Iraq war dissenter Kelly’s postmortem report remains secret
British Attorney-General Dominic Grieve’s response to widespread calls for Dr David Kelly’s postmortem files to be released continues to indicate that the government is hiding something of importance, argues Christopher King.
Dr Kelly allegedly committed suicide when identified as the high-profile within-government dissenter from the Blair government’s lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction immediately prior to the Iraq war. His postmortem files are secret.
Although, when in opposition, Mr Grieve undertook to review the Kelly records, now that he is in government he declines to do so. He insists that Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, should make any decision to release them. He is quoted as saying,
- It’s right to say that hunches, theories are not enough – there has to be evidence. And if the evidence is available and people feel that they have the evidence, then if they send it to me it will be considered
- I have no reason to think … and not a shred of evidence to suggest that there has been a cover up. I know that some people have put some theories forward but if you’re going to put a theory forward like that you need some evidence and as matters stand at the moment I haven’t seen.
One can only ask: “Is Mr Grieve up to the job?” This is nonsense and obfuscation of the most puerile sort. The onus is not on conspiracy theorists to produce evidence of a cover up. The onus is on Mr Grieve to justify keeping Dr Kelly’s postmortem records secret, away from a public inquest. We have never heard a valid reason for this.
Mr Grieve has said: “I have been given no evidence to suggest an alternative cause of death.” That is because Mr Grieve will not release the postmortem report for independent examination and establishment of the facts. That is where such evidence will be if it exists.
As for evidence of a cover up, it lies on his desk. A group of doctors has written to him to say that Dr Kelly could not possibly have died from cutting the matchstick-sized ulnar artery given by Lord Hutton as his means of suicide. Perhaps Mr Grieve does not understand that this means that other causes of Dr Kelly’s death should be considered. Conceivably, he has not realized that the doctors have introduced an element of suspicion into Dr Kelly’s death. He shows no curiosity himself about the matter, which begs the question whether he is the man to hold the post of the government’s highest legal officer.
Mr Grieve speaks of theories. Let us consider the theory held by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. A theory that Saddam had such weapons, a nuclear programme and mobile chemical factories was presented as fact to the United Nations by the American secretary of state in the presence of Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, who willingly accepted it.
Britain and the United States devastated Iraq, killed and made millions refugees on the basis of these theories – which were proven false, absolutely groundless, without a shred of truth. It was a war justified by speculation and supposition.
Dominic Grieve himself voted in favour of this murderous, illegal war without examining the baseless theories proposed for it. He clearly had no curiosity about facts at that time and still seems to be disinterested in them.
Dr David Kelly was a man of facts. His death was the result of conflict between facts of which he had personal knowledge as a weapons inspector and the manufactured theories and suppositions, even lies, peddled by Anthony Blair and swallowed whole by members of parliament who were too lazy, stupid or lacking in morality to accept the factual reports from the weapons inspectors, of whom Dr Kelly was one. His death is an integral part of this war of deceit and the facts about it need to be made known. The doctors who have requested sight of Dr Kelly’s postmortem papers are showing the sort of curiosity and spirit of inquiry as to facts that Mr Grieve should have shown before voting for the Iraq war.
Dominic Grieve has learned nothing from the Iraq war. At least Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, voted against it. He made a good speech at that time and an excellent one in favour of a judicial enquiry into the war – which parliament failed to approve. Let us turn our backs on Dominic Grieve in disgust and look to Kenneth Clarke to release these papers. Mr Clarke is one of very few politicians of principle and good sense. We live at a time when such men are desperately needed.
Theorists and conspiracy theorists, such as myself, who wish to know the truth about Dr Kelly’s death are not inventing conspiracy theories. We are investigating the genuine, proven conspiracy of the war that the Blair-Brown government peddled to this country and Europe and inflicted on the Iraqi people.
If Dr Kelly did not commit suicide then he was assassinated. Let us use terms carefully. Assassination is not merely murder. It implies targeted, planned killing by professional murderers. It has always been considered a despicable crime for this reason, although our government now carries it out in Afghanistan in collusion with American practice.
Dominic Grieve’s professed solicitousness for the feelings of Dr Kelly’s family will apparently influence him in dealing with Dr Kelly’s papers. It is unprecedented for family feelings to influence an investigation involving suspicion of foul play. That suspicion now exists. I can only say that if a member of my family were to die in suspicious circumstances I would move heaven and earth to determine the truth. Who would not? Mr Grieve’s mock solicitousness is contemptible.
The truth is surely that Mr Grieve recognizes the position and does not like it. The Kelly files are clearly a hot potato and he does not want the responsibility of dealing with them. His nonsensical response and reluctance to release them, when he could easily do so and put an end to speculation, increases the probability that there is something to hide.
- Pathologist says David Kelly’s death “textbook suicide”
- Attorney General refuses to open David Kelly files: Papers hold key to fresh inquest
- The Kelly Affair: Anatomy of a conspiracy theory
Christopher King is a retired consultant and lecturer in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK.