ANTHRAX WAR a provocative new investigative documentary by filmmakers Bob Coen and Eric Nadler that examines the 2001 Anthrax Attacks and offers a frightening glimpse into today’s secret and dangerous world of germ weapons.
It comes just days after Mr Grieve, QC, made a dramatic U-turn and ordered the secret files containing medical reports and post mortem notes over Dr Kelly’s death.
However, Mr Grieve - the only person with the authority to ask the High Court to order a new inquest - has said he could not order a probe without sufficient evidence to justify holding a fresh investigation.
Files request: Attorney General Dominic Grieve's request to see the pathology reports will speed up a decision on whether an inquest is held
Files request: Attorney General Dominic Grieve's request to see the pathology reports will speed up a decision on whether an inquest is held
Campaigners say Dr Kelly could not have taken his life by cutting a small artery in his wrist, which was the verdict reached by the Hutton Inquiry set up by then prime minister Tony Blair in 2003.
Unusually, no inquest was held - it was opened then adjourned but never resumed - because the then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer ruled the public inquiry would suffice.
Dr Kelly’s body was found in a wood near his Oxfordshire home shortly after he had been exposed as the source of a BBC report which said the Government had exaggerated the grounds for going to war in Iraq.
Frances Swaine, the solicitor acting for the doctors - all experts in trauma and vascular surgery – told Time Times they were acting ‘on a basis of professional integrity’ that the evidence did not support the finding that Dr Kelly killed himself.
‘They think it outrageous that this view has simply been accepted without examination,’ she said.
The doctors are also requesting permission to study medical files relating to Dr Kelly’s death.
Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, is expected to give the doctors an answer next week.
If successful, the request would need to go before a High Court judge for approval.
Ms Swaine, a partner at the London law firm Leigh Day who is representing five of the doctors, said: ‘We have not seen any evidence that Dr Kelly bled to death in the way Lord Hutton thought likely.
‘We have a death certificate which has the name of the deceased, but neither where nor when he died.'
In the Hutton Inquiry, Lord Hutton ordered medical reports into Dr Kelly's death to remain hidden for 70 years to protect his family.
Ms Swaine added: 'The Hutton Inquiry did not really address the medical causes of death.
'It was more to do with the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death and leading up to it.'
The doctors appealing for an inquest are Dr Stephen Frost; Dr Martin Birnstingl; Dr David Halpin; Dr Andrew Rouse; Dr Christopher Burns-Cox; and Dr Michael Powers QC.
Considerable suspicions have surrounded many aspects of the death of Dr David Kelly in July 2003, including the alleged manner of the death, its subsequent investigation, and the coverage of the whole affair in the mainstream media. Claims of murder by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker have continued to fuel speculation of foul play. Yet, in the light of these persisting suspicions, little attention has been paid to what could be the most important question of all: if David Kelly was not the only source for Andrew Gilligan’s "sexed-up" story, as he was not, who was the original source?
The police’s handling of the David Kelly case was thrown into fresh doubt last night amid a riddle over his dental records.
On the day the weapons inspector’s body was found in woodland close to his Oxfordshire home, there was an alleged break-in at his dentist’s surgery.
Dr Kelly’s dental records went missing for 48 hours before being found again inside the surgery.
Suspicious: Dr Kelly left no suicide note and had arranged to meet his daughter on July 17, 2003, the day he was last seen alive. On the morning of his death he had also booked a return ticket to Iraq in connection with his work
Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page of Thames Valley Police had previously told the Hutton Inquiry there was ‘no evidence’ of any unidentified fingerprints being on Dr Kelly’s file.
His comments appeared to crush any suggestion of a link between the break-in and the mystery over how Dr Kelly died.
A sneak peek inside Area 51: Declassified documents offer a rare glimpse into the most secretive site on Earth
But Freedom of Information requests have revealed that, in fact, there were six unidentified prints on the dental records and the file which held them. Campaigners say the discrepancy raises doubts about the evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry.
Dental records can be used to help identify a dead body.
Not over: Attorney General Dominic Grieve is due to respond to the request from a group of doctors demanding a full inquest into the death within the next few weeks
A group of doctors is demanding a full inquest into the death. Attorney General Dominic Grieve is due to respond to their request within the next few weeks.
Dr Andrew Watt, a clinical pharmacologist who has written to Mr Grieve with concerns about the police evidence to Hutton, said: ‘ACC Page offered a blanket reassurance that no third party was involved in the matter of the dental records. That has now been called into question.
‘Without detailed, formal re-examination of the facts, one cannot rely on ACC Page’s assertion there was no evidence of third party involvement at Harrowdown Hill, where Dr Kelly was found.’
Lord Hutton concluded Dr Kelly killed himself after being named as the prime source of a BBC news report accusing Tony Blair’s government of lying to take Britain into war in Iraq.
Uniquely for a suspicious death, no coroner’s inquest has been held. Instead, the Hutton Inquiry found he died by swallowing painkillers and cutting his wrist with a blunt knife.
Dr Kelly left no suicide note and had arranged to meet his daughter on July 17, 2003, the day he was last seen alive. On the morning of his death he had also booked a return ticket to Iraq in connection with his work.
On July 18, 2003, Dr Kelly’s dental records were found to be missing from a filing cabinet in his dentist’s surgery. His dentist told police that a window at the surgery was unsecured. Police have confirmed the notes were located 48 hours later by Dr Kelly’s dentist, in the same filing cabinet she had checked originally.
According to the FoI response, 13 fingerprints were found on the records and their folder. Five were ‘unusable’ because of poor quality; two were attributed to a staff member; and the remaining six were ‘negative’ or unidentified. These six were stored in police files after the tests, which took place between August 15 and August 18, 2003.
But in testimony to the Hutton Inquiry five weeks later, ACC Page stated: ‘We forensically examined those [dental records] and could find no evidence of extraneous fingerprints or whatever on that file.’
In his 2007 book about the death of Dr Kelly, MP Norman Baker revealed Lord Hutton attended ACC Page’s retirement and gave a ‘fulsome’ speech in the officer’s honour.
Last year Detective Graham Coe admitted he did not disclose evidence to Hutton about the presence of an unidentified man at the scene where Dr Kelly’s body was found.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15983 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:13 pm Post subject:
Doctors unleash legal challenge over inquest Dr David Kelly never had http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2030663/David-Kelly-inquest-Do ctors-unleash-legal-challenge.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
........Speaking on behalf of the other three doctors involved in the case, Dr David Halpin said: ‘We need to raise about £50,000 to cover stage one legal fees to take this to the High Court but we believe this must be done. Britain has great potential for good but many people know it is now mired in mendacity. They must help the doctors get light into the dark corner of the Dr Kelly cover-up. Truth must out.’
The lawyers must be formally instructed by August 30 so that proceedings can begin by September 8, the legal deadline by which the judicial review must be under way.
The doctors’ decision is likely to cause significant unease within Whitehall. No full explanation has been supplied for closing down the inquest into Dr Kelly’s death, which began as a matter of routine immediately after his body was found. It was replaced with a public inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton, who did not hear witness evidence under oath.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one former MP told the Mail that Dr Kelly’s death ‘almost certainly encompassed highly sensitive matters of national security which is why there was no inquest’.
Dr Kelly, a world-renowned weapons inspector, allegedly killed himself after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing Tony Blair’s government of lying to take Britain into the Iraq war.
His body was found in woods close to his home in Oxfordshire on July 18 2003. He had booked a return plane ticket to Baghdad, where he worked, on the morning he disappeared.
The Hutton Inquiry found that he killed himself after slashing his wrist with a blunt pruning knife and overdosing on painkillers
Mr Grieve was presented with fresh evidence by the doctors and others questioning the official finding and highlighting irregularities.
This included the fact that there were no fingerprints on five items found with Dr Kelly’s body: the knife he allegedly used to kill himself, a watch, his mobile phone, an open water bottle and two blister packs of pills he supposedly swallowed.
Despite the police knowing about the lack of fingerprints at the time this was never raised at the Hutton Inquiry and was only established years later using the Freedom of Information Act.
There is also photographic evidence suggesting Dr Kelly’s body was moved after it was found.
Last year it emerged that in 2004 all medical and scientific reports relating to his death – including photographs of his body – were secretly classified for 70 years.
Much of the material affected by this highly unusual gagging order has still not been released and no legal explanation for it has ever been made.
Mr Halpin added: ‘Coroners, not politicians, should determine how, where and when someone has died. That is our law in our country. There is an element of David and Goliath here.’
If you would like to donate, visit
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 2557 Location: One breath from Glory
Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:04 pm Post subject:
Donations requested by Doctors to take on Govt.
http://www.inquest4drdk.co.uk/ _________________ JO911B.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
Death of Long-Time Associate of Dr. David Kelly Raises New Questions
The UK Guardian revealed Monday that the US and Britain jointly ran a highly secret program to build radiological "Dirty Bombs". A 2002 accidental detonation killed a British scientist, a long-time colleague of Dr. David Kelly, whose death a year later led to the major scandal over the British Government's role in the Iraq WMD deception.
Before the invasion, Dr. Steven Hatfill, the accused anthrax killer, had headed a parallel U.S. program to contruct "replica" Iraqi bioweapons trailers of the type which never existed in Iraq, but which the Bush and Blair governments used to justify the invasion.
Judy Miller was a key common figure in both the Kelly and Hatfill stories, one which also involves former Undersecratary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone and Gen. Petraeus in the fraudulent program to sell the world on the invasion of Iraq.
Much more below . . .
That joint dirty bomb construction program was made public for the first time in a long-delayed court inquest into the June 2002 death of a British weapons expert, who died of injuries from the accidental explosion of one of these devices at a secret test site in south-eastern England.
The victim worked in the same UK weapons program for some 25 years with Dr. David Kelly, who died a year later amid a scandal that followed his leak of "sexed-up" WMD intelligence, exaggerating evidence that Iraq was building mobile biowarfare laboratories. The scandal exposed the British role in falsifying intelligence used by the Bush and Blair Administrations to invade Iraq in March, 2003.
Saddam Hussein's Iraq, along with al-Qaeda, had been accused of developing both radiological dirty-bombs and biological warfare programs.
A parallel U.S. biological weapons program employed Steven Hatfill, a South Africa germ warfare expert, who was treated as the prime suspect in the anthrax attacks that immediately followed 9/11. Before the invasion, the Pentagon built several trailers to match the description provided by "Curveball" and other Iraqi defectors.
Yet another strange twist in this story is the role of Judith Miller, the NYT reporter who originally broke the story about Hatfill's role in the Iraqi WMD replicas also one of the last journalists who Dr. Kelly communicated with before his controversial death.
Other prominent names attach to the WMD deceptions that sprang from these replication programs, including Steven Cambone and General Petraeus.
....CIA contract at CACI with Ivins, Kelly and other Brits at Porton Downs Dstl bioweapons program to build mockups of Iraq biolab trailers that never existed. Same group of UK and US researchers were also working on "replicas" of radiological dirty-bombs Iraq didn't have.
Seems that this entire groups of suicide-prone scientists were building "Iraq WMDs" Iraq didn't actually possess. At the same time, a large part of the US and UK counter-terrorism community were busy running war games based on the assumption that Iraq would attack with these same, mythical weapons that Chalabi's INC was busily "inventing".
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 2557 Location: One breath from Glory
Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:31 pm Post subject:
UPDATE 2 NOVEMBER 2011:
I am pleased to report some positive news regarding the ongoing fight to secure a coroner's inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.
As regular visitors to this site will know, in September retired surgeon David Halpin applied to the High Court seeking permission to judicially review Attorney General Dominic Grieve's decision not to have an inquest into Dr Kelly's suspicious death, which was officially recorded as a suicide following a public inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton.
Now Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, the judge reviewing David Halpin's submission, has ordered that a special hearing at the High Court will take place on 19 December to help decide if permission for the judicial review should be granted. Members of the public are able to attend it.
It will be a two-hour session and is particularly encouraging because it suggests that the case for the judicial review to go ahead is at least considered strong enough to be arguable.
Mr Justice Parker's unusual step - which will mark the first time matters relating to Dr Kelly's death and the Hutton Inquiry will have been heard in open court - could eventually lead to an inquest, though there is still a long way to go before that is certain.
Mr Halpin's barrister, John Cooper QC, says: "My client has maintained for many years that Dr Kelly, on the evidence available, did not commit suicide. Through the donations of hundreds of people he welcomes the first chance since the death of Dr Kelly to put before a court the kernel of his case."
All donations made to David Halpin via this site have been used to cover his ongoing legal fees. Jennifer McDermott of London solicitors Withers LLP is also representing him.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
My name is Margaret Hindle. I set up the www.inquest4drdk.co.uk website with the co-operation of the doctors pleading for an inquest into Dr David Kelly's death. It has the sole purpose of seeking donations which will go towards the fight for that inquest. All money will be returned to donors if it is not required.
My contact details are publicly available and I am very happy to discuss any relevant matter with anyone who has a question. Please contact me with your telephone number using the contact form on this site and I will ring you back as soon as possible.
This is to remind you that on Monday 19 December 2011 a special hearing will take place at the High Court in London as part of the legal challenge which David Halpin is attempting to bring against the government's recent decision not to hold a coroner's inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.
Everyone connected with this case on David's side very much hopes that as many of you as possible who have given so generously to enable matters to reach this stage will be able to attend the hearing. It is vital that the significant level of public interest regarding this issue which we all know exists is reflected and the best way to achieve this is by numbers being at the scene on the day.
