Archive for the ‘Tony ‘King Blair’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 29, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

An article by John Ware, the Panorama reporter behind Iraq, Tony & the Truth

Guardian – MI6, Jack Straw, defence staff: Blair ignored them all: A reliable source concludes that, as a result of the July 23 prime ministerial summit, “there was a direct cause and effect” between the arrival of last-minute uncorroborated intelligence and the political imperative set by Blair in order to keep his commitment to Bush. It’s now clear that the JIC lost its critical faculties by failing to spot that the intelligence was being fixed around that policy, much as the Americans were doing. The committee had allowed itself to become sucked into helping Blair make the case for war.

UPDATE – See also; Failure to see consequences: psychopathic








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 23, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

This has just been passed to me by Wibbler:

Intriguing new development tonight on the government’s legal advice on going to war with Iraq. Can’t say any more at this point I’m afraid, suffice to say it’s important, and you should watch if you can.

That’s Channel 4 news at 7pm, folks. It may or may not be related to this…

Independent – Reforms announced after Iraq war intelligence faults: New safeguards to prevent a repeat of the intelligence failings in the run-up to the war on Iraq were announced today by the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. The changes will tighten up the procedures under which the Government deals with secret intelligence, following the criticism in last year’s Butler Report of Tony Blair’s informal style of “government by sofa”.

UPDATE:

Channel 4 – Law of the war: Extraordinary new light has been shed on the Attorney General’s dramatic and rapid change of heart on the legality of war. An unprecedented insight from inside the Foreign Office which backs the view that the Attorney General DID change his mind about invading Iraq – deciding suddenly that it was legal, just when the government needed him to. The resignation letter of a government law officer who quit on the eve of war is published – with one key passage blanked out… We reveal the missing words and ask why the government didn’t want you to see them.

And those missing words are as follows…

“My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this Office (the foreign office legal team office) before and after the adoption of UN security council resolution 1441 and with what the Attorney General gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.)”

UPDATE:

So that’s…

“We need a second UN resolution.”
“We can’t get a second UN resolution.”
*cough*
“We don’t need a second UN resolution.”
“Bombs away!”








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 18, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair, UK General Election 2005

BBC – MP thrown out over Blair war jibe: An MP has been thrown out of the House of Commons chamber after claiming that Tony Blair had “misled” Parliament over the Iraq war. The Commons speaker ordered Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price to leave after he refused to withdraw the comments. Mr Price was trying to highlight calls to impeach the prime minister ahead of Friday’s second anniversary of the start of the conflict. The rules bar MPs from accusing fellow parliamentarians of lying.

But they don’t stop me. Googlebombs away!

Tony Blair is a liar. Being a politician and a lawyer makes him quite an accomplished and skilled liar, but a liar he is, and it is as a liar that he will be remembered.

Also…

BBC – Iraq, Tony and the truth: Last Summer the Prime Minister made an impassioned plea to draw a line under Iraq, saying – “No one lied. No one made up the intelligence… Everyone genuinely tried to do their best in good faith for the country in circumstances of acute difficulty. That issue of good faith should now be at an end.” – But allegations that Mr Blair misled the country persist. On the second anniversary of the Iraq war, Panorama reveals how several of the claims he made in public during the build up to the war – and afterwards – conflict with what was going on behind the scenes, as evidenced for instance by government officials and documents.
Tony Blair is a big, fat liar!
Panorama, Sunday 20th March, 10:15pm

Watch it and learn more about what a big, fat liar Tony Blair is. Tape it and show your friends what a big, fat liar Tony Blair is.

Meanwhile…

Guardian – Tory spending plans mean cuts, Blair insists
Scotsman – Blair Accused of ‘Lying’ About Tory Spending Plans
Telegraph – Labour in retreat over disputed 35bn Tory cuts claim
Guardian – Blair and Brown unite in 35bn cuts assault

Note – The new version of the poster to see here is only a draft. I’ll work on a larger one once I have a definitive up-to-the-minute cost of the war in Iraq. This figure is an interim one based on this item. I’ll dig for more later today.

UPDATES:
Guido – Poster Problems – Part II
The UK Today – Liar, Liar
PoliticalBetting.com – Who’ll win the battle of the 35bn of “Tory Tax Cuts” ?

UPDATES:
BBC – Iraq, Tony & the Truth: Timeline (includes link to a transcript of the Panorama programme)
BBC – Iraq, Tony & the Truth – Your comments
Time management and the ‘Biased BBC’ blog








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Blimey! Now Bob’s at it!

Guardian – Are you thinking what I’m thinking about the election?: Thanks to tactical voting and electoral apathy the Tories could win it.

