Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In 2011, Tony Blair told Rebekah Brooks (editor, News of the World) how to beat the rap: publish a "Hutton"-style report. Hutton whitewashed David Kelly's almost certain murder for Blair./ BBC

David Kelly was the UK WMD expert and weapons inspector who was found "dead in the woods" in 2003 after he told a BBC reporter that the Blair government memo on WMD did not conform to the facts, and specifically that Saddam could not hit the UK with a nuke in 45 minutes.  This undermined Blair's entire case for war 4 months after the war started.

Immediately after, or possibly before Kelly's death, Blair had his former flatmate, Lord Falconer, set up an investigation of the death.  About three hours after the death, Falconer contacted Lord Hutton to conduct an inquiry into the matter.  Hutton's inquiry failed to explain how exactly Kelly died, and why many items at the scene, including the packet of pills he allegedly took and the knife he allegedly used to cut his wrists (neither of which was proven to have been a cause of death) were devoid of any fingerprints. Falconer stopped the inquest, and documents about the case were sealed by Lord Hutton in 2010 for 70 years "for the sake of the family."

So when Tony Blair told his good friend (Brooks) to create a "Hutton-style" report to help her get off bribery and illegal surveillance charges, Blair is telling her how a fixer would operate--but he is also telling her that Hutton was a fixer.  And he is strongly implying that Hutton covered up Kelly's murder. (Disclosure:  I met Kelly once or twice at anthrax conferences--Nass)

From the BBC:
The phone hacking trial has heard details of an email sent by Rebekah Brooks in which she claims to have received advice from former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Mrs Brooks spoke to Mr Blair on the telephone and passed on what he said to James Murdoch, who was then News International executive chairman, the Old Bailey trial heard.
The email read:
"Only got ten minutes before I see Charlie for confiscation!
But I had an hour on the phone to Tony Blair.
He said:
1. Form an independent unit that has a outside junior council, ken macdonald, a great and good type, a serious forensic criminal barrister, internal counsel, proper fact checkers etc in it. Get them to investigate me and others and publish a hutton style report.
2. Publish part one of the report at same time as the police closes its inquiry and clear you and accept short comings and new solutions and process and part two when any trials are over.
3. Keep strong and definitely sleeping pills. Need to have clear heads and remember no rash short term solutions as they only give you long term headaches.
4. It will pass. Tough up.
5. He is available for you, KRM and me as an unofficial adviser but needs to be between us.
He is sending more notes later."
Ken Macdonald, whom Mrs Brooks referred to in the email, is a former director of public prosecutions.
Mrs Brooks also said Tony Blair had urged her to set up a "Hutton style" inquiry. This was a reference to the inquiry into the death of government weapons adviser Dr David Kelly. Its report exonerated Mr Blair and other officials over flawed evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, including the so-called "dodgy dossier".

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