At present the court has not formally decided at what time the hearing will begin or how many judges will preside over it - it could be up to three - but I will update the website again as soon as this information is known. It has been suggested, but not confirmed, that 10.30 am will be the likely start time
What can be stated as fact at this stage is that, as is standard practice, the hearing will last for two hours. David's barrister, John Cooper QC, will spend approximately 45 minutes putting an argument across explaining why his client believes there should be an inquest. The government's barrister will spend the same amount of time giving an opposite view. The judge(s) will probably not reach a decision immediately but should do so within a few weeks. Should they find in David's favour, as it were, permission would be granted for a judicial review of the government's refusal to back an inquest to go ahead. The judicial review could then proceed subject to David being happy to take it forward. This would depend on his securing a 'protective costs order' and with continued financial support. As has been stated previously, it is highly regrettable that it should require members of the public to donate money to ensure that the law is followed correctly, but in the face of such opposition from successive governments, this is the last route available to securing an inquest. The wheels turn slowly. We must be patient and first wait to see if this initial hurdle can be cleared.
I shall update the website again as soon there is more definite news regarding times and judges' identities. In the meantime please think seriously about attending. It is irritating that the hearing has been arranged for the same week that Christmas falls - unless you like Christmas shopping! On the other hand, and I say this advisedly, this is generally considered in legal circles to be a potentially fascinating situation and certainly the first time that matters relating to the death of Dr Kelly and the Iraq war will have been heard in open court.
An inquest for Dr David Kelly – now or never? Our laws?
Friday, 07 October 2011
You will know something about this man, his death and the lack of an inquest into it. A few of us doctors first voiced our concerns in January 2004. We did not believe the first cause of death - haemorrhage from a transected ulnar artery was feasible, or that suicide had been proved beyond reasonable doubt, or the intent to commit it. We saw that due process of law had been subverted. Instead of an inquest first and an inquiry into the political and media storm surrounding the death second, my Lord Falconer appointed my Lord Hutton on the same day Dr Kelly was found. That is while his body was still cooling. You will not be able to recall such alacrity in setting up any inquiry in the UK. Chilcot - announced 6 years + after the onset of Shock and Awe.
The 'inquest' that was subsumed into the Hutton Inquiry consumed only one half of one day, whereas the whole took twenty days. I could spend another 100 pages relating the omissions, the lies, the gross insufficiency in inquiry and more.
To cut a long story short, we engaged Leigh Day solicitors three years ago, with Frances Swaine in the lead and all working pro bono. Our colleague, Dr Michael Powers, was our barrister and also served pro bono. He has served as an assistant coroner and coronial law is one of his specialisms. To cut a long story short, we engaged Leigh Day solicitors three years ago, with Frances Swaine in the lead and all working pro bono. Our colleague, Dr Michael Powers, was our barrister and also served pro bono. He has served as an assistant coroner and coronial law is one of his specialisms.
A Memorial and a later Addendum, both with a large amount of supporting material, and lead by Dr Stephen Frost, were lodged with the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC 28 February 2011 in a plea for an inquest. This was rejected by the AG 9 June in an announcement to parliament but not formally to our lawyers. There were just three months in which to seek a judicial review. I made a move about 2 weeks before that date knowing this was the last chance of getting an inquest. My colleagues could not stay with me for family reasons in the main, the threat of costs be awarded against us being a central factor. A very good legal team of Withers solicitors with John Cooper QC, at least 670 members of the public who have boosted the fund to £40,000, and myself now await the decision of a judge in the Administrative Division of the High Court.
IF permission is granted, the next stage is a hearing in the High Court. Costs will mount up to that point. I am taking considerable risks in this case which has deep judicial, constitutional (should the AG be JR - able?), moral, forensic pathological and political facets.
But sharing these risks and this spirit will ease the minds of Sue and myself about the possibility of losing a good part of our savings, and demonstrate to the judiciary that public support is very strong. Do pass this to like minded people - please. The main stream media is silent, as the grave.
As the grinning Blair, the paramount psychopath and war criminal **, slides from one TV studio to another in obvious attempts at rehabilitation, we do not forget him or his cabal. We remember over one million killed, four million made refugees, one million widows and five million orphans. We know this cradle of civilisation has been destroyed for ever.
This is one of many heartfelt messages that have come to the fund. An 80 year old gentleman enclosed a cheque for £25 and wrote:
"I am a pensioner with very limited funds, and only say this as I feel that this is so important to our Country that all efforts should be made to expose both governments of treating the public with total, and extreme contempt, As an ex Soldier thought that I had fought for democracy and pride in British standards. I feel let down, and betrayed by both Parties, the last for being totally vacuous and beyond all credibility, and practically the latest who seem to have lost all moral fibre, for which we were, as a nation, so proud.
I wish the campaign well, and hope that you can give us back some pride and expose this cover-up."
His morality is surely a million miles from that of Blair.
David Kelly's death had to do, in some way, with this supreme war crime. We must stand up in this one reflection of that deepest evil, and for our laws.
'Where the law ends, tyranny begins'' John Locke leader of the enlightenment in England 1675
For truth, reason and justice and thank you for being with me
...This is just ridiculous. David Kelly has an email exchange in which Judy Miller–fresh off having been leaked Valerie Plame’s identity by the Vice President’s right hand man–saying:
Judy: I heard from another member of your fan club that things went well for you today [with the inquiry]
Kelly: I will wait until the end of the week before judging–many dark actors playing games.
He then dies in what is pretty thinly disguised as a suicide. And now we find out that the guy who certified that bogus suicide claim ordered that all the documentation pertaining to it be sealed until we’re all dead? Really?!?!?
I’ll add one more thing to Larisa’s timeline. One of the things that happened in one of Ari Fleischer’s last briefings (trying to look for it now) is that he was informed by reporters that Tony Blair would be coming for a visit–Fleischer, apparently, had not been told about what was apparently a last minute trip. Which had the effect of–just days after Plame’s identity was leaked and on the day Kelly was suicided–having Blair and Bush having a last minute visit together.
Just in case he needed to be out of town, you know.
Judith Miller also one of the first to received Anthrax in 2001 (she lived...)
And on the day of Kelly's death, besides receiving an email from him, she wrote a piece in the NY Times proclaiming his suicide after a conversation with Mrs Kelly.
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 2557 Location: One breath from Glory
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:03 pm Post subject:
Still gives you a glimmer of hope for this country when you listen to guys like this _________________ JO911B.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
FOI request into matters surrounding Dr David Kelly's death - where there has been no Coroner's inquest (just the Hutton Report) where politicians have claimed it was suicide while independent doctors and ambulance staff have noted that it was unlike any other suicide they've come across, where Kelly, in the centre of media maelstrom centred on the most controversial war in the modern era, mentioned in a suicide just before his death of "Dark Actors" and the fact that there has been no serious investigation into alternative theories, such as murder.... APPARENTLY, asking questions about such matters in tut-tut "social media" web sites is VEXATIOUS. And as such can be ignored...
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) Decision notice
15 February 2012
The Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police Headquarters Oxford Road Kidlington Oxfordshire
OX5 2NX Decision (including any steps ordered)
1. The complainant requested information from Thames Valley Police (the Police) about the death of former weapons inspector, Dr David Kelly, in 2003. The Police refused to comply with these requests on the basis that they were vexatious.
2. The Commissioner’s decision is that the Police were entitled to refuse to comply with these requests on the basis that they were vexatious.
Request and response
The complainant sent the following requests, which focused on the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly, to the Police on 11 August 2011:
‘1. Who took the photograph that Lord Hutton referred to? 2. Who took the photographs that Dr Shepherd referred to? 3. Who took the photographs that Dominic Grieve referred to? 4. What time was Mr McGee booked in/out of both cordons?
5. Did Mr McGee attend the post mortem examination and take photographs?
6. In your most recent response did you detail the camera/photos taken Dr Hickey under the direction of Mr Green? (resulting in the photographs submitted as evidence RJG1)
7. Was the tent that was erected over Dr Kelly’s body open at the head end of Dr Kelly’s body? Ie was the tree near Dr Kelly’s head visible to those inside the tent?
Another way that this may be established is for you to allow me to view all photographs/video of Dr Kelly’s body at the scene before it was disturbed/undressed by the pathologist. If you are correct then I will surely agree with you’.
4. The Police responded on 6 September 2011 and explained that the requests were being refused on the basis of section 14(1) of FOIA because the considered them to be vexatious.
5. The complainant contacted the Police and asked for an internal review of this decision.
6. The Police informed the complainant of the outcome of the internal review on 20 September 2011. The review also noted that the Police had taken into account similar requests it had received from other parties for similar information and it believed that the complainant was acting in concert with these parties in support of a campaign. It had therefore taken these future requests into account when determining whether the complainant’s requests of 11 August were vexatious.
Scope of the case
7. On 27 September 2011, the complainant contacted the Commissioner in order to complain about the Police’s decision to refuse his requests of 11 August 2011 on the basis that they were vexatious.
Reasons for decision
8. Section 14(1) of FOIA states that a public authority does not have to comply with a request if the request is vexatious.
9. Deciding whether a request is vexatious is a balancing exercise, taking into account the context and history of the request. In line with his published guidance the Commissioner believes that one or more of the following criteria have to be met for a request to be deemed vexatious:
Can the request fairly be seen as obsessive?
Is the request harassing the authority or causing distress to staff?
Would complying with the request impose a significant burden in terms of expense and distraction?
Is the request designed to cause disruption or annoyance? Does the request lack any serious purpose or value?1
10. The Police have argued that the complainant’s requests which are the focus of this case meet three of the above criteria, namely they are obsessive; they lack any serious purpose or value; and complying with them would impose a significant burden in terms of expense and distraction. The Police have not sought to rely on the remaining two criteria.
11. The Police are satisfied that these three criteria are met simply if the complainant’s requests of 11 August and his previous requests to it are taken into account. However, the Police believe that its decision to refuse the requests of 11 August as vexatious is given further weight because of the broader context within which these requests were submitted. According to the Police, this broader context is relevant for two reasons: Firstly, it demonstrates that the complainant was acting in concert with other individuals who have submitted numerous FOI requests to the Police and it should be able to take into account the impact on it of also responding to these related requests. Secondly, the comments allegedly made by the complaint on a number of social media websites about the death of Dr Kelly are further evidence of obsessive nature of the requests and the fact they had no serious purpose or value.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15983 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:16 pm Post subject:
The Death of Dr. Kelly: An Open Case - by grtv
This documentary studies the suspicious death of Dr. David Christopher Kelly, an internationally recognized British authority on biological weapons, after his claims before the Iraq war.
As we near the ten anniversary of Dr David Kelly's Death (just 60 more years before we find out what really happened!) here are some facts that everyone should know about his death.
1. No standard of proof. An inquest was usurped when the Lord Chancellor improperly invoked Section 17A of the 1988 Coroners Act which permitted a public inquiry to take the place of an Inquest when “the Lord Chancellor considers that the cause of death is likely to be adequately investigated by the inquiry.” There was no possibility of the cause of death (suicide) being adequately investigated by the inquiry because the inquiry applied no standard of proof to the cause of death nor to the intent to commit suicide; no evidence under oath, no second opinion from another pathologist, no cross examination and the inquisitor (Lord Hutton) had neither medical training nor experience as a coroner. UK law requires suicide to meet a standard of proof equal to that of murder “beyond reasonable doubt”, there was no standard of proof applied at the Hutton Inquiry and the Lord Chancellor knew it.
2. The body was moved. The first 3 people on the scene where Dr Kelly’s body was discovered are on record as saying the body was sat / slumped against a tree when they first saw it, every other witness that attended the scene and gave evidence regarding the position of the body said it was lay on its back and the head of the body a significant distance from a tree. The suicide conclusion of Thames valley police accepted by Lord Hutton was predicated on there being a complete absence of evidence of third party activity at the scene.
If there was evidence of third party activity at the scene the police accept it could have been murder dressed up as suicide. Thames Valley Police, Lord Hutton and the Attorney General say the body was not moved yet eyewitness and photographic evidence say it was therefore if the evidence is factual there must have been third party activity at the scene, ergo the suicide conclusion is unsafe.
3. Misleading evidence. There is evidence that the first police officer on the scene DC Coe misled the Hutton Inquiry regarding who accompanied him to the scene, how long he remained at the scene, the position of the body when he first saw it and what he did after the ambulance crew left the scene when eyewitness evidence suggests a number of changes took place at the scene including more blood appearing and objects near the body rearranged. Dominic Grieve has not corrected the record after he misled Parliament when he gave his statement on the 9th June 2011, Mr Grieve omitted to inform Parliament the first police officer on the scene, DC Coe, changed his evidence regarding the position of the body when he first saw it. He told the Hutton Inquiry it was lay on its back and he told a newspaper in Aug 2010 it was actually slumped against a tree. Half an hour after DC Coe attended the scene the ambulance crew arrived and the body was lay flat and a significant distance from a tree. Parliament has been kept in the dark regarding this new evidence.
4. Evidence not shown to witnesses. Photographs that were taken in the morning and photographs that were taken in the afternoon were asked to be kept hidden from the public for 70 years by Lord Hutton. Lord Hutton did not show those photos to the Search Team (who said the body was sat against a tree) and the ambulance crew (who said the body was lay flat on its back and the ambulance technician stood in a gap between a tree and the head of the body when he was checking for signs of life). Lord Hutton could have showed the photos to those witnesses at his inquiry and asked “was this the position of the body when you first saw it?” he chose not to and dismissed the irreconcilable evidence as “points of detail”.
5. The death certificate is incomplete. Only a Coroner can rule on the cause of death (when suicide) this did not happen in case of Dr Kelly, no final death certificate was issued and the inquest was never formally closed as required by law. No coroner has ruled on how, where or when Dr Kelly died.
6. Doctors have challenged the Pathologist. Eminent doctors have challenged the opinion of the pathologist regarding the cause of death and the fact remains that the pathologist did not know how much blood Dr Kelly had lost nor how much co-proximal had been consumed; Lord Hutton simply accepted the pathologists opinion without testing the evidence.
