by General Sir Michael Rose
Cause he’s a War Criminal.
Even his wife thinks so.
Britons urge trial of Blair for war crimes
The majority of people in the UK now believe that the country’s joining US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, 10 years after the invasion, was wrong and indefensible.
According to findings of a recent YouGov poll more than 22 percent of Britons think that former Prime Minister Tony Blair should be tried as a war criminal for his especial role in launching the conflict.
The poll results, which were preceded by massive anti-war demos in London and other cities, also showed that a majority or 53 percent believed the invasion was in the first place, while half said Tony Blair had “deliberately misled the British people over the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction”.
For this very reason, Blair had to follow a secretive daily schedule to avoid being ambushed by anti-war protesters who who stalk his public appearances armed with eggs, shoes and banners reading: “BLIAR”.
British activists launched an online campaign in 2010, dubbed “Arrest Blair” offering a bounty for each attempted arrest being made by members of the public symbolically.
According to its rules, attempts must be non-violent and must be reported by at least one mainstream media outlet.
“It’s a complete joke that a guy who had helped to start two wars in the wider Middle East region is now swanning around posing as a peace envoy,” said an activist.
Moves to hold Blair accountable are also gaining momentum in Scotland, where some campaigners believe he could be tried under the country’s separate legal system.
Margo MacDonald, an independent member of the Scottish parliament, told Al Jazeera that she planned “to table a motion on Wednesday calling for Scottish law to be amended to make illegal “the waging of aggressive war with the intention of regime change”, specifically so that Blair could be brought to trial.
“Theoretically, we believe he could face a court in Scotland,” MacDonald told Al Jazeera. “We are simply adding to the pressure.”
In an article published in last weekend’s Sunday Herald newspaper, Alex Salmond, the leader of the ruling Scottish National Party, appeared to lend weight to MacDonald’s cause, writing: “The illegal invasion and war in Iraq is a disgrace without parallel in modern times, the shame of which will echo down the ages for Blair and all of those who were complicit in sending young men and women to risk their lives on the basis of a gigantic fraud.”
The Diplomat was banned from talking about Dr David Kelly when giving evidence at Iraq Inquiry
Carne Ross told if he discussed Dr Kelly in testimony, he would be silenced
He intended to say a few words about him as a tribute which he had submitted earlier
By Miles Goslett
PUBLISHED: 00:48 GMT, 24 March 2013 | UPDATED: 00:49 GMT, 24 March 2013
A former British diplomat has revealed he was ‘warned’ by the senior civil servant running the Iraq Inquiry not to mention the late biological weapons expert Dr David Kelly when giving evidence.
Carne Ross, the UK’s Iraq expert at the UN Security Council between 1998 and 2002, said he was told by the ‘very aggressive’ official that if he discussed Dr Kelly during his testimony, he would be silenced.
It is understood the official who delivered the order was Margaret Aldred, secretary of the Iraq Inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilcot.
former British diplomat said he was ‘warned’ not to mention the late biological weapons expert Dr David Kelly (pictured)
The inquiry was set up in 2009 to examine why Tony Blair took Britain into war.
Mr Ross was a close friend of Dr Kelly, a Ministry of Defence employee and world-renowned scientist who was found dead in an Oxfordshire wood in 2003. Dr Kelly had been named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing the Blair Government of lying to take Britain into the war.
Having worked with Dr Kelly for several years, Mr Ross intended to say a few words about him as a tribute which he submitted in earlier written evidence.
A 2003 public inquiry found Dr Kelly committed suicide. But successive governments have refused to hold a full coroner’s inquest, making him the only person in modern English legal history to be denied a proper inquest and fuelling claims of a cover-up.
Last month a group of doctors wrote to the chief coroner of England and Wales, Peter Thornton QC, urging him to resume the inquest which was halted in 2003. This was rejected. The revelation that a witness was informed by an inquiry official what they could and could not discuss before giving evidence raises serious questions about its impartiality.
ir John Chilcot, The head of the Iraq War Inquiry, was ‘incredibly tense’ when evidence was being submitted
And this weekend a senior MP who asked to remain anonymous has revealed that when he offered to submit evidence about Dr Kelly’s death to the inquiry in 2009, he was told by Chilcot personally that he ‘did not want to touch the Kelly issue’.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Mr Ross, who now runs New York-based diplomatic advisory group Independent Diplomat, recalled the day he gave evidence to the Iraq Inquiry in July 2010. He said: ‘I was taken into the room where witnesses sat and shortly before I was to testify an official came in and said, “You are not to speak about David Kelly.” ’
He was told that if he did the videolink of his evidence to the press would be cut and he would have to leave. Having been warned, he kept quiet.
He said: ‘I wasn’t happy about it. I felt very strongly about David. He was a man of honesty and integrity.
he inquiry in 2009 to examine why Tony Blair took Britain into war
‘I wanted to remember him in that setting and they prevented me for no good reason. What difference would it have made? It’s pure control freakery. It was weird. Chilcot was incredibly tense. Clearly he feared I was going to say something.’
When asked if he thought Dr Kelly killed himself, Mr Ross said: ‘I don’t know. I would like to see the people who hounded him to his death brought to account. It was as good as murder, what they did. If you publicly humiliate a man, and you drive him to his death, it’s as bad as putting hemlock in his soup.’
An Iraq Inquiry spokesman refused to comment.