Wednesday, April 9, 2008
At least the United States is not the only country twisting its principles to justify the Iraq war. Of course, that may not be a good thing. The Associated Press reported today that Britain's highest court has rejected a effort by two mothers of slain soldiers to force an inquiry into the legality of the war. The mothers, Rose Gentle and Beverley Clark, had contended that former Prime Minister Tony Blair acted illegally when he committed thousands of troops to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. They argued that Britain was required to conduct an inquiry under the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to life. Clarke's son, David, died in March 2003 in a friendly fire incident near Basra and Gentle's son, Gordon, was killed by a roadside bomb in 2004, also in Basra. British Attorney General Peter Goldsmith raised questions about the war's legality in 2003 but later agreed that England had the right to go to war under United Nations resolutions. A committee of Law Lords at the House of Lords, England's highest court, issued a ruling Wednesday that the women's claims had properly been dismissed by two lower courts. The lords did not agree that the European convention applied to the case. "There is no basis for any inquiry into the circumstances of the sad deaths," the Lords said in a written ruling. Current Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said there will be an inquiry after all British troops have returned home.