7. Evidence consistant with a fake suicide. Fingerprints on the bottle found near the body were NOT Dr Kelly’s, no fingerprints found on the knife, blister packs of pills, glasses or mobile phone. An empty mobile phone pouch on Dr Kelly’s belt was fastened shut with a bloodstain on the inside. Kelly had a weak right arm and unlikely to have cut his wrists away from his body.
Among those who have called for an inquest or have doubts it was a suicide are former Tory leader Michael Howard, and Liberal Democrat minister Norman Baker, who wrote a book saying Kelly was most likely murdered.
A group of doctors say Hutton's findings should be discarded and a new inquest held. Dr Stephen Frost said: "We have lots of evidence … No coroner in the land would reach a verdict of suicide as Lord Hutton did."
Experts in forensic pathology point out the sceptics may be expert in their own fields, but not in the science of establishing the cause of death.
Hutton has kept silent since his report, breaking it only to write a letter denouncing the conspiracy theorists. Hutton's conclusion is supported by the available facts and experts: "At no time … was there any suggestion from any counsel for the interested parties or in any of the extensive media coverage that any of the police officers engaged in investigating Dr Kelly's death or any of the medical or scientific witnesses was involved in any sort of cover-up or plot to make a murder appear like a suicide."
Dyke claimed that: "Some of Dr Kelly's wider family don't believe it's suicide."
But the Conservative-led government has said the evidence for suicide is so compelling there is no need for a fresh hearing.
Ben Page, chief executive of pollsters Ipsos Mori said the row over the 2003 Iraq war was part of a continued lack of trust in government and politicians: "It was part of the continuum of declining trust."
"It is clear that Dr Kelly and anger over the reason Britain joined in with the Iraq war are intertwined."
Later this year the Chilcot report is expected, but for ex-BBC boss Dyke, a one-time supporter of Tony Blair, the verdict is in: "History tells us Blair was destroyed by Iraq. Blair will be only remembered for that, just as Sir Anthony Eden will be remembered for Suez."
"...the evidence for suicide is so compelling there is no need for a fresh hearing..." - sooo compelling that 10 years on, a group of Doctors are saying that it couldn't have been!
The new Liberal Democrat minister in the Home Office vowed on Monday night to make the department “more liberal” as he dismissed accusations that he is a “conspiracy theorist” because he wrote a book suggesting the government scientist David Kelly was murdered.
In the most eye-catching move in a Coalition ministerial reshuffle, Norman Baker replaced his party colleague Jeremy Browne as a minister of state in the department headed by Theresa May.
David Cameron promoted several women and MPs from working-class backgrounds in the shake-up in an effort to make Tory ministerial ranks less dominated by male public school products.
And Nick Clegg appointed a new Scottish Secretary, signalling a determination to strike a more aggressive note in the run-up to next year’s referendum on Scottish independence.
The biggest surprise came when Mr Baker, who is on the left of his party, succeeded Jeremy Browne, who had previously been seen as a close Clegg ally.
His arrival at the Home Office, where he is likely to take charge of crime prevention and drugs policy, comes as Ms May toughens her language on immigration and steps up her criticism of human rights legislation.
Mr Baker told The Independent he wanted to resist moves to push the department’s agenda to the right and added that he was inspired by Roy Jenkins, the reforming Labour Home Secretary of the 1960s.
“I want to make the Home Office more liberal, when it has been liberal it’s been a force for good,” he said. “I want to make sure the rights of individuals are protected, that we get the right balance between the state and the individual. That is very important for our party.”
His appointment, which is said to have infuriated Ms May, also raised eyebrows because of his previous claim that Dr Kelly, whose death in 2003 triggered the Hutton inquiry, could have been killed by Iraqi assassins.
But Mr Baker said: “That’s a standard term of abuse. I don’t regard it as controversial to raise doubts when someone who has an unexplained death and there is no inquest. That’s all in the past.”
The biggest reshuffle victim was Michael Moore, the only Cabinet minister to lose his job. He was succeeded as Scottish Secretary by fellow Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael, who was previously his party’s chief whip and will take a more combative approach to the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, during the independence referendum campaign.
A series of female Conservative MPs were promoted following criticism of the paucity of women ministers in Tory ranks.
Among the biggest winners was the former television presenter Esther McVey, who was elevated from minister for the disabled to employment minister.
Anna Soubry was switched from the Department of Health to become the first woman minister in the Ministry of Defence, while Nicky Morgan was promoted to Economic Secretary to the Treasury, which was a previously all-male team.
Three allies of Chancellor George Osborne won significant promotions, with Sajid Javid appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury and tipped to join the Cabinet within the next year.
Matthew Hancock became Skills and Enterprise minister and Greg Hands was named as the Conservative Deputy Chief Whip.
Greg Clark was moved from the Treasury to take on responsibilities for cities and constitutional reform at the Cabinet Office and the former soldier Mike Penning was switched from Northern Ireland to the Department for Work and Pensions, where he will be charged selling benefits reforms to voters.
Andrew Grice: Cameron carved the joint humanely
David Cameron does not enjoy reshuffles. Today’s shake-up had been put off on a few occasions. But, as Margaret Thatcher once said, all prime ministers, even if they do not enjoy being a “butcher,” have to learn to “carve the joint.”
Mr Cameron did it as humane a way as possible. The days when sacked ministers are summoned to Downing Street for ritual humiliation in front of the TV cameras are over. Today, they were dismissed by phone. Some of the promoted ones were called to Number 10 - even though they didn’t need to be - to smile for the cameras.
In another break with precedent, ministers such as Chloe Smith and John Randall were allowed to pre-announce their own departure in advance, which eliminated them from the sack race.
Andrew Gilligan By Andrew Gilligan 7:00AM BST 21 Jul 2013
I still remember, of course, how I heard about David Kelly’s death. It started with an early-morning phone call from my friend Mick Smith, then defence correspondent of The Daily Telegraph. Dr Kelly had gone missing, and the police were looking for a body.
Even then, I couldn’t really believe that he had died. Surely it was some sort of misunderstanding? Perhaps he’d just decided to go off for a few days and would turn up in some hotel, à la Stephen Fry? As soon as I got to the BBC, the director of news, Richard Sambrook, called me to his office. While I had been on the way in, he said, not sounding like he believed it himself, Dr Kelly’s body had been found, and it looked like suicide. He’d taken painkilling tablets and slashed one of his wrists.
If Sambrook sounded shaken, it was nothing to how I sounded. He had to get me a glass of water to calm me down. But as well as being upset, I was very, very surprised. I hadn’t known David all that well, but he didn’t strike me as the suicidal type, if there is such a thing.
He was quite used to confrontation and pressure: he’d been a weapons inspector in Iraq, for goodness’ sake. I thought his famous grilling by the Foreign Affairs Committee had been distasteful, and symptomatic of the committee’s stupidity, but it hadn’t been that bad. And the affair was tailing off. Politics was breaking for the summer, both the BBC and I had refused to confirm or deny whether David was my source, and the battle between us and Downing Street had essentially reached stalemate.
What a lot I didn’t know. Even now, almost precisely 10 years since David Kelly’s last journey, we are still learning just how extraordinary and inexcusable the behaviour of our rulers was – both towards him, and in the wider cause, defending the Iraq war, for which he was outed and died. On July 18 2003, I did not consider myself a shockable person; I was an experienced, sceptical journalist with, I thought, a realistic idea of how politicians, intelligence officers and civil servants behaved. But over the months and years that followed, my views, and those of most of the country, changed. To borrow the famous words of David Astor over Suez, we had not realised that our government was capable of such folly and such crookedness.
You probably remember Dr Kelly’s main contention, which became the centrepiece of my BBC story – that a government dossier making the case against Iraq had been “transformed” at the behest of Downing Street and Alastair Campbell “to make it sexier”, with the “classic example” being the insertion in the final week of a claim, based on a single source, that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction could be deployed within 45 minutes. The intelligence services were unhappy about the 45-minute claim, David said. They believed it was unreliable. In the first of my 18 broadcasts on the story, I added a claim, mistakenly attributing it to David, that the Government probably knew the 45-minute claim was wrong.
What we now know is that at precisely the same moment as the Government was launching hysterical attacks on the BBC and on me for reporting this, Whitehall had quietly conceded that it was true. In July 2003, literally as David Kelly was outed, MI6 secretly withdrew the 45-minute intelligence as unreliable and badly-sourced.
What we now know is that according to Major General Michael Laurie, the head of the Defence Intelligence Staff at the time of the dossier, “we could find no evidence of planes, missiles or equipment that related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It was clear to me that pressure was being applied to the Joint Intelligence Committee and its drafters. Every fact was managed to make the dossier as strong as possible. The final statements in the dossier reached beyond the conclusions intelligence assessments would normally draw from such facts.”
What we now know is that, according to an MI6 officer working on the dossier, the 45-minute claim was “based in part on wishful thinking” and was not “fully validated”. Another MI6 officer said that “there were from the outset concerns” in the intelligence services about “the extent to which the intelligence could support some of the judgments that were being made”.
What we now know is that on September 17 and 18 2002, a week before the dossier was published, Alastair Campbell sent memos to its author, Sir John Scarlett, saying that he and Tony Blair were “worried” that on Saddam’s nuclear capability the dossier gave the (accurate) impression that “there’s nothing much to worry about”. On September 19, Campbell emailed Scarlett again, suggesting the insertion of a totally false claim that, in certain circumstances, Saddam could produce nuclear weapons in as little as a year. This fabrication duly appeared in the dossier.
What we now know is that in his September 17 memo, Campbell suggested 15 other changes to the text of the dossier. Most were accepted; their effect was to harden the document’s language from possibility to probability, or probability to certainty. Campbell lied to Parliament about the content of this memo, giving the Foreign Affairs Committee an altered copy which omitted his comments on the 45-minute claim and played down his interventions on most of the other issues.
And what we now know is that, contrary to his campaigning certainty at the time, Blair admits in his memoirs that he privately saw the case for war against Iraq as “finely balanced”. No wonder a little tipping of the scales was needed – or, as Blair also put it in his book, “politicians are obliged from time to time to conceal the full truth, to bend it and even distort it, where the interests of the bigger strategic goal demand that it be done”.
We knew nothing of this then. Indeed, in his evidence to the Hutton inquiry, Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, described the 45-minute claim, straight-faced, as “a piece of well-sourced intelligence”, two months after his own service had discredited it. Despite his key role as Dearlove’s military counterpart, General Laurie was never called to Hutton at all; his explosive statement, and that of the two MI6 people, emerged only in 2011, at the Chilcot inquiry.
I don’t blame you if you knew nothing of all this until now; most of it, by happy coincidence, came out only long after public attention had moved on, and the government could no longer be damaged.
But the government knew – and this is what makes its behaviour towards the BBC and David Kelly so incredible. He came forward to his bosses as my source under a promise that his identity would be kept secret, but was effectively given up to the world after Campbell, in his words, decided to “open a flank on the BBC” to distract attention from his difficulties over the dossier.
Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the FAC, was inquiring into the dossier. After it failed to denounce me to Campbell’s satisfaction, he confided to his diary that “the biggest thing needed was the source out”. That afternoon, on Downing Street’s orders, Ministry of Defence press officers announced that a source had come forward, handed out clues allowing anyone with Google to guess who he was, then kindly confirmed it to any reporter who guessed right. One newspaper was allowed to put more than 20 names to the MoD before it got to Dr Kelly’s.
Once outed, Dr Kelly was openly belittled by the foreign secretary, Jack Straw. The FAC, by the way, didn’t want to question him – its inquiry had finished and its report had already been published – but Downing Street forced it to hold a special hearing anyway. The day before, for several hours, he was intensively coached in the need to “f---” me. Under great pressure, he blurted an untruth in the glare of the TV lights; an untruth which, on the morning of his death, his bosses told him they would investigate.
Dr Kelly defined himself by his work and his reputation for integrity. The fear of losing it must have been terrifying, even if it was almost certainly unfounded. Understanding that is one reason why I am certain that he did indeed kill himself, for all some people’s obsession to the contrary.
They’ll hate this comparison, but there’s an odd symmetry between the Kelly conspiracy theorists and Mr Blair. In both cases, their convictions seem to require them to fit the facts into unusual shapes. For Dr Kelly to have been murdered, as the pathologist’s report makes clear, it would have needed someone to force 29 pills down his throat, making him swallow them without protest. Then they would have had to get him to sit on the ground without any restraint, making no attempt to defend himself, while they had sawn away at his wrist with a knife. That knife, by the way, came from the desk drawer in Dr Kelly’s study, so they’d also have had to burgle his house to get it.
The even more telling question, though, is what motive anyone could have had for murder. Even if you believe the British government goes round bumping off its employees in cold blood, killing David Kelly would simply not have been in its interest. It was guaranteed to create a scandal and a crisis, as anyone with an iota of sense would have known. There’s no need to claim that David Kelly was murdered; his suicide is scandal enough.
Ten years on, there are some Groundhog Day elements. Over successive crises, the BBC’s management has been as incompetent as ever. Politicians still appear to think that set-piece inquiries are worth the paper they’re written on – despite the evidence from Lord Hutton’s and Sir John Chilcot’s efforts on Iraq, the latter entering its fifth year with few signs of a report.
Whatever Chilcot may eventually say, the debate on the war appears to have been decided. Few would now dispute the dossier was sexed up. But there is still a fascinating degree of dispute about David Kelly. I have sometimes asked myself why the self-inflicted death of one scientist should matter to us as much as, if not more than, the violent deaths of perhaps 120,000 Iraqis (535 of them this month alone, by the way – so much for making Iraq safe for democracy).
