There was correspondence between the Ministry of Defence and the Attorney General's Office around 13th and 14th March 2003 which, as far as I can trace, has never been publicly disclosed.
It's in one of those documents, I understand, that Goldsmith supposedly claimed that the war was legal in International and UK Law, in response to a specific question from the Chief of Defence Staff. The latter, quite understandably, wanted to cover his back.
So far as I can trace the correspondence has still not been disclosed.
I wish I'd been clever (or alert) enough two years ago to ask these questions.
But better late than never, I guess.
I guess the process could take a couple of years to progress through Internal Review, the Information Commissioner etc.
This is a Freedom of Information Request.
I wish to ask for a copy of the following documents:
1. The letter(s) or other communication(s) in March 2003 from the Ministry of Defence to the then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith about the legal basis for going to war in Iraq.
2. The letter(s) or other communications(s) in March 2003 from the Attorney General's Office to the Ministry of Defence about the legal basis for going to war in Iraq.
With respect to questions 1. and 2. I am asking only for documents dated in March 2003.
3. If, in the first instance, you decide to withhold copies of the items referred to in Question 1. I ask for a table with the following information about the documents: Date, From, To, Number of pages, Subject, Classification Level
4. If, in the first instance, you decide to withhold copies of the items referred to in Question 2. I ask for a table with the following information about the documents: Date, From, To, Number of pages, Subject, Classification Level.
With respect to "Classification Level" I mean was the document classified as "Confidential", "Restricted" etc.
It may be helpful for you to be aware that I endeavoured to locate the requested documents on a number of Government websites as well as the Iraq Inquiry website, without success.
In the interests of transparency it occurs to me that you're likely to rely on Sections 35(1)(a), 35(1)(b) and 35(1)(c) in your response to this FOI Request.
If you should choose to rely on such an exemption I anticipate I will seek, in sequence, Internal Review, escalation to consideration by the Information Commissioner etc.
These are documents of immense public interest.
I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this Freedom of Information Request.
(Dr) Andrew Watt
I'm not holding my breath.
Unless the documents are declassified then this will be a long haul to get to the truth, I think.