I think at this stage the Monster Raving Loony Party stands a better chance, but I’ll keep an eye on it just the same.

BBC – Blair ‘up for it’ ahead of poll: Tony Blair says his personal standing in the eyes of voters will be “an issue” in the general election. The prime minister said he was “up for it” as the country waits to go to the polls, possibly in a matter of weeks. (Link via Poons.)

Related (and requires registration to read in full):

Guardian – Why the Sun is anti-Labour once again: The Sun is no longer a pro-Labour newspaper, yet neither the paper nor Downing Street is saying so openly. Both sides are keeping up the facade that it is business as usual despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Murdoch gets busyThe love-affair may not be over. A lot will depend on how Blair reacts to this latest bitch-slapping from Murdoch.

Bloggerheads: An important thing to remember about Murdoch and Blair is that – as cosy as their relationship might seem – Murdoch will not hesitate to give Blair a solid kicking over issues like the EU and immigration…

PS – Oh dear, indeed.

The Sun – Brown sees off Milburn: Tony Blair is preparing to sideline election supremo Alan Milburn amid fears of a Tory revival. Mr Milburn is seen as a flop and will make way for Gordon Brown, hailed by the PM last week as the “best Chancellor for 100 years”.

UPDATE 2 – I think it’s pretty clear what sort of issues Murdoch is trying to get on the agenda via this last slapping…

Look out! Gipsies! But it’s not about racism: The problem with gipsies and travellers has nothing to do with any racial discrimination, as John Prescott fears… If the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office would just let the politically correct scales fall from their eyes, they would see this obvious truth.

UPDATE 3 – (Via Chicken Yoghurt)…

Independent – Blair broke code to keep war advice from Cabinet: Tony Blair is facing calls for a formal investigation after it emerged that he breached the official code of conduct for ministers by failing to show the Attorney General’s full advice on the legality of the Iraq war to the Cabinet.

Here’s yet another chance to stop those protest votes, Labour Party peeps.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 7, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Seamus spotted a familiar image (see these comments) and brought this to my attention…

It has been suggested that Jeff Gannon has been entertaining Tony Blair in a way that makes his offer to appear on Little Britain even more amusing.

The minutes referenced above claim in a nudge/wink way that; JD Guckert (aka Jeff Gannon) was busy entertaining the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The link Libertythink provides to the relevant minutes keeps going down, but you can see them by following this link (PDF) which appears on this page.

Then you can stop right there. This is where the story ends, as there is little prospect of a love-child to agonise over.








Rebekah Wade has a thing for horsesYou may recall that the Osbournes got robbed the last time (almost) everybody was talking about security measures and the legal advice given for the invasion of Iraq (November 22 and 23 2004) but I’m *pretty* sure The Sun doesn’t have a team of professional crims on the payroll to provide timely distractions.

No, what I find most curious about this two-day sequence of front pages is that horse. Remember the puppy thrown off an overpass that got more coverage than the Abu Ghraib torture victims? (Click here and scroll to bottom.)

Now, as British soldiers are found guilty of abusing Iraqi prisoners and sentencing is nigh, Wade has decided to reserve the front page for the Queen’s guards getting a horse drunk.

This is yet another instance where Rebekah Wade seems to be suggesting that Iraqis are less important than animals. Either that, or she’s been reading Bloggerheads and this is a secret message to let me know that she has a thing for horses.

(ahem)

Speaking of such matters, the fun continues on Page 3 where, following Blair’s somewhat desperate ploy of upping the minimum wage, work-a-day peeps (who would well-and-truly freak out if they knew about this tax-dodging motherhumper) are assured by The Girl With The Boobs that all is well and the economy is strong.

Today Jak (19, from Tunbridge Wells) is delighted that British business is booming. And she’s doing her own bit for exports – by taking 10,000 advance orders for her single Come On. She adds: “Profits are up for British business. That’s a good sign the economy is doing just fine.”

Hrm. The propaganda is there, but somehow someone also found space to work in a plug for Jak’s single. This *may* have something to do with Jak being the stepdaughter of an executive editor.

UPDATE – Boris Johnson – Sorry, Blair, but that is so much phooey: Under the Bill that went through the Commons last night, the Home Secretary (the chap with the big ears and the white bumfluff beard) will be able to inflict this incarceration indefinitely upon any British person that he suspects – on the basis of we are not allowed to know what evidence – of being involved in “terrorism-related activities”. Above all, he will be able to do this without any obligation to bring that person to trial, and there, I think, he goes too far.

