Daily archives: January 21, 2007

The police bite back

Iraq, Rendition, the Saudi Arms Deal, and Cash-for-Honours – has there ever been a British Prime Minister facing so many simultaneous scandals combined with the realistic prospect of criminal litigation?

While the Cash-for-Honours affair is certainly not the most serious and is in reality relatively trivial, it does seem to offer the best hope for effective legal action. While it would obviously be a travesty of justice if Blair was to only called to legal account over this issue, it is worth remembering that Al Capone was finally brought down on a charge of income tax evasion. The biggest fish sometimes have to be caught with the smallest hook.

The Scotsman: Downing St not above law warn police

POLICE chiefs last night publicly warned the Labour Party that “no one is above the law” as the cash-for-honours inquiry erupted into open warfare between Downing Street and the Met.

After senior Labour figures lined up to criticise the “theatrical” arrest of Tony Blair’s aide Ruth Turner, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority launched an unprecedented counterattack, suggesting the party was trying to “manipulate” and “pressurise” officers.

Len Duvall – in remarks believed to reflect growing fury within Scotland Yard – urged those who had questioned the conduct of police to “reflect on what they have said”…..

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War with Iran? US Congress attempts to block Bush

Boston Herald: Dems to Bush: Don’t attack Iran without Congress OK

WASHINGTON – Democratic leaders in Congress lobbed a warning shot yesterday at the White House not to launch an attack against Iran without first seeking approval from lawmakers.

‘The president does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking congressional authorization,’ Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told the National Press Club.

The administration has accused Iran of meddling in Iraqi affairs and contributing technology and bomb-making materials for insurgents to use against U.S. and Iraqi security forces. President Bush said last week the United States will ‘seek out and destroy’ networks providing that support. While top administration officials have said they have no plans to attack Iran itself, they have declined to rule it out.

This week, the administration sent another aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf – the second to deploy in the region. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the buildup was intended to impress on Iran that the four-year war in Iraq has not made America vulnerable. The United States also is deploying anti-missile Patriot missiles in the region.

The United States has accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran would not back down over its nuclear program, which Tehran says is being developed only to produce energy.

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