If anybody is surprised that key letters between Tony Blair and George Bush on launching the invasion of Iraq have gone missing, they have not been paying attention. On both sides of the Atlantic, the Obama and Cameron regimes have consistently and continually covered up the crimes of their predecessors, from launch illegal wars of aggression to instituting programmes of torture and extraordinary rendition and murder.
The motive in both cases is the same. Not only are the senior politicians in all mainstream parties members of the same “club”, committed to the same neo-conservative principles and indebted to the same corporate paymasters. But also these crimes involved the active complicity of thousands of senior members of the establishment, in the armed services, the secret services, the diplomatic services and other public servants. To come clean would take down thousands of people still in public service. or in other high places. In the UK, for example, war criminals Sir Richard Dearlove now master of Pembroke College Cambridge and Sir Mark Allen of Shell are only two who would have to go to jail. I am sorry to say that I am convinced that some people I know and like myself, ought to be sentenced. Not that it will happen.
When a state embarks on illegal war and systematic torture and murder, as a state, the ramifications go extremely wide. Literally thousands of highly placed people are implicated. There is nothing short of political revolution which would bring justice.
It is fascinating how far even the “liberal” media will and will not go in reporting these crimes. The murder part is almost entirely left out – it is well documented, for example, that scores of rendition flights went to Uzbekistan, including many from the CIA black base in Szymano-Szczytny in Mazuria, Poland. But it is almost never noted that not one person who was rendered to Uzbekistan ever emerged alive. They were all murdered.
The astonishing disparity of wealth in the UK – with just nine families owning as much as the poorest 15 million in the country – has now reached the point where, together with the crimes described above and the takeover of all main parties by the same neo-con philosophy – I have become, for the first time in my life, a political revolutionary. I have, unexpectedly, lost my faith in the ability of the currently constituted “democratic” system to provide a fair society. That seems to be because the extreme and escalating concentration and control of capital coincides with the extreme and escalating concentration and control of the media. That media control seems, despite the availability of alternative new media, to have sufficient power of influencing people to grant untrammeled hegemony over society to the wealthy.
Working on the Voltairian basis that il faut cultiver le jardin, I shall continue to work for Scottish independence on the grounds that smaller polities have a greater chance of resistance, a kind of theory of political asymmetric warfare, and that for cultural reasons there has been a less complete neo-con takeover of political debate there.
To return to Chilcot, there is a sense in which it is good that he has not yet reported. Chilcot is holding out to be able to include the Bush-Blair correspondence, which offers conclusive proof that the “WMD” meme was a knowing lie to justify a vicious and pre-determined war. The recent Tory pressure for early publication is for publication without these documents. Much better to wait and get the actual proof.
The idea that two heads of state corresponding on taking their states to war can be “private” and kept from their people, is so outrageous that the fact it is stated at all is, in itself, sufficient evidence of the media control being as complete as I assert. It is a laughable proposition. Besides which, if these were private letters, why were Sir David Manning and Sir Christopher Meyer delivering them at public expense? Can we charge Blair for this service? Meyer and Manning don’t come cheap. It was, incidentally, Sir David Manning who brought back to No. 10 the request from the White House that I be sacked as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan for kicking up a fuss internally over extraordinary rendition.
After careful consideration of the Rome Statute, I am convinced that an independent Scotland will be able to refer Blair to the war crimes tribunal at the Hague, and I am determined to make sure that this happens.