Monday, 20 July 2009
Dr David Kelly
In 2003 Dr David Kelly was found dead in the woods.
The Hutton Inquiry concluded that Dr Kelly took his own life. But did he?
This death is returning to haunt Labour as a group of doctors announced that they are mounting a legal challenge to overturn the finding of suicide.
Dr Kelly's body was found six years ago this week in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the grounds for war in Iraq.
Unusually, no coroner's inquest was held into his death.
The only official verdict has come from the Hutton Inquiry, commissioned by Tony Blair, which concluded that Dr Kelly, 59, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.
Critics regarded the report as a 'whitewash', and Mr Blair remains acutely sensitive to the accusation that he has 'blood on his hands' over the scientist's death.
But now a team of 13 specialist doctors has compiled a detailed medical dossier that rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the ulnar artery, which is small and difficult to access, could not have caused death. A 12-page opinion concludes: "The bleeding from Dr Kelly's ulnar artery is highly unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death. We advise the instructing solicitors to obtain the autopsy reports so that the concerns of a group of properly interested medical specialists can be answered."
In The Strange Death of David Kelly, Liberal-Democratic MP Norman Baker builds a strong case that the scientist was murdered. Despite Lord Hutton's dubious findings that Kelly killed himself, several troubling facts intruded to upend the British government's apple cart.
The lack of fingerprints found on the knife allegedly used by the scientist to slit his wrists; the lack of blood found at the scene, despite a verdict that he had sliced open an artery; unexplained contusions on Kelly's scalp; the position of the body discovered by searchers differed markedly from that alleged by detectives; bottled water, knife and wristwatch said to be found by detectives were not observed by the searchers who actually discovered the body; eight computers removed from Kelly's home and office by MI6 agents; missing dental records; the level of painkillers found in Kelly's stomach was "less than a third" of what is considered a fatal overdose by medical experts. On and on it goes...
One source told Baker that Dr. Kelly's death was "a wet operation, a wet disposal," a term used in intelligence circles to denote an assassination.
One motive which may have led to Kelly's murder was that the scientist was writing a book "exposing highly damaging government secrets before his mysterious death.
According to published reports, Kelly intended to reveal that he had warned Prime Minister Tony Blair "there were no weapons of mass destruction anywhere in Iraq weeks before the British and American invasion." Despite warnings that the book would breach Britain's draconian Officials Secrets Act, Kelly sought advice on how he might bring his findings into a publishable form.
These reports also suggest that Kelly threatened to "lift the lid" on a larger scandal, "his own secret dealings in germ warfare with the apartheid regime in South Africa."
Investigative journalists Bob Coen and Eric Nadler in their book Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail and a companion 90-minute documentary, Anthrax War, provide startling evidence that Kelly's death is linked to a secret world of germ warfare research.
Indeed, according to Coen and Nadler, David Kelly's secret dealings included a connection with Dr. Wouter Basson, the cardiologist who was the former head of the South African apartheid regime's clandestine biological and chemical warfare program, Project Coast.
During Basson's 1999 trial and subsequent acquittal, evidence presented by some 150 witnesses, including operatives linked to South African snatch-and-kill squads, tied Basson to chemical and biological research used in extrajudicial executions by the apartheid regime. It was further alleged that Project Coast had conducted active research into the fabrication of "ethnic weapons" that would specifically target South Africa's black population.
In Anthrax War, Basson states that his findings were shared with foreign scientists, including those affiliated with weapons research in Britain and the United States.
Coen and Nadler uncovered evidence that Kelly had discovered a "Porton Down-South Africa connection" linked to a global bioweapons black market. "We have proved there is a black market in anthrax. David Kelly was of particular interest to us because he was a world expert on anthrax and he was involved in some degree with assisting the secret germ warfare programme in apartheid South Africa," they are reported to have said.
Andrew Mackinlay, an MP blamed for humiliating Kelly "to the point of suicide" started "asking questions in the House of Lords" after the scientist's death "about Kelly's relationship with these South Africans, even making inquiries about South African links to Pasechnik's Regma firm."
Founded in 2000 by the deceased scientist, Regma Bio Technologies was headquartered on the Porton Down campus and had signed a contract with the U.S. Navy for anti-anthrax research.
What Mackinlay discovered about the entire operation was highly disturbing to say the least. His inquiry sparked "the convening of an extraordinary 'handling strategy meeting' involving thirteen officials from different government agencies. But any and all information about UK-South African germ work was withheld from the MP."
Mackinlay told Coen and Nadler, "This is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the British government."
The question is, did David Kelly threaten to reveal these "closely guarded secrets" in the book he was preparing, and was this a motive for certain "dark actors" to eliminate a person now considered "an enemy of the state"?
These programs are not Cold War relics. Biological weapons research continues today and remains one of the worlds most deadly secrets.
The evidence suggests that Dr. David Kelly, as Norman Baker alludes too "may have signed his own death warrant" by threatening to reveal this secret underworld menacing all humanity with unimaginable horrors.
More on Dr Kelly here