Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1604      July 31, 2013

The “unnatural death” of Dr David Kelly

A bearded man of avuncular appearance had started early in replying to e-mails on the July 17, 2003. He was in the office of his pretty cottage, with the scent of roses telling of an English summer. The little village of Southmoor was stirring. He was to send over 80 via one of five hard drives and mostly in reply. Some would be encrypted because he was writing to friends and colleagues who like him shared secrets in the field of “WMDs”. And some would be human and ordinary as from a father of three daughters. He had delighted in seeing a new born foal and arranged to take his daughter Rachel down the village that Thursday evening to see young life together.

Many of the e-mails in his inbox were from friends expressing sympathy for his having been put through the mangle of the state machine; his responses were hopeful. In one he spoke of arrangements having been made for his return to Iraq in eight days; he was looking forward to that. This man from the Welsh Valleys graduated with his DSc in microbiology from Linacre College, Oxford in 1971. He joined the Civil Service in 1984 and was acting head of the Porton Down Defence Microbiology Division for 10 years. These functions on Salisbury Plain widened.

He was much valued as an interrogator and sought after round the world for his deep knowledge and sharp intelligence.

He was a member of the UNSCOM team finding and disabling germ and chemical weapons in Iraq. He would have seen the irony that almost all of these had been supplied to Iraq by western nations, including an anthrax strain that was originally cultured from a cow in Oxfordshire before WW2. He visited 37 times between 1991 and 1998, when the team was pulled out before the bombing campaign of Operation Desert Fox. He must have known that UNSCOM was also a cover for spying; the coordinates of defence systems and much else were being recorded for the later destruction of Babylon.

He had the highest level of security clearance from the SIS of the US and the UK but he was not on the payroll of MI6, it is said. He was attached to the Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence whilst the Foreign and Commonwealth Office paid him. His base remained the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down. He translated “intelligence” into the language of science and was required to explain scientific matters within his ambit for the media when asked.

US, UK and UN hypocrisies flourished in the sun. UNSCOM begat UNMOVIC and UNMOVIC begat IRG. How was it this sober scientist was involved with this sham? Saddam’s Iraq had been supported in its war with Iran and April Glaspie the US Ambassador to Iraq had later passed him the green light to invade Kuwait. The litany of black lies was long and blood soaked. The “turkey shoot” as Iraqi soldiers and civilians streamed back from Kuwait under white flags ended with live burial for hundreds by US army bulldozers. In Baghdad, the charred remains of over 400 women and children in the Amiriya bomb shelter were testament to Allied and UN evil. And were not the two laser guided bombs WMDs?

The context in which Dr Kelly did his duty for the UN and the UK has been outlined. The intelligence for targeting, bridgeheads etc was in place. The paramount war criminal and psychopath, Anthony Blair, conspired with Bush in April 2002 at Crawford over blood oozing steaks to tear into Iraq. The black propaganda machine changed gear. A succession of signatories of The Project for the New American Century began appearing nightly, courtesy of the State Broadcaster, the BBC. We could soon tell Wolfowitz from Bolton, and Perle from Bolton.

Mangold tried to scare the pants off vulnerable members of the UK public in September 2002 with sarin in the Tokyo tube and with all the focus on the rogue regime. The Sun carried the headline “Brits 45 minutes from doom” to its six million readers. The prescription of Oded Yinon from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs was being followed to the letter. “Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria.”

And so it was, that against majority opinion in the UK and the truth, a massive invasion and bombardment started March 22, 2003. It had been planned since 1988. A sceptical British public became more certain that the hell had been conjured up and brought to earth. On May 29 the author heard Andrew Gilligan at 6.20am on the premier propaganda program, the BBC’s Today say that a source had told him the “September” dossier had been enhanced. (There was probably no mention of the “Iraq Dossier” of February 23 which within three days was shown by Rangwala to be fake throughout.)

The hunt started slowly, but soon the government hounds were in full cry. Hoon and Campbell were out in front. Journalists were encouraged to call the Ministry of Defence and to state the name of a suspect. Given that experts in the field were few, David Kelly’s identity as a possible source soon emerged. This act of treachery was wrong on two counts. Firstly the confidentiality of the names of public servants in charges of this sort is usually maintained. Secondly, anybody with his “security” attachments should have had his identity concealed both for his sake and for the operational integrity of the establishments. The furore flowing from the outing was fierce. The quarry felt the heat of slavering hounds about his neck.

He was called, improperly given his post, before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on July 15, two days before he “walked”. The BBC film of an anxious man wheeling quickly into the elaborate building with his minders was played numerous times and perhaps to reinforce a picture of a man at the end of his tether. Later, at the Hutton Inquiry, it was reported this committee had concluded he was not Gilligan’s source. He was interrogated by the Intelligence and Security Committee the next day. The transcript conveys a picture of a composed and honest man. There is evidence of self-delusion however:

Howarth: How did you arrive at your figure of 30% probability? It appears to have a kind of exactitude, or is it meant to be merely illustrative?

Kelly: It’s illustrative, as an estimate.

Howarth: Illustrating a lot, a little?

Kelly: Its verging to a little rather than to a lot.

Mates Two to one against!

Laughter ...

Dr Kelly had defined earlier in the hearing that he believed there was a 30% chance of ANY weapon containing biological or chemical agents. He does not appear to have revised his assessment when no such weapons were used by the Iraqi forces even though they were faced with total defeat.

Reference was made at this hearing to a letter from Hoon, the Minister of War. “ ... in that normally it was Secretaries of State and heads of sections that came to give evidence and that it should not be taken as a precedent for calling in any junior official within that department.” Efforts were made to demean Dr Kelly but the evidence suggests he remained robust even though he was not used to such treatment in his very senior position.

David Kelly completed his correspondence on July 17, which included a report to the FCO, and changed from track suit into jeans and a shirt ready for a customary walk. He was described later by his wife Janice as being exhausted and shrunken within himself. She suffered from arthritis and had gone upstairs to rest on the bed.

She heard him take a telephone call at about 3pm (from Wing Commander Clarke at the Ministry of Defence) and he then left for a walk. The Wing Commander “phoned again at 3.20pm but he was away by then so Mrs Kelly answered”. The Wing Commander phoned every 15 minutes because Dr Kelly always had his cell phone with him and was always easy to contact. An “electronic” voice said “the number you have rung is not reacting”, which is the normal one that one would expect if the telephone itself had been switched off. The number when dialled before 6pm by James Harrison of the same office rang but there was no answer.

When he did not return the family were alerted. According to reports in the UK Guardian and Scotsman a lay search party was formed later that day, but no member was called to the inquiry. A Mrs Susan Melling was quoted. In these reports, a farmer Weaver (sic) – in fact Weaving, hailed Dr Kelly who was reported to be dressed in jeans and a shirt. Weaving might have been the last person to see Dr Kelly alive. The importance of that in an inquiry into an unnatural death is obvious but he was not called either.

The family informed the police at 23.40 hours that he was missing, about nine hours after he had left the house and this in spite of the maelstrom swirling around the man and the very secret nature of his morbid work. The roses freshened in the night air and down the road the foal was nuzzling the mare.


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