Thursday, January 17, 2008

Media Disinformation regarding the Death of Dr. David Kelly?

It may or may not be disinformation, but it is a shabby attempt at a review.

Richard Norton-Taylor, author of a Guardian review of Norman Baker's book,"The Strange Death of David Kelly", quotes out of context to make it seem as though Baker concedes that Kelly's dismay at apparently being caught in a lie at the FAC (Foreign Affairs Committee) is a plausible reason for his suicide; this, however, is only a theory, and a tenuous one at that - as Baker goes on to explain.

Oddly, without saying why he thinks it important, Norton-Taylor then castigates Baker for not raising the role of Andrew Gilligan in priming David Chidgey, member of the FAC, about Kelly's risque comments to BBC reporter Susan Watts.

Finally, having raised no substantive objections to the book, he concludes his review by rubbishing it entirely with, 'There is no evidence supporting the many theories that Kelly was murdered and plenty of evidence supporting the conclusion that he was driven to suicide.' In actual fact, the book lays out a great deal of evidence to suggest Dr Kelly's death was not suicide.

Rather than pay false homage to Baker's "terrier-like persistence", then proceed to reinforce his own ill-founded beliefs, perhaps Norton-Taylor should, like a true journalist, investigate the subject for himself.

-- RT

In response to Norton-Taylor's review, Drs Christopher J Burns-Cox , C Stephen Frost, and David Halpin sent the following letter to the Guardian:

Dear Sir

Richard Norton-Taylor struggles mightily to discredit Norman Baker and his recently published book The Strange Death of David Kelly, in his review of that book (Guardian, 1 December 2007). The struggle is all the more confusing because Norton-Taylor does concede that "the inquiry [the Hutton Inquiry] into the circumstances surrounding Kelly's death, which also became a quasi-inquest, shed a bright light on the way Downing Street, with the help of intelligence chiefs who should have known better, conspired to draw up the disgraceful Iraqi weapons dossier."

Norton-Taylor entirely misses, and one has to wonder whether he does so deliberately, the central point made by the many reasonable people who are concerned that Dr David Kelly has been denied a proper inquest: that due process of law has not been followed, indeed it has been comprehensively subverted.

These two articles point unerringly to a Government cover-up. The importance of such a cover-up (in the context of the investigation of the suspicious death of the world expert on biological and chemical weapons who, at the time of his death, was perceived to be blowing the whistle on the Government which had taken the country to illegal war on a pack of lies) cannot be over-emphasised. That is the end of the argument. Richard Norton-Taylor (and others in his position) should be pressing for a proper investigation of Kelly's death, ie a proper inquest, rather than wasting his time attempting to rubbish Norman Baker's book, while claiming the moral high ground. Otherwise, there is a risk that he and other apparent apologists for the dreadful Blair and Brown governments are seen in the future as the shameless enablers that perhaps they are.

Yours faithfully

Dr Christopher J Burns-Cox FRCP MD

Dr C Stephen Frost BSc MBChB

David Halpin FRCS

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Government rejects call for new David Kelly inquiry

Andy Tate, The Argus
9th January 2008

The Government has rejected calls for a new inquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly following claims in a book by Lewes MP Norman Baker that he may have been murdered.

Lord Hutton's report into the death of the scientist concluded that Dr Kelly had committed suicide, but Mr Baker, in a book published late last year, said Dr Kelly was probably the victim of a group of Iraqi exiles.

Dr Kelly's comments to the journalist Andrew Gilligan about weapons in Iraq sparked a long-running row between Downing Street and the BBC which was still continuing when Dr Kelly was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003.
Labour peer Lord Berkeley said at Lords question time: "The new book by Norman Baker concludes that the suicide of Dr Kelly would be extremely unlikely and certainly not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

"The Hutton inquiry was not a statutory one and no evidence was taken under oath, so isn't it now necessary for the Government to set up a proper statutory inquiry to investigate fully the circumstances of this senior Government employee."

Lord Hutton concluded that Dr Kelly died by cutting his left wrist and taking co-proxamol painkilling tablets.

Justice Minister Lord Hunt this week described Mr Baker's book as "a good Christmas read".

But he told peers: "There was a thorough inquiry by Lord Hutton which reached the conclusion that Dr Kelly committed suicide.

"Lord Hutton was satisfied no other person was involved in the death of Dr Kelly because a very lengthy examination, of the area where his body was found, by police officers and by forensic biologists found no traces whatever of a struggle or involvement by a third party.

"And the wounds to Dr Kelly came from a knife from his study in his home and it was highly unlikely that a third party could have forced Dr Kelly to swallow a large number of co-proxamol tablets."

Mr Baker repeated calls for new inquiries into the Iraq war and Dr Kelly's death.

He said: "I am very pleased that Lord Berkeley took the decision to raise this matter in the House of Lords and to call for a new inquiry into the death of Dr Kelly.

"The Hutton Inquiry was far from thorough, as the minister claimed, but was an incomplete, flawed inquiry which left many very important questions unanswered.

"What I would like to see now is both a proper inquiry into the whole fiasco of the Iraq war, and a re-opening of the inquest into the death of the country's most eminent weapons inspector."