"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen

Thus began the second stage of the Hutton Inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly yesterday morning, and it will continue until September 25, when closing statements by counsel are scheduled. According to James Dingemans, Senior Counsel to the Inquiry, "some or all of the following issues" may be examined during this stage of the inquiry:
1. How was the dossier of 24th September 2002 prepared and who was responsible for drafting it?
2. What part did Dr Kelly play in the preparation of the dossier?
3. What knowledge did Dr Kelly have of the contents of the dossier and of earlier drafts of the dossier?
4. Were the Prime Minister and Mr Alastair Campbell and other officials in No. 10 Downing Street responsible for intelligence being set out in the dossier which was incorrect or misleading or to which improper emphasis was given?
5. What was said by Dr Kelly to Mr Gilligan on 22nd May 2003?
6. Whether or not Mr Gilligan accurately reported what was said by Dr Kelly to him in his broadcasts on 29th May and in his Mail on Sunday article on 1st June 2003.
7. Whether or not the matters reported by Mr Gilligan on 29th May and in his Mail on Sunday article on 1st June were in fact true. ...
8. The response and complaints made by the Government to the BBC relating to the broadcast on 29th May 2003.
9. The BBC reaction to those complaints.
10. The decisions and the steps taken by the Ministry of Defence and the Government after Dr Kelly informed his line manager in the Ministry of Defence that he had spoken to Mr Gilligan on 22nd May.
11. The circumstances in which a press statement was released by the Ministry of Defence on 8th July 2003 and the question and answer material that came to be deployed in support of it. This also involves identifying what Dr Kelly was told about this process and determining whether or not he agreed to it.
12. Whether or not there was an attempt in Government dealings with the media to downplay Dr Kelly's importance as a civil servant and his role in the production of the dossier which did not reflect the reality and which was designed to assist in the dispute with the BBC. ...
13. The circumstances leading up to Dr Kelly's giving of evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee and the hearings before those Committees.
14. How Dr Kelly died, and is it clear that Dr Kelly died by his own hand?
15. If Dr Kelly died by his own hand, the matters which, so far as it is possible to tell these things, were likely to have led him to take his own life. This is of course judged with the benefit of hindsight and expert psychiatric evidence which was not available to the parties at the time. Professor Hawton has already made it clear that those in contact with and who had dealings with Dr Kelly at the time could not reasonably have foreseen that Dr Kelly might take his own life.
The first day's testimony has already gone into numbers 8 and 9 of the above list, and it has me under the impression that BBC director general Greg Dyke may have been "gotten to" by some dark actors.

MI6 director Sir Richard Dearlove also testified yesterday "via an audio link to maintain his anonymity," pulling a "what-we-meant-was" out of his ass with the ridiculous assertion that "the original intelligence report had referred to chemical and biological weapons - which intelligence assessment staff had taken to refer to battlefield weapons. But what had happened with the dossier was that it was thought by readers that the 45 minutes claim was taken to refer to long range weapons."

Yeah! That's the ticket -- the same one that had Blair and Bush doing their "mushroom cloud" gigue by which they promoted their case for going to war. Note: this just in via the BuzzFlash headlines in the sidebar:
The United States and Britain invaded Iraq because they believed Saddam's regime was developing nuclear arms as well as chemical and biological weapons. So far, no weapons of mass destruction have turned up in Iraq, nor has any solid new evidence for them been reported by Washington or London.
I'm also still anxiously awaiting Andrew Gilligan's second appearance before the Hutton Inquiry which is scheduled for this Wednesday. Many people turned into rabid dogs in their recent attacks on Gilligan, but the case he made in his reports seems to be holding up much better than Blair and Bush's case. I somehow suspect that he's still holding onto some cards that he hasn't yet played. I could be wrong, but I'll have to wait until at least Wednesday to find out.

Hutton Inquiry Links:
List of witnesses to be called from now to September 25 (Scroll down to the bottom of that page for the list.)
Daily transcripts
All the documents used as evidence
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