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Take Pity On Britain Because It Is Approaching Catastrophe

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Boris_JohnsonCountless millions in Britain are suffering economically and/or medically from the effects of the government’s erratic whack-a-mole approach to the Covid-19 crisis. On the other hand, criminal gangs and some very rich citizens have prospered greatly from the effects of the pandemic, and morally it is difficult to draw a line between these elements of the community.

Scams by criminals have included fake websites offering supposed cures for the virus, and bogus claims for job support. There have been many news reports about such things but these are just the ones that have surfaced because their originators have been inefficient or unlucky. There are countless other scams out there, with evil people making a lot of money by defrauding innocent citizens. It was ever thus, but the charity Age UK has listed a number of particularly squalid con-jobs aimed specifically at cheating the old and vulnerable, and when one examines them it is difficult not to doubt that human beings are indeed far from being nature’s last word in moral development.

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Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order

coronavirus-india-lockdownOn 12 March, British PM Boris Johnson informed the public that families would continue to “lose loved ones before their time” as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. He added:

“We’ve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation.”

In a report, the Imperial College had warned of modelling that suggested over 500,000 would die from the virus in the UK. The lead author of the report, epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, has since revised the estimate downward to a maximum of 20,000 if current ‘lockdown’ measures work. Johnson seems to have based his statement on Ferguson’s original figures.

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Top Bank of England director admits Occupy movement had a point

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Andrew Haldane praises ‘loud and persuasive’ protesters who succeeded because ‘they are right’

occupy_all_streetsThe Occupy movement received vindication from unlikely source tonight, as a senior executive at the Bank of England credited it with stirring a “reformation of finance”.

In a glowing appraisal of the movement’s achievements, Andrew Haldane, executive director of financial stability, said Occupy protesters had been “both loud and persuasive”, and had attracted public support because “they are right”.

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The Return Of The King

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Tony Blair And The Magically Disappearing Blood

Blair_War_CriminalHow many war crimes does a western leader have to commit before he is deemed persona non grata by the corporate media and the establishment? Apparently there is no limit, if we are to judge by the prevailing reaction to Tony Blair's return to the political stage.

On July 11, it was announced that Blair would be 'contributing ideas and experience' to Labour leader Ed Miliband's policy review. He will apparently provide advice on how to 'maximise' the economic and sporting legacies of the 2012 London Olympics.

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UK Government has Plans to Privatize Police

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British_PoliceThe West Midlands and Surrey police departments, among others, are facing budget cuts, so the UK government is planning on privatizing parts of the police force to private contractors. Several UK cities, such as Lincolnshire, have already opted for privatization, while the West Midlands and Surrey have opened up bidding to do the same.

As we have seen elsewhere, when private companies are hired to do the job of police officers, they often do not rely on the same set of rules and regulations commonly used by law enforcement. They often attempt to sidestep the law or completely disregard it because the government has given them immunity from prosecution. Using mercenary contractors such as these are cost effective only in the short term. Once the government relies on mercenaries for civilian policing,, it is extremely difficult to reverse those decisions and return to civil policing as it once was. UK home secretary, Theresa May, however, doesn't see it this way.

The home secretary, Theresa May, who has imposed a 20% cut in Whitehall grants on forces, has said frontline policing can be protected by using the private sector to transform services provided to the public, but this is the first clear indication of what that will mean in practice.

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Euro Crisis:

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Britain’s Financial Arsonist Returns to the Scene of the Crime

CameronThe incendiary finance capitalism unleashed by Britain 25 years ago is at the heart of Europe’s raging debt woes

You either have to admire British Prime Minister David Cameron’s brass neck, or wince at his arrogant stupidity. The smart money is probably on the latter option.

For here you had the British leader heading to the European Union summit convened last week to “salvage” the EU from its the terminal debt crisis – a crisis that is threatening the survival of the Euro single currency, the political future of the European Union and may even be sounding the death knell for the faltering capitalist world economy.

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Damn it or fear it, the forbidden truth is an insurrection in Britain

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On a warm spring day, strolling in
south London, I heard demanding voices behind me. A police van disgorged a posse
of six or more, who waved me aside. They surrounded a young  black man who, like
me, was ambling along. They appropriated him; they rifled his pockets, looked in
his shoes, inspected his teeth. Their thuggery affirmed, they let him go with
the barked warning there would be a next time.

