Archive for 'Uncategorized' Category

No cover-up, says Blair aide

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

By Chris Ames The BBC reports Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood’s appearance before the Commons Public Administration Committee.  The Iraq Inquiry report will “not be a cover-up in any shape or form”, the UK’s top civil servant has insisted. Sir Jeremy Heywood told MPs that the report would be “more transparent” than people were expecting and […]

Concealment upon concealment upon concealment

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, August 7, 2014

by Chris Ames I wrote on Monday about the Foreign Office’s refusal to release documents I had identified and requested under the Freedom of Information Act, on the grounds the the Iraq Inquiry will publish them, eventually. Looking at the documents and the context, you can see why the Inquiry thinks they are significant. What […]

The Inquiry is the obstacle to disclosure

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Monday, August 4, 2014

by Chris Ames As I have pointed out on many occasions, for all John Chilcot’s huffing and puffing about what it will be allowed to publish when it eventually releases its report, the Iraq Inquiry is in fact sitting on a large pile of documents which it has asked to publish and is allowed to […]

Straw’s deceit in his own words

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Monday, July 7, 2014

by Chris Ames In a post yesterday, I pointed out that Jack Straw had, in a statement to the Inquiry, avoided explaining why he conspired with Tony Blair to give Cabinet colleagues a piece of propaganda but not the Cabinet Office Options paper, which explained how regime change in Iraq could be secured via “the […]

Sedwill to be probed over dossier cover-up allegations

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Sunday, July 6, 2014

by Chris Ames Mark Sedwill, the Home Office permanent secretary who is to appear before a parliamentary committee over his department’s somewhat careless handling of allegations of child abuse by politicians, is an important figure in the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq, in his role as foreign secretary Jack Straw’s private secretary. […]

Even Prescott (finally) gets it

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Sunday, June 22, 2014

by Chris Ames Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has already said that, although he supported the invasion of Iraq at the time, he no longer believes it can be justified. Now, writing in the Mirror, he admits that, despite what Tony Blair said at the time, it was all about regime change. As Tony’s […]

More spin from Blair

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014

By Chris Ames When Tony Blair was in power, no journalist was better at disseminating his spin than the Guardian’s Patrick Wintour. In a piece in today’s paper by Wintour, Blair again has a free hit at damage limitation in advance of the inquiry report. Ministers are also bracing themselves for strong criticism, probably this […]

Is Straw the Inquiry’s first casualty – or just past it?

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

by Chris Ames The announcement that Jack Straw is to stand down from parliament at the next election has prompted speculation from some quarters that he is anticipating criticism from the Inquiry, when it eventually publishes its report. The Daily Mail’s Black Dog resorts to the anonymous comment to float the idea: Not all Labour […]

Owen criticises Butler

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Sunday, June 2, 2013

by Chris Ames Open Democracy has published the speech that David Owen gave last weekend, which has featured in a few news reports since, mainly focussing on his suggestion that Tony Blair and David Cameron are colluding to suppress what Blair said to George Bush in the run-up to war. The speech is well-argued and […]

Foreign Office burying documents to protect the Inquiry’s monopoly

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Friday, May 31, 2013

by Chris Ames Three months ago I made a Freedom of Information Act request for two or more documents whose existence was revealed in the statement of John Williams to the Inquiry. Williams was the Foreign Office press secretary up to and beyond the invasion and wrote the first full draft of the September 2002 […]