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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 July 2003

Weapons of mass destruction: A Web Of Lies From Day One

THE JUSTIFICATION for Bush and Blair launching a destructive war on Iraq was based on a lie. Who says so? CIA director George Tenet.

The US chief spook now admits he was wrong to let part of an 'intelligence dossier' compiled by Tony Blair's government be included in George Bush's state of the union speech last January.

Tony Blair's much criticised "dodgy dossier" of September 2002 claimed that Saddam Hussein had sought a new source of uranium from the African state of Niger to reactivate a nuclear weapons programme.

This claim was investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency and found to be based on forged documents.

Moreover, former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has rubbished Blair's claims that the Iraqi dictator could launch weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) against British interests ie. Cyprus, within 45 minutes.

But why stop at telling just a couple of whoppers - Blair can make a whole industry out of lying. Unrepentant, Blair said on 13 July: "Nobody was in any doubt of the threat posed by Saddam...

"When we see the Iraqi people making at last the first tentative steps towards self-government announced today and when the UN representative is already talking about 300,000 people in mass graves, then I hope that at least one thing we can agree on, the world is more secure, Iraq is a better place."

No, I don't think we can Tony! On the day that the US's 'pro-consul' in Iraq, Paul Bremer, inaugurated his unelected, hand-picked 'government', another bomb expl-oded in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Iraqi civilian and US and British military casualties steadily mount in the anarchy that passes as a country.

And with mass unemployment, growing poverty, a wrecked infrastructure, inter-ethnic and social conflict, an increasingly despised US/British occupation force preoccupied with oil production and privatisation, the world isn't "more secure" nor is Iraq "a better place".


Guantanamo Bay: In the name of "freedom"

"HONOR BOUND to Defend Freedom" reads the sign at US maximum security Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Inside 680 men from 42 countries are being held - rounded up following George W Bush's declaration of 'war on terror'.

The cells are 2 metres by 2.5 metres. The prisoners are allowed out for half an hour a day, bound hand and foot.

Manny Thain

Six are to stand trial. Among them, Ferroz Abbasi, 23, from Croydon, Surrey, and Moazzam Begg, 35, from Sparkbrook, Birmingham.

What they may or may not have done is not the issue here. That they won't get anything approaching a 'fair' trial is.

They have been held for 18 months, firstly at Bagram airbase, Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay. They have not been charged.

The Pentagon 'Appointing Authority', under defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, will appoint the tribunal to try them and can remove a judge at any time without giving a reason.

The suspects will be denied a free choice of defence counsel. They will be unable to cross-examine witnesses.

Much of the evidence will be heard behind closed doors, and can be submitted by telephone and under pseudonym.

If a right of appeal is incorporated, it will be to another panel appointed by the Pentagon.

The six face a stark choice: plead guilty and accept a 20-year prison sentence; or be executed if found guilty.

The threat of brutality to extract information or confessions is regarded in 'international law' as worthless.

According to Matthias Kelly, chairman of the Bar Council, tribunals "flout just about every rule of international law.

"There is a complete ignorance of international legal standards explicit in the process". (Financial Times, 12 July)

In the name of 'freedom', the US regime argues that since Guantanamo Bay is not on US soil the detainees are not subject to US law.

And designating them "unlawful combatants" means that they are not covered by the Geneva convention. Clearly, the only rules the White House follow are those in its own interests.

Campaigners want them to stand trial in Britain. Most of the evidence, however, would be inadmissible in a British court - or in the US for that matter.

Last year, Bush told people to 'remember' that those "in Guantanamo Bay are killers. Terrorists. They don't share the same values we share". Bush doesn't want to repatriate them only to see them walk free.

And Tony Blair has shown no intention of raising any serious criticism. This week he flies to the White House to receive a reward for his obedient service to the brutal domination of US imperialism.

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In The Socialist 19 July 2003:

Tony Blair: Time To Go!

Devon Bus Workers Fight Low Pay

Right Wing Booed Out Of PCS Leadership

Say No To Poverty Wages

Iraq Watch:

Whipps Cross hospital workers: "Where we fight, we win"

Asylum Seekers Fear Repression

Kirklees Nursery nurses: United Action Gave Us Confidence

Fight For Trade Union Rights In Colombia


Socialist Party features

Low Pay - No Way!

Reclaiming Feminism?

Weapons of mass destruction: A Web Of Lies From Day One

Gay Rights Aren't Only For Bishops

Genetic engineering: Science And Big Business


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: Foundry workers fight for nationalisation of factory

Africa in Crisis: Development reversed by Capitalism

"Stop The Reform Or We Will Stop The Country"


 

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