Saturday, December 09, 2006
Promotions, pay rises honours - how the key players in the Kelly scandal were rewarded
by Jonathan Oliver, Mail on Sunday
The politicians and officials at the heart of the David Kelly scandal have been showered with honours, promotions or lucrative retirement jobs in the three years since the scientist's death.
While the Kelly family continue to mourn quietly in private, The Mail on Sunday today reveals how the men and women who share the blame for his demise have prospered.
On the eve of the third anniversary of the Hutton Report into the affair, an investigation charts the upward career paths of figures central to the inquiry who were called to give evidence or played a major part from behind the scenes.
The senior officials accused of covering up No10's manipulation of the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have gone on to be rewarded with some of the most glamorous jobs in the public sector.
Meanwhile, the Labour chairmen of the Commons committees that failed to probe the bogus Government dossiers on Saddam Hussein have been placed in the House of Lords.
And Alastair Campbell, the spin doctor whom critics accuse of tampering with intelligence and whipping up the hysteria that led to the scientist's alleged suicide, now stands to make an estimated £1 million from his memoirs.
Even junior and middle-ranking officials who were caught up in the political tornado have been recognised by the honours system and given significant promotions.
The research was carried out by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who is probing the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly in July 2003.
Mr Baker said: "Nobody in Government came out of this episode with any credit or integrity. Yet, three years after the Hutton Inquiry, the principal players in the drama of the death of David Kelly - those who backed the Government or cravenly caved in to No10's demands - have prospered handsomely."
Meanwhile, the men who stood up to the Establishment have not fared so well.
In 2003, Kevin Marsh was the editor of Radio 4's Today Programme and defended his reporter Andrew Gilligan's right to report that Campbell had "sexed up" the WMD dossier. Now he is stuck in a relative backwater as head of the BBC's journalist training school.
Greg Dyke, then BBC director general, was forced to quit following the Hutton Report and has struggled to find a new role.
And what of Lord Hutton? The ex-Law Lord, accused of colluding in an Establishment whitewash, has slipped back into obscure retirement in his native Northern Ireland and has said little on the affair. Last month he defended his report in an article for a legal journal.
The Air Marshal
Sir Joe French, 57, was Chief of Defence Intelligence.
Salary: up to £95,000.
Role: Testified before Hutton, defending the notorious - now disproved - claim that Saddam's weapons could be launched within 45 minutes.
Now: Promoted this year to Commander-in-Chief of RAF Strike Command on £154,000 a year.
Ann Taylor, 59, Labour MP, was chairwoman of Parliament's Intelligence Committee.
Role: She headed the committee that published a report which exonerated Downing Street over allegations of manipulating the Iraq intelligence.
Now: Ennobled as Baroness Taylor of Bolton. In her first year in the Lords she claimed more than £30,000 in tax-free "subsistence allowances".
The Select Committee Chairman
Donald Anderson, 67, was Labour chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
Role: Caved in to Government request not to ask David Kelly awkward questions about Iraq's WMD. Kelly was found dead two days after he appeared before Anderson's committee.
Now: Elevated to Lords as Baron Anderson of Swansea. Claimed £25,000 last year in tax-free attendance allowances in return for attending Lords on a total of 94 days.
The Defence Secretary
Geoff Hoon, 53, was Defence Secretary.
Role: Accused of neglecting his duty of care towards MoD employee David Kelly by sanctioning the release of his name to the media. Hoon admitted he could have done more to help the scientist.
Now: Demoted to Europe Minister on £99,000 but considered lucky to keep his Government job. Insiders claim Blair decided against sacking him because of the Iraq secrets he could spill.
The PM's mouthpiece
Godric Smith, 41, was one of the Prime Minister's two Official Spokesmen.
Role: Announced Kelly's death to reporters on the PM's plane as it arrived in Tokyo - responsible for many subsequent briefings.
Now: Honoured with CBE. Sports-mad Smith landed dream job as chief spin doctor for the 2012 London Olympics. Paid £120,000 a year.
The spin doctor
Alastair Campbell, 49, was Blair's Director of Communications and Strategy.
Role: Allegedly masterminded the "sexing up" of the official report on Iraq's WMD, author of the second so-called "dodgy dossier", and was the man behind the strategy that led to the public naming of David Kelly.
Now: Quit No10 but new work more lucrative. Charged Labour £40,000 plus VAT for a few weeks as a consultant during 2005 Election. Sports writer for Rupert Murdoch's Times newspaper. Stands to make £1 million for his memoirs.
The PM's other spokesman
Tom Kelly, 51, was the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (joint post).
Role: Briefed reporters that David Kelly was "Walter Mitty" character.
Now: Promoted to chief spokesman on £100,000.
The Whitehall intelligence chief
Sir John Scarlett, 58, was chairman of Whitehall's Joint Intelligence Committee.
Role: Accused of acting as "human shield" for Alastair Campbell. Scarlett insisted he had "overall charge and responsibility" of the Iraq intelligence report - No 10 had not meddled.
Now: Promoted in 2005 to the most glamorous job in British intelligence: Chief of MI6. Known as "C". Salary up to £200,000.
The deputy intelligence chief
Martin Howard, 52, was Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence.
Role: Insisted Downing Street had no knowledge that 45-minute claim was wrong.
Now: Still at MoD as Director General of Operational Policy on a salary of £100,000.
The Chief of Staff
Julian Miller, 51, was Chief of the Intelligence Assessment Staff, Cabinet Office.
Role: Defended Alastair Campbell, suggested David Kelly was too junior to have had access to crucial intelligence.
Now: Made Companion of the Order of the Bath. Director-General of Resources and Plans in the MoD on £100,000.
The Inquiry Secretary
Lee Hughes, late 40s, was Secretary to the Hutton Inquiry.
Role: Managed day-to-day logistics of the hearing.
Now: Made CBE. Promoted to senior role in Department of Constitutional Affairs, on £60,000.
The MoD Press Officer
Kate Wilson, late 30s, was chief Press officer at MoD.
Role: Responsible for strategy that led to Kelly's "outing". Journalists were told in advance that if they gave the correct name, the MoD would confirm it.
Now: Honoured with an OBE "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in connection with operations in Iraq". Still chief Press officer at MoD. Salary around £60,000.
The PM's top foreign adviser
Sir David Manning, 57, was Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser.
Role: Present at all Downing Street sofa summits leading up to the war.
Now: Promoted to Washington Ambassador, the most sought-after job in the diplomatic service. The post comes with armoured Rolls-Royce and sprawling residence. Basic salary £130,000 plus tax-free allowances of £90,000.
The top civil servant
Sir Kevin Tebbit, 60, was Permanent Under Secretary of State at MoD.
Salary: up to £264,250.
Role: Sir Kevin admitted "responsibility" but not "culpability" for Kelly's death.
Now: Enjoying comfortable semi-retirement as non-executive director of the Smiths Aerospace group on £60,000 a year and is also a visiting professor at Queen Mary College, London.
