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Mr. Blair, Morality, Suicide and Resignation
by Brian Risman, Publisher, www thelawjournal co uk
The Suicide of Dr. David Kelly will have ramifications far beyond the police blotter -- for it exposes the moral bankruptcy of government. The resignation of the discredited Mr. Blair would be a moral victory for justice and democracy.
A quiet scientist takes a country stroll near his home in Oxfordshire, and his subsequent suicide becomes, to use an old phrase, the "shot heard 'round the world". For the suicide of Dr. David Kelly, a former arms inspector in Iraq, was clearly precipitated by Blair government attempts to tag him as the scapegoat, to be the victim for the sins of the government. The plan was simple -- Mr. Blair didn't mislead -- he was misled, a victim. However, he was not a victim of the plans of George W. Bush. No, he was the victim of a quiet scientist. And that scientist, in committing the ultimate act, turned the tables on, as he stated in his diary, "the dark forces".
Mr. Blair, looking positively ill on his Tokyo trip, blinked nervously and said nothing as a reporter asked if he was going to resign. Just a year ago, it was inconceivable that such a question would come up. Now, what started as a whisper has become a roaring tidal wave.
Did Mr. Blair lie to, or mislead, Parliament over Iraq? The issue has almost become moot. For the attempt to foist blame on an quiet scientist has raised an even larger issue -- that of government ethical morality. We can argue endlessly as to whether Mr. Blair and his government were naive or deliberately misled.
Now, however, the naked attempt to find a scapegoat -- a scapegoat driven to slit his wrists -- is a tactic totally unacceptable to a decent nation. Government must accept responsibility for its actions. A generation ago, John Profumo lied to Parliament regarding his affair with Christine Keeler in the spy scandal bearing his name. Rightly, he was forced to resign for lying to Parliament. His actual misdeed paled before the greater immorality of lying to Parliament.
In a similar manner, Mr. Blair's behaviour regarding our involvement in Iraq almost pales before the horrific crime of driving an innocent man to suicide. The tabloids and broadsheet newspapers have all switched from political questioning of the Iraq situation to moral outrage over the David Kelly suicide. In fact, it is far worse -- Mr. Profumo did not cause a suicide by his misleading Parliament. Mr. Blair has caused an innocent death in the attempt to save his reputation.
Former U.S. President Harry S Truman had a famous sign on his desk -- "The Buck Stops Here", a reference to the American slang "passing the buck", that is never taking responsibility for your actions. Mr. Truman was saying, via his sign, that the ultimate responsibility belonged to the President. Mr. Blair should take heed -- he should take the ultimate responsibility for the Iraq decisions and misleading of Parliament -- and he should take the ultimate responsibility for the innocent death of the greatest victim of the war. That greatest victim is not the dead scientist, as horrible as his death has become.
Rather, the greatest victim of the war is truth and morality and trust in government.
Mr. Blair, in resigning, would help to restore some truth and morality to government. So should his partner in crime across the pond, Mr. Bush. For America must regain its morality as well. More on that in a later article.
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