On 19 May 2004, American helicopter gunships attacked an Iraqi wedding party in the village of Mogr el-Deeb near the Syrian border.
On 24 May, Fox News reported thus:
"A videotape shows a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the desert, escorting a bridal car decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up.Associated Press reporters were not convinced by Kimmit's denials, however, and made their way to the site of the bombing.
The videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck.
The U.S. military says it is investigating the attack, which took place in the village of Mogr el-Deeb about five miles from the Syrian border, but that all evidence so far indicates the target was a safehouse for foreign fighters.
As soon as the attack upon the wedding became known the excuses were forthcoming. Brigadier General Mark Kimmit, the deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq, said: 'There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration. There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too… To suggest that somehow we had a wedding party going on there is not borne out by the facts on the ground.'
Kimmitt said US troops found rifles, machine guns, foreign passports, bedding, syringes and other items that suggested the site was used by Syrian insurgents and denied finding any evidence that any children died in the raid. However, he conceded that 'handful of women' had been 'caught up in the engagement.'
'They may have died from some of the fire that came from the aircraft,' he added. Kimmitt also said that an 'open and honest' investigation had been launched by the US military."
They issued this report on 23 May 2004:
"The video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed out tent.After the photographs of the torture and humiliation of the Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib were released, Brigadier-General Kimitt said:
The wedding videotape shows a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the desert escorting the bridal car, decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up.
An AP reporter and photographer, who interviewed more than a dozen survivors a day after the bombing, were able to identify many of them on the wedding party video...
APTN also traveled to Mogr el-Deeb, 250 miles west of Ramadi, the day after the attack to film what the survivors said was the wedding site. A devastated building and remnants of the tent, pots and pans could be seen, along with bits of what appeared to be the remnants of ordnance, one of which bore the marking 'ATU-35,' similar to those on U.S. bombs…
The singing and dancing seems to go on forever at the all-male tent set up in the garden of the host, Rikad Nayef, for the wedding of his son, Azhad, and the bride Rutbah Sabah…
As the musicians played, young men milled about, most dressed in traditional white robes. Young men swayed in tribal dances to the monotonous tones of traditional Arabic music. Two children, a boy and a girl, held hands, dancing and smiling. Women are rarely filmed at such occasions, and they appear only in distant glimpses…
An AP reporter obtained names of at least 10 children who relatives said had died. Bodies of five of them were filmed by APTN when the survivors took them to Ramadi for burial Wednesday. Iraqi officials said at least 13 children were killed…
Haleema Shihab, 32, one of the three wives of Rikad Nayef, said that as the first bombs fell, she grabbed her seven-month old son, Yousef, and clutching the hands of her 5-year-old son, Hamza, started running. Her 15-year-old son, Ali, sprinted alongside her. They managed to run for several yards when she fell, her leg fractured.
'Hamza was yelling, ‘mommy,' Shihab, recalled. 'Ali said he was hurt and that he was bleeding. That’s the last time I heard him. Then another shell fell and injured Shihab’s left arm. Hamza fell from my hand and was gone. Only Yousef stayed in my arms. Ali had been hit and was killed. I couldn’t go back,' she said from her hospital bed in Ramadi. Her arm was in a cast.
She and her stepdaughter, Iqbal, who had caught up with her, hid in a bomb crater… Soon American soldiers came. One of them kicked her to see if she was alive, she said. 'I pretended I was dead so he wouldn’t kill me,' said Shihab. She said the soldier was laughing…
Fourteen-year-old Moza, Shihab’s stepdaughter, lies on another bed of the hospital room. She was hurt in the leg and cries. Her relatives haven’t told her yet that her mother, Sumaya, is dead. 'I fear she’s dead,' Moza said of her mother. 'I’m worried about her'…
When the first shell fell, Moza and her sisters, Subha, Fatima and Siham ran off together. Moza was holding Subha’s hand. 'I don’t know where Fatima and my mom were. Siham got hit. She died. I saw Zohra’s head gone. I lost consciousness,' said Moza, covering her mouth with the end of her headscarf.
Her sister Iqbal, lay in pain on the bed next to her. Her other sister, Subha, was on the upper floor of the hospital, in the same room with 2-year-old Khoolood. Her small body was bandaged and a tube inserted in her side drained her liver.
Her ankle was bandaged. A red ribbon was tied to her curly hair. Only she and her older brother, Faisal, survived from their immediate family. Her parents and four sisters and brothers were all killed.
In all, 27 members of Rikad Nayef’s extended family died, most of them children and women, the family said."
"It's because the scale of this was so small that the people of Iraq will forgive us. Most of the people in Iraq recognise that was an isolated incident and our investigations continue to demonstrate that it is fairly isolated and not representative of the 135,000 soldiers who are doing the right thing under tough circumstances every day."On 24 May 2004, 38-year-old father-of-one, Mark Carman , a former soldier with the Royal Artillery, was killed by a rocket controlled grenade outside Baghdad.
He was working as a Security contractor with the Control Risks Group at the time.
Bob Morgan, a retired senior project director for BP working on a six-month contract for the Foreign Office, was killed in the same incident. Two other security officers, who remain unnamed, were also killed.
