Tony Blair was rocked last night by a new crisis over Iraq after it was revealed that Ministers were told to ‘burn’ a secret document which said the war was illegal.
The Mail on Sunday has learned how Downing Street descended into panic on the eve of the war when Attorney General Lord Goldsmith told Mr Blair the conflict could be challenged under international law.
The Prime Minister was horrified, and Ministers and officials who had a copy of Goldsmith’s written opinion were told: ‘Burn it. Destroy it.’
Ten days later, with the invasion just days away, Goldsmith did a U-turn and said an attack could be justified. Among those who were told to ‘burn’ their copy was Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, who flatly ignored the order.
It is also claimed that Mr Hoon threatened to expose such Iraq War secrets when he resisted a bid by Tony Blair to kick him out of the Cabinet. Mr Hoon denied those claims last night. The disclosure is one of the most shocking indications yet that Blair and his inner circle were intent on war, while publicly claiming to be pursuing a diplomatic solution.
It has long been suspected that Labour’s ruling clique put pressure on the Attorney General to come up with a legal opinion in favour of the conflict – an accusation which is being investigated by Sir John Chilcot as a key part of his long-delayed inquiry into the war.
Last week, Sir John announced his report would not be published until June or July 2016. – Daily Mail
Of course several hours later Tony Blair’s office has announced these allegations are nonsense.
Claims that ministers were ordered to destroy a secret document on the legality of the Iraq war are nonsense, Tony Blair’s office has said.
The Mail on Sunday says a report by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in 2003 said the conflict could be challenged under international law.
It claims PM Mr Blair was horrified and those who had a copy were told to “burn it, destroy it.”
Any idea of destroying such a report was absurd, Mr Blair’s office said.
The newspaper alleges the “burn it” order was issued after a 13-page legal opinion was presented by Lord Goldsmith to Mr Blair less than three weeks before the outbreak of war.
The Mail quotes a senior No 10 figure at the time as saying: “There was pandemonium. The date when war was expected to start was already in the diary, and here was Goldsmith saying it could be challenged under international law. They said ‘burn it, destroy it’ and got to work on the AG.”
The paper reports that among those who were told to destroy their copy was the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, who it says flatly ignored the order. It says Mr Hoon told it that he would not comment on the allegations while the Chilcot inquiry into the war was still under way.
“This is nonsense as far as Tony Blair knows,” his spokesman said of the Mail’s allegations.
“No one ever said that in his presence and in any event it would be quite absurd to think that anyone could destroy any such document.
“Mr Blair and Lord Goldsmith dealt with all the circumstances surrounding the advice at the (Iraq) Inquiry at length and with all the documents. The fact is the advice given was that the action was legal and it was given for perfectly good reasons.” – BBC NEWS
Of course anyone with any sense knows that the allegations are undoubtedly true and only skim the surface of just how corrupt the actions of Tony Blair and his office were and still are.
Tony Blair is a War Criminal, A Terrorist, A Murderer – Justice needs to be dealt!