TONY BLAIR CALLED WAR CRIMINALIf the shoe fits.....
LONDON — Former Prime Minister Tony Blair testified Monday that he never challenged the influential British press because doing so would have plunged his administration into a drawn-out and politically damaging fight.
Blair led Britain from 1997 to 2007, and his Labour Party government has been criticized by many – including some of Blair's former colleagues – as having an unhealthy relationship with the country's press.
Blair, speaking under oath at an inquiry into media ethics, said the issue wasn't that he and Britain's journalistic elite were too cozy, but that he had to tread carefully where press barons were concerned.
"I took a strategic decision to manage these people, not confront them," he told Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who is leading the inquiry. "I didn't say that I feared them ... (but) had you decided to confront them, everything would have been pushed to the side. It would have been a huge battle with no guarantee of winning."
Leveson's inquiry was set up following revelations of phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid, a scandal which has rocked the British establishment and raised questions about whether top politicians helped shield Murdoch – and the media in general – from official scrutiny.
....Blair's testimony was briefly interrupted when a heckler burst in through a secure corridor behind Leveson, shouting: "This man should be arrested for war crimes!"
before being removed by security.
Leveson, looking ruffled, said he would investigate how the man managed to sneak in to the secured zone.