Who wants a fight?-Apparently Admiral Sir Michael Boyce

#1
Taken from SKY News

FORCES CHIEF BLASTS BLAIR

The man who led Britain's armed forces into Iraq says Tony Blair will join British soldiers in the dock if the military is ever prosecuted for war crimes.

The newspaper interview with former Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, brings Iraq back into the election spotlight.


Sir Michael's interview in the Oberver also comes as two other newspapers make claims that Mr Blair had been committed to war in Iraq from the outset because he wanted regime change.

Sir Michael said he did not have full legal cover from prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He told the newspaper: "If my soldiers went to jail and I did, some other people would go with me.

"I wanted to make sure sure that we had this anchor which has been signed by the government law officer. It may not stop us from being charged, but my God, it would make sure other people were brought into the frame as well."

Pressed if he meant Tony Blair, he replied: "Too bloody right."

The former defence chief added that he had never been shown the crucial March 7 advice by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith that questioned whether the war was legal.

He had only been given a later assurance of legality which contained none of the caveats.

In another damaging development for Mr Blair, The Sunday Times says it has obtained Downing Street documents that show the Prime Minister was privately committed to war long before a decision was taken by Parliament.

It says Mr Blair was discussing the possibility of regime change in Iraq in July 2002.

At that time the arguments publicly revolved around a breach of UN sanctions by Iraq being the only justification for war.

Another leaked document published in the Independent on Sunday suggests the Foreign Office had severe doubts about the March 2003 invasion.

The claims come days after the Government was forced to publish the Attorney General's original advice on the legal basis of the war.

The Government had refused to publish it for almost two years - but was forced to after another leak.
So has someone at 'Star' Level finally summoned up enough moral courage to make a statement not entirely in keeping with the 'Message'?
 
#2
Yes - but conveniently after retirement and as CGS has pointed out about FAS - the only people who whinge are those who have retired.
 
#3
Thats the only time they can whinge. It's either that or a move sideways and labbeled a trouble maker.

Good on him for sticking it to bliar.
 
#4
Yorkie said:
Yes - but conveniently after retirement and as CGS has pointed out about FAS - the only people who whinge are those who have retired.
if only some people would have the moral courage to make a stand when it counts. there's no point in whingeing much much later.
 
#5
Agent_Smith said:
Thats the only time they can whinge. It's either that or a move sideways and labbeled a trouble maker.
come on smudge - how the hell can the CDS be moved sideways or be labelled a troublemaker. It's not like he needs to worry about resettlement like the rest of us! CDS is always an extremely old bloke who kids have long left home. It's not like he needs to get a job doing security at Poundstretcher :wink:
 
#6
Letterwritingman said:
Taken from SKY News

FORCES CHIEF BLASTS BLAIR

...Pressed if he meant Tony Blair, he replied: "Too bloody right."

The former defence chief added that he had never been shown the crucial March 7 advice by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith that questioned whether the war was legal.

He had only been given a later assurance of legality which contained none of the caveats....
"Too bloody right". Classic. The Admiral should be on ARRSE!

A detail: he is Admiral Lord Boyce now, Sir Michael when he was CDS.

He had already stated some time ago that what he got was a short memo from the Attorney General, without the caveats. This does actually make some sense from the military's point of view. By quite rightly insisting on a written statement, CDS forced the AG into an unequivocal "yea or nay".

It was for the PM, the AG, the Cabinet (had they been given the full advice) and perhaps Parliament (ditto) to take responsibility for the ifs and buts. The responsibility needs to lie with those making the decision, not those who are ordered to carry it out.

If the military (hate that term but you know what I mean) had been formally given the ifs and buts they could have been in an impossible position all the way down the chain of command, exposing individuals to greater risk of civil or criminal action in UK courts or even prosecution in the ICC.

It's a question of top cover. There comes a point at which the individual has a duty to refuse an order which is clearly illegal. Up to that point, soldiers including commanders cannot be expected to dabble in higher questions of international law and are entitled to an unequivocal assurance that the action is considered justified at the highest national level.
 
#7
At least he has spoken out! Perhaps everyman in the position believes he is the one best able to temper the Governments Policy toward the Armed Service? Personally I dont care; another drip onto the Electorates forehead and another blow to Labour claims of responsible Government!!
 
#8
PoisonDwarf said:
Agent_Smith said:
Thats the only time they can whinge. It's either that or a move sideways and labbeled a trouble maker.
come on smudge - how the hell can the CDS be moved sideways or be labelled a troublemaker. It's not like he needs to worry about resettlement like the rest of us! CDS is always an extremely old bloke who kids have long left home. It's not like he needs to get a job doing security at Poundstretcher :wink:
You know fine well that if he was off-message that he would be moved elsewhere and that move would be directed by a certain geoff hoon. He has numerous reasons not to kick up a stink when he was still in.
 
#10
I have criticised PoD in the past for the 'Perceived' lack of backbone with regard to Defence matters. That said I was never entirely unaware of the considerations his positions have put upon him. So perhaps his best bet is; as has Admiral Lord Boyce, to wait for his peerage and then speak up :wink:
 
#11
Letterwritingman said:
I have criticised PoD in the past for the 'Perceived' lack of backbone with regard to Defence matters. That said I was never entirely unaware of the considerations his positions have put upon him. So perhaps his best bet is; as has Admiral Lord Boyce, to wait for his peerage and then speak up :wink:
Tw@t should speak up now, where's his backbone :?: Where does his first priority lie, with his troops not his own self-interest :evil:

Spineless goons, all of them :evil:
 
#12
I think this a bit of a non-story. CDS wasn't given the full legal bumf because he didn't need it. He works for the Govt of the day, if they say "Go to war Mike, it's legal" then he goes to war. Simple really.

He did the right thing in asking for clrification that the war would be legal, he got it. His job then is to prosecute the war.

I may be a cynic, but this seems to be a bit of electioneering by mike for the tories.
 
#13
Letterwritingman said:
I have criticised PoD in the past for the 'Perceived' lack of backbone with regard to Defence matters. That said I was never entirely unaware of the considerations his positions have put upon him. So perhaps his best bet is; as has Admiral Lord Boyce, to wait for his peerage and then speak up :wink:
He should not wait, he should do a Guthrie and to hell with the consequences. He is highly unlikely to be personally impacted beyond the moral after all. It isn't as if he'll be passed over for promotion and frankly the sort of chap that gets fired into the house of Lords would have been excused boots in my day!! Tony's cronies...bleaagh!
 
#15
#18
We need him to join in on the Forces voting issue when we re-org after the elections LWM

Better send him a bottle of Pussers and all :D
 
#20
Good point PTP.

Once the election is over, senior retired figures should have no worries about appearing "party-political" by lending support to our campaign. Not that we ever approached any AFAIK. As we all know, Air Marshal Lord Garden has taken a crucial role in the forces voting debate.
 

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