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BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)

Leo Condie 18 Jul 03 - 03:05 PM
ard mhacha 18 Jul 03 - 04:12 PM
Shelley C 18 Jul 03 - 04:23 PM
Leo Condie 18 Jul 03 - 04:35 PM
katlaughing 18 Jul 03 - 05:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 03 - 06:15 PM
Leo Condie 18 Jul 03 - 06:23 PM
Gareth 18 Jul 03 - 06:38 PM
Leo Condie 18 Jul 03 - 06:56 PM
Gareth 18 Jul 03 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM
Leo Condie 18 Jul 03 - 07:48 PM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 19 Jul 03 - 03:58 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Jul 03 - 04:15 AM
ard mhacha 19 Jul 03 - 04:42 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Jul 03 - 06:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 03 - 06:49 AM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 19 Jul 03 - 09:15 AM
Billy the Bus 19 Jul 03 - 10:17 AM
redhorse 19 Jul 03 - 11:33 AM
GUEST 19 Jul 03 - 11:34 AM
ard mhacha 19 Jul 03 - 04:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 03 - 06:30 PM
Ebbie 19 Jul 03 - 06:41 PM
Gareth 19 Jul 03 - 06:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 03 - 07:04 PM
Ed. 19 Jul 03 - 07:09 PM
Gareth 19 Jul 03 - 07:10 PM
ard mhacha 20 Jul 03 - 06:02 AM
The Shambles 20 Jul 03 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Joe 20 Jul 03 - 06:52 AM
Deckman 20 Jul 03 - 08:50 AM
Ed. 20 Jul 03 - 08:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jul 03 - 10:11 AM
Keith A of Hertford 20 Jul 03 - 10:53 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Jul 03 - 05:05 PM
Gareth 20 Jul 03 - 07:58 PM
GUEST 20 Jul 03 - 08:53 PM
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Gareth 21 Jul 03 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 21 Jul 03 - 08:27 AM
Teribus 22 Jul 03 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,karen 22 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM
GUEST 22 Jul 03 - 02:39 PM
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John MacKenzie 23 Jul 03 - 03:19 AM
Teribus 23 Jul 03 - 04:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 03 - 05:24 AM
The Shambles 23 Jul 03 - 06:30 AM
ard mhacha 23 Jul 03 - 08:08 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Jul 03 - 09:12 AM
Teribus 23 Jul 03 - 09:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 03 - 09:55 AM
John MacKenzie 23 Jul 03 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 03 - 02:26 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 03 - 03:02 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Jul 03 - 08:28 PM
Teribus 24 Jul 03 - 07:38 AM
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ard mhacha 26 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM
ard mhacha 26 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM
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John MacKenzie 26 Jul 03 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,pdc 26 Jul 03 - 06:11 PM
GUEST 27 Jul 03 - 03:12 AM
ard mhacha 27 Jul 03 - 06:13 AM
Gareth 27 Jul 03 - 06:16 AM
ard mhacha 27 Jul 03 - 06:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 03 - 11:05 AM
Gareth 27 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM
Teribus 28 Jul 03 - 02:40 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Jul 03 - 03:09 AM
ard mhacha 28 Jul 03 - 06:26 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 03 - 08:02 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 28 Jul 03 - 10:06 AM
Teribus 28 Jul 03 - 10:30 AM
ard mhacha 28 Jul 03 - 01:10 PM
ard mhacha 28 Jul 03 - 01:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 03 - 01:38 PM
John MacKenzie 28 Jul 03 - 02:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM
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ard mhacha 30 Aug 03 - 05:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 03 - 05:53 AM
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GUEST,The Stage Manager (stranded by snow at work) 28 Jan 04 - 01:14 PM
ard mhacha 28 Jan 04 - 02:27 PM
Geoff the Duck 28 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM
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DougR 28 Jan 04 - 03:23 PM
Folkiedave 28 Jan 04 - 03:32 PM
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Teribus 30 Jan 04 - 05:45 AM
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ard mhacha 30 Jan 04 - 08:55 AM
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ard mhacha 30 Jan 04 - 12:45 PM
Gareth 30 Jan 04 - 01:01 PM
ard mhacha 30 Jan 04 - 01:43 PM
dianavan 30 Jan 04 - 02:04 PM
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Peter T. 30 Jan 04 - 04:26 PM
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ard mhacha 31 Jan 04 - 04:29 PM
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Peter T. 31 Jan 04 - 04:48 PM
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Peter T. 31 Jan 04 - 06:25 PM
Gareth 31 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 04 - 06:08 PM
Gareth 01 Feb 04 - 06:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 04 - 07:54 PM
Teribus 02 Feb 04 - 07:02 AM
ard mhacha 02 Feb 04 - 08:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 04 - 08:43 AM
DMcG 02 Feb 04 - 08:53 AM
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Teribus 02 Feb 04 - 10:14 AM
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Gareth 02 Feb 04 - 07:07 PM
dianavan 02 Feb 04 - 09:24 PM
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Teribus 03 Feb 04 - 02:37 AM
Gareth 03 Feb 04 - 04:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 04 - 05:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 04 - 05:45 AM
Teribus 03 Feb 04 - 06:51 AM
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DMcG 03 Feb 04 - 08:25 AM
Peter T. 03 Feb 04 - 08:31 AM
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dianavan 03 Feb 04 - 10:30 AM
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Teribus 03 Feb 04 - 01:10 PM
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Peter T. 03 Feb 04 - 07:44 PM
ard mhacha 04 Feb 04 - 05:22 AM
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Gareth 04 Feb 04 - 08:21 AM
ard mhacha 04 Feb 04 - 09:53 AM
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ard mhacha 04 Feb 04 - 01:18 PM
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Teribus 05 Feb 04 - 10:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 04 - 12:37 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Feb 04 - 06:04 PM
GUEST 06 Feb 04 - 12:39 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 16 Mar 04 - 08:08 AM

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Subject: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Leo Condie
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 03:05 PM

goodness, this gets more bizarre by the hour...someone on the BBC website said it was becoming like a Shakespearean tragedy and that seems a fitting analogy! Any thoughts?

For those who don't know: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3076801.stm


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 04:12 PM

Another victim of a needless war, apparently a decent man hounded to death by a shower of scum, the Brit Government. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Shelley C
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 04:23 PM

It's just as you say, Ard Mhacha, unless its something even more sinister. Anyone believe in a conspiracy theory?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Leo Condie
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 04:35 PM

I want to find out what the post-mortem says before making any judgements. It seems to me in this day and age it's becoming increasingly hard for governments to cover things up - 50 years ago they would have easily got away with the WMD excuse, no media bother whatsoever. But well, I could be wrong. Who knows how deep this goes. As for David Kelly, he seems to have been a sensible enough man that he wouldn't have taken his own life purely because of pressure from the commitee conference. Dark days...


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 05:57 PM

How tragic. It will be very interesting to follow this through, if they choose to tell the truth about it at all...dark days, indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 06:15 PM

Whether it turns out to have been suicide or a heart attack or something like that, brought on by the pressure he was placed under makes no difference. (Murder I'd be inclined to discount, not because I am naive enough to think any British Government isn't quite capable of it, but because it would have been self-defeating.)

In all the arguments about this, the reality of life and death has tended to be sidetracked in favour of a kind of office politics - a bit strange, in view of the fact that life and death has what it has all been about.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Leo Condie
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 06:23 PM

Tory Plan B is definitely not stupid enough to get someone murdered (unless they're innocent iraqis, of course), which is why i'm inclined to think that Mr Kelly must have become privy to more information than he felt able to cope with, I suppose. Either way, the government and the BBC should be ashamed. But of course, they won't be.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 06:38 PM

Regrets and condolances - Unfortunatley this may let the BBC and George Galloway off the hook.

Incidently why call then "Inocent Iraqui's", on Saddams figures something like 98% of the Iraqui People voted for Saddam, and as every 'Catter knows, Saddam Hussain ALWAYS told/tells the truth.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Leo Condie
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 06:56 PM

Gareth: well I actually called them innocent iraqis, but now that we've got the pedantries out of the way...

George Galloway should never have been on the hook, for a start. Granted he's a sleazy little man but if that whole affair with the documents doesn't stink of complete and utter set-up then i'm Lee Harvey Oswald. The BBC have been dragged into this to distract/bore the public, but I doubt this'll let them off the hook - it could really go either way just now as far as I can tell. Of course if the government continues to talk hard talk about discontinuing the BBC's licence when it comes up for review, because the BBC refuses to well, disagree with them, that's a sure sign of cracks. Anyway, I thought you were an old labour sort of fellow? Your pal Rhodri certainly seems as such. Please don't get a taste for the licking of backsides, there's enough of that about...

pardon the language, but well, I get riled up when e'er I smell fresh Blairite hanging in the air!


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 07:34 PM

Leo - Yes I am "Old Labour", the "Old Old Labour", and as one of those who took the abuse and violence from the Trots, and "Viscunt" Stansgate fans in the 70's and 80's, and did not run away to the SDP I think I have a right to be so.

Blair ain't perfect, but if the alternative was Major, Hague, IDS, or gawd help us Hairy Mellon Jones (Welsh reference)then I will back Blair.

On Galloway - there were two sets of documents - One set the "Telegraph" refused to print, but the Christian Seince Minitor did, and had to appologise for. And the other set that is now the subject of Legal action.

As a seperate issue, this is not the first time there have been accusations of misfeasance with "Charitable" funds connected with Galloway.

Re the BBC - Gilligan also writes for the "Spectator" and "Mail", not Labour friendly papers, nor have they reputations for accuracy. Rod Liddle was sacked by the BBC for writting for the Gaurdian - Double standards by the BBC?

I leave you this ULR - It seems Gilligan has a problem. Click 'Ere

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM

Could have been the Mossad. After all, Israel has the most to lose if the 'allies' pull out of the mid-east. This reminds me of the Dead Microbiologists a while back. We're used to people who cross the Bushes turning up dead in Texas, and I'd wager Kelly's death is just an extension of this type of hardball politics. Buy guns.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Leo Condie
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 07:48 PM

Well Gareth, I'm a bit less terrified now but as a socialist I find it very difficult to have any time for a man who has introduced more right-wing policies than most tory governments! And yes, I know Gilligan is a slimey little toad, and to be honest I see the feud between him and Campbell as nothing more than two slimey little toads battling it out. Whatever the result of that, whether it's in the BBC's favour or in the government's, it's clearly alienated the public who have got to the point where they couldn't give a toss, which is exactly what Andrew Campbell intended it to do, presumably.

I'm by no means of the imagination backing the BBC here, rather saying that as far as I can see it the whole argument over sexing up seems to have been put forth by the spinners to divert attention from the WMD's. So I really have no idea where this death is going to take it.

I guess Rod Liddle was sacked because the BBC discovered they had a lefty in a fairly influential position. Gilligan is just a boring little blob wandering from newsroom to newsroom, i guess, and where it not for this he would have no influence whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 03:58 AM

I don't want to get invovled with politics, because I'll might say the wrong thing, however I am sad about the death of Mr Kelly.

Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 04:15 AM

As I said in another thread, David Kelly almost exactly fits the dictionary definition of a scapegoat. That he died for the sins of others would seem to be the inescapable conclusion, however the one sure thing is we will never know for certain whos sins he died for. My greatest fear is that he may be blamed in the end, it would be convenient for a lot of people, and after all he won't be able to defend himself will he?
I weep for his wife and daughters, why is it mostly the innocent that suffer?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 04:42 AM

How can anyone overlook Alister Campbell`s role in this tragedy,
his performance on Channel 4 News was amazing.
John Snow interviewing Campell was lucky to emerge with both eyes intact, Campbell showed himself to be a brow-beating bully, and this from the Rev Blairs chief advisor, thankfully for the viewers he was up against the best newscaster on TV. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 06:09 AM

Blair surrounds himself with bullies and bulldogs, John Reid,Alastair Campbell,and David Blunkett. Then there are the cronies, Lord Irvine,and Lord Falconer. They used to say there are only two types of MPs, those who are lawyers, and those who aren't. I think we could add sycophantic bullies as a third category.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 06:49 AM

Gets more and more like Harry Potter.

I see they've ruled out "natural causes", which seems to leave either suicide or murder.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 09:15 AM

I agree with both Ard mhacha and Giok.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 10:17 AM

This AP report from The Guardian quotes Police sources. Alas, it seems suicide.

Sadly - Sam


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: redhorse
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 11:33 AM

The issue was not Andrew Gilligan. Various newspapers had made the same allegations as the BBC, but Alistair Cambell and Blair are both aware that attacking the BBC guarantees the support of the Murdoch press.
It was essential for Campbell to keep the pressure on the BBC to ensure he had at least two national newspapers on his side.
David Kelly was just collateral damage.
Like Gareth I am Old Labour, but I am reaching the point where even 5 years of real Tories under Ian Duncan Smith seems preferable to the self-serving crypto-Tory party that Blair/Straw/Blunkett/Hoon are running.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 11:34 AM

One of the 'Arkancides' during Clinton's time as governor shot himself from 8 feet away. Then the gun jumped into his hand. Suicide is a curious thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 04:00 PM

In a Poll on ITV a few days after Campbell`s finger pointing histrionics, the viewers were asked did they back the BBC in their spat with Campbell, the vote was 93 per cent in the BEEBS favour.
Also to-day Glenda Jackson a Labour back-bencher asked Blair to resign, the revolt is only beginning. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 06:30 PM

Seems pretty clear that the case for believing that Saddam had "Weapons of Mass Destruction" at his fingertips was hyped up, with a view to persuading wayward backbenchers to support the war.

What difference does it make if that was done at the direct request of the Government, or by agents of the Government doing what they knew was required of them?

The purpose of focussing on this non-issue was to divert attention from the real issue, and it appears that David Kelly cracked under the pressure of being used in this way. Assuming that it was in fact suicide.

The whole murky business is very reminiscent indeed of the recent TV serial State of Play.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 06:41 PM

Guest/11:34, I take it you were there? I suggest you turn yourself in.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 06:45 PM

Well said Ebbie, and no this is not toungue in cheek.

Kevin - Click 'Ere -as you say, a smokescreen is trying to be erected to cover up the failure of the anti-war brigade to address the main problem.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 07:04 PM

I'll agree there's a smokescreen, Gareth. Covers up a lot of failures.

I felt that in his "History will Absolve Me" speech, Tony came as close as he dared to admitting that he deceived Parliament because he thought it was necessary.

Though actually I don't think too many people actually were that much deceived, but it's convenient for some people to be able to make out retrospectively that they were, and that they actually believed the story Tony told them about the 45 minutes and all that.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Ed.
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 07:09 PM

It's awful that David Kelly is dead, and I sympathise with his family.

