Several British groups have asked the government to release Cabinet minutes for the meetings of March 13 and March 17, 2003 when discussions were held about the decision to support the Bush invasion of Iraq. Information Minister Richard Thomas ordered the release of the minutes arguing that their publication was in the public interest. His decision was supported by an independent tribunal last month. But, for the first time, the Brown government has decided to make use of “Section 53″ of the Freedom of Information Act which allows it to veto the release of documents. By drawing upon this section of the law it is impossible for challengers to take the case to court. According to a government spokesperson, the release of the documents would do “serious damage” to the frank discussions that took place on those two momentous days.
Members of parliament from every aspect of the political scene protested the decision. Many insisted the Brown decision showed disrespect for the people of Great Britain and their right to know why their nation got into a war. Of course, the men and women who died might complain of “serious damage” to their lives by the decision of Tony Blair and his associates.