Chris Ames

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Full name: Chris Ames

Area of interest: politics; freedom of information; secrecy and media manipulation; housing and homelessness

Journals/Organisation: The Guardian | New Statesman

Email: contact-info

Personal website:






About: Chris Ames is a freelance investigative journalist and regular contributor to the New Statesman and Comment is Free. He created and maintains the Iraqdossier website

Education: postgraduate certificate in journalism

Career: Since 2003 has been researching the origins of the 'Iraq dossier'

Current position/role: freelance writer and investigative journalist

  • also writes/written for: the New Statesman: articles (archive)

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities:



Broadcast media:

Video: Film now online about spin doctor involvement in the September 2002 dossier "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction"



Scoops: Used the Freedom of Information Act to force publication (in February 2008) of the "John Williams draft" of the Iraq dossier - Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (the first full draft of the dossier)

  • also see: Iraq dossier memos "must be released" - Memos and emails showing how the Government's Iraq war dossier was "sexed up" must be released, the information commissioner has ordered -, 4th September 2008


Books & Debate:

Forthcoming work: currently writing a book about spin doctor involvement in the September 2002 dossier 'Iraq's weapons of mass destruction'



The Guardian:

Column name:

Remit/Info: politics; freedom of information; secrecy and media manipulation; housing and homelessness

Section: / Comment is free

Role: Commentator



Website: / Chris Ames

Commissioning editor:

Day published: varies

Regularity: not consistent

Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

  • Chilcot inquiry keeps us in the dark- The decision not to publish documents insults the public's intelligence and provides huge scope for history to be rewritten - 19th December
  • Scarlett hangs Blair out to dry - Sir John Scarlett's evidence at the Chilcot inquiry must mean Tony Blair can no longer hide behind the intelligence services
  • Who decides if a war is legal? - In a careful performance at the Iraq inquiry Sir Jeremy Greenstock claimed to have been ill-informed, not naive - 27th November
  • Iraq inquiry's game-changing evidence - Sir Christopher Meyer's evidence has surely made it impossible to claim that Iraq was about WMD and not regime change - 26th November
  • The Iraq inquiry sideshow - Leaks are showing up John Chilcot's inquiry, as secrecy prevails – but perhaps he's about to publish a raft of documents ... - 24th November
  • Why don't we just ask Blair about Iraq? - The Iraq inquiry committee can be in no doubt. Bush wanted regime change, he got it. But did he do a deal with Blair in 2002? - 8th November
  • The Iraq inquiry digested - With the Chilcot hearings opening soon, concerned citizens have set up a website to interpret the evidence. Please join us - 2nd October
  • The truth about Kingsnorth - Will the Home Office ever release the real report into the policing of Kingsnorth climate camp – or will it be suppressed again? - 30th May
  • Iraq: we may get the truth yet - Evidence that Gordon Brown's power is slipping offers hope that ministers' plans for a secret inquiry may yet be thwarted - 3rd May
  • Dirty tricks on a dodgy Iraq dossier - Jack Straw misrepresented the arms inspector Hans Blix to defend the Iraq dossier and must not be involved in a war inquiry - 27th April
  • Who was in the loop over Heathrow? - Those challenging the airport's expansion draw on the principle that the decision should be both rational and transparent - 7th April
  • Getting to the truth about Iraq - If the government thinks a secret inquiry into the Iraq war will restore public confidence, it's very wrong - 27th March
  • The dossier was dodgy. Is there any doubt? - The Cabinet Office has released more papers showing how the 2002 WMD dossier was 'sexed-up' against the wishes of experts - 13th March
  • Heathrow: planning for passenger chaos - Has the government given itself a get-out clause on runway three if it fails an environment test for lack of public transport? - 13th March
  • The Act that Jack wrecked - By vetoing release of Iraq war cabinet minutes, Jack Straw has flouted freedom of information – and ruined his own credibility - 24th February
  • The truth, minute by minute - Efforts to suppress cabinet notes on the decision to go to war in Iraq only feed the impression that there is something to hide - 27th January
  • The aviation industry will keep bluffing - Runway 3: Arguments such as greener technology may seem plausible, but airport expansion will still increase carbon emissions - 12th January

