Sunday, November 02, 2008

Questions over Robin Cook's death

Another David Kelly? Some people online are asking questions.

While googling around the other day, one link led to another until a blog in particular caught my attention. Though I'm a firm believer that shit happens and that, if one wants, practically everything can be dressed up and interpreted as conspiracy (sometimes to mental extremes), I'm also aware that there are several grey areas in the way our governments act. This blog paid some attention to the strange death of Dr David Kelly and the murky world behind the Iraq war and I couldn't help but think that aspects of Robin Cook's death don't appear to fully add up.

I know it's hardly topical but you may want to have a look.

According to this entry ("Lingering questions about Robin Cook's death") available on a blog called 'Shaphan', there was some ambiguity regarding Cook's official cause of death (head injuries or heart disease?). Also, it may mean nothing, but as the Scottish mountain of Ben Stack (where Cook died while on a walking holiday) is extremely isolated, for a walker (or walkers - again, there seem to be contrasting versions) to be at hand and phone for help was quite a singular coincidence. More, in spite of earlier reports suggesting the opposite, it is was later established that both Cook and his wife were indeed carrying a mobile phone themselves (it was 2005, after all).

Finally, "Robin Cook chose an extremely remote place to die, far away from London, and the story was over before the press could send anyone to cover it". I didn't know, for instance, that Ben Stack is property of the Duke of Westminster, someone who devoted most of his life to the British Army and has always been regarded as a top MoD insider.

Similarly to the David Kelly affair, in spite of the high profile nature of the deceased, the police declared the case closed straightaway "as this would appear to be a medical matter".

In case you're scratching your head about all this, Robin Cook, as many know, was possibly the fiercest critic of the Iraq invasion amongst Labour's senior politicians. As he'd been Foreign Minister throughout Tony Blair's first term in office (1997-2001), he obviously had first-hand knowledge of intelligence related to Iraq, WMDs and threats (real or imaginary) from abroad. This is why he was particularly aware that Blair was hitting a bum note with the botched intelligence that lead to the infamous 45-minute claim. In protest against the invasion of Iraq, Robin Cook resigned from the cabinet in 2003. Four weeks before his death, he'd caused a minor stir when he relied on his previous knowledge as Foreign Minister to write in The Guardian:

"Al-Qaida, literally "the database", was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians".

14 comments:

Le Mans said...

Pleased to see someone's writing about it. I remember not being fully convinced when it happened back in 2005. When intelligence matters and high-level secrecy are at stake nothing should be ruled out.

Prestonshire said...

The Blair government? I wouldn't put anything past them. If they could lie shamelessly about carpet bombing and invading a country and signing ludicrously expensive contracts for reconstruction, then they can do anything.

Anonymous said...

oh no! Another paranoid lot. People just die, and that includes politicians and celebrities alike, such as Marilyn Monroe, JFK and Elvis. It doesn't have to be a conspiracy. Accidents do happen and the intelligence services dont employ half of the population. Let Cook and Kelly rest in peace.

PS Lotsof folk go on trekking up Ben Stick -its not as unusual as you make it sound.

Stan Moss said...

anonymous,

I started the article by carefully stating that accidents do happen and that I'm aware conspiracy theories often turn into mental stuff. I said exactly that.

I think people don't bother to read articles properly and just have knee-jerk fits of rage when they post comments!

Anonymous said...

It was fishy. Dr Kelly docet.

Andrew Simon said...

Whilst completely accepting that Robin Cook's death can easily be explained as being quite natural by simple medical reasoning, it's nevertheless true that he was the most senior critic of Mr Blair's claims about Saddam's WMD.

There's an interesting conjunction between Dr Kelly and Robin Cook contained in the evidence given by the BBC's Susan Watts to Lord Hutton at his inquiry:

Q. You were interviewing with him or talking to him because you were going to help preparation for an interview with Robin Cook. Did you discuss that at all?

A. Only briefly towards the end of the conversation. This was for an item I was putting together, a 4 minute item. I asked him what he would like to ask Robin Cook.

Q. What would he have liked to ask Robin Cook?

A. He just suggested that he should be asked why he was adamant in his position, Robin Cook's position.

Q. So adamant about his political position?

A. Yes, that there were no weapons to be found.

This kind of begs the question as to who it was who was actually briefing Robin Cook (and the FCO when he was there) about the so-called 'missing' WMD. You don't suppose that that could have been Dr Kelly himself by any chance do you? Or even that it was Robin Cook (whilst he was still in the Cabinet) who actually told Dr Kelly about Alastair Campbell and the 45 minute claim in the first place?

Counting Crow said...

You may be interested in the following:

Norman Baker, Brighton Argus: "Nagging Doubts" over the death of Robin Cook. http://www.theargus.co.uk/display.var.1327811.0.0.php

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. It does make you think that the case was closed before even opening it. You'd have thought they'd have used more caution...?

thepatriot said...

What is it abt all those critics of the WMD claim that make them walk all the way to remote forests or mountains ?

Anonymous said...

the real conspiracy is that they faked robin cooks death

socialist sam said...

anonymous,
do you mean Robert Cook is still alive tucked away somewhere?

By the way, the death of the journo from Oz (I can't remember his name) is another one plagued by unasnwered questions.

Anonymous said...

MI5 murdered Smith to install their man Blair

Cook murdered Fatchett

Urquhart murdered O'Neil, Storin, Stamper and that clever pollster woman.

Anonymous said...

His most recent novel "Foregin Body" continues in the vein of his other tedious medical thrillers.

Stan said...

The chairman of the Review of the Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction (the 'Butler Inquiry'), Lord Butler of Brockwell was as a paid advisor to Marsh & McLennan, a company who profitted imensely from the Iraq War.

There was a direct conflict between Lord Butler's private interests as a beneficiary of the Iraq war and his role as a public servant reviewing the intelligence relating to that war.

More info here.