THE STORY FROM LONDON:
Tony's Britches Falling Down
by Jeffrey Steinberg
Feb. 8—Tony Blair's political days are looking, more and more, to be numbered. The once sure bet as the first president of Europe, who was blackballed from that post by a powerful faction within the British Establishment itself, is coming under well-deserved attack, on a wide number of fronts, from his central role in lying the United Kingdom and the United States into the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq; to his lavish lifestyle-zero accomplishment track record as peace envoy for the Mideast Quartet; to his efforts to draw the United Kingdom into the now-sinking European Monetary Union; and his fantasy vision of bridging the gap between the Anglican and Catholic churches and forging a united oligarchical European entity.
Above all else, Blair is being held accountable, by a growing faction within the British oligarchy, for sinking the British Empire under a mountain of unpayable debt, and for continuing to promote the very policies that threaten to bring Armageddon down on London's near-250-year, uninterrupted run of global power. Indeed, not since the February 1763 Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years War, and signaling the launching of the British East India Company's century of imperial domination, has the British Empire faced such an imminent, existential threat to its very survival.
City of London Brawl
Blair's hand in the onrushing financial meltdown of the Queen's Empire was brought home in a commentary, brimming with spot-on English sarcasm, by Daily Mail online writer Peter Osborne, Feb. 6. Under the headline "Why the euro will fracture (and despite his mistakes, thank God Mr Brown kept us out of it)," Osborne called for Greece and Spain to bolt from the European Monetary Union (EMU), and restore their sovereign currencies, and nailed Blair for having tried desperately, as prime minister, to steer Britain into the single-currency scheme, which is now rapidly unraveling.
Now, let's play a terrifying mind game. Let's imagine that Tony Blair had achieved his ambition as Prime Minister and succeeded in abolishing the pound and taking Britain into the euro. We would today be in exactly the same position as Greece.
For the past two years, Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling would have had no latitude whatsoever to conduct Britain's economic policy.... Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling would now be taking direct orders from Angela Merkel and the European Central Bank, just as poor Greece is today. Our national humiliation would be complete, and British sovereignty held in worldwide contempt.
Fortunately, we managed to stay out of the euro. Britain faces awesome problems in the years ahead, but at least we can face them as a self-governing nation, and not as a European protectorate.
Gordon Brown has made many mistakes as Prime Minister, but this weekend it is clearer than ever that we are all in his debt for stopping Tony Blair making the calamitous mistake of entering the euro.
According to senior U.S. intelligence sources who are closely tracking the EMU meltdown, Osborne's column reflects the view of a significant faction in the City of London, which believes that now is the moment to bust up the EMU and assert direct British domination over the European Union, minus the euro. According to this faction, 18 years of the EU's Maastricht Treaty has so damaged the German and French economies, that Britain can now reassert European leadership, amidst the chaos of the breakup of Euroland.
Anglican Mandarins Speak
On Feb. 8, Blair took the unusual step of appearing live, on Rupert Murdoch's Fox-TV News, to launch a tirade against the Chilcot Commission, the British mandarin-led inquiry into the causes of the Iraq War. Blair had testified before the Commission Jan. 29, attempting to bully his way through the six-hour interrogation, by repeatedly calling for the Anglo-Americans to "do it again" to Iran.
At the end of the day, however, Sir John Chilcot announced that the Commission would now focus their investigation on tens of thousands of secret British government documents which would reveal "what really went on," and would explain some glaring "gaps" in the testimony of Blair and his key aides. After taking testimony from two remaining witnesses—current British Prime Minister and former Chancellor Gordon Brown, and Foreign Secretary David Miliband—the Chilcot Commission will resume its closed-door deliberations, recalling a number of key witnesses—including perhaps Blair, himself—this Summer.
This announcement was clearly too much for Blair. In his Fox interview with former Arkansas governor and GOP Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, Blair truly lost it, denouncing the Commission as motivated by a "continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy."
The simple truth is that, for at least an important faction within the crumbling British Establishment, Blair had crossed the line. Whether it was his conversion to the Catholic faith, followed by a political play to unite the Continental Catholic "Black Nobility" behind his drive to be annointed as the first president of post-Lisbon Treaty Europe; or his flagrant theft of British Foreign and Commonwealth Office funds, to lead a lavish lifestyle in Jerusalem as the "peace envoy" of the Quartet, Blair has convinced a significant group of British establishmentarians that his global ego-tripping has done enough damage, and must be brought to a halt. The intent of the Chilcot Commission inquiry, according to senior U.S. intelligence sources, was to assure Blair's defeat in his quest for the European presidency.
Having accomplished that immediate objective, it had appeared that the Chilcot inquiry would stop short of a full-scale exposé of the Blair's crimes at 10 Downing Street. While Blair's arrogance before the TV cameras and the Commission was barely challenged by the too-polite Lords and Ladies, their reaction to Blair's Iran war push now suggests a tactical shift.
More Skeletons Rattling
Worse for Blair, are two other skeletons falling out of the closet, which could spell further trouble for him and his circle of right-wing Fabians.
In late January, under enormous public pressure, Lord Hutton, the Blair ally who led the cover-up commission probing the alleged suicide death of Dr. David Kelly, the British weapons inspector who had blown the whistle on Blair's "sexed up" Iraq War dossier, relented under public pressure and agreed to release medical records of the Kelly death, that he had previously sealed for 70 years. Hutton's reconsideration came in response to a lawsuit, filed in December 2009, by six medical doctors and forensic experts, charging that the Hutton Commission findings that Kelly had committed suicide, were either fraudulent or incompetent.
The mysterious death of Dr. Kelly is perhaps the single-most serious scandal, confronting Blair to date. There is widespread belief that Kelly was murdered, because of what he knew about the actual circumstances surrounding Blair's phony rationale for the Iraq War. And now, the Hutton cover-up appears to have evaporated, opening Blair and crew to much deeper scrutiny.
Blair's role in covering up another mega-scandal is also back in the headlines. Last week, London's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $450 million criminal settlement with BAE Systems, the British defense cartel that has been caught bribing its way into hundreds of billions of dollars in lucrative defense contracts for the past 25 years, since it was privatized during the Thatcher era.
As EIR has exclusively revealed, the Anglo-Saudi BAE-centered barter deal known as "Al-Yamamah," was far more than a garden-variety corporate corruption scandal. A massive offshore black operations slush fund was created, through the creative financial scheme behind Al-Yamamah. That scandal has proved to be too big to bury, even with the combined efforts of the SFO and the Justice Department behind the coverup effort.
Sometime in the immediate weeks ahead, a U.S. Federal District judge is going to have to sign off on the BAE plea bargain, which involved two criminal counts of false statements. A careful reading of the DoJ'S 14-page Criminal Information in United States of America v. BAE Systems plc, opens a new chapter in the dossier against Blair, who ordered the shutdown of the SFO probe shortly before he left office, on the dubious grounds that a serious probe into Al-Yamamah would jeopardize British national security.