Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Two KEY documents with legal advice are being withheld by Chilcot

I haven't been able to trace two key documents that relate to the important questions about the validity or otherwise of Peter Goldsmith's advice on the Iraq War.

It's possible I've overlooked them. Can anyone out there point me to a publicly available version?

I'm looking for the full text not short extracts. The latter, of course, with certain types of editing, can be made to seem to say almost anything.

The documents are:

1. A communication of 12th March 2003 from a Legal Adviser (Martin Hemming, I suspect) at the Ministry of Defence to David Brummell (Legal Secretary to the Attorney General, Peter Goldsmith). It's the key document where Goldsmith is asked to provide black and white advice about both national and international law.

2. The reply from David Brummell (presumably on Peter Goldsmith's behalf) supposedly stating in terms that Goldsmith thought the war was "legal" under both national and international law.

These are the pivotal documents in which the Ministry of Defence asks, in effect, "Is it legal?" and Peter Goldsmith says "Yes".

I think we can safely assume that the documents aren't being withheld from the public because they tell us the favourite snack of the Chief of the Defence Staff or the Attorney General.

One wonders what those pivotal documents contain that "they" don't want "us" to know.

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