For the young at the bottom of
the pyramid of wealth and patronage and poverty that is modern Britain, mostly
the black, the marginalised and resentful, the envious and hopeless, there is
never surprise. Their relationship with authority is integral to their
obsolescence as young adults. Half of all black British youth between the ages
of 18 and 24 are unemployed, the result of deliberate policies since Margaret
Thatcher oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in
British history. Forget plasma TVs, this was panoramic looting.


Such is the truth of David
Cameron's "sick society", notably its sickest, most criminal, most feral
"pocket": the square mile of the City of London where, with political approval,
the banks and super-rich have trashed the British economy and the lives of
millions. This is fast becoming unmentionable as we succumb to propaganda once
described by the American black leader Malcolm X thus: "If you're not careful
the newspapers will have you hating the oppressed and loving the people doing
the oppressing."

As they lined up to bay their
class bigotry and hypocrisy in parliament, barely a handful of MPs spoke this
truth. Heirs to Edmund Burke's 18th century rants against the "mob rule" of a
"swinish multitude", not one referred to previous rebellions in Brixton,
Tottenham and Liverpool in the 1980s when Lord Scarman reported that "complex
political, social and economic factors" had caused a "disposition towards
violent protest" and recommended urgent remedial action. Instead, Labour and
Liberal bravehearts called for water cannon and everything draconian: among them
the Labour MP Hazel Blears. Remember her notorious expenses?  None made the
obvious connection between the greatest inequality since records were kept, a
police force that routinely abuses a section of the population and kills with
impunity and a permanent state of colonial warfare with an arms trade to match:
the apogee of violence.


It hardly seemed coincidental that
on the day before Cameron raged against "phony human rights", NATO aircraft -
which include British bombers sent by him - killed a reported 85 civilians in a
peaceful Libyan town. These were people in their homes, children in their
schools. Watch the BBC's man on the spot trying his best to dispute the evidence
of his eyes, just as the political and media class sought to discredit the
evidence of a civilian bloodbath in Iraq as epic as the Rwanda genocide. Who are
the criminals?

This is not in any way to excuse
the violence of the rioters, many of whom were opportunistic, mean, cruel,
nihilistic and often vicious in their glee: an authentic reflection of a system
of greed and self-interest to which scores of parasitic money-movers,
"entrepreneurs", Murdochites, corrupt MPs and bent coppers have devoted
themselves. 


On 4 August, the BBC's Fiona
Armstrong - aka Lady MacGregor of MacGregor - interviewed the writer Darcus
Howe, who dared use the forbidden word, "insurrection".

Armstrong: "Mr. Howe, you say you
are not shocked [by the riots]? Does this mean you condone what happened?"

Howe: "Of course not ... what I
am concerned about is a young man Mark Duggan ... the police blew his head
off."


Armstrong: "Mr. Howe, we have
to wait for the official enquiry to say things like that. We don't know what
happened to Mr. Duggan. We have to wait for the police report."

On 8 August, the Independent
Police Complaints Commission acknowledged there was "no evidence" that Duggan
had fired a shot at police. Duggan was shot in the face on 4 August by a police
officer with a Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine gun - the same weapon supplied
by Britain to dictatorships that use them against their own people. I saw the
result in East Timor where Indonesian troops also blew the heads off people with
these state-of-the-art weapons supplied by both Tory and Labour governments.


An eyewitness to Duggan's
killing told the Evening Standard, "About three or four police officers had
[him] pinned on the ground at gunpoint. They were really big guns and then I
heard four loud shots. The police shot him on the floor."


This is how the Metropolitan Police
shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes on the floor of a London Underground train.
And there was Robert Stanley and Ian Tomlinson, and many more. The police lied
about Duggan's killing as they have lied about the others. Since 1998, more than
330 people have died in police custody and not one officer has been convicted.
Where is the political and media outrage about this "culture of fear"?

"Funny, too," noted the
journalist Melanie MacFadyean, "that the police did nothing while some serious
looting went on - surely not because they wanted everyone to see that cutting
the police force meant more crime?"


