Archive for 'Uncategorized' Category

Government blocks release of Iraq Cabinet Minutes for a third time

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2015

by Chris Ames Digest contributor Chris Lamb has twice before made Freedom of Information requests for the minutes of the two Cabinet meetings that took place in the week before the invasion, on 13 and 17 March 2003. The first time the Labour government refused and took the case to the Information Tribunal, where it […]

The trail goes cold – for now

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

by Chris Ames When Tony Blair claimed in his foreword to the September 2002 dossier on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction that assessed intelligence had established beyond doubt that such weapons existed, he misled Parliament and the British public badly. To make this claim he had to ignore all of the caveats and qualifications […]

The Straw paradox and the straw man

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

by Chris Ames Former Foreign Office director of communications (and therefore press secretary to Jack Straw) John Williams was at the heart of efforts to persuade parliament, Britain and the wider world that it was necessary to take military action against Saddam Hussien to tackle the issue of weapons of mass destruction. Williams has been […]

Why we shouldn’t trust the Inquiry to tell the whole truth

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, February 19, 2015

by Chris Ames The Inquiry has updated its FAQ page since Sir John Chilcot’s appearance at the Foreign Affairs Committee. “Frequently Asked Questions” are of course a pretty transparent way for an organisation to get across the information it wants to communicate, rather than a genuine response to questions that get asked a lot. One […]

Innocent until proven guilty?

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

by Chris Ames Yesterday the Daily Mail and a very confused Evening Standard were both speculating on the possibility that former foreign secretary Jack Straw might become a lord after standing down as an MP, in spite of the threat of severe criticism from the Inquiry, when it is eventually published. There is of course […]

Chilcot gives no ground on documents

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, February 4, 2015

by Chris Ames Answering one of a number of questions from John Baron MP as to why the Inquiry can’t publish the “settled body of evidence” now, Sir John Chilcot gave this explanation: To publish a reliable account in full and in immense detail but to draw no conclusions, to offer  no analysis leaves individuals […]

Sir Martin Gilbert has died

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, February 4, 2015

By Chris Ames At this morning’s hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Sir John Chilcot informed MPs that panel member and renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert died yesterday. Gilbert had been ill for some time and had been unable to work on the Inquiry report.

Inquiry still seeking declassification of documents

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Tuesday, February 3, 2015

by Chris Ames The Cabinet Office and the Inquiry have both confirmed to me that the process of seeking the declassification of documents for publication by the Inquiry is not finished, contrary to what the Inquiry has implied and a government minister has told Parliament. As this briefing by the House of Commons Library points […]

The laughing stock of the world

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, January 29, 2015

by Chris Ames Today’s debate on the Inquiry was both poorly attended and, so far, largely ignored by the media. The Guardian’s politics blog gave it good coverage, while the BBC reports that: Delays to the inquiry into the Iraq war could make Westminster “the laughing stock of the world”, Plaid Cymru’s parliamentary leader has […]

Straw – I’m a Maxwellee

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, January 29, 2015

by Chris Ames Speaking second in today’s debate after a very good speech from David Davis, former foreign secretary Jack Straw all but admitted that he is subject to the Maxwellisation process. Straw told the House of Commons that people who were part of the process but nevertheless he would say what he could about […]