web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Truth out on wars

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, July 27th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: afghanistan, iraq, john key, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags: ,

British Deputy PM and leader of the Lib Dems, Nick Clegg, caused a bit of a sensation last week. Answering a question in Parliament, while standing in for the PM, he told the truth about Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war. The Guardian reports:

Nick Clegg’s ‘illegal’ Iraq war gaffe prompts legal warning

Coalition in confusion as deputy prime minister pronounces invasion ‘illegal’ at dispatch box

Nick Clegg was tonight forced to clarify his position on the Iraq war after he stood up at the dispatch box of the House of Commons and pronounced the invasion illegal.

The deputy prime minister insisted he was speaking in a personal capacity, as a leading international lawyer warned that the statement by a government minister in such a formal setting could increase the chances of charges against Britain in international courts. Philippe Sands, professor of law at University College London, said: “A public statement by a government minister in parliament as to the legal situation would be a statement that an international court would be interested in, in forming a view as to whether or not the war was lawful.”

… Clegg threw the government’s position concerning the legality of the Iraq war into confusion when, at the end of heated exchanges with Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time of the war, Clegg said: “We may have to wait for his memoirs, but perhaps one day he will account for his role in the most disastrous decision of all: the illegal invasion of Iraq.” Clegg’s remarks could be legally significant because he was standing at the government dispatch box in the Commons.

In other breaking news yesterday, Wikileaks (so recently in the news for video footage of video of US troops gunning down Iraqis) has scored it’s biggest coup ever, releasing a huge cache of US military files. There are claims that these files contain evidence of war crimes. The Guardian again:

Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

• Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
• Covert unit hunts leaders for ‘kill or capture’
• Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato
• Read the Guardian’s full war logs investigation

A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.

The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 320 British and more than 1,000 US troops.

Their publication comes amid mounting concern that Barack Obama’s “surge” strategy is failing and as coalition troops hunt for two US naval personnel captured by the Taliban south of Kabul on Friday.

So, now the truth is out there. Not a good week for warmongers.


PS – Wasn’t one of our own prominent politicians quite keen on joining both of these wars? Help me out here – who was that again?…

12 comments on “Truth out on wars”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Interesting thoughts on the journalistic angle from Jay Rosen…

    http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2010/07/26/wikileaks_afghan.html

    5. And just as government doesn’t know what to make of Wikileaks (“we’re gonna hunt you down/hey, you didn’t contact us!’) the traditional press isn’t used to this, either. As Glenn Thrush noted on Politico.com:

    The WikiLeaks report presented a unique dilemma to the three papers given advance copies of the 92,000 reports included in the Afghan war logs — the New York Times, Germany’s Der Speigel and the UK’s Guardian.
    The editors couldn’t verify the source of the reports — as they would have done if their own staffers had obtained them — and they couldn’t stop WikiLeaks from posting it, whether they wrote about it or not.

    So they were basically left with proving veracity through official sources and picking through the pile for the bits that seemed to be the most truthful.

    Notice how effective this combination is. The information is released in two forms: vetted and narrated to gain old media cred, and released online in full text, Internet-style, which corrects for any timidity or blind spot the editors at Der Spiegel, The Times or the Guardian may show.

    6. From an editor’s note: “At the request of the White House, The Times also urged WikiLeaks to withhold any harmful material from its Web site.’ There’s the new balance of power, right there. In the revised picture we find the state, which holds the secrets but is powerless to prevent their release; the stateless news organization, deciding how to release them; and the national newspaper in the middle, negotiating the terms of legitimacy between these two actors.

    Plenty more at link.

  2. Gooner 2

    PS Wasn’t one of our own prominent politicians quite keen on joining both of these wars? Help me out here who was that again?

    Well it’s a disgrace Helen Clark sent our SAS troops into Afghanistan.

    • zimmer 2.1

      No Gooner, Labour fights good wars, National fights illegal wars. It turned illegal around 8/11/08.

    • r0b 2.2

      After the invasion Clark sent about 120 reconstruction engineers and about 50 SAS to help with peace keeping and reconstruction in Afghanistan. I personally think that she was wrong to send the SAS.

      But it’s a million miles from that deployment to having Kiwi combat troops participate in the illegal invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan – which is what armchair general Johnny was demanding – spittle flying – during his rant to the house. History has shown his demands to be the ranting of a fool.

  3. Gooner 3

    There’s a “good” war?

  4. Helen Clark sent troops at the request of the UN. John Key sent troops at the request of the US.

  5. Gooner 5

    UN = good.

    US = bad.

    • r0b 5.1

      Why do you hate the US Gooner? It’s really –

      International peacekeeping = good

      Unilateral wars of aggression = bad.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Gooner and his mates here wouldn’t know the difference r0b.

        Has Key been asked about the wikileaks leaks? I hope Labour and the Greens get stuck into him at question time today.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1

          There’s not a lot in there about Kiwi’s, but they could use some of the revelations as a reason to ask about why he seems to have changed his mind about us being there, given his recent musings that we shan’t be there for much longer.

          Something’s changed, we deserve to know what that is. The stated reasons he had to redeploy the SAS (Osama is in Pakistan! Bali!1 Pulling our weight!!!) are no more nonsensical now than they were then.

  6. prism 6

    It seems a crunch time for analysis of the entry into and outcomes of war – the previous head of MI5 who is knowledgable and pragmatic has interesting things to say about Iraq. There are sad revelations and repetitions for ordinary westerners and the Iraqi people.

    Link saying that Brit involvement in Iraq war helped radicalise British youth towards terrorism against Britain.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10693001
    Link giving further background and perspective.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/20/iraq-inquiry-saddam-mi5-chief

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    3 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 days ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    3 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    4 days ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    5 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    5 days ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional… ...
    1 week ago
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere