Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Three Cheers for Elizabeth Wilmshurst
Iraq War: Chilcot Inquiry Jolted by former Deputy Legal Adviser
From Guardian UK Jan 26, 2010
The Iraq inquiry burst into life yesterday, thanks to a quiet, thoughtful yet furious woman who ripped into the government like a genteel but very hungry lioness. Elizabeth Wilmshurst was the first witness to get a round of applause from the public.
Her evidence was brief, less than an hour, but Jack Straw and Lord Goldsmith must have loathed every word. It was like being torn apart by a cross between Judi Dench as "M" and Princess Diana – softly spoken, but as hard and inflexible as a crowbar.
At the end she described how the attorney general (who in the mists of history had also thought the invasion illegal) was finally consulted only at the very last minute as the troops were ready to go in. "I thought the process that was followed was lamentable," she said, and the word seemed to echo round the room. This inquiry will now never seem the same.
Perhaps, just perhaps, what she said will prod the members of the committee to shed their diffidence, take their fingers out and do the job for which they were selected.
And yet Mr. Blair made it a part of his argument. The Chilcot Committee is a joke.
Noted that you are a Haiku lover. I
enjoy them, especially ones by Basho.