Dr David Kelly and Blair's endgame?

Ben Halligan B.Halligan at yorksj.ac.uk
Tue Jul 22 12:47:46 MDT 2003


"Earlier Prime Minister Tony Blair "emphatically" denied he authorised
Dr Kelly's identity to be made public during the dispute over Iraqi
weapons. Mr Blair's comments came as speculation grew as to how Dr
Kelly's identity came into the public domain."

from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3088097.stm


If Number 10 leaked Kelly's name to the press (or declined to stop a
leak they knew would occur), this could be the weapon with which to
deliver the fatal blow to Blair. It also boils the entire crisis over
the question of justification of war against Iraq down to a personal
failing on Blair's part: an oversight in the heat of the moment,
resulting in a death - paving the way for his exit from office with some
dignity remaining.

Was Kelly a spy?

We know that he was on the Iraqi inspection team, 93-98, along with many
other unsavoury characters, and had a "hawkish" reputation. Gilligan
claimed that Kelly had briefed newspapers before - presumably across the
1990s and presumably in the face of ethical opposition to the embargo on
Iraq, and the bombing campaigns (mounted with no UN sanction). 

Was Kelly used by British intelligence to leak black propaganda about
Iraq to the tabloids to shore up the government's line in the 1990s?
What else would he have been leaking? And is it likely that this was
somehow not known to British intelligence? Is it not more likely that
they did know - or even approved it, or used him as an unwitting (?)
proxy?

In which case, British intelligence would have a lot of dirty laundry
with which to mount a character assassination on Kelly in response to
his standing down the government last week (maybe money had exchanged
hands during the leaks - although I doubt Kelly leaked for the money;
maybe Blair could have retrospectively used the Kelly case to justify
his lack of faith in the UN inspection teams). Certainly, the tone
coming from Number 10 was highly combative towards him.

This makes a kind of sense of Kelly's suicide.

All the above is speculation, of course. There's been nothing in the
press other than what a decent and honest man he was. I don't doubt
that... but it was the company he was keeping that caused the problem.



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