Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1928

Slur against the Guantanamo men

TONY BLAIR has accused former detainees at the US’s Guantanamo Bay camp of endangering British “security”.

In a television interview last weekend after his meeting with George Bush, Blair was asked what he was doing to secure the release of four Britons still being held in Guantanamo.

“We have to make sure our own security is going to be protected if we have people back in this country,” he replied.

“As you know, there have been incidents of people who have been back and are causing difficulties again.”

Gareth Peirce, solicitor for three of the five British detainees released so far, described Blair’s comments as “highly defamatory”.

The prisoners have all given accounts of beatings and torture they suffered in Guantanamo.

Telegraph silent on real scandal

THE DAILY Telegraph, in court this week over libel proceedings brought by Respect MP George Galloway, was strangely silent on Tuesday about another claim concerning “kickbacks” and Saddam Hussein’s regime.

A US Senate committee was told that British engineering company Weir Group funneled more than $8 million to the Iraqi regime.

The money was obtained under the UN’s oil for food programme when sanctions were imposed on Iraq. The kickbacks were the price of winning contracts to supply Iraq with industrial parts.

Lord Robertson, former Labour defence secretary and Nato secretary general, sits on the board of Weir Group. Among his admirers is Lord Black, the former Telegraph owner who stands charged with embezzling millions.

War syndrome does exist

A NEW report by US government advisers has finally admitted that Gulf War Syndrome has had an horrific effect on soldiers who fought in the 1991 Gulf War.

Some 100,000 US veterans have fallen sick since the war. The report says there is a “probable link” between the chemical cocktail the troops took and their illness.

British veteran Tony Flint, who was in the 1991 Gulf War and campaigns for the 6,000 British victims of Gulf War Syndrome, told Socialist Worker, “This report proved what we’ve said for years. The Ministry of Defence is being bloody-minded in not accepting it.

“There is a long record of the authorities abandoning soliders after their service.”

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Sat 20 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1928
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