Sir Michael testified that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw preferred to take the legal position that the laws governing war were vague and open to broad interpretation: “He took the view that I was being very dogmatic and that international law was pretty vague and that he wasn’t used to people taking such a firm position.”
Mr. Straw’s opinion is an Orwellian lie of the crystal-clear letter and spirit of the UN Charter that outlawed wars of choice in 1945. The UN Charter forbids all use of force except when explicitly authorized by the UN Security Council, or in a narrow definition of self-defense upon an armed attack by another nation’s government. This is arguably the single most important and clear law on the planet, the victory of the generation who sacrificed during World War 2, and damning criminal testimony for anyone in government to claim that this law is vague.
Violation of the laws to prevent war, a War of Aggression and a Crime Against Peace, are also arguably to worst crime a nation can commit.
UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith testified he ”changed his mind” against the unanimous legal opinion of all 27 of the Foreign Office attornies to agree with the US legal argument that UN Security Council Resolution 1441 authorized use of force at the discretion of any nation’s choice. This testimony is also criminally damning: arguing that an individual nation has the right to choose war violates the purpose, letter and spirit of the UN Charter, as well as violates 1441 that reaffirms jurisdiction of the Security Council in governance of the issue. This Orwellian argument contradicts the express purpose of the Charter to prevent individual nations from engaging in wars. A two-minute video of his mincing testimony is below as he pretends that war is still a lawful foreign policy option.
Moreover, the US and UK “legal argument” is in further Orwellian opposition to their UN Ambassadors’ statements when 1441 was passed that this did not authorize any use of force:
[T]his resolution contains no “hidden triggers” and no “automaticity” with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12.
We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about “automaticity” and “hidden triggers” — the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response… There is no “automaticity” in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12.
The Chilcot inquiry was initiated from public outrage against UK participation in the Iraq War, with public opinion having to engage a second time to force hearings to become public rather than closed and secret. The hearings were not authorized to consider criminal charges, which is the next battle for UK public opinion.
The cost of these unlawful wars is over a million Iraqi lives above those expected to have died in pre-war conditions and $3-$5 TRILLION in long-term US taxpayer costs (that’s $30,000 to $50,000 per average US household of $50,000 annual income; do the math to figure your family’s share).
US Senate and House Committee investigation has shown through all disclosed evidence that all of the justifications for war with Iraq were known to be lies at the time they were presented to the public. You are an irresponsible citizen if you do not verify these easily-understood facts from the disclosed evidence. A colluding corporate media for unlawful wars is a lame excuse for inaction when the facts are in front of you now.