Archive for 'Uncategorized' Category

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 [...]

Panorama misses its mark

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

by Piers Robinson Last week’s Panorama investigation The Spies Who Fooled The World into pre-war intelligence and its use during the run up to the invasion of Iraq presents what happened as an intelligence failure. Because of deliberate deception by Iraqi sources, such as the spy code-named “Curveball”, and with a dose of wishful thinking [...]

If you just take the executive summary

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

by Chris Ames The BBC’s story on Tony Blair saying that he has no regrets over the invasion of Iraq largely concentrates on his comparison of the cost of the war in human lives, compared to what Blair thinks might have happened had Saddam have been left in power.  The orignal justification for the war [...]

Brian Jones 1944-2012

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

by Chris Ames I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn today that Digest contributor – and my good friend – Brian Jones has died. Paul Waugh has already written a very touching and accurate piece here, which sums up why he had so much respect for Brian. I think he has described Brian’s qualities [...]

Is secrecy really to blame for the delay?

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, November 17, 2011

by Chris Ames Both the Independent and the Telegraph blame the current government for the delay in publishing the Inquiry’s report, announced yesterday after some accurate speculation. But is this fair? The Telegraph says: “The Iraq Inquiry has put back its report by at least six months due to a wrangle with the Government over [...]

The beginning and the end of the plan for regime change

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, November 10, 2011

by Chris Ames Four weeks ago, while researching what the Inquiry has thrown up about when, how and why Britain decided to take part in the US plan to achieve regime change in Iraq, I realised that two very significant documents, whose existence the Inquiry has revealed but which it has not published, could throw [...]

No Inquiry told us this

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

by Chris Ames I wrote previously about a recently disclosed (under FOI rather than the Inquiry, of course) memo on 6 September 2002 from Julian Miller, who was then chief of the assessments staff and in day to day charge of redrafting the Iraq WMD dossier. In fact the memo discloses that Miller gave the [...]