Saturday, 9 April 2016

The death of Dr.Kelly and the end of the BBC as an independent broadcaster

In retrospect: the death of Dr David Kelly in 2003

Recently I heard Guy McPherson and Mike Silwa joking between themselves and wondering aloud if they had much more to say on their radio show that hadn’t been said before.

I must say I have been feeling the same increasingly as I struggle to keep up with the daily headlines which testify to things deteriorating at breakneck pace on every front.

I have been wondering if people out there are feeling the same with a slight fall-off of numbers reading this blog and a fall-off in Facebook activity.

Doomer fatigue?

How long before we have to say that we’ve got it and we can’t keep up with the obsessive following of the race to the bottom?

That has got me interested in taking pause and looking back to get some sense of how we got from There to Here.

In terms of the elite’s War on the Truth it is clear that media organisations such as the BBC (I know far more about the British media than the American one) have always tried to please their political superiors and have not wanted to upset the applecart too much.

However, in the past they were always willing to ask questions. Now they are plainly NOT and are no more than the propaganda arms of imperialist governments.

I always knew that 9/11 and the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq were key in this. In the British context I was vaguely aware of the “dodgy dossier”, sexed up by the government, to justify the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. I was aware,in the back of my mind, of the case of Dr.David Kelly (althought I had forgotten his name and of the whitewash that followed) and that the BBC had been forced to apologise for telling the truth.

This was followed by a purge of the BBC with management and some journalists being removed.

Since then, the BBC has died as a quasi-independent broadcaster and become nothing more than the mouthpiece of the government.

It is clear that Dr. Kelly was assassinated- at the very least the idea that he committed suicide is preposterous.

The British state has, in all probability, been responsible for at least two high-profile cases (Dr Kelly and Princess Diana) and quite possibly for the murder of Litvinenko (pinned on Vladimir Putin) as well as the suiciding of Boris Berzovsky.

Below, I have provided some resources to look at the background to Britain’s support for the invasion of Iraq.

· Governors' decision was 'betrayal' of corporation
· Tribunal to rule whether minutes can be published

Coverage on the BBC and the Hutton enquiry in the Guardian HERE

Conspiracy Files:Was Dr 

Kelly murdered?

Chris Tryhorn

25 September, 2007

I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories but the death of David Kelly struck me at the time as distinctly odd, sinister even. Over the summer of 2003, when like most journalists I was gripped by the Hutton inquiry, the suspicion that he may not have taken his own life was always at the back of my mind. So I was intrigued by last night's Conspiracy Files on BBC2, which revisited the tragedy.

To recap: David Kelly was the government scientist at the centre of a huge, poisonous row between the government and the BBC. The row arose from allegations that the government used evidence in a dossier making the case for war in Iraq knowing that the information was probably wrong. Kelly was outed by the government as the source of the controversial report by Today reporter Andrew Gilligan and endured a notoriously vicious grilling at the hands of a parliamentary select committee.

Three days later he was found dead, slumped against a tree on Harrowdown Hill, near Oxford, his wrists slashed and half-empty packets of the drug Coproxamol at his side. The Hutton inquiry - which called witnesses including the Prime Minister, Alastair Campbell and the future head of MI6 - was set up to investigate his death. The report, published in January 2004, exonerated the government and excoriated the BBC's journalism, leading to the departure of both the corporation's chairman and director-general. Lord Hutton also concluded that Kelly had committed suicide, the assumption that had prevailed from the time of his death.

Last night's programme spoke to a number of people who have doubts about the official verdict, including the earnest Kelly-ologist Rowena Thursby and Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker. (There was also a rather excitable barrister who claimed to have a hotline to international intelligence agencies and spotted similarities between Kelly's death and the plot of a Tom Clancy novel.) As with most conspiracy theories, the case against the official verdict springs from strange details rather than compelling counter-evidence.

Many medical experts find Kelly's method of suicide unconvincing. Would the incisions to his wrists have caused sufficient blood loss to kill him? Paramedics who attended the scene have spoken out about how little blood they saw. And why did the toxicology report indicate a level of Coproxamol in his system that is usually non-fatal?

The sceptics also believe that the Hutton inquiry was in some respects inadequate. It supplanted a standard inquest, invoking an almost unprecedented legal power to do so, but did not take evidence under oath. The doubters think evidence pertaining to the physical circumstances of the death was insufficiently heard and scrutinised.

There are also questions about Kelly's state of mind. Clearly, he was undergoing great stress and had been to some extent publicly humiliated after a proud career working as one of Britain's top experts on Iraq's weapons programme. But emails sent shortly before he went out for his last walk looked forward to a time when the controversy would "blow over". Why would he be suicidal given that the worst had apparently already happened?

So can you infer from these doubts that Kelly was murdered? Hardly, despite whisperings from intelligence sources that it was a "wet disposal", ie a rushed assassination. And who would have benefited? Did the secret services really need to silence him, given that so much had come out anyway? A former colleague of his who was highly critical of the way Kelly was treated by the government scoffed at the notion. Last night's programme also put some of the medical irregularities to independent experts, who were able to explain them way.

Nevertheless there are many peculiarities about the case. Perhaps because Kelly's widow is sure that he killed himself, the "conspiracy theory" has gained little ground. Nor is evidence abundant, and last night's programme struggled to fill the hour. As the heat generated by the Iraq war fades over the years, Kelly's death seems destined to be abandoned by all but the most ardent conspiracy theorists and to go down as merely a fishy footnote to a far greater political controversy.

