Prosecute Blair for Iraq war, dead soldiers’ families say


This video from Britain about the Iraq war says about itself:

Military Families Against The War

27 September 2006

Represented by Rose Gentle at the Manchester Time to Go Demo.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 6 July 2016:

Chilcot report: Families of Iraq War dead lead calls for Tony Blair to be prosecuted

Families and MPs among those calling for Mr Blair to face legal action

Adam Lusher

The father of a soldier who died in Iraq has issued a stinging rebuke to Tony Blair amid calls for the former prime minister to face legal action over the invasion.

Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in 2005, said he had listened in amazement as Mr Blair delivered a 6,000-word statement in response to the Chilcot Report.

“I listened,” said Mr Bacon, “And I listened, and listened and listened as he went on and on and on.

“I began to feel that actually what was happening was that I was hearing Iraq Report Mark II – one that was completely different to the report Sir John Chilcot has just published.”

“I was amazed really,” added Mr Bacon, a former police officer.  “I knew he was going to make a statement, but then he started going into such forensic detail, disappearing down the road of what was happening now and what was happening in the future.  It was as if he was writing Iraq Report II.   It was one huge justification for his actions.”

Earlier Mr Bacon had revealed that he and other bereaved relatives were considering legal action against the former Prime Minister, at a press conference where the sister of one dead soldier called Mr Blair “the world’s worst terrorist”.

The shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn said the Iraq Inquiry’s findings amounted to an “utter condemnation” of Mr Blair’s “terrible” decision to commit British troops to the US-led invasion and prosecution of the former statesman should be given “serious consideration”.

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he would like to see Mr Blair investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a crime of aggression and face parliamentary action to stop him holding public office again.

And a former director of public prosecutions said the report indicated Mr Blair could face charges of misconduct in public office.

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven said it “seemed very likely” Mr Blair has “roundly abused” the trust placed in him by the public and that he had twisted the evidence that provided the justification for going to war.

After listening to Mr Blair, Mr Bacon laughed out loud at the ex-Prime Minister’s insistence that the Chilcot Report stated that Parliament and Cabinet had not been misled.

He directed Mr Blair to Sir John’s statement that: “We have also concluded that the judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.”

Mr Bacon, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work helping other bereaved service families, said: “We were misled and the report effectively says so in black and white.” …

Mr Blair’s press conference performance came after Mr Bacon’s wife Maureen had predicted to The Independent: “I am sure he [Mr Blair] will be well rehearsed again when the report comes out.”

The retired primary school teacher had added that Mr Blair “Will be able to go back to his family, but 179 families will live the rest of their lives without their sons or daughters. And then there are all those who were injured, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died.  And after all this time, Iraq is still in a dreadful state.” …

Last March, Mr and Mrs Bacon had travelled to Iraq, to the spot where their son was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED).

Rejecting Mr Blair’s insistence that he would “never, ever accept that those troops who got injured or gave their lives did so in vain,” Mr Bacon said: “Having been on the ground, meeting people out there and seeing something of it, all I can say is that I do not think that what occurred in Iraq was worthwhile.

“Do I feel that Matthew lost his life in a worthwhile cause?  The answer is no.”

I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair’s actions caused

Also from The Independent, today:

The Sun has deleted its list of ‘Iraq war traitors’ from 2003

by Louis Doré

The Sun appears to have deleted their 2003 story instructing readers to cut out and use the faces of those who opposed the Iraq war as a dartboard. …

“You can aim your own missiles at the cowards and traitors who opted to support Saddam Hussein rather than the brave troops who laid down their lives for freedom.

These are the people who wrongly told us that war would last months, the Iraqi people did not want it and many thousands of civilians and coalition soldiers would die.”

It targeted among others:

George Galloway

Jacques Chirac

Vladimir Putin

Lord Hunt

Robin Cook

Bob Crow

John Denham

Charles Kennedy

Clare Short

Kofi Annan

The story urged readers to cut out the dartboard and “launch your missiles”.