UPDATE – Perfect.co.uk – Minority Report (an extract won’t do it justice, I’m afraid; you’ll have to go and read it)

UPDATE – Peter Gasston – Proud to be civilised: None of the Iraqis were asked to give evidence; the British army says it could not find them. The Independent found them in 48 hours, living within a few km of the British base (note: the story is not online at the moment due to legal issues). They claim they were beaten by the British soldiers as suspected thieves; some of them, however, were employees of the camp.

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahahaha! Curtail those civil liberties! Quickly! Before the terrorists get us! Don’t think! Do it NOW! Chop-chop! Oooh, look out… I think I can hear them coming (and so on and so forth)….

The Scum – Don’t delay: There is no reason now for the Tories to stand in the way of the anti-terror laws. The Government has listened to the concerns of those who say, rightly or wrongly, that locking up suspects solely on the say-so of a politician is wrong. On Monday an amendment will be made so that a judge is involved in this process at an early stage. That will safeguard civil liberties. So Parliament must get on with making this new law effective as soon as possible. Every delay is one more day when the terrorists could inflict a dreadful outrage on this country and its citizens. No political party would ever be forgiven if its actions caused a delay which allowed a disaster to happen.

UPDATE – Press Release: Boris Johnson MP denounces Government’s latest Anti-Terror plans

Boris, you fool! Can you not hear them coming for us?! RIGHT *NOW*?! Stop this madness and get on board before we all get blowed up, man!

;O)

UPDATE – The UK Today – End of an era: And what a corrupting influence power is. Back in 1994, the Labour Shadow Home Secretary stated that; “the liberty of the subject should be taken away not by the act of a politician, but by a court of law.” The name of this clear-thinking individual? Tony Blair.

UPDATE – Via WibblerBoing Boing – UK Labour MP flays govt over terror laws – incredible speech!: UK Labour MP Brian Sedgemore has given his last speech in Parliament, and it’s a doozy: he excoriates – nay, flays alive – the Blair government and Labour’s tame backbenchers for collaborating to turn Britain into a police state in the name of fighting terrorism.








Yes. Two in a row. Deal with it.

Climate change: Someone’s blowing smoke to hide or compromise the science.

Bush to Putin: “…the Russian government must renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law.”

Don’t say “Pffft!” yet…. you may want to reserve some of your morning quota for this.

Ever watch those Funny Home Video shows where children are falling over or being mauled by pets, and yet their parents think it’s more important to keep the camera rolling? That’s all I have to say about this.

UK: British soldiers found guilty of abuse
UK: Four face jail after guilty verdicts in Iraqi prisoner abuse court martial
US army conducting 100+ criminal investigations into claims of detainee abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay

Meanwhile…

Majority halved for Clarke’s terror law
Anti-terror Bill wins second reading after Clarke warns of ‘Madrid attack’

Yes, the threat will be greater during the election campaign. That’s been my opinion for quite some time. But I also believe that the threat is greatly exacerbated when politicians manipulate that threat or the public’s perception of it. It compromises readiness, and it encourages the terrorists. After all, Madrid was a big win for the terrorists, but only because Aznar tried to play games with the atrocity.

(UPDATE – BBC – Election ‘could be terror target’)

Speaking of manipulating the terrorist threat for political gain…

UK govt feared Iraq war illegal

Guardian – Transcripts show No 10’s hand in war legal advice: Transcripts of evidence given in private by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, to an official inquiry suggest that the crucial advice on the legality of war, presented to parliament in his name, was written for him by two of Tony Blair’s closest allies.

So that’s ‘independent’ intelligence backed up by ‘independent’ legal advice. Well, I feel better.

UPDATE – Chicken Yoghurt: Being a novice at Doublethink I’m struggling somewhat with these two statements from the Attorney General over whether he equivocated over his legal advice with regard to the Iraq war and whether his subsequent summary of that advice given in an answer to a parliamentary question was in fact written by Number 10.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 16, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair, UK General Election 2005

Yes. I am paranoid. And I have delusions of grandeur.

Here’s something inneresting from my Bloggerheads stats for February:
194.201.189.212 (18 pages, last visit 09 Feb 2005 – 11:44)

See if you can guess (before you click) what this IP reveals.

More IP fun tommorow, kids.

PS – My email has been playing up all afternoon. I think Martians are to blame. If you’ve sent me something since midday, I’ve been unable to retrieve it.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 10, 2005

Category: Tony 'King Blair

I love that they chose today to launch this. And I have a special question or two that you may wish to ask him yourself.