So far, this 'war' has killed thosands of Iraq's. Mabe we should stop and think about their families?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 07:10 PM

Kevin, whilst I don't agree with your interpretation of our Lord and Masters speach, I concur with your analysis, that many people are trying to pretend that they were deceived.

The question is what are thier motives ?

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:02 AM

Voltaire`s conclusion rings true, " For evil to prevail, it requires only that good men do nothing", and we have the sickening spectacle of Blair receiving 20 standing ovations from the most right wing US warmongering government in living memory, and this ass-licker calls himself a socialist. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:27 AM

I think we all know now that this Government will do what it thinks it must and that anyone, (like Mr Kelly) whose actions threaten the Government - must have been aware of this - when he spoke to who ever he spoke to.

So unless he was a complete innocent - defined as one who would trust journalists - concerns about his pension or future career would have hardly surprised him or been likely to drive him to suicide.

The fact that he took these risks and then (presumably) took his own life - leads me to believe that possibly Mr Kelly knew more than he has so far revealed.

The questions then are:

- was it the pressure to reveal information?

- Or the pressure to conceal information?

That finally pushed him to the edge?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:52 AM

--- Spam deleted. ---


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 08:50 AM

An American's observation: As an American, I would NOT PRESUME to be qualified to make any judgements. However, one thing is very clear to me. It doesn't seem to matter which side of the pond you're on, bad actions bring on political repercussions. I find it somewhat interesting that politicans who 'go to bed together', so to speak, get washed with the same brush! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson ... Washington state, USA


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Ed.
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 08:55 AM

Guest Joe,

You are talking complete shit.

I could give a point by point rebuttal of your assertions, but I have better things to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 10:11 AM

Conspiracy theories about this are bound to arise, they always do - however I'd say that David Kelly's death has done far more damage to Tony Blair than would have been done, no matter what kind of information he might have been in aposition to reveal.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 10:53 AM

Guest Jo,
Remember that this site is for people with an interest in a particular kind of music to chat among ourselves.

The unsolicited opinions of an outsider is just spam and we would want it blocked.

If you were to take an interest in our music and intersperse your discussion of it with BS threads on your theories, that would be different. Perhaps a place to start would be Chapmore End


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 05:05 PM

As I predicted, the BBC now confirm that Dr David Kelly was the source of the information used by Andrew Gilligan in his report. I'm not going to get into conspiracy theories, as it's probably true, but that won't stop the theorists from giving vent to their suspicions. Still a sad sad story.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 07:58 PM

Err ! Giok - a correction - The BBC say that Dr Kelly was Andrew Gilligan's source. They do not say that Dr Kelly was the source of the story that Saddam Hussain could launch missiles in 45 minutes, for if I recall, the original dossier the claim was that Hussain couls authorise a launch within 45 minutes. Which is slightly different to what Gilligan reported.

But why spoil a good story because of fundemental inaccuracies.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 08:53 PM

The whole thing is a mess.

At the least, the BBC's reporting did show that one senior person involved with intellegence had reasonable concerns about the dossier. That seems beyond any doubt.

Even the government seems to concede that the use of the plaguriesed document was a mistake and that the 45 minute claim was questionable.

I want to forget the smoke screens even if, it is as it appears to be the case, they have resulted in the unfortunate suicide of doctor Kelley.

Why was the dossier produced as it was, why wouldn't the UK and the US governments take the information from the UN weapons inspectors which has proved itelf to be more accurate than suggestions of imminent threats which could not have existed?

Who put pressure on who? A large number of the general public could spot something was wrong. Do our intellegence services have this power to con the governments but not the public, or do the governemnt have power to influence what gets into dossiers to suit thier ends?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 09:26 PM

"Which is slightly different to what Gilligan reported."

And very different from what Tony Blair told the House of Commons.

I'd have thought that just authorising just about anything is something that Saddam could do just about instantaneously. Forty-Five minutes would really be dragging it out absurdly. Getting it actually done, well that takes longer, but "authorisation" just means saying "Do it!"


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 05:40 AM

Watched Dateline London yesterday afternoon, where this topic was discussed. One member of the panel was Julie Toynbee, ex-BBC employee and now correspondent for the Guardian. She came up with a number of very interesting points:

- The BBC as a government sponsored organisation is (or should be) constrained to factual, non-biased, reporting of events.

- It has become increasingly the case that BBC Reporters work for other media outlets - In Gilligan's case the Mail and Spectator. Julie Toynbee left the BBC to work for the Guardian because she could not resolve what she saw as a conflict of interest with regard to working for both simultaneously. Mr Gilligan obviously saw no such conflict of interest.

- The whole WMD topic and the evaluation, spin, hype, or whatever term you wish to describe it was seized upon by the UK press, which is predominantly anti-government, and reported upon and used to damage the current UK Government.

- Andrew Gilligan held meetings and interviews with Dr. David Kelly wearing his BBC Reporters "hat". Dr Kelly agreed to these interviews solely to ensure that the BBC's reporting of the issue was factually correct. Andrew Gilligan in his BBC reports respected Dr. Kelly's right to anonimity and there was no way that Dr. Kelly could have been identified on the strength of the BBC's reporting.

- Two days later, however, Andrew Gilligan, writing as a "Mail" reporter, uses the same interview material in such a way as to make it possible for anyone who knew Dr. Kelly, knew is work, or, who worked with him, to easily identify the source as Dr. Kelly. That is what prompted Dr. Kelly to come forward to his employers and clearly state that he thought he might be the source.

Had the BBC then had the guts to declare that Dr. Kelly was their source and handed over the interview notes instead of standing on their line of protecting our sources confidentiality (which their own reporter had blown asunder) - It could have easily been established who was altering, or putting spin on what Dr.Kelly had stated. I believe that one result may well have been that Dr.Kelly might have lost his job, but I also believe that the pressures, and media interst on him would have been less and that he might still be alive.

As a result of the forthcoming independent judicial review I do not think that the BBC or Andrew Gilligan are going to come out of it too well.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: harvey andrews
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 06:39 AM

It's strange how life imitates art sometimes. I recorded this song of mine a few years ago on a cd called "The Journey". I thought the title "Press-ganged" would be self explanatory, but people ask me what is it about and i say it's a made up story about an ordinary quiet man whose life is ruined by tabloids.They seemed to need to know what he had done and I tried to explain that that was not the point of the song. After this sad tale of this poor man I can give them a more concrete explanation.


harvey andrews         
                  press ganged                           

there's a crowd outside peering through his window
and he strains to hear the words the people say
there's a crowd outside peering through his window
and he wishes that the crowd would go away

he was happy, he was working one fine morning
then a friend waving a paper ran his way
now there's a crowd outside peering through his window
and he wishes that the crowd would go away

he was just a joe, a john, a phil, a michael,
just an ordinary man with feet of clay
now every move he makes the camera follows
and all he's ever done is on display

he'd never hurt a soul, he'd never argued
he'd never dreamed his life could go astray
now there's a crowd outside peering through his window
and he wishes that the crowd would go away


friends he trusted once have turned their faces               
now he sits alone there every day
ex-lovers have been paid for their confessions
for photographs and lies and hearsay


he reads and reads and reads again the letters
from strangers saying god comes if you pray
but there's a crowd outside peering through his window
and he wishes that the crowd would go away


the phone rings in the hall he does not answer
they're beating on his door, he stands at bay
there's a crowd outside, a stone comes through the
window
now he knows the crowd will never go away.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 07:40 AM

Ive checked back against the original HMSO document pages 3 & 4

"Saddam has used chemical weapons, not only against an enemy state, but against his own
people. Intelligence reports make clear that he sees the building up of his WMD
capability, and the belief overseas that he would use these weapons, as vital to his
strategic interests, and in particular his goal of regional domination. And the document
discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within
45 minutes of an order to use them.
"


(My underlining)

Seems clear to me what the intelligence services reported.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 08:27 AM

Do not believe people's claimed reason for leaving a job. Polly (sic) Toynbee's reputation as a reporter at the BBC was so high that she was reputedly known as the Eternal Flame on the grounds that she never went out.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 05:08 AM

Guest Redhorse at work,

Thanks for the correction re Polly Toynbee and the anecdote - very amusing, gave me a good chuckle!!


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,karen
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM

I don't have anything to add, but I do feel SO sorry for his family. This will live with them for the rest of their lives.

How terribly sad.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:39 PM

"Had the BBC then had the guts to declare that Dr. Kelly was their source and handed over the interview notes instead of standing on their line of protecting our sources confidentiality (which their own reporter had blown asunder) - It could have easily been established who was altering, or putting spin on what Dr.Kelly had stated. I believe that one result may well have been that Dr.Kelly might have lost his job, but I also believe that the pressures, and media interst on him would have been less and that he might still be alive.

As a result of the forthcoming independent judicial review I do not think that the BBC or Andrew Gilligan are going to come out of it too well."

Bullshit. The BBC has already dealt with the problems caused by Gilligan's Mail article. A serious lapse in one reporter's judgment while under hostile fire from an already beleagured and besieged government demanding the outing of a confidential source, doesn't prove anything. The BBC has taken action to forbid it's journalists from moonlighting for other media outlets which don't have as high standards as the BBC.

The media in Britain isn't "anti-government" at all. It is doing the job the media is supposed to do, by reporting critically about the policies and decisions made by the British government. The media is certainly nowhere near beyond reproach in the way it covers the government, but that doesn't mean that the BBC, or even Gilligan, is guilty of any wrongdoing in the reporting of the story as they saw it.

The real issue underlying the WMD public relations debacle in both the UK and the US, is the government's manipulation of media, and the political uses of spin and hyperbole to sway public opinion. Both governments are damn guilty of engaging in a highly disingenuous war of words to justify using military force to gain control of Iraq's oil, the same way they used 9/11 to justify the use of military force to gain access to the Caspian oil fields in Afghanistan.

We haven't all forgotten that dirty little Afghan war yet, you know. You do remember that valiant war, don't you Teribus? The one that did nothing to bring order to the rogue state harboring Al Qaida, except bring in armed Anglo and American guards to provide access to the oil fields once the 2004 American elections have been bought by Big Oil?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 07:25 PM

And if the BBC had ratted on David Kelly and disclosed that he was the source, and he had then killed himself? What then?

A basic principle for any journalist is that, if you have promised a contact that you will not disclose their name, you do not disclose it, no matter what. Reporters and editors have gone to jail for that.

The occasional exception who has failed to maintain that principle - like the Guardian editor a few years ago who handed over an incriminating leak, just because a court ordered him to, as a result of which the source, civil servant Sarah Tisdell was jailed - has rightly been held in contempt for the rest of his career.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 03:19 AM

Unfortunately Kevin this is the only honourable thing about journalists, and even that little code is adhered to more to protect themselves than their source. The majority of journalists in this country are scum, totally bereft of honour, and blessed with the ability to sell even their Granny down the river for a storyline.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:08 AM

DG of 22 Jul 03 - 02:39 PM

"The BBC has already dealt with the problems caused by Gilligan's Mail article..... The BBC has taken action to forbid it's journalists from moonlighting for other media outlets which don't have as high standards as the BBC."

I.E. They have shut the stable door after the damage has been done and the horse has bolted - How good of them.

You consider, "that the BBC, or even Gilligan, is (NOT) guilty of any wrongdoing in the reporting of the story as they saw it." Except that when confronted with the statements made in Gilligans article, before the select house committee, Dr. David Kelly refuted practically everything Gilligan said in his article. That same committee who granted "Smug Slug" Gilligan the comfort of a closed interview found the same to be an extremely unreliable and discredited witness. My personal experience with the British media is that their reporters have the story written before they leave the office - I totally agree with Goik's summation above,

"The majority of journalists in this country are scum, totally bereft of honour, and blessed with the ability to sell even their Granny down the river for a storyline."

MGoH:

"A basic principle for any journalist is that, if you have promised a contact that you will not disclose their name, you do not disclose it, no matter what."

I say again, Dr. Kelly when meeting Gilligan, was under the impression that he was talking to a BBC Reporter. Gilligan acting as a BBC Reporter then made his report for the BBC in which there was no way that Dr. Kelly could have been identified - up to now all well and good. What Gilligan then does is park his BBC "hat", don that of his other employer, the Mail, and then proceeds to go into print with the same material in such a way as to make it possible (for at least three other newspapers) to identify that his source was Dr. Kelly. That displays a total and utter lack of integrity on the part of Mr. Gilligan - please do not try and dress it up as being anything different, or in any way honourable.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 05:24 AM

"The majority of journalists in this country are scum, totally bereft of honour".

Offensive rubbish. That's no different from making the same kind of all-embracing smear against any other group of people. The majority of journalists in this country are actually hard-working underpaid reporters working on local papers.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 06:30 AM

Well - yes perhaps that was a bit OTT.

But would you trust them to even spell your name correctly? More to the point - would you trust them to keep your name out of it - if the rewards were seen to be great enough or any resulting fall-out was looking to land on them?

Good folk, hard-working and underpaid the majority may be - but would you trust them as above? Them or the few more highly paid ones?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:08 AM

And the present "Labour" gang, would you trust any of them?. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:12 AM

Ard, I'm glad someone else saw that amazing confrontation between Alistair Campbell and Jon Snow. "Gob-smacking" was Andrew Marr's word for it, and he wasn't over-stating it.

Teribus, the inquiry will probably make things clearer, but it's clear enough already that your theory about Gilligan's Mail article is sheer drivel. If that article was so revealing that it forced Kelly to out himself, how come he managed to lie low for another five weeks? Even when he outed himsslf, he did so only within the MoD and his identity was not known to newspapers. The three that did eventually did put Kelly's name to the MoD all did so within an hour of their editors being phoned by Campbell. Did Campbell plant clues? Let's wait and see.

After Kelly's suicide I thought the widespread assumption would be that he had been less than frank with the foreign affairs committee and that as a man of honour he could no longer live with himself. That was certainly my assumption, though I see no point attaching much weight to it until more is known about the circumstances.

In the meantime any suggestion that Kelly was out of his depth or was led astray by the media is misleading. He was world-renowned in his field, and was widely respected among senior investigative jouranlists for both his knowledge and his readyness to provide off-the-record background briefings. Kelly had lifelong friendships with some of those journalists, and indeed he was discussing personal issues via email with a friend at the New York Times shortly before he died.

From the outset I thought it unlikely that the BBC, including its governors and its chairman - who has a longstanding family connection with Downing Street and is a Blair appointee - would stand four-square behind Watts and Gilligan without the strongest of good reasons. We'll see.

