Blair blow as secret war doubts revealed
Gaby Hinsliff, political editor
04/24/05 “The Observer” – – The Iraq war was thrust dramatically into the election spotlight last night after long-sought government legal advice, cautioning that the invasion could be illegal, was leaked.
The document appears to confirm for the first time that the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, had serious reservations about the legality of the conflict, only to change his mind as British and US troops massed on the border of Iraq ready to invade.
The government has steadfastly refused all calls to publish the document, and its sudden disclosure is bound to have an explosive effect on the election campaign, reawakening the prickly issue of voters’ trust in Tony Blair, to the dismay of Labour MPs struggling to overcome anger over the war.
The 13 pages of legal advice that Goldsmith drew up on 7 March, according to a report in today’s Mail on Sunday, warned that Blair could be in breach of international law for six reasons ranging from the lack of a second United Nations resolution to UN inspector Hans Blix’s continuing search for weapons.
Ten days later, he apparently changed his mind, delivering a summary to Blair declaring the war was legal – the cue for the invasion.
While this is good, it would be a far better thing to see it occuring in this country. Not that we’d find out about it, of course.