Daily Archives: March 26, 2007


Lying About The Dead

An extraordinary story appeared once this morning on BBC News 24, and then was buried.

The BBC World Service has obtained a document. It is an official appraisal by British government scientists across government departments, commissioned by 10 Downing Street, of the study published by the Lancet that estimated 655,000 dead in Iraq. The appraisal says that the methodology is correct and that the study “follows best practice”.

Astonishingly, the official DFID verdict was that 655,000 dead is “If anything, an underestimate”.

Yet the Government poured scorn on the Lancet study, despite having commissioned a report from their own scientists that said it was good. Who can doubt that if the government scientists had rubbished the study, the number ten spin machine would have publicised that like crazy?

Doubtless the Official Secrets Act will be wheeled out to try and sit on the government scientists’ report, which the BBC already seems to have reburied, showing its typical craven attitude towards the Blair government.

Personally, I did not know how much credence to give the study published in the Lancet, not being technically equipped to evaluate it. We can now be confident that the death toll in Iraq was over 600,000 a year ago, and probably over 700,000 now.

There is much talk of Blair’s legacy. In fact he has two major legacies. 700,000 rotting corpses, and the culture of lies that sought to suppress the truth about it.

View with comments

British Marines Captured By Iran

I explained that in international law the Iranian government were not out of order in detaining foreign military personnel in waters to which they have a legitimate claim. For the Royal Navy to be interdicting shipping within the twelve mile limit of territorial seas in a region they know full well is subject to maritime boundary dispute, is unneccessarily provocative. This is especially true as apparently they were not looking for weapons but for smuggled vehicles attempting to evade car duty. What has the evasion of Iranian or Iraqi taxes go to do with the Royal Navy? The ridiculous illogic of the Blair mess gets us further into trouble.

Incidentally, they would under international law have been allowed to enter Iranian territorial waters if in “Hot pursuit” of terrorists, slavers or pirates. But they weren’t doing any of those things.

Having said all that, the Iranian authorities, their point made, should now hand the men back immediately. Plainly they were not engaged in piracy or in hostilities against Iran. The Iranians can feel content that they have demonstrated the ability to exercise effective sovereignty over the waters they claim.

Any further detention of the men would now be unlawful and bellicose. One of the great problems facing those of us striving hard to prevent a further disastrous war, this time on Iran, is that the Iranian government is indeed full of theocratic nutters.

View with comments