Military Families Against the War

Press Release

‘An insult to those who gave their lives for their country’

Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has rejected the demand for a full public inquiry into the Iraq war. Sixteen families of British servicemen killed in Iraq haveS called on the Prime Minister to open a full investigation into the background and legality to the war. The families consider that there are serious questions for the government to answer. They believe that their husbands and sons were sent to war on the basis of lies and deception.

Moreover in the rejection of their legitimate request for an inquiry the Prime Minister has added insult to injury.

The Prime Minister’s lawyers have written the following to the families:

‘the decision to take military action in Iraq was in no sense the immediate and direct operative cause of the deaths of the claimants’ relatives. Those servicemen regrettably lost their lives due to a variety of circumstances – a road traffic accident in Kuwait and a US helicopter crash to a gun attack and improvised explosive device attack. The legality of the decision to take military action in Iraq has no bearing on the circumstances which led to their deaths’.

These weasel words drew the following comments from the families today:

Ann Lawrence, whose son Marc was killed when two helicopters collided at sea, said ‘I’m sure that Tom Keys and Marc Lawrence wouldn’t have been in a million miles of Iraq had Mr Blair not sent them there. They had a Queen’s commission and were duty bound to take orders.’

Peter Brierley whose son Shaun was killed in a road traffic accident said:

‘My son often went out on Sunday afternoon drives and Kuwait was one of the destinations he used to go to which is as ridiculous as suggesting the decision to go to war and the accident were not connected. All the wriggling that Tony Blair is doing to try and get out of this has probably been the cause of his slipped disc. We will pursue the case for a public inquiry through all avenues.’

Rose Gentle whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra said:’ the question of the legality of the war is very important to me and my family. We all need to know whether the army was sent to Iraq on a proper basis. This letter is an insult to those who gave their lives for their country.’

The families are now determined to pursue their demand for a full public inquiry and have launched a national petition and are calling on MPs and others to join with them in a campaign to reverse this dishonourable decision.

Andrew Burgin 07939 242229 / Chris Nineham 07930 536 519


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Mai 2005

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