Still, the brooms have arrived. In
an age of public relations as news, the clean-up campaign, however well-meant by
many people, can also serve the government's and media goal of sweeping
inequality and hopelessness under gentrified carpets, with cheery volunteers
armed with their brand new brooms  and pointedly described as "Londoners" as if
the rest are aliens. The otherwise absent Boris Johnson waved his new broom.
Another Etonian, the former PR man to an asset stripper and current prime
minister up to his neck in Hackgate, would surely approve.
British_Riots
On a warm spring day, strolling in south London, I heard demanding voices behind me. A police van disgorged a posse of six or more, who waved me aside. They surrounded a young black man who, like me, was ambling along. They appropriated him; they rifled his pockets, looked in his shoes, inspected his teeth. Their thuggery affirmed, they let him go with the barked warning there would be a next time.  
For the young at the bottom of the pyramid of wealth and patronage and poverty that is modern Britain, mostly the black, the marginalised and resentful, the envious and hopeless, there is never surprise. Their relationship with authority is integral to their obsolescence as young adults. Half of all black British youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed, the result of deliberate policies since Margaret Thatcher oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in British history. Forget plasma TVs, this was panoramic looting.
Such is the truth of David Cameron's "sick society", notably its sickest, most criminal, most feral "pocket": the square mile of the City of London where, with political approval, the banks and super-rich have trashed the British economy and the lives of millions. This is fast becoming unmentionable as we succumb to propaganda once described by the American black leader Malcolm X thus:
"If you're not careful the newspapers will have you hating the oppressed and loving the people doing the oppressing."
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Britain’s Riots:

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Britain saw its third consecutive night of widespread burning of properties
and looting as riot police failed to contain gangs of masked youths marauding
several parts of the capital, London.


 


There were reports too of violence fanning out to other cities across
Britain. And some commentators were even suggesting that the British Army might
have to be redeployed from Northern Ireland to help restore order. Armoured
police vehicles are now patrolling London streets amid calls in the media for
the use of water cannons and plastic bullets.


 


Politicians, police chiefs and the media have reacted to the chaos by
labelling it as the result of “mindless criminality” that has seemingly sprung
from nowhere. ‘The Rule of the Mob’ declared the rightwing Daily Telegraph. ‘Mob
Rule’ is how the more liberal Independent put it.


 


Home Secretary Theresa May stridently denounced “unacceptable thuggery”.
London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin vowed that culprits would be
tracked down and brought before the courts. He appealed to Londoners to identify
individuals caught on CCTV and amateur video footage.


 


Nearly 500 arrests have been made so far and police numbers in the capital
have been tripled overnight to 16,000, with officers being drawn in from other
parts of the country.


 


Although the arson attacks on commercial and residential premises do have an
element of criminal spontaneity by disparate groups of youths, it is simply
delusional for Britain’s political leaders, police forces and the media to claim
that it is all a matter of law and order.


 


The burning issues that need to be addressed to explain the outburst of
arson, looting and rioting are endemic racism endured by Britain’s black
community and, more generally, the deepening poverty that is increasingly
racking British society.


 


Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer holiday in
Italy by flying home to London to hold a special “emergency security” meeting
with other Cabinet members.


 


Speaking outside Downing Street today and visibly vexed by the unfolding
chaos, Cameron condemned “pure and simple criminality that must be defeated”.
The government, he said, stands with “all law-abiding citizens”.


 


Opposition Labour party leader Ed Milliband and the Conservative Mayor of
London Boris Johnson are also making hasty returns to the capital from abroad to
deal with a crisis that seems to be spiralling out of control. The British
Parliament is to be recalled from its summer recess later this week so that “all
parliamentarians can stand to together” to face down the sudden disorder.


 


The disturbances – the worst in almost 30 years – began last Saturday in the
rundown north London inner-city area of Tottenham. That followed the shooting
dead two days earlier of a young black man by police officers.


 


Mark Duggan was fatally shot by an armed police unit as he sat in his car.
Police claimed that the man was threatening to use a gun. However, family and
friends of the 29-year-old victim strongly denied that he was armed or involved
in any criminal activity. The death is the subject of a police inquiry, but it
has emerged that only two shots were fired in the incident, both by police
officers.


 


Sinisterly, BBC news reports on the killing have invariably showed what
appeared to be a family photo of Duggan taken before his death in which he is
seen holding up his hand up in mock gangster style.


 


Angered by what they saw as a gratuitous police shooting and lack of
immediate answers from authorities, the mixed black and white community in
Tottenham held a vigil for the victim on Saturday. With tensions running high in
the area, the peaceful rally turned into a riot against police, and several
properties, including police cars, were attacked and set alight.


 


Since then, similar disturbances have now spread to other parts of the
capital, including Peckham, Brixton, Hackney, Lewisham and Clapham. A Sony
factory was reduced to a charred shell in Enfield in north London. In the outer
south London district of Croydon – several miles from Tottenham – there was a
huge blaze last night after a large commercial property was torched. Even the
affluent, leafy borough of Ealing in west London saw upmarket boutiques and
residences attacked and destroyed by fire.


