Options for Tony Blair 29 January – Tips From an Ex Senior Civil Servant 61


I very much doubt that Blair will enter the Iraq Inquiry via the front door. He can get in to the QE2 Conference Centre from the back by passing through the Institute of Mechanical Engineers building. That seems pretty likely. A strong detachment armed with buckets of blood should watch that route.

Or he can arrive by an underground route using the spur to the QE2 conference centre from the old tunnel that connected Bomber Command (now known as The Citadel bunker) in Marsham St to the Cabinet Office and the MOD. As this tunnel network is an official secret I doubt they will want to risk him appearing mysteriously from nowhere, though.


61 thoughts on “Options for Tony Blair 29 January – Tips From an Ex Senior Civil Servant

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  • Anonymous

    In the meantime, goodness me:

    “IBC’s documentary evidence is drawn from crosschecked media reports of violent events leading to the death of civilians, or of bodies being found, and is supplemented by the careful review and integration of hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures.”

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/about/

    You will note that IBC’s ‘documentary evidence’ is supplemented by the hospital, morgue and NGO figures. Not the ‘media reports’, from which the documentary evidence is drawn.

    As in, eddie, they read a newspaper report about a civilian being killed in Iraq, and then if possible they (? a very small staff, I think, at least originally) check with the local morgue. They don’t add a figure from a media report to their statistics, and then get a call from a Baghdad morgue reporting a death, and then add that too.

    At least, in the interest of facts, one would hope not.

    Would you really be so horrified to understand that a million people could have been killed in the invasion and its aftermath? Do you not know that according to UNHCR estimates, over 4.7 million Iraqis have been displaced since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003?

  • technicolour

    Eddie, really, of course, I hope you’re right, and that only 100,000 people have died as a result of the invasion. I mean, that puts it at acceptable levels. It’s only, say, Eastbourne.

    Whatever, I think of the images from Fallujah, and Mark Golding’s website, and the poetry which has come out of Iraq, and I think, it’s not like that, is it? I do feel rather sorry (it’s relative) for Tony Blair, because I think he was isolated and ill advised. But then apparently he used to sack everyone who disagreed with him, so what can you do?

  • eddie

    IBC admit that their figures may be a slight underestimate but on a scale of ten times less than the actual figure? Give me a break. They are the only people doing any serious work on the issue and they are a respected outfit, unlike those who attack them.

  • Anonymous

    “Iraq Body Count (IBC) compiles data from news reports to provide a baseline number of confirmed fatalities, but it should be noted that many deaths will likely go unreported or unrecorded by officials and media. Further, IBC statistics refer solely to violent incidents which caused civilian deaths”

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/year-four/

    Enough now.

  • angrysoba

    “Logically, if true, this would mean that the conspiraloons was a reference to yourself and angrysoba.”

    Tony, it is quite clear you are a conspiraloon.

    The word now means what it ought to mean whatever Craig Murray meant it to mean.

  • anno

    The people who worry about the numbers are the people who want to cover up the prediction that an invasion of Saddam’s Iraq would create a blood bath, and the people who ignored the prediction of millions of their citizens, who signed for the war and who are now on popular trial.

    The people who don’t worry about the numbers are the Iraqis because they know that the victims of war are martyrs, whose place in paradise is waiting for them and also the people who know that the US UK and Israel are no longer trusted in the world, and that their time is finished.

    The US wanted to control the oil so that it’s Eastern competitors could not benefit from it, which they would have done under Saddam Hussein. The UK joined the war because one man refused to listen to all advice in pursuit of approval from the fanatical US religious Right. Zion wants to expand into Iraq. Jews prosper in law-abiding Muslim societies with strong religious mores, which is what Iraq will now become.

  • tony_opmoc

    angrysoba,

    I do realise that you and Larry maybe covert 9/11 Truthers, just trying to get detailed info out of people like me – by posting the opposite point of view…

    But I have never been to a 9/11 Truth Meeting – whilst you freely admit that you have on your own web site…

    What do you want me to say?

    All the information is freely available if you look and can analyse the nonsense from the physics – and then go on to study the psychology

    An old uncle of mine was such a successful forensic scientist that he was knighted.

    My daughter is studying some of this for her course at University – and so far has achieved a FIRST

    Tony

  • Richard Robinson

    “I rest my case.” (eddie)

    case ? *CASE* ? I have seen cases, and this is not one. This is a record with a stuck needle.

    sigh. Another dying analogy, I suppose.

  • angrysoba

    “All the information is freely available if you look and can analyse the nonsense from the physics – and then go on to study the psychology”

    Indeed Tony, but what are you blathering about.

    “An old uncle of mine was such a successful forensic scientist that he was knighted.

    My daughter is studying some of this for her course at University – and so far has achieved a FIRST”

    I once ate a piece of alligator in bread crumbs. Tasted a bit like chicken.

  • angrysoba

    “I do realise that you and Larry maybe covert 9/11 Truthers, just trying to get detailed info out of people like me – by posting the opposite point of view…”

    Of course, Tony. Nothing is ever simple (well, except Truthers who are by and large very simple).