On 29 May 2004, four Muslim terrorists attacked two oil industry installations and a foreign workers' housing complex in the city of Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
The following day, following reports that the Christian hostages were being executed, Saudi commandos stormed the building where they were being held. Three of the terrorists escaped, the other was captured. 41 hostages were freed, most of them Muslim. 25 were injured and 22 killed, all of these were Christian.
At least one Briton, 61-year-old oil executive, Michael Hamilton, was killed. Witnesses said that his body had been dragged through the streets in triumph.
In June 2004, Tony Blair put in an appearance at the annual luncheon of the Labour Friends of Israel group. At this function, Blair pledged to oppose the farm animal welfare council’s call to outlaw shechita, the slaughtering of animals without pre-stunning. Orthodox Jews continue to practice this method of slaughter.
Several Early Day Motions were introduced into parliament dealing with the shechita issue. Two of these EDMs called for the practice to be banned. Almost none of those who were so vociferous in their call for hunting to be banned, a good number of whom just happened to be Jewish, signed either of them.
TB's appearance was reported in full by Richard Ferrer, a journalist who works for the Totally Jewish website.Oozing groupie devotion, Blair said:
"IT IS GOOD TO BE AMONG FRIENDS... Your community is a beacon on so many core issues, standing for compassion and human rights and freedom… LFI brings Labour’s message to the Jewish community and stands up for Israel, while also recognising the needs of the Palestinians. I feel strongly about Israel and admire its many achievements…Liberty and democracy? The kind of democrat who slaughters those who disagree with him is no democrat at all in my book. Blair added:
What concerns me is that the conflict in the middle-east is used to fuel anti-Semitism in Britain. I will not tolerate this… A stable Iraq will be good news for Israel… For the sake of middle east stability ISRAEL CANOT REMAIN THE REGION'S ONLY DEMOCRACY… I assure you that nothing this government does will put your religious freedoms at risk. I will safeguard your religious rights…
Britain will remain a friend to Israel in tough times and good. Both countries believe in liberty, democracy and the rule of law and share a determination never to give in to the terrorists that threaten our way of life".
"It is all too easy to blame Israel and disagree with its policies... What concerns me is that the conflict in the middle east is used to fuel anti-Semitism in Britain. I will not tolerate this...Within a few days of the article being posted, the TJ website had removed it. It can no longer be seen at its original web address.
A stable Iraq will be good news for Israel... For the sake of middle east stability Israel cannot remain the region's only democracy."
In June 2004, Clare Short, MP, commented thus:
"What we did in Iraq has brought disgrace and dishonour on Britain around the world."In June 2004, Glenda Jackson, double Oscar winner and New Labour MP, said this:
"Iraq is the Prime Minister's war… He should resign, clearly. He should have resigned months ago. He is not only an electoral liability nationally, he is a liability internationally too."In June 2004, Jonathan Eyal, Director of Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, put this information on the internet:
"After the United States, the biggest single military contributor to the occupation of Iraq is not Britain - as official figures claim - but private military companies. The figures are startling: more than 10,000 men and women perform various jobs under contract to the military in Iraq.
Furthermore, official figures in Washington estimate that out of a total S$150 billion allocated by the US for military operations in the Middle East this year, over a third will go to private contractors. This is greater than the defence budgets of most countries worldwide…
US company Blackwater is providing patrols throughout Iraq. And its arsenal ranges from M4 assault rifles to 20mm cannons, mounted on its own helicopters. The company actively recruits for what is now a private army.
Two major developments have contributed to this phenomenal growth in both the use and scope of private military companies. The first is the reduction in armed forces around the globe as a result of the end of the Cold War. About six million people who served in the military of the old Soviet Union and Western countries have been released from service. The wider shift from labour-intensive to technology-driven armies is retiring even more soldiers.
In Britain alone, 24,000 people will leave military service this year. Many are still relatively young but have no other profession apart from fighting. Private military companies therefore have a large recruitment pool and are able to pick people who are in peak military training condition. Huge payments are being offered: a yearly salary of S$200,000 is quite common for Iraq…
Secondly, governments - and particularly the American one - have jumped at this opportunity because of political considerations. Public opinion in the US does care about the constant loss of regular soldiers, but remains unperturbed by the death of people who went to Iraq for pure financial gain.Soldiers are heroes whose sacrifice must be justified; civilian contractors are just workers whose demise may be tragic, but not dramatic.
So, as the guerilla warfare against American troops intensifies in Iraq, US commanders have increasingly devolved much of the risky patrolling on hostile territory in small formations to such private companies. This ensures that uniformed personnel can be better protected, and that military casualties are kept to a minimum.And the trend is destined to continue.
The Pentagon is planning to cut a further 200,000 personnel from the US armed personnel in the near future, fully anticipating that private companies will pick up old regular military duties.The line between combatants and civilians is being eroded, with grave consequences for the world's legal regime. Governments have little control over those hired; quite a few people with extensive criminal records have appeared in Iraq under various guises. Nor do governments have much control over the performance of these people.
