Press Review

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 Economist: Exile for autocrats

05/26/2011
You can run. But can you hide? Fleeing tyrants find scant refuge. A pity? "We have soft spots for asylum-seekers,” says a spokesman for Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni. If Colonel Muammar Qaddafi wants to move to calmer quarters, he would be welcome there. His Western foes might applaud the offer. Anxious for a swift conclusion to the war in Libya, they are apparently scouting for a foreign bolthole for the colonel. Like Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Syria’s Bashar Assad, Colonel Qaddafi is among a bunch of rulers that many would like to see shuffle into exile. But the list of cosy havens for deposed dictators has shrunk in recent years. Waterloo (in Belgium) used to be popular with...

Alastair Campbell 'misled' Chilcot over dossier

05/19/2011
"We were explicitly told to make case for war" , says top intelligence official. Alastair Campbell misled the Iraq Inquiry, according to a senior intelligence officer who has claimed that intense political pressure was applied to turn a dossier reporting on Saddam Hussein 's absent weapons of mass destruction arsenal into a justification for invading Iraq. Tony Blair 's communications director had repeatedly dismissed claims that the dossier of September 2002 was embellished to pave the way for military action. He told the inquiry: "It was not the case for war, it was the case why the Prime Minister has become more concerned." But Mr Campbell's version is directly contradicted by the man who was Director General of Defence Intelligence...

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

04/19/2011
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. 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 into the UK's involvement in the Iraq...

United Kingdom - Iraq Inquiry told to "protect US interests"

11/30/2010
From the wikileaks website: UK promises to protect “your interests” (of the United States) during the inquiry led by Sir Chilcot on the war in Iraq The Ministry of Defence decided to influence the official inquiry into the Iraq War in order to "protect US interests", according to a classified US diplomatic cable released by whistleblower website Wikileaks. A dispatch sent by Ellen Tauscher , the US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, describes a conversation with Jon Day , the MOD Director General for security policy, in which he "promised that the UK had ’put measures in place to protect your [US] interests’ during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq War. Day made the...

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