I think it’s partly because there may still be some excuses for what the Government did in Iraq. They expected it to be like Kosovo: the operation would succeed, the troops be welcomed and the predictions of doom confounded. They expected, too, that a few barrels of WMD would probably be found that could have been cast as a threat. Even the charge of “lying” about those weapons is not quite cast-iron: I prefer the charge I made, of sexing-up, or exaggeration. I and most others always thought Iraq had something in the WMD line; the exaggeration lay in the fact that it was nowhere near threatening enough to justify a war.
But there are no excuses for what the government did to the BBC and to Dr Kelly. He was outed to further a series of denials which we can, quite plainly, call lies. An explanation, if not an excuse, may rest in Campbell’s mental state: even Blair, in his memoirs, called him a “crazy person” who by that stage “had probably gone over the edge”. But that doesn’t explain the really scary part: how the machinery of government, in a mature democracy such as Britain’s, allowed itself to be captured by someone in that state.
Sir Richard Dearlove, the former MI6 chief responsible for the dossier, was once asked what he thought of me. Flatteringly, he said: “I wouldn’t want you to print my views on Andrew Gilligan.” My own views on Sir Richard, Sir John Scarlett and the other distinguished knights of Iraq who got too close to New Labour are perfectly printable: they failed catastrophically in their duty, bringing their professions, their services – and their country – into deep, possibly permanent, disrepute. _________________ www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org www.rethink911.org www.patriotsquestion911.com www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org www.mediafor911truth.org www.pilotsfor911truth.org www.mp911truth.org www.ae911truth.org www.rl911truth.org www.stj911.org www.v911t.org www.thisweek.org.uk www.abolishwar.org.uk www.elementary.org.uk www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149 http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
19 December 2004 The Express on Sunday Tim Shipman
Startling claim by US security lawyer raises more questions over death of controversial weapons expert
NEW evidence suggests that Dr David Kelly, the weapons expert who sparked a government crisis over the Iraq war, was murdered - possibly by a foreign hit squad.
A security lawyer with links to the intelligence agencies made the claims in the US, but they have never been published in Britain.
They add new layers of mystery and unanswered questions about Dr Kelly's death just a week after two ambulance workers who attended the body said he could not possibly have killed himself in the way that the Hutton Inquiry found earlier this year.
Michael Shrimpton, who has briefed the powerful US Senate Intelligence Committee on national security issues, claimed in a radio interview that senior MI5 and MI6 officers were "furious" that Dr Kelly had been killed.
His body was found in woods near his home in the Oxford village of Southmoor on July 18 last year, a day after he disappeared.
But today the Sunday Express lays out the inconsistencies in the evidence that are casting a dark shadow over the conclusion that he committed suicide. He had been outed as the source of a BBC story claiming the Government had "sexed up" its dossier on Iraq.
Speaking in February this year, Mr Shrimpton said Dr Kelly was mostlikely murdered by a team of assassins from the French DGSE security service and his body dressed up to look like a suicide. Sources told him word had been circulating in Whitehall a week before his death that Dr Kelly was going to be "taken down".
A guest of the US State Department and a contributor to the Journal for International Security Affairs, Mr Shrimpton's credentials give his claims some credibility.
He told Texas radio DJ Alex James: "Within 48 hours of the murder I was contacted by a British intelligence officer who told me he'd been murdered."
The officer pinned the blame on rogue elements in Whitehall using a foreign secret service - a common tactic for assassinations.
But he insisted that neither MI5 nor MI6 were involved. "My sources are telling me that both services are extremely unhappy, " said Mr Shrimpton.
And he was unable to name any ministers who may have been involved in the decision - though he was sure that Tony Blair was not behind it. He claims the French agency may have used Iraqi intelligence assets to cover their tracks.
"The standard French practice when they carry out assassinations is to take their own team out. I am very doubtful that any of the people involved directly in the assassination of David Kelly are still alive, " he added.
All of which sounds fanciful. And it may be. But doubts about the manner of Dr Kelly's death are not just held by Mr Shrimpton.
The ambulance crew who were among the first to see Dr Kelly's body believe that if he had committed suicide by slitting his wrist after taking painkillers, he would have been surrounded by pools of blood. The lack of blood has given rise to a suspicion that his body was moved.
Officially his body was found in a copse, in a wood, but the forensic tents were set up in the adjacent field. One witness described the body leaning against a tree, another that it was lying on the floor near a tree.
The Hutton Report into the affair ruled that Dr Kelly died by "bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist". But several respected doctors are on record doubting that analysis.
Among those who wrote with their doubts to coroner Nicholas Gardiner was former trauma and orthopaedic medicine consultant Dr David Halpin.
Mr Shrimpton outlined doubts about the slash marks on Dr Kelly's left wrist. "The artery that was cut was the ulnar artery, which is more difficult to reach. It's on the little finger side of the hand, " he said. "It's deeper than the radial artery. Why go for an artery deep in the wrist when you can slit an artery much closer to the surface of the skin?
"The second problem - according to the autopsy report he severed or transected the artery. But once you transect an artery, we have something called vaso-constriction. The artery retracts and that promotes clotting. It's very difficult to bleed out if you sever one artery only."
Most people who commit suicide this way slash both wrists along the artery and keep them in warm water to stop blood clots.
THERE are also doubts about the painkillers found in Dr Kelly's pockets. The amount of Co-Proxamol in his blood was less than a third of what is normally considered a fatal amount. Out of the 29 tablets missing from the bottle, only one-fifth of a tablet was found in his stomach.
All of which leads Mr Shrimpton to conclude: "The suicide theory just doesn't hold water at all."
Other inconsistencies include claims that Dr Kelly was carrying a bottle of water, which would have helped him digest the painkillers, but no reports from the scene mention the bottle.
Some are dissatisfied with abrasions on his head, which were dismissed by the Hutton inquiry as consistent with lying in the undergrowth. But critics say they could be evidence of a struggle - an explanation explicitly dismissed by the Home Office pathologist.
Questions also arise over a police operation called Operation Mason, which began an hour before Dr Kelly set out on his last walk. The file's contents are a closely-guarded secret to be seen only by those with "a strictly need-to -know requirement".
Conspiracy theorists on the internet have also focused on the testimony of one Detective Constable Graham Coe at the Hutton inquiry.
He said he arrived at the scene with one officer - but five witnesses saw him with two. The Thames Valley Police search team leaders, PCs Andrew Franklin and Martyn Sawyer, said they had "no idea" what DC Coe and his companion or companions were doing there.
So if Dr Kelly was killed, how was it done? Mr Shrimpton said: "He was probably murdered by . . .an intravenous injection of Dextropropoxythene and paracetamol, the constituents of CoProxamol, and a muscle relaxant called Succinylcholine."
Succinylcholine leaves no trace.
He claimed the slash to the wrist was done to "disguise the puncture wound" from the injection.
So if Dr Kelly was killed, why was he targeted? Mr Shrimpton believes it was because he had talked to the press and there was a fear of what else he might discuss with journalists.
He was also due to return to Iraq and may have learned fresh information. Dr Kelly himself predicted that he would end up "dead in the woods".
Some conspiracy theorists on the internet even claim that he was on a death list of weapons scientists.
Mr Shrimpton, perhaps fancifully, believes that someone in Whitehall considered Dr Kelly a threat to the survival of the Government and that the French were prepared to co-operate in silencing him because they preferred Mr Blair's pro-European attitude to the alternatives.
Most intriguingly, the Sunday Express has also uncovered details of Dr Kelly's secret links to the bio-warfare programme of South Africa's apartheid regime.
These links - revealed here for the first time - add another layer of mystery to his death.
Shortly after Dr Kelly left his home, he received a telephone call from an MI5 officer to confirm he would be interviewed in the coming days over his role in the apartheid regime's most secret project.
Code-named Project Coast, it was trying to create a genetically engineered weapon to attack only the country's black population and to develop a vaccine to block human fertility in blacks. Dr Kelly had visited the project's headquarters soon after he was appointed in 1972 to be head of the microbiology department at Porton Down, Britain's top-secret biological warfare establishment in Wiltshire.
He met with Project Coast's head, Dr Wouter Basson at his high-security laboratory outside Pretoria. Later, Dr Kelly arranged for Basson to visit Porton Down.
Dr Neils Knobel, a senior scientist with Project Coast, recalled:
"Basson went to Porton Down in 1985. They gave him an entire tour of the place. He saw everything.
He left with manuals. How he got them he never told us".
IT was questions about Basson's visit that MI5 interrogators wanted Dr Kelly to answer. The reasons may lie on the hard drives of the seven laptops that Dr Kelly kept in his study. Shortly before his body was found a team of MI5 officers removed the computers along with all the scores of discs they found in the study. They were never made available to Lord Hutton.
In March, coroner Nicholas Gardiner said there was no need to reopen the inquest.
By JON AUSTIN
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Thu, Mar 29, 2018 | UPDATED: 07:39, Thu, Mar 29, 2018
Dr David Kelly hit the headlines after he let slip to a journalist that Tony Blair’s claim that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq could deploy Weapons of Mass Destruction in 45 minutes was, at best, “dubious”.
The claim was a major plank of the former Prime Minister’s argument to join the USA in an invasion of the country.
The case has sparked a number of conspiracy theories that Dr Kelly was murdered by the intelligence services.
Now in his new book, An Inconvenient Death - How The Establishment Covered Up The David Kelly Affair, Mr Goslett investigates the actions of the Government after Dr Kelly, 59, was found dead at Harrowdown Hill, two miles from his home in Southmoor, Oxfordshire, on July 18 2003.
The weapons expert had given evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on July 15 where he was asked about his alleged involvement in leaking information to BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan about the Government's so-called "dodgy dossier" arguing the case for war with Iraq being "sexed up".
Dr Kelly had earlier been named in the press as Mr Gilligan's source, something the civil servant denied.
In his new book, Mr Goslett wrote of the moment the body was discovered with some explosive new claims.
He wrote: "At the time the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was on a plane travelling between Washington DC and Tokyo."
Lord Faulkner (left) called Tony Blair within minutes of David Kelly's body being found, claims new.
Re-open Dr David Kelly inquest, say doctors
Exhuming body of scientist David Kelly ‘will fuel conspiracy theories’
He claimed: "The Lord Chancellor, Charles Falconer, who was in London, rang Blair on the aircraft's phone within minutes of the body being found and in a surprisingly brief call was instructed to set in motion a full-blown public inquiry into Dr Kelly's death.
"Falconer established this inquiry several hours before any exact cause of Dr Kelly's death had been determined officially - and, indeed, before the body found that morning had been formally identified."
In his opinion this was unusual.
He speculated: "What could possibly have led Falconer and Blair, the two most senior political figures of the day, to take this unusual step on the basis of what, according to contemporaneous police reports, appeared to be a tragic case of a professional man ending his own life?
"Why were they even involved at such an early stage in what was essentially an incident that was local to Oxfordshire?
"What was it about the death of David Kelly that had disturbed Falconer and Blair so much that they went on to interrupt and ultimately derail the coroner's inquest, which had been opened routinely?
"And why were they content to replace that inquest with a less rigorous form of investigation into Dr Kelly's death?
"These questions preoccupied me as a journalist for years. They pointed to powerful forces working against the proper investigation of an unexpected event - in this case, a death mired in mystery."
Live images as Tony Blair shows his face at memorial for Iraq war heroes
Thu, March 9, 2017
Tony Blair attends a national memorial honouring the Armed Forces and civilians who served their country during the Gulf War and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been unveiled by the Queen.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair before the Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London PA
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Former Prime Minister Tony Blair before the Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair before the Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
Former prime minister Tony Blair, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attending a Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
Former prime minister Tony Blair (left) and the Duke of Gloucester attending a Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (standing), former prime minister Tony Blair and Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron (top right) attending a Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
Former prime minister Tony Blair attending a Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former prime minister Tony Blair attending a Military Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade in London
What was it about the death of David Kelly that had disturbed Falconer and Blair so much that they went on to interrupt and ultimately derail the coroner's inquest, which had been opened routinely?
A coroner's inquest usually takes many months to prepare, and in complex cases can take some years to be heard.
Mr Blair's inquiry - the Hutton Inquiry, set up to investigate "the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly," opened on August 11 2003, just 24 days after the body was found, and ended on September 24.
The report, published in January 2004, concluded he took his own life.
But there has been much criticism that the inquiry circumvented the normal inquest process.
The body was exhumed last year at the request of the family, amid their concerns about campaigners who are calling for an inquest to be opened interfering with the grave.
Dr Kelly was reportedly cremated.
Mr Goslett concludes in his book that in his opinion there are many unanswered questions, raised during or since the Hutton Inquiry, remain.
He claimed 22 relevant witnesses had not given evidence during the inquiry.
David Kelly's dental records were stolen
‘Misled over WMD!’ Gordon Brown admits Iraq war was a mistake
Questions, Mr Goslett suggests still need answering are:
*Why all medical records and photographs of Dr Kelly were classified for 70 years and witness statements for 30 years from the end of the inquiry?
*Why no fingerprints were found on any of Dr Kelly's possessions, including the knife and empty pill packets, when he wore no gloves?
*Why Dr Kelly's dental records apparently went missing from, and were then returned to, his dental practice in Abingdon, around the time of his death?
*Why a police helicopter with thermal imaging camera which earlier flew over the site found no trace of the body?
Mr Goslett added: "It is clear that the Hutton Inquiry was an inadequate substitute for a coroner's inquest into Dr Kelly's death.
"It raised more questions than it answered."
He believes a full coroners inquest is the only way to seek to answer them.
He wrote: "As a result of Tony Blair's decision to set up the Hutton Inquiry, the British public is required to accept that Dr Kelly took his own life.
"But, based on the available evidence, there are too many inconsistencies attached to the official finding of suicide to accept it wholeheartedly.
"I still believe for a multitude of reasons that a coroner's inquest is the only way that the full truth about his death will ever be known."
