Archive for 'Secrecy' Category

Humiliation for the Information Commissioner

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

by Chris Ames In 2013 I made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for a list of the documents that government departments had so far “declassified” for the purposes of publication by the Inquiry. The point was to establish which and how many documents the Inquiry was at that time sitting on and […]

Chilcot may have compromised less than we thought

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

by Chris Ames Sir John Chilcot’s letter to David Cameron is now on the Inquiry website, along with Cameron’s reply. I’m still not clear why Chilcot’s letter couldn’t have been posted yesterday, when it was sent. Chilcot’s letter does suggest that he has been rather more  than he previously said in getting the government to […]

If Brown’s promise had been kept…

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, January 8, 2015

by Chris Ames Listening to Lord Wallace erroneously recalling what the previous government promised about how the report would be published, I was prompted to look up what Gordon Brown actually said. On 15 June 2009, when he first announced what was originally intended to be a behind-closed-doors inquiry, Brown told the House of Commons: […]

Iraq’s “hidden’” chemical weapons

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Wednesday, October 15, 2014

by Chris Ames The New York Times reports that: From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according […]

“Everything he wants to publish”

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014

by Chris Ames According to the Financial Times: Sir Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary, told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that Sir John Chilcot had written to him recently to say “he will be able to publish everything he wants to publish”. Heywood was appearing before the Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. It seems the […]

Has Chilcot lost his credibility?

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014

by Chris Ames Reading between the lines of  John Chilcot’s expression of “pleasure” that an “agreement” has been reached over the disclosure of the most controversial material, it seems that Chilcot himself gave quite a lot of ground some time back and the Cabinet Office has finally accepted his compromise offer. Chilcot records in his […]

US loses key Blair letter

By andrewsimon - Last updated: Sunday, May 18, 2014

by Andrew Mason The Mail Online and the Independent are reporting that an otherwise unknown UK-based FOI requester has told the Mail that a ‘critical’ letter from Tony Blair to George Bush, previously reported to have contained the words “You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I’m with you”, has been lost by US […]

Decisions, decisions

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Friday, April 25, 2014

by Chris Ames On Tuesday, Tony Blair hid behind the self-evident fact that he doesn’t formally decide when the Inquiry report is published as a way of denying, without actually saying very much, that the delayed publication was anything to do with him. That brings to mind another occasion when he sought to deny something […]

Blair: not me guv

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Monday, April 14, 2014

by Chris Ames The BBC has reported this evening that Nick Clegg has said that it is time to get on with publishing the Inquiry’s findings. Meanwhile, Tony Blair has taken some of Clegg’s comments as an attack on him and has had a go back. This is what Clegg said, according to the BBC […]

Chilcot compromises, Guardian claims

By Chris Ames - Last updated: Monday, December 30, 2013

by Chris Ames Today’s Guardian says that: Tony Blair is preparing himself for the defining moment of his post-prime ministerial career as Whitehall sources confirmed that Sir John Chilcot will publish his report into the handling of the Iraq war in the new year. A compromise agreement between Chilcot and the cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy […]