Skip to content


Tony Blair Iraq inquiry: Hussein was risk worth trying to contain

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is the top witness before Britain’s inquiry into the Iraq war. With the future of his Labour Party on the line, Blair maintained in questioning Friday that Saddam Hussein was a threat in 2003 and that Iran’s weapons program is a threat today.

Ben Quinn
The Christian Science Monitor

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair invoked the terror of 9/11 as he defended his support for the invasion of Iraq during an appearance Friday at Britain’s inquiry into the war. With his legacy overshadowed by the 2003 intervention, Mr. Blair argued that while the 2001 attacks on the US had not changed the threat from Iraq, they completely shifted his perception of the risk posed from terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

“The crucial thing after Sept. 11 is that the calculus of risk changed,” he said in an inquiry broadcast live on British television and on British news websites. “The point about this act in New York was that, had they been able to kill even more people than those 3,000, they would have. And so after that time, my view was, you could not take risks with this issue at all.”

As police contained hundreds of protesters calling for Blair to be tried as a war criminal, the former premier arrived two hours early and entered via a back door before his highly anticipated appearance at the government-established investigation.

Blair Testimony a Political Threat to Brown

But while Britain’s involvement in the unpopular war has long been associated with Blair, the inquiry is suddenly emerging as a political threat to his successor, Gordon Brown, by reawakening of public memories of the conflict during an election year.

Mr. Brown’s own appearance at the inquiry had originally been put off until after polling day to prevent it from becoming an election issue. But following pressure from opposition politicians, he is to appear as a witness within weeks.

Brown, who voted for the war when he was chancellor of the Exchequer, has never been closely cross-examined about his role in the invasion and the extent to which he may or may not have challenged Blair’s case for it.

He is vulnerable to the charge that he supported the war under false pretenses and that he then failed to provide the armed forces with the funding it needed in preparation.

Geoff Hoon, a Labour MP who served as defense secretary at the time of the war and was behind an attempted leadership coup against Brown earlier this month, told the inquiry Jan. 19 that Brown had forced military planners to cut their budget, depriving British troops of much-needed helicopters.

Labour Party Runs Risk of Warmongering Label

“It fits into a longstanding preconception that Brown is not too keen on the Ministry for Defense,” John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, said in a telephone interview. “However, we are now in the midst of another foreign adventure, about which the public do not have a great deal of confidence, and which is costing lives.”

“Labour is running the risk of being regarded as the party which gets involved in foreign wars. A second problem is the way that it is no longer regarded as being particularly competent.”

“The inquiry is feeding into current public preconceptions about the government by reminding people how there really was not adequate planning for the war and its aftermath, exposing misjudgements and portraying ministers as not being in the loop,” Curtice says.

A survey for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper earlier this month showed that 52 percent of Britons believe Blair deliberately misled the country over the war. Almost 1 in 4 (23 percent) think he should be tried as a war criminal. Such opposition to the war is credited with depriving the Labour Party of large numbers of voters during the 2005 general election, which saw the party’s overall majority sharply reduced.

Blair: ‘We Thought [Hussein] Was a Risk’

Although the inquiry is not the trial that his most ardent critics desire, and there is little faith in the ability of its examining panel to conduct a rigorous forensic examination, Blair appeared periodically nervous under close questioning.

Leaning forward in his chair and adopting a somber expression, he appeared eager to press home points while members of the inquiry panel pressed him to answer key questions such as what he discussed with President George W. Bush during an April 2002 meeting in Crawford, Texas.

But Blair said there had been no “covert” deal with Bush to go to war when they met at the president’s Texas ranch – 11 months before the invasion.

“The position was not a covert position, it was an open position,” he said, insisting that he always been open that Hussein had to be confronted over his weapons program.

“Up to Sept. 11, we thought [Hussein] was a risk, but we thought it was worth trying to contain it,” said Blair, who has held lucrative corporate posts and served as a middle-east peace envoy since stepping down as prime minister.

During questioning Friday, he sought to play down his comments in a December interview with a BBC television presenter, in which he said he would have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein even if he had known that he did not have WMD.

Blair Suggests Military Action to Stop Iranian Weapons Program

Blair also appeared to suggest at one point that military action might be necessary to stop Iran developing its weapons programs, saying that Tehran’s actions have made him even more worried today that a rogue state could supply weapons of mass destruction to terrorists than he was when he took Britain to war with Iraq.

“My judgment – and it may be other people don’t take this view, and that’s for the leaders of today to make their judgment – is we don’t take any risks with this issue,” he said.

“My fear was – and I would say I hold this fear stronger today than I did back then as a result of what Iran particularly today is doing – my fear is that states that are highly repressive or failed, the danger of a WMD link is that they become porous, they construct all sorts of different alliances with people.”

Earlier this month, Blair’s former communications director and chief spin-doctor, Alastair Campbell, denied that he “sexed up” a 2002 intelligence document claiming Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes in order to exaggerate the case for war.

View the original article at The Christian Science Monitor

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Investigations & Inquiries, Politics.

Tagged with , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?



css.php