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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

In Damning Report, Chilcot Inquiry Slams Blair Over Legal Basis For Iraq War

Comment: The Chilcot inquiry still remains a whitewash since it delivers a verdict that it was merely incompetence and a "failure of intelligence". It was no such thing. This was a long term planned project and should be seen as such. By underscoring the "failure of intelligence" nonsense the inquiry reinforces the official narrative.



Zero Hedge 


The Chilcot Inquiry, a British public inquiry into the nation's role in the Iraq war, was published moments ago. The massive report covers almost a decade of UK government policy decisions between 2001 and 2009 and took seven years to complete.  It covers the background to the decision to go to war, whether troops were properly prepared, how the conflict was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath, a period in which there was intense sectarian violence.


One of the key focus areas of the report is the rationale that Tony Blair gave to the public in taking the UK to war, and whether or not the war was necessary. Upon its release, the report concluded that military action "was not a last resort", and that Britain chose to join the invasion of Iraq in 2003 before peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.


The report's main focus is on what commitments then-Prime Minister Tony Blair gave to then-US President George W Bush ahead of the invasion, and whether or not Blair misled the British public over the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which ultimately turned out to be non-existent. Critically, the report determined that the threat posed by WMDs in Iraq was presented with a certainty that was not justified, and the government failed to achieve its stated objectives of the war.

As summarized by BBC, the main points of the report are:

  • The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.
  • The judgements about the severity of threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction - known as WMD - were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
  • Intelligence had "not established beyond doubt" that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.
  • Policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence assessments. It was not challenged, and should have been.
  • The circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were "far from satisfactory".
  • There was "little time" to properly prepare three military brigades for deployment in Iraq. The risks were neither "properly identified nor fully exposed" to ministers, resulting in "equipment shortfalls".
  • Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were "wholly inadequate".
  • The Government failed to achieve the stated objectives it had set itself in Iraq. More than 200 British citizens died as a result of the conflict. Iraqi people suffered greatly. By July 2009, at least 150,000
  • Iraqis had died, probably many more. More than 1m were displaced.
  • The report sets out lessons to be learned: It found former prime minister Tony Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq; and the UK's relationship with the US does not require unconditional support.
  • It said ministerial discussion which encourages frank and informed debate and challenge is important. As is ensuring civilian and military arms of government are properly equipped.
  • In future, all aspects of any intervention need to be calculated, debated and challenged with rigour. Decisions need to be fully implemented.
Read more

See also:  Invasion of Iraq, The Secret Downing Street Memo: “Intelligence and Facts were being Fixed”

“Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”

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