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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:01 PM
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How Goldsmith changed advice on legality of war
For seven years, Britain has wanted to see how the legal case for invading Iraq was made. Yesterday, at a public inquiry that is going on unnoticed, official documents were released for the first time that showed the grave reservations of the Attorney General, his remarkable U-turn, and how the basis for the Iraq war was built on sand
By Kim Sengupta, Defence Correspondent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/how-gold...

Documents about how the legal case for the Iraq war was formulated by the Blair government seven years ago were made public yesterday, revealing the grave doubts of the Attorney General over impending military action.

The drafts of legal advice and letters sent to the Prime Minister by Lord Goldsmith had been kept secret despite repeated calls for them to be published. Yesterday they were released by the Chilcot Inquiry into the war, after the head of the Civil Service, Sir Gus O'Donnell, stated that the "long-standing convention" for such documents to be kept confidential had to be waived because the issue of the legality of the Iraq war had a "unique status".

It had been known that Lord Goldsmith had initially advised the government that an attack on Iraq would not be legal without a fresh United Nations resolution. However, just before the US-led invasion he presented a new set of opinions saying that a new resolution was not needed after all.

Tony Blair appeared to show his irritation with the warnings over military actions, saying in a handwritten note: "I just do not understand this." In another note, a Downing Street aide said: "We do not need further advice on this matter."

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