The MI6 supremo
Sir Richard Dearlove, 61, was Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service - MI6.
Salary: up to £200,000.
Role: Insisted to Hutton he was not aware of any unhappiness within the intelligence community over the 45-minute claim.
Now: Living in genteel retirement as Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, on Civil Service pension of up to £100,000.
The investigation into Dr Kelly's death has reached a critical stage. This opportunity will not come again. Now is the time to come forward with potential leads. A person or persons living in Dr Kelly's locality (Southmoor/Longworth, Oxon) have left messages here (see below) anonymously. Please would anyone with local (or any other useful) information write, in confidence, either to me at:
or to Norman Baker MP at:
23 EAST STREET
Tel: 01273 480268
Keep up the good work. Ed Vaizey and Norman Baker have been busy, but it's not enough.
So the BBC are doing an hour-long programme in Jan, re. the David Kelly 'suicide' - that's sure to be an even bigger whitewash. The answers are right here, locally, on our door-steps but no-one will listen. Interview all those present, before his body was found, and immediately afterwards.
Someone is living with a huge lie on his conscience.
I knew David Kelly - he was a very clever but stubborn man, and I think the 'authorities' thought he knew too much for his own good. An independant Inquest should be called for, and an answer sought to the question 'who killed Dr David Kelly?' We (locals) didn't believe the stories in the papers, not for one second. This Government is trying to brain-wash us. Norman Baker MP, and Ed Vaizey MP, have voiced their thoughts, but who will listen? Who is in the position to call for an Inquest? In other words, what authoritative figure is there who isn't corrupt and is held in great esteem and total unbiased respect? Who is there?
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
THE DAVID KELLY
‘DEAD IN THE WOODS’ PSYOP
by Rowena Thursby
Discovered in July 2003 slumped against a tree with his left wrist slashed, the consensus was that Dr David Kelly had committed suicide after being pushed to the edge by the MoD. Media pundits concurred that being humiliated in front of a televised government committee was for him, the last straw.
But many of his colleagues were incredulous that this steely weapons expert, highly-respected and at the peak of his career, would have crumbled to the point of taking his own life. Kelly was a man ‘whose brain could boil water’; who had, in the course of his career, dealt skilfully with evasive and threatening Iraqi officials. E-mails written just before his disappearance were upbeat, expressing his strong desire to return to Iraq and get on with the ‘real work‘.
Asked by US translator and military intelligence operative Mai Pederson, if he would ever commit suicide, he had replied, ‘Good God no, I would never do that.’ Immediately after his death, Pederson asserted, ‘It wasn’t suicide’. This, for the establishment’s sensitive apparatus, was an alarming statement that could not be allowed to resonate.
Any intimation of state-sponsored killing on British soil was politically seismic. The notion must be quashed, doubters turned. Additional motives had to be found to account for Kelly’s alleged final act. A simple but ingenious plan was devised: a civil servant, skilled in the art of deception, would convey a startling piece of fiction, and convince the world that this ‘suicide’ had been Kelly’s answer to a thorny predicament.
Two days before he went missing on 17th July 2003, Dr Kelly gave evidence before a Kafkaesque Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC). It had been stated in the government’s September 2002 dossier that Iraq was capable of launching an attack on a British base within 45 minutes. The committee was convened to determine whether the weapons expert had been the source of Andrew Gilligan’s allegation on the BBC’s ‘Today’ programme, that in using ‘the 45 minutes’ knowing it to be false, intelligence and facts were being - in the words of MI6’s Richard Dearlove - ‘fixed around the policy‘.
Dr Kelly admitted that he had met Andrew Gilligan to discuss Iraq. However the crux of the issue - whether Kelly had accused the government of taking military action using shaky intelligence - could not be resolved: Kelly denied it, and the FAC construed it unlikely that Kelly was Gilligan’s source. It appeared he was off the hook.
Three days later the world was stunned when David Kelly was found dead on Harrowdown Hill.
Astonishingly, within hours of his body being found, Lord Chancellor and old flatmate of Blair, Charles Falconer, appointed the establishment’s Brian Hutton, to head an inquiry into his death. Normally Inquiries take months to set up; this one took just five working days.
The remit: ‘urgently, to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly’ conveniently circumvented the main issue. The ‘elephant in the room’ - whether or not the death was suicide - was skilfully avoided by framing the whole affair in terms of a ‘battle’ between the war-hungry government and Gilligan’s employer, the unrepentant BBC.'
Had there been an inquest, witnesses would have been subpoenaed and cross-examined, their evidence given on oath.
At the Hutton Inquiry, their version of events went unchallenged, no real investigation took place, and at the end of it, no verdict emerged - Hutton merely rubber-stamped the line that Dr Kelly took his own life.
EVIDENCE AGAINST SUICIDE
But did he? A detailed analysis of Hutton evidence by the Kelly Investigation Group indicated that Dr Kelly‘s body was moved - twice; and that ‘haemorrhage’, listed as the primary cause of death, was almost certainly a mistake.
It is known that doctors rarely agree. But in this case, nine doctors - four of them surgeons - concurred that from a single transected ulnar artery Dr Kelly would have lost no more than a pint of blood: the tiny artery would have immediately constricted and retracted, and blood-clotting would have ensued. This is consistent with the paramedics‘ observation that there was remarkably little blood at the scene. As for the secondary cause - co-proxamol ingestion - tests revealed that the amount in his blood was only a third of what is normally fatal - and there was no alcohol in his system.
The Coroner nonetheless declared himself ‘satisfied’ with Lord Hutton’s conclusion that the government scientist took his own life.
‘I WILL PROBABLY BE FOUND DEAD IN THE WOODS’
The Hutton Inquiry was for the most part a pedestrian affair, with civil servants, politicians and reporters obediently recounting their connections to Dr Kelly. But on 21st August 2003 one particular appearance set the proceedings alight.
David Broucher, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, was relaying an account of a meeting with David Kelly which he declared took place on 27th February 2003.
The court heard how Broucher and Kelly had talked over the problem of achieving Iraqi compliance with the 1972 Convention on Biological Weapons. Resolution 1441 had been passed, putting pressure on the Iraqis to give up their weapons. They discussed the government’s September 2002 dossier, and all the difficulties with ‘the 45 minutes’. It seemed a straightforward account - but one phrase electrified the court.
When Broucher asked Kelly what he thought would happen if Iraq were invaded, Broucher said the weapons-expert responded:
‘I will probably be found dead in the woods'
According to Broucher, Kelly had promised the Iraqis that the West would not bomb, as long as Iraq complied with weapons inspections. The diplomat said he had thought Kelly believed Iraqi intelligence might have him killed if he reneged on his promise. But now, in the light of the scientist’s apparent suicide, Broucher ‘realised’ Kelly meant he might be shamed into taking his own life.
It was a breathtaking piece of courtroom drama: such prescient words from the grave!
