Letters on the death of British whistleblower Dr. David Kelly

Below we post a selection of recent letters on the death of British whistleblower Dr. David Kelly.

I would like to thank Mr. Chris Marsden for his in-depth reports on the death of Dr. David Kelly, a leading Ministry of Defence adviser, who was in charge of drafting the section of the British government’s September 24, 2002 security dossier on Iraq. He was found dead with a slashed wrist on July 17, 2003 in Woodland near his Oxfordshire home. Although the British government and the media quickly assumed it to be a suicide, it is equally possible that it could have been a murder made to look like a suicide.

Mr. Marsden has referred to a well-known journalist Tom Mangold’s assessment of Dr. David Kelly as “far from being a pushover who could not cope with pressure.” As a matter of fact, Mr. Mangold, who had worked for several years with Dr. David Kelly, had depicted a different picture than that presented by the media. In the book entitled Plague Wars (Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg eds., Pan Books, London; 1999, p. 307), the following has been written about Dr. Kelly. “If David Kelly were a tax inspector, he would recoup Britain’s entire national debt. With his soft voice and his semantic precision, he is an inspector’s inspector. He led teams in the Soviet Union, then Russia, and is the oldest hand on the UNSCOM inspectorate; he is also the most respected—and, in Iraq, the most feared..... He is currently the senior adviser on biological defence to the Ministry of Defence, which makes him one of the world’s leading plague wars defenders. You take on Kelly, you take on a truly hard man...”

About his personal mode of investigation, Dr. Kelly had stated the following: “My investigative technique has always been to go in hard, but to be courteous. I remind my interviewees of the seriousness of the UN mission. I explain my role. I treat people with respect and dignity, a little bit of humour, and no threat. I’ve done six-hour interviews, with very short coffee breaks, where I thought people were holding back, nothing nasty, but they tell me I am very persistent.

“I love Iraq; in my spare time there I go to a special bookseller in Baghdad and read about the British occupation. It’s a fantastic country, the people are lovely..... This could be such as a wonderful land (Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg eds., Pan Books, London; 1999, pp. 309-10).”

Dr. Kelly, as depicted above, was courteous and not a pushover. In his final email to Judith Miller of the New York Times, Dr. Kelly had stated about the role of “dark actors playing games.” It is important to know about those “dark actors.” Since Dr. Kelly was dealing with a matter of global importance, it is essential that the people of the world must know in detail about the circumstances that led to the tragic death of one of the leading biological weapons experts of the world.

We are living in a world where scientists contribute heavily. Yet the case of Dr. Kelly has revealed that scientists are subjected to pressures and manipulations even in a technologically advanced British society. What happens to the scientists in many developing countries where governments are weak and susceptible to external pressures is anybody’s guess. Poor people of many of these countries are used as experimental guinea pigs to test and produce health care materials for soldiers of rich nations in order to enhance their combat efficiencies. There are “whistleblower scientists” in those countries who are not protected by their weak governments and their protests pass into tragedy and oblivion.

Dr. LA

27 July 2003

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Thanks for putting this out there. I have been looking for some reasonable information since the moment the “suicide” was reported. It is so implausible.

Cliff Baxter committed suicide, too. And 11 or 12 world-class microbiologists have met untimely and mysterious fates.

You don’t suppose that an international criminal conspiracy is taking over our democratically elected free republics, do you?


Astoria, Oregon

25 July 2003

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I tried to get British national (broadsheet and the Daily Mirror) newspapers and the BBC interested in precisely the points you raise (and others) but apart from the Daily Telegraph I am afraid the level of curiosity was negligible—they were more concerned with their deadlines! I note that it has not been reported who performed the postmortem examination—we do not even know how many pathologists were involved—I hope they looked for needle marks! I am convinced that Kelly was murdered—the alleged method of suicide is not exactly the method of choice of an intelligent male in this culture. And, as for the police informing us all of the cause of death (before the postmortem and before the inquest)—well, words fail me—the silence of the press is deafening—are they afraid?


26 July 2003

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Chris Marsden,

It seems to me that for a man to walk for over an hour across sodden fields to a place which was probably liked by him tends to indicate suicide by someone of his sort of faith, even though that is against its teaching, rather than murder. Why would a murder (team) bother to take him or his body such a long way—why not just dump it more conveniently nearer his home?

Of course, if there are serious doubts then investigation should continue, but so far it seems to me that suicide is the most likely explanation.



25 July 2003

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Who slit the dear man’s wrist after doping him up?


Palm Springs, California

24 Jul 2003

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Re: “Britain: Was whistleblower Kelly’s death suicide?” You invite readers for comments; therefore, I am glad to provide you with mine.

This editorial, commentary or article, whatever is the correct term, is very good, if not excellent. I certainly would not have written a better analysis, and am thankful for having read this piece. I entirely agree with your analysis and conclusion.

Now, this web site is new to me, having come across it only over the past week or so, and I haven’t had the time, given all of the other web sites I use to get information regarding this unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq—all of Iraq obviously, not just Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party government—so I can’t currently comment on other articles from your web site; however, this one certainly gives me the impression that I’ll be finding other good articles from you.

You seem to have a web site many, or most, should know about, and I’ll pass on the URL whenever an opportunity presents itself.



26 July 2003

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Hi Chris,

An excellent story but so far there is little emerging in the media coverage as to a strong motivation for Dr. Kelly to take his own life. After we are lied to so much from the mass media, it is difficult to know when they are telling the truth. And in this case you get the feeling something is unstated or much covered up about Kelly’s death. History too has disclosed most whistleblowers with something important to say “have an accident” to shut them up lest more be said. Dr. Kelly was “quickly declared a suicide.”

There seems a contradiction in that he has the courage to take a strong stand against these deceiving political criminals but then capitulates to them by suicide. He would not have ventured into this without weighing up the pros and cons beforehand, at least to some degree. His death must have been an unexpected piece of fortune for the governing pecking order. Lord Hutton, a part of the pecking order appointed to chair this inquiry, will purify and consecrate matters befitting a lord—free from any startling insights.


24 July 2003