The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chilcot. See you in court ?

Blair at the Chilcot thing may make good viewing, but as always, it'll come down to the lawyers.

Straw, Goldsmith, Sir Michael Wood and Elizabeth Wilmshurst.

Goldsmith's timely pre-war change of heart gets the armed forces off the hook - without his confirmation that the invasion was legal, our armed forces would be liable for prosecution (on an individual basis) and no-one would have asked the armed forces to invade - the likes of Colonel Tim Collins would simply tell you to fuck off. No legal basis for war = no war.

All well and good for the services, but what of

Yesterday, Sir Michael Wood (Goldsmith's deputy) told the enquiry he felt there was no legal basis for the war. Sir Michael's former deputy, Elizabeth Wilmshurst was crystal clear on the lack of legality. She's the only civil servant to have resigned over the issue.

Sir Michael's opinion was rejected by Straw on these grounds, documented in his written response ;

1) There's room in the issue for genuine disagreement
2) International law is "uncertain".
3) With legal uncertainties in the past, Straw had proceeded and gone on to win in court.
4) On the Iraq invasion issue, there is no international court of law.

Sir Michael reasoned that because there was no court, it's incumbent on members of the international community to act scrupulously. It would appear Straw's inclination was that in the absence of a court to answer to, the decision was for Blair/Parliament and history will be the judge.

Either way, the enquiry is specifically there to find out "what lessons can be learned", its legal powers to hold participants to account are essentially non-existent - we should be used to that by now. For those of you who aren't, Monbiot is campaigning for a citizens arrest of Blair (as per Tatchell/Mugabe). It's legal standing has yet to be tested and there's only one way to do that....   you'll find the man you're after at The Queen Elizabeth Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3EE this coming Friday. Probably best not to catch up with him on his way in.

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