Leaked British Document Indicates War Crimes

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Its not that heads are rolling in Great Britain, but at least some careers have been ruined and the British post Iraq invasion investigations continue. Leaked British Report: No Preparation for Iraq Invasion So Blair Could Keep Lying

Military commanders are expected to tell the inquiry into the Iraq war, which opens on Tuesday, that the invasion was ill-conceived and that preparations were sabotaged by Tony Blair’s government’s attempts to mislead the public.

They were so shocked by the lack of preparation for the aftermath of the invasion that they believe members of the British and US governments at the time could be prosecuted for war crimes by breaching the duty outlined in the Geneva convention to safeguard civilians in a conflict, the Guardian has been told. (note: Not to mention the total lack of respect for the lives of British and U.S. military forces)

The lengths the Blair government took to conceal the invasion plan and the extent of military commanders’ anger at what they call the government’s “appalling” failures emerged as Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry’s chairman, promised to produce a “full and insightful” account of how Britain was drawn into the conflict.

Fresh evidence has emerged about how Blair misled MPs by claiming in 2002 that the goal was “disarmament, not regime change”. Documents show the government wanted to hide its true intentions by informing only “very small numbers” of officials.

The documents, leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, are “post-operational reports” and “lessons learned” papers compiled by the army and its field commanders. They refer to a “rushed” operation that caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the postwar period.

One commander said the government “missed a golden opportunity” to win support from Iraqis. Another commented: “It was not unlike 1750s colonialism where the military had to do everything ourselves”. One, describing the supply chain, added: “I know for a fact that there was one container full of skis in the desert”.

[…] Significantly, the documents support what officials have earlier admitted – that the army was not allowed to prepare properly for the Iraq invasion in 2002 so as not to alert parliament and the UN that Blair was already determined to go to war.

The documents add: “In Whitehall, the internal operational security regime, in which only very small numbers of officers and officials were allowed to become involved [in Iraq invasion preparations] constrained broader planning for combat operations and subsequent phases effectively until Dec 23 2002.”

Blair had in effect promised George Bush that he would join the US-led invasion when, as late as July 2002, he was denying to MPs that preparations were being made for military action. The leaked documents reveal that “from March 2002 or May at the latest there was a significant possibility of a large-scale British operation”.

The closet thing we have this this report is one from Rep. Henry A. Waxman(D) report: Iraq on The Record in which is was determined that Bush and administration officials made at least  237 public statements that ranged from misleading to out right obfuscation.

Jonathan Cohn on the current state of the health-care reform bill, Should We Laugh? Cry? Both?

But the public option fight–however it turns out–could also help progressives in other ways. Whether out of pique, politics, or principle, Lieberman, Lincoln, and Nelson (and maybe one or two others) want to scream about something–and to have a concession they can claim as their own. If they end up demanding the public option as the price of their support–and I’m not saying I want that to happen–perhaps the rest of the bill can go through relatively unscathed. Or, to put it more starkly, if they didn’t have the public option to attack then it’d be the subsidies, or the price tag, or the insurance regulations. Merely by including the public option in his bill, Reid has increased the chances that the final bill is a good one–even if the public option is gone by the time deliberations are done.

And don’t forget that the debate doesn’t end with the Senate. There’s always conference committee. Jay Rockefeller, among the Senate’s most reliably liberal voices on coverage issues, has said he’ll be one of the negotiators.

Cohn notes “But to get a bit of perspective, glance over to the other ideological corner–where the right, and many of its kindred special interests, are going absolutely crazy.” Sure we can all justifiably get mad at Nelson, Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln, but think of current proceedings in historical perspective. Out of forty Senate Republicans the American people cannot find ten that will stand up for genuine “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and the “common good”. Its conservatives first and country last. This has been the conservative movement nihilistic philosophy for fifty years. On every policy issue they ask first and foremost, not for the best solution, but what will make their opponents look bad. Children on the average playground seem more thoughtful by comparison.