BEHIND CLOSED DOORS AT 10 DOWNING STREET: A Crucial Behind the Scenes Episode in the Run-up to the Illegal War with Iraq

The Iraq War … Lord Goldsmith “pinned to the wall” (Chilcot Inquiry) by Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan (all three unelected) at a meeting without minutes at 10 Downing Street

Lord Goldsmith, Lord Falconer, Baroness Morgan (all three unelected) and their crucial roles in waging war on Iraq.

1) Lord Boyce, the then Chief of the British Armed Forces, after seeking his own private legal advice, formally sought an assurance from Tony Blair on 13 March 2003 that the proposed imminent waging of war on Iraq would be legal.

2) Lord Goldsmith, the then Attorney General, was asked to attend a meeting (unminuted) at 10 Downing Street later that same day with Lord Falconer (the then Lord Chancellor and Minister for Constitutional Affairs, and best friend of and fixer-in-chief for Tony Blair) and Baroness Morgan. I believe Lord Falconer lied on BBC’s Question Time when he claimed that Lord Goldsmith had asked for that meeting … it was OBVIOUSLY the other way around.

3) Lord Goldsmith gave the impression in his evidence to the Butler Inquiry (see transcript) that he had NOT written the crucial 17 March 2003 legal advice which was presented in the form of a Parliamentary Answer. I believe Lord Goldsmith lied in the run-up to the 2005 General Election when, under intense pressure, he DENIED that he had NOT written it. It is thought that Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan wrote the infamous 17 March 2003 Parliamentary Answer (on a single sheet of A4) which represented the final legal advice (and crucially was the only legal advice shown to Cabinet and Lord Boyce), devoid of all caveats present in Goldsmith’s 7 March 2003 written legal advice, purporting to be a summary of the 7 March 2003 advice when it was no such thing, the 7 March 2003 advice itself representing Goldsmith’s FIRST change of mind.

Goldsmith tried to claim in evidence to Chilcot that his mind had been changed by the Americans when he visited the US … Bellingham said that they (the Americans) had had trouble with our (the UK’s) Attorney General but that they had got him there in the end (or similar). In fact, the second MUCH MORE IMPORTANT change of mind was forced on Goldsmith by Falconer and Morgan. Goldsmith should have resigned … had he done so Blair could not (and Boyce would not) have gone to war, and (whatever the US says now) that would have prevented the US from going to war, because Blair had been used by the US to legitimise the war in the eyes of the American public.

So, it turns out that Goldsmith (a lawyer, bound by professional standards) was arguably the most culpable of all in enabling the US, the UK, Australia, Denmark and Poland to wage aggressive war on a sovereign state, thereby committing “the supreme international war crime” according to the Geneva Conventions (as well as being clearly illegal according to the United Nations Charter). And, not only was that war crime committed, there was also a conspiracy to concoct the legal advice (in addition to a conspiracy to concoct the Intelligence) to enable the crime to be committed, and of course after the crime had been committed there were numerous conspiracies to cover up the crime and all the resulting crimes.

To clarify, the Intelligence was concocted to create the impression that Iraq was “a clear and immediate threat to the United Kingdom” but many including Lord Boyce were highly sceptical, so it was necessary at a very late stage (in panic) to lean on Lord Goldsmith (to pin him to the wall) to allow the legal advice to be concocted (and remember Goldsmith was not an international law expert, unlike the lawyers at the Foreign Office, Wood, Wilmshurst et al., who all took the view that the war would be illegal).

Many say now that international law is not clear. That argument matters not one jot. The inescapable fact is that had Goldsmith resigned on 13 March 2003, as he should have done as a member of the legal profession if for no other reason, there would have been no war on Iraq.

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Articles by: Dr. C. Stephen Frost

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