British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, second from right, at meeting of Leeds Zionist organization
England’s Conservative government has lately offered frightening indications of its willingness to participate in an attack on Iran. And Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, is arguing at his site that British policy is being driven in an underhanded fashion by the Israel lobby.
Murray ties the British policy to the Fox-Werritty scandal.
In two important posts, he has raised questions about meetings between disgraced former Defence Minister Liam Fox and Fox’s friend/adviser Adam Werritty, who was backed financially by Israel lobbyists, and Matthew Gould, the British ambassador to Israel (who the Jerusalem Post describes as a Zionist).
The six meetings between British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould and Minister of Defence Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together – only two of which were revealed by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell in his “investigation” into Werritty’s unauthorised role in the Ministry of Defence – raise vital concerns about a secret agenda for war at the core of government, comparable to Blair’s determination to drive through a war on Iraq..
…I was particularly concerned by this because I knew slightly and liked Matthew Gould, from the time he wrote speeches for Robin Cook. I hoped there was nothing much in it. But then Gould’s name started to come up as professional journalists dug into the story, and reported Werritty’s funding by pro-Israeli lobby groups.
I decided that the best approach was for me to write to Matthew Gould. I did so, asking him when he had first met Werritty, how many times he had met him, and how many communications of every kind there had been between them. I received the reply that these questions would be answered in Gus O’Donnell’s report.
But Gus O’Donnell’s report in fact answered none of these questions. It only mentioned two meetings at which Fox, Gould and Werritty were all three present. It did not mention Gould-Werritty bilateral meetings and contacts at all. To an ex-Ambassador like me, there was also something very fishy about the two trilateral meetings O’Donnell did mention and his characterisation of them.
This led me to dig further, and I was shocked to find that O’Donnell was, at the most charitable interpretation, economical with the truth. In fact there were at least six Fox-Werritty-Gould meetings, not the two given by O’Donnell. Why did GOD lie? I now had no doubt that my informant had pointed me towards something very real and very important indeed.
Matthew Gould was the only British Ambassador who Fox and Werrity met together. They met him six times. Why?
The first meeting to which O’Donnell admits, took place in September 2010. O’Donnell says this was “a general discussion of international defence and security matters to enable Mr Gould better to understand MOD’s perspective.”
O’Donnell says Werritty should not have been present. An FCO spokesman told me on 21 October that “Mr Gould’s meeting with the Defence Secretary was arranged by his office as part of his pre-posting briefing calls.”
All Ambassadors make pre-posting briefing calls around Whitehall before taking up their job, as you would expect. But even for our most senior Ambassadors, outside the Foreign Office those calls are not at Secretary of State level. Senior officials are quite capable of explaining policy to outgoing Ambassadors; Secretaries of State have many other things to do.
Today Murray follows up with these questions:
When did Gould first meet Werritty?
How many times did Gould meet Werritty without Fox present?
How many communications of all sorts have there ever been between Gould and Werritty?
Where precisely was the “Pre-posting briefing meeting” for Gould with Werritty and Fox held?
Why was it not held in the Secretary of State’s office?
Why was no MOD official present?
Who paid for the “Private dinner” between Fox, Gould and Werritty and “Senior Israelis” in Tel Aviv in February 2011?
Who was present?
Was any note subsequently made of the discussion?
Who paid for the “social engagement” to which Fox invited Gould and Werritty in summer 2010?
Who was present?
Was the possibility of an attack on Iran discussed in any of the above meetings, events or communications?
These really are very simple questions and I will happily report any answer in full. Every media outlet should be asking these questions. Remember Werritty had no security clearance. It is therefore not possible that the answers to these questions is classified information.