Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister (1997-2007) by Chatham House, London
Even since before the hyped "shock-and-awe" beginning of the Iraq war, it was obvious to almost every critical-thinking person that a tidal wave of government lies and deceit was about to lead to the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
That reality, revealed in no small part by genuine investigative journalists, has been largely censored for the past decade.
But now the BBC's Panorama programme will broadcast a report that finally reveals that, three months before the war, MI6 and the CIA were informed by top sources that Iraq had no WMDs.
It seems ironic that only now, a full decade later, the very mainstream media that became a mouthpiece for both George W. Bush and Tony Blair, the same media that propelled -- without question -- a torrent of government propaganda, are now questioning the despicable lies they once reported as fact.
However, the mainstream media also needs to turn its focus inwards, on its own cowardly journalists and editors who restricted the flow of information, as they too are guilty of deceit on a near global scale.
But perhaps now with the safety of a Tory/Lib Dem government, who won't threaten the BBC's licence fee if the corporation paints the previous Labour government in a negative light, are free to report the truth -- as long as that truth toes the party line.
According to the BBC:
"The lies of two Iraqi spies were central to the claim -- at the heart of the UK and US decision to go to war in Iraq -- that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But even before the fighting started, intelligence from highly-placed sources was available suggesting he did not."
Surprisingly, the BBC has actually said:
"Much of the key intelligence used by Downing Street and the White House was based on fabrication, wishful thinking and lies."
Iraq's foreign minister Naji Sabri was in touch with Bill Murray, former head of the CIA's station in Paris. The two men met in New York in September 2002.
Murray is cited as saying that Saddam Hussein:
"Had some chemical weapons left over from the early 90s, [and] had taken the stocks and given them to various tribes that were loyal to him. [He] had intentions to have weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological and nuclear -- but at that point in time he virtually had nothing.
"I thought we'd produced probably the best intelligence that anybody produced in the pre-war period, all of which came out -- in the long run -- to be accurate. The information was discarded and not used."