Tony Blair covered up British military plans for a full Iraq invasion throughout 2002, claiming at the time that Britain’s objective was “disarmament, not regime change.” This and many other damning details are revealed in hundreds of pages of secret government reports obtained by The Sunday Telegraph.
Full transcripts include classified interviews with frustrated British Army commanders and Whitehall officials. Commanders wrote dozens of “post-operational reports” and the Army compiled two “overall lessons learnt” papers.
According to The Telegraph, the leaked report condemns the almost complete absence of contingency planning as a potential breach of Geneva Convention obligations to safeguard civilians. Coalition forces were “ill-prepared and equipped to deal with the problems in the first 100 days” of the occupation.
Blair’s lies to Parliament and the public, widespread problems with the Army’s supply chain and radio systems, and poor planning for “once Baghdad had fallen” are now confirmed in the public eye.
Particularly egregious are statements Blair made to Parliament in the build up to the invasion. On Sept 24, 2002, Mr. Blair told members of the British Parliament, “In respect of any military options, we are not at the stage of deciding those options but, of course, it is important — should we get to that point — that we have the fullest possible discussion of those options.”
The Telegraph reports, however, that according to leaked documents, “formation-level planning for a deployment took place from February 2002.”
The documents quote British Maj. Gen. Graeme Lamb, director of special forces during the war, as saying: “I had been working the war up since early 2002.”
Former Whitehall civil servant Sir John Chilcot is due to begin an inquiry into Iraq this week. Many of the leaked documents will very likely be seen by Chilcot’s committee, but it is unknown whether the tribunal will publish them.
Relatives of the dead, senior military officers and a few members of the press hope the Iraq Inquiry will not be a simple whitewash.
First test of Virgin Orbit rocket fails to accomplish goal
The first test launch of a rocket that is released from a jumbo jet at 35,000 feet and then propels itself into orbit to deploy a satellite failed on Monday, the Virgin Orbit company said.
"The mission terminated shortly into the flight. Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and returning to base," Virgin Orbit's Twitter account reported as the test was underway off the coast of California.
The plane released the rocket cleanly, but the latter developed trouble of unknown origin after igniting its first-stage engine, the company said.
Founded by British billionaire Richard Branson in 2012, Virgin Orbit wants to offer a quick and flexible launch service for operators of small satellites, weighing between 300 and 500 kilos (600 to 1,00 pounds), a market which is currently booming.
Trump adviser’s ‘repugnant’ lack of concern for human life slammed by ethics expert
On Monday, President Donald Trump's economic adviser Kevin Hassett appeared on CNN to urge the economy to reopen, saying, "Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work."
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 25, 2020
Trump uses Memorial Day to attack Biden and recycle old lies about his coronavirus response
NYT: "At Least 430,000 People Have Arrived in the United States on Direct Flights From China"
President Donald Trump used the occasion of the Memorial Day holiday to recycle old, debunked lies about his likely Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a tweet Trump made several accusations, none of them are true.
Sleepy Joe Biden (mostly his reps.) went crazy when I banned, in late January, people coming in from China. He called me “xenophobic” & then went equally “nuts” when we let in 44,000 people - until he was told they were American citizens coming home. He later apologized!