Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The Curveball con

The US-based Center for Public Integrity has published a report The War Card: Orchestrated deception on the path to war. This shows that:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Meanwhile, Democracy Now! carries the transcript of a TV interview with Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Drogin about his new book, "Curveball: Spies, Lies, and the Con Man Who Caused a War." The book "examines how a former Iraqi taxi driver helped build the Bush administration’s case for war by making false claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged biological and chemical weapons programs."

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Victory - again

The Information Tribunal has rejected the Foreign Office's appeal against the ruling that it should release the secret John Williams draft of the Iraq dossier. I first requested this document under the Freedom of Information Act in February 2005?

The New Statesman is claiming victory, having done a lot to pursue the issue, and Ian Dale, who invited me to make a film when at 18 Doughty Street, is also claiming credit.

I'm not arguing.

See also Martin Rosenbaum on the BBC FOI blog and Index on Censorship.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Saving the World

The Guardian reports that Nato has been told that a pre-emptive nuclear strike must remain an option, to try to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Indeed five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists say that:
"The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."
It's hard to believe that anyone could say anything so daft. But then as I reported in a Comment is Free blog, Tony Benn told the Media Workers against the War conference in November that according to western mainstream assumptions "weapons of mass destruction are things other countries have."

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Government bottles it over Pasquill

Today's great news is that the government has dropped the prosecution of Derek Pasquill, who leaked a number of great stories to Martin Bright at the Observer and the New Statesman.

Bright has been running campaigns all over the place to get the case dropped and seems to have succeeded, although it is interesting to note the prosecution's stated reason, that documents that would have had to be disclosed undermined its case that Pasquill's disclosures would have been damaging.

Anyway, congratulations to Bright and Pasquill. Now something must be done about the Official Secrets Act.