1 May 2005


OK, I admit it, I’m late on this one, but I put off reading Lord Goldsmith’s advice to the government on the Iraq war because I was terrified I would have to reconsider my opinion. (Actually, I was just busy with other stuff, but that’s not sexy.)

Now, however, I’ve ploughed my way through it all and all the associated material – and, yup, (1) it’s clear that he told the government that there were grounds to dispute the legality of war against Iraq without a new UN resolution and, yup, (2) it’s apparent that he then decided military action was legal once it was obvious that a new UN resolution would not be forthcoming.

But that’s about it. “Government lawyer points out possible problems with war then backs it when push comes to shove” is a lousy headline – except insofar as it’s a completely accurate summary of the story. Goldsmith did what you hire lawyers to do. Why on earth did the government make such a meal of letting it into the public domain?

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