It is now clear that employees of private contractors were directly involved in the torture of Iraqis in Baghdad. And, most importantly, the proliferation of private military companies gives an incentive to governments to become involved in many more conflicts, secretly and indirectly.Britain used a private contractor to supply weapons to Sierra Leone in the late 1990s during a vicious civil war in that African country.
And the US created a private company in order to supply some Balkan countries with weapons a decade ago.Both actions contravened United Nations Security Council resolutions. Both were ultimately exposed, to the considerable embarrassment of politicians, but only after the British and the American governments had achieved their objectives.
Calls for the regulation of private military companies are now rising, particularly in the US Congress and the British Parliament, the two countries which provide the bulk of such activities. But it is hard to escape the conclusion that the US government, in particular, wants the situation to remain as it is… The privatisation of warfare is an accomplished fact."
What double-dip recession? Treasury 'rewarding failure' as civil servants pocket £1m in bonuses
On 5 June 2004, 41-year-old Craig Dickens, a security contractor with ArmorGroup, was shot and killed in a drive-by ambush in Mosul, Iraq.
Three of his colleagues, Peter Lloyd, Stephen Baigent and David Leach, were injured in in the incident. Craig, who was shot three times in the head, had not been issued with a protective helmet.
On 6 June 2004, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today, Tony Blair said this:
"What we also know is we haven't found them [WMD] in Iraq. Now let the survey group complete its work and give us the report... They will not report that there was no threat from Saddam, I don't believe."On 13 June 2004, The Telegraph reported thus:
"An infantry battalion serving in Iraq has been awarded the dubious distinction of having been attacked more times than any British Army unit since the Korean War.So, 'morale is high' says a senior military official.
The officers and men of the 1st battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment have been 'in contact' with enemy forces on more than 250 separate occasions since they arrived in Iraq six weeks ago.
The regiment, which recruits troops from the southern Home Counties, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands, has sustained more than 40 casualties - 21 of whom have been evacuated back to Britain, where they are being treated for gunshot or shrapnel wounds in civilian hospitals…
The battalion of 700, which is based in a bombed-out former Iraqi army camp at Abu Naji, south of Al Amarah, in the Maysan province of southern Iraq, has been under daily mortar attack for the past six weeks. The unit has also been ambushed, attacked with rockets and home-made bombs and has been repeatedly sniped at by Iraqi gunmen…
The Ministry of Defence has been unwilling to release details of the frequency and intensity of the attacks because of fears that the news could increase calls for troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. A senior military official said: 'The battalion has had more than 250 contacts since they arrived in Iraq at the end of April. They have sustained casualties but they have shown tremendous grit and determination. They are being attacked virtually every day and sometimes several times a day, usually with rockets or from mortars. They are tired, primarily because the attacks mean sleep is constantly interrupted, but their morale is high'…
The level of anti-terrorist activity directed against British forces in the area has led to an additional 370 members of the 1st battalion of the Black Watch and Royal Engineers being deployed to help secure Route 6. Announcements on further troop deployments are expected in the next few weeks.
The last time a British regiment sustained such a high level of attacks was, according to military officials, during the Korean War, between 1950 and 1953, when British Army units were under sustained attack from Chinese and North Korean forces for weeks on end.
In military campaigns since the Korean War, such as the Falklands War, battles may have been bloodier with higher casualty levels but most lasted less than 24 hours. No Army unit since the Korean War has been under continuous daily attack for six weeks. In Iraq, after hostilities were officially declared to be 'over' last May, the number of attacks against British units fell sharply.
Most units were told to expect between five and 10 'contacts' in a five-month tour, although that could rise to several a week in periods of high terrorist activity."
The truth is somewhat different. Almost 100 soldiers from the POW regiment have left the Army since returning from the Gulf. Seventy or so have bought their way out of the service, which is a costly business.
You'll never get the powers-that-be to admit something like that.
On 14 June 2004, 44-year-old former soldier, John Poole and 46-year-old former Colour Sergeant in 3 Para, Keith Butler, were killed by a suicide car bomber in Al Tahriri Square, Baghdad.
11 others, including two security officers, also lost their lives in the blast. John and Keith were working for Olive Security at the time of their deaths.
On 22 June 2004, The New Standard reported thus:
"A last minute spending spree by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority… appears likely to limit the interim government’s ability to exercise meaningful control over the country’s oil revenues.On 22 June 2004, Julian Davies, a former sergeant in the Territorial Army ranks of the SAS, was ambushed and shot dead in Mosul. He was working as a Security contractor with Global Risk Strategies Limited at the time.
According to documents posted on its own web site, the CPA’s little-known Program Review Board has quietly committed billions of dollars in Iraq’s oil revenues to new contracts that critics say will enrich US and British corporations while limiting the amount of revenue Iraq’s new interim government will have at its disposal when it assumes authority from the CPA...
Of the PRB’s 12 voting members, all of whom were appointed by and report directly to CPA administrator Paul Bremer, only two represent Iraqi government ministries. The other voting members include one representative each from the Australian and British governments; a member of the Council for International Cooperation; a representative from USAID; and six representatives from various CPA divisions."