More than any here-today-gone-tomorrow government, obsessed exclusively with short-term intereste, the BBC apires to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. In practice it gets close enough to those standards to be the most dependable news source in the world, by a country mile.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:42 AM

Fionn,

The Mail article by Gilligan was written in such a way that Dr. Kelly could be identified, it's content was, however, so much at variance with what Dr. Kelly had discussed with Gilligan, that when Dr Kelly approached his employers his words were something in the nature of, " I think I might be the source referred to."

While the BBC, as an organisation, may aspire to the highest standards of ethics and integrity, some of it's employees obviously do not.

"In practice it gets close enough to those standards to be the most dependable news source in the world, by a country mile." Once upon a time Fionn, once upon a time.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:55 AM

"Kill the messenger"

Why David Kelly chose to kill himself (assuming that he did) is something people can only speculate about. However pressure from his employers is far more likely to be a signifant factor in triggering whatever it was that apparently have made him decide that he'd sooner be dead than anything the media did.

It must be a very frightening thing to realise that you have made enemies of ruthless and powerful rulers who are in a position to take away so many things you value.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 02:07 PM

Kevin I did say the majority, and not all. Granted many reporters are working as hacks on local papers, but the MAJORITY of them would sell their parents parent, for a job on a national paper.
As one who has suffered at the hands of unscrupulous journos, believe me when I say that I know what I'm talking about.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 02:26 PM

And as someone who worked got ten years as a journalist and has a son who is a reporter, you'll understand why I think that saying "a majority of journalists are scum" is just crap.

It's no different from saying a majority of Americans are scum, for example. Or Jews or Catholics or bald-headed men. And in all those cases it'd be perfectly easy to find lots of examples to prove the point. Except they wouldn't prove the point.

It's true enough, the way the newspaper industry is structured - ownership and control, production schedules, staffing levels, all knds of stuff like that - get in the way of journalists doing the kind of good work the majority would like to do, and that shows up in mistakes and in shoddy editing and sensational hackwork. But none of that is essentially different from what we get in the rest of this society generally.

I suppose you could say "the majority of human beings are scum", which would be equally valid - but I'd disagree with that too.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 02:57 PM

Well Kevin we'll agree to differ on this one, I can't resist however in parting, reminding you of where journalists come on the list of least liked people; about on a par with politicians.
Surely they can't all be wrong?? ;-)
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 03:02 PM

Folk singers score pretty badly on those lists too.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:28 PM

Teribus, you must be the only Mail reader who managed to suss Kelly's identity from that article. Good of you to keep it to yourself for all those weeks before Kelly owned up.

While the BBC, as an organisation, may aspire to the highest standards of ethics and integrity, some of it's employees obviously do not. There's nothing obvious about it, Teribus. Sounds to me like you've swallowed one hysterical rant too many in Murdoch's Sun. But cling to your prejudice if that's what makes you happy - and remember to keep your head in the sand when the Hutton inquiry reports, in case it contains anytning that might spoil your day.

Giok, why not just admit you made a silly generalisation that you can't begin to defend?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 07:38 AM

Fionn,

Read what I wrote:

"...Andrew Gilligan, writing as a "Mail" reporter, uses the same interview material in such a way as to make it possible for anyone who knew Dr. Kelly, knew is work, or, who worked with him, to easily identify the source as Dr. Kelly."

The qualifications as to who would be capable of identifying Dr. Kelly in the above are clearly stated, which makes your latest opening remark -
"Teribus, you must be the only Mail reader who managed to suss Kelly's identity from that article." - rather ridiculous.

MGoH,

On the subject of reporters, both Goik and myself are speaking from past experience, I also believe that Ard Mhacha has voiced similar views again from personal experience and from noting the difference observing incidents and comparing his own observations to what is subsequently reported. You can only speak as you find - I know that for my own part, I would never willingly talk to any reporter in the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 09:13 AM

A generalisation makes no exceptions. Saying the majority accepts that there MAY be exceptions. No defence required.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM

The Judge appointed by Blair and Co is far right Ulster Unionist Lord Hutton.
This man defended the British Gorvernment when the Irish Government took the Brits to The European Court of Human Rights on the treatment of internees, the European Court ruled in favour of the Irish.

He also lost out in the Super-grass trials giving combined sentences of over 1000 years on the evidence of a paid informer, the appeals were all won.

This man name is synominous with all things smelling of the establishment, you can be damm sure Blair knew who he was appointing, he sure as hell won`t rock the boat. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM

Should have added Lord Hutton is the Judge appointed by Blair to head THE INQUIRY. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 01:19 PM

So if someone who had run into some dishonest people who were Jewish, were to declare that "most Jews are crooks" that would not be a generalisation because it allows for exceptions?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 06:10 PM

Correct


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 06:11 PM

Sorry -- "most Jews are crooks" is still a generalization because it doesn't offer evidence that the majority are, and limits exceptions to the minority. Unless you have proof, you cannot make a blanket statement like that. IMO of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 03:12 AM

McGrath, I live in the sick six and biased bigots acting as Judges have always acted on behalf of the British Government. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:13 AM

And another thing, Blair confirmed that he will co-operate fully with the investigation and is prepared to break off his family holiday in Babrbados if necessary, and in case Hutton isn`t fully aware why he was appointed, Blair stated, "It is important that he [Hutton] does what we asked him to do. I do not think it would be sensible to do any more".

Joe Stalin would have thought twice over issusing that warning. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:16 AM

Ard Mhacha. Joe Stalin would not have needed to issue that warning. Trouble is your views have become so twisted that you do not believe anything unless it is signed by "P O'Neill"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:38 AM

Gareth, I thought you would have denied Blair had made that statment. Who is P O`Neill?, I do remember an Irish scrum half with that name. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:05 AM

I wasn't talking about judges, ard macha, I was talking about reporters.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM

The signature on IRA communications "regreting" the "accidental" loss of life. As you know perfectly well.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:40 AM

Thought Lord Hutton was selected and appointed by the Lord Chancellor - Not the Prime Minister.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 03:09 AM

Lord Chancellor that's better; now we're really talking Tony's cronies. Definitely impartial then?!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 06:26 AM

No response from Blairs instructions to Hutton?, just the usual personal welshing from Gareth. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 08:02 AM

Here's what Roy Hattersley (ex-deputy leader of the Labour Party) commenbted about this in today's Guardian - "So why was Lord Hutton chosen?":

"...So, if he remains true to form, we can expect his inquiry to end as so many inquiries have ended. The report will be balanced and judicious, as is always the case. No one will be unfairly blamed, as they never are. But when was the last time a judicial inquiry was explicitly critical of a minister's integrity or the honesty of a senior civil servant? Not Franks on the Falklands war and certainly not Scott on arms to Iraq. On the rare occasions when that happens, the report is a sensation. We are at least allowed to wonder if, when Lord Hutton was adjudged to be "appropriate", the appointing authority recalled that sensation is not his style.

Which is a polite way of predicting a whitewash.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:06 AM

Widgery?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:30 AM

Lord Hutton's statement outlining his terms of reference for the Inquiry:

The government has invited me to conduct an investigation into the tragic death of Dr David Kelly which has brought such great sorrow to his wife and children.

My terms of reference are these:

"Urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly."

The government has further stated that it will provide me with the fullest cooperation and that it expects all other authorities and parties to do the same.

I make it clear that it will be for me to decide as I think right within my terms of reference the matters which will be the subject of my investigation.

I intend to sit in public in the near future to state how I intend to conduct the inquiry and to consider the extent to which interested parties and bodies should be represented by counsel or solicitors.

In deciding on the date when I will sit I will obviously wish to take into account the date of Dr Kelly's funeral and the timing of the inquest into his death.

After that preliminary sitting I intend to conduct the inquiry with expedition and to report as soon as possible.

It is also my intention to conduct the inquiry mostly in public.

I have appointed Mr James Dingemans QC to act as Counsel to the Inquiry and Mr Lee Hughes of the Department of Constitutional Affairs will be the Secretary to the Inquiry."

How's about giving the man a chance before you pre-judge his efforts?

Or is that a bit too radical a view to take for some in this Forum?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:10 PM

Ah, now Widgery, another master whitewasher, Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:18 PM

Interviewed on BBC NI on Saturday Roy Hattersley was scathing on Blair`s choice.
Hattersley commenting on The Inquiry stated that this Inquiry was such that no one will be summoned to attend, their apperance will be on a voluntary basis.
What Inquiry?. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:38 PM

I think that the term "a whitewash", for a report on a public scandal that exonerates the authorities, should be superseded by the term "a Widgery". It would serve as a reminder that is, sadly, not unfair to be a little sceptical about this kind of operation.

I would imagine that Widgery might have made a very similar statement to Lord Hutton about his terms of reference. And he probably went to his grave perfectly satisfied that he had carried out his responsibilities honourably and satisfactorily.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:38 PM

As circuses are no longer PC, perhaps we could rework the old saw about all it takes to keep the people happy is bread, and circuses, and replace it with bread and public enquiries. Just as valid today, as it was in the days of the Roman Empire.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM

Except in real terms they aren't held in public. The media provide the circuses. And the Government tries to act as ring master.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:46 PM

Well there's more than one meaning for the word ring!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 05:38 AM

An important addition to this Thread, Tony Blair`s chief aide and spin-doctor supreme Alastair Campbell resinged his post yesterday.
This will suit Blair as it takes some of the blame away from him for the death of David Kelly.
The latest Poll on Channel 4 TV asking if you trust the Prime Minister, gave a 90 per cent NO. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 05:53 AM

Nice letter in todays's Guardian referring to Tony Blair's appearance before Hutton this week, by a Peter Cahill in Leeds:

What a novel and ingenious defence: "If I'd been lying, I would have had to resign. I haven't resigned, so I can't have been lying, can I?" We're all convinced.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 10:29 AM

Refresh as Hutton Report now out.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 10:52 AM

Peter K (Fionn) Ref your post of 23 Jul 03 - 08:28 PM


"While the BBC, as an organisation, may aspire to the highest standards of ethics and integrity, some of it's employees obviously do not."(Teribus)

"There's nothing obvious about it, Teribus. Sounds to me like you've swallowed one hysterical rant too many in Murdoch's Sun. But cling to your prejudice if that's what makes you happy - and remember to keep your head in the sand when the Hutton inquiry reports, in case it contains anytning that might spoil your day." (Fionn)

From what has been reported so far Peter K - there's nothing spoiling my day with regard to the contents of the Report.

But Oh yeah - that'll be because it's a fix.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager (stranded by snow at work)
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 01:14 PM

The Hutton Report makes me feel very uneasy., the country has gone to war, thousands are dead. Iraq is in ruins. The Chairman of the BBC has been forced to resign. Soldiers and civilians are still losing their lives, and not a hint of a WMD has been found. An eminent scientist is driven to suicide, and it is the BBC which is apparently at fault.

Hutton says "… in the context of Mr Gilligan's report, "sexed up" would be understood to mean the dossier was embellished with items of intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable. This allegation is unfounded."

Unfounded?   How unfounded? Does this now mean that no one is allowed to question anything that H M Government convinces itself is true, regardless of what the patently observable facts might be?

I wonder would the BBC have avoided this embarrassment if its management had not lead it to "dumb down", and move to more tabloid formats in the drive for ratings.

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 02:27 PM

Well, I told you so, read further up the Thread.
What a parcel of scum-bags this Labour government is, scraping home by 5 votes as they ensure that only the rich can now afford an education, there own party members are beginning to see the light.

Throughout the centuries,The Brits may not have produced great painters, but they are unsurpassed as whitewashers.

Hutton`s report,an amazing conclusion by a first class creep.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM

Just a few
ONE
TWO
THREE
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 02:52 PM

The Government chose the referee so what other result could we have expected?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DougR
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:23 PM

Teribus: Jim's post certainly confirms your prediction. No surprise there.

I was delighted to see the report exonerate Tony Blair.

Any fair listener who heard David Kay's testimony today before the Intelligence Committee of the U. S. Senate would agree that the whole world thought Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. And that includes France and Germany. Kay also stated that it is conceivable that some might be found (but he doubts they will).

With or without weapons of mass destruction, removing Saddam from power was still justified (IMO).

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:32 PM

There was an interview with ?? on the "World At One" and the person being interviewed was about to say something about Sue Watts - the BBC2 reporter who also spoke to David Kelly.

He was rapidly shut up by the interviewer. The speaker certainly said something like "...did you not know she.......".

Now, what was all that about?

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Ed.
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:49 PM

The Government chose the referee so what other result could we have expected?

Perhaps more importantly, they also chose the terms of reference i.e. don't investigate WMDs or the what the '45 minute' claim really meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:37 PM

Hmmm ! - There are a number of matters the report did not cover.

Not in any order.

1/. To what extent was Gilligan's employment with Associated News, the publishers of the Daily and Sunday Mail dependent upon him 'producing' anti-Blair stories, and using his repute as a BBC reporter to "evidence" them.

2/. Why did the Conservative and Unionist Party, and the Liberal Party acept the raw intelligence data (they were given, it under "Privy Council" conditions.)??? Was Kennedy drunk ??. Was IDS covering up his wifes non working time sheets ????

3/. Why did the lunatic fringe acept that, to use thier words, "Saddam had WMD because we (insert your bogyman) sold him them", and now say that there were not any ???.

4/.Why should any Government ignore the worst possibility, where the lives of inocents are involved ?????


No doubt the conspiracy theorists will have a field day and here is my contibution.

DR Kelly was murdered by a conspiracy of Saddam Hussain loyalists in the UK to distract from his oppinion tht Iraq had WMD's, and to divert attention from the mass graves then being uncovered.

Where was George Galloway that day ????

I think we should be told.

Gareth
(Yes - In my name!)


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 02:53 AM

There do seem to be a number of problems with the Hutton report, without raising any war issues, whether it was or wasn't fixed and so on. The 6.07 broadcast by Gilligan was something like "My source toldme X and my source, who is Y, is in my opinion reliable". (My italics, but the reference to the source was certainly in the broadcast) Hutton has concluded that X and Y were both false but that whether it was said by 'the source' is unprovable by Gilligan's notes.

Much of the media seems to be claiming that Hutton found Gilligan's statement false: it did not, it found it unproven.

Gilligan made, I gather, a further 18 broadcasts on that day without repeating the particular offending words. One way of interpreting this is that Gilligan himself did not regard them as the main point at issue. Had he repeated the same allegation throughout the day I agree the Government would have needed to respond in some way, but as the offending remarks had apparently been dropped within an hour or two even by Gilligan, it is at least worth considering whether the Government's response was proportionate or even the main cause that the statement became a story in its own right. Hutton does not seem to have investigated this.

