Wriggling, Squirming and Sliding into Sleaze By William Bowles

6 February 2004

What a way to run capitalism! But then the entire enterprise has been somewhat problematic since day (91)1 so-to-speak. But this past week has I think been quite an eye-opener for a lot of people (aside from the millions who had their eyes open from the beginning).

As predicted, Blair has done his best to reset the agenda re the ‘dictionary’ definition of WMD but then what other choice does he have? Blair’s capos Reid, Straw, Hain, Hoon et al have been working overtime trying to do damage control but it’s the performance of Margaret Beckett’s that took the cake this week, as she has revealed herself as shrill bordering on the hysterical when she rounded on anyone who dared question what a WMD is let alone where (‘the 45-minutes are not important’) and then capped it by trying to compare Blair to Churchill (‘We’ll deceive them on the beaches, we’ll deceive them in the air’ etc).

Is this the beginning of the end for Blair and does it matter who the hell is ‘in charge’? Sidekick Brown who has quietly been marshaling his ‘rapid replacement forces’ just in case, does not herald any change in policy for our erstwhile Labour government so what difference does it make who is prime minister?

Today’s Independent (06/02/04) has seven pages devoted to the current ‘controversy’ over who said what to whom, when they said it and what did they really mean (if anything), starting with the front page headline ‘What we were told, what we know now and the unresolved issues’. As you’ve probably already been bombarded with endless reams of data (as opposed to knowledge) I’ll spare you the tedious details (check out the ‘Things Fall Apart‘ section for further dissections) and head straight for page 5 of the Indie, where we are told reside the list of ‘unresolved issues’.

The first ‘unresolved issue’ concerns the unnamed Iraqi general who is alleged to be the source of the ’45 minutes from Doom’ claim. This must be the source of the document that Brian Jones (a former chief weapons spook) complained about not being allowed to see and judging by the all the other ‘intelligence’ that’s come from Iraqi generals, defectors, spies and all the garbage that came out of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), Ahmed Chalabi’s personal money printing machine, the Independent says it “must be in serious question.” Well about bloody time!

The point is, that all the ‘intelligence’ that has been pouring out of the mouths of Iraqi exiles for years and no doubt been converted into bank accounts in distant lands, was okay to start a war with as long as Jane and Joe Public didn?t know it was garbage. It?s not when it gets ?exposed? that it becomes a ‘controversy’, it’s only when it becomes impossible to ignore the exposure that the media are forced to take notice.

And here the record is critically important and in the light of people such as Scott Ritter, the ‘discredited’ former UN weapons inspector, and many other people (who also ended up ‘discredited’) who questioned the value of the ‘intelligence’ well before it became impossible to pass it off as the truth, we have to ask the Independent [sic] why it’s quite happy to question it now but not back then when it counted? If you’ll remember back to my piece on Mary Dejevesky’s pathetic ‘Mea (ex)Culpa‘, her excuse was mere cowardice, ignorance and gullibility, but what’s the Independent’s excuse?

The same goes for the Niger yellowcake claim that also figured prominently in the September dossier that the media and the politicos are keeping mum over. Why? Because it’s a clear-cut case of forgery and not open to any ambiguity. Rather, keep us all confused with the bullshit over the 45 minutes. But why doesn’t it figure as one of the ‘unresolved issues’? Write the Independent and ask them why. Ask them why they reported it on May 6th of 2003, although it was public knowledge in early March and while you’re at it, ask them why they didn’t think it important enough to follow up on? It was carried as ‘just’ another piece of ‘news’ on page one.

And this goes not just for the issue of the WMD, that in any case, is still no reason to start a war over, but also the fundamental issue of a policy that puts pre-emptive strikes before diplomacy. A policy that overthrows at least fifty years of trying to create a system of international relations based upon dispute resolution rather than war. There’s a principle at stake here not the stuff of a debating society. And let’s not forget that the overwhelming majority not just of the UK but the entire damn planet were opposed to the invasion. So much for all the Independent’s pontification about ‘democracy’.

Bu let’s move on and see what other ‘unresolved issues’ are on the Independent’s list of ‘unresolved issues’? Well it seems that the ‘unresolved issues’ are actually only one ‘unresolved issue’, singular, the 45 minutes. Basically it boils down to a case of ‘What didn’t you know about the 45 minutes, why didn’t you know it and when didn’t you know it Mr Blair?’

So once more, in a piece of scintillating investigative journalism, the Independent pierces the veil of government obscurantism by yet again offering us the booby prize. We know the 45 minutes was a lie whichever way you cut it (that was already established back at the beginning of the list of ‘unresolved issues’). So when Blair knew it was a lie (or didn’t even bother to find out what kind of lie it actually was), is neither here nor there, except it reinforces the fact that we’ve got a government of liars, but this is not a word the Independent likes (dares?) to use.

“What we know now…”, the Independent’s headline for this excuse for journalism, needs to be altered to read, “What the rest of you know and what we’re afraid to admit to – that Tony and his cronies are bunch of liars and murderers, who’ve destroyed a country, killed thousands of innocents, killed hundreds of American and British troops for no other reason than to plunder a foreign country and then couldn’t even come up with a credible excuse to justify the entire disgusting and illegal operation.”

Seven pages of dead trees and only dead people and a load of lies to show for it.

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