The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 6th February 2004
Us watching them watching us - the MI5 building in
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
BLAIR’S LIES EXPOSED
by Daphne Liddle
JUST ONE week after Prime Minister
Tony Blair thought he was off the hook and had triumphed over all who doubted
him, he is deeper in trouble than ever, as a senior intelligence officer
proclaimed in print that the Government had overruled them on the presentation
of the “dodgy dossier”.
The Independent published the report from intelligence official Dr Brian
Jones on Wednesday. This came after a chain of events that saw major figures
in the British government, the media, the United States government and the
intelligence services all looking around for scapegoats for the continuing
catastrophe that the invasion of Iraq has become, while avoiding becoming
the scapegoats themselves.
Blair’s hopes that the publication of the Hutton report would put an
end to his troubles were quickly shattered. The report was so heavily and
obviously biased that no one has bought it for a moment.
The press was almost unanimous in condemning it as a whitewash – only Murdoch’s
papers like the Sun and the Times supported it.
Within days, the history of Lord Hutton’s involvement in the notorious
Diplock Courts in the occupied north of Ireland, his role in the Bloody Sunday
cover-up and his role in 1990 in getting the Chilean dictator Pinochet released
were common knowledge.
The pressure on Blair grew for a better public inquiry, one with a
remit to look into the reasons why the illegal war against Iraq was launched.
Blair then suffered a kick in the teeth from President Bush – the man
he had risked so much to support. Bush was coming under similar pressure
in the United States over the failure to find the alleged Iraqi weapons of
mass destruction (WMDs).
Dr Kay, the American scientist charged with conducting the search for them,
resigned, admitting there were most probably none to be found.
So Bush has ordered a public inquiry into the intelligence reports
that led him to believe there were such weapons. Bush does not have so much
to fear from admitting that his public claims over the WMDs were wrong. He
never claimed they were the primary reason for going to war. He claimed the
reason was to topple Saddam’s government in Iraq.
Blair knew that would not wash in Britain. There is no international
law to allow one country to invade another because it does not like the other’s
government. Blair had to pretend there was a real danger that Iraq could
launch WMDs on Britain and that Saddam had to be stopped before this happened.
But both Blair and Bush claim that much of their evidence for the existence
of the WMDs came from British intelligence.
Bush’s inquiry was a tactic, first to take the heat off until it reported
– after November’s presidential elections, and secondly to be able to lay
the blame for wrong intelligence on Britain.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell now claims he might not have supported
the war if he had known Iraq had no WMDs.
Blair was in an impossible spot and reluctantly agreed to an independent
inquiry, headed by Lord Butler and including representatives of all the major
But by this time the public and the media were not buying any more
inquiries that were obviously stitched up in advance, as with Hutton.
The Liberal Democrats, who had been pressing for such an inquiry since
the war last March, refused to take part because its remit was too narrow.
The inquiry is set to be held in private and will look only at the
role of the intelligence services in the run up to the war.
British intelligence chiefs saw themselves being lined up as scapegoats
by both the British and American governments. So they are fighting back in
When the BBC originally backed journalist Andrew Gilligan in publishing leaks
from Dr David Kelly that intelligence officers were not happy with the way
the Government was distorting their evidence to make a stronger case for
war, it was always implied that Dr Kelly was not their only source.
Now Brian Jones has made nonsense of Lord Hutton’s findings that the
BBC acted improperly by saying more than Dr Kelly ever did about the rift
between the Government and the intelligence services.
He said that not a single defence intelligence expert supported Blair’s
claims on Iraq’s WMDs.
He said: “In my view, the expert intelligence analysts of the Defence
Intelligence Staff were overruled in the preparation of the dossier back
in September 2002, resulting in a presentation that was misleading about
The whole thing is a charade. Bush and Blair knew full well that Iraq could
not possibly have any WMDs after the first Gulf War. It used everything it
had then. Iraq had no option but to knuckle under the sanctions regime and
obey United Nations bans on developing new weapons.
The war was fought so US imperialism could gain control of Iraq’s oil
fields and impose a military presence in the Middle East.
But Dr Jones would be well advised not to take any long walks in the
woods in the near future.
Enter Lord Butler
THE FACT THAT the Hutton Report has
been publicly ridiculed for the miserable whitewash that it is and that,
within days, the Government has accepted the need for a new inquiry is a
mark of the growing strength of the anti-war campaign.
The fact that the new inquiry will be headed by Lord Butler, a veteran time-server
and former head of the Civil Service; that all the other members are Privy
Councillors and that it will meet in secret shows that the Government still
has plenty to hide.
Left Labour backbenchers have challenged Butler’s appointment on the grounds
that his past record “undermines his credibility as a fair and impartial
chairman”. The Liberal Democrats are refusing to take part in the inquiry
because it does not cover the political questions that led to the war and
some Tories are also expressing their doubts.
Predictably Butler’s review will have limited terms of reference. It will
investigate the accuracy of intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass
destruction prior to the Anglo-American invasion in March 2003. It will examine
any discrepancies between the intelligence gathered and its evaluation and
use by the Government in the run up to war. And it will look at the reports
of the Iraq Survey Group that has operated in occupied Iraq and has failed
to find any banned weapons.
What it will not do is look at the real reasons why Britain went to war against
Iraq that had nothing to do with Iraq’s alleged lethal arsenal and plenty
to do with appeasing George W Bush and America’s ruling circles that were
set on “regime change” in Iraq as soon as Bush set foot in the White House.
Blair clearly hoped that the protests would stop after Hutton but he was
undercut by his master in Washington who has been forced to hold an investigation
of his own over causes of the Iraq war. No doubt Bush and Blair will seek
to cover their tracks by trying to scapegoat the intelligence services if
it transpires that the advice given did not tally with the wild allegations
used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Whether the intelligence services are prepared to carry the can to save Blair’s
bacon is another matter. Some clearly are not. Dr Brian Jones, the former
head of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons section of the Defence
Intelligence Staff, is one of them. Dr Jones, who is now retired, has told
the media that in his view the presentations in the “dodgy dossier” were
misleading and says it would be a “travesty” if his staff are now to be blamed
for any intelligence failings.
Blair & Co will certainly seek to shrug off any more questions until
Butler delivers his conclusions in six months time. We have to ensure that
this doesn’t happen. The war camp have their backs to the wall. Millions
of people have seen through their lies.
In Iraq the resistance is striking daily blows against the American occupation
army and their local quislings. British troops in the south continue to America’s
dirty work for the benefit of the big US corporations that dream of plundering
Iraq’s immense oil riches.
The peace campaign must continue the mass campaign to defeat the war party
– the most reactionary and venal sections of the ruling class that Blair
and his cronies have aligned themselves with. There must be an open public
inquiry into the Iraq war and an inquest to investigate the mysterious circumstances
surrounding the death of Dr Kelly.
Above all, all British troops must be immediately withdrawn from Iraq.
If you find these articles from the New Worker Online
interesting and useful them why not subscribe to our print
edition with lots more news, features, and photos?
To the New Communist Party Page