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Posts Tagged ‘Sir John Chilcot’

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor | Independent | Monday, 4 January 2010

An internet-based “people power” campaign is asking its 60,000 members to draw up the “tough questions” that Tony Blair must be asked when he is questioned by the Iraq inquiry this year.

38 Degrees, a group set up last year in memory of the Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, wants to ensure that Mr Blair is not let off the hook or allowed to answer the most sensitive questions in private.

Although Sir John Chilcot, the former Whitehall mandarin chairing the inquiry, has insisted that Mr Blair will be questioned mainly in public, critics of the 2003 invasion fear the former prime minister may cite national security in an attempt to ensure some of the hearing is behind closed doors.

An initial survey by 38 Degrees found strong demands among its members for Mr Blair to answer these questions:

  • Why did you insist that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction were the reason to attack Iraq?
  • Did the Bush administration threaten, tacitly or otherwise, to withdraw American investment from the UK if it did not support the invasion?
  • Why was there no strategy to rebuild Iraq following Saddam’s overthrow?
  • What was the total value to the UK and its businesses of contracts arising directly from the Iraq invasion?
  • Why does the UK Government support the creation of new governments which oppress women more than their predecessors did?

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Blair to be called before UK inquiry to Iraq war

LONDON, England (CNN) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be called before an inquiry into the country’s role in the Iraq war, its chairman said during the opening Thursday.

John Chilcot told media he would not “offer a list of witnesses” but that “key decision-makers in the key phases of the Iraq affair” would be called.

“You can work out for yourself who some of them will be, but apart from the former prime minister [Tony Blair] — who it’s obvious we must see — I don’t want to give a longer list today.”

Blair’s appearance before the inquiry, whenever it happens, will be of huge interest to the British public and media.

Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, announced the inquiry last month, saying it would look in depth at the lead up to and conduct of the war. However, he also said it would not appropriate blame or have any mandate to consider civil or criminal charges.

Chilcot said the inquiry would examine the period starting from the summer of 2001 until the launch of the military operation in 2003, and up to the present day.

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