    “But I have never been to a 9/11 Truth Meeting – whilst you freely admit that you have on your own web site…”

    I have no problem listening to what people have to say, but if someone sticks a tea cosy on their head and declares that they are Napoleon, emperor of France I tend to think that it isn’t simply a difference of opinion but that they are quite wrong and quite insane.

  • Clark

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/beyond/lancet100000/

    We have always been quite explicit that our own total is certain to be an underestimate of the true position, because of gaps in reporting or recording. It is no part of our practice, at least as far as our published totals are concerned, to make any prediction or projection about what the “unseen” number of deaths might have been.

  • eddie

    But not at a level that is TEN TMES their count – i.e. the figure quoted by the Lancet and others (anywhere between 1.3 million and 2 million). That is just not feasible and you do not respond to the point. IBC is based on detailed work, the Lancet was pure speculation. I know that the figure will be closer to IBC than the Lancet and so do most serious commentators.

  • hawley_jr

    eddie, do you feel comfortable with the UN figures for the number of Iraqi deaths to 1999 as a result of sanctions? – that’s 1.7 million, including 500,000 or 600,000 children. Does that qualify for genocide?

    Figures taken from ‘Behind the War on Terror’ by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. If you disagree with these figures, I suggest you refer to the book, where the pros and cons of the estimate are discussed at length.

  • crab

    eddie wrote: “at a level that is TEN TIMES their count – i.e. the figure quoted by the Lancet and others (anywhere between 1.3 million and 2 million). That is just not feasible”

    Fog Of War; in a chaotic warzone, it is not at all unusual that only a small fraction of deaths would be securely documented as per IBC’s interests.

    Without reference to the findings of proper mortality studies (such as those published by the Lancet, peer reviewed and professionaly produced at great expense and risk to a small army of trained researchers in war torn Iraq) -any discussion of the IBC’s relevance is PURE Speculation.

  • Richard Robinson

    “But not at a level that is TEN TMES their count – i.e. the figure quoted by the Lancet and others (anywhere between 1.3 million and 2 million). That is just not feasible and you do not respond to the point. IBC is based on detailed work, the Lancet was pure speculation.”

    eddie. They were trying to measure different things. You do not respond to this point.

    Nor do you give good reasons (any at all, in fact) for your assertion that the John Hopkins study was pure speculation. How, if that is so, did it come to be published in a professional journal, do you suggest deliberate editorial malpractice ?

  • technicolour

    Small, sad point: eddie was attacking Craig for using the term ‘hundreds of thousands’ of deaths, I believe. To arrive at that figure you would not, as eddie continues to imply, have to multiply the IBC figures by ten. I presume eddie is using a factor of ten because John Sloboda’s already said he doesn’t believe IBC figures are that far out (for what it’s worth: I don’t know how much time he’s spent on the ground). Anyway, to arrive at a figure of hundreds of thousands, you would only need to double the IBC minimum baseline.

  • Jon

    @hawley_jr – whether the effects of the invasion constitutes genocide is a tough question, in my view. Certainly if one looks at the numbers, then yes, it would qualify. But a genocide has to have specific intent to kill, and I don’t have the sense that Blair, Straw, even Bush *intended* to kill that many people. I just think they didn’t care whether people were killed, or believed in their own bunkum so deeply that they regarded the deaths as acceptable costs. I think therefore there are war crimes to answer for, but I am less certain about the charge of genocide. I think there has to be a high level of deliberateness, as in the cases of Rwanda or the Holocaust.

    Still, heads of the UN Food Programme (Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck) quit humanitarian coordination in Iraq because they (I am paraphrasing here) “would not continue to look after a genocide masquerading as a food programme”. So, perhaps causing avoidable deaths in large numbers does qualify for the term.

  • hawley_jr

    @Jon: “Still, heads of the UN Food Programme (Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck) quit humanitarian coordination in Iraq because they (I am paraphrasing here) “would not continue to look after a genocide masquerading as a food programme”. So, perhaps causing avoidable deaths in large numbers does qualify for the term.”

    Yes, apparently they were not alone. In agreement with them were (at the risk of inviting abuse from Larry) Scott Ritter as Chief UNSCOM Inspector in Iraq, the Pope and 53 US Catholic bishops.

    The following info I posted previously on another thread, but I like it enough to post it again.

    A panel of judges of the International War Crimes Tribunal, presided over by Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and consisting of many legal and human rights experts from around the world, in 1996 issued charges at the International Court on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the UN Security Council on Iraq.

    The charge sheet includes:

    3. The United States, its President Bill Clinton and other officials, the United Kingdom and its Prime Minister John Major and other officials have committed genocide as defined in the Convention against Genocide against the population of Iraq including genocide by starvation and sickness through use of sanctions as a weapon of mass destruction and violation of Article 54, Protection of Objects Indispensible to the Civilian Population, of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Convention 1977.

    Source: ‘Behind the War on Terror’ by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

  • Jon

    I didn’t know all that, very interesting indeed. The sanctions were called ‘genocide’ by the Pope at the time? That would be quite remarkable, given how diplomatically the Vatican tries to treat certain hot topics.

    Thanks for the book reference, I’ll get a copy.