Finally, and perhaps most seriously, I wonder about the suggestion that Gilligan's editor should have checked the script before the broadcast. This appears pretty innocuious and even perhaps self-evident, but I find it very difficult to see how this fits in with a 24-hour news culture where speed of response is one of the critical issues. I can see such an approach meaning that all UK 24-hour news broadcasts end up with a culture where everyone needs to confirm all statements with their superiors with the delays that implies, whereas non-UK broadcasts would be following different rules. That could have a long-term effect on the UKs competitiveness in the field. (I do, of course, agree that accuracy of response is also an important criteria.)


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:04 AM

Even though the report may have an effect on the parties directly involved, I don't think it will do anything to change the "positions" of the general public regardless of what those were based on. People were laughing about it in the pub I went to last night.

For my part, I didn't from the outset, believe the report went far enough and believe we still need an inquiry into why our intelligence was so fundamentally flawed (surely no one can seriously believe the 45 minutes cliam was accurate).

My position has hardened if anything as I see the report as a complete an utter whitewash - I'd predicted it would be defensive of the government but not to that extreme. Rather than convincing me of the honesty of this government, and in particular that of Tony Blair, it has convinced me of how good we can be at whitewashing. I don't suppose it will make any difference at my level as I had already vowed I will never vote for a Labour government while Tony Blair remains in power.

I may be wrong but I now predict years of unrest and more costs before the matter settles. Maybe in 30 years time the truth about the whole Iraq issue will emerge...

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Hugh Jampton
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:11 AM

Hutton can report until he is blue in the face but anyone with half an ounce of gumption who has followed the "shennanigans" of the major players in this sad tale will know what to believe. I understand that Hutton says it is legitimate for the Cabinet to demand re-presentations of Intelligence reports for its` own end; in other words to present to Parliament reports that look more attractive. I venture to suggest this borders on dishonesty or "sexing up" and when there is clear evidence of government "gurus" (Campbell et al) pursuing a policy of "f-----g" a journalist rather than offering a case to negate his report, one wonders whatever next? I also understand his report says Dr.Kelly what not entitled to officailly advise Milligan yet there are records on film of that expert sitting on high level media briefings throughout the world on WMD.
What are they like?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:31 AM

Folkiedave: That 'World at One' newscast was covered in the 'Diary' section of today's Guardian. For those who don't know, that section is very light-hearted and perhaps more of a comic than serious writing. Nevertheless, here's what it says:

Hats off, first of all, to Lord Hutton for such a splendidly balanced report. Quickest out of the traps for the gloaters yesterday was ex defence minister John Glbert. He excelled himself on The World at One by seeming to hint at an illicit connection between BBC head of news Richard Sambrook and Newsnight's Susan Watts (now on maternity leave), speaking darkly of their "relationship". When presenter Nick Clarke asked what he meant, Lord G replied he knew exactly what he meant - at which point Clarke cut him off to avoid broadcasting a major libel. Marvellous work, Marina tells Lord G, but what were you on about? "Well, they got it totally wrong ... I mean, the presenter was so ignorant of the background that he tought I was talking about some kind of sexual relationship." Well, it did sound that way, to be honest. "Look, do YOU have any idea of the background of this?" What, the fact she hired her own lawyers as she felt under pressure from Sambrook? "Ah, well you do know then," he says. Marina points out that "relationship" sounds questionable. "Well, if one unfortunate word slipped out ..." It's difficult, live broadcasting, isn't it? Perhaps you should've scripted your two-way to avoid the risk of a monsterous howler? "Er, ... yes, I quite see."
Well done.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:42 AM

How predictable people should see this as a whitewash. Hutton's remit was to determine the events surrounding Dr Kelly's death, and not any wider issues. Charles Kennedy is right to pursue the need for a further enquiry and the Government and all other players should be held to account. Journalism in this country stinks - it is a series of soundbites strung together with no thought to the consequences. The arrogance of the press continues to astound me, yet still they are in denial when the finger was pointed their way. Pursue the truth about the Iraq War by all means, but don't expect to read it in the press or see it on the TV screen, anymore than you will hear it in the House of Commons. I for one are am heartily sick of picking through out of context sensationalised soundbites, which have themselves been sexed up by bad reporting to sell newspapers or tv programmes.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 06:51 AM

From Today's Guardian (If it went to the West End they'd call it Whitewash.

I particularly love
For the press benches, this was all too much. Several journalists began first to sniff, then to snort and finally to chuckle their derision. Jeremy Paxman, for once barred from asking questions, was shaking his head in bemusement as each new finding in favour of the government came down from the bench. When Mr Scarlett's subconscious was introduced, the room seemed to vibrate with mockery.
Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:30 AM

When Blair appointed Hutton to head the whitewash, he said,
" It is important that he does what we ask him to do. I do not think it would be sensible to do any more". And he did.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:59 AM

Hah!

Bliar wants an apology from the BBC for telling (he says) an untruth.

How about him apologising for the one he told us about Iraq's WMDs being a threat to the world.. He's the only one in the world still trying to insist they are there!

I'm not voting for this bunch whilst he is still in charge.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 09:04 AM

Thanks Dave for that.

It seems to me that when the government got it totally wrong by plagiarising someone's Ph.D and also pretending that SH was purchasing uranium from Niger when he wasn't, it is sufficient for the government to say, "We apologise" and or "Let's draw a line under that now".

It seems clear to me the government has wanted to give the BBC a good kicking and has at last found the opportunity. Hearing Mandelson sticking the boot in this lunchtime was particularly nauseating.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 10:46 AM

As journalists everywhere say of Hutton, 'well he would say that wouldn't he?' -with even the Guardian belittling him as 'plain Brian Hutton ' and 'bewigged' I wonder how long I will be before we start seeing the exposee's of his past life - 'Hutton ate my hamster' etc. I still fail to see regardless of how you view the outcome of the enquiry, why no-one is asking 'how sordid are our press?'. Anyway I've now moved on-seeing Boris Johnson on the news did it - If he's an MP and there are more like him on eiher side of the house -we are in really big trouble.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Hugh Jampton
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 11:46 AM

Oh dear Linda, there are none so blind as them that just will not see!


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 12:02 PM

On information available on the 21st July last year I said,

"As a result of the forthcoming independent judicial review I do not think that the BBC or Andrew Gilligan are going to come out of it too well."

The remit of the Hutton Inquiry was as follows:

"Urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly."

Nothing more, nothing less. That is what the man was asked to do.

During the course of the inquiry, the work undertaken was described a the most transparent public inquiry that has ever taken place in this country. Every shred of evidence laid before the Inquiry is available to the public. Newsnight's Susan Watts accounts of interviews with Dr. Kelly are at odds with Gilligan's reporting of the same subject matter with regard to Alister Campbell "sexing up" the document and the 45 minute claim.

On the question of the 45 minute thing, Gareth provided the text used in the document given to every single MP in Westminster. What it said was perfectly clear:

"Saddam has used chemical weapons, not only against an enemy state, but against his own people. Intelligence reports make clear that he sees the building up of his WMD capability, and the belief overseas that he would use these weapons, as vital to his strategic interests, and in particular his goal of regional domination. And the document
discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."

It was as plain as a pikestaff back last summer that Gilligan was in the wrong, as were his bosses at the BBC for backing him, knowing full well that another member of staff (Watts) totally disagreed with what Gilligan was saying. The Government and Lord Hutton knew that the minute Susan Watts appeared before them with her own defence team.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 03:44 PM

A fair reading of the evidence shows that Gilligan was right about the desperate desire of the government to sex up its arguments, of which the 45 minute quote -- by clear and obvious omission -- they knew they were discussing battlefield weapons, not an attack on Britain, but that the British public would react to that stupid term "weapons of mass destruction", one of the most pernicious terms in government parlance -- is a good example. It was a deliberately placed misrepresentation of the situation. The BBC did its job well: its job is not to let this kind of lie go unnoticed on the most important policy issue of a generation: it is involved in journalism, not in judicial statements. It is also a matter of public record that Tony Blair chaired the meetings that decided to out David Kelly. If this is not a whitewash, then what is?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Ed.
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 04:36 PM

Exactly, Peter!

It's good to hear from a Canadian, who has no agenda. It's been quite difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff over here.

Having said that, I can't argue with the speaker on Radio 5 (I didn't catch his name) who described the Hutton report as 'imbecilic'


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,obnig hrobdog
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 06:51 PM

Remember - whoever you vote for, the government always gets in.

There ahve eben a number of studies about whether the bench have an unconscious establishment or class bias. Largely they have concluded not.

Now I am driven to wonder.

And I hear chatter (but ahve not checked any facts) that like Irvine, Hutton was linked to Blair's old chambers as a barrister.

Now I am driven to wonder.

Can any freemasons enlighten us?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 06:57 PM

Errr ! BBC Radio 5 perhaps.

What I find "interesting" is that there are those who would normally reject anything written in the "Daily Mail" as inaccurate crap now present that one of thier Journalists as the most honest thing going.

Me thinks there are some double standards here.

Still, never mind better the self rightousness of the privaledged rather than the reality of facts.

I am confident a number of those posting would far prefer to see Saddam Hussains murderous rule continue than have to make any moral choice.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,obnig hrobdog
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 07:23 PM

Is this thread being "moderated"?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 07:55 PM

Gareth: moral choice?

I am quite sure that most would not like to see Saddams murderous rule continue.

I am also quite sure that most do not need to be lied to regarding weapons of mass destruction.

When the U.N. said no to the U.S.A. and Britain, that should have been clear enough.

Invading Iraq is not and never was a moral question (since when did the U.S. have the moral high ground?) Its simply a matter of oil and strategic location. When it comes to money, the U.S. suddenly becomes morally righteous and Blair just wants to be a buddy.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:01 PM

The oldest trick in the judicial book - sum up against the evidence.

Has there ever been a judicial inquiry into something that would really seriously embarrass the government of the day which came out with a report that really tore into it?

Nearest thing was the Scott Inquiry into Arms Sales to Iraq back in 1996. Sir Richard Scott was too honest to whitewash the government, so he backed off from coming out with a summary of conclusions which would have either been openly critical of the Government or blatantly false, by the cunning process of not having any conclusions at all, and just serving up the evidence. To a very considerable extent the Government was able to spin this into "clearing it".

This time Hutton did the traditional judicial trick - he summed up clear against the evidence.

Maybe he was doing what he suggested the boss of Intelligence did - "subconsciously" adjust his report so as to fall into line with what he knew the Government wanted to read.

Let them know what you want to be told are the facts, and then say you are only acting on the basis of what you were told were the facts. Perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 05:19 AM

If the Hutton report was really so outrageously wrong then why do BBC officials resign now?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 05:45 AM

Peter T.

That the government DESIRED to "sex up" its arguements, I think is beyond doubt. Where Gilligan went wrong was by reporting as fact that THEY DID. That, to use your own words, was, "a deliberately placed misrepresentation of the situation."

The evidence given under oath before Hutton clearly demonstrates that they didn't, that was the government's contention in response to the Gilligan report from the outset.

The BBC, equally clearly, did not do their job well, they were in the position of having two of their staff covering the same topic, both, having interviewed the same expert, arriving at different conclusions. Instead of checking, and clearing, those stories, the BBC's senior management backed the wrong horse by going with the report from a reporter whose standard of journalism they had found questionable on previous occasions.

Reaction of the British public? complete and utter red-herring and totally irrelevant - it was only ever going to be the case that the the decision on the Iraq issue was to be taken by the British Government and approved by the House of Commons - That is what they are there for.

dianavan,

"I am quite sure that most would not like to see Saddams murderous rule continue."

Certain permanent members of the UN Security Council seemed quite keen to see that rule continue. Neither the UN as a whole, or the "Peace Movement" were prepared to do anything about it, which, from a moral point of view, sums both up perfectly.

I don't believe that UNSCOM lied about WMD, what makes you think that they did.

"When the U.N. said no to the U.S.A. and Britain, that should have been clear enough."

I don't recall that the UN did say no, there was no second Resolution tabled. What was clear enough was that the UN were going to behave as they did in Kosovo, Rwanda, etc, etc.

The answer to your last question - since when did the U.S. have the moral high ground? - 1945.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 06:19 AM

"That the government DESIRED to "sex up" its arguments, I think is beyond doubt...The evidence given under oath before Hutton clearly demonstrates that they didn't"

It seems to me that the evidence did not demonstrate anything of the kind. What Hutton decided was that, in adjusting the report so that it said what was wanted by the government ("sexing up"), and gave undue weight to the assertion that Iraq had WMDs, the guy in charge (with the splendid name Sir John Scarlett) was acting "subconsciously".

In other words the Government wanted the report to be "sexed up", its representative (Campbell) asked for it to be "sexed up", and it was "sexed up" - but Hutton decided that it this didn't happen because of any Governmental, insistance but of Scarlett's "subconscious" wish to do what the Government wanted himto do.

"Subconsciously"...That is an expression that will enter into political discourse in the same way as "being economical with the truth" did a few years, when the a top Civil Servant described what he had done in these terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 08:07 AM

Mmmmm ! - Double Standards again !!! 7 days ago Hutton was supposed to deal Blair a death blow. How from the publically availble evidence this was so I can not understand.

Now Hutton has produced an accurate, and unbiased report, confirming what was clear from day one, the mode changes, and its all a whitewash etc.

What absolute double standards !

Just remember the only person who may have attempted to lie about WMD was Saddam Hussain.

And he, despite minority protests and marches, by his supporters in the UK USA and elsewhere has gone.

Thank the Lord that that appalling President Bush was. on Iraq at least, was capable of behaving with high moral standards.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 08:55 AM

Hutton`s judgment was par for the course, remember Lord Denning refusing the appeal of the Birmingham Six, Denning decided that it would be an appaling vista to declare that the police had lied.

Humbert Wolfes poem rings true,
" One cannot hope to bribe or budge,/ Thank God, The honest British Judge,/ But seeing what the man will do,/ Unbribed, there is no reason to,/.

And then of course Tony Blair is truly wonderous, he seen Jackie Milburn play for Newcastle,   before he was born?. Truly an amazing man.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 09:20 AM

Ard, much as I dislike the (prehaps wrong from my part) feelings that you generate to me on a number of threads, i.e. you are anti-english, I hope you did read the Guardian article I linked to earlier. Here is another quote.
We are not meant to think this way. We are meant to trust and accept the wisdom from on high. But that is becoming harder to do. For Britons remember Lord Denning's conclusions on the Profumo affair in 1963 and his belief that "people of much eminence" could not possibly have misbehaved. Many remember Widgery's similar whitewash job on the Bloody Sunday case. Or the judge in the Archer trial who believed the "fragrance" of wife Mary made it unimaginable that Jeffrey would have used a prostitute.


