August 31, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Steve Bell’s cartoon published in the Guardian on Wednesday illustrates the latest round of excuses for more delays in the long-awaited inquiry into the U.K. government’s role in the Iraq War.
First convened in 2009, the £10 million Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War finished taking evidence in 2011 and should have taken a year to complete. Six years of setbacks, excuses, and delays have relegated it all but useless along with its predecessors, the Butler and Hutton reports — both widely dismissed as whitewashing.
What should by now be a national scandal has seen inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot defending the latest delays by blaming the government and Whitehall. Claiming that fresh documents have opened up “new issues,” Chilcot is adamant it has taken “considerable time” to receive records of conversations between Tony Blair and George Bush.
Another blockage hinges on the “Maxwellisation Process,” which allows witnesses to respond to findings before they are made public. Originally thought to be focusing on Tony Blair and his closest advisors, the Guardian reported this week that criticism will go beyond Blair’s inner team to include a much wider group of ministers and officials.
After six years — and with no date set for publication — families of U.K. soldiers are threatening legal action if the results are not published by the end of the year. Further undermining any remaining fragments of public hope in political accountability, there have been accusations that those criticised in the report are using expensive lawyers to delay and water down evidence against them.
As Hans Blix, the U.N. weapons inspector who carried out searches for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the war (and found none), told the Telegraph earlier this week:
“I would like to see it published sooner than later, the illumination of the Iraq affair is desirable. We all know that in the case of Iraq there was never any authorisation by the UN Security Council. The vast majority of international lawyers consider that the invasion was a breach of the UN Charter.”
If the results are published in 2016 as predicted, the inquiry will have taken seven years longer than the British were even involved in Iraq.
Optimists believe that delays in the publication of the inquiry point to the strong possibility that Tony Blair will be prosecuted for war crimes. Others hope for justice for the millions still suffering in Iraq and those who lost loved ones as result of the U.K. government’s blatant disregard for evidence and perpetual thirst for more wars.
This article (6-Year Investigation Still Can’t Explain Why the UK Government OK’d Iraq Invasion) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Michaela Whitton and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michaela Whitton joined Anti-Media as its first journalist abroad in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include human rights, conflict, the Middle East, Palestine, and Israel. Born and residing in the United Kingdom, she is also a photographer. Learn more about Whitton here!
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us