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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Will Chilcott really throw any light on the Iraq war?

The long-awaited Chilcott report will be published tomorrow. But how much light can filter through 2.6 million words and 12 volumes? It is almost as if the report has been designed to hide answers to all the key issues.

The big question of course is whether the decision to go to war was legal or not?  The Guardian though, says that the legality or illegality of the Iraq war was never a question Sir John Chilcot was asked to deal with in his long-awaited inquiry:

Two days before the unveiling of the Chilcot report, a 2m-word document six years in the making, Lord Butler said on Monday: “What [Chilcot] was asked to deal with was what happened, not only in the lead-up to the war but during the war and after the war, and what lessons can be learned from it. The legal issue wasn’t actually put to him. His review team wasn’t equipped properly to deal with that issue.”

Cue, major disappointment all round.

One commentator on the radio has said that Chilcott will be a slow-burn as journalists struggle to digest a 200 page executive summary in two hours and that it is only as they read it in depth over the next few weeks that key points will emerge.

Why has it been done this way? Why are major conclusions being buried in verbiage? Those Labour MPs who have held back from challenging Corbyn because of their role in voting to go to war may get the break they are looking for after all.
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