Wolfgang, I see the BBC resignations more of a matter of regrouping and keeping a media independant from government control than an admission of guilt. Hope I am right... Interestingly, one thing, at least by my interpretations, TB and Howard did agree on was the need to control media (or perhaps more specifically the BBC)... I can't think why...

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 09:50 AM

I `ad that Lord `utton in my cab last week. I asked `im if `ed finished `is report on Dr.Kelly. `e said, nearly, I`m just waiting for the paint to dry.
What`s `e like?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST,Hugh Jampton
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 10:16 AM

Greg Dyke, interviewed this morning on BBC Radio 4, "TODAY",refrained from waxing lyrical about Hutton and the outcome but inferred his time will come and this story is not finished yet.
Watch this space!


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 12:45 PM

Jon, Wrong not anti-English, but anti establishment, a hell of a difference there.

I see all of the opinion polls in the UK are against Hutton`s judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 01:01 PM

Actually Ard M is not anti english, or anti establishment, he is anti British.

2 points come to mind

The first "Humbert Wolfes poem rings true,
" One cannot hope to bribe or budge,/ Thank God, The honest British Judge,/ But seeing what the man will do,/ Unbribed, there is no reason to, "


IIRC this should in fact read :-

"You can not hope to bribe or twist,
The honest British journalist,
For knowing what the an will do,
Unbribed, there is no occacion to !"

Which fits the facts nicely.

Secondly, Ard M, you should be very carefull when you quote oppinion polls, or have you forgotten the attitude of the British public towards Ulster ?

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 01:43 PM

Yes Gareth, The British public would hand it over to-morrow, your Unionists friends would love this kept quite.
How`s the oul ass licking progressing, what about the Rev Tony, I hear Alastair Campbell is going back to his old job,porn writing, i believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: dianavan
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 02:04 PM

I realize that I am way out of my league here but...

teribus: If the U.S. and Britain wanted only to end the rule of Saddam because he was such a bad guy (which he is) perhaps they should have said so, instead of coming up with the story about weapons of mass destruction. So... only the U.S., Israel, and Korea are allowed weapons of mass destruction? It would also have been wise to devise some kind of plan to return the country to order after they got rid of him. I suppose Canada will have to go in their and mop up after they are finished destroying the country.

...and when they are finished in Iraq, will they also invade Korea? What about all of the other countries that do not behave according to the morally superior (?) U.S. ?

...and if the U.S. has had the moral high ground since 1945, why did they invade Vietnam? Sorry, the days of U.S. glory are over.

Sorry teribus and gareth, the only reason the U.S. cares at all about Iraq is the oil and the strategic location. Has nothing to do with morality!

The media and the british govt. are both to blame for the death of a scientist who was caught in between. Maybe this will be a lesson in "right livelihood" for all scientists.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM

Sorry Ard - Not hand it over, but cut it loose with no financial assistance at all.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 04:26 PM

As McGrath says. The government deliberately chose to mislead the public with the scare tactic of 45 minutes. They knew -- and this was disclosed under oath -- that that was not what the original phrase submitted by their own intelligence community was. They edited out the important bits so as to highlight the 45 minutes claim, so that the British public would believe that Saddam Hussein was prepared to go nuclear or biological or chemical in an attack on somewhere (they edited out the somewhere as well, so as to let people think it was their backyard). The proof that they knew what they were doing was the headlines in the papers the next day all focussed on the 45 minutes claim. To imagine that the spin doctors in the government had no idea that people would focus on this is absurd. This is sexing up. THEY DID THIS. It is a matter of public record, known as the Hutton Inquiry. Lord Hutton ignored his own record of evidence.
Yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 04:32 PM

Ive checked back against the original HMSO document pages 3 & 4

"Saddam has used chemical weapons, not only against an enemy state, but against his own people. Intelligence reports make clear that he sees the building up of his WMD capability, and the belief overseas that he would use these weapons, as vital to his strategic interests, and in particular his goal of regional domination. And the document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."


(My underlining)

Seems clear to me what the intelligence services reported.

You would have to be very dedicated, or very stupid, to misinterpret that.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DougR
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 05:02 PM

Dianavan: I think your opinions regarding the morality of the U. S. government would carry more weight if your prose did not so clearly mirror your hate of our country.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: dianavan
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 05:28 PM

DougR: I do not hate the U.S. I do, however, question the foreign policy of your government. As to morality? Purely subjective.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 07:18 PM

What's "anti-English" got to do with it? Hutton isn't even English. He comes from Ireland. (Northern Ireand to be more specifc.)


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 10:22 AM

The official intelligence report is not at issue. How it was arrived at, how it was edited to maximize its scariness ("sexed up"), and what it disguises, is. A simple example, to add to the ones I have already mentioned: An undisputed part of the Gilligan-Kelly testimony is that Kelly said that the 45 minutes was the time it would take for missile assembly, not to deploy the weapons in the field. This is what "ready" disguises.

Even more damning is the fact that at no time after the 45 minutes nonsense hit the press did a single person in the governnment clarify or retract the statement.

They were a bunch of liars trying to spook the British people into supporting their war. As usual, the only people who paid the price were the ones trying to find out the truth, or those caught in the machine. Gilligan gets fired for only having a single source: what about the Intelligence Committee and its single source?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 10:28 AM

Who chose the terms of reference for the Hutton report?
Who chose the judge?
Who is about to debate the BBC charter and decide the licence fee?
How can you tell when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

OK so after all that where are the weapons of mass destruction? Did Sadman negotiate with North Korea &/or Iran to out-source? The evidence is not there but would you ever find that either?
The logic shouts at you none-the-less.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 01:46 PM

The British Government knows how to deal with these little upsets. If Clinton has been Prime Minister his little business with Monica would never have surfaced, and more than John Major's nookie with Edwina Currie.

(Of course if Tony tried that kind of thing, I think Cherie would have had a less accommodating attitude than Hillary Clinton...But that's another matter.)


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 02:33 PM

Peter T - Are we to asumne that you were against the removal of Saddam Hussain ? If that is not the case how would you have done it.

Assasination - Not on !

Internal Revolt - Not on !

Ask him nicely through diplomatic means - Tried and failed !

Leave it to the Iraqui people. - Well they are still finding the Bones !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: akenaton
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 02:46 PM

gareth.. Im sure most people are glad that Sadaams' regime has been removed.   If that had been the reason given for war,(to remove a tyrant),we might have accepted the situation.
Once Governments start making up reasons for war,(WMDs),they setout on a very dangerous path. Its only a matter of time before might becomes right...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 03:10 PM

Fair Comment AKE - It may, and my emphasis, may be, that the intelligence services world wide got it wrong.

(Tho I suspect that SH was happy to give the impression he still had WMD)

I am also aware of the "manufactured" 'Casus Belli' in August / September 1939.

A question I will ask you tho.

Could you dare as any goverment, to ere on the side of ignorance. To quote Republican sources "You have to be lucky all the time, we need only to get lucky once."

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 04:29 PM

Every poll in the UK has come out in favour of the BBC and all have been against Hutton`s verdict, also the letters to the media have almost all blasted the learned creeps ajudication, that`s democracy for you, and it all amounts to pissing against the wind.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 04:34 PM

Ard M - So what - Are you assuming that the press, now thwarted of thier prey, would print anything objective ??

Rembver most oppinion polls in the UK at the time supported hanging for terrorists - I take it you think thats in order ??

Or are you in fact parodying yourself ?

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 04:40 PM

Gareth, The tide is turning against your beloved leader, your ass kissing days are coming to an end, remember he scraped home on the education robbbery bill, a majority of 160 reduced to 5, scary or what!, his back benchers are on the move.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 04:48 PM

I am against the removal of dictators when Americans feel like it.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 05:16 PM

There are all kinds of horrible leaders around the world. There's a good moral case to be made for going after each of them. But who is supposed to decide that the cost in human suffering is worthwhile? When Putin decides that the truly horrible things been done by the rulers of some of the former Soviet republics justifies that he mounts some kind of Chechnya type invasion and occupation, will that be fine and dandy?

At the time when Saddam was actually engaged in genocide against the Kurds he was be supported and given money and arms. When he was slaughtering his opponents in the wake of the Kuwait war, the US and UK and their allies, with a massive army in arms, just sat back and tacitly encouraged this.

But when he was weakened and reduced to a situation where he was having to accept sizeable inspection teams, and in every way potentially vulnerable to pressure, a war was manufactured that has killed an estimated 10 thousand civilians and caused untold damage, and shows every sign of continuing into an armed struggle without foreseeable end.

I believe that a determined multilateral effort to force Saddam to back off from the Iraqi people could well have produced a situation in which they could have displaced him, in the same way as it had been possible without war to compel his regime to abandon its control over Iraqi Kurdistan.

It seems to me that concerns about Weapons of Mass Destruction were indeed not the primary reason for war. But neither, I believe, was the primary reason "achieving regime change" in Iraq.

For Bush waging a successful war against Saddam was itself its own primary reason, for a combination of domestic political reeasons, and a wish to show the world a lesson in American power. And for Blair the central motive was that Britain should stay on side with the most powerful country in the world, now in very dangerous hands, in the hope somehow of maintaining some kind of controlling influence on its actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 06:25 PM

Amen, brother. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM

Sorry Ard M - You may rant and you may rave as much as you like Hutton reported acuratley.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 08:30 PM

Nobody is questioning that the evidence contained in the body of the Hutton report appears to be accurately recorded. The complaint is that the judge's summary did not properly reflect the evidence. This is something that happens in court cases, sometimes.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a jury, in a position to weigh the summary against the evidence before giving a verdict; and there isn't an appeals procedure. Those are the two ways in which the legal system provides some protection against judges who do this kind of thing in criminal cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 04 - 06:08 PM

Incidentally, during the hearings before Lord Widgery about Bloody Sunday which produced the infamous Widgery Report completely exonerating the soldiers who shot dead 14 unarmed protesters, who was there in the Government corner? Lord Hutton (or Brian Hutton, as he was called in those days).

He also fought the good fight in defence of General Pinochet, when he was held in Engkand after being arrested on a visit. Hutton was a Lord by that time, arguing that another senior judge should have been disqualified from taking any part in hearing the case, because he was associated with the extremist organisation Amnesty International.

.....................

This morning a phone-in poll for an ITV discussion programme (Jonathan Dimbleby) asked viewers to say whether they thought the Huttin report was fair or a whitewash. I couldn't get through, because the lines were busy every time I tried - still 46,000 or so people did. Nine per cent thought it was a balanced report, 91% said it was a whitewash.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 01 Feb 04 - 06:22 PM

Still never mind Kevin, why spoil a good story on facts.

If say twice 46,000 people (92,000) rang up on a UK population of say 50 million 49,964,000 did not say it was a white wash.

Like it or not Hutton found on the facts, if the facts do not agree with the prejudices of your self and others than is not my problem.

Let us hope that Blair acts honestly and appoints Campbell as the next Chair of the BBC.

I do not see how your argument on Pinochet holds good. Judges, even Lords of Appeal must be seen to act impartially. If a Judge in the Pinochet case had been a member of the Conservative Party you, and others, would have said disqualify him if the verdict had not been to your taste.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 04 - 07:54 PM

Wwell, I couldn't get through myself, so presumably nor could lots of other people. I suppose they could have all been dedicated Huttonites.
..................

So a judge shouldn't be opposed in principle to torture or false imprisonment? Well, I can see how that would be consistent with historical precedent. Let that kind of thing get out of hand, and God knows where it might end up.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 07:02 AM

A few points to remember:

1. It was the UN (UNSCOM) that said Iraq possessed WMD - Not G. W. Bush, not Tony Blair.

2. UN inspection teams were only invited back into Iraq, after an absence of almost four years, as a result of pressure exerted by the USA at the UN.

3. Prior to March 2003, both Dr. Kelly and Dr Blix believed Iraq possessed WMD - both were part of the UNSCOM inspection programme and both were involved in writing the UNSCOM report presented to the UN Security Council in January 1999.

4. The Hutton Inquiry looked into the circumstances of Dr. Kelly's death. In doing that the following interested parties were represented - Dr. Kelly's family; HM Government; The Security Services; The BBC; the Reporter Susan Watts. All interested parties had the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses called.

5. Sir John Scarlett was responsible for the JIC Dossier. Wording relating to the 45 minute claim was already under review prior to any comments with regard to presentation being received from the government. It was down-graded from a JIC "judgement" to an "indication" as a result of internal discussions between the security srevices and the JIC. Sir John Scarlett was very clear that he had full editorial control of the the JIC report with regard to language and content.

6. The 45 minute item was not introduced at the last minute and it was not introduced at the insistance of anyone in Government or the Cabinet Office.

7. With regard to the aftermath of the 1991 "Gulf War" the USA, UK and France did not sit back and tacitly encourage Saddam's repression of the Shia community in the South, or the Kurdish Community in the North. No-fly zones were imposed which restricted the Ba'athists options in those regions. They had no remit from the UN to do anything - The fact that they should have is the fault of the UN not of the USA or of the UK.

8. What did compel Saddam's regime to abandon its control over Iraqi Kurdistan, was the presence of British and American forces deployed in the area, to avert a humanitarian ctastrophy in the form of thousands of Kurdish refugees flooding into Turkey and Iran. These troops were backed up by credible and capable air support.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 08:20 AM

Latest Poll on ITV [UK], we asked if you thought the Hutton report was a whitewash, 96% agreed it was a whitewash.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 08:43 AM

What did compel Saddam's regime to abandon its control over Iraqi Kurdistan, was the presence of British and American forces deployed in the area, to avert a humanitarian catastrophy in the form of thousands of Kurdish refugees flooding into Turkey and Iran. These troops were backed up by credible and capable air support.

True. And it was done without starting another war. Troops in the area ready to deploy, and capable air support were also present in 2003. The pressure was getting results. There was no immeduate need for war, and it is quite possible that Saddam could have been shifted without war.

.............................

The "45 minute threat", as interpreted by the media, was badly wrong, in a way which served to strengthen the case for war. The Government wilfully failed to correct the false version of the "threat. This was a lie by omission, even if we accept that they actually believed in the existence of any such threat in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 08:53 AM

Hoon on 'lying by omission', speaking to the Hutton inquiry.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 09:12 AM

I should add that, even if you have no other objection to the Hutton report, Hoon should have been criticised for that attitude. If Hoon had issued a correction, and the papers chose not to print it, they could be criticised but Hoon would be demonstably innocent (in that particular). As it is, they did not have the option.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 10:14 AM

MGOH,

Just a couple of points

"Troops in the area ready to deploy, and capable air support were also present in 2003."

