Blair on trial for Iraq war in London play

This video is called Sexual abuse and torture by British troops in Iraq.

Reuters reports:

London Theatre Targets Blair for Iraq War

September 17, 2007

By Mike Collett-White

A London theatre has put British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the dock for waging war in Iraq, staging a mock tribunal where prosecution and defense lawyers question key witnesses.

As scrutiny over Blair’s legacy intensifies ahead of his expected resignation in a few weeks, “Called to Account” examines events leading to Britain’s participation in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that has damaged the leader’s popularity.

Based on a courtroom-style debate between lawyers to provide material for the drama, the play raises the question, asked many times before, of whether Blair and his officials deliberately manipulated intelligence to justify the 2003 invasion.

It also focuses on what pressure, if any, they put on the attorney general when he gave legal advice on the war, at what stage Blair agreed to back the use of force in Iraq and whether the aim was regime change and not weapons of mass destruction.

Some ground in the play was covered by the real-life Butler and Hutton inquiries of 2004, which cleared Blair and his government of deliberately distorting intelligence and misleading Britons.

But Richard Norton-Taylor, the Guardian journalist who wrote “Called to Account” based on transcripts of the mock legal debate, believes the remits were narrow and evidence has emerged since then that could compromise Blair.

“My personal view is that there is still a case to answer. We don’t know the full story,” Norton-Taylor said after the press night at the Tricycle Theatre on Monday.

He and director Nicolas Kent also quote from the Butler report, which said “as in the search for weapons in Iraq, one can never do too much digging.”

Arts Target Blair

Among witnesses who gave testimony was Clare Short, a fierce critic of Blair and the war, former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter and Richard Perle, ex-Pentagon official who backed the invasion but who has had doubts since. Blair does not appear.

“Called to Account” comes soon after Britain’s Channel 4 showed “The Trial of Tony Blair” in which the leader faces trial for war crimes as he steps down as leader.

New Labour ousts key anti-war MP, Bob Wareing: here.

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