On 24 June 2004, Sergeant Julian Davies, a Welsh SAS officer, was killed when the convoy he was travelling in was attacked in Baghdad. At the time that he was killed he was working as a security consultant for Global Risk Strategies, training Iraqi police. He was on an officially sanctioned leave of absence. BLAIR WARS
His death brings to 17 the number of British civilians killed in Iraq since 1 May 2003, when US President George W Bush announced an end to hostilities.
Basra: on 28 June 2004, two British soldiers were injured by the roadside bomb which killed 19-year-old Fusilier Gordon Campbell.
"Tony Blair should be impeached for the lies he has told, he must be brought to court.On 29 June 2004, The New York Times reported thus:
We know there were no weapons of mass destruction, now we know there was no legal justification for the war either".
"By making Iraq a playground for right-wing economic theorists, an employment agency for friends and family, and a source of lucrative contracts for corporate donors, the administration did terrorist recruiters a very big favor."On 29 June 2004, Jimmy Breslin reported thus at the Newsday website:
"The American torture of Iraqi prisoners was not especially helpful to Army Spc. Keith M. Maupin, who was shot dead by 'the Sharp Sword against the Enemies of God and his Prophet.' Torture is a two-way street. Nor does it seem so helpful today to U.S. Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun. He has been missing since June 21 and now he is being shown on Arab television with a sword over his head. Voices say they will cut off his head…On 30 June 2004, The New York Times reported thus:
I wonder what these dangerous fools in Washington, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, think about the Marine. Bush won't be back. He lost the last election to Al Gore by 500,000 votes. He cannot possibly win this election. But in these last months, Bush and his people get others killed and think torture is fine as long as we do it. Anything we do is in the cause of freedom. If the other side does anything to our men, they are heartless thug killers.
The Bush people apparently believe every sick myth about torture. We've been grabbing prisoners for a year and the war goes on. If anybody ever had spent 20 minutes in a Queens precinct on a murder investigation, they might understand. These Washington fools passed out a memo that certain kinds of torture can be used in Iraq and Guantanamo. As that torture already was being used, they tried making it sound legal, and thus comforting to all Americans."
"While piously declaring its determination to unearth the truth about Abu Ghraib, the Bush administration has spent nearly two months obstructing investigations by the Army and members of Congress. It has dragged out the Army's inquiry, withheld crucial government documents from a Senate committee and stonewalled senators over dozens of Red Cross reports that document the horrible mistreatment of Iraqis at American military prisons.On 6 July 2004, Tony Blair said this to the Commons Liaison committee:
Even last week's document dump from the White House, which included those cynical legal road maps around treaties and laws against torturing prisoners, seemed part of this stonewalling campaign. Nothing in those hundreds of pages explained what orders had been issued to the military and C.I.A. jailers in Iraq, and by whom…
The committee's chairman, Senator John Warner, said last week that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had assured him that he was working on the problem. Mr. Warner's faith seems deeply misplaced.Mr. Rumsfeld's handling of another issue, the Red Cross reports on Iraq, is the most outrageous example of the administration's bad faith on the prison scandal.
The Bush administration has cited Red Cross confidentiality policies to explain its failure to give up the reports. The trouble is, the Red Cross has repeatedly told the administration to go ahead and share the agency's findings with Congress, as long as steps are taken to prevent leaks.On May 7, the Senate armed services panel asked Mr. Rumsfeld for these reports on widespread abuse in the military prisons in Iraq…
Mr. Rumsfeld assured the committee that he would turn them over, if the Red Cross agreed. Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides have not handed over the reports, 40 in all, including 24 from Iraq. Over the weeks, the Pentagon has assured increasingly angry senators that it was negotiating with the Red Cross, and then offered the rather absurd claim that it was still 'collecting' the documents. In fact, the International Red Cross gave its consent within 24 hours of Mr. Rumsfeld's empty promise, and has repeated it several times."
"The two things we do know are these: we know that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction but we know we have not found them…Or they were never there in the first place.
I have to accept we haven't found them (WMD) and we may never find them, We don't know what has happened to them. They could have been removed. They could have been hidden. They could have been destroyed."
On 7 July 2004, Tony Blair said this in the House of Commons:
"Although I was confident that those weapons existed last year, I have to accept that they have not been found. However… there is clearly no doubt at all that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction… it is also true that we have not found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq…On 14 July 2004, the Butler report was released.
It is sensible to wait for the outcome of the work of the Iraq survey group, but I certainly do not accept in any shape or form that Iraq was not a threat to the region and the wider world. I repeat again what I have said on many occasions-I believe that the world and this country are safer without Saddam Hussein in power…
I have to accept the fact that we have not found them… Whether they were hidden, or removed, or destroyed even, the plain fact is he was undoubtedly in breach of United Nations resolutions… a lot of people they will say ‘Saddam Hussein is an evil person. You got rid of an evil person, that is fine’."
On 3 February 2004, a Committee of Privy Counsellors was appointed under the leadership of Lord Butler of Brockwell, to review the Intelligence available to Tony Blair's government prior to the invasion of Iraq.