Only thing in 1991, Kevin, was that Royal Marines were actually on the ground inside the Kurdish area of Iraq, they were deployed no "ready-to" about it.

"The pressure was getting results."

Was it really? I would like to know exactly what results those were Kevin.

"There was no immeduate need for war, and it is quite possible that Saddam could have been shifted without war."

No Kevin there was no immediate need for war, we could have all just carried on as before - that was what Saddam was hoping for. Having been given every opportunity to comply with UNSC Resolutions Saddam chose not to. While it might have been possible - anything is possible - going on past history regarding this man and the regime that backed him shifting him by means other than those adopted would have been highly improbable.

"The "45 minute threat", as interpreted by the media, was badly wrong, in a way which served to strengthen the case for war."

In which case, Kevin, the media should have spent a bit more time checking its facts. As normal, the "journalist" already had his story written with the spin he wanted to put on it, he scrabbled around to get something, or somebody (single-sourced and uncorroborated) to provide the flesh on the bare bones of his (the journalists) rather weak case.

"The Government wilfully failed to correct the false version of the "threat". This was a lie by omission, even if we accept that they actually believed in the existence of any such threat in the first place."

The passage containing the 45 minute reference in the JIC Dossier is, and always been, perfectly clear. The document that was presented in Parliament was for the consumption of those taking part in the debate. The document was the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee, as such the Government could not and did not alter it, members on both sides of the House based their decisions on what was contained in that document. They backed the Government of the day, and they were right to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 10:54 AM

That link to Hoon hooning on didn't work. If he was arguing that a lie by omission is somehow not a real lie, that's rubbish. The thing that makes a lie a lie is the intention to deceive, and that was pretty clearly present.

The suggestion that MPs base their judgement just on what they hear in the House of Commons, rather than also on what they read in the press, and that therefore lies in the media do not really matter, is not in my view sustainable.

It's pretty clear that the Government did not see it that way when they wanted launched their own weapon of mass destruction against the BBC for Gilligan's report (in which he over-egged the pudding by saying "probably" instead of "possibly", but essentially presented a true picture).


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 11:33 AM

The server seems to have crashed - it worked about a minute after I made the post. Let's try a link to the transcripts.

Broadly, Hoon is arguing that although he has seen the press had 'given a false impression of' the 45 minute claim, he decided against issuing a correction because the press wouldn't have printed it anyway. When challenged whether he had a responsibility to do this he said his department would not be 'solely responsible' for any correction. I would would have asked him what he did to discharge his part of that responsibility.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 01:21 PM

"...his department would not be 'solely responsible' for any correction" Fair enough - in other words, the Government was collectively responsible for the lie of omission intended to mislead the public. That's the central feature of cabinet government - and it should put Tony unambiguously in the dock.   

However the convention is that, if he can be proved to have lied directly to the House of Commons, he is bound to resign. But lying to the public isn't seen as being anything like as serious. It just counts as political rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 04:41 PM

A song somehow comes to mind:

Whiter than the whitewash on the wall,
Whiter than the whitewash on the wall,
Oh wash me in the water that you washed the colonels daughter in,
And I shall be whiter than the whitewash on the wall.
On the wall,on the wall,
Oh wash me in the water that you washed the colonels daughter in,
And I shall be whiter than the whitewash on the wall.


Or maybe, to make it more explicitly topical:

Whiter than the whitewash on the wall,
Whiter than the whitewash on the wall,
I will be so clean if only you can wash me clean like Tony,
And I shall be whiter than the whitewash on the wall.
On the wall,on the wall,
I will be so clean if only you can wash me clean like Tony,
And I shall be whiter than the whitewash on the wall.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 07:07 PM

Kevin - Give up !

You lost on facts,

You lost on report !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: dianavan
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 09:24 PM

Since Bush is under campaign pressures, he has asked for an inquiry as to why he was given misinformation regarding weapons of mass destruction. Of course the inquiry results do not have to be presented to him until after the election.

Both Bush and Blair seem to think their people are completely ignorant!

d


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 09:32 PM

Lord Denning, Lord Widgery, Lord Franks, Sir Anthony Hammond and now Lord Hutton...

Whitewash never really seems to stick.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 02:37 AM

MGOH,

Which is it? :

"The "45 minute threat", as interpreted by the media, was badly wrong," OR, "(in which he over-egged the pudding by saying "probably" instead of "possibly", but essentially presented a true picture)"

It can't be both "badly wrong" yet present "a true picture".   

So the Government, "launched their own weapon of mass destruction against the BBC for Gilligan's report." No Kevin they didn't what they asked for was that Gilligan correct his report, i.e. to admit that he had got it wrong. Instead of checking and confirming, by internal inquiry, that that was indeed the case. Greg Dyke & Co., at the BBC rather shot themselves in the foot by blindly backing Gilligan.

"The suggestion that MPs base their judgement just on what they hear in the House of Commons, rather than also on what they read in the press, and that therefore lies in the media do not really matter, is not in my view sustainable."

That view of yours, must rather dint your faith in trial by jury. The situation was exactly the same. The Government put forward a case to the House of Commons. To do that it provided what "evidence" their proposed course of action was to be based on in order that the individual Members could make their minds up. The issue was debated in Parliament and a vote was taken - That vote backed Government Policy.

Now the whole intention of Gilligans incorrect report, was to state that the government of the day interfered with the content and wording of the JIC report, with the intention of "sexing it up". For the Government to do as you suggest Kevin would have involved them in doing exactly that - they would in fact be tampering with "evidence" - which you would appear to favour as long as tampering with that evidence pushes people in the direction you personally favour Kevin.

The British Government announced last night that it would be conducting an Inquiry into Intelligence relating to Iraq's WMD. I will predict what that Inquiry will find. They will find that at the time of presentation of the JIC Dossier, the information contained therein was based on credible information, and that procedures followed in relation to the analysis of that intelligence were thorough and rational. I predict that, not because I think that the forthcoming Inquiry will be a "Whitewash", but because that is what the information at the time indicated. I repeat, in order that this rather important point is not forgotten - It was the UN who stated that Iraq possessed WMD, Not G. W. Bush, Not Tony Blair.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 04:09 AM

I hope any enquiry into intelligence on Iraq will also consider the role that the "Anti-War/Pro-Saddam" protesters had in supporting Saddam's murderous regime, and making war in the Gulf that more likely.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:37 AM

"It can't be both "badly wrong" yet present "a true picture"."

That's unusually confused fot you Teribus. There's no contradiction,because teh two phrases refer to differet things.

The 45 mimute threat, more expeciaslly as blazoned across the media, with no attempt by the Government to correct this, was badly wrong; Gilligen's story essentially presented a true picture of the fact that the dossier produced by intelligence over-emphasised the claim, that this was not in line with what some people involved in preparing the report believed it should say, and that the Government had played a significant role in ensuring this.

This mistake was in saying "probaly" the Government knew that the report was significantly misleading, where the strength of the evidence woidl niot nhave justified going beyond "possibly".


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:45 AM

"It can't be both "badly wrong" yet present "a true picture"."

That's unusually confused for you Teribus. There's no contradiction, because the two phrases refer to different things.

The 45 minute threat, more especially as blazoned across the media, with no attempt by the Government to correct this, was badly wrong; Gilligen's story essentially presented a true picture of the fact that the dossier produced by intelligence over-emphasised the claim, that this was not in line with what some people involved in preparing the report believed it should say, and that the Government had played a significant role in ensuring this.

His mistake was in saying "probably" the Government knew that the report was significantly misleading, where the strength of the evidence would not have justified going beyond "possibly".


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 06:51 AM

What complete and utter rubbish, Kevin - As usual you are wriggling.

With regard to Gilligan's report there is absolutely no way those two phrases relate to different things. Gilligans report was based entirely on the 45 minute issue, in an attempt by that reporter to create a sensation where in fact no story existed.

And contrary to what you state regarding inaction on the part of Government. The Goverment made quite vigorous attempts to set the record straight, by asking the BBC to correct the mistake made by one of their reporters. It was the BBC's mistake - it was therefore up to them to correct it.

The intelligence was not over-emphasied, the document itself was unique, Sir John Scarlett explained very clearly in his evidence to the Hutton Inquiry how the JIC conducts its business. He also detailed the steps this dossier took through its drafting process to submission for final publication and issue.

In his evidence the 45 minute claim is discussed in detail. In this he described how the various constituent services reviewing the intelligence information viewed this piece of intelligence and how on THEIR recommendation the importance of that piece of intelligence was down-graded in the final submission - all of which was done before Alister Campbell sent his sixteen point fax (of which the 45 minute thing was Point 10.).

Did people involved, and by this I mean people within the security services, think that the wording should have been different? - Yes of course there were, some wanted it played down, others wanted its significance played up - nothing odd about that at all, it is very rare indeed to get 100% agreement between all parties on anything that involves analysis and evaluation - so what does that prove with regard to Gilligan's report? He certainly made no attempt to obtain a balanced view on the matter, which he should have done. Why? Because he already had his story written - and why should anyone spoil a good story by obscuring it and detracting from the point to be made with the facts.

The BBC reported last night that there have been three investigations into Government interference with regard to the language and content of the dossier. On each occasion the result has been the same, and on each occasion the conclusions reached by those investigating have been that there was no interference on the part of the British Government. Now, according to you (and presumably Gilligan) they are all wrong, MGOH relying on his own cynicism and Gilligan relying on what he "interpreted" from his interviews with Dr. David Kelly. On that latter point another BBC Reporter interviewed the same man and came away with quite a different story.

On that basis Gilligan presented a report that was nothing like the true picture - except of course to you Kevin.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:50 AM

And here's another song THE AMATEUR WHITEWASHER.:

Slap-dab, slap-dab, up and down the brickwork, slap-dab all day long,
In and out the corners, round the Johnny Horners, we were a pair of fair clean goners,
Slap-dab, slap with the whitewash brush - Talk about a fancy ball,
But I put more whitewash on the old woman than I did upon the garden wall....

...There's got to be an inquest now, and I am in a dreadful row...


Maybe the new inquiry will sort out the truth. Or the one in America. Wouldn't bet on it though. Generally it takes a few years, and another political generation.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 08:25 AM

Conflating "the 45 minute claim" and "Gilligan's report" as if they are the same thing does not help anyone, including Parliament.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Gilligan's report, the rest of the press reported the 45 minute readiness as if British interests - Cyprus being mentioned - were in clear and imminent danger. Hoon knew this to be misleading, as he made clear to Lord Hutton's inquiry (see my transcript links above), and he (possibly in conjunction with other departments) allowed the rest of the press to continue with this without making any attempt to correct it, whatever representation they made to the BBC.

Hutton declared this matter to be outside his remit, and it is clearly going to be outside the remit of the new inquiry if, as widely predicted, it restricts itself to how the intelligence processes got things wrong.

That is why I believe that this new inquiry will lower people's trust in the Government still further: the questions that exercise the public will still not be investigated. I can hear people saying "Dodging the issue" and "whitewash" from here ...


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 08:31 AM

As has been stated in numerous places, the central point is that the Intelligence services in America and Britain were politicised -- they were asked to make the case for the war, not present unbiased information. This is why they stuffed rumours into the dossier to please their masters. Former heads of the JIC have stated that Sir John Scarlett went over the line. The problem here is that the citizenry were asked to support a pre-emptive war based on secret information of which only an edited fraction was made available: the fundamental entrusting is that the politicians are supposed to be asking the hard questions about this material, before they head off.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 09:53 AM

MGOH: "Maybe the new inquiry will sort out the truth."

Do you mean the truth, Kevin, even if it supports the Governments position? - Or do you mean the truth as perceived by you?

DmcG: Gilligan broke this story with his highly spun report - The rest of the "media" did what it normally does - went charging off down the same road like a pack on the scent. Once they realised they were in a cul-de-sac, they then concentrated on reporting the growing row between the Government and the BBC.

According to your comments, any inquiry is a complete and waste of taxpayers money, as it will convince nobody - the Government just can't win:
- Refuse an inquiry and they are covering things up.
- Set up an inquiry which finds in their favour and its a "whitewash"
- Set up an Inquiry which finds in their favour and its terms of reference were "fixed".

Why bother, on every shred of evidence produced so far, no inquiry will find that the Government acted irresponsibly.

Peter T : Just because something has been stated in numerous places, does not necessarily make it fact.

I cannot offer an opinion on the US Intelligence Agencies, but with regard to the British Intelligence Services, to date three different investigations (according to the BBC) have found that the British Intelligence Services, and the JIC to be non-politicised.

The British Intelligence Services were asked to do precisely what you state they were not - They were asked to present a factual unbiased evaluation of the intelligence information relating to Iraq correct as of September 2002. That is what they did.

The fact, that former heads of the JIC stated that Sir John Scarlett went over the line, might have something to do with the fact, that they wouldn't know where the line was that they were talking about. As sir John Scarlett said in his evidence to the Hutton inquiry, the dossier he was asked to compile was unique, it had never been done before. So what is also a fact is that those former heads of the JIC had no relevant experience upon which to make those statements, other than offering personal opinions. Sir John Scarlett went into quite some detail explaining the differences between a normal JIC report and the dossier.

Where on earth you get the idea that british public were being asked to support anything is beyond me, as far as I know the british public were never asked anything. Although from the objection stated in your post, you somehow seem to think that the british public as a whole should have been given given free access to the information, sources, etc, of the British Intelligence Services in order that they could fully appraise themselves of the situation and make a decision on behalf of the British Government - absolutely ridiculous.

The matter was put before the House of Commons, it was debated, there was a vote, and the Government Policy was backed. That was how it was done, it was done properly and in my opinion they made the right decision. This was all done, before they "headed off".


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: dianavan
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 10:30 AM

Gareth - Anti war/pro-Saddam?

Anti war, yes. Pro-Saddam, no.

War is not the solution as you might be able to see by now.

...especially when they obviously had no plan to bring peace to the region other than military occupation.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 10:32 AM

Teribus, your own statement about the uniqueness of the dossier process proves my point better than I could.

That the public should have complete access was not what I was arguing. It is that in the absence of access one is required to trust one's political masters, and assume that intelligence gathering is evaluated properly. I should say that personally I believe that secret intelligence is completely overrated, and that there should be minimal intelligence gathering. Democracies do not flourish with huge secret intelligence agencies. We are better off relying on the strengths of open societies than all this spookery. It has not exactly been a flaming success.

