05/18/2006 02:50 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Straw's Silencing Has Pre-Iraq War Parallels

The British cabinet reshuffle - or bloodbath - contained a nugget of critical significance. The stunningly unexpected sacking of Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, followed a series of phone calls to his office from Tony Blair's office to demand he stop going on the radio where he invariably described a possible military assault on Iran as "nuts" and "inconceivable." These calls followed a private message from the White House to Blair demanding that Straw be silenced. This has duly taken place. These moves almost exactly parallel similar "language" censorship in advance of Iraq going critical in the early months of 2002.