The terms of reference of this enquiry did not allow Butler to investigate the reasons for going to war. Immediately prior to the report's release Lord Butler said this:
"In the period 1998-2002, the weapons inspectors were no longer in Iraq and intelligence sources were sparse, particularly on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons programmes… There was limited intelligence suggesting Iraqi attempts to expand its missile programme, to lay the foundations of a revived nuclear programme, and to develop facilities which could be used for chemical and biological programmes.The report itself said:
Then 9/11 happened, followed by coalition action in Afghanistan, President Bush’s axis of evil speech, and growing evidence of United States focus on Iraq. This led to reassessment of the British Government’s policy towards Iraq in early 2002 and to the conclusion that stronger action needed to be taken to enforce Iraqi disarmament…
This conclusion was not based on any new development in the intelligence picture on Iraq. At that stage there was no recent intelligence that by itself would have given rise to a conclusion that Iraq was of more immediate concern than the activities of some other countries. The British Government, as well as being influenced by the concerns of the US Government, saw a need for immediate action on Iraq… the intelligence then available was insufficiently robust to meet that criterion. This was in March 2002…
Successive JIC assessments warned that intelligence remained limited, particularly on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons programmes…
The Prime Minister announced on 3rd September 2002 that the Government would publish what subsequently became known as the dossier…
The Government wanted the dossier as a document on which it could draw in its advocacy… of the general direction in which its policy had been moving away from containment to a more pro-active approach to enforcing Iraqi disarmament…
This will have put a strain on them in seeking to maintain their normal standards of neutral and objective assessment.
In translating material to the dossier, warnings in the JIC assessments were lost about the limited intelligence base on which some aspects of these assessments were being made. Language in the dossier, and used by the Prime Minister, may have left readers with the impression that there was fuller and firmer intelligence than was the case. It was a serious weakness that the JIC’s warnings on the limitations of the intelligence were not made sufficiently clear in the dossier.
With the benefit of hindsight, making public that the JIC had authorship of the dossier was a mistaken judgement. In the particular circumstances, the publication of such a document in the name and with the authority of the JIC had the result that more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear…
We realise that our conclusions may provoke calls for the Chairman of the JIC, Mr Scarlett, to withdraw from his appointment as the next Chief of SIS… It was a mistaken judgement for the dossier to be so closely associated with the JIC…
Following the war, and of course unknown to those concerned at the time, doubts have arisen about a high proportion of human sources whose intelligence helped to underpin the Joint Intelligence Committee assessments and the Government’s September 2002 dossier…
Because of the scarcity of sources and the urgent requirement for intelligence, more reliance was placed on untried agents than would normally be the case…
The Chief of SIS acknowledged, that one problem may have been a shortage of experienced case officers following the budget reductions in the SIS in the 1990s…
The JIC found no evidence of co-operation between the Iraqi regime and Al Qaida…
The report that Saddam could deploy chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes, in the form in which it appeared in the JIC assessment and then in the Government dossier, was unclear and the JIC should not have included it in this form…
Mobile laboratories have been found in Iraq but do not match the ones in the intelligence reports…
We found no evidence that a motive of the British Government in initiating military action was security of oil supplies".
"Our view, having reviewed all of the material, is that the judgements in the dossier went to the outer limits of the intelligence available. The prime minister's description, in his statement to the House of Commons on the day of publication of the dossier, of the picture painted by the intelligence services in the dossier as 'extensive, detailed and authoritative' may have reinforced this impression."
"We recorded our surprise that policy-makers and the intelligence community did not, as the generally negative results of Unmovic inspections became increasingly apparent, re-evaluate in early 2003 the quality of the intelligence".
"Iraq did not have significant - if any - stocks of chemical or biological weapons in a state fit for deployment, or developed plans for using them".
"We were struck by the relative thinness of the intelligence base… on Iraqi production and possession of chemical and biological weapons."
"We are concerned that the informality and circumscribed character of the government's procedures, which we saw in the context of policymaking towards Iraq, risked reducing the scope for informed collective political judgement."The key findings of the enquiry were these:
In March, 2002, the intelligence available was 'insufficiently robust' to prove Iraq was in breach of the United Nations' resolutions.
Validation of intelligence sources since the war had 'thrown doubt' on a high proportion of these sources.
Some of the human intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was 'seriously flawed' and 'open to doubt.' The Joint Intelligence Committee should not have included the '45 minute' claim in the Iraq dossier without stating what exactly it referred to.
The language of the Government's dossier on Iraq's weapons may have left readers with the impression that there was 'fuller and firmer' intelligence behind its judgements than was the case. Tony Blair's statement to MPs on the day the dossier was published reinforced this impression.
The judgements in the dossier went to the 'outer limits,' although not beyond the intelligence available.
The suggestion that the Joint Intelligence Committee had authorship of the Iraq dossier was a 'mistaken judgement.' This resulted in more weight being placed on the intelligence than it could bear.
On 14 July 2004, in response to the Butler report, Tony Blair said:
"I accept full personal responsibility for the way the issue was presented and therefore for any errors made…Let’s take a look at what Martyn Indyk, Clinton’s Ambassador to Israel, said in The Financial Times of 9 March 2004:
We expected, I expected to find actual usable, chemical or biological weapons after we entered Iraq… But I have to accept, as the months have passed, it seems increasingly clear that at the time of invasion, Saddam did not have stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons ready to deploy…
I have searched my conscience, not in the spirit of obstinacy, but in genuine reconsideration in the light of what we now know, in answer to that question. And my answer would be that the evidence of Saddam's WMD was indeed less certain, less well-founded than was stated at the time…
No one lied. No one made up the intelligence. No one inserted things into the dossier against the advice of the intelligence services...