Robin Cook’s 2003 resignation speech to parliament over Iraq: here.

TONY BLAIR took Britain into war in Iraq before all “peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted,” Sir John Chilcot said yesterday in the damning conclusion to his seven-year inquiry: here.

TONY BLAIR should be forced out of the Labour Party following the Chilcot Inquiry’s scathing assessment of his involvement in the Iraq invasion, an anti-war group said yesterday after paying respects to dead soldiers: here.

Murdoch empire bigwig Ailes accused of sexual harassment


This video from the USA says about itself:

Gretchen Carlson is Ugly According to Sexist Fox News Chief Ailes

14 January 2014

More on Roger Ailes‘ views of women are coming out of the unauthorized “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News and Divided a Country” biography. This is what he thinks of his own female employees.

By Michael Calderone, Senior Media Reporter, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Former Fox News Host Gretchen Carlson Files Sexual Harassment Suit Against Roger Ailes

She also claims co-host Steve Doocy engaged in a pattern of condescending treatment.

07/06/2016 12:23 pm ET

NEW YORK — Former “Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson alleged in an explosive lawsuit filed Wednesday that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes fired her for rebuffing his sexual advances and challenging a sexist newsroom culture.

Carlson, who spent 11 years at the network, described being ostracized and marginalized by Fox News for pushing back against condescending treatment. After seven and a half years as a co-host on “Fox & Friends,” the top-rated cable morning news show, Carlson was reassigned in 2013 to an early afternoon time slot. Fox News terminated her employment on June 23.

In the suit, Carlson claims she tried addressing what she considered to be discriminatory treatment during a September 2015 meeting with Ailes, who allegedly responded that their problems could have been better solved if they had a sexual relationship.

“I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” Ailes told Carlson, according to the suit.

In the suit, Carlson accused Ailes, one of the most powerful figures in media and Republican politics, of engaging in persistently sexist behavior. She said he ogled her in his office, asked her to turn around to view her backside, and commented repeatedly on her outfits and her legs.

She also said “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy engaged in a “pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment” that included “mocking her during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show.”

Carlson said she complained about Doocy creating a hostile work environment back in September 2009.

Fox News Sources: Gretchen Carlson Wasn’t The First Roger Ailes Victim. “He told me that if he was thinking of hiring a woman, he’d ask himself if he would fuck her, and if he would, then he’d hire her to be on-camera”: here.

Can the Murdochs Contain the Damage From the Ailes Investigation? Here.

British dead soldiers’ families boycott Iraq war report


This video from Britain says about itself:

Families of dead service personnel demand answers over phone hacking claims

8 July 2011

The families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan may have had their phones hacked by News of the World investigators, it’s been claimed. MPH Solicitors – whose clients include Samantha Roberts, widow of Sgt Steven Roberts, the first British soldier killed in combat in Iraq in 2003 – called for clarity from authorities over the claims.

Solicitor Geraldine McCool said the firm had been contacted by press on Wednesday over the allegations surrounding high-profile military inquests in 2006 and 2007. …

And a lawyer for Rose Gentle, whose son Fusilier Gordon Gentle was killed in Iraq in 2004, said he had contacted police to find out if the phones of Ms Gentle and other families were targeted. Steven Heffer, of Collyer Bristow Solicitors, said: “It is imperative that the families get to the bottom of this issue very quickly as any delay only adds to their grief and suffering. I am hoping the police will deal with their requests for information quickly and sympathetically.” …

Yesterday it was announced the paper would be shut down, with its last edition to be published on Sunday. Today David Cameron‘s former Communications chief, and former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, is reported to be facing arrest as part of the investigation into the hacking. Mr Coulson was recruited by the Prime Minister after resigning as editor of the paper four years ago when one of its journalists and a private investigator were jailed for accessing voice-messages.