Chilcot suggests Blair was not 'straight' with UK over Iraq
Express.co.uk has tried to contact Mr Blair through his Institute for Global Change, to ask why the inquest was bypassed and if the inquiry was launched so quickly after the death, why was this the case, but he could not be reached for comment.
Lord Falconer, who is now a partner in law firm Gibson Dunn, told Express.co.uk there was no need for an inquest into the death, as the Hutton Inquiry had already reached a verdict.
He said: "The Hutton Inquiry meant there was a much more detailed inquiry into the death of David Kelly.
"Not just the wider issues, but Lord Hutton looked at all medical evidence that was available."
He disputed claims that Lord Hutton was not as qualified as a coroner to investigate the events around a death, adding that he was confident he was more than able to do this.
He said inquests take months to hear because of limited staff working on them, whereas a whole team was dedicated to the Hutton Inquiry.
He also disputed repeated claims that Dr Kelly's was the first suspected suicide or unexplained death that had been dealt with by an inquiry instead of an inquest, and that this was unlawful.
Top 10 Conspiracy Theories
Wed, March 8, 2017
From mind control, to the missing Malaysian airways flight MH370
In 2011, Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals and buried at sea, but now conspiracy theorists claim that it was all a lie and he is still alive AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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In 2011, Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals and buried at sea, but now conspiracy theorists claim that it was all a lie and he is still alive
In 2011, Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals and buried at sea, but now conspiracy theorists claim that it was all a lie and he is still alive
Marilyn Monroe's suicide death has long been questioned with many believing she was murdered to prevent her from revealing political secrets
Ever since Apollo 11 landed on the moon, conspiracy theorists have suggested that the landing was forged by NASA with the aid of other organizations
The September 11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center were believed to be conducted by Al Qaeda, other people believe it was staged by the American Government to justify a war on Iraq
The Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory states that US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor and deliberately allowed the Hawaiian base to be attacked
There has been a lot of mystery around the disappearance of Malaysian airlines flight MH370, one being that the plane was hijacked by Russia's President Vladimir Putin and flown to Kazakhstan
Conspiracy theorists believe that the remains of crashed UFO spacecrafts are stored at Area 51, where government scientists reverse-engineer the aliens' highly advanced technology
Blair was ‘not straight’ with the UK about the Iraq War, Chilcot says
Chilcot: Tony Blair was not a ‘pretty straight sorta guy’ over Iraq
He said: "No, it was not the first. I can't give examples but there have been others.
"There is a section of the Public Inquiries Act which allows for this."
However, he was unable to help with the reasoning for the inquiry apparently being set up so quickly as opposed to an inquest.
He said he remembered the phone call referred to in the book, but said: "I would have to check with the timing."
He added that it would have been Mr Blair who instructed him to set up the inquiry, but he could not remember when, and it was now too far back to be able to check.
He said: "I don't think it was me that informed Mr Blair (about Dr Kelly's body being found).
"These sort of allegations have been made for a long time and I have dealt with them before."
He said he would not be reading the book.
Asked if he thought the air of suspicion over Dr Kelly's death would persist, he said he felt it had already gone away.
New Book on Death of Dr. David Kelly, Who First Exposed British Lies about WMD
March 29, 2018 (EIRNS)—Just as the British are being caught out in new lies against Russia about weapons of mass destruction, a new book has appeared about the late British arms expert Dr. David Kelly, called An Inconvenient Death—How the Establishment Covered Up the David Kelly Affair, by Miles Goslett. Dr. Kelly was part of the effort with Lyndon LaRouche and others to expose Tony Blair’s lying about supposed Iraqi WMD in 2003—but shortly after he was revealed as the source for the story that Blair’s WMD dossier had been “sexed up,” Kelly was found dead on July 17, 2003, under unexplained circumstances.
Goslett reports that Prime Minister Blair was in the air when he got the first report of Kelly’s death, but within minutes, he gave instructions to set up a full-blown public inquiry (the Hutton Inquiry), which interrupted and ultimately derailed the routine, legally required coroner’s inquest.
“Instead of an inquest,” Sputnik reports, “which typically takes months to prepare and is a rigorous examination of what led up to and caused an unusual or violent death,” Blair and Lord Falconer, who as Lord Chancellor headed the judiciary
“instigated the Hutton Inquiry, which opened just 24 days after the body was found, and lasted only a few weeks. Hutton’s report was published in January 2004, and concluded that Kelly took his own life.”
Hutton classified all medical records and photographs of Kelly for 70 years.
The Express interviewed author Goslett today about an unnamed witness in his book.
“Mr. Goslett claimed the person had spoken with Dr. Kelly in July 2003, shortly before his death, about his work in the government, and ‘carried a burden’ about it ever since.
“Goslett goes on to say: ‘They said that in July 2003, Dr. Kelly told them something about his work, rather than his personal life, which had shocked them so profoundly that they believed they should have gone straight to the police to report his claim. They never did so, for reasons best known to themselves, but they remain reluctant to let go of the likelihood that what he told them has some link to his death.’
“ ‘At the time of going to press, the person concerned would not elaborate other than to say they believed there must be a coroner’s inquest into Dr. Kelly’s death. They accepted that they would probably be called as a witness if an inquest were held and they would have to give evidence on oath.’ ” _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15983 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:13 pm Post subject:
Did the weapons expert really kill himself? Or did he have a heart attack under interrogation by our own secret service? Why, 15 years on we STILL don’t know the truth about David Kelly
Miles Goslett considers contradictions surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly
Many petition that there should be a full inquest into the weapon expert's death
Miles claims witnesses who could've shed light on Dr Kelly's death weren't called
Dr Kelly was hounded by press before his death for his role in the Iraq invasion
Miles questions if inconsistencies are a c***-up or wider conspiracy
By STEPHEN GLOVER FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 22:19, 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 23:40, 26 April 2018
AN INCONVENIENT DEATH
by Miles Goslett (Head of Zeus £16.99)
Some people are natural conspiracy theorists. I’m not. Maybe this is a weakness — an indication of a readiness to accept the official version of events and not to see evil plots lurking in the background.
But after reading Miles Goslett’s masterful book about the supposed suicide of the weapons expert Dr David Kelly in 2003, I am more persuaded than ever that the authorities have not told us the whole truth about this tragic case.
American and British forces invaded Iraq in March 2003. A few months later, Dr Kelly was a source — possibly not the main one — of Andrew Gilligan’s explosive BBC story that the Blair government had ‘sexed up’ the September 2002 dossier, which wrongly claimed Saddam Hussein possessed ‘weapons of mass destruction’.
Miles Goslett examines contradictions and inconsistencies surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly (pictured) in a new book +4
Miles Goslett examines contradictions and inconsistencies surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly (pictured) in a new book
It raises the question as to whether Gilligan himself may have sexed up what Dr Kelly had told him, since the scientist went to his death still believing these weapons might exist. But the journalist’s essentially accurate allegation caused panic and fury in official circles. Tony Blair’s malign spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, strode into the Channel 4 News studio to denounce the BBC.
Dr Kelly soon admitted to his superiors that he had spoken to Gilligan. In one of the most disgraceful episodes in a shameful saga, a meeting chaired by Blair effectively authorised naming the weapons expert to the Press. Kelly became the centre of a media frenzy.
Two weeks later, on the morning of July 18, the poor man was found dead in an Oxfordshire wood, a few miles from his home. He had apparently taken his own life, having gone for a walk the previous afternoon. His left wrist was cut, and he had taken co-proxamol tablets.
Some newspapers blamed Blair and Campbell for hounding him to his death. But did he kill himself?
An Inconvenient Death painstakingly assesses a vast amount of evidence.
Goslett is no loopy conspiracy theorist. He never says Dr Kelly was murdered. Instead, he exposes the authorities’ many contradictions and inconsistencies — and urges there should be a full inquest into the scientist’s death. For the extraordinary thing is that there has been no such inquest.
Within hours of Dr Kelly’s body being found, the Lord Chancellor, Charlie Falconer, had set up an official inquiry with miraculous speed. Falconer was an old friend and former flatmate of Tony Blair, who at that moment was in the air between Washington and Tokyo.
The legal effect of the decision to ask a senior judge — the elderly Establishment figure of Lord Hutton — to chair an inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death was to stop the inquest in its tracks.
But, as Goslett points out, neither Hutton nor his leading counsel James Dingemans QC had any experience of a coroner’s duties. And whereas in an inquest evidence is taken on oath, it wasn’t in the Hutton Inquiry.
Miles believes a number of important witnesses were not spoken to following the death of Dr Kelly (Pictured: Dr David Kelly's home after his suicide) +4
Miles believes a number of important witnesses were not spoken to following the death of Dr Kelly (Pictured: Dr David Kelly's home after his suicide)
The list of its errors and omissions is mind-boggling. A huge number of important witnesses who might have thrown doubt on the theory that a severely depressed Dr Kelly had killed himself were not called.
These included Sergeant Simon Morris, the Thames Valley officer who led the original search for Dr Kelly, and his colleague, Chief Inspector Alan Young, who became senior investigating officer.
Also never questioned was Mai Pederson, a translator in the American Air Force, and a very close friend of Dr Kelly. She later alleged he had a weak right hand, which would have made it difficult for him to slash his left wrist.
Is it conceivable that spooks panicked and dumped his body in an Oxfordshire wood?
Moreover, the knife he often carried with him — and was said to have used in the suicide — had ‘a dull blade’. She also claimed he had difficulty swallowing pills.
Dr Kelly’s friend and dentist, Dr Bozana Kanas, was also not examined. She discovered on the day his death was reported that his dental file was missing from her Abingdon surgery.
The file was inexplicably reinstated a few days later. Police tests revealed six unidentified fingerprints.
Dingemans seemed intent on establishing that Dr Kelly had been downcast once the Press knew his name.
Yet according to the landlord of a local pub and several regulars, on the night the weapons expert discovered from a journalist that he was about to be identified, he happily played cribbage in the Hinds Head.
Petitions question why inquests haven't registered that Dr Kelly’s death certificate didn’t give a place of death +4
Petitions question why inquests haven't registered that Dr Kelly’s death certificate didn’t give a place of death
But neither the landlord nor Dr Kelly’s fellow players were called by Hutton to give evidence. This is particularly strange since at the very time he was said to be in the pub, he was, according to his wife’s evidence to the inquiry, with her in a car on the way to Cornwall, escaping from the Press. There were other anomalies in her evidence which Goslett details, though he offers no theory to explain them.
Nor did the inquiry grapple with the oddity that in the early hours of July 18 a helicopter with specialist heat-seeking equipment spent 45 minutes flying over the land around Dr Kelly’s house, passing directly over the site where his body was discovered a few hours later.
According to an official pathologist, Dr Kelly was already dead at the time of the flight, yet the helicopter did not locate his still-warm body. Might it have been moved subsequently to its final position in the wood? Hutton did not examine the pilot or crew.
Perhaps most striking of all was the inquiry’s failure to investigate conflicting medical evidence.
A volunteer searcher who discovered the body at 9.20am on July 18 testified that it was slumped against a tree, and there was little evidence of blood.
Yet police issued a statement asserting that the body was lying ‘face down’ when found, while the post mortem recorded a profusion of blood.
AN INCONVENIENT DEATH by Miles Goslett (Head of Zeus £16.99) +4
AN INCONVENIENT DEATH by Miles Goslett (Head of Zeus £16.99)
After the inquiry, a group of distinguished doctors expressed concern as to its conclusions. They doubted the severing of the ulnar artery on Kelly’s left wrist could have been responsible, as such an injury would produce relatively little blood. Goslett’s point is that a competent coroner would have picked up on this and the many other inconsistencies.
A properly constituted inquest would have also registered that Dr Kelly’s death certificate didn’t give a place of death. It states he died on July 17, though July 18 is equally plausible.
c***-up or conspiracy? It’s impossible to say. Despite having gathered all this evidence, which he presents in a gripping way, Goslett for the most part resists speculation to a degree — given his enormous accumulation of facts casting doubt on the official version of events — that is almost heroic.
At the very end, he airs the question as to whether Dr Kelly (who according to the post mortem had advanced coronary disease) might have suffered a heart attack under interrogation.
Is it conceivable that spooks panicked and dumped his body in an Oxfordshire wood?
This book made me proud of my trade as a journalist. Goslett’s forensic skills put the highly paid lawyer James Dingemans to shame.
In a spirit of even-handedness, I should point out that it is incorrectly stated that Robin Cook resigned as Foreign Secretary days before the invasion of Iraq. He was actually Leader of the House, having been replaced as Foreign Secretary two years earlier. But this is a formidable, and disquieting, analysis. I hope it will have the effect of reigniting calls for an inquest. Do our rulers believe in justice?
Think you remember the David Kelly affair? The government arms inspector who killed himself thirteen years ago after a huge scandal involving Tony Blair’s Labour government, the war in Iraq and all that ?
I bet you don’t.
So a quick simple reminder. Here’s what happened:
In 2002 Tony Blair’s government was looking for valid reasons to join with the United States to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
An intelligence report published that September with No. 10’s full approval stated that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which posed a clear and present danger to the West. The report headlined the claim that Iraq could deploy and activate chemical weapons within 45 minutes of an order being given.
So Britain went to war in March 2003 assuming the dodgy dossier was the truth, and we won. Unfortunately, after the war, nobody ever found any weapons of mass destruction. As a result it slowly became obvious that the war and its terrible consequences had been based in part by the nation being hoodwinked into thinking the invasion had been justified by a government whose prime minister was simply too anxious to join the Americans into going to war in the first place.
The political crisis really began in May 2003.
David Kelly, one of the world’s top weapons inspectors, and an employee of our Ministry of Defence gave a non-attributable background briefing about the missing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to Andrew Gilligan, a BBC defence reporter working for BBC Radio 4.