Articles: 2008

  • What is Brown afraid of? - The prime minister's dithering over an Iraq inquiry will ensure that any political fallout comes after the next election - 19th December 2008
  • Publish and be damned - The government must reveal the notes of the meetings where the cabinet discussed the legality of war in Iraq - 28th November 2008
  • Weighed and found wanting - Lord Bingham has compared Britain's actions over Iraq to vigilantism. But at least a vigilante acts in good faith - 18th November 2008
  • Red faces over green towns - The British government has lost faith with eco-towns but is trying to save face - 6th November 2008
  • Flying in the face of reason - Government efforts to manipulate the 'consultation' process on Heathrow's expansion seem to be coming unstuck - 30th October 2008
  • Toothless, clawless and clueless - The intelligence and security committee is a servile beast that never discomfits its master – the government - 11th September 2008
  • Dragging out the truth, bit by bit - The government may not want us to know what happened with that sexed-up Iraq dossier, but we'll find out eventually - Saturday, 6th September 2008
  • False foundations - A new era of council housing would be welcome news, if only it were true - Friday, 29th August 2008
  • The Thames Gateway? What a washout - Slowly the government's planned massive regeneration project is becoming little more than an 'aspiration'. It's a lost opportunity - Friday, 1st August 2008
  • Flint admits to an unsustainable boom - Gordon Brown promised 'no return to boom and bust'. Did anyone tell his housing minister? - Saturday, 5th July 2008
  • Nuclear goading - Just as with Iraq, claims that Iran might be close to getting the bomb are more about politics than proliferation - Tuesday, 1st July 2008
  • Nuclear scare stories - 'Revelations' that certain countries are close to getting the bomb should be treated with caution - Monday, 23rd June 2008
  • Keep on spinning - Looked at more closely, the 'extra' funding to support homeowners is in fact a cut. Is New Labour up to its old tricks? - Tuesday, 17th June 2008
  • We need to talk about Kevin - Australia's prime minister has admitted that the Iraq war was a mistake: where does that leave Gordon Brown? - Monday, 2nd June 2008
  • Estates of grace - Social housing has an image problem - but it wasn't always looked down on, and there are now hopes of a long-overdue revival - Thursday, 22nd May 2008
  • Oi, FOI - Is the three-year-old Freedom of Information Act up to the job? Civil servants are using loopholes to sit on data until it stops being embarrassing - Friday, 16th May 2008
  • What does Gus know? - The cabinet secretary is supposed to have compiled a report prior to an inquiry into the Iraq war. But now it appears even this is being suppressed - Thursday, 1st May 2008
  • No place like home - The government wants to turn homelessness into a personal issue, but demonising people without homes mustn't blind us to its broken promises - Monday, 28th April 2008
  • The Barking minister? - Listening to the people is vital, but Margaret Hodge's pronouncements on housing play straight into the hands of the far-right - Tuesday, 22nd April 2008
  • Ministering propaganda - Today's Ministry of Defence is an Orwellian institution, whose duties at home consist mainly of putting the case for war - Tuesday, 15th April 2008
  • Need to know? - Public interest is increasingly hard to define: nowadays it's difficult to draw a line between what we should know and what we simply want to - Wednesday, 9th April 2008
  • Tory opportunism? - Pushing for an inquiry while maintaining that the war was right is inconsistent. This is not the way to regain voters' trust - Tuesday, 25th March 2008
  • Winding paths of inquiry - Gordon Brown has let it be known there will eventually be an Iraq inquiry. But will this one go where others feared to tread? - Friday, 21st March 2008
  • Waiting for Jacko - The information commissioner is taking the Ministry of Justice to task for stalling freedom of information requests. It's about time - Wednesday, 19th March 2008
  • Sleight of hand in Iraq - Promised troop cuts have only partly materialised. Is the British government trying to stave off an inquiry into the war? - Wednesday, 12th March 2008
  • Sparing Saudi blushes? - The British government seems unprepared to criticise Saudi Arabia's regime: in reality it is making the situation a lot worse - Monday, 10th March 2008
  • Moving closer to the truth about Iraq - Today's ruling by Richard Thomas is almost certain to be appealed given what's at stake. But it edges us closer to finding out the truth about Blair's great Iraq con, says Chris Ames - Politics Blog - Tuesday, 26th February 2008
  • Marginal benefits - Foreign Office efforts to suppress a note about Israel on a draft of the Iraq dossier have proved revealing - Thursday, 21st February 2008
  • Britain's WMD sleight of hand - The British government's behaviour over intelligence on Iraq's supposed supply of uranium from Africa is looking less and less cogent - Thursday, 31st January 2008
  • No more draft dodging - We are finally retracing the steps that led us to war in Iraq. And we have the Freedom of Information Act to thank for it - Wednesday, 23rd January 2008

