Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Scarlett refuses Blair this time!

There is an interesting article in today's Guardian here, which says that John Scarlett, former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee responsible in part for the dodgy dossier, and now head of MI6 does not endorse the government line that continuing the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into Saudi Arms deals would damage security cooperation.

Oh gosh!

Well the man has his Knighthood, so why would he? Seasoned observers will remember comment, particularly after the Butler report, that Scarlett was too easily Lent on because he could still move up, and so should never have been Chairman of the JIC.

Well, it now appears he does not want another promotion and recognises that Blair is history as well.

Just nice to know that someone who would sell his soul to Tony Blair is still prepared to deliver a well placed kick when the man is down!

Update 14:25

I note from this story on the BBC that Tony Blair has defended his position of the Saudi fraud scandal.

I was most amused by this quote:
Asked if the secret intelligence services knew - at the time the probe was dropped of any specific threat by the Saudis to cut intelligence links with the UK, Mr Blair said: "I won't get into discussing the intelligence aspect of this.
What? You mean like producing some sort of dodgy dossier for public discussion? MI6 not helping you out so you don't want to talk about intelligence any more? Git!

but then we have this comment from Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats:
But Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "If these reports are true, they seriously undermine the government's case for ending the investigation into allegations of corruption involving BAE and Saudi Arabia.

"In particular they undermine the reliability and credibility of the prime minister who publicly took responsibility for the decision and publicly sought to justify it."

What? The Prime minister hasn't got any credibility left to undermine surely?

1 comment:

ColinW said...

Let’s take a look at the Tory position on the Saudi corruption investigation - or rather non-investigation:

Police investigations into allegations of corruption in the Al Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Labour decides to drop investigation, which is a highly controversial decision. Labour also broke their previous promise to publish the National Audit Office’s early 1990s report into the deal. MI6 has refused to back Labour’s claim that dropping the inquiry was necessary for the fight against terrorism

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6266613.stm

The Tories have repeatedly stayed silent on the issue despite it having everything going for them: dodgy Labour cover-up, abuse of intelligence services, international crime-fighting body (part of the OECD) criticising them etc. The standard gossip in the Whitehall bubble is that this is because of Wafic Said, who was a middleman on the deal and who, with his wife, is a big donor to the Conservative Party http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2104544_1,00.html

If Cameron is really changing the Tory party from its scandal-tainted past, he should come clean on why he’s been silent and should also be calling for the NAO report to be published.

Well Tories, we’re waiting.