Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sir David Manning: War Profiteer

"Wars, conflict- it's all business"- sighs Monsieur Verdoux, the eponymous anti-hero in Charlie Chaplin's classic film. This report from today's Mail on Sunday hardly disproves the thesis.

The man who acted as go-between for Tony Blair and George Bush in the run-up to the Iraq War has been given a senior post worth an estimated £50,000 a year with U.S.-owned arms company Lockheed.

Sir David Manning (pictured above, on left, next to George Bush), Britain's former ambassador in Washington has also joined a shadowy UK intelligence firm set up by former spies.

Sir David was Mr Blair's foreign affairs and defence adviser. He stepped down as the UK's envoy in Washington two years ago.

He played a key role in planning the Iraq War, and secret memos published after the conflict revealed how he knew Mr Blair had promised to go to war with Mr Bush a year before the conflict.

Sir David has become a non-executive director of Lockheed's subsidiary, Lockheed UK. He will also act as personal adviser to the firm's chief executive, Ian Stopps.
A company spokesman said: 'He has joined because of his distinguished career and experience in diplomacy as well as in government.'

Lockheed is one of the most powerful defence firms in the world. It is proud of its role in the Iraq War and published an 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' brochure that described how its 'stealthy F-117 Nighthawk opened the Allied operation with a strike aimed at Saddam Hussein's leadership'.

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