But there is a massive problem with Broucher’s story. There is strong evidence that this meeting did not take place on 27th February 2003 - as he claimed - but on 18th February 2002.
Everything hinges on this date. If Broucher’s meeting took place in February 2003 then its content would be plausible. But since, as Hutton concedes in his report, it almost certainly took place in 2002, and not 2003, then none of the following makes sense:
- Resolution 1441 was not passed until 8 October 2002 . So it was not, as counsel Dingemans said, in force at the time,
- ‘The September dossier’ was not even at the draft stage in February 2002, and was not published until the September of that year,
- ‘the 45 minutes’ with all the problems it incurred, did not exist in February 2002 - it was not introduced until August of that year.
Rather than be mesmerised by the magic phrase, ‘I will be found dead in the woods’, we must question whether the words were ever uttered.
Suspecting the substance of this meeting was invented to exert a particular effect, let us examine how and why it was done.
NO HEAD FOR DATES?
David Broucher had been a civil servant for nearly forty years - surely he would have kept careful records. Not this time it seems. His meeting with Kelly, he tells us, was convened at short notice, and so was not in his diary.
Doing ‘the best that [he] can’ as Dingemans prompts, he dons the cloak of a gauche amnesiac who must dig into a ‘very deep memory hole’ to dredge up the content of a rendezvous which, he maintains, took place only 5 months before.
He tells the inquiry he had only one meeting with Kelly, and to the best of his knowledge, this took place on 27th September 2002. But then, in trying to work out when the weapons expert could have been in Geneva at the same time as himself, he corrects that to 27th February 2003. Matters are further confused when he says they had tried to meet on 8th November 2002, but that had not proved possible; 27th February 2003 is his final date.
But Broucher’s date is wrong - and he knows it.
According to an entry in one of Kelly’s diaries, discovered afterwards by his daughter Rachel at his home, this meeting did not take place in February 2003, but in February 2002. Could there have been a mistake? All the evidence suggests not. Rachel informs the inquiry that her father painstakingly recorded events in his diary after they happened. She relays a number of examples where her father’s original plans had changed, and the correct entry was made after the event. The one entry in Kelly’s diary mentioning Broucher reads:
'Monday 18th February 2002, 9.30, David Broucher, US mis' [mission]
Rachel goes on to say that this entry gives details of her father’s flights both into Geneva on 17th February and out of Geneva on 20th February.
Lord Hutton writes in his report:
‘Therefore it appears to be clear that Dr Kelly's one meeting with Mr Broucher was in February 2002 and not in February 2003‘.
It can therefore be established with some confidence that Broucher met Dr Kelly not on 27th February 2003, but on 18th February 2002. And the start time was not ‘noon’ as Broucher claims for his 27th February 2003 meeting, but 9.30 a.m.
To tighten this up further, let us see where Kelly was on February 27th 2003 - the day Broucher claims they met.
According to Kelly’s half-sister, Sarah Pape, the day after his daughter Ellen’s wedding on Saturday 22nd February 2003, he flew out to New York. Puzzled by Broucher‘s evidence, Pape remarks to the inquiry, ‘he certainly did not mention he was going to be flying almost straight back to visit Geneva.’
Broucher: … he [Kelly] did not attend a meeting in Baltimore on 28th February that he was due to attend, so my feeling is that he probably returned to Geneva - to Europe early and that he came to Geneva, because I did see him there.’
But according to another of Kelly’s diaries published on the Hutton website, on 27th February he was still in New York on UNMOVIC business. There is no entry to indicate that he had a meeting in Baltimore on Friday 28th February as Broucher claims - the diary entry records that on Friday 28th February he was on leave in New York, and that he did not return to London until Sunday 2nd March.
In the diaries Rachel found, there was no entry for Broucher in 2003, and no mention of any trips to Geneva that year.
In a nutshell, neither Rachel’s diaries nor the Hutton website diaries contain an entry for Broucher or Geneva in 2003, whereas the entry in Rachel’s 2002 diary shows a meeting time, date and flight details. Thus there is convincing evidence that the Broucher/Kelly meeting took place on 18th February 2002.
Let us now review the contents of their alleged conversation.
THE CONVERSATION THAT NEVER HAPPENED
Had reporters been alert, they might have questioned how, despite Broucher’s poor recall of dates, he was nonetheless able to squeeze from his memory every twist and turn of his professed conversation with David Kelly. If he did not keep a record of the date of the meeting, presumably he did not keep contemporaneous notes. If he had, he would have dated and filed them. So how was he able to provide such a vivid and detailed account?
Broucher claims Dr Kelly phoned him while in Geneva and suggested a meeting at very short notice. But why would Kelly have stopped off in the centre of Europe on the off-chance that Broucher would be free to see him - or that Broucher would even be in Geneva? Curious too that Kelly allegedly instigated this meeting, since it was Broucher who was ‘keen to pick his brains’ knowing him to be ‘a considerable expert on these issues in relation to Iraq.'
According to Broucher, the meeting lasted about an hour. They began by discussing Iraq’s biological weapons capability. Counsel Dingemans then raised the question of Resolution 1441 which ordered Iraq to allow weapons inspections within 45 days.
Dingemans: 'And at this stage, we know that Resolution 1441 has been passed and there had been further subsequent inspections; Dr Kelly was not part of that team.'
However when this meeting actually took place - February 2002 - 1441 had not been passed by the Security Council; it did not come into force until 8 November 2002.
The alleged discussion then moved on to the possible use of force in Iraq. Broucher ventured he did not understand why the Iraqis were courting disaster by refusing to give up whatever weapons remained.
Kelly said the Iraqis were concerned that revealing too much about their state of readiness might invite an attack, but he had tried to reassure them that if they co-operated with weapons inspectors they would have nothing to fear. However, he also believed that the invasion might go ahead anyway, which would put him in a morally ambiguous position, for the Iraqis would consider he had lied to them.
Thus we are provided with the first new suicide motive: guilt.
The most telling indication that Broucher’s account is a falsehood, is his claim that he and Kelly discussed the dossier and ‘the 45 minutes’. The September dossier was published on 24 September 2002. A paper on WMD capabilities was commissioned in February 2002, and another followed in March; but the early papers were not for public consumption. Broucher’s says his task was to ’sell’ the dossier to the UN - this did not apply to the early papers. The dossier referred to by Broucher and Kelly - in which ‘every judgement… had been closely fought over’ - was clearly the September dossier.
As for ‘the 45 minutes’, according to both Lord Butler and Lord Hutton, this piece of intelligence was submitted to MI6 on 29 August 2002 - 6 months after the actual date of the Broucher-Kelly meeting - February 2002. Thus there is no way Broucher and Kelly could have discussed it.
