The Case For The Iraq War Proves It
NeonNettle, 20 June 2014
David Shayler is a former intelligence officer with MI5, the UK’s domestic security service. In 1997, he blew the whistle on MI6 funding Al Qaeda to assassinate Colonel Qadhafi of Libya. He will be writing on intelligence and security issues, and Common Law as the solution to the world‘s problems.
Earlier this month, the prestigious US magazine Life became the latest mainstream publication to attack ‘conspiracy theorists’. It cited the usual list of concerns – Agenda 21; chemtrails; weather manipulation; Obama’s birth certificate – dismissing conspiracy theorists as gun-totin’ right wing Christian extremists.
Hearteningly, the comments in response to the article proved that actually the thinking man in the street has seen through these kind of glib assertions on the part of journalists well-rewarded by the mainstream for their ignorance and inhumanity.
They pointed out that any theory lives and dies on the evidence and analysis which underpins it rather than the character of those bringing it to the table.
The thinking man already knows that all journalism and history is in a sense ‘conspiracy theory’ in that it investigates how human beings conspired with each other to make events happen. The term does though have another pejorative meaning when it is used to describe a particular type of researcher, the kind of person who:
– Takes information out of context.
– Fails to analyse their information in the context of scientific, expert or established fact.
– Looks for the slightest inconsistency in official accounts yet fails to take on board the wider usually better-sourced evidence.
– Attaches importance only to information, which proves their theory and conceals or ignores it when it proves the opposite.
– Shows no critical faculty when too-good-to-be-true information conveniently surfaces at just the right time.
– Quotes shadowy anonymous sources to make outrageous claims that cannot be independently verified.
– Shouts down any well-placed or respectable critic of their argument.
However, when we adopt this definition, we find that it is invariably more applicable to the intelligence services than to the traditional image of the wide-eyed loner scouring the web for his latest fix of sensationalist outrage.
We were reminded of it this week, when the fiasco that was the Iraq War blew up again with the Father of the House (of Commons) calling for the impeachment of former Prime Minister Tony Blair for ‘misleading’ MPs in the run-up to the war. (In politicospeak, ‘to mislead’ means to ‘commit fraud’ and to ‘lie through your teeth’).
When we examine the case for that war – Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction dossier which was released to the public in September 2002 – we come to realise it was predicated on information put forward by people who committed all the faux pas listed above. They just happen to be intelligence operatives; government ministers; and psychopathic mainstream journalists – rather than the usual ‘conspiracy theorists – so no one dares call them by the ‘c-word’.
By its very nature, intelligence is conspiracy theory because it is predicated on shadowy sources who cannot be cross-examined like a normal witness. In the case of the dossier, the intelligence was contradicted by a witness who could be questioned, a defector from the Iraqi army who insisted that Saddam Hussein did not have the weapons in question.
Like ‘conspiracy theorists’, the drafters of the dossier also cherry-picked their information, consciously ignoring intelligence from agents who expressly stated that Saddam did not have the weapons.
The dossier also failed to point out that:
-Objectively verifiable satellite photos had shown no data consistent with the preparation or movement of them.
-The US had insisted a few years earlier that Sudan had a chemical weapons factory, which turned out to be an innocuous pharmaceuticals plant – but only after the US had bombed it and killed innocent people.
And what about the claim which emerged just as the US and UK governments were preparing their case for war, the eye-catching allegation that Iraq could launch ‘biological and chemical’ weapons at 45 minutes notice?
Except the government forgot to tell us that this information referred not to long range warheads – which could hit the UK – but battlefield munitions with a limited range. Or that the claim was likely the recycling of information from old Iraqi manuals dating back to the First Gulf War in the early 1990s.
Why didn’t anyone in government and the services have the objectivity to pause for a moment and ask themselves – like a rational human being rather than a ‘conspiracy theorist’: ‘Hang on, isn’t the timing of this just a little bit too convenient?’
But they didn’t. Like ‘conspiracy theorists’ they uncritically used it to support their case. And like the wilder and more excitable ‘alternative investigators’ out there, they relentlessly hounded an informed critic of their cause, government scientist Dr David Kelly. In this case, if you believe the official story, they drove him to commit suicide, far worse than anything achieved by the usual conspiracy types on the net.
In the limited enquiries we have had, it also emerged that the intelligence was not extensive and comprehensive as claimed by Blair in the dossier itself. It revealed the very opposite: the intelligence services were making assessments on the basis of very little information and where it existed at all was of no better provenance than fishwives’ gossip.
But I already knew this at the time. When in MI5 I had researched the threat from the Libyan regime. I came to the following conclusion: ‘The Security Service does not have enough reliable intelligence to come to an informed assessment about any threat the Libyan regime may pose to the UK’.
Strangely enough this thoroughly researched Box 500 report never went out to government or MI5’s partners in crime in the murky world of intelligence. It would though have been a useful fact to have known when assessing the reliability of Blair’s Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction dossier.
Don’t get me wrong. There are of course plenty of outrageous websites pushing the wilder aspects of ‘conspiracy theory’. Usually on closer examination though they turn out to be run by covert disinformation and disruption agents working on behalf of some intelligence service – whether privately or state-funded – or some secret society or other.
Yes, the people the political class and mainstream media think are the ‘real conspiracy theorists’ are often agents working to a secret brief. They usually push ‘straw man’ theories which can easily be refuted in public to the millions who consume mainstream news. In turn, the ignorant man in the street and his representatives in government is then much more likely to dismiss anywhich emerges on the same or a similar subject as also being suspect, no matter how good its provenance.
Whichever way you cut it, the wildest and most gullible ‘conspiracy theorists’ are the intelligence services and the governments and media which use their ill-researched, cherry-picked or simply unfounded information. Unlike the diligent independent researchers on the web, these conspiracy theorists are responsible for murder, torture and suffering on a grand sale, as we continue to see in Iraq today.