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John Rentoul: Iraq Inquiry Misreporting Rebuttal, Day Two

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 12:32 pm
There is just too much of it to try to rebut all the prism-reporting of the Iraq Inquiry. But it may be worth trying to do the lowlights.

David Grossman was terribly excited on Newsnight last night about all the "revelations" from yesterday's session, but as he listed them each could be ticked off from the Butler report of 2004.

The story that best fitted the anti-war narrative was probably the "Mandarins reveal that 10 days before Iraq invasion PM knew Saddam couldn't use WMDs". Or, as the Daily Mail headlined it across a two-page spread: "Blair lied and lied again." Or, in the real world: "Daily Mail lies and lies again." (Not that the l-word is desirable.)

None of this is new, and none of it is clear-cut, as the Inquiry witnesses made clear. Some of the intelligence suggested Saddam's biological and chemical weapons had been dismantled, some suggested that it had not. All of it suggested that Saddam had stocks of illegal weapons material which, if not immediately usable, could be rendered so.

The Mail also asks Question to Which the Answer is No number 182: "Will Greg Dyke and Gavyn Davies, respectively former director general and chairman of the BBC, have their names cleared?"

But there is just so much of it about. Part of the anti-war narrative is The Cover-Up, which is the basis of The Independent's front-page story (right). And the lead Opinion article, by my dear colleague Adrian Hamilton, is not his best. Along with all the rest of the whitewashers, he says that the Chilcot inquiry will fail to "answer the hard questions on the legality and responsibility for this defining episode of the country's recent history".

Well, I can answer those. The Iraq invasion was legal enough to mean that there has been no suggestion of any challenge to it in any court anywhere, despite the fears of Peter Goldsmith, the Attorney General, beforehand. It was more legal in one sense than the military action in Kosovo, which had no basis in United Nations resolutions at all.

And the responsibility lies with Tony Blair, his Cabinet and the rest of the 412 MPs that voted for the Government motion on 18 March 2003.

If Adrian has any further questions, he can make his way across the office and ask me.


Dracula's insect-eating assistant?
reddmunkey wrote:
Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 03:07 pm (UTC)
ahhh Mr Rentoul, if there's one thing that can be relied upon in this whole shameful affair, it's your unfaltering sycophancy, i personally like to copy and paste your column into Microsoft word and have it read out aloud in the fitting soulless robotic windows voice, find it helps considerably with my morning bowel movement.
John Rentoul the Ultra Blairite sycophant?
michael_madha wrote:
Friday, 27 November 2009 at 10:53 am (UTC)
Is this is the same John Rentoul who wrote the truly remarkable bio of his hero Tony Blair? I seem to remember his arguments also about the number of Iraqi people killed due to the war and trying to minimize and essentially make little of the Lancet article which estimated the huge number of Iraqis killed by the consequences of the Bush/Blair war. It seems some opinions do not change no matter what truth emerges. Well sometimes such loyalty (obduracy?) should be admired.


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