We can infer therefore, that the following passage is a complete fiction:
‘We did discuss the dossier. I raised it because I had had to… it was part of my duties to sell the dossier, if you like, within the United Nations to senior United Nations officials; and I told Dr Kelly that this had not been easy and that they did not find it convincing. He said to me that there had been a lot of pressure to make the dossier as robust as possible; that every judgement in it had been closely fought over; and that it was the best that the JIC could do. I believe that it may have been in this connection that he then went on to explain the point about the readiness of Iraq’s biological weapons, the fact they could not use them quickly, and that this was relevant to the point about 45 minutes.’
Broucher reminds us here of Kelly’s concern over the 45 minutes - as would later be conveyed to the BBC’s Andrew Gilligan.
He then throws something else into the mix: he tells us that Kelly felt undervalued at the Ministry of Defence and would have preferred to go back to Porton Down:
‘He felt that when he transferred into the Ministry of Defence they had transferred him at the wrong grade, and so he was concerned that he had been downgraded.’
New suicide motive number two: job dissatisfaction because of unfair downgrading.
Broucher has thus given us two new motives: guilt over a promise Kelly knew might be broken, and unhappiness with his position at the MoD.
The diplomat then introduces the stunningly theatrical line he attributes to Kelly:
'I will probably be found dead in the woods.’
He terms this a ‘throwaway’ remark, affecting not to have thought it significant at the time. But far from being ‘throwaway’, it was actually designed as the climax of the whole drama: it suggested that Kelly was, in a sense, predicting his own suicide.
Broucher was implanting the idea that 5 months in advance, Kelly would, under certain circumstances, contemplate suicide. However, since the actual date of this meeting was February 2002 (not 2003), it was not 5 months ago, but 17. Are we seriously to believe that way back in early 2002 David Kelly was predicting that a promise to senior Iraqis he had not yet made might have to be broken, possibly driving him to take his own life? He would not have been making any promises to the Iraqis at the time - the previous round of inspections ended in 1998.
While war was secretly on the agenda, it was not officially so. A secret memo to Tony Blair, dated 14 March 2002, revealed that UK Foreign Policy Advisor David Manning reported telling George W Bush at a dinner, that the Prime Minister ‘would not budge in his support for regime change’ in Iraq - an embarrassing revelation for Blair, who was outwardly insisting the reason for invasion would not be regime change, but failure to comply with weapons inspections. Publicly, an invasion of Iraq was barely on the cards in Britain at the time, and weapons inspections did not resume until 18 November 2002.
In summary, Broucher’s ‘conversation’ was a fabrication from start to finish. His ineffectual persona was a cover. The confusion he sowed around dates was to protect him from future ’blowback’. This diplomat was less the bumbling fool, more the conniving fox.
Oxford-educated barrister James Dingemans - Hutton‘s choice - took a soft-glove approach to witnesses, glossing over inconsistencies in their evidence. He and Broucher make an extraordinary duo. Nowhere else in the inquiry do we find such stilted language and tedious repetition.
After a blow by blow account of the alleged conversation, with its ‘memory hole’ and ‘throwaway remark’, we are forced to go back over it when Broucher reads from an e-mail he wrote to press officer Patrick Lamb at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to alert him to the conversation he supposedly had with Kelly.
Once again we are told, absurdly, of Broucher’s ‘straining’ to dig up details of the meeting from a ‘very deep memory hole.’ Six more times we hear that ‘I will be found dead in the woods’ was a ‘throwaway remark’.
By referring to it as an inconsequential throwaway remark, Broucher implies he was under no obligation to report it at the time. The casualness of the phrase belies the fact that this ‘throwaway remark’ was a pivotal part of the psyop; its purpose, to remind us of the primary newly-supplied motive - guilt.
On hearing of Kelly’s death, Broucher ‘realised’ that the scientist had not meant that he might be killed by the Iraqis, but ‘may have been thinking on rather different lines’ - an oblique way of inferring that Kelly was foreseeing he might be driven by his own conscience to take his own life. Thus we are lured into accepting the idea that Kelly had been envisaging suicide for months.
Then, nauseatingly, Dingemans reinforces the ‘throwaway remark‘ and the ‘very deep memory hole’ yet again:
Dingemans: 'In terms of strength of recollection, you have suggested that it was, as you thought at the time, a throwaway remark, and you have shown on the e-mails a very deep memory hole. Is that reasonable to characterise the way in which you had approached it at the time?'
The hypnotic effect of this deliberate repetition allowed the new message to be implanted within the public mindset.
THE SYSTEM TRIUMPHS?
Given that we now know the actual conversation took place in 2002, it is clear that the whole David Broucher/dead-in-the-woods ‘event’ was staged to offer more persuasive grounds for David Kelly’s ‘suicide‘. The new message: that after the invasion of Iraq, David Kelly, deeply unhappy with his lot at the MoD, and sick with guilt at having betrayed the Iraqis, had finally been driven to take his own life. Thus his ‘suicide’ was not simply a desperate reaction to government pressure, but a response to the dictates of his own conscience.
It was a slick and clever operation, and the world fell for it. But as with most deceptions there was a flaw: the planners had not foreseen that Rachel Kelly would publicly highlight the relevant diary entry at the Hutton Inquiry - and send Broucher’s edifice of deceit toppling like a house of cards.
Since they had met in 1998, Mai Pederson had become Kelly‘s close friend, introducing him to the Baha’i religion. After his death she told her Baha’i associates, ‘There will be more coming out on this… Don’t believe what you read in the papers.’ Her optimism was misplaced. Denied the right to have her identity disguised at the Hutton Inquiry, she was whisked out of sight.
No more came out, no one else ‘talked‘. History had been suitably revised. The ‘dead-in-the-woods’ psyop- in conjunction with MoD silencing tactics - had been a success.
But why take the risk in setting up such an operation? Maybe Pederson was right in saying, ‘It wasn’t suicide’.
At a highly-charged press conference in Asia after Kelly’s death, Blair was stunned by the question: ‘Is there blood on your hands, prime minister?’ We may never know.
But as his plane flew back to Britain, a TV journalist overheard Alastair Campbell ranting:
'This is what you wanted, you asked for this, so play the game Tony.'*
* It has been recently confirmed that this exchange between Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell did take place as described.
If you have comments or information on the Kelly story, please either leave your post below or send your e-mail in confidence to: RowenaThursby@onetel.com
Saturday, September 16, 2006
THE TRUTH ABOUT
DR DAVID KELLY’S DEATH
The Kelly Investigation Group (KIG) is a loose affiliation of professionals and laypeople from all walks of life; it includes nine doctors, four of them surgeons, and a QC. Medical and legal expertise has ensured our objections to the the official line on Dr David Kelly’s death are taken seriously by the media and public, even if the authorities affect to ignore them. Our aim is to ensure agents of the state do not bury the truth, along with Dr Kelly.
SUSPICIONS FROM THE START
During 2002/3 it was obvious to many that the search for WMD in Iraq was a disingenuous ploy to secure regime change. Blair and his aides had claimed that it would take only 45 minutes for Saddam to launch a CBW attack on British bases, and that mobile laboratories found in Iraq were for the purpose of making chemical/biological weapons. In asides to journalists Dr David Kelly had shot both assertions down in flames. So when he was found ‘dead in the woods’ three days after being hauled before a televised government committee, many of us were highly suspicious.
