Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq.
In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got."
The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq
, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone.
Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness
with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers.
In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war
. Huge increases in newspaper sales
were seen throughout his global media empire
, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up
posted by markkraft
on Jun 16, 2012 -
Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion--
Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar.
("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here
, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow
on Sep 25, 2007 -
on Blair's farewell tour by Martin Amis. Accompanying video essays.
Highlights include a visit to the Green Zone in Baghdad (which "resembles the embassy district of a minor South American capital after a period of immiseration and collapse"), a comparison of Presidential vs. Prime Ministerial motorcades, and a few candid reflections from Blair.
posted by grubby
on Jun 2, 2007 -
Releaed British navy commander
: We were gathering intelligence on Iran (Watch the interview
: The sailors were on a legitimate UN mandate
: The MoD confirmed last night that the Iranians had made the claim that they had become interested in Cornwall's activities after learning about it on British television, but denied the decision to allow the ship's crew to be interviewed while on active duty had jeopardised the mission.
posted by hoder
on Apr 8, 2007 -
New York Times to release Bush/Blair memo tomorrow.
The memo, which was mentioned previously
, but never publically disclosed, confirms that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were determined to invade Iraq, regardless of UN approval, and despite what both leaders told their citizens. More troubling, the memo also indicates that Bush may have conspired to assassinate Saddam Hussein, which appears to violate Sec. 5g of Executive Order 11905
, which states that "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." This executive order was considered the law of the land
even after 9/11, when Bob Barr proposed legislation H.R. 19
, which was never enacted into law.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Mar 26, 2006 -
British soldiers filmed beating Iraqis.
A British tabloid has released footage showing British troops beating Iraqi rioters. The video, available in realplayer format
or Windows Media format
, was apparently taken by a British corporal, and shows at least eight British soldiers dragging four young rioters inside a British army compound, where they were repeatedly beaten with batons, boots and fists, and kicked in the genitals. Arab television and the BBC have since aired the footage.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Feb 13, 2006 -
Bush and Blair slated by Pinter
George W Bush and Tony Blair must be held to account for feeding the public "a vast tapestry of lies" about the Iraq war, writer Harold Pinter said.
[Postroad: but then, what do artists know about politics?]
posted by Postroad
on Dec 7, 2005 -
FT changes headline on Blair's statement.
This morning, I picked up the paper copy of the Financial Times
, scanned the headline, and harrumphed, remarking that "I had seen something like this before". Yesterday, the FT website had the same title - "Blair rejects calls for probe into bombings." Today, however, the headline has been changed to "Blair promises to hunt down bombers".
(BTW, it's UK conservatives calling for a probe). Not only that, but the text in question is purged:
Tony Blair will on Monday reject Conservative demands for a government inquiry into last week's London bomb attacks, insisting such a move would distract from the task of catching the perpetrators.
Gentlemen, prepare your tinfoil hats!!
posted by rzklkng
on Jul 11, 2005 -
Damning leak for Blair / Bush!
A leaked transcript of a senior British government meeting indicates that the Bush administration viewed war with Iraq as "inevitable"
as of July 2002, even though the rationale for war was "thin"
and that "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
It further states that the desire to bring about regime change was "not a legal base for military action"
, and that the only legitimate reason to declare war was with UNSCOM approval. Most disturbingly, it indicates that there were "strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change."
posted by insomnia_lj
on May 1, 2005 -
Blair government attacks the BBC, while attempting to "fix" the news.
In the aftermath of the Hutton Report fallout
, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott reopened the war of words between Labour and the BBC by accusing the BBC of slanting their news coverage of the war in Iraq. Apparently, an Iraqi friend of Prescott's, Shanaz Ibrahim, was refused a (unscheduled) interview. What Prescott fails to mention, however, is that Ms. Ibrahim has lived in London for over 30 years, and is married to Abdul-Latif Rashid
, the brother-in-law
of Iraq's president
. So... where have all the *real* Iraqis gone, anyway?
posted by insomnia_lj
on Apr 27, 2005 -
A recent non-scientific poll conducted by ABC News in the US found that 35 percent of voters feel that hot-saucing
is an acceptable form of discipline. Blair Whelchel (yes, that
Blair Whelchel) is a fan. Whatever happened to soap?
posted by emelenjr
on Aug 24, 2004 -
The State of Britain today.
of it's citizenry. ID cards. Making criminals of teenagers who snog
(!) And a bill to rival the USA Patriot Act
removing property & human rights at a minister's whim. With men being imprisoned in UK jails for over almost 2 years, without charge or trial (ala Guantanamo) it looks like the partnership between Bush and Blair is a little more than simple expediency.
posted by Blue Stone
on Dec 1, 2003 -
Dear President Bush, I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments.
Harold Pinter, Playwright.
Some caustic open letters in The Guardian for the big state visit.
posted by serafinapekkala
on Nov 19, 2003 -