Friday, 16 April 2010

Is Chilcot protecting Gordon Brown on the basis of "sensitive information"?

One of the baseline documents produced by the Iraq Inquiry is a description of how Chilcot and his colleagues will act with respect to Sensitive Information.

This document makes it clear that guidelines have been agreed between the Iraq Inquiry and the Government about when information might be withheld from the public.

Isn't Chilcot supposed to be independent, you might ask.

Chilcot is supposed to create the impression that the Iraq Inquiry is independent but the reality may be signficantly different.

As discussed previously, The Chilcot Inquiry: Questions related to these "Privy Counsellors", all five members of the Iraq Inquiry are Privy Counsellors. And Privy Counsellors are bound by an oath of secrecy. Four of the five memebers of the Iraq Inquiry were made Privy Counsellors around the time of being appointed to this "independent" inquiry. The effect was to ensure that those four members would like the Chairman be bound by the Privy Counsellors' oath of secrecy.

The Sensitive Information document adds further concerns regarding the Iraq Inquiry's openness and honesty.

Let's look at what the Sensitive Information says:
Those procedures are intended to avoid the release of anything the disclosure of which would, or would be likely to:


b. endanger the life of an individual or otherwise risk serious harm to an individual;

We know that public disclosure of the offences I believe Gordon Brown has committed, for example Gordon Brown's offences contrary to Section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000 are the largest financial crimes in UK history, could readily be argued to risk "serious harm" to Gordon Brown.

I can't imagine anyone suggesting that Gordon Brown is likely to enjoy being imprisoned for life for offences contrary to Sections 15 and 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Sir John Chilcot might argue that Gordon Brown's mental health might be seriously harmed by life imprisonment. Who could reasonably argue with any certainty that it won't be?

Is this the pretext that Sir John Chilcot will hide behind if he continues to illegitimately protect Gordon Brown by sustained failure to ask Gordon Brown about his criminal actions with respect to the Iraq War?

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