Why were Thames Valley police labelling Dr Kelly’s death a ’suicide’ before his body had been examined? At the age of 72, judge and law lord Brian Hutton had never before chaired a public inquiry - so why did the prime minister’s old friend Charles Falconer appoint this safe establishment figure at such extraordinary speed*?
As the Hutton Inquiry got underway in August 2003, I pored over the transcripts in an attempt to understand exactly how Dr Kelly had died. I listed aspects of the case that did not add up, and joined an internet forum to correspond with others working in a similar vein. One was IT expert Garrett Cooke.
INITIAL PLEA TO THE CORONER
On 20th November 2003 Garrett and I wrote a letter to coroner Nicholas Gardiner explaining our concern that the inquest had been subsumed into the Hutton Inquiry. In particular, we listed the reasons why we felt a full inquest with powers to subpoena witnesses and hear evidence under oath should be held:
- Dr Kelly’s body appeared to have been moved - twice
- the knife, bottle of water, glasses, and cap reported beside the body by later witnesses, were not seen by the two volunteer searchers who first discovered it
- DC Coe was with the body at the time its position changed from sitting to lying
- DC Coe claimed he was with one other officer yet five witnesses said he was with two
- the primary cause of death was given as haemorrhage from an incised wound to his left wrist, yet the amount of blood at the scene was, according to the paramedics, extremely sparse
- vomit stains from the corners of his mouth to his ears suggested Dr Kelly had died on his back, yet his position when found was slumped against a tree
- the puzzling nature of the wound: the severing of a single artery deeply embedded in the left wrist and total avoidance of the more superficial radial artery
We received no response.
‘SECTION 17A’ MISAPPLIED
Later we discovered that to avoid an inquest, Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer had invoked Section 17a of the Coroner’s Act of 1988, citing as his reason avoidance of duplication (having both an inquest and an inquiry) and consequent distress to the Kelly family.
However, Section 17a was introduced in 1999 at his instigation to avoid unnecessary repetition (and mounting costs) in cases of multiple deaths with a single known cause, e.g. a train crash or a ferry disaster; Dr Kelly’s was a single, high profile death of unknown cause. In view of the political manoeuvres preceding this high-profile death, one suspects the avoidance of ‘distress’ to the family was a very British excuse masking the real reason: that the authorities did not want witnesses subpoenaed and giving evidence on oath.
Had the scientist’s close female friends, Mai Pederson, Gabriele Kraatz Wadsack and Judith Miller been subpoenaed we might have been provided with a much more intimate portrait of events leading up to his death.
BUILDING A MEDICAL CASE
Faced with the Coroner’s wall of silence, I decided to try to secure medical support. I started a blog listing a number of KIG concerns and wrote two articles for the internet entitled - ‘Dark Actors at the Scene of Dr Kelly’s Death’ (October 2003) and ‘The David Kelly Story: Turning Murder into Suicide‘ (28 November 2003.) The latter was a critique of the forensic pathologist’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry; for to me, his reasoning seemed in places, quite farcical.
On 29 November 2003 Dr Searle Sennett, a specialist in anaesthesiology from Johannesburg, responded to these articles by e-mail as follows:
I have just read your piece at rense.com and also the one at propaganda matrix.com and I complement you on both of these articles but, more importantly, on your guts and preparedness to take on the Establishment. I am a retired specialist anaesthetist and I too, without knowing the details of the Kelly incident that you do, considered the whole “suicide” story to be phoney in the extreme. I am quite satisfied that cutting the ulnar artery in the manner described could not have been fatal.
He was clearly murdered in some other manner and, in my opinion, there are a variety of ways in which it could have been done.
You did mention the use of a chloroform-like substance, of which there are many, and I can assure you that the modern volatile anaesthetic agents are extremely potent. They would not necessarily kill but could certainly cause unconsciousness in less than a minute especially if applied in high concentration. The subject could then be asphyxiated by means of a plastic bag over his head which, in fact, could also contain the agent. To show this technique is distinctly feasible, I mention the incident where a potent anaesthetic agent was introduced into the air-conditioning system of a Moscow theatre and which incapacitated and, indeed, killed the Chechen terrorists and some of their hostages.
Injectible muscle relaxants paralyse all muscles within seconds and stop the breathing of the subject receiving them. Although normally intravenous, the injection could, in fact, be given into any muscle or even under the hair of the scalp, or elsewhere, so as to avoid subsequent detection. Muscle relaxants are part of the lethal cocktail injection used in many US prisons to carry out the death sentence.
It will be very interesting to see what approach Lord Hutton takes concerning the inquest and whether he, too, attempts to cover up the obvious murder. Meanwhile, I am not surprised that Tony Blair is suffering from a variety of stress-related disorders!
Keep up the good work.
Anomalies continued to accumulate, but things were set alight when a friend sent me a letter published on 15 December 2003 in the Morning Star from orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, David Halpin. Here was a surgeon, a man with intimate knowledge of arteries, and how they behave, saying he did not see how Dr Kelly could have died of haemorrhage from transection of a single ulnar artery:
Morning Star letters 15-12-03
I write to enquire as to the status of the Coroner's inquest into thedeath of Dr David Kelly. I hope that it has not been subsumed within the Hutton enquiry.
He had been put through the psychological mincing machine of the elite running this country and it is easy to imagine his sense of failure aswell as betrayal in both directions.
We have been told that he died from a cut wrist and that he had non-lethal levels of an analgesic in his blood. As a past trauma and orthopaedic surgeon I cannot easily accept that even the deepest cut into one wrist would cause such exsanguination that death resulted. The two arteries are of matchstick size and would havequickly shut down and clotted.
Furthermore we have a man who was expert in lethal substances and who apparently chose a most uncertain method of suicide.
The picture fits more with 'a cry for help' [comment by DH - as seen in survivors in A&E departments].
I have hesitated in writing this because I would not wish to hurt any family feelings but the elite have shown no such qualms. I am pleased to note that even the BBC speaks of his 'alleged' suicide.
David Halpin FRCS
The point that David Halpin raises is key: the primary cause of death could not have been haemorrhage because it is virtually impossible to bleed to death from severing a single ulnar artery. Over the ensuing weeks we honed and refined our case to include arguments against the second and third causes of death cited - poisoning by co-proxamol and atherosclerosis. With Dr Sennett and David Halpin’s continued input and support, the KIG was able to develop a strong medical case against suicide.
Around this time we were joined by Jim Rarey, an ex-newspaper editor from the US, who wrote seven articles for the internet on a number of aspects of Dr Kelly’s death.
