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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Blair was not such a straight-kind-of-guy after all - shock!

By far the least surprising and non-news story ever today is featured in all media outlets, with Sir John Chilcott concluding publicly for the first time that Tony Blair was not “straight with the nation” about the run-up to the Iraq war.

The chairman of the public inquiry into the 2003 conflict, and author of a 2 million word report published 13 years later, which found the former Prime Minister had presented the case for war with unjustified certainty, said Mr Blair had been “emotionally truthful” in his account of events leading up to the war. But he caveated that conclusion:

In an interview with the BBC Sir John was then asked if Mr Blair was as truthful with him and the public as he should have been during the seven-year inquiry.

He replied: “Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her.

“I don't believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.”

The Chilcott report found that Blair presented the case for war with “a certainty which was not justified” based on “flawed” intelligence about the country's supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) which was not challenged as it should have been.

The report said the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted and military action was not a last resort.

It added: “We have also concluded that the judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, WMD, were presented with a certainty that was not justified.”

In his careful lawyerly way, Sir John Chilcott has now effectively accused Blair of misleading the country. It is nice to see that he has caught up with the rest of us in that judgement.
What does one make of Sir Vince going out of his way to defend Blair's "emotional truth"?
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