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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Iraq, and Bush's Bizarre Fake UN Spy Plane Plot, Back In The News

In these days of Iranian Revolution, Iraq may seem like a distant bad memory, but it's exploded back onto the front pages of U.K. papers this week. After months of pressure, British Prime Minister, former Chancellor, and human pinata Gordon Brown announced he would cave in to years of pressure and finally hold a wide-ranging investigation into the Iraq war conducted by his predecessor, Tony Blair.

In case you haven't been following U.K. politics, Brown and the Labour party are facing a situation similar to what the Republicans faced here over the past couple years, except worse. Brown is pretty much the most hated Prime Minister of all time, and even members of his own party are trying to oust him - unsuccessfully, so far.

Brown tried to put the best face on things, billing the effort as part of a "new era of transparency," following the humiliating, ongoing "expenses" scandal which has pretty much destroyed out any remaining confidence in the government. Any pretense of transparency, however, was stamped out as he announced the inquiry would be held entirely in private, overseen by the man responsible for reviewing WMD evidence on Iraq before the war, and not be delivered until next spring, right after the election. Proving yet again that if you're going to do a whitewash, you might as well not fuck around.

However, this being Gordon Brown, his plan backfired massively. The Tories, members of the military, and rogue members of his own party pushed back hard. Former Prime Minister John Major even chimed in. Brown was immediately forced to backtrack, giving the man picked to oversee the investigation, Sir John Chilcot, "the option of allowing witnesses to take a legal oath and appear in private or public."

Now, The Guardian has gone live with a story that Tony Blair pressured Brown to make the investigation private. More