KELLY’S DEATH A PHENOMENON ACCORDING TO STATISTICS
In January 2004 we were contacted by Dr Andrew Rouse, Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Dr Yaser Adi, from the Dept of Public Health & Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham, who three months earlier had submitted a letter to national newspapers:
IS DR KELLY A STATISTIC OR A PHENOMENON?
The pathologist who performed Dr Kelly’s autopsy reported that “The features… of Dr Kelly’s wounds… were quite typical of self-inflicted illness”. Unfortunately he did not report that it is almost unheard of for such wounds to result in death.
Suicide associated with wrist-slashing is extremely rare - so rare that the Office of National Statistics does not report wrist slashing as a specific cause of death; it groups such deaths with other uncommon suicide methods such as belly and abdomen stabbings and throat cuttings (see table)
This table shows that fewer than five 55-50 year old men use cutting and piercing instruments to commit suicide annually. This statistical evidence, combined with the fact that even after searching the medical literature and speaking to medical and surgical colleagues we have not been able to document that wrist slashing can lead to successful suicide, suggests that for all practical purposes wrist slashing suicide does not exist in Britain.
Suicide and self inflicted injury by cutting and piercing instruments amongst males in England and Wales
Year 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69
1991 2 4 9 8
1992 5 6 4 1
1993 7 4 6 4
1994 2 3 3 6
1995 6 5 3 5
1996 6 4 4 5
1997 8 4 3 1
1998 7 7 2 8
1999 5 4 5 3
2000 9 3 2 4
Av 5.5 4.4 4.1 4.5
Data from: Twentieth Century Mortality, Office of National Statistics, London 2003
We must also remember that Dr Kelly was a first rate researcher. As such, before making a suicide attempt, he would surely have done an internet or library search into the success of various suicide methods. He would have learnt that - since it invariably fails - wrist slashing is not a recommended suicide method. There fore why would Dr Kelly slash his wrist in the first place and against, all odds, actually die?
MORE DOCTORS CHALLENGE OFFICIAL SUICIDE RULING
As the medical case challenging suicide became stronger, we were happy to welcome in a new doctor - Chris Burns-Cox, and two more surgeons - Martin Birnstingl and William McQuillan. Birnstingl, a retired specialist in vascular surgery from London responded enthusiastically to a Kelly article with “Count me in”. He was a foundation member of the Vascular Surgical Association of GB and Ireland and President in 1986. In private e-mails he wrote:
Vascular surgeons deal with vessels of all sizes but I have never seen or heard of anybody dying from a cut wrist artery even when both ulnar and redial have been cut
Dr Kelly did not “slit his wrists” as suggested by Professor Milroy. The evidence is that one wrist was cut, dividing only one of the four main wrist arteries, which is very unlikely to have been fatal.
During 2004 I made contact with a Dr C Stephen Frost who had written a list of 35 questions about Dr Kelly’s death on the Independent internet forum . Working together, and liaising with the rest of the medico-legal team, we managed to get six letters published in the Guardian:
1. OUR DOUBTS ABOUT DR KELLY’S SUICIDE 27 January 2004 signed by David Halpin, C Stephen Frost, Searle Sennett
2. MEDICAL EVIDENCE DOES NOT SUPPORT SUICIDE BY KELLY 12 February 2004 signed by Andrew Rouse, Searle Sennett, David Halpin, C Stephen Frost, Peter Fletcher, Martin Birnstingl
Our arguments met with a blustering emotional response from Professor Chris Milroy in a letter entitled: FANTASISTS & DR KELLY14 February 2004
5. QUESTIONS STILL UNANSWERED OVER DR KELLY’S DEATH 19 February 2004 signed by Andrew Rouse, Searle Sennett, David Halpin, C Stephen Frost, Peter Fletcher, Martin Birnstingl
4. NEW DOUBTS OVER KELLY 28 September 2004 signed by C Stephen Frost, David Halpin, William McQuillan, Searle Sennett
5. QUESTIONS OVER KELLY 28 December 2004 signed by Dr Michael Powers QC, Martin Birnstingl, Chris Burns-Cox, C Stephen Frost, David Halpin, William McQuillan, Andrew Rouse, John Henry Scurr, Searle Sennett
6. RE-OPEN THE INQUEST INTO KELLY'S DEATH 15 March 2004 signed by C Stephen Frost
The first letter, published on 27 January to coincide with the publication of the Hutton Report, caused a media storm, and we were inundated with requests for radio and TV appearances. David Halpin appeared on TV and radio in the UK, and Dr Sennett gave newspaper interviews from his home in Johannesburg. The Evening Standard ran a headline on the evening prior to the publication of the Hutton Report: “Was Kelly Murdered?” But since ‘The Sun’ chose to leak the Hutton Report a day ahead of publication - and we think this may have been a deliberate tactic - the angle of possible murder was not pursued in the media the following day.
On 21 January 2004 five of us - David Halpin, Dr Searle Sennett, Dr C Stephen Frost, Garrett Cooke and myself - wrote an eleven-page letter to the Coroner setting out our concerns in detail. He failed to respond. A month later I phoned him to ask if he had received the letter - he said he had noted the contents but did not think these were sufficient grounds for concern. He had seen a police report and was satisfied everything was in order.
On 31 January highly qualified pathologist Dr Peter Fletcher wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph:
As a retired pathologist, I have been dismayed by the lack of information on the precise circumstances of the discovery of Dr David Kelly’s body. It is claimed that the major cause of death was blood loss from a severed wrist artery, possibly complicated by the ingestion of an unstated number of co-proximal tablets. An adult human body contains about 10 pints of blood, of which about half has to be lost to cause death. Anybody who has seen five pints of blood spurted forcefully out of a severed artery will know that there is one hell of a mess. The two searchers who found the body did not even notice that Kelly had incised his wrist with a knife. The two paramedics who arrived at the scene later apparently stated that there was remarkably little blood around the body.
Something, somewhere is seriously wrong. Either Dr Kelly did not die of blood loss or it occurred at some place distant from where the body was found. It is, of course, possible that blood was spattered everywhere, which four witnesses failed to notice.
A coroner has the power of subpoena, witnesses give testimony under oath and a jury is usually involved. Lord Hutton was denied these requirements for his inquiry.
Dr A Peter Fletcher, Pathologist, Halstead, Essex
I contacted him and he too agreed to lend his support to the KIG.
I was put in touch with lawyer Michael Shrimpton by an e-mail correspondent and he joined the cause on 29 January 2004. The following month he was invited onto the Alex Jones Show, one of the top conspiracy radio programmes in the US. Unfortunately the slant he put on Kelly’s death - that it was a ‘hit’ performed by the French DGSE - was not one shared by the rest of the KIG; although allegedly received from intelligence sources, there was no way of corroborating it. We were frankly uneasy with his strong bias towards the US’s ‘neocon’ administration.
On 8 February 2004 Andrew Rouse and Yaser Adi submitted an adapted version of their original letter entitled ‘Hutton, Kelly and the missing Epidemiology’’to the British Medical Journal. They called for readers to send in details of any 55-65 year old males who had committed suicide by slashing their wrist, during the previous 10 years.