We both (Tony B and Bush) agreed Saddam was a threat, we both still think Saddam was a threat... let's concentrate on making Iraq better…
Had we backed down in respect of Saddam, we would never have taken the stand we needed to take on WMD, never have got progress on Libya."
"Libyan representatives offered to surrender WMD programmes more than four years ago, at the outset of secret negotiations with US officials…So, when Tony B says that if he and George Bush had 'backed down in respect of Saddam' they 'would never… have got progress on Libya,' he was lying.
Back then, Libya was facing a deepening economic crisis… United Nations and US sanctions that prevented Libya importing oilfield technology made it impossible for Mr. Gadaffi to expand oil production. The only way out was to seek rapprochement with Washington. Reinforcing this economic imperative was Mr. Gadaffi's own quest for respectability… Removing the sanctions and their accompanying stigma became his priority.
From the start of Bill Clinton's administration, Gadaffi had tried to open back-channels, using various Arab interlocutors with little success. Disappointed, he turned to Britain, first settling a dispute over the shooting of a British policewoman in London and then offering to send the two Libyans accused in the Lockerbie PanAm 103 bombing for trial in a third country…
The task of US diplomacy then was to maintain the sanctions until Gadaffi had fulfilled all other obligations under the UN resolutions: ending support for terrorism, admitting culpability and compensating victims' families. That was why the Clinton administration opened the secret talks on one condition, that Libya cease lobbying in the UN to lift the sanctions.
It did… Libyan representatives offered to join the Chemical Weapons Convention and open their facilities to inspection. In a subsequent meeting in October 1999, Libya repeated its offer on chemical weapons and agreed to join the Middle East multilateral arms control talks taking place at the time. Why did we not pursue the Libyan WMD offer then? Because resolving the PanAm 103 issues was our condition for any further engagement.
Moreover, as Libya's chemical weapons programme was not considered an imminent threat and its nuclear programme barely existed… securing compensation had to be top priorities."
Finally, Tony Blair made it clear that, as usual he was, personally, responsible for nothing and, if blame was to be apportioned, it should be apportioned elsewhere. He said:
"I accept the report's conclusions in full. Any mistakes should not be laid at the door of our intelligence and security community."Which, of course, is doublespeak for: Any mistakes SHOULD be laid at the door of our intelligence and security community and NOT AT MINE!
TB also said this:
"Iraq, the region, the wider world is a better and safer place without Saddam."Israel might be a marginally 'better and safer place without Saddam.' As for the rest of us, the boiling hatred that the invasion of Iraq and its bloody aftermath has stoked up in the minds and hearts of so many Muslims across the world can surely only make those of us associated with the Bushes and Blairs less safe; as Madrid, Istanbul, Egypt and London have discovered to their cost already.
As for Iraq being a safer place, well, the thought is just too ridiculous to be entertained. Outside of the murderous 'terrorism' that occurs on a daily basis, some of the most gullible might have thought that the coalition forces would have done their best to feed the children of Iraq.
In March 2005, Jean Ziegler, a UN specialist on hunger produced a report for the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
It said that increasing numbers of children in Iraq were not getting enough food to eat and more than a quarter were chronically undernourished. Malnutrition rates in children under five had almost doubled since the US-led invasion.
When Saddam Hussein was overthrown, about 4% of Iraqi children under five were chronically underfed; that figure had almost doubled to 8% by the end of 2004. Mr. Ziegler said:
"The silent daily massacre by hunger is a form of murder".Bush and Blair declined to respond to this charge.
The Panorama programme of 20 March 2005, QUOTED Robin Cook, the Former Foreign Secretary, thus:
"He (Tony B) saw the evidence. He probably saw more of the intelligence than any other single person in government. Therefore he was well placed to judge how thin it was… What surprised me, astonished me, about the September dossier was how one sided it was. It was propaganda, it was not an honest presentation of intelligence".Tony B Liar mentioned the phrase 'weapons of mass destruction' over a hundred times in a variety of public forums in the run up to Gulf War II.
It is likely, because his intelligence analysts were not able to provide him with any definitive proof that WMD still existed, that, all the time he was being so categorical in front of the cameras, he was only hoping for the best.
Let's not beat about the bush, (no pun intended)Tony B Liar lied. Tony B Liar fabricated the intelligence and he, probably, 'inserted things into the dossier against the advice of the intelligence services.'
On 31 March 2004, four private military contractors from the U.S. company, Blackwater, were dragged from their vehicle and killed in Fallujah. Their bodies were then mutilated and dragged the burning corpses behind their cars. Finally, the dismembered remains were hanged one of Fallujah's two bridges over the Euphrates.
On 4 April 2004, U.S. Marines launched an attempt to establish control over the city of Fallujah. On 9 April 2004, the combat operations at Fallujah were halted in the face of protests by the Iraqi authorities.
