State secret

Interview with Sir Malcolm Rifkind

10/13/2011
Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Secretary of State for Transport in 1990, Secretary of State for Defence in 1992 and Foreign Secretary in 1995-97. Since 2010 he chairs the UK Intelligence and Security Committee Sir Malcom Rifkind, could you describe your work and the differences with the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)? I’m a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee. The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) is different and it’s part of the government machinery for dealing issues and getting the coordination between the intelligence agencies. My job, I was appointed by the Prime Minister to chair what is called the Intelligence and Security Committee, which has British members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We have been...

Pannella, Perduca and Angioli write to all British MPs and Lords

11/22/2011
Dear colleagues, We are sure that what published on November 16th on the website of the Iraq Inquiry and duly reported by the Guardian the same day did no escape your attention. We believe that as legislators you will agree that what denounced by Sir Chilcot poses serious doubts on the quality of the final report that the Inquiry is mandated to produce, but also raises serious questions on how Parliament was involved in the launching of the military campaing against Iraq. Regardless of our opinions concerning the need to change a regime, in the case of Saddam Hussein there were hundreds of reasons to put him in the dock for crimes against humanity and persecutions of all sorts. We...

Iraq war inquiry report delayed

11/16/2011
Chilcot inquiry panel cites refusal by Whitehall departments to disclose sensitive documents as one reason for delay until summer 2012 Damning criticism of Tony Blair and the way his government led Britain into invading Iraq, and continuing rows over the disclosure of secret documents, have delayed the report of the Chilcot inquiry until well into next summer and possibly much later. In a statement on its website, posted on Wednesday but pointing only in general terms to the serious difficulties it is confronting, the inquiry panel said: "Pulling together and analysing the evidence and identifying the lessons, for a report that covers so wide and complex a range of issues and a time period of some nine years, is a...

Statement by the Iraq Inquiry

11/16/2011
The Iraq Inquiry has concluded its public hearings and is currently analysing the written and oral evidence it has received and drafting its report. Pulling together and analysing the evidence and identifying the lessons, for a report that covers so wide and complex a range of issues and a time period of some nine years, is a significant task. The Inquiry has advised the Government that it will need until at least summer 2012 to produce a draft report which will do justice to the issues involved. Very considerable progress has already been made, but there is still much to be done. As well as drafting the report, the Inquiry will need to negotiate the declassification of a significant volume...

Activists in Malaysia plan symbolic ‘war crime’ trial of Bush, Blair over Iraq War actions

11/15/2011
Malaysian-led activists will hold a symbolic trial this month for former President George W. Bush and British ex-leader Tony Blair on charges of committing crimes against peace in the Iraq war, the event's organizers said Tuesday. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of Malaysia's retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The tribunal will convene a four-day public hearing starting Saturday to determine whether Bush and Blair committed crimes against peace and violated international law in the Iraq invasion, said Malaysian lawyer Yaacob Hussain Marican. "For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed...

Iraq war inquiry report faces long delay as doubts on evidence persist

10/15/2011
Did an evening at the theatre prompt Sir John Chilcot to reconsider findings of his inquiry into the run-up to war? The official inquiry into the UK's role in the build-up to the Iraq war might not issue its report until next summer at the earliest, more than a year after many expected it to be made public, the Observer has learned. A source close to the inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, a former Whitehall mandarin who has advised both MI5 and MI6, suggested that its findings are unlikely to be disclosed until June. Intriguingly, Chilcot is known over the summer to have attended a performance of Loyalty , a play about the build-up to the Iraq war that...

Tony Blair helping controversial government of Kazakhstan

10/23/2011
The former Prime Minister, is helping the controversial government of Kazakhstan to improve its standing in the West. Mr Blair developed a relationship with the president of the oil-rich central Asian state during his time in office. Kazakhstan is the latest addition to his burgeoning network of international clients and the deal is said to be worth around £8million. However, Mr Blair denied he was making any “personal profit” and said the £8m figure was incorrect. Mr Blair already works for several governments and high-profile organisations including the rulers of Kuwait; JPMorgan Chase, the bank; and UI Energy Corporation, a South Korean oil company. The former leader is believed to have earned more than £20m since leaving office. He is...

Tony Blair and Col Gaddafi's secret meetings

09/17/2011
New questions over Tony Blair's ties to Col Muammar Gaddafi and his role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber have emerged from documents discovered in Tripoli. The letters and emails, found by The Sunday Telegraph, show Mr Blair held secret talks with Gaddafi in the months before Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was freed from a British jail. He was flown to Libya twice at Gaddafi's expense on one of the former dictator's private jets - visiting the him in June 2008 and April 2009, when Libya was threatening to cut all business links if Megrahi stayed in a British jail. The disclosure of the meetings – of which Mr Blair makes no mention on his various websites – prompted calls by...

The cablegrams by Wikileaks on the exile of Saddam Hussein

09/03/2011
The freshly released cablogrammes by Wikileaks contain some information over the likelihood to have Saddam Hussein going into exile. Here's a list of the most interesting ones amongst those disclosed so far. 4 January 2003 Al-Bayan newspaper 4 February 2003 Meeting in Rome between Prime minister Berlusconi and Lybian ambassador Mr. Shalgam 6 February 2003 Berlusconi supports Powell's 5 february presentation at the UN, as well as peaceful alternatives 14 February 2003 Tarek Aziz in Rome 19 February 2003 Common position Arab countries should take in view of the 1 March meeting of the Arab League 20 February 2003 Role of the Vatican 20 February 2003 Evaluation of the parliamentary motion passed by the Italian parliament on 19/2/2003 2 March...

Statement of General Major Michael Laurie to the Iraq Inquiry

05/21/2011
SIR MARTIN GILBERT: Right. You told us in your submission that the February/March 2002 dossier — I think your words were, “was rejected because it did not make a strong enough case”. I really have two questions on that. First of all, given the evidence that was in the dossier, what case did you feel it did make and who was it who rejected it? MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL LAURIE: Yes. I mean, I don’t know because I wasn’t conscious of the production of that. It was something that was being put together. What I do know is that people — I mean Joe French came back from some JIC meeting and said, you know, that dossier which was the four...

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