Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Independent: US Lied To UK About Incendiary Weapons

There's serious journalism going on ... somewhere. Maybe across the ocean.

From The Independent: US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war
American officials lied to British ministers over the use of "internationally reviled" napalm-type firebombs in Iraq.

Yesterday's disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election.

Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.

But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."
Your lowly and nearly frozen blogger finds no big surprise in the claim that Americans used firebombs against Iraq. This had been reported a long time ago. The news is that the American officials lied to their allies about it.

Well, why not lie to your allies? What's the difference? Why not lie to everybody?? For as long as you can get away with it, anyway ...
The Iraq Analysis Group, which campaigned against the war, said the US authorities only admitted the use of the weapons after the evidence from reporters had become irrefutable.

Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the group, said: "The US has used internationally reviled weapons that the UK refuses to use, and has then apparently lied to UK officials, showing how little weight the UK carries in influencing American policy."
You got it, Mike. Nobody carries any weight in influencing American policy. It's almost as if we've fallen through the looking glass.

There's serious journalism going on here too. But most of it is being done by bloggers. For example, check out this excellent post from Freiheit und Wissen.