On 15 July 2004, Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet, released this statement to the press:
"Having now had the opportunity to read the Butler report I am left in no doubt that Mr. Blair did indeed mislead the House and the public. Whether he did so deliberately or through carelessness is known only by him and is immaterial. I believe that he has erred in a way that makes his position untenable and that has terminally damaged any credibility that he might have had left.On 15 July 2004, Tony Blair said:
The discrepancies between the evidence contained in the report relating to knowledge available in March, August and September of 2002 which, as Michael Howard pointed out yesterday, is couched in very cautious terms ('Intelligence is sporadic and patchy'... 'We have little intelligence on Iraq's chemical and biological weapons doctrine' ....'Intelligence remains limited') and the Prime Minister's own words ('I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current'... The intelligence is 'extensive, detailed and authorative') is so great as to defy belief…
We now know that the information that we were given was deeply flawed and may have been deliberately presented in a way that, to use Lord Butler's words, 'reinforced the impression' that there was 'fuller and firmer intelligence behind the judgements' than in fact existed. That inevitably must have influenced the way in which many on both sides of the House of Commons voted…
If the war was about 'regime change'… then we should have been told the unvarnished truth and allowed to exercise our own and individual judgement based upon that truth. I am angered that this Prime Minister has denied me, as a Member of Parliament, that right."
"For any mistakes made, as the report finds, in good faith, I of course take full responsibility. But I cannot honestly say I believe getting rid of Saddam was a mistake at all."On 19 July 2004, 30-year-old Flight Lieutenant Kristian Gover was killed at Basra International Airport.
In July 2004, John Morrison was told that his contract as chief investigator to the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee would not be renewed. In a Panorama interview Morrison had said that the Prime Minister's claims on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were met with disbelief in Whitehall. He said:
"The Prime Minister was going way beyond anything any professional analyst would have agreed. You could almost hear the collective raspberry going up around Whitehall when Blair told MPs that the threat from Iraq was current and serious".On 25 July 2004, The Daily Mail reported thus:
"An intelligence official is leaving his job after criticising Tony Blair over Iraq's weapons, it has been confirmed. John Morrison said in a television interview that the Prime Minister's claims on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were met with disbelief in Whitehall. Now he has been told his contract as chief investigator to the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee will not be renewed when it expires later this year…On 3 August 2004, Iraqi veteran and father-of-four, Peter Mahoney, committed suicide in the garage of his home in Botcherby, Carlisle.
The Cabinet Office has now confirmed Mr Morrison will not be staying on. He has reportedly been sacked and is working out his notice… A spokeswoman said: 'John Morrison is currently employed as a contractor by the Cabinet Office on behalf of the Intelligence and Security Committee... Mr Morrison has worked for the committee for five years and his contract will end in October 2004'."
Peter publicly criticised the British Government’s decision to invade Iraq in an interview he gave to his local paper on 16 July, a week after he got back from that country:
"The general consensus among the troops was that we were in Iraq so George Bush could seize control of the oil fields. All this talk of weapons of mass destruction was simply a smokescreen as far as we were concerned.Prior to her husband being called up in March 2003, Donna wrote a letter to Tony Blair stating that neither she nor her husband agreed with the war. She asked him not to go ahead with the invasion and said:
There was certainly no evidence they existed. From what we saw Saddam’s regime did not have advanced weapons. Iraqi troops were using ancient Russian machines. They were firing sticks and stones. They might as well have had catapults…
I think Tony Blair was just following whatever Bush said. He was simply his puppet. He got in too deep and couldn’t back out".
"Peter volunteered to go to Bosnia in October 1998, because he thought it was a good idea. But this time it’s different. We just don’t understand the moral point of this war. It’s not justified. We’re just backing up George Bush, and we’ll be fighting somebody else’s battle".Following Peter’s death, Donna, his childhood sweetheart to whom he had been married for almost 21 years, said:
"Iraq changed him… He was a broken man… We are all so sad".Chairman Blair murdered Peter.
He was aided and abetted by Geoff Hoon, Alistair Campbell, George Bush; Dick Cheney; Donald Rumsfeld; Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and all of those warmongering British MPs who wagged their tails for war with Iraq.
And then there were these:
Michael Howard, the Tory leader, (Jewish) Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Sun, The News of The World, The Times, The Sunday Times and Sky Television, who is the world's leading media Zionist; Jack Straw, Blair’s Foreign Secretary, who describes himself as 'third-genration Jewish'; Paul Wolfowitz, US Deputy Secretary of Defence, (Jewish); Richard Perle, head of the Defence Policy Board, (Jewish); and all the other Neoconservatives in the USA, all of whom were pushing for a second Gulf War ever since the first one ended.
Most of the Neocons are Jewish also.
The above also murdered all the British soldiers who have died as a result of this war. They also murdered the other British 'security personnel' who have died, unheralded, in Iraq and those who have died outside of Iraq as a consequence of Muslim reprisals.
They also murdered all the dead coalition soldiers who were not British and those who have been killed in reprisals who are not British.
They also murdered all the dead Iraqis.
In my opinion.
Rupert Murdoch founded The Weekly Standard in 1995.
