Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Chilcot Inquiry

What normally happens with Government inquires is that a 'safe' senior Civil Servant is chosen and he dodders around a bit before coming back later to say that actually everything was fine and above board and the carpet is lifted and everything is swiftly brushed beneath it.
As shown by the Kelly inquiry into MP's expenses, sometimes they refuse to play the game and actually get the bit between their teeth and make things very uncomfortable for the people who appointed them.
As the Chilcot inquiry into Iraq launches tomorrow, there are already signs that Sir John Chilcot is prepared to lob a few hand grenades of his own to make the Government, and especially Tony Blair, very nervous.
He has already stated that Blair, Brown and the cabinet ministers at the time must speak in public when they were demanding they give evidence in private. Leaks have been circulating in the media this weekend including senior military commanders telling that preparations for the War were sabotaged by Tony Blair's government's attempts to mislead the public.
Other papers point to Blair promising George W Bush that he would join the US led invasion while denying to the country that preparations were being made for military action.
We already have facts from the Butler and Hutton inquires where the remit was so narrow and disjointed that it was impossible for them to join up all the dots. These need to be drawn together and placed alongside the new facts due to be unearthed to produce a time-line of what happened, when and why so an official stamp can be given to the truths, or untruths, that the we know already. The missing WMDs, the yellow cake, Dr Kelly's death, Saddam's Nuclear aspirations, the 45 minute claim, the changing legal advice, the missing United Nation Resolution, the dodgy dossier fiasco and the role of the intelligence departments.
Tony Blair seems to be keen to drift off into other spheres, leaving behind the mess of Iraq and the million Iraqi dead. Chilcot says he and his team would not shrink from making criticisms of individuals and he would provide a "full and insightful" account of the events leading up to, during and after the invasion but what the British public want to know is did Blair and his Government take us to war under false pretences and did we kill lots of people for no good reason.
If the answer is yes, then prosecutions have to follow. If Chilcot finds that despite all the evidence to the contrary that he is able to hand Blair, Brown, Straw and the rest of the Cabinet a clean bill of health then it could sound the starting bell of something volatile for a public already outraged by our political leaders self-interest.


Cheezy said...

I share your cynicism about the whole process, Lucy. I simply don't think we live in a country in which the most powerful people will ever be brought to book for their devious hidden agendas, no matter how well acknowledged they are...

Cheezy said...

Here's the depressing truth about the Chilcott Inquiry, I think: