The two main parties -- Labour and Conservative -- which were complicit in going to war are now complicit in preventing the truth about Tony Blair's lies from coming out.
By Lindsey German
Stop the War Coalition
17 July 2012
Video: Protest when Tony Blair appeared at the Chilcot Inquiry, January 2011.
Video: Peter Brierley, whose son was killed in Iraq, says Tony Blair condemned himself out of his own mouth at the Chilcot Inquiry.
CAN IT BE a coincidence that the week after Tony Blair returned to the political stage, the inquiry into his role in the Iraq war announces that it cannot report on its findings for at least another year?
Maybe the two aren’t linked, but it certainly makes you suspicious.
Especially when you consider that the people delaying the report are Lord O’Donnell, former cabinet secretary (when he was just plain Sir Gus), the present cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Tory Attorney General in the coalition government, Dominic Grieve.
According to the Guardian report, O’Donnell also ‘consulted Blair about the documents’.
His argument is that revealing some documents would be against the public interest and would damage relations with the US.
Particular concerns are with documents revealing phone conversations between Blair and US president George Bush, in the days before the Iraq war began in March 2003.
Sir John Chilcot, head of the Iraq Inquiry, has said that he must delay making his findings public because of the refusal to allow these documents to be made public.
He is clearly irritated that Blair and Alistair Campbell have been able gain publicity and make money by publishing their versions of events in their own memoirs, yet those carrying out a government backed inquiry are unable to do so.
It is another example of the contempt in which Campbell and Blair held parliament and the public in the run up to war, as they lied and twisted their way to the invasion, and demonstrates that this contempt has not gone away.
The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will now report at the earliest more than 4 years since it was established. Blair left office in 2007, disgraced over his role in the Iraq war. In 2009 his successor Gordon Brown set up the inquiry under Chilcot. It took its final evidence in early 2011 and was due to report this time last year. That has now been delayed twice.
There were many problems with Chilcot: it was supposed to be in secret, until public outcry forced Brown to make it public. It was presided over four knights and a baroness, including historian Martin Gilbert who supported the war in 2003. It refused to take evidence from anti war campaigners. It assured those interviewed that they would have sight of a draft that they could challenge before publication.
Obviously even this is too much for those in government and the civil service, who want to hide evidence from the public and may well succeed under the guise of ‘national security’. The two main parties were complicit in going to war: now they are complicit in preventing the truth from coming out.