Professor Milroy responded to their report by saying, 'The problem with use of statistics in any single case is that unlikely does not make it impossible.’ In his view the combination of all three causes on the death certificate was sufficient to account for Dr Kelly’s death. This had been the key tactic of KIG opponents: not to examine one cause of death at a time, but if one cause did not stand up, hop on to the next one, or even cite all three as ’somehow’ working together -- hardly a scientific way to proceed.
Another surgeon - John Scurr - was quoted in a Washington Post report, 21 February 2004.
I looked up his details and found him to be a practising vascular surgeon, also London-based. David Halpin wrote to him and he too become a willing participant in the KIG. He has since appeared on Channel 4 News and in a US documentary to be screened in 2007 - in both cases explaining in his professional capacity why Dr Kelly is highly unlikely to have bled to death from a single transected ulnar artery. He put us on to his friend and lawyer, QC Michael Powers. Once he had reviewed all evidence accumulated by the KIG, it was his view that there should have been a full inquest into Dr Kelly’s death.
On 29 February 2004 Renan Talieva, an e-mail correspondent from the US, wrote a long and detailed article derived from KIG discussions and her own assiduous research entitled “The Strange Suicide of David Kelly.”
CORONER SHUTS THE DOOR
Before the Coroner returned to court after reviewing The Hutton Report, a letter from Michael Powers was published by ‘The Times’ declaring:
Suicide cannot be presumed. Even evidence pointing to the likelihood that Dr Kelly took his own life is not sufficient. Suicide has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
After reviewing the Hutton Report, coroner Nicholas Gardiner returned to court on 16th March 2004 to announce his decision on whether to re-open the inquest into Dr Kelly’s death.
The same day David Halpin was interviewed by the Today programme, and when Gardiner declared his satisfaction with the Hutton Inquiry‘s ruling of suicide, was asked to comment.
Around this time, practising vascular surgeon John Scurr and QC Michael Powers made separate appearances on Channel 4 News. Mr Scurr explained why, in his view, one cannot bleed to death from full transection of a single ulnar artery while Michael Powers stated that by law, suicide must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, and an inquest was the only forum equipped to provide this degree of rigour. In his view the medical evidence provided since the Hutton Inquiry was sufficient to warrant a full inquest. When phoned by the Channel 4 News team, Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic pathologist to the Hutton Inquiry, said that he too would be ‘more comfortable’ with a full inquest.
On 13 May 2004 Renan Talieva answered the Coroner’s refusal to reopen the inquest with an excellent and thoroughly researched critique of the coroner’s actions in “The Coroner and David Kelly”.
In response to the KIG’s medical arguments, Professor Robert Forrest, forensic toxicologist at Sheffield University, set up the ‘International Toxicology Advisory Group’ and on 18 September 2004 had an article published in the BMJ entitled ‘Forensic science in the dock’. The Hutton Inquiry had conveyed the impression that Dr Kelly may indeed have taken the 29 tablets missing from the blister packs in his pocket, even though the toxicologist stated that the amount he measured was only a third a what is normally a fatal amount. But in this article Forrest et al listed reasons why forensic science was unable to specify the amount of drug a person had taken prior to their death.
“Post-mortem measurements of drug concentration in blood have scant meaning except in the context of medical history, the sequence and circumstances surrounding death, and necropsy findings. The paucity of evidence based science, coupled with the pretence that such science exists in regard to post-mortem toxicology, leads to the abuse of process…’
In December 2004, in a 'Daily Mail' article entitled ‘Specialists demand a new Kelly inquiry’ it was reported that medical and legal experts in the KIG were arguing that it was vital to have an inquest. Michael Powers called for backers to help him fund a legal challenge against the coroner’s decision not to reopen the inquest. It was discovered however, that without a ‘properly interested person’ to call for a judicial review of the coroner’s decision, the KIG could not proceed.
A ‘properly interested person’ is a legal term for what in Coroner’s Law has to be someone who stands to gain or lose by the death in question. In practise, that could only have been Mrs Kelly, and she made it clear in a private phone call that she did not want the inquest re-opened because she was convinced her husband had committed suicide. She claimed to have studied the KIG’s doubts about the official reason for her husband’s death, but gave few reasons for her thinking it was suicide other than her husband’s anguish at the time. This was a blow which appeared to shut the door on further progress. However we persevered.
PARAMEDICS UNHAPPY WITH OFFICIAL CAUSE OF DEATH
I contacted the two paramedics who had attended the scene of Dr Kelly’s death and put them in touch with Antony Barnett of the Observer. They arranged to meet Barnett in the presence of their solicitor and gave him the material for his 12 December 2004 article, ‘Kelly Death Paramedics Query Verdict’ where their shock at the general absence of blood at the scene and scepticism over the official cause of death was described in detail. When the press arrived on their doorsteps, they gave a televised press conference.
MP NORMAN BAKER BEGINS HIS PRIVATE KELLY INVESTIGATION
In May 2005 one more letter - Due Process & the Kelly Inquest - was published in the New Statesman pointing up the subversion of due process. But media interest flagged, and it was not until MP Norman Baker came forward this year (2006) to announce that he had resigned his seat on the front bench to pursue a private investigation into Dr Kelly’s death that the case was injected with new life. According to a Guardian report:
Mr Baker said he wanted to return to the issue because the 2003 Hutton inquiry had "blatantly failed” to get to the bottom of matters. He vowed to question ministers and to unearth new facts in a bid to establish the "truth" of the case.
After a few months on the case he wrote a major article for the ‘Mail on Sunday’ vowing to prove Dr Kelly’s death was not suicide. His new finding was that the Coroner had irregular and clandestine meetings with Department of Constitutional Affairs officials and representatives of the forensic staff just prior to the issuing of a full death certificate - before Lord Hutton had even started to examine the details of Dr Kelly’s death. Normally a temporary death certificate is issued pending a full inquiry. In this case it seems, the rules were bent.
In 2006 the KIG launched a NEW DR DAVID KELLY BLOG and is now working in conjunction with Mr Baker. Significant progress is being made. Watch this space…..
* Dr Kelly was found dead on 18th July 2003; Lord Hutton was appointed only a few days later - on 22nd July.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
New weapons cover-up revealed...
It has been revealed today that weapons inspector and former senior Australian diplomat Dr John Gee, resigned from the Iraq Survey Group in 2004, warning in a six-page letter to foreign minister Alexander Downer that he had no faith in the integrity of the weapons searching process (see below). The Iraq Survey Group's activities were, in his view, to all intents and purposes determined by the CIA. Trusted sources informed him that orders were issued that his letter was not to be circulated outside Downer's department.
