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Iraq enquiry - complete waste of time and money


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From Sky News:

US And UK Desperately Wanted 'Smoking Gun'

"British and American officials were desperately looking for a "smoking gun" that would justify their imminent invasion of Iraq ..."

Surely we all know this and there's no justification for an enquiry. We were all lied to but that wasn't the point. The point was post-9/11, as Bush said, you were either with the Americans or against them. Britain had to join in.

The end.

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I doubt it will effect the coldblooded lizard that is Blair at all but I'd still like the enquiry to expose his lies, or at best total incompetence plus it may well have an effect on future behaviour of those that make war without having to fight it.

Would you have just had the Nazis shot in 1945 as the Nuremburg trials were just a waste of money by your logic?

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mockney piers Wrote:


> So you're fine with the invasion of Iraq but think

> an enquiry into what is universally accepted as

> our worst foreign policy decision, based entirely

> on lying to the public, since 1956 is a waste of

> money?

> Erm....nope, you've lost me.

Don't see why I've lost you. You've summed up the position quite well so what else do you expect the enquiry to

reveal to you and the public at large? The money would be better spent giving 'our lads' more equipment so they can finish the job and come home.

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Mmmmthey have finished the jb and come home in case you hadn't noticed. The entire enquiry will come to about the cost of a few days deployment there.

Luckily some people demand that when we go to war it's for the right reasons and never by misleading he house and the public. It's for this we live in a relatively healthy democracy and this is one of the reasons we have enquiries.

It's what makes us different from the old soviet union or even saddams Iraq.

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Mmmmthey have finished the jb and come home in case you hadn't noticed. The entire enquiry will come to about the cost of a few days deployment there.

Luckily some people demand that when we go to war it's for the right reasons and never by misleading he house and the public. It's for this we live in a relatively healthy democracy and this is one of the reasons we have anquiries.

It's what makes us different from the old soviet union or even saddams Iraq.

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I never felt misled, I never believed the 'intelligence' in the firsr place and seriously doubt many, if any, in the House were misled and believed it either. Rather in the climate at the time they were too cowed to speak out but conveniently back-tracked in the face of public opinion.

I maintain politically Britain had to go to war shoulder to shoulder with the Americans given the mood in the US or risk losing any credibility on the world stage.

Glad you feel an enquiry is of use though.

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Might have gained more support from World opinion if they'd just come out at the start and said we're going into eliminate a tyrant who for years has butchered his own people - and we also intend capturing the Iraqi Oil fields to rebuild Iraq and secure future fuel for the West, plus have another strategic base in the middle east.
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Totally with you Matthew, a little honesty goes a long way.

It was so mendacious and frankly patronising the way they went about it.

Just say we want a client state to maintain power in an area full of resources we're doing nothing to wean ourself off a dependence upon.

Fine, admit to being a neoconial power and that the lives of darker skinned people don't matter. Just say those things and I'll have at least some respect for your honesty.

I don't think our stock went up by standing shoulder to shoulder, yo Blair being the first proof of how low our status really was, out current standing with Obama being the rewards we justly reaped.

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Complete and utter waste of time and money.

?182 million on the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, any bets on what this will cost?

Perhaps, the price of a Chinook we could use in AFG and actually save a few lives.

The files are sealed for 30 years, anything classified is going to be heard in camera.

It is a milksop, and a bloody expensive one.

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Santerme, i have a huge amount of respect for your opinion like I would few others, but in this I will have to disagree.

To conflate the cost of assuring a scrupulous investigation of those who lead and drag you and those under your command I to risking lives, with the money they should have promised you for that which you needed is frankly odd.

It seems to be missing the point.

Iraq was not military it was political, and bad politics at that.

To compare trying to find out why, to unravel the steps taken to sending the country into war as a milksop is, well, odd.

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How much worth does it have for you and me right now? Well none. We?ve all seen the bullshit unfold right in front of our eyes and have resigned ourselves to the fact that the guilty are going to skip away free to the cheers of the brainless masses.

But, if it isn?t politically whitewashed and allows for posterity the leaders who presided over these tragic events to go down in history as the foul, warmongering scum they are, then it will have served some purpose.

