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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

John Pilger Copies BNP Lead in Calling for War Crimes Charges against Tony Blair

The New Statesman’s John Pilger Copies BNP Lead in Calling for War Crimes against Tony Blair

Award-winning investigative reporter for New Statesman magazine John Pilger has copied the British National Party’s lead in calling for war crimes charges against Tony Blair and has even repeated many of the exact case points as first made by the party.
In an article in the latest issue of New Statesman, Mr Pilger used verbatim arguments first made by the BNP in public pronouncements and on this website.
“Consider the Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair conspired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenceless country, of a kind the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the ‘paramount war crime',” Mr Pilger wrote, echoing last year’s BNP press release which was the first to point out the parallels between the charges at Nuremburg and the invasion of Iraq.
“On 29 January 2003, Blair told parliament: ‘We do know of links between al-Qaeda and Iraq . . .’,” Mr Pilger continued, once again copying the BNP lead which pointed out years ago that there was no link between Iraq, Osama bin Laden and the 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Centre.
“Last month, the former head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Chilcot inquiry: ‘There is no credible intelligence to suggest that connection . . . [it was the invasion] that gave Osama Bin Laden his Iraqi jihad',” Mr Pilger continued, once again copying an angle first raised on this website.
“Asked to what extent the invasion exacerbated the threat to Britain from terrorism, she replied: ‘Substantially'. The bombings in London on 7 July 2005 were a direct consequence of Blair's actions,” he continued, echoing the BNP’s point that Britain’s foreign policy directly incited Muslims living in this country.
Mr Pilger then went on to make a number of important new points about the full extent of Mr Blair’s criminal activities.
The Iraq invasion, he wrote, “caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide. 
“In addition, four million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes and a majority of children have descended into malnutrition and trauma.  Cancer rates near the cities of Fallujah, Najaf and Basra (the latter "liberated" by the British) are now higher than those at Hiroshima,” he wrote.
“UK forces used about 1.9 metric tonnes of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003, the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, told parliament on 22 July.
“A range of toxic "anti-personnel" weapons, such as cluster bombs, was employed by British and US forces. Such carnage was justified with lies that have been exposed repeatedly.
 “Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like Peter Mandelson,” Mr Pilger said, going on to point out the complicity of other Labour Party apparatchiks.
“The cabinet in March 2003 knew a great deal about the conspiracy to attack Iraq.  Straw, later appointed "justice secretary", suppressed the relevant cabinet minutes in defiance of an order by the Information Commissioner to release them.
“Most of those now running for the Labour Party leadership supported Blair's epic crime, rising as one to salute his final appearance in the Commons.
“As foreign secretary, David Miliband sought to cover up Britain's complicity in torture. He promoted Iran as the next ‘threat'.
“Journalists who once fawned on Blair as 'mystical' and amplified his vainglorious bids now pretend they were his critics all along. As for the media's gulling of the public, only the Observer's David Rose has apologised,” Mr Pilger said.
Mr Pilger’s article can be found here.
The Blair War Crimes Foundation home page can be found here.