Brian Jones 1944-2012

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 very well and I won’t try to replicate it.

What I will say is that Brian was one of those who prompted me to create the Digest and someone without whose support, knowledge and expertise it would not have been half as well-informed as I hope and believe it is. Neither will it be as good in the future, without Brian’s input. Despite the respect that he must have known I had for him, Brian would always send me his contributions for me to “consider” whether I would use them. Needless to say I always did and you can read them here. Regular users of the Digest may have noticed that Brian stopped contributing and commenting a few months ago and will now understand why.

Having given evidence to most of the previous inquiries on Iraq, Brian was determined to make sure that the current inquiry would do a better job and tried to achieve this both by contributing to the Digest and giving evidence to the Inquiry itself. He wanted to ensure that the issues were understood and not fudged. It’s very sad indeed to lose Brian so suddenly and sad that he will never see the outcome of this inquiry. Whether that will be something that would have given Brian some satisfaction or provoked some of the same frustration remains to be seen.

Brian was a real hero to me and someone I’m very proud to have known and worked with.

4 comments to this article

  1. chris lamb

    on February 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm -

    I am so sorry Chris, this is terrible news. I really enjoyed and gained much from discoursing with Brian on this site. His civility in debating matters- refusing ever to become personal- was a lesson for us all. It is indeed difficult to say farewell to such a gentleman.

  2. Stan Rosenthal

    on February 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm -

    My commiserations.

  3. andrewsimon

    on February 16, 2012 at 12:35 am -

    I am also very saddened to read of Dr Jones’ passing. His contributions to the Digest have been of inestimable value to our deeper understanding of some of the intelligence issues confronting the Chilcot Inquiry. I am especially sorry that we will not be able to discuss with him the final outcome. I extend my sympathies to his wife and family.

  4. Iain Paton

    on February 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm -

    This is very sad news. He was the most important commentator on this critical issue of intelligence assessment in the prelude to war and his words will be at the forefront of the history of this aspect of the Iraq War. I extend my condolences to his family.