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The Bloody Sunday Inquiry never bought peace in Northern Ireland, if anything it allowed old resentments to resurface.

Operationally, a repeat of Bloody Sunday is as close to an impossibility as one can get.

So the purpose of that Inquiry was what to apportion blame?

Much as it pains me, the blame has always been clear, the Army opened fire on unarmed civilians and committed a massacre no less criminal than the acts of terror perpetrated by the IRA.

How many soldiers were ever convicted?

The invasion of Iraq was carried out in the fullest glare of publicity, even before the operation was launched questions were being asked as to it's legitimacy.

Subsequently, millions upon millions of words have been written on the subject.

We know the processes the principle nations went through to make the decision to invade.

The arguments for and against were constantly on the radio, in print and on our televisions day in, day out.

As we are not to be allowed to hear the confidential aspects of the inquiry, everything is already in the public domain.

Sir Humphrey would be immensely proud of this farago of a procedure.

I may be cynical, but I have served in staff jobs in the MOD and my company consults on security matters to the same august institution.

The public will get to hear what the PUS and his immediate cohorts want released.

Hence my assertion that once again we have the charade of an inquiry, which will add not a jot to the sum of our knowledge about the Iraq war.

I and the men I commanded kicked off on the way to Umm Qasr in the full belief we were going to pave the way for a new era for the Iraqi people....

The Inquiry I would like to hear from is the one into Cheney and Rumsfield's decision to ignore the US State Dept's considered plan for the immediate start to reconstruction and rehabilitation projects.

How they supplanted military authority with Bremmer, who turned out to be the greatest liability inflicted on Iraq.

Why deBathification took precedent over establishing a security apparatus, which was the cause of the rapid decline in law and order.

I would like to know why the invasion was not postponed when Turkey refused 4 ID transit through it's territory and this unit was not redeployed South to give more adequate boots on the ground.

But in the end all this is fairly moot because, those that have died are dead, those injured are dealing with their lives.

The geopolitical situation in the ME is about as cocked up as it can be and regional power is now in the hands of those we sought to marginalise.

It's like the scene in A Bridge Too Far when Connery is offered a cup of tea by his Batman.

I paraphrase, 'I have half my division scattered over Holland, lunatics laughing at me from the woods, and you make me a cup of tea'.

Well, I guess the Inquiry cannot hurt either!

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Of course it didn't 'bring peace' but it was an integral piece of the jigsaw that brought about peace, not in the least showing that the British government was approaching the peace process in good faith and willing to ask itself hard questions when demanding hard decisions from those in the political process in the province.

Wounds are always opened when speaking of difficult things but there was a remarkable involvement by many of the leading characters and hard matters addressed which I thik has only helped the process to move onward. Overlong and expensive perhaps, but cheap at the price.

With somewhat less beer inside me I'll be a little less impassioned about why I think we need an enquiry, and why Iraq itself is almost irrelevant to the tale. Yes I'd love to see Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfovitz etc in a court of law, preferably Washington or even the Hague, but we know no such thing will ever happen.

It is the state of our politics that I worry about, and no matter how much spoken of or printed about the subject so far, all we have is a weight of evidence that supports the speculation about why Iraq really happened and how much our politicians lied to us.

Peter Oborne says it far more eloquently than I

"The British system of democracy as we enter the twentieth century has brought back the [18th century] distinction between a tiny governing elite and an apathetic and largely disenfrachised electorate. A modern political leader must surround themselves with members of this new elite, one aspect of their job being to mislead and cheat on behalf of the leader in order to manufacture his image for public consumption.

Ahead of the Iraq war the Bush administration were told from an early stage that the British people supported regime change, but the British people were told 'weapons of mass destruction' were the main issue were the main issue and regime change was not the reason for war. [blair] had a clear objective of his own, but his predicament as a post democratic leader prevented or discouraged him from revealing what it was to the voters preferring to deceive them and advance through subterfuge.