Your view of the Parliamentary process is more cynical than mine. Parliament is the representative of the people, and in the days before the crucial vote, members of Parliament agonized over how to vote -- in part because of the massive pressure being put on them by both sides. Tony Blair was in a fight for British public opinion as expressed through the members of Parliament. Members of the Cabinet resigned. You may not like representative democracy (I have my good days and bad days with it), but there it is.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DougR
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:02 PM

Peter T. - I think you are reaching. There has been no evidence that either the British or American Intelligence services were pressured to make reports supporting an invasion of Iraq. If you have it, what is it? Someone's "guess" or "opinion" won't hack it.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:28 PM

Hi Peter,

Which point? You made several:

- that the Intelligence services in America and Britain were politicised.

- that they were asked to make the case for the war, not present unbiased information.

- that they stuffed rumours into the dossier to please their masters.

- that Sir John Scarlett went over the line.

Have a look at what Sir John Scarlett said when questioned relating to the points you made above:

Examined by MR SUMPTION
Question:
Mr Scarlett, you have given evidence before and I am not going to go over more than some of the matters that you covered on that occasion and some further matters. When you undertook to oversee the preparation of the September dossier, what did you, at that stage, understand to be its purpose?

Answer:
My clear understanding, at that stage, was that it -- the purpose of the assessment was to put into the public domain and share, as far as was possible, taking account of security, the intelligence assessment which was available to the Prime Minister and the Government about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

Question:
How did the task of preparing the dossier compare with the task of preparing formal JIC assessments?

Answer:
Well, there were very strong similarities. We were using the same procedures, the same coordinating machinery, the same people who would draft normal JIC assessments; and we were following the same basic approach, that there would be a substantial body of text containing analysis, drawing on a wide range of sources; and then there would also be judgments, which would be at the front; this is the procedure which is used for JIC assessments. Of course there were differences. The big difference was this was clearly not a straightforward, normal JIC assessment. It was for the public domain.
It was therefore for a different audience; and it was designed to bring together existing standing JIC assessments. It was not planning to formulate new ones, although it was also planned, and indeed the instruction of the JIC was on these lines, that new intelligence or recent intelligence should be incorporated.

Question:
How did the fact that it was for a public audience affect the process?

Answer:
The main point there was how were points and issues to be expressed for an audience which was, first of all, not used to reading intelligence assessments, and would not be familiar with some of the material.

Question:
You have already described, in earlier evidence, how the decision was made that you should have ownership of the dossier. What did you see as the purpose of appointing you to do that and how did you see your own personal role?

Answer:
Well, I was very clear, from the beginning, about this. I think I explained this when I gave evidence before, that a proposal of this kind, and a project of this kind, needed to have strong central control in one person and in one body, in this case the JIC. That person, and it was me, would then be in a position to put in place a robust drafting process which would ensure that the body concerned, the JIC, had proper editorial control, which would allow the assessment to stay in line with existing JIC assessments, would enable sources and methods to be properly protected, at the same time as intelligence to be brought forward and used if it was safe to do so.

Question:
Did you, at any stage of the drafting process, consider whether there was any tension between the Government's purpose in publishing the dossier and your purpose in objectively presenting the available intelligence?

Answer:
No, I did not. I did not see that tension there. And if there had been any tension, I was confident that it could be handled because we were using the standard procedures and the authority of the JIC.

The above strikes me as being neither "politicised"; directed towards making a case for war; nor, stuffed with rumour. The only thing different was that this, unlike standard JIC assessments, this was going into the public domain.

I am extremely pleased to hear that you do not advocate complete access to the public. I also agree that, ".. one is required to trust one's political masters, and assume that intelligence gathering is evaluated properly." Your opinions relating to the activity of intelligence gathering indicate that you live in a country that has never been subjected to a terrorist campaign on it's doorstep. Democracies, by and large, do not have "huge secret intelligence agencies", the US is an exception, due mainly to it's role during the "cold war" years and advances in technology.

And contrary to what you might think, the intelligence services have been remarkably successful, since the end of the Second World War. In relation to 911, when the circumstances surrounding those events are investigated, and I fully believe they will be fully looked into, one of the things that will come out will be the number of warnings that were out there, gathered by a whole host of different agencies, from a whole raft of different countries. I believe that another of the things to come out will be the haphazard way in which that information was handled, both by those gathering it and by those whose decisions directed when it could be passed on and to whom. Because of the war on terror, that has improved significantly, but more to the point is this - that if those intelligence agencies did not exist (i.e. we relied on the strengths of open societies rather than all this spookery), you would not have heard a single whisper. You would put those for whom you are responsible at the mercy of any group who decides to terrorise you.

If you believe that my "..view of the Parliamentary process is more cynical than mine", then I apologise for giving that impression - I believe very strongly in the Parliamentary process as practiced in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK got. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM

There seems to be general agreement now that the intelligence reports supplied to the British and American governments, and used as justification for going to war in a tearing hurry, very much overstated the danger which Saddam's regime posed.

The question is whether this was because the "intelligence community" (to use the bizarre term that is now in vogue) got it wrong because of inadequacies, or because, under pressure from the politicians (or in anticipation of their wishes, in a nudge-and-wink way), the intelligence reports were distorted so as to strengthen the case for going to war without delayy.

The other question which is looming is, how to interpret the refusal to allow the weapons inspectors the time that they were asking for, in the light of increasing cooperation being shown by Saddam's regime (induced by the military build-up on his borders).

Could this have been coloured by a worry that, given further and fuller inspections, evidence might be forthcoming that Saddam's claim to have destroyed chemical and biological weapons was actually true, so undermining the official casus belli?

For in fact it now appears likely that this claim of Saddam actually was probably true. The puzzle, for which several answers have been suggested, is, why he didn't cooperate in demonstrating that it was true, rather than playing silly buggers by dragging his feet when it came to meeting the demands of the inspectors.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:44 PM

According to your comments, any inquiry is a complete and waste of taxpayers money, as it will convince nobody - the Government just can't win:
- Refuse an inquiry and they are covering things up.
- Set up an inquiry which finds in their favour and its a "whitewash"
- Set up an Inquiry which finds in their favour and its terms of reference were "fixed".


Not at all. I think an inquiry is a good idea but it must include the issues 'the general populus' think are important and must be seen to be independent. That's not easy, but here are a few ideas that might help.

1) Follow the Appeal court procedure where a number of Lords sit in judgement and do not have to take the same line.

2) How about adding an ordinary jury to confirm they agree the report is an accurate representation of the evidence? No need for that to be unanimous either.

3) Have some people outside Parliament and big business who are trusted as part of it. A few years back, Martin Bell would have been a good candidate, before he stood as an independant. (I don't know if people still see him as an 'honest broker' as they did then. They may do. I simply don't know.) Richard Fenniman did this on some US committees, if I recall correctly, though nothing of this scale.


Things that don't help include:
i) Keeping things private. One thing everyone seems to agree on about Hutton was that the publication of all the transcripts as things went along was excellent.

ii) The government picking the members of the inquiry. How to avoid that? Give each party a number of places and let the the parties pick the people. Maybe that was done: if so, make it public.

iii) The government picking the chairman. Have the inquiry panel elect is own chairman, rather than it being appointed.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:10 PM

MGOH:

In relation to this please do not come out with such trite pronouncements coloured by hindsight.

Your first point the assessments relating to how dangerous Saddam's regime was came from what the UN said he had. What had to be evaluated was what he could be doing to enhance his ability to use it.

There were no distortions, one of the things that the JIC assessment stated that they believed that Iraq had reactivated development programmes relating to delivery systems - That was accurate UMOVIC found them on advice from British Intelligence. As for, "..the intelligence reports were distorted so as to strengthen the case for going to war without delay" - dossier prepared in September 2002, kick-off, March 2003 - some "without delay" there Kevin.

The affable Dr. Blix reported lack of Iraqi co-operation right up until his last report to the UN Security Council - Iraq's full and active co-operation from day one was requirerd under the terms of Resolution 1441. The weapons inspectors were not given the time because they were being given the run around.

The ensuing war was caused solely by Saddam & Co., playing silly buggers by dragging his feet when it came to meeting the demands of the international community.

To those who were against the war, I would suggest that the good Dr. Blix should be asked to explain why he himself was not a bit more forthcoming and forthright in his pronouncements at an earlier stage. He had been instrumental in writing the UNSCOM report of January 1999 stating that Iraq possessed WMD, he was the guy in charge of UNMOVIC, charged by the UNSC to ensure Iraqi compliance. Then last summer Dr. Blix then comes out with the opinion that he didn't think Saddam had any WMD. If I was the good Dr, I'd be keeping my head very much bellow the parapet, because I feel as though he is going to be in for a right slating before this is all over.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:55 PM

DMcG,

You think an inquiry is a good idea.

How do we establish what the 'the general populus' think are the important issues? - Hold a phone in?

It must be seen to be independent - of Government and "big business" I presume. You do grant that it won't be easy, which is one hell of an understatement when you consider the subject matter. But let's look at the suggestions:

1) Well I thought that the Law Lords were appointed, but whatever. Now you want it that these Law Lords sit in judgement and do not have to take the same line - What then happens with regard to the findings of this Inquiry? Or don't you want any? If the latter is the case, why bother going to the time and expense of holding this charade.

2) So unlike Peter T, you do believe, and would recommend, that the british public as a whole should be given free access to the information, sources, etc, of the British Intelligence Services in order that they could fully appraise themselves of the situation and make a decision on the conduct of those services and the British Government - It is still absolutely ridiculous.


3) Who decides who these people are "who are trusted"? - Have another phone in?

On the things you detailed that don't help:
i) Keeping things private.

Obviously doesn't help, apart from the fact that following your suggestions up above we will be broadcasting the workings of our security services to the world and it's uncle.

ii) All parties will be represented apparently, with the exception of the Liberal Democrats, at their insistance. They don't want to be seen as being part of any inquiry that can be seen as justifying the case for war - nothing like going into to inquire about something with an open mind.

iii) You mean have this group of government appointed Law Lords elect is own chairman, or the jury, or the "trusted ones" - too damn difficult - have another phone in - don't be surprised if it turns out to be Posh & Becks, although you might be lucky and get Jonny Wilkinson.

To, seriously, make the above suggestions and relate them to anything other than the organisation of the Tennis Club Social you would have to be completely mad.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 02:21 PM

Any time, in the light of the current evidence, we examine our previous beliefs to see how far they may have been accurate or not, and to inquire into what the possible motivation for actions carried out may have been, in a sense we are using hindsight. In setting up these inquiries, it is evident that the governments involved accept it as a necessary and useful thing to do.

If it were a matter of making judgements about people's actions on the basis of information which they did not know and could not have known, that would be a wrong use of hindsight. That can never be justified, and I do not think I have ever done it in this discussion. However, teasing out what in fact was known at the time, and what inferences could reasonably have been drawn from what was known - that is the very heart of the matter.

...................................

("Trite" - "commonplace, hackneyed, worn out" is how my dictionary defines it. Well, we could all throw that word at each other, just because we find ourselves in disagreement, but I can't see how it adds anything useful to the argument.)


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 03:51 PM

Well, I don't think I'm completely mad, but you're entitled to your opinion.

Our common goal is, I think, to increase public confidence in the Parliamentary system. Depending on where you sit, this may or may not involve increasing confidence in an individual party. I have not given any opinion on what I think of the Hutton report apart from the issue on whether Hoon should have been criticised for one particular stance - and I say criticised, not sacked, demoted or anything else. What I would have wanted that particular criticism to achieve would be to make it clear that ministers responsibility to ensure that their press releases etc are accurate does not stop after the press conference in which they are issued.

For the new inquiry, I think, like the Liberal party (I am not a member!), that too narrow a remit simply means even today people are dismissing it and that is unhealthy. It almost guarantees that when reaches its conclusion there will be yet another outcry. So what can be done to increase the confidence? I've put some ideas forward that you don't like, but that's fair enough. I'm just interested in ways to move forward.

It is quite clear that the Hutton report has not cleared the air. So we should look for some other ideas which might help. I've put a few forward for sandblasting. Perhaps you and MGOH can come up with a few more.

To answer some of your specific points, Teribus: It is by no means rare for committees to produce a report with one or more desenting views. I don't think that is necessarily disasterous. You are entitled to disagree.

How do we establish what issues 'the general populous' thinks are important? I wouldn't use a phone-in myself, but surveys like this are done all the time in industry. I don't rule them out for politics. Its not miles away from what the famous focus groups did.

Should the general public have access to all the internals of the security services? No, but the presumption could have been that everything that could be published should be, and published at the earliest opportunity.


How decides who can be trusted? I freely admit this is hugely difficult. I think the way I would start would be by excluding those with a clear vested interest and then using some variation of allowing candidates to be challenged, rather like American jury membership now. Again, this is just an idea and you may have a better one.

I agree in the new inquiry all parties (except the Liberals) will be represented. Much as a hate to say that this one's a matter of presentation, I think it is. Had the announcement been on the lines of 'We have reserved X places for each party and ask each Party leader to provide its nominees to these places' it would make it more explicit that the Government was distancing itself from the appointment system. I fully admit that that is probably exactly what went on behind closed doors anyway. Its the "justice being seen to be done", not the "justice being done" part of the slogan.

Its exactly the same reason that I suggest the commitee appoints its own chairman (from within themselves, I should have said). Make it as explicit as you possibly can that the government is not manipulating things.


As this part of the thread has moved a long way from Dr Kelly, I don't intend to respond further here, but if anyone wants to start a fresh thread on 'How can we improve UK inquiries' I will happily resume there.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:17 PM

The Bush administration now regrets not killing WMD investigator Kay in a similar manner to Kelly's murder.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:10 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:23 PM

It is simply not true that the Government did not touch the dossier, it was involved up to its eye teeth in it. We know that, just as one example, Alaistair Campbell had the Intelligence Committee change: "The Iraq military may be able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so" to "The Iraq military must...". This was in spite of internal protests from Brian Jones and others about the single sourcing of this. The intelligence committee chiefs were in constant contact, and under constant pressure from Downing Street to sex up the dossier -- "to go through the presentational aspects" to quote one of Campbell's lovely euphemisms -- which they did.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:33 PM

"Subconsciously" of course!


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:44 PM

Actually, as long as we are being picky, the word was not changed to "must" -- I was mistaken in my memory -- the whole sentence was rewritten positively. While we are at it -- Jonathan Powell, the Downing Street chief of staff, suggested that the dossier drop the statement that Saddam would only deploy his weapons of mass destruction "if he believed his regime was under threat". Guess what? It did. Saddam now becomes a rogue monster on the loose.

And what was Alaistair Campbell doing chairing a meeting of the Intelligence Committee? No politics there.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 05:22 AM

In all of your writings no one has ever referred to former Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath and his many visits to Saddam Hussein.
Heath described Hussein as a gentleman, a man I can converse with.
He constantly praised Hussein, but at that time of course, the Iraqi leader was everyone`s darling, Rumsfeld was another admirer as Saddam was at war with Iran, enemy No1 in the eyes of the US.