  • Rob Lewis

    @Eddie: so when you looked at the Labour party three or four years ago, Eddie, and decided to join, what was it that attracted you to them?

    By the way, you’re not an MP. You don’t have to follow the whip, you know. You can express your own opinion. You can dissent from within the party.

    Incidentally, I thought your jab about doctors meddling in politics was a little unfair, considering you’re (I think?) a bloody teacher doing just the same thing. And to less effect. In fact, people like Dr David Haplin (I am passing no verdict on him here) and the doctors behind the Lancet article are contributing far more to the political process than you are through your seemingly uncritical membership of a poltical party. No wonder they make you angry. Who do they think they are, hey?

    I only know you from your posts on here, but you might want to temper your language and mature your argument, or you will only do a disservice to the party that (apparently) you spend your time and money supporting.

  • Ron Murray

    Hi Craig,

    I agree with the article you picked up concerning Cadbury’s. Kraft are famous for what many would indeed call plastic cheese, while Cadbury’s with their Quaker origins are a high quality and socially reponsible company. It is sad that the discredited Royal Bank of Scotland are providing the finance to put this company in foreign hands. As a quaker I am disgusted at this turn of events. Keep Cadbury British they dont need to be taken over. Dont let Kraft destroy Cadburys as they did Terrys of York.

  • Everybody Bring A Spare Shoe

    For what it’s worth, here’s a way of putting a bit of pressure on the trial to get something like a confession out of Blair: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/ask-blair-tough-questions-next-friday

    It’s a war of aggression (war crime) that has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians at least (another war crime) and has employed extradition, detention without trial and torture to obtain ‘intelligence’ (yet more war crimes!). You have to say that it’s a little bit iffy, eddie.

  • eddie

    Rob

    I’ve been a member of the party since about 1980 – I lived through the Thatcher years – 18 very bad years if you recall, and never thought I would see a Labour government. Perhaps you and others on here don’t remember those times and that may be why you have such a naive view of politics. I was involved in the miners’ strike and the awful election of 83 when Benn very nearly destroyed the Party. So to see a Labour government in 1997 was a great moment and I am proud, actually, of what has been achieved by Labour governments since then. The obsession with Iraq and 911 and all the other garbage that you and others on here appear to be pre-occupied with just leaves me cold. You need to get on with life in the real world. I am not a teacher although I do lecture part time. I honestly believe Halpin and people like him are dangerous, naive idiots. To me they have exactly the same status as the Webbs and GBS in the thirties who believed that the USSR was a workers’ paradise. Time will tell, but when the history books come to be written I believe that people like him will be exposed as the useful idiots.

  • technicolour

    Did GBS really believe that the USSR was ‘a worker’s paradise?’ Please supply quotes.

  • Rob Lewis

    Hi Eddie,

    I have at least partially got you mixed up with somebody else, it would appear. My apologies. I didn’t realise you’d been in the party for so long. You should talk about it more, it’s a wealth of experience and it would be interesting to hear your tales.

    I too was very proud and happy when Labour won in 1997. But it’s been a journey of disillusionment for me since the Iraq war, to be honest. I wouldn’t say it was an obsession, although I think we’d both agree there is a great deal of obsession in evidence around these parts. But politically it has seized me more than a lot other issues. And in fairness, this site really is something of forum for discussion about the Iraq War, and the War on Terror, and the Afghan War, and foreign policy generally. Those issues are key areas of Craig’s blog. So to see plenty of comments on the Iraq War on here is kind of natural.

    Anyway, I don’t see the Lancet survey as dangerous at all. I think it was apolitical research that followed a pre-set statistical methodology and just happened to come up with a very high extrapolated estimate, which exposes it to criticism that it WAS political. I wouldn’t impugn the motives of the doctors that did it. Apolitical research deserves apolitical criticism. The benefit of the doubt has to be given.

    Did you ever go leafleting or anything? When was the last time? By the way, if you lecture I reckon you’ve at least spent some time on a council somewhere. 🙂

    Do you miss Robin Cook much, or Mo Mowlam?

  • eddie

    Rob

    I was involved in Hackney and Camden LP in the eighties, during the ratecapping campaigns etc, fought against the SWP and Militant, lots of leafletting and canvassing during the 1983 campaign in particular (“the longest suicide note in history” campaign. I can rememebr Mao being quoted in Hackney Town Hall and Blair was one of the local secretaries. Read Ian Sinclair’s book, “Hackney a rose red empire” for a flavour of those times. I used to go up to Yorkshire during the miners’ strike and have them staying with us in London when they went out picketing and collecting money, went on lots of marches and riots with scargill etc. I used to go to meetings at County Hall when Livingstone was leader and saw at first hand as the party tore itself apart. Hence the joy in 1997 after Blair had made the party electable once more. We may well have a hung parliament but I am sure the party will renew itself in the long run. These things go in cycles. There is a vacuum which is there to be filled if people like you want to get involved. I will have to disagree about the Lancet.

    Cook I liked, although he had an ego that outmatched his looks (not his fault, he was just an ugly man), Mowlam I liked too, although I am not sure she should have lied about her cancer if it was affecting her judgement in such an important job.

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