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"Alas, you don’t see that one day you destroyed your life in this place”.
on 30 March 2016
As others have posted, this book should be read in conjunction with Norman Baker’s ‘The Strange Death of David Kelly’. Whilst the circumstances detailed in that book are indeed strange – particularly to somebody who knows some of the people named in the book and what in a normal course of events should happen – this book is more of a biography of David Kelly. What may or may not have happened on Harrowdown Hill only make cameo appearances in the first and last chapters. What seems clear is that something strange appears to have happened in Kuwait on 19 May 2003 – which led to Kelly’s death two months later.
A feature which seems apparent from reading this book – and none of the other reviewers have mentioned this, is the suspicion that Iraq was effectively ‘set up’ both prior to the first Gulf War, and before the 2003 invasion.
After the Iraq / Iran war, Saddam Hussein would appear to have outlived his usefulness. Iraq was also suffering from crippling debts. Kuwait appears to have been attempting to engineer some sort of ‘incident’, and having previously loaned Iraq billions of dollars to fund the war, demanded immediate payment in full. Kuwait also began slant-drilling into the Iraqi portion of the Rumaila oil field. Saddam fell for it and massed a military presence on the Kuwait border. Days before the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, US Ambassador April Glaspie met with Saddam Hussein & Tariq Aziz, telling them that “We have no opinion of Arab – Arab conflicts like your dispute with Kuwait. There is no issue with America”. Saddam took this as a green light.
After the war, UNSCOM was set up in search of the fabled WMD. The numerous searches failed to turn up anything – anything at all – unless you count an ancient cache of chemical munitions unearthed on the old Iran war front lines stamped with American serial numbers. It was apparent that any research into pathogens etc had had been stopped and equipment voluntarily destroyed or put to other uses both before the Gulf War and afterwards. (The famous ‘so called’ baby milk factory producing chemical weapons which was bombed in great fanfare during the war turned out to be – yes, a baby milk factory. The stories of Kuwaiti babies being tossed out of incubators was also later shown to be completely fabricated). Ironically, much of the materials used in prior Iraqi research had come from Kelly’s own Porton Down labs. Kelly was also familiar with many of the Iraqi scientists; them have either studied in the UK or been to his labs. The only BW agents or VX ever found in the years when UNSCOM had been in Iraq, was when it was later found in their offices having been covertly brought into the country by them. This being the same labs through which every bomb or missile fragment the inspectors sent back for testing had passed through.
A terrible sequence of events then unfolded whereby Iraq was subject to the most terrible sanctions which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths– even eggs and fermenters for producing bread yeast were on the list – as they were deemed to be of potential ‘dual use’, given that they could be used to incubate pathogens or growth mediums….
UNSCOM also became effectively taken over by the US & UK intelligence arms, and inspections were accompanied by undercover intelligence officers and special forces troops, conducted ever more provocative ‘inspections’ and demands – including blatant thefts and damage caused, in the hope of provoking an Iraqi response which could be used to ‘justify’ military action. The truth was, Iraq had nothing to declare beyond what already had been - and had been destroyed. The rule of UNSCOM was “When it proved the Iraqis right, you never mention it, and when you think that it might prove them right, you do not do it in the first place”.
Politics also played an even more sinister part, with these provocations intended to create military justifications timed to forthcoming events such as elections during the tenure of George Bush snr, or the impeachment of Bill Clinton – indeed prior to Clinton being subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, Richard Butler showed Scot Ritter (the most hardline inspector) a calendar for the month of March highlighted between the 1st and the 15th, with the 8th circled. Ritter was told “We need to have a crisis by this date (8th), so that bombing can be completed before the 15th (a muslim holiday).
In conclusion, this book is very well researched. It does not answer any questions about how or why Dr David Kelly died, or the unusual events before and after it. It does however, like many other books in the period, lead to yet more very serious questions being raised as to American & British involvement in the region, and the subsequent shameful & scandalous events which sadly will define both countries and indeed the entire Middle East for a very long time – if not forever. As a post script, a quote which should be right up there with “we will fight them on the beaches” came from Brigadier Hossam Mohammed Amin after his ‘enhanced interrogation’ at Camp Cropper . He said “Alas, you don’t see that one day you destroyed your life in this place”.