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Posts Tagged ‘Chilcot inquiry’

Tony Blair will face scathing criticism from Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry over his role in the Iraq war, according to reports.

The former prime minister will be held to account for major failings in the war in which 179 British soldiers, 3,500 US soldiers and more than 100,000 Iraqis died, it has been alleged.

He will be criticised for claiming it was ‘beyond doubt’ Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Sir John Chilcot’s findings will also criticise Mr Blair for failing to admit to a ‘secret pledge’, allegedly made with former US president George Bush, that he would go to war.

In the report, due out this autumn, Mr Blair will also come under fire for failing to plan to avoid the post-war chaos in Iraq.

Former foreign secretary Jack Straw and ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell are also expected to be criticised.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/870992-tony-blair-to-face-scathing-criticism-from-chilcot-inquiry-into-iraq-war#ixzz1TllBQxxz

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• Blair ‘lied’ over war preparations
• Attorney general ‘misled’ government
• Brown ‘marginalised and unhappy’
Clare Short at the Iraq war inquiry – as it happened
James Sturcke, The Guardian/UK, Feb 2, 2010
Clare Short arriving to give evidence at the Iraq Inquiry

Clare Short arriving to give evidence at the Iraq inquiry. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Clare Short, the former international development secretary, today accused Tony Blair of lying to her and misleading parliament in the build-up to the Iraq invasion.

Short, giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the war, also said that the 2003 conflict had put the world in greater danger of international terrorism.

Declassified letters between Short and Blair released today show she believed that invading Iraq without a second UN resolution would be illegal and there was a significant risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

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Letter from Clare Short to Tony Blair on humanitarian planning and the role of the UN, 14 February 2003 (pdf).

Letter from Short to Blair on the UN and US roles in post-conflict Iraq, 5 March 2003 (pdf).

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Chilcot and the courts won’t do it, so it is up to us to show that we won’t let an illegal act of mass murder go unpunished

by George Monbiot, The Guardian/UK, January 26, 2010

The only question that counts is the one that the Chilcot inquiry won’t address: was the war with Iraq illegal? If the answer is yes, everything changes. The war is no longer a political matter, but a criminal one, and those who commissioned it should be committed for trial for what the Nuremberg tribunal called “the supreme international crime”: the crime of aggression.

But there’s a problem with official inquiries in the United Kingdom: the government appoints their members and sets their terms of reference. It’s the equivalent of a criminal suspect being allowed to choose what the charges should be, who should judge his case and who should sit on the jury. As a senior judge told the Guardian in November: “Looking into the legality of the war is the last thing the government wants. And actually, it’s the last thing the opposition wants either because they voted for the war. There simply is not the political pressure to explore the question of legality – they have not asked because they don’t want the answer.”

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The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media

by John Pilger, The New Statesman, Dec 13, 2009

[President George W. Bush gestures as he answers a reporter’s question during a joint press availability with Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom Friday, July 28, 2006, in the East Room of the White House. (Photo by Paul Morse - CC license)]
President George W. Bush gestures as he answers a reporter’s question during a joint press availability with Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom Friday, July 28, 2006, in the East Room of the White House. (Photo by Paul Morse – CC license)

I tried to contact Mark Higson the other day, only to learn that he had died nine years ago. He was just 40, an honourable man. We met soon after he resigned from the Foreign Office in 1991 and I asked him if the government knew that Hawk fighter-bombers sold to Indonesia were being used against civilians in East Timor.

“Everyone knows,” he said, “except parliament and the public.”

“And the media?”

“The media – the big names – have been invited to King Charles Street [the Foreign Office] and flattered and briefed with lies. They are no trouble.”

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Tony Blair

by Matthew Carr, Dissident Voice,  December 3, 2009

At some point in the New Year Tony Blair will appear before the Chilcot Inquiry established by the British government to assess the historical ‘lessons’ of the Iraq war. Few individuals bear more responsibility for the invasion and its calamitous aftermath than Blair. Not only was his single-minded determination crucial in bringing his own country into the war, but his close political relationship with the Bush administration, also helped US hawks present the case for war to a sceptical American public.

The consequences of this intervention are well-known; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and four million refugees and internally displaced persons; thousands of British and American soldiers killed or wounded; an Iraqi society devastated by war and counterinsurgency, by criminal and terrorist violence, ethnic cleansing and death squads; a neo-colonial occupation marked by torture and brutality and barely-credible levels of financial corruption and incompetence.

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