Now that WMDs are sidelined as a reason for going to war,Bush and Blair can always fall back on Heath and Rumsfeld friend as the prime reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 05:32 AM

No ard mhacha, I think at the times of Heath's visits he was negotiating the release of Saddam's human shields, westerners unfortunate enough to have been in Kuwait at the time Saddam's boyos paid that place a visit.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Gareth
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 08:21 AM

No - Teribus - You lack your customary accuracy - Surely every good thinking person knows that SH did not invade Quwait. He merely responded to the invitation of America to liberate the people of Quwait from the dangers of freethinking and incipient democracy.

Heath, and Viscount Stangate, were not negotiating the release of hostages, they attended to ensure that these freedom loving volunteers to act as human shields, were treated to the same privaleges that any Iraqui had.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 09:53 AM

Yes, Heath did negotiate with his friend Saddam on the release of the human shields, as he had visited Saddam on more than one occasion, and described him in glowing terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 10:16 AM

According to the BBC

The inquiry into intelligence about Iraq's weapons capability.

Terms of reference

1. To investigate coverage available on WMD programmes of countries of concern and on the global trade in WMD, taking into account what is now known about these programmes.

2. As part of this work, to investigate the accuracy of intelligence on Iraqi WMD up to March 2003, and to examine any discrepancies between the intelligence gathered, evaluated and used by the government before the conflict, and between that intelligence and what has been discovered by the Iraq Survey Group since the end of the conflict.

3. To make recommendations to the prime minister for the future on the gathering, evaluation and use of intelligence on WMD, in the light of the difficulties of operating in countries of concern.

4. The committee has been asked to report before the summer recess.

5. The committee will follow the precedent in terms of the procedures of the Franks Committee [into the Falklands War] and will have access to all intelligence reports and assessments and other relevant government papers, and will be able to call witnesses to give oral evidence in private.

6. The committee will work closely with the US inquiry and the Iraq Survey Group.

The committee of inquiry will be made up of privy councillors and Chaired by Lord Butler of Brockwell.

Lord Butler (Chairman):
Career civil servant who served five prime ministers from Heath to Blair as cabinet secretary. He was working on private papers with Margaret Thatcher on the night of the IRA attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton and narrowly escaped death. Lord Butler was also with John Major when the IRA mounted a mortar attack on Downing Street in 1991. He retired in 1998 after a 37 year career and was made a life peer, serving the House of Lords as a crossbencher. He also became Master of his old college at Oxford.

Sir John Chilcot:
Career diplomat who has held senior positions in the civil servant. He was principle private secretary to William Whitelaw during his time as Tory home secretary and also spent seven years as top civil servant in the Northern Ireland office.

Lord Inge:
Sits in the Lords as a crossbencher having had a distinguished military career. He was chief of the defence staff from 1994 to 1997.

Ann Taylor MP:
Former leader of the Commons and is an ex-chief whip. She now chairs the Commons intelligence and security committee (ISC) which provides parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services. Her committee has already conducted an inquiry into Iraq and it found that intelligence chiefs failed to highlight any gaps in their knowledge about Saddam Hussein's WMD programmes when giving advice to Mr Blair.

Michael Mates MP:
Senior Conservative backbencher who chairs the Northern Ireland select committee. He is also a member of the ISC.

                         ---------------------------------------------

On the composition of the panel, not bad, two senior ex-Civil Servants, one ex-Chief of the defence Staff, two senior MP's both members of the ISC.

All had to be Privy Councillors due to the nature of what they are going to be looking at.

All are well grounded in the area of intelligence material so they will know what they are looking at and what is being said to them.

All know how the "system" works.

Their terms of reference, however, I think are poor.

Items 1 and 3 relate to the future; 4 and 5 relate to input and precedent; 2 relates specifically to Iraq.

Unfortunately for item 2 to be addressed thoroughly and accurately the only people who can provide the information are outwith the jurisdiction of this inquiry and can therefore not be compelled to give evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 10:52 AM

Yes, He did go to Baghdad and secure the release of around 100 hostages, he had been there previously in 1990 in an attempt to prevent hostilities. so had a lot of others including Mohamed Ali and Willy Brandt - What's your point ard?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 01:18 PM

My point?, are you still with me?. Numerous British firms had been working on Sadamm`s various projects for years, as far back as the 1970s.
I knew two of the men Sadamm held as hostage , they worked for Mivan a Belfast firm,
and they wern`t too displeased as they were paid quite a sum by Mivan when they returned.
All of those firms went out to Iraq with the blessings of the tory governments who were in power throughout that period
Sadamm was still the same dictator,who ruled Iraq with a rod of iron, I think the iron was supplied by a Birmingham firm, well they supplied all of the rest of his needs.

So what was the difference between the tyrant then and the tyrant now?.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 01:29 PM

Lord Butler is also well known for the investigations he carried out into allegations against Jonathan Aitken and Neil Hamilton. He gave them a clean bill of health. Subsequently this was generally agreed to have been a serious misjudgement on his part - but it was politically convenient at the time for the Government of the day.

This will obviously be another non-holds barred, searching, inquiry, which will fearlessly expose any kind of dodgy business, without fear nor favour...

I think it's time they ran "Yes Prime Minister" on TV agasin.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 01:58 PM

Omigod, Lord Butler! Where is Lord Hutton, that indefatigable seeker of truth when you need him?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 07:36 AM

Oh, come along ard, don't be so shy, why not tell the whole story? Perhaps because it may dilute the point you are trying to make, in yet another one of your feeble attempts at maligning the British Government?

Let's put in a few corrections to actually make your post a bit more accurate:

My point?, are you still with me?. A great number of companies and businesses, from many countries throughout the world had been working on Saddam`s various projects for years, as far back as 1979, when Saddam became Iraq's President. I knew two of the men Sadamm held as hostage , they worked for Mivan a Belfast firm, and they weren`t too displeased as they were paid quite a sum by Mivan when they returned.

All of those firms went out to Iraq with the blessings of their respective governments as throughout that time it was perfectly legitimate for them to do so. Exceptions here could possibly be the French and Russian governments who were rather keen on the idea of providing Iraq with a nuclear power plant that would be capable of providing fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Initially, Saddam, although a dictator (as were his predecessors), on assuming the leadership of the Ba'athist party in Iraq, did many things that were of great benefit to the people of Iraq, particularly in the area of infrastructure, healthcare and education.

Saddam, a secular pan-arabist, viewed the arrival of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, as something that might cause the Iraqi Shia population to question the advisablity of living in a secular Arab state, likewise with the upheaval in Iran the Kurdish populations of Iran, Iraq and Turkey felt the time might be right to press for either an independent state or for greater autonomy within their respective countries. Now Saddam had not butchered large numbers of his fellow Ba'athists to gain power, only to oversee the fragmentation of Iraq, hell no - besides their regions were the ones that held the vast majority of Iraq's oil wealth.

Just prior to taking over power in Iraq, a meeting was held at Camp David, where a peace accord was reached between Egypt and Israel. Up to then Egypt had led the pan-Arabist movement, so Saddam decided that Iraq under his leadership would assume that role, it had to be done gradually as Hassad in Syria had better claim to take over that role, and besides Saddam felt he had some clearing up to do at home to get his population in line with this new direction. Material for his oil production and infrastructure projects he got from the west, military hardware he got in abundance from the Soviet Union, and Iraq's oil paid for it.

In his quest, to become leader of the Arab nations aligned against Israel, he felt that not being a "front-line" Arab state was a bit of a drawback, so he had a Mr. Bull (he of super-gun fame) contacted. If Iraq had a super-gun, Iraq could hit Israel, so Saddam set about acquiring one, but it needed special steel. So Saddam got his buyers to contact probably the best specialist steel company in the world, Churchill's of Sheffield, to obtain the tube sections for his gun, the order being disguised as an order for high specification steel pipe to be used in the Iraqi oil and gas industry. Unfortunately for Saddam, one of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise Officers at Immingham Docks took a closer look at these pipes, and the rest is history, Mr. Bull died and Saddam never did get his super-gun.

Meanwhile the situation in Iran was going to hell in high gear, Saddam saw in this an opportunity to resolve a long running dispute with Iran concerning the Shat-al-Arab waterway. The Iranians were willing to negotiate, which Saddam took as a sign of weakness, so he mustered all of his Army, superbly equipped by Russia and kicked-off the Iran-Iraq War. At first it all went according to plan, but things started going haywire. Shipping was attacked in the Arabian Gulf, which caught the attention of the rest of the world, particularly Japan and the USA.

Now the USA's, Japan's and the West's take on things was that they actually preferred things the way they were prior to the start of this war and they did not want either side to win it. Neither side would listen to either the UN, or the USA, so Uncle Sam and the Western powers decided to help both sides fight it out until it dawned on both sides that neither would win. This is what did come to pass and a peace deal was negotiated.

Sitting back in his corner, Saddam had a look at Iraq's current account and decided it would need a fresh injection of funds in order to pay for the war (which had been catastrophic for Iraq) and to finance any future ventures. Looking around he spotted Kuwait and thought that that would do nicely, so after waiting until his Russian and French friends had resupplied him with military hardware, in he went............ I think we all know the rest.
   
Oh, ard, the difference between the tyrant up until the start of the Iran-Iraq War and the tyrant after was that after the Iran-Iraq War the tyrant became a clear threat to the peace and stability of the region.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 09:52 AM

Around and round the houses goes Teribus to avoid the point, blabbering on like a politician.
Quite simply, Saddam was slaughtering the Marsh Arabs and the pleas of the various human rights groups were ignored, money was more important than the lives of the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs.
Surely you wouldn`t equate the Russians and the French with the British, those fine upstanding battlers for the rights of man.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 10:35 AM

Not round and round the houses ard, merely putting a few facts in the way of your normal narrow-minded, bigotted crap.

Now let's take a look at your latest offering:

"Saddam was slaughtering the Marsh Arabs and the pleas of the various human rights groups were ignored, money was more important than the lives of the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs."

When was he doing this ard? If memory serves me correctly with regard to the Maadan that happened after "Desert Storm". So at the time he was doing the slaughtering, the UN were supposed to be looking after this, UN sanctions were in place but proving totally ineffective, Saddam's ability to slaughter was somewhat impaired due to the fact that he could not use his airforce because the USA and the UK imposed the Southern No-Fly zone (much to the objection of well intentioned fools like yourself). In the North, British Royal Marines backed up by US and UK air power prevented Saddam doing the same to the Kurds (the well intentioned fools objected to that too).

So please don't tell me about pleas from various human rights groups, they are very good at highlighting issues but then form the backbone of resistance when others attempt to take action to try and put things right.

When it comes to contributions by nations with respect to battling for the rights of man, the record of the UK is not all that shoddy.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 12:37 PM

Perhaps there's no point in doing so, but I'd like to suggest that all of us try to avoid using insulting language about people who disagree with us. (Even in response to that kind of thing from others.)

It's not difficult to do, and it does not in any way stop us emphasising the points we wish to make, or indicating how strongly we might feel about certain things.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 06:04 PM

I'm still recuperating from the Mudcat gathering in Portaferry, but it's time I showed my face in this thread to take my lumps. Not only are there many posts here, but some are very long, so I've not yet absorbed them all. Suffice to say that I still disagree with Teribus quite a bit, but I must say he's chucked a lot of useful info into the melting pot.

On the central point of my challenge to T'bus, I was clearly wrong. When the Beeb corporately ringed its wagons round Gilligan I was sure they must have checked his notes - maybe even listened to Susan Watts's tape - and concluded that Gilligan was bomb-proof. I find it quite incredible that they rushed to defend him against a direct challenge, from the PM's office of all places, on the strength of his word alone.

I am also amazed that Gilligan defended his 6.07 broadcast, given what we now know, and given that he himself did not repeat his major inaccuracies in any of his further 16 broadcasts that day. He should have come clean at once.

Until two days ago I was at a loss to know how the Today editor, Kevin Marsh, had clung to his job. He was savaged by Hutton, and rightly, or so I thought. However I then saw this in the Guardian, which says, for the benefit of those who don't want to follow the link, that contrary to Hutton's report, Marsh did insist on Gilligan scripting his piece, and did himself check that script before broadcast. Moreover it was a convention of Marsh's editorship that any reporter engaged in a two-way should broadly follow the script. Gilligan, in that fateful early-morning broadcast, chose to depart from the script.

I don't know if the Guardian story is true - Marsh is consulting lawyers, and if he has a case, he will no doubt pursue it. It does seem unreasonable that Hutton should have subjected Marsh to criticism without having called him as a witness.

So much for the Beeb. In every other way I am disappointed in Hutton, who has shown himself worthy only to follow in the tradition of Lords Denning and Widgery in dancing to the government's tune. The Guardian did a series of interviews with members of the public who had queued to attend the inquiry and who had been there every day. All of them were surprised, astonished or angry, in varying degree, that Hutton had not a word to say about the failings of government.

The one thing that can be said for Hutton is that he put all the evidence on the internet for all to see. It has devalued his own report, in that we are all capable of reaching our own views on the evidence. For that reason the enormous popular reaction against Hutton is far more credible and informed than would ever have been possible in the past. And unfortunately for Blair, the feeling that Hutton was a grotesque whitewash does him direct damage too. The image of the "straight kind of guy" is gone for good.

One last thought. Something has given Blair a terrific shot in the arm. As someone who has been repulsed by his policies and cringe-making evangelising, I have to say that from his encounter with Paxman and the students on Newsnight onwards, he has been on stronger form than I've ever seen him. The Newsnight performance can't be ascribed to the Hutton factor, as it pre-dated the report, unless maybe he had early notice that he was in the clear.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 12:39 PM

My first reaction when Hutton was profiled as the judge to carry out the enquiry was "another Widgery", a comment which I made in some thread here. I was surprised by the amount of information that came out during the hearings, and thought I had misjudged him. But when he produced his findings, it was clear that he had taken a bizarrely narrow view of his terms of reference.

What has been interesting since is the number of his links to Widgery which have since been brought up by the Guardian - he represented the paras that perpetrated Bloody Sunday, and when the coroner in the subsequent inquest commented that it had been murder, he was there again, and attacked the coroner. If you put Hutton and Widgery into a search of the Guardian you'll get details.

I'm really disappointed with Mr Tony's choice of leader of the new enquiry (which has miraculously become desirable now that plain honest citizen Dubya wants to know how the US got involved in a war in Iraq, but please don't report till after the election). I would have thought that Tony would have asked Cruft's to supply a judge.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Kelly (UK govt. WMD thing)
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 08:08 AM

refrsh.


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