 


The distraught owner of the razed family business in Croydon struggled to
comprehend why his 150-year-old furniture shop had been targeted. Nevertheless
his few words of disbelief had a ring of truth that the politicians and media
commentators seem oblivious to. “There must be something deeply wrong about the
[political] system,” he said.


 


Police forces are seen to be struggling to contain the upsurge in street
violence, with groups of youths appearing to go on the rampage at will, breaking
into shop fronts and stealing goods. A real fear among the authorities is the
spreading of disorder and violence to other cities, with reports emerging of
similar disturbances in the centre of Birmingham in the British midlands, and
further north in Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester.


 


Inner-city deprived black communities in Britain complain of routine
heavy-handed policing that is openly racist. Community leaders tell of
aggressive stop-and-search methods by police that target black youths. The
community leaders say that racist policing is as bad as it was during the 1980s
when riots broke out in 1985 after a black woman, Cynthia Jarrett, died in a
police raid on her home in Broadwater Farm, London.


 


In the latest spate of violence – on a much greater scale than in the 1980s –
there is no suggestion that subsequent street disturbances to the initial
Tottenham riots are racially motivated. The growing number of areas and youths
involved in arson, rioting and looting do not appear to be driven merely out of
solidarity for the young black victim of police violence last week, although
that may be a factor for some. Many of the disturbances in London and elsewhere
seem to be caused by white and black youths together and separately.


 


But there is one common factor in all of this that the politicians and media
are studiously ignoring: the massive poverty, unemployment and social
deprivation that are now the lot for so many of Britain’s communities.


 


Britain’s social decay has been seething over several decades, overseen by
Conservative and Labour governments alike. As with other European countries and
the United States, the social fabric of Britain has been torn asunder by
economic policies that have deliberately widened the gap between rich and poor.


 


The collapse of manufacturing bases, the spawning of low-paid menial jobs,
unemployment and cuts in public services and facilities have all been
accompanied by systematic lowering of taxation on the rich elite. Britain’s
national debt, as with that of the Europe and the US, can be attributed in large
part to decades of pursuing neoliberal policies of prosperity for the rich and
austerity for the poor – the burden of which is felt most keenly in inner-city
neighbourhoods.


 


David Cameron’s Conservative-Liberal Coalition government has greatly
magnified this debt burden on the poor with its swingeing austerity cuts since
coming to office last year. Ironically, only days before the latest burnings and
riots, British government spokesmen were congratulating themselves for “making
the right decision” in driving through crippling economic austerity measures
that have so far spared the United Kingdom from the overt fiscal woes seen
elsewhere in Europe.


 


But as thousands of Britain’s youths now lash out at symbols of
authority/austerity, breaking into shops to loot clothes and other consumer
goods that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford, the social eruption may be
just a sign of even greater woes to come for the Disunited Kingdom.


 


Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent
based in Belfast, Ireland.

A Society In Denial Of The Burning Issues

Britian_ParlBritain saw its third consecutive night of widespread burning of properties and looting as riot police failed to contain gangs of masked youths marauding several parts of the capital, London.

There were reports too of violence fanning out to other cities across Britain. And some commentators were even suggesting that the British Army might have to be redeployed from Northern Ireland to help restore order. Armoured police vehicles are now patrolling London streets amid calls in the media for the use of water cannons and plastic bullets.

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Bonus Bonanza for UK’s Top Bankers

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money_hand_shakeThe five biggest UK banks are set to pay out massive bonuses for 2010. Chief executives at HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Lloyds and Standard Chartered will receive millions in bonuses, as working people endure unprecedented cuts in pay, working conditions and social services imposed by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government.

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War and Remembrance:

About Patria, Pageants and Poppies

Britian_Parl“Britain's last surviving World War I veteran shunned Remembrance Day commemorations Wednesday because he was against the glorification of war” — Britain's last WWI veteran shuns Remembrance Day’

After eight years and tens of thousands of Afghan casualties, the occupiers are settling down to a war of unknown duration. And contrary to Brown’s earlier declarations that ‘al-Qu’eda’ was operating out of Afghanistan, Brown, all-dressed up for the Lord Mayor’s banquet told the assorted ‘dignitaries’,

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United Kingdom:

Half of GPs refuse swine flu vaccine over testing fears.

