Much is being written and spoken of the Labour Government and Prime Minister Blair making dishonest claims of imminent Iraqi attack and the rest of it.
But, as ever, other issues were and still are being skilfully circumnavigated, hidden or ignored for the fact is that the conspiracy to misinform and deceive the public was far more widespread than is generally understood.
Local MP Nick Gibb spoke at a meeting of some 50 or more people, and my wife and I were among them. After he had gravely waxed lyrical and with great passion about the West’s risk of attack and the existence of weapons of mass destruction widely distributed by Sadam Hussain and ready to fire within 45 minutes, there was an opportunity for questions and the shocked and timid gathering remained silent until I asked a question.
I made clear to the MP that I was accustomed to having evidence to substantiate such grave claims as he had made and that I had neither seen nor heard any – and asked what evidence he had that justified him in making such firm and disturbing assertions which claimed that there really was an imminent threat to our national security. I was supported by just one other older man who added his weight to my question.
MP Gibb then went into deep and lengthy detail of how he had spoken with Oliver Letwin, MP, his close friend whom he trusted implicitly – I forget his position in the Shadow Cabinet but it may have been Chancellor at the time – who had assured him that he had personally seen and studied all the photographs of the WMD sites and the evidence to support all the claims that he had passed on to us to ensure that we fully understood the potential grave danger we faced, in just 45 minutes.
Pretty powerful and dangerous stuff was served up and I got no further information of significance for that ‘froze’ the audience into total, contemplative, silence. Gibb was an echo of the Blair rhetoric of the day – and he was/is out Conservative MP, so it must be true!
Now it is established that there never were any such weapons in existence and, more desperately important than that, Doctor David Kelly, a member of the International Inspection Team, who maintained (and allegedly leaked) that there existed no such weapons or consequent 45 minute threat to our safety, was killed. And I say ‘killed’, because I, having investigated every murder in Portsmouth for a decade or so, as head of the Forensic Science Unit, I know a little of the subject.
Along with a team of eminent medical experts, I have studied information of the alleged manner and cause of his death; the mysterious helicopter which arrived at the scene but the presence of which is denied; the unusual conduct of a pathologist who arrived at the scene but did not examine the body for far too long and then delivered what we consider to be perverse ‘conclusions’ and then the unexplained moving of the body from where it was first found.
The on-going refusal – to this day - of Her Majesty’s Coroner for the District to hold an inquest to determine the cause of death – apparently upon orders from Government or Security Service Officers, does nothing to persuade me that Dr Kelly died by his own hand.
I am satisfied that Dr David Kelly did not commit suicide; that he did not die naturally, but that he was murdered.
Perhaps, in the light of the Chilcot report, Mr Gibb, MP, can now confirm all that he had to say in 2003 and comment upon the other dreadful issues I raise for, as a former soldier, I say that far too many lives were lost for this whole dirty business merely to now be filed away in the Whitehall archives.
Perhaps the process of unravelling the lies and establishing the truth could be started by HM Coroner holding an inquest to establish the cause of Dr David Kelly’s death. Or, give us the reason for not according this basic dignity to a good and brilliant man who was killed in bizarre circumstances fighting for his country, just as fearlessly as were over 400 servicemen and women.
Richard D. Ostler