By Zoe Streatfield in Britain:

‘Whitewash’ Iraq report faces boycott by families

Tuesday 5th July 2016

FAMILIES of soldiers killed in Iraq will boycott the launch of the Chilcot report tomorrow, fearing a “whitewash” following claims that it never looked into the legality of the war.

Sir John Chilcot will tomorrow unveil his report into Britain’s part in the Iraq war — seven years after the public inquiry was announced by then-prime minister Gordon Brown.

The International Criminal Court has already indicated that Tony Blair, who took the country to war, will not face prosecution as the decision to go to war in Iraq “falls outside the court’s jurisdiction.”

Julia Nicholson, whose son Gary died when his plane was shot down in 2005, said she was “absolutely disgusted,” adding: “I’m not going because it will be a whitewash.”

She accused Tony Blair of having “blood on his hands” and warned “he will have covered his back and [then US president George W] Bush’s back.”

And Janice Procter, whose 18-year-old son Michael Trench was one of the youngest Britons to be killed in the conflict, said that Mr Blair had “put 179 kids to the slaughter. There’s no justice.”

Ms Procter said she would not attend the launch as the report would not bring her any comfort or closure.

Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew was killed in 2005, said he expected the report to reveal “what I’ve always believed, which is that [Mr Blair] took us to war illegally.

“If it’s a whitewash I will be hugely disappointed, no question of that.”

And David Godfrey, whose grandson Daniel Coffey was killed in 2007, branded Mr Blair a “war criminal” and said “he has to be held responsible.”

Lord Butler, who carried out the 2004 review of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD), said the legality of the war “wasn’t actually put to [Mr Chilcot] and, of course, his review team wasn’t equipped properly to deal with that legal issue.”

However, a number of MPs are expected to try to impeach Mr Blair, and at the weekend shadow chancellor John McDonnell refused to rule out trying Mr Blair for war crimes.

Murdoch’s Megyn Kelly, from Trump critic to Trump fan


Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump, cartoon

A long time ago … no, it was not so long ago … in August 2015, during the first United States Republican party presidential candidates’ debate, on Rupert Murdoch‘s Fox News TV, there was a quarrel between Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch employee Megyn Kelly.

Ms Kelly asked Mr Trump about his anti-women sayings. Trump reacted with lots of more misogyny, directed at Megyn Kelly personally.

Some people on the Internet imagined that Ms Kelly had become some sort of feminist heroine. Their imagination should not have been so fast. A real feminist heroine would never have fitted into the misogynist subculture at Fox News. Ms Kelly has a record of being far-right, not that compatible with feminism.

The Murdoch empire chose to take the side of Donald Trump, not the side of its employee Kelly.

Later, Murdoch empire emperor Rupert decided that Donald Trump should become the official Republican party candidate (though other candidates had not given up then yet).

So, yesterday evening Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump had a very amicable hour long conversation on Rupert Murdoch TV. Officially, at Kelly’s request. Unofficially, maybe at Kelly’s bosses’ request. All of Trump’s sexist personal attacks forgiven and forgotten for the ‘greater good’ of the Murdoch empire and the Republican party. Kelly asked the presidential candidate softball questions. “I like our relationship right now,” Trump said in the interview.

This reminds me a bit of Trump‘s relationship with another far-rightist in the USA: arch-Islamophobe Pamela Geller. Back in the summer of 2015, Ms Geller criticized Trump for misogyny. Though misogyny had never bothered Geller in her praise for neo-fascistic anti-Semitic anti-women political parties in Europe, like the French National Front. As long as these parties hated Muslims. Last year, Geller thought Trump was not Islamophobic enough. And he had criticized Geller. So, Geller suddenly discovered Trump’s anti-women views. And she prefered candidate Ted Cruz (even creepier than Trump in some respects).

However, by now Cruz has given up. Trump has meanwhile proposed to ban all Muslims from the USA, and has spouted more Islamophobia. And Pamela Geller has -presto!- flip-flopped from a Trump critic into a Trump fan.

Noam Chomsky predicted the rise of Donald Trump six years ago: here.

