The 51st State: Was Lord Hutton Bribed in the Dr Kelly Public Inquiry?
Judge clears government on charges, blames BBC, questions about whether BBC will remain independent and uncensored?
By Suzanne MacNevin.
Lord Brian Hutton, the famed lawyer and British judge is from Northern Ireland where he was a very successful judge in many Irish terrorist cases, where he convicted many members of the Irish Republican Army.
So... why did Tony Blair's government pick HIM to be the judge over Dr Kelly's inquiry?
Was it because Lord Hutton is in favour of the war in Iraq?
Could it be becaue Lord Hutton has a history of hatred against terrorists, and considers Iraq to be a "terrorist nation"...?
How could such a judge be considered unbiased in a case where a central question was "Did the government lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?"
The answer is simple. He was biased.
He was picked BECAUSE he was biased.
The public inquiry was rigged.
As surely and as definitely as 42,000 African Americans in Florida were denied the right to vote back in November 2000. (Bush won Florida by only 500 votes.)
And so, is this what Britain has become?
A 51st state? An unofficial member of the United States, where bribed judges are a dime a dozen, elections are rigged, and George W. Bush is a dictator without an army hat.
And lest we forget CNN. The United States' most censored news channel.
Will the BBC become like a CNN? A filthy pile of censored bullshit?
Lets up the charges of bribery to the top: Tony Blair.
Otherwise known as George W. Bush's LAPDOG. Tony "Bush's Bitch" Blair.
So much for British independence.
Why don't we just get rid of the Queen too, while we're at it?
We can start waving the US flag and singing "And the rockets red flare..."
Only AMERICANS would have a National Anthem that is about WAR.
Ever noticed that? The anthem is about a historic battle in which their flag managed (barely) to survive the battle. And WHO were they fighting?
And lest we forget that the Canadians and the British burnt down the White House way-back-then.
Apparently that's been forgotten as the United States now has Britain by the economic and political balls and is squeezing tighter.
Yes, WE HAVE BECOME THE 51ST STATE...
And a sad moment it is. Our once proud nation has been beaten into submission by a president who nearly failed a flight test during the Vietnam War (he dodged it by joining the Texas Air Guard). He apparently scored 2 points above being "too dumb to fly" but was placed at the top of the list because his father was governor at the time.
And so my fellow Brits, I say with much sadness... if a half-wit like Bush can bribe our country into subservitude and use the "Labour Party" and Tony Blair as their personal mutts, then what is there left for Bush to do?
Okay, so Bill Clinton shagged his assistants... at least he didn't fuck around with OUR independence.
And now we will become a state of censorship... where our economy, our politics and even our "news" will be censored by... you guessed it... AMERICANS.
A nation of lazy people who can't even spell the word "honour", let alone understand the meaning of it.
A nation of greedy capitalists who destroy their forests and atmosphere just to "save a buck".
A nation of cars that are so bad and horrible gas-guzzlers, that Ford recently had a record $700 million US shortfall due to bad sales and a bad reputation. (Toyota is now the world's 2nd biggest car company.)
A nation of Jerry Springer wannabes.
A nation that marched into war in Iraq, out of revenge, without realizing that Iraq's government is a secular government that keeps politics and religion separate. But Americans would never make that distinction, for god is everywhere they see.
"In God We Trust" is the motto on the American penny. Do we really want to be conquered by an ex-colony of religious fanatics and under-educated people?
Do we really want to give up our way of life, give up our pride, in favour of "American family values"...?
Mark my words, this is NOT the beginning. We're already half way there. The only thing left to do is start spelling like Yankees. After that it will be Dual-citizenship British-Americans becoming very popular...
The only thing left would be for us to give up our sovereignity. AND I am not talking about the Queen and the Royalty. I am talking about our right to govern ourselves. We will have 1 governor and 1 senator, and thats it. And the governor/senator will do basically whatever the president says.
Or has that already happened? Blair does everything Bush tells him to do... has this already happened?
If it was Canadians or even Australians, it wouldn't be so bad. They at least have better spelling.
The European Union is starting to look better. At least we would maintain our language and spelling, our sense of British identity in contrast to other European countries, and most of all: Our rights.
Judge clears Blair on Iraq dossier, Hutton report scathing of BBC, Broadcaster's boss quick to resign.
SANDRO CONTENTA, EUROPEAN BUREAU.
LONDON—British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his officials have been fully cleared of allegations that they exaggerated intelligence on Iraq to drag a reluctant country to war.
The exoneration contained in Lord Brian Hutton's report yesterday was so complete that it will do much to quell an issue that has haunted Blair for months, and threatened his political future.
While fully vindicating the prime minister, Hutton slammed the British Broadcasting Corp.'s reporting of the allegations and sent the venerable media organization into crisis.
So scathing was Hutton in his criticisms that the public broadcaster's top boss, chairperson Gavyn Davies, resigned within hours. The BBC's board of governors will meet today to discuss further resignations.
BBC-TV's leading anchor, Huw Edwards, opened last night's Ten O'Clock News with: "The BBC has been thrown into turmoil by the damning verdict of Lord Hutton on its editorial standards, its management, and its board of governors."
Hutton concluded that BBC reports accusing Blair's office of having "sexed up" unreliable intelligence were "unfounded."
He also described as unfounded a further accusation, contained in a BBC story May 29, that Blair's office included intelligence on Iraq it probably knew to be wrong in a dossier used in parliament to build its case for war.
Hutton, a former chief justice of Northern Ireland, called the allegation an "attack on the integrity of the government."