Articles: 2007

  • Howells of disbelief - The Foreign Office minister continues to abuse the Freedom of Information Act in order to conceal the role of spin doctors in justifying the Iraq war - Tuesday, 4th December 2007
  • 'Churnalistic' ethics - Speak truth to power? As if. All too often, the media act as an uncritical mouthpiece for whatever power has to say - Tuesday, 20th November 2008
  • Draft measures - The government has covered up the truth about the genesis of the 'dodgy dossier' on Iraq for four years, but who has the most explaining to do? - Thursday, 23rd August 2007
  • Timescale truths - More details have emerged about Alastair Campbell's manipulation of intelligence assessments on Iraq - Thursday, 12th July 2007
  • So much for a clean slate - That Jack Straw, a key player in Britain's ill-judged decision to invade Iraq, can expect a top job in Gordon Brown's cabinet is a depressing prospect - Friday, 22nd June 2007
  • Draft dodging - Thanks to Kim Howells, the government has tied itself in knots in its effort to hide how the dodgy dossier was sexed up. Just give us the documents - Thursday, 14th June 2007
  • Over to you, Sir Gus - Since I hear you are to help Gordon Brown avoid political meddling in intelligence matters, allow me to make a few suggestions - Tuesday, 12th June 2007
  • The cover-up covered up - What a surprise: at the last minute, the Foreign Office has appealed the information commissioner's decision to release the dodgy dossier's first draft - Tuesday, 5th June 2007
  • A new spin on things - The post-Hutton BBC has been so beaten into submissiveness that it does not dare say that Hutton was misled. Now there's an irony - Thursday, 17th May 2007
  • Hutton hoodwinked - Evidence released by the information commissioner shows the government gave false testimony to the Hutton Inquiry. When we will get the truth? - Saturday, 5th May 2007
  • Blair nuked - Yesterday, Tony Blair declined to justify his exaggerated claim about Saddam's nuclear weapons capability. But the evidence could not be clearer - Thursday, 3rd May 2007
  • Unlucky Kim - The Foreign Office is digging itself ever deeper on the secret first draft of the Iraq dossier following an own goal by Kim Howells yesterday - Wednesday, 2nd May 2007
  • Why am I waiting? - With a decision on the release of the suppressed first draft of the dodgy dossier still pending, key questions still haunt the government - Thursday, 26th April 2007
  • The smoking gun - The release of an early draft of the 'dodgy dossier' should expose once and for all the chain of responsibility for 'sexing up' the intelligence on WMD - Saturday, 14th April 2007
  • What the Butler didn't see - It is only too apparent that the September 2002 dossier was meant to bolster the case for war - and that makes Lord Butler's inquiry look decidedly shabby - Monday, 19th March 2007
  • Draft dodging - The information commissioner is ruling on whether to release the first version of the Iraq dossier. It is inconceivable that it should be suppressed - Thursday, 1st March 2007

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