Contact Me By Email

Contact Me By Email

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | The perils of power

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | The perils of power: "The perils of power

Decisions on the Iraq war show that too much control is concentrated in the hands of the prime minister

Jonathan Freedland
Wednesday July 21, 2004
The Guardian

It's happened twice this year. Sceptics about the war against Iraq find themselves shouting at the TV, overwhelmed with the urge to hammer their fists against the chest of a cabinet minister or wondering if they have woken up in an Alice-in-Wonderland country where black is white and white is black.
In mid-winter it was Hutton. In mid-summer it is Butler. The problem then was a Hutton report that seemed blind to the reality the rest of us had seen with our own eyes. The problem now is not the Butler report, which sees the reality clearly enough, but the government response to it. It's as if Tony Blair and friends live on a different planet, where the usual rules of reason and logic do not apply.
So cabinet minister John Reid can go on the Today programme and say - not once but twice - that caveats had to be stripped out of the September 2002 dossier in order to preserve the anonymity of intelligence sources. As if a 'probably' here or a 'maybe' there would have exposed our secret agents. Of course, it would have done no such thing. But Reid says it all the same.
We have the prime minister insisting that his own good faith cannot be questioned. Most politicians and commentators bow to this demand, too courteous to resist it. But it is a strange kind of good faith that enables someone to read intelligence on Iraq's weapons capability chock full of doubts and qualifiers - and then declare that this same intelligence establishes 'beyond doubt' the nature of the Saddam threat. The one thing the intelligence did not do was establish anything beyond doubt - and Bl"

No comments:

Post a Comment