The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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I do apologise for sending such a frivolous and irreverent message to the discussion list, but this is the text of a letter I've just sent off to Mr Richard Butler, former big honcho of UNSCOM. I do hope I'm not going to be thrown off the discussion list, Ali? ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 15:35:53 +0100 (BST) From: Glen Rangwala <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Warning: you have been libelled in the British press To: Mr Richard Butler, Diplomat-in-Residence, Council on Foreign Relations, The Harold Pratt House, 58 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA. Tel: 212.434.9682. Dear Mr Butler I do hope that you will excuse my impertinence in contacting you in this fashion. However, I may have some significant information that may prove valuable to you. On Sunday 28th May 2000, you were seriously libelled in a UK newspaper. The Sunday Times (London) published a quote, without disclaimer, as follows: "They threw us out of Iraq because I wanted their remaining chemical and biological weapons and they wouldn't give them to me..." The story was entitled "Saddam and the Prophet of International Doom, Sunday Times", from 28 May 2000. It can be found on the Sunday Times website: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/05/28/stirevnws01010.html Of course, as is well known, far from being thrown out of Iraq, you withdrew UNSCOM personnel from Iraq in the early hours of 16 December 1998, so that the US and UK could bomb Iraq. It has been widely claimed that you took orders to do this directly from the US government, and since the US paid your wages, your decision is of course understandable. As a result of your decision, UNSCOM - who had been granted access to the vast majority of Iraqi installations - has never been allowed back into Iraq and has sadly now been disbanded. Therefore, as I'm sure you'll agree, the quote in the Sunday Times is a gross misrepresentation of a historical event, touching upon your past decision-making in a serious and profound way. The novelty in such a case stems from the fact that it was actually you who said the words quoted in the Sunday Times. Now memory is of course a troublesome thing, as countless psychologists and oral historians have substantiated in recent years, and eighteen months is a very long time to be expected to remember key decisions one makes in life. However, do not be put off: the Sunday Times has still issued a defamatory allegation by not checking that your stories of your past are in any respect accurate. In English law, all that is required is that words which are not substantially true are put into publication that would make a reader think worse of a plaintiff or expose him or her to ridicule. This is surely the case here: everytime I read a quote from you, I think the worse of you, and quotes from you are, indeed, ridiculous. Alternatively, a case for malicious falsehood could be made, as the Sunday Times may have interviewed you in knowledge that you would make aforementioned ridiculous comments, and thus held malice. As a lawyer, I would be more than happy to represent you in court. I recommend that you opt for trial by judge, as would be within your rights, as a jury may be unable to control their mirth. Yours sincerely Glen Rangwala. Trinity College Cambridge CB2 2AL UK. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi