Tuesday, 25 January 2011

News on Sky but not yet reported by BBC, but then is it really news?

Sky News report that:
'Two former Cabinet Secretaries have disputed Tony Blair's claim on Friday that the Cabinet knew military action against Iraq was likely a year before the invasion.

The former Prime Minister told the Iraq Inquiry on Friday that his cabinet were aware from early 2002 that they had endorsed a policy that would probably lead to an attack on Iraq.

But Lord Wilson, who was Cabinet Secretary from 1998 until 2002, and Lord Turnbull who was his successor, have both told the Inquiry that this was not the case.
Lord Wilson claimed that Mr Blair told his cabinet in a meeting in April 2002 that "nothing was imminent".

Echoing evidence given by other Downing Street officials, Lord Wilson described a lack of official cabinet meetings in those crucial 15 months before the invasion in March 2003.


Numerous witnesses have claimed that under Mr Blair's leadership, the Cabinet was not routinely consulted on key decisions and commitments that were being made regarding Iraq.

Lord Wilson told the Inquiry: "I don't think anyone would have gone away thinking they had authorised a course of action that would lead to military action."

His successor, Lord Turnbull, claimed that Mr Blair continually put off Cabinet discussions about the possibility of attacking Iraq in the months before the March 2003 invasion.

"The prime minister basically said, 'well, they [his ministers] knew the score'. That isn't borne out by what actually happened."

Lord Turnbull added: "None of those really key papers [options papers about Iraq and the threat posed] were presented to the cabinet which is why I don't accept the former Prime Minister's claim that they knew the score."

On Friday, when asked whether or not he had ensured his cabinet were fully informed, Tony Blair said: "I don't think there was any doubt about that at all.
"If you went back, unless people were not listening to the news or reading the newspapers, which is not my experience of the Cabinet Ministers, it was the issue the entire time."
Will Tony BliarBlair be asked to return to the Chilcot Inquiry yet again or is there really very little point? As I have said many times in the past - 'The chances of Tony Blair answering a question totally truthfully look slim and unless he is under oath and wired to a lie-detector I don't think that I will believe his 'evidence' anyway.'

1 comment:

Alex said...

I knew it was almost a certainty because Tony Blair told IDS, IDS told John Whittingdale (who was in the shadow cabinet) and John Whittingdale told me in about June 2002. I asked whether he was serious (because there were no signs of any WMD) and he said that TB had already made up his mind and told Bush. I would n't normally put much weight on what Whittingdale said but we were in the same year at Winchester and he said what he said in the presence of a highly esteemed member of the Privy Council so I don't think he would be bullshitting me.

In a similar vein, David Mills (husband of T Jowell) tells me that his friend (and brother-in-law) Alan Rusbridger had lunch with the heads of MI5&6 who told him that we were going to war with Iraq for sure and they didn't have a clue why it was happening.