“There is a widespread view that the justification for the decision on military action in Iraq is either not fully understood or that the public were not given the full or genuine reasons for that decision,” Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said in his ruling on a request made under the British version of the Freedom of Information Act.
The Cabinet Office had argued to him that public disclosure of minutes would inhibit free and candid debate about sensitive issues in future cabinet sessions.
Thomas, who was allowed to inspect the minutes as part of his deliberations, said that while he respected the government’s position, “arguments for the withholding of the information are outweighed by the public interest in its disclosure.”
Wow, So that’s how they do it in a democracy. Simply amazing. Just think, there actually was a day when we had the democracy on this side of the pond and Britain had the king. (or, was that a dream?)
Daily Archives: February 28, 2008
Sean DeLona cartoon
even the Republicans are starting to roll over on the Raj.
The now notorious “palpable mass” on Roger Clemens’ butt may be his undoing if his steroid case becomes a criminal charge.
This incredibly detailed memo goes well beyond the he said, she said assertions made in the public hearing before the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee.
The 19-page document shows that team doctors from the Astros, Blue Jays and Red Sox all testified in affidavits that they never injected Clemens with pain shots, as he indicated before Congress. The memo, on page eight, also reveals a statement from a Dr. Mark Murphey, a top MRI expert with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, who said the MRI of Clemens “palpable mass” shows an injury that is consistent with steroid injections and not the B12 shot Clemens claims he took.
The next step in the judicial process, should the Department of Justice decide to pursue a criminal investigation, would be an FBI inquiry into the perjury allegation. …
Republicans who were initially skeptical of the high profile investigation by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), after seeing the details behind the allegations of perjury, have signed off on the criminal referral.
“If he did lie, he should be held accountable,” said Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who was skeptical of Clemens trainer Brian McNamee’s testimony initially. …
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) also agreed with the criminal referral to the Department of Justice.
” Mr. Clemens gave statements in a sworn deposition on Feb. 5 and under oath before our hearing on Feb. 13 that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone,” Davis said. “Evidence in our investigative record contradicts those statements.’
THE Iraq war has cost the US 50-60 times more than the Bush administration predicted and was a central cause of the sub-prime banking crisis threatening the world economy, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
The former World Bank vice-president yesterday said the war had, so far, cost the US something like $US3trillion ($3.3 trillion) compared with the $US50-$US60-billion predicted in 2003.
Professor Stiglitz told the Chatham House think tank in London that the Bush White House was currently estimating the cost of the war at about $US500 billion, but that figure massively understated things such as the medical and welfare costs of US military servicemen.
The war was now the second-most expensive in US history after World War II and the second-longest after Vietnam, he said.
The spending on Iraq was a hidden cause of the current credit crunch because the US central bank responded to the massive financial drain of the war by flooding the American economy with cheap credit.
“The regulators were looking the other way and money was being lent to anybody this side of a life-support system,” he said.
That led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom, and the fallout was plunging the US economy into recession and saddling the next US president with the biggest budget deficit in history, he said.
The money being spent on the war each week would be enough to wipe out illiteracy around the world, he said.
Just a few days’ funding would be enough to provide health insurance for US children who were not covered, he said.
The public had been encouraged by the White House to ignore the costs of the war because of the belief that the war would somehow pay for itself or be paid for by Iraqi oil or US allies.
“When the Bush administration went to war in Iraq it obviously didn’t focus very much on the cost. Larry Lindsey, the chief economic adviser, said the cost was going to be between $US100billion and $US200 billion – and for that slight moment of quasi-honesty he was fired.
“(Then defence secretary Donald) Rumsfeld responded and said ‘baloney’, and the number the administration came up with was $US50 to $US60 billion. We have calculated that the cost was more like $US3 trillion.
“Three trillion is a very conservative number, the true costs are likely to be much larger than that.”
Five years after the war, the US was still spending about $US50billion every three months on direct military costs, he said.
Professor Stiglitz and another Clinton administration economist, Linda Bilmes, have produced a book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, pulling together their research on the true cost of the war, which does not include the cost to Iraq.