This is why it is so easy for advisers like Rove or Campbell to treat the whole of perceived reality as one enormous fabrication to bolster and support the image of the leader they serve. This approach can often bring short-term advantages. But it means that the population at large ceases to participate in the political process. It has been reduced to the role of dupe or victim, to be manipulated by the expert media and communications manipulators who have emerged as the new platonic guardians."

In other words it has become morally imperative to lie not just because they think they will do, but in order to do the right thing.

The thing is they rarely seem to do the right thing, and this isn't a politics that I believe is healthy for this country.

Iraq was just the biggest episode, but New Labour (and the new conservatives are willingly now following this same philosophy in order to gain power, the true successor to Blair as Cameron called himself) have applied this to everything they do. They talk about the need for a debate then distract with sound bites. They will then do whatever they want and lie in order to achieve it.

I want this systematically exposed and written down. I want every mendacity documented in black and white.

I want those who demurred in order to protect their careers to sit there and squirm so that politicians know that by doing the wrong thing in future their day in front of an enquiry will come.

It may not have the power to impose punishment but I certainly want all those involved to have their day of shame, and if it's one piece of the jigsaw that allows the electorate a genuine part in the political process of this country without being patronised and misled then amen to that.

If the best we can say of ourselves is that, like Silverfox, we werent duped and saw through their pathetic dissimulation, then that's not a political process to be proud of, I'd like it to be better than that.

phew, no wonder i didnt manage that on an iPhone with 4 pints inside me.

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Not really that useful...

The content of the advice was under scrutiny from the get go...

Here is the Guardian back in 2005 on the subject and the Foreign Office lawyer did have the courage of her convictions unlike the AG

David Leigh and Rob Evans The Guardian, Monday 28 February 2005 09.17 GMT Article history

The government has promised to make a new decision by March 11 on whether to release the advice given by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, on the legality of the invasion of Iraq.

In the wake of last week's row about allegations that Lord Goldsmith was leaned on to withdraw his original advice, Downing St now says officials are considering whether to recommend dropping efforts to conceal it.

Ministers have been forced into authorising a high-level review by numerous freedom of information requests submitted since the act came into force in January.

Unless ministers accept a Whitehall recommendation to make a disclosure, the next hurdle they will face is a full investigation by the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, in March. He has already assembled a team to study the issue.

He has the legal power to order the release of the advice. In the legislation, ministers controversially kept the option to override the commissioner. But if they use the ministerial veto so early in the life of the act, it will lead to a further collision with supporters of freedom of information.

Among those who have weighed in during the last week to say public interest demands publication of the advice - which was kept secret from the cabinet as Britain went to war - are John Major, Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy.

Yesterday the Lib Dems' deputy leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, said: "Publish and be damned, yes; but don't publish and be damned even further."

Legal advice commissioned by the Guardian suggests the professed reason for keeping the Iraq advice secret - legal privilege - is unsustainable.

According to the authorities quoted in Keir Starmer QC's opinion, published on the Guardian website, legal privilege has disappeared because the government "cherry-picked" what purported to be a summary of the advice, publicly quoting the parts that suited the government case.

Furthermore, British governments have published the text of such official legal advice in the past.

Downing St says that officials will complete by March 11 a "thorough and impartial" review, and that ministers will not interfere with it. Under the act, government departments are required to conduct an internal review following appeals against FOI refusals.

Documents that have also been requested include the resignation letter by the Foreign Office lawyer Elizabeth Wilmshurst, which insiders say could be explosive. It is said to disclose details showing Lord Goldsmith's original legal view was that the invasion would be wrong under international law.

After Lord Goldsmith held discussions with US lawyers on President George Bush's staff, and with No 10 insiders Lord Falconer and Lady Morgan, it is alleged he was persuaded to change his mind

I am SURE the Mail would not sex up a headline to gain readership.

As for the Saville Inquiry, whilst it was announced in Jan 1998, first submissions were not given until March 2000.

The Good Friday Agreement had been in force since April 10th 1998.

It was not an adversarial process and never looked to apportion blame, that was not in its remit.

Also it has not completed its report, that is due in March 2010.

One of the cavaets in the proceedings is that any evidence given to the inquiry cannot be used against those particpating in a future court action.

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