy leader, has called on " Alex Salmond's government or a bold backbencher" to "introduce retrospective legislation to indict the former prime minister on war crimes". Writing in The Scotsman...

Australian politicians demand inquiry into Iraq invasion

Former PM and defence chiefs call for independent investigation into Australia's role in lead-up to the war. They are demanding an independent investigation, along the lines of the Chilcot inquiry in Britain, into their country's role in the invasion of Iraq. They say an independent inquiry must investigate the circumstances that led the then National-Liberal coalition to participate in the US-led invasion in 2003 in which Australia contributed 2,000 troops, including special forces. It must also conduct a review of the war powers of the government, and draw lessons for the future. Demands for an inquiry are led by former Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Fraser , former defence secretary, Paul Barratt , and former chief of the Australian Defence Force,...

Blair-Bush Iraq war transcript may be suppressed

Government may block information tribunal ruling that ordered record of phone conversation to be released, sources confirm. An explosive transcript of one of Tony Blair 's final conversations with George Bush before the invasion of Iraq may be suppressed by the coalition government, Whitehall sources have confirmed. Dominic Grieve , the attorney general, believes there is "a case to answer" in favour of blocking an information tribunal ruling that ordered the former leaders' telephone exchange to be released in the public interest. The then British prime minister and US president reportedly discussed the opposition of the the then French president, Jacques Chirac , to military action that he had voiced in a television interview two days earlier. The proposed veto...

Summary of the meetings in London on 3 and 4 July 2012

Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th of July Marco Pannella and Matteo Angioli were in London for a series of meetings, in particular with Stephen Plowden who filed a formal request for information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Before meeting Mr Plowden we were received by the expert and influential Clerk of the House of Commons , Robert Rogers , whose texts and books on the working of Westminster and on parliamentary law and are a reference for scholars and politicians. After that, we met Stephen Plowden, who received us at his place for about an hour. Plowden is a Londoner who used to work as a consultant for the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and the World...

Decision by a British tribunal to publish the conversation between Bush and Blair

On May 21st, 2012, Judge John Angel issued a decision ordering the publication of parts of a transcript of a phone call between George Bush and Tony Blair which took place in March 2003 shortly after an interview by President Chirac of France was aired on TV. The decision was taken following a request filed by a British citizen, Stephen Plowden , under the Freedom of Information Act provisions. Click here to read the ruling of the tribunal

Blair-Bush Iraq conversation 'must be released'

Extracts from a record of a phone call between Tony Blair and George Bush on the eve of the Iraq War must be released, a tribunal ruled today. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was ordered to disclose parts of a note detailing a conversation between the two leaders on March 12 2003. Mr Blair and Mr Bush are believed to have used the call to discuss a TV interview given by then-French president Jacques Chirac two days earlier about ongoing talks on Iraq at the United Nations. F ormer British government ministers have blamed Mr Chirac's comments for the breakdown of efforts to secure a second UN Security Council resolution specifically authorising military action against Saddam Hussein's regime. The...

Summary of the London meeting on 26 January 2012

On Thursday, January 26th, a delegation of the NRPTT travelled to London to meet with two significant Members of the House of Commons and an Iranian director currently working on a documentary of the February 2003 protests against the war in Iraq, a project featuring Sir Richard Branson. The NRPTT delegation was composed of Marco Pannella , Matteo Mecacci (Member of the OSCE Parliament and President of the OSCE Committee on Human Rights), Matteo Angioli (Member of the NRPTT General Council and political researcher to Marco Pannella and Emma Bonino), and Stefano Marrella (Radio Radicale). The first meeting, scheduled at 9.30 AM, with Tony Lloyd (Labour Member for Manchester Central, long time parliamentarian, President of the Labour Members of Parliament...