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Never-ending farce of Chilcot report on Iraq war: Stop the War Statement 29.10.15

News that the Chilcot report on the Iraq war will not come out until the middle of next year piles insult onto the injury already suffered by the Iraqi people, the families of those British servicemen and women killed in Iraq, and the millions who argued at the time that the war was wrong.

Chilcot last took evidence nearly five years ago. The reason for his delay has been the excessive care taken to allow those who are criticised in the report to respond to those criticisms before it is published, a process which has not only held up its findings but has given them an advantage in trying to get their justifications in first.

In addition the report will be checked by civil servants and the security services, presumably in order to redact and sanitise sections of the report.

We have seen the ‘apology’ from Tony Blair where he once again claimed that the intelligence was false and that the aftermath of invasion was not planned. These are the same excuses which have been trotted out for years, to the increasing frustration of those who have campaigned against the war.

This delay will mean more spin and obfuscation. We now know, given the recently published Colin Powell memo, that Blair and Bush had agreed to go to war in the spring of 2002, a year before the war.

Chilcot is the third British report into the Iraq war. Like its predecessors, Butler and Hutton, it is shaping up to be a whitewash. The long delay in publishing it is unlikely to hide that fact.