Iraq legal advice under the spotlight - again!

This week promises to be very interesting. I suspect a well-timed leak designed to cause maximum damage. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are also planning to launch a full-scale on Bliar's trust. This may be worth 2 or 3 percentage points in the polls, making the fight all the more interesting. Bliar has two unpalatable choices - try and hide or stand and fight, and both will succeed in turning up the heat! :twisted:

From the Mail on Sunday, abridged slightly:

Proof Blair was told war could be ruled illegal

The Iraq war has erupted as a major Election issue after legal advice warning Tony Blair that the conflict breached international law was sensationally leaked.
The Government's refusal to disclose the advice has been one of the most controversial issues since the war ended, but The Mail on Sunday can now reveal for the first time exactly what counsel Mr Blair received.

The full document shows categorically the Prime Minister's claim that the advice was identical to a brief published 'summary' which declared the war was legal is completely untrue.

In fact, the full 13 pages of advice drawn up by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith stated the war was likely to be challenged under international law on a number of counts.

The revelations were seized on last night by Tories and Liberal Democrats who claim Downing Street's refusal to publish the legal advice document stems from fears its explosive contents would cause political uproar.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal the legal advice warned Mr Blair could be in breach of international law for six reasons:

1. In law, there was a strong argument that it was the job of the United Nations - not Mr Blair - to rule whether Iraq had defied the UN's order to disarm.

2. Goldsmith questioned whether Britain could attack Iraq by using UN Resolution

3. Goldsmith urged caution about going to war without a second UN resolution.

4. Mr Blair was warned of the risks of relying on the earlier UN resolution used to eject Saddam from Kuwait.

5. Goldsmith drew attention to UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and his search for weapons of mass destruction.

6. He explained that the American government's position on the legality of the war did not apply in Britain.

All six caveats were stripped out when the Attorney General's nine-paragraph 'summary' was published ten days later. This summary declared the war was legal.
What interests me is the "lawyer-client privilege" nonsense. The Attorney General is the senior law officer in the government. The government is appointed by the Queen and composed mostly of the MPs elected by UK voters. Therefore, the Attorney General has the UK electorate as a client as well as the government. It speaks volumes that this government sees the electorate in terms of a contesting party in an adverserial courtroom rather than as the people served by the government.
The problem is that this is not the first case for a Government who came to power with a so called "ethical foreign policy" using the Army as a "force for good".

It is about time the other parties reminded the public how Mr Blair convinced the masses that there was a threat when there clearly was not.

The sooner our politicians learn that history is not written in ink in books, but by blood spilt on foreign ground - the better.

Waiting for the wife to get the paper (she's out shopping and nothing sexist meant).

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