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Commentary ::
BTL:Many in Britain Call Hutton Inquiry Exonerating Tony Blair Over...
06 Feb 2004
Modified: 08:54:16 AM
...Iraq Weapons Affair a 'Whitewash'. Interview with Greg Palast, BBC-TV investigative reporter conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Many in Britain Call Hutton Inquiry Exonerating Tony Blair Over Iraq Weapons Affair a 'Whitewash'

Interview with Greg Palast, BBC-TV investigative reporter conducted by Scott Harris

Soon after David Kay, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, resigned from his post, he told a Senate committee that Iraq likely possessed no weapons of mass destruction. Kay's statement fueled calls for the establishment of an independent commission to look into the failures of U.S. spy agencies and investigate whether or not the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence to justify its war. President Bush, who initially resisted pressure to set up a commission, switched sides and announced he would establish a bipartisan panel to conduct an inquiry. But critics say that members of a commission appointed by the president won't have the independence to closely examine the serious charges leveled at the White House.

Meanwhile in Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair's government was cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation conducted by Judge Lord Hutton into the circumstances surrounding the suicide of weapons scientist David Kelly. Hutton's criticism of the BBC's report that the government had "sexed up" intelligence used to justify joining the American invasion of Iraq, led to the resignations of the BBC's Chairman Gavyn Davies, Director General Greg Dyke and reporter Andrew Galligan. But according to several opinion polls, about half the British public believe the Hutton report was a "whitewash," with a majority saying that the BBC was unfairly blamed in the investigation. Tony Blair has followed Washington's lead in establishing his own inquiry into intelligence failures in Iraq.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with investigative reporter Greg Palast of BBC's News Night program, who takes a critical look at the rulings rendered by Lord Hutton in the Iraq affair and the repercussions for journalism both in Britain and the U.S.

Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." Visit his website at

Related links:

"Bush Accused of Undermining Investigation," by Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington, The Guardian, Feb. 3, 2004

"BBC at War: M'Lord Hutton Blesses Blair's Attack on BBC's Investigation of Iraq War Claims," by Greg Palast, Perspective, Jan. 30, 2004

"Blair Heckled Over Iraq 'Whitewash,' Debate Halted," by Reuters, Feb. 4, 2004

"Diversion & Delay: When In Trouble, Blame the CIA," by Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, Feb. 2, 2004

"Blair Calls Iraq WMD Inquiry; Opponents Cry Foul," by Mike Peacock and Katherine Baldwin, Reuters, Feb. 3, 2004

"Bush's Inquiry into Iraq Intelligence Must Include Cheney, Pentagon," by Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and Joseph L. Galloway, Knight Ridder, Feb. 3, 2004

"Bush Backs Down on Iraq WMD Claims," by David E. Sanger, The New York Times, Jan. 28, 2004
"Kay Testimony Impeaches Bush," AlterNet, Jan. 26, 2004

"Powell Voices Doubts About Iraqi Weapons," by Peter Slevin, The Washington Post, Jan. 25, 2004

"Secret Pentagon Unit Churned Out Dubious 'Intelligence' Used to Justify Iraq War," Between The Lines interview with journalist Robert Dreyfuss, conducted by Scott Harris, Week Ending 1/23/04. Click here for transcript.

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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