Wednesday, 21 December 2005

A Strange World, My Masters

The court of appeal has ruled that the government must allow an independent inquiry into the death of an Iraqi civilian allegedly killed by British troops.

Meanwhile, in another dusty, fusty room………

Relatives of British soldiers who died in Iraq failed on Tuesday in a legal bid to force a public inquiry into the government's decision to go to war.
One of the country's top judges ruled that debate over Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision -- the most hotly disputed of his premiership -- belonged in the political arena, not the courts.
"The only purpose (of an inquiry) would be to try to make a political point, or show the prime minister did not tell the truth," Judge Andrew Collins told the High Court in London.
The government was accountable to parliament and ultimately the electorate for its actions, Collins said.
Blair won a third term in office earlier this year, although with a sharply reduced majority partly due to anger at the war.
The government has insisted the 2003 U.S.-led invasion was justified under international law as Iraq's then-leader Saddam Hussein had repeatedly breached United Nations resolutions.
It has also said several independent inquiries have found ministers innocent of any wrongdoing despite repeated claims by opponents that they exaggerated the case for war.
Pressure group Military Families Against the War, which says it has the backing of 14 families who have lost loved ones in Iraq, vowed to press on with its campaign despite the ruling.
"The families believe the decision to invade Iraq was based on deceit and lies. Our sons and husbands were sent to their deaths on the backs of these lies," said Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq in 2004.
"Their deaths were unnecessary as were the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people," she added.
Obviously, any inquiry about the deaths of our personnel should be set against the same question as for the Iraqi civilian – how were they killed? They will get the answer “Can’t tell you – there are still investigations in place”
But, same situation exists with regard to the Iraqi. Several soldiers are under investigation about his death following arrest at a hotel.
All very correct I’m sure – as if the law would bend over to help Tony (Butler, Hutton anyone) – but it is all a bit too complex for a young lad like me.

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