Top US officer, General Michael Flynn, defends Donald Trump: here.

Remember that time Ivanka Trump and Wendi Deng hung out on vacation?

British Hillsborough football fans’ deaths, Thatcher, Murdoch guilty


This video from Britain says about itself:

‘We told you The Sun lied‘: Hillsborough 96 families

27 April 2016

As the Murdoch press’ front pages today ignore the Hillsborough verdict,

including the Times, supposedly the ‘quality’ paper of the Murdoch empire

the families of the 96 said yesterday ‘we told you they lied’, ‘they’ being The Sun, the government and the police. The families believe the lies deprived the memory of their loved ones, who were portrayed as scum, of justice. That justice came yesterday after 27 years of campaigning and a two-year inquest with more than 800 witnesses that was the longest jury hearing in British legal history. The Sun apologised for their 1989 infamous editorial ‘The Truth’ in 2012. As did BoJo [London Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson] in the same year for his 2004 editorial in the Spectator. The piece shows how ingrained the image of Liverpool fans as ‘tanked-up yobs’, coined by Sir Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher‘s former press secretary, was in the establishment:

“Liverpool is a handsome city with a tribal sense of community. A combination of economic misfortune – its docks were, fundamentally, on the wrong side of England when Britain entered what is now the European Union – and an excessive predilection for welfarism have created a peculiar, and deeply unattractive, psyche among many Liverpudlians. They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it.

Part of this flawed psychological state is that they cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of society. The deaths of more than 50 Liverpool football supporters at Hillsborough in 1989 was undeniably a greater tragedy than the single death, however horrible, of Mr Bigley; but that is no excuse for Liverpool’s failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon. The police became a convenient scapegoat, and the Sun newspaper a whipping-boy for daring, albeit in a tasteless fashion, to hint at the wider causes of the incident.”

That prevailing image of the victims could explain why it took so long to identify the real culprits, as Peter Fahy, former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police says “The Taylor Report way back in 1989, identified a lot of the failings, which have been confirmed in the hearing today.” Margaret Aspinall who lost her son James in the disaster focused on how much the truth was suppressed all these years and that ‘a lot of things that came out in the past few weeks I didn’t know myself.’

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Justice at last

CROWN Prosecution Service lawyers have the responsibility now to take appropriate action after the Hillsborough disaster inquest jury decisions.

While the families of the 96 dead Liverpool FC fans see the culmination of their determined campaign as “justice at last,” the Establishment’s stringing out of this process for 27 years amounts to justice delayed and frustrated.

Some campaigners have not lived to see this day. Senior police have put families through hell by using delaying tactics to deny an undeniable truth.

When senior police officers fail to carry out their duties, with fatal consequences, there must be a legal reckoning.

But the Hillsborough families were the victims of a conspiracy in which police, the Murdoch media and politicians fed each other lies to be repeated as widely as possible to give the false impression that the fans’ behaviour contributed to the tragedy.

Football fans were viewed by Margaret Thatcher’s government as savages to be penned in behind steel fences, preventing their evacuation during overcrowding.

They were traduced in Murdoch’s Scum [Sun] as being drunken yobbos, forcing their way onto the terraces, robbing the dead and urinating on police, thus contributing to a general image of savagery.

Scum editor Kelvin MacKenzie claimed that these allegations emanated from the police.

Perhaps the CPS should give thought to conspiracy charges being laid against those it believes may have engaged in joint enterprise to besmirch the names of 96 dead LFC supporters and their fellow fans.

A full 27 years after the event, the inquest into the Hillsborough disaster concluded that 96 Liverpool Football Club supporters, crushed to death on April 15, 1989, were unlawfully killed. The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the extraordinary campaign by the families, friends and supporters of those killed, injured and traumatized: here.

Hillsborough inquest: legal system a key part of establishment that failed families for years. The inquest delivered the basic justice people had waited 27 years for – but a detached judge and police repetition of old, putrid claims prolonged the nightmare: here.