Press Review

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

04/19/2011
Untitled Document Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show. Graphic: Iraq's burgeoning oil industry The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain's involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair's cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time. The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry...

Le Monde: "A painful rebirth for Baghdad"

04/14/2013
Le Monde published today a report by envoy Christophe Ayad on Bagdad ten years after the military intervention by Bush and Blair . Ayad was in the Iraqi capital city in the early stages of the attack of March 20, 2003. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the fall of Saddam, April 9, 2003 (Baghdad has not celebrated this anniversary), Ayad collected evidence of several inhabitants assorted confession, ethnicity and age. Their opinions are all very critical of the current situation and on the way the post-war stage was poorly planned. It is mainly for this reason that the revival of Baghdad and of Iraq will take a very very long and treacherous. Here are two examples proposed...

Forget the Mafia. Our Establishment covers up its crimes better than anyone

04/05/2013
The British State protects its own. Whitehall does its utmost to safeguard former Cabinet ministers and senior civil servants from investigation by invoking the usually bogus defence of national security. In this way, a curtain is drawn over past acts of carelessness or ineptitude in government. Skulduggery and lies are concealed . Official papers are not released for at least 20 years, and even then the more incriminating ones are held back. The latest example of institutional cover-up concerns Jack Straw , the former Foreign Secretary, and Sir Mark Allen , a former senior MI6 officer. Both men have reportedly said they cannot respond to allegations of conspiracy in the torture of a prominent Libyan dissident, pleading the need to...

M. Mansfield: why Bush and Blair should be charged with war crimes over Iraq invasion

03/30/2013
Editor's note: Ten years ago the war in Iraq began. This week we focus on the people involved in the war, and the lives that changed forever. Michael Mansfield led the Legal Action Against War protest group in 2003. He is the author of "Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer." Ten years ago I was one of a small number of UK lawyers who opposed the invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it was illegal and unauthorised by the United Nations. We were all strong advocates of the notion that the rule of law was the bedrock of any civilised and democratic society . Without it our lives would be subject to a free for all in which might becomes...

Ten years on: El-Baradei criticises Iraq war

03/19/2013
A decade after the start of the Iraq war, Mohamed ElBaradei, who was International Atomic Energy Agency chief at the time, wonders if the world has learned its lesson “Ten years on: Iraq war remains a global act of deception,” Mohamed El-Baradei , the Egyptian opposition leader who was director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) when the war began, has said via Twitter. On the eve of its tenth anniversary, ElBaradei described the war on Iraq as a sign of a “dysfunctional global security system, an inconsistent criminal justice system, and a colossal disregard for civilian victims,” and wondered if the international community had learnt its lesson. On 19 March 2003, the United States and coalition forces,...

TIME: What Bush got right on Iraq and what Obama can learn from it

03/21/2013
When George W. Bush became President in January 2001, American policy towards Iraq was in free fall and the United Nations sanctions against Saddam’s regime, in place since the first Gulf War, were in tatters. By early 2003, Bush had achieved something most analysts had thought impossible: sanctions on Iraq were tighter than ever and inspectors were back in the country. Most surprising, Saddam Hussein had reportedly offered to go into exile, as long as he could take $1 billion with him. And then Bush threw that diplomatic progress aside and committed the U.S. to a war that would cost thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi ones, and more than $700 billion in American treasure. If you...

Chilcot Inquiry to challenge official line on Iraq

03/11/2013
The inquiry into how Tony Blair committed Britain to war in Iraq is set to challenge the official version of events when it reports later this year, The Independent understands. The team led by Sir John Chilcot, which is examining Britain's part in the US-led invasion, will "challenge previous accounts of what happened", according to senior sources in the inquiry. The prospect of a report which authoritatively confronts the established narrative from 2002 and 2003 – when Mr Blair sent 45,000 British troops into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein – will unnerve many senior figures in Whitehall, and others who no longer operate at the heart of government. By this May, the inquiry team expects to begin contacting those individuals...

Don't mention the Iraq war, William Hague tells cabinet

03/02/2013
Tory Foreign Secretary's directive not to discuss legality of war ahead of 10th anniversary sparks anger from Liberal Democrats William Hague has provoked a bitter row within the coalition by privately writing to other members of the cabinet urging them not to discuss the case for, or the legality of, the Iraq war in the runup to the 10th anniversary of the invasion later this month, the Guardian can reveal. In a confidential letter, the foreign secretary told senior members of the government they should not be drawn on the controversial issues that drew the UK into a politically divisive conflict that led to the death of almost 200 British troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis. But the instruction...

Blair: Life in Iraq 10 years on not as I hoped

02/27/2013
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has told BBC Newsnight daily life in Iraq today is not what he hoped it would be when he opted to invade 10 years ago. He said there had been " significant improvements, but it is not nearly what it should be " pointing in particular to on-going terror attacks. However, he insisted that the situation under Saddam Hussein was far worse and he said although the world was not safer than 10 years ago, it was safer than it would be if he had remained. Mr Blair was speaking exclusively to Newsnight's Kirsty Wark as part of a special programme marking the upcoming 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, which will...

Pages