Monday 9 June 2003

Bush and Blair have some 'splainin' to do

by Eric Margolis

When I lived in Jamaica, many moons ago, there occurred a bizarre national panic known as "the three-wheeled coffin."

According to a storm of rumours, a black, three-wheeled coffin, with three black crows on top, was moving along Jamaica's roads.

Villages emptied in terror at reports the coffin was nearing. The three-wheeled coffin was never found. The panic subsided.

North Americans and Britons have just experienced their own version of the three-wheeled coffin - a national panic attack called Iraq.

It's becoming increasingly clear the Bush and Blair governments deceived their citizens over Iraq, concocted false information and misled Congress and Parliament.

Both administrations face a rising storm of criticism and demands for full-scale inquiries.

This column has been contacted by a number of retired intelligence officers, both individuals and groups, backing up assertions made here two weeks ago that a cabal of neo-conservatives in President George Bush's administration distorted or faked information that formed the basis of claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that imminently threatened the U.S. and all mankind.

According to MI6 (British intelligence) officers and British press reports, Tony Blair's government was fed this same tainted information and even sent orders to MI6 to make it "sexier."

Former British foreign secretary Robin Cook, who resigned to protest the Bush-Blair war on Iraq, calls the intelligence reports used to justify the aggression "wrong" and "forged."

President Bush cited a crudely forged document about uranium sales from Niger to Iraq in his state of the union address.

Full story...