Describing the editorial vetting process for stories as "defective," he added: "This very grave allegation should not have been broadcast."
He then denounced the BBC, from the board of governors to its editors, for failing to properly verify whether the reporter got the story right once the government complained.
Hutton's six-month inquiry was called to investigate the suicide last July of scientist David Kelly, one of the government's top experts on Iraq's weapons.
Hutton concluded that Kelly, a former United Nations weapons inspector instrumental in uncovering Iraq's biological weapons program in the mid 1990s, "took his own life" by slashing his left wrist with a knife he had since childhood.
Kelly was the unnamed source for BBC radio reports by journalist Andrew Gilligan, which triggered an all-out credibility war between Blair's office and the broadcaster.
The victory for Blair was so resounding that some observers said Hutton's one-sided conclusions would undoubtedly raise claims of a "whitewash" by government critics.
Davies suggested as much when, in a statement, he questioned whether Hutton's "bald conclusions" could be reconciled with evidence presented during public hearings last year.
With the report's release, Blair was a politician transformed.
At the beginning of the week, many wondered whether he'd still be PM by the end of it. On Tuesday, he barely survived a revolt on social policy from his own Labour party MPs.
But yesterday, he triumphantly faced the House of Commons and demanded apologies for what he described as his maligned integrity.
"The allegation that I or anyone else lied to this House, or deliberately misled the country by falsifying intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, is itself the real lie," Blair said. "I simply ask that those that have made it and repeated it over all these months, now withdraw it fully, openly and clearly."
Blair noted that the report also clears Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon of serious wrongdoing, and that "parts of the media (who) have alternated between wanting his scalp or mine," must now admit they were wrong.
Hutton's 328-page report has for the moment deprived opposition parties of the ammunition they had hoped for. But it won't put to rest all the questions hounding Blair about Iraq.
Hutton decided that two still controversial issues were not within his mandate: Whether pre-war intelligence on Iraq's weapons was reliable, and whether then-Iraqi president Saddam Hussein posed the kind of threat that justified the U.S. and British-led war.
David Kay, who led the U.S.'s post-war effort to find banned weapons, concluded last week that Saddam had no stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons at the start of the conflict. And he criticized intelligence services for getting this wrong.
The pre-war intelligence dossier Blair presented to parliament in September, 2002, claimed Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction "within 45 minutes" of an order.
Charles Kennedy, leader of the opposition Liberal Democratic party, yesterday called for an independent inquiry on why Britain went to war, arguing U.N. inspectors should have been given more time to do their job.
Blair is unlikely to call such an inquiry, although he admitted that such questions were valid.
"It is absolutely right that people can question whether the intelligence received was right, and why we have not yet found weapons of mass destruction," he told MPs yesterday.
"There is an entirely legitimate argument about the wisdom of the conflict. I happen to believe now, as I did in March, that removing Saddam has made the world a safer and better place, but others are entirely entitled to disagree.
"However, all of this is of a completely different order from a charge of deception, of duplicity, of deceit, a charge that I or anyone else deliberately falsified intelligence," he added.
Hutton also cleared Blair's officials, including his former director of communication, Alastair Campbell, of pressuring intelligence officials drafting the pre-war dossier.
The most controversial statement in the dossier — that Saddam could launch weapons within 45 minutes of an order — was modified and made less equivocal on the prompting of Blair's officials.
At least two intelligence officials expressed concerns during the drafting process that the 45-minute claim was being expressed too strongly.
And yet, Hutton concluded there was nothing improper in the prompting by officials. He fully accepted testimony of John Scarlett, the intelligence chief responsible for drafting the dossier, that all changes were consistent with available intelligence.
Hutton did say, however, that Blair's desire for a strongly worded dossier on Iraq's weapons threat may have "subconsciously influenced" intelligence officials "to make the wording of the dossier somewhat stronger than it would have been" under normal circumstances.
The BBC's director general, Greg Dyke, said in a statement that the broadcaster accepts that certain allegations in Gilligan's stories "were wrong, and we apologize for them."
But he defended the bulk of the reports. "Dr. Kelly was a credible source. Provided that his allegations were reported accurately, the public in a modern democracy had a right to be made aware of them. The greater part of the BBC's coverage of the dossier fulfilled this purpose," he said.
Davies said he feared Hutton's one-sided report might threaten the independence of the BBC. Noting the government has already triggered a review of the BBC's charter, he warned "the public should not take its existence entirely for granted."
Gilligan, who was at BBC headquarters yesterday, is represented by the National Union of Journalists. The BBC could face a strike if Gilligan were fired or disciplined, the union told Reuters, calling Hutton's report "selective, grossly one-sided and a serious threat to the future of investigative journalism."
Last year, as the row between the BBC and Blair officials raged, Kelly stepped forward and told his managers at the Ministry of Defence he might be the source for his story.
Pressure mounted considerably on Kelly after the ministry adopted a policy of confirming his name to reporters who guessed it. On July 8, one reporter got it right after providing a list of 20 names.
Hutton saw nothing wrong with the "naming strategy." He accepted the government's explanation that it would have been accused of a cover-up if it did not reveal that a civil servant had come forward.
"There was no dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy by the government covertly to leak Dr. Kelly's name to the media," Hutton said.
He gave only a minor rebuke to officials for not informing Kelly of the plan to confirm his name to journalists who guessed it.
Kelly family lawyer Peter Jacobsen called on the government to "take action to ensure the ordeal suffered by Dr. Kelly is never repeated."
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