Did the state kill Dr.Kelly?
DR.DAVID KELLY answering questions. His death has raised more.
DID Britain's secret state kill government scientist Dr.David Kelly because he had blown the gaff on Tony Blair's lies about the reasons for invading Iraq? . A report in yesterday's Morning Star says over a dozen doctors have alleged that the scientist was "assassinated", and they are demanding a proper investigation into his death.
Dr Kelly, a Ministry of Defence biological warfare expert, had been seconded to the UN to work as a weapons inspector in Iraq in 2002 and 2003, when. Tony Blair and US president George W Bush were plotting their war. .Concerned about government exagerations of Saddam Hussein's military threat, he confided to a BBC reporter that ministers "probably knew" that their notorious claim that Iraq could attack Britain with missiles within 45 minutes was a lie.
Ministry of Defence bosses were angry and questioned Dr.Kelly about what he had told the BBC.
His body was found in a field, soon after he was exposed as the source for the critical programme about the war..
An official inquiry, led by Tony Blair's close friend Lord Hutton claimed that the scientist had taken his own life by cutting his wrist after overdosing on painkillers. Many people refused to believe the "suicide" story. Now a group of 13 sceptical doctors - led by retired orthopaedic and trauma surgery consultant David Halpin - have mounted a legal challenge to overturn Lord Hutton's conclusion.
Pointing out that, unusually, no coroner's inquest had been held into the scientist's death, Mr Halpin explained that "Lord Hutton's inquiry did not have the same legal standards as a coroner's inquest. As a result, due process has been subverted, and the group of doctors that I am part of is not prepared to let that go," he stressed. The doctors have drawn up a dosssier on the case.
"Such a cut to the ulnar artery, which is small and difficult to access, could not have caused death. The bleeding from Dr Kelly's wrist is unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death," he insisted. "There is evidence of a cover-up and I think it is highly likely that Dr Kelly was assassinated," Mr Halpin asserted unequivocally.
David Halpin will be known to Middle East peace activists for combining his professional background as a specialist and keenness as mariner in pioneering humanitarian aid voyages to break the siege of Gaza. He says "Dr. Kelly was a skilled and courageous man and he deserves a proper inquest." .
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, convinced after his investigation that Dr.Kelly was killed, is suporting the call for a proper inquiry.
The Hutton report was severely critical of the BBC, and led to director general Greg Dyke's resignation. He claimed to have been let down by Pauline Neville-Jones, a BBC governor who was a former chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, before working with Lord Hurd both at the Foreign Office and NatWest Markets. Baronness Neville-Jones has since done well at QinetiQ, the defence research establishment taken over by American interests, before becoming Tory David Cameron's adviser on security issues.
There was a time when few people would have believed the British security services could killanyone, or for that matter, thought a prime minister could lie to parliament to justify war. Nowadays there are all kinds of "conspiracy theories", about events from the death of Princess Diana to the 7/7 bombings, and they are not just held by charlatans and cranks. Trying to explain everything by a huge and ever-more elaborate conspiracy may say more about the believers than the events they try to explain. But conspiracies do happen, otherwise governments would not need Official Secrets Acts, and those entrusted with maintaining secrets and cover-ups can get into the habit of thinking they are above the rest of us, and that the laws they are meant to uphold do not apply to them.
When I heard that the body of Dr. David Kelly had been found in a field I automatically thought of another uninvestigated death, that of a man called Kenneth Lennon, whose body was found in a Surrey ditch in 1974. Lennon had told the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL., now Liberty) that Special Branch had used knowledge about his family tp press him into spying on an Irish group in Luton.
When Lennon reported to his handlers that the group which met over a Luton pub were only discussing history, and not engaged in any illegal activity, they told him he had to get something more. Eventually he had become a provocateur, always clamouring in the group for "action". But after three members were jailed for a raid on a gunshop he felt guilty. And more than a little afraid.
One night he wandered into Ronnie Scott's jazz club, in Soho, the worse for wear, and over a drink he poured out his story to blues singer and writer George Melly. It was Melly who suggested that he take his story to the NCCL..Lennon left with what might have just seemed bar talk, Melly recalled. "He told me that if I read in the papers that he had been found face down in a puddle, or maybe it was a ditch, I would know he was speaking the truth
A few days later, after he had spoken to the NCCL, that was what happened. Lennon had been shot twice in the head. We are supposed to believe this was an IRA 'hit', punishing Lennon as an informer.
But police had told the press that Lennon's story was a clever IRA plot to discredit the police and security services. If that was the case, surely the IRA would have wanted to produce Kenneth Lennon at a press conference and have him going around lecturing, rather than leaving him dead in a ditch? Whereas those who dragooned him into acting as an informer, and setting up his friends, would certainly take a dim view of his deciding to tell his story, and his death might serve as a health warning to others thinking of telling tales.
But things like that don't happen in this country. Do they?