Chilcot Commission

David Owen's open letter to David Cameron

11/25/2013
On 18 November, Lord Owen has sent an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron following a correspondence between Sir John Chilcot and the Prime Minister himself in which Chilcot stigmatized the resistance by the government to block the relesae of several documents relating to conversations between George Bush and Tony Blair , dating back to the months and weeks before the war in Iraq in 2003. While highlighting a serious conflict of interest which is likely to affect the credibility of the Chilcot Inquiry, involving in particular the man who should make the final decision on whether to publish the documents, Lord Owen puts forward a possible solution. Lord Owen served as Foreign Secretary (1977-1979) under the Labour Government...

Iraq Inquiry officially stalled

11/12/2013
We know that the Inquiry headed by Sir John Chilcot , set up in the summer of 2009 to establish the truth on the circumstances in which the Blair Government ensured the participation of the UK in the war in Iraq, has been delayed three times in reaching the final phase of its findings, namely the publication of the final report. The statement posted on the website of the Inquiry on 5 November contains a new important feature. In previous announcements, Sir John indicated a deadline, albeit hypothetical. Not this time, as he admitted that given the circumstances the Inquiry is not able to continue its work and, remarkably, that "it is regrettable that the Government and the Inquiry have...

Syria, Iraq, the United Kingdom and the Chilcot inquiry delayed again

09/02/2013
As the United States and France are taking time in the preparation of a possible military attack in Syria, the House of Commons in Westminster rejected the intervention with 285 votes against 272 . In some way this result is the heritage of a Labour Party different from Tony Blair 's one. The voting result is probably due to the work of former British Foreign Affairs Minister, the late Robin Cook , whose steadfastness led to the vote in the House before military conflict. Cook, contrary to the 2003 war, resigned from office with a memorable speech in Parliament only a few days before the start of the Iraqi conflict. Contrary to the war at this moment, next to Emma...

David Mathieson on Iraq, Chilcot and democracy

06/12/2013
From 1997 to 2002 David Mathieson served as a Special Advisor to former Minister for Foreign Affairs (until 2001) and Leader of the House (until 2003) Robin Cook , who passed away unexpectedly in 2005. Cook presented his resignation in opposition to the military intervention in Iraq two days before the start of the war. He motivated his decision with a memorable speech at the House of Commons on March 17, 2003 . During a meeting at his house in Madrid , David Mathieson spoke to Matteo Angioli about Robin Cook and Tony Blair ’s diverging visions and points of view on the world order , relations with George Bush and integration with the European Union . These elements were...

Chilcot Inquiry to challenge official line on Iraq

03/11/2013
The inquiry into how Tony Blair committed Britain to war in Iraq is set to challenge the official version of events when it reports later this year, The Independent understands. The team led by Sir John Chilcot, which is examining Britain's part in the US-led invasion, will "challenge previous accounts of what happened", according to senior sources in the inquiry. The prospect of a report which authoritatively confronts the established narrative from 2002 and 2003 – when Mr Blair sent 45,000 British troops into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein – will unnerve many senior figures in Whitehall, and others who no longer operate at the heart of government. By this May, the inquiry team expects to begin contacting those individuals...

Don't mention the Iraq war, William Hague tells cabinet

03/02/2013
Tory Foreign Secretary's directive not to discuss legality of war ahead of 10th anniversary sparks anger from Liberal Democrats William Hague has provoked a bitter row within the coalition by privately writing to other members of the cabinet urging them not to discuss the case for, or the legality of, the Iraq war in the runup to the 10th anniversary of the invasion later this month, the Guardian can reveal. In a confidential letter, the foreign secretary told senior members of the government they should not be drawn on the controversial issues that drew the UK into a politically divisive conflict that led to the death of almost 200 British troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis. But the instruction...

Evidence by Peter Lilley MP to the Iraq Inquiry

02/02/2011
IN FRONT OF THEIR NOSES: the failure of the media and political classes to read the evidence that Iraq did not possess WMD Evidence to Chilcott Inquiry: from the Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP “To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.” George Orwell Introduction This note is about one of the most egregious failures of the media and political classes in recent memory: their failure to examine critically the published evidence, ahead of the invasion of Iraq, on whether government claims that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction were supported by the Intelligence Services and the UN Weapons Inspectors. Had they done so, they would have concluded (as did Robin Cook) that Iraq...

Hans Blix at the Iraq Inquiry

12/22/2010
Oral evidence by UNMOVIC chief inspector Hans Blix at the Iraq Inquiry London, 27.7.2010 If they were very good at reporting, if there was a good order and there was an openness, well, then a certain sort of rebate could be given. Maybe something in that direction could have been used in the case of Iraq. The pressure was the one that moved the Iraqis and as the pressure mounted, yes, they became also more cooperative. We did not get that proactive cooperation in the declaration or in January, and I said even in January my statement on 7 January [2003] that was seen as very critical of Iraq, that they don't seem even to have come to terms with...