Vaccination_nurseUp to half of family doctors do not want to be vaccinated against swine flu.

GPs will be first in the line for the jabs when they become available but many will decline, even though they will be offering the vaccine to their patients.

More than two thirds of those who will turn the jab down believe it has not been tested enough. Most also believe the flu has turned out to be so mild in the vast majority of cases that the vaccine is not needed.

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British Nurses refuse to have the swine flu vaccination

A third of nurses will refuse to have the swine flu jab

VACCINATIONS_iUp to a third of nurses will say no to the swine flu jab because of concerns over its safety, a poll has found.

NHS workers are first in line for the vaccine, but a survey of 1,500 nurses found many will reject it.

Last night a Government scientist condemned the results saying nurses who do not have the jab are putting patients at risk.

Nevertheless the poll, by Nursing Times magazine, will raise questions over the Government's planned mass vaccination programme.

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Britain: CCTV Surveillance into Thousands of British Homes

24/7 CCTV Surveillance in Homes of 20,000 Families

CCTVTHOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday. The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes. They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals. Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction. Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

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Revealed – the secret torture evidence MI5 tried to suppress

MP David Davis's dramatic parliamentary move exposes treatment of terror suspect

MI5The true depth of British involvement in the torture of terrorism suspects overseas and the manner in which that complicity is concealed behind a cloak of courtroom secrecy was laid bare last night when David Davis MP detailed the way in which one counter-terrorism operation led directly to a man suffering brutal mistreatment.

In a dramatic intervention using the protection of parliamentary privilege, the former shadow home secretary revealed how MI5 and Greater Manchester police effectively sub-contracted the torture of Rangzieb Ahmed to a Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), whose routine use of torture has been widely documented.

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Paper: Army Prepared For Economic Riots On UK Streets

britishsoldierMI5 target activists who could stoke “summer of discontent”

The Army is on standby to deal with rioting on UK streets as a result of the economic crisis according to a newspaper report, which states that MI5 is targeting political activists who could help create a “summer of discontent”.

“The “double-whammy” of the worst economic crisis in living memory and a motley crew of political extremists determined to stir up civil disorder has led to the ­extraordinary step of the Army being put on ­standby,” reports the Daily Express.

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7/7 Mock Terror Drill: What Relationship to the Real Time Terror Attacks?

scotlandyardFictional 7/7 "scenario" of multiple bomb attacks on London's subway

A fictional "scenario" of multiple bomb attacks on London's underground took place at exactly the same time as the bomb attack on July 7, 2005.

Peter Power, Managing Director of Visor Consultants, a private firm on contract to the London Metropolitan Police, described in a BBC interview how he had organized and conducted the anti-terror drill, on behalf of an unnamed business client.

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UK Housing Market Crash and Depression Forecast 2007 to 2012

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Recent house price data as released by the Halifax showed that UK house prices have plunged by more than 20% from the peak of August 2007, which has fulfilled much of the original forecast made in August 2007 for a minimum fall of 15% for the UK housing market and 25% for London, therefore this analysis seeks to project the forecast trend for UK house prices for the next 3 years into 2012.

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Big Contracts For Big Oil

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British American FlagsAfter a 35 year wait, American and British oil corporations are on the verge of securing control of Iraq's vast oil reserves. Becca Fisher reveals how the unholy alliance of Big Oil, government and the IMF is getting closer to its goal of reconstructing the Iraqi state to gain secure oil supplies.

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Britain's Big Brother: Government black boxes will 'collect every email'

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Home Office says all data from web could be stored in giant government database

dark internetInternet "black boxes" will be used to collect every email and web visit in the UK under the Government's plans for a giant "big brother" database, The Independent has learnt.

Home Office officials have told senior figures from the internet and telecommunications industries that the "black box" technology could automatically retain and store raw data from the web before transferring it to a giant central database controlled by the Government.

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The Legal Advice to Wage War on Iraq was not just "sexed-up", it was concocted

AmerBritish FlagC. Stephen Frost, Mary Bedworth, Christopher Burns-Cox and David Halpin co-signed this article, in response to an article by Richard Norton Taylor in The Guardian and a Guardian editorial (see Annex below).  

Background on the scandal of the twice-changed legal advice of the British Attorney General, which purported to allow the United Kingdom, and thereby the United States (together with Australia, Denmark and Poland), to wage an aggressive and illegal war on Iraq. This war is the "supreme international war crime" according to the the Nuremberg Protocol and the Geneva Conventions.

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