From Press TV

The Death of Dr. Kelly: An Open Case

Dr David Kelly Iraq War Cover Up 

Conspiracy - Norman Baker MP

The Death of Dr. David Kelly. Murdered on the Orders of Her Majesty’s Government?
By Dr. David Halpin and James Corbett

26 November, 2014

On July 18, 2003, British biowarfare expert and UN weapons inspector David Kelly was found dead on Harrowdown Hill, near his home in Oxfordshire. Ruled a suicide by the official judicial inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton, now a group of British doctors is challenging the Attorney General’s decision not to hold a coroner’s inquest into the death, citing the overlooked, suppressed and modified evidence suggesting Dr. Kelly was murdered.

This is the GRTV Backgrounder on The Death of Dr. David Kelly.

From the outset, there have been questions about the nature and timing of Dr. David Kelly’s death, as well as the official investigation and subsequent inquiry into the events of that day.

As a UN weapons inspector who had been to Iraq dozens of times to investigate allegations of Saddam Hussein’s bioweapons stockpile, Kelly became the centre of attention in the summer of 2003 when he was revealed as the source of a controversial BBC report alleging that the Blair government had “sexed up” its dossier on Iraqi WMD. In the wake of that scandal, he was called to testify before a parliamentary committee investigating the BBC report and was aggressively questioned about his role in the scandal.  He was found dead two days later.

As a UN weapons inspector who had been to Iraq dozens of times to investigate allegations of Saddam Hussein’s bioweapons stockpile, Kelly became the centre of attention in the summer of 2003 when he was revealed as the source of a controversial BBC report alleging that the Blair government had “sexed up” its dossier on Iraqi WMD. In the wake of that scandal, he was called to testify before a parliamentary committee investigating the BBC report and was aggressively questioned about his role in the scandal. He was found dead two days later.
The official inquiry into that death, the Hutton Inquiry, was quickly convened and issue its report in January 2004, officially concluding that Dr. Kelly had taken his own life by a combination of slitting his left wrist and overdosing on coproxamol. Over the course of the decade, however, information has come to light suggesting that the Hutton Inquiry not only ignored key evidence in the case pointing to foul play, but that the report in fact actively covered up such evidence.
The cover up into Dr. Kelly’s death seemingly began before it even started. Operation Mason, the official police investigation into Dr. Kelly’s death, started nine hours before his family even reported him missing.
One of the key witnesses to the Hutton Inquiry and the man who found Dr. Kelly’s body, Detective Constable Coe, now admits that there was surprisingly little blood at the scene for a man who supposedly bled to death. Stunningly, he also admits that he lied to the inquiry in saying that there was only himself and his partner at the scene that day, now admitting that there was an unidentified third man there that many have speculated was someone with the security services.
David Bartlett, the paramedic who pronounced Dr. Kelly dead at the scene, claimed that his body had obviously been moved and confirmed there was surprisingly little blood near the body, saying “I’ve seen more blood at a nosebleed than I saw there.” He also said that as soon as the body was found, the police threw a “blackout” around the scene. He was even banned from speaking to his own control room over radio, the first time that this had happened in his career.
A flight log released under the Freedom of Information Act earlier this year proves that a helicopter landed at the scene just 90 minutes after the discovery of the body. The flight log, which has been heavily redacted, shows that the helicopter only remained on the ground for five minutes before taking off. To this day, the presence of the helicopter at the scene has never been officially explained and there is no indication as to what it was dropping off or picking up from the scene of the crime.
In 2008, one of his colleagues and personal confidants, Mai Pederson, came forward to say that Dr. Kelly could not have killed himself in the manner suggested because he had difficulty using his right hand for strenuous activities because of a painful injury he had sustained to his right elbow. Still, the official conclusion of the Hutton Inquiry holds that Kelly used a knife in his right hand to slit his left wrist.
Perhaps the most compelling evidence, however, is the testimony of a group of doctors who have come together in recent years to provide expert testimony challenging the official claim of suicide.
It is their contention that the verdict of suicide does not fit with the medical evidence presented in the case, and they have formed a group in recent years to petition the UK government to convene a coroner’s inquest into the death, something that should have been done in the first place but was not.
Last week I had the chance to talk to one of the doctors who has been vocal in challenging the results of the Hutton Inquiry, Dr. David Halpin. I asked him about some of the medical evidence that problematizes the official verdict that Dr. Kelly’s death was a suicide.
Shortly after the group of doctors and barristers questioning Dr. Kelly’s death formed in 2009 to put pressure on the government to re-open the investigation, it was revealed that Lord Hutton had taken the extraordinary measure of classifying all of the medical records used by the inquiry, including the post-mortem findings and photographs of the body, for 70 years, a decision that not even the Ministry of Justice was able to explain the legal basis for.
A widespread public backlash forced the government to release the post-mortem documents in late 2010. After reviewing the post-mortem, Dr. Michael Powers, QC, a former coroner and one of the doctors demanding an inquest, noted that there was in fact no new information revealed in the report and that the release of the documents may have been an attempt to close off the option of a coroner’s inquest into the death in the face of massive public support for the reopening of the Kelly case.
Indeed, in June of 2011, UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve did refuse to open an inquest into the matter.
Now, Dr. Halpin is involved in an attempt to open a judicial review into the decision not to convene an inquest on the death. Paying for the proceedings out of his own pocket, this retired orthopedic surgeon is now shouldering the brunt of the responsibility for attempting to see a proper investigation into the many discrepancies in the Dr. Kelly case.
In recent months an independent grassroots campaign to raise funds for the legal battle for an inquest has sprung up, and the public continues to show great concern over this case.
In my conversation, I had the chance to ask Dr. Halpin about the public’s support, and why convening an inquest into Dr. Kelly’s death is a matter of such importance.

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