- Created: Thursday, 27 August 2009 14:49
- Written by Trevor Rayne
In February, the so-called Justice Minister Jack Straw decided that we must not know why the Labour government agreed to attack Iraq. Minutes of the Cabinet meetings on 13 and 17 March 2003 are to be kept secret, even though the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas ordered their release. Ironically, Straw used Section 53 of the Freedom of Information Act to justify his decision – a further example of how Labour has legislated to attack civil liberties. It follows an earlier Labour government decision to refuse an official inquiry into the Iraq war at least so long as British troops remain, despite 72% of the population wanting such an inquiry. Then, on 25 March, Foreign Secretary Miliband said that an inquiry would be approved ‘as soon as practicable’. However, the inquiry would be held in private because confidentiality is ‘very, very important for all of our troops’.
‘Confidentiality’ is very, very important for former Prime Minister Blair and his Labour Cabinet. Although forbidden access to the minutes, we know that deliberate lies such as that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which could be launched against British bases within 45 minutes were used to bolster the case for war. We know the Attorney General was persuaded to reverse his earlier decision that the war would be illegal. It is also thought the decision to go to war had already been made and that Blair promised to ignore any Cabinet decision to the contrary. What other deceit, threats and agreements to ignore the wishes of the British people were made before the Labour government launched its murderous assault on the people of Iraq? No private inquiry will tell us.
FRFI 208 April / May 2009