However the version of the Kelly briefing transmitted by Andrew Gilligan on the BBC’s Today programme claimed that his anonymous contact had told him that the published intelligence dossier had been `sexed up’ before its publication, especially that 45 minute claim – a claim that made headlines in the British press when it was published, and a claim taken very seriously by the public.
The clear implication of Gilligan’s BBC report was that the government had had a hand in an attempt to deceive the public and that Britain’s intelligence services were unhappy with this Whitehall interference. A few days later, in a story in the Mail On Sunday, Gilligan went on to claim that his source had named Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s Communications Director as being behind the inflation of the language in the dossier. An act which amounted to bending the truth to suit a political aim. In other words, the prime minister himself had been responsible through his communications chief, of lying to Britain in order to join the Americans in invading Iraq.
Now that was a hell of an allegation.
Gilligan’s reports immediately brought about the biggest ever multiple car crash involving the BBC, the Government, the intelligence services, and Campbell himself. Everyone emerged from this pile up with deep wounds. Some reputations were carted off on a stretcher. Those who could, limped away. It was a bloody mess. When the smoke finally cleared, one innocent man lay dead.
The scandal ran for ever it seemed, and re-appeared once more only last year with the publication of the independent inquiry by Sir John Chilcot into the Iraq war.
Remember some of the chief protagonists?
Alastair Campbell. Director of Communications and Strategy for Number 10. Famously thin-skinned, very fast on the draw.
Andrew Gilligan. Then a controversial defence and intelligence reporter for the Today Radio 4 programme and on a contract with the BBC. He had previously had a successful career in Fleet Street.
David Kelly. Probably the most distinguished arms inspector in the Western world. It was he who had established the Soviets had been planning to bombard the West with smallpox, anthrax and plague in the event of a nuclear exchange. It was also he who, after the first war with Iraq, had found the first real evidence of Baghdad’s intention to produce nuclear biological and chemical warfare weapons of mass destruction.
John Scarlett. Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), the Cabinet Office body that prepares intelligence assessments and analyses for the government. He had completed a highly successful stint at MI6 the Secret Intelligence Service and after joining JIC as its chairman, was hoping to return to MI6 eventually as its boss.
The drama may have played out nearly a generation ago, but both for the cognoscenti and new readers, the narrative remains as gripping and tragic as ever, and the events have lost none of their importance.
In order to give a refreshed perspective on scandal, I’m going to eject millions of previously published words, and slash and burn irrelevant facts to tell the story, while sticking to the essential ingredients.
So. The notorious `dodgy dossier’, claiming Iraq had retained weapons of mass destruction was published in September 2002. The intelligence file had been collated by the JIC, the Cabinet Office Joint Intelligence Committee under its chairman Sir John Scarlett. It was he who `owned’ and took responsibility for the document. Most of its assumptions were based on intelligence submitted by Britain’s MI6, and some from the American CIA.
We now know that most of the intelligence in that dossier was rubbish, or to be more polite and quote Chilcot – “flawed” which is the same thing. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq from then until now because there never were any.
Gilligan’s BBC reports, allegedly based on David Kelly’s briefing raised very serious existentialist questions in May 2003. The stakes could not have been higher.
David Kelly, a regular contact of Gilligan’s met him at the Charing Cross Hotel for that non-attributable briefing on May 22nd 2003. Non-attributable means the journalist gives his word of honour that the name of his contact will never be revealed under any circumstances whatsoever, save to his editor who is under the same obligation.
Here’s part of Gilligan’s Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme that followed this briefing about the intelligence dossier:
John Humphrys: “….is Tony Blair saying that (weapons of mass destruction) would be ready to go in 45 minutes ?’
Gilligan: “That’s right, that was the central claim in his dossier…and what we’ve been told by one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up that dossier was that actually the government probably knew that the 45-minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in…..Downing Street our source says…ordered it to be sexed up, to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be discovered. Our source says that the dossier as it was finally published made the intelligence services unhappy….the 45-minute point was probably the most important thing that was added…..it only came from one source and most of the other claims were from two and the intelligence agencies they don’t really believe it was necessarily true…..The 45 minutes isn’t just a detail, it did go to the heart of the government’s case that Saddam was an imminent threat….but if they knew it was wrong before they actually made the claim that’s perhaps a bit more serious.”
Andrew Gilligan, sitting at home, broadcasting live on national radio did not know it, but he had just lit the fuse to the biggest detonation ever to hit Tony Blair’s Labour government. With hindsight, we know now that Gilligan was certainly on the right track. But he had made two huge, colossal, dreadful mistakes. He had inflated the language of the Kelly briefing, and fatally, he would never be able to prove that the government, or Tony Blair, or his director of Communications Alastair Campbell were directly responsible for the contents of the dodgy dossier for the very simple reason that they did not own it. It was formally owned by John Scarlett, the chairman of the JIC, and it was he who had to take full responsibility for its contents. This one error, eventually brought the house down on the BBC with repercussions rolling through Whitehall and throughout the land.
Alastair Campbell, was incandescent with rage when he learned of the Gilligan broadcast with its very serious implications for his boss the prime minister.
Now just sit back for a moment and think quietly about what that allegation was saying. The BBC, the world’s most reputable broadcasting organisation whose news reports were guaranteed to be wholly truthful and impartial had just claimed that Tony Blair might be a cheat and a liar who had, with malice aforethought led the British people to war based in part on a colossal intelligence deception organised by him or his lackeys.
This had happened on BBC Radio 4 at 6.07 in the morning.
What should have happened next and didn’t? Let me tell you.
Any half-sober, trainee apprentice deputy news editor from a provincial weekly, with an L plate pinned to his back, on day one of work experience would have had the gumption and the instinct to summon Gilligan from his bedroom, straight to the Today office, and there, asked him politely to see his shorthand notes to confirm that his source had indeed said what Gilligan alleged he had said. Quite simple. I’ve been asked that several times. It’s routine procedure whenever the office sees a *-storm gathering a few miles away.
Had this happened, what would our work experience junior have discovered? A regular BBC notebook filled with the nice neat shorthand notes of a trained reporter ?
Er. No. Not quite.
He would have been presented by Gilligan with a small Sharp hand-held personal organiser model # ZQ-70. I’ve had a very similar model for thirty years and I can tell you that it is virtually impossible to type full contemporaneous notes of an ordinary person speaking at three words to a second on it, because the keyboard is so tiny. It just cannot be done. That’s not what that kind of organiser is for, it’s more to record names and addresses and phone numbers and diary dates and appointments and so on. I cannot believe that Gilligan made a full contemporaneous note of everything Kelly said at that longish meeting. If he made notes afterwards, based on memory they cannot be regarded as a full and reliable and accurate note of the actual words used by Kelly, and in that 6.07 broadcast, believe me, semantics were everything.
In the Gilligan case, our work experience trainee would have known immediately that this was a matter to be referred up the BBC editorial chain to more senior management.
Gilligan’s note-taking at that seminal meeting with Kelly was subsequently to be placed under forensic examination at the first enquiry into the Kelly affair chaired by Lord Hutton. It transpired there were serious problems with Gilligan’s little electronic organiser. There were ‘anomalies’ in two sets of notes covering the same thoughts of Kelly…the date stamp inside the organiser was incorrect…it was unclear whether and when David Kelly had actually mentioned Alastair Campbell as being behind the dodgy dossier deceits. “I am not quite sure when the word Campbell was mentioned during the conversation. I know it was mentioned by David Kelly. But it may have come towards the end”, Gilligan told the Hutton Enquiry. Gilligan said he had made some notes as Kelly spoke but admitted some had been made after the actual interview.
Counsel for the Hutton Enquiry said: “The absence of Mr Campbell’s name in the first set of (electronic) notes may suggest that it was more likely to be Mr Gilligan’s question than Dr Kelly’s answer” In other words suggesting Gilligan may actually have put Campbell’s name into Kelly’s mouth.
Gilligan’s own counsel told the enquiry: “Of course Andrew Gilligan did not have a verbatim note of the (Kelly) conversation. He is not a court transcriber who records every word. He is a journalist, and like most journalists he made notes.”
But in a controversial interview, and this interview with Kelly could not have been more controversial, the absence of verbatim quotes made either electronically, or in long-hand or shorthand left the journalist naked and exposed.
Gilligan said he had actually made a second set of written notes, but had done so after the interview, however sadly these had been lost, even though he had originally tucked them safely into a pocket in his computer bag.
It also transpired that he had lost his appointments diary.
At this stage most middle-ranking BBC editorial managers would surely have taken the decision that in the absence of perfect or near perfect verbatim notes of this dynamite story, and with Alastair Campbell figuratively hammering on the huge brass doors of Broadcasting House, that it might be not a bad wheeze for BBC news to have placed everything on hold. The news in that 6.07 broadcast would be frozen until and unless the precise contents of that briefing could be ascertained.
Incredibly, Gilligan’s notes were never checked at the time nor was he asked to confirm and double check with his secret contact (David Kelly) that he agreed with every single word of the broadcast.
On the day in question, I, and a senior colleague on Panorama, game-planned the whole scenario and reckoned we could, a mere six hours later, have prevented the approaching debacle by planting a simple apology on the ‘World At One’ explaining that the BBC had not wished to imply any government interference in a dossier which it did not own.
It didn’t happen.
Instead, the Corporation in a moment of delirium took the worst possible course. It mounted its very high horse, tooled up with side arms and repeater rifles and rode out to meet the government enemy and face it down. Sadly, the BBC was armed only with blanks. After the shoot-out at the not-so-OK corral, both its Director General and the Chairman of the Board of Govenors, lay prostate in the dirt.
Then it got worse.
At 7.32 am came Gilligan’s second broadcast. By this time, the government’s early shift press officers had issued a denial of the original story. “Not one word of the dossier was not entirely the work of the intelligence agencies.”, they said. Even allowing for the lousy syntax, their point was technically correct. The politicians may have commissioned the report but once again they didn’t own it.
Although Gilligan’s second broadcast toned things down a little, it was John Humphry’s introduction, an assertion that the famous dossier “had been cobbled together at the last minute” that poured another litre of high octane on to the bonfire.
By now, the entire BBC radio news apparatus was on the case, feeding as it does, on itself. Sub-editors wrote scripts with slack wording so that within a few broadcasts, the story had magnified into “BBC News has learned that intelligence officials were unhappy with the dossier….” Not true.
In fact, Kelly was not an intelligence official although he had access to and contributed to intelligence analyses in his sphere of expertise. No attempt was made by the BBC to correct this editorial inflation of the story.
Within days the fire was out of control. The BBC’s failure to either correct the misimpression or at least play the semantics game and get its facts straight allowed the notion to be gained that Tony Blair, through Alastair Campbell had deliberately interfered with the crucial intelligence report, just one attempt to trick parliament and the British people into approving the decision to invade Iraq. One should not underestimate the seriousness of this or the impact it made on No. 10 and the Ministry of Defence.
We know now, as we guessed then, that the WMD allegations were indeed not true. Their basis, submitted to the JIC by Sir Richard Dearlove, the director of MI6 were flimsy, unreliable and unconfirmed. One clue to hanky panky with the dossier, was the decision NOT to show it to a second British intelligence agency, the Ministry of Defence’s own Defence Intelligence Staff, the DIS before publication. Had this happened, the dossier would have been heavily toned down.
The DIS learned of the dossier’s content only after its publication and far too late to influence the contents. The intelligence agency was most unhappy with much of the loose wording in the dossier, and found the notorious 45 minute claim to be highly unlikely. Their top men believed that Blair and Campbell had done their best to interpret the available intelligence into a worst case scenario. Indeed, a forward written to the dossier by Tony Blair stated unequivocally that the intelligence was `beyond doubt’.
David Kelly had given a cautious briefing to Gilligan. The arms inspector had earlier told me that he was fairly confident that Saddam might well have “a deeply recessed WMD programme” but no more. David also told me that the 45 Minute claim was “risible”.
So Gilligan and the BBC got it half right but for the wrong reasons. No-one from then until now has been able to prove the broadcast’s most contentious allegations of direct government involvement and deceit. This left the BBC vulnerable to a counter-attack by Whitehall which, when it came was devastating and took the life of David Kelly and the reputation of the BBC.
After the broadcasts, it now became important for both Gilligan, and the MOD – the employers of Kelly; and No. 10. to unmask Gilligan’s secret, anonymous source. Gilligan because it would prove he had a strong and well placed informant, the MOD because whoever the source was, would need to be rooted out and publicly chastised, and No. 10 to be able to claim that the informant had absolutely no evidence of direct political involvement in the dodgy dossier’s contents.
In fact, with all honesty Kelly outed himself to his MOD employers, and was open enough to tell them that although he did not recognise much of Gilligan’s now notorious broadcast, he did recall having met and spoken to him. He denied absolutely having named Campbell as the man who insisted on including the 45 minute claim.
Let’s take a breather.
It’s worth mentioning here that David Kelly, the world’s leading nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction inspector had always been allowed, even encouraged to brief the media. His bosses held him in such high regard and trust that he had become the go-to man for journalists of all stripes all over the world.
When I was writing my book on germ warfare, David, by now a friend and contact, came to my house and spoke to me for seven solid hours without even a pee break, refusing my wife’s cups of coffee and giving me more gold standard information in that time than I had quarried in three months before. Sir Richard Hatfield, Personnel Director at MOD and Kelly’s erstwhile boss, confirmed that Kelly’s media skills and discretion as a briefer over twelve years were to be praised.
The Kelly I knew so well was a quiet, self-effacing and serious man. He exuded authority, and his knowledge was unmatched. He could look at scarring in an explosive decompression chamber and tell you who was cooking what ghastly chemical or biological weapon for the future. The Soviets and KGB loathed him, and he once reduced the unappetising `Toxic Taha’ Iraq’s head of Biological weapons into an hysterical breakdown through his quiet and insistent questioning. He was not a political animal, and while he did regard the 45 minute allegation in the dodgy dossier as risible, he told me he also believed Iraq might well have what he called a ‘deeply recessed programme for weapons of mass destruction’. He had quibbles with the dodgy dossier but they were more semantic than anything else.
