Truth Shall Set Ye Free-Publish Cabinet Meeting Notes

Great Britain’s information minister, Richard Thomas, said cabinet meeting minutes in which the Blair government discussed the legality of invading Iraq should be published and made known to the public. He believes the papers should be made public because “there is a widespread view that the justification for the decison on military action in Iraq is either not fully understood or that the public was not given the full or genuine reasons for that decision.” Thomas believes public interdest in disclosure outweighted the principles thatnormally allow the government not to have to publish minutes of cabinet decisions.

At the time of the invasion, the then attorney-generl, Lod Goldsmith, published a nine pararaph opinion claiming the invasion was legal. But, it subsequently appeared in a much longer legal opinon written 10 days earlier, Goldsmith expressed reservations about the legality of the attack. Thomas emphsizes “that a decision on whether to take military action against another country is so important that accountability for such decision-making is paramount.” He did agree if the minutes were published, the government had the right to delete certain sections due to security reasons.

Hopefully, a Democratic president next February will allow information that has been kept hidden by the Bush administration to be published so Americans can finally learn the ratinale for the invasion of Iraq.