March 4, 2010

Release Full British Foreign Office Iraq strategy paper

Why should we be able to see the entire British Foreign Office Strategy paper on Iraq from November 2000? The British Foreign Office was good enough to explain why:

"Releasing the paper would make Government more accountable and increase trust," the Foreign Office conceded. "There is public interest in being able to assess the quality of advice being given to ministers and subsequent decision-making."

According to The Independent of UK, "The strategy paper was commissioned by Sir William Patey (right), then head of Middle East policy at the Foreign Office, ahead of the November 2000 presidential election which brought George Bush to the White House. "

Thanks to the efforts of The Independent UK, "the Foreign Office eventually agreed to release a redacted version – with the views of the United States and other countries blacked out."

Lets call for the re-release of a version that shows the views of the Clinton Administration. Lets call on the US State Department to give Britain the OK to do so. Here's my request to the US State Dept.:

Subject: British November 2000 Strategy Paper on Iraq

I'm writing to request that the US State Department allow the British Foreign Office to release references to US views in the the November 2000 strategy paper on Iraq that was commissioned by Sir William Patey.

For further reference, See:

Thank You

For Your Convenience:

The Independent UK, "Blair warned in 2000 Iraq war was illegal: Secret papers withheld by Chilcot inquiry reveal Foreign Office fears over invasion," March 2, 2010.



libhom said...

Why do they need the US State Department's permission? If I were British, I would be furious.

GDAEman said...

It's a courtesy... and a matter of trust, "If we share secrets, we promise not to divulge them without permission first." Not unreasonable IMHO given the circumstances.