In the same year, John Scarlett of Britain's MI6, pressed hard for 'nine nuggets' to be inserted into the Iraq Survey Group's final report. Gee's colleague, weapons inspector Rod Barton said:
'I couldn't believe it,'.... 'He was suggesting dragging things from a previous report [that the ISG had been found to be false] to use them to, well, "sex it up". It was an attempt to make our report appear to imply that maybe there were still WMD out there. I knew he had been responsible for your [government's] dossier and then I realised he was trying to do the same thing.'
In the event, Scarlett's 'nuggets' were left out. Barton thinks, had he resigned (as Dr Gee did), they may have been in the final report.
It is instructive to observe how attempts to 'sex up' dossiers and reports continued long after Dr Kelly's death on 17/18 July 2003. Had Dr Kelly lived to supervise the Iraq Survey Group's activities out in Iraq during a visit planned for 26 July 2003, it would have been much more difficult to pursue that line.
Kelly Investigation Group
If you have further important information tel: 01425 638409 or 01425 620297
Weapons cover-up revealed
by Marian Wilkinson
August 31, 2006
THE Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, issued instructions to suppress a damning letter about the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after the war, a former senior diplomat says.
Dr John Gee, an expert on chemical weapons, worked with the US-led weapons hunter, the Iraq Survey Group, after the war and wrote the critical six-page letter when he decided to resign in March 2004. In it he warned the Federal Government the hunt was, "fundamentally flawed" and there was a "reluctance on the part of many here and in Washington to face the facts" that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.
Dr Gee recorded in an email soon after that "Downer has issued instructions it [my letter] is not to be distributed to anyone". He wrote to a colleague in the Iraq Survey Group that a senior official in the Office of National Assessments, the Prime Minister's intelligence advisory agency, had told him about Mr Downer's instructions.
In another email, Dr Gee said the head of the Defence Department, Ric Smith, told him the department did not receive a copy of the letter even though Dr Gee was working in Iraq under contract to it. Dr Gee said senior defence officials told him the Department of Foreign Affairs "had not passed the letter on to Defence".
Last night, a spokesman for Mr Downer said the minister "did not recall" receiving Dr Gee's letter but said he would check. But he described as "a conspiracy theory" material showing that the letter had not been given to the head of the Defence Department. "I have heard a lot of conspiracy theories over the years, but I have not heard that one before."
However, documents given to the Herald, including Dr Gee's resignation letter and his emails to another senior weapons inspector, Rod Barton, reveal serious efforts to contain his findings.
Mr Downer has previously admitted that he was briefed personally by Dr Gee on the expert's return from Iraq. But Mr Downer has never revealed the contents of that briefing. From the emails, it appears Mr Downer received the damning findings months before he and the Prime Minister, John Howard, accepted that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq.
One month after his briefing with Dr Gee, Mr Downer met the US head of the Iraq Survey Group, Dr Charles Duelfer. At their press conference, Mr Downer insisted the weapons hunt in Iraq "was still a work in progress" and he could not draw conclusions.
But Dr Gee's emails reveal he briefed every senior level of the Government, including the Prime Minister's office, Defence and Mr Downer's Iraq Task Force, upon his return from Baghdad. They also indicate Mr Downer knew of his letter. The letter stated: "I now believe that there are no WMD in Iraq and that while the ISG has found a number of research activities … it has found no evidence so far on ongoing WMD programs of the type I had assumed would be there."
Summing up his difficulties in Baghdad, Dr Gee wrote: "I have concluded that the process here is fundamentally flawed …"
He wrote that the Iraq Survey Group was "run by the CIA to protect the CIA".
According to one email, the defence chief, Mr Smith, on hearing the briefing, said: "So we've got a problem." Mr Smith told him "the only way to deal with bad news is to deal with it promptly and get it out of the way".
Despite this, when Dr Gee tried to hand defence officials a copy of his letter, they declined to take it.
Yesterday Mr Barton, who also resigned from the hunt, told the Herald that Mr Downer and Mr Howard should have raised his and Dr Gee's complaints about the Iraq Survey Group with the US.
"When the two senior Australians quit, and make it plain why they quit, because the process was corrupt, I think the least the Government could do was to go and talk to the Americans and ask what was going on here".
Monday, August 28, 2006
ON DR KELLY'S DEATH
Interest in Dr Kelly's death remains high. People want to know if in the same way 'intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy' , this troublesome scientist's demise was fixed according to the government's wishes.
After hundreds of hours spent analysing evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry and questioning witnesses, the Kelly Investigation Group has all but overturned the three official causes of death.
It has been established:
1. Dr Kelly could not have bled to death from the wound in his left wrist. From a single transected ulnar artery one would lose at the most, one pint of blood; to die of haemorrhage one has to lose 4 to 5 pints. One of the paramedics at the scene, shocked at the absence of blood, remarked to his colleague:
'Whatever he died of, he didn't die of that'.
2. Contrary to the impression given at the Hutton Inquiry, forensic toxicology cannot accurately ascertain the level of medication a person has taken before death. After death, over time, concentrations of a drug can increase as much as tenfold. The toxicologist stated, based on measurements done at least 30 hours after death, the amount of co-proxamol in Dr Kelly's bloodstream was a third of what is normally a fatal amount. If measured at the time of death, the actual amount could have been a tenth of that - in other words, Dr Kelly may only have taken 2 or 3 tablets - little more than the therapeutic dose.
3. The forensic pathologist offered no evidence that the atherosclerosis found post mortem played a significant part in Dr Kelly's death. He did not die from a heart attack; if he had, the forensic pathologist would have said so at the Hutton Inquiry.
So how did Dr Kelly die? We have yet to discover.
We know that Dr Kelly's body was moved: once before it was discovered by two search volunteers, and once after it had been discovered -- during the half hour a police detective was supposedly guarding it.
A dead body that moves suggests, at the very least, some kind of illicit activity.
Through parliamentary questions, MP Norman Baker has uncovered a clandestine meeting that took place between the Coroner Nicholas Gardiner and figures at the Department of Constitutional Affairs - long after the inquest had been subsumed into Lord Hutton's inquiry and Gardiner had been relieved of his duties in the case. The idea behind this meeting was apparently to organise a full death certificate before the Hutton Inquiry had started to examine the death itself. (Normally an inquest is adjourned and a temporary death certificate issued until an inquiry confirms the cause of death).
An intelligence figure has come forward to say Dr Kelly's death was a 'wet disposal' (assassination made to look like suicide) - hastily performed.
Establishing the true means by which Dr Kelly met his death however, will require hard evidence.
We have shown there is a case to be answered, but much more can be achieved. With MP Norman Baker at a critical stage in his investigation, NOW is the time for anyone who knows anything that sheds light on how Dr David Kelly died to share what they know. If this British government scientist was 'removed' for being a thorn in the side of those who had mounted a full scale invasion of Iraq to gain control of the region, it must be exposed.
If you worked with Dr Kelly, knew him, were part of the police or forensic investigation - or know someone who might have direct knowledge about his death - explain your concern in confidence now. Please phone 01425 638409 or 01425 620297 - or e-mail RowenaThursby@onetel.com
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