The Iraq Inquiries: Publicity, Secrecy and Liberal War
Thomas, Owen David
Since 2003 the British state has conducted several public inquiries into the Iraq War. These inquiries have been impeded by official secrecy, justified on the grounds of national security. This leads to an apparent dilemma in which the liberal democratic practice of publicity is balanced against security. I reject this balance. Instead I show how publicity and official secrecy are both apparatuses of security. Indeed the suspicion of official secrecy and the act of publicity is constitutive of liberal war. Thus those who demand ‘open government’ may re-inscribe a technique of governing that supports the British government’s case for war against Iraq.
In: A. Cromartie (ed), Liberal Wars: Anglo-American Strategy, Ideology and Practice (London: Routledge, 2015) pp. 128-149