Let me resume the narrative.
During the month of May 2003, Kelly had spoken not only to Gilligan but to several journalists always on a strictly non-attributable basis. This included a conversation with BBC Newsnight’s Susan Watts, the programme’s Science Correspondent, to whom he gave a similar briefing to the one he had given Gilligan. He also spoke to the BBC News reporter Gavin Hewitt (at my recommendation). Neither Watts nor Hewitt recall him taking a strongly hostile view about any political interference with the dossier, although he did tell Hewitt that ‘No 10. Spin had come into play’. This of course was true.
There was no love lost between the BBC journalists Susan Watts and Andrew Gilligan. She would not even speak to him. She said: “I feel that there were significant differences between what Dr Kelly said to me and what Andrew Gilligan has reported that Dr Kelly said to him… He did not say to me that the dossier was transformed in the last week. He certainly did not say the 45 minutes claim was inserted either by Alastair Campbell or by anyone else in government. In fact, he denied specifically that Alastair Campbell was involved, in the conversation on 30 May.” However in a subsequent interview Kelly had told her he thought Campbell had been responsible for ‘sexing up’ the dossier, but she regarded this comment as a “gossipy aside” and did not use it in her broadcast.
It is certain that Kelly expressed unhappiness with some of the wording of the dodgy dossier and that he implied this may have been the result of government pressure. Why should he be blamed when he was damn right about that? At the same time, he briefed with great caution because he had no more proof of government interference than did the BBC.
I’m reasonably certain that David’s reservations about the wording and some of the conclusions of the dodgy dossier came not just from his own specialised knowledge, but from what he learned from the intelligence agency with which he was most closely associated, the Defence Intelligence Staff – the MOD’s own intelligence agency.
We know the DIS (unlike MI6 the major intelligence gathering agency) had their serious reservations about the dodgy dossier. They much preferred a wiser ‘semantic’ route in their intelligence assessments, where the difference between ‘may’, ‘could’, ‘would’ etc are not just pedantic but hugely important in the wilderness of mirrors which is intelligence gathering and analysis. Dr Brian Jones, a former senior defence intelligence official, was deeply unhappy with the wording of the dossier which he regarded as ‘over-egged’; the 45 minutes claim he regarded as ‘nebulous’ (a posh euphemism meaning rubbish).
Why had the DIS had deliberately been kept out of the loop on the drafting of the dossier? Think it through. This was not a dossier that required careful and circumspect wording. To the contrary.
In the event the decision to keep DIS in the dark led to a serious reprimand by a second official and independent investigation, the subsequent Butler Report, a review of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction which concluded: “It was wrong that a report (the dodgy dossier) which was of significance in the drafting of a document of the importance of the dossier was not shown to key experts in the DIS who could have commented on the validity and credibility of the report”
An ever firmer condemnation for keeping the DIS out of the loop came from the third official investigation – the Chilcot Enquiry report published this year. “The SIS (MI6) report should have been shown to the relevant experts in the Defence Intelligence Staff… expert officials (of which) questioned the certainty with which some of the judgements in the dossier were expressed”
While we know now that the dodgy dossier was rubbish in many, many respects but there is a small element of hindsight here. For example, in favour of some of its assumptions about the existence of WMD in Iraq, it is not generally known that shortly after the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and British divisions, three Russian-made Ilyushin 76 cargo planes were tracked by British intelligence, and seen flying from an airport near Baghdad to an airport in Southern Russia. The flights were organised by the notorious Russian ‘Merchant of Death’, the freelance arms dealer and smuggler Victor Bout, currently serving life without parole in a United States maximum security prison. MI6 were unable to establish what the cargo was on board those flights. At about the same time, the British also tracked several convoys of Iraqi military lorries that travelled at night, lights out, from Iraq to Syria. Again, contents unknown.
It is fair to speculate that the planes and lorries might have been carrying elements of a nascent chemical weapons programme which the Russians had been helping Saddam Hussein’s regime with, just as they were involved in the chemical weapons programme of neighbouring Bassam Assad’s regime in Syria.
The last thing the Russians would have wanted is for the West to find their fingerprints on any weapons of mass destruction programme in Iraq.
However, those cargoes may just as obviously have been the nation’s gold or currency reserves, so because it was not possible to establish what was actually decanted to Syria and Russia, no formal MI6 report was made of the incidents, and nothing of these events went into the dodgy dossier.
John Scarlett chairman of the JIC and “owner” of the dossier was a skilled intelligence officer with a fine history in MI6 including handling the KGB defector Oleg Gordiewski, the man who helped bring the cold war to an end.
Scarlett was understandably anxious to become director of MI6 but a civil service age rule was against him. This requirement determined a candidate for the top job needed to be under 55 years of age if he were an internal applicant. However, perversely the rule does not apply to external applicants, and Scarlett sensibly left MI6 and joined the JIC as chairman in order to apply for the Director’s post as an external candidate even though he older than 55.
The interviewing panel for this post is chaired by the Cabinet Office Secretary and includes a handful of Whitehall’s great and good including the Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It would obviously have been in Scarlett’s interests to maintain a close working relationship with No. 10, and it is no secret that Alastair Campbell came to regard Scarlett as ‘a mate’.
I have also been told that even after the whole Kelly affair, Scarlett still went to some considerable lengths in the spring of 2004 to influence the reporting of what had and what had not been found in Iraq. The Iraq Survey Group comprising 1400 experts had been despatched under UN authority to scour Saddam’s defeated republic for the weapons of mass destruction promised by the dodgy dossier. When the army of experts realised there was nothing to be found, Scarlett attempted to lean on the truth by having language inserted into the official report which simply did not reflect the facts on the ground. Had he succeeded this would have politically helped Blair off the hook of his own embarrassment at the absence of these weapons. One of the inspectors told me in some detail what he claims had happened.
The Iraq Survey Group, he said, was due to report that it had drawn a complete blank and found nothing in Iraq – a major embarrassment for John Scarlett’s JIC, Britain’s MI6 and Tony Blair all of whom had become involved in the dodgy dossier which outlined all the supposed threats posed to Britain by weapons of mass destruction allegedly held by Saddam’s busted republic.
The Iraq Survey Group had been led by David Kay, a pugnacious Texan but even he finally resigned the Group in January 2004 and told the U.S. Congress that despite all the intelligence there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The American intelligence predictions had been as lamentable as the British.
Kay’s revelation sent shock waves through London for obvious reasons. Both the British and the Americans launched an immediate damage limitation exercise. Scarlett contacted the Group’s headquarters in Saddam’s old Perfumed Palace outside Baghdad and did his best to encourage them to include what became known as ‘ten golden nuggets’ into their final report on what they had or had not found.
One of the nuggets was that Iraq had been running a smallpox programme – untrue. Another was that Iraq was building a ‘rail gun’ as part of an aggressive nuclear programme – untrue. Another nugget claimed Iraq had two mobile chemical weapons laboratories – untrue.
Scarlett and officials in London and from the CIA in Washington all tried to influence the Iraq Group’s final report. They were only partially successful and the final report was too brief and anodyne to make the required impact. But Scarlett’s ambivalent role in this did not go unnoticed.
As far as his ownership of the dodgy dossier was concerned he took heavy flack from the Butler Report that “it was a serious weakness that the JIC’s warnings on the limitations of the (dodgy) intelligence dossier underlying its judgements were not made sufficiently clear in the dossier… more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear.” As far as the infamous 45 Minute Claim was concerned: “We conclude that the JIC should not have included the ‘45 Minute’ report in its assessment without stating what it should have referred to.”
The Chilcot Enquiry was even tougher on his role as chairman of the JIC. “At issue”, concluded Chilcot, “are the judgements made by the JIC and how they and the intelligence were presented including Mr Blair’s foreword…” Chilcot determined that neither parliament nor the public would have distinguished between the separate authorities included in the dossier, and would have failed to distinguish between the intelligence view and the political view.
Blair had written in a foreword to Scarlett’s report that the “assessed intelligence” had “established beyond doubt” that Saddam Hussein had “continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons….” In fact, stated Chilcott, “the assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons. “Furthermore: “At no stage was the hypothesis that Iraq might not have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or programmes identified and examined by either the JIC or the policy community”
It only took a couple of years for most of the intelligence in the dodgy dossier to be exposed as flawed. The 45 Minute claim came from a single source who was found to be lying. Other intelligence, equally valueless from a defector known only as ‘Curveball’, had come via the Germans and hadn’t even been double checked by MI6 who were denied access to the defector.
Scarlett had shared the “ingrained belief” of most in British intelligence that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. When nothing was found, Scarlett told No. 10 that he thought that most sites associated with WMD production had been “cleansed”.
Nevertheless, Scarlett did finally achieve his ambition and his work as chairman of the JIC was rewarded by his appointment as the new Director of MI6.
A few months earlier in the long hot summer of 2003 in London, David Kelly now began a fight to save his reputation, his job and his pension. The MOD carefully allowed his name to become known to the media as Gilligan’s informant. Kelly was then called to give an account of himself to Richard Hatfield his MOD personnel director.
In an interview on Friday July 4th starting at 11.30 am and lasting just short of two hours, the Ministry of Defence took the gentle Kelly apart piece by piece. His terrible crime? He’d talked to Gilligan without clearance and Gilligan’s report had deeply embarrassed the government. Never mind that Kelly protested he hadn’t said most of what the BBC reporter had claimed. Punishment for this offence should have been a rap on the knuckles. But Hatfield decided to treat Kelly as major miscreant. So now this highly distinguished scientist, an exemplar of his particular discipline, a man of considerable honour, and one who had specifically been cleared to talk to the press world-wide, was pulled up short and threatened with the loss of career and even pension. In trying to help journalists understand the complexities in the world of arms control, Kelly was deemed to have committed an egregious error.
Hatfield hurled absurd jobsworth accusations at Kelly of “breaches of normal standards of civil service behaviour and departmental regulations by having had unauthorised and unreported contacts with journalists” – a crime about as serious as spilling coffee all over someone’s papers on a desk.
This was the great arse-covering operation by a faceless functionary who could blame Kelly directly for the storm that had broken over Whitehall since the Gilligan broadcast. It was hypocritical and unworthy.
Incidentally at this meeting, where Kelly defended himself as best he could, it is interesting to note that Kelly said Gilligan “took notes but did not appear to have a tape recorder”. Surely he would have remarked on Gilligan trying to type on his tiny organiser if this had indeed been the case – yet another clue to suggest Gilligan never did make a full contemporaneous note of the discussion.
The conclusion of Hatfield’s pompous interrogation of the hapless Kelly was to generously give him the benefit of the doubt, not take disciplinary action but write him a formal letter “to record my displeasure at his conduct”. Then came the killer:
“Finally I warned Dr Kelly that any further breaches would be almost certain to lead to disciplinary action (something) that could be re-opened if further facts came to light that called his (Kelly’s) account and assurances into question.”
In other words, if you haven’t revealed all your recent media contacts, or there is a next time, you get the Red Card.
Under the weight of the interrogation, Kelly had given assurances that he had not given any other unauthorised interviews on the subject of the dodgy dossier to the press. But this was not true. Who can blame him? He was close to retirement and fighting for his job his reputation and his pension. To leave the MOD with a clean slate and the highest esteem of his colleagues in the field was crucial to David’s present and future. Would you or I have omitted to disclose all contacts under these circumstances? Come on, be honest.
Four days later, the cold and ruthless spy chief John Scarlett happily joined in the Kelly witch-hunt. In a note sent to the Co-ordinator of Security and Intelligence at the Cabinet Office he wrote: “Kelly needs a proper security style interview in which… inconsistencies (in his accounts) are thrashed out… I think this is rather urgent. Happy to discuss.” I bet he was. So here, incredibly was one of the chief perpetrators of serious miscalculations and errors, and actual owner of the notorious dodgy dossier with its rubbish intelligence analysis, happily suggesting the innocent David Kelly be given a touch of the jolly old third degree, in order to help keep the heat away from himself. Nice.
Eleven days later. By July 15th some people in the Westminster bubble, but not everyone, knew that Kelly had been Gilligan’s confidential informant. On that day Kelly, under suspicion as Gilligan’s source, had been summoned to appear as a witness in front of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. He could have busked his way through it but for one terrible ambush.
As well as being Gilligan’s informant, David Kelly had also, in all innocence given a couple of non-attributable briefings to Susan Watts on BBC’s Newsnight programme, in which he had covered similar ground about the dodgy dossier together with his reservations about some of the wording. Susan, a substantially different kind of reporter to Gilligan, quite legitimately tape recorded that interview, not for transmission but so that she would have a verbatim record of this important briefing. (I have always wondered why she never warned David she was using a recorder.) In the event, David didn’t know she had taped him. A fatal mistake as it turned out.
When her account of this briefing was transmitted by Newsnight on BBC 2, Gilligan immediately recognised the tone of the content, and assumed, correctly, that Kelly had also been her confidential informant.
Because he was under enormous pressure over the accurate details of his infamous 6.07 broadcast, he realised it would be greatly to his advantage if it could be shown that not only had the same man briefed both himself and Susan Watts, but he had said roughly the same things to Watts as he had said to himself. This would help legitimise his position. But first, Gilligan needed Kelly’s name to be publicly revealed. He desperately needed to flush him out. Furthermore, because of Kelly’s stature in the business, it would help Gilligan no end to show the world that his contact was not some mini-cab driver, but a real primary source. Gilligan had everything to gain by exposing Kelly.
So he did something, journalistically quite despicable.
He deliberately blew his source, breaking the unspoken but historic bond between journalist and source without which journalism could never survive.