:o)








Seymour Hersh – “We’ve Been Taken Over by a Cult”: …the amazing thing is we are been taken over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy is. You do have to wonder what a Democracy is when it comes down to a few men in the Pentagon and a few men in the White House having their way… there’s been a tremendous sea change in the government. A concentration of power…. We’re nowhere. The press is nowhere. The congress is nowhere. The military is nowhere. Every four-star General I know is saying, “Who is going to tell them we have no clothes?” Nobody is going to do it. Everybody is afraid to tell Rumsfeld anything. That’s just the way it is. It’s a system built on fear. It’s not lack of integrity, it’s more profound than that. Because there is individual integrity. It’s a system that’s completely been taken over – by cultists.

How can they get away with such a thing you ask?

In a word; television.

How Democracy Was Subverted in Peru: What they found was a stunningly bold and effective effort to circumvent three institutions key to maintaining democracy in Peru: the judiciary, the legislature, and the media. “Montesinos and Fujimori maintained the facade of democracy – the citizens voted, judges decided, the media reported – but they drained its substance,” McMillan and Zoido wrote. What’s more, by analyzing the size of the bribes, they demonstrate that the media, or more specifically, television, has become the most forceful of the checks and balances that underpin constitutional government.

But this is also enabled by an echo chamber in the press and on Teh Interwebs. And money. Lots and lots of dirty money.

McPaper – Report: PR spending doubled under Bush: The Bush administration has more than doubled its spending on outside contracts with public relations firms during the past four years, according to an analysis of federal procurement data by congressional Democrats.

Now, let’s turn our heads toward home…

Europhobia: As Clarke also told Channel Four News presenter Jon Snow, it is the media’s job to help the government spread “the truth” about the terrorists lurking around every corner, in the wardrobe, under the bed and behind the curtains (gotta love the Murdoch press). If the media carries on questioning the government, people might start to think that our wondrous leadership is doing things wrong. We can’t have that now, can we?

It almost sounds as if we’re going to end up with a system where people are detained without trial.. unless it’s a trial-by-media. Hang on a mo; retract “It almost sounds like…”

The Sun – I stayed at terror camp with Osama: One of the four Camp Delta prisoners now walking Britain’s streets came face to face with Osama Bin Laden in a terror camp, court documents reveal.

Court documents? Why, that almost suggests that this man had a trial. If so, then that’s news to me. Anyway, he’s been convicted by Murdoch, and that’s what counts…

The Sun – Truly terrifying: From his own mouth, Briton Richard Belmar admits that he was trained as a Muslim terrorist. He confirms he came face to face with al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. He reveals he was a disciple of Abu Qatada – Bin Laden’s so-called “Ambassador in Europe”. These admissions were not made under fear of torture but in a military tribunal with lawyers present. And yet Belmar is a free man. Despite warnings from the Pentagon that America considers Belmar a threat to security, Britain has taken him from the safety of Camp X-Ray in Cuba and set him loose in London. The transcript of Belmar’s legal hearing casts grave doubts on the wisdom of that action.

Ah, I see. When they say ‘court’, they mean a US military tribunal… one that has no bearing on this man’s legal status in this country. But trial-by-media operates a little differently, as you may well expect.

Oh, and I just love that – because he wasn’t actually strapped into a chair and being beaten at the time – The Scum presents Belmar’s statements to this tribunal as being untainted by 2+ years of incarcaration without hope of release, solitary confinement and torture.

Anyway, getting back to the burning beans, that nice Mr Murdoch is taking the assurances of the Bush administration and feeding them to the British public as ‘proof’. And – as Charles Clarke seems to think – it is their duty to do so.

You may want to revisit a few public reactions to the release of these men and see how many arguments in favour of their continued detention rely on total belief in their guilt. This belief is based largely on what they are fed by butt-munching neo-con media barons like Murdoch, who take ‘evidence’ that’s deemed inadmissible in this country, bypass all of that ‘due process’ nonsense and go straight to the lynching.

You may also want to get in touch with Mr Clarke today and have a few words. You can do so via his homepage (which helpfully advises us that Mr Clarke is still Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and therefore is well-placed to teach those pesky terrorists a lesson or two).

UPDATE (Feb 1) – Washington Post – Judge Rules Detainee Tribunals Illegal: A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Bush administration must allow prisoners at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to contest their detention in U.S. courts, concluding that special military reviews established by the Pentagon as an alternative are illegal. U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green said that the approximately 550 men held as “enemy combatants” are entitled to the advice of lawyers and to confront the evidence against them in those proceedings. But, she found, the Defense Department has largely denied them these “most basic fundamental rights” during the reviews conducted at Guantanamo Bay, in the name of protecting the United States from terrorism.








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