Alexander and David Miliband (the ministers responsible for
trying to sort out the post Iraq invasion situation) also gave evidence
but as they hadn't been involved much in the build up to war no one was
really interested in what they had to say. David Miliband was
closely questioned on the legal case for war....
on to say he thought the war had actually been good for
Britain's international reputation in the middle east .....by linking
himself so closely and uncritically with the Blair government's
position on the Iraq war he gave his younger brother Ed a political
stick to beat him with in the later battle for the Labour Party
leadership so this testimony is actually quite interesting historically.
Miliband professes not to be an expert in International law.
As do many of those commenting on this page. Which raises the
...where does International Law come from anyway....?
The answer is that it is, ironically for neo-Conservatives, an American
invention and the UN was invented to arbitrate it. The UN replaced the
League of Nations
which was slightly discredited by World War II. The League of Nations
was born of the 1919 peace conference at Versailles at the end of World
War I and its
founding principles were based on President Woodrow Wilson's 14 points.
The Fourteen Points were based on the research of "the Inquiry", a team
of about 150 advisors led by foreign-policy advisor Edward M. House
into the topics likely to arise in the anticipated peace conference.
So rather than any more analysis of what is legal or illegal under
...let's go back to the start. Here are the 14 points again ,,, as read
by Sarah Palin:
Inquiry then moved on to the view from Baghdad and Basra from
to 2006 interviewing Consul Generals, deputy heads of mission in
and Basra and minor functionaries Lindy Cameron, Simon Collis, Tim Foy
and James Tansley. It is quite hard to comprehend their evidence
as the inquriy interviewed them collectively rather than as individuals
- to quote Sir John Chilcot "This is, in rugby terms, a sort of
rolling maul, I think."
participants at these hearings were not all civil servants the
sessions were in private and though transcripts were made
available large sections are redacted on the grounds of National
International Security and to protect diplomatic relations.
Although hidden away in the waffle and technical FO-speak is this
rather blunt exchange
it was the role of the Bruce Mann CB, Tom McKane, and Trevor
Woolley CB the Director General Financial Management and the Director
General Resource & Plans to talk about paying for and planning the
war in detail. I cant claim to be able to understand the internal
decision making procedures of the MOD but I did find this flowchart
which has made it all as clear as mud.
pointless to repeat their testimony as Gordon Brown has now
retracted his statement to the Inquiry that spending on defence just
went up all the time he was Chancellor and Prime Minister and whenever
the Inquiry asked whether they had to choose between
funding the Afghanistan or Iraq conflict or which had higher
priority...I am unable to disentangle the circumlocution or they fall
back on claiming that priorities are a political decision. So who
who wrote the drafts of Lord Goldsmith's legal advice on
how the start of the document and the end of the document seem to
conflict with each other.
Legal Counsellor to the United Kingdom’s Mission to the
United Nations, 2001 to 2004 says he believes the legal advice was
correct because the resolutions allowed military action for even minor
material breaches but that that didn't make it legitimate because what
people had in their
minds as the reason for going to war wasn't the real reason for it.
Holmes Ambassador, Paris, 2001 to 2007 contradicts Jack Straw
saying that the French actually
contacted him to explicitly correct the misinterpretations being
to President Chirac's use of the words "this evening" at the time and
Straw and other senior politicians knew of these communications because
he made sure they knew by sending a vey diplomatic telegram.
Cunliffe CB Managing Director, Financial Regulation &
Managing Director, Macroeconomic Policy and International Finance, HM
Treasury, 2002 to 2007
talks about the Treasury's attempts to guess on the impact of the war
on the oil price
and the impact that would have on the UK. His statement that the
increase of the oil price
to a peek of $150 rather than $40 has had little effect on the world
economy seems to
fly in the face of the reality of the credit crunch which may not be
but for as long as I've been working in the oil industry when I'm
everyone else is broke and when everyone else is making money I'm
Etherington CBE Head of Provincial Reconstruction Team, Basra,
2006 to 2007
talked about what it was like on the ground.
The saga of
the lack of unmanned aerial vehicles continued as General
Sir Kevin O’Donoghue KCB CBE Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Health),
2002 to 2004
Chief of Defence Logistics, 2005 to 2007 and Chief of Defence Material,
2007 to 2009 was asked repeatedly about the lack of UAVs
replied that "I dont know".