In the national scheme of things, I fear journalists are about as respected as estate agents or street cleaners. But believe it or not, we do have one unwritten code of honour. On request we will always give our word of honour to a source, that we will never, I mean never, divulge his name no matter what the pressure. We will willingly have needles stuck in our eyes or commit contempt of court rather than implement a legal order to reveal a source. We don’t think twice about it. It is the one weapon in our armoury, and there are no circumstances in which we would ever relinquish its power. Without this code of honour, there would have been no Watergate exposure, no revelation of organised and systemic child abuse in Rotherham, indeed investigative journalism would simply wither, and with it, the power of the Fourth Estate and one of the strongest pillars of democracy.
In fifty years of investigative reporting I have never disclosed a source except to my editor who is bound by exactly the same code as am I. In fact a good mutual friend of Kelly’s and mine, Judy Miller of the New York Times, went to prison for several months in 2003 for refusing to obey a court order to reveal her source, coincidentally, in connection with a story she published about the war in Iraq.
But Andrew Gilligan had no qualms about dishonouring our trade.
Before the Foreign Affairs Meeting, he sent a personal email to David Chidgey, then the Liberal Democrat MP on the committee blowing David Kelly as the source not of his own briefing, but of the briefing Kelly gave to Susan Watts. It was an extraordinary betrayal. To make matters worse, the email Gilligan sent gave him the impression of being a background note prepared by the BBC. The note also implied that Kelly might also be Gilligan’s own source. The wink was good as the nod. The result was catastrophic.
Unaware of the trap that had been set, Kelly survived a difficult, filmed, committee hearing which probed into his journalistic contacts. He agreed having spoken to Susan Watts but only way back in the past. Then David Chidgey suddenly asked him if he recognised a quote from the Susan Watts’ broadcast that had been inspired by Kelly’s confidential briefing. A direct quote, all 105 words verbatim was read to him. David successfully dissembled and used clever language to evade the truth.
Now if David had been thinking on his feet, he would have realised that such a long verbatim quote could only have come from his briefing to Watts, either if she had taken a fluent shorthand note (few reporters do) or if she had taped it. But David had been through the wringer for several days, the committee room was unbearably hot, he’d been grilled for hours, but above all, he simply had to lie because he had never disclosed the Watt’s briefing to his superiors at the MOD, indeed he had denied giving any further `unauthorised briefings’ to any journalists. And don’t forget, Richard Hatfield had shown him the yellow card. One more infringement – and he’d be out. What could David do apart from dissemble to the committee?
At first, it looked as if David what get away with it. Chidgey didn’t follow through with more questions after his initial probe.
But then came what was to be the coup de grace for Kelly. MP Richard Ottaway returned to the hunt and re-read him the 105 word quote from Watts’ broadcast, adding:
“There are many people who think you were the source of that quote. What is your reaction to that suggestion?”
“It does not sound like my expression of words”, Kelly wriggled, “it does not sound like a quote from me.”
Then the yes or no killer from Ottaway: “You deny that those are your words?”
Kelly, now signing his own death sentence simply answered “Yes”.
Gilligan’s trap had been sprung with dreadful consequences.
Subsequently, Gilligan said he had “only guessed” that Kelly was Watts’ source, but that’s not what his email told the Foreign Affairs Committee. He was later to apologise for the betrayal. It was a tad late for that.
David was already dead.
In fact, the BBC reporter took steady fire during this affair.
He had himself testified in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee where he had been declared “an unsatisfactory witness”. His own editor (of the Today programme) had written an internal memorandum at the BBC condemning Gilligan’s famous broadcast as “marred…by loose use of language and lack of judgement” – a very serious criticism of any reporter allowed to broadcast live without script checks. The chairman of the BBC expressed his “enormous regret” at Gilligan’s betrayal memo. The controversies surrounding the apparent electronic organiser notes debacle and the mystery of Gilligan’s missing hard copy notes were never satisfactorily resolved. Finally, Lord Hutton determined that he too was not satisfied that Kelly had made some of the key allegations Gilligan had claimed.
The moment the BBC’s Head of News Richard Sambrook heard about Gilligan’s betrayal memo, he called the reporter to his office and ordered him to clear his desk and resign instantly.
Gilligan went on to join the Evening Standard where he became the editor’s attack dog in the campaign to get rid of Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London. He then joined the Sunday Telegraph but was subsequently made redundant. He has since joined the Sunday Times as a senior correspondent.
After David Kelly’s gruelling FAC hearing the scientist drove off with a Wing-Cdr John Clark, his unofficial Ministry aide-de-camps, muttering that now he wasn’t sure about that infamous Watts quote, that he had been taken completely by surprise when he heard it, and he was worried he may have made a mistake. The issue was beginning to haunt him.
It is my firm belief that David lied to save his job, reputation and pension, and he knew he had lied because his personnel director had threatened him with serious disciplinary action if any further unauthorised media briefings emerged. While Susan Watts would have walked on broken glass to protect Kelly as her source, no-one could predict the Gilligan betrayal.
Yet, paradoxically, on the morning of the day of his suicide only three days after the FAC hearing, David had clearly regained some of his former composure and confidence. He had bluffed the committee, denying not only the Watts briefing, but (I’m sure for the same reason) the briefing he gave the BBC’s Gavin Hewitt. He also failed to mention an interview of sorts he had given a Sunday Times reporter who had door-stepped him at his home during the worst days of the crisis.
The good news for him was that he was due to return to his beloved Baghdad and the job he adored. On the day of his suicide, he had even agreed precise flight arrangements for the trip, and a booking was made for July 25th. He also sent a handful of optimistic “Phew what a dreadful week, but I’ll soon be back on the job”… type emails to several of his friends. All the evidence of his behaviour up to about 11.00am on that awful day shows the old Kelly, back on form, ready to unmask yet more of the evil people threatening the West with their ghastly weapons of mass destruction.
So what happened after 11.00am to change his optimism, and tip him into a deep and fatal depression?
The day had begun with David at his Oxford home with his wife Janice. Back at his office at the MOD, David’s line manager had received four parliamentary questions. All of them were broadly aimed at exposing Kelly as a civil servant who had broken the rules in talking to Gilligan and Susan Watts, and anticipating the consequent disciplinary action. These were by and large questions that had already been dealt with when Richard Hatfield gave Kelly the severe reprimand and the warning that if anything else emerged showing he had given an unauthorised interview he would be in for the chop.
But we know now that Kelly still had three briefings to hide from his bosses at the MOD.
On that fateful July 17th, just when it looked to David that he had got away with it, including his evasions in front of the FAC, just as he was on the verge of bounding free of the whole bloody mess, and returning to his beloved work in Baghdad, the second shoe dropped.
Throughout this last morning, David had exchanged a number of routine telephone calls with his aide, Wing-Cdr Clark. They had agreed the date for his flight to Baghdad. But, ominously, Clark had also been receiving requests for ‘clarifications’ on David’s contacts with some specific journalists. In fact, the MOD had prepared two lists of journalists. One was his contacts generally with journalists, harmless contacts if you like, names that included Susan Watts (David had never denied being a contact of hers before the scandal had broken) myself as it happens, and some twenty other reporters. However, the second list included names of reporters to whom very specific and controversial briefings had been given. This ‘specific’ list obviously included Andrew Gilligan.
Clark now mentioned to Kelly that the MOD’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary’s office had suggested that Susan Watts name be transferred from the harmless ‘general’ list to the much more dangerous ‘specific’ list. In other words, despite Kelly’s evasions in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee, his bosses were not happy with his answers to questions about the Susan Watts briefing. There would be more to come.
The trap set by Gilligan remained set.
It got worse.
During that morning Wing Cdr Clark had been contacted by the Private Secretary to Geoffrey Hoon the Secretary of State for Defence who referred to an article written by a Sunday Times reporter on July 13th referring to David Kelly, and quoting him. Kelly had also failed to give the reporters name to Hatfield during his interrogation, and the name was also missing from the general list of journalists. Clark had been asked to ask Kelly about this journalist.
So, you can detect what was beginning to happen to Kelly after about 11.00am. His dissembling about Susan Watts, together with the failure to mention the Sunday Times reporter, were coming back to haunt him. It seemed more and more likely that he would be recalled by Richard Hatfield, his personnel director, and this time, evasions and dissembling would not save him. His enemies were lining up to stab him, the MOD couldn’t wait, nor could John Scarlett, the ‘owner’ of the dodgy dossier, nor could Andrew Gilligan.
I knew David well enough to know that he had a brain that could boil water, a brain that told him instantly the moment every escape door in his life had been closed to him. All the evidence points inexorably to that moment being reached at about 11.00am.
I think it is possible, I have no evidence, that he may have learned that the BBC had a tape of his interview with Susan Watts and that this would eventually be revealed, an event that would instantly nail the lie he had told the FAC. Janice Kelly herself, in private correspondence with me, also believes this may have happened, and would help account for what transpired.
Janice noted that around 11.00am he went alone into the sitting room all by himself without saying anything “which was quite unusual for him” Later, she explained “He just sat and looked really, really tired.”
Janice was so upset with the sudden change in his condition that she went upstairs and was physically sick “several times…because he looked so desperate.”
At lunchtime his mental condition worsened. “We sat together at the table opposite each other, I tried to make conversation. I was feeling pretty wretched, so was he. He looked distracted and dejected. I just thought he had a broken heart…he had shrunk into himself, he looked as though he had shrunk… he could not put two sentences together. He could not talk at all.”
I could be wrong, but I have very little doubt knowing David as I did, that he had calculated the odds of his surviving the witch hunt by parliament, his Ministry bosses, and Gilligan were zero.
David was working class from the Rhondda Valley, a place where one either went into the mines, or was unemployed. He struggled over these class and environmental hurdles to become a brilliant scientist and a world-wide renowned arms inspector in a rare discipline but one that depended extensively not just on his scientific knowledge, but on his reputation for total honesty.
I interviewed, in New York at the UN, every one of his many arms- inspector colleagues from all over the world, Australia, Russia, UK, Germany, the US. Every single one without exception regarded him as the arms inspector’s arms inspector. I never ever heard a single world spoken about him that was not full of praise or at best, of sheer awe at his remarkable skills, his wonderful character, his focused style, and his endless successes. For example, when the Americans discovered two “mobile biological warfare laboratories” in Iraq after the war, a ‘success’ that was even trumpeted by Secretary of State Colin Powell at the UN Security Council, it was David Kelly who flew out, examined them, and immediately recognised them for what they really were, harmless weather balloon supply vehicles.
Only David Kelly had the power and authority to condemn the liars who denied they were working on WMD programmes, be they minor functionaries or heads of state.
But if Kelly were to be exposed as a man who had himself lied in front of a high court of parliament committee of enquiry, then his reputation wasn’t worth a spent bullet. It wouldn’t even matter if he were fired from his job and found a new role. Events alone would disgrace him for life. I know for certain that’s how David’s mind worked – cold dispassionate logic, no self-deception or vain hopes, no denial of the obvious, no equivocation. Without his professional reputation, his self-esteem would vanish, while professionally, he would become unuseable. What kind of prospect was that for a man one year short of retirement with a whole new future ahead as a contracted investigator, or hired as a top gun in a major American think-tank (a post was waiting for him to fill).
At around 3.00pm, David went upstairs, took 29 of Janice’s co-proxamol tablets, went back downstairs, collected his gardening knife and a small bottle of water and left the house. Janice assumed he was just going on his regular afternoon walk.
Shortly after he had left, he met a neighbour with whom he exchanged pleasantries. He showed no signs of distress. He wouldn’t. Nor would he leave a hypocritical suicide note knowing what terrible pain he was about to inflict on his family. To him, suicide was the only logical exit when everything else was denied him. He was not propelled by passion in this last hour of his life. It was just another assignment. He didn’t fail at those, ever.
He went to his favourite spot, a small glade on Harrowdown Hill. There he sat down, removed his watch so he could access his wrist with his knife, swallowed the tablets, and shortly afterwards died. There was not the slightest mystery of the manner of his death.
Professor Hawton, Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University had no doubts about the motive for David’s suicide.
“As far as one can deduce the major factor was the severe loss of self-esteem, resulting from his feeling that people had lost trust in him and from his dismay at being exposed to the media…. I think he would have seen (this exposure) as being publicly disgraced… he is likely to have begun to think that, first of all, the prospects for continuing in his previous work role were diminishing very markedly… and he was beginning to fear he might lose his job altogether.”
Professor Hawton correctly assumed that the effect Hatfield’s interrogation and warning might have had on David, together with the imminent parliamentary questions which would have exposed his lie about the Watts interview. It was after all, only a matter of time before the BBC would reveal that it had a tape of the briefing he claimed never to have given.
So ended the life of an honourable and decent man, a big fella caught in the not so friendly cross-fire of pygmies.
Understandable I suppose…and deeply depressing.
The Chilcott Inquiry into Iraq finally exonerated David Kelly by proving that Britain’s spy chiefs had been only too eager to please Whitehall with flawed weapons intelligence. Indeed, David would have been astonished at how right he had been.
Chilcott has helped Britain reach some closure over the Iraq war, but the intelligence debacle, and the death of trust in our spy services and our politicians has been a heavy price.
And the collateral damage? The one innocent man who had to pay with his life. What a bloody waste.
 The Hutton Enquiry And Its Impact. Guardian Books. P.370
 The Hutton Enquiry and its Impact. Pp370-1.
 Ibid. P.293
 Ibid. P292.
 Ibid P.38
 The Butler Report.A Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction. 2004.
 The Chilcot Enquiry. Paras 530/1.
 Confidential informant.
 Confidential informant.
 Mail On Sunday.Tom Mangold. 1.8.04.
 Ibid Para 566.
 TM.i/v Richard Sambrook.June 2016.
 Secondary source quoting a call from Gilligan.
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