The establishment of this magazine gave the pro-Israeli hawks in Washington and New York a stentorian voice within US establishment circles during the late 1990s. Many of the contributors to The Standard over the years managed to insinuate themselves into the heart of George Bush’s government, at an official and advisory level, in plenty of time to 'advise' a cerebrally challenged President of the necessity of a war with Iraq after the 9/11 disaster.
Almost two million Iraqis have died as a result of US/British intervention in the Gulf in recent times. A great many American servicemen have also died in Iraq, as have a good many British servicemen. However, not one Israeli serviceman has met his maker in similar circumstances.
Oil was the glorious bonus meant to tempt the ultra-corrupt east-coast gangster elite that owns and runs America towards an imperialist America-first vision of the 21st century. But the war was decided upon and created many years before by Jerusalem in Israel, Jerusalem in New York and Washington, and Jerusalem in London.
If you ever hear or read the oft-used euphemism again, remember, almost all of the US 'Neoconservatives' are Jewish. That’s who Our Dear Leader was fighting for. It was for them that our lads died.
I think Tony Blair is the greatest traitor this country has ever known. I wonder if Donna Mahoney thinks the same thing.
Peter and Donna are pictured below:
On 7 November 2004, The Independent reported thus:
"Military psychiatrists have warned of a sharp rise in the number of British troops returning from Iraq with severe mental illnesses. Soldiers in the Gulf are suffering from high stress levels because the war is so unpopular at home and they are unhappy about their role in Iraq, health experts have revealed".Territorial Army soldiers are seeking help in disproportionately high numbers. 50 percent of those in treatment at Combat Stress are TA soldiers.
On 4 August 2004, 22-year-old Private Christopher Gordon Rayment died in Al Amarah, Iraq.
On 9 August 2004, 20-year-old Private Lee Martin O'Callaghan was killed during an attack in Basrah.
On 12 August 2004, 21-year-old Private Marc Ferns was killed by a roadside bomb in Basrah.
On 17 August 2004, 25-year-old Lance Corporal Paul Thomas was killed in action in Basrah.
"In some areas of the country the British National Party has been doing quite well electorally… The BNP are Nazis... If you just took everyone from the BNP, and everyone who votes for them, and shot them in the back of the head, there would be a brighter future for us all."Hardy was not vilified, warned, cautioned or threatened with prosecution for making these remarks.
The favoured method of execution of the Cheka (the organisation that would later became known as the KGB) in Bolshevik Russia was to shoot the victim in the back of the head.
Aleksandr Sozhenitsyn says that the Cheka was two thirds Jewish. Dr. Richard Pipes, Professor of History at Harvard University, who is Jewish himself, said the Jewish presence in the Cheka death squads was even more prevalent. On pages 823-824 of The Unknown Lenin, Pipes tell us this:
"The worst bestialities were committed by some of the provincial Chekas, which operated at a distance from the eyes of the central organs and had no fear of being reported on by foreign diplomats or journalists. There exists a detailed description of the operations of the Kiev Cheka in 1919 by one of its staff, I. Belerosov, a former law student and Tsarist officer, which he gave to General Denikin's investigators.On page 117 of Jewish Nationalism and Soviet Politics. The Jewish Sections of the CPU, 1917-1930, Jewish scholar, Zvi Gitelman confirms the above:
According to Belerosov, at first the Kiev Cheka went on a, 'continuous spree' of looting, extortion and rape. Three-quarters of the staff were Jews, many of them riffraff incapable of any other work, cut off from the Jewish community although careful to spare fellow Jews".
"The high visibility of Jews in the Bolshevik regime was dramatized by the large numbers of Jews in the Cheka... From the Jewish point of view it was no doubt the lure of immediate physical power which attracted many Jewish youths... Whatever the reasons, Jews were heavily represented in the secret police... Since the Cheka was the most hated and feared organ of the Bolshevik government, anti-Jewish feelings increased in direct proportion to Cheka terror".And, as Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka, stated in the 1918 pamphlet, Novaia Zhizn:
"The Cheka is not a court. We stand for organized terror, this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution... We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence".Anyway, the Cheka did away with millions of innocent people between the October Revolution and the start of the Second World War. Most of those doing away with the innocent were Jewish and the gunshot in the back of the head or neck was a common method of execution.
Jeremy Hardy won't know this, seeing as he's not a Jew. However, I think we might be forgiven for presuming that he might be. On 27 February 2010, told us this in The Guardian:
"I tried to piece together as much of my family tree as I could. I also wanted to know where my ancestors came from geographically. I strongly suspected, but hated to think, that they all came from south-east England.I wonder what the Jew-fancying back-of-the head shooter would think of the Cheka?
I had never been entirely satisfied with what appeared to be a completely mono-ethnic ancestry. I hoped to find out that I am partly Jewish...
I am widely believed to be Jewish, by Jews, by neo-Nazis and by dispassionate observers. I should be Jewish... My friend Arnold Brown, this country's greatest Jewish comedian, has always insisted that I am Jewish, which I take as a compliment."
On 10 September 2004, 22-year